Restoration Shaman Weak Auras

Resto Shaman Need Weak Auras

Restoration Shaman are a fun class to play, but fundamental to the playstyle is the ability to plan, track, and effectively use a large variety of abilities which have non-trivial cooldowns. This can mean anything from Chain Heal (Glyphed – 2 sec cooldown) to Healing Tide Totem (3 minute cooldown).

While I can’t give everyone the ability to effectively plan their ability usage, and I can only point out times when people miss their ability cooldowns or don’t use them effectively, what I can do is help people track their abilities more effectively.

This is where Weak Auras 2 comes in! Weak Auras 2, a continuation of Weak Auras (in turn, a successor to Power Auras) is an addon for World of Warcraft which shows a texture or does some other action (e.g. plays a sound) when a pre-defined trigger is met in-game. This can be as simple as showing you a picture of your most important ability each time it comes off cooldown, or extremely complex tracking of when to place and recall totems.

On this page, I will provide the current WeakAuras 2 auras which I use in-game alongside a short description of why they are important – you can find the download links at the end of the page. I divide my auras into four distinct categories:

  1. Big Cooldowns – Spells such as Healing Tide Totem, which I have to track and find the most easily.
  2. Smaller Cooldowns – Spells which I still have to track, but which I can usually afford to have slightly less obvious during the fight.
  3. Utility Cooldowns – Tracking spells such as Dispel, Capacitor Totem, and Wind Shear.
  4. Status Notifications – Other triggers, such as showing that I have Water Shield active.

Update 03/01/2015 – Fixed lag issues caused by too large dynamic group. Aura style changed to compensate; page is being updated to stay coherent with the actual download links.

My main philosophy with the WeakAuras is to make them as clear and unambiguous as possible; this will hopefully reduce the cognitive load associated with interpreting them, which allows me to spend more time looking at other things! Here’s an example of my UI while I am testing it in LFR on Live, to give you an idea of how the system looks;

The only time I am entering LFR this expansion.

 

Shown above are the main sections of the WeakAuras component of my UI which are shown constantly.  These are used for tracking spell and ability cooldowns, which are an integral part to almost any Resto Shaman play.

You will notice that the auras are arranged in columns; each of these columns is a Group, which ensures that the auras stay arranged nicely and can be rearranged easily if necessary. The functionality is simple; show a picture of the active spell when it is off cooldown; when it is on cooldown, show a timer instead. Let’s take a closer look at the functionality here;

I have gone for a very simple setup here – no icon is shown at all when the ability is on cooldown (just its timer). This is for two reasons; 1) it reduces any potential memory usage or frame lag issues, 2) when your ability is on cooldown, you have a larger amount of free screen space for your peripheral vision. Overall, I find this to be a better tradeoff than other versions I made with fancy in-between stages.

How Do They Work?

Describing in full how a WeakAura works is quite laborious, so I’ll just give you a general overview of the idea. Both the Timer and Icon effects for each spell are individual Auras, which I place on the same spot using the Display options. The different spells are offset vertically to give the column effect. Each group of spells is then inside its own Group Aura, which lets you change the position of the column on your screen as well as control when it is disabled. Here is what the implementation looks like within WeakAuras;

By default, I have all Auras enabled at all times. If you want to change that, all you have to do is select the Group, and go to the Load tab (pictured below). To set the group to display only when you’re in Resto Spec, check “Player Class” and “Talent Specialization”, and select “Shaman” and “Specialization 3” in the drop down menus next to them. (Note: sometimes WeakAuras2 shows you spec names instead when Shaman is selected, in which case you just have to select Restoration). This setup is shown below;

EnableForResto

I have set up the “Utility” Auras to be slightly smaller and not show a cooldown timer, because I think they are less critical.

What Else Do You Got?

A less permanent, but nevertheless useful, feature of my WeakAuras are the third category – “Status Notifications”. These vary in size and design, but I have two good examples to share with you which apply to almost any fight;

I use these Auras to remind me about important information; the Water Shield notification only shows when I do not have Water Shield active, and the Active Buffs region shows important (temporary) buffs which I need to pay attention to (Heroism and Windwalk Totem are good examples shown above). I plan to expand the number of buffs covered by the latter Aura over time, and the base package was provided by my friend and co-healer Toman, so thanks for that! Make sure to check this section regularly for changes.

