Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby inthedrops » Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:46 am

It's only changed as much as you want it to change. When you upgrade, it'll look the same until you go in and play with the new options.

With the exception of not being able to specify a custom order for buttons in a frame, it's mostly code complete based on the planned features. I'm holding off on ordering features until I get more feedback. I could take it a few different ways and the code is already complex enough :)
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby Arees » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:35 am

This looks like a really great addon, but its one of the ones I'll never use because it requires everyone else that has a CD to use it for me to track their CDs.

My guild does not require any addons other than a bossmod and omen, and I'd never be able to convince everyone to install it.

I wonder if ThatJustHappened could be easily forked to make it work like normal, but to also fire off event messages for Hermes when someone uses a CD that doesn't have hermes installed already... I was just thinking that I have an addon that does combat log parsing already and seems to do it very well, that it could be used to tell people with hermes when a certain person uses a cd.

*edit*

yay 500th post!
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby sculder » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:27 am

Nice work! I looked into coding something like this (but combat log based) many months ago after using Druid Raid Assist and loving it. I can now (after many weeks of attempts at coding it) assure you that making a mod like this that's dependent on the combat log instead of addon channels is nearly impossible without serious memory consumption. I love the look and feel of this addon though, great work!
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby inthedrops » Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:21 pm

sculder wrote:Nice work! I looked into coding something like this (but combat log based) many months ago after using Druid Raid Assist and loving it. I can now (after many weeks of attempts at coding it) assure you that making a mod like this that's dependent on the combat log instead of addon channels is nearly impossible without serious memory consumption. I love the look and feel of this addon though, great work!


It's nice to hear that the approach is appreciated. I like to think of Hermes as just an available tool that solves a problem using a unique and resilient approach. It's not something that I think everyone should use. But it fills a gap in a nice way should the need arise. Even if just temporary until an encounter is defeated.

I left out the technical details behind Hermes approach because most people couldn't give a darn. But I'm in the mood to elaborate :)

Most addons use some combination of COMBAT_LOG_EVENT_UNFILTERED, and the various *SPELLCAST* events such as UNIT_SPELLCAST_SUCCEEDED. None of these events can tell you how long the cooldown is on the item. So addons typically create lookup tables with those values. For example oRA3 has tables like this:

Code: Select all
local spells = {
   DRUID = {
      [20484] = 600, -- Rebirth
      [29166] = 180,  -- Innervate
      [17116] = 180,  -- Nature's Swiftness
      ...


These tables ship with the addon and the first numbers is the spell id and the second is the cooldown in seconds.

Then, because there are many things that can impact the cooldown (spec, glyphs, procs, etc) there are sometimes other tables containing "offsets" or "if the person has this item then adjust the cooldown by this amount". Again, a clip from oRA3:


Code: Select all
local glyphCooldowns = {
   [57858] = {5209, 30},   -- Challenging Roar, -30sec
   [57903] = {5384, 5},    -- Feign Death, -5sec
   [56844] = {781, 5},     -- Disengage, -5sec
   ...


If we look at the paladin class, you can see that the authors have already identified the Cataclysm spells that will need to be uncommented from the code when the abilities become available:

Code: Select all
   PALADIN = {
      [633] = 600,    -- Lay on Hands
      [1022] = 300,   -- Hand of Protection
      ...
      --[82327] = 60,   -- Holy Radiance, Cata only
      --[86150] = 300,  -- Guardian of Ancient Kings, Cata only
   },


A quick scan shows oRA3 supporting roughly 200 spells, and has offset values for about 37 glyphs. But it has never handled some of the more crazy stuff that doesn't relate to glyphs. For example, we all know the Guardian Spirit used to only be like a 1 minute cooldown if it didn't proc. But if it did proc then the cooldown would jump to 3 minutes intsead. I'm honestly not sure how many other examples are out there like this. But the point is that there are a lot of spells in the game who's cooldown cannot be considered static.

RaidCooldowns for example (an addon that I used to use and did a great job) has code like this for dealing with Guardian Spirit:

Code: Select all
function mod:PriestSpellSuccess(event, unit, spell)
   if unit ~= "player" then return end
   
   if spell == guardian then
      -- Guardian Spirit cast; schedule an event in, like, 12 seconds to scan the
      -- cooldown to see if the Glyph reset it.
      self:ScheduleTimer("GuardianScan", 12)
   end
   
   -- Let our generic method run as normal
   self:GenericSpellSuccess(event, unit, spell)
end


It basically fires off a timer that after 12 seconds rescans the cooldowns regardless of current events. It's actually a simple and perfect approach. But the point here is that it had to be hand coded to support Guardian Spirit's behavior.

