But you're a resto druid. Why?
While watching your own cooldowns and boss timers can be hectic enough on its own, there are times where sharing cooldowns with someone else is necessary to manage a regular, heavy-damage spike. As a resto druid, though, I have no tank-saving cooldowns: I am limited to a NS+HT macro for an instant big heal, which may or may not crit. All I have are "OSHIT" buttons; they have no special abilities beyond healing.
Alas, H-LK has shoved the idea of monitoring other peoples' cooldowns down my throat. In order to handle the massive damage without requiring tank swaps and relying purely on 10-strict gear, we've moved to a wild and crazy cooldown rotation that dominates our ventrilo chatter during attempts. Since they have determined that I am a beast at the final phase's AoE healing requirements, I have been drug into the hell that is soul reaper without a tank swap (because swapping tanks in itself often resulted in one or the other dieing, and my mana running dry from the dual-tank lifeblooming required). Also, if we don't have a tranq that night, then we get to play cooldown-dances during P1 for the shamblers, too! FUN TIMES!
While they don't use any of my abilities as a "tank-saving" cooldown, I *do* need to be aware of when there isn't one available, or that our expected cooldown is currently floating away in a valkyr's grip; if that is the case, I know I need to be prepared to dump some heavy, direct heals in to try to save them, and time a cast to heal just after the reaper but before any other damage hits the injured tank (which would easily kill them). Or... I have to prep for a hasty tank swap (which means stacking HoTs on the other tank) and possibly a battle res around infest and defile timers.
So, to the meat of my post: I want to collect and learn what the different cooldowns are, and memorize their icons so that I can quickly process that information without interrupting myself in the chaos that is hardmode Lich King. So, this post was born.
I have used the mod RaidCooldowns as a way to monitor innervates and battle reses, ankhs, and soulstones for a good long while, now. It's useful in that it is based off of the combat log events, so that it does not require another person to have the mod installed in order for you to track their cooldowns. It's got its problems, like not realizing that Beranabus' tranquility is talented and set-bonused to have no cooldown, but that's just because it doesn't actively synch with other people (if they have a different cooldown than the base) unless they have the mod/CTRA/oRA2.
The interface is fairly self-explanatory. You can limit what shows up, and style and position the bars to your preference. Notice the icons: these are the most important part, because these are much easier to glance over and process than trying to read a long ability name tacked onto the bar in addition to the character name it's reading for. For the purposes of decluttering, I think it's best to learn the icon, and ditch the ability name from the bar.
There are other mods you could use, like oRA3, but this is the one I have experience with. I'm also quite certain that you can set up Power Auras to alert you whenever your target or focus has a tank-saving cooldown active, if your tanks are less vocal.
A tank-saving cooldown is an ability that can be used to protect a tank from incoming damage or otherwise avert a tank's death from an incoming attack. These are often talented special abilities and can take the form of reducing the damage coming in, or increasing the tank's ability to resist or soak the damage without dieing. Some of these are personal, while others can or must be used on targets other than the caster.
- Some non-tanks have a personal cooldown akin to a tank-saving cooldown, like Evasion or Dispersion. It's not a tank-saving cooldown because they aren't tanks :)
- Anything that is purely reactive or just a healing-ability is not a tank-saving cooldown, as it does not mitigate the damage about to be taken. They are useful, certainly, but they do nothing to shield the tank above what their current health and defensive stats can handle. These abilities include things like Nature's Swiftness and +healing received buffs.
Guardian Spirit: anti-death. Provides a 40% +heal buff as well as negating one death.
Pain Suppression: damage-reduction shield. 40%; also includes a small threat reduction.
- Dispersion: personal damage reduction. 90% (shadow)
Divine Shield: personal immunity, but reduces damage you deal.
Divine Protection: personal damage reduction shield. 50%.
Ardent Defender: personal damage reduction + anti-death. (prot)
Hand of Protection: shareable physical immunity, but target is unable to attack.
Hand of Sacrifice (single) and Divine Sacrifice (party-wide): shareable damage transfer to the paladin. 30% of each hit is transferred.
- Lay on Hands: shareable extremely large heal based on the paladin's own health pool
- Divine Intervention: shareable complete-immunity and removal from combat. Wipe protection.
- Nature's Swiftness: removes cast time from a spell, ie. heal (resto)
- Reincarnation: personal self-resurrection, sometimes referred to as "ankh up"
Shield Wall: personal damage-reduction shield. 60%.
Shield Block: personal block increase (physical damage). 100%.
Last Stand: personal health increase. 30%.
Stoicism via Bloodrage: SPECIAL. Usually causes a drop in health, but with 4-pc T10, it will provide a personal damage-absorption shield. (thanks, Koch, for pointing this one out!)
- Intervene: warrior takes a hit intended for the target; can also provide damage reduction via talents (prot, 30%).
- Enraged Regeneration: personal heal.
Bone Shield: personal damage reduction. 20%
Unbreakable Armor: personal armor buff. 25%
Icebound Fortitude: personal damage reduction. 40%+
Vampiric Blood: personal health increase (15%) and +heal buff.
Anti-Magic Shell: personal spell damage reduction (75%, unholy 100%)
Anti-Magic Zone: shareable, stationary spell damage reduction (75%). (unholy)
??? via Bloodtap: SPECIAL. With 4-pc T10, it will provide a personal damage-reduction shield (12%)
Barkskin: personal damage-reduction shield. 20% (feral).
Survival Instincts: personal health-boost (feral). 30% (45% glyphed).
Enraged Defense via Enrage: SPECIAL. Enrage typically decreases armor, but with 4-pc T10, it will provide a personal damage-reduction shield. (thanks, Kaethir, for pointing out the proc buff!)
- Frenzied Regeneration: personal bear HoT, glyphed for +20% heal-received buff.
- Nature's Swiftness: removes cast time from a spell, ie. a heal (resto)
- Rebirth: battle res.
- Tranquility (party): a channeled heal that is a powerful party-only rescue.
Pure DPS Personals
Other classes have personal "oh shit" buttons that you may wish to be able to recognize:
- Evasion: Rogue dodge boost, sometimes enables them to tank physical damage
- Cloak of Shadows: Rogue spell immunity, very short duration
- Vanish: Rogue aggro-drop
- Ice Block: Mage complete immunity, short duration
- Invisibility: Mage aggro dump
- Feign Death: Hunter aggro-drop, may be resisted
- Soulshatter: Warlock aggro-drop
The Cooldowns, Re-Organized:
Tank Personal Cooldowns
Others' shareable Tank-Saving Cooldowns
Other shareable "OSHIT" Buttons
What I'd LIKE to have:
Yeah, yeah, I'm picky and possibly dreaming.
- A light-up "action bar" style row of abilities, showing what IS available for those in my raid to use, greyed out with a spiral-cooldown OmniCC type timer to show when they will next be ready. This would be limited by class and spec and if they're even alive. If it could also light red to say "hey, out of range or unable to cast cuz the guy's been stunned or is falling down a hole into an abyss of doom," that'd be great. ...I suppose that's what voice chat is for, but hey, I'm a visual person!
- OR at least a way to reskin the RaidCooldowns bars to DamiaUI skin... it doesn't block as much screen :) I've dug through the mod files but haven't been able to figure out yet what to copy, as the DBM skin template is a separate xml file and I'm a mod-script noob being distracted by a fluffy puppy. >_>