Is your UI set up contributing to tunnel vision?

As a raiding healer, and perhaps a moderately obsessed UI fan – I find it always important to be certain that my UI is providing me the information that I need. The most important piece of information is the health and well being of your raid through raidframes. I would say the vast majority of healers use either Grid or Healbot as their raidframes. Personally, I prefer Grid over healbot for a number of reasons, but that is not what we really need to discuss here today.

Just by having your raidframes in a ‘grid’ set up, it can really make you focus on the ‘whack-a-mole’ mini game too much, ignoring everything else around you – healer tunnel vision. (dun dun dunnnn!) You sometimes can be too focused on being sure that you are healing your targets and guaranteeing their safety and livelihood that you didn’t notice that you were standing in a giant patch of fire, 3 Dark Orbs are coming at you when you have Light Essence, or that you are standing too close to your neighbor and will chain Blood Nova.

NoStockUI did a post similar to this in the past, but I do want to build upon that.

Let’s take a look at the following 3, very common layouts.

1. Grid in lower corner.

This layout allows you to free up a good deal of your UI allowing you to see a lot of the background. Which is great, however your eyes are focusing on the lower corner of your screen, forcing your peripheral vision to do a lot for you. In the past I have had my raid frames in this lower corner and raided very successfully – it just does take some training to get yourself used to being aware of your surroundings.

2. Grid in middle of the screen.

This layout allows you to be very aware of your raid since the focus of your attention is in your main line of sight, and further it allows you to see if you are being flanked by a creeping fire or something else. The downside to this, your player’s immediate area is very difficult to see and avoiding things like void zones or rocket strikes can be a bit obscured. If you do decide to use this layout, I strongly suggest you leave the direct area around your player visible by setting it slightly off center; either to the left or the right.

3. Grid lower middle section of the screen.

This is my preferred placement of my raid grid. It allows you to focus towards the middle of the screen, see a good deal of your flanks, as well as see the bulk of the instance ahead of you with minimal obstruction. Downsides to this, is if you focus too low on your grid, you can lose some peripheral vision benefits. Ive found having grid 1-2 inches above the bottom of your screen can be very helpful.

Some people really enjoy the mod Viewport. Viewport sets aside a portion of your screen to NOT be for the game camera, and only for action bars, grid, dps meters, etc… However, as a healer I feel that putting your Grid into a section that has ZERO game camera view can be risky and actually contribute too much towards tunnel vision since you have a ‘silent’ background. One of my earlier UIs (which is still in the Derevka UI section of this site – I’ll update it soon, I promise!) has a KGpanel that is semitransparent at the bottom of the screen. I feel that the semi transparency really helps with keeping tunnel vision at bay. My current UI, has a gradient that allows for the most important sections of my UI to be clear, as well as providing some aesthetic shading for easier reading of the chat and meter windows, shown here – in a 10 man raid (25 man the grid continues to the right with groups 3, 4, and 5).

My current UI is inspired and modified off of Bati’s UI, a fellow Priest Blogger and end-game raider. My Grid is bordered by my STUF Player and Target Frames, topped by ForteXorcist which manages my cooldowns.

None of the options discussed here are inherently any better than the others. When trying out different Grid placements, keep in mind each of the cons I have noted here. Grid placement can play a major factor in your Tunnel Vision – see which works better for you.

What kind of Grid/Healbot set up do you use? What do you do to combat Tunnel Vision?

At the end of the day, tunnel vision is something every healer has to battle: focusing on the raiders you are assigned to protect as well as keeping your eyes on the ‘real game’. (not that whack-a-mole isn’t fun)… it’s just that this version provides purple epics, not tickets that you can trade in for an asbestos stuffed teddy bear.

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