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Thread: Learning Awareness

  1. #1
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    Learning Awareness

    I’m frustrated at my performance. I have an attitude that I always want to improve myself, and to challenge myself. But I don’t feel like I’m very good, or that I've significantly improved since I started playing. I study the game, I try to learn my class, and make effective gearing choices. I am fully aware that it takes more to being a good player than having the right gear and learning your rotation, however.
    Something Lore has stressed in his Weekly Marmots is the importance of awareness. I absolutely agree with this, and feel that it’s a big part of what’s holding me back as a player. It is very difficult for me to maintain awareness of more than one thing at once. In a raid, I need to be paying attention to where everyone is, where all the mobs are, watch for cues of incoming attacks and then maneuver effectively to avoid them, keep track of peoples health, especially my own, while pushing the right buttons. That comes very difficultly for me, and it’s something I want to work on. To that end, I want to improve my perception, and my ability to effectively multitask, but I’m not sure how to go about that.

    After posting this, I realized it should be in Halp, I need Advice. Could a friendly mod move it to the correct forum?

  2. #2
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    What role are you playing? Tank, healer, dps? Are you a clicker? Do you use any UI Mods?
    RNGesus - Saving you unreliably since BC.
    http://i689.photobucket.com/albums/v...ellvarsig3.jpg

  3. #3
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    What addons are you using? That makes a big difference in the ability to be aware of many things at once. How do you have your UI set up? Do you have too little information, or so much information it's impossible to keep track of? Are you playing the game with sounds? I don't know about everyone, but for me, I respond much faster to an audio signal than a visual one. Some other people have game sound turned off and listen to music, using only visual cues. Learn what triggers make you react the fastest and build your UI around those. Try practicing the monitoring of groups in 5 mans. Just flick your eyes to Grid every 5 seconds or so, and get used to doing that. Start calling out mechanics as they're coming. If you aren't the raid leader, do it without hitting your push to talk button in vent, but telling yourself aloud things are coming can help you prepare for them and get you used to checking the timers. If the raid leader gives a heads up and you haven't done your check yet, do your check then, to get used to monitoring things.

    Just some thoughts I threw together quickly.
    Kathy, I said, "I'm lost" though I knew she was sleeping
    I'm empty and aching and I don't know why
    Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
    They've all gone to look for America

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MellvarTank View Post
    What role are you playing? Tank, healer, dps? Are you a clicker? Do you use any UI Mods?
    I'd split that up even further there's a definite difference between melee and ranged dps too.

    Also, I, like Reev, respond best to audible queues. A guildmate recommended GTFO which is quite...strident. At least you won't be standing in fires...

  5. #5
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    I'll post a pic of my ui when I get home. I primarily heal and tank, but my tank isn't 85 yet, so it's just been healing lately. I do not click, nor do I keyboard turn. I use a large number of addons, but relevant ones to awareness include Power Auras, Grid, Pitbull, and Tidyplates with treat plates. I have both omen and recount, but I almost never look at them while I'm in a fight. I've got other ones, but that's what I can think of at the top of my head. I moved my character and target unit frames down to just below my character, because I never looked at them when they were in the upper left corner. In general, I try to keep any useful information close to my character. I have an extra action bar right below my character where I put all my spells with cooldowns and procs. I have grid immediately to the left my my character, much closer than my regular party frames, with a SBF showing things like renew for the selected target right beside it. I recently did an audit to try and get rid of anything I didn't use or need, but couldn't come up with much to get rid of. I think aural cues might help, although not exclusively. I think of myself as being more visual, but when I look at a screen full of raidmembers and mobs, I see a big blob and it's hard for me to make out what's going on. Tidy plates helps a lot with that, but not entirely.

  6. #6
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    Also important is that you know what your asignment is and build your awarness arround that.

    thats why it is verry important to know what your roll is, If you are a tank it is important to know who your healer is what your asigment is too tank, are you main tanking or are you off tanking, if you are a healer it is important to know what you are asigned too raid healing or main tank of tank healing. If you are dps a mellee it is important to know where you will be when the encounter starts and where not to stand the same is so for casting dps.

    Before starting you need to know your basic role and it might change a bit every raid, when you are aware of your basic role you have to focus where you need to pay attention too. In a raid communication is verry important when on vent i advice you to kill the ingame music it is not needed and might distract you.

    visuals, as a tank for me it is important to have as much view as possible for the healer its kinda the same i think, you don't want addons blocking your view ( tbh i think for raiding it is for dps also the same ) You want to place your addons "when you have them" on a spot where they are easely noticable.

