Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Action Bar Unification

If I had 5 copper for every time I tried to use a class specific ability while playing another class I'd have epic flying on all five of my flight capable toons instead of just the one (and I only got that one through a guild fundraiser).

It was quite obvious to me that I'd never stop trying to blink on other toons after playing my mage for a while. I'd still fall back to a feral DPS rotation when I wasn't paying attention on my rogue. It is just how I am and there isn't any fighting it.

So the next best thing is to make it so it won't matter! Put similar abilities in the same places and suddenly an altaholics weakness becomes an advantage. Easier said than done, but over the past few weeks I have gotten pretty close.

This unification process also played a beneficial role in getting away from clicking and moving toward more key bindings. What better time to remap some muscle memory than when it will apply to all toons.

I started the move to key bindings in small steps weeks before I thought of unifying across toons. I can't reach 7-9,0,-,= so I remapped those action bar slots to Q, E, 7-9,0. I do all my turning and strafing with the mouse anyway so it was two more free buttons that are really easy to reach from WASD. I rearranged my bars on a couple toons to compensate for the new hot keys. Next I took a liking to F1-F5 and bound those to my lower left additional bar.

I was a notorious clicker so of course I had all four additional toolbars up all the time. :)

Some time later I still couldn't reach 7-9,0 so I bound those to some more nearby letters: R, F, T and G. I hadn't used any of these keys for their original functions for over a year so I wouldn't miss them. I've used /r to reply since forever because I just associate / with the chat frames. I've always done all my focus setting through macros and assisting someone blindly just doesn't work for me. I use pitbull for my unit frames which also display target frames which I grab targets off of when I need too. In any case it didn't impact my play style, but it might be more of an issue for some.

I had a vague sense of similarity between toons at this point which just kind of happened. The only key that really had a defined purpose was E which I used for AOE type abilities. Other than that it was whatever worked best.

In comes the unification movement! I started up a spreadsheet with a template outlining all my 6 standard action bars and started defining slots to certain generic abilities. I didn't get very many filled in so I just made a few copies and started plugging in actual abilities for a few characters I played most.

Through an interactive back and forth process the template started to take shape and today it is in a pretty good place. Still a work in progress though and probably will be until I play a max level toon of every class/spec and even then I'll end up tweaking something.

What keys do I have bound?

So right now I have F1 through F12 bound to my lower left additional action bar right above the default action bar. I can't reach F6-F12, but I wasn't using them for anything else and I figured I might take my hand off the mouse once in a blue moon and learn to use them.

On my default action bar I have 1-6, Q, E, R, F, T and G. I use ~ for push to talk over vent and the rest of the keys are still bound to their default actions with the exception of V and B. I have those two keys bound to action bars on the far right. They were the first two keys bound as a direct result of my template, I am thinking of using C as well if I find a reason.

What do I have bound where?

I use F1 through F3 somewhat flexibly as short term buffs and debuffs. Per encounter type abilities in DND terms. For my druid this is feral faerie fire, berserk, entangling roots/nature's grasp (with alt modifier). For my hunter: rapid fire, readiness and misdirection. DK: plague strike (I have a macro to put up diseases and use this as a backup in case the castsequence fails for some reason), horn of winter and hysteria. Resto shaman: water shield, earth shield and earthbind totem. Enh shaman: lightning shield, feral spirit and earthbind totem.

A bit verbose, but I think that gives a pretty good idea of the types of differences between classes when the template is somewhat vague. The next couple keys are more static in their function.

F4 is used to break snares, crowd control and/or movement impairing effects. A power shift macro for my druid to flip back into whatever form I am in, every man for himself for my humans, tremor totem for my shaman, escape artist on my gnome, etc. A common key to hit when I want to get out of something.

F5 is my emergency damage mitigation type ability. Barkskin for my druid, evasion for my rogue, deterrence on my hunter, stoneclaw totem on my shaman, etc. Yes stoneclaw totem isn't exactly the same like the others are, but the idea is that if I pull something I shouldn't it will buy me some time.

