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Thread: Learning Awareness

  1. #21
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    What I have learned during lots of failed experiments with addons and the likes is, that the less stuff on the screen, the better for perception.
    Actually I raid with only dbm installed - and I am actually pondering about removing that one too (the blue warnings are sometimes annoying while tanking and have led me to wrong decisions during the use of certain abilities).
    No recount, no omen, no power auras, no tidyplates. As desireable as they may seem - all those extra bling bling and sounds just distract me from my main focus as a tank: keeping alive and countering whatever my opponent ist doing. If some mob breaks loose or someone else pulls aggro I will usually see this on my screen.
    Enabling wide camera perspective also will help during some encounters.

    But know what? We all are individuals with different types of perception. What works for me or others may not work for you. Takes a bit of time finding out what does.
    Good luck

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Othomi View Post
    What I have learned during lots of failed experiments with addons and the likes is, that the less stuff on the screen, the better for perception.
    I try to go with few addons, too. I try to use as much standard stuff as possible. It's probably better for the performance of my computer and I'm less dependent on those addons. Because I've realized that patch-days can be really hard if they break one addon or two. I've got a bloody nose once because of this, I don't want to encounter it again.

    But sometimes standard stuff just hinders your awareness or there is a totally different way to present information, that addons do. I recently worked on my UI and it really improved my performance to use some addons.

    For example if you use stuff like Domino, you can get rid of the lion-heads and borders and stuff, so you can free your screen more. And you can let your bars only show when you move your mouse over them, so your screen shows actually less with the addon than without it. Same for character and target frame. standard raid-/ group frames can be configured to show only bars, and raid frames can even be moved around. That's not the case for the character and target frame, you need an addon to configure those. (I actually don't change them, but as I sated before I don't use them much, anyway.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Othomi View Post
    Actually I raid with only dbm installed - and I am actually pondering about removing that one too (the blue warnings are sometimes annoying while tanking and have led me to wrong decisions during the use of certain abilities).
    You know, there is an alternative that probably gives you more than removing it: configure it, so that it only shows what you want to know and place the information at a position where it does not interfere much with anything else (for example I place stuff I don't need all the times at the bottom left and right corners).

    Quote Originally Posted by Othomi View Post
    No recount, no omen, no power auras, no tidyplates. As desireable as they may seem - all those extra bling bling and sounds just distract me from my main focus as a tank: keeping alive and countering whatever my opponent ist doing. If some mob breaks loose or someone else pulls aggro I will usually see this on my screen.
    Losing threat of an add is a bad example. Because without addons there is no way to tell which one is lose at any given moment. Sure you can tab around, but as long as you have threat the standard interface will only tell you that you sit at 100% which is not very informative. But if you use omen or especially tidyplates / threatplates you can see that your threat is low on some mobs even before they break lose at all. While you have aggro on them. At least I have not found any way to see this without an addon of any kind. Same goes for adds your co-tank is tanking. Addon to show me this improved my performance a lot. Well it did not up my awareness, they just make me able to be aware of low threat in the first place.


    To help to improve ones awareness, it's not best to not show information, but to highlight the information needed and to reduce the unneeded information. Sure to train your own awareness it helps to do some farm content "blindfolded". But it's not the best approach for situations where you have to be really alert of everything.

  3. #23
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    While my UI is definitely not the standard UI, it is by no means cluttered. I have as much open space as I can get, while still having as much information as I need.

    Badly configured addons are never good, they will never tell you what you need, and nothing more. The worst offenders are usually boss mods and tooltips. Bossmods are set up to tell you everything by default; you need to spend some time setting it up, deactivating stuff you don't need to know (for example as the offtank at magmaw you probably don't need to know when he will mangle the main-tank next, but you do want to know when the next skeleton is going to spawn).

    Likewise tooltips can be really annoying. They overlay anything and everything if set up wrong, you need to place their anchor point so that they only cover empty screen, and not something important like an action bar or a unit frame.

