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Posts with tag threatmeter

Arcane Brilliance: The mage survival guide, part 1

Every week, WoW Insider brings you Arcane Brilliance for arcane, fire and frost mages. This week and next, we look at the time-honored tradition of mages dying whenever something looks at them funny and discuss a few ways to break that tradition. Way #1: Stand next to the warlock, pull aggro, cast Frost Nova, then Blink away.

I'm just kidding; that's a terrible idea. Funny, but terrible. Only do it once, purely for the humor value, then concentrate on downing the boss. Okay, maybe twice.

If you've run a heroic in Cataclysm, you may have noticed something: Nobody's healing you. In Wrath, when I'd take my holy pally out for a spin, everybody got heals. I was healing the tank, the off tank, the off-off tank, the DPS, the other healers, the hunter's pet, the death knight's ghoul, the guy standing in the fire ... they all got heals. Now? Not so much.

These days, healers spend 75% of their time healing the tank and the other 25% praying that their mana bars will go back up. That leaves exactly 0% of their time to spend on keeping your mage alive.

We're on our own, guys. When you see your health bar start to drop in a Cataclysm heroic or raid, just know that it won't be going back up any time soon. Our survival as DPSers is squarely our own responsibility. And what's the first rule of magehood? That's right: Dead mages do terrible DPS. We need to stay alive, our raid needs us to stay alive, and the only way that's going to happen is if we do it ourselves.

"But Christian," you might be saying, "I'm a mage! I wear a dress into combat! A particularly vigorous sneeze could kill me." Those things are all true. But you do have a few tricks up your sleeve that can help stave off death, if not forever, then at least long enough to pump out a few thousand more points of damage before you port up to that last great mage table in the sky.

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Filed under: Mage, Analysis / Opinion, (Mage) Arcane Brilliance

Using the new ingame Aggro Warning

Today's patch will bring with it a long awaited feature: an ingame Aggro Warning. Almost since launch, addons like Threatmeter and Omen have warned raiders and other folks that mobs are incoming (pulling aggro means that you've attracted the attention of some monsters by doing a little too much damage or healing), and the functionality has been so widespread that Blizzard has finally implemented it in the official UI.

According to what we saw on the PTR, it should come default whenever you head into an instance, but if you want to see aggro all the time, you can go to the Interface options, and flip "Display Aggro Warning" to always. Checking "Show Aggro Percentages" will give you a little percentage at the top of the target frame, showing just how much aggro you're getting from whatever you've got targeted.

If you've used a threatmeter before, you know that if you do pull aggro, you'll want to a) stop healing or doing damage immediately, and b) pop any aggro-reducing trinkets, abilities or talents you happen to have, like Feint or Disengage. Of course, if you have used an addon like Omen in the past, odds are you shouldn't get rid of it -- the ingame Aggro Warning is pretty thin, so odds are that your guild will still require Omen anyway for high level raiding. But as a simple heads up when you've got monsters about to come your way, the Aggro Warning does its job.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Add-Ons, Instances

Bringing addons into the default UI

We've written about Totemus before here on WoW Insider-- even though it does a lot more than just time your totems as a Shaman, that's mainly what I used it for. Not only did it provide me with a visual representation of what my current totem situation was like, it also gave me a heads up whenever my totems were failing, reminding me to put them down again. But of course since that's mostly what I used it for, I may not have a need for it after patch 2.4-- along with the other UI changes, Blizzard is going to be putting a totem timer into the default UI.

It's not the first time they've "stolen" addon functionality, and it definitely won't be the last. And while a few reports are coming in from the PTR, it remains to be seen whether this change will actually replace more complicated addons (my guess is no, considering how simple Blizzard's timer looks).

But expect more of this in the patches to come-- everyone heard that Blizzard wants to implement a threatmeter into the default UI, and a "DamageMeters" type of tool would likely be appropriate for the default UI as well. Blizzard has always had the luxury of a great and hardworking addon community, and I wouldn't be surprised to see them start taking advantage of that luxury more often.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Add-Ons

A faster, better, stronger threatmeter

KLHThreatMeter (more commonly known as KTM) is definitely one of the most required addons out there for raiding guilds. With the addon installed on every member of the raid, the threatmeter can give a heads up to both tanks and DPS when aggro is getting unbalanced. But KTM is an older addon, and as a result, it's gotten a little shaky-- it's a bit of a resource hog, and some readings from it (especially when not everyone has it installed) can be a little off.

Enter Omen, a relatively new addon (part of the Ace set) that the hype says is a KTM-killer. The author says it's fast and clean and it seems much more customizable than KTM-- you can even pull out specific threat bars to watch. It'll also hook up to KTM, so if everyone else in your raid is using KTM, Omen will still work for you-- and probably better. One big drawback is that it won't distinguish threat between same-named mobs, but KTM doesn't do that either (it's a failure of the addon API), and there's not too many situations where you'd need something like that.

Lots of guilds have already switched over to Omen, and apparently more all the time. Have you used it yet? Does it match up to the hype? I haven't had a chance to get it running in a raid, but the next time my guild heads into Karazhan, I'll be watching to see how it works. If KTM hasn't been running as quickly as you've wanted lately (and you're looking for something harder, faster, better, and stronger), Omen might be worth checking out as a new way to handle threat.

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Guilds, Add-Ons, Raiding

Getting your addons 2.1 compatible

In expectation of the coming patch (though it might still be a while), Curse has posted a compiled list of all their known 2.1 compatible addons. Unfortunately, that list is of Curse-only addons, so while both KLHThreatmeter and Healbot are on there, lots of other high profile addons are not.

That doesn't mean they won't be 2.1 compatible, however-- it just means that, well, in most cases we don't know. Titanbar (an addon I live by) was updated after the last big patch, but hasn't yet been updated for the new one. It's the same story with Auctioneer. CTMod hasn't mentioned 2.1 yet, but they update pretty quickly, and even if they don't get a new version out before the patch appears, it's very likely the latest version (v2.001) will still work.

Since I'm not an addon creator, I'm not sure how much functionality is changing in 2.1, but from what I can make of the UI Forum, it won't be nearly as much as the expansion patch did. There may be a few problems ( has a short list of known problematic addons on the PTR), but for the most part, we can probably expect 2.1's addon changes to go pretty smoothly. You'll still have to manually enable your addons (since they'll all be out of date), but chances are none of them will be really broken.

Filed under: Patches, Tips, Add-Ons

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