This was especially effective for rogues fighting any healing class so that they would save a stun for when they attempted to heal. Having this tool to see not only the length of a cast time, but also what they were casting at you made PvP a lot more interesting, as effectively everyone knew when you were doing something, and subsequently how to counter you...
"Ahh, Mr. Warlock there is casting Shadow Bolt, I'll cast Shadow Ward to protect myself from part of the damage"
"Ahh, Mr. Priest there is trying to heal himself, I'll fear him to cancel the heal"
However the addon didn't start as a pure PvP mod, it started as a proof of concept addon just to see if I could do this. The idea was generated from the original Boss Mod scripts from CT_RaidAssist, which alerted you to when a certain boss event was about to occur. As all the raiding encounters in WoW are based on timed events, this meant showing warnings was very simple once the timings had been worked out. I then "ported" over the Boss Mod scripts into EnemyCastBar to provide a full PvE raiding section, for the whole of Molten Core, Blackwing Lair and some of Ahn'Qiraj.
These visual timers allowed for some encounters to be near trivialized as you knew exactly when an ability/event was about to occur. Where as before EnemyCastBar you only had about 5seconds notice, as all warnings were done in a text alert format... "Fear in 5seconds!" Providing a visual timer allowed you to monitor the situation completely, it also allowed you to keep checking when a special event was going to occur, so that you were not caught off guard at any time.
So why am I writing about ECB? Well, after I stopped playing WoW, I handed the maintenance of the addon to Natur so that it could still keep running after patch releases etc. He did a great job of maintaining it, and subsequently took my addon to levels I couldn't imagine. But that isn't, again, why I am talking about it. In about 2months (maybe less), the expansion for WoW called The Burning Crusade will be released, and within this, there will be my addon, or rather my idea.
As the idea behind EnemyCastBar has been integrated into TBC, this gives me mixed feelings regarding the whole situation. It means my coding or idea, no idea which, was good enough to be merged into the most popular MMORPG in the western market. Meaning that an estimated 7million subscribers to WoW will see my invention in their game play everyday now, rather than it being a percentage of the market who actively researched and installed addons. As good as that is, as I am quite proud, but theres only one part of this which eats away at me.
Which is the fact that I, nor Natur, receive any mention of the creation and maintaining of the addon in the first place that I can find. Ok, the integrated version will never compete with the version we make, but even then, a quick "hi, since your addon impressed us so much, and the fact its being widely used, we are going to merge it with the game for The Burning Crusade". But no, Blizzard have sent me nothing of the sort, which is why I am slightly annoyed. Ok I agreed to the terms and conditions, and I knew that, but I thought Blizzard was a but more community oriented.
Also I know I am no longer the official maintainer, and I don't create releases anymore, this isn't about that. It's more just the general principle. I just really hope that they don't screw it up completely, although they seem to be making a good attempt at killing off the addon community with the changes they are making for TBC. Bottom line, they must respect the authors, creators and maintainers, even if its only a small amount, perhaps they think integration is good enough, I don't. The respect is still needed because without us, addons such as CT_RaidAssist (probably the most downloaded addon for WoW), Scrolling Combat Text, and now EnemyCastBar, wouldn't have existed in the first place for them to effectively.. "steal".
On a final note, it will be interesting to see if other MMORPG's will pick up on the idea of seeing enemy spell cast times, and to see if they put similar functionality into their games as well... damn me for not copyrighting it!