Play Like a Pro! – Survival Hunter Weak Aura / Information!

transmogrification-hunter-pve-tier-14-challenge-mode

Hello and welcome to our newest series inspired by our third Podcast (http://wow.stratics.com/interviews/wow-stratics-podcast-3-spotlight-disadvantaged-gamers/) where Metro discusses how simple UI elements can make a world of difference and helps players looking to take their character to the next level do just that. As mentioned in the Podcast, if you aren’t playing with proper Keybinds, Macros, or Addons, you might as well be missing a hand compared to players who are! These guides will be focused on players who already understand the class/spec and are looking to elevate their game to the next level. The experience I have with each spec is almost purely through Challenge Mode dungeons, and can say these design elements can make or break your play and will tell you if / when you are ready for that next step. Let’s get started!

Today we will examine Survival Hunter Weak Aura set up and show how a few simple indicators can take your play from moderate to exceptional. This one will be especially important, as from my experience, I literally have never played a DPS spec at any high level. Yet with this combination of Auras, I am able to hang with anyone!

The Weak Aura set-up we will be examining today is once again wholly different from the Tanking and Healing ones I have posted, mostly because the spec and playstyle is quite different. As a DPS, you have one real focus, but its more about maximization than anything. In order to do this properly, you want as many tools as possible helping you with your rotation, CDs, and procs. Doing this helps you focus on the more important things, especially in small group content such as Interrupts, Dispels, and AOE stuns. A lot of people play a DPS spec to be the ultra dps machine, but I promise you that if you focus more on your own survival and those around you, you will be helping your group more than if you stand still, eat all the mechanics, and do one point hundred kay dps. Let’s move on to how you can do that easily with this weak aura set up!

Hunter Weak Aura

Clink to Enlarge!

At face value, there is a lot going on in this screenshot, but by the end of this, you should understand exactly what you need, why you need it, and how it can benefit some like me who does NOT have the DPS mindset already ingrained in their skull.

Rotation Helper -

Compared to the Frost Mage cluster, this is as basic as it gets, however just as effective when dealing with the Survival Hunter rotation. There is little complicated about ability usage, therefore there is little complicated about the string.

Hunter Weak Aura

You’ll see two icons in the screenshot, hopefully both of which are familiar! On top we have the Hunter’s Mark warning indicator, which will simply appear if your target does not have Hunter’s Mark. Its set up so that any hunter’s application will count, so you should get used to pretty much never seeing this while doing anything serious.

The icon on the bottom is of course for Serpent Sting, but is a dynamic icon that will rotate through the ability selection preferable. The list of abilities and priority are as follows:

1- Serpent Sting (If not applied)
2- Kill Shot (If Available)
3- Black Arrow (If not applied)
4- Lock and Load (if Procced, explosive shot 2x)
5- Explosive Shot (If available +focus)
6- Glaive Toss (If Talented, and higher priority on CD)
7- Thrill of the Hunt Proc (If talented, and everything  else on CD. Note for AOE!)

Of course, those who have played the class for a long time will find flaws or say this isn’t necessary, but as mentioned before, the more tools you have to guide you the better you can play!
The Weak Aura String for this set is part of the CD set as well, so keep reading!

Major CD Set -

Nearly as important as any rotation tracker, you’ll find the major CD tracker to be your best friend in 5 man content especially. Lynx Rush can be extremely important for AOE, so knowing its precise CD can mean big things. Of course, even in raids its very important to be aware of exact timers, but you’ll notice when pulling bosses 200+ times, the CD timers become more muscle memory than anything. Regardless, this will help guide you along your path.

CD group

In case you need this level of explanation, The top left icon is Rapid Fire, the top right is Stampede (aka zoo), and the bottom left is Lynx Rush. I currently do not run Dire Beast, and only do CM on this toon, so likely never will. If you need to add it, you can copy and paste the coupled icons for each CD and simply change its ability target to be Lynx Rush instead of whatever it is. Then just place them where you want, and enjoy!

It should be noted that the space on the bottom right is typically occupied by a Aspect tracker, which will be separate from these pieces, and will be explained shortly.

To implement the Weak Auras described as the Major CD Set, as well as the Rotation Helper, copy from the pastebin!
http://pastebin.com/RfEHweHH

Focus Bar -

Focus bar

Even more basic, but even more important for some one learning hunter. This bar will track exactly how much focus you have and display it in both a progressive bar, and as a finite number at the end. As before, the more you play the less you will need something like this, but its helps tremendously when attempting to pool Focus for upcoming aoe or even Black Arrow Global.

Find the Weak Aura String for this here!
http://pastebin.com/Vb8BvUY1

Aspect Tracker -

Aspect Tracker

As mentioned previous, please take care to note that the bottom left symbol is the only one relevant to this section. I show them all to denote the slight size increase in the Aspect tracker, to help it always be your eye’s focal point. This is important, because if you are ever accidentally in the wrong aspect, it could be disastrous for your group. Especially in Challenge Modes, you should constantly be switching between speed aspects and DPS, to assure both you and your group are being maximized. Using Aspect of the Pack at every safe availability can save a LOT of seconds, especially in the larger dungeons.

In terms of display, it will simply show the icon for the aspect you are in. As depicted, shows Iron Hawk as well!

Not shown is the indicator for when you have no aspect up. This is obviously just an oversight, but if something causes it, an icon will appear towards the middle to help you immediately resolve the issue.

Find the String here!
http://pastebin.com/Cp8YAyXd

Pet Isn’t Attacking!? -

Most annoying thing ever about the Hunter class. Its a real issue as well, especially on some raid encounters and Challenge Modes. This icon will help discern where your pet is, and will help you know when Lynx Rush is actually possible.

Pet attacking

You’ll see that when your pet isn’t doing damage to something that matters, the cute little bear icon will be jumping up and down. This will help you notice it, and also remind you never to hit your pet. They aren’t children for ever, and its important to cherish the time you spend together.
Please not that this is only for combat purposes. If for some reason you do not have a pet altogether, there is another weak aura for that.

Find the Weak Aura String Here!
http://pastebin.com/behnknT2

No Pet Currently Out! -

Whenever you pet is actually alive, but you do not have it out, this icon will appear.

No pet whistle

If your pet is dead, this will not appear though. This is only for alerting you that you have a living pet that isn’t active.

No tint, Fishbowl. It ain’t hard to spot ‘em.
http://pastebin.com/msWAsdJi

Potion CD -

Just like with Frost Mage, potion maximization is extremely important for Hunters in Challenge Modes. I wouldn’t imagine you will need an aura like this for actual raiding, but it is more valuable than all the rest when you are a spec that doesn’t require an invisibility potion to make most skips. There will be some that are risky with Camo, and for those, you can either intentionally pull, disengage, and then Feign once the group has passed, or you can simply go Engineering.
Regardless, the options are very important to your success, and should be used to their fullest.

Potion cd

The potion Tracker consists of two separate trackers. I use both for CM, but only 1 for actual raiding, as having a potion icon on your screen when you are intentionally saving it for 5+ minutes is really distracting. Get both, and activate each separately, if need-be.

Potion is Ready!
PotionCD Tracker!

 

Well that’s everything, so if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the forum attached to this topic, or contact me in game.
As always, I am not fluent in the program, and usually find people who ARE fluent and modify their work. Most of this was assembled from two separate concepts. A few was taken from the Huntman’s Lodge blog and some other pieces were taken from this thread on the official WoW forums.

Either way, it’s important to remember that you are the best person to help yourself improve, but with tools and help from those already experienced you can transform yourself into a top-tier player near instantly.

