Thursday, May 6, 2010

A UI Overhaul of the Unexpected Variety

Alternative title: the long post where Kae has to fix her UI from a version of itself that is a year old, and serves as a reminder to Kae of what blog UI posts need to be updated, and what topics probably still need to be blogged in case a worse crash occurs.

The Why:

I'd been running Windows Vista for way.too.long. I picked up a copy of Windows 7 (64 bit) back when it was first released, but due to complications with my network card and its inability to support wireless on windows 7 64-bit, I had to leave it on vista until such time as either A) my landlord agreed to drill the holes to bring the internet in through MY level of the house rather than my housemate's, thus letting me get a wired connection, or B) move out of the rental and set up my internet on a wired connection in my own house, or C) drop the money on a different wireless card.

I had to opt for B, moving. Sounds a little crazy, but hey, I'm out of the rental and in a nice house all of my own, starting my life as a homeowner with my husband, in a nice quiet neighborhood without a long commute, with a lovely fenced-in yard just WAITING for a puppy. Now, I have moved, and finally had the chance this week to rush into wiping my system and setting up Windows 7 (after spending about 12 hours on Saturday trying to figure out what box I had packed the OS disk in).

Okay, all well and good. Copy all the necessary files: music, docs, and pix folders... special fonts and backups of my adobe photoshop styles and brushes... and, of course, my WoW screenshots, WTF, and Interface folders. Simple enough, right? Once the slow process of reinstalling WoW on my freshly reformatted harddrive with its shiny new operating system was complete, I copy the files off the portable harddrive I had stored them on and fire up WoW.


My addons aren't up to date. Like, 50 of them aren't up to date. Weeeeird. Little alarm bells start going off in my mind, but I do my best to silence them and go to update them all.


There are addons completely missing. And why is CowTip enabled? I thought I traded that in for TipTac.

...where is Power Auras?


The alarm bells turn into screaming sirens.

I hadn't copied my WTF/interface from the right folder. Or my screenshots, for that matter. The screenshots inform me of the date of the "most recent" picture: 4/27/2009.

Thus began my panic, mitigated only somewhat by the fact that I had backed up a lot of my UI in the form of blog posts. I was thanking the powers that be for server-side macros and whatever muse had nudged me into pasting my Power Auras exports and Grid layout on my blog... and my custom artwork.

My docs/music/etc folders were all fine and current. My WoW data just... wasn't. It had slipped back a year like it had just jumped in Dr. Who's Tardis for a joyride and miscalculated the return date.

As a note, those who know me will say I *never* curse. Those who know me well will say I do curse, but only when it really is important or meaningful. With that in mind...



I have no idea how I made such an error, but I've been paying for it, dearly. I discovered my UI problem about 1.5 hours before a raid on Tuesday.

I also discovered just how quickly I could pull my UI back together into some semblance of "working," and discovered I was lucky that it had only been a year old rather than 2, or 3, or completed GONE.

First priorities: Grid, Keybinds, and no LUA errors.

In this phase I updated addons, downloaded missing addons, reconfigured Grid to my custom settings due to age of the wtf files, and quickly combed WoWhead's ICC boss list for abilities I needed to add back to Grid for boss debuff monitoring.

Grid was still missing a few abilities I hadn't noted or missed in my visual scan of wowhead as I raided this week, resulting in frantic mid-raid additions to my Grid's debuff auras and a panicy reshuffling of what frame section they appeared on, as I couldn't quite remember which of the GridIndicatorCornerIcons locations I had originally used as "top" and "bottom," and some of the locations result in tiny, hard-to-see icons for some bizarre reasons.

Speaking of, here's my list, though it's missing my ToC debuffs atm:

Center Icon:
Boiling Blood
Death Plague
Dominate Mind
Frenzied Bloodthirst
Frost Blast
Fusion Punch
Gaseous Bloat
Gut Spray
Harvest Soul
Necrotic Plague
Pact of the Dark Fallen
Saronite Vapors
Swarming Shadows
Unbalancing Strike
Unbound Plague
Volatile Ooze Adhesive
Wounding Strike

Top Icon (top right corner left):
Essence of the Blood Queen
Frost Beacon
Gas Spore
Mark of the Fallen Champion
Recently Infected
Sara's Anger
Storm Power
Plague Sickness

Bottom Icon (bottom left corner right):
Gastric Bloat
Iron Roots
Rune of Blood
Sara's Blessing

Yes, I could've broken down and installed the GridRaidDebuffs module... but then I can't split the debuffs up between 3 separate locations, which i find important in cases like Saurfang where a player might get Mark of the Fallen Champion along with Boiling Blood, and then they're taking significantly more damage that I need to heal.

Then I found GridIndicatorSideIcons, and /facepalmed at myself about the whole corners thing.

Beyond that, my keybinds needed to be updated, but fortunately I had quite recently mapped them all out in a handy visual guide. Once again, THANK YOU my bloggy MUSE. Now, I did have to go out and install drivers for my keyboard and mouse, and recreate the custom macros I use for them (in terms of telling the mouse button to push "y" and do it in a way that it doesn't just type "y" into my chat frame, cuz the software is confusing!), but I got it working pretty quick. Thus, the most important raiding aspects of my healer UI: raid frames and keybinds, were fixed.