    Standard addons for me are LUI V3 combined with Bartender, recount, Omen, DBM, for raiding. the good thing with LUI or simmular reworked UI's is that you can see trough your UI ( extras atlasloot to know what boss drops what, carbonite for questing, who taunted and a mailbox addon for better mail usage ) and if you are a healer you might want to have a healing addon.

    http://www.wowinterface.com/download...130-LUIv3.html this gives all what you need if you are interested its a standard reworked UI im fund of it, does not mean that you will ..

    What you need to avoid is tunnel vission, tunnel vission is baad for awarness! when you encounter tunnel visson your attention is focussed at one point and everything arround that focus will get blurry, to avoid that its important too blink your eyes and put your eyes for a moment on a other point and then get back on the point you need to focus on. also don't play in the dark it is verry bad for your eyes even when you have light on your keyboard it is adviced to have a smal lamp behind your computer screen.

    Resting your eyes is important if you know you have raid duty make sure you take a good pauze before attending too the raid you don't want to be ingame whole morning if you know that you going to raid like from 1900 to midnight. Do something that is not tyering your eyes at that point. at least thats what i do.

    regards
    Last edited by FatŠ; 04-14-2011 at 11:45 AM.

  7. #7
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    One thing that helped me tremendously is removing excess garbage from my UI. Have you seen these User Interfaces released by other people that are all nice and clean? You haven't seen anything yet... I am going to walk you through backing up your old interface in case you don't like this and then list the steps to make it simplest. If you don't understand what backup your directory means then don't do this.

    1. Backup your WTF and Interface directories under your main World of Warcraft folder
    2. In Wow open all of your action bars for all of your characters and remove almost everything.. Just leave up buffs, attacks
    3. Install Dominos and BasicChatMods
    4. Start moving the buttons around. You can change scale, layout, you can make big ones or little ones.
    5. You can set up keybindings right through dominoes for example Insert is Lay on Hands for me. PageUP = Rebuke

    Tip: If you didn't clean out your action bars and now you have buttons everywhere on your screen disable Dominos and just go clean them out with the default UI..


    Two addons mentioned
    http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-a...chat-mods.aspx
    http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-a...s/dominos.aspx
    Last edited by Contravene; 04-14-2011 at 11:43 AM.

  8. #8
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    Are you using clique along with Grid, or selecting the person and then pushing the spell keybind?

    Also, why would you block a good section of your screen with Grid? A better spot for that is below the character, with your/target frames above your character. This frees up the sides of your character for seeing what is going on and where.
    RNGesus - Saving you unreliably since BC.
    http://i689.photobucket.com/albums/v...ellvarsig3.jpg

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MellvarTank View Post
    Are you using clique along with Grid, or selecting the person and then pushing the spell keybind?

    Also, why would you block a good section of your screen with Grid? A better spot for that is below the character, with your/target frames above your character. This frees up the sides of your character for seeing what is going on and where.
    That's a good idea. I might put them where I have my action bars atm. I had noticed that I don't actually need to see the buttons except to track cooldowns and procs, so between my cooldown bar and power auras, I really don't need them. I could turn them invisible, and put grid there. Make it bigger, even.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elemek View Post
    That's a good idea. I might put them where I have my action bars atm. I had noticed that I don't actually need to see the buttons except to track cooldowns and procs, so between my cooldown bar and power auras, I really don't need them. I could turn them invisible, and put grid there. Make it bigger, even.
    LUI V3 will put everything on the bottem of your screen recount omen incluided everyting else is on the way top like clock gold etc, also your raid layout will be on the right bottem your actionbars in the middle and your chat on the left bottem all worked in nicely like simmular UI's, my keybinded rotation is not on my screen i only have the ones that still need to be clicked when needed to free up more view i try to have as less as possible on my screen so i have more view.

    you can also do it your self by moddificating everything you can look arround for such addons on curse you can also download the client so your addons will be updated all times if you don't already don it.

    regards

  11. #11
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    The key to awareness for me are the sounds from mods like DBM. Like Reev, I find audio cues a big help, it allows me to spend more time staying aware of my surroundings.

  12. #12
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    it allows me to spend more time staying aware of my surroundings.
    This is true. I run Icehud to keep track of HP/rage as well. But Power Auras has the capability of generating low health/low mana sounds as well, so that is another option.

    To be honest, with power auras you could pretty much get rid of your spell cooldown bar entirely.
    RNGesus - Saving you unreliably since BC.
    http://i689.photobucket.com/albums/v...ellvarsig3.jpg

  13. #13
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    I need that low mana/hp audible sound.. What other great ideas do you guys have?

