Getting Started with Hekili

What is Hekili?

The Hekili addon for World of Warcraft is a priority helper, designed to recommend the best abilities to use over the next several seconds of combat. Hekili is designed to emulate the logic used in SimulationCraft, and therefore can help you identify in-game scenarios where your current combat decisions may be less than optimal. There are default displays and action lists that come with the addon, all of which can be edited or removed in favor of your own custom or imported action lists.

The addon is presently designed with support for Shamans (Enhancement, Elemental), Monks (Windwalker, Brewmaster, and Mistweaver), Paladins (Retribution, Protection), and Hunters (Beast Mastery, Survival, and Marksmanship).

Here are the default displays for Enhancement Shamans. The lower row is the Primary display, built to be versatile depending on user preferences and combat conditions. The top row is the AOE display, which is configured to recommend actions for 3+ targets by default.

The example above shows the default settings for the addon for Enhancement Shamans. There are two default displays, the bottom one is considered the Primary display and will, by default, adjust its recommendations based on the number of targets that the addon has detected. This can be adjusted based on user preferences — you can configure the display to respond to user input instead, so that you decide when it shows single-target abilities or when it shows recommendations for taking down groups of enemies.

The top display is considered the AOE display. It is designed to show recommendations for 3+ targets, regardless of actual combat conditions. The addon knows how many enemies you’re engaged with by keeping track of how many enemies you’ve hit recently with your damaging abilities and debuffs. If a new wave of enemies is appearing, you can glance at the AOE display to see the next few recommended abilities before you’ve actually engaged with them.

First Things First

When loading the addon for the first time, you’ll typically be presented with two displays as described above. They may look a bit different, as the ones above are skinned with the Masque addon while yours may look more like your own action buttons, but the essential behavior remains the same.

These displays start out unlocked so that you can click and drag them to where you want on the screen. You can do so, then right-click to lock all the displays in place. If you want to unlock them again, you can open the Hekili UI by typing /hekili in your chat frame and pressing Enter. The Locked setting is found on the General tab. The Hekili UI can only be activated outside of combat.

Unchecking Enabled will tell the addon to hide the displays and stop processing recommendations. Unchecking Locked will allow you to once again move the displays by clicking and dragging. The Debug feature, used in conjuction with the Pause feature in the Toggles section, will allow you to see more information about why the addon has recommended particular abilities.

In the Toggles section, you’ll find several important features. Here, you can bind a key to pause the addon; switch between single-target, AOE, and automatic modes; or toggle whether certain kinds of abilities are recommended at all (cooldowns, potions, abilities with cast times, and interrupts).

For maximum control over the addon, it is highly recommended that you bind a key for the Mode Switch. This feature is how you tell the addon that you want it to use Single Target, AOE, or Auto mode. If the Switch Type is set to Auto, then pressing your Mode Switch key will tell the addon to swap between Single Target and Auto mode. If the Switch Type is set to Manual, then pressing your Mode Switch key will tell the addon to swap between Single Target and AOE mode. The default displays are configured to take advantage of these settings; custom displays have to be manually configured to do so.

In the Class Settings section for our Enhancement Shaman example, there is currently only one setting available. We have a keybinding available for Liquid Magma, while the Liquid Magma toggle is currently checked. Placing the mouse over the checkbox will explain the feature.

Unchecking this toggle will prevent the Liquid Magma ability from being recommended by the addon. If one binds a key for this feature, you can turn Liquid Magma on or off during combat. In this case, it is useful because Liquid Magma does not necessarily target your current enemy, but may instead aggro everything within 45 yards of your enemy, plus your enemy’s high school girlfriend and seven generations of his or her ancestors.

Last for this update, Notifications. The addon has a small text panel that notifies you when you toggle a setting or feature. When the Hekili UI is open, the panel can be moved by clicking and dragging. However, you can also specify several settings here, including its X, Y positioning on the screen. The X and Y values are offsets between the center of your screen and the center of the Notification panel. Therefore, X = 0, Y = 0 would place the panel at the exact center of the screen. X = 0, Y = -185 would place the panel 185 pixels below the center of your screen.

Stay Tuned…

Based on what’s been covered so far, you should be set to get started with the addon. Over the next several days (or weeks), I will cover some of the configuration options for displays and action lists, as well as provide demonstrations for going from a SimulationCraft Action Priority List (APL) to a functioning Hekili display — or two.

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