There are also less obvious issues that are Blizzard's fault, not the addon authors. Some spells don't show up in the combat log, so for those the SPELLCAST events are required instead. So you have to scan both COMBAT_LOG_EVENT_UNFILTERED and SPELLCAST when really Blizz should have just put them all in COMBAT_LOG_EVENT_UNFILTERED to make it easier on us.

Another example, *MOST* spells fire a UNIT_SPELLCAST_SUCCEEDED event. But, yup you guessed it. Not all of them. For example I think Exorcism doesn't (although that might have changed by now).

And then of course there are other more subtle issues for some spells that require checking for UNIT_SPELLCAST_START, keeping an in memory "bookmark" of it (who cast it and what the spell was) while waiting for it's matching UNIT_SPELLCAST_STOP event.

Basically, this crap is more complicated than it needs to be. In most cases you don't have to jump through all of these hoops. But there are enough cases out there where you DO that it makes it mandatory to understand this all.

I am guessing sculder can attest to everything above!

Here's how Hermes handles things
Hermes doesn't look at COMBAT_LOG_EVENT_UNFILTERED or SPELLCAST events at all. Hermes also doesn't have any hard coded tables with spellid to cooldown metadata. It also doesn't have any glyph tables, or special handling for any weird spells like the old Guardian Spirit.

In fact, Hermes is about the most stupid addon you can imagine in regard to what it knows about spells. It knows jack squat!

With Hermes, Senders and Receivers communicate with each other. Senders get a message requesting that if it has a spell to track the time. And Receivers get the cooldown change messages from the Senders. Each sender remembers all of the requests made of it and keeps a record of everything. Every second or so, the sender loops through all requested ids, and checks its spellbook to determine the cooldown state.

If the cooldown changed since last time it was checked, a message is sent to the receivers with the id and the new duration. *CHANGED* can mean any of the following:

1. The duration was zero, and now it's not.
2. The duration is significantly smaller than the last scan (for example, if the duration suddenly changed from 40 seconds to 20 seconds since the last scan)
3. The duration is significantly larger than the last scan (such as the case with Guardian Spirit)

Because of this approach, Hermes can be completely dumb and is never reliant on one off code or custom lookup tables. At least not yet :)

An interesting side effect is that if someone newly joins your raid with something already on cooldown, Hermes will still get accurate cooldown information. Not just on your end, but the person who just joined the raid will also get fresh information from everyone else in the raid.

Hermes handles items in a similar way although the logic is slightly more complex. For items, Hermes first checks to see if the item is something that's supposed to be equipped or not. If it is an equippable item, then it'll check to see that it's equipped and what the cooldown is on it (think Trinkets). If it's not an equippable item, then Hermes just makes sure you have at least one in your bags, and checks the cooldown on that (think Healthstones, Soulstones, Saronite Bombs, etc.)

Hermes strength is also it's weakness. Because I don't hardcode a bunch of spells into the program, when people add an item or spell using it's "name" instead of "id" Hermes has no intelligent way to ensure the proper id is chosen based on the name. I've seen some names that returned over 20 different spellid's. The good news is that I updated Hermes to ship with a bunch of defaults out of the box so most of the spells people would want are already included.

And nevermind the fact that the way Hermes presents the information is also somewhat unique. You could argue that "buttons" aren't sensible. But they are very compact, and familiar. Also, that Hermes shows you who DOES have spells available is quite different from some of the other addons who only show some sort of indicator when someone doesn't have it available. I always though that was bass-ackwards!

As relates to performance, WoW is a single threaded game. All processing time done by addons reduces your framerate. Picture this:
1. COMBAT LOG messages come in fast and heavy and they all have to be processed. Somewhere between 50 and a few hundred per second.
2. Hermes, on the average worst case scenario, probably looks at maybe 10 things in your spell book once every second. It's much less CPU.

If you REALLY need to track other peoples spell or item cooldowns, I don't think there's a better solution than Hermes right now. As is hopefully clear, it's actually a very simple addon that should be dependable during future patches.

