Sometimes it’s just for the best

I’ve been using Vuh’do for a very long time now. Been happy with it, love it.

I have two default profiles that I had spent a lot of time customizing, a “Standard DPS”, and a “Druid HealZzz”.

The standard DPS was one I set up for, you guessed it, a default DPS player. I could load the profile on a new character, save it as a copy unique to that character, and then modify it a little if I wanted to have mouseover heals, cleanses, misdirects or trinket procs when using an ability without macros. That sort of thing.

The Druid HealZzz one was set up with all the bells and whistles for my Druid to heal. All the buttons on my mouse set to just the right spells, the colors and textures of the health bars just the way I liked ’em, all the icons and countdown timers and everything.

Been using those profiles for years.

Well, I took my baby Priest, loaded the Druid HealZzz profile, saved it and started customizing. I figured, best to start with the bars all done, and just adjust spells to buttons.

It worked nice for my first few runs yesterday. No problems.

One issue I noticed that I wanted to fix, though, was I wanted a visual indication of Weakened Soul on the bar of whoever had it.

When you cast Power Word: Shield, the target gets your bubble, and also gets the Weakened Soul effect preventing another bubble right away.

Normally, they’re both on the same timer. Bubble fades, time to recast (if you want).

I noticed more than once during the runs that when the tanks PW: Shield absorbed enough damage to fade early, I had no visual on the bars of the Weakened Soul countdown. In a few tight spots, that left me spamming PW: Shield for the few seconds I waited.

I wanted that Weakened Soul on my bars. I didn’t want to have to hunt for it on the default party UI, mixed in with all the other buffs. And I wanted a countdown timer on it.

Well, I rooted around and found that the HoT window showed my normal Power Word: Shield, and that there was something new I’d never had cause to notice before called “Bouquets”.

One of the Bouquets was named “PW: Shield and Weakened Soul”. That sounded promising, so I opened the editing configuration for it.

I wasn’t sure what I was looking at, clicked the “remove” tab, and the options in the bouquet vanished. Poof.

I was pretty sure that was a booboo, so I tried to recreate them. Then I tried reinstalling the addon. Then I tried loading a different profile.

Nope, what I did seemed to be a global change. And I was getting error messages from the addon trying to call to that bouquet.

Pretty, huh?. Pretty stupid of me, anyway.

So, I went into the options and reset the addon configuration to stock.

Which…. ALSO deleted all of my profiles. Every single last one.


‘Kay, fine. Whatever. If I’m going to make a mistake, why the hell not sink the Titanic, give me something to be proud of. At a certain point, if you screw up BIG enough, you can turn it into something positive.

You know, something so incredibly stupid that at least when you tell the story in a bar someday, people will laugh and buy you a beer. You don’t get that if you, say, ran over a nail and flattened your tire driving through a construction site as a shortcut.

You might get the free beer if you try to cut the tree roots out from under your natural gas regulator coming into the house with a Sawzall, and cut right through the gas main coming TO the regulator, causing a major gas leak that floods the area, resulting in the city fire department and police department all rushing to the area, along with the public works and gas company first responders, and an entire crew to repair the leak… all on a Sunday. On 4th of July weekend.

At least the house didn’t explode.

So, as long as I’d just wiped every custom setting I’d ever created in Vuh’do, let’s start with the easy one; configuring the Priest.

What I found out, in having to look at all these options again for the first time in years, is that all of these updates to the addon I keep downloading CHANGED shit.

I know, right?

Not only do things look better than before, but there are two new features that seem simple, but that I never had enabled before, or even knew had been added.

The first one, is that yes, the bouquets that are added allow you to have one visual icon that changes condition states.

There are many of them pre-programmed, you just put one in one of the HoT icon slots.

The one I wanted to use, PW:Shield & Weakened Soul, when modified to add ‘show Shield condition’ and ‘Countdown Timer’, does the following; it lets you have PW: Shield icon displayed as the 1st priority. If the Shield is still up, the blue square icon shows you the shield is active, the timer on how long it has left if it doesn’t absorb all the damage and fade first, AND a white circle around it that starts to vanish as the Shield absorbs damage.