Discuss this Topic at:
http://stratics.com/community/threads/survival-weak-aura-set-up.316376/
See the set-up in action:
Soon to come!
Check out my Hunters’s Armory:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/firetree/Metrohahaha/advanced
Download Weak Auras Two:
http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/weakauras-2

Why Challenge Modes are the Best Content Ever!

CM checklist

There still seems to be some non-believers so I’d like to help put this in perspective for players that have yet to try them and put things in context. I’ll do what I can to cover all the available arguments and discuss everything surrounding them. We will start with bulleted reasons why Challenge Modes transcend a single type of content and enrich the entire game over all.

melting-desk-clock-1

Melting Clock shows Time Trial Appropriately.

- Gear normalized.

There is a reason this is the top of this list. When you play with normalized gear, you are forced to play the game at an equatable level to everyone else doing so. This means you can not hide behind gear or set bonuses. You can never out-gear these. You have to understand your class, and how to play it, otherwise it will be very noticeable.
Because of this, this not only challenges you, but will help you grow immensely better. A friend of ours who we did Challenge Modes with started off completely clueless doing like 30k single target. After a few sessions, we worked with him, helped him learn how to play his class and spec better, and taught him not only about position and rotation, but also about utility. By the end of the 9/9 he was easily our best dps in the group that had all consisted of first-timers, and took that knowledge outside the runs as well. Now he is always one of the top DPS in and Flex raid we bring him to, despite only being 520~ ilvl.

- 5 Man content.

To clarify, 25 man heroic progression is still my one true love, but five man content offers a much more interesting dynamic that makes things a lot more engaging. When you are doing 5 man content, you expect the trash to be as difficult as the bosses, and need to thing about how to play, when to use CDs, and when to use what utility. In raids, nine out of ten boss encounters don’t require DPS to actually use their utility spells like Binding Shot, or Leg Sweep. However, in 5 man content, being able to fully function as a spec rather than just as a turret DPS, is so much more useful.
To go even further, having to actually worry about buffs and debuffs is also very interesting for me. For example, a hunter knowing what pet they need can make or break the time, as well as a warrior using Shattering Throw at the right time. In raids, its easy, because its a 10 minute encounter where you blood lust and use all your CDs at the start to minimize DPS drop-off. In CM, however, you need to calculate your usage, because if things aren’t used at the right time, they are entirely wasted.

- Time Trial.

I’ll cover this again in the “con” section, but for now you should understand this is what makes them fun. I once believed that the slow and steady CC-then-pull BC method was far superior, but once I tried these I realize where I was mistake. You see, they aren’t any different! Going back to BC, no one wanted to wait anyway, and once you had done the five mans a few times, even the tank didn’t want to wait. Having that prepared feel was fun, but it was mostly because of how Healer mana worked, and how AOE threat was handled that slowed things down – things that aren’t actually fun mechanics.
Now, in CM you are forced to move at a brisk pace if you want to get the best time, but either way if you are still learning, you can take your time and practice. You already want to move at this elevated pace anyway, so instead of messing around with hard CCs, its now on the group to use AOE stuns, something that wasn’t even in the game back 7 years ago. This is MUCH more engaging than the previous method, because if done wrong you will know immediately, but doing right requires communication and understanding of class abilities around the table. Not just “Sheep moon.”

- Leaderboard.

This goes hand-in-hand with Time Trial, but has its own separate section for a reason. I’m not one to choose to play this as a main content, but if you did, there is tremendous room for expansion. It should be obvious if you have ever seen people complete it in under 10 minutes, let alone those that can do it in under 5. Some people even challenge themselves and do it with 3-4 people, and still beat times easily. That’s what this is all about. Its an extra level of challenge that wasn’t present in previous five man iterations, and really encourages group play above pugging so as to constantly improve. Especially since the improvement is measured in seconds across the world!
TBC five mans were well done, but once you completed them and got what you wanted, there were very few people considering ways they could do them extremely fast or even challenging themselves to do them with less players so as to carry someone.

- Alt Friendly.

Because they only require 463 gear, this is one of my favorite cases for the “best content ever” award. I have done them now on ten separate toons, and must say its always an enjoyable experience. I only actually use the gear set on 3-4 of the toons I have, so don’t think I’m just about vanity. The main thrill is learning what your class and spec can bring to the run and maximizing every second. For example, after tanking on Paladin, Monk, and DK, going to Warrior was quite exciting, as I was able to coordinate Skull Banner and Shattering throw with our heavy-hitter’s burst to make them do even more insane numbers! Another great example is when I did DPS, I played a Mage first. I realized how OP having to not worry about Invis pots for skips was, and decided to get engineering on any other toon to assure potion usage. A final example is realizing how important aspect of the pack was when doing my hunter. Knowing when to use abilities like this changes everything, and really helps you learn a lot more about your class and the game in general.

- Skips and Invis pots.

I know a lot of people don’t like the invis potion concept, but I find it a nice “mandatory” component to separate those who are serious about it from those who are not. They certainly can be done without the potion, but if you are taking it serious, then you are sold out to the concept of “every second matters” and will do whatever it takes to make that a reality.
Besides invis pots, there are other really clever skips you can employ in places like Mogu’shan Palace or Shadow Pan Monastery. I’ve never been much of a speed runner, but for those who are, I’d imagine all these skips are thanks to them. It must have been truly rewarding the first time people discovered things like this, or the barov bookcase skip.

THE CONS?

So we have talked a lot about whats great, but I of course recognize that there are some pretty serious drawbacks that hinder people’s fun-factor. Let’s discuss them as well.

- “Must have 25 sockets noob”

This alone is my biggest issue with CM. They normalize gear, but people still find ways to claim you “are in shit gear for this.” I promise you, gear does not matter. It is ALL about the strat. People do this with 3 players, so if you have 5 and they are all maximizing their DPS, and have enchants and gems were applied, you can get gold. Of course, if you are trying to get world first times, then maybe we have more to talk about. But for your average, run-of-the-mill player, this is a non-factor. Its really annoying to see constantly, and hurts an already thin CM community.
Luckily, in WoD they are removing gems from almost every piece of gear. This, on top of a sweep to make all secondary stats situationally the best for each spec should mean CMs are even more normalized, which is great news.

- No Real Rewards.

A massive issue for me, and likely others. I personally love doing them, and am happy to get the hundred some gold you receive and maybe some valor, but very few others will feel this way. There is absolutely zero incentive to ever do these more than once on a given toon, and I hope this changes. This is the single most reason there is such a thin community for it, and the only reason in my mind that I might still say BC five mans are in the discussion. If people don’t actually need things from something in this game, then very few people will try them. The less people that try them, the worse they are portrayed in the scope of the expansion, despite being astounding content. We have seen impressive images of weaponry with 6.0 CMs, so I’m hoping that those are random rewards, and not the replacement for the gear sets from 8/8 6.0.

- “I hate Time Trials.”

I feel you, but hear me out. I have a slight nervous condition that really makes me pressured in time based events as well. I first noticed it when playing Final Fantasy 8, in some flashback where you have to evacuate the town and win battles within a certain time frame. I believe it was also featured as the demo for the game. Regardless, I typically can not function under these conditions, but want to refer you to the first time this was discussed. They simply do NOT play like a time trial at all. Everything in the video game is always rushed anyway, so its just feels like a dungeon done at an elevated pace. Its virtually no stress on the individual to rush, so I never feel like I am in one. Even if you miss gold, you simply restart and do it again. Once you get past that notion, you will find you love them as much as I do.

- “Two ez rofl.”

