Thursday, October 23, 2008

A word on fonts

As I've posted, I can't really distribute the fonts I use with my UI pack, since I don't have the copyright privilege to do so. But If you, like me, are not particularly fond of Blizzard's font choices, you can replace the default fonts with whatever fonts you like, as long as they are truetype.

The way to do this is very simple, and yet isn't very well publicized.

First, go into your World of Warcraft folder, wherever that might be. This is the same folder that contains the Interface and WTF folders. Then create a folder called Fonts. What next?

Well, first, a word about the fonts Blizzard uses.

The main font that Blizzard uses in World of Warcraft is called Friz Quadrata. You find this on most of the default UI elements. The second font is Arial Narrow. This is the font that you'll find on things like the username and password fields on the login window. The third main font is Morpheus, which is the font that's used for quest titles in the quest log and for in game mail. Finally, theres Skurri, which is used for the damage text on the default unit frames and such.

To replace these fonts, you simply have to choose a font to replace them and copy those fonts to the World of Warcraft/Fonts directory. You will then have to rename them to replace the default fonts. Here are the file names you need:
  • Friz Quadrata -- rename your replacement FRIZQT__.ttf
  • Arial Narrow -- rename your replacement ARIALN.ttf
  • Morpheus -- rename your replacement MORPHEUS.ttf
  • Skurri -- rename your replacement skurri.TTF
I don't know if the file names are case sensitive, but I can vouch that naming them the way I wrote does work.

There are lots of nice fonts out there. I use a couple of variations on the Myriad font set by Adobe. These are gorgeous fonts, but not freely available. You can buy them from Adobe if you like them. There are lots of free fonts available all over the web, and I'd recommend trying a few out in game to see how they can change the look and feel of your UI.

Some particular recommendations now. For replacement of Friz Quadrata as the main game font, if you run Windows Vista, you should have a font called Calibri available in your Windows/Fonts folder. I like the Calibri Bold font for this purpose. You can simply copy the font file (calibrib.ttf) to World of Warcraft/Fonts and rename it FRIZQT__.ttf. I like the freely available Black Chancery font for Morpheus replacement. Arial Narrow has been tough to find a good free replacement for, but any decent condensed font should do well. Just test a few out. For Skurri, I like another freely available font called Ever After. I also use this font for my scrolling combat text.

Like all of the UI modding stuff, it's fun to play around with these fonts once you know how to replace them, and I highly encourage tinkering around with them to see what you like.

And just a quick update on the UI status: I've got fully functional replacements for most addons now, although I'm still getting some library conflicts that are keeping me from posting 1.0. I will post it as soon as I have it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Some installation help

NOTE: This post contains outdated information.  Installation instructions are now included with the UI.

Now that I have a (still sort of rough) version of the UI up for download on WoWInterface, maybe some of you would like to know how to make it look like it should. The basic issue, as far as I can tell, comes from the fact that many new addons (particularly those based on the Ace3 libraries) don't start up with a sensible default configuration. I'm going to get a little technical here, but I figure that kinda goes with the territory for a custom UI discussion, so we'll just dive right in.

Most of you probably know about WoWAce and their wonderful libraries. They've made it easy for developers to create lightweight, fast addons that are skinnable and have a high degree of customizability. To keep configurations consistent between characters and servers, they use a profiling mechanism. In the old days of Ace2, most addons start off with a Default profile that's used for every character. The nice thing about this is that once you've configured an addon, you don't have to mess with it again. As you can expect, this is really helpful when you're packaging up a UI for others to use.

Well, this has changed with Ace3. Now, when you open up your UI with a new character, the addons will have created a new profile from some internal default settings. If you want the settings from another toon, you have to copy them to the new profile on the new toon.

