Shades of Kae

Power Auras: Resto Shaman Edition

UPDATE: This post is a bit out of date. If you want to check out my current setup, I’m keeping this page updated with my most recent shaman Power Auras.

Power Auras is an addon to show visual cues on your screen. Typically it’s used for buffs and debuffs. It’s a very powerful tool that can be a bit intimidating to configure.

I typically use Class Timers for tracking buffs, but sometimes I need things thrown in my face. Power Auras is a way to put a reminder to the forefront of my UI in a visually interesting way. My first experiment with the addon was during my brief foray into enhancement (we won’t go into the reasons it was brief, let’s just say it never “clicked” for me, and I’m a tad lazy). I used the Auras shown by Wow.com’s enhancement columnist in this post.

After seeing that Power Auras wasn’t as scary as I once thought, I decided that my resto shaman could benefit the most from them. When healing, the tunnel vision threatens to take over, and having a more noticeable reminder seemed helpful. In the midst of frantically healing Saurfang, for instance, I found myself forgetting to reapply my Earthliving weapon, or letting my Water Shield drop.

My approach to Power Auras is to use them minimally – not for every buff, just for those that feel uber important. Some people use numbers and icons, while I choose to use graphics that remind me aesthetically of the buff.

To start up configuration, you type /powa into your chat window. This brings up the main menu.

Power Auras main menu

The first aura I added was one to remind me if my water shield falls off. Here’s the configuration:

Power Aura for water shield configuration

You can change the graphic, size, color, and position up top on the screen. The bottom part is the true nuts & bolts. What the above setup basically says, is to show the shield graphic when I am in combat, and when there are no stacks of water shield up. The key to making this happen is the ‘Invert’ checkbox.

I also made sure that the warning won’t show up while I’m mounted or in a vehicle – preventing me from being annoyed during Flame Leviathan or when riding on a dragon in Oculus. That’s controlled by putting an ‘X’ next to those options.

I have it show up in both specs, as Water Shield is important for elemental as well. You can change that by selecting ‘Spec 1′ or ‘Spec 2′ down at the bottom.

Here’s what it looks like in-game:

Graphic for water shield power aura

Next, I added a similar warning for my Earthliving weapon:

Power Aura for Earthliving configuration

As you can see, the configuration is basically identical to the Water Shield one. Again, the key is the ‘Invert’ checkbox, for showing a graphic when buffs are missing.

Graphic for Earthliving power aura

Next I configured auras for two buffs that I wanted to know procced. First was Tidal Waves, which provides yummy crit and haste bonuses for Lesser Healing Wave and Healing Wave respectively upon a Riptide cast. Here’s the setup:

Power Auras Tidal Waves configuration

With this more simple configuration, you just type in the name of the buff and use >=0, leaving the Invert Checkbox alone.

Graphic for Tidal Waves

The same setup is also applied to my Rapid Currents aura, which shows when the T10 resto bonus procs. Blizzard really made the T10 bonuses fun and useful, and the resto shaman one is no exception. It provides a lovely 20% haste buff for 10 seconds, which is nothing to sneeze at. Keeping this up as much as possible is a huge advantage.

Power Aura for Rapid Currents configuration

I love the glowing graphic on this one – it really makes me feel epic.

Graphic for Rapid Currents Power Aura

And there you have my very simplistic use of Power Auras. This addon has a vast array of possible uses, but I’m starting small. I intend to expand to other specs and characters in the near future, and will post on those when they’re ready.

Check out this article for some more possible uses for resto shaman.

Sidenote: There’s been some buzz in the blogging community lately about the usage of addons. If you’ve read anything on my blog, you know I use addons extensively. As a software developer myself, with an interest in usability, I’m not interested in putting up with inefficiencies of someone else’s design. If I can make the game more usable and more fun, why shouldn’t I? Addons have their pitfalls – they can be memory intensive, they can be distracting, and they don’t always work perfectly. For me though, dealing with the frustrations of the default UI’s limitations is just too much.

I didn’t even give LOTRO a fair chance due to its lack of addons (and as such am thrilled to hear that they’re going to add LUA capability in the near future). The way I see it, it’s all about what you find fun, and what you want to be challenged on. For me, trying to determine visual cues from tiny buff boxes is tedious and irritating – but obviously for others, it is an intriguing challenge. That’s the great thing about WOW, is that it can be enjoyable for so many types of personalities and gamers. Many people feel the need to feel elitest about the way they do something – as if their way was the only “right” way. As with much in life, the right way is extremely subjective.

