Letting Go of Power Auras
The Power Auras section of my site was the one set of pages with consistent traffic, long after I let my blog collect dust. Ironically, I stopped using Power Auras last June. I wrote several drafts on the topic but never finished. It’s time to stop procrastinating.
What am I using, if not Power Auras Classic?
Weak Auras has become one of my favorite add-ons. It is everything that Power Auras claims to be, but with visual polish in both the configuration and the display of the auras themselves. The logic is much cleaner and easier to understand (Power Auras confused even my software programming brain). The ability to group auras, use multiple triggers, and even to write custom LUA code for triggers is fantastic.
From the Curse site: “It was originally meant to be a lightweight replacement for Power Auras, but it now incorporates many features that Power Auras does not, while still remaining more efficient and easy to use.”
Weak Auras certainly still requires a lot of set up (unless you use someone else’s settings) and effort, but I find it easier to set up auras on-the-fly (like for certain encounter mechanics) since it is a bit more intuitive and doesn’t require me to reload my UI to test. It also eliminates the weird issues I was having with Power Auras acting buggy and inconsistent.
Choosing the Kind Of Aura
Weak Auras can be loaded by typing /wa into your chat window. This pulls up the configuration screen. Your screen will of course initially be blank, so click ‘New’ to get started.
Weak Auras has a quite a few different aura varietals, and I think it’s one uh… weak spot… is that it can be a little confusing as to which one to select. They all have slightly different capabilities and fit different circumstances best. Luckily, you can now convert an aura from one type to another if you choose one and find it can’t do what you need.
These are auras that use visual animations to show “timer” type scenarios such as DOTs/HOTs, or buff cooldowns/durations. It basically fills or drains your aura of color as the timer progresses. I generally use it for DOT tracking.
These are your standard vanilla auras that equate most closely to Power Auras Classic.
I’ve never used this option, but it seems quite powerful. I have seen people use it to replicate the functionality of something like Sexy Cooldown, where icons move along a bar as they go off cooldown.
Another option I’ve never used as it seems like it would be rather memory intensive. It can show a 3D model from game files, which is pretty cool.
This lets you group auras that go together so you can place them more easily on the screen. I use this for some of my cooldown tracking so that I can have a visual Progress Texture and also a numerically cooldown counter together, such as for Riptide.
Very simple, lightweight aura that displays the text of your choosing.
This aura shows a spell icon in addition to an optional timer or stack count. The nice thing is that you don’t have to find the icon in a huge list of images – it can dynamically find it based on the spell you input in your trigger. I use this for tracking Earth Shield stacks. I generally prefer more abstract, “pretty” auras, but I know that spell icons are preferred by many.
This aura varietal displays a simple progress bar similar to what DBM uses.
Aura Configuration Options
Once you choose the kind of aura you want to use, there are a number of tabs for configuration purposes. You can also place your aura on the screen by dragging it to the desired location.
This controls the visual appearance of your aura. Size, opacity(alpha), texture, placement, mirroring and more, are options available to configure. These are all slightly different depending on the kind of aura you chose.
The Trigger tab is the meat of the aura configuration – this is where you define the purpose of the aura. Just ask yourself a few simple questions: When do I want this aura to appear and why? When do I want it to disappear and why? Weak Auras greatest feature is the ability to define multiple triggers for an aura – this means you can use AND/OR logic to determine when an aura can show up.
There are quite a few different Trigger types:
- Aura – for triggers that concern buffs and debuffs
- Status – for triggers that concern the status of something, whether it’s heath, mana, combo points, cooldown status, etc
- Event – for triggers that occur when a particular event happens, such as a cooldown is ready, or a particular thing occurs in the combat log
- Custom – triggers that are so fancy that you have to write custom LUA code for them
Load allows you to determine for which characters, spec, location, and combat status your aura should appear. I predominately use the spec, class, and In Combat check-boxes.
This is a tab that I rarely use. It can allow your aura to have more than just a visual component – it can play sounds, announce something in chat, or make a button glow. The chat message action seems the most useful as you could announce when you are using specific cooldowns to your raid.
