The largest improvement anyone can make to their World of Warcraft performance, regardless if you're a tank, a healer, or a DPS, is to leverage the various spell buffs given to your character and apply them correctly to your rotation. Tracking all these different buffs can be cumbersome, with multiple buff stacks and empowerments to be aware of.
WeakAuras can be used to help offset the cognitive load of tracking these buffs, allowing you to know at a glance when to press certain abilities over others. If you've been wanting to learn how to track these spell buffs and improve your gameplay, then you've come to the right place, friend!
Today, I wanted to do a deeper dive within WeakAuras, specifically in tracking spell buffs. The scope of this guide will be focused on managing additional triggers and complex conditions for spells. The goal is to enhance our rotation auras and provide clearer information on when to use our spells for better performance.
This guide is a continuation of my previous guide on getting started with Weak Auras. This guide assumes that you have already set up Weak Auras to track spells and their cooldowns. If you don't have any auras configured, be sure to check out the getting started guide which I've annotated.
Hi everyone, welcome. My name is Rothmar, and my goal is to help make World of Warcraft more approachable for everyone. I've spent a lot of time in this game and want others to enjoy it as well. Without further delay, let's jump into learning about Weak Auras and Buffs.
Spell Buff Examples
In this example, I am working on improving my weak auras for my Enhancement Shaman character. I have created all of my spells, but they are missing buff tracking to help inform me on the optimal times to use them. It's important to note that the importance of a spell and its buffs will change based on your spec, the build you're playing, and the fight you're in - a deep and ever-changing rabbit hole. For now, we are going to focus solely on how to track buffs and change a spell's aura to give it more attention.
To begin, let's take a look at one of my Enhancement Shaman spells called Lavalash. The aura that I have for the spell uses two basic triggers - one for tracking the cooldown of Lavalash, and one for tracking the spell's activation overlay glow. The set also has two conditions - the first tracks when Lavalash is on cooldown, and the second shows when the overlay is active. This is okay for beginners, but we are missing vital information such as the buffs that Lavalash gets, which allow us to do our big damage.
For Lavalash, there are two talents which we want to track - Hot Hands and Ashen Catalyst. Hot Hands is a chance to gain a short buff when meleeing. When we gain this buff, our Lavalash gets a shorter cooldown and does more damage, meaning that we'll be casting it more frequently. Therefore, we want to be aware of when we gain this buff so that we can prioritize Lavalash over our other abilities while Hot Hands is active. Ashen Catalyst is a buff that stacks in the background while our Flame Shock dots tick on targets. We want to track when we have six or more stacks of Ashen Catalyst so that we can dump these stacks back to zero and allow Ashen Catalyst to begin building up again in the background.
It's important to note that we should not focus on specific numbers or buffs - just be aware that these are two examples of buffs that we might want to track. This is a weak auras guide and not an Enhancement Shaman guide.
Adding Triggers for Buffs
Let's begin with adjusting our WeakAura so we can start tracking both of these Buffs within our Lava Lash order. Go to the Trigger tab at the top and be sure that the Trigger combination at the top is set to Any Trigger and not All Trigger.
After that, we're going to add a new Trigger. This should default to the settings that we need, but make sure it says Type: Aura, Unit: Player and Aura Type: Buff.
Next we'll scroll down to the box labeled Names and check it, then we can enter in the name of the Buff that we want to track. In our case, it's called Hot Hand. You can also enter in the spell ID here, if you need to. You can get that from places like Wowhead, but we'll just stick with the name for right now.
By default, the aura will always set at the bottom to Show: On Aura Found. Personally, I like changing this to Always just because it makes the Condition tab more human readable later on, but this is technically preference.
Now that we have our Hot Hand aura created, we'll go ahead and duplicate this trigger. Open it up and change the second name to Ashen Catalyst.
Adding Display Elements for Buffs
The next step in this process is to add display elements to the aura, which are visual items that will display on our screen when the Buffs are detected. In the case of Hot Hand, there are two things that I care about: one, do I currently have the Hot Hand buff, and two, how long is remaining on Hot Hand?
For Ashen Catalyst, there's only one thing that I care about: is there currently six plus stacks of Ashen Catalyst? So, let's go ahead and add those three things: one text indicating if Hot Hand is active, two text showing the duration of Hot Hand, and three texts showing if we have high stacks of Ashen Catalyst.
To do this, we'll go ahead and head over to the Display tab. I'm going to go ahead and collapse all these different sections so that we can very clearly see what we're working with. I currently have a border, I have a glow, and I have one text. We're going to add a new text and we're going to change the display text to say "HH" (this is short for Hot Hand; you can name this whatever you want).
I'm going to do some quick font adjustments, then we'll go ahead and disable the "Show Text" box to make sure that this text does not show by default. Then, we can duplicate the text 2 to get text 3. Then, we'll go ahead and change the display text here to say "%3.p" and hit "OK".
The "%3" here targets the third trigger, so if we go to Trigger and look at Trigger 3, we're looking at Hot Hand. The ".p" means progress, which you can see in the tooltip up at the top here. So, we're essentially saying, "show us the progress of the third trigger". Once again, we'll turn this text off so that it's not showing by default, and we'll duplicate our text one more time to get a fourth text element.
And we'll have this one trigger for our Ashen Catalyst at high Stacks. You can enter the text or whatever you want; you could say something like "AC" (which is short for Ashen Catalyst). Personally, I like to answer the phrase "Six Plus" because it helps inform me what the stat count is. Just be sure to disable the "Show Text" again so that all these new text (text 2, text 3, and text 4) have "Show Text" hidden by default; we'll turn them on later via conditions.
