Back in the day I was a huge fan of the Discord mods, that's where I picked up my fondness for custom unit frames. But in particular, I was completely attached to Group Buttons which allowed you to set up discreet action bars which automatically attached to each type of unit frame. In my case, I used them on my party frames to set up buttons for healing and cleanse spells.
I've been using Pitbull4 for some time now, and I have my healing/cleanse tasks well in control. But I set out yesterday to look for a Group Buttons-type add-on for which I could assign my paladin Hand spells, which I tend to miss in critical situations. I was disappointed that there really isn't much out there.
I found basically 5 options:
1) I already use Clique for healing, and I realize I can use modifier keys, but I have a hard time remembering that many combinations. I need more of a visual cue, so this isn't going to work for me.
2) Use Bartender4 (or another bar addon) to manually create 4 custom bars that use macro's to target each party member. Do-able if you have enough spare bars (which I don't), but alot of work and a pain to arrange.
3) An add-on called Party Bars. This does what I'm looking for at the most basic level, but only works with Blizzard frames.
4) An add-on called eXtremeUnitButtons. Abandoned in 7-08 with experimental Pitbull 3 support, it was picked up by another dev and updated through 7-09. The interface is somewhat clunky, and it didn't work with Pitbull4. I hacked around with it a little bit and got the PB4 frames to be recongnized, but it was quite buggy.
5) Last, an add-on called HealerButtons 3. This turned out to be the most promising. The name is deceiving, you could actually use it for any unit-targeted spell, supporting player, target, focus, party and raid frames for Blizzard and 3 other replacement unit frames. It had Pitbull3 support which I was able to update to PB4. However I found it doesn't like it when you hide your party frames in raid, even if you have the bars disabled for raid frames. I hacked the raid function to hide the party frame buttons, but it still complains about not finding the party frames all the same. The other downside is it only allows 4 buttons, which are set via command-line. It does have a decent cascade menu for settings though.
This is one of those time I really wish I knew programming -I managed to hack in those few things, but can't really go any farther. I would love to see someone grab the current HealerButtons 3 and add the following:
1. More than 4 buttons
2. Disable Party in Raid option
3. Button Facade support
4. OmniCC cooldown support
5. Range-checking support
6. Configure button spells via menu rather than command line
7. Possibly some additional appearance options. Currently the buttons can be sized, that's it. It would be nice to set the attach-point on the frame, and adjust the spacing between buttons.
This addon appears to have a decent foundation, functions fairly well, and doesn't seem to be resource intensive. A little tender loving care would really make this a nice add-on for any target-specific spell casting.
If you're looking to Hide/Show an action bar based on your current group state, I believe Dominos supports all of your criteria, and was created by the same author as OmniCC. For range checking use RedRange or RangeColors
2) Click Configure Bars
3) Right Click Bar
4) Select "Show States" From Drop down menu
5) To hide the bar until you're in a party/raid type [group]
or use [group:party] if you don't want it shown while in raid or solo
[nogroup] to hide the bar if you join a group
You can also set up unit specifics and such using macro commands.
6) Press Set to apply the macro filter to the current show state
I believe you're looking for something that will attach at some point to the unit frame with a list of spells in that bar, when clicking that spell it casts that spell on that unit.
Personally I use macros for that as well.
/cast [target=mouseover, help] [ ] Flash of Light
Hover over target, press spell button, it will cast on that unit, if the unit is harmful or no unit is moused over, it will perform as set (if auto self-cast is enabled) cast on self.
For the most part, I know most healers use HealBot, which I personally I dislike, and it can be used for more that just healing. EG: Focus Targeting, etc.
So you're looking for an Action Bar addon that will switch it's layout based on if you are in a Raid/Party/Solo?
No, actually that isn't it at all. What I'm looking for is a group (bar) of buttons which always attach to the unit frame(s) you specify. In my case, I want a bar under each Party unit frame containing my Hand spells. With this addon, you tell it what spell you want on each button, and it creates identical "copies" of this bar which automatically attach to each Party unit frame, and clicking the button performs that action/spell on the party member it is attached to.
I guess I'm fairly surprised more people don't remember the old Group Buttons add-on, which is the functionality I'm referring to. The links I listed in the original post are all attempts to reconstruct that addon, but none of them work right any longer. As I said, I've managed to hack HealerButtons 3 to function at a basic level (I can assign my spells, the bars do show up beside the Pitbull4 party frames, and they are clickable). It's just a bit buggy and missing some useful things like range-checking and cooldowns, not to mention only provides 4 buttons.
Seems easy enough. All 43 (44 including the player) times X number of spells buttons would have to be made ahead of time and made a child of the respective unit frame since you can't dynamically create unit frames during combat.