Shaman UI Updates and Gaming Peripherals
Cataclysm Shaman Power Auras
I’ve updated my Power Aura configurations for the new expansion. Everyone has their own style of using auras, so what I have may not work for you, but you can at least apply the techniques. I generally use images that capture the “feel” of the ability for me rather than strictly using the spell’s own images or numbers. In addition to this post, I plan on creating a permanent page with my power auras for every class/spec that I set them up for, along with a general overview of how to use Power Auras. I will not update this post everytime I change something, but I will try to update the permanent page.
There are quite a few things I added to my shaman power aura setup for Cataclysm. Here’s what I’ve got currently:
Earth Shield Tracker
I’ve setup a tracker for Earth Shield which tracks the buff and its stacks on any raid or party member that was cast by me. This is only used in spec 1 (my Resto spec).
Riptide Cooldown and Tidal Waves Buff
These are two separate auras, but its easier to show them together as they’re usually up at the same time.
The green aura around my character shows when the Tidal Waves buff is up. Tidal waves reduces the cast time of Healing Wave and Greater Healing wave by 30%, or the Crit chance of Healing Surge by 30%. It’s a very key part of healing as a shaman.
The green tracker on the right tracks the cooldown on Riptide.
This is only used in spec 1 (my Resto spec).
Unleash Elements Cooldown and Unleash Life Buff
These are two separate auras, but its easier to show them together.
The yellow aura around my character shows when the Unleash Life buff is up. Unleash Life is the buff granted by casting Unleash Elements, which uses the power of your current weapon buff to imbue your next spell cast. In the case of Unleash Life, it does a small HOT and increases your next direct heal by 20% (30% with Elemental Weapons talented) This is a vital ability for tank healing, especially due to the large health pools in Cata. I typically use it with Greater Healing Wave for a big boost of health. You can cast Riptide > Unleash Elements > Greater Healing wave for a a nice save when the tank is getting too low. Make sure to cast Riptide before Unleash Elements, because the Unleash Life buff will currently affect the direct heal portion of Riptide if you flip the order.
The yellow tracker on the right tracks the cooldown on Unleash Elements.
This is only used in spec 1 (my Resto spec).
Earthliving or Flametongue Weapon Reminder
I use the same graphic to remind me if I’m in combat and missing the weapon buff for the appropriate spec (Earthliving for resto, and Flametongue for elemental). Obviously this could be applied to Enhance as well.
Water or Lightning Shield Reminder
I use the same graphic to remind me if I’m in combat and missing the self-shield for the appropriate spec (Water for resto, and Lightning for elemental).
Lava Surge and Fulmination
I use the built in auras that come with TotemTimers for Lava Surge and Fulmination, but you could just as easily create Power Auras for them instead, using similar techniques to any other on this post.
You can download my resto export string here: resto_power_auras
You can download my elemental export string here: ele_power_auras
You will have to do some tweaking if you have your specs reversed in order, or only want to use one or the other. My resto spec is currently spec 1 and elemental is spec 2. I’ve set up the auras on two separate pages to make things more organized for myself.
If you are having issues with the timers or stack counts showing up, ensure that the timer or stack texture is set to a font that you have. I use a font called ‘Accidental Presidency’, which I believe comes with the addon gMedia.
If you are having an issues, please let me know. I’d be happy to attempt to assist you.
Here are some other shaman Power Aura setups for you to check out, with entirely different styles:
For those of you who typically have the tank or boss as a focus target, then you are unable to use the normal strategy of keeping your CC’d target focused and using a macro to refresh CC. Wugan over at Flow wrote a nice post about this. He suggests using Tidy Plates to show the CC timer on the mob’s nameplate. Note that while he uses the Neon theme of Tidy Plates, you can also do this via the Threat Plates theme.
This isn’t directly Shaman related, but I wanted to mention it, as I’ve been thinking a lot about the subject recently.
I’ve noticed a lot of people that received gaming peripherals like new keyboards, keypads, or mice for Christmas. I shrugged off the idea this year as usual. I have an odd setup for WOW that doesn’t allow for much room for accessories. I typically play on my Macbook pro on the couch in the living room. I have a laptop rest to keep the burning hot metal off my legs, in addition to a second laptop pad with a slide-out mousepad. I know it’s not ideal, but I really enjoy being able to stay in the living room. I’m sure my gameplay suffers for it though.
I tried to play my rogue in a normal dungeon for the first time since Cataclysm, and found myself failing miserably. Due to new abilities, the need to CC, and the melee-unfriendly constant movement of many of the fights, I began to realize that my current keybindings just aren’t working. If I’m ever going to play her again, or any DPS with a lot of used abilities, I’m going to need to try something different. I need to be able to easily move simultaneously while hitting at least 10 keys of various abilities.
One of the most common peripherals that people around me have been buzzing about lately is the Razer Naga. If you’ve been living under a rock, it is essentially a mouse designed for MMOs, with your 5 typical buttons that most gaming mice have, in addition to twelve numbered thumb buttons that can take the place of the numbers across the top of your keyboard, or the Numpad.
After giving it some serious thought, I realized that it might be answer to all my problems. I do know that it will require me to completely relearn how I play, in addition to spending a few hours messing around with macros and bindings. Is it worth it? I hope that it will make me a far better player, able to react to more situations, and use more abilities in my toolbox on a regular basis.
I’ve been wanting a mouse with more buttons for awhile (since I rolled a priest). The priest toolkit is so enormous that I quickly ran out of mouse-buttons. Unfortunately with a mac, none of the extra mouse buttons on gaming mice work correctly with WOW (except the Steelseries WOW mouse, which is a colosal beast that I’m not sure I can fit my hands around correctly). With the Naga, the 12 number buttons will register correctly. I won’t be able to use them with Clique, but I can use mouseover macros to enhance my healing toolkit, and eliminate awkward binds like CTRL-SHIFT-Rightclick.
Now that I’ve got the idea in my head, I’m going to head out and buy one today with my some cash I received for Christmas. Expect further reviews (and possibile whining about how hard it is to get used to).
Do you have the Naga, or some other peripheral that you love? How long did it take for you to get used to it?