AddOn Spotlight: Paladin, shaman, death knight addons

Mathew McCurley
M. McCurley|04.08.10

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AddOn Spotlight: Paladin, shaman, death knight addons

AddOn Spotlight focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. We'll look at everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your AddOns folder will never be the same! This week, paladins, shaman and deathknights get a little loving of the addon kind.

Class-specific addons are a wonderful thing. These powerful addons serve very specific functions for their intended class. Featuring one of these addons in the Spotlight is a bit of a challenge -- I do not want to alienate the players of nine other classes by showcasing one specific addon for one specific class, and nor do I want to dilute a Spotlight with too many addons. You are witnessing the compromise. Behold! AddOn Spotlight Class for Class. For the next couple Spotlights, we will focus on three to four classes with one addon for each. These addons aren't necessary, but could be extremely helpful to these specific classes. Let's get to it!

The paladin, shaman and death knight classes can be addon-intensive. Paladins keep track of a variety of buffs and their DPS specializations utilize a "first come, first served" priority rotation for maximum damage output. Shaman have totems to deal with in order to work at peak effectiveness and have intricate timers for both damage specializations in order to operate flawlessly. Death knights, diseases and fevers are no strange bedfellows, with cooldowns and DoT ticks under constant scrutiny. Today, we take a look at some addons for these three classes that can help the player with a bit of the confusing timer issues, rotations and cooldowns.

Paladins: First come, first served

Retribution paladins have an interesting DPS rotation that isn't really a rotation at all. Unlike other classes that use an ability rotation, paladins use a first come, first served priority rotation, where certain abilities take precedent over other abilities. To confuse things even more, your priority queue changes as you get different gear. Luckily, there are addons to help.

My personal favorite retribution priority tracker is a little addon called CLCRet. CLCRet is a small, simple ability tracker that, according to the priority chain you input, displays what skills in the queue you should use next. In addition, the addon has an indicator for when Avenging Wrath is available. You can set the size and appearance of your CLCRet indicator and the addon works with ButtonFacade to keep your UI looking clean and uniform.

One of the features I love about CLCRet is that, for retribution paladins, Exorcism will only be activated in the first come, first served queue if Art of War has activated. The addon is smart, and I like that. CLCRet not only helps with retribution, but can also be used for protection paladins who would like to use an ability rotation synced to the 6-9-6 rotation. CLCRet, as noted on the page, is intended for use by level 80 raiding paladins and might not have the same results in 5-man content, but it definitely is a help for the paladin unsure of what abilities will give him the most DPS output.

For more information on the retribution paladin first come, first served priority rotation, check out the always righteous Gregg Reece's column, The Light and How to Swing It. If you want to go real hardcore, do some research over on Elitist Jerks and find out the best priority of abilities based on gear.

Download CLCRet at [Curse].

Shaman: Shock and awe

Enhancement shaman is one of the most, in my opinion, fun DPS classes in WoW. Enhancement has many options that are only going to be expanded on, considering what we now know about the upcoming Cataclysm changes. Elemental is going to be gaining a huge amount of mobility with their new skills, but that spec is for another day.

ShockAndAwe is my addon of choice for my shaman's DPS specialization -- this addon has it all. ShockAndAwe monitors the cooldown on feral spirits, the internal windfury cooldown and provides timer bars for Lava Lash, Shocks, Stormstrike and more. Plus, ShockAndAwe has a high-damage priority ability tracker much like CLCRet for paladins that can help the player with a recommendation for what shock and ability to use next.

ShockAndAwe includes a countdown timer and bar for your remaining shield orbs as well. The addon will also warn you if you are entering combat without your weapon enchants like Windfury or Flametongue cast on your weapons, a cardinal sin I have been victim to more times than I care to remember. ShockandAwe's priority ability meter has a default set up according to EhnSim but is fully customizable to your heart's content.

I'm a big fan on ShockAndAwe because it is a one-stop shop for a good amount of the information you need as an enhancement shaman. Again, out-of-the-box addons that just work are worth their weight in gold. Addons that combine a great deal of information and functionality into a compact interface such as ShockAndAwe rank high on my list of favorite UI additions.

Download ShockAndAwe at [Curse] or [WoWInterface].

Death knights: One-Stop shop runes

While on the subject of one-stop shop addons, I cannot go another minute without letting my death knight friends know about Acherus Runes. Acherus is an addon that combines a death knight's rune timers with disease tracking, runic power displays and proc alerting. Acherus is a great place to begin with addons if you are new to the death knight class or even want something fairly minimalistic to display a large amount of information in a small space. The proc alert component of Acherus Runes is hooked up to ButtonFacade, so you never have to worry about the sanctity of your coordinated buttons.

There isn't really too much more to say about Acherus except that it does everything I've needed it to for my death knight and it has done it well. The addon works great out of the box and has plenty of preset options for the look and feel of the addon. Play with it to your heart's content and hopefully it can replace a good deal of clutter on your death knight's user interface.

Download Acherus Runes at [Curse] or [WoWInterface].

Next week, we will continue the Class for Class idea with mages, warlocks and priests. If you have any class-specific addons that you absolutely cannot live without, let me know! I'm always looking for more addons that will enhance my own gameplay and to spotlight for our faithful and awesome readers. Tune in next week, and thank you all for reading.
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