This post was published long before the Mists of Pandara Expansion.
The tips and techniques explained here may be outdated.

Addon: RankWatch

The Rankwatch addon will notify you if you or a party/raid member are using down-ranked spells. That is when you cast a lower rank spell than the top-most rank available to you.

Back in the “old days” downranking spells allowed you to cast spells for the same benefit but at a lower mana cost. Blizzard changed this so that in most cases casting lower ranked spells costs more mana for less benefit. Now there are actually very few spells that should be legitimately downranked. Add to that, with the dual spec options, if you are in your primary spec and you learn an upgraded spell for your secondary spec, the spells on your toolbar for the secondary spec will not automatically update. So it’s easy to accidentally end up casting the wrong version of the spells and doing lower heals/dps/tanking.

By default the addon will whisper the person who casts the downranked spell and record that downranking. It will whisper someone once per 5 minutes per spell. It does it very nicely.. but getting whispers about downranked spells is kind of annoying. You can change the warnings to broadcast to the party (/rankwatch party) or you can change them to not broadcast so that only you will see the warning (/rankwatch none).

WARNING: this addon has gotten me kicked out of one XRealm Pug. It turns out that people get very pissy when you tell them they’re using the wrong rank of spells. Note also, a few people have said that this addon is unreliable when it reports on people cross realm. I’m not sure I believe that. As far as I can tell this is working cross realm.

At this point I have the external notifications turned off (/rankwatch none) so Rankwatch notifies me when it sees a downranked spell and records it so I can check who was downranking later on. With guildies I follow up with them after the raid to discuss the downranking. With other people on/off the realm.. it really depends on how I feel. In one case I’ve gone so far as to log onto another realm, make a level 1 toon, level it up to get 30c (to send mail) and sent them a nicely worded in-game mail about the downranking. That was alot of effort.. and I’m not sure I’ll do it again.

Similar Posts:

13 comments to Addon: RankWatch

  • Figworth

    Our resident holy paladin and I have a running joke where Rankwatch says he is using a downranked resurrect spell, while he steadily maintains there is no other spell at the trainer, usually ending up with curses thrown at my head while I blatantly abuse Raid Warning.

  • Pretty clever of them to claim it doesn’t work well with cross server party members to save themselves some embarrassment. Rankwatch has been flawless when dealing with cross realm pugs for me.
    .-= Shayzani´s last blog ..Comparing BC and WotLK: The need for numbers =-.

  • Grim

    This is currently my favorite addon. I have it set to report in raid, which is really funny in Wintergrasp (PVP Zone of Fail).

    So far in PUGs most people apologize for not having the right spells. We even sent a tank back to the trainer because he was so far out of date.

  • Kring

    Do not put that in group chat as it’s never a good idea to expose other people. Whisper is fine. And if they try to boot you for whispering them that they use the wrong rank, they would have to expose themself. :)

    If they put you on ignore, that’s for the better because you don’t want to group with ignorant people anyway.

  • While I appreciate that addon notifying people, it is a pain in the ass when the person has been asked repeatedly to turn it off of party chat and they refuse to. Now I am talking about random pugs, not guild runs.

    I have a guildie who will purposely use lower ranked spells when someone wont take that addon off.

    It is one thing when you are with guildies but it is quite another when you are with a random group.

    I also get annoyed with the addon that announces every skill you use. I was in a party with a DK and this addon announced every time he used one of his abilities. He too was asked repeatedly to turn it off party chat, which of course he didn’t.

    Why do people feel the need to broadcast that stuff?
    .-= Millea´s last blog ..Huzzah =-.

  • Nibuca

    Initially the cross realm pugs wouldn’t let you whisper people on other realms. I truely believe that if someone is downranking it’s unintentional. If it was me, I’d want to know about it so I could fix it.

    I do wish the addon has a “just notify once, then shutup” setting but I can’t find that. The closest I can find is to adjust the time between warnings.. so instead of being once per spell per 5 minutes I could make it once per spell per 24 hours.

    As I mentioned, I changed it to be silent. If it’s guildies I chat with them individually. If it’s folks on my realm I throw them a whisper if they’re not asshats. If it’s a cross realm pugger.. if they’re not an asshat I’ll mention it in party at the end of the run.. but if they leave group too early meh.. I can’t be bothered.

  • I appreciate that. Several of my guildies (including myself) have found we weren’t using the highest level on our action bars. In my case, I didn’t train in my off spec and missed several ranks of spells >.> It got fixed and we moved on. Of course we all tease each other about it, but life moved on.

    I guess I just don’t believe in using those kinds of addons. Like the failbot one. I can understand if you HAVE to do that because you are a bleeding edge raiding guild, but in heroics? Yeah leave it at home.
    .-= Millea´s last blog ..Huzzah =-.

  • Kring

    The problem is not informing the person. They better get that fixed NOW! The problem is in exposing them.

    Telling someone he is using a downranked shadow bolt for month is like telling some one that he is using a green chest for month although he owns T10. The person will feel stupid. And rightfully so, it is extremely dumb to not check your spells after all. :)

    Therefore, be kind. Inform them but don’t point a finger at them. Announcing in group chat, even if that is the only option, is pointing a finger at them, methinks.

  • David B

    I love this addon. There’s a few quirks (no UI config, have to config on each character). I always run in silent mode.

    Below level 80, most downranking is because people just haven’t had time to get to the trainer.

    At level 80, I’ll throw a quick “check ranks on Holy Light (8/13)” to party. For most, shame is secondary to the shock that downranked casts can be detected. Dual spec is almost always at fault, not the player.

  • I actually just encountered this a few days ago when I was running my Disc. priest in a random BG for the heck of it. I was minding my own business when some Horde ran up so I used my Shadow Spells that I had thrown on the top of my bar. All of a sudden my chatter freaked out and I looked in the BG chat to find my name and a mention that I was using the incorrect spells. How embarassing. So I opened up my spell book and transfered the highest ranks of those spells.

    Now, I’ve always thought once you trained the newest rank of a spell, that it when straight onto you bar. Apparenlty I was incorrect. I’m actually really glad that someone had this. I change my spec a lot so maybe this has something to do with it. *shrug*

    I do feel that if you have the ability to have these sort of things whispered to that individual, that would be best. It is really embarassing for 39 other people in Alterac Valley to know that you didn’t update your spells on your bars >.>

  • coup

    as a lock use life tap rank 1 all the time… that addon will just annoy the hell out of me

  • Nibuca

    @coup
    I also frequently use life tap rank 1 and that doesn’t set off the addon. I believe it has a list of “ok to use at lower rank” spells listed internally.

  • I love this addon as well, but especially when people have many spells all downranked, they can become quite hostile. And many people ignore just one or two whispers every 5 minutes or whatever the timer is I forget :p

    While we were unable to whisper across servers I had it announce to say or party until I ran into the first person that hadn’t updated his tanking bars since he duel speced at 70. I had to turn that off pretty fast or be kicked from the group. -.-;;