Nameplate Auras are one of the newer features to DBM added in legion somewhat replace some of lost functionality of HudMap. HudMap was all powerful and could still somewhat automate or draw on world which blizzard doesn't want. Nameplate auras are more about helping identify things in clutter without any real kind of automation. An example being mob fixates. If there are a pile of parasites on G'huun in Uldir or plants on Botanist back from Nighthold, etc; you need to be able to identify very quickly which one is chasing you. Depending on UI mods you already have you may have nameplates that show an aggro border or you're super human and can see subtle difference blizzard puts on nameplate sizes based on aggro etc. If you're the average user, you probably don't have such perception or already configured mods to identify specific nameplates in a crowd for you.
This is where DBM comes in. The nameplate aura feature simply adds icons over relevant nameplates to help you identify important events in a crowd of nameplates. A mob fixating you, an important buff or debuff on an enemy that effects encounter and requires action etc. These nameplates can be enabled/disabled on a per encounter basis within any bosses option panels right under a convenient nameplate header.
In second tier of Battle for Azeroth, nameplate auras were expanded even more to even use lines from time to time to help you locate the aura icons/nameplates you should care about more quickly. It simply sets a line anchored between an ALREADY visible nameplate (ie it can't show off screen targets) and the center of your screen. This is a visual tool and nothing more to help your eyes locate things on a screen full of clutter but still relies entirely on user to make split second decisions and take their own actions. This is an extension of the aura icons feature, so they are controlled by same nameplate options on a per boss basis.
Functionality broken in 8.2 (to be honest, this was kind of expected, but it was added to DBM anyways because cat was already out of bag with weak auras, so DBM supported it while it lasted).
DBM also offers global disables as well for nameplates. If you don't want to use feature at all, then you can disable it completely with a single box per usual. DBM always aims to be able to disable any feature globally without having to do it for every single encounter.
Read first guides to get the most out of DBM
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