Home > General, Interface, Programs, Resources > Blizzard Takes to the Grid(iron)

Blizzard Takes to the Grid(iron)


After poking around a bit in the Public Test Realm for patch 4.0.1 to see what was new, and I realized that I had failed to take the time to copy over my add-ons and whatnot (let me tell you, I really missed my macros).  One of the add-ons that I missed the most was my unit/raid frames (I currently use Pitbull).  During the course of my frustration, I happened to mention on Vent my displeasure for the default interface, when a guild-mate (who was also on the PTR) mentioned that the unit/raid frames interface was updated, and was actually quite decent.

Much to my surprise, I found that the new unit/raid frames interface is actually quite good (as far as the default interface goes), and extremely easy to work with.  Don’t get me wrong, the frames do have their downfalls over the more common raid frames like Pitbull, Grid, X-Perl, etc., but if, for whatever reason, you cannot use one of those add-ons, then the new frames make a decent fallback option.

I think this was a good move on Blizzard’s part, because many people (myself included) severely dislike the old party and raid frames that were offered, largely due to the fact that some of the information was just flat out difficult to see, depending on how you had your interface set up.  I mean, take a look at the default party frames.

 

Default Unit Frame

Default Unit Frame

 

If you look at that picture, you will notice that how the text is rather small, blurry, and blends in with the health and mana bars.  This makes it somewhat difficult to get the information you want, at a glance.  In addition to that, you might notice that there are no buffs/debuffs in the immediate area of the unit frame, which makes it more difficult if you need to dispel anything.  The old raid frames were even worse, if you ask me, because the health and mana bars were mere slivers on the display, which made it almost a necessity to use some sort of raid frame.

Needless to say, the new party and raid frames are much better, in my opinion.  I mean, just look at how pretty you can make them in less than 5 minutes:

 

Raid-Style Party Frames

Raid-Style Party Frames

 

Really, if you have used the Blizzard Raid Frames previously, the picture above will likely take you less than a minute to set up.  To see just how easy it is to set up the Blizzard frames, let’s take a look at the interface configurations.

 

Unit Frames Options

Unit Frames Options

 

As you can see in the picture (as indicated by the exclamation point), Blizzard has added a new option to “Use Raid-Style Party Frames”.  Simply check this box, and your ugly default party frames will be changed into the new raid-style party frames.  After you have checked this box, you will likely want to do a little configuration on the party frames, which will require you to look at the Raid Frames section of the Interface Options.

 

Raid Frames Interface Options

Raid Frames Interface Options

 

This  section of the Interface Options is actually completely new, but oh, so powerful.  The options themselves are pretty straightforward, with the text describing the options appropriately.  The only option that seemed even the least bit confusing to me was “Keep Groups Together”, and this was only because the sort options only become available if the “Keep Groups Together” box is unchecked.  To give you an idea of how your raid frames will end up displaying, here are some captioned images for you to see:

 

 

Display Incoming Heals & Selected Frame

Display Incoming Heals

 

 

Display Aggro Highlight

Display Aggro Highlight

 

 

Display Borders

Display Borders

 

 

Do Not Display Borders

Do Not Display Borders

 

Raid Frames, Locked, Hide Borders, Keep Groups, Show Main Tank & Assist, Show Pets, Hide Energy Bars

Hide Borders, Keep Groups, Show Main Tank & Assist, Show Pets, Hide Energy Bars

 

 

Unlocked Raid Frames

Unlocked (Movable) Raid Frames

 

That pretty much wraps up the additions to the new Blizzard Raid Frames, but Blizzard did add a few more options outside the new raid frames, which might pique your interest, as well.  These changes seem like they were mostly added to benefit raid leaders, though raid members and some PvPers will appreciate them as well.

The first image below should look somewhat familiar, as it is very similar to one of the windows that pops up when using the dungeon finder, and is simply for role selection.  However, Blizzard decided that it would be beneficial to allow raiders to select roles as well, which should make the life of a PUG raid leader much easier (no more “Tanks Press 1, Healers Press 2” in raid chat).  Depicted in the second image is the ability for raid leaders (and raid assistants) to assign roles to a specific person.

 

 

Role Check Interface

Role Check Interface

 

 

Role Assignment

Role Assignment

Those interface additions are very nice, but those alone don’t quite cover anything (and if you didn’t notice, I didn’t mention how to get the role selection to pop up).  One of the best new interface additions is the new Raid Leader Panel.  This panel (shown below) sits just below the default location for the player unit frame (top left of the screen), and pops out when you click the little tab on the right-hand side.  This panel is where the raid leader can perform a role check (which displays the first image above to all raid members), perform a ready check without opening the raid panel in the social window (or typing out /readycheck), lock or unlock the party/raid frames, and hide or display the party/raid frames.  It really is a slick panel for raid leaders; one that I suspect will be much appreciated.

 

Raid Leader Panel

Raid Leader Panel

 

However, you may have noticed that I didn’t mention the little button that has a flag on it, whatever might that be?  Well, that is your World Marker portion of the Raid Leader Panel, and quite possibly the most welcome button on the panel.

“What does it do?” you might be asking.  Well, simply put, it allows you to mark the world with little colored flares similar to the flares that are currently in game.  Altogether, there are a total of five different colors (Red, White, Blue, Green, and Violet) you can assign using the World Markers.  The five different colors work out nicely, because you can use them to assign locations for each group in a 25-man raid, or one for each color in a 5-man group, or you can use them just to waste time.  Either way, I am sure that groups will appreciate this functionality (and this panel) greatly.

 

 

World Marker Panel

World Marker Panel

 

 

World Markers

World Marker

With all of these changes coming about to the raiding interface, I think it may be time to re-evaluate my interface and add-on choices to see if I can slim down my interface by eliminating the unnecessary UI changes.  However, because I did find the Blizzard Raid Frames a bit lacking in some areas (which may be another post at some time) I will probably still end up using add-ons to achieve my needs when it comes to my UI.  Either way, I applaud Blizzard for taking the time to update these portions of the user interface.

See you in the Shadows,

Spazmoosifer

 

Hold on, that’s not all, there was one addition that I didn’t mention above, that I am sure that many people would appreciate.  You may have noticed the change in one of the pictures above, but Blizzard added a “Convert To Party” option to the right-click menu.  That’s right, Blizzard listened to the players, and finally implemented the option, which will make it so that you can jump into a group, and not have to disband, and reform, if the group leader happens to accidentally switch it to a raid.  YEAH BLIZZ!!

 

Convert To Party

Convert To Party

I just want to add that if anyone has a need to use any of the pictures in this article, feel free to do so.

 

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  1. October 13, 2010 at 2:45 PM

    Now if only they could stick a 5-man into the same group in a BG.

  2. tinkerpriest
    October 13, 2010 at 4:25 PM

    Great post. Thank you for being informative instead of whining and focusing on where the new changes aren’t “optimal”. (like I’ve seen elsewhere)

  3. March 24, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    Just wish to say your article is as astonishing.

    The clearness on your put up is just nice and i can think you are an expert in this
    subject. Well together with your permission let me to snatch your feed to stay updated with coming near near post.

    Thanks a million and please keep up the enjoyable work.

  1. October 9, 2010 at 4:51 AM

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