What is MazzleUI?
What is MazzleUI? In short it's a comprehensive, customized user interface for the World of Warcraft that attempts to be clean, symmetrical, provides lots of information, use minimal space and be highly efficient. It is extremely easy to set-up, use and learn. It is a compilation with a several custom add-ons and many modified ones. It has several novel features, most notable add-ons that manage and configure the setup and performance of other add-ons, that make it qualitatively different than any other UI released to date. Some of the key features are as follows:
  • Original artwork: Elven metal on black Arabian tile.

  • 'Mazzifier': This is an in-game installer addon that provides incredibly easy setup. It configures everything for you in a few easy steps.
    • It does NOT require you to copy a makeshift WTF folder and rename things like most compilations do.
    • Configures the position and size of every UI element, including the artwork for nearly any resolution (anything that has an aspect ratio of 1.25, 1.33 or 1.6.) You should not have to adjust anything to make it look like the screenshots.
    • Configures every add-on to be ready to use out of the box. You don't have to learn the ins and outs and settings of a million add-ons to get started. The settings were chosen with efficiency in mind.
    • Maintains an internal database of version numbers so that new version of MazzleUI will know exactly what to update. Just drop in the new version, the Mazzifier will automatically launch when you log in and update what is necessary.
    • Asks the user a series of install question so that it will enable ONLY those add-ons that the user is interested in. This allows the UI to be tailored to each individual character to minimize cpu/memory use. Note that these categories can overlap. The installer will only install the questions that meet the overall criteria.
      • Four different base install packages to choose from
      • A variety of class-specific add-ons only installed for the appropriate classes
      • A variety of auctions add-ons installed for characters who use the AH often
      • A variety of pvp add-ons installed for characters who pvp
      • A variety of elective addons for characters who indicate the appropriate interest
      • A variety of add-ons marked as 'expensive' installed only if users request them
      • Several preference-based questions that allow the user to choose things like their favorite bag style or damage meters add-on
    • Checks whether the user has the appropriate skills or level for certain add-ons.
    • Allows the user to visually browse 15 different button layouts and choose the one that fits their play style best.
      • There are multiple button layouts for each class. All button layouts follow a consistent design philosophy.
      • Each button layout has versions for different screen sizes. It will automatically install the appropriate one for your resolution.
      • The majority of the button layouts will also automatically place your spells and skills in the appropriate buttons, regardless of what level your characters are at. This should work in all languages.
      • Each layout also contains button bindings. In addition, hidden bindings will be installed for certain things such as shifting, stealthing, pets, wanding to work with the specific bindings in the button layout. For example, if the button layout overrides the default pet command, new pet command bindings may be installed to handle that.
      • Every layout will automatically place your trade skills and racial abilities.
      • Layouts can be refreshed as you gain new abilities and spells so that they always have the correct levels.
      • Currently uses a heavily-modified version of Bongos that has a different paging mechanism, remember relative anchors and button content and insures that buttons don't map to the same action IDs.
    • Incrementally installs key-bindings in multiple stages to tailor them to exactly what you choose to install. It first installs (1) base key bindings, then (2) button bindings, (3) class-specific bindings and, finally, (4)add-on specific bindings.
    • Creates and configures all seven chat frames to contain the right channels with sensical and consistent ordering and nice text coloring. This includes multi-framed combat information with slim damage frame and formatted and colored combat log.
    • Warns the user of conflict add-ons and other potential problems.
    • Allows the user to reconfigure any aspect of their UI back to the install settings to undo changes or problems.

