On My Love/Hate Relationship with Vuhdo

I have two primary healer alts – a level 54 priest and a level 70 druid. I have leveled them both through battlegrounds and dungeons, not very much questing. The priest has been Discipline her entire career. The Druid has been Resto for stretches, and a Feral tank for stretches. I waffle with her a lot (part of my many problems with her.)

I’ve used Vuhdo on both of these characters for some time – first with the priest, and then the druid. When everything is set up well with Vuhdo, it’s a great tool. Click click click Imma pro healer!

No, really! I’m pretty good at healing leveling five mans! (Of course, I gear like a twink, so as long as I can keep the heals going in the right direction, the tank usually stays up. Even if they’re using a 2H instead of sword and board.)

I should probably mention that these two characters have also served as my primary cross-server (and cross-faction) mules, so I get to set up their interfaces a lot. And therein lies my problem with Vuhdo.

The initial default setup of Vuhdo displays a lot of … stuff. Primary tank, group frames, buffwatch – and they’re all stacked on top of one another. The spells that are assigned to buttons – well, they don’t reflect the spells you might have, let alone the spells that you should be using. And turning on and off the frames isn’t intuitive. It’s just not – there is a tremendous amount of flexibility in the addon, but it doesn’t make choices for you.

This is a pretty common failing in software design, to be honest. I’m reminded of 37Signal’s controversial stance on making opinionated software:

Some people argue software should be agnostic. They say it’s arrogant for developers to limit features or ignore feature requests. They say software should always be as flexible as possible.

We think that’s bullshit. The best software has a vision. The best software takes sides. When someone uses software, they’re not just looking for features, they’re looking for an approach. They’re looking for a vision. Decide what your vision is and run with it.

(There are several posts along that vein in their Getting Real web book, which I encourage folks to read even if I don’t agree with it completely.)

Every time I have to set up Vuhdo, it’s usually after a period of activity on a character, so I’ve forgotten what exactly everything is supposed to do. That’s why the character became an heirloom mule in the first place! So the default configuration, of everything displayed, stacked on top of each other, and set to endgame spells, is completely wrong for what I want it to do.

Which, in turn. leads to me feeling overwhelmed when I log into those characters, which means I’d rather go play something else.

There’s another great post in Getting Real about Avoiding Preferences:

Instead of using your expertise to choose the best path, you’re leaving it in the hands of customers. It may seem like you’re doing them a favor but you’re just making busy work for them (and it’s likely they’re busy enough). For customers, preference screens with an endless amount of options are a headache, not a blessing. Customers shouldn’t have to think about every nitty gritty detail — don’t put that burden on them when it should be your responsibility.

Do what I want! I want simple raid frames in the center of my screen, with the abilities I can use available. I don’t need buffwatch, or private tanks, or public tanks, or tanks for the memory tanks – make it so when I first activate an addon, it’s got the most common settings!

SexyMap does this well, by the way. I know a lot of UI people don’t like the Stargate model, but a lot of folks do, and they keep the default. It starts off with an attractive modification and lets you customize from there.

The reason I complained about Vuhdo the other night, and the reason I think I’m going to move away from it, is because Vuhdo is too hard to set up when you don’t know the first thing about healing on a class. I don’t know what clicks should be primary, which should require modifiers. It’s not easy to configure. There are too many options. It’s like Pitbull in that respect. I really do think mouseover + raid frames will help me learn these two healing classes better, and make me a better healer.

When I’m a better healer, then it will be the right time for me to put Vuhdo back on my healers.

It’s a great addon – just not great for me, right now.

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6 Comments

Filed under Cynwise's Field Notes

6 responses to “On My Love/Hate Relationship with Vuhdo

  1. soragrey

    That can pretty much be said for all healing addons I think, though I agree VuhDo’s UI could be a little more intuitive. When I first tried Grid I was completely overwhelmed and then I learned that I had to download yet more addons to get it to do what I want. That’s why I enjoy VuhDo, it’s all there, and it’s constantly updated.. it’s just not layed out as pretty as I would like ;)BUT if you are interested, I made a couple VuhDo tutorials to help people with setting it up. VuhDo 101 covers the basics and what everything does: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBoImKCY1Fs and VuhDo 102 goes over how to make VuhDo look like mine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEbM0XG7XsU. Of course the caveat is that you have to take the time to watch the videos, which not everyone has the patience to do.

  2. Cynwise of Stormwind

    Don’t get me wrong – I really do like Vuhdo! But when you’re struggling with very basic class concepts like: which spells do I cast to heal? How do they work? How do I use other abilities in PvP while still healing? – it’s a bit much. Thanks for the links to the videos, I will watch them. :)

  3. Shelly

    My limited experience of healing addons has been the same. I just don’t know where to start. I love the idea of them & so many people seem to swear by them but it all seems too complex for me to get it set up the way I want it. I too will watch those videos though because I know alot of people like Vuhdo & I would like to learn how to use it!

  4. _Rades

    In terms of spell bindings, I find the default settings to be a good start, as long as you keep in mind that you CAN change them. For instance, if I started healing as a Shaman – a class I have absolutely zero knowledge about, healing-wise – I’d probably leave the default bindings as they were and try them out. Then after a few levels, or after I gained a few more spells, I might tinker with them then with the knowledge of how they operate. “Okay, I want my left-click to be my Heal-over-Time instead of my Primary Heal, because I’d prefer that to be Mousewheel-Up” – something like that.The default bar setup IS a mess, however. No doubt. I usually scrap everything and then start with just the basic frame. (Or, what I do now is just save my setup and import it on any new character. But it took me a while to figure that out.)

  5. mimfollee

    In case of lowbie instances, you can just stick to blizz frames, they show automatically what debuffs you can dispell and give you info on such basic stuff as weakened soul.

  6. Robin Burton Fenner

    Am I missing something? If you save a profile, you can then use that same profile to copy the setup to a new toon. You don’t have to set up everything again. Especially if it’s mostly the panels that frustrate you. The profile will copy the setup for the panels.