Addon Spotlight: Eavesdrop
Eavesdrop is an amazing little addon that I’ve literally used for years. I think I first discovered it during Sunwell when I was raiding on my warlock. Since then, whenever I have redesigned my UI, eavesdrop has been a core feature.
What Is It?
Essentially, it’s a highly visual combat log. It’s fully customizable so you can choose what is displayed. This isn’t restricted to incoming and outgoing damage, but it does include it. Your options are:-
- Periodic Damage
- Outgoing Direct Damage
- Pet Damage
- Incoming Damage
- Mana Gains
- Buff Gains
- Buff Fades
- Incoming Heals – Including who cast them and what was cast
- Debuffs Fading
- Skills Gained
- Honour Gained
- Spell Damage Coloured by Damage Type
- Combat Summary – A quick summary of the total outgoing and incoming damage along with outgoing and incoming heals
The frame along with the events are fully customizable. This allows you to define the visual appearance of both the frame itself and the colour of the events displayed within. This makes it easy to maintain a colour trend throughout your user interface (should you do that.)
I find eavesdrop much easier to navigate than a normal combat log. It’s highly visual appearance makes it very easy to distinguish between your outgoing damage or heals and your incoming damage. Establishing precisely what killed you during a raid is very easy. This makes it simple to conclude whether you were out of position or for example, lacked incoming heals during a period of high raid damage.
I’ve mentioned in order user interface related posts that I do not like scrolling combat texts. I don’t like anything scrolling across the screen that can draw my attention away from the environment. I see so many screenshots of raid UI’s where scroll combat text in it’s default state covers a large area of the crucial area around your character and can potentially obscure spells you need to be moving out of.
Eavesdrop, for me, is a nice compromise between an effective combat log that still allows you to see your visual and live damage during an encounter and not having distracting text scrolling across your main playing area in game.
This addon will work straight out of the box and additionally, it’s customisation is very easy. The command line to open the configuration panel in game is /eavesdrop.
Upon opening, the default configuration tab will show events. These are simply the different events you can choose to show or hide from the frame. I personally prefer to keep mine relatively uncluttered as I don’t like sifting through endless ticks of, for example, mana stream totem to find what hit and killed me. Buff and debuff gains and fades I deal with via other addons so they’re all turned off. For those who do wish to display buff gains, scrolling over them in the log will also give you a time stamp and a detail explanation.
Resizing the Eavesdrop Window
When you first load up the addon, moving it around is done by clicking on the tab at the top of the frame and dragging it.
Once you have it positioned where you want it, resizing can be done via the configuration window. This is accessed by typing /eavesdrop in game. When the configuration window opens, select the “frame” tab from along the top of the panel.
The above screenshot shows the multitude of options available to resize the eavesdrop frame. Here you can resize both the frame and the text size itself. There are also check boxes to hide the default tab that will appear at the top of your eavesdrop window in addition to locking the frame so you can’t accidentally move it.
Changing Event Colours in Eavesdrop
You’ll notice an option in the configuration window entitled “spell damage colours”. This option will colour your spell damage according to the school of damage. This is demonstrated below with the different colours applied to our nature, fire and frost schools.
Should you wish to coordinate your eavesdrop events with the rest of your user interface, you need to turn this option off. Then from the configuration window, select colours. This will open the following window:-
You need to select outgoing spells from the window to the left and this will open a very simple colour selector allowing you to choose the colour your spell hits show as in the eavesdrop window.
The result, as shown above, is that all outgoing spells will display in the colour of your choice.
Should you still want to keep a differentiation between the colours of different magical schools (for example, your lightning bolts versus your lava bursts), this is perfectly possible also. Once again, open the configuration window via the /eavesdrop command in game. Select “colours” from the tabs along the top of the window. Selecting “spell colours” will open a window displaying different schools of magic (fire, frost, <font color="#66cc66"nature and so on).
Editing the Frame Colours
The colour of the frame, it’s opacity and the colour of the labels can also be changed via the configuration menu. From the configuration menu, select “frame” from the menu on the left.
From here, you can select the background colour of the frame along with it’s level of opacity. In addition is an option to alter the label colours of the main eavesdrop frame.
Where Can I Get It?
Eavesdrop is available either via the curse downloader or directly from curse here.
As I mentioned at the start, eavesdrop has been one of the few addons that has been with me for a number of years. I spend a lot of time browsing new addon releases and I’m always willing to try and test them. Sporadically, I will stumble upon an addon that I never remove again and eavesdrop definitely falls into this category.
During raids it is vital to keep as much screen real estate free and clear as possible. If you can’t see environmental effects due to so much addon clutter, you can’t possibly hope to react to them and stay alive. Equally vital is knowing when you make a mistake and how to correct this. These mistakes can vary from personal ones (that is to say, you stood in that fire and you died, learn to move) or raid related ones (this encounter has a raid wide aura and I received zero heals here guys.) An effective combat log is vital to stay abreast of what is happening and how you can improve. Effective is a key word however, it still needs to be navigable and easy to interpret. Undoubtedly, eavesdrop fills these requirements for me.