I am not a fan of running a lot of add-ons. I recently had to downgrade my video card for fan issues and have more lag than ever. I lost about 30 fps on average and have a new found appreciation for running with few add-ons. There are a few that I have decided however, that I cannot LIVE without. NeedtoKnow is one of them. This is a buff timer add-on with a multitude of utilizations.
As a holy paladin, we have access to a lot of timers and add-ons that can watch things like Beacon of Light, Sacred Shield, etc. There is BoLT (Beacon of Light Timer), CLCBPT (it is recommended in this post at wow.com), PallyPower, Power Auras, and tons more! Nonetheless, I wouldn’t trade NeedtoKnow for any of them. The sheer utilization of the addon outside of the Paladin class makes it useful to have unlike some of the paladin-specific. I will analyze the use of the addon in several ways; ways that I have implemented it for Paladins (holy and ret), Mages, Priests, and a recommendation I have been given for Warlocks. Maybe you will be amazed, maybe you won’t but this add-on is one of my lifelines.
- Excellent for Beacon of Light: Setting the tank as your focus, you can adjust the buff bar to monitor your focus target and regardless of whether you alter your target, NeedtoKnow is displaying a timer for your Beacon (your focus target). This allows you to heal around if needed, and is a considerable help in 5-man healing.
- Sacred Shield: As the bars are in groupings, you can have your Beacon of Light timer together with your Sacred Shield timer. It allows you to know that your shield is about to fall off and gives you the chance to sync up the re-cast with your BoL timer.
- Art of War: This is a talent that you spec into that will allow the ability to proc when you critically hit with melee. The ability allows your next Flash of Light or Exorcism be an instant cast. This is a great proc to take advantage of for your DPS output, or when questing can be a difference between life or death. Without constantly focusing on your buff bar, you can set NeedtoKnow to monitor yourself and the bar will appear when the ability is up. Setting the bar to a large size and in a bright color, it is hard to miss that you have it at your disposal.
- Sacred Shield: As a questing ret pally, it helps to use the shield always and setting it differently to monitor yourself, this is an efficient timer for you as well.
- Judgement: While I strongly encourage you to have Judgements as a major part in your rotation, you can set a target monitor to know that your judgement debuff on the mob has fallen off and you need to re-cast.
- Missile Barrage: Much like Art of War for a Paladin, Missile Barrage is a proc ability that you talent into near the bottom of the tree. Very similar to what I described above, setting this to monitor yourself will tell you when the ability has procced and it is efficient for you to cast Arcane Missiles.
- Arcane Power: A cooldown that an Arc Mage has at their disposal, tracking this allows you to watch the timer on the buff and to know when it is fading away. It isn’t significant to track this but it can help when you are monitoring all your buffs for maximum output.
- Icy Veins: When you use this to quicken your Evocation, watching the timer on this buff is significant to timing it right with your channeling. You can also, should you be the raid leader, sync Bloodlust/Heroism at the last few seconds of Icy Veins to maximize your output for the longest amount of possible time.
- Focus Magic: If you have a couple casters in your group and you wonder who to put it on, monitoring YOUR focus magic buff will tell you how much your target player is striking critically, allowing you to change your target should you feel someone else has a higher percentage rating for Critical Strike Rating.
- Fireball!: If you have the talent Brain Freeze, it procs the ability for you to instant cast your Fireball spell. This as of 3.3.3 will also cost no mana under the “Fireball!” buff. Like all other self-monitoring buff effects, this is great to know when to cast that otherwise-forever-long-cast of a Fireball.
- Renew: When you are throwing this around, you can have it set to monitor your target. This is great for raid healing utilization. Regardless of who you are targeting, this add-on will let you know the status (or existence) of their Renew. If you are tank healing, it is also a great Focus target feature to ensure your tank always has this HOT.
- Power Word: Shield: Much like a paladin, this is great for ensuring your shield is available on a target. It does not account for Weakened Soul, but your casting ability is grayed out when a target is effected by the debuff.
- Immolate: This was a use that was revealed to me by Cynwise over at Cynwise’s Battlefield Manual. You can use NeedtoKnow to also monitor debuffs put onto your target. This is significantly helpful in raids where boss fights can last several minutes. You can set the bars to monitor any and all debuffs on the target; I only have Immolate up in the picture but it does work for curses, Corruption, etc.
While I do not know how, I know this add-on can be used by rogues as well. The add-on was recommended to me by a rogue who was making use of it at the time.
One of the other pluses to this add-on is that it is fully customizable. The default setting for the add-on will give you 1 group of 3 bars. It is set to monitor the player and buffs. In the Interface window for add-ons, you can alter the number of bars per group (The Arcane Mage image above has 4 bars in a group), you can add groups, change bar patterns, etc. You can customize each bar color, the way time is displayed (i.e. 2m, 1:58, 1:58:01), you can do a variety of unit monitoring including player, focus, target, target of target, etc. With patch 3.3.0, this add-on recieved a hefty overhaul allowing all of the extra customization. It was great before, but it is spectacular now.
It has become a lifeline for me for several of my characters. I find sometimes I get a little lost healing without it, and that is kind of sad, but serves to prove how useful NeedtoKnow is. You can get your own download of Needtoknow over at Curse or by clicking here.
PS. If you find that you have the add-on and have it customized to your liking but it isn’t timing, be sure to enable it and toggle out of customize-view by using the command /ntk or /needtoknow.