Then, if the Shield vanishes early, the blue square icon disappears, to be replaced by an orange diamond with a timer, telling you EXACTLY how long Weakened Soul still has to tick down before you can recast your Shield.

These bouquets, which all of you regular Vuh’do users probably already know all about, let you tie multiple effects and stuff together, chain the alerts in a priority. If this is active, then it’s showing. If it goes away, the next one on the list that is active shows instead. And so on.

Hey, that’s some awesomeness.

Now, the second thing that I found out is that there is now an option to turn on Target, and Target of Target, for your health bars. All fully customizable.

That’s pretty sweet, but there is more.

You also have the option of configuring your mouse buttons for HOSTILE casting mode. You’ce got two buttons settings you can configure; what to cast when mousing over a friendly party or raid member, and what to cast when mousing over the target bar of an enemy.

You can set offensive spells on mouse buttons, and cast them while mousing over the bad guys displayed right on the target frames.

Now, I know this is all old hat to people who spend lots of time customizing bars and stuff, but I’ve always gone for a minimalist approach. I keep my viewing area clear as much as possible.

But what this is giving me is so much fun as a caster, that I’m squeeing in the instances.

I mean, check this out.

I can see at a glance where everyones health is at, I’ve got my blue square with a white circle on the tank for my Shield, I can see who EVERYONE in the party is targeting, AND I can see who the mobs they are on are targeting! All sper clear, easy to read at a glance, nothing extra cluttering it up. Bold, solid colors.

In this example, everyone is on the boss, and the boss is on the tank. No hankypanky.

In this example, you can see what it looks like as the Bubble begins to absorb damage. You can also see the corner of the blue square poking out. And of course, you can see the time remaining on the Renew.

We take a step back now, and you can see that while I’m healing, I’m also able to use mouseover on the bar to cast Penance on the boss without my mouse having to move OVER the boss, or away from the health bars. I like that. Fast response time if I need to drop a heal, yo. For those that don’t use it, the bar showing my Penance spell ticks is an addon called Quartz. I couldn’t play without it.

In this example, you can see that the DPS are not on the same target as the tank… and it looks like the Warlock pulled aggro with AoE on at least three different mobs, and has aggro on all of them. You can tell because all three are at different health levels. I have instant notification BEFORE his health starts dropping that he’s pulled aggro. How interesting that it looks like he’s the only one without a Renew on at the moment, hmmm?

Yes, being able to see immediately who the players are targeting, and whether or not they are pulling aggro off the tank intentionally, is a lot of fun.

You can do that with the normal party frames, but I don’t look at them all that much, I’m looking at the area around me in game, at the bad guys, at the bad on the floor I need to get out of. With this, and being able to cast damage spells directly on mouseover of the target bar, I can Heal using Atonement so freaking easy, and still be poised to keep Shield up or drop a Renew or Flash Heal in a tight spot. This has made 5 person instances so clear cut that it’s amazing the difference I feel.

The other thing I think is funny, is that it’s made it so easy for me to see when other people are screwing off or being dicks.

The last run I had of the night, I had a tank and rogue that I did Gnomeregan with that wanted to queue with me again. We got Scarlet Monastery Graveyard, and two new players, a Paladin and a Warrior, both guilded together and queued as DPS.

Within seconds of attacking, I saw something amazing.

The other Warrior and Paladin may have queued as DPS, but the Warrior was charging off into groups nowhere near the rest of us… and the Paladin was following along and doing nothing but healing him. I could easily tell from the grayed out bars that they were out of my cast range most of the time. I didn’t even have to look for them.

The tank and Rogue and I who had all queued together were three manning the instance towards the boss while they farmed the outer edges on their own.

The Paladin never stopped targeting the Warrior and casting heals. The Warrior didn’t rejoin us until we were down the stairs into the crypt… and kept pulling aggro in tank mode, and charging extra groups.

I stopped healing those two, of course, and told them that if they wanted to tank and heal, then reach down, find some guts, and queue as tank and healer. I stopped healing them and focused on the two folks who were doing what we came there to do.

