Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Need to Know: Need to Use

Need to Know is an addon that keeps track of things for you.  I've been a long time user of the addon but never really used it on my hunter.  Perhaps for various reasons.  One being it was my main and I was so used to it that I knew when things were ready and the other was we never really had a lot of things to look out for as a hunter.  Keep that priority rolling, try not to lose even a fraction of a second between any shots and worry about that one cooldown (outside of trinkets) named rapid fire.

Now that the world of hunter goodness has changed we are full of cooldowns and we should be using them all the time.  If you are a good hunter you have already taken A Murder of Crows and Dire Beast and will be taking Glaive Toss at 90 not to mention getting Stampede at 87, all that and there is the addition of readiness for non MM hunters.

So on top of what the average hunter needed to do, which was amazingly cooldown friendly, you will now have 5 (or 4 depending on if you played MM before and always had readiness) new cooldowns to keep track of.  For most people this moves things from being easy to monitor with your memory muscle to something you might need assistance to keep track of.  I know I will, at least while learning it.

For that I would like you to take a look at Need to Know or any addon like it that you might use.  I know there are other addons that do the same thing but I like the slim look of NtK.  I've always used NtK on my warlock and fire mage and even used it on my tanks to help monitor my defensive cooldowns when I was first learning.

What does need to know do?

It is a program that is very versatile in what it can do.  It can keep track of the cooldown left on a spell, keep track of the time left on a DoT, notifies you of procs, and basically anything your little heart desires.  You can change its location, appearance, even have it show little icons of the skill you are monitoring.

Each spec will have its own set too, so you can make it role specific and really any role can find a use for it.  A healer can use it for cooldown tracking, a tank the same, just as a damage dealer would while keeping track of their DoTs and whatever else tickled their fancy.

Hunters however never really had much of a need for it.  With only one slightly bigger cooldown in each spec outside of rapid fire, BA for survival, BW for BM and readiness for MM what else would you have really used it on?  To track if your serpent sting was up on a target?  Don't laugh, I did this for a while because I got into a habit of forgetting to use it when I first hit 85.  Oops.

Now with all the cooldowns we have I think it about time that every hunter out there thinks about getting something like this.  You might be able to do without it, we all will with enough practice, but it won't hurt to have it.  It is a small program and will not cause any lag, never has for me.

Best part is, it was updated for 5.0.4 right away too.  Something many addons were not.

So what should you do with it?

Here is how I am going to have it set up for me as survival.  You could do hunters mark, to make sure it is on the target, sting, to make sure it is on the target and the cooldown left for black arrow and explosive shot if you really want but we are all used to that.  So much so that not many even think of the cooldowns any more, we know when things are up without even looking.  This is for the new stuff, save one, the one real cooldown we needed to watch before, rapid fire.

I use images of the spell because I like that, you do not have to.

1) Rapid Fire - Time remaining on cooldown.
2) Readiness - Time remaining on cooldown.
3) A Murder of Crows - Time remaining on cooldown.
4) Dire Beast - Time remaining on cooldown.
5) Stampede - Time remaining on cooldown.
6) Glaive Toss - Time remaining on cooldown.

So you can let need to know tell you when those things are ready or you can try to learn it all on your own.  It is up to you.  I know I used it on a few of my characters until I got comfortable with the timers and I will use it on my hunters now to get used to the timers.  Once you got it down you can hide need to know again but it is a great tool to help you keep track of all those new cooldowns we have to deal with.

If you are like me and was spending more time looking at your spells yesterday to see when they came off cooldown, don't.  Let this do it for you and you can get back to kicking some ass, just like us hunters are supposed to.  Less time watching cooldowns means more time bringing the pain.  Can you dig it?

So now hunters enter a new phase of life.  It used to be a good hunter was the hunter that was best at responding to their priority and doing so even if forced to move.  Our priority has always been a little brutal in how one mistake could effect our DPS and it still is.  Now we added something new to the mix, cooldowns, lots of them.

Don't let those cooldowns interrupt that priority, it can mean a huge DPS loss.  Integrate them.  So the new version of the good hunter now is the one that is best at responding to their priority, uses their cooldowns for maximum up time and can do so even while moving.

Huntering just got harder, but it just got more rewarding too when doing it well.  Need to know helps you make that transition into a cooldown class on top of everything we already were.

Other addons that do the same type of things that were suggested by posters:

Weak Auras
Tell Me When


  1. It's funny that you say that you never needed to use Need to Know on your hunter when I find the hunter class has the most CDs to track for PVP at least. I can get away without using it on the other classes I PVP with (mage, spriest, druid, etc.), however, there is no way I could do so with a hunter. In PVP, I find that I'm keeping track of some 21 CDs regularly on my hunter to maximize my gameplay. With the recent patch, that'll jump to 23-24. I suppose with MoP it'll be more like 25-26. OUCH.

    1. I was talking PvE wise but I know exactly what you are talking about. PvE wise there is not a lot to keep track of. PvP wise, hunters are the absolute hardest class in the game to play well for that one reason. There are so many cooldowns to watch.

      I counted once and I had over 40 binds that were for PvP only and I never used them in PvE. That is insane when most classes do not have even 40 things that could be used combined between PvE and PvP and I had over 40 additional.

      Hunter PvP is brutal. If someone wants to think they are a PvP god, tell them play a hunter and prove it. ;)

  2. For cd tracking I use OmniCC which has been updated. For tracking of buffs/debuffs I have Tell Me When. That's been updated as well but it's being a little temperamental on my paladin with the new things I want to track. I'll have to take a look at Need to Know, see what it does and if it would be better, thanks for the recommendation.

    1. Hopefully it can fill a gap for you if that is what you need.

      There are a million addons out there, need to find what works for you. Need to know does it nicely for me. Never tried the others however.

  3. NeedToKnow - Tracks Cooldowns via Bars

    TellMeWhen - Same Author as NeedToKnow, can be used for tracking very simple things as well as very powerful ones (You can design your own rotation helper based on numerous conditions)

    WeakAura's - Pretty much NeedToKnow,TellMeWhen and Powa Aura's combined with even more options, it's virtually the new replacement to Powa Auras as its interface is much more user friendly.

    If you have not tried TellMeWhen or WeakAura's I'd suggest you check them out.

    1. I'll take a peek at them and see what they are like. Will also add both to the end of the post. Thanks.

  4. Just wanted to say thanks for this recommendation. Very cool addon.

    1. It does seem to take some getting used to but it does the job nicely.