Nazgrim, STILL Upset we Killed his Tank, but also upset CM is two ezrofl

Nazgrim, STILL Upset we Killed his Tank, but also upset CM is two ezrofl

A new complaint has begun to surface that I find hilarious and ironic, so I will discuss it here. Through out the expansion, more and more gem sockets have become available on gear, meaning you can choose the stats you need much easier. Also, over this long period of time, a lot of specs have received quite substantial buffs. A lot of the specs like Frost DK, Survival Hunter, and Elemental Shaman, which were always strong in 5 mans, but weak in raids, have become even stronger with percentage buffs. This causes those with half a brain to make statements like “they aren’t difficult.” I agree, the timer is really a non-factor when you have a god-mode group with 5 players who have done these 100+ times.
But going back to the first example of our friend learning as he went, this is almost never the case for people on their first time through. I promise you, it is still a very sizable challenge for anyone taking these as they are, and not spending months putting a “BIS” gear list together for something they will do one time.

Even more hilarious is the fact that there is a leaderboard, yet people continue to say this. If they are so easy, then why not compete for sub tens, or even top 15 worlds? Didn’t think so.

- Melee suck by default.

The last true argument I can justify against them, and likely the greatest issue I have with them period. All the rest is non-sense compared to how bad Melee dps are in a world where mobs are constantly moving, and constantly dealing damage around them. Not only do more melee specs bring very little utility, but they usually scale poorly, and require a lot of standing still to compete. This simply will NEVER be the case in time trials like this.
Their answer to this, likely indirectly, is simply nerf cast-while-moving abilities for all ranged. This will help bring melee back into competition, but the more truer danger is the mechanics that are meant to be dealt with by the tank alone, also hitting melee. Couple this with a second melee, and you now have a group of three players that can die at a moments notice on some occasions.
I really hope to see some of these specs ironed out for a normalized item level, and pray they draw back the punishment of being in melee range. Its really a huge deterrent, and has become folk lore at this point. Most groups I pug with flat out refuse to run with two melee. They would rather not do them, which is ironic enough but, there are others out there who refuse to bring ANY. And I can’t say I blame them. Hunters, Warlocks, Mages, Shamans… these classes just reign surpreme compared to a poor ol rogue or ret paladin.

 

That’s everything though. If you have opinions you’d like to express, feel free to do so over at the attached stratics forum thread. Also, if you have a concern that stops you from doing CM please bring it up. I’d love to offer my experience and how to combat it.

Continue the discussion here:

Play Like a Pro! – Prot Warrior Weak Aura / Information!

Z57ril

Hello and welcome to our newest series inspired by our third Podcast (http://wow.stratics.com/interviews/wow-stratics-podcast-3-spotlight-disadvantaged-gamers/) where Metro discusses how simple UI elements can make a world of difference and helps players looking to take their character to the next level do just that. As mentioned in the Podcast, if you aren’t playing with proper Keybinds, Macros, or Addons, you might as well be missing a hand compared to players who are! These guides will be focused on players who already understand the class/spec and are looking to elevate their game to the next level. The experience I have with each spec is almost purely through Challenge Mode dungeons, and can say these design elements can make or break your play and will tell you if / when you are ready for that next step. Let’s get started!

Today we venture into the iniquities of the Protection Warrior Spec and discuss how a few simply, but incredibly useful Weak Auras can do WONDERS to improve your awareness and play overall!

Now let’s start at the bottom and work our way up. The first thing some one like you needs to understand about this spec is that is it NOT the prot warrior from Classic and TBC. By no far stretch are the two even similar, other than names of abilities. Everything back then was about keeping threat and dumping rage to do so. Now, its the exact opposite. All your threat should be managed to keep your self alive, and your CDs will do the rest of the work. The life of a Protection warrior is still very versatile, having options to do INSANE amounts of damage, but sacrifice survivability resource-spending. Both options have their merits, and regardless of which line you walk, this set up will help you do so.

With this in mind, let’s examine the screenshot below.

Click to Enlarge!

You’ll see a lot of action immediately here, but unless you are completely new to the class, it should be pretty obvious what most things are pointing towards. I’d equate this one similar to the Frost Mage guide I published earlier in that its goal is to help you track your many abilities, allowing you to keep your eyes on the more important aspects. Let’s break things down on a macro scale to help you understand each part.

Before we do so, understand that with this set up, it is all part of one big group. Take a moment to read through the description, and return here to import the string once you are comfortable. Once you do, the entire set up will appear as it does in the image above!
Import from Pastebin: http://pastebin.com/eDHxvbSw

Individual Component Explanation -

Main Bar:

Main Bar

If you only pay attention to these icons, you will still be doing a great job. Understanding why is hopefully obvious once you play the class, but if not, let’s walk through it.

On the further left, we see the Skull Banner Icon. Unfortunately, this ability will be removed in 6.0, but until then, its extremely important. The set up details not only the CD and usage of the icon, but WHO in the group or raid dropped it. This is extremely important, as if you have more than 1 warrior in the group, you should regard this as mandatory. Otherwise, expect to be overlapping, and that simply will lead to intense sub-optimization.  If you’d like JUST this string for your own set up, feel free to do so.

Skull Banner Single Aura + Raid Member Text: http://pastebin.com/TishvDjV

Next to the skull banner icon, we see the CD and timer for Commanding Shout. This should be used on CD as a rage generator, or saved a few seconds to line up a full rage bar when expecting big damage. If you only ever use it when its on CD, you will still be doing just fine in nearly all content.

In the middle, we see two large icons. These are your Go-to rage generators and have CDs that procs refresh. Because of this, the icons are extremely important, and will flash to alert you of their refreshing. These abilities also need to be used on CD. Avoid saving them, as its very possible you may be wasting another potential proc if you sit on them.

On the right side, the first icon we see is currently Bladestorm’s CD, but has the potential to change dynamically based on which talent you choose. This is incredibly important, as in 5 man content, you NEED to be using Shockwave on CD, or around other diminishing returns. You can also benefit from seeing Bladestorm’s CD so you know when to spin to win!

The final one on the right is the CD and usage of Demo shout. This is essentially your best reduction CD as it reduces all damage taken by mobs within 10 yards by 20 percent. Realize this has to apply to the mobs for it to work, and if you just use it with nothing around, the CD will incur and tick on the aura, but no benefit would have been achieved.

Bottom Bar:

CD Bar

This bar is simply for your benefit, and will provide a few key timers to help you improve your awareness.

From the left, we see the Enrage icon. Remember, its important to understand that enrage procs from crits of Devastate and Shield Slam, which gives you even more rage and makes you do more damage. A great warrior will use this to his benefit, as riposte gives crit, crit gives enrage, and enrage gives rage + damage. Maximizing this can lead to you doing millions of damage, all while easily staying alive with rolling block and shields.

Next is the Second Wind icon, simply to indicate when it is healing you. This means you are low health, so it doubles as a health indicator.

Third from the left is the CD and usage for Rallying Cry, followed by its partner Last Stand. Just another cd tracker, so pay attention to it!

Second on the right is the Recklessness usage and CD, once again as basic as it gets. Just for your benefit of knowing! The more you play this character though, the better you’ll get at understanding exactly when you doing damage is good for the group.

Final one on that line is for Shield Block, a useful icon that helps you know when the usage is expired or available again.

Rage + Bar:

Rage +

This one is a bit less obvious, so let’s delve into what we are seeing here.

First of all, this is four auras put into one small area for your benefit. There are three colored bars total, but you only see 3, for a specific reason.
The easiest to identify immediately is the White bar at the top. This shows the duration of your Block coming from Shield Block usage, and will help you manage your down time around it. Pretty easy to lose track of, and if you never do this, don’t feel you are letting anyone down. Just a level of optimization that can go a long way if noticed.