It’s just an example of how nice it was to be able to see, instantly, that those two weren’t on the same plan as the rest of us, but off in their own little world. No wondering, no doubts or confusion. I could see exactly what they were doing, while still staying right on top of my game. I could have been dancing out of the bad while DPSing and healing, AND spy on those idiots, all at the same time.

Oh, and as a funny side note… I stopped healing the two at all, since hey, the Paladin was so eager to be a healer, and the Warrior bit off more than he could handle, the Paladin ran out of mana, and they both died. I did not rez. We finished the instance and wanted to requeue… but the others refused to drop group. They also refused to say a word, I believe under the mistaken assumption that if they didn’t say anything, I couldn’t put them on ignore.

Wrong answer, turkeybreath. We weren’t able to kick them once the instance was complete, so we did have to drop our group without being able to requeue, but I have the satisfaction of knowing that’s two more idiots I won’t be seeing again, ever.

It’s hilarious to me that, after all this time, my own profile settings and laziness prevented me from seeing the cool new features that are in Vuh’do. I had to screw up in a major way to get the awesome.

I can’t wait to dig into them even deeper!

27 thoughts on “Sometimes it’s just for the best

  1. You MUST learn system restore Bear

    go to windows revert to previous restore point presto… you get your config files back!

    (And you can still do this too… you probably have a restore point on windows back a day or two… just save your new spiffy configs
    look up under user data in wow for them SAVE the files this time… then restore.

    Happy Gaming


  2. I’ve never given Vuh’do a look because I didn’t see the point of having it. After all, I’ve been using a Grid/Clique combo since they broke Decursive way back in, I want to say, 1.10. And then I went feral and didn’t think much of it until I did a bit of healing and decursing in Kara – until we could run it with two healers without a problem.

    You’ve made me think that it’s time I looked into this. I know you can do a lot of this sort of stuff with Grid but it seems like it’d take too long to set it all up. Plus I’m getting tired of having to create macros for friendly/foe spellcasts and the like.


  3. I’ve been using Vuhdo for ages, having tried other solutions, and love it. One of the great things about it is how it “just works” right out of the box, the other great thing is the great “never even considered it” features it has! Just the other day finally got around to working out how to set up Clusters and OMG what a great feature. I’m using them for my priest/druid/shammy. I found this youtube vid most helpful:


  4. I have tried healbot, grid with clique and a number of other healing solutions but Vuhdo is the only one that is configurable enough that I can make it show exactly what I need for any class or spec I am playing. I used it from day one on my shaman and without it I would never be able to keep up with how many earth shields I have on the tank, whether earthliving has procced or if I have ancestral fortitude on people.

    As a feral tank I know at a glance whether I have heals incoming (and approximate amount), if I am shielded by priest or pally or have earth shield. So I can make very fast decisions on whether I need to pop my cooldowns or if the healer’s got me. It also highlights people with aggro clearly so I can assist target them and take it back before they take too much damage.

    If there were 2 addons I couldn’t live without it is Vuhdo and Power Aura Classic, together they give me all the information I need to fill my role well without being bulky and taking over my screen.


  5. Why mess around with things like Vuh’do… it takes forever to configure and then come patch day it doesnt work cause its out of date. I know this from experience. I now use threat plates… and decursive (Ive used since the day they changed decursive to its current format which I do like). When I was healing on my priest I didnt use Grid either… It was easier in the end after trying it and waiting for the awesomeness to come to use the default, so having 40names on the screen was the way I did things…

    Maybe one day I might if they come with defaults for classes use it. Until then I just have to read/hear about it from people who use it.


    • I’ve been using vuh’do since ulduar and have never had a problem with it on any patch day – theres always an update that works.


      • Yes, Vuhdo is updated frequently and I’ve had many addons become unusable right after a patch but Vuhdo hasn’t been one of them since early in Wrath when I picked it up.