You can, however, also simply switch the profile to Default. I think I now have a sensible Default profile for all of the addons that matter. So here's what you need to do:
  1. Copy over the UI files as described in the README.txt file included with the UI, renaming and backing things up accordingly
  2. When you open up your new UI for the first time, things will probably look like a mess. The first thing you should do is configure addons to use the defaults.
  3. Hit ESC, and then click on the "Interface" button, and then the "AddOns" tab. You will now see a list with many of the addons in it. Look for the configuration parts for the following addons: Recount, ClassTimer, and Omen. Each of these should have an option called "Profiles," you may have to click the plus sign by the addon name to open up the rest of the options
  4. For each addon listed above, do the following: click "Profiles," then click the area that shows the current profile. Switch this to "Default" in the list it gives.
  5. Do the same for the rest of the addons I listed. You should also look at the SCT profiles, and copy over the "Daedhir-Duskwood" profile to the current one you're using.
  6. ???
  7. Profit
Most of the stuff should be out of the way now. You should reload your UI. An easy way to do this is to Shift-Left Click the BugSack icon on the FuBar on top of the screen.

This should at least give you a default layout. Please feel free to leave a comment on this post if anything here is wrong or confusing.

DaedhirUI 0.1(.2)

Okay, folks. Come and get it. DaedhirUI 0.1 beta. (EDIT: 0.1.2 is the latest revision, removed some personal info and added some default profiles for various mods)

Read the README. It's late, so if I get a chance, I'll post some more info about what you might need to do to get it working sometime Friday.

Please don't forget to back up your Interface and WTF folders.

And I hope y'all enjoy this.

Oh, I should also mention that if your fonts look different than mine do, that's because they are! Unfortunately the fonts I use are not, as far as I know, redistributable. So I will try to find some free fonts so that you can get it looking right.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

0.1 coming

I've uploaded my UI to WoWInterface, and the file is pending approval. I have no idea how long this usually takes, they have to have a file moderator look at it.

Sorry it's taking so long, I didn't really have the infrastructure set up for this. I appreciate the patience.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Quick status update

Well, just thought I'd provide a quick update.

I patched up my live client and opened WoW to see what this decided to do to my layout. Unfortunately, it was as terrible as I had expected.

The pic is where I got it. It's almost there, but I didn't have time to zip everything up and post it. Sorry about that, I know some of you are waiting very patiently.

My guild and I are going to try raiding tonight, and after that is the Presidential debate (for those of you in the US.) I will likely have a few minutes to get something posted up late tonight, so you guys can play with it tomorrow.

It will, however, be a sort of "early adopter's" version, in that I won't provide a whole lot of instruction as to what you need to do to get it working. Turns out that many addon authors these days are doing per-character configuration by default, so creating a new toon (or getting the UI to work on a different toon) can be a hassle getting all of the mods working correctly. At this point, the biggest culprits are Recount and Dominos. I'm also contemplating switching back to Bartender4, but I want to experiment with the roll bar on Dominos before I chuck it.

Anyway, I will make another post as soon as I have the UI packaged up. And again, thanks for the interest!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

DaedhirUI, by popular demand

Hi, all. I'm Daedhir, a shadow priest from the US Carebear realm Duskwood. I've been working on a custom user interface compilation for World of Warcraft, and now that the new patch is coming out in preparation for Wrath of the Lich King, I will soon (hopefully this week) be providing my UI for general use.

Thanks to for posting my UI in their thread about functional beta UIs. I had no idea I'd get the reactions that I have!

I will try to keep this blog updated with the status of my UI and with information on where you can get it. I would have posted it on my guild's website, but that kinda imploded last week, so we're still looking for web hosting. Until then, I'll try to find some hosting space where I can upload my UI.

I will also try to keep a list of what UI mods I'm using at any given time, so that we can give credit to the authors of these individual mods. And boy, do they deserve credit! Especially those at WoWAce. These people make excellent software and make little to no money for their effort.

Compilations like mine aren't possible without them, so /cheer for them whenever you can.

Here's a link to the WoWInsider article
where this is featured.

I will try to post some more screenshots later this week as well, so that you can see the functionality for various different classes.

And please leave me a comment if there's anything you think could be improved!