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!
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.
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.
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:
Jade Spirit Proc
Potion of Jade Serpent Duration
Meta Gem Proc
Blood Lust Duration
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.
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!
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!
/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!
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.
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.
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See the set-up in action:
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