March 11, 2010

YakUI, and why you should be using it

Filed under: wartalk — Alex @ 6:25 pm

Since the creation of Thokk, I’ve been using UI packages. Since I’ve been using UI packages, I’ve been using YakUI. Yak is without a doubt the most intuitive, practical, and clean UI that I’ve ever loaded, and it deserves some recognition. Yak encompasses everything that I for one could possibly ask for in my interface. In this post, I’ll take it apart for you piece-by-piece and show you exactly why you should switch over. This is going to be more of an aesthetically and functionality based review rather than a technical one. Using UI’s is my strongpoint, not making them.

First Yak takes a semi-minimalistic approach to all the elements that are on screen at any one time. The top half of your monitor is, for the most part, empty which I personally love because there’s nothing cluttering my view of the field. (Click any of the pictures for a larger image)

Yak also makes tactic swapping quick and easy with the multiple tactic sets feature. I personally use three: one for soloing, one for all-purpose PvP, and one for AoE grinding. Switching between these sets is as easy as two clicks. No hassle with swapping through pages of tactics. It should also be noted that I believe the same feature exists for morales, I just never need to use it because at some point when I was gone they gutted two of my most used morale abilities.

Next stop on the tour is the chat box. Conveniently located right underneath the aforementioned tactic sets, Yak has done a great job making the chat function look super sleek and act even more so. Not only do the unit frames add a stylized look to the box but there are arrow buttons which switch between tabs such as combat, loot, private, and all. Everything is timestamped which makes it uber easy to spot all those annoying Push For More slayers. Also, along the top of the chat box there are a number of bottons. Each one activates a separate RvR addon.

I also really like what Yak has done with the action bars. They’re really compact which saves loads of that much needed monitor space, and the skins make all your abilities look like they just got a fresh coat of paint. Underneath the bars are more buttons, these opening up all of the windows.
(Note: I take no responsibility for the disheveled look of my bars… I’m mid respec as I write this :))

Probably my favorite part of the entire UI is what has been done with the warband interface. What was once a monster space-eater that made the left side of your screen useless is now a color-coded information readout no larger than your action bars. This thing is just freakin’ amazing, and I’ll never play this game without it.
Special thanks to the random open party that I joined to take that screenshot. You’re famous now! Or, you would be, if people read this blog. Anyway, as you can see in the image, there’s more to this element than just a warband readout. You’ve got vibrantly colored health bars with career images right on them. The colors correspond to careers and archetypes. They take some getting used to but are supremely more effective than monotonous green bars. The top of the warband interface has some macros that Yak built it. I’ve personally removed most of them and plan on sticking all of my pots there once I get a supply up and running again. The bottom has your current level, renown rank, the time, your friends online, and your guildmates online.

We’re going to take a step back now, and talk about the minimap for a little bit. There’s actually quite a bit of functionality packed into one small little package here. The top right, of course is the scenario queuer. Right clicking on it gives you options for what you want to show on your minimap. The bottom left is a small button for GroupSpotter. Right clicking gives you a readout for heal ranges (both single target and AoE) right on your map! Right clicking anywhere inside the map opens up a mini world map just above your chat bar.

That’s a pretty crude representation of just how awesome this UI package really is. I hope I’ve at least piqued your curiosity.

Now, I know Yak doesn’t want to take credit for this entire ensemble. Without the fantastic mod developers that WAR has, this wouldn’t even be possible. I encourage everyone to download this amazing UI and experience the collaborative creativity for themselves. You can download it here I personally promise a better experience.



  1. Hey, the UI look sick but I heal and use squares because it shows who has mo HoTs and buffs, do you happen to know if the warband interface on yak does that?

    Comment by Feeder — March 14, 2010 @ 6:18 am

    • I know that when you cast a HoT on a target there is a small notifier on their name plate. Also, some buffs like the Shaman resist buff also get a notifier. Did that answer your question well enough?

      Comment by Alex@WARgames — March 14, 2010 @ 7:33 am

  2. Just installed this today. I’m really liking it thus far. It keeps all those mods neatly organized. The only two issues I’m having thus far are:
    1. How do I lock my action bars? I hate accidently dragging icons off the bar when I click them. I keep accidently dragging my healing pots off.
    2. How can I modify the position and shape of the unit frames that contain my health/ap and the frames of my offensive/defensive targets?

    Thanks for the heads up. I’d never heard of this amazing mod.

    Comment by Grimfire — March 16, 2010 @ 3:32 pm

    • As far as locking the bars is concerned, that is something you should take up with Yak on his thread. I hotkey every ability that I use so I wouldn’t know much about that.

      Modifying the position and shape of your target frames is as simple as modifying the shape of anything else: go into the layout editor. Hit Esc and click User Settings. Select the Interface tab and go into the Layout Editor. From here you are free to drag and resize any element on your screen.

      I hope that helped, if not or if anything else comes up feel free to comment.

      Comment by Alex@WARgames — March 16, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

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