Cynwise had a really useful post this week regarding warlock’s keybinds and the patch. In short, he basically advised to “trash it” – remove everything off your bars and start from scratch. I found the advice, while directed at warlocks (*nose scrunch*) to be really useful for mages as well. There really isn’t a DPS player that couldn’t stand to benefit from patch-related Spring cleaning when it comes to your UI. A lot of add-ons are outdated and broken, so it might be a good time for everyone to start everything from scratch.
I decided for the benefit of other mages reading my blog, to give a peek behind the curtain as to what my set up is now that the patch has hit.
A lot of my add-on dependency was broken after I started using a UI package. Prior to picking up ElvUI (back when it was a fork of TukUI in Wrath), I had used a lot of cosmetic mods to do roughly the same things that ElvUI did all at once. I stopped needing tons of mods for every part of my UI and just could snap everything to fit. My add-on list went from 60 mods to about 20 or less. I know that ElvUI isn’t the choice of many people, but I have really liked how easy it is to use and the GUI has come a long way in being more friendly to first-time users. As someone who is used to configuring everything via /command, it’s been nice to see it evolve into something usable out of the box but with a high amount of customization.
As you can see, I run a fairly “standard” looking UI and like having tons of screen real estate. I like having all my information down and center. My right side action bar is typically mouseover, and my other bars are hidden via mouse-scroll under my main number bar. My DBM timers sit in that space right of my timers/SCT, and then float underneath to right above my DoT timers. The box to the left of my player frame is CombustionHelper. My Skada DPS panel is hidden in combat.
Here is a list of all the add-ons I use:
- DBM (Core, Cataclysm, Wrath, Burning Crusade and Vanilla)
- Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text
- Combustion Helper
- Skada (Skinned by ElvUI)
- Dr. Damage (Not seen, it’s still being updated)
- CLC/CLCRet (For my paladins)
- Shock and Awe (For my shaman)
Quality of Life
- Ackis Recipe List
- Auctionator (Auction House mod of choice)
- Postal (Mailbox mod)
That is everything! It’s nice to keep a short list as patches usually break everything.
Cynwise had the right idea about getting rid of everything. I had a lot more space once I did that as a lot of our spells went missing.
Keybinds are somewhat of a herky-jerky exercise for me as I am a lady with very small hands and a normal-sized keyboard. Therefore, I tend to lean a bit more on mouse keybinds (via a Razer Naga) or single-keypress keybinds as combination binds often are too hard for me to reach or are uncomfortable.
Success with keybinds comes from answering these questions:
- Can I actually reach these buttons? (If you can’t, you’re not going to use them, negating their usefulness)
- Is this keybind comfortable? (If it isn’t, you might be hurting yourself in the process)
- Is this something I need to use enough that it requires a keybind?
- Can I macro more than one spell to this keybind and save my real estate? (If you can, do it! Very useful for classes like warlocks.)
We as mages thankfully do not have tons of spells for situational use so our woes are often not as problematic as other classes. I think I can be honest here – I have some abilities that I click. There’s just no good way for me to keybind these things without running out of keyboard/mouse options and they are not things I use often enough or on the fly (I don’t PVP on my mage) enough that it necessitates a bind. I know some people will flame me for that, but I am just not someone who has the hardware or hands for all the keybinds. People (often who have bigger hands) forget that some of us cannot use tons of SHIFT/ALT/CTRL modifiers for all of our abilities. If you use what it is comfortable to you to be repeatedly used, then you’ll be alright.
There are some things you absolutely should keybind – survival/defensive cooldowns, main nukes and hair-trigger utility spells. Everything else is negotiable.
- 1 Dragon’s Breath*
- 2 Fireball
- 3 Living Bomb*
- 4 Inferno Blast*
- 5 Scorch
- 6 Pyroblast
- 7 Frost Nova
- 8 Flamestrike
- 9 Blizzard
- ALT+1 **
- ALT +2 **
- Q Counterspell*
- W Forward
- E Iceblock*
- Y Deep Freeze (This used to be Mana Shield)
- I Blink
- A Turn Left***
- S Backwards
- D Turn Right***
- G Spell Steal
- X Sit
- , Remove UI (Ha!)
Note: My Naga buttons duplicate the NUMPAD basically.
- M1 Push to Talk
- M2 Temporal Shield (Used to be Mage Ward)
- MMouse Click Auto-run
- END Combustion
- DOWN Mirror Image
- PD Lifeblood
- LEFT Alter Time
- Hm Time Warp*
- RIGHT Potion/Trinket
- PAGEUP Trinket
- N+ Ring of Frost
- Mana Gem (Not for Fire Spec)
- Escape Artist
- Health Rock/Bandages/Food
- Escape Artist
* = Macro
** = Keybinds I use on other characters that I haven’t found a use for on my mage
*** = I don’t have Strafing bound, I use mouse turning and directional key binds to steer.