    GTFO = Makes audible sound if you are standing in something.
    Healers have to die = Puts cross on healers and makes dink dink dink sound for you

  14. #14
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    I learned awareness when:

    1. I changed my UI and put my unit frames down lower on the screen to watch my feet better.
    2. When I was doing Sarth 3D with my guild and they would charge you 250G everytime you died to a void zone.
    3. When we were doing The Immortal runs thru Naxx and they would charge you 500G everytime you died to something you could of avoided.
    4. As I transitioned to tank more in raids and dungeons , I learned to see more and be aware of more items.

    Definately mods and addons help with awareness but you can train yourself as well to have better play habits while raiding.

    Oh and a 23" LCD also helps your awarness as you can see more too

  15. #15
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    Sounds like you're doing the things you should be. As I said and you acknowledged a moment ago, I'd recommend looking into aural cues. Power Auras can do that for you. Also, make sure that any information Power Auras is giving you is information you need and use. For example, I don't need a power aura to tell me when Sword and Board procs, because there's this great sound the game makes when that happens. On my priest, a power aura making an image when PoM is off cooldown wasn't very useful to me, since I pretty much slapped that key every few seconds anyway.

    I can say it should be easier to monitor the non-grid observable activities of the other raid members on your tank than it is on your healer. On a healer, by necessity, there is some degree of tunnel vision on Grid. Your focus is there and you look at the raid every few seconds for a blink. On a tank, your focus is on the encounter and the players and you glance at Grid every few seconds. It's far easier to glance at Grid and get all the info you need in 1 second or less than it is to glance at the encounter and gather all the info you need in 1 second or less.
    Kathy, I said, "I'm lost" though I knew she was sleeping
    I'm empty and aching and I don't know why
    Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
    They've all gone to look for America

  16. #16
    Before you start delving into this mod or that mod, you should take some time to examine the way that you interact with your interface and your ability to perform all of your critical actions without needing to think about it. This should be as comfortable as possible and entirely second nature, meaning that you should never have to "think" about an action, you simply want a spell cast and your finger presses the button.

    This can take some time and a bit of effort on your part, but making that connection with your avatar in-game is the first step to stripping away delays/distractions/etc.

    Then we come to the interface elements. I'm just going to discuss the healing role since I too heal more than I tank and my interface is heavily geared toward a healing role. You have to think about what elements of the fight are important to you as a healer.

    Is every buff and debuff important to you? No, not really. On most fights, the vast majority of buffs and even debuffs are often completely meaningless to you, which is why I have almost all of them turned off by default on my Grid and Unit Frames. Most fights have one or two encounter-specific, important buffs or debuffs that you want to pay attention to, and I configure my Grid to show just those, nothing else.

    I assume you're a priest since you mentioned Renew. So what information is of critcal importance for you as a healer? Everyone's health level is naturally very important, and I'm sure Grid is showing you that. Getting GridCornerText and GridStatusHots to make it easier to visually see whether or not people have Renew, PW:S/WS, or other duration-effects on them can be extremely helpful. There's a lot of other clutter that comes with Grid by default and most of it you can really just cut out because it'll do nothing but diminish your attentiveness to other things. Again, this should all be set up in the absolutely simplest, most comfortable manner possible. You should never have to wonder who has an important debuff or who already has a HoT on them, this should be easily visible and all the information should be at-a-glance.

    Your Grid or other raidframes mod should also be in a place where you can always see it, but not neccessarily be tunnelvisioning it. For example, I have my grid set just below and to the right of my character. I don't need to be staring at it, it's close enough to me that I can see debuffs pop up on it or health levels fluctuating with peripheral vision if something important is going on in the field of battle that I need to watch.

    Then to your playfield and other UI elements. As a healer, nameplates are often just a good way to get in trouble, they clutter the space more than they help anything. You said you have PowerAuras, but be very careful with just how many things you configure PowerAuras to show you, tracking every little thing is going to quickly overwhelm you. I only have PowerAuras set to alert me if I have extremely dangerous debuffs on me (Lightning Rod, as an example) because anymore is simply more information and clutter than I need. A mod such as DBM that alerts you to specific boss events is also very helpful, but again you'll want to cut out many of the less-important warnings because some bosses have a lot of mechanics, but only a few are important to you as a healer.

