Power Auras is pretty much the most powerful tool a raider has in their toolset, and arguably the most vital, after Threat Meters and bossmods. While you could argue that a number of mods perform the same purpose as what I’m going to mention Power Auras are used for, they lack user customization, and as such, it’s easier to edit auras than it is to edit LUA code in mods, from a user point of view.
Simply put, power auras is a mod (http://wow.curse.com/
which allows you to setup certain triggers to display warnings on your screen. These can be based on buff/debuff, mana/health levels, ability cooldowns, combo points, holy power… you name it, it can do it (although not item cooldowns, sadly).
A simple example of what it can do for you is Innervate, for which I have auras that tell me when it is off cooldown, AND I have under 70% mana . So rather than having to watch the cooldown on my bar, and look at my mana bar, it’s all in one place.
Once you’ve built up a decent set of auras, you can have all the warnings you want in one place, making it easier to focus on staying out of the fire, while your auras do most of the thinking for you.
Setting up your first power aura:
When you first load wow after installing power auras, you see… nothing. Don’t be alarmed. You need to open the console first by typing /powa. This brings up the main UI, which will have no configured auras at first :
Note there are several pages. This does nothing other than help you group your auras, e.g. each page can be for a different spec.
To create your first aura, click new. This window is where you will do a fair amount of your configuring. I’ll cover functionality first, and then looks. First, you need to set what criteria the aura will activate for. e.g. when an ability comes off cd. As you can see, there is a lot of options (although sadly, item cds don’t work at this stage, e.g. trinket cds).
From here you can set additional options :
1 – Do you want it to only show in combat? when not resting? (having your auras popup while you’re in Orgrimmar/Stormwind can be extremely annoying). All of these options have a yes/no/clear(don’t care) option.
2 – You set the “enemy target” option to check for your aura’s criteria on your target, rather than yourself. Friendly target works similarly.
3 – For buffs/debuffs, you can set number of stacks. You can also set it to activate for less than or greater than a certain threshold e.g. you can check for a number of stacks of the DMC : Tsunami trinket.
4 – The “invert” option is very important, as you can show when something is NOT active. e.g. a warning to show that you do not have your Harmony Mastery buff up.
Look and Feel:
Then you setup how you want the warning to appear. You have a lot of options here. I prefer to have square icons matching ability icons, since I prefer the whack-a-mole approach (and the order of them on my screen matches the order on my bars), but there is also a number of other options. Options here include some packaged with power aura, and some of the in-game textures. You can also have pure text come up if you’d like. There’s a lot of examples all over the Internet of what is possible.
What’s worth mentioning is that while setting up the look and feel can be extremely time consuming, once you have one working aura, you can simply duplicate it and slightly alter the options to create a new aura. This obviously saves a lot of time in the case where you generate 8 or more auras. In the case where you have several ability icons, you don’t have to set the size and opacity, merely the location on the screen. To do this, select an aura at the main page, click copy, and click which page you want to copy to (you can copy to the page the original is on).
Here are two simple auras, one for Swiftmend (a simple cooldown check) and one for the Clearcasting buff. I’ll cover more advanced options in the next episode in this series.
Debugging your power auras.
The best way to test that a set of auras are working correctly is to try them out on a training dummy. You might have to disable checks for resting in order to get this to work (you can always switch it back off later). Then click on the auras to see why they’re not working. This can take a bit of trial and error to get right – be patient
What does help is if an aura isn’t displaying, and you think it should, simply ctrl-click it’s icon in the main interface, and a message will tell you why it’s not activated. e.g. “you are resting”.
In the next part I‘ll outline some of the more advanced features of power auras, and show how you can unleash their full potential in order to make your life even easier.