Mar 252010
 

In today’s post, I’m starting a series that will look at addons that can help your kitty raid performance. For Part 1, I’ll look at a few examples of buff/debuff trackers; for Part 2, I’ll run down some rotation helpers; and in Part 3, I’ll talk about some ways to increase your utility.

Why use a custom buff/debuff tracker?

Let’s face it…the default UI is pretty horrible for tracking buffs/debuffs. 3.3 is considerably improved from previous versions, but it still uses the icon-based scheme that makes finding specific information quickly very difficult. The feral rotation is VERY dependent on maintaining a self-buff and three enemy debuffs; the direct attacks are low-priority. As such, I’ve pulled together three different buff/debuff trackers, all of which I recommend. (The following screenshots all reflect the same state, with Rip/Rake/Mangle/FFF up, SR just having dropped, and TF/Berserk off CD.)

Cat’s Eye

One of the posters in the forums recommended Cat’s Eye, which I’d never heard of. I downloaded it and was very impressed with the intuitive nature of the frame, straight out of the box. Across the top, you have a easy-to-understand combo point display and current attack power representation. Underneath, you have a nicely formatted window, with icons and color-coded bars. By default, green represents an active buff/debuff, blue represents a missing buff/debuff or ability waiting to be used, and red (not shown here) represents an ability not ready to be used (low on energy, on cooldown, not enough CP’s, etc.) The colors are all adjustable, as is frame size, bar order, etc. Not shown is the icon for an OOC proc, which shows up as a white bubble next to the CP display. (The horizontal bars represent player and target health, respectively.)  This is a great minimalistic solution for those who don’t want to do a lot of configuring. The only downsides: no bear support, and it hasn’t been updated in a while (but it works great still).

BadKitty

BadKitty’s been around for a while. I’ve tried it previously and disliked it, but the recent customization options have made it quite a bit better, and worthy of consideration. BK is divided up into two freely movable modules- Bars (on the left) and Warnings on the right. The bars section is notable for including a few extra features (Shred Count for tracking Glyph of Shred usage, and Instant Nature for the Predator’s Swiftness proc). The warnings section, as seen to the right, depicts the information from the bars in icon format, with OOC procs in the center. All the bars and warnings can be reordered/shown/hidden, as well as colors/fonts customized to suit. It also has full bear support, which is great if you tank as well. It’s kept well up to date and has an active userbase…recommended. (EDIT: It appears it’s been updated to track trinket CD’s as well).

Need to Know

Need to Know is the buff/debuff tracker that I currently use. It’s not quite as plug-and-play as the other two trackers here, but the open design makes it usable for any class (I use it on my lock to track DoTs, on my pally to track Art of War procs, etc). It’s very simple to configure everything, as it’s all right-click menus. You’ll only need to enter the interface screen once to configure how many bars/bargroups you want. Tracks Rip increases via Shred glyph, can track multiple spells per bar (ie. Mangle (Cat)/Mangle (Bear)), can track trinket CD’s, and can be set up differently for dual-specs. (I track CP’s on my playerframe, and  Zerk/TF CD’s via Ovale, which I’ll cover in part 2.) The only thing I dislike about NTK is the inability to reorder bars once configured…other than that, it’s a great addon.

Summary

Any of these are good addons…pick the one you like and roll with it. The important thing is knowing which buffs/debuffs you need to put up, and debuff durations to sync with movement. None of these addons will tell you what to do, though…you’ll have to come up with a rotation on your own. In Part 2, I’ll look at Ovale and Feral By Night, addons that will help you learn which buttons to press to maximize your DPS.

Edit:

Several people in the comments have suggested others: here’s a quick roundup. (I don’t have time to install and SS these myself, so I’m just showing the pics from Curse.)

Droodfocus

Droodfocus looks to be very customizable, and can track extra stuff, including a threat bar and an icon warning system to tell you whether you’re attacking from the front or out of range. This actually looks really awesome…I’ll be giving this a try.

CatRotationHelper

Icons with cooldowns, works for both Cat and Bear.

As i mentioned in my comment, there are TONS of generic buff/debuff/cooldown monitor addons, too many to cover here. (Off the top of my head, PowerAuras and TellMeWhen are icon-based; DoTimer, ForteXorcist, ClassTimers, ButtonTimers.) If anyone knows of more cat-specific addons, I’ll be happy to add them to either this post or a later part.

  16 Responses to “Kitty UI Addons, Part 1”

  1. albeit it hasnt been updated in a while “roguepowerbars” works really well. You have to configure it to show the druid buffs (essentially type them in)

  2. There’s a ton more…DroodFocus, CatRotationHelper, plus other non-Druid specific ones. I might take a look at those for a later post, but I thought 3 was a good representative sample.

    • The other limitation on NTK is a max of 6 bars I think – I know you can setup another 6, but it’s a little annoying.

      p.s I love NTK.

      Do you find that the (up to 3) Shred extends on the Rip NTK bar works as intended? I was seeing some odd things the other day.

      • Missed this earlier, Gren. Yeah, the Rip display TEXT sometimes goes a little off (I think target switching confuses it sometimes), but the duration/bar seem to be right on.

    • I use Droodfocus and it is very good, i’m suprised it has not been presented.