The decision to use addons is wholly up to you – however Blizzard knows that most people do use addons, even designing encounters with that in mind. They often incorporate addons into the base UI, such as with the new raid frames for Catclysm. This tells me that they recognize significant usability improvements that addons provide. Yes, this make make the game “easier”, in the same way that Microsoft Windows made it easier to use a computer than MS-DOS.

I’ve added  my config string below if any of these seem useful to you. You can import the string and modify as desired.

Set=Page 1@
Aura[1]=Version:st3.0.0J; gcd:bofalse; b:nu1; anim1:nu1; g:nu0.46666666666667; optunitn:bofalse; ignoremaj:botrue; Instance25ManHeroic:nu0; stacksLower:nu0; target:bofalse; icon:stInterfaceIconsAbility_Shaman_WaterShield; size:nu1.1999999284744; torsion:nu1; r:nu0.031372549019608; Instance5ManHeroic:nu0; begin:nu0; x:nu0; customsoundend:st; customname:st; groupany:botrue; isAlive:botrue; timerduration:nu0; unitn:st; bufftype:nu1; CurrentMatch:stWater Shield; stacks:nu0; focus:bofalse; Instance10ManHeroic:nu0; raid:bofalse; texture:nu21; stance:nu10; alpha:nu0.40000000596046; aurastext:st; InstanceBg:nu0; symetrie:nu0; owntex:bofalse; isResting:nu0; spec1:botrue; duration:nu0; mine:bofalse; randomcolor:bofalse; multiids:st; inVehicle:bofalse; speed:nu1; Instance5Man:nu0; sound:nu0; InactiveDueToState:botrue; stacksOperator:st>=; realaura:nu1; threshold:nu50; exact:bofalse; id:nu1; HideRequest:bofalse; textaura:bofalse; Active:bofalse; anim2:nu0; wowtex:bofalse; groupOrSelf:bofalse; customsound:st; soundend:nu0; beginSpin:bofalse; InstanceArena:nu0; inParty:nu0; tooltipCheck:st; GTFO:nu0; aurastextfont:nu1; CurrentSlot:nu2; spec2:botrue; Instance10Man:nu0; customtex:bofalse; PvP:nu0; Instance25Man:nu0; isSecondary:bofalse; thresholdinvert:bofalse; inRaid:nu0; combat:botrue; Showing:bofalse; UseOldAnimations:bofalse; buffname:stWater Shield; y:nu-30; off:bofalse; texmode:nu1; inverse:botrue; ismounted:bofalse; targetfriend:bofalse; party:bofalse; finish:nu1@
Aura[2]=Version:st3.0.0J; gcd:bofalse; b:nu0.07843137254902; anim1:nu1; g:nu0.92549019607843; optunitn:bofalse; ignoremaj:botrue; Instance25ManHeroic:nu0; stacksLower:nu0; target:bofalse; icon:stInterfaceIconsSpell_Nature_AstralRecal; size:nu0.74999994039536; torsion:nu1; r:nu1; Instance5ManHeroic:nu0; begin:nu0; x:nu0; customsoundend:st; customname:st; groupany:botrue; isAlive:botrue; timerduration:nu0; unitn:st; bufftype:nu1; stacks:nu0; focus:bofalse; Instance10ManHeroic:nu0; raid:bofalse; texture:nu4; spec1:botrue; randomcolor:bofalse; stance:nu10; alpha:nu0.75000005960464; aurastext:st; InstanceBg:nu0; symetrie:nu0; owntex:bofalse; isResting:nu0; duration:nu0; mine:bofalse; multiids:st; inVehicle:nu0; speed:nu1; Instance5Man:nu0; sound:nu0; InactiveDueToState:bofalse; stacksOperator:st>=; realaura:nu1; threshold:nu50; exact:bofalse; id:nu2; HideRequest:bofalse; textaura:bofalse; Active:bofalse; anim2:nu0; wowtex:bofalse; groupOrSelf:bofalse; customsound:st; soundend:nu0; beginSpin:bofalse; InstanceArena:nu0; inParty:nu0; tooltipCheck:st; GTFO:nu0; aurastextfont:nu1; spec2:botrue; Instance10Man:nu0; customtex:bofalse; PvP:nu0; Instance25Man:nu0; isSecondary:bofalse; thresholdinvert:bofalse; inRaid:nu0; combat:nu0; Showing:bofalse; UseOldAnimations:bofalse; buffname:stRapid Currents; y:nu-30; off:bofalse; texmode:nu1; inverse:bofalse; ismounted:nu0; targetfriend:bofalse; party:bofalse; finish:nu1@