1-4 and Q make up my primary abilities for whatever class/spec I am using. These are the abilities you use multiple times every single fight. If you have a rotation (priority based or not), this is it. 3 and 4 are easiest for me to hit while moving around simultaneously so that is where I stick highly used abilities and/or abilities with an orientation requirement like having to be behind your target. Still I can only strafe left at the same time leading to lots of dizzying clockwise maneuvers when called for. 1 and Q come in second for ease of access and 2 takes my finger off the forward button so I usually stick something I don't use often or requires me to stand still there. I don't like standing still. :)

5 is another ability used pretty much every fight, but not as often. This would be a finishing move or something with a longer cooldown. For my druid this is rip, my hunter uses kill shot and my rogue uses rupture. For some healer love I use this for swiftmend on my druid and earth shock on my shaman (yes I do DPS when I can as a healer).

For tanks I use 4 and/or 5 as taunts.

One of my favorite keys is E! It's my spamming AOE key of doom. Arcane explosion on my mage, swipe on my druid, fan of knives one day on my rogue. Some classes have boring AOE (read not spammable), multi-shot for my hunter and chain lightning for my shaman.

Speaking of AOE you might be asking what about blizzard, volley, hurricane, etc. These abilities require you to target an area on the ground, generally near the middle of your screen. I stick these abilities on the right side of my lower left additional action bar (bound to F12, F11, etc). Since I have to move my mouse over there to target the ground anyway I just keep these abilities close and click twice to use them.

6 is also hard to reach, harder than any of my other keys I use on my keyboard. I use this for start of fight type abilities: stealth, hunter's mark, death grip, frostbolt (mage is leveling), etc. Pretty much a reflex when I am going to start trouble to hit 6.

R bring goes back to a more single purposed key mapping scheme. I use R to charge, blink, shadowstep and to blow the crap out of corpses on my DK. Some classes don't have a charge or blink like ability so R becomes just another relatively easy key to bind a frequently used ability to. In this case since R is very close to E I use it as a secondary AOE ability on my death knight.

Keeping similar abilities together on a class to class basis is just as important if not more so than keeping things the same between classes.

F is a stun, slow, snare ability. Bash for bears, maim for cats, kidney shot for rogues, frost shock for shamans, concussive shot for hunters, hammer of justice for pallies etc.

T is a spell interrupt. Kick, mind freeze, counterspell, silencing shot, etc. This and F are pretty important and beneficial to keep constant across all classes and specs. Having a reflexive stun and interrupt speeds reaction times for abilities where time matters.

The last slot on the default action bar I use for an aggro drop. Feign, feint, cower, etc. Classes that don't have such an ability like my death knight I have a second spell interrupt here. My shaman's spell interrupt is also an agrro reduction ability so I stuck a dispel ability here.

My last two key binds are V and B. I use V for a mana regen ability: aspect of the viper for my hunter, mana tide totem for my shaman, innervate for my druid, shamanistic rage for my shaman's DPS spec. For classes that don't use mana I wing it. For my dk this summons my ghoul and then sacrifices it for health (blood dks use ghouls for health pots). I was planning on using this for an energy drink on my rogue.

B I use for my most often cast long term buff. Mark/Gift of the wild on my druid, aspect of the dragonhawk on my hunter, weapon enchants and poisons for my shaman and rogue.

Just as an added note of awesomeness, I just started using B and V on my hunter last night and boy was that slick for flipping between dragonhawk and viper when getting mana. I hardly had to click anything at all and that was proof to myself right there that keybindings were improving my game play.

The rest of my unification is all clicking and rarely/intermittently used abilities. I stick things I use more towards the ends of bars where they are easier to find. I stick all my buffs at the top of my two additional action bars on the right side. This includes the new drums my leatherworker can make. In the middle I have engineering stuff on my engineers, quest items, and more or less random stuff. I keep most the class unique/specific utility abilities on the lower right additional action bar nice and spread out if I can. That leaves a big hole in the middle of the right side action bars on most toons.

At the bottom right side I have a nice big block of stuff that stays pretty constant between all toons: mount, hearth, rez, health regen/bandage, drink, eat, mana regen, healthstone, mana potion, health potions and my two trinkets.