  3. I where the guy that recommend Cat’s eye. So i figured out I want to say a few things about why prefer this addon.
    Cat’s eye. does not recommend you to push any special bottom, all it does it to show you whats running out, and when you have energy for a new apply.
    That the addon is compact is something I love, I can be looking at it, and still see the boss fight, without ever loosing tracks of anything.
    That it haven’t been updating for a while is not really anything to be worried about it still works as it should. Hopefully we will see a update for trinkets also, but anyway it’s not that needed who doesn’t see when there trinkets proc?
    That it doesn’t have a bear part isn’t a problem at least for me, I can’t see what a bear would use that for. Bears have mangle DR, of debuff for the buff. All our other CD’s is for survival and should not be used on every CD. DR is not hard to track, ever 30 sec’s. And mangle will never run out now since its in our rotation. Lacerate yes can be hard to track and get back on full 15 secs. But mabye its only me but I just have that in the head.

  4. I have tried both BadKitty (very briefly) and NTK. I don’t remember what put me off from NTK, but now I’m using ForteXorcist. It comes with a lot of modules, but you can turn them of if you’re only intrested in the timers. What I absoulutly love about the addon is that you can sort the bars after time remaining (togheter with the smooth animation when rip gets extended by shred) which for me makes it easier to see what I probably should be reapplying next.
    There’s so many timer addons out there now that it shouldn’t be hard to find one that suits your needs. Findning the perfect addon on the other hand is still almost impossible, so theese kind of post are great since you just might get a bit closer to your perfect UI. :)

  5. There is one addon superior for tracking time (for me at least) and thats Tellmewhen…….

    Reading names in time bars will take more time then seeing the Icoon of the spell count to ’0′…

    The nice thing about tellmewhen is that you can put your complete rotation (the best posible) in one line of icons……and with the same addon u can track clearcasts/procs/buffs/debuffs…

    With tellmewhen i dont need other track addons, and its usable for all classes……you only need to known the right name of the spell/buff. For example: on my mage i track Hotstreak procs and when it does it shows a big Hot streak icon just below my char, disappearing when the procs wears off……..

    it may be some config (but thats with all addons). But once configured it covers all ..

  6. Alaron, I wanted to bring a great addon to light called Hearkitty. It gives audible queues whenever you put combo points up on a mob, allowing you to stop monitoring combo points and start listening for them. I think it’s a great addon since I generally turn sound off during raids (but keep the in-game music on).

    Works for Enhancement Shamans too.

    • Same opinion, faor Hearkitty. It also combines quite well with ntk, which doesn’t do well for combos points.

      Idea is sound saying eaching combo, distinctive when crit and double combo, and also distinct when reaching 5cp.

  7. I would add to the list Buttontimers, which probably works a lot like Need to Know. It’s a light weight addon usable for any class and very customizable. Any spell can be monitored and tracked as debuff on target, aura on self, or cooldown. I tried badkitty, perhaps before it was updated, and found it clunky and unappealing. Buttontimers is slick, scalable, and very customizable. It also has options for hiding out of combat, different configurations for different specs, etc etc.

    Also, Energy Watch gives you a simple customizable energy bar where ever you want on your screen, and ComboPointsRedux gives you a counter displaying your combo points on a target. Both are useful in keeping your eyes from skipping all over your screen to determine your next move.

    • Hi there,

      I am using buttontimers, and I am building a dual spec for PvP, but I can’t find any info on how to configure buttontimers for dual spec trees/spells.

      Any advice?

      thanks!

  8. Ooh, definitely want to try some of these! Right now, I’m using Eventhorizon, which I really like. Instead of having bars filling up and emptying with ragged ends, Eventhorizon has a vertical line that represents the present, and bars scroll by it from right to left. Graphically, I find it more appealing, and it’s very memory-effiecent to boot. It’s customizable, but it doesn’t have an in-game config so you have to edit the .lua file — luckily, its website has a well-written guide to help with this, and you might pick up a few tips to write your own addon later.

    Aside from configuring the width of the window (I set it to show 18s of the future I think, as recommended by Coldbear’s DPS video), it’s pretty easy to use out of the box. It tracks Rip, Rake, Mangle, SR, TF and ‘zerk CDs, and Clearcasting procs. The only downsides are that it doesn’t track FFF uptimes or CPs, but you can do like I do and keep CPs visible on your combat frames. I like it mostly for its different layout, which is the only reason I mention it as an alternative to the excellent addons already listed. There’s also no text to read, with icons denoting which bar goes with which frame, and it has a clean, minimalist design to keep your brain from overloading with information during a raid.

  9. I still use Elkano’s Buff Bars.
    I like it in the way that I use it for both Bear & kitty.

    Left hand bars show if FFF or Mangle/Trauma is up from any person… Middle bars SR & my bleeds. (Different colours for SR and bleeds) Right hand side bar Sunder stack, Demo shout/roar/CoW, Infected Wounds/TC etc.

    So can look at left to see if the mob is debuffed with what I can do, middle is my bleeds, right is if boss is debuffed externally properly.

    Also means I can shout at the tanks to get Demo up!
    Main reason I like them is you can configure them to show pretty much exactly what you want and nothing of what you don’t want using whitlists/blacklists.
    “Anyone’s debuffs” or own only.
    Bars that grow as a group even if they show 2 different things. (Anchor points can be other bars)

  10. I use feral by night it tracks dots trinket cool downs combo points and does a lot of other things ive tryed some of the others and this is the best so far for me.

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