Addon Highlight: WeakAuras

I had someone ask why I’d made the switch from PowerAuras to WeakAuras. Mostly it’s because I like to check out the new kid on the block, but it’s also because I like the interface better! So here’s a quick look at WeakAuras for those who are curious but don’t like loading up an addon for no good reason.

Warning: This is an image heavy post. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

This look at Weak Auras will be a general overview of how the menus are handled and a couple of things I’ve set up. This won’t really teach you how to use it, but rather, is meant to highlight the interface and the adaptability of the addon. If folks need help with specific set-ups, I may do an explanation or two, but I’d also refer you to the user guide and Vox Immortalis’ tutoring thread.

The first thing you’ll encounter upon opening Weak Auras (WA can be accessed using /wa) is the main panel.

To start with a new aura, you simple select one of the aura options located on the right of the screen. You’ll be able to choose your own unique name for the aura once you select the type. All auras can be resized and freely moved around the screen, either by click/drag or utilizing specific height/width and x/y coordinates. The following is a brief overview of the different aura types (we’ll talk about groups a little later):

Progress Texture & Textures

Progress textures will gradually empty (or fill) as your selected aura degrades over time. I personally use a progress texture to track my Harmony buff. You can choose from a wide variety of textures (even your beloved Power Aura ones):

Model

Model allows you to utilize a model instead of an icon/texture.

Text

Text allows you to display custom text. There are several pre-made options, such as countdowns, timers, and the like.

Progress Bar

This provides a bar with custom text.

Each aura can be modified in a number of different ways. Each aura type has its own sub-menu, but the texture/icon menu covers most of the options, so we’ll take a quick look at the different customization tabs available:

Display

Display controls size, alpha, text, icons/textures, in short, just about everything that has anything to do with the look of your aura (see screenshots above for examples).

Trigger

Trigger controls the visibility of your auras. You can choose to set up multiple triggers for your aura (i.e. under circumstance x, y, z it will appear) as well as where to look for the trigger.

If you aren’t looking for something as simple as an aura (buff/debuff), there are more options. WA can peruse your chat messages to keep track of any number of abilities and cooldowns.

However, I use the status option more often to get alerts from everything from health/mana to Holy Power and when an ability is active.

Load

Load allows you to control when your aura will be visible based on specific conditions. I commonly use “in combat” and “talent specialization” to make sure I don’t have to see my auras when running around town, and to make sure my balance auras aren’t showing up while I’m healing.

Actions

Want to play a sound, yell that you’re using Shield Wall or make your buttons light up like it’s Christmas Eve? You can take care of all of that under this tab.

Animations

This allows you to control how your aura appears and disappears. With no action, it will simply pop up and disappear, but you can make it more dramatic to make sure it catches your eye. I have a nice swirling loop as my Harmony buff falls off to make sure I don’t miss it.

Now I promised that I’d talk about groups. Groups allow you to keep abilities nice and tidy in your list (always a plus), but also effect how your auras move around. There’s two types of group, so make sure you pick the one that is the best for you.

Group

This one is simple. When you group auras together it will allow you to move them around the screen as a unit. Each item in the group will appear in the same place every time. My black/white combo above is in a simple group.

Dynamic Group

These groups offer a bit more. When you group icons (or whatever) in a dynamic group, you will be able to move them together. They will also appear/disappear based on your primary location, and NOT in a specific spot all the time. So if you have 5 abilities that you put in a dynamic group, they’ll always appear left to right based on how you set them up. However, when you have those auras deactivate/activate, they will reappear based on OVERALL position instead of the same place every time.

Fortunately, I took a whole slew of pictures to demonstrate how they work, so hopefully that’ll help clear up any confusion!

My top auras tell me that I do not have insect swarm/moonfire on my target. Once I apply the debuff(s) on the target, the aura will be hidden. This is a Group so the discs always appear exactly as they are currently positioned.

My bar of auras tell me that I have cooldowns available. Once I use the cooldown, the icon will be hidden. This is a Dynamic Group and so the icons grow from a central position every time.

Group In Action

As you can see, my auras in a group setting work independently of each other.

Dynamic Group in Action

In that second group screenshot you’ll notice that I’ve used some of my abilities. The bar has shortened “in” to meet my centered setting. As my abilities become available again, they will appear centered under my character, and grow outward from the center.

That’s the basics of Weak Auras menu system. Of course it can provide much more than my small demonstration here; however, I hope this answers the basic question over why it’s so much fun!

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4 thoughts on “Addon Highlight: WeakAuras

  1. Great post about a great addon.

    I have actually been contemplating making a WeakAuras post for a while. Dodged that bullet now. :)

    Once you have gotten into it, WeakAuras is as “easy” to use as PowerAuras, and although I miss some of the finer points of PowerAuras (I’m a fan of secondary animation), it has everything you (i.e. the not-completely-crazy-person type, i.e. me) need. And more. Progressive bars have become one of my favorite toys to play around with, and the models can be really funny (Metamorphosis to expire in a few seconds? Illidan death animation go!).
    The only downside to the great feature of progress textures is that it might not be too acurate (depending on the texture you use) as it always depletes/fills the whole graphic box, not taking into account that some textures might start somewhere along the way. That is “merely a [minor] setback”, though.

    Overall I think WeakAuras might even be a superior addon to PowerAuras. Although it is up to the community to ultimately decide, I guess.

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  3. Finally someone who sees the greatness of WeakAuras. There are other cool things it can do, like sharing your setup via clickable link and such. I vastly prefer the UI to PAs. Great post!

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