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“Does this post have a point?”

August 12, 2010

So, I’m really bad at links. Like… I read lots of posts that make me go “Ooo, I should help spread that around”, but then I forget and then it never happens. I really should find a Chrome extension that’ll let me collect links without having to have stupid TextEdit open.

I have, however, updated my list o’blogs over on yon sidebar. The Pugging Pally isn’t a new blog, nor is Vidyala new on my radar – I’ve read her blog every so often for a while now, but never remembered to add her to my feed reader (which is how I update my links). Druid Main is similarly not new, but again, I just realised that Ice was not, in fact, on either my reader or my links. Which makes more sense than there having been no posts in the past three months, I suppose. >.>

I do want to put in a special plug for Lara over at Root and Branch, though, since she’s only been blogging for a month, and I know from recent experience how tough it is to get a blog off the ground. She kicked off with a hilarious and pithy Pugging Code of Ethics that had my sides aching, and followed with a simple and easy-to-understand pictorial guide to not standing in fire, a Shakespearian retelling of your quintessential Occulus run, a Dungeon Finder quick reference how-to, and a handful of other amusing and insightful posts. Honestly, guys, they are much more informative and thought provoking than my ramblings, why are you still here? READ LARA’S BLOG!

Ahem. That out of the way, I just had a little Twitter conversation with Ice from the aforementioned Druid Main blog. Apparently she has got some people asking about macros, and is going to make a macro post. Now, she did a series of five macro posts about a year ago: Macros for the Leveling Druid, and then an informative general set about how a macro is constructed, some more basics, targeting, and mouseovers and helping.

Now, to be fair, these are proving somewhat enlightening to me. I have never used macros until very recently, because I… never really understood what they were for or how to create them. The two I use most are just copypastas from Elitist Jerks, on Aislinn, and the only others are dorky macros that make me shout things when I cast a spell.

But the other night a few guildies and I pugged Serpentshrine Cavern, Tempest Keep, Hyjal, and Black Temple. Which was fun, as I got three new achievements and got to see some of the last expansion’s endgame. (Ashes of Alar actually dropped, by the way. I desperately wanted to win it. I did not. One of my guildie’s alts won it, but he gave it to Hano’s lv 77 mage who was on the run, since the mage is his new main. I went all starry-eyed and drooly when I saw it. SO PINK!) Anyway, diversion aside, when we were getting ready to start Vashj, Hano mentions we might want to macro /use Tainted Core in case we end up looting it, to save time. I did, and ended up using it once, and was… pleasantly surprised at how much pointless clicking and bag shuffling I had avoided.

So the next day, when my Tournament daily (the damn sword, stupid quest) was the “kiss frogs to get the sword oh and don’t forget to use this lip balm!” quest, I decided to try something. I made a very simple macro entitled “Kissy!”

/use Warts-B-Gone Lip Balm
/target Lake Frog
/kiss

I honestly didn’t think it would work. I mean, there was no way it COULD, right? I don’t know how to make macros, so this was probably missing some deeply important bit of code and it wouldn’t do shit. Except… it did work. It actually worked. As long as I didn’t press it too fast (letting the lip balm’s cooldown to finish), I didn’t get warts, and all I had to do was spam it until one of the frogs turned into a pretty girl with a sword!

Now, obviously macros aren’t good for EVERYTHING. The problem is, I’m not entirely sure what they ARE good for. I’m not entirely sure what their limitations are. So when Ice mentioned on Twitter that she wasn’t sure what people didn’t know about macros, I told her that. When are they actually useful? What are their limitations? What seems like it should work but doesn’t? I also mentioned that the syntax and logic doesn’t always make sense to me, and not being any sort of coder or programmer, even an amateur one, I’m not entirely sure what I should expect from the program logic. She has decided to make me a flowchart (with COLOUR!), apparently. I have to admit to not being at ALL displeased by this. The better I understand WHY it works the way it does, the easier it’ll be to understand how to bend it to my will get the results I want.

So, in summary, Lara’s blog is awesome; macros are confusing but I had an epiphany that involved a Naga, some lip balm, and a lot of frog-kissing; and Ice is pretty much awesomesauce.

Now, I think I wanna level my proto-Boomkin tonight…

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Lara permalink
    August 12, 2010 4:30 pm

    Thanks so much for the linking love, Apple! :) I’m happy you enjoyed the posts.

    • August 12, 2010 4:42 pm

      Aw, no problem! I figure any blogger can use all the linkage they can get, and I honestly enjoy all your posts so very much. .> *wanders off*

  2. Lara permalink
    August 12, 2010 4:39 pm

    Regarding macros: The full details of what you can and can’t do are a little complicated, but there are a couple of simple rules you can remember that should help make things clear:

    First, you can only trigger one GCD. You can /cast as many things as you like (and /cast is the same as /use as far as the game is concerned—even items are considered “spells”), but if one of them triggers a global cooldown, the rest will not happen. But you can do things like this (inspired by one of Vid’s posts):

    /use 13
    /use 14
    /cast Shoot

    (That is to say, “pop your trinkets, and then wand the mob”)

    Second, you can only explicitly change targets, using /target, /targetexact, etc., once. You can still do a lot of interesting stuff using conditions to change the target for an individual spell, but you’re not allowed to repeatedly change your actual target in the UI more than once.

    So, for example, I like to use this for a Shackle Undead macro on my priest:

    /cast [@focus,exists,harm,nodead] [] Shackle Undead

    This says, “if my focus exists, is an enemy, and is not dead, cast Shackle Undead on it; otherwise cast Shackle Undead on my main target.” (This isn’t a particularly sophisticated one, it just shows how you can use conditions a little bit). You can also write things like @targettarget, @focustarget, @mouseover, etc., to specify that the target for the spell should be one of those things.

    I use almost your exact macro when I’m doing that quest, too. :)

  3. August 12, 2010 10:13 pm

    Thanks for the link love! My first macro revisit post is up now (with a color coded flowchart, just for the lovely Apple) and I’ll be doing another more complex one tomorrow. I’m glad that my way of explaining can help people enjoy tweaking and using macros instead of going OMG A BRACKET and wasting time doing finicky things (like your bag shuffling).

    Oddly enough, the more complex the macro, the more fun it is to pick it apart and figure out how it works. Like clocks and tinker toys. Can you tell I’m going into the computer engineering field? XD

    • August 12, 2010 10:21 pm

      REALLY? Going into computer engineering? YOU? :P Never would’ve guessed.

      I’m definitely happy with your prettyshinyflowchart. It makes me a happy kitten. ^_^

  4. August 13, 2010 1:59 am

    A note on the macro, you can probably check the cooldown of the potion with this on top:

    #showtooltip Warts-B-Gone Lip Balm

    I’m no macro expert though, just thought I’d throw in my 2 cents.

    On a related note, I’ll be updating my blogroll somewhere soon (today, this weekend.. you know, soon) and I thought I’d shamelessly ask if you’d like to add me as well. Of course I’ll be adding your blog to my blogroll, obviously :)

    • August 13, 2010 6:17 am

      After poking around to see that #showtooltip is useful even if you DON’T need the little hovery tooltip, yes, I’m pretty sure that would get the cooldown. I’m totally adding that next time I have to go kiss frogs. :D

      Oh, you shameless thing! /laugh I will absolutely add you to my blogroll, since you asked so nicely.

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