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Addon Spotlight: Helpers for priest healers

Addon Spotlight focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same. This week, Addon Spotlight gives priest healers some suggestions for awesome healing helpers!

Since there is still no beta addon news to cover and most of the user interface changes have been well documented, I continue to hang my head in shame, waiting feverishly for new word about addons in Cataclysm. Instead, I have taken to occasionally playing a human priest named Helicopter. Back in vanilla WoW, I was a raid-healing priest who basically played like the speeds of a tractor: a turtle for "slow" and a rabbit for "fast." The entirety of my existence consisted of picking one of two heals for the job, and that was that. When I popped into beta, rolled up a priest and set to work, I had no idea what I was doing.

This week's Addon Spotlight is all about the things that I wish I had in beta -- an amalgamation of some awesome healing priest addons that can hopefully help out all you aspiring holy and discipline priests. Shadow, I don't hate, I promise. You'll have your day in the ... shade? You get enough tough love from your majordomo already, anyhow. Healer priests, this one's for you, with some vanilla priest stories thrown in for fun, of course.

Guardian Spirited

Guardian Spirit is one of those spells in the priest's arsenal that is just plain sexy. Tanks simply love Guardian Spirit, and it really gives the priest something that stands out as an awesome priestly ability. Save your life? Yes, please.

Guardian Spirited is a neat little addon that is designed to announce to your channels of choice when your Guardian Spirit is activated, on which target and whether the spell has saved your target's life or the duration ran out with no need to activate. Simple, straightforward options allow you to customize which channels get the messages, but the defaults are tuned to your party or raid -- while in raids, the addon defaults to announcing in /ra, for instance.

Announcing Guardian Spirit is a great way to communicate with other healing priests in your raid about when to save their own Guardian Spirit spell for another tank or another big-cooldown moment. In addition, letting the tank know when he or she is effectively empowered by a cooldown allows the tank to hold off on activating one of his own cooldowns for fear of overlapping the buffs. I love easy announce addons, and Guardian Spirited is no exception. Try it out.

Download Guardian Spirited at [Curse].


POM Assist and PoMTracker

Prayer of Mending is an awesome healing spell, jumping to different targets as damage is inflicted to them. It's a powerful tool, and POM Assist and PoMTracker help see where Prayer of Mending has gone and the charges left on the spell floating around. Priests do their best to maximize the damage healed with Prayer of Mending because of the cost of Prayer of Mending in addition to how the spell's mechanics work.

POM Assist displays a button for casting Prayer of Mending, a counter for the number of jumps the spell has left, and even displays a healed-per-mana figure to show you just how effective your Prayer of Mending spell is. The configuration options are plentiful, giving you good control over when the addon shows itself, whether it should be shown in your primary or secondary spec, and display size and colors. All in all, POM Assist is a great little tool for tracking a sometimes difficult-to-pinpoint spell. If you're not really up for the task of creating a Power Auras or similar notification for your Prayer of Mending, POM Assist really is the right addon for you.

PoMTracker is a similar addon that functions similarly to POM Assist but has a little bit of a different look to it. There is no button for casting the spell, but the smooth layout comes in a movable frame that will fit nicely anywhere you put it. My favorite feature is the option for a sound to play when your Prayer of Mending finishes its jumps. You can even fade the addon out when Prayer of Mending isn't going around.

Download POM Assist at [Curse].
Download PoMTracker at [WoWinterface].

Addons on your addons

There are some addons that are not priest-specific but are ubiquitous for healing user interface setups. Grid, Recount and others are powerful addons that can assist healing priests do their jobs harder, better, faster and stronger.

Discipline priests are a very interesting brand of healer who do a good amount of their job through damage mitigation rather than direct heals. Power Word: Shield is one of the coolest spells in the game, in my opinion, and the discipline priest's healing method is one of my favorites. Recount, the DPS and healing meter to beat, has a cool little addon called Recount: Absorbed, which adds absorptions to the healing meters, effectively giving discipline and holy priests a better readout on the damage they prevent or heal. It's a nice little addition to Recount. Skada, Recount's main competitor, has absorption built in. It is nice that tracking feature provides more parity.

Grid is still my favorite healing addon, coupled with mouse-macro addon Clique. Grid displays buffs and debuffs in very interesting and customizable ways, and with these next two Grid additions, priests will be rolling in awesome options for their healing Grid layouts. GridStatusMending is a Grid status module that replicates the function of a Prayer of Mending tracker, showing the duration and number of Prayer of Mending jumps left on the spell. Grid modules are great because they integrate seamlessly into the original Grid layout.

Download GridStatusMending at [Curse].

The second Grid module for healing priests is GridStatusShield, an addition to Grid that shows different indicators and amounts left for Power Word: Shield. Easy and care-free, these two Grid additions can make Grid the perfect healing setup for a holy or discipline priest.

Download GridStatusShield at [Curse].

So there you have it -- some excellent additions to the healing priest's arsenal of addons. I promised you a story from vanilla, didn't I? Back in the day, we priests had a really cool talented ability called Lightwell. Oh ... you still have that? Well, back when I played my priest, Lightwell was this huge joke of an ability that no one ever ... oh. My superiors are informing me that this is still the case. Anyway. Back in vanilla, on the Firemaw encounter in Blackwing Lair, I had a wonderful idea -- I would place a Lightwell around the corner from the raid so that rogues, hunters and other DPS that needed to line-of-sight the Flame Buffets would be able to use the Lightwell, freeing up some healer mana for the tanks. The moral of the story is that Lightwell never saved anyone's life, the DPS always took more damage, and that joke of an ability remained a joke. But every raid, there he was -- my little trooper Lightwell, helping out the best he could, one terrible HoT at a time. This article is for you, Lightwell.

See you all next week!

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 mat@wow.com.

Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

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