History of ToxiUI

14 October, 2023

Buckle up as we shall go on a trip through memory lane. Our story begins Autumn of 2019 -- I am a complete noob, just leveling in BfA. Previously I'd always just use either default UI or default ElvUI with some customization to move stuff around, but in a nutshell it always looked ugly. At the time, like probably most of us, I was proud of my UI. Even though it was dogshit.. But then! I've discovered RedtuzkUI. If you've never heard of it, too bad, since at that time it was like one of the few UIs that kept everything clean and simple.

Toxi using RedtuzkUI

RedtuzkUI Warlock

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RedtuzkUI Rogue

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RedtuzkUI was fine and dandy and it accomplished my needs for basic leveling, but at one point I realized I need some more, so I started messing around with WeakAuras. This was my first time touching any of the WeakAuras options and do note that I did not have any coding knowledge whatsoever. At first I started just displaying buff & debuff timers, proc effects, the basics. I still had my action bars showing, disgusting I know! Thank god later down the line I discovered Luxthos WeakAuras package.

Toying around with WeakAuras

Setting up WeakAuras

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Imitating WeakAuras with Action Bars

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Now I don't remember the exact details, but if I had to guess, I'd say I was unable to successfully set up WeakAuras. No worries, we all have to start learning somehow. If you're reading this and feel like you're in the same boat, my best advice to you is just start doing it. Shia LaBeouf style.

Anywho, I felt like I needed a change. I started looking around the most popular ElvUI edits, tried out Merathilis, Luckyone, a few several others but finally landed on Benik's UI. I guess at the time I liked the big health numbers and also the action bar backdrop. Nonetheless, that was my main UI for the rest of the BfA until I quit and started "hibernating" and waiting for Shadowlands pre-patch, which at the time it's announcement drop was hype as fuck. Oh boy was I wrong.

Edit based on BenikUI

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Click the image to see full size

While I was waiting for pre-patch of Shadowlands, my life felt empty (just exaggerating, I'm fine) and so I remember that evening very clearly - at the time I was still bartending, it was a slow night so I was just browsing reddit when I stumbled on some Reddit post showing HeyBabaruiva UI and I was like oh fuck, that looks cool as heck. Unfortunately, the UI had been discontinued since Legion.

And then it hit me, let's try to recreate it. That was the beginning of ToxiUI. Of course, me being the noob I was, the result was... close? Or close enough, rather. But that was my UI. Something I made. Sure, it was heavily inspired by other UIs but I was proud since I made it myself from scratch.

So I started sharing it in discords, reddit and noticed people actually being interested in my edit. They started asking for import strings, instructions on installation and so on. At first I provided support via Reddit comments or messages, but pretty soon I was overwhelmed and so I created the ToxiUI discord. That day was October 24, 2020 - one year since I started playing BfA with RedtuzkUI.

Fun fact, the old, original ToxiUI is still on GitHub and can be accessed, but I'm not even sure if those import strings will work anymore, lol.

Here's some pictures to showcase the journey from zero to hero!

First editions of ToxiUI

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Updating fonts & Dark Mode

Big Noodle font is here!

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ToxiUI v1.0 - Dark mode

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Dark mode did not stick

Using the Bezo textures

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For a short period we even had portraits

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Going for a cleaner look

New ToxiUI textures

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Introducing Masque: Squat

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First appearance of gradients

Still using a texture

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Priests had an awkward pink phase

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Unfortunately I don't have any more screenshots of the past, I could try to find some more, but that'd be another couple of hours just scraping various Discord channels through their search functions going through a tooon of old images I've ever posted.

In the last section of screenshots you can already see that it was similar to what we have now. Of course, there's some fluff sprinkled in here and there but the general idea was already formed years ago.

Now, I can't do a History of ToxiUI wall of text without mentioning Nawuko - the man/robot who changed everything. Shortly before he joined, I had released an AddOn that would handle the installation process and that meant we could get rid of the import strings. I don't know the exact date, but I think he joined one day after my birthday, January 7th, 2021. That was the pivotal moment of ToxiUI, because everything skyrocketed after that and even maybe got slightly out of my hands? Code was quickly being refactored, I was lost in my own codebase and do keep in mind that at that time I still had no coding knowledge. Nonetheless, we started rolling quick, we tossed out XIV Databar and replaced it with our in-house solution: WunderBar. Not long after, we got Armory mode, Gradient mode, proper Dark mode toggling and basically everything you see in ToxiUI settings - Nawuko set the foundation.

Fast forward some time, Nawuko decided to step down from his role and focus on his life. It was a sad day, but Nawuko is a great friend so I supported his decision. That also meant ToxiUI is in shambles! Dragonflight is right around the corner and I don't know what the fuck is going on in our codebase. I also had just started my frontend development internship, so I was hella busy with my own stuff.

Thankfully, since after Nawuko's leave ToxiUI went open-source, we had a couple volunteers, mainly Wolen, who picked up the mantle and carried ToxiUI to Dragonflight. We launched! Sure, you can't expect people to be working full-time on ToxiUI when you don't offer any salary, this is a hobby after all.

That's when I realized I need to start doing something, or ToxiUI is just going to die in maintenance mode. This is my baby, I don't want to let it die >:( I had been working as a software engineer for some time now, so I had some generic developing knowledge, therefore I started sniffing around the codebase. Fix one minor bug, introduce another minor feature and one thing lead to another, I'm now much more comfortable in my own codebase. Sounds funny, that it took me almost 3 years to start actually writing code in my own codebase but it is what it is.

Honestly, this is fucking emotional lmao. I'm sure I missed some important bits of history, like the release of Healer layout and stuff, but this is already a long post. I am extremely happy with how this project turned out. It started as me being bored and just wanting to create something that looks cool to now an AddOn with over 2000 Discord users, almost 200,000 downloads across different platforms and counting.

I want to thank everyone who's been here, supporting me. Those few who have been here since the early days - you da real MVP. So yeah. That's the brief history. Hopefully it continues. Let's continue it together ;)

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