WeakAuras 2 - An Introduction
Some of you may have heard of weak auras before but not know what it does, others of you have used it before and are pros at copy/pasting strings you find useful. But just so everyone knows: weak auras can and will give you information you need to know about your buffs, debuffs, rotation cool downs and pretty much anything else in the game if you can find someone that has already done it or figure it out on your own.
The main reason I like this addon that you can download from the curse client is that it can replace all those class specific addons that feel so heavy and require frequent updates that may or may not still be actively managed by the writers/creators. In short it's light weight but comes at the cost of some complexity. If you like plug-and-play you might want to reconsider using this addon, but if you're anal about the way your UI looks like I am this is the perfect addon for telling you what you need to know in the prettiest (or ugliest) way possible!
If you have any questions or want help setting something up in WeakAuras 2 for yourself please let me (or Inomi) know and we'd be happy to do what we can in our *cough* spare time *cough* etc.
Something that I've had impressed upon me in my desire to be the best tank ever...is external CDs. Why should we wait for our illustrious raid leader or tank healer to decide it's time to use these powerful resources? What if the worst thing possible happens and we waste it by using it on top of one of my own CDs? The idea of surviving an encounter as a tank is fighting against time so the main goal of survivability should be to have mitigation up for as much of the encounter as possible. Stacking CDs keeps you alive, but it also means you will have NO MITIGATION later during the fight which is much, much worse. If you stack CDs, there had better be a very good, very specific reason in terms of mechanics. All to often, I panic and hit everything I can to stay alive: this just creates more strain on your healers and more often than not wastes their queued spells and precious mana. Here are a few things I think we need to know:
- What external CDs are available to me? When are they available? Who can cast them?
- What CD(s) do I have running right now? Is my active mitigation up? When will the current CD run out?
- What buff am I missing that is vital to my survivability? When do I need to refresh it?
1. External CDs
So lets keep track of those external tanking CDs ourselves because we know best when we need them!
Below is the weak aura string I use for tracking external CDs. I stole a bit of code through similar means and (with help from Inomi) modified it to fit my visual needs.
2. Mitigation Duration Tracker
The only way to avoid stacking CDs unintentionally and help you to chain them properly is to know exactly when a CD buff is running and when it will drop off. While you can track this in your buffs bar, it might me difficult to sort them out from the other buffs and auras you have from the raid and your own abilities. To help with this we need a specific area in our UI to quickly reference for what is running and how long it will last.
Upon CD usage you will see vertical bars that drain to the bottom with left rotated text along the bar with the spell name being tracked. In practice, every class will have one active mitigation bar up and another CD running as needed and we will generally want to avoid using 3 or more bars at once unless we have a very good reason to. In addition, All the external CDs used on you will be tracked on the left of all your current tracking bars. This is dynamic so you will see nothing if you have no mitigation up (very bad when fighting bosses).
It took me awhile to get all the tank spec mitigation CDs and active mitigation listed in this string but I think I've done it. I've limited it to player buffs that actually mitigate damage in the tooltips, should you need an additional bar in here (Shuffle is not included) just let me know and I will walk you through adding it.
3. Ability Reminders
(to be continued)