I think I better shut up :)
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby sculder » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:30 pm

scanning through COMBAT_LOG_EVENT_UNFILTERED events to try to accomplish this type of addon is the memory equivalent of reading through a text file character by character, breaking each down to ascii values, converting to hex, then comparing the results to an external database written in another language, all to try to find a word. And usually even more complex than that :lol:

I like the way this addon communicates its messages though, quite simple and direct. Great work all around
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby Vrimmel » Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:01 pm

How much traffic comes with this addon?
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby inthedrops » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:14 pm

Vrimmel wrote:How much traffic comes with this addon?


This is a very valid concern and I'm happy that you asked it...

It's hard to say really. Mostly because I've never seen it in a raid environment with everyone running it. One thing I know for sure is that with 5 people is very small. I am not completely sure how it'll scale to 25, or 40. It's mostly due to the initial handshaking that's done. After that initial handshaking, I'm confident about its efficiency.

For example, some precautions I've taken include:

1. I utilize Ace3's AceComm-3.0 library for communication. It in turn uses ChatThrottleLib to avoid being disconnected by the server.

2. The Receivers and Senders keep track of who they know about (in memory) and avoid sending messages to people they know won't have anything useful. For example, when Senders first join a raid group, they send a INITIALIZE_SENDER message which all Receivers will get. The only data in the message is a single number, which ultimately represents the class of the sender. Just by sending a number instead of a string I'm saving on bandwidth.

3. When Receivers get the INITIALIZE_SENDER message, they check to see if they want to track any spells for that class, compile a list of those spells, and if it has any then it sends them in one bulk message to the sender. This message is called REQUEST_SPELLS and it contains an indexed table (not a hash table, so it's less memory). And as you might guess, it's a table of spell or item id's. Nothing but numbers again. Just the cost of the table which cannot be avoided.

4. In item 3 above, I don't need to send a "type" value (is it a spell or an item id?) because I encode the numbers. Positive numbers are spellid's and negative numbers are itemid's. So I save more bandwidth there, and reduce the number of messages by sending spell and item requests in one shot. And btw, quite a few spellids can fit in one message without requiring AceComm to split it up.

5. There is another handshaking message called INITIALIZE_RECEIVER which as you might guess is sent by the receiver when it joins a raid group. The message has no content, no value is actually sent. It's simply sent so that Senders can respond with an INITIALIZE_SENDER message. This is the handshaking I was talking about. Note that in this case, INITIALIZE_SENDER is whispered to the receiver instead of being broadcast to the raid channel. Further cutting down on chatter.

6. Finally, the way Senders decide when to send cooldown updates to Receivers is quite efficient. And the messages are also sent in batches similar to the REQUEST_SPELLS message. In other words, if there are 5 cooldowns updates to be communicated, the Sender doesn't send 5 separate messages. It sends one message with all 5 updates packed into it.

7. The last thing, no one has ever really asked why I use a Class value when adding spells or items. But the sole purpose has more to do with reducing chatter and message bandwidth than for any functional reason.

8. Even the simple fact that I allow you to choose whether you want to act as a Sender, a Receiver, or both is something that can cut down on traffic. If you have nothing useful to send to anyone, disable sending.

I've put a lot of thought into the protocol I use and I have a fair amount of confidence. I just wish I could say that someone has used it in heavy load. But I cannot.

More than you wanted to know? :)

Oh, I almost forgot, even the messages are sent as a number instead of a string:

Code: Select all
local MESSAGE_ENUM = {
   [1]      = "INITIALIZE_SENDER",
   [2]      = "INITIALIZE_RECEIVER",
   [3]      = "REQUEST_SPELLS",
   [4]      = "UPDATE_SPELLS",
}
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby inthedrops » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:47 pm

I have some real data to share to help answer the "how much traffic" question better.

Note that I discovered two bugs during this test:
1. Spells that receivers didn't have checked were still being requested of senders. This will have resulted in extra messages but I couldn't say how many. I'm guessing 4 to 5 per player in this time span.
2. Big bug with DK's and Army of the Dead (and possibly other DK spells tied to Rune Cooldowns). I subtracted out the DK values from the reults (I treated the DK like the lowest message count player instead)

Disclaimer: The results make Hermes look pretty good to me but there are some missing variables which I know will have an impact. Hermes does handshaking and the others don't. This adds overhead. The more users, the more handshaking is needed. This handhaking only occurs when players join a raid, reloadui their UI, or stop/start Hermes. But it does exist.