Let’s Talk About: Healing Totems

So, in my opinion Healing Stream Totem  is one of the most important abilities to track consistently as a Resto Shaman. I have my “Rotational Cooldowns” tracking it, so don’t you think that’s a bit inconsistent? Well, yes and no. My HST aura is special because it plays a tone every time HST comes off cooldown. This is used to prompt me to drop it immediately, since it is such an easy way to get a big healing gain.

Cloudburst Totem is also a big topic, and I’ve said before that I like it. I have an Aura to handle this, too, but it’s a little more complicated. The idea is to play a “meow” sound and flash an icon when you should be dropping the totem, but actually making it do that can be difficult. In addition, there are two different cases where you want this Aura to function;

  1. You have specced for Totemic Persistence and therefore want to drop it as soon as possible.
  2. You have not specced for Totemic Persistence and therefore want to drop it as soon as Healing Stream Totem finishes.

My solution to this is to have two separate Auras grouped together, each of which deals with one of the two cases. However, because of the unique way in which I have to set the Auras up, they don’t quite do the same thing. Aura 2 triggers off CBT’s cooldown (between 0 and 2 seconds remaining) to remind you to drop it as soon as possible. The Aura warns you early so that you can plan ahead, rather than respond to the reminder late. Aura 1 triggers off Healing Stream Totem’s cooldown (between 15 and 13 seconds remaining) so that you don’t drop CBT too early and cancel HST. Note that Aura 1 will go off regardless of whether CBT is ready to use – this is intentional, so that you are prompted to sync your totems correctly. The picture below shows the difference between the two Auras;

CBT_Alert

Originally, I got the two Auras mixed up. They’re actually labelled consistently with the Aura names in WeakAuras now, so hopefully nobody gets mixed up…

How to Import Into WeakAuras2

  1. Follow the link to the Pastebin page.
  2. Copy the string of letters and brackets from the page.
  3. Ingame, in WeakAuras2, go to “New” -> “Import”.
  4. Paste your string into the box, and press “Import” in the box that pops up.
  5. Enjoy your new aura!

Download Links

Here is a list of links to pastebins with WeakAuras2 import strings;

Big Cooldowns

Rotational Cooldowns

Smaller Cooldowns

Utility Cooldowns

Water Shield

Healer Buffs

Drop CBT Alert

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29 Responses to Restoration Shaman Weak Auras

  1. Yupiiee says:

    can you post your config of raid frames? it looks great

    • stoove says:

      Thanks for the compliment! I will make an extra page with the import from Vuh’do at some point 🙂

      • Mizer says:

        Did you ever do this, i.e. create the extra page with import from Vuhdo? Nice blog by the way, new shaman and new to healing, so I am trying to get as much info as I can. I wouldn’t mind a mentor 🙂

      • stoove says:

        I haven’t yet (it’s still on my list of projects) and at the moment, my Vuh’Do setup is in flux quite a lot. Once it settles down I will prioritize it more.

        Thanks for your kind words! 🙂

  2. cookiem says:

    I think there may be a problem with the groups. WeakAuras doesn’t show the talent specs properly (load conditions tab) with Big Cooldowns and Smaller Cooldowns Grp 1. Instead of resto, ele and enh it lists “Specialization 1”, Specialization 2 etc thru 4. The water shield one seems to work fine though. I didn’t check the others.

    I assumed it was a WA issue and looked there for help. I found something similar that they had checked out and called invalid.

    Thanks for doing this, I’m new to WA and appreciate any help I can find.

    • stoove says:

      Hi cookiem, thanks for your comment. I didn’t set the auras to work for a specific spec largely because the triggers are “action useable”, which are only true when you are in Resto spec for most cases. If you want to only enable in Resto spec, you should tick “Specialization 3” on the options section which you mentioned – the specs are numbered in the order that they appear on your spec pane. Does that fix your issue? 🙂

      (PS: The Auras were made for Weakauras 2 specifically, so you should check that you have that specific one installed. It should say in your Curse Client.)

  3. Roy says:

    Hey, I have recently downloaded these in WOD and they are severely lagging me in large groups, lfr for example. My old auras do not lag me I swapped back to try, but these cause me to have huge fps drop during encounters. Is there any reason that this might happen?

    • stoove says:

      Hey there! I actually have noticed this, but I don’t have any of my old auras so I couldn’t check. Thanks for your info! My guess is that it’s the Dynamic Groups which are doing the lagging, so I’ll just have to redesign these auras from scratch 😦 Thanks for the info, I’ll update when I have new auras.