For professions and some abilities that are rarely if ever used I use the second action bar accessible by hitting the up/down buttons on the right side of the defaults action bar. The only class I am using this for abilities is my hunter. Tame beast and beast lore are used like never, but I don't want to look through my spell book when I want them.

Thoughts action bar complexity by class?

From the worst (hardest to set up) action bar experience to the best (easiest to set up).

Hunters suck! Especially if you are an engineer. You will fill every single action bar slot and still want more. That is with a very high comfort level with macros. If you don't use macros you cannot play a hunter correctly, sad but true. That must be the root cause of the huntard phenomenon.

Warlocks are the caster versions of hunters. Well maybe not that bad, but they certainly have a lot of abilities. A moderate use of macros goes a long way in keeping thing clean. I've only recently hit 20 and and am little overwhelmed, hopefully it doesn't get worse.

Rogues are pretty clean, but a lot of utility stuff that you almost want to bind, but just don't have the room. They are worse than hunters in that respect, but overall there is lots of room to go around to click stuff.

I don't play a priest, but I am guessing they fall somewhere around here.

Shamans suffer from the same problems as hunters with just too much if you stick it all on you bars, but not quite as bad. Using a totem managing add-on like totem timers or even the default totem manager blizzard stuck in cleaned things up considerably. You don't need to keep all your buff totems on your bars, just a few situational ones.

Druids with all their abilities and complexities are very surprisingly simple when it comes to action bars. Hiding a lot of abilities inside different forms really cleans things up for what you see at any given time. Going to have to use some macros if you plan on going feral DPS since the cat form has more abilities than can fit on a bar. Other specs are fine without, but better with macros.

Death knights with proper macros clean up real nice. Without macros they still aren't terrible. Abilities like rune strike which when not macroed must be constantly monitored and are just annoying.

I don't play a warrior, but I am guessing they fall around here.

Mages have a lot of stuff, but a lot of it isn't useful depending on spec, once you figure out what is what things get a lot simpler. Not much need for macros here. All those teleports/portals to different cities will tank their toll with time.

Paladins have so few abilities and so many keys to bind them too. Well actually they have about as many as other classes (most of which are buffs), but a very small subset is used at any given time.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Hunter Macros (Marksman Engineer)


They share a cooldown so why not a button, why not indeed. Hit this button to fire an aimed shot or right click it to fire a Multi-Shot. Since I am already clicking when there is AOE involved for Volley it makes sense for me to click for Multi-Shot as well. There is also a bunch of other stuff here, we'll talk about that next.

/cast [button:2] Multi-Shot; Aimed Shot
/cast [target=pettarget, exists] !Kill Command
/use 10
/cast [nomodifier] Silencing Shot
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

Kill Command/Rocket Launcher/Silencing Shot

All nice abilities off the global cooldown which do more damage. Kill command is another one of those abilities that requires babysitting when not used in conjunction with a macro. There isn't any thought behind it other than, "Oh it is active, I should use that." So I added it to all my core abilities with macros.

Engineers such as myself have the option of a hand mounted pyro rocket launcher on their gloves. It is on a forty-five second cooldown and not too much fun to watch so I added that to my core abilities as well.

Finally I have Silencing Shot added in there. Most of the time you never need it and it goes wasted, but for a little more mana it does do damage and is off the global cooldown. More damage! Hold down alt/shift/ctrl to save it for fights where you actually want it, then just let go of the modifier key and it will fire off with your next shot.

/cast Serpent Sting
/cast [target=pettarget, exists] !Kill Command
/use 10
/cast [nomodifier] Silencing Shot
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

/cast Arcane Shot
/cast [target=pettarget, exists] !Kill Command
/use 10
/cast [nomodifier] Silencing Shot
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

/cast Chimera Shot
/cast [target=pettarget, exists] !Kill Command
/use 10
/cast Silencing Shot
/script [nomodifier] UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

/cast Steady Shot
/cast [target=pettarget, exists] !Kill Command
/use 10
/cast [nomodifier] Silencing Shot
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

Melee Hunter!

Hunter's have three melee abilities, only two of which require a spot on your action bars: Wing Clip and Mongoose Bite. At the same time these will both queue a Raptor Strike for your next melee swing as well as issue your pet a kill command if available.