    Scrolling combat texts are another common culprit, if you do not set up filter rules and move the anchors your screen will be covered in numbers and you won't see a damn thing.

    here is a link to my latest UI screenshot. You can see how my boss mod only takes up a small amount of my screen, yet tells me all I need to know. You can also see how nothing is placed over anything else, for example the tooltips and scrolling combat text.

    http://img194.imageshack.us/img194/2...1311215329.jpg

  4. #24
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    I haven't read this thread yet, I don't have time, I will do it later, but want to toss out a suggestion that's probably been said, but want to put it out there none-the-less:

    IMO, UI Setup is critical for raid awareness, and it changes per person. I'm someone that likes lots of highy customizable addons like Power Auras. For a while I even had redundant addons as a raid leader/tank. I had a HUD so that if I was staring at the boss I still knew my hitpoints and such, then normal player UI frames, and the DBM's low health warning so I always knew when I had to hit a clutch cooldown. I don't use as many redundant addons as a DPS now because I need sort of a cleaner screen. A lot of people use "minimalist" setups to get as much crap off the screen as possible so that they can see a lot of what's going on. These people generally have very good peripheral vision and even if they sort of "tunnel vision" on their rotation or something, with a minimalist setup they see a lot in their periphs so they can still react to it.

    My UI has evolved a lot over the years, and it really depends on the player what you like best.
    "If the world is something you accept rather than interpret, then you're susceptible to the influence of charismatic idiots." -Neil deGrasee Tyson

    Twitter @Aggathon || @Tankspot || Twitch.Tv/Aggathon

  5. #25
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    For UI customisation, it's of course a very personal thing. I like to follow a few key themes:

    - Core information in the center of the screen, without obscuring my character, additional information on the periphery
    I like to have clean unitframes for player-target of target-target in the center lower (very common setup), DBM timers with <10s and a variety of power auras/timer bars near the eyeline. Everything else, I try to keep to the edge of the screen. As a raid leader, I need lots of information, but I still need to have enough clarity to perform my role as a player.

    - Keybinds following a similar approach.
    Core abilities are bound to keys near the natural resting point of my hands (mice with lots of buttons help here)

    - Camera zoomed out, widescreen monitor and wide viewport to give as much peripheral vision as possible

  6. #26
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    Yeah, that's the problem with the minimalist approach. As a raid leader, you sort of have to have access to the information that all the other roles in the raid need, multiplying the information needed by a lot. I seem to be able to process it pretty well, but I know for a lot of people, it would be overload.
    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
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  7. #27
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    Hi, thx for your reply Katzazi. I did try configuring dbm to no avail. Actually it is of no use to me in my role as tank or dps warrior. I barely check the ability cds it displays etc. There is nothing wrong by using dbm and/or other addons. It just is not working for me atm as it should.
    For me the whole encounter is choreography - either rythm and play are in tune and the raid is successful or there is some disharmony caused by mistakes - so it ends in a wipe. I am no raid leader - and don't want to be one either. So I do not really need all the extra info. I just focus on my role and what others that interact with me need. That's it.
    On the other side I am very aware of what the game itself displays - even sound is extremely important to me (f.ex. when a boss says something and therefore does announce some ability he is going to use).
    I submerge myself in the game - and addons just disturb that. Maybe it is just an intuitive way of dealing with whatever comes up, but it has worked for me during all those years ... and to be honest: there was a time without most of the addons and raids were also successful

    I will give dbm another try and see if I get those blue warnings away, but I am not very hopeful about it.

  8. #28
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    There are some fights where those "Blue Warnings" are absolutely key for tanks to see. Take the nefarian fight, if you are kiting the adds then it really helps for DBM to warn you that 'shadowbolt is due in ~5s'. There are a couple of tricks to DBM I think:
    1) as mentioned, turn off the warnings you don't want. DBM tries to automatically detect which timers to show you and which things to notify you, but it normally has a lot of things enabled and it sounds like you'd prefer to keep it slim. In the DBM options for each boss, you can enable/disable anything you like. It's often advisable to wait until you have an understanding of a given raid boss, to the point of knowing which abilities you actually care about, before you cut back on too many warnings.
    2) there is an option to have 'huge bars'. You can enable this, and then have the 'small bars' off in a corner of the screen, with the 'huge bars' only used when the timer is about to expire. This is pretty useful for giving you information 'just in time' and cutting down the amount of clutter on the screen without removing the information altogether.

