xHUD

January 26, 2009

I have a confession to make..I am an Add On junkie. Have been for years really. That’s one of the things I really loved about WoW, the ability to choose from so many Add Ons and completely customize my gaming experience. I know that some people don’t like them – I have friends who are “purists” who won’t touch Add Ons and scoff at anybody who does – but not me. I’m hooked. So I decided to write some blurbs periodically about the Add Ons that I’ve found most useful or interesting.

Ok then, today I’ll talk about an Add On called xHUD. I love this one. Being an older gamer (but NOT old…Get Off of My Lawn, Punks!) it can get to be a pain in the ass keeping track of pertinent information during larger combats. I know that everything is right there on the screen in the basic UI, but I always feel like having to take my focus away from what I’m doing, even if it’s just a simple flick of the eyes to check on what plan my Orc is in or how much hate my Blackguard has, hurts me during a fight. And when you suck at PvP as much as I do, you don’t need any outside influences screwing things up even more. Enter xHUD.

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This Add On is based on a feature that’s been used in fighter aircraft for decades – the heads up display, or HUD. Important information about the aircraft like speed, altitude, navigational or attack data, are all displayed right in front of the pilot’s eyes so he doesn’t have to look away and can continue to focus on what he is doing. The same goes for xHUD. xHUD displays several customizable bars, or arcs, in the center of the screen allowing you to easily keep track of the information you need. It allows a lot of customization with the “look” of the Add On as well as with the kind of information you want displayed.

For the appearance you can change variables such as the location of the arcs, which arcs are displayed, the alpha (or brightness) of the bars and what buffs or debuffs are displayed. On the photo here, I have the brightness turned way up so the arcs are easier to see for the screenshot. Normally I play with them dimmed a bit so they are less distracting. In my setup, from the left I have my hit points, my action points, and the third bar is what I call a “career” bar. It tracks information that is specific to your career. So for my blackguard it displays how much hate I have, for a shaman it shows how much and what type of waaagh you have built up, etc. For pet classes the career bar shows your pet’s health.

On the right side of my setup I have bars for my defensive target, and on the outside, one for my enemy target. Buffs and debuffs are arranged in a vertical arc along the outside of the bars.

It may take a bit of fooling around with xHUD to get it set up just the way you want. As I recall, I had to spend about half an hour on it, but it was well worth it. It has quickly become one of those indespensible Add Ons for me, so I’m hoping that it continues to be updated and supported by the developer.

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