I healed through battlegrounds, heroic dungeons and raids with my new Gridless setup, and compared it to my past experience. While I was healing, I was constantly thinking about its utility: Does it give me the information I need as a healer? Is it limited in use or customisable? Where does it have an edge over Grid and where did Grid trump this setup?
What Grid did for me:
To start off, here's what my setup looked like back when I had my beloved tree form and the default interface for raid frames was, in short, terrible.
New Raid Frame Options:
Perhaps the best thing about the new default UI is that it does everything I need as a healer (and I imagine many others) in a simple, easy-to-use interface. A single page of options pretty much covers all that I needed from my previous Grid-related addons - hence, setting it up or changing it on the fly takes minutes and isn't a time sink.
A few things about these options made me smile and say "oh there we go!" when I first started customising it:
- "Display Only Dispellable Buffs": Perfect. I don't need to go through check display poison and uncheck display diseases for starters. A neat little perk is that it has little icons to show up on the upper right corner to tell which kind of dispellable buff it is...and those icons get the message across well. No more green on top means poison whereas blue on the bottom left corner means magic. Checking that box just took care of it.
- "Display Incoming Heals": Very useful as a healer to co-ordinate heals with others.
- "Display Class Colours": Useful for me - I like to know if that person with aggro is a cloth wearer or a plate wearer.
- "Display Aggro Highlight": Again, very important to know who's getting beaten up. It showed this as a red lining around the raid frame. (You'll see this in future screenshots).
A couple other options of note with the interface are:
- displaying power bars (mana, rage etc)
- displaying health text (either as percentages or numbers)
- having seperate frames for the raid's tanks
Above is a screenshot of the raid frames while raiding. It worked pretty well for me - the aggro highlight is around the tank which is where it should be! =) The interface automatically shows me HoT icons, stacks and duration - and a it never hurts to see each raider's role either.
The Bottomline: Grid vs. Default UI
I've talked about how the default UI meets my requirements as a healer in doing everything Grid did for me. However, Grid can still go where the default UI can no longer reach in terms of customisation.
Grid's advantages over the default UI:
- Customisable fonts and raid frame textures: the default UI offers no options for this apart from showing class colours. With Grid, you have a choice.
- Customisable borders.
- Options to place spell icons around raid frames: by default, the icons appear on the bottom of the raid frame. With Grid, you have the option of placing them at the top, bottom, or on the sides.
- More flexibility in the height and width of individual raid frames: If you like your frames small, and the minimum values for height and width are both too big for your taste, then you're out of luck with the default interface. And I can definitely see this since I don't consider them the default size particularly small. Grid on the other hand, provides a lot more flexibility.
- Significantly easier to set up. This, this, this. I cannot emphasise how much of a difference this makes. Especially if you heal on more than one character and you have to tweak profiles for each of them. It takes you less than 15 minutes to set it up and be on the road.
- Easy accessibility for quick, on-the-spot changes. With a single page, its easy to change options fairly quickly during a mana break or at the summoning stone. Lets say you didn't like seeing power bars in the last fight - it was too distracting. Open options, uncheck and you're merrily on your way. Grid's interface for options is far from straightforward and definitely not recommended to mess with during a raid.
- Dispellable Buffs notifications more effective. I'm a visual person, and I've never been a fan of audio notifications other than my usual DBM-get-out-of-fire alarms. The dispellable buffs icons are perfect - a skull for disease, a stinger for poison - it's just plain easy, and you can spend your attention more on heals.