A good idea will always find a way to make itself known, and the more minds you’ve got producing them the more you’re going to get. It’s easy enough to sit in your ivory tower and think you have all the answers, because you’ve got the resources and conference rooms to get things done, but that sort of mentality can lead to a terribly insular point of view.
That’s why I’m so happy that Blizzard has, for such a long time now, openly embraced the community braintrust to help improve the quality of their games, and the latest mod to be co-opted for inclusion in World of Warcraft‘s stock interface is the almighty Power Auras. The key to winning any battle is situational awareness, and while telling you precisely where you should be and when you should be there pushes the line of what’s acceptable (like the ill-fated AVR), giving you a little hint or nudge every once in awhile ain’t so bad. After all, at that point, it’s up to you to do something about it, right?
The ultimate point of an add-on like Power Auras is to give you a recognizable, visual cue when one of your key (but generally not instant-use) abilities is available. Raid encounters these days have so much going on that they require your mind to be about ten different places at once, so it’s nice to have some virtual smelling salts to bring you back to your senses.
Like so many other great add-ons, Blizzard’s version probably won’t satisfy long-time users of the original who are used to controlling every minute detail of their setup, but this is a welcome addition for anybody who would rather not futz around with a bunch of options and simply wants to enjoy the added convenience of having the auras around.
What’s cool is that, according to what’s been posted up on MMO-Champion (see image), it looks like each applicable spell or ability will get its own unique graphic, which flashes on screen when it’s ready. Though not all have been included in the current build of the beta, the ones that are there seem might slick to me.