    DBM isn't the only kid on the block, Bigwigs (+littlewigs for dungeons) is very highly regarded too. What I think most people agree is that without these addons, the game (especially raiding) is harder.

  9. #29
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    I am all for as little clutter as possible, however, addons give you an advantage.. As was mentioned in this thread earlier you can install DBM, GTFO for audible alerts where GTFO doesn't even require configuration. DBM actually doesn't "need" configuration either but say you needed a countdown for a spell. I am told you go check "emphasize" on the spell and presto you get a 5 4 3 2 1 style countdown.. (I haven't needed this yet but I almost set it up for Pistoal Barrage when I was learning that chump)

    Addons do not equal clutter

  10. #30
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    For my I have everything centered in my UI. I use a monstrosity of what was once Bodasafa's UI thought I believe I have changed the location and viability of nearly every Addon to fit myself. I make sure everything I need to know is in a square no larger than my hand directly below my character. This helps me to keep track of my target's cast, my heath, aggro, healer dmg, CD and Bossmods while being centered enough that I can see if I'm standing in the void zone...

    The best advise I can give I took from my years in the Army. Think slow and move fast. If you panic you die. Keep a scan on your sector and follow your pattern. Eventually what you need to do becomes nature and it leaves your mind much less cluttered. What this means to you in WOW is as follows.

    Set up a pattern to where your eyes should be. Of course know your key binds so you don't have to watch or download something like spell flash to help you find the right spot for your eyes. I check my toon, then scan across over him from left to right checking threat plates. I come down the right to check small DBM cd bars, across the bottom for my toon for omen, and back up. I center everything else around this pattern so I can cover my CDs, target cast bar, focus frame...

    Set the pattern and live by it.
    Quote Originally Posted by WarTotem View Post
    You know you just called yourself an asshat, right?

  11. #31
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    When I first started healing for my guild I was guilty of the TMI/tunnel vision syndrome too - and it made my situational awareness really sucky.

    At first, I had moved all my unit frames, action bars, tracking bars, buffs and debuffs, raid frames and cast bars under my character, but I discovered that it made me tunnel vision even more - so I started over again using the default UI as my template and it has worked out much better. Leaving important information in the corners and the center of my screen has forced me to look at the entire UI more frequently and helped a lot with my awareness. I also use GTFO and DBM for the audio cues they provide, and have found that to be extremely helpful. In addition - I have stopped trying to track "everything" I think I will need and concentrate on just a few really key pieces of information. I find that limiting information helps healing feel less stressful to me.

    I use and love MSBCT because I can set a personal threshold for my low mana warning and I can watch the ticks of my healing stream totem to make sure I have them in range of the raid group. I have disabled the information I really don't need, and moved others. I also use Tidy Plates/Threat plates, but I only show the nameplates for enemies. I find the mod quite useful in cases where I need to be able to hex or interrupt a mob on the fly - I have their spell casting information on the nameplate so I can see and target them quickly. By the way, using a nameplate addon also forces me to look over the whole screen - again contributing to better situational awareness for me.

    These changes have turned me from "that player" who tended to die in the ground effects to one of our groups most aware members. Not only do I personally get out of bad stuff quickly - I am usually the first one to notice and report where the fire/slime/void zone is.

  12. #32
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    I pride myself on my awareness within a raid. Im always one of the last to die, even on a wipe. The single biggest thing I can attribute to my success is actually my gaming rig. If you cant see the void zones on the ground because of bad frame rate or lag, youre going to stand in them longer. Plain and simple. Not to mention I gained 10-15% dps when I switched to my new computer.

    As for "Keyboard turning" and "clicking." I do both. Im reminded of a phrase when it comes to racing. "Give the car what it wants, not what others say it should want."

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prucilak View Post
    I pride myself on my awareness within a raid. Im always one of the last to die, even on a wipe. The single biggest thing I can attribute to my success is actually my gaming rig. If you cant see the void zones on the ground because of bad frame rate or lag, youre going to stand in them longer. Plain and simple. Not to mention I gained 10-15% dps when I switched to my new computer.