/cast Wing Clip
/cast [target=pettarget, exists] !Kill Command
/cast Raptor Strike
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

/cast Mongoose Bite
/cast [target=pettarget, exists] !Kill Command
/cast Raptor Strike
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

All In One Pet Button

Revives your pet if it is dead, calls your pet if isn't with you and mends your pet when your pet is with you. Sometimes your pet is both dead and not with you (corpse disappeared) in which case right click to revive your pet. Right clicking when your pet is with you will dismiss it.

/cast [btn:2,nopet] Revive Pet; [btn:2] Dismiss Pet; [target=pet,dead] Revive Pet; [nopet] Call Pet; Mend Pet

Aspect of the Cheetah/Pack

Combines the two aspects into a single button. When in a group pack is used and when alone cheetah is used. Right clicking will use cheetah in a group (catch up without getting anyone stunned) or pack outside a group (not sure why, but why not).

/cast [group, btn:2] Aspect of the Cheetah; [group, btn:1] Aspect of the Pack; [btn:1] Aspect of the Cheetah; Aspect of the Pack

Aspect of the Beast/Dragonhawk

Combines Aspect of the Beast used to have your pet produce more threat while soloing with Aspect of the Dragonhawk used to increase damage done while grouping. Right clicking will activate the other aspect in case you want to use Aspect of the Pack in a battleground to avoid track humanoids or something.

/cast [group, btn:2] Aspect of the Beast; [group, btn:1] Aspect of the Dragonhawk; [btn:1] Aspect of the Beast; Aspect of the Dragonhawk

Fire Traps

Left click for a single target immolation trap, right click for an area of effect explosive trap.

/cast [button:2] Explosive Trap; Immolation Trap

Ice Traps

Left click for a single target freezing trap, right click for an area of effect frost trap. Will also stop any casts in progress to get the trap down right away.

/cast [button:2] Frost Trap; Freezing Trap

Hunter's Mark

Put your Hunter's Mark on your target and send your pet to attack it at the same time. If you are in a group then your pet won't attack unless you hold a modifier key (alt, shift or ctrl). When not in a group you can keep your pet from attacking by holding down a modifier key.

/cast Hunter's Mark
/petattack [group, modifier][nogroup, nomodifier]


Will misdirect onto your focus target if they are in your party/raid, friendly and alive, if not then whoever you have targeted if they meet those same requirements, and finally your pet if it is with you and alive. If none of those three targets are available then you will just get a hand icon to click on someone to misdirect to. Right clicking will set your focus target.

#showtooltip Misdirection
/focus [button:2]
/stopmacro [button:2]
/cast [target=focus,nodead,help,raid][nodead,help,raid][target=pet,exists,nodead][] Misdirection


Left click activates hearthstone, left click will teleport to Gadgetzan and alt/shift/ctrl right click will teleport to Toshley's Station in Blade's Edge. Eventually when I can make the wormhole generator I will integrate that into the macro as alt/shift/ctrl and a left click.

/cast [modifier,btn:2] Ultrasafe Transporter: Toshley's Station; [btn:2] Ultrasafe Transporter: Gadgetzan; Hearthstone

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Choosing Professions

I've put some thought into this lately figuring out what professions to pick for my alts and then leveling up those professions.

Since WotLK there is much less pressure to get the "right" professions on your toons. Most crafted items are bind on equip so you can send them to whichever alt needs them. Give or take the rewards from each crafting profession are pretty balanced as well. So when you get to 80 it won't really matter.

There is a little more pressure if you are leveling up without the support of a bunch of alts. Blacksmithing on a cloth wearer for example would be perfectly acceptable when it came to the end game to craft gear for your plate wearer, but leveling alone with it would be pretty lame.

So lets take a look at each of the professions and see what it can do for us, who can most benefit from it and how much work is involved in skilling up.

Herbalism - Lifeblood is pretty awesome for leveling once you get your skill high enough to use it. Particularly true for classes that can't heal themselves. That's you mages, rogues, hunters, warriors and warlocks, this could save your life. End game this is less useful than other profession perks, but if you need herbs this is not an option.

