Unlike it's name might indicate, this addon is not designed to help you fighting Sha of Fear itself. Instead, it will help you in better performing against the Outer Shrines group bosses - which are an essential part of the whole fight. These bosses need to be quickly defeated - taking too much time will cause your raid to wipe. If you've been playing on normal difficulty, this is not much of an issue: they are easy to kill and their abilities can simply be ignored.
But, at heroic, all this changes. Dread Spray can greatly slow down the progress of your team - making it crucial to avoid. The ability is fired on fixed patterns on sections of the platform. Traditionally, it could be avoided by memorizing the patterns. Thankfully, there's no need for such, as Sha of the Fear Assist does it for you.
Sha of Fear Assist provides a graphical assistance to help you dodge Dread Spray. It displays all the sections on the platform, and suggests you where to and not to stand by coloring them:
- Red sections are currently under fire
- Yellow/Orange sections will be under fire soon
- Green are safe locations
- Blue is where you're standing
Using it, you'll be able to focus more on the fight, and less on staying safe.
The addon also provides room for customization. The window is scalable, movable, and you can color the sections to your liking. Furthermore, you can choose between several "safe-zone" strategies to better suit your fighting strategy, or even disable the danger section display.
We also had the opportunity to have a chat with the add-on's author, Maat:
Definitely Sha of Fear. It is a very complex, very long fight, the other three fights can’t really be compared to it, especially not on heroic difficulty.
The main motivation for me when making addons for boss encounters is to make my guilds life easier, give us that extra edge to try and kill bosses before anyone else. It became clear extremely fast that handling Dread Spray will be a crucial part of the fight, so making an addon for it was natural.
I had very limited time to do any coding, since my guild takes heroic raiding very seriously. I think the first usable version was completed on the 2nd day of progression on heroic Sha of Fear while the instance servers were lagging throughout the day and we were forced to postpone the raid. Before that all the coding on the addon was done in between wipes. So in total I’d say about 4-6 hours.
It is definitely helpful for both me and my guild. More so for the trials in our guild who have never seen the heroic version of the encounter before, therefore they have not cared about avoiding Dread Spray damage in the past. It is lot easier to tell people to just download an addon and stand in the green area, rather than explaining the mechanics behind the ability every time a new player joins the guild/raid.
Initially the addon only had one pattern. A pattern that’d show one safe area at a time that is safe for the longest period of time. Then Gabestah approached me with a request to add more patterns that his guild uses, and I saw no problem with that. Even now, if someone wants a different pattern added to the addon, just throw me a PM.
I haven’t really built many addons with GUIs so far, so getting the textures work correctly making them rotate and what not was quite challenging at first. Funkeh from the BigWigs development team helped me quite a bit when I was trying to accurately display the players position relative to a point on the map.
Right after we figured out that there was definitely a pattern to Dread Spray, we used ground raid markers to indicate safe zones, at that point we only used a simple BigWigs module that’d tell you when to move from the raid markers. That late night ( somewhere around 4 in the morning ) when we stopped raiding to get some shut eye before continuing the raid in the morning. I could barely sleep, kept thinking of what would be the best way to implement a display for this specific ability, so I guess I enjoyed the design period the most.
I’m one of the authors of BigWigs. Pretty much every early version boss modules were made by me for a few expansions now. I’m also the main developer of EnsidiaFails and the associated libFail libraries, that does not let your raid get away with standing in fire.
Huge shout-out goes to Funkeh for helping with the development and debugging of ShaOfFearAssist. I’d also like to thank my current guild (Envy) and my previous guilds (Ensidia, Nihilum) for being a testing field for my addons before I release them to the public.