  6. Man, you’re making me want to give VuhDo a second poke – I used it for a while and once I really started trying to customize, could never get it to do what I wanted. So I switched to Grid+Clique. I’ll always use grid for my pallies, but I’d be interested in poking at VuhDo for my priest and my druid, perhaps… *ponders*

    Of course, if I have a hard time getting it to behave, I’ll probably say “fuck it” and go back to Grid. XD


  7. Hey Bear,
    You want to talk about making a mistake involving addons in wow I’ve got one for you. We’re working on Heroic Mode Nefarian and my UI is being a little buggy so I go to hit /reload ui *however* i mistakenly hit /reload us. Now I knew right away that I had hit “s” instead of “i” and was wondering why it still gave me the blue bar screen when it finally loaded back up ALL of my addons had been reset to default. Every, single, freaking, one…and the Raid Leader said to pull just as I realized my colossal mistake. Thankfully I’m just a tank (as opposed to a healer) so I managed to survive the next full pulls while i was trying to fix everything but it definitely took me a little while to get everything back to normal.


  8. Bear, you can set up Vuhdo to indicate with arrow like this “>>>” who has aggro. I use it on my tank as it allows me to see instantly if anyone else pulled anything, and with a mouseover, you can then “Righteous Defense” the mobs back to you.
    Try using other backgroud textures also, and an addon like Fontifier. It can make your raid frames look really neat.


  9. It still bugs me a bit that the game almost *needs* this AddOn sort of thing to be playable. Seems to me that it should have high playability out of the box, as it were.

    Still, great story about the non-team players. 🙂


  10. Awesome! Just… awesome.

    I’ve tried to wrap my head around VuhDo, but I seem to never find quite the right option between the tabs on the bottom, tabs on the side and, and, and all that. But the way you described it – I *need* to make the time to mess with it again!


  11. I’ve used Healbot for ages. I tried Vuhdo a while back but it just confused me, and then whenever I read blogs about healing addons the majority of people seemed to be using Grid + Clique. But looking at your setup bear, that looks pretty cool. Grid always kinda looked a bit too impersonal – everyone is a box, and every buff was a box in a corner.

    Have you ever used Healbot or Grid/Clique, and if so, how does Vuhdo compare?


    • I’ve tried to use Grid/Clique a bit but what put me off it was that while you can bind your left and right mouse buttons to cast heals, they get unbound from their normal “select” “menu” functions.

      With Vuhdo, if I keybind a spell to left click, it doesn’t change anything outside of Vuhdo.

      So that is why Vuhdo won out for me. That and I didn’t need a bunch of different addons on top of Vuhdo to see my hots, mana bars, raid markets, aggro etc. Vuhdo is also a lot easier to configure.

      And like Bear said, you can use it for hostile targeting. On my mage I have it set to poly hostiles, so if a party member gets mind controlled (Deathwhisper ICC 25m) – BAM – polymorph. Same for cyclone and roots on the druid.

      When I tank, I like to be able to see at a glance which idiot isn’t on skull so I can call them out on it.

      I used to run target of target of target like BBB is too, but in a raid or battleground that gets super congested. There is an option where you can make Vuhdo show if someone has aggro – I keep that turned on so I know where preemptive healing is needed.


      • I’m not sure of the aggro settings on mine. I tend to rely on Tidy Plates, but that’s not a perfect solution because with all the giant sized bosses around, the plate over the mobs head may be hidden in clouds/out of the scene. I’ll look into that.

        The other thing is, I want people to know that I’m not saying this is what everyone should do, or is better than umptyfrats addon. For one thing, with all the stuff I’ve got enabled, a 25 person raid would take up the entire screen, leaving no way for you to see anything but boxes.

        It would be doable for a ten person raid, but really I was setting this up for my 5 person runs, meaning I could have double-wide trailer sized bars and still see all the action on screen.

        And what Fangtastic said again…. even for DPS or tanks, you don’t need to see it as a healing addon. You can see it as a fast-cast assistance addon for your group spells. Having target of target on in 5 person runs, with Growl/Taunt assigned to a mousebutton, means you could see when someone pulled aggro on something and taunt it off instantly without having to hunt the screen for the runner. Or your Intervene.

        The one drawback, of course, is you only see the mobs that the player has targeted. If you are in a 10 mob pull, and the Mage is AoEing everything down, you will NOT see all the mobs, only whichever ones people have directly targeted.

