Addon release: Hero

October 30, 2009 at 8:41 pm (5 mans, Being a Hero, Grouping, Guardian Spirit, Hero Addon, Pain Suppression, Raiding, User Interface)

I wanted to make a rather special post about what I’ve been doing recently, and specifically why my posting has been rather low recently. Much of my time over the past month or so has been spent on another WoW project I’ve been working on, and that is: I’ve been finishing up my first real WoW add-on.

It is now up on Curse as of a few minutes ago and I have relatively high hopes for it. I only started learning Lua (the language WoW add-ons are written in) a few months ago, so it’s been a bit of a learning process, but a tremendous amount of fun. If you have any interest in computer programming I would thoroughly recommend Lua as a great place to start. It’s a lovely little scripting language, very clean and easy to read, and very forgiving of mistakes

superhero

As for the add-on itself:

I started writing it because a) I wanted to learn Lua, and b) I wanted a better way of seeing what the other Healers and Tanks in my raid were up to. All too often I was finding myself using Pain Suppression just when the tank used Shield Wall, or Divine Hymn when the Druid cast Tranquillity. Sometimes you manage to pull off those raid saving ability uses, but all too often my plans were being foiled by other would be heroes all having the same idea. It was a wasted effort, Spiderman and Superman were both fighting to save the girl while the villain one shot the tank. The idea here then is to try and streamline things by helping you keep track of what’s going on in your raid.

The add-on is called Hero and is designed to help with interactions between Healers and Tanks, as well as allow Raid Leaders to see how players are reacting to difficult parts of the fights.

The add-on tracks the use of certain important Tank and Healer abilities, as well as a few others, and alerts the user to them with a neat little message pop-up and a little chirping noise (can be disabled).

Hero alert

The message gives the name of the target, the ability used, and the player who used it. Class colour-coding is used to help you quickly identify the players involved.

When a spell ends, or a buff fades another little alert is given with a different little chirp.

The add-on will disable itself during Battlegrounds, Wintergrasp or Arena matches in order to avoid spamming players at times where they don’t want to see all the alerts. At other times it can be easily disabled through a simple slash command.

That’s essentially it. I wanted it to be easy to use, and avoid spamming players with unnecessary information so I’ve kept it relatively restricted in what it tracks.

In terms of usefulness it varies from fight to fight. On easier content it’s good for seeing how certain raiders use their abilities. For example, whether a tank is regularly remembering to Shield Wall at 3 Impale Stacks, or a Healer is Bubbling the Impales off afterwards.

On more difficult content it’s great for helping you coordinate your abilities with the other players in your group. You can see when a Mage has Ice-blocked and doesn’t need your help. You can see when the Tank has used Shield Wall allowing you to heal other players. There are lots of add-ons out there which can track these abilities, but they tend to do a lot of other things as well so often the information is lost in the spam. My aim was to try and make Hero tell me just what I really needed to know, but to make damn sure I knew about it.

It’s a brand new release and so there may be a few bugs here and there (although I’ve not encountered any for a good long while now). It also means I’m very open to suggestions about what you do and don’t like about it. There are things I still want to change or update, and I have plans for a version 2.0. In the meantime, I hope you find it useful and I’d love to hear what you think. Once again, it’s available here

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5 Comments

  1. Xill said,

    ooh.. looks nice.. i’ll give it a go tomorrow… see if i can find anything that doesn’t make any sense in the addon (somehow i find a lot of bugs with everything xD)
    i’ll let you know what i think of the addon ^^

  2. Chromite said,

    Very nice addon!

    A few features I’d like to see:
    * Option not to show my own spell casts
    * Show when a spell is renewed
    * Adding more spells and removing/blacklisting
    * Customizing the displayed text; size, color, font, etc.

  3. SpotHeal said,

    The third and fourth are in the plans.

    I hadn’t thought of the first to be honest, so I’ll think about that one. Eventually there is a GUI interface coming so it’s something I can add to that.

    Showing when spells are renewed, I’m trying to think of an example of spells that are renewable. You mean like Beacon of Light being cast again on the same person?

  4. SpotHeal said,

    Update: I’ve released a v1.1 to streamline the anchoring system to make it easier to place the frame, and make it generally look cleaner

    Edit: Dur, except Curse won’t approve it yet so it’ll have to be down for a while

  5. Tybis said,

    It was a wasted effort, Spiderman and Superman were both fighting to save the girl while the villain one shot the tank.

    All dps are girls.

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