Restoration Druid Guide Part 4: UI and Addons (8.1 Compliant)
Your user interface is very important. It’s how you get information about the encounter, know who and when to heal, and react to threats. It doesn’t have to be fancy or unrecognizable from the original UI. It just has to be functional for YOU. Ask 10 people what their UI looks like, and you’ll get 10 different answers. What they all have in common is that their UI is optimal for what they do, because everyone plays a little differently. I’m not going to go over what my UI looks like and how to get it, I’m going to go through what raiders (specifically restoration druids) should have on their UI.
Other Posts You May Find Helpful:
Another Stroll Around My UI!
VuhDo Setup and Export String
Master List of WeakAuras for Raiding Restoration Druids
1. Functional raid frames
Your frames are your bread and butter. I personally use VuhDo. I like how it is versatile and highly customizeable, and attractive compared to other frame addons. Configure your spells in a way that will be the easiest for you to remember where everything is. Healbot is another viable alternative (and what I started with), as well as Clique + Grid.
I also have my VuhDo Setup and Export String available here.
2. A boss mod
Most raid groups require a boss mod. It will call out mechanics for you and tell you when you’re standing in fire. It also makes it easier to coordinate healing cooldowns by alerting you of high raid damage. I use Deadly Boss Mods, but I know some guilds also use BigWigs.
Presumably you can use the default bars, but I like to use Bartender. It sleeks up your UI and frees up space for other things that could be more helpful to you for healing, like auras.
4. A meter
Numbers are not everything, but it’s still important to pump out as much healing as you can consistently in order to be useful to your raid. Therefore, you should be using a meter to gauge your progress. You can also use it to observe other restoration druids who may be doing better than you, and you can perhaps notice a way to improve. I like using Skada, but Recount is also popular. Not to toot my own horn, but that’s me on the top in that picture 😉
This is probably more advanced, but when you want to get into progression content, you should really look into logging your performance. You can analyze in detail everything you did, and everything you did wrong. You can see what you did wrong in order to know what you should do better next time. You can input the logs into the website WoWAnalyzer, which will analyze it and give you point of improvement. I’ve found it to be very helpful. I log raids using Warcraft Logs, which I upload using Loggerhead.
Speaking of auras. I use WeakAuras. It adds an icon to your screen that makes it easier to keep track of cooldowns or charges for spells. Because I use VuhDo, I can take most of my healing spells off my bars and just make auras showing me the cooldowns. I would not be able to heal without my auras. Most auras come in two parts: one to show the cooldown, one to show when the ability is ready. For some abilities, like Innervate, I also have an aura that shows buff duration.
You can import them into WeakAuras. I finally discovered text boxes so I’m not pasting long strings of code into the post directly, so just right click the box, click “Select All”, copy, and paste directly into WeakAuras! If you find an error, please let me know!