Time to take a break for a while from the spoilerrific posts of the new starting areas. I'd like to talk about one of the features I like the most that are coming in cata.

The vast majority of those who take raiding seriously (well, as seriously as you can take a game) know of a little addon called Power Auras. This is without a doubt the most useful addon for raiding. It's the addon that will help you the most at being great at what you do, no matter the role.

What exactly is Power Auras, you ask? Well, to explain why Power Auras is so good and what it's used for, I first need to make a point: WoW's UI is really, really bad. It's functional, but when you want to track ANYTHING useful with it, it shows that it comes from a time where everquest was king and raiding wasn't as difficult as it is now.

WoW's UI comes from simpler times, where keeping track of everyone's HP in a raid didn't matter much because you didn't have to make split-second decisions. The life of the tanks didn't depend of wether you could use a macro to bring him up from 10% to full health in 2 seconds or the Raid wipes. It comes from a time where it didn't matter if you knew that a proc was up so you could capitalize on it and maximize your dps. Bosses weren't balanced around 40 people maximizing their performance. They were balanced on 15 people maximizing their performance, 15 more doing decent to mediocre performances, and 10 more afking for half or the whole fight.

What power auras does is to give you a visual cue of your choice, exactly where you want in the screen, and triggered by anything in the game. Still don't get it? well, let me give you an example: As a Holy Priest, you must keep track of a buff called Serendipity. Now, Keeping track of this buff in the default UI is a pain in the ass, because this buff stacks 3 times and in the default UI that's almost impossible to see, and also the default UI throws this buff along all the other 30 buffs you'll have in a raid, in a frikken corner of the screen.

With power auras, you could configure this buff to show up as a semi-transparent graphic of your choice that appears AROUND your toon, so you always know when it procs. You could also add a counter on its side so you know how many stacks you have, or you could make it less transparent as it gains more stacks. You could also add a timer nearby so you know when it will expire.

Useful eh? Not only this, you could track when a trinket is ready for use, when your target has certain buff or debuff, when you have low mana, low health, combo points, runes... WHATEVER! you can track anything and everything and display it on the screen however you want. That's why this Addon is so Valuable for anyone that wants to be as best as he/she can in a raid.

This addon is, in my opinion, even more valuable than Deadly Boss Mods, because after you know the fights, it's pretty much redundant in most cases. This addon however, will always be helpful, and is helpful for everybody.

Now, the real reason I am talking about Power Auras, is this:

Yes, that's me in the beta, and no, that's not Power Auras. That's Blizzard's own implementation of power auras in-game.

Blizzard's version is much simpler than Power Auras. It just tracks certain critical spells for different classes (In this case, Arcane Missiles procs for Mages) and you can't change or modify the graphic displayed, at the moment. I don't expect it to become as complex as power auras, but this is a REALLY good implementation of the addon. I hope you can have some control and customization in the final version, because right now everything is set in stone and you can only toggle it on or off.

Anyways, for those who love power auras this is something to look forwards to. For those of you who never heard of Power Auras before, shame on you. Go get it right now and learn how to use it, it's guaranteed to make you a better player. Or you can wait till cata and check out the "Official" version. Either way, this was a really neat surprise.

(Damn this was longer than originally planned. TL;DR!)


Post a Comment