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Totem Talk: Addons for restoration, part 2

Joe Perez

Want to be a sultan of swing healing? A champion of Chain Heal? Totem Talk: Restoration will show you how, brought to you by Joe Perez, otherwise known as Lodur from World of Matticus and the For The Lore podcast.

Not too long ago, we talked a bit about helpful macros and addons for the restoration-minded shaman. That post was full of great comments from the community and some great advice about macros and addons that you, the readers, use to great effect. Since then, I've had quite a few emails about various mods as well as some time to try out a good many of them myself. So today will be a part two to the addon and macro post, but without the macro part. Over the last few weeks, I've been playing around with various new mods and some old ones and thought I would take the time to share my findings with you.

Power Auras Classic

First up is a mod I failed to mention in the first article, but I shall correct that by highlighting it here. Power Auras Classic is a heavyweight contender for most commonly used addon. I received a lot of feedback about not including this in the original post, and with good reason. Mathew McCurley recently reviewed this addon, so if you want to read an amazing review of it with some great details, please stop by his post.

For a restoration shaman, this addon can be quite useful. You can set it to track just about anything, from Water Shield to the proc of totems like the Totem of Surging Sea. It can be programmed to tell you when buffs are present or missing, or even when you have a debuff. It can track individual stacks and tell you how many charges you have left on your shields. You can set it to alert you many different ways, including different textures, colors, animations and many various sounds. The sheer versatility of the mod makes it a great pickup to track pretty much everything you can imagine.

Totem Radius

I talked a little bit about this mod last time, but over the last few weeks, I have absolutely fallen in love with it. Totem Radius has been absolutely invaluable for placing my totems to work well with the other shaman in the raid. The mod itself is pretty simplistic, the main function being to show rings of the affected area of your totems in your minimap. Sometimes placing your totems effectively or in concert with other shaman can help save you mana and help make sure you are getting the most out of your totems in your encounters. The real beauty of this mod comes from the interaction it has with another newly popular mod.

Totem Radius and AVR/AVRE

AVR, or Augmented Virtual Reality, allows you to draw and add lines, circles and other markings like John Madden inside of World of Warcraft. The companion mod, AVRE, provides visual effects in 3-D that highlight various boss mechanics. Everything from Prof Putricide's Malleable Goo and Sindragosa's Frost Beacon up to the Lich King's Defile has an AVR event. The mod itself complements any other boss mod out there and is very lightweight. It has become a favorite among many people for simplifying encounters and making sure everyone knows where to stand or when bad things are heading their way. Here is a quick example for you so you can see how it works.

I'm sure you are asking yourself how this pertains specifically to shaman. Well, totem radius and AVR interact in a very special way. Now, I have mentioned how Totem Radius draws the circles for the affected areas for your totems in the minimap. Well, when you have AVR installed, a new option opens up that allows you to show the circles in the 3-D environment. Not only does it draw the area for your own totems, but it also shows the areas of the other totems in your group and raid. This way if you are layering totems, you can make sure the entire group is covered. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here is an example of what I mean.

The nifty thing about this is when you move out of range of the totems, it emphasizes the line. You can see that in the video above. This helps reduce the number of totem drops you have to do and helps ensure prefect placement. I have found this incredibly useful on fights such as Blood Queen Lana'thel for Tremor Totem placement, as well as phase 3 Putricide to make sure that everyone was in range of the totems as we are running around. It is also very useful in heroics, as the groups tend to move fairly quickly now; knowing when you have to drag the totems can save you a fair bit of mana in the long run. It has also been incredibly useful when I've found myself on Windfury Totem duty when there are no enhancement shaman or frost death knights around for the buff. It is rare, but it does happen, and being able to make sure I place it so melee gets the buff has been very helpful in staving off those near wipes.

So have you found any new useful addons or new macros in the past few weeks that you would like to share with us?

Show your totemic mastery by reading Totem Talk. Whether it's Mike Sacco's elemental edition, Joe Perez's coverage of restoration or Rich Maloy's enhancement edition, we have you covered.

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