Guillotine recently had a chance to chat with Antiarc -- creator of Omen Threat Meter -- about what 2.4 means for the combat log, Omen, and of course its future. This continues our WoW patch 2.4 coverage, so read on for the interview with the author of one of World of Warcraft's most popular AddOns!
Guillotine: I would like to welcome Antiarc, author of Omen and ThreatLib to the Curse Word. Let’s get right into the interview!
Guillotine: So most people have heard that there are some major UI changes coming in 2.4. In what ways will these affect Omen and the Threat library?
Antiarc: We'll, I've had to do a full rewrite of Threat to compensate. However, this is a very good thing, since it means we now get true per-target (not just per-target-name) threat readings. Also, tons of encounters that were somewhat buggy in Omen before are going to be far less so now. Finally, some of the changes have reduced reliance on translators, so non-english locales should have accurate threat without waiting on translators to translate. Since I did a full Threat rewrite, I decided to do a full Omen rewrite as well to address many of the issues the original Omen had. This new version should be a lot faster and more accurate, and should also very hopefully provide more useful information to various raid members. The traditional threat meter view is awesome for DPS and tanks, but it's not too useful for everyone else. This new version of Omen will provide some additional views (such as an AOE view for Mages and Warlocks that can be used while AOEing trash) and a Healer/Tank view, that shows threat lists for the target of each of your raid's tanks
Guillotine: Can you give an example of an encounter that these changes to Omen will make easier?
Antiarc: Well, Illidan is a big one. No more threat problems with the Flames of Azzinoth. You'll also see Reliquary of Souls perform more accurately, since you won't have that annoying healer "bleed over" effect in the threat readings. Basically any fight with mobs that spawn part way through the fight will have a lot cleaner readings.
Guillotine: Many people have set up a custom look for the old Omen. Are people going to have to readjust their settings for the new one or do these settings transfer over?
Antiarc: Unfortunately, this version has an entirely new setup, and thus, will require new settings. However, it should also be even more customizable, and should allow you to integrate it into your UI even more cleanly. To be honest, the customization features of the new version aren't completely finished - you can't set custom settings for a single bar yet, unfortunately - but those will be coming back. I just got too busy and ran out of time
Guillotine: On that line of thought, what features can people look forward to that won't be included in the initial release?
Antiarc: The biggest missing features will be the single-bar customization (that's dependent on a good dropdown library - there isn't one for Ace3, but I'm writing one), pullout bars (the old implementation sucked, but the idea is still good. I'll be re-doing those except with the suck removed), and FuBar/Minimap integration (again, a product of Ace3 being new and there not being integration libraries for it yet). I expect all those features to show up pretty soon though.
Guillotine: What advantages do you see in using Ace3 over the old Ace2?
Antiarc: Ace3 is a LOT leaner than Ace2 was. It's a completely new framework, designed from the ground up to provide powerful functionality without making the same mistakes Ace2 did. I've really enjoyed using it. There are some disadvantages, such as lack of supporting libraries, but that's really just a function of time. Also, Ace3 is built on CallbackHandler and LibStub, two non-framework libraries that allow for addons on any framework to talk to each other. This means that it's really easy for anyone writing any addon on any framework to talk to ThreatLib and get threat information from it.
Guillotine: If you had more time to work on Omen and ThreatLib, what features would you like to add?
Antiarc: I'd definitely like to finish the config features. One of Omen's big selling points has been its customizability, and I want to maintain that. I'd also like to extend the boss module system so that in fights that require staying below a tank that isn't the main tank (Like Void Reaver or Gurtogg), Omen is more intuitively useful and doesn't require you to play find-the-tank. I'd also like to play with other display modes. Threat means different things to different roles, and ideally, I'd like to find ways to make threat information useful to every role in the raid. I've had this idea for a Threat Hero mode kicking around. Mash your buttons in time to earn threat - when you've accumulated enough, activate your cooldowns for AGGRO POWER!
Guillotine: Are there any other major changes that people should know about?
Antiarc: Well, Threat-2.0 is not, as of right now, KTM-compatible. Both KTM and Threat-2.0 have undergone some pretty heavy changes in the 2.4 transition, and Threat-2.0 doesn't currently support KTM's data format. This may change in the future if lots of people still need this feature, but the KTM-Omen interoperation has always been sketchy at best, and most raid groups are either fully transitioned to Omen or are fully using KTM at this point
Guillotine: Obviously you spend a lot of time testing and developing Omen and ThreatLib. How can people contribute to the project and you yourself?
Antiarc: The biggest thing is just for people to file bug reports when stuff doesn't work, and provide translations and encounter info for me. Omen's done well because I've had so many people provide such great feedback and bug reports and such. I'm pretty much always on the lookout for ways to make it better, and really appreciate all the help and support the community has given me in that regard. In general, the project is extremely well-supported by the community, and I guess the best I could ask for is for people to keep it up :)
Guillotine: Thanks for your time and I think we all look forward to seeing what the future holds for Omen!
Guillotine: Any other things you'd like to say?
Antiarc: People are always getting "out of date" messages. The latest is always available from files.wowace.com - this is the primary distribution point. However, unless something is broken, or you're explicitly advised to upgrade, you probably only need to update every couple of weeks, at the most. Don't stress too much if you get an out-of-date notice. It's probably just a change to localization or a supporting library.
Thanks, Antiarc! So, what does everyone think of the changes to the combatlog in 2.4 so far? Share your thoughts in the comments below!