Once, when experimenting on my holy paladin (I'm a dirty traitor, I know), I healed through an entire heroic dungeon with my user interface disabled. Matticus had recommended the exercise, as it allows you to focus on what's happening and your surroundings instead of little green bars. The experience was interesting, but I simply couldn't handle it. I'm an information junkie, and I want to know everything there is to know all at once. Why? Because knowledge is power, knowledge is the food of the soul, and knowing is half the battle.
With that said, there's still such a thing as too much information. I can set up my UI to have all sorts of numbers and statistics displayed everywhere, but it's not valuable unless I can interpret them. When you're in a high-stress situation like learning a new boss fight, you want to spend as little time as possible worrying about your UI. A good UI should make your rogue easier to play, not harder.
Let's get kicking
You've all heard my spiel about Kicking before, and you understand the importance of interrupting. Cataclysm's first tier of raiding is filled to the brim with fights that require good interrupts, with at least half of the bosses in each raid zone requiring interrupting. Rogues used to be the only horse in town when it came to interrupting, but now the other melee classes have interrupts they can use to assist us with, in addition to several ranged classes being able to stop spells too. We do have one thing they don't, though: experience. Because of this, it's very likely that we're going to be assigned to interrupt most of the time.
I talked about my favorite cast bar addon, Quartz, in my general rogue addon article a while back. While Quartz does make it simple to configure and display cast bars for just about anything, it's missing one key feature: blacklisting/whitelisting. Every spell that's cast by my target will be shown to me, which means I'm stuck trying to read the text on the cast bar to see if I need to interrupt a given spell. Boss cast times are often so fast that between reading the spell, pushing Kick, and latency, you can miss an interrupt or let a tick of a channeled spell be unleashed.
Pick your kicks
Gnosis solves that problem. As an aside, gnosis means "knowledge" in Greek, which is incredibly appropriate. Now, Gnosis is a fully developed cast bar replacement addon, but you don't have to forsake your current cast bar addons to use Gnosis. Gnosis allows you to choose which spells are (or aren't) displayed, which lets you filter out unnecessary spells and focus on important ones. I simply create a brand new cast bar and dedicate it to only showing important spells. I add all of the spells I want to interrupt to the whitelist, and then the new cast bar only pops up when one of those spells is being cast. Along with my fearless mage assistant, Machiyariko, I'll demonstrate how to either blacklist/whitelist Arcane Blast.
Check back every Wednesday for the latest rogue strategies in Encrypted Text! We'll show you how to navigate Cataclysm rogue basics, dig into new rogue mechanics, and gear up for heroics.