Friday, February 20, 2015

The Power of Macros or Wow, I Didn't Know You Could Do That

While talking to a newer player in my guild who has been trying to get better we drifted on to the topic of macros.  He has been using some macros he read about but when we moved on and I started to drift down memory lane talking about some of the macros I have used over the years he said, "I did not even know you could do that".

It was then that it occurred to me that while some people might know about macros, they might not know there are a lot of little uses that can be helpful as well.  I am no expert with writing macros.  As a matter of fact whenever I do look to make a new one I usually need to go look up if I am doing it right.

Sites like Fitzcairn's Macro Explain-o-matic, outside of sounding like something a gnome made that might just cause you severe bodily injury, is an excellent tool to tell you exactly what a macro does.  When writing a macro I use it to see if it would do what I intended it to do or I use it to explain a macro I found but am not sure what it does.  The explain-o-matic explains it automatically.  I guess that is how it got its name.  Boy are those gnomes cleaver naming things.  It is a gnome invention right?

I told him about macros I used to get achievements, like Kiss and Make Up in Ulduar.

/tar Sara

And with that one simple macro an easy achievement became that much easier.  Instead of having to target her when she was angry at me I just hit my kiss sara macro and went along with my duties without ever losing the actual target I was on.

The ability to do this amazed him.  He read about some macros as in putting abilities that do not trigger a global cooldown together.  About putting your on use trinket into a macro.  About some of the basic things we all might first run across while we are learning to play and trying to step up our game a little.  But it never once occurred to him that macros could be used for other things.

It is not like my kiss macro was a one hit wonder either.  There were other times I needed to kiss things and the macro made it easier.  Remember the frogs for a argent tournament quest you needed to do seemingly all the time?  I used a kiss macro for them too.  Better than feeling the fool trying to click on them as they were jumping around and missing.  Or thinking you clicked on one and just kissing the air.  Oh air, how I love thee so.  Admit it, you know you have done it before too.  Marcos are a wonderful thing.

Now, this person was someone that had intentions to be a tank and he was reading a lot on tanking and when I mentioned a couple of macros I used all the time on my tanks he said he never read of them.  I can't believe it.  Maybe he was looking in the wrong places, or he did see it but did not understand the macro and what it was doing.  Maybe the people that wrote what he was reading thought it was common knowledge and just did not mention it, who knows.  But I personally believe no tank should leave home without these two simple and useful macros that I told him to make.

/cast [@focus] Taunt

What this does is taunt the target I have set as my focus.  I use this in fights where there are a lot of adds and it can sometimes be hard to target the boss asap when a tank switch is needed.  It will switch your main target to the focus, which should be the boss, and it will taunt it.  No fumbling around with tab target, no trying to click on it and getting every mob in a pack of 20 except the one you are looking for.  It is a clear and simple hit this when it is my turn to take the boss button and I like that.  It makes it easy, foolproof.  I like easy and foolproof.

/cast [@focus] Pummel

I've always been of the school that it is part of the tanks job to interrupt.  I know some people disagree, it is just the way I learned so it is how I play.  But tank or melee, this is a macro that is important in my opinion.  When you have a mob that needs to be interrupted but it is not the mob you are on, make sure it is your focus and when it is about to cast, hit this macro.  It was switch to that target to interrupt it and then immediately, without even noticing you switched, it will be back on the target you were working on.

Both these of course require the correct name of the spell for your class, but these are two simple little macros I have been using since I first tanked.  They never needed to changed and they have always been useful and for some odd reason he had never read of either of these on any sites.  Me, like the fool I am, thought things like this would be common sense.  But then again, I thought making a macro to kiss sara was common sense too and I was wrong.

It made me wonder if there were other macros out there people take for granted.  Simple easy macros that we use and never think about but really do make our lives easier.

I still use my camel macro whenever I am in uldum.  Sure I run silver dragon and NPC scan, but I have never even once in my life seen a camel in uldum so I take no chances.  When I am flying through there I tie my camel finding macro to something like ~ and just spam it hoping maybe, just maybe, it will pick up something that silver dragon or NPC scan misses.

/tar Mysterious Camel Figurine

Maybe one day it will actually target something and I too can become a camel hoarder.

Macros can have many uses.  For raids, for exploring, for interacting, for quests, for achievements, for kissing.  Some we take for granted and some we never thought of.  Maybe something you take for granted another person might have never thought about.  Maybe it is time we all investigate a little and find something new and perhaps powerful we can do with macros.

Any weird macros you have used to make something easier that you think others might have missed?


  1. /tar goat

    to whistle at those goats while doing a simple quest - forgot the name of it.

    I also use

    /target pet

    to get rid of my water elemental on my mage (and works on hunters too

    to get rid of that damned companion pet I use

    that's all that is needed.

    And for other things especially during brewfest -
    /say Zicke, Zacke
    /say Zicke, Zacke
    /say Hoi, Hoi, Hoi

    and even in real life as homage to the late great Bill "the fox" Foster. Be sure and get your prostate checked!

    and make other simple ones for other things. :D


    1. Macros to say things are often over looked too. Lots of people say the same things often, like with your brewfest one, and it saves a ton of time instead of having to type.

