Better Living through Technology!(new2macros)

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85 Tauren Paladin
2850
*note: this guide is for people who haven't used macros or advanced keybinds and want to try.

Macros are basically 'super buttons' that you can create in order to use multiple abilities and spells from the same button. This means even if you have 15 different abilities, you can key them all to 3-5 buttons. With macros you can do things like:
1) have all your buff spells on one button
2) 'hide' abilities that you don't use very often so they only show when you need them
3) 'group' similar abilities so that, for example, all your commonly used melee skills are on one button
4) maximize your rotation so that you're always one step ahead of the GCD

Macros are great, but there are a few limitations:
1) complicated! -learning macros takes a good chunk of time. It's only something I've been able to do since my work gives me some 'free time' to cruise the UI/macro forum.
2) software limited -While very powerful, there is potential to abuse macros so that, for example, you could hit one button and your character would kill every mob in range (eventually). This potential for abuse has cause blizzard to put some powerful limitations on macros. More about this later.
3) the One Button rule -each macro button can use only one ability each time you press the button. You can code this so that it will use a different ability each and every time you press it (and on a different target!), but you can't press the button once and, for example, have it cast all 5 self buffs on you.

I don't even know where to start?!
To get started with macros, it's very simple. Just log on WoW and type /m. This brings up your macro box, where you just have to hit 'new' and the game will prompt for a name and an icon. I recommend that you leave the icon as a question mark. (?) The question mark means the game will automatically pick up the picture of the ability that the macro will use.

My First Macro
For your first macro lets just replace a normal ability you use on your bar in combat. I'm going to use paladin abilities here, but you can replace them with whatever ability you like.

So to make my first macro, I went to the /m menu in game, picked a new macro, and gave it the question mark icon. Then I click on the icon, click on the empty box, and type:

/cast

This is the basic core of every macro. It's basically like the verb in a sentence. You can use different 'verbs' (called slash commands) but this is probably the most popular. Since I want this macro to cast Hammer of the Righteous, I simple type that in after the /cast.

/cast Hammer of the Righteous

And pow! I'm done! If you drag this onto your bar and hit it a million times, you basically have the paladin protection spec in a nutshell (lol). However this doesn't really give you any extra functionality over a normal keybind. The next thing I'm going to do is make the macro heal a friendly if I have a friendly targeted, or if it's an enemy it will use SotR (shield of the righteous). To do this you add a conditional. This says 'only cast this spell if 'X' is true.' It looks like this (with a breakdown of the macro underneath):

/cast [help] Word of Glory; [harm] Shield of the Righteous
\__/ \____/\__________/\/ \____/\__________________/
verb-conditional---|---separator|----------------|
-------------------ability---------conditional----Ability

What this macro will do is check the status of your current target. A 'friendly'(help) value will cause my paladin to heal the target. An 'enemy'(harm) value will trigger the attack ability. If you can grasp macros thus far, you've already learned enough to make macros useful for you. Putting this on your bar will basically cut the number of keybinds you need by 1.

Modifier macro commands
Another handy feature you can use with macros is called a Modifier. This may sound familiar but it's possible to set a macro so that it will use a different ability or spell if you hold down control, alt, or shift. Here's a basic example:

/cast [mod:alt] Seal of Truth;[mod:ctrl] Blessing of Kings;[mod:shift] Righteous Fury; Seal of Insight

If you had this macro bound to 1, and you press 1, it would cast Seal of truth (and the seal picture would be on the keybind). Pressin ctrl would change the icon to blessing of kings and would cast blessing of kings if you pressed ctrl-1, etc....
Edited by Raygecow on 12/10/2010 11:11 AM PST
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85 Tauren Paladin
2850
Advanced Macros
Now we're going to look at these advanced macro abilities:
1) macro targeting
2) sequential casting
3) advanced conditionals and tooltips

Macro Targeting
The final 'basic' macro ability is macro targeting. With macro targeting you can use abilities on an enemy or friendly character that you don't even have targeted. There are two basic kinds of macro targets.
1) @x
2) focus targets
3) target switching

@x target macros are more simple than focus targeting but also aren't quite as functional. Here's an example.

/cast [mod,@player] Word of Glory;[@targettarget,help] Word of Glory

This macro will cast word of glory on the target of your target only if that would be a friendly target. For example if you have a mob targeted and he is attacking your healer, pressing the macro will heal the healer (as he would be the mobs target). It won't change you target!. If you press the same key while holding down control, alt, or shift, it will heal you (and only you), again without changing your target from the mob.

Mouse Targeting
The nice part about @ targeting is you can set it to cast on a target that you are moused over. You can, for example, have the main enemy mob targeted and then mouse over a friendly player and cast a heal on them without changing your target. This is the basic command.