The downside is you have to go out of your way to pick up herbs, adding a bit of time to your leveling. With the accelerated leveling through lower level content you spend even more time skilling up instead of leveling since it is easy to move to a new questing area where you find you aren't skilled enough to pick the herbs. Then you have to go back to a lower level area and farm herbs to catch up. This is true of most gathering professions, but herbalism is a little worse due to the fact that skill levels required are much more graduated than say mining. There are many situations where you need to pass up an herb until you get 10 or 15 more skill levels.

Alchemy - You'll have lots of health and mana potions leveling up as well as other utility and buff potions which are fun. Things like water breathing, water walking, invisibility, etc. come in handy in certain situations if your class isn't already capable of such things. There is something for everyone here regardless of class or spec. End game introduces a number of potions with infinite uses (health, mana and a SP/AP flask) which save money and potentially bag space. Other than that you find more herbs (hopefully you or an alt have herbalism trained to a comparable level) and make consumables, endless farming, ew.

Inscription - I've not really got into this yet, but it seems more or less useless for leveling. Basically you make glyphs which you can buy in the auction house for less than the cost of the mats since many of the popular glyphs are made just to train up the skill. You can also make vellum which enchanters love, but again auction house is usually easier. There is a hearth scroll you can make which puts you on par with shamans in how many times you can hearth an hour, but they are consumables. End game there are a number of shoulder inscriptions comparable to the Sons of Hodir reputation rewards, but just a wee bit better to justify the profession. Again you need herbalism to support it, lots of herbing. I'm doing this last basically since I didn't have it on any toon.

Enchanting - Magically disintegrate items into base components and use them to enhance other items. This is another one of those auction house is easier and sometimes better professions, but it has perks. You get the end game bonuses of any other crafting profession in the form of ring enchants. You can disenchant quest rewards and magic items you find to save bag space and level up your profession; no need to go out of your way to farm mats. While leveling you'll probably be enchanting your own gear which you normally wouldn't be if you had to buy those enchants. That is a lot of stats you have leveling you wouldn't normally. Good for any class/spec, you don't have to be a magic savy class to be an enchanter strange as it might be. Downside would be having the extra job of handling shard distribution in groups and any profit from selling disenchantable items goes to your profession instead of your purse while leveling.

I have disenchanting on my rogue and basically leveled her high enough to be able to disenchant any greens I got to make mats to have other enchanters enchant my gear for me. I since took a fancy to my rogue and leveled her high enough to have access to end game enchants herself and can enchant my other toons by using vellum. I paired it up with tailoring (more on that next) which also doesn't require a gathering profession to support it and produced many green items skilling up which I then disenchanted. Any crafting profession is handy for this reason, but all the others need a gathering profession to generate mats.

Tailoring - Useful for cloth wearers leveling up, or to supply cloth wearing alts, or in my case just to make bags (I like to be self sufficient). The main benefit is that you don't need to gather mats aside from just killing stuff normally and looting cloth. That also comes with a disadvantage if you wanted to level up your first aid at the same time as they compete for materials. If I had to do it all over I probably would not of chosen this for a rogue, but end game tailoring has perks that benefit rogues as well so no harm done.

Skinning - Another gathering profession good for anyone interested in taking up leatherworking or making a little money. It would most benefit a melee class or hunter, but only because those are the classes that will need leatherworking mats (arctic furs) for leg enchants later. All classes can benefit from the critical hit chance bonus provided, but casters leg enhancements are made by tailors. Of all the gathering skills skinning doesn't require you to go out of your way, you just skin stuff you kill. Similarly to other gathering professions, due to accelerated leveling you might need to grind your skill up a little from time to time to keep up.

Leatherworking - Useful for leather and mail wearers, or to supply leather or mail wearing alts. That would be hunters, druids, rogues and shamen. Again there is no wrong profession as there are end game perks useful to all classes and specs. End game also has drums to emulate blessing of kings and gift of the wild so non-paladins/druids can share those buffs with their party.

Mining - My least favorite gathering profession, least favorite profession even. I love engineering though so it is a necessarily evil. I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone aside from supporting engineering or blacksmithing. The perk is a stamina buff, which while nice isn't compelling except for perhaps tanks and even then a minor buff (pun very much intended).

