I know I know. I said that I'd get to talking about my replacement for Grid, but leveling is a pure pain. WTB 500 Badge Scroll of Instant 60.
Well, truth be told, I have found that leveling has given me the chance to redo my UI almost entirely. I've been looking into a lot of different mods and addons in an effort to reduce the memory/cpu usage and increase my latency and fps. What I have noticed is that a lot of my favorite addons are HUGE. So I thought I'd offer some tips on how to spot a good, great, or bad addon.
Tip Numero Uno: Lua Configs. Using an addon that utilizes the LUA without adding /commands or a waterfall config option generally reduces the amount of memory being used. For example: Pitbull is a very heavy UF mod. The memory usage is through the roof and can hog your cpu resources and reduce your effectiveness with healing or more dramatically with your dps. oUF on the other hand is a very small addon. Pulling a number out of my ass, results in around a 70-80% smaller addon. The trade offs?
1)All customization is done through the lua. There are no /cmds, no waterfall configs, nothing. You have to open the lua and adjust the code yourself. Daunting? Absolutely. Worth it? More than you know.
2)User Friendliness. Dear God. You have no idea what it feels like to be completely stupid. If you know nothing about lua configuring, prepare to feel like you failed Kindergarten Math. It takes a lot of research, trial and error, and scrutiny to learn how to edit and configure other people's codes if you have no experience in it. But the results are truly amazing. Plus you get to get smarterer.
Tip Numero Uno, Pt. II: Usefulness. Yeah yeah. I get it, Sexymap is highly configurable, looks pretty, does what you want it to do, blahblahblah, and uses at or more than 1mb of memory. dMinimap2 is functional, simplistic, movable, has different designs and uses around 8kb of memory. Do the DO the same thing? Yes. Do I really need a spinning circle to grace the edges of my minimap? No, not really. Will using a more minimalistic minimap help me heal better? Unless I'm running the best machine on the market? Yes.
Wait, what? How can using a smaller addon make me a better healer?
Ah, and there begins the lesson, young padawan.
Let's say you have a very nice 32ms or lower-WAIT! How did you get your ms so low?
Oh, I chose my realm based on geography, ping, and timezone. I picked a realm that was within my interests, progression, and timezone, not to mention one with low latency, rather than the one that sounded the nicest.
Anywho, as I was saying, low ms, but you have low fps as well. Low fps means you have a slightly lower reaction time than someone who has high fps. The reasoning is simple, you react to what you see. If what you see is delayed, so is your reaction. This means you have to heal around your own poor fps by planning ahead. You'll still miss a lot of CDs, sometimes you may rehot someone you already hotted, etc. The resolution to this is to start going through your addons and replacing them with smaller, more lightweight addons that don't eat up your cpu.
I, myself, have a single core processor. I know, those were outdated back before Ozzy got his own TV show. My g/f has a dual core. she also has the good gfx card that shits on her and makes her have to restart her pc. Interesting tradeoff to say the least.
Anyway, as a single core user, I NEED every bit of cpu I can get. I was running around 26mb of memory usage healing in Naxx and Ulduar. In Naxx I was the best healer. In Ulduar I got roflstomped by another druid who did everything the same as I did. I now use 3mb and have all the functionality I had when I was using 26mb.
While leveling, I have a few addons turned on that I would otherwise not have. Things like Carbonite (10mb), Lightheaded (26mb), Tourguide (6mb), Tomtom (1mb). I use these, because I'm the one who does the guide. My g/f levels with me using 3mb at the most. Being a gentleman, or at least the one who lost the bet, I carry the weight of the world on my cpu.
I've been messing around with my UI as of late and have a strange attraction to viewports. here is what I level with:
You'll notice I don't like anything covering my gameplay area. Using Sunn viewport, I've reduced the area on my screen that is rendered. I put my addons on the area that is not rendered and I use SunnViewportArt to make it more than just black bars. I'll probably change the art a million time before next week, but that isn't the point.
Currently, I'm still using bartender. I'm looking into other bar mods and I'm thinking Barkeep will be my replacement for it, but I haven't decided on anything for certain yet. Professions are faded out on the top left where carbonite is sitting, hogging my memory. The Top right is where my buffs are faded out and also where rBuff is located. The top center is housing Tomtom and tourguide. The Unit Frames are oUF Maneut, though I need to move the cast bar a little, it cuts off some of the numbers, but nothing to worrisome, just aesthetics. The bottom left is Chatter, which will likely be replaced by pChat and and redo of my Master Fonts. The bottom center is where Bartender sits. There are a few other bars around those visible that I keep faded for aesthetics. The bottom right is where the map sits and also where my minibar and bags are faded out. I'm currently using tiptac for my tooltips but I may switch to the smaller tiptop addon. That mysterious big black space beside the minimap is where oUF Maneut Raid goes, which is the grid replacement. Still use Clique with that.
Grid is sex, but it is too heavy. I wanted something that could give me the functionality of Grid without the lumbering colossus that is the addon's size.
I'll keep updates on the changes I make and the performance that is derived from said changes. On a sidenote, my g/f hates veiwports and is trying to make me get rid of them. I just hate seeing shit underneath my frames, they distract me. I may use kgpanels in the future, but we'll see what I come up with. More to come and a bonus screenie:
A Tail of Two Druids.