Here are the results:

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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby inthedrops » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:15 pm

Updated first post with changes.
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby inthedrops » Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:55 pm

Just felt like bumping this thread. My guild has been successfully using Hermes through Cataclysm and it's very stable. It's true that we had to ask a few people to install it who wouldn't care otherwise, but they appreciated the fact that they could set it up so that it was invisible to them that it was even running. Out of sight, out of mind.

Raid leaders mostly use it for Druid Rebirths but the healers like it for a few abilities such as Mana Tide Totem. I personally use it for Lay on Hands, Hand of Sacrifice, Pain Suppression, and Guardian Spirit. Our damn priests change spec so much I wouldn't know who has what without it :)

Hermes hasn't required any updates since December.
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby sculder » Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:08 pm

rebirths have become a bit of a problem since the limit to the number of combat resurrections possible... Usually some warlock stupidly soulstones himself and eats up one of our rez's, or it bugs out and doesn't give us any at all.
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby inthedrops » Mon Jan 10, 2011 4:32 pm

I do wish they'd fix that bug, it's very annoying. I read somewhere that releasing before the boss resets is what causes it. I have no idea if there's any truth to that.
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby inthedrops » Thu May 26, 2011 8:05 am

Hey gang, I wanted to bump this thread in preparation for the next release I'll be making. Hermes has come a LONG way since first created. It's certainly a first class citizen in the category of tracking raid cooldowns.

Coming soon (in a few days), Hermes will track spell cooldowns of players NOT running Hermes. This is the primary bit of functionality that has prevented people from adopting Hermes.

Over the last few months, the UI gone over a significant overhaul. The basic "Button" style display that is the most popular remains the same:

Image

But you can also view cooldowns as traditional "Cooldown Bars" that are HIGHLY configurable. Take this screenshot for example from someone in my guild:

Image

While not immediately apparent since you're not the one who configured it, Hermes allows you to configure the look of each bar based on the state of the cooldown and player with the cooldown.

Abilities being tracked can be ordered as you see fit, bar layout can go top to bottom (like the screenshot above) or even left to right if you want them to grow that way instead (and the opposite directions too).

There's so much more I could say but don't want to type forever. I'll post another message here when I'm completed the beta version that checks tracks cooldowns for players without Hermes.

Curse Link for more information: http://wow.curseforge.com/addons/hermes/

(I don't advise downloading any alpha versions)
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby Brutalus » Fri May 27, 2011 12:46 pm

Coming soon (in a few days), Hermes will track spell cooldowns of players NOT running Hermes.


Very much looking forward to this!
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby fuzzygeek » Fri May 27, 2011 4:10 pm

Brutalus wrote:
Coming soon (in a few days), Hermes will track spell cooldowns of players NOT running Hermes.


Very much looking forward to this!


Dis
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby Nikachelle » Fri May 27, 2011 7:09 pm

Pretty much what everything else has been saying. I really look forward to this if it can provide me with everyone's CDs, without them having to install it.
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby inthedrops » Sat May 28, 2011 8:02 am

Beta available! This was a significant effort so the chance for bugs is high, but I'm confident enough to call it a beta.

Direct Download Link

I've updated the first post on this thread, but here's a repost of a handy feature comparison chart to wet your whistle:

Image
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby jere » Sat May 28, 2011 11:02 am

Just a thought for future updates, but any thought to add an offset option for those spells affected by glyphs that you can't account for. For example, if you know the cooldown of person A is affected by a glyph he/she has, then you could put in somewhere to do a quick

if(source == personA) then cooldown = MAX(0,exptected_cooldown-offset_personA)

Obviously not exact code (I don't know LUA at all, so just mostly psuedo), but just there for visualization.

Basically you could keep a local list of player/offset pairs that get applied (and bounded to avoid - value situations).
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby inthedrops » Sat May 28, 2011 11:08 am

jere wrote:Just a thought for future updates, but any thought to add an offset option for those spells affected by glyphs that you can't account for. For example, if you know the cooldown of person A is affected by a glyph he/she has, then you could put in somewhere to do a quick

if(source == personA) then cooldown = MAX(0,exptected_cooldown-offset_personA)

Obviously not exact code (I don't know LUA at all, so just mostly psuedo), but just there for visualization.

Basically you could keep a local list of player/offset pairs that get applied (and bounded to avoid - value situations).