  • MazzleUI Core Add-on: A central add-on that provides a host of new UI features and integrates many of the add-ons into a more coherent UI. It provides the following:
    • Layout and Art Management: Displays all the UI's art, hides many Blizzard frames, and positions frames. Uses a frame positioning system that is more powerful than what you can do using just a WTF folder and less constraining than solutions that use add-ons like DFM or Visor.
      • Uses three different mechanisms:
        • Any XML-created frame that can be user-placed is user-placed once when mazzifying.
        • Any dynamically-created frame whose add-on manually manages its position will have the add-ons settings set to put it in the proper place for your resolution.
        • Any frames that don't fit in either of those categories are placed every login.
        • All frames can have position dynamically determined based on settings/positions of other add-ons.
      • To deal with the limitation of the WoW layout cache, namely losing position information when temporarily disabling an add-on, MazzleUI will check if user-placed status is changed between logins and restore window position if needed.
      • Does not do any and SetPoint hooking.
    • 'HotSpots': A novel space-saving feature where certain hidden areas of the bottom pane artwork function as buttons. Some components turn into visibly different buttons when certain actions are available. This provides extra functionality and information presentation with zero additional space usage. There are 13 such hidden HotSpots that let you quickly access a myriad of functions.
      • Six corner HotSpots that pull up or hide commonly used add-ons: Itemsync loot database, MonkeyQuest quest tracker, TinyPad notebook, the MazzleUI context menu, ItemRack, Smart Debuff or the xCalc calculator. The bottom-left hotspot allows you to copy text out of your chat window.
      • The coordinates under the minimap serve as a HotSpot to open up Cartographer, the world and instance map add-on.
      • The area under your target box serves as a HotSpot to target your ToT, i.e. the target of your target.
      • The four corners of the target box serve as hotspot to perform actions on your target, namely whispering, following, trading and inspecting. Actual buttons will appear there when those actions are available, so you know whether you're at the right distance.
      • The actual MazzleUI logo text is a HotSpot that does two things. Left-clicking on it brings up the bag and micro-menu bars. This allows them to stay hidden most of the time, saving even more room. Right-clicking on the same text hot-swaps you through 15 different party/raid layouts.
    • Hot-Swappable Raid Layouts:
      • 15 different raid layouts are available that can be changed at any time.
      • Automatically takes other elements of the UI into account: the size of your screen, whether party frames are visible, whether party pets are visibile, whether certain other add-ons are visible, etc.
      • Automatically redistributes raid frames when in a 20 or 10 man raid group to make the layout more symmetrical.
    • 5 MazzleUI Efficiency Modes: A novel feature that allows the UI to automatically turn off certain features and complete add-ons depending on the context of the situation to improve performance.
      • There are four modes that can be set to automatically kick in when you are either (1) solo, (2) in a party, (3) in a raid or (4) pvp-flagged.
      • This is one manual mode that is activated when you press the MazzleUI Efficiency button. This allows you the UI to set everything to minimum for unexpectedly demanding situations or encounters.
      • The efficiency modes can currently modulate 15 different items: (1) graphical settings, (2) 3d animations, (3) Recap, (4) SWStats, (5) Damage Meter, (6) name tags and name plates, (7) BigWigs, (8) Scrolling Combat Text, (9) Scrolling Combat Text Damage, (10) Scrolling Combat Text Cooldowns, (11) Witchhunt spell alerts, and (12) unit frame update rate, (13) spell effect level, (14) HUD range checking, and (15) timer/enemy cast bars.
    • Several automations: auto resurrection, auto summon acceptance, auto-dismounting at flight paths, auto-bag opening at vendors/mail/ah, alt-clicking to trade items into certain windows
    • Bottom panel strobes red when you gain aggro from a mob.
    • Context menu management: A set of buttons that are normally hidden but can be pulled up under your mouse at any time. Perfect for keeping non-combat stuff and trade skills out of the way. Will automatically hide when used or when logging in.
    • Dynamic arrangement of commonly-used minimap buttons in a line on the right side of the UI. Special minimap buttons have been added for certain add-ons that don't provide them, for example a Recap button that you can use to toggle visibility or turn on/off the add-on. Other minimap buttons will automatically be hidden. The options for those add-ons can still be accessed via MazzleOptions.
    • MazzleUI FuBar menu that allows you to quickly access the various Mazzle add-ons, change the raid layout on the fly, open various add-ons that don't have obvious interfaces, and edit and configure your buttons.

  • MazzleOptions: A centralized options and help system that offers unprecedented information and control of your add-ons.
    • Descriptions of every single add-on in the system
    • GUI controls to change the settings of every add-on in the system, even for add-ons that don't provide graphical options. You never have to learn slash commands again.
    • Ability to disable or enable add-ons in-game with one quick click.
    • Everything is organized by both category and alphebetically. It is extremely easy to find the add-on you're looking for.
    • A comprehensive in-game FAQ system, with tons of help documents.
    • Many value-added options for add-ons that aren't originally part of the add-ons.

  • MazzleHUD: A custom, low-cost, clean-looking heads-up display that shows up when in combat. It shows health, mana, target of target and distance to target. Both the code and artwork are original. Is configurable via MazzleOptions.

  • Mazzle 3D Characters: Custom 3d model add-on that is probably the most bug-free and feature-rich 3d model add-on out there. Seamlessly integrated within the rest of the UI.
    • Every single model in the game, including bosses and all BC content, will be displayed correctly. It uses a comprehensive database of about 650 cameras to insure this.
    • Self, pet, party and party pet members are presented as 3-d models on a pedestal.
    • These models animate when certain events happen. For example, they flinch when hit and fall when killed. They may also laugh when tickled and give you a wave or rude gesture from time to time.
    • Target model can be zoomed, panned and rotate to get a better view. Self and party models can be rotated on their pedestal.
    • Models will correctly change when form changes and readjust the cameras appropriately.

  • Enhanced add-ons: Many third-party add-ons in the package are modified to add features, increase performance, allow options to be changed more easily or, in some cases, to correct bugs. There are 24 such add-ons. Most of these changes do not require modifications of the original files. Instead, a pre-loader is used to override the necessary code or data.

  • Buttons are provided by a significantly modified version of Bongos. This version adds several features:
    • Allocates unique IDs to every button on every page so there is no overlap
    • Allows bars to have different number of pages
    • Allows changing of number of bars and buttons without losing the contents of buttons or bindings
    • Allows per-bar 'Show Empty' button settings and playing with grid showing
    • Maintains relative anchors of all bars to each other so you can make changes and maintain the layout easily
    • Number of bars, pages and barsizes will now be capped based on the number of free action IDs

__________________________________________________________________


In general, the package tries to follow the following guidlines:

Layout philosophy: Minimalistic space usage while still presenting all the information one could need in game.
  • Middle of bottom pane is minimal height to hold minimap. Side of bottom pane is minimum height to hold 16 lines of chat text.
  • Play area is resized so that the UI covers a minimal amount of the rendered game.
  • Even with 3d party models or 40 raid frames, most of screen is completely unobstructed.
  • Nearly every element in the UI has positioning information to maintain this design philosophy.
Add-On philosophy: Useful add-ons that are highly efficient. A majority of the add-ons are Ace add-ons, including the custom MazzleUI ones. The minimal install uses approximately 27mb of memory, while the full install uses about 50mb.

__________________________________________________________________

If you'd like to make a donation to support the absurd amount of effort spent on this project and encourage future development, you can send it to mazzleui.donations@gmail.com via www.paypal.com. Thanks everyone. :D