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  • World of Warcraft
  • 4,737 Monthly Downloads
  • Supports: 6.0.2
  • 316,831 Total Downloads
  • Updated 10/26/2014
  • Created 04/10/2009
  • 572 Favorites
  • Project Site
  • Comments
  • Release Type: Release
  • License: GNU General Public License version 3 (GPLv3)
  • Newest File: 3.0_RC

About Watcher


Watcher helps you manage your rotation by consolidating and condensing information onto a simple to read display. It allows you to focus on things that are more important like boss mechanics, your situational awareness, or listening to your raid leader; instead of being bogged down in the act of performing your rotation.

With deep and powerful configuration options, Watcher allows you to see exactly the information about your rotation that you want to see. However, it comes with a wide variety of defaults for many classes and specs to get you started. Properly configured and customized, Watcher is a mighty tool for both new players just learning their classes as well as players that have been raiding since classic.

A GIF of Watcher running on a 2H Frost Death Knight:

Watcher also includes:

  • A dynamic event-driven architecture; unlike some other rotation helping addons, Watcher won't tank your framerate
  • Masque support for skinning icons
  • A large number of visibility options to control exactly when Watcher shows up
  • And more!


Through the use of a priority system as well as powerful filters for spells and abilities, Watcher displays your rotation in the familiar context of a timeline, with higher priority spells stacked on top of lower priority ones and upcoming abilities placed on the timeline according to when they will become useful. Abilities on the timeline are waiting for a wide variety of things: coming off of cooldown, waiting for resources, monitoring a DoT, etc.

Attacks ready to be performed are displayed using a stack with the most prioritised attack shown on top.

Ability keybinds can be optionally displayed.


More to come in this section later.

A slightly old full walkthrough of Watcher configuration is located here

Display settings documentation.

Priorities can be adjusted to where they suit you.

Spells can be configured to be cast based on a wide variety of filters whether that be the presence (or lack there of) of an aura on you or your target, your target's health percent, your mana/resource percent, whether a spell can be stolen or interrupted, whether you have a particular talent or glyph, among other options.


Found a bug? Report it!

Want a feature? Request it!


Want to help make the defaults better? Vist the class forum posts for each default:

Death Knight | Druid | Hunter | Mage | Monk | Paladin | Priest | Rogue | Shaman | Warlock | Warrior

Here's a tutorial for creating and exporting defaults.