Second priorities: Power Auras and Cast Bars.

Thank you, dear bloggy muse, for tasking me with posting my Power Auras export strings. It's not all of them, and my poor shaman's are completely gone, but it's at least the big ones that are most important for me as a raider! I even saved my rogue alt's exports.

Quartz just needed some repositioning to allow for the cast bar to not be in the middle of my Grid frames. I also had to edit my settings on texture (I have switched to Melli Dark Rough for most of my bars) and the "interruptable" alerts for target cast, and reposition all of them.

Third priorities: Pitbull and DBM.

Pitbull3 was pretty easy to fix, as I hadn't made any major overhauls to my settings in the past year. I was grateful I hadn't tried to switch to a different addon. I did need to fix their positioning, most notably of my focus frame, since I like having that down where I can quickly see it next to my Grid boxes.

DBM required only a tiny bit more work: aside positioning of the bars, I had switched to a custom skin layout for my timer bars from DamiaUI... but I was prepared for that, and already had given myself instructions on how to add it again. Zing also has a more detailed walkthrough on how to do it, so I was in good hands.

Fourth priorities: the other mods.

Many of the newer (for me) mods useful while raiding needed some setup: SexyCooldown with its personal cooldown bar that I position running vertically up the side of my Grid frames, TargetCharms' positioning on my screen in its preferred place under my chat box, and tweaking TipTac (pictured left) away from its (rather ugly IMO) default settings into a tooltip I'm comfortable using, complete with health/mana bars and guild ranks.

oRA2's mt frames positioning and skin. Omen and Skada's skins. TidyPlates and its module ThreatPlates, with my own settings tweaked to remove the ugly green glow the default settings put on "happy" enemies.

IceHUD's complete configuration, which I had very heavily customized before.

Unfortunately, I had to do these fresh and from memory, as I haven't blogged about these mods before. Something to add to my to-do list?

Fifth priorities: the Gravy.

These are things like adding my list of resurrection macros back into LunarSphere, and re-importing my custom UI art into kgPanels.

ButtonFacade also had a lot of skins to install and add to my Bartender and Buffalo panels. I also needed to install _Cursor and CastDonut... because I really just enjoy those little mods.

I managed to get most of this done while sitting around in Dalaran... and some mid-raid while running back from wipes.

Still to-do:

As a "happy" ending to the story, I have, for the most part, repaired my UI to my liking.

There are still some things that I need to do, though.

RaidCooldowns was also installed, but for some reason, it refused to fire up the /rcd config on command. It's not a mod I actively rely upon in raids, however, and oRA2 emulates it to a limited extent, so it's not a huge priority.

Grid and Power Auras will still be tripping up over the inevitable missing debuffs I forgot to add back in. That'll be an ongoing effort and annoyance for me.

Debuff Filter hasn't gotten much in the way of tweaks the past year for my UI, but I do still need to get into catform and fix its positioning to my preference. I don't use the mod much while healing, but rely on it heavily when feral.

My alts. My poor, poor alts. They still need to be fixed.

The Lesson:

When bringing your UI settings over to a fresh system, make certain that you aren't, for some reason, copying over a set of files that is a year or more old.


Anonymous said...

I had this problem a while ago, but not in quite the same catastrophic manner. Was running our lootmod and realized that the loot rankings wer horribly out of date. Snagged the correct and updated list and manually stuck it in what I thought was the correct place...turns out Vista had migrated all my WoW stuff over to a /users/public folder and not bothered to tell me. Thus, sticking it in my c:/games/WoW folder didn't do any good.

Hopefully the transition to 7 worked out well, though.


Unknown said...

Oh, I can only imagine your anguish. I run a heavily modified UI myself, I just can't get my head around the default one.

I am also planning on buying a spankin' new computer and thus need to migrate my WoW install. Though I have been told that I can acctually just copy the entire WoW folder and by doing so keep all addons and settings AND save myself the hassle of downloading every patch since BC, that's before christ not burning crusade ;).

Sure hope it'll work.

Disciplinary Action said...

Ouch. UI fail is just not funny. But at least it gave the rest of us an opportunity to get our grimy paws on your UI!

Imalinata said...

Regarding RaidCooldowns, if you downloaded the most recent version from Curse, go to WowInterface and get RaidCooldowns Display. It says that RCD is archaic and included in RC, but at some point when I tried to update RC stopped working. However, it started working again when I downloaded RCD on a whim even though all the documentation said that it wasn't needed.

Kae said...

Ah! Thanks, Imalinata, I will have to try that this evening :) I prefer it to oRA2's cooldown monitor, since it isn't limited to watching only those people who have oRA2 installed.

Mark said...

On a positive note, you did remind me to make a fresh backup of my Interface and WTF folders! :D

protopethunter said...

recently had this problem when a windows bsod crashed about half my settings for my addons(when the blues say experimental setting they mean it apparently) shouldnt be too hard to put a ui back together given time though especially when you have most of it backed up elsewhere. i now have my entire WTF folder backed up through dropbox with a special type of link i found on lifehacker.

Kae said...

The RaidCooldowns Display mod worked like a charm :)

Have mostly sorted out my alts, now.

I also like my new IceHUD setup better; it's like an upgrade to what I had before. I notice CC durations better. Wonder if there's an easy way to export the settings without having to host the lua somewhere...