      • Roy says:

        Just thought I’d let you know, I ungrouped all your auras and gave each one it’s own group, so rather than HST/RT/HR/UE in the same group, they all have 1 each, and the lag seemed to drop almost to zero. I did this for the main cd’s and all the secondary cd groups, not the buffs however. I don’t know why it’s like that, my auras are usually not the most complex so I don’t pretend to know the in’s and out’s too well, but I just thought I’d pass the info on.

      • stoove says:

        Hi Roy, thanks for the info.

        I tracked the lag to the same source. The intent of the dynamic group methodology was to make it so that aura organization was easy (not having to have gaps, for instance). Since this proved to be impossible, I changed my auras back a bit. I just removed the dynamic groups altogether and went back to my old symbol / timer aura style. These work fine, and I’m updating the site as we speak.

  4. stoove says:

    Updated 03/01/2015 to sort out various lag problems. Rigorously tested in-raid this time, for about a month of raiding.

    • pgm says:

      Hey, Chiming in from 6.03 and I still experienced MASSIVE frame lag from using your awesome WAs 😦
      Thanks a ton for setting these up though, they are fantastic!

      • stoove says:

        Oh dear, really? Make sure that your WAs are up to date and using WeakAuras2 specifically (not the original WeakAuras, which was dropped as a project AFAIK). Are you using the updated version on this page?

        Also, can you confirm that you don’t get the frame lag when only WA is disabled? Cheers 🙂

  5. Sari says:

    Thank you from a feeling like a fail shammy healer! I am hoping this helps.

  6. tunkerbell says:

    thank you for the info, am currently having major fail issues, not sure why. hope these guide me to the right way to heal for wod.

  7. Hallowquest says:

    Thanks for these Stoove, I have been a Resto healer for a few years now and raided at a reasonable level in MoP but always felt my UI let me down especially on progression fights. I am going to re design it using WA and these strings and see if it gives me that little extra. I also use Vuh’Do so looking forward to seeing your setup.

  8. Mantuslol says:

    Hey I don’t know if it should look like this but when the Abilities listed under rotational, and big cooldowns are on cool down only the timer shows. The icons for the CDs do not. Is there a way to keep the icons shown after they have been used.

    • stoove says:

      Hi Mantuslol.
      Yes, that’s the way I designed the auras. You can add in a copy of the Icon auras and invert the trigger, then change the colour or something to show it’s on cooldown. Personally, I found that that just added too many things for WeakAuras to track at once and it was somewhat inefficient.

      Another thing to note is that if you’re showing the icons when they’re on cooldown, you’re covering up screen space which could be better uncovered (e.g. to help you avoid fire).

      • Mantuslol says:

        Ya main reason I am wanting to show the icons is because I am still fairly new to shaman so trying to keep track of what CDs are about to come off of CD is just as important to me as which ones are already off CD.

      • stoove says:

        That’s fair, I’ve always just remembered which ones go where. Have you given them a few goes in LFR or something as they are?

  9. Mantuslol says:

    Really no I have only been PvPing on the shaman. Was leveled specifically for pvp.

  10. Drench says:

    Okay, I am going to go insane. Which one of the WeakAuras is doing that telephone ringing noise?

    • stoove says:

      The Healing Stream Totem one, it’s intended to ensure you don’t forget to drop it. (I did at many points explain this in the text, but it might have dropped out?).

      To remove the ringing sound, go to the Group which HST is in, click on the Icon aura for HST, go to the Actions tab and untick “Play Sound”.

  11. Samantha says:

    Not sure what happened, everything still works fine but I’ve noticed this past week my Ascendance icon has stopped showing up in the “BigCooldowns” WA string, the other 3 show up just not Asc anymore 😦 I didnt touch anything just gone one day.

    Also – is there a way to “turn off” one while you’re not using it – CBT pops up all the time even when I’m not specced into the talent.

    Thanks

    • stoove says:

      To turn off an Aura, go to the “Load” tab for the Aura and select your class and spec, then select the talent. It will only load when that talent is active.

      The Ascendance thing is something I’ve had a problem with before, and I will try to replicate the bug for a fix.

  12. Ross says:

    Is there one of these for Earth Shield or does it not work because it’s not cast on yourself?

  13. James says:

    The healing cooldowns, the one with heroism and whatnot, won’t work for me. I got it to go into the load section of the WA interface by selecting a class and spec, but it won’t trigger when the spells happen.

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