tag 3.0_RC
Michael P. Starkweather <>
2014-10-26 19:01:14 -0500


Michael P. Starkweather:
    - Updated .toc to reflect new release candidate status
    - Lots of defaults added. Thank you Marci-Hellscream!
    - Changed the events when the usability filter is fired.
    - Also throttled events a little harder.
    - Update Hunter defaults again. We'll get them right!
    - Fix issue with removing spells that don't currently have.
    - Fix regression of default export -- it wasn't attaching the api version to the exported default file.
    - Frost DK defaults. Also added a priority list filter for switching priority lists if dual wielding or not. Default contains 2H and Dual Wield separate priority lists.
    - Fix embarrassingly bad regression in aura filter. Will now work if you do not have a timeRemaining on that you are checking to see if exists.
    - Updated Hunter defaults to use "Ignore Usability" where needed (high cost, high reward spells) and updated priorities to better match reality. Thanks Jeslinis!
    - Channels now act the same as casts.
    - Juggle some spell options around in the menu.
    - Changed message slightly. Also, the curse packaged version number should show up on the version string (previous commit).
    - Add Sparbanken to the author list in the .toc file. Also, in a previous commit, I reverted the 3.1 version to 3.0 since we've never shipped a 3.0 version and it makes things easier for me.
    - Another try to get the usability filter to both work for deathknights and work for 'execute' style mechanics.
    - Disable mouse on icons if locked and enable mouse on icons if not locked.
    - Did a pass on filters and options related to them. You may see a API conversion in your chat from API 0 to API 1 -- this is normal.
    - Changed Aura filter to be significantly more powerful. Can now select a Unit and if it is a buff/debuff, as well as expanded options for stack and remaining time.
    - Known issue with new Aura filter -- if it is setup with above a time when the aura exists, then it may not update when the icons should disappear.
    - Changed talent and glyph filters to have an additional option for if you don't have the talent or glyph.
    - Changed health filter to have a unit selector and to clarify setup.
    - Changed power filter to clarify setup.
    - Removed useless spec filter.
    - Added a first time dialog to open the Watcher config.
    - Removed spec filter
    - New option: "Casts Affect Usability". This will cause the current cast to force other abilities to be pushed back until the cast is done.
    - Moved the new Icon Settings up in the Timeline Settings panel.
    - New option, "Orient to GCD" (off by default). This will remove the jitter due to the GCD, making the 'main stack' stay still.
    - Fix regression of stack height calculation.
    - Changed the way that stack position is calculated, should now properly stack further down the timeline.
    - Dramatically reduce jitter by only updating endTime if the change is more than 200ms.
    - Two new options! Desaturate (turn greyscale) icons when unusable and hide icons when recovering resources.
    - Fix for unusable things (like Kill Shot) showing up in the timeline when they shouldn't.
    - Slight fix for icons not being completely built at game start. An inelegant and terrible fix. But it works!
    - Disabled the "Display Type" because there is only a single, unimplemented option.
    - Changed the returned from the GetSpellDropdown function to include the spellName.
    - Increase maximum stack for aura filter.
    - You can now configure the "Ignore Usability" in the default "Usable" filter set.
    - Accidently broke "Ignore Usability", restore it's functionality.
    - Modified Hunter defaults to not use ignore usability and follow Icy-Veins a little more closely.
    - Fix issue with usability filter incorrectly hiding things on cooldown that aren't usable (like death knight abilities that cost runes).
    - Check off the year old todo for time until power percent since last commit fixed that.
    - Power filter now will return the time until power will be reached.
    - Rewrote usability filter and made it take resource regen into account.
    - Added spell charges filter
    - Fixed spelling mistake in message.
    - Removed the incomplete UI message from the priority lists editing.
    - Added confirmation dialogs for deletion of spells, filter sets, and filters.
    - Correctly display the shortest time until cast and then most prioritized icon.
    - Changed the default for the show on target so that the frame is visible most of the time.  This should be less confusing.
    - Made the usability filter check the GCD instead of assuming 1.5, should lead to icons not disappearing at 1.5 sec.
    - Reverted showing more than a single icon at a time.
    - NumIcons is now default to 64 instead of 12, just to rule things out.
    - Clarified a comment.
    - Prot Warrior defaults.
    - Fixed Glyph and Talent detection! Hurrah for undocumented Blizzard APIs!
    - Add option to rename the dropdown name, which will mostly resolve the issue with multiple spell IDs for a single name. Thanks Jeff!
    - Updated message and changelog.
    - Pretty Print will now output with 4 space indents instead of 3 to match the style of Watcher code.
    - Updated the message to be displayed when the defaults have changed.
    - Made defaults check off of non-localized class name and changed the way that the default timestamp is updated.
    - Some whitespace changes. nothing too heavy handed
    - Changed the default class check to no longer run string.upper because it doesn't need to.
    - Changed the export functionality to reflect header changes.
    - Removed "HunterOld" default.
    - Changed gitignore to ignore my project file
    - Added AceSerializer-3.0 to pkgmeta so that the packager will add the library
    - Change default scale to something just a little bit smaller.
    - Remove 5m as a default time segment. Don't worry, you can just add it back!
    - Merged in latest version from CurseForge.
Michael Starkweather:
    - Changed duration string to display 1m instead of 60
    - Embedded AceTimer
    - Major work done on move into an event based system.
    - Changed move up and move down to up and down to support larger fonts
    - Added edit button that pops out spell settings from priority menu. Changed move up and move down to reselect the spell/filter set that you are moving.
    - Changed cooldown filter slightly to allow for the cooldown of unusable spells past the previous 3 second mark.
    - Fixed not being able to add 0 to the time segments after removing it.
    - Fixed icon size being odd without Masque. Fixed tooltip for health. Adjusted aura refresh threshold max to 60sec. Should support monk stagger now.
    - Added option to check player health instead of enemy health
    - Will not show if there are no setup priorities.
    - Now orders specs correctly so that the one that pops up is the spec that you are in.
    - Added two new options -- MaxStackedIcons and StackHeight. Moved Timeline settings into own display settings tab. Fixed not being able to edit Timeline time segments Can now edit the maximum number of icons
    - Switching talents should now properly change the priority list.
    - Fixed show on enemy target. Again.
    - Fix for invulnerable enemy targets not showing using Show Only If Target Exists
    - Fixed turning off keybind labels. Removed MONOCHROME font effect since it crashes the game regularly. Added "Casting a spell that has a cooldown removes it from the list."
    - Fixed totems. Hopefully for the last time.
    - Mistype on 295 of Filters.lua Ooops
    - Fixed totems.
    - Hopefully fixed totem time detection.
    - Added totem filter.
    Changed "None" to "Usable"
    - Actually fixed moving.
    - Fixed moving frame.
    - Renamed a bunch of things.
    - Fixing for packaging
    - Spellcheck.
    - Attempt number 2 on trying to get packager to like it.
    - Fix AceLocale and AceGUI
    - Fix for AceGUI and AceLocale not embedding
    - First attempt at doing a packaging test.
    - Removed buffTypes since using LibDispelable
    - Added CheckSecondaryResource filter.
    Fixed flipped >= and <= in Classification filter.
    - Added LibDispel and wrote CheckTargetAura filter
    - Added target casting interruptible filter
    - Added license to files
    - Target classification filter now working
    - Fixed CheckSpellTalent
    - Changed some minor things for consistency.
    Updated CHANGELOG.txt to be.. better.
    - Added CHANGELOG.txt
    - Added LICENCE.txt
    - Added .pkgmeta file to embed latest versions of libraries.
    - First attempt at showing only one icon.
    - Fixed usability patch to make so cooldowns and aura tracking doesn't go away when not enough resources.
    - Changed tooltip for power filter.
    Keybind display now working.
    - Fixed priority lists retaining deleted values of spells/filter sets
    - Fixed inverted aura detection.
    - Priority list options appear on first load.
    Changed "Default" name to "None" and made so that cannot change the filters attached to it.
    Priority list GUI doesn't show the filter set "None" in the sidebar.
    - Usability is ignored if ability is on cooldown.
    - More work on getting frame tied into new backend.
    Max refresh rate on frame is now 60fps.
    - Removal (and commenting out) of all old code and starting to integrate newDB into the frame and overall usage.
    Priority list is evaluated at enable time currently. This is working.
    Beginning of spell filter evaluation.
    New frame draw method. Hopefully it works -- untested as of now
    - Changed priority frame GUI to display position in list.
    - Working GUI for editing priority lists with default values. These priority lists are set up automatically to be all of the available specs of your class.
    - Can now add spells based on name presuming that the character has the spell.
    - Initial commit.


