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Addon Spotlight: Buffs and the removal thereof


Last time on Addon Spotlight, we took a look at the use of powerful addon Weak Auras to track buffs on yourself, and as promised, we're back with a few other recommendations for you to have a look at. As we mentioned before, but it bears repeating, tracking your buffs is rather important for effective DPS, and for maximising your efficiency as just about every class. There's almost always something to be keeping an eye on, and there are several addons out there to help you with it! We're also going to take a look at something a little different, for your delectation, and that's an addon to help you with stealing other people's buffs! While more class-specific, only really useful for classes with an offensive dispel, it's definitely handy to have in mind.

Quoth the Raven

We're going to start with my current favorite tracker, outside Weak Auras, and that's Raven. You can see it in action in the video in the header image, on my mage, and I'm showing off both the buff tracker and the debuff tracker. The debuff tracker is the section that stacks up to the right hand side, while the buff trackers sit over to the left of the mage. As you can likely see, there are several different buff tracking elements visible.

Addon Spotlight Buffs and the removal thereofYou can see the three different trackers labelled 1, 2 and 3 to the right. Gaze in awe at my MS Paint skills.

Section 1 is what Raven calls the In-Combat tracker, which pops up when you have specific buffs on yourself, allowing you to cancel them with a right-click. This, frankly, is rather a niche item, although it could definitely be useful in certain settings, such as if you are being BoP'd by a paladin to remove a debuff, and need to hit a /cancelaura macro to get rid of it. I don't doubt there are other situations when you'd want to be rid of a buff in a hurry, but none spring to mind.

Next up, moving over to number 2, this is the default buff pane. Now, you'll have to forgive its slightly overlapping look, here, it's a result of how it interacts with the ElvUI Skins addon, which, for some reason, makes it pad weirdly. Thanks to Raven's customization, it's very easily fixed, just increase the padding on the buffs until they're in an acceptable layout. As you can see, buffs which have a duration, in this case, Velocity, Pyroblast and Windsong (from left to right) have a timer beneath them to indicate how long they have remaining. I like the compactness of this display, but I do think that if you are not completely familiar with the look of your abilities' icons, you might struggle with this layout.

Moving on to no. 3, we're now looking at what I consider to be the most useful way Raven offers to display your buffs. This is a buff bar group, and as you can see it gives you an icon, as well as the name of the buff, and its duration. With all of these, it is possible to blacklist buffs, so I could remove Molten Armor from all the lists, if I was confident enough that I'd remember to apply it every time. All these groups are using the Raven default settings, so it's a really simple setup. Let me run you through it.

Addon Spotlight Buffs and the removal thereof
If you can see the screenhot above, all you need to do is enable Raven, type /raven into the chat window to open the config, then check the box next to whatever you need, in this case a Buff Tracker, then click either Create as Bars for a bar display or Create as Icons for an icon display. Doing literally just that will give you the displays you see above. From that point forward, they're pretty much completely customizable, anything you can think you might like to change, you can. Raven is an amazing addon!

Every time I write about these sorts of tracker addons, someone always brings up TellMeWhen. Now, I must confess, I am not a big fan of this addon.TellMeWhen offers an icon grid, as well as a bar display, with rather an opposite approach to Raven's. Raven sets everything up by default with all the bars, spells etc showing, and asks you to remove them, while TellMeWhen asks you to manually add in every single display you'd like to see. This is not to my personal preference, simply because it makes the setup so much more work, but it may well suit yours. It seems to me that for the amount of work involved in setting up TMW, you might as well use Weak Auras.
Addon Spotlight Buffs and the removal thereof
So above you can see a fairly typical set of TellMeWhen's bars, as well as two icons. Each one has to be set up individually, typing in names etc, but is very customizable. It does exactly what it says on the tin, it tells you when things happen, and can also output text and sounds. It's not that intuitive to set up, but it's also not that bad. It can also track others' cooldowns, spell casts, loss of control effects, and there are a ton of conditions that can be set for every type of tracking. Setup is as simple as right-clicking an empty icon space, and selecting what you want from a drop-down menu. A solid choice if Raven is too fancy for you, but I do think there are better options out there. Weak Auras is one of them!

Removing other people's buffs for your benefit

If you're a mage, priest, shaman, warlock, or any class with an offensive dispel at your disposal, you will want to use it whenever you can. Not just to remove your opponents' buffs, but in some cases to steal them for yourself and have your wicked way with them. But sometimes it's hard to tell just exactly what can be stolen and what can't, or indeed whether mobs have something worth taking at all. PvPers will want to ensure that their targets are as unbuffed as possible, and PvEers could often do well to purge destructive debuffs on their targets. If only there was an addon to help with this arduous task! Well, there is.

Naturally, you can just look for the buffs with the golden border in the standard unit frames, they're usually the ones that can be removed, but it's not always the easiest thing in the world to do, and that's what addons are for, to make things easier. And an addon that does a great job of this is Steal, Purge & Dispel.

This brings up a box for your target, and another for your focus, easily configured in both instances, showing what buffs they have that you could remove with your buff-stealing or buff-removing ability. The addon is smart enough to know whether you are playing a class that has an offensive dispel at its disposal, and will hide itself if there isn't one for you to use.
Addon Spotlight Buffs and the removal thereof
Apologies for the clumsy editing on the above image, I never asserted to be a graphic designer, but take a look at the addon in action. You can see that there are two separate frames for the target and focus to the left, and to the right there's just the target frame by itself. There's also a remaining duration, and the name and icon of the buff in question, you'll note that this includes raid buffs, as well as HoTs and everything else that can be dispelled! I was not often fast enough to take many screenshots, and did so in battlegrounds as there were more targets with dispellable buffs, but this addon absolutely works in a PvE setting too. It's a very handy tool for any class who wants to maximise the usefulness of their offensive dispel.
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

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