    As for "Keyboard turning" and "clicking." I do both. Im reminded of a phrase when it comes to racing. "Give the car what it wants, not what others say it should want."
    I'd agree my performance increased when I upgraded my computer. It's a lot easier to notice effects and such when you're running everything at full resolution in Ultra than when you're doing the same thing in low settings.
    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

  14. #34
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    Something else that may help, but does not affect only you personally: If more than only you have that problem, maybe it would be a good idea to rething who calls out what for your raid. It can have a big effect on what people are aware of.

    For example if only one person calls out everything in a dull voice all the time, it's hard to realize which parts are important for yourself and which can (and should) be ignored. If nobody calls out anything at a regular basis you may just be to buzy to realize a special thing early enough, and when someone calls out something in all the silence you may just panic before you realize that it's not important for you anyway.

    Something that we do is to not only assign special tasks to special people but we also share a little bit around who calls out what. We are two RL (we just happen to be the to tanks, but I also RL another raid from my healer) and call out different things. So for example at maloriak I call out the stuff that is relevant for everybody, the other tank and the interrupter speak about when the interrupts should happen, while one healer is assigned to call out when to kill frost-graves. So everybody knows that they probably can ignore the voices of my co-tank and the interrupter while I will tell them when to move or whatever.

    Another effect of spreading out the anouncements is that more people feel more responsible about that stuff. However the assignments should be natural in some kind of way, not everything has to be called out by another person, it should be a reasonable pattern and nothing that confuses more than one stable voice would do.

    Anyway, if you think that you have some awarness-issues it may help you to try to get yourself assigned to call out something imortant fitting to your role. Since you are now not only responsible for acting on it, but to get everybody else aware of it, you probalby will be much more alert for the effect you should call out. (Sure that does not help to move you faster out of splash dmg, but GTFO should help you there, anyway.)


    Another thing that may or may not help, is jumping into some PVP action now and again. But it does not help everybody, since most of the stuff happening there you will never see in raids and the other way round, anyway, especially as a healer or tank.

  15. #35
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    I hate to admit this, but my awareness went way up, when I was assigned to dispell a debuff (on my Priest), that a Boss put on a random raid member, every few seconds (hate to admit, because I was very reluctant to even try this). Suddenly, I wasn't just healing anymore, by looking at my Vuhdoo frames. I had to actually see the person, wait for them to reach a certain spot, then cast the dispell. It took a few wipes, but there's nothing like learning something, and then getting it down to second nature, in a raid. It's almost as good as getting the kill...almost...

    I now look for this "zone moment", in every new encounter...there's usually one in every phase of a fight, no matter which role one is playing...
    -"Just like a buzzin' fly, I come into your life, I'll float away, like honey in the sun..."--Tim Buckley

  16. #36
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    SA, situational awareness, get some. Pick what works for you man. For instance, as a I tank, the default UI frames work fine since they show who has agro or is close to getting agro. I have Recount because it helps me track if people are doing dumb shit (eg. not interrupting, or garbage dps), omen for extra threat information, DBM (of course), and visual combat table to help me with gear choices Personally I like to minimize screen clutter. Having a bigger monitor helps but putting less shit on screen works too. I'm a minimalist (partially due to lower end computers and such) so I only use what I absolutely need to do the job, and honestly the extra shit isn't any more useful.
    Get some.

  17. #37
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    I prefer to use the Force.

  18. #38
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    Trust your feeling. Turn off your monitor.
    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

  19. #39
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    Well, just stressing a implicit point i beleive everyone is already assuming: good awareness isint necissarily knowing where everyone is, what their health is like, etc. You dont need to be aware of every piece of information on a given encounter, just the parts that matter.
    A lame example would be that a healer wont be looking at the positioning of the 24 other raid members. he will be looking at his grid/healbot. If he knows someone stood in fire its more likely because he deduced it from the amount of damage the guy was taking, not because he actualy saw the toon standing in big red flames.
    Deciding what information is important to you and obtaining it efficiently would be all the raid awareness you need. Then its just a bit of practice and your all good (for me pugging heroics is excelent for this, people alweys find new ways of making wierd mistakes and its interesting to be able to see and correct the situation).

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