First Previous Page 11 of 58 Next Last
  • #763

    Posted a followup directly below your post, just wanted to make sure you saw it :)

    Ty again for fixing this one up!

  • #762
    Quote from Jeslinis »

    "Well, by default mangle is supposed to show up and be timed to cast with the debuff that causes slower movement. you can override this by changing the "spell to track" to blank, removing infected wounds"

    Problem is.. I deleted it (it let me).. and now when I created a new mangle, its unable to track it.

    Im gonna delete the stuff pertaining to watcher in the wtf folder and see if that fixes.

    edit: where exactly is this stuff to delete? I see saved variables in my specific character (for the druid).. but I think the spell variables are global... However, there is no watcher.lua in my global saved variables?

    the variables are character specific, so you can delete the file for your character.

  • #761

    and basically continuing on here:


    Deleted my watcher.lua in my druids folder. this reset the addon for my druid.

    went into spell stuffs --

    For mangle: removed it tracking by Aura for the snare debuff (you should make this defaultly track CD only)

    For thrash: removed it tracking for its bleed aura only (you should make this defaultly track CD only)

    for lacerate; removed it tracking for its bleed aura only.


    Appears to be working


    Note: does not have a base default for Faerie Fire. .. Only Faerie swarm, which most tanks wont take due to pulling a mob by snaring it = bad (like why prot paladins do NOT glyph for snare shield throw)

  • #760

    "Well, by default mangle is supposed to show up and be timed to cast with the debuff that causes slower movement. you can override this by changing the "spell to track" to blank, removing infected wounds"

    Problem is.. I deleted it (it let me).. and now when I created a new mangle, its unable to track it.

    Im gonna delete the stuff pertaining to watcher in the wtf folder and see if that fixes.

    edit: where exactly is this stuff to delete? I see saved variables in my specific character (for the druid).. but I think the spell variables are global... However, there is no watcher.lua in my global saved variables?