  2. Lots of my abilities are macroed. Talent choices are macroed together, and while I heard that in WoD you don't need to do that, I kept it because I can be sure that it works, and for another reason further down. Pet abilities are macroed together, or where there are too many, I put them on a designated spot on the petbar and work with /click.
    But my most important tool is mouseover. I love that option so much. Aiming multishots, silencing off targets (focus included), distributing arcane or kill shots, casting spirit mend on the right target, and previousely, CCing the right target with scatter or a pet ability... There are so many uses for a mouseover macro and it truly improves my playstyle. I could probably almost work without targets at all, the only thing I need is a good nameplate addon (TidyPlates).

    1. I can not live without mouseover macros for my healers. It makes life so much easier and if my healing addon blows up (which does happen) mid raid I can still keep on healing as if I had one all thanks to mouse over macros. I can't see how any healer would play without them personally.

      I use mouse over for things like BA on my hunter so I can throw it on whatever is going to live longest if I am focusing something with a short life span. But I don't use as many mouse overs on my hunter. MD, MC and BA, I think that it is right now.

    2. Oh there are way more abilities that make sense to be mouseovered. I've started pretty much with the abilities you listed and ended up mouseovering almost everything because the quality of life component is just so huge! Of course one has to be mindful of the mouse pointer then but that is not a big prolem. However, macro space is getting scarce, I wouldn't know how to do it if I played so many classes like you because all of my char specific slots plus half of the general slots are used up by my hunter somehow.

    3. I really wish they would add "class" mouse over tabs as well, and give us 100 slots there as well. It would be nice.

      As for watching mouse overs, tell me about it. I use a penance one on my disc priest and I really hate when I am trying to cast it at the boss and my mouse is over someone and I do not notice it. I spin in a circle and start hitting them with it. Makes me laugh sometimes but it is annoying. Teaches you to be mindful of where your mouse is.

  3. I have bad news for your camel hunting.

    1) (This may be wrong) With WoD and how rares mobs work NPCScan won't go off unless you mouseover a rare (pretty silly). Not sure how that affect Silverdragon nor how the figurine is handle by NPCScan (being a bit different of other rares)

    2) The figurine CANNOT be targeted, so spamming a /tar macro won't do anything.

    You're welcome for me ruinning your day :D

    1. Well, depending on the situation, it is probably a good change. If you go looking for it, your chances are now higher to find a good figurine because
      a) not every person randomly flying over Uldum will have NPCscan going off for them and
      b) other people who look for it will be clicking on both the fake and the real one, thus improving the chances of a good one actually spawning. Back when NPCscan worked, people would just pick the occasional good ones and not even see the fakes.

    2. @Anon, you didn't ruin my day because the macro does in fact target it (or did when cata was current content). That is how multiple people I know found it, that is how I found out to use the macro. However, in the end it does not matter. If silver dragon, NPC scan and the macro did not pick it up, it was not there to begin with.

      I have never even seen a fake one. :(

      A friend of mine after I told him about it went and used my macro and found one less than 10 minutes after getting there. How is that for messed up, it is just my luck.

    3. It was targetable at the beginning of cata. It got changed somewhere during cata (not sure exactly when) I got mine after like 15 fakes during MoP and none of them were targetable.

    4. Yeah, I know it was targetable that way. Not sure if it still is or not however. That is how addons like NPC scan and silver dragon picked it up, by targeting it.

      How do they pick it up now if it can not be targeted. Interesting question really. I might have to look that up.

      I don't recall when it was changed, but it had to be late cataclysm if anything because one of the people I know that got it with the /tar macro got it when DS was out already for a long time and he was just bored flying over uldum all day every day.

  4. I am glad you reminded me I do need to update some macros. It is not something that comes natural to me I admit and most of the time I tug a guildie's sleeve and say I want to do x please tell me how :D
    Although I do admit i spent some time working my own macro once due it being an odd vanity one.
    My worgen now always changes into human form and mounts hehe

    1. That is an interesting macro, I am sure others use it. Most definitely on RP servers I can see that.

      I had to change a lot of mine recently too. Changes from last expansion changed some of them where I needed to remove useless lines now.

  5. I use misdirect, interrupt (stop cast), and pet control macros on my hunter. I'll definitely add a [@focus,exists,harm][] to the interrupt macro now that you made me think of it. When it comes to healing, I have a naga and so the first thing I did before raid healing the first time was add mouseover options to all of my heals. Later I checked out some healing addons and besides decursing, healing addons are imo useless if you can mouseover + key without removing your left hand from movement keys. They would definitely help out in the pre-naga days, but now that naga's and the like exist, I don't see the point of configuring left click to do such and such and right click to do such and such else, etc.

    1. Yeah, I think most of us hunters use an MD macro. I have mine set to my focus naturally and a shift mouse over for another target should I need to put it on someone else.

      Wish I could use a naga. I use a track ball and can't seem to find one with extra buttons so I have to do it old school or learn how to use a different mouse, and that is not something I can see myself doing. Wish I could have some mouse buttons, would make life so much easier.

  6. Camel-hoarder here! I think I used a /tar macro for it back in Cata or maybe it was just picked up by _NPCscan, can't remember.

    My macros are mostly ones that I picked up from other hunters and/or class guides.

    1. Someone here says that the /tar no longer works. Wish I could confirm or not. I know it used to work, that is how every one found it originally. I guess I need to actually see one of them one of these days to find out if it still works. Can't believe with as much time as I spent there and as much as I play I have never even seen a fake one.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Glad you will get some use out of it. I found that one a while back when looking for help with macros and saved it instantly, it is a great help.