Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Clique: Not Just For Healers Anymore!

I occasionally like to showcase a mod on my blog that I feel is incredibly versatile and solves a serious problem for all the raiders out there like myself.

My last entry on this subject, PowerAuras: the Best AddOn You've Never Used!, showed off just a small portion of the robust warning system the mod PowerAuras brought to the table. Today, I'll be covering the finer points of the mod titled Clique.

Since I've been spending a bunch of time in the higher end 10 man encounters healing on my shaman I became intimately familiar with this life-saver of an AddOn. I hadn't actually healed full time in a raid since about halfway through the Burning Crusade expansion and Clique severely shortened the re-learning curve for me and, I feel, made me a better healer than I had been in the past relying on keypresses and raid member targeting.

But I LOVE My Keybindings!

I don't blame you. In fact, I wholeheartedly support you in mapping as much as possible to keybindings. Using a keybinding setup for spell casting is far superior to clicking. It increases reaction time, decreases the amount of miscast spells and allows you to focus more on what's happening around you and less on where the mouse pointer is.

However, when you're talking about raid frames and any interaction a player might have with those raid frames be it healing, buffing, decursing or ressurecting... you'll find yourself relying on raid frame mouse clicks one way or another.

This is where clique can help you out the most by not only freeing up keybindings for other spells that would otherwise be devoted to heals or buffs, but by eliminating the targeting step of raid window interaction. It does this by binding spells to mouse clicks instead of keyboard bindings. These mouse click bindings work with any unit frame unless otherwise specified and are independent of any keyboard bindings you may already have for the same spell.

The All-In-One Raid Window Assistant

You probably have, at the very least, a raid window mod if you ever have to mess with the raid windows.

Often pure DPS will have the window hidden or not run with a raid window mod to save on memory and CPU cycles, but most folks will need their raid windows out at one point or another for some reason and regardless of which baseline mod you go with Clique can probably help you perform certain tasks better.

The exception to this are mods like Vuhdo or HealBot, raid window mods that have built in Clique-like functionality that renders Clique itself redundant. The concept and configuration for this functionality between mods, however, is nearly identical.

Some folks also go with mods like Decursive that provide a secondary raid window specifically for purposes of cleansing and other non-healing raid utility like crowd control and buff management.

Keep in mind, though, that clique can bind any spell that is targetable to mouse clicks so all of these other things that redundant raid frame mods take care of can also be taken care of in Clique, streamlining your interface and saving screen real estate.

All of these things (and probably more) can be handled through Clique bindings:
  • Healing
  • Crowd control
  • Cleansing
  • Buffing
  • Intercept
  • Tricks/Misdirect
  • Resurrection
  • Divine Intervention
  • Macros
There is also a custom macro system where you can assign a macro version of a spell without using up one of the limited macro slots provided by the default interface.


Clique has a very simple configuration, albeit a very important one. It is extremlely simple to set up, but getting your click-binding priority straight shouldn't be neglected.

Once the mod is installed simply open your spell book in game. You'll see an extra tab which, when clicked, will open up the Clique configuration menu.

Take a moment to notice the dropdown on the top right side of the Clique configuration window. This dropdown controls the conditions of the keybindings. Anything placed in the "default" page will take precedence only when another condition isn't active and/or isn't bound to anything.

To bind a spell to a mouse clock simply browse your spellbook with the Clique config window open and click the spell you want to bind with the mouse click combo you want to use for that spell. For instance, to bind Healing wave to Shift+LeftClick hold shift and left click Healing wave and it will be added to the Clique window.

For example, in the default section of my Clique bindings I have Ancestral Spirit bound to right click. In the "helpful" section of my bindings I have right click bound to Lesser Healing Wave. This means that while I'm clicking a friendly unit frame, right clicking will cast Lesser Healing Wave on the unit. While out of combat, however, the Ancestral Spirit binding will take precedence and will be cast instead of Lesser Healing Wave on right clicks when not in combat.

The Right Frame at the Right Time

It's a good idea to give a little thought to which frames you want to have the Clique bindings work for.

For instance, when I first set up my clique I had completely neglected this part and while clicks were enabled in the player frame I found I was unable to change the difficulty of an instance as right clicks on my player frame were attempting to cast Ancestral Spirit.

That being said, even showing the right click menu can be remapped to another click-binding through Clique.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Raiding 101: Dragons!

They've been a one of the most revered and feared mythological creatures throughout time with their portraits etched in stone from every corner of the world. Sometimes benevolent, sometimes cruel tyrants, and more often than not found perched atop a mound of treasure any adventurer would covet... they are Dragons!

And in this blogger's opinion they should come hand-in-hand with boobies more often!

WoW is no stranger to these beautiful and powerful creatures, and throughout the game you'll find these dragons exhibit similar attack patterns to those found in classic pen and paper games like Dungeons and Dragons.

There are several static dragon attacks that can almost always be counted on. This is not a comprehensive list of all dragon abilities throughout all of WoW raiding, but will provide a baseline understanding of the types of attacks that all dragons share. As with any encounter, it's ultimately necessary to have a good grasp of the mechanics that are specific to the fight you're currently working on, but knowing what kind of generic mechanics this awesome creature type exhibits can make learning a new encounter that much easier.


Most dragons will use a frontal cleave that will hit anyone in front of them in a fairly large arc. This is generally a quite powerful hit that only the tank should be taking.

Breath Weapon

All dragons have a frontal cone breath weapon. Many have different mechanics associated with them, but this is another attack that really should only be hitting the tank. Just like all cone mechanics the area of effect gets wider the farther away from the boss you are. If you find yourself in front of a dragon book it to the left or right as soon as possible to get out of the area of effect, noting that you'll have to run farther to find a safe spot the further away from the boss you are.

Tail Swipe

Most dragons, with Malygos being the exception, have a tail swipe attack. This attack is, in effect, a rear cleave with a knock back.

Take special care not to be standing behind the dragon and eat one of these attacks as often there are environmental mechanics to avoid and getting knocked back by a tail swipe can put you face to face with a clutch of dragon eggs or drop you in a bath of hot lava!


Fear is a classic dragon mechanic back from the Dungeons and Dragons days, and not all dragons in WoW have a fear mechanic. It is, however, something to be aware of. Dropping a tremor totem or using trinkets and class abilities to break fear can help long term survivability.

Generally when a dragon fears it fears the entire raid, so take advantage of fear breaking mechanics whenever possible on these fights.

Safe Spot

Now that nearly the entire encounter area around a dragon boss has been cordoned off by various attacks it's a good to mention where the best place to stand is.

As you can see in this picture of the Sindragosa fight in Icecrown Citadel, the cleave, breath weapon and tail swipe are marked in orange around the boss. These attacks create a safe spot on each flank of the boss. The best and easiest way to identify these areas mid fight is to simply stand between the dragon's fore and hind legs.

You may also notice there are no orange areas directly overlapping the dragon. This creates a safe zone directly beneath the dragon that can be used to pass through to the other flank if environmental or grouping issues call for it. Don't be afraid to take advantage of this, just be aware of any other issues that may cause the boss to move like phase transitions or tank swapping and/or repositioning.

When in doubt, stay between the two legs on the dragon's flank.