On the bottom, we then see the Green bar. This is your vengeance, and will help you track how much you have. This is also a level of optimization most players won’t conceive, and without much loss. It can help if you use it to your advantage though, thus it is there.

Now in the middle there are two bars. In the image, you see the Blue bar, which is the amount of your Shield Barrier ability. When not active, the bar is Red, and indicates your rage. The goal is, to never see it red! The reasoning behind this, is typically, you want to use rage on Barrier constantly, so in a time of burst damage and incoming damage, you simply keep it rolling. In the few seconds the absorb lasts, you can build enough rage for another supplement. Not only does this track the numbers and progress, but it gives an amazing visual indicator to help you know when you are doing things well. This is one of the finer points to mitigation as a warrior, so if you are struggling to keep spikey damage down, get better acquainted with this mechanic and Weak Aura.

Extra Procs:

Other stuff

These featured are regarded as a catch-all wrap up of other procs that might not fit elsewhere. The one on the left of center is to track Impeding Victory or Victory Rush. Extremely useful in 5 man content where there are lots of adds!

On the far right, you see Ultimatum proc, which helps you track and understand when to use your free Heroic Strike or Cleave. Should be looked at as free damage, no point in passing it up!

In the middle / bottom, you see the Meta gem proc. This can be pretty useful to track, but if you do not possess it, it simply will never appear.

Finally, the top of the image portrays the word “Reflected”. This helps indicate when you successfully reflect a spell with Spell Reflection. Can be very useful, if only for peice of mind. One area it immediately comes to mind for is the first pull in Shado-pan Monestary Challenge Mode. You can reflect the stun they do! What a great feeling that is!

Level 30 Healing Talent Discussion:

One final thing that we should discuss before we go our separate ways is the different options in this tier. Many people see Second Wind as mandatory, and others see it as useless, but I’ll explain the pros and cons of both sides, and weigh the choices that remain.

Its actually quite simple, at least in my eyes! Second Wind is a raid talent purely. In raids, its really not uncommon for the tank to sit at 50 percent or lower heath, often dropping even lower to 30 percent. Second Wind can very often save the life of the tank, without any effort put in.

However, in 5 man content, this should be quite the opposite. Especially in Challenge Modes, if you are that low, you are either dead, or saved back to full immediately. There is no spread healing, so every second you should receive attention. From my personal experience, I have never once been that low that I couldn’t immediately heal my self back up with Impending Victory, or could of survived no matter what healing I had. Because CD usage is much more preventative than reactionary, I find no need for Second Wind in Challenge mode or smaller group content.

Its then down to Enraged Regen and Impending Victory. I choose IV because of its ability to be used as an on demand heal on a moderate CD, something warriors need very badly. You’ll find it really useful when doing Challenge Modes, especially on bosses. The spell turns into another reliable defensive CD, much like a Paladin would have!

Enraged Regeneration is quite useless to me, at least from what I’ve seen. Its strength is the potential 20 percent regeneration over time after the intial, but once again, you either need the healing now or death, or you are over healing with this. The only time I can see it useful is in 25 man heroic raiding, but once again, Second Wind gets my vote there because of massive health pools and saving power without button usage.

 

Well that’s everything, so if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the forum attached to this topic, or contact me in game.
As always, I am not fluent in the program, and usually find people who ARE fluent and modify their work. This Aura string was devised by a brilliant person and moderator over at MMOchampion, known as Clampy. I encourage you guys to check out his thread on the topic and let him know you were referred to him by Metro from WoW Stratics!

It’s important to remember that you are the best person to help yourself improve, but with tools and help from those already experienced you can transform yourself into a top-tier player near instantly.

Discuss this Topic at:
Stratics Forums Thread!
See the set-up in action:
Youtube Video!
Check out my Warrior’s Armory:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/firetree/Precussion/advanced
Download Weak Auras Two:
http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/weakauras-2

Play Like a Pro! – Resto Druid Weak Aura / Information!

Resto ss

Hello and welcome to our newest series inspired by our third Podcast (http://wow.stratics.com/interviews/wow-stratics-podcast-3-spotlight-disadvantaged-gamers/) where Metro discusses how simple UI elements can make a world of difference and helps players looking to take their character to the next level do just that. As mentioned in the Podcast, if you aren’t playing with proper Keybinds, Macros, or Addons, you might as well be missing a hand compared to players who are! These guides will be focused on players who already understand the class/spec and are looking to elevate their game to the next level. The experience I have with each spec is almost purely through Challenge Mode dungeons, and can say these design elements can make or break your play and will tell you if / when you are ready for that next step. Let’s get started!

Today we will examine Restoration Druid and show how a few simple indicators can take your play from moderate to exceptional.

To understand Druid is to know that your most powerful healing is done over time and on the move. While it typically a cliche to “set it and forget it” this is VERY much the case, especially in large group content. It can easily be said that a druid who uses things like Rejuvenation and Wild Growth with nothing else can do a fine job in 25 man raiding, but when we delve into 5 man content such as Challenge Modes, or even 10 man progression raiding, you won’t be able to just sit around and toss hots at players!

With this in mind, let’s examine the screenshot below.

Druid full UI

Click to Enlarge!

In this screenshot you will see multiple spells and timers, all aiming to take the guess work out of the Restoration Druid spec. In this article, we will discuss the individual contributors, and break down each section piece by piece.

Main Cooldown Tracker

As a Restoration Druid, especially in 5 man challenge mode content, or even raiding, its extremely important to maximize Tree of Life, Ironbark, and Innervate. As per usual, I will preach that having a visual indicator on the screen should reliably help control their usage, and with a ticking CD, you will know exactly when they become available. If you are doing progression raiding, this will help your brain recognize patterns through out the encounter, and eventually you will be able to judge time without looking at a clock or timer, just because you know how often you are able to use your abilities. If there is one thing that’s important about 25 man heroic progression, its this aforementioned level of understanding and optimization. Lets’ examine the screen shot below and discuss exactly what you are seeing here.

CD group

You will immediately notice two rows, and some variety in each. Beginning with the top left, we see Ironbark. This is a simple visual indicator to help plays recognize the spells availability. When its available, its on the screen. When its not, its gone, to help prevent clutter. With a 1 minute cooldown, this should be something that you can get used to using consistently, with a helpful reminder from our friend Mr. Aura :D

Next to Ironbark, still on the top row, we have the same type of indicator for Innervate. The icon will be present when the spell is available and disappear when its not.  This one is even more vital, and should help you get into a habit of using it early and often. Its by-in-large the main reason Restoration Druid can spend mana as much as they can without worry.

Jumping now to the bottom row, we see both Battle Rez and Barkskin. These should be regarded as personal trackers, and will give you an immediate indication whether you can battle rez a dead player or pop a CD to survive some predictable damage. They will both operate the same as the two discussed previous, and with Barkskin being only a 45 second cooldown, its easy to forget about. With these auras, you won’t have to worry!

The final four spaces remaining are the most important. With this in mind, we have two separate trackers for each. On the bottom we have an indicator for its availability like before. This will tell you its usable, and after you use it, the icon will shift to the top row and tell you the remaining CD. This is extremely important for both these spells as knowing exactly when they come up can mean life or death for your raid team. In challenge mode content, Tree of Life is your most important CD, so once again, not knowing its exact CD can be the reason your tank dies or lives.

You can find this Weak Aura string here!

