Monday, January 26, 2009

Power Auras for MM Hunters

I'm a strong creature of habit. Once I get into a routine of something, I can do it blindfolded, which I think could be said for most hunters and their shot rotations. Patch 3.0 didn't affect me too badly - I still spammed Steady Shot between Arcane/Aimed and Chimera, and, despite the fact that Kill Command was on a minute CD, I still spam its hotkey in between my shot rotation. But when Patch 3.0.8 hit, I have to admit it hit me rather hard. Though the uncoupling of auto shots essentially did away with the concept of shot rotations, there was still enough order with the shot CDs one could follow with relative ease something similar to a shot rotation. However, the new MM "shot prioritizing" threw me for a loop, and I watched my DPS suffer for it.

I have mentioned before how adapt I am at surviving an encounter. Void zones, AoE, Surge of Power - bring it on, I'll live through it... as long as I can watch my character. As I tried to figure out the new shot rotation, I found myself staring at my action bar, watching CDs and GCDs like a hawk, totally oblivious to everything else happening on my screen.

And I HATE that.

I needed a solution. Something that would show me at the same level as my character when Chimera, Arcane, and Aimed became available. Power Auras has to be the most user-unfriendly mod I have ever encountered, but it does the job, and it does the job well. It took me a bit to set it up to my comfort, but once it's there, it's a great MM asset.

Currently it set up to show me the when Chimera, Arcane, and Aimed become available, their cooldowns, when Serpent Sting is no longer applied, when I am low on mana and should go to Viper, when I am high on mana and should go to Hawk, and when Improved Steady Shot procs.

First let me explain my keybinds:

5 - Chimera Shot
6 - Arcane Shot
7 - Aimed Shot
8 - Steady Shot + Moth Macros
9 - Serpent Sting

F3 - TSA
F4 - Aspect of the Viper
F5/F6 - Kill Comman/Pet Attack/Moth Macros
F9 - Aspect of the Dragonhawk

So here is my normal raiding position:

My pinky takes care of things like Tab and Esc, my ring finger takes care of F4 (Aspect of the Viper) and Chimera Shot, my middle finger deals with the pet spam and Arcane Shot, and my index finger takes care of the initial Serpent Sting, Steady Shot, Aimed Shot, and F9 (Aspect of the Dragonhawk). I have this way for priority of the shot rotation: Chimera > Arcane > Aimed > Steady.

My hotkey set up is the basis for how I set up Power Auras:

In the middle are the shot warnings with their cooldowns under them. When the shot becomes available, the icon appears on the screen and stays there until the shot is used. They are in order of shot priority and in the order of my hotkeys. Above them is my mana indicator and below them is my Serpent Sting indicator. At the bottom, slightly larger, is the indicator for when I gain Improved Steady Shot, which lasts for the duration of the buff.

Here are the set-ups for the shots and their timers:

Chimera Shot -

Arcane Shot -

Aimed Shot -
Serpent Sting proved to be a little tricky. I tried various Activations with out much success, until a guildee helping me figured out 'Enemy Target' needed to be checked, in addition to 'less than 1' for the stack specificity.For my mana warnings, though I wanted a text announcement to tell me to change to Viper or change to Dragonhawk, evidently the text auras are non-functional (or I just can't figure out how to work them), so I was satisfied with the icon appearing when I needed to switch. My thresholds are set 5% at the minimum and 95% at the maximum, and make sure you have the foward slash checked for the maximum:

Improved Steady Shot is the basic buff warning that can be duplicated for other talent and trinket buffs:

So far, I am satisfied with it, despite the fact I am still adjusting to it. Most of the time I am able to hit the shot before the icon appears based solely on the CD timers.

Tonight was not the greatest of nights to initiate this mod - we worked on OS25+3D for over two hours. We progressed well despite our slightly undergeared druid tank, killing one drake and getting the second to 30% in our best attempt, then settling for killing Vesperon beforehand, then dealing with the other two in the encounter to experience having two drakes overlapping, despite it not fully representing the healing difficulty of the full 3Drake experience. However, of our 13+ attempts tonight, I only died to firewall once (you cannot think while dealing with this encounter, just act, I swear) and void zone once (pro-tip: don't run through it when you are skirting it), neither of which were caused by me watching my action bar.

Good luck!


Tinuviel said...

Thanks for the informative post! Two requests:
Could you repost the picture of the serpent sting cooldown - its too small when opened in another window and unreadable.

Also, could you tell me how I get the icon pictures into power auras pls?

Thanks again - you can check out my hunter blog - Steady Shot - at

Also check out Drotara wrote an article about the same mod :)

Neggles said...

For the shots, select 'Use Own Texture'. For the Mana Warnings and Buffs, select 'Custom Texture' and write in the name of the particular spell the icon is associated with 'i.e. Aspect of the Viper, Steady Shot, etc.' It will not appear immediately - I had to toggle back and forth among my effects before it would appear.

I'll redo that SS when I get home (in the library atm) - dunno why that's the only one that's not opening correctly.

Drotara is a good hunter, but he's an pompous asshole, and I try to have as few people like that in my life as possible :)

Rilgon Arcsinh said...

*snort* That's a statement I'll question to my grave, Neg.

And I still maintain that Mik's Scrolling Battle Text's event/cooldown alerts are just as powerful without all the involved setup. All I need is to see "ARCANE SHOT READY!" to know it's up :P

Neggles said...

Too many people look up to him to discredit him too much. I extend him the basic courtesy, nothing more.