Aura[3]=Version:st3.0.0J; gcd:bofalse; b:nu0.45490196078431; anim1:nu1; g:nu1; optunitn:bofalse; ignoremaj:botrue; Instance25ManHeroic:nu0; stacksLower:nu0; target:bofalse; icon:stInterfaceIconsSpell_Shaman_TidalWaves; size:nu0.75; torsion:nu1; r:nu0.49803921568627; Instance5ManHeroic:nu0; begin:nu0; x:nu0; customsoundend:st; customname:st; groupany:botrue; isAlive:botrue; timerduration:nu0; unitn:st; bufftype:nu1; stacks:nu0; focus:bofalse; Instance10ManHeroic:nu0; raid:bofalse; texture:nu3; spec1:botrue; randomcolor:bofalse; alpha:nu0.25; aurastext:st; stance:nu10; InstanceBg:nu0; symetrie:nu0; owntex:bofalse; isResting:nu0; duration:nu0; mine:bofalse; multiids:st; inVehicle:nu0; speed:nu1; Instance5Man:nu0; sound:nu0; InactiveDueToState:bofalse; stacksOperator:st>=; realaura:nu1; threshold:nu50; exact:bofalse; id:nu3; HideRequest:bofalse; textaura:bofalse; Active:bofalse; anim2:nu0; wowtex:bofalse; groupOrSelf:bofalse; customsound:st; soundend:nu0; beginSpin:bofalse; InstanceArena:nu0; inParty:nu0; tooltipCheck:st; GTFO:nu0; aurastextfont:nu1; spec2:botrue; Instance10Man:nu0; customtex:bofalse; PvP:nu0; Instance25Man:nu0; isSecondary:bofalse; thresholdinvert:bofalse; inRaid:nu0; combat:nu0; Showing:bofalse; UseOldAnimations:bofalse; buffname:stTidal Waves; y:nu-30; off:bofalse; texmode:nu1; inverse:bofalse; ismounted:nu0; targetfriend:bofalse; party:bofalse; finish:nu1@
Aura[4]=Version:st3.0.0J; gcd:bofalse; b:nu0.90980392156863; anim1:nu1; g:nu0; optunitn:bofalse; ignoremaj:botrue; Instance25ManHeroic:nu0; stacksLower:nu0; target:bofalse; icon:stInterfaceIconsinv_weapon_shortblade_100; size:nu1.0799999237061; torsion:nu1; r:nu1; Instance5ManHeroic:nu0; begin:nu0; x:nu0; customsoundend:st; customname:st; groupany:botrue; isAlive:botrue; timerduration:nu0; unitn:st; bufftype:nu5; stacks:nu0; focus:bofalse; Instance10ManHeroic:nu0; raid:bofalse; texture:nu17; alpha:nu1; aurastext:st; InstanceBg:nu0; symetrie:nu0; spec1:botrue; randomcolor:bofalse; owntex:bofalse; isResting:nu0; duration:nu0; mine:bofalse; multiids:st; inVehicle:bofalse; speed:nu1; Instance5Man:nu0; sound:nu0; InactiveDueToState:botrue; stacksOperator:st>=; realaura:nu1; threshold:nu50; exact:bofalse; id:nu4; HideRequest:bofalse; textaura:bofalse; Active:bofalse; anim2:nu0; wowtex:bofalse; groupOrSelf:bofalse; customsound:st; soundend:nu0; beginSpin:bofalse; InstanceArena:nu0; inParty:nu0; tooltipCheck:st; GTFO:nu0; aurastextfont:nu1; stance:nu10; spec2:bofalse; Instance10Man:nu0; customtex:bofalse; PvP:nu0; Instance25Man:nu0; isSecondary:bofalse; thresholdinvert:bofalse; inRaid:nu0; combat:botrue; Showing:bofalse; UseOldAnimations:bofalse; buffname:stEarthliving; y:nu-36; off:bofalse; texmode:nu1; inverse:botrue; ismounted:bofalse; targetfriend:bofalse; party:bofalse; finish:nu1@
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One Comment

  1. Night says:
    July 29, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Love this addon. I use it for my dps warrior and hunter.

    My drawf sham looks forward to healing and hopes /powa is still here then

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