Glyphs are tricky and would be TRIVIAL to support if Blizzard gave us the means to query a player for their glyphs. You can get a players talents, but not their glyphs. The only way currently, to get glyph information, is by having them run an addon that can send their glyph information to another addon. And currently, that would defeat the entire purpose of tracking cooldowns for someone not running the addon.

However, I think I have actually implemented the feature you're asking for. There is an option to make an adjustment based on a players name. If you happen to know they are using a specific glyph, you can create an adjustment by "Player Name" and use an offset appropriate for the glyph. I created this as a workaround while realizing the limitations with Blizzards current API.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby inthedrops » Sun May 29, 2011 3:26 pm

I've fixed a few reported bugs. I'll just link the main page for convenience instead of a direct download: http://wow.curseforge.com/addons/hermes/
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby _Chloe » Wed Jun 01, 2011 9:00 am

Stuck.
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby inthedrops » Tue Jun 07, 2011 8:49 pm

Update for release 2.0c.

Spell Monitor now tracks Shaman Reincarnation (Spell Monitor is the name of the feature that tracks for non Hermes users)

Also, I don't think I mentioned it but I made a replacement UI that looks a lot more like oRA3, DBM-SpellTimers, RaidCooldowns, etc. It's called LightUI (click for curse link) and here's a sample image, It's extremely simple and easy to configure UI (just your basic spell bars with no bells or whistles):

Image
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby Kelaan » Thu Jun 09, 2011 8:56 am

Wow, this looks really slick. I'm kicking myself for not noticing your work on it earlier. I'm going to have to remember to give it a shot, especially now that it doesn't require others to run it. Thanks!
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby Fetzie » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:20 am

It somehow thinks that retribution paladins can use Aura Mastery, I had to manually set the rule for it to check for the talent.
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Re: Hermes: The great messenger of your raid's cooldowns!

Postby inthedrops » Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:26 am

I'm proud of my work and think the addon has tremendous value. I will tell you one thing for sure, when I'n not running it (sometimes I test other addons without Hermes running) I really notice it :)

For example, my two holy/disc priests are constantly changing specs per fight. I never knew if they had PS or GS and I used to say things like " Syc, I need your GS in about 5 seconds" to which he'd respond "I don't have it, I'll give you PS though".

When not testing Hermes, I really only look at these abilities:
Container 1: Guardian Spirit, Pain Suppression, Hand of Sacrifice.
Container 2: Rebirth, Raise Ally, Soulstone, Reincarnation.

I only have container 2 due to raid leader duties.

With Hermes I always know who to ask for a given cooldown. It's a simple matter of looking a bit to the side of my screen, figuring out which of the three has what I want, and calling it out. Takes a whole 2 seconds tops to figure it out.

It depends on your healers a lot, but mine tend to use PS and GS more freely than I used to realize. But rarely did they both use it at the same time (They also run Hermes btw so they know when the other used their cooldown on someone). Long story short, the communication between myself and the two healing priests is rock solid, thanks in part to Hermes.

Our GM *LOVES* Hermes for calling out Battle Resses. That's honestly all she uses it for though (she plays a rogue). She uses button style and has gotten real good at just hovering her mouse over the button, looking at the ordered list, and calling out "X res A, Y res B" etc. It's also nice to know before you start a pull exactly how many people have resses available. For example, with Hermes, we've actually delayed the pull a minute or so to wait for more bresses to go off cooldown. She doesn't even need to ask people the status, she just looks at Hermes.

Another example is our Druids and Shaman. They constantly worry about Innervates, Tranqs, and Mana Tides.

We all use it for different reasons.

I don't know of any DPS who use it that aren't raid leaders but I know some people with cooldowns use it just to help the raid leaders out a bit (this is less important now that Hermes can track non Hermes users)

Last but not least, I use it to keep dibs on people's performance a bit. For example, in Phase 2 of Ascendent Council we had a mage complaining about lack of misdirects on one of the tanks. For me, it was as simple as enabling the "Misdirect" spell in Hermes, and then seeing which Hunters were slow to get their MD's out at the start of the phase. Bam, now I know who can improve.

I was curious if our ret and holy paladins were taking advantage of Divine Protection for fights. Enable Divine Protection in Hermes, and BAM, done deal. Now I know who's using what and when.

Hoenstly, I think most people only care about one or two abilities. That's me 90% of the time. Only occasioanlly do I monitor a few other random spells as mentioned above.

I think Hermes is a useful tool. It's one of those tools that you don't notice it's usefulness until you stop using it.
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