I also already have a glow element on this Aura. Be sure to add one if you don't have it. Also, be sure that the glow is high up on this list so that the glow will display below our text and not on top of it for legibility purposes. The higher in the list something is, the lower it is visually within the aura.
Adding Conditions for Proc Buffs
We now have triggers to watch for both Buffs and display elements to inform us of the buff statuses. Now it's time to tie all of it together with a few conditions. Conditions will allow us to watch the triggers and alter the display elements based on the current state of the Buffs that we're tracking.
Let's start with setting up a condition for Hot Hands. As a reminder, we have two things that we want to display if Hot Hands is active:
- Show the phrase
Hot Hands is activewith the remaining duration (Text 3).
Go ahead and navigate to the Conditions tab. As a reminder, I already have two conditions on this Aura, one for tracking the cooldown and one for tracking the glow status of our spells, but we can go ahead and ignore those. Let's make a new third condition.
Let's go ahead and add a third condition and we're going to have the third condition's
If section look at Trigger 3 (which is the Hot Hands buff) and set the Trigger Value to
Aura Found with a sub value of
Next, set the
Then section to have the following:
Glowtype set to
Text 2visibility checked
Text 3visibility checked
What this should do is when we find the Hot Hands buff, we'll have the glow showing thanks to Condition 2. We'll change the glow type to a pixel glow and then we'll show both Text 2 and 3. If we come over to Text 2, this is our Hot Hands text and Text 3 is our cooldown tracking for the buff.
Test your progress!
I highly recommend going and testing your auras now that we've hooked up everything together to check for issues. To test this, I'm going to go ahead and run up, start meleeing some things, and attempting to get a Hot Hand proc so we can look up here for our Hot Hand procs.
When we press the spell, it grays out, but we still see the duration and we see that Hot Hand is still active. Luckily, mine works as expected because me testing in Aura is the equivalent of the celebrity chef having a fully-baked and dressed dish just off camera, ready to go.
If you discover any issues or bugs, alter the settings necessary and then test again. It's an iterative process and sometimes it does take a few tries.
Adding Conditions for Stacking Buffs
Next, we can set up Ashen Catalyst. We'll pop open WeakAuras again, head to our Lava Lash spell, and go to the Conditions tab. Then, what we can do is add a new condition (Condition 4). We'll change the "If" statement to look for Trigger 4, which is our Ashen Catalyst, and we'll look for a sub-option of "Stacks". Afterwards, we'll set the middle sub-option to the "Greater than or equal to" option (remember, the caret here always eats the bigger number, so we're looking for "Greater than or equal to", and we'll type in "6").
Under the "Then" section, we'll set "Text for Visibility" to "Checked". Next, we'll add a "Property Change", and we can set the "Glow 1 Value Type" to "Action Button Glow". This is optional, but I personally like to differentiate multiple Buffs visually, so that I can tell them apart.
Handling multi-buff conflicts
While this is great and dandy that we have both of our conditions set up and functioning properly, I should note that we've now introduced a potential overlap when you have multiple Buffs. There will be times when we have both Hot Hands and Ash and Catalyst at six Stacks. With our current settings, there will be a lot of text atop our icon which can be a jumbled mess. When there's too much information on the icon, it's difficult to tell what exactly is going on.
But we can clean this up with additional conditions if we want to. I wanted to go ahead and illustrate what this looks like if we have both Hot Hands and Ash and Catalyst. So you can see here, I have Hot Hands and the six plus. There's just a lot going on. This doesn't look very good.
If you want to clean up this clutter, you can optionally add a fifth condition to handle this. We'll go ahead and pop open WeakAuras, head to Lavalash and we'll add a new condition for Condition 5. What we're going to do is we're going to set the
if section. Scroll up to the top and we're going to look for combinations and we'll set it to
All Of. Within this, we'll now get this little bullet point. This is kind of where we define multiple
if statements all at once. We'll set this first bullet point to say
Trigger 3 or
Then we'll set the second bullet point to
Trigger 4 and we'll set it to
Greater Than Or Equal To 6. So essentially we're saying if we have Hot Hands active and Ashen Catalyst has all the stacks that we want, please don't show the text for both of them. Just show me the Hot Hands text. Naturally, since Ashen Catalyst's initial Condition 4 comes after our Hot Hands condition as seen here, the glow type that we defined for each will overwrite one another. This means that as a baseline, Hot Hands will have a pixel glow and if Ashen Catalyst ever gets more than six Stacks during a Hot Hands window, the glow type will change from that pixel glow to an action button glow temporarily.
So we can still tell when that happens, though honestly we'll be pressing Hot Hands anyways. I just wanted to illustrate it.
There are a number of ways to accomplish this. Some are more optimized than others but at the end of the day, do whatever works best for your brain. What helps you understand what you need to do and what you want to put your time into? You can accomplish this with less conditions, more conditions. All are valid and you can refine them with time as you grow and get used to how auras work.
This should provide a better baseline understanding of how buff tracking works, illustrating both a normal buff on a timer as well as stack-based buff templates to operate off of.
I hope that this guide helps to demystify some of the ways the buffs can be tracked using WeakAuras, allowing you to feel a little bit more confident when it comes to tackling your own.
If this guide helped you learn buff tracking within WeakAuras, or if it's a little bit better, please be sure to leave a like on the video so that fellow players can find it as well.
If you found this guide enjoyable, but wish I'd cover additional information within WoW or specific topics even within WeakAuras, please let me know. I highly value community feedback and would be enthusiastic to help lower the barrier of entry to anything that I can.
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Thank you so much for watching, and until next time, please remember to be safe out there and be nice to the fellow players.