Minor CD Group

Its not uncommon for healers best spells to have small CDs, and that is certainly the case with Swiftmend and Wild Growth. Without a doubt, the go-to instant single target heal and aoe heal, and arguably the best in the game, especially when examining heal per mana. Originally, I attempted to operate these spells on the same mental clock I discussed earlier, but the facts are that they are just too short a CD for my brain to wrap itself around so I was constantly having to check and see when they were available, or be trying to cast them when they were still on CD. With these strings, you will see that problem dissipate, and you will gain a better understanding of when to use each spell. Let’s check out the image below and discuss what else we see.

Minor CD

As mentioned, you will recognize the Swiftmend and Wild Growth icons. You can see their CDs will appear when applicable, but the icon will disappear when otherwise. This is something I prefer, as it helps me realize that if there isn’t an icon always there, I am mismanaging these abilities. They are ALWAYS worth using. Maybe hold on to them for a second or two, but the blank void should scream at you that you have amazing heal per mana spells with an instant cast just sitting there waiting to be used.

Now the final one may take you somewhat by surprise, but I will explain why its there and what its used for. First of all, if you don’t recognize the icon, its for Cenarion Ward. It operates the same way the other two do, so if you don’t have it talented, it will simply never appear. When it is talented, it should ring loudly as the other two did when there is that empty space where its timer should be. This should be your best tank heal and IMO rivals Earth Shield (without the set bonus) and even Beacon to some degree. Having another hot is never a bad thing, but of course ysera’s gift can really be strong in most cases. Let’s discuss why you SHOULD NOT use it in Challenge Modes though!

Ysera’s Gift vs. Cenarion Ward

Ysera’s Gift is an amazing ability in raiding, especially 25 man heroic progression. On a fight like Malkorok, where people constantly need healing anyway, this spell will dominate. Its a no-brainer really! But, in Challenge Modes, it will be quite the opposite, and for reasons you may not predict.

The spell is essentially a ticking threat modifier! Of course, any AOE threat anyone else does will over ride it, but there will be a lot of cases where your tank will want to pull mobs quickly and gather them all up, and THEN do threat. With ysera’s gift constantly ticking, you will be the number one on the threat table while these situations arise, and thus destroy the well laid plans of your tank. Especially since its uncontrollable, this is a real big issue. The biggest example of where this will destroy you is the Shado-pan mount skip. Some people employ a controlled wipe, where you simply run allll the way from the second to the third boss, but if you have ysera’s gift on, all the mobs will focus you 100 percent of the time, and you will get all the debuffs, get sha-punched, and die before you get half way there.
Couple that with the fact that “Your most nearby injured ally” will likely NEVER be the tank, and this spell is really useless. Its strength comes with the high healthpool and high demand for aoe smart healing 25 man heroic progression demands, but is weak here, and neat unusable because of the threat issues it presents.

So I’m not saying Cenarion Ward is amazing, or even better in most situations. But it is a reliable hot for the tank, who always needs healing, and can be controlled. Make use of this spell, and its associated weak aura.

You can find the minor CD string here!

Harmony!

The Restoration Druid Passive that has been the subject of much debate is known as Harmony. Whatever your take on this mastery, understand this much. The usage of it dramatically increases the healing Regrowth does, and keeping it active in small group content like Challenge Modes is default, so it makes your hots that much more effective. That’s all you need to know for now, because thats the important part. When you are spamming Regrowth as your primary ability, it doesn’t matter if you like the passive or not. Its active all the time, so its effectively a full-time passive buff!
Of course, in actual raiding, you can’t afford this type of spending. You will need something to track its usage so you aren’t just haphazardly casting spells to try and meta-game your hots. And boy do I have just the thing to do it!

Harmony not Active!

Harmony not Active!

Harmony Active, with remaining Duration!

Harmony Active, with remaining Duration!

These two are pretty self-explanatory, but to be brief, the yellow symbol will be your alert to its non-activity, and the green bar will tick its duration before you need to cast again, should you wish to keep it up.

Both of these are individual, so if you don’t feel you need either, don’t feel obliged.
The Yellow activity indicator can be found here!
And the Green duration tracker can be found here!

Other Remarks

Now that you have all these tools, you should feel well equipped. The only thing other than these that you will need to monitor is your hots and their duration on the target, especially Lifebloom. For me, this is done via Healbot, and is by default. Hopefully you are choosing to equip yourself with a clickthrough addon such as Healbot or Vuhdo, and if you are, it should be defaulted. If not, you should really consider it. Otherwise, you’ll have to find another way to monitor your hots!

 

Well that’s everything, so if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the forum attached to this topic, or contact me in game.
As always, I am not fluent in the program, and usually find people who ARE fluent and modify their work. The original source of this came from searching the internet and finding multiple threads discussing this topic. I then pieced them together and placed them in a comfortable spot for my playstyle!

It’s important to remember that you are the best person to help yourself improve, but with tools and help from those already experienced you can transform yourself into a top-tier player near instantly.

Discuss this Topic at:
http://stratics.com/community/threads/restoration-weak-aura-set-up.314517/
See the set-up in action:
Youtube Video!
Check out my Druid’s Armory:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/firetree/metrohehe/simple
Download Weak Auras Two:
http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/weakauras-2

Play Like a Pro! – Discipline Priest Weak Aura / Information!

priestchallengemodeset

Hello and welcome to our newest series inspired by our third Podcast (http://wow.stratics.com/interviews/wow-stratics-podcast-3-spotlight-disadvantaged-gamers/) where Metro discusses how simple UI elements can make a world of difference and helps players looking to take their character to the next level do just that. As mentioned in the Podcast, if you aren’t playing with proper Keybinds, Macros, or Addons, you might as well be missing a hand compared to players who are! These guides will be focused on players who already understand the class/spec and are looking to elevate their game to the next level. The experience I have with each spec is almost purely through Challenge Mode dungeons, and can say these design elements can make or break your play and will tell you if / when you are ready for that next step. Let’s get started!

Today we will examine Discipline Priest and show how a few simple indicators can take your play from moderate to exceptional.

First order of business is explaining just how this spec operates, especially compared to other healing specs in the game. If you are going to play a Discipline Priest and try to cast heals every global, you won’t be very effective, especially in small group content. The strength of this class comes in its ability to double dip, and then shield in times where the former is not feasible. This will be the most important thing to get used to as a Disp Priest, and thus the biggest adjustment, especially some one like me.

In challenge modes and small group content, its essentially playing a DPS that can also dispel and do some other healing-based things. Challenge modes especially, you will want to prefer CD usage to deal more damage (conversely, healing more) than save them like a Paladin would for times of high throughput. Then when push-comes-to-shove, you have the three of the best reductive CDs in the game. With this string of auras you are about to see, you will realize just how many tools Priests have as a class, and hopefully have a better grip on just what you need to be able to succeed in any type of content.

 

Click to Enlarge!

Click to Enlarge!

In the image above you see essentially two strings. In the first string you will find every ability relevant to Discipline Priest healing. In the second string below that one, you will find some CD and Duration timers that can also be vital for the spec. This set seems like a big departure from the norm, but realistically its just much more compact. Because everything you need to know about this spec revolves around dealing damage, the best way to approach this is just have everything the class has on the screen. The goal is have as many of them on CD as possible, while saving Barrier, Pain Suppression, and Spirit Shell for the right time. Regardless of how simple it may look, let’s break things down individually so you can understand exactly what is present.

Cooldown Tracker -

As mentioned previous, its important to be able to concentrate on doing as much DPS as possible, especially in Challenge Modes, but also to a degree in raiding. Damage is your filler, and the cooldowns are your actual abilities. Things like Prayer of Mending, Level 90 Talent (divine star shown) and Penance can help you achieve the disp priest lifestyle, so its pertinent to know exactly when they are useable. Other things like Spirit Shell and Pain Suppression will make your life even easier and once again, can allow you to fill with damage. Here is a screenshot of all the CDs being tracked. Its important to note that this same string will work for Holy Priest as well, but that’s not within the scope of this article!

