Addon Addict: Vuhdo? You do!

Yes, I now have this stuck in my head.  It’s my own fault…

Most raiding healers I know use some sort of addon to make healing a mite easier than with the default UI.  (Of course, I think I use one because I’m addicted to Addons, but that’s a story for another day…)  When I first got to try raiding (back in the month before Wrath came out), I was horrible at it.  I didn’t know how to do macros or use a grid system… or frankly use an addon at all.  I had been playing WoW for 6 months and had just gotten to level 70.  Everything I’d known up until that point was solo questing or dungeons.  That’s it.

But I had some friends who were raiding, and so they offered to let me tag along.  Oh my. I was overwhelmed.

SO MANY PEOPLE.  SO MUCH TO DO.

I had no idea how to manage it, at all.  I told my closest friend that he had to assign me to heal only the people in my immediate group, because I was a keyboard player (including turning).  I had to be able to use F1-F5 to target folks and then hit the number key I’d assigned to the heal.  I honestly didn’t know there was any other way to heal.  I had so much to learn.

I was introduced to HealBot.  And eventually, Eluna told me about VuhDo.  There are tons of other healing addons out there.  But this is the one that both of us use, and are most familiar with.

I am not going to rehash everything you can do with VuhDo – it would take too long, and others have already written amazing guides.  What I can do is show you how I tend to use it, and the few tricks that I think everyone needs to know to get started.

As with all great addons, it works pretty well right “out of the box”, so to speak.  Install it and it’s ready to go…. kinda.  You’ll need to look at the spells area and make sure you know where stuff is – but even the defaults are pretty good guesses.  Most commonly used spell – I’m willing to bet it’s already bound to the Left Click in VuhDo.  It’s smart that way.

But, you can move those spells around to suit your play style.

The biggest thing I struggled with was the layout.  There are so many tabs and buttons and features in VuhDo, it can honestly be a bit overwhelming.  I’m going to suggest you just ignore them for a bit. 😉

There are a few tabs that you should be working on; the rest are for even more detailed options.  Feel free to skip the complicated stuff until you’re comfortable with the basics (or if you come across something you just have to be able to do, there’s probably a setting somewhere).

One thing to note, the tab names are at the bottom.  And each tab has sub-sections that you can view by clicking the buttons on the right-hand side of the tab.

General Tab

I usually just worry about the very first section – also called General .  The others get into a lot of detail that you shouldn’t need to worry about right away.  In General>General, you can choose to hide parts of VuhDo (like empty panels).  You can make target, focus, main-tank/off-tank go into special groups.  You can choose to lock the panels so that once you’ve got things they way you want them, you don’t actually change things accidentally.  (This is really not necessary – I’ve never actually accidentally changed anything… but it’s a feature that’s available, if you want it.)

You really can ignore the rest of the buttons in the General Tab and move on to the Spells Tab.

Spells Tab

This is pretty self-explanatory.  This is the area where you assign your spells to the various mouse-clicks.  If you go to the Misc button on the right, you can have VuhDo auto-trigger your trinkets that have an “on use” option.  And you can set a witty rez macro.

Buffs Tab and Debuffs Tab

I don’t generally worry about these, because I use Decursive to handle debuffs and the Buffs work just fine for me out-of-the-box.

Panels Tab

  • General – how people are arranged, how many boxes per row
  • Sizing – duh.  The height, width, spacing of your boxes
  • Bars – change the texture, size of mana/rage/energy bar
  • Headers – do you want your boxes labeled or just to be there (I have headers turned off – too much clutter and not necessary)
  • Targets – do you want to be able to see who everyone is targeting?  (not me!)
  • Tooltips – where do you want the tooltips to appear when you hover?
  • Text – change the font style and size and color (you can set it to color based on class), set how much of the names you want to see, do you want to see HP numbers or % or nothing
  • HoT icons – Determine how all the HoTs will show on the panels (you can leave as default to start, although I always change the lower left options to: Icons and Text)
  • HoT bars – Leave as default for now.  This is more advanced stuff.
  • Misc – Leave as default for now.  This is more advanced stuff.

