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  1. #1

    Weakauras Addict Cautionary Tale

    Couple years ago I went crazy with Weakauras, making and collecting ~3000 of them. Learned a lot about lua and the Wow API in the process. I went a little overboard with audio etc. (If you wanna see the craziness google machinelf wow youtube) It was probably the single biggest project of my life, easily dwarfing anything I had done professionally. Somewhere a while back I went through and took out all CPU intensive auras, constantly testing FPS.

    I assembled complete suites of auras for all 34 class/specs. I learned a lot about priorities and rotations in the process. But as a player I was mediocre at best. I learned an insane amount of knowledge about my class and the game but my dps was sunstandard. Everything seemed to be slo mo and sloshy during heavy combat phases. I made sure to select load options very carefully. But when my guild started running 25 mans my performance was so bad I knew my days were numbered and had to make drastic changes.

    So in desperation I tried everything I could to reduce lag. Put all graphics to minimum. Disabled almost all addons, switched from Recount to Skada then finally Tiny DPS. Still laggy.

    Disabled most auras for Raid 25. Better. On a lark I disabled weakauras and re-enabled a couple slim addons that WA had replaced.

    My dps went up ~40%.

    The game felt amazing and fast again. I was able to do things I hadn't been able to before. I was forced to be in the moment and pay more attention to raid awareness and visually eyeballing things.

    Somehow in my rush for UI tweaking and addons I forgot what the game was like when it runs smoothly. I've decided to keep Weakauras disabled until I have a computer so fast I can't tell any lag.

    Let this be a cautionary tale for anyone who has gone weakauras crazy. The addon is freaking amazing, but you are slowly piling on more and more load on your processor the more you get addicted. Every once in a while disable weakauras and get into some heavy shit (25 man, AV, etc) and see if there's a huge difference in FPS/lag.

    In case anyone is curious, I have a 6 core 2.8GHz processor and 8 gigs of RAM and an AMD Radeon 6570. I bought it in 2011.

    It can happen to anyone! Don't do what I did and get tunnel vision!
    Last edited by Machinelf; 2014-04-04 at 10:30 PM.

  2. #2
    It's always hard to play on a calculator

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Jappse View Post
    It's always hard to play on a calculator
    No no mines bigger

  4. #4
    Immortal Soisoisoi's Avatar
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    I use TellMeWhen for all my chars/specs (which is all of them, like you), even full and working action priority lists because I just like building them. I don't lag out.

    Not quite sure how you can make so many that they actually make you lag though, I'd guess that'd make your UI extremely cluttered to have that many, or just lua errors?
    Last edited by Soisoisoi; 2014-03-29 at 09:51 PM.

  5. #5
    OnUpdate's a bitch.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by tordenflesk View Post
    OnUpdate's a bitch.
    Yes, yes it is.

  7. #7
    Mechagnome
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jappse View Post
    It's always hard to play on a calculator
    yup lol i think if he has so many weak auras its just not pc related but more of a question

    why do you need 1 for everything........lmao probs ugly as UI
    Happy with WoD.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Daffan View Post
    yup lol i think if he has so many weak auras its just not pc related but more of a question

    why do you need 1 for everything........lmao probs ugly as UI
    You can have many auras running invisibly or, if they fired, they are audio only. You could conceivably make an all-audio Weakauras set that would sound similar to Gladiaorlos or VEM. The UI itself won't be cluttered at all. (...the silent killer LOL) The visible auras can be made quite small within like minded dynamic groups so clutter really isn't an issue. Today's screen real estate is pretty vast.

    I think I just mentally said I'd keep making more until it strangled my PC. That said, my sweet spot was ~2500 total (although ofc not all were loaded for any toon/spec/scenario - normally probably a couple hundred non CPU intensives were running), but still took about 10 minutes to load once I typed /wa. I started to "go there" i.e. making auras that told me to cast a swim ability if I was swimming. It's almost Japanese in its inventive weirdness and marginal utility. And a bandwidth hog.