WoWScrnShot_031914_135935

You can click on the image to enlarge it to full size if you are struggling to see all the different icons, but you should now appreciate the magnitude of what it entails. I will address them one by one to help you have a better understanding of each ability. Starting from the Left:

Archangel: A small throughput increase. Also being tracked on the subsequent timer. Use this as much as possible, especially when DPSing.

Spirit Shell: 1 Minute CD that turns your healing into absorbs of equal value. Is the fundamental spell of Disp atm, and if you can predict the damage properly you will be a god. If not, you will suffer. Can also be used as a Tank CD!

90 Talents: For some reason the Cascade Timer is out of place but on this list we see Cascade, Divine Star, and Halo, and then the Cascade ready alert at the end. These talents each have a good use, but in content where most people are close together, Divine Star reigns. Use it on CD or save it for a few seconds if you expect big aoe healing needed.

Penance: THE spell. Get the glyph, and enjoy being a god. Will do amazing dps, amazing healing, and can be cast while moving to another location. This makes it all possible, honestly.

Prayer of Mending: A great heal when you know pulsing aoe damage is abound. I also throw it on the tank as much as possible on boss fights to make sure the primary damage target is still received heals while I DPS (as that healing may be random.)

Power Infusion: The only option on the 75 tier for Disp priests IMO. Use it as an offensive CD to boost the amount of burst dps you can do. Especially in Challenge Modes, this can EASILY make the difference between a gold medal and otherwise.

Pain Suppression: 3 minute CD that turns the tank into a slab of stone. Strongest external CD in the game, especially for small group content. Coordinate this with your group around big damage or huge pulls in CM.

Power Word Barrier: AOE reduction cd that is kind of limited in yardage. Consider using this as a Tank CD as it still reduces all damage taken by 25 percent no matter the number of people. Especially in CM, this will be its best use.

Mindbender: Level 45 talent choice, and once again, the only one I am considering. Its a great, versatile ability, and because of its immensely short CD it can really help with DPS as well going in between pulls of CM. This tracker I intentionally made larger. I will demonstrate why below.

The other stuff to the right of Mindbender are for Holy priests ONLY and will not be discussed.

The whole aura can be found, as it appears, at this link!

Mindbender Specifics -

I intentionally enlarged Mindbender from the size the others are to make it more obvious. This is an ability that if you do not use on CD you are wasting the talent choice. Conversely, it can be easy to forget about because its such a short CD. To remedy this, and without adding too much effort, I simply enlarged the icon when its active, but not when its on CD. This makes the rest of the bar sized wrong, adding black bars encasing the horizontal portion. In my eyes, this makes all the other abilities I have my eyes on also tell me about Mindbender! It works especially well, as its the last thing on the right for Disp. Its a brutish way of accomplishing this task, but made the most sense to me at the time. You can examine the difference here:

Black Bars = Use It!!

Black Bars = Use It!!

No bars?? It will be up soon :(

No bars?? It will be up soon :(

Non-CD Durations -

The second part discussed in the start would be the duration based trackers. While the first tracker indicates availability, the second will show the duration, particularly of a few key abilities that can really improve your DPS. The two go hand-in-hand so be sure to use them so.

WoWScrnShot_031914_143742

The breakdown here is quite simple, yet highly effective. Let’s examine each, starting at the top:

Evangelism: the stacking buff you receive whenever you are doing damage. This will track the number of stacks. When it reaches 5, its time to use Archangel! It also tracks the length you have remaining, so if you want to save Archangel or have to stop DPSing you can still be aware.

Power Infusion Active: Once again, extremely important to know. You want to line this up with all your other damage, so knowing exactly when it is about to expire can be huge for maxing our your potential.

Archangel: Already discussed in the CD tracker, this shows the duration, once again so you can plan around the loss of healing when it dissipates.

Spirit Shell: This shows when the ability is active, not when its shields are. This is extremely important as well, because you need to know how many shields you can get off and how much time remains.

Find this string by following this link!

Rapture Tracking -

This isn’t something I originally included in the main screenshot, but will discuss options here. A lot of people use an addon known as Ingela’s Rapture. If you’d like to use an addon instead, feel free to do so. You can download it here: http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/ingelasrapture

Past that, you can also use a Weak Aura to do the exact same thing. You can even include the silly noises if your eyes aren’t working well that day!
Regardless, the “rapture” concept is an important one. It basically allows you a free Power Word: Shield as long as its consumed wholly, but has an internal CD, so if you are just spamming shields you will OOM very quickly. This can be really useful in CM, as you will have essentially zero spirit, yet some shielding can be quite useful. This is a very “min-max” type concept though, and can easily be done without, unless you are doing progression raiding.

WoWScrnShot_031914_145253

Find the weak aura string here!

Either way, if the CD is on the screen, don’t use PW:S. Long story short.

 

Well that’s everything, so if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the forum attached to this topic, or contact me in game. Unlike other specs like Paladin or Shaman healers, you don’t need to directly place anything on players, so all these weak auras will do everything you need them to do. If you are going for crazy times as disp priest you can also use potions offensively. Head over to the mage thread and take the code for the Int potion CD and add it to this list and have it activate as a Disp Priest as well.

As always, I am not fluent in the program, and usually find people who ARE fluent and modify their work. The original source of this came from searching the internet and finding this blog!
Let’s all thank Derevka for putting the work in, and check out his blog and support him at How2priest!

It’s important to remember that you are the best person to help yourself improve, but with tools and help from those already experienced you can transform yourself into a top-tier player near instantly.

Discuss this Topic at:
http://stratics.com/community/threads/discipline-weak-aura-set-up.313389/
See the set-up in action:
Youtube Video!
Check out my Priest’s Armory:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/firetree/Youth/simple
Download Weak Auras Two:
http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/weakauras-2

 

Play Like a Pro! – Frost Mage Weak Aura / Information!

frost mages

Hello and welcome to our newest series inspired by our third Podcast (http://wow.stratics.com/interviews/wow-stratics-podcast-3-spotlight-disadvantaged-gamers/) where Metro discusses how simple UI elements can make a world of difference and helps players looking to take their character to the next level do just that. As mentioned in the Podcast, if you aren’t playing with proper Keybinds, Macros, or Addons, you might as well be missing a hand compared to players who are! These guides will be focused on players who already understand the class/spec and are looking to elevate their game to the next level. The experience I have with each spec is almost purely through Challenge Mode dungeons, and can say these design elements can make or break your play and will tell you if / when you are ready for that next step. Let’s get started!

Today we will examine Frost Mage and show how a few simple indicators can take your play from moderate to exceptional. This one will be especially important, as from my experience, I literally have never played a DPS spec at any high level. Yet with this combination of Auras, I am able to hang with anyone!

The Weak Aura set-up we will be examining today is once again wholly different from the other ones, mostly because the spec and playstyle is quite different. As a DPS, you have one real focus, but its more about maximization than anything. In order to do this properly, you want as many tools as possible helping you with your rotation, CDs, and procs. Doing this helps you focus on the more important things, especially in small group content such as Interrupts, Dispels, and AOE stuns. A lot of people play a DPS spec (especially Mage specs) to be the ultra dps machine, but I promise you that if you focus more on your own survival and those around you, you will be helping your group more than if you stand still, eat all the mechanics, and do one point hundred kay dps. Let’s move on to how you can do that easily with this weak aura set up!

