Addon: NeedToKnow

Today I want to sing praise to an addon that I cannot do without. I use this addon for every single character that I have. It’s most useful for dpsers but also for tanks and even healers if set up right.

NeedToKnow tracks dots, debuffs, cooldowns and spell usability. You can use it for something as simple as tracking one dot on one target or something as advanced as an internal cooldown on one of your trinkets.

My set up and why I use it

Now instead of talking about what it can do all day I’ll just show you how I am using it myself on my hunter. Here’s the main bit of what I have set up:

This is just above my cast bar so I always have it in my view. Displaying these three bars makes it impossible for me to not know if I have my one dot up, if I am keeping the Improved Steady Shot buff up and if I am in Rapid Fire mode.

Without this addon I would have to glance over to my buff bar to check on the Improved Steady Shot buff and then to re-direct my view to the target’s debuff frame to look for my Serpent Sting debuff… and even if I found the Serpent Sting debuff there it might be some other hunter’s debuff and not mine.
Basically using an addon like this gives you the information you need, where you want it, when you want it. You’ll improve your raiding performance in ways you couldn’t imagine by using this, cause you are saving yourself so much time that you spend looking in the wrong places and you will be able to correct mistakes immediately rather than be unaware of them for a long period of time.

More uses

Besides tracking the things that you immediately need to know during an encounter you can also track more secondary things that might be relevant in other situations. For example, if you’re really into extreme soloing and need to keep an eye on Mend Pet… Well, you’re in luck! Just set NeedToKnow up to track the Mend Pet HoT on your pet and then you will always be aware of if Mend Pet is on your pet or not.

Personally I have also added bars for Misdirection and Camouflage which are also buffs that I want to always be aware of how long they last. To see how I’ve set it up you can check out the full picture which the clip above was taken out of:

Setting it up

Begin by going into the Interface menu -> Addons -> NeedToKnow. Enable Group 1 with a desired amount of bars, let’s say two. For this example we’ll set up tracking of Improved Steady Shot and Serpent Sting. Two bars that no Marksman hunter should be without. Enter config mode and get out of the Interface menu. Now you should see two gray bars on your screen that you can drag around. Move them to where you want them (probably somewhere just below the center of the screen).

Serpent Sting

Right click a bar and check “Enable bar”, go to “Choose buff/debuff to time” and type in “Serpent Sting” (without the quotations). Then set “Bar type” to “Debuff” and then under “Debuff settings”, set “Unit to monitor” to “Target”. Make sure “Only show if cast by self” is checked.

That should be it, you can alter the appearance of the bar by altering the way it displays the time, showing an icon or not and the color of the bar, but neither of these options are necessary. I strongly advise setting a distinct color per bar though, makes you able to tell the bars apart from the corner of your eye.

Now to see the result, just type in /ntk to leave configuration mode and enter play mode. Attack something and put a Serpent Sting on it and the bar should show up!

Improved Steady Shot

To get back into configuration mode just type /ntk again. Right click the bar you want to track Improved Steady Shot buff and make sure “Enable bar” is checked. Go to “Choose buff/debuff to time” and write in “Improved Steady Shot” (without quotations). Then set “Bar Type” to “Buff” and under “Buff Settings” set “Unit to monitor” to “Player”.

Then to see it in action type /ntk again to leave configuration mode and fire off two steady shots in a row to see the bar pop up. There you have it, the most powerful tool ever to help you track your Improved Steady Shot buff uptime!

Hunter’s Mark

If you play Survival then you definitely want to keep an eye the prevalence of the Hunter’s Mark debuff as well. As Marksman it’s irrelevant since it’ll get applied regardless from your normal rotation. But as Survival, this is something you might have to reapply in the middle of an encounter if you don’t have a Marksman hunter with you, or if that hunter tends to die…

Setting up the tracking of Hunter’s Mark is almost exactly the same as Serpent Sting. So go back and repeat all the steps of making a Serpent Sting bar but instead of writing in “Serpent Sting” as the name… you guessed it, write in “Hunter’s Mark” instead. And since you don’t care if the debuff is cast by you or not, you should make sure “Only show if cast by self” is unchecked under “Debuff settings” so you can see if Hunter’s Mark is on the target regardless of who cast it.

