But fear not, this week we're going to look at personal cooldown tracking! This, in contrast to last week's column, looks at methods to monitor your own things, and not share them with other players. I touched briefly on this topic in an addon mailbag a while back, but my main recommendation is not behaving itself at all well at the moment, so I figure we ought to have a second look at this.
This is the addon I recommended last time I discussed this, and up to recently was my addon of choice for personal cooldown monitoring. It's a pretty simple premise, really, it has a bar, as you use spells, their cooldowns move from one end of the bar to the other. They can either have a timer on them or not. Up to you.
I have, or had, it set up so that the cooldowns with the longest time remaining were at the bottom, progressing upwards, then moved the location of what's called the "splash" to the center of the screen. The splash is where the icons head to after they come off the top of the bar, and are therefore off cooldown. Once the icons get there they can either simply disappear, or flash offensively in your face to announce that ability's availability. Not being one for subtlety, I went for the latter, moving the splash to right above my character's head.
All well and good so far, but there are problems. Reading SexyCooldown's new page on WoW Interface, it seems like these problems could be shaman-specific, and indeed that is the character which has specifically struggled. Apparently the totems are causing issues, but I seem to often get an .lua error when shifting into Ghost Wolf form.
It should be noted, though, that this is the only character having trouble with SexyCooldown, and all the others are just fine. I haven't quite abandoned it for the shaman, and I still use it on every other character. But it's slowly being replaced by another option, and my preference for bar-type cooldown trackers may be sliding...
This is the thing I've shied away from for a fair while in favor of bar-type cooldown timers such as SexyCooldown. My thinking was that it's easier to tell at a glance whether something's nearly ready by its position on a bar than to take the mental capacity to read a number. But on the other hand, being able to confidently assert that Hex will be up in eight seconds as opposed to "quite soon" has been a boon in arenas, and I'm slightly annoyed I didn't try out OmniCC sooner for exactly that reason!
What OmniCC does is to put a number showing the remaining cooldown of an ability on the button for that ability. So, for example, you can see on the screenshot to the left that I've wandered over to the target dummies and unleashed a short spot of elemental shaman rage on them, putting a bunch of abilities on cooldown. The longer the cooldown, the less obtrusive the number, so the ones that have two minutes to run on their cooldown have a quiet little white number, while the one with ten seconds left has a similarly small yellow number, and the one with only five seconds left has a larger, red number. All this can be changed in the OmniCC options, if you wish. It's very flexible.
OmniCC also works with a lot of other addons, including Telepathy, which I featured last week. Pretty much any addon which displays icons can be configured to use OmniCC. There are bound to be exceptions to this, which you'll tell me about in the comments, but I haven't found one in a long while so I can't remember off-hand what they are! Alas, OmniCC won't display its numbers on any of the cooldown bar addons I've looked at for today's column!
My complaint about OmniCC is, perhaps, that it's not in-your-face enough. SexyCooldown, while a little tetchy, can be configured to put a huge icon in your face when something's ready, you see! But with an addon like Bartender or Dominos, it's possible to do things like this screenshot to the right shows off. Make a single bar that houses the ability or abilities you want to monitor especially closely. Move that bar to somewhere obvious and obtrusive. Make it really, really big, and you've got an in-your-face cooldown timer! And not a bar in sight.
OmniCC does have various options for different actions when a cooldown is finished, including "flare" where it asserts to flash a completed cooldown in the centre of the screen, but this, among others, doesn't seem to work for me. It's entirely possible that I'm doing something stupid, or that there's a conflict I haven't seen, but for now, I'm just considering OmniCC to be a cooldown tracker that relies on numbers. And it's pretty darn good at that.
And now we go back to the bars. ForteXorcist is an addon I'd never tried before writing last week's Reader UI of the Week. In that column, Vanard, who had sent in his UI to me, commented that there were two sets of cooldown tracking panels that he wanted to get rid of. A commenter kindly pointed out that they came from ForteXorcist, and that they could be switched on and off in the config. Following all my problems with my shaman and SexyCooldown, I had to have a look at another addon that provided not only a bar-style cooldown tracker, but also various other potentially useful elements.
So I grabbed ForteXorcist, and logged in. I was initially greeted with several frames, oddly similar to what Vanard had displayed on his screen.
The addon is hugely customizable, but man, it's hard to work out how. This interface seems incredibly counter-intuitive, and flatly confusing! I would love for it to be reworked into a tabbed interface, because right now it's hard to really get into playing around with the huge customizability that this addon offers, simply because the configuration menu is so hard to use.
But, once you have it set to your liking, both the SexyCooldown style bar timer and the Spell Timer bar display work like a charm. Both seem to have an annoyingly full default setting, that, for example, displays both the duration of a DoT on a target and the cooldown of that DoT as a cooldown on the cooldown bar. SexyCooldown's all-off default setting is preferable to me, particularly when it is not an easy task to work out how to turn off all the unwanted elements and get what you're actually after. But, in all fairness, it'd be just as hard to see how to turn it all on!
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