Posted Tue, Apr 06, 2010 by Messiah
There are many UI mods out there, and many of them play around extensively with your UI. Many people have a favorite and will extol on its virtues for ever. The one that hooked many players, myself included, is the X-Perl Unit Frame mod. It is pretty much a complete replacement for the standard Blizzard designed UI as the only thing stock it really leaves on the screen is the button bars and the map. Anything to do with characters or targets is replaced.
In addition to changing the UI around it offers a lot of extra features such as raid frames, raid tools, range finders, HoT management, and much more. Some of the changes are extremely small, such as showing who is rezing a dead player as it is being cast, but once you are used to them they become so ingrained that you take it for granted. Let’s take a look more in depth at this UI mod.
Mod Name: X-Perl Unit Frames
Category: Unit Frames, Raid Frames
Project Manager: Zeksie
Version Reviewed: V3.0.8
Homepage: Click Here!
Let me start by saying that X-Perl is so chocked full of changes and features compared to the base Blizzard UI that there is no way I could feasibly cover them all here. I am going to touch on some of the core features of the mod and some of the features that really caught my eye and that I use. There will be some things missed, however that is simply because there is too much to cover, not that they are not good, bad, or anything else.
Starting from the most basic feature, X-perl replaces the frames used to show your character information, target, party, and raid. Gone are the Blizzard circles and bars, they are replaced by a very boxy looking setup that shows animated images of the players and targets as well as more control over the layout of the information shown. You can also resize and reposition each frame individually which allows a lot of control over your UI Layout. If you are a DPS player and don’t really need to see in detail how much health or mana other players have you can minimize the information shown to just show if they are alive or dead. If you are a tank you might want mana more visible so you can see if your healer has mana before you pull the next group.
X-Perl also allows you to setup additional frames such as focus, pets, and target of target. As a tank or as a healer I find target of target extremely useful. As a tank you can use it to see when the target has switched or is using an ability on anther character. As a healer I use it on some fights to spam heal the bosses target when there are many tank changes. Doing this makes sure you are always on the right tank without ever really worrying about who it actually is, if you see the frame change you just click it and keep casting.
While the solo and party frames are very nice and look much cleaner, where X-Perl really shines is its raid frames. If for no other reason than the space you can save over the default raid frames this UI Mode would be worth installing. Add in the fact that it highlights players that have pulled threat, gotten diseased, cursed, or have other effects on them, and any number of other small tweaks and you can quickly get attached to this mod.
In addition to the big features it also has a huge number of small things that it does that quickly lock players into using it. Just a small sample of these include items such as a range finder, a HoT monitor for healers, Tank tracking, Target, Target’ Target, and MT’s Target frames, a rez monitor, and more.
While some of the features are implemented in other add-ons such as range finder in deadly boss mods, and HoT monitoring in Grid, it is very nice to be able to install one add on and get pretty much everything you need.
One of the best small features is the range finder, what it does is fade a player when they are out of range of whichever spell you set as your range check. This way if you are a healer that generally uses a long range spell you can use it to check, or if you have a shorter range ability that you want to use you can use it. In addition if you are a healer you can set it to fade everyone over a certain amount of health, or without a debuff on them. As a raid leader you can use a long range spell as a check simply to see if everyone is there and ready to go.
By now you are probably wondering if the writers of this mod paid me off to just say nice things about it. No they haven’t, although up to this point maybe they should have. I do have two main issues with the mod though, and that’s what I am going to talk about now.
The two issues are configuring the mod and the complexity of the mod. While they are issues, I am really not sure there is anything that can be done about it given the number of things that can be controlled by X-Perl.
Configuration of X-Perl is something that takes time. Do not expect to be able to install it and be up and running full speed in a few minutes, even if you have used it before. There are so many different configuration settings possible and so many things to move around that it just isn’t done quickly. Also sometimes the commands you are looking for just are not where you expect to find them, or at least not where I expect to find them.
Even worse for configuration, the settings need to be changed when you switch specs, since a tank setup is much different than a healer setup or a DPS setup. Luckily the creators of X-Perl took steps to avoid this configuration issue and you can save your settings in as many profiles as you would like. For example my Druid has a resto raid healing setup, a boomkin raid setup, a boomkin solo setup, and an arena PvP setup. Like I said configuration takes time.
Next, the pure complexity of X-Perl scares a lot of players away. There are so many options and things that you can do with it, that it is easy to fill your screen with a ton of settings. While it is an issue, the ability to set it up exactly like you want it more than makes up for the complexity, it just takes time to get used to it.
Overall X-Perl is one of my favorite UI mods out there. It allows me to setup everything how I feel it should be. At no point do I feel I am compromising what I want to see, to what it is able to provide. Unlike the default raid frames, where I always wanted more, or less, or something different.
If you are looking for something different to replace you UI, I whole heartedly suggest you give X-Perl a shot.<