Monday, June 21, 2010

PowerAuras: Linking Auras

So hopefully by now you, dear reader, have discovered the wonders of the AddOn PowerAuras. This wonderful little mod has an incredible array of usefulness from buff and debuff tracking to cooldown, health and mana monitoring. If you aren't familiar with the basic setup you can check out my other entry on the subject, PowerAuras: The Best AddOn You've Never Used! for a quick rundown.

As I mentioned above, this incredibly versatile mod can help you out with a lot of tedious or hard to monitor UI elements, but each aura can only track one thing in one way at one time. The mod works like binary, meaning an aura can only be on or off... there's no in between. But what if you want an aura to display under a slightly more complicated set of conditions?

For instance, you may hear from a member of the Hunter class from time to time how clunky Aspect of the Viper is as a mana regeneration mechanic. Often a player will go through several pulls or even entire boss fights not realizing Viper has been left on long past it's usefulness! Unfortunately the only thing PowerAuras will be able to tell you with a single aura is whether the buff is on or not on. It won't tell you when your mana is full and Viper is still on - at least not with one aura!

This kind of complexity can be achieved, however, by linking multiple auras together. Think of each aura as a single condition. In the case of the Hunter's example above there would be a single condition for Aspect of the Viper being on and another condition for your mana level being at or above a certain threshold. By linking these two conditions together you can effectively use a single texture to display only when both of these conditions are met i.e. "Display my aura when Aspect of the Viper is on and my mana is above 90%".

I recently started DPSing on my Death Knight whom I specced into unholy some time ago. One of the more unintuitive aspects of unholy DPS is Bone Shield. The spell provides an increase to DPS while it's up, but can fade with damage and has a cooldown. A single aura to track this spell is impractical as the buff may have dropped, but the spell may still be on cooldown. This is another situation where linked auras can come in handy.

Linking Auras

First you'll want to set up an aura like normal. Pick a texture and color, then place and scale it to preference. For this example our first aura will be for activated by the buff Bone Shield.

Since I want to know when the buff is not active the invert checkbox is ticked and this aura is for my second spec so I've unchecked spec 1 down at the bottom of the page.

Next we'll close this aura and return to the main window. Click the copy button and then the character specific page currently highlighted on the top left to paste this aura into the same area. Now that you've copied the aura shift click the original to disable it(More on why we do this later). It's also helpful at this point to make note of the number in brackets in the tooltip for this disabled aura. For my own setup this number is 8.

Now open the newly copied aura (the one that wasn't disabled) so we can change the settings to match up to our second condition. For this example the second condition will be activated by My Spell Cooldown with the activating spell being Bone Shield once again. Make sure to uncheck the Invert box for this aura.

Now comes the part where we link the two auras.

You'll notice in the image to the left there is a highlighted text box. This box is unlabeled in the aura configuration, however on mouseover the tooltip will explain that this box is used to link the aura for multiple conditions.

This is where we'll enter the number of the aura we wish to link it to, in my case the aura number is 8.

That's it!

Now, earlier on we disabled the original aura. We do this because otherwise both auras would be displayed simultaneously. Since we copied the aura in the first place they'd be identical and the aura would simply appear less transparent as it's been doubled up. Disabling the first aura will prevent this from happening. Since the second aura is linked to the first it will not be displayed unless the conditions for both auras have been met.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Oobie's AddOn Roundup

I thought I'd take a break from my typical rants and raves about raiding etiquette and strategy to toot my own horn for a bit.

If you recall far enough back in my blogging career you may remember a post entitled Hello World: Your First AddOn. I decided not to follow up on that particular topic because, well, programming is not or everyone and isn't near as widely useful as much of the raiding topics that I tend to post on this blog. For me personally, I do enjoy the occasional visitation to the land of computer logic!

I am by no means an expert programmer, but I do know my way around basic computer logic and I've found many ways to apply that knowledge to AddOn authoring in WoW. My mods tend to be very lightweight and simplistic... but they do the job and do it well. And they do it without all the overhead added by all the bells and whistles of many more popular mods that perform the same task.


ChannelManager is my most recent AddOn, being published for the first time the same day as this blog entry... and takes care of a very simple yet, in my opinion, highly valuable task. I tend to write mods that automate certain things that slip by under the radar and this mod is a perfect example of such.

What it does, simply put, is ensure that you are always in the channels you designate you want to be in. I don't know how many times my channels have mysteriously disappeared silently and I've only found out halfway through a raid when I've already missed some important discussion in a healing or tanking channel. The aim of this mod is to make sure this situation never happens again by automatically rejoining any channels you've lost.


Formerly known as StatBlock_AnkhTimer, this is an LDB plugin that displays your Ankh count (if you aren't glyphed to remove the reagent cost) and the time left until Reincarnation finishes it's cooldown.


Truth be told, BlueButtons is not even really an AddOn.

In point of fact BlueButtons is a skin for the default interface. Meaning instead of code being run in game the files in BlueButtons overwrite the files used by the default interface to change the appearance of the red interface buttons to a Wrath of the Lich King themed blue.


Readiness was born in a time when the ready check sound was a very quiet drum sound effect. What it does is provide an interface for you to choose a custom sound file to play for ready checks.

The mod comes loaded with a host of custom sounds, more of which can be added by modifying the config section in the mods lua file.


WoWGate has no configuration and works right out of the box. What it does is play a sound effect when a mage in your group or raid opens a portal. The sound effect also plays when a Death Gate opens if you are a Death Knight.


Last, but certainly not least is my complete UI, ready for download by any interested party!

I can't claim each and every mod in this compilation is mind - not by a long shot - but many of them have been modified to work slightly differently than they do out of the box in keeping with how I've set my UI up to work.

Many of the mods come ready to use as much of my interface's configuration is done in the actual lua files, but most mods that aren't have a profile names Oobiedoo - Ysera that can be enabled to import my settings.