keybinding vs macro tradeoff

UI and Macro
i'm using bartender and i have all six bars visible, with 3 of them 12*3=36 keybinded though regular, alt and ctrl. i left shift for focus casting.

with this i wonder if i'm hurting my macro using ability. specifically, a lot of macros are through modifiers and i'm using them all for direct keybinding, none left for modifier based macros. there are still some macros (for instance environment aware travel form shifting for druids, mouseover spellcasting, etc) that are not about modifiers, and those are useful. but am i too much into keybinding, should i move some control into macros?

i guess it's case by case. keybinding gives more direct, raw access to more abilities. i find macro is helpful in grouping and guiding some patterned actions in the heat of battle, eg sunfire/moonfire combination for mookins, checking that you are not superimposing on your own dots, kinda things that one could theoretically do manually, but not always easy to control, if combats gets you all worked up.

any thoughts, advice?
You have already stated macro's are very put into a place. They don't really have a lot of room for play within the macro though. This limits you to only what the macro can do for each scenario.
When you look at that vs key binding's key bindings are the way to go seeing how the pro vs cons are you can use the spell for every single scenario the down side is that its work and lots of buttons.

Myself I key bind and balance macro's in a mix of both. I would strongly behoof you to invest into a raze mouse if you don't already have one... I have one and it was hard to get used to at first but now I wouldn't play without it. Honestly reading it sounds like you just need a few more button's so you can use those extra button's for macro's.

This is just my two cents, it all boils down to you as long as you put out the damage. Then do what works for you. There is no right way to do damage when it comes down to it. Key binds and macros are clearly better for dps but some people click and top charts so do what feels most right for you.
i agree, no general rule, it's case spec. i ll have some place for macros, especially ones who adapt to environment and self/target, buff/debuff conditions, and sequence some typical patterns. i dont think i ll be big on modifier based macros, those which are essentialy keyboard multipliers, i feel they are poor subs for keybinding, which if done with addons, can grant direct access to entire arsenal. those mod based macros kinda achieve the same goal, but with keybinding its more systematic. with keybinding, you have 36 keys, organize thematically, mind body kinda thing. with macro based binding, you can mod some, dont others, gets messy.

and yes, i love my razer molten. all my movement, camera controls are on mouse, the rest is on keyboard. do you use razer macros? i have toggle on strafe (click once, toggle strafe on, keep strafing until click again, toggle off), but it's a mixed blessing: good to be always on move, consentrate on other things, but sometimes gets me stuck in an odd corner, and enemy warrior is right at my back, while i try to get out of branches.
Look at your bars. For example, if you have an ability bound to F and then another ability bound to Alt+F, that's a waste of space. Make a modifier macro instead. There is no difference in how this will be cast/will function if you bind the two separately or if you make a macro and activate a macro+modifier. In your mind, Alt+F is still one ability and F is other. It only impacts how you position them on your bars. It may seem messy to you but it's worth doing once to save yourself space and organize your bars. Your muscle memory isn't affected in any way as nothing effectively changes.

When you're considering how to group abilities, also consider whether they have a CD or not. If you're watching your bars for CD information, then you'll always want to show icons that have CDs and you do not have to show those that do not.
So lets say you're binding something to F.
For example you have Rejuvenation. You do not need to watch the icon for that. You also have Nature's Swiftness (or any other ability on CD) which you do have to watch. Make a macro like

#showtooltip Nature's Swiftness
/cast [mod:alt] Nature's Swiftness; Rejuvenation

and this way you bind both but you save icon space. I show about 2 bars worth of spells. Well about 2 spells less. But every single spell on there has CD info and is important in some way to show. But the macros will contain all of my abilities. Also some of the stuff is bound to mouse as Volusi suggested.
@Sedivy: thx u for cooldown-tooltip advice, that's helpful.

03/17/2013 12:26 PMPosted by Sedivy
For example, if you have an ability bound to F and then another ability bound to Alt+F, that's a waste of space.