Another tab I rarely use. You can give your auras a bit of flair by giving them an animation. Personally, I feel like my screen has enough movement going on already – the static auras provide more impact than something else flashing around.
Importing & Exporting
To import auras from strings like mine that you find around the internet or get from a friend, simply use the import option on the New Aura screen.
To export, just right click on an existing aura and choose ‘Export to string’ in the context menu. Use CTRL-C to copy the string from the window that comes up, and paste it into your desired location on your computer, such as Notepad or a forum post.
Another very cool feature is the ability to share an aura in chat. Just choose open up the correct chat channel or whisper the right person, and SHIFT + click an existing aura.
Many specs have an “execute” type ability that they use when a mob is below x% health. One such example of this is the priest’s Shadow Word: Death – to be used when the mob is below 25% health (and you can handle taking some damage).
- Under New, choose the Texture option
- Display – choose whatever image and positioning you desire
- On the Triggers tab, choose a ‘Status’ type trigger
- Under the Status menu choose ‘Health’
- Under Unit, choose ‘Target’
- Then check the ‘Health %’ box (not the Health box – that is for absolute numbers only)
- Choose the less than symbol
- Enter in 25% in the box
- On the Load tab:
- choose the class you want the aura to load for (priest)
- choose the spec (shadow is the Third talent tree)
Execute Export String (for Shadow Word Death)
Dot Timer – Vampiric Touch
Weak Auras has very nice dynamic DOT timer capability in several forms. For my priest, I choose to use the Progress Texture, which drains the texture of color as the timer ticks down. You could also use the Progress Bar or Icon auras to provide similar timer capabilities.
- Under New, choose the Progress Texture option
- Display – choose a pretty aura. I choose one of the PowerAuras Heads-Up options so I can center it on my character
- Triggers – choose the ‘Aura‘ type
- In the Aura name box type the name of your DOT – in this case Vampiric Touch
- Unit – choose Target
- Aura Type – choose Debuff
- Check the ‘Own Only’ checkbox so you don’t see DOTs cast by other shadow priests
- On the Load tab:
- choose the class you want the aura to load for (Priest)
- choose the spec (Shadow is the Third talent tree)
DOT Timer Export String (for Vampiric Touch)
Buff Stack Tracker – Earth Shield
Another common usage is tracking the stack count of buffs on yourself or a target. Earth Shield is a key resto shaman ability that is very helpful to track. This aura answers the question “how many stacks of Earthshield do I have on my tank?”
- Under New, choose the Icon option
- Display – I just chose the Automatic Icon option which will get the icon for the ability I enter in the Triggers section
- Triggers – choose the ‘Aura‘ type
- In the Aura name box type the name of your buff – in this case Earth Shield
- Unit – choose Group
- Scroll down and in the ‘Name Info’ box choose Aura Name
- In the Stack Info box choose Aura Stack
- Aura Type – choose Buff
- Check the ‘Own Only’ checkbox so you don’t see Earth Shield cast by other resto shaman
- On the Load tab:
- choose the class you want the aura to load for (Shaman)
- choose the spec (resto is the Third talent tree)
Buff Stack Tracker Export String (for Earth Shield)
Other Tips and Tricks
Converting an aura from one kind to another (ie. from a Texture to an Icon) is as simple as right clicking on your existing aura and choosing a new kind from the context menu.
The three examples above only brush the surface of what Weak Auras can do. Feel free to ask any questions you may have, although I’m certainly not an expert.
I have a full set of auras for my Resto/Elemental shaman, as well as my Shadow/Holy priest. I’ll be posting those in the future, so stay tuned!
- Add-on Download Link (Weak Auras is also available on the Curse client)
- WeakAuras Usage from the WowAce portal
- WeakAuras Examples from the WowAce portal
- Weak Auras Guides (with Resto Druid & Shaman auras) from Rhii at Oh My Kurenai
- Elemental Shaman Weak Auras and Holy Pally Auras from The Ready Check
- Addon Highlight – Weak Auras from Windsoar at Jaded Alt
Any other links related to Weak Auras that I should check out and include?