PLEASE DO NOT leave comments attacking me because you think I am insulting your choice of addons.
This is a project to help the healing community get more of a balanced idea of the old Grid vs Healbot debate, the main points of which are usually "Healbot can't do what Grid does" and "Grid is stupidly complicated and takes hours and hours to set up." I'm here to actually give you an honest and frank assessment of what I think of the other mods, and where possible, compare the features (as much as I can as someone who hasn't used them for a long time).
Certainly if you think I have made a mistake, that I've missed a feature or said Healbot can't do something that it actually can, feel free to let me know, but please don't frame it as though I am launching an attack on Healbot. I am actually doing this to dispel the old idea that 'Healbot is bad and Grid is good and if you like Healbot you're bad'.
I DON'T HATE HEALBOT. I'm doing this to help, so please don't get your knickers in a knot over it.
Well, so far I'm impressed with Healbot out of the box.
I wanted to approach it without reading any instructions, how-tos, or anything. A complete Healbot newbie. I wanted to see how easy it was for me to set it up considering that I have never touched the mod before - so I could see through the eyes of someone who is new to UIs and may be looking for advice on which mod to use.
I won't go into big detail because I'm still in the middle of trying to set it up to be a second raid frame to use this week, but I have to say I really like how simple it is. Some things I like so far:
- very simple menus; everything is in front of you on tabs, rather than in dropdown/hierarchy lists, which can be a pain to remember and navigate
- detailed tooltips at your cursor tell you exactly which heals are assigned to your buttons
- the entire frame can be displayed as one column (as many old school raiders prefer), or in as many columns as you prefer. Grid is not as flexible in this way (I believe you need an extra addon, if this is even possible). I prefer a grid, but I know lots of people prefer to have one vertical column of health bars on the side of their screen, so it's good to have that option.
- it's also extremely easy to swap between traditional "green health bar" style frames and by-class colouring (I prefer the latter). By using a few slider boxes and checking a couple of buttons, I made my Healbot's basic bar layout look just like Grid (ignore the HoTs!):
Healbot and Grid side by side - Healbot changed to look like my Grid settings
I would estimate that making Grid look like that, if you hadn't played with the mod before, would probably take close to an hour to find the right options and then get everything done by trial and error. Most of the time would be taken trying to find which of the menus to go to for each option (again, though, this is mostly related to the huge number of options Grid gives you). The ability to immediately find and change the look of Healbot really impressed me.
At first glance it seems that my assumptions (and what I've heard) were correct - the level of customisation isn't as great as with Grid. I can tell that immediately; all of the basics are there (and that's all that a beginner would need), but I can tell that I wouldn't get anywhere near the customisation options. The tradeoff, though, is that you can virtually use this mod immediately (after you assign your heals and cleanses). This would make it extremely easy for a complete UI beginner to use.
I'm also not sold on Healbot's HoT display; to a beginner it is probably great, but to me it is inflexible (I can't choose to separate them to different corners) and cluttered. But I will go into that in more detail when I actually do the write-up.
So far though, I'm pretty impressed. Looking forward to tweaking it more and actually testing it out.