Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Courteous RankWatch

I recently installed the RankWatch addon from as I truly thought it was a helpful tool. It can happen that spells don't rank up on your toolbar for whatever reason and get missed. So, this sends a message to the party in question, courteously telling them they are using say "rank 5" but can be using "rank 8" for their level. Clever addon I thought.

Well, to my surprise most people seem to hate it hehehe. Which I found kinda funny. I don't think there is occasion anymore to use down-ranked spells, so I thought I was being the helpful samaritan by letting others know when they have the incorrect spell rank on their bar. Instead of those comments like "oh, thanks I didn't realize" I got "WTF, Shutup, I'm gonna report you" comments. I giggled a little and thought "are they serious". Perhaps it is an embarrassment or lack of knowledge about their class so unfortunately I would make it worse by messaging back "Dear, don't be embarrassed if you have the wrong spell rank, happens to us all". Which seemed to infuriate them more.

Rankwatch sends a message to the party in question of a low rank spell and also tells me it sent it. You can then put that person on ignore by Rankwatch if you don't want it to send the message again later.

I currently have my little polite RankWatch turned off, but I think I may try it again. Perhaps I'm evil now that I know it annoys people or perhaps I hope to find that occasional person that appreciates catching the error of their ways.

Either way, I'll be Rankwatching YOU!


  1. My warlock got rankwatched a couple of weeks ago.

    There seems to be a defensive thing that kicks in.

    I didn't lash out or rebut, but it did rattle me, and eventually I realized it was RIGHT, and was grateful that it caught that I was using downranked, um, EVERYTHING.

    It was a private whisper, nobody lol'd, and I quietly went and fixed my sh!t. My DPS has improved. Overall, a positive.

    I think what people hate is how some people can be confrontational about it. But used discreetly, I'm the beneficiary. \o/

  2. Hey Grimm

    I turned mine back on this morning and on my first random daily heroic, 3 of the 5 players had down ranked spells including the tank. I asked them if it bothered them to receive the Rankwatch messages. One guy said sometimes and that he didn't always have enough gold to train. OMG I thought that was the lamest excuse at level 80. Just running the dungeon he would make enough to train.

    So we'll see if I'm alive by the end of the week or if WoW players hunt me down and pummel me until I remove it.

  3. Hehehe ... in my case I had been running Demon when I leveled, so my Destro build didn't get any love.

    If they do hunt you down and pummel ... just be sure to point out the downranked pummels they're using. :)

  4. When I specced my huntard Survival, I have to admit I had consumed just a few too many adult beverages. A few days later, a guildmate runnign rankwatch told me I had missed training a spell. Just like Grimtooth, I quietly, and thankfully, went and fixed it.

    I happen to like the addon, even if I don't run it.

  5. My first inclination was to be annoyed when I got my first RankWatch whisper, but then I realized that it saved me from using an old spell for god knows how much longer.

    It's a great idea for an add-on but steps on our fragile little egos while it does its job.

  6. Generally speaking, I don't hate RankWatch. A lot of the time, yes, it's useful to know that your Chaos Bolt could be a rank higher, or that you could have trained the latest Power Word: Stamina before you re-queued for Arathi Basin.

    Wait for it. You know it's coming.

    Buuuuuuuut (told you it was coming) there are a few times when I just get tired of it. I'll admit straight away that it's only a problem based on the user who sets it up, not the addon itself, but it still "grinds my gears."

    For example, there's the common use of two ranks of Flamestrike for AoE damage by a non-frost mage. Assuming this hasn't changed since the last time I saw an honest-to-Elune fire mage. There's the Power Word: Shield downranking to help deal with LK's Infest (as seen on Tales of a Priest (new reader, what's your policy on off-blog linkage for related content?)). There's intentionally downranking to help keep aggro off of you and on a lesser-geared tank (which may not be common, but I know I had to do it in a few heroics when my friend first hit the 535 defense threshold).

    Granted, had I not read up on the first two, I never would have known that the Flamestrike DOTs stacked. I wouldn't have had any idea that blocking PART of Infest would have been better. And were I using RankWatch, it would probably go off and I'd think "what a nub." So not thinking of these things? Sure, I can let that slide, but it still bothers me a bit when people who use it think that I don't know what I'm doing.*

    Worse than that, however, has to be when they use it in /p or /raid, with no threshold as to how often to send the message. It's like the fail-watch addons that yell things like "Dreadsinger sucks at dodging lava!" in Obsidian Sanctum. I get their use, but it's the actual application that bothers me to no end. If it isn't already a standard feature, I think that it should be limited to one private message every five or ten minutes, with the option to ignore specific instances.

    * I was once told that I should quit Warsong Gulch because I was using a lower-ranked PW:S to keep the flag carrier up, and wasn't doing enough damage to help the team. The PW:S was low because I had leveled on the last cap. :|

  7. I'm never rude with folks for sure. I let it run now for the first 5mins or so in a BG then turn it off. One note to someone I'm sure is plenty.

    Feel free to set me afire if I message you more than once in a BG:)

  8. But I don't DPS in BGs. I heal. :(

    How about I just stop throwing HOTs your way? ;)

  9. I druid heal as well really we just cancel each other out:) So, its all good

  10. Oh I had this! And like Grimmtooth I just kinda sucked it up and changed my spells.

    It was a very simple reason too. I was on my paladin and had dual-spec. While your spells will upgrade on your current spec when you train them, they apparently (I learned) don't do so on the alternative spec :P

    So I actually had like 4 skills to upgrade. Oops! *sheepish*

  11. @Saga - yep, that's exactly what happened to me.

  12. TREEPUNCH??? How rude /glare

  13. It's a joke from over at I Like Bubbles ...

  14. Er ...

    Sorry for the bad link

  15. The only time this will bug me (OK gave me a laugh) was when buffing lowbies... the spells automatically downrank.

    They laugh at me...
    I laugh at rankwatch...

    But yeah, my understanding is it was created to deal with the dual spec bug.

    PS: 2 ranks of flame strike still work... they don't overwrite the "dot"

  16. I usually have it only tell ME when someone is downranking, and then when combat is over, I send a whisper personally. I find that it is better received when I do it that way rather than the auto-whisper. Although when I get an answer of "lol I know, I haven't trained yet." I want to... well stab.

    For your toons... "uprank" is a great mod that automatically upranks your spells, though not if they are macroed as a specific rank. And of course you have to actually train all ranks first at the trainer!

  17. I got a couple of rankwatch whispers in a random BG a week or so ago. I got past the initial irritation and realized some of the DPS spells I was using as a healer were lower ranked. In arena I was attempting to burst with half-powered spells!

    Characters who level with dual spec and train new ranks of spells often don't get those spells updated in their off spec. I'm sure that's where I went astray, and I am grateful that I was made aware of my mistakes.

    Good post!

  18. I absolutely LOVE rankwatch and enjoy the heck out of spamming people their downranked spells. I think one of the best was when I got to spam my RL who was on one of his alts that was downranked.

    I just found your site and am quickly falling in love with your blog!

    Callallily of Vortex on Turalyon US

  19. rank watch pisses me off. i have a friend who has it installed and it yells at me every time i use fire nova. grr.

  20. It has it's benefits to help those who are unknowingly using downranked spells but yeah annoying to those that have to reason to use them. I let it message once then put that person on ignore with the rankwatch.