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Addon Spotlight Alternatives: Cooldown bar timers

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Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which 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.

The Addon Spotlight Alternatives series continues with a look at cooldowns, timers, bars, and anything falling into the category of timing. Timing is a crucial factor in many of World of Warcraft's angles. You've got DPS rotations that can be made or broken based on the time between skill use. You've got tanks making split-second decisions on ability usage and timing -- what if you're only a few seconds away from a Shield Wall, but heroic Nefarian is about to use his thunder electro-whatever? Yeah, you have better been timing those cooldowns better, buddy.

Cooldown and skill timing management are some of the game systems baked into the game to separate the better from the best, the true test for the most hardcore WoW players out there. People are still tackling Dragon Soul heroic content and succeeding because of good timing -- ask anyone about the gruesome slog that the Madness of Deathwing fight is on heroic. I did. I asked Rossi. He growled at me.

We've established that timing is important, right? Good. Addons can greatly help you with the timing and cooldown tracking of your abilities because the game does a pretty poor job of it. That's not Blizzard's fault, either -- tracking your cooldowns in such an elaborate and specific way is not exactly what the game is designed to showcase to every player. This is all information we are willingly taking on in excess from what Blizzard is providing.

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Filed under: Add-Ons, AddOn Spotlight

Totem Talk: Addons for elemental shaman

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Totem Talk for elemental, enhancement and restoration shaman. Get some Fulmination with your Lightning Bolts! Sort the shocks from the flames with Totem Talk: Elemental, brought to you by Sarah Nichol, otherwise known as Pewter from The 'mental Shaman, co-host of the Obscurecast, and founding member of TotemSpot.

How do I play WoW? With a few addons I've grown very fond of over the past few years. A UI is a highly personal thing, and I'm sure a few folks are going to raise an eyebrow at my choices. Addons and custom UIs are one of the reasons that Warcraft is so successful. For those of us who spend a lot of time interacting with the game, having control over the way information is presented and how we play is paramount.

I base my UI around a few simple principles:
  • Redundancy of information
  • Clarity
  • Accessibility
  • Flexibility
My machine is fairly old, so my UI is not as elegant and pretty as those of some others, but I do what works for me. I've not included convenience addons or BossMods because I wanted to focus on combat addons. A good elemental UI is all about tracking our fire totems, our buffs, and our various procs and cooldowns. The best method for this, in my opinion, is choosing appropriate addons for each bit of information. This means that various functions should be handled by different addons and even in some cases duplicated.

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Filed under: Shaman, Add-Ons, (Shaman) Totem Talk

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