Alongside the Cult of Disc there is another new cult forming in Wowland. The Cult of Vuhdo is forming amongst healers at a rapid rate of knots convincing many users of the older healing frames to come over to the darkside. I’m not surprised really. I mean Vuhdo was made for a cult following with a name like that.
Below is my take on Vuhdo as a long time Grid user and Vuhdo novice.
Firstly let me say upfront that Vuhdo looks to be a great set of healing frames. When (if) my druid makes it to the level cap and I turn tree I will probably forsake Grid and use Vuhdo. However on my priest I am a long time Grid user and I think this might be part of my problem with Vuhdo.
This is all my personal opinion. To perhaps help put some of my comments below in context i’ll regurgitate some general information about my setup. I have an older 19″ monitor and it runs on a decent resolution but not the 2 million x 1 million resolutions I see others posting their screen shots on, so screen real estate is fairly important. I also tend to err on the side of less information rather than more. I try and only display important information, which affects my healing decision making. Stuff like who has my Grace buff and its duration and number of stacks is omitted as it is fairly useless (IMHO). I love addons, but I try to avoid having them clutter my screen. For this reason I do not have separate raid frames at all and rely on my healing frames only.
Anyway on to the addons…
Vuhdo burst onto the addon scene about 6 months ago (don’t shoot me i’m recollecting) and it has taken the healing frames niche by storm. Iza, the developer behind Vuhdo, has been very active updating the addon and adding new functionality, especially via PlusHeal. Vuhdo is quite slick and its users claim it is easy to set-up.
Grid is (one of) the old warhorse(s) of healing frames. Its been around forever and there has even been a partial attempt at completely rewritting it to make it new and improved. Grid is widely recognised as being powerful, but difficult to setup.
After reading about Vuhdo I’ve had two attempts at getting it set-up to my satisfaction. At this point in time i’d say both have ultimately been failures, but i’ll go over more of the details below.
Everyone ‘knows’ Grid is complicated to setup. I haven’t really found this to be the case. Some of the basic options like borders, grid cell dimensions and the like could be easier to find, but they are there and a just require a bit of clicking around. Once the basic stuff is set up I mainly only use two areas of Grid.
The Auras are all the buffs and debuffs you want to display. If you want to add a new debuff go to Auras and add it. Locate the new aura in the list and then change its properties until your happy with the colour, priority, etc.
The other area is Frames. This is where you decide which of your auras to display and where to display them in each grid cell. Auras can be displayed as coloured dots or if you are using one of the additional addon modules, such as GridIndicatorSideIcons these can be displayed as icons.
Grid does take a bit of time to setup at the start, but there is plenty of information on how to do so on the web. I’ve got a list of most of these resources here. Once you understand the idea of auras and frames its pretty easy to modify your Grid.
Vuhdo, on the other hand, comes out of the box with a more useful set-up, especially if you are fairly new to healing. It starts with multiple panels (3?) of player cells displayed. The main one, one for pets and one for private tanks. The configuration interface is uniquely coloured with multiple tabs and buttons within each tab.
Personally I don’t find the multiple tabs + multiple buttons configuration of Vuhdo any easier than the cascading menu type structure of Grid. Perhaps its just me.
Grid, by itself, is fairly basic and then you use additional modules such as GridManaBars, GridSideIndicators and Clique to add additional functionality to it. Many users consider this a negative as they have to download these separately. I prefer this as it means I only download the functionality I want and don’t have as much useless stuff available unused.
Vuhdo has taken the opposite approach. It has built-in most of the additional functionality included in Grids additional modules.
Vuhdo has built-in the equivalent of Clique, which is used with Grid. I don’t use either as I just wrote my own macros. This is probably more useful to most other users though. Vuhdo can also automatically trigger trinkets, which is a nice idea, but I also have mine built into a macro already.
Vuhdo has built-in the functionality of GridManaBars and GridSideIndicators. This is a plus for me as I use both.
Vuhdo has built in ‘smart’ buffing functionality of sorts. I disabled this in Vuhdo as I didn’t see the point. As a healer I have quite a good idea of people who have died recently and I am often the priest who throws single buffs on them as a stop-gap measure. I am also pretty free with my raid buffs. Having more information on my screen telling me that three people have buffs which will expire in the next 5 minutes doesn’t really add anything for me. But that might just be me.
