Addon Spotlight: Sage

September 20, 2007 at 6:10 am (World Of Warcraft)

Addon Spotlight: Sage

Unit frames, for the uninitiated, are those lovely bars down the left side of your screen that show the health, mana, energy or rage of your party members and pets. The default Blizzard unit frames are alright. But when I rolled my restoration shaman a while back, I went looking for a replacement that would show pet health more prominently. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t heal pets by default. That’s the job of the hunter or warlock. But if we’re in a boss fight and the tank is dead and the pet has to off-tank, I’d rather that it’s health was a little easier to read on my screen.

As is my usual custom, I ran to my usual add-on site and tried the most popular packages. They were simply too much for me. The configuration was just too much. I’m a simple kind of guy, and just looking at the configuration screens made me dizzy. I wanted something lightweight and functional.

Then I found Sage. Sage doesn’t show the pretty character portraits, but I really don’t miss them that much. Sage displays the player, target, target of target, party, pet, and focus frames. Every one of them are completely scalable in size, individually and as a whole. Focus is a handy little tool that the game supports, but (as far as I know) the default UI still does not display. It allows you to monitor any player or mobs health persistently. So on those escort quests, the healer could focus the escort to monitor it’s health all the time without having to constantly keep it targeted. Focus has a bazillion uses really, and Sage supports it fully.

Another thing I like about Sage is how visible Tuller has made the debuffs. It’s really easy to see “who gets hit with what” and identify the “what” quickly. The debuff icons are large, and the health bar colour codes to the type of debuff, whether it’s poison, disease, curse, etc.

Sage also supports range checking. I wish there was a way for it to check line-of-sight too, but this is still a great function. When you’re healing a party and somebody steps out of your casting range, their information dims to indicate that you can’t affect them through casting, so you can either move, or bitch at them on Vent. (I usually choose the latter.)

Although I would definitely call this a minimalist add-on from a graphic point of view, there are also a number of bar textures to choose from to suit your personal taste.

I couldn’t live without Sage, at least on my shaman. I really hope it doesn’t break when into unit frames in the upcoming patch!

Reader Comments

(Page 1)

1. If classicons worked… it’d be perfect

Posted at 5:05PM on Sep 16th 2007 by Norin

2. Another good one UI customisation mod is ag_UnitFrames; It works well right out of the box and gives you a lot of flexibility when you need it. I personally use this mod and have no major troubles with healing 10 man content (including pets ^.^).

But if you want a serious mod for raid healing you may want to try XPerl. It’s a nightmare to configure initially but it has the best customisations for healing I’ve seen so far.

Posted at 7:36PM on Sep 16th 2007 by Memzer

3. Wow, uh, I usually post positive things on here, but first off: if a tank dies and you’re relying on a pet to save your ass… I think unit frames should be the least of your worries.

Second, Sage looks hideous. PitBull also shows range (fades if too far) and debuffs (outline if you can dispell it). Not to mention aggro gain (health turns red) and by far the most extremely helpful for any healer:

The bars show how much you are going to heal… on the bar, right there in green. So you know if that flash heal will cut it or not. It will even tell you how much you’re going to overheal (if at all).

Sage, blech.

Posted at 1:57AM on Sep 17th 2007 by MacAllah

4. #2: Pets can tank those last percents of a boss if your tank dies at the last minute, especially in 5-mans.

Posted at 3:21AM on Sep 17th 2007 by Frederik

5. #3 I think you are missing the point entirely. I use pitbull and love it but can understand the authors point that the number of settings can be overwhelming. Just because pitbull is exactly what you want doesnt mean its what everyone else wants…

Also, if a pet can keep aggro off other party members for a few seconds or more then its better than nothing. What is the alternative? “Oh well…we’re dead…lets stop casting…”

Posted at 4:49AM on Sep 17th 2007 by Karail

6. there are so many easy to configure mods what sage does so much better and dont look like crap

Posted at 6:43AM on Sep 17th 2007 by wdc

7. 1. Pitbull was reviewed here two months ago. I was presenting an alternative.
2. I prefer function over fashion. The config screen of every other unit frame package I tried looked like the cockpit of a jumbo jet. I want to play the game, not spend an entire day configuring an add-on. 🙂

Posted at 9:34AM on Sep 17th 2007 by Eric Vice

8. #3:
I haven’t seen another UF present pet status in such a compact way (cf. the first party member in the screenshot) and I think it’s nice information to have if it doesn’t take up a lot of room.

Because of its simplicity, Sage’s appearance has a lot to do with the bar texture you select. The screenshot here uses the Steel texture, which I’ve never found attractive — using the Cilo or Minimalist textures Sage looks very nice.

Estimated heals is a cool feature of Pitbull, but to really get a good estimation you have to crunch a bunch of numbers relating to gear and talents (I believe Pitbull uses DrDamage for this if present). I use Sage to heal 5-mans and my party frame text style is set to “Smart” so that I just get health deficits — it makes my decisions pretty easy.

Posted at 10:38AM on Sep 17th 2007 by dylanm

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