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-   -   Learning Aid 2.0 Brainstorming (https://www.wowinterface.com/forums/showthread.php?t=48827)

Jamash 01-18-14 01:28 PM

Learning Aid 2.0 Brainstorming
 
I have a working computer and a wow subscription again (finally)! It's been so long since I first started Learning Aid, and so much has changed in how learning new spells and abilities (henceforth "spells") works since then, that I think it's time to look at a major redesign effort.

Specifically, when I started Learning Aid, most spells had ranks, but now all spells scale. You had to remember to buy new spells from your trainer every level or two; now spells just appear in your spellbook. You had to visit your trainer, retrain, and shuffle your action bars around every time you wanted to swap specs; Dual Spec mostly eliminated that, and splitting specs from talents further reduced action bar churn. Every spec had access to a large set of core spells; many abilities that were once core are now spec-specific, and others have been merged or removed. Class pets, portals and teleports took up vast tracts of action bar space; now we have flyouts. Managing pets and mounts involved paging through a fixed, alphabetical list 6 at a time; the Pet Journal has an instant search.

I wrote Learning Aid because I'm an altoholic. Leveling with ranks, trainers, the old talent system, and single spec was a royal pain. The changes since then have made Learning Aid less vital, and I'm thrilled about that. I always felt that Learning Aid filled gaps in Blizzard's design that never should have been there in the first place.

Learning Aid evolved from an AddOn that I used all the time to an AddOn that I used once in a while. The reason I'm writing this post is to discuss these questions: Are there still ways that the base UI handles learning and managing spells poorly? What could a new version of Learning Aid do to improve on the base UI?

Are you ever frustrated by managing your spellbook? What doesn't it do that you want it to do? What would you like to be able to do in an easier and more convenient fashion?

A few concepts I've been kicking around:
  • Auto-adding new spells to action bars like the base UI does, except the base UI stops when Bar 1 fills up. Possibly with automatic slotting of mode-specific spells onto mode-specific bars, like shapeshifts and Shadowform. Possibly adding newly learned shared spells to your dual spec's action bar when you swap back.
  • LibDataBroker plugin.
  • Integration with the level up fanfare.
  • Integration with the Spellbook.
  • Spellbook text search.
  • Learning Aid flyout with spells learned this session on it that could be placed directly on an action bar. (This appeared somewhat difficult when I investigated it previously due to the way the flyout API is designed.)

Please let me know what you think.

Thanks,
Jamash

Seerah 01-18-14 09:04 PM

I would also keep the ability to scan your bars for missing spells.

And, I don't remember if it did this already, but for the above scan to see macros, too.

Rainrider 01-18-14 10:41 PM

First of all a warm welcome back!!

Then for the features (I've never used your addon, but I'd love to):
  • As Seerah suggested, a way to look through bars for spells you haven't yet placed there would be cool.
  • Don't you ever place something on my bars automatically! (or make it optional :))
  • Handle symbiosis somehow (currently you either have to get and use [Overgrown Lilypad] or find a druid to cast it on you, so that the spell, which is based on your spec, get's in your spell book, so that you could drag it onto an action button. You don't get a notification for this apart from 60 min. buff applied to you which is easy to oversee in raids)
  • Spellbook search would be great
  • LDB would be cool too
  • About integration with the LevelUpDisplay - spell tooltip on mouseover, abitilty to drag the spell from there to the action bar and toggleble display of features like dungeons and battlegrounds would be nice.

Phanx 01-19-14 03:02 AM

(Replied already on WowAce: http://forums.wowace.com/showthread....314#post328314)

Jamash 01-19-14 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Seerah (Post 289856)
I would also keep the ability to scan your bars for missing spells.

And, I don't remember if it did this already, but for the above scan to see macros, too.

The spellbook scan does parse macros. That was "fun" to write with Lua's relatively primitive built-in pattern matching. :rolleyes:

Jamash 01-19-14 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rainrider (Post 289860)
First of all a warm welcome back!!

Then for the features (I've never used your addon, but I'd love to):
  • As Seerah suggested, a way to look through bars for spells you haven't yet placed there would be cool.
  • Don't you ever place something on my bars automatically! (or make it optional :))
  • Handle symbiosis somehow (currently you either have to get and use [Overgrown Lilypad] or find a druid to cast it on you, so that the spell, which is based on your spec, get's in your spell book, so that you could drag it onto an action button. You don't get a notification for this apart from 60 min. buff applied to you which is easy to oversee in raids)
  • Spellbook search would be great
  • LDB would be cool too
  • About integration with the LevelUpDisplay - spell tooltip on mouseover, abitilty to drag the spell from there to the action bar and toggleble display of features like dungeons and battlegrounds would be nice.

Thanks! I'm glad to finally be back!

I would absolutely make auto add to bar optional, and customizable. I'd have options to choose which, if any bar(s) to use and whether to categorize by form, at a minimum.

Adding a spell that you don't currently have to the bar is fairly unusual, but it's actually really easy: Just call PickupSpell(spellid). I've used that to put boss spells on my action bar :D (they don't do anything though). All I need to do is spend a minute or two making a table of Symbiosis SpellIDs by class.

Spellbook search would probably take the form of a slash command that would pop up the Learning Aid window with the results. I'm not rewriting the whole spellbook (yet). I'm thinking something really simple, like "/la spell searchstring" to do a simple case-insensitive substring search. With some safeguards to keep from putting every spell in the spellbook on screen, of course. I've done that way too many times during development.

I have a few potential LDB features I'm thinking of trying out, like displaying Learning Aid as a drop-down menu instead of a floating window, using the LDB icon to notify the player of missing abilities, and/or optionally showing everything you've learned this session, today, or this week.

Tooltips and dragging are exactly what I was thinking of for level up integration. Filtering out the various message types I hadn't thought of. You and Phanx both suggested that, so I'll be sure to look into it.

Thanks for the feedback! I'm really excited to make some significant improvements and not just bug fixes. It's been quite a while.


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