One of the larger issues I have with Vuhdo is/was with custom buffs/debuffs. These fall in two areas, both of which are high priority information.
Custom debuffs inflicted by various bosses which usually require immediate action are very important for my healing frames. I need to know who has, for example, Incinerated Flesh and this is more important than the duration of Renew or other similar general information. These I have displayed in the centre text 2 slot in Grid. When Incinerated Flesh is cast on a raider the health loss number is replaced with coloured text saying “Incinerate Flesh”. This is very obvious making the information gathering part of dealing with it promptly very easy. It might be my lack of knowledge about Vuhdo, but so far I can’t figure out how to get this displayed as anything other than “just another debuff icon”. I suppose i’d get used to the icons but it still doesn’t scream “fix me now” like the big text in Grid does.
The other area, which is similar to the critical debuffs above, is saves. In Grid I have saves displayed top centre of the grid cell. This allows me to immediately see that a target has Guardian Spirit/Pain suppression/Shield wall/Survival Instincts/etc on them. This is also often critical information. I need this to determine if I need to cast my own save or to ensure that scheduled saves, such as vs Mimirons Plasma Blast, are in place and so the target doesn’t need spam healing to survive. It is also important feedback when tank healing to let me know when the tank is worried about their health enough to pop their own saves during normal healing situations. I do my best not to stress the tank i’m assigned to heal. :-) As for the debuffs above I can add these, but they tend to get lost in the sea of little icons in Vuhdo. Perhaps i’m overstating this and it would not be an issue with experience with Vuhdo. I don’t know.
Further more, until this morning I believed Vuhdo was unable to display more than ten custom debuffs/buffs. As is the way, just when I was about to highlight this as one of the weaknesses of Vuhdo I read Ithato’s comment over on Llyra’s Healing Way blog which says there is now an option to display all the ones you’ve created…
I was actually re-reading that post above, which I had also read yesterday, because I still couldn’t figure out how to add custom buffs/debuffs to Vuhdo. I went all through the Buffs tab and the Debuffs page of the General tab, as well as most of the rest of the interface, looking for this functionality and couldn’t find it. Personally I don’t find Vuhdo any less difficult to setup than Grid. (Yes I know now its on the General tab > Custom button.)
In Vuhdo buffs and debuff icons are displayed with timers and can display stack information straight out of the box. There is a Grid module called GridStatusHots which does the same thing (I think). I think the timers/stacks display in Vuhdo is on of its unique selling points as this add-on does it quite well. As I mentioned at top I am strongly leaning towards Vuhdo for my druid. For my priest this information has only low value. Remaining duration on PW:S, Weakened Soul, Renew and PoM does have some value to me. I think. I’m not yet convinced that a whole lot of ticking down timers is going to improve my ability to heal over the presence/absence type display in Grid.
One of the pitfalls I found with the icon display in Vuhdo is that when things get busy the buffs/debuffs tend to start obscuring the important information (health bar/health loss number) on the underlying cell. It also results in information-overload. Sure I can make the icons smaller but then the duration timers become harder to see. The buff timers area bit of a Catch-22. Easily visible but partially obscuring other information or small and verging on pointless. In my Grid setup a white dot in the top right means the target has PW:S on them. A yellow dot there means a Weakened Soul debuff. A green dot centre right means Renew, a blue dot bottom right means PoM. No flash timers but I can also gather the information very quickly and still see the targets current health and health loss very quickly.
Ok, other stuff. Vuhdo looks better than Grid. There are a number of options for changing the display of Vuhdo, which are not available in Grid and Vuhdo can be made to look fairly slick. A small plus for Vuhdo.
Vuhdo also updates health bars faster than Grid if your not using the Grid_QuickHealth. Personally i’ve never had an issue with the update rate of Grid, even without Grid_QuickHealth, but perhaps i’m not hardcore enough. I.e. not pushing the update rates hard enough.
Update: I ran these side by side in last nights ToC25 raid and there was no difference between the two that I could determine even without QuickHealth installed.
OK I think this wall of text is big enough.
Vuhdo is a good addon and i’d use it on my druid, but I don’t see the advantage of it over Grid for my priest. Perhaps i’ll give Vuhdo a third try based on all the stuff i’ve learnt so far.
PS There you go shamus :-)
PPS 3.2.2 is live. It includes an upgraded Ony raid, otherwise not much to see. If you want more info go read just about any other wow-related website.