You can further improve this bar by changing the tracking to also include the “Marked for Death” debuff by Marksman hunters. You can do this by going back to “Chose buff/debuff to time” and type in “Hunter’s Mark, Marked for Death”. This will cause the same bar to track both of these debuffs but favor the display of the first one. So if there’s a Hunter’s Mark on a target, that’s what it shows, if you somehow had both it would only display Hunter’s Mark and if you only had “Marked for Death” it would show that.

And there’s more…

If you read through all of the tl;dr-text above then you are probably beginning to realize the potential of this addon. You can track the uptime or cooldown of any buff or debuff which is essential for dpsers and tanks. All dpsers have debuffs and buffs that they should keep track off… Just do it, it’ll improve your performance by leaps and bounds. And all tanks have buff cooldowns they should keep track off as well. By seeing the exact uptime of them it gets easier to stagger several of them in a row or inform healers exactly when the cooldown’s effect runs out and when you need that big heal.

For healers it’s probably mostly interesting to use to track the uptime of big healing cooldowns such as if you’re a druid you’d track the uptime of your treeform or if you’re a priest maybe you’d track the uptime of your Spirit of Redemption or Chakra.

And of course, the thing I didn’t go into in this post… Trinkets. Tracking the internal cooldowns on trinkets means you’ll be able to combine the proccs that they provide with potions or put yourself in a good dpsing position just before the procc becomes available, etc, etc. The possibilities are endless!


To download this addon follow either one of these links:



About Gavendo

I write a World of Warcraft blog called "Rapid Fire" on the topics; hunters, pets and achievement hunting.
This entry was posted in Addons, General, Hunter and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Addon: NeedToKnow

  1. eidotrope says:

    I also use NeedToKnow for just about every buff, debuff or cooldown that’s worth watching.

    I haven’t been able to get a bar to work for the Ready, Set, Aim… buff. I don’t think it’s all that important to monitor, but I’m still perplexed why it won’t track.

  2. Orthor says:

    I like your UI mate!

    Ever think about doing a post about your UI and packaging it?

    • Gavendo says:

      Heh, no I haven’t actually… šŸ™‚

      My UI is relatively basic, compared to a lot of the UI’s available out there. Here are the addons you see on screen in that picture above:

      Dominos – Action bars, menus and castbar
      HunterFocusBar – The Orange focus bar you see right below the cast bar
      NeedToKnow – All the dot, debuff, buff, bars
      OmniCC – Cooldown timer text on top of abilities in actionbars
      Power Auras Classic – The Aspect Icon to the right of NTK bars
      TidyPlates – New nameplates that are superior in every way and very customizeable.
      Titan Panel – The bar on top of the screen that displays various information. Three extra addons for this as well: picoFriends, picoGuild, BrokerCPU.

      Then there’s a bunch of addons that you can’t see atm. The only ones that affect raiding are:
      BigWigs – Boss mod
      gError – Removes all the annoying “Can’t do that yet…” errors in the middle of your screen.
      LoggerHead – Helps you log stuff for uploading to
      Obituary – Displays what killed people
      Omen – Threat meter
      RaidBuffStatus – Tool for checking people’s buffs
      RaidCheckList – Tool for checking available class/specc bufs. Great for helping you decide what pet to use.
      Recount – Damage/healing meter
      Vuhdo – Raid frames

      And then I also got these miscellaneous addons:
      NPCScan – For traking rarespawns
      AckisRecipeList – For the crazy recipe collector
      Archy – Makes archaeological digging easier
      Auctionator – Lightweight but powerful Auction House addon
      Auctionsnatch – Save a list of stuff you want then be able to search for the whole list at any time. For example some old rare recipes or pets.
      Badboy – Removes all spam
      EPGP – For tracking EPGP (it’s sorta like dkp)
      EPGP Lootmaster – For distributing loot in raids using the EPGP system
      FishingAce – Makes fishing easier
      GupPet – Randomizer for your companion pets and mounts
      HatTrick – Mini-addon that gives you buttons in the character screen for enabling/disabling helmet and/or cloak.
      OneClickBuyout – Mini-addon that gives you the ability to buy items off AH with one click. Use with caution. šŸ™‚
      Overachiever – Awesome addon for achievement hunters
      Postal – Helps you pick up emails in bulk (good for enterprise auctioneers)
      Prat – Chat addon
      Tipsy – Places tooltips in a specified location on the screen

      Out of those, Archy and FishingAce are currently a bit bugged and might not work 100%… I’m hoping they’ll get fixed soon though.

      So there you have it, my addons! Pick and choose yourself. šŸ™‚


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