    Last edited by Jeslinis on 8/29/2012 9:40:25 PM
  • #759

    Well, by default mangle is supposed to show up and be timed to cast with the debuff that causes slower movement. you can override this by changing the "spell to track" to blank, removing infected wounds.

    As for thrash tracking lacerate, lacerate  tracking moonfire, I don't know... is that seen in the config window in the "spell to track"? that's definatly not default behavior but it could be some glitch from the saved variables you have. You could certainly delete the saved variables you have to solve the problem sooner rather than later. I've still got to debug why it's not letting spells get deleted.

  • #756

    Should I delete the saved variables for this and start over? Im having issues atm on my druid with trying to setup for bearform mangle off CD, thrash, lacerate, and FF off CD, etc.. but for whatever reason, Mangle is tracking for the snare debuff aura, thrash is tracking lacerate, lacerate is tracking moonfire.. etc...

    I did submit a ticket on curseforge with the error I was getting trying to remove the bad thrash.. 

    But yea.. if you could do testing on a druid bearform to even just get it to show mangle when off CD, that would be amazing. ATM Power Auras cant even see mangle for some reason so I have NO method of telling myself its off CD other then looking at the bar.

  • #752

    ill look into hunters this week, maybe monday. ive been cleaning up the class luas, and nothingsknower has been hard at work cleaning up the main luas. nothinsknower has been showing me what i need to do to make the spells look the way we want them to right out of the box, so once its updated, almost every spell that you'd use in your rotation will already be set up......that means no need to input a spell yourself, it will already be done, and working the way it should:).

    ive been doing it alphabeticaly so dks and druids are done, hunters are next ect. (i got locks and warriors up and running, but they still need some love, and are last in line. im gettin about 3 classes per week, so maybe a week or two more and we'll be jammin. certainly by MoP.

  • #755

    Sounds great!

    On Beta, with the downloaded version I got a few days ago, I saw that Glaive toss (spell I added through the interface) once or twice vanished off of the bar, like I'd seen Chimera Shot do in Marksman, and it did not reappear until like 1-2 seconds before it was ready to be fired. I think it may have vanished right after I had done a Kill Command, but I'm constantly doing Kill Commands and seeing Glave Toss NOT disappear. I paid attention but at least in that test session on the Internal Test Boss, I couldn't identify what had caused Glaive Toss to vanish out of the display those few times.



  • #749

    the alpha link. ive been workin with nothingsknower on fixing bugs, but for the most part, its workin for beta and ptr.

    we'll keep working on it and fix it so its better than ever, however we are both busy with rl so it wont happen over night. main thing, it IS working for the upcomming patch, and it will only get better from now on.

    Last edited by Hallowman100 on 8/25/2012 1:13:23 AM
  • #750

    Hey, that's great news, Hallowman100!

    Say, if you're improving it, I note that sometimes (at least in Marksman), Chimera Shot doesn't actually pop into Watcher until it's like, almost finished its CD. Might keep an eye out for that as you test.


  • #751

    In my (limited) testing on my hunter, chimara shot is working fine. By chance, is your Chimera Shot set up to only display when the Concussive Barrage debuff is missing from your target? That might explain why it only pops up in the last few seconds.

  • #747

    The patch that will break this addon on the live wow servers is a week and a half away. It's going to be messed up if someone with stronger LUA skills than I have doesn't grab this and get it updated. This addon is special.

  • #748

    I'm only moderatly good at lua myself, but at first glance the updates required for the basic functions are pretty simple. I've never used the addon, so if someone wants to try the updates I suggested in this thread, let me know if it's working right or if there's something else that's missing/broken:


  • #746

    Good to see some more people hoping for this mod to continue being maintained. Here's hoping that there's an MoP update, even if my future in the game is the most uncertain it ever has been.

  • #744

    Any hunters gotten this to work right in the MOP beta? I've been able to edit and correct most of the LUA errors, but I'm seeing no spells available to choose for my primary and secondary spec except for GCD and "none". It seems to at least recognize that I'm a hunter, as in another tab I can see a bunch of hunter spells listed in that dropdown.

    This is the best addon ever for hunter shots. I can find NOTHING bar-icon related that does an acceptable job compared with this. Everything else is visually less effective, or even has glitches that make them unreliable. The only alternative to Watcher, for me, is simply stacking OmniCC buttons in my visual area and needing to speed-read the cooldown numbers as they happen. So damn, I hope Watcher comes together for MOP.


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