Blacksmithing - Useful for mail/plate wearers, or to supply mail/plate wearing alts. That's death knights, paladins and warriors. The main end game perk is additional sockets to put on your gear. Those require gems to be useful though and that costs more money than other profession perks do.

Engineering - My favorite profession because it is fun! There are a lot of toys to play with, some of which are even useful at times. Anyone can benefit from it, hunters especially right now due to ammo alone. The best ammo right now can only be made by engineers, but that could change tomorrow and hunters go back to buying from NPCs. The only downside is the amount to mining you will do to level it up. Another lesser downside is that the engineering enchants aren't perfect for every class/spec. For example the parachute cloak enchant is agility or spellpower and there are classes like death knights that don't really like agility, but it's better than spellpower. Still a small price to pay for a little fun, you can always forgo an engineering enchancement in favor of a more acceptable enchant. Lots of awsome utility type things like portable mailboxes, auction house in dalaran, repair bots, remote bank access, teleporters. No profession comes close to the variety of engineering.

Jewelcrafting - This ranks down there with inscription for me since the auction house is a competitive alternative to this profession. You can make some nicer gems for yourself to gain benefits similar to other professions, but at what cost? There are items to benefit any class/spec though which are handy while leveling if you keep your skill up as you level. End game patterns are bought via jewelcrafting dailies rather than from mats or vendors like other professions.

That's nice, but what professions should I choose?

For new players or new toons without other toons supporting it I'd suggest picking something specific to your armor type. For any cloth wearers that'd be enchanting/tailoring, for leather/mail wearers skinning/leatherworking and for plate wearers mining/blacksmithing.

In general I'd suggest herbalism/alchemy or mining/engineering for everyone and anyone. Those are my two favorites and enchanting/tailoring comes in close behind those two even if you can't make use of cloth items.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Death Knight Macros (Blood)

Icy Touch/Plague Strike

Your two openers combined into a single button. I also suggest keeping Plague Strike somewhere handy on your bar in case it misses for whatever reason or you need to refresh one but not the other. I keep this macro on my 1 key and Plaque Strike alone on my F1 key. I don't have to hit it often, but I find it convenient. Right clicking or holding a modifier will always cast Icy Touch for situations where you need to stay ranged, but still want to hit something. My death knight is also an engineer so I use my glove enchant every chance I get in macros rather than actually remembering to use it, but only in my DPS spec; I use my mitigation glove enchant when tanking more carefully.

/use [btn:2][mod] Icy Touch
/castsequence [btn:1,nomod] reset=5 Icy Touch, Plague Strike
/use [spec:2] 10
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()


Death knights have a ton of abilities, many of which are pretty situational, like outbreak. It's not something that you use all the time, but is really handy in a pinch. I ended up hiding it behind pestilence because it made the most sense to me. I often hit my pestilence key with a modifier to apply diseases and then let go of the modifier and hit it again to spread them. It's great for getting aggro quickly on an AOE group.

/use [btn:2][mod] Outbreak; Pestilence

Chains of Ice/Festering Strike

Festering strike is another ability which is highly situational. In fact I doubt anyone not PVPing would even miss it if it disappeared tomorrow. It is accessible by using a modifier with or right clicking chains of ice by using this macro. Makes sense considering that it extends chains of ice among other things.

/use [btn:2][mod] Festering Strike; Chains of Ice

Resurrection Announcement

Communication is important when it comes to resurrecting, especially during battle. Also helps to announce when mass resurrection is being used so people don't try to run back. The following macro uses raise ally in combat and out of combat it uses the gnomish army knife or mass resurrection with a right click. In addition a customize message for each thanks to some LUA magic.

/use [combat] Raise Ally;[btn:2] Mass Resurrection; Gnomish Army Knife
/run p=SecureCmdOptionParse SendChatMessage('I am '..p("[btn:1,nocombat]defibrillating;raising")..' '..p("[btn:2,nocombat]everyone!;[noexists][nodead]someone nearby.;%t!"))

For non-engineers this would be:

/use [combat] Raise Ally; Mass Resurrection
/run SendChatMessage('I am raising '..SecureCmdOptionParse("[nocombat]everyone!;[noexