Addon Discussion: Vuhdo

Haii!

Well hi there! So I mentioned earlier that I would do a feature on Vuhdo and Grid. The way I’ve decided to do this has changed from my original vision. Ideally, I wanted to create two tutorial videos, one for Vuhdo and one for Grid and have one post that showed both of those videos and compared the addons. Since I don’t have any legitimate software for screen capture (I’m saving up for Fraps! I need $40: feel free to hit the donate button in the top left and help me out!) I figured that making those tutorials would be in vain, and when I investigated Vuhdo intensively with an eye for tutorial creation, I realized that the addon does most of the explaining itself. Next article will be on Grid and then following that will be a sum up of the comparison and final conclusions. Depending on my overflow of ideas (or lack thereof) this full set may or may not occur during this week. It would be pretty neat if it did though, so here’s hoping! Jump!

I first heard about Vuhdo from a certain well-known and widely visited wow mega-blog and decided that if they liked it enough to post a full article feature on it, then doggonit, I should try it! And try it I did. The first thing that struck me about the addon was that it was simple to use without configuration. This is a wonderful asset in an addon as it allows those who are lazy and those who don’t know much about the UI to cruise along and use it relatively effectively. At first install I don’t remember if it brings anything up by default, but you can access the configuration menu by using “/vd config” I believe. If that’s not correct the addon will conveniently display a list of help topics that you can use. Once inside the guts of the addon, it may look a little something like this:

As you can see, Vuhdo is loaded up with features and tabs for configuration. The greatest thing about Vuhdo is that every button (that I’ve tried it on at least) has a tooltip that explains exactly what the feature is for and the different options you can choose. The reasons why are left up to you to figure out and plan, but honestly that’s half the fun of being able to configure something for yourself. My favorite feature of this particular tab of the config is the Operation mode section. It allows you to set up how Vuhdo acts when in a raid and how it should behave in relation to raid members that are injured. That first pulldown lets you select what it does, for instance stay on neutral which means do nothing, or set it so that it dims out people who are above a certain margin of health, and similar features like that. The slider right below that coincides with the ability to highlight or dim certain raid members depending on health. It sets the threshold for the dimming to occur, so if we set it at 70%, then we’re assuming that anyone in the raid that has over 70% health isn’t a concern, and can be dimmed. The setting on this slider really comes down to your preference. Mine is set as all neutral right now because I’m leveling, and while it could help, it doesn’t make that much of a difference in the long run. However, for a raid setting, this could be very valuable, and I might set it at about 90% threshold so that I only see people who are really hurting for life.

The filter to the far right is also pretty neat because it allows you to modify the different settings surrounding how Vuhdo appears and what it labels as what, and in which context. To explain that previous statement I mean that you can take Vuhdo’s built-in Main Tank function which shows the MTs under a shared label in the raid frames, and can set it to identify a MT in situations that wouldn’t normally have them, whether this is a heroic or killing Chillmaw, this essentially allows the healer to see clearly who she’s healing (or who she’s supposed to be healing, as the case may be). Very helpful, at least for me. The rest of this page is just locks and configurations for which panels show, etc.

The only other tab I’m going to highlight in this article is the one that allows you to choose which skills are cast by which mouse buttons. I haven’t had time since I got Vuhdo about 6 months ago to go past these two tabs so I’m not going to pretend like I know what they’re for or how they’re run. Perhaps in the future I’ll go through and figure out what they’re all for. The next and last tab is called “Spells” (you can see it at the bottom left corner of the addon in my screenshot):

This is one of my favorite things about Vuhdo is this tab right here. It gives so much power to the healer that it’s almost ridiculous. To start out with, we have the run of the mill default settings for your mouse buttons. You can see mine and understand that I’m blessed to have a mouse with 5 working mouse buttons, at least. Even if I only had two or three, if you look at the far left, within the “Modifier Key” frame, then I still would hold all the power I needed to be a successful healer. This allows you to go through each possible modification and set new spells into the mouse buttons. You can use Alt, Ctrl, Shift, Alt + Ctrl, Alt + Shift, Alt + Ctrl + Shift, and Ctrl + Shift as well as the default which is none. This adds up to a whopping 7 times the number of keys on your mouse for spells. On my mouse, I have 35 buttons with this logic, that can have a spell assigned to each one. The pure versatility of that is just so fantastic. On the far right you can see a small menu that tells us we can also assign key bindings here for our spells, which is very powerful. Hostile is a neat little tool that allows you (I think) choose hostile spells to use when you’re targeting a hostile. With Vuhdo this way, you can nearly function with just your mouse.

The actual Vuhdo healing panels are fantastic as well (you can just see it peeking out of the back in both of the screenshots. It’s a dark transparent rectangle frame with green bars for each person. I love the way that it displays things like Ancestral Fortitude or Earthliving. It has little icons that appear in the corners of each health bar and have minuscule timers counting down how much time left there is. As with any good addon, it shows you how much it thinks you’ll heal with the spell you’re casting and it dims out anyone who is out of range of your heals.

Overall, I love this addon for soloing and for 5 mans. When I get into some raids, I’ll be able to put it to a more rigorous testing, however I think it’s a great addon and will perform well. If you’ve used Vuhdo in a raid setting, feel free to leave a comment with some discussion in it about why you think it’s so great or why you think it sucks so much!

Next up will be an Addon Discussion on Grid! Be on the lookout!

Thanks to Zelmaru in the comments, check out this guide that covers the stuff that I have no idea about, in an environment (read: raid) that I have no experience as a healer in! Huzzah! Rejoice!

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7 thoughts on “Addon Discussion: Vuhdo

  1. I think you can do pretty similar things with Vuhdo and Grid, it’s just a personal preference. For me, I can manage to cram more “stuff” and “numbers” into Grid without it looking as crowded, but it’s definitely more memorization on my part (after all, not everyone is going to remember what that number ticking down in the top left corner means.) But it also requires a LOT of Grid Plugins – which are often incompatible with new versions of Grid, causing heartburn until it all gets sorted.

    Though I don’t personally use VuhDo, a lot of good healers do, and you are in good hands for a raid. Tamarind wrote a really comprehensive VuhDo guide a while back. If you find yourself flailing for settings in a raid environment, you could check there.

    • I haven’t tried Grid extensively, though I’ve seen other people with it installed and the UI just seems overcrowded to me in general. The health bars seemed to be short and thick and the colors were a bit odd. I’m not saying Grid isn’t a good addon (in fact I’m hoping I like it when I do my article on it) I just think Vuhdo is better designed for my needs. The biggest problem for me is the fat and short health bars because I can’t get a good judgement of how far down someone is in health. Perhaps that’s just me, but I feel like I’m not being efficient when I can’t tell exactly how much life my tank has left etc. I’m sure that with some configuration I could learn to like it though.

      I’ll take a look at Tamarind’s guide, thanks for linking it.

      • Grid’s bars start out looking unplayable. This article at wow.com is very old, but it is still relevant in that it explains how to do the initial “make grid look normal” setup out of the box.

      • Awesome, I’ll use that to prep for the next article in that hopes that a large book with the friend letters “Don’t Panic” on the cover appears in front of me 😀

  2. Pingback: Addon Discussion: Grid « Pheshamanal

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