Once upon a time the duration of Devouring Plague matched its cooldown, restricting you to casting it once per 24 seconds on 1 target. When it was off cooldown, it was time to reapply it. Simple as that.
These days there is no cooldown (which is good, I know) but it can still only be applied to 1 target. Switch to a second target and you have no way of knowing when Devouring Plague needs to be reapplied.
ForteXorcist excels at tracking DoTs across multiple mobs regardless of your current target. So I decided to give it a go.
All I wanted to do was track Devouring Plague, right? ForteXorcist is a cooldown reminding, spell tracking, DoT timer beast.
The first thing I did after installation was head down to some Target Dummies in Stormwind and open up the Configuration. 5 minutes later I realised that if my brain was going to make sense of all this information, I needed to scale things right back.
I logged out and switched off all the class modules except the “Priest” class module which got rid of the Warlock purple boxes. I disabled the buff tracking section (all the blue bars: Inner Fire, Shadow Weaving, Illustration, NitT) because I have another Addon that tracks and displays that very neatly.
Then I got stuck into the Spell Timer configuration options.
Monitoring Devouring Plague, and just DP
I beat ForteXorcist into shape. I disabled all kinds of tracking and plugged “Devouring Plauge” into my Customise list and gave it a pink colour and told it to show up.
Placed to the right of Debuff Filter, and above my Quartz Cast Bar, it displays the progress of Devouring Plague regardless of my target. It can also show little markers on the progress bar to indicate the damage ticks, too, which I thought was neat.
Ok, so that screencapture is a pretty bad example. The icon with the number 12 on it (on the left) is being displayed by Debuff Filter because my target has Devouring Plague applied to it.
The bar with 2 shiny white blips on the right is ForteXorcist. The big blip is the progress indication, the little blip is when the next damage tick occurs. If I had another target selected this bar would fade to 50% but still be visible but the left icon from Debuff Filter would just disappear.
More Spell Timers Please!
Before making up my mind about ForteXorcist I thought I’d better give it a go at doing all my DoT tracking. This is how I organised things to monitor DoTs on multi mobs. With this setup I could completely remove Debuff Filter and use ForteXorcist to tell me when I should refresh Shadow Word: Pain and when Vampiric Touch is about to expire.
This is how ForteXorcist is intended to be used.
The 2 boxes on the left of my cast bar are ForteXorcist – each box representing 1 mob. I’ve coloured each of my spells separately (to match their icons: blue, yellow and purple) but I couldn’t remove the icons altogether or that incredibly annoying drop shadow border.
I also couldn’t figure out how to simplify the timers the way I could using Debuff Filter/OmniCC. With tenth-of-a-second countdowns I couldn’t help but feel rushed by ForteXorcist. Having 10.2 seconds left on Shadow Word: Pain is not something I need to know. 2 seconds left on Vampiric Touch? I’m interested.
The worst part of playing with ForteXorcist is that there is nothing to connect the actual target mob to its corresponding box of progress bars. I can’t help but wonder if perhaps it would be better to play with the default combat-text, damage-done yellow numbers which appear over the mob’s head. If I’m in a room full of tentacles that I’ve dotted up it’s going to be very easy to lose track of exactly which Corrupter is about to lose Shadow Word: Pain – even though I’m watching it happen with ForteXorcist. Perhaps it’s time I turned off Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text.
ForteXorcist has the ability to display raid symbols (skull, cross etc) on your targets, too. I think this might help bridge the progress bar => mob disconnect.
Something else to note is that I have kept my ForteXorcist progress bars very narrow (about 120 wide, I think) but you can draw them out as wide as you like. I’ve seen many interfaces where Shadow Priests play with ForteXorcist extended to match the width of their Cast Bar. Personally I don’t like seeing 10 progress bars whizzing past so I’ve kept my bars short to reduce the amount of on-screen animation.
When I switched on and played with ForteXorcist’s Cooldown module I recognised it immediately from many different strategy videos I’ve watched over the last 6 months. I’ve seen it used by Hunters. I’ve seen it used by a holy Paladin. And I was impressed.
The only cooldown that I really like to be reminded of mid-combat is Mind Blast. I’m not fussed about Inner Focus (which I have macro’ed anyway) and I have plenty of time to consider using Shadowfiend or Dispersion, so I turned everything off and coloured it up pink to match the Mind Blast spell icon.
The great thing about ForteXorcist’s cooldown reminder is that when the spell comes up off cooldown and reaches the end of the progress bar it animates (enlarges and fades) that pops out visually to remind you it’s time to press that button!
The good/bad thing is that the progress bar isn’t evenly distributed over time. You can see in the screen capture above the progress markers in seconds. The bar spans 6 seconds (0 at the left end, 6 at the right) but the center point of the bar indicates the 1 second mark.
This means that the spell cooldown you’re tracking travels faster and faster down to 0. I found this actually made it more difficult to judge when to hit Mind Blast and found myself trying to anticipate the ForteXorcist cooldown bar and getting “spell not ready yet” complaints from Cassandri instead.
I am undecided about ForteXorcist. It’s an incredibly powerful Addon that gives you a lot of control through customisation.
If I was a fan of progress bar DoT tracking I would love it. If I was new to Shadow Priesting (or any class that DoTs) I would love it.
I guess I’ve played for so long now keeping track mentally of what mob has what, and when it’s time to switch over and recast that I feel ForteXorcist makes me doubt my timing and watch the bars instead.
But overall I can’t help but feel overwhelmed by everything that’s being displayed all at once and, as I mentioned above, feeling more disconnected from the actual game play video streaming onto my monitor.
I’m looking forward to giving ForteXorcist a whirl in a raid with Mik’s Scrolling Battle Text turned off and we’ll see how I adjust.