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A challenge: By Default

March 30, 2009

Saturday night I got it in my mind that I should redo my UI – no, actually, that I should rebuild my UI.  I’d attempted to build a UI from the ground up once before, but it didn’t go well.  (I didn’t know my way around too many addons.)  But, I judged myself able this time and I gave it a try.  It went alright, and I was doing pretty much what I wanted to do.  And in the midst of all the clicking and moving and tweaking I wondered why we did this anyway.

Why are we not happy with the default UI?  When I first got Warcraft, right out of the box, I thought everything looked great.  I was happy to have what I did!  I was never unhappy with it until I saw other customized UIs – the grass was just fine on my side until I knew to look on the other side of the fence.

Now, I could answer my own question about why we’re not happy with the default UI, because now I prefer to have a customized UI over the default one – I know why I do that.  And to push it even further, I prefer a minimal UI.  Less is more.  But if you get right down to it, the default UI doesn’t have an awful lot cluttering it up.  It’s a breeze to maintain – you don’t have to do anything!  Yes, it lacks a bit of convenience, but it’s ok.  (In fact, it might be better than I remember, since Blizz has put a few new features into the default UI and the last time I used the default was ages ago.)

I will make the assumption that when the large majority of you started playing, you used the default UI too – I did.  I wonder if, by going back to the default, we couldn’t capture some of the magic of first playing.  (I don’t wonder that too seriously though, I know it would take a lot more than a default UI to do that.)  But mostly I wonder if we could handle going back to it – not for a night, but for a longer period of time.

And so, gentle readers, I challenge you to play without any addons whatsoever.  None.  Plain ol’ default UI with nothing – not even a bag addon.  (/sniffle)  Many of you will say that you raid on your main(s) and you can’t do that because of required addons and that’s fine.  I expected that answer – but what about an alt that you play regularly?  Try it out there.  For my part, I will be playing my baby pally with the default UI as per challenge rules.  She’s been getting quite a bit of playtime since Lus’ computer fiasco, so don’t worry – I’m not leaving you high and dry.

Cait in default.  (Notice the Pink Mageweave Shirt.) Cait in default. (Notice the Pink Mageweave Shirt.)

Even if you write me off as batty for even suggesting such a thing, tell me: why are you not happy with the default UI?

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27 Comments leave one →
  1. deekow permalink
    March 30, 2009 10:46 AM

    Actually, there’s a part of me that prefers the default UI over anything else. It’s always been an “on the fence” issue for me, as on one hand, most mods remove the need for skill in the game for some way, and I find that annoying in a lot of ways; on the other though, why shouldn’t we use a tool that’s available to us that helps us to achieve our goals? Blargh… it’s a toughy, but playing with UI default is absolutely no problem for the Kow, outside of raiding.

  2. March 30, 2009 1:00 PM

    The only UI add on I use is grid for raiding, other than that, it’s standard UI for Dueg. I just don’t see a reason to get a different one.

  3. Jack permalink
    March 30, 2009 2:26 PM

    I only use the standard UI.I’m a computer programmer by profession. That means I spend a good portion of my work day testing how any changes I make to a program will affect a larger system. I don’t want to go home and do the same thing every patch on something I’m supposed to be playing for fun. So I never started using addons and am enjoying the game just fine.

  4. March 30, 2009 2:36 PM

    You will have to pry my Itemrack from my cold dead fingers.

  5. March 30, 2009 3:58 PM

    I took it upon myself a while back to customize my UI and it went pretty good. I’m not a huge addons buff, I don’t know how to work dominoes, I had to have a guildie help me. When it was done, I was pleased, but it took so long to do that I chose to keep the default UI on my alts. It’s not worth the work for toons I don’t play regularly enough.On a discouraging side note, you know how if your game crashes, things reset? Well, when I got my UI just right, after hours of tweeking it, my game decided to crash before I could log off to save the changes and I lost all of them. I was so bummed I nearly just gave it up. I went back to work, fixed it, and it looked even better, but I was not happy about it!

  6. March 30, 2009 4:37 PM

    I’ve done the standard UI many times. Too many times, really.About the only way I’d do this is if my babypally has her moocow Shammy buddy to play with. /sagenod

  7. March 30, 2009 6:29 PM

    I accept your challenge!Redux (the Death Knight) is going to try and level to 80 using only the default UI. No addons. That means no Recount (/gasp), no Unit Frames, not even SexyMap!Now.. will I be able to succeed?<_<

  8. Willel permalink
    March 30, 2009 7:24 PM

    I like the default UI. But as I get into raiding and instancing, I find that there are some things that the default UI just can’t handle. I can’t imagine healing without, at least, healbot. And now I’ve discovered decursive and deadly boss mods. Will the madness never end.And, of course, I couldn’t live without QuestHelper :D

  9. Anea permalink
    March 30, 2009 9:03 PM

    Wow, I’m surprised. And impressed.Yet another facet of The Dueg revealed…

  10. Anea permalink
    March 30, 2009 9:04 PM

    Ugh, I had that happen to me once. I doggedly went back and fixed everything, but it left a bitter taste in my mouth.Or how the first time I used WoW Matrix on a guildie’s recommendation and my UI was completely and absolutely borked. I had no idea it was so out of date and didn’t know that I should have backed up my UI files… I about cried. That was a crisis, right there.