Colors Tab

I generally leave these all at the default value.  You can use this area to adjust the colors if the default choices aren’t working for you.  Easiest just to leave it alone to start.  🙂

Tools Tab

  • Profiles – saving the physical layout you just created and associating it with the size of your group and/or the spec that you’re in.  I have a layout saved for 5/10-man and a separate one for 25+man.  This does NOT save your spells – see the next item.
  • Key Layouts – This saves your spells.  For Brae, that means I have 2 key-layouts: one holy, one disp.  And I have to be careful to update the right one. You always have to edit VuhDo Spells while you’re in the appropriate spec.  So when I’m in Holy, I cannot edit my Disp spells.
  • Export – Don’t need to worry about this until much later (if at all).  You can export your custom debuffs here.
  • Panel Wizard – Some preset sorting options as well as viewing pets, vehicles, MT and Private tanks (a VuhDo thing)
  • Reset – here you can reset certain sections if you’ve messed with things so much you can’t get back.

Move!

Here you can adjust locations of the panels, add new panels, redefine the ones you have, etc.  This is a bit of the moderately advanced area – something you can easily skip until you’re more comfortable with the basics and are ready to do more finagling!

I know – your eyes have glazed over and you stopped reading 1/2 a page ago.  VuhDo really is a powerful little tool, that actually is quite easy to use out of the box.  Skip the more detailed, power-user things until later.  Worry about putting the spells on the buttons the way you like them and making the boxes the size and shape you need.  Everything else will come with time.

And when you get stuck – Google it… or ask.  We’ll help you find the answers, if we can!

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Ready to Raid? Consumables and Enchants Edition

Ready to raid can mean different things to different people.  In a progression minded raiding guild being ready to raid means more than having good gear and logging in at raid time.  Today we’re going to discuss things that you may not have considered when deciding that progression raiding is something you wanted to do.  (Keep in mind, that in more casual situations, they may require less effort, this is with progression raiding in mind)

Consumables
All raiders should be prepared with a stack of food, a couple of flasks (or a stack of two different kind of elixirs), a stack of potions (mana, dps boosting, or health depending on your spec!).  Hey, don’t get all defensive here, this is what progression raiding is!  Cauldrons are not going to be a part of Mists of Pandaria!  It doesn’t hurt to have a couple extra gems or enchants waiting if you know you’ll be upgrading gear mid raid if it drops for you.

Gems, Enchants, and Reforging
You should also have the best gems and enchants you can on your gear….the quality of the gem should match the quality of the item.  This can be expensive.  This can be very expensive if you replace an item more than once a week (hey it happens).  You should also utilize an add-on, site, or spreadsheet to help you with your reforging.  Ask Mr. Robot is a popular one currently, but feel free to use whatever source you are comfortable with.

Repairs
“But that’s what the guild bank is for”…no, the guild bank is there to keep the guild running.  Repairs are often offered as a perk, but aren’t always guaranteed or available.  In progression raiding, you can often spend 100 to 200 gold in a single raid night.  This means you will have to find ways to earn money in-game.   Many people find that doing the weekly random heroics help with this, but, you may need to do more if you are also buying your gems, enchants, reforging and consumables.  Daily quests are great for this.  Also if you have a character with a gathering profession you can  make plenty of money going out and farming mats to sell on the auction house.  There are plenty of ways to make money in the game!

Time
And the last thing needed is time.  In order to have the previous things, a raider needs to have time to actually be in-game when they aren’t raiding to prepare for raiding.  This is something many people don’t think about when committing to a progression raiding schedule.   One should really add about 4 to 5 hours a week to whatever their raid schedule is to just prepare for raiding, sometimes more.

Keep in mind, not all guilds require this much effort and time.  There are different levels of raiding, which ask different things of their people.  Most guilds require what I’ve listed here, from social to hardcore.  When deciding that you would like to join a raiding guild, you should find out the raiding times, along with what all they expect for you to bring along.  Read over the guild charter to make sure you understand what you are committing to before signing up and be ready to produce your own materials even if they offer a guild cauldron or food.  Then you will always be ready to raid!