 

Mage Full

Click to Enlarge!

At face value, there is a lot going on in this screenshot, but by the end of this, you should understand exactly what you need, why you need it, and how it can benefit some like me who does NOT have the DPS mindset already ingrained in their skull.

Full Rotation and Tracker -

This is an ingenious set of auras that I can take zero credit for, not even for editing in some way. Its flawless, and is the most intricate cluster I have seen for any spec. Let’s start by examining exactly what we have on this part.
main tracker

Starting with the four smaller icons, we have the Fingers of Frost proc tracker to the left, which will update real-time as you gain or lose procs with the number indicative of such. Next to the right we have your 75 talent tracker, which will change based on which you have talented, and will show the remaining duration on your current target. On the other side of the big middle icon, we can see the Frozen Orb tracker, which shows the remaining cooldown on the ability. And then the icon furthest to the right is the Chilled tracker, showing if the slow is about to fall off. All these things are mildly important, but what REALLY makes this cluster godlike are the two things we are about to examine.

Let’s start with the Evocation timer, and explain exactly what the aura does for it. On the screenshot, you can see two bars overlapped, one a red bar with the text on it, and another a pink bar with a number. The red text bar is your indicator for when you do not have the Invocation buff. Once you successfully use Evocation and gain the buff, the bar turns pink with the 1 minute timer counting down. As the buff expires, the bar turns back into the red text to alert you that you let it fall off and need to reapply. This is extremely important, especially in CM as there are opportune times to refresh the buff that wouldn’t cause you to stop casting and lose DPS time on the current pack of mobs. Essentially, if you are taking 1 minute or longer to kill any pull you are struggling as it is. *As a note, the Invocation alert will not appear if you are using any other talent.

The final and without question most important part of this cluster is a DPS priority aura. This is so insanely useful it could be the only part you ever look at and it will turn you into as fine a player as there can be. Either way, it will cycle through in the following order:
1. 75 Talent Dot
2. Frozen Orb when available.
3. Frostfire Bolt Proc
4. Fingers of Frost proc
5. Filler (frostbolt)

With all these timers and information at your disposal, this should immediately boost your play to a considerably higher level.

You can find the string here!

Mage Cooldowns –

The next set of auras will be your bread and butter, and will even help you track defensive CDs. Its quite self-explanatory, and as you can see from the screenshot, it shows each ability with a cooldown tracker when applicable, and then a static image when its available. This is more for a heads-up benefit than anything else, but is still vital to playing a spec to its fullest! Remember, the more you have in front of you, the more you can focus on the mechanics and your utility.

WoWScrnShot_031214_154440

You can find this string following this link!

Proc Tracker -

Another set that can really help you when maximizing your burst, and organizes everything into a neat little area. Once again, quite self-explanatory, but the goal here is simply knowledge. The more you know, the better, especially if you are trying to optimize your numbers. For your information, I will list all the tracked things, as some can be a bit confusing:
Trinket 1
Trinket 2
Jade Spirit Proc
Potion of Jade Serpent Duration
Meta Gem Proc
Blood Lust Duration
Icy Veins
Ice Barrier
Icy Floes
Ice Block
Hypothermia.

WoWScrnShot_031214_154911

You can find the import string here!

Water Elemental / Freeze Tracker – 

This two-for-one tracker will first tell you when your elemental is not summoned and then when Freeze is off CD. This is extremely important, as both contribute to an immense portion of your dps and utility. If you can maximize using Freeze every time its available, you will see a marked increase in your AOE dps, which can easily turn the tides on a Gold medal timer.

WoWScrnShot_031214_155932

You can find the string you need at this link!

Freeze Macro –

This one goes hand-in-hand with the previous tracker, and is not actually dependent on Weak Auras. This macro will allow you to easily bind the Pet’s freeze ability, which may be tricky to people without knowledge at their side. Regardless, this wouldn’t be comprehensive if this wasn’t included, would it!

#showtooltip
/cast Freeze

DPS CD Macro -

Another basic, but useful macro that can help you streamline your ability to learn the spec and maximize your play. While this may not be the best idea, it has worked for me and helps reduce ability bloat – something being addressed in WoD anyway. This macro combines Mirror Images and Icy Veins, two damage CDs that have synergy with each other anyway.

/cast Mirror Image
/cast Icy Veins

75 Talent All-in-One Macro –

This macro will allow you to keep one ability on your bars no matter what 75 point talent you have chosen. This is important, because there may be situations where you will want to switch between some quickly. Without this macro, you would have to spell book the ability and replace the previous!

#showtooltip
/cast Nether Tempest
/cast Frost Bomb
/cast Living Bomb
/run local G=GetSpellInfo SetMacroSpell(“Mage Bomb”, G”Nether Tempest” or G”Frost Bomb” or “Living Bomb”)

Jade Serpent Potion Tracker -

Back to Weak Aura trackers, we now examine the Potion tracker. This is an under-the-radar aura that will be especially useful for Challenge Modes, and probably more of a bother than a help in progression raiding. Realistically, in raiding you are pre-potting with 2 seconds left on the pull counter, and again when a key part of the fight is underway. Your raid coordinators will dictate this, so you don’t really need an aura for it.
Conversely, in challenge modes, using as many potions as you can may mean the difference from a gold time and otherwise. Especially as a mage, this should be your main focus, as you can invis instead of pot to skip, allowing you to put out a LOT more dps with this in mind. Make sure you stock up before heading in there, and ride this macro and Frozen Orb to your gold set!

WoWScrnShot_031314_160511

The aura is two-fold, first to show its available and then the CD once its used. It will also constantly alert you to the combat CD, and then start ticking after combat.

Find the availability tracker here
and the CD tracker here.

Well that’s everything, so if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the forum attached to this topic, or contact me in game.
As always, I am not fluent in the program, and usually find people who ARE fluent and modify their work. The original source of this came from searching the internet and finding Gummer’s blog.
Full credit goes to them for the initial idea behind this set-up, especially DPS tracker. If the whole blog wasn’t in Spanish I would probably explore their work more!

Either way, it’s important to remember that you are the best person to help yourself improve, but with tools and help from those already experienced you can transform yourself into a top-tier player near instantly.

Discuss this Topic at:
http://stratics.com/community/threads/frost-weak-aura-set-up.313118/
See the set-up in action:
Youtube Video!
Check out my Mage’s Armory:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/firetree/Metrorofl/simple
Download Weak Auras Two:
http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/weakauras-2

Play Like a Pro! – Resto Shaman Weak Aura / Information!

Shamans

Hello and welcome to our newest series inspired by our third Podcast (http://wow.stratics.com/interviews/wow-stratics-podcast-3-spotlight-disadvantaged-gamers/) where Metro discusses how simple UI elements can make a world of difference and helps players looking to take their character to the next level do just that. As mentioned in the Podcast, if you aren’t playing with proper Keybinds, Macros, or Addons, you might as well be missing a hand compared to players who are! These guides will be focused on players who already understand the class/spec and are looking to elevate their game to the next level. The experience I have with each spec is almost purely through Challenge Mode dungeons, and can say these design elements can make or break your play and will tell you if / when you are ready for that next step. Let’s get started!

Today we will examine Restoration Shaman and show how a few simple indicators can take your play from moderate to exceptional.

If you have healed any raid content before you will immediately realize the versatility of the Restoration spec for Shaman. Not even looking as throughput, they bring so much utility its absurd. They have everything you could want as a healer:
– A Massive AOE CD (Healing Tide Totem.)
– A Massive Throughput Increase (Ascendance)
– A Mana Cooldown, that scales with your stats and is RAID WIDE! (Mana Tide Totem)
– And a Reduction CD, that is arguably the best in the game for anything that hits more than once in its duration (Spirit Link Totem).