        What I would like, and I know it is possible, is for there to be a single panel you can turn on or off that simply lists every mob within a 40′ range, and shows what they’re targeting. If a mob targets something, that is who it has aggro on. It would take tweaking to be able to adjust mob bars in the panel so you could handle a list that grew to 30 little mobs in the big pulls, but it would give a tank the ultimate control over runners and pulled aggro. Instead of having the party panel visible, you could just have an automatically growing and shrinking panel showing active mobs with their cast bars/mana bars in the area, and you could see who they targeted, and mouseover cast taunts, Avengers Shield, Silences and Interrupts, all that kind of thing.


      • Hey BBB, your mob/threat panel idea just gave me another idea – I wonder if it is possible to craft a macro that cycles through mobs that are *not* targeting you. Could be handy when tanking! 🙂

        BTW, I tried another thing with Vuhdo – you can have different panel layouts for 5 / 10 / 25 / 40 man raids. I configured 5/10 man views for max info and 25 / 40 as more conservative. I have 6+ active toons though and I ended up mangling everything. I’ve not tried to do it again since then.

        Tidy plates work great if you’re tanking or dpsing as you can see your threat on the mob relative to whoever is tanking or dpsing. While one can make TP show a threat widget it isn’t always easy to notice that a mob is no longer on the tank but on a melee dps instead. Vuhdo worked well for me for that insight into the current threat situation for the group as a whole.


      • Just to clear up a bit of misinformation … Clique has an option that lets you choose what panes your binds are active on. So, you can choose to make your left- and right-clicks active just on Grid.

        Also, for those of you with an aversion to addons, make sure you check out the raid frame configurations once 4.2 launches. They’ve added the option for profile creation, better indicators (for aggro, debuffs, etc.), and activation on different group sizes. Overall, it seems like Blizz is making some great strides towards integrating those features that we all love about Vuhdo, Grid, and Healbot while still keeping simple.


  12. Not that I’ve played in 6 months, but I never managed to like VuhDo. I really liked the grid+clique combo. It was a pain to set up but I could make it do exactly what I wanted how I wanted it done and still had the added value of being usable for all my toons and not just the healers. A lot of this may have come from having so many addons that I was always concerned about my addon footprint, but every time I tried VuhDo, it made baby Sass cry.


  13. AHA! The crown jewel of healing addons. Believe it or not, the thing I miss most about playing WoW is playing the VuhDo configure game 😀

    If you guys want an easy (and fun) guide to VuhDo, even if it’s probably a bit dated now, check Tam did a 5-star job with pics and all. But you can get a grasp of the basics (bouquets included) and figure the rest out on your own.


  14. Hey, any chance you could post a guide on how to configure vuhdo? I’m currently working on a priest and dont usually use addons, but I would like to try out this one.


    • Dear lord.

      I can try, I’ll do my best, but I’m here to tell you that all I’ll be able to do is show you how I got to where I did, and why I chose what I did throug trial and error. There is so much about Vuh’do I don’t know or understand, that I actually feel as if writing any kind of guide would be an insult to the programmer.

      I can aim at screenshotting and writing up how to configure it to match what I use it for on my Priest… and I can ask folks that have configured it for other classes to show their cofigurations.


    • Please see Aleyshas’ link to Tamarind’s Vuh’do setup guide. Man, it’s the guide I would write if I had, like, skill and a sense of humor. And did I mention skill?

      It’s fantastic.

      I will probably start a post sometime this weekend linking to his guide, and then just show the few setup things I did to arrange my own config so someone could duplicate it and improve on it if they’d like.


  15. okay so 🙂 you’ve made me throw my weekend schedule out the window … think I’ll reconfigure my Vuhdo!


  16. As soon as you started talking about enabling target-of-target and being able to see who was targeting what, I KNEW IT WOULD BE COMING. Where’s the screenshot with the naughty DPS, where is it…THERE IT IS.

    I use Vuhdo and I had no idea about the disappearing shield circle! :O That is amazing. I am definitely going to dig around in the settings right away (hopefully without deleting my profiles). 😉


    • Yep, I’m pretty predictable that way… but if we didn’t have runs like that, what would we find to talk about?

      Don’t answer that, it would just depress me.


Comments are closed.