  11. Anea permalink
    March 30, 2009 9:07 PM

    Huzzah!You, my fine DK-version of regularly Tree friend, are the only one thus far to accept the challenge (without condition! *glares at Grimtorn*)I applaud your decision! Keep us updated!

  12. Anea permalink
    March 30, 2009 9:10 PM

    It actually took quite a bit on convincing on my then-guild master’s part to get me to use Healbot. I wanted to be a “real healer” not some whack-a-mole person standing at the back.I can’t say that I wouldn’t miss it, but I think that I could keybind enough that I would be pretty happy and on the mark ;)

  13. Anea permalink
    March 30, 2009 9:14 PM

    I will ignore this blatant blackmail.I will ignore this blatant blackmail.I will ignore this blatant blackmail…..*rolls boygirlcow*

  14. March 30, 2009 9:18 PM

    /does cow dance of victory

  15. Anea permalink
    March 30, 2009 9:28 PM

    Certainly understandable and a very good point – come patch time we’re stressed wondering how much our UIs will break – not those with defaults!I’m surprised I didn’t think of that myself. It’s been a long while since UI-breaking patches, I guess.

  16. Chibikeni permalink
    March 31, 2009 8:24 AM

    I’ve tried using the regular UI for leveling but not for raids *there’s a limit using a 15.1″ monitor, too many raid panes =S*I can’t survive WoW without these 2 essential addons, Bagnon and DeadlyBossMods…/sobz

  17. Anea permalink
    March 31, 2009 8:50 AM

    Yes, I’m already regretting my condition of “no bag mod” as I constantly reorganize my default bags :(

  18. March 31, 2009 1:49 PM

    What’s wrong? Look at your screenie…Bags! Bags, I tell you…When I first stated playing (Pre BC) I finally vendored enough copper and green items to buy a new bang from the Vendor in SW (we were all Noobs once…).I managed to equip it, but when I pressed the B button, I could not see any more space…I thought I had deleted the bag by mistake.I screamed in my head “There must be some way to see all of these bags in one place!!!”Oh, there was…Bagnon was my absolute, must-have, will-wait-until-updated-no-play-on-patch-day add-on.Now that I have ArkInventory instsalled (and configured) that is just gravy…yummy gravy…the kind you forget about the turkey or mashed potatos and just drink out of a coffee cup…But, perhaps I have said too much…

  19. March 31, 2009 2:23 PM

    I’m weak. I can’t do it. I’m a total addon ho.BTW, pink mageweave shirts are an automatic +5 Panzercow awesome points. After all, our three original raid tanks (and a couple other folks) are all part of the Pink Shirt Mafia.

  20. Elgar permalink
    April 2, 2009 9:48 PM

    I have leveled up 2 80s, including a holy (now disc) priest who did some raiding at level 70, and a handful of other classes (all but rogue/warrior) that are 70+ on only the default UI.The only add-ons I have ever used have been decursive, deadly boss mods, and recount on some of the DPS classes occasionally.I tried some alternative UIs but I didn’t like them. And some add-ons seem to take away game play experience, for example I think QuestHelper is flat out “cheating” (that’s just my view of it).The only two UIs I use now are recount on my DPS classes and decursive on any healy types. I haven’t really gotten into level 80 raiding yet as I’m about the slowest person to level since I end up running guildies through dungeons (deadmines–lol) all the time, but I might look into a few other small add-ons for raiding, but I dislike most of the UIs I see in people’s screenshots so I stick with the classic default.Maybe I’m just stubborn, but I like it the way it is.

  21. Anea permalink
    April 3, 2009 12:56 AM

    I feel similarly about QuestHelper – I don’t really view it as “cheating” myself (although I totally see where you’re coming from) but I find it really bossy. I thought it would be great since so many others recommended it and I open my map and I felt so… ugh.I much prefer to choose where I go and when. If I need help with a quest, I can take a minute to tab out to wowhead and check. It’s good to know I still have my free will.

  22. April 10, 2009 11:16 AM

    It’s just an anecdote, but among my friends and guildies it seems like tanks are the most likely to go without addons. But I’ve seen one player who refused to use addons on his main character, a tank, reluctantly install Healbot when he started raiding with his Resto Shaman.It’s a wild guess but I imagine that tank classes depend more on situational awareness and quick reaction time whereas healing and DPS depend on appropriate timing, so addons used to measure and display info are more useful for those roles.

  23. April 10, 2009 1:20 PM

    I don’t understand why you feel that way about Questhelper. I am biased on this account because I personally don’t like questing and I use the mod to get through it as quickly as possible. Still, Questhelper is only a source of information– it doesn’t actually force you to do anything.

  24. April 23, 2009 12:23 PM

    […] default: an update Perhaps you remember my last “By default” post, challenging my readers to go addon-less. Or modless, if you […]

  25. July 1, 2009 10:00 AM

    […] they change you I’ve been in a bit of  UI slump lately.  After my “By Default” challenge, I was pretty gung ho for it, but I did get tired of the default UI really quickly.  I added a few […]

  26. October 25, 2009 5:04 PM

    […] you remember my last “By default” post, challenging my readers to go addon-less. Or modless, if you […]

  27. October 25, 2009 5:08 PM

    […] […]

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