Get ready for a fresh-looking Heads-Up Display (HUD), and User Interface (UI) revamp designed to be adjustable, effective, attractive, and easily accessible.
With the Dragonflight update, we’re making sweeping changes to World of Warcraft’s HUD and UI from the ground up. Our aim is to provide a clutter-free layout and allow players to customize their HUD to better fit their individual needs.
A Whole New Look
Technology has advanced since we first developed the UI in 2004. We now have more tools at our fingertips to create and improve quality-of-life features. We wanted to modernize the appearance of the player’s layout and view while maintaining the original design’s charm and personality. And there is no better time to deliver these changes than with the release of Dragonflight.
Right away, players will immediately notice the more apparent changes. For instance, the minimap and health bar are more prominent, and we’ve removed some clutter to provide greater viewable space. Also, while keeping to the iconic design, we’ve cleaned up the appearance of the Action Bar. We also added a fresh set of Gryphons and created Wyverns for our Horde-loving heroes. There’s also a new look for the loot and inventory display, and players can use Combined Backpack functionality to help them find and organize their inventory items more quickly.
Make It Your Own
Welcome to Edit mode. With Edit mode, you will now have the ability to tweak, personalize, and move (almost) anything anywhere to your heart’s desire. Not only are various elements of the HUD movable, but each individual component has a variety of options to help you get everything just right.
Once you set everything set how you like it, you’ll be able to name, save, edit, copy, and share it with the community. And, for those that change specs often, the feature is designed to remember which specialization you’re in. As you switch between specs, the feature will remember the HUD layout you have for that spec and change accordingly.
Will this new feature replace the ability to use third-party add-ons entirely? Not at all. We recognize that add-ons provide many opportunities for players to customize their experience, but not all players utilize them. However, with the help of our user research team, we are working to meet our community’s needs. We include elements that some add-ons provide to the base UI. Those who wish to can continue using the add-ons they like.
Improved Accessibility to Make Things Easier
Improving accessibility features for our players is at the forefront of much of the design of the new UI and providing ways for players to have a better experience is vital. Here are some of the changes that we’ve been working on to help improve accessibility for players:
New Option: Press and Hold Casting – When enabled, the player can press and hold a keyboard hotkey to continually cast a spell on an Action Bar without repeatedly pressing the button.
New Feature: Interact Key – Pressing the Interact Key will enable you to interact with NPCs and objects with a key press instead of a mouse click. Interactive NPCs and objects will gain an icon above their heads as you move close enough to interact.
New Targeting System: Action Combat – This feature works alongside the standard targeting features and automatically targets enemies as you approach them. This will allow you to start casting abilities immediately and dynamically switch between targets based on where you’re looking.
Refining the UI is an ongoing project; we want to continue to make changes and improvements. In addition to polishing the current set of available features, we intend to tackle many other UI elements and include more features further down the line, like:
Additional Edit Mode options
And more updates to the art
We’ll have more information and details on these and other features as we move toward the launch of Dragonflight. We look forward to getting your feedback as you experience all these changes and more.
World of Warcraft®: Dragonflight™ will be available on or before December 31, 2022. Visit the Dragonflight site to pre-order. Check WorldofWarcraft.com/news for updates, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
See you in the Dragon Isles!