Here I disagree. It's a waste of space if you run out of actionbar slots, but if you don't (like with large screen and bartender addon, can get 60 buttons all visible simultaneously) then in fact not using all those slots is a waste. Why? Because keybinding to visible action bars allows sync of muscle and visual memory, major point that I forgot to highlight. I have action bars organized in 4 slots per 3 row (3x4 is only relevant to quick access, not point of the thread) in groups of 12 and posted on screen in such groups of 12, one group for regular, another for alt and next for ctrl access (further groups of 12 posted w/out keybinding). Here if you want certain action, both visual and muscle memory will prompt something, say alt-F. While if you don't have alt referring to location on screen, then its just your muscle memory (and most people are visuals).

Also, memory has to be consistent, if one slot of the action bar alt-group is unavailable for alt access then none should be (otherwise, that's what I called mess). So for one (or few) macro modifier you lose entire 12 slot group (which is a real waste). If I have to use modifier based macro (which could be the case, say you want to have discretion to hardcast "Healing touch" and then "Healing touch" cast under Nature's Swiftness) then I'd leave bar slots for those actions blank on the screen (or duplicate same action at two locations), to keep alt-group still there, with muscle and visual memory access to it consistent.

Only
1. if you run out of space in action slots (which I can't imagine with bartender); and
2. if having mouse click access to action bar slot is superior to syncing visual-muscle memory;
only then macro as modifier action access if justified.
Well but what's the point of the thread if this is what you're comfortable with?
I thought you wanted some feedback on how to switch more into macros and less into keybinds?
I mean if this is what makes sense to you and you like monitoring 60+ buttons on your screen, because it makes better translation into muscle movement or whatever, then by all means go for it. I guess I'm maybe misunderstanding what your question is?
Well but what's the point of the thread if this is what you're comfortable with?
I thought you wanted some feedback on how to switch more into macros and less into keybinds?
I mean if this is what makes sense to you and you like monitoring 60+ buttons on your screen, because it makes better translation into muscle movement or whatever, then by all means go for it. I guess I'm maybe misunderstanding what your question is?

Learning by talking and I learned few things, eg cooldown for tooltip was new to me. And I was not quite sure how I liked it before opening the topic, now I know what I want.
I saw you are helping a lot here :up:
Ahh well if you want info I can give you some links.
You can look into macro making in more detail here:
http://www.wowpedia.org/HOWTO:_Make_a_Macro

If you want more info on show/showtooltip:
http://www.wowpedia.org/Showtooltip

For addons I find really helpful keybinding/macro wise to help with button mania:
http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info6385-BindPad-GUItosetkeybindingsforspellitemmacro.html
http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info16052-MuchMoreMacro.html
so if you ever want, you can create macros without actual buttons on actionbar, just directly bound to key.
If you're ever then confused what's bound to where, this one will graphically orient you to your keybinds:
http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/keybind

If on the other hand you want to position your keys in shape of your hand or however you play, try:
http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/num-pad-bar
http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info7319-BarKeep.html
or in case of naga:
http://www.curse.com/addons/wow/razernaga

If you want to manage your 1001 food/conjured stuff/flasks/bandages and so on, I use:
http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info8370-Buffet.html
which is minimalistic and suits me fine. Others like to use popup bars like with
http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info19161-FlyoutButtonCustom.html
http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info5502-AutoBar.html
http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/info9094-OPie.html
and this cuts down on extra buttons a lot.

Finally some bind all of their stuff directly to keys or just hide their actionbars, and monitor all their cooldowns via cooldown mods so they can alter the appearance, decide what cds to show and when and add various effects like opacity, graphics, sounds and so on, to individual cooldowns:
http://www.vranx.com/buffs.htm#timers
TellMeWhen, WeakAuras and Raven are popular choices for this.

For adding extra effects but to default bars, look into OmniCC (numerical timer and has CD finisher graphics if you wish). For showing cooldowns and timers on default bars at the same time, try InlineAura. For suggestions on rotation ie. indication of next best ability to press, try Ovale, Spellflash or Clcinfo.

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