    That sweet spot though was still hurting my dps ~40% so I finally just went cold turkey. I only play my main anyway, if I play the other 33 specs I'll use what WA I have so I am pretty much guaranteed to not have any derp moments (missing interrupts, not buffing, not casting A when B procs, etc etc)

    In retrospect, it's amazing for learning fights, learning a new spec, Green Fire quest, etc. It's the end game of UI creation. But imho it's ultimately just a distracting set of training wheels once you muscle memory your way to leetsauce. I posted this because I haven't seen any posts about limits and excess WA useage.
    Last edited by Machinelf; 2014-03-31 at 05:57 AM.

  9. #9
    I have a total of 3 WeakAuras and that lets me play Combat Rogue pretty damn well. I could probably go down to 2 and not see any difference in DPS.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lysah View Post
    NightHaawk rolls a 2 (1-100) on [Thread Topic]
    Chikko: HA HA HA HA
    Chikko rolls a 1 (1-100) on [Thread Topic]
    Chikko: FFFUUUUU

  10. #10
    Its kinda funny because, ideally mods like weak auras should help you avoid tunnel vision, by centralizing Important things near your character.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by NightHaawk View Post
    I have a total of 3 WeakAuras and that lets me play Combat Rogue pretty damn well. I could probably go down to 2 and not see any difference in DPS.
    I kinda wish there was a way to have different profiles. Going beyond the load option, having a lot of auras even not loaded is a huge amount of data, adding to your load screen time and God forbid you type /wa.

    I thought possibly of a workaround by having 2 installs of WA (i.e. WA1 and WA2) one ultralight X Wing version few auras and one, well the Death Star version, haven't tried it. Would possibly involve editing toc files, but again the harder issue would be to isolate what you want out of the death star into the X Wing version.

    Doubt it though - more complexity
    Last edited by Machinelf; 2014-03-31 at 06:06 AM.

  12. #12
    More information is not helpful if it is the wrong information.
    Plus most auras are just stuffed in with little consideration for whether they are efficient or not, and with little understanding of how they actually work.
    A cumulative result of lots of inefficient auras, and perhaps too many in general is why the addon was so detrimental to the game performance.

    Quote Originally Posted by Machinelf View Post
    I kinda wish there was a way to have different profiles. Going beyond the load option, having a lot of auras even not loaded is a huge amount of data, adding to your load screen time and God forbid you type /wa.

    I thought possibly of a workaround by having 2 installs of WA (i.e. WA1 and WA2) one ultralight X Wing version few auras and one, well the Death Star version, haven't tried it. Would possibly involve editing toc files, but again the harder issue would be to isolate what you want out of the death star into the X Wing version.

    Doubt it though - more complexity
    Different profiles won't solve the loading screen issue.
    The options are only loaded on-demand, as highlighted by your statement there.
    And memory usage is not really useful as a figure anyway without context, when the client is likely to be using 1gb or more.
    Last edited by ComputerNerd; 2014-03-31 at 12:31 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeadmanWalking View Post
    I don't understand why we don't have flying so they tell us we will have convenient flight points. Immersion and danger? Here take some coins and fly me there while I read facebook or go take a poop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reinaerd View Post
    T'is good to see there are still people valiantly putting the "Ass" in assumption.

  13. #13
    Ah you're probably right I assume. There's no way I can test a loading screen with no auras without extensive surgery. That issue is relatively minor though compared to the typing /wa taking 10 minutes every time i wanted to make even a trivial change. And as adding final polish and tweaks to auras is to be what WA is all about, that's a huge issue that affects day-to-day gameplay.

    This may lead to deeper questions. What is an inefficient aura? On the face of it I assume it's checking the "High CPU" box in triggers. That's obvious. Less obvious ones I imagine are auras with many triggers and possibly 3D model graphics, plus also cusom triggers set to update every frame.
    Last edited by Machinelf; 2014-04-01 at 08:35 PM.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Machinelf View Post
    Ah you're probably right I assume. There's no way I can test a loading screen with no auras without extensive surgery. That issue is relatively minor though compared to the typing /wa taking 10 minutes every time i wanted to make even a trivial change. And as adding final polish and tweaks to auras is to be what WA is all about, that's a huge issue that affects day-to-day gameplay.