With all these tools, it makes you think their other spells and heals must really suffer. It would also be logical to say that with the best mana CD in the game, surely they must run OOM very quickly… RIGHT?
Good joke.

On top of the CDs, Shaman have the best single target heal in the game(Healing Surge), the best ground/smart aoe heal (Healing Rain) and the most efficient cleave-heal (Chain Heal.)
And if it weren’t for Daybreak and Evangelism, they would have the best combo in Tidal Waves as well!

Shaman UI

Click to Enlarge!

Anyway, now that you know the basics, let’s talk about how you can maximize your play as a Restoration shaman, especially inside Challenge Modes and smaller group content. Before we continue, here is a screenshot of the set up I am currently running. We will break it down one group at a time!

Major Cooldown Group:

This will cover all your major cooldowns as a block, as its important to understand that they are defined as such, and are truly “major.” Understanding each of these abilities is paramount to your success as a healer, and is why I took the time to define each of the major Healing CDs. Also in this group, as you will see below, is Astral Shift and Ancestral Guidance. The reason they aren’t shown in my original UI screenshot is because I do not currently use those talents. Astral Shift is a very strong talent for raiding, especially on some encounters, but 40 percent for 1.5 minutes is just straight up overkill in Challenge Modes. If you need a 40 percent reduction as a healer in CM you are in trouble from the start, so I prefer the 1 minute CD of Bulwark Totem. Its lightweight, and persistent, helping you absorb consistent damage throughout the time its available.
As for Ancestral Guidance, I don’t ever see a use for this in any type of content, especially not Challenge Modes. This is meant to be a CD for DPS to use to outheal a healer, but if you are DPSing as a resto shaman and expecting this to do your work for you, you are going the wrong route. However, it is still a viable choice, and included for your benefit. I would strongly recommend Rushing Streams instead though!

This string is extremely basic though, and as per the screenshot, you will see it shows them static when available, and then ticking when on Cooldown.

WoWScrnShot_030714_142659

Find the Import string here. Open the pastebin, copy the string, then paste it in the Import section of Weak Auras in game.

Rotational CD Group:

Now that you have the Major Cooldowns for big moments, the next order of business is the rotational CDs. These are the ones that the tracker really helps on, as they are short CDs that you will often forget about in the heat of battle. Realistically, even WITH this on the screen, its still common to find myself complacent and missing things. Hopefully, more than just hand-holding, this will help give you visual queues for the rhythm the spec commands. Its very much a balancing act with all this utility, so getting the “rotation” down to muscle memory will help you learn when things are on and off CD without actually needing the help.

On this tracker, starting left to right we first see Ancestral Swiftness. This is a great CD, but I like the Elemental Mastery for Challenge Modes a bit better, and Echo a bit better for 25 man raiding. Of course, its there if you like it. Next over is the most important one, being Healing Stream Totem. This will do some SERIOUS work in Challenge modes, especially with Rushing Streams. I usually see this, Riptide, Earthshield and Healing rain do near 100 percent of my healing unless the tank is REALLY getting rocked, so make sure its down as much as possible. From there, we see the timer on Riptide and Healing Rain, both of which we want down 100 percent of the time. You can make a case for not putting Rain down here and there, but IMO even if its only ticking on the tank, its still worth it, as you can use that time to Lightning Bolt back some mana! The final piece here is Unleashed Elements tracker, which is more for show than anything. You aren’t really ever going to get more than one heal off in its duration, but if you are trying to meta game it, the tracker is there. As soon as you use the ability, the window appears showing the buff duration.

WoWScrnShot_030714_144338

You can find this string by clicking here!

Tidal Waves:

Short but sweet, this tracker will help you know exactly how many tidal wave stacks you have. If there is no number, you have none! Once again, this will be a visual queue for what should eventually become muscle memory. The more you play the class, the more you will find yourself memorizing how many heals after each Riptide have been cast. Easymode!

WoWScrnShot_030714_152124

Click this link to find the import string for this lil guy!

Stormlash Totem:

This ability may be being removed in Warlords, but its still one of the best utilities we have right now without question. Since its a five minute cooldown, this tracker will also help you with Fire Elemental. In CM, you should ALWAYS place them down together, and should coordinate this with big packs or Bloodlust periods. In actual raiding, you will need to discuss who is using which totem at which time amongst the other shaman, but as long as you use it when its needed, the timer will help you remember when both are back up.

In this tracker, you will find a duration monitor, as seen in the screenshot below. Once the totem has expired, you will then see a cooldown ticking like previous examples, and once it has returned from Cooldown, it will be pulsating to help remind players that its up.

WoWScrnShot_030714_153029

Find the Import code at this link!

Wind Shear:

That concludes the Weak Aura component of this guide, but there are still some other things that are worth mentioning before we wrap up. A HUGE part of playing a shaman is the fact that you have a ranged interrupt. This ability was considered the best interrupt in the game before Cata, and should still be a major part of your play, especially in Challenge Modes. You are the only healer with a ranged interrupt, so if there is ever a situation that you are broken up into small groups, you should make sure you are using it as much as possible. Nearly 100 percent of the time, interrupting something in a raid will save more damage done than simply casting a heal instead.

Because this is the case, you want a “stopcast” macro for the interrupt. Here is the macro I use:
/stopcasting
/cast Wind Shear
#showtooltip Wind Shear

On top of this, you will also be able to use this ability in place of a functional stop cast. As long as you don’t have an enemy targeted, it won’t use the ability, so if there is a time you need to stop a Lightning Bolt, this can help you. I say this because typically, players just use movement to stop a cast, but since Lightning Bolt is now baseline on-the-move (at least for now,) the movement wouldn’t help you.
This can be a great tool.

Other Concerns

These two things fall into the category of actual healing spells, so I don’t find it pertinent to have Weak Auras for, but still important to track in some way. The first thing two things you need up 100 percent of the time are Water Shield and Earthliving Weapon.

Click to Enlarge!

Click to Enlarge!

In the Screenshot, you see just how that’s done. I am currently using Healbot, but it can be done in Vuhdoo as well. Simply set it up so it monitors whenever one falls off, and you can immediately refresh it. Luckily, Earthliving is an hour buff, and water shield no longer has durations so this should be MUCH easier than the BC days.

The other major concern is Earth Shield. I haven’t found a way to track Earth Shield with Weak Auras that is more efficient to this method, so I just stick with it. Its default on Healbot, and I’d imagine it would be default on any other clickthrough addon you can use now for healing so there shouldn’t be much to discuss. Just make sure its also showing the amount of stacks, so as soon as you see it about to expire you can refresh it. This ability will be of massive importance in challenge modes especially, as the tank spike damage can be negated a lot. Its also super useful with the current 2 set bonus in SoO!

Also notice otice the Bar is White, because I'm missing Water Shield!

Also notice the Bar is White, because I’m missing Water Shield!

 

Well that’s everything, so if you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the forum attached to this topic, or contact me in game.
As always, I am not fluent in the program, and usually find people who ARE fluent and modify their work. The original source of this came from searching the internet and finding this thread.

It’s important to remember that you are the best person to help yourself improve, but with tools and help from those already experienced you can transform yourself into a top-tier player near instantly.

Discuss this Topic at:
http://stratics.com/community/threads/resto-weak-aura-set-up.312885/
See the set-up in action:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sl1KV9iaIIA
Check out my Shaman’s Armory:
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/firetree/Helwig/simple
Download Weak Auras Two:
http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/weakauras-2