/cast [@mouseovertarget,help,nodead] Word of Glory

This macro will, when pressed, cast a spell onto a friendly target only if you currently have your mouse pointer over them, without changing your normal target. The nodead conditional is important because it's easy to accidentally get a spell failure message if you've moused over a friendly that is near a corpse. By changing 'help' to 'harm' and 'Word of Glory' to 'Fireball' (or Living Bomb, or any other attack ability) you can then pick out and attack specific mobs without having to separately target.

Focus Targeting
Focus targeting is a very interesting and complex feature that basically gives the player a 'secondary target.' This feature should be, in my opinion, considered essential to use for players who play Holy paladins that utilize the 'beacon of light' ability which gives a secondary target. The basics of focus targeting are three simple codes:

/focus - this sets your secondary target and creates a copy of the normal target panel with the focus target set.
[@focus] - this references the focus target and casts onto them without switching targets.
[target=focus] - this switches your main target to the focus target.

Focus targeting is a neat feature but can be complicated. To make focus targeting simpler, what I usually do is make a macro that casts a spell on my focus target if I hit the key and have a focus, or sets a focus if I hit a mod key + macro, and if I have no focus then it targets the normal target. A macro like that would look like this:

/focus [mod]
/cast [nomod,@focus,exists,nodead] Word of Glory; [nomod] Word of Glory

Focus targeting is something that will either make your life WAY easier or WAY more complicated. User beware. :)

Target Switching
The last kind of macro targeting is target switching. Target switching comes in 2 flavors:
1) random
2) assisting
Basically, you can key the macro to automatically hit the tab key. A common usage is to use the 'dead' conditional so that the macro, for example, hits Crusader Strike whenever you have a living enemy target and otherwise switches to a new target and uses crusader strike. The code looks like this:

/targetenemy [dead]
/cast Crusader Strike

The tricky part about target switching is you never 'really' know which target it's going to pick. putting a ranged ability onto the macro can sometimes result in unwanted extra pulls. I recommend setting the tank as your focus target and then using /assist to switch to the MT's target only. The code for that is similar to random switching:

/assist [@focus, dead]
/cast Living Bomb

This macro will check your normal target to see if it is dead, and if it is, it will switch to whatever the focus target is targeting and cast your spell.
Edited by Raygecow on 12/10/2010 8:41 AM PST
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85 Tauren Paladin
2850
(Advanced macros, continued)

Sequential Cast Macros

This is one of my favorite kinds of macro. A sequential casting macro will look at a list of abilities that you've given it and it will cast then one at a time in the specified order. Here is a basic example that may be familiar.

/castsequence Blessing of Kings, Seal of Truth, Righteous Fury

If you push the button 3 times, you will get one cast of each buff. This can be worked into rotations with very interesting effects. Here's a macro that I use every combat:

/castsequence [mod]Shield of the Righteous; Holy Wrath, Consecrate, Holy Wrath

It cycles through 2 casts of HW and one consecrate (since consecrate is on a 30 sec CD and HW is 15sec) and if I hit the mod key it does SotR which is an ability I use every 6 GCDs. You can also do cool things like dual cast sequences and reset conditions. Here's a sequential macro with a reset condition:

/castsequence reset=target Victory Rush, Execute, Execute, Execute

When the player changes target, the macro automatically goes back to Victory Rush even if he hasn't used execute three times. The last sequential example I'll give you is a dual sequence macro.

/castsequence [help] reset=target Holy Shock, Holy Shock, Word of Glory;[harm] reset=combat Holy Shock, Exorcism

this macro cycles through four different spells based on the target condition.

Advanced Conditionals and Tooltips

Macro conditionals are probably the macro feature that requires the least amount of effort in order to get the most benefit. Here's a short list of functional conditionals, and remember that adding 'no' in front of a conditional makes it so that the ability only applies when the conditional is NOT true.
exists - 'yes' if you have something targeted
dead - 'yes' if your target is dead
help - 'yes' if your target is friendly
harm - 'yes' if your target is enemy
swimming - if you are swimming
flying - if you are flying
stance:x - 'yes' if you are in the stance # specified
form:x - 'yes' if you are in the form # specified

Finally, if you've used macros before you may notice that sometimes mousing over them will not cause a tooltip to pop up. If you want the tool tip to show up, it's a simple fix. Just add

#showtooltip

in front of the macro so that it looks like:

#showtooltip
/cast Hammer of the Righteous

And so ends my guide! Whew! If you have any specific macro questions, you're better off posting in the macro/ui forum than posting here, but I will still try to answer replys to this posting. Thanks!
Edited by Raygecow on 12/10/2010 9:29 AM PST
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85 Tauren Paladin
2850
(RESERVED)
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85 Human Paladin
0
Thank you for posting this!
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85 Human Priest
0
You forgot cancel aura!

