While back in the days of MC and BWL, it was generally okay for a player to get tunnel-vision while playing whack-a-mole or flailing at a stationary boss. There were a few exceptions, like not standing in the lava, or by Onyxia's tail, or in the cleave range, or in the bombs being thrown by the goblin trash, or in LoS of Firemaw as a healer, or the odd dance that was done for Chromaggus, but those bosses had NOTHING on Sartharion+Drakes, Heigan, Thaddius, KT, Hodir, Mimiron, Vezax to name a few!
Your UI is one of the most important pieces for situational awareness. What makes a mod useful is how much more easily it will provide you important information; thus, how you set up your mods and UI really determines how well the mods do their job and get you that information without making things distractingly worse. Sometimes, adding mods can make your job more difficult than it was when you were running an unmodded UI, if they aren't set up well!
Key things to consider are:
- Can you easily see your raid frames?
- Can you easily see your own character?
- Can you easily see the debuffs?
- Can you easily see raid warnings?
- Can you easily see your surroundings?
You can see how I made an effort to organize my action bars, and this is even before the days of "needing" a spot for a threat meter! I was very proud of this UI, though I gag at it now :) It slowly morphed over time to what is now my current UI:
Between expanding my screen size, cutting down on the number of action bars, switching my raid frames, and killing the visible "combat log," I have really cut down on the amount of clutter on my screen while increasing the amount of important buffs/information I can see! At the same time, it feels "smoother" and more comfortable to work in.
My Methods for Awareness:
- Mods -
- Grid raidframes to reduce bar size and clutter
- Use a HuD addon
You can turn off any modules you do not want to use, and depending on the HUD, you can add extra timer bars of buffs you want to watch. A Combo Points counter comes standard, as well as a Lacerate Stack counter!
I chose to be able to click through my HUD bars so that they do not interfere with target selection.
- Debuff Filter and Power Auras
- Sexymap reduces Icon Clutter
The skins are all customizable, with gentle animations.
- Rely on DBM and raid warnings
- Cut the spam
- Screen -
- Widescreen monitor
When adapting your UI to a widescreen monitor, however, remember that the peripheral sides are just that: peripheral. Don't stick things that you need to watch constantly off to the sides of your screen. My corners and sides are the place for: tooltips, minimap, bags, chat, threat meter, and personal health (I have IceHUD too!). All of my click-actions and Grid are clustered closer to the middle of the widescreen so that I can have them near to my own character.
- Removed the majority of my action bars
To the left you can see my LunarSphere with all three submenus open. The actions within the menus are used rarely or out of combat, or are keybound for use in combat.
- Keybound abilities
- Turn on enemy nameplates
- Zoom out
- Position myself!
- Strats -
- Know the Bosses
- MOVE AROUND
Inside of raids, you can have the raid leader pretend to be the "boss" before a pull, and have the raid arrange themselves where they need to stand. Practice calling out "flame waves" or similar environmental occurances so that you can get a feel for what you need to do before you're actually in combat, and where you'll need to stand. If the raid really isn't getting it, you can have an attempt where no one is allowed to DPS, everyone simply must practice the movements of getting out of Blizzards or void zones or fire or lightening blasts!