Today's topic is the start of a set of raid-related Addon Spotlights. I'm really hoping that our commenters will provide more addons that they consider vital for raiding, with links and all, and that I can have a look at them so we can do this again next week. Inevitably, you'll have raiding addons I don't use, or maybe ones that I don't even know about. Tell me about them in the comments! And, of course, today's addons could also be really, really handy for PvP!
Anyhow, a while back in late October, Frego of The Wyld Hunt on The Sha'tar (EU-H) sent me an email regarding an addon he thought I should take a look at.
Greetings from a long time reader, but never before contacted your site.
I wanted to drop by to let you know of an awesome little addon made by a very awesome guildie, a man known by the name of Arclight (Resto/Elemental shaman).
The addon is called Telepathy, and it allows raid members to monitor each other's abilities, especially strong, raid-wide cooldowns on a clear, simple UI, and even request those abilities. Our guild made extensive use of it in our heroic Deathwing kills, both Spine and Madness proved it to be near invaluable tool amongst the healer communication, removing much of the overlapping shouts in Ventrilo. Also I do believe many raid leaders will greatly enjoy this addon, having an additional tool at their disposal to control the timings of key abilities.
I hope you, too, find it to your liking and allow this little gem some visibility it surely deserves.
Frego/Jinfreg of The Wyld Hunt, The Sha'tar EU
It took me a while to get around to testing Frego's suggestion, but I have given it a whirl over the past week and I have to say I'm very impressed.
It's not the most intuitive addon to set up. As my Guild Master Alex said, when we were testing it, some addons need a run through interaction 101! Telepathy might be one of those, while the steps to use it are fairly clearly explained on the addon download page, users often don't read that, and if you just fire this addon up without looking at the how-to, you're going to be very confused indeed.
Telepathy, however, is worth the extra trouble. It's not the only addon out there that tracks raid cooldowns, but so far it's the one I like the best. Telepathy does have its downsides, though. Because of how it works, unlike the other addons, which we'll get to, it requires everyone who's sharing cooldowns to install it. This may mean all your healers, all your tanks, all your DPS, or any or all of these groups!
How does it work and what does it do? Once you and your allies have downloaded Telepathy, you'll see a translucent gray window. Type /tele into chat. This will bring up a parchment-colored window. Open up your spellbook, and drag the cooldowns you want to share into the lower pane of this parchment-colored window.
Looking at the screenshot above, I've put my Mana Tide Totem, Ascendance, Heroism and Healing Tide Totem into the lower pane, which means they're "published" abilities. You can put as many or as few of your abilities into here as you like. Once you're done with this step, your cooldowns will appear in the lower pane of the translucent gray window.
Now, you need some friends! Lure some people into a raid group with the promise of cookies, and make sure they've got Telepathy installed. Get them to go through the same steps as above, and you should see their abilities appear in the upper part of the parchment window. It may need to be refreshed a couple of times to work, but you should see their abilities appear, with their name below.
You can see a Lightwell, Guardian Spirit, Divine Hymn and Hymn of Hope, with their owner's name abbreviated below. Left-clicking these icons will move them to the upper window of the gray pane. My four cooldowns and Alex's four cooldowns then show up in the gray pane, hers above, with her name, and mine below. The same applies if you add more players and more cooldowns, so if another priest came along, Telepathy would show their spells with their name below, so that they're discernible from each other. If you want to remove a spell from the gray box, right-click it. Once you're done setting up the spells you want, close the parchment box.
Your gray box will look a little like the image to the right. You can see Alex's cooldowns above, and mine below. Every player can store their cooldowns in the lower pane, and click them to use them if they so wish. If you look at the upper row of cooldowns, you'll notice that Alex's Divine Hymn is con cooldown, and that that cooldown has 2 minutes remaining. The "2m" is courtesy of OmniCC, which works with Telepathy, as it does with everything else, to provide cooldown text on abilities. Without OmniCC, Telepathy shows cooldowns just like on your bars.
In the lower section, you can see that my Healing Tide Totem has a yellow glow over it, and Alex's name below it. What's happened there is that Alex has called for my Healing Tide Totem. She's done so by clicking the icon for it, which on her screen would be in the upper pane. If I clicked on the Hymn of Hope icon with her name below it, a similar alert would appear on her screen, with a notification sound.
What I like so much about this addon is that it shows not only what cooldowns are on cooldown, and for how long, but it shows what's available, and who has it. You may not use the click-to-request feature, but it's very handy if you're a healing lead who doesn't want to clog up voice chat with calls for cooldowns. And this has so much potential for improving raid co-ordination, way beyond healing.
Deadly Boss Mods - DBM Spell Timers
Deadly Boss Mods is the daddy of raiding addons, and this Deadly Boss Mods mod requires it to function. DBM Spell Timers does exactly what it says on the tin, it provides timers for spells. And if you thought Telepathy required the user to jump through some hoops to get it working, you ain't seen nothin' yet.
DBM Spell Timers hasn't been updated since August 28, but it still seems to work perfectly with a little tweaking here and there. When you first install it and load it up, there will be an error in your chat which will provide a rude introduction to how it works. Type /dbm into chat, hit the options tab, and select Spell/Skill Cooldowns from the list on the left. You'll see a window which looks something like this:
These come automatically pre-loaded, but there are some notable exceptions, and two which you'll need to remove to stop the errors. The "Cooldown" window to the right is the duration of the bar which this will spawn. So, for example, in the pane above, Hand of Sacrifice lasts for 12 seconds, so that is the length of time the bar will display and count down with the "Hand of Sacrifice on [Target]" message.
Were you to want a second bar displaying the cooldown of Hand of Sacrifice, you'd need to add another line with the same spell ID (spell IDs can be found on Wowhead), saying something like %player's Hand of Sacrifice, and put in the cooldown as 120, as Hand of Sacrifice's cooldown is 2 minutes. This would generate another bar showing something like "Olivia's Hand of Sacrifice" and a timer counting down until it's ready again. You can see where I've done this at the bottom of the window for Hymn of Hope and Divine Hymn. The image to the right displays two of the bars, the bottom one being a direct result of the setting in the above screenshot, and displays the fact that I can't spell when I'm in a hurry.
oRA3 is our final cooldown tracker, and frankly, by calling it that I'm doing it an injustice. It's a very powerful raid leading modification, offering loot settings, invite settings, guild rank settings, ready check, buff, durability, zone and resistance checks. But it also monitors cooldowns, hence its inclusion today!
The cooldown tracking section of oRA3 is incredibly easy to set up, which awards it points against the previous two, but it lacks some customization potential, so it loses points for that. Opening oRA3's settings via the interface menu takes you straight to the cooldown settings, which simply offer a choice of a set color or class colors, and some text options of what you want to see on the bar. The Monitor is the cooldown display, in which the cooldown bars are shown, and with that noted, the setup needs no further explanation.
There's the option to modify textures, and fonts, and to group by remaining duration rather than as they are used. It's very simple indeed, but lacks the flexibility of the aforementioned addons.
Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. If you're new to mods, Addons 101 will walk you through the basics; see what other players are doing at Reader UI of the Week. If there's a mod you think Addon Spotlight should take a look at, email firstname.lastname@example.org.