    This may lead to deeper questions. What is an inefficient aura? On the face of it I assume it's checking the "High CPU" box in triggers. That's obvious. Less obvious ones I imagine are auras with many triggers and possibly 3D model graphics, plus also cusom triggers set to update every frame.
    3D models are simply another model on top of dozens you are seeing in the world already.
    It is likely the frequency of the triggers, particularly those on every frame.
    I think if a lot more could be event driven then I think the impact would be significantly reduced.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeadmanWalking View Post
    I don't understand why we don't have flying so they tell us we will have convenient flight points. Immersion and danger? Here take some coins and fly me there while I read facebook or go take a poop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reinaerd View Post
    T'is good to see there are still people valiantly putting the "Ass" in assumption.

  15. #15
    It could also have been a bad aura (typically those that involve custom coding and not pre-set checkboxes/dropdowns).

    I would just disable all custom auras only and see if the problem still persists, then move on disabling more or less.
    DarkStorm 25man - http://www.darkstormguild.com
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    Suprep - Restoration Shaman

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by suprep View Post
    It could also have been a bad aura (typically those that involve custom coding and not pre-set checkboxes/dropdowns).

    I would just disable all custom auras only and see if the problem still persists, then move on disabling more or less.
    Thanks for the advice! I did this years ago but the answer is probably in there somewhere.

    The hardest to let go were a "few" non standard that monitored health that were so helpful I was emotionally invested in them and didn't want to live without; e.g. 10 auras giving different audio tones as your health drops, and target health alerts for executes, sheep sound audio alert for low max hp targets in pvp, and alerts for raid deaths for ultrafast brezzes that were really, really inefficient (checking health of 25 members in 25 triggers rather than using party death event) This group of health auras, numbering close to 100, was probably my downfall, seemingly innocuous "because it's just health, right? but still in toto locking up FPS. Nevertheless, I disabled all these and still got performance lag.

    Looking back, there were immediately obvious culprits such as custom auras I used from a world class Mistweaver monk that immediately scrunched my fps to a standstill in combat.

    I guess the double edged sword here is that the more auras you have, the harder it is to keep them all streamlined for performance testing. PLUS - the more you have, the more time it takes to test because typing /wa becomes a 10 minute downtime. I learned a long time ago for best practices coding to be extremely conservative in adding new auras.
    Last edited by Machinelf; 2014-04-03 at 01:21 AM.

  17. #17
    In the past i also raised my concens about this addon, but of course all the WA fanboys denied any of it and tried to protect their precious auras, as well as called me a retard. I also use TellMeWhen and i can see some inefficency on that addon too, specially the addon updates the auras when they are not even visible is a big clusterfuck, but it's nearly not as bad as some issues in Weak Auras.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Resike View Post
    In the past i also raised my concens about this addon, but of course all the WA fanboys denied any of it and tried to protect their precious auras, as well as called me a retard. I also use TellMeWhen and i can see some inefficency on that addon too, specially the addon updates the auras when they are not even visible is a big clusterfuck, but it's nearly not as bad as some issues in Weak Auras.
    If you must resort to the childish behaviour of calling people fanboys, then you aren't helping your cause.
    You failed to convince people, so then come back and insult them.
    Well done.
    Quote Originally Posted by DeadmanWalking View Post
    I don't understand why we don't have flying so they tell us we will have convenient flight points. Immersion and danger? Here take some coins and fly me there while I read facebook or go take a poop.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reinaerd View Post
    T'is good to see there are still people valiantly putting the "Ass" in assumption.

  19. #19
    .....Gentlemen. Stay civil.
    UI & AddOns expert | Interface & Macros moderator - My work

  20. #20
    My DPS goes down without weak auras. I main a mage (frost) and I have audio and graphics for polymorph, invocation, brain freeze, and fingers of frost. Between years of using that and GTFO, I am trained to react to the audio instinctively.
    How to 'Fix' WoW
    1. Fire Chris Metzen
    2. Separate PVE and PVP and balance them separately
    3. ????
    4. Profit!

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