    You can see a common theme in my entire setup. Everything in the Interface needs to be entirely automatic, with as little thought as possible. Keybinds, raid status, boss warnings, all needs to be the absolutely simplest it can be so that I never need to wonder. Once you're to that point and as comfortable with your interface as possible, you can divert much more of your attention to the field of play, fireballs at your feet and other such annoyances that make your life as a healer more difficult. =)

    Becoming more experienced with the fights and planning ahead can really help your mental state as well. Try to never be surprised by events, always try to be looking foward at least one step so you're planning for it and not forced into a panic state when it leaps out at you. An example is massaacre/feud on Chimeron. Pay attention to the massacre timer and know it's coming, and also assume that every massacre is going to be a feud and mentally prepare accordingly. Of course, they won't all be feuds, but since you're always mentally prepared it'll never catch you off guard and you'll never panic.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bovinity View Post
    Before you start delving into this mod or that mod, you should take some time to examine the way that you interact with your interface and your ability to perform all of your critical actions without needing to think about it. This should be as comfortable as possible and entirely second nature, meaning that you should never have to "think" about an action, you simply want a spell cast and your finger presses the button.
    It's called proprioception, and there's a great old thread on it by Satorri somewhere.
    Kathy, I said, "I'm lost" though I knew she was sleeping
    I'm empty and aching and I don't know why
    Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
    They've all gone to look for America

  18. #18
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    I agree with Reev that sounds are very helpfull. I agree with most taht Bovinity has said. I'm also playing tank and healer.

    Only further ideas at the moment are:

    - Don't just copy any complete UI that anybody else has set up. Think about every element by your own.
    - Play around with where you put stuff. Hide some stuff for some time and see if you need it.

    What you probably never need is:
    - WoW error warnings (they appear at the top)
    - Any form of scrolling combat text
    - most of the warnings, boss mods throw around

    And here are some things I discovered that I never use them as tank or healer in a raid
    - my own character frame
    - and up to a degree the target frame

    I know it sounds quite weird to suggest to NOT place them at a prominent position. But if you also learn that you don't need them, they would free up some of the best parts of your UI and maybe even increase your awareness because you have to be alert a little bit more about them, anyway.

    So why do I not need them?
    I get a sound when my health drops dangerously low. But I seldom need it. As a healer, I'm looking at the health bars, anyway. I just remember where my frame sits and just monitor it a little bit more than others. Since I also play a priest, I often use BH to heal me up, so I have to find another person who needs a heal quick, anyway. I find it easier to just monitor the raidframes and not to monitor my own image and the raid frames to figer out the health of important persons.

    As a tank, I will get a sound warning about low health, too. In most cases the information that my health is NOT low enough for the sound is information enough. But sure, you should check your health bars now and again, anyway. But I don't think that you can monitor stuff better by multiplying the information. And as a tank your health bars should be present at least twice, already. Once as a normal raid frame and secondly as a MT target. I've placed the MT targets so that I see them easily. They also are a little bit bigger than the other frames. So my life will be shown at a more or less prominent postion anyway. That's enough. And while I check my life I will throw a glance at the raid, too, which also helps to know how everything is going.

    Since I use tidyplates I'll see most of the information I need to know about my target right where I'll have to look, anyway. Since sometimes bosses are to huge to show the plates, I also have some information about the debuffs on the boss placed somewhere else. And - again - I see MT targets and target targets. So I'll see my target there, anyway. (As a healer I just get the person I'm targeten highlighted.)

    What is a good idea to see:
    - Mana bars of [other] healers
    - Something to show if your target is already protected by a CD (you should be able to configure Powerauras to show just that)
    - As a tank that you got a CD by someone else and how long this and your CDs will last (again I've configured Powerauras to show me that)
    - If some raid CDs (mana-totem, hymns, CDs, BR, SS, ...) were already used and how log their CD is (but you don't have to see it in a prominent place!)
    - Instead of multiple spell-cd-bars it may be better to show the CDs on the icons or to use the nice addon Aliena uses (I'm using it, too, but just cannot remember the name).
    - Important Debuffs on yourself
    - The counters for the stuff you have to react to from your bosss mods - but only those (And btw boss mods let you set up some sounds, too)


    Another thing I do other than most people: I don't place the raid-frames at the buttom of my window. I put them sideways at the height of my character. Modern windows have so much space to the sides and most of it is not used for much. So I don't cover important parts of the my UI - like right below my character - with bars. The other effect this has: it keeps my head up. It helps me to see stuff happening around me earlier, since I just glance beside my character anyway.

  19. #19
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    The trick for me is learning what I actually need to be aware of and what I don't in an encounter. Focus on the things that you need to be aware of. Your healing/tank assignments, upcoming spell effects that you'll have to move from or otherwise account for and your immediate environment. The rest of it is stuff you can relegate to secondary awareness and trust that the other folks in the group are doing their jobs.

  20. #20
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    Ciderhelm did a video on awareness in general a long time ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uf1pWQhJdhQ

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