/cancelaura spell

Cancels spell name.


Otherwise nice post, ty =)
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38 Troll Shaman
290
I'm trying to get a macro that will do all of my buff totems and when i hold shift, to do my combat totems. When ever i try it doesn't work. is there a certain syntax or something? or did i miss something?
Edited by Mojomonn on 12/13/2010 12:23 PM PST
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90 Pandaren Hunter
9995
12/13/2010 12:22 PMPosted by Mojomonn
I'm trying to get a macro that will do all of my buff totems and when i hold shift, to do my combat totems. When ever i try it doesn't work. is there a certain syntax or something? or did i miss something?


Totems hit global cooldowns so you can't do a macro that tosses multiple ones at the same time. You get a spell at some level, 30? 40? somewhere around there, that'll let you put down multiple totems.
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anyone know if there's a way to pause a command?

EG.
#showtooltip Two Forms
/caset Two Forms
---> This is where I want the pause for 5 -6 seconds
/Roar

Problem I'm having is that the Roar is being exicuted right away and it's kinda a joykill.

from what I read there used to be a "/pause" command and a "/in [x]" x=time is seconds command but thats not working anymore.. any suggestions?

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70 Dwarf Paladin
430
I'm trying to make an assist macro so that when I'm grinding with my buddy and he pulls something, but he's directly in my line of vision and I can't mouse over the target, the macro will automatically target the mob and either A: cast something, or B: start up my auto-attack on him.

Thank you very much.
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51 Draenei Mage
400
/bookmarked :)
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38 Troll Shaman
290
@ tonkfa no no... this is the macro i use now "/castsequence {ex: fire totem} {water totem} {earth totem}" the {'s where just to show where a totem WOULD be. but i want it to where i hold shift instead of doing my buff totems i want it to place attack totems when i hold shift with one macro. follow?
Edited by Mojomonn on 12/14/2010 7:41 AM PST
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85 Night Elf Druid
8240
anyone know if there's a way to pause a command?

No. That would promote automation when it's YOU that's supposed to be playing the game.

no no... this is the macro i use now "/castsequence {ex: fire totem} {water totem} {earth totem}" the {'s where just to show where a totem WOULD be. but i want it to where i hold shift instead of doing my buff totems i want it to place attack totems when i hold shift with one macro. follow?


You'll need two separate macros. Castsequence can only have reset conditions, not modifiers.
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38 Troll Shaman
290
ah.. ok... before i go... Is there any other way to do what im trying to do? like /cast or something?
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90 Pandaren Priest
8040
anyone know if there's a way to pause a command?

EG.
#showtooltip Two Forms
/caset Two Forms
---> This is where I want the pause for 5 -6 seconds
/Roar

Problem I'm having is that the Roar is being exicuted right away and it's kinda a joykill.

from what I read there used to be a "/pause" command and a "/in [x]" x=time is seconds command but thats not working anymore.. any suggestions?

/in was never a Blizzard command, it comes from addons (the Ace-2.0 library is where most people got it without realizing it). Try a simple addon that does nothing else but add the /in command like SlashIn.
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90 Pandaren Priest
8040
@ tonkfa no no... this is the macro i use now "/castsequence {ex: fire totem} {water totem} {earth totem}" the {'s where just to show where a totem WOULD be. but i want it to where i hold shift instead of doing my buff totems i want it to place attack totems when i hold shift with one macro. follow?


#showtooltip
/cast [mod:shift] Attack Totem1, Attack Totem2; Buff Totem1, Buff Totem2
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38 Troll Shaman
290
oh. well thank you very much.
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85 Night Elf Druid
8240
/in was never a Blizzard command, it comes from addons (the Ace-2.0 library is where most people got it without realizing it). Try a simple addon that does nothing else but add the /in command like SlashIn.

This cannot be used in macros with spells. Only when doing trivial things like equipping gear and doing emotes/speech. That's still blocked by the Blizzard UI regardless of the medium (macro interface or through an AddOn).
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90 Pandaren Priest
8040
This cannot be used in macros with spells. Only when doing trivial things like equipping gear and doing emotes/speech. That's still blocked by the Blizzard UI regardless of the medium (macro interface or through an AddOn).

Yes, very true. Thank you for adding that clarification.
What the person asking for it wanted it for is allowed though. :)
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85 Dwarf Hunter
2595
If I select the ? icon and name the macro after a spell, it chooses the icon for that spell. Great. But, if I then add a modifier, when I close the window the icon reverts to the ? icon. Is there a way to use modifiers and have it keep one of the icons, so I don't have to scroll through the list of icons?
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