If you are the type that only plays one character, you probably don’t have very much trouble managing your screen arrangements. You have one, sometimes you need to adjust it, but since you are only playing the one character you probably know where everything is quite well.
Or you could be like me and play 19 characters (on one server alone), characters that are by design each unique, each containing capabilities that are as variant from each other as I can make them. Meaning, they may need different windows arrangements too.
Nineteen completely different arrangements would never work; I would never be able to find anything. Ever.
So instead, I’ve come up with just one generic layout, and I make them all play within it. Thank the gods for the ability to save and recall layouts. More on that below.
Look at the user interface in the image at the top of this article, and then compare it to this user interface:
If it helps, here are the full size versions of each image: hezrou, dragon. Notice that both of the ui layouts are essentially the same. The characters are very different – in the hezrou image, Mawry is a FeyBuckler, a warlock with a bard swashbuckler splash. In the dragon image, Mawry is a Dexterity Commando, a mostly-Ranger designed to hot-swap between melee and ranged attacks.
The characters are very different. But the bars remain the same. Mostly.
|How To Save Layouts|
|A “UI Layout” describes the way that you have your hot bars, hit point bars, chat window, and other elements of the user interface arranged. “UI Layout” is just another way to say “windows arrangement”
Once you have your windows arranged exactly the way you want, you can save that arrangement and re-apply it later. To save your arrangement, in your chat window type “/ui layout save layoutName”, except use your own word instead of layoutName.
This creates a file (in your documents\dungeons and dragons online\ui\layouts folder) that identifies where you put everything on your screen and saves it all.
You can restore everything to the same place that you saved by loading the saved layout. To do this, type “\ui layout load layoutName” in your chat window, but use your own word for layoutName again.
Examples of use:
There is one element that is not saved in your layout. Your status indicator icons will always appear along the top left of your screen. If you would rather they be on the top right, follow these steps. The UI layout save feature does not save status icon locations.
The key, for me, is to create “zones” where specific types of things are allowed to appear, and then consistently use those zones no matter the character.
I sort of evolved this approach. I started by having my best healing ability always in the same place on every character – there is no other capability that I am more likely to need under stress. You don’t want to be jumping and shucking and doing a serpentine dance while at the same time trying to scan through all your hot bars to find a heal.
Soon my best heal was in my second hotbar, in space 10, on every character. No matter who I am playing, I can always access a heal by hitting my alt indicator key (which I have mapped to the quote key “‘”) and 0. ‘0 = heal. Very handy.
Over time I found myself applying the same principle to other abilities. Eventually I began divvying up the screen into specific zones, not just the fast heal key, but everything.
There will always be some variance between characters; casters have so many spells available on top of everything else. But even so, even my casters start with this template and when they do add bars, they add them in the same general zones.
Breaking it down in greater detail:
There are zones within zones. For me, it is easier to find things that are on the left or upper outer edge of a zone, rather than items that are muddled in the middle. So the things I am most likely to want in a hurry are out on the edges, probably on top or on the left.
In the keyboard zone, the items I hit the most often are essentially sorted numerically from 1 to 10. And then ‘1 to ‘0. And then ‘F1 to ‘F10.
Situational gear is sorted similarly, although I keep types together, for instance all the trinkets in one place. I prefer situational gear that has unique, easily identifiable art. As an example, I prefer the easily-findable Bottle of Air over the generic-belt-looking Bubble Belt or the identical-to-other-bracers Aquatic Bracers, even though the belt and bracers are both better than the bottle.
The equipped bar contains everything I am wearing, making it easy to swap back after using a piece of situational gear.
The mouse click zone is made of vertical bars and has the most zones within zones. It also differs the most from character to character. On the other hand, it is also full of things that – at least for the most part – I expect to have time to find when needed.
- Feat and stance toggles always go on the right-most bar
- Mnemonic potions go along the top somewhere
- Buffs are on their own bar. If I also have group buffs, they are on their own bar too. Buff bars are in the middle of the vertical zone
- Hirelings are generally in the left-most bar
- The Spider Cult Mask is special because all of my characters have it and none of them like to leave it on once used. It always goes in the upper left area, and so does whatever cosmetic helmet a character may have to reapply once the Cult Mask has been used
- The Harper Pin is lower left
- Teleport/Greater Teleport and Dimension Door spells or scrolls or rods, and the Key to Eveningstar go lower left
The Harper Pin, mnemonics, and possibly Teleports are the only thing in the mouse click zone that I expect to need in a hurry, and because of the zones-within-zones approach, I can always find them.
Everyone is different. Some people prefer the mouse all the time, others prefer the keyboard. There are probably as many ways to arrange the hot bars as there are players in the game. In fact, there have been entire Hall of Fame forum threads devoted to the topic.
But this is how I do mine.
How do you do yours?
🙂 😀 🙂
p.s. If you want to post an image showing your hot bars or whatever, please do, but it may not appear correctly when you post your comment. Never fear, I will come behind and correct HTML code to display your image. Just make sure it is a good link that is on a page that is publicly view-able.
p.p.s. Get your nominations in!