Wednesday, September 29, 2010

VuhDo review.

Several weeks ago a fellow guild-mate wanted me to show how I'd set up my Grid for my healing needs.  It just happened that I ran across VuhDo a few days later and have been sold on it ever since.

First, my old Grid layout looked something like this.  It was clean and well thought out.  I had my HoT's in different corners, and they'd give a yellow then red warning when they were getting ready to expire.  I prefer dark backgrounds with health that is shown decreasing, from the right (an inverse color setup).  So health is essentially a dark bar that shrinks from the right.  The reason I like this is that I can focus more easily on who needs heals.  More color showing means it moves up in my priority list.  In the grid example to the right, the bottom frame shows someone at approx 75% health.  The green number "4.4" on my tank, Irinbells, shows me I have three stacks of LifeBlooms (hence green) which will bloom in 4.4 secs.  One problem I had with grid was my need to be the instance leader, or for the tank to be the instance leader.  Grid automatically places me at the top, and then places the instance lead as the second frame down.  Although if I have lead, it automatically places the tank in the second slot, which is where I want him.  Nothing irked me more than having the tank stuck in the third or forth slot, and having to mouse carefully back and forth between us as I went along.  This left me constantly asking at beginning of instances to have the lead changed over to the tank so that my grid layout would be easier to use.  This request was generally heeded about 90% of the time.  Dispells were done with Clique, which I had setup to fire on left and right mouse buttons if I held down the shift key as 'Remove Curse' and 'Abolish Poison', respectively.

Next are a set of pics from my VuhDo setup.  These are taken actually very close in time to each other but show a few different things taking place.  
First thing you'll notice is that my tank is set off to the left from the main group, VuhDo can be set up to do this automatically.   The red surrounding the toon's frame shows he has aggro.  You can see in the second pic that 'Star' has just picked up aggro as well, which lets me know to consider throwing a Rejuv their way in case they take some damage.  The top left of the frame shows the character's "Rejuv" status. The number within the purple colored square counts down the last 9 seconds of the Rejuv in case I need to watch for who'll need to get replenished.  The red circle next to the Rejuv square shows that these toons are capable of receiving a Swiftmend if needed.  Once used, the circle will disappear on all frames but will return once Swiftmend's cooldown is up.  WildGrowth is the green square in the bottom left corner of each frame and also shows a countdown till it's done.  Mana bars are set in the bottom of each frame.  Once again, I mimicked my health preference with an inverse colored bar, filling from the right.  More color means more attention.  "Thab" in the first pic has his health bar with a darkened part.  VuhDo is showing me that it expects him to have received that much heal from the current Rejuv by the time it expires.  In the second pic a poison has dropped onto me with 5 secs left until it expires.  VuhDo contains it's own built-in version of Clique, which I have set up to operate exactly like I did with Grid.  Not shown here is that I have it set to show a small version of a marker icon right over the player's name.

A bonus feature I found with VuhDo (in Louisiana we call these a "Lagniappe", meaning a little something extra) is that I can have other frames within my UI hidden.  I've decided what works best for me is to hide the "party members" so they don't take up the visual space on the left side of my screen.  I've left my toon and my target's toon.  The reason I left these two is to make it easier to access the menues WoW gives you when you click on these frames.  i.e. Leave Group, or to mark with an Icon.  Below is a typical, though small, version of my basic UI in action.  As you can see, I have VuhDo taking up a very small area of my screen, yet it is my area of greatest focus.  The size frames I am using lend themselves very well to 10 and 25 man raids as well.  On 25 mans, I'll unlock the frame and move it over to the left just a little before locking it back down.

What I did not do is try to show you the exact steps to set this up.  There is copious information linked from VuhDo's creator as to how to go about setting it up to your liking.  The major thing to do is dive in and play till you start seeing what you have in mind for your needs.  There is a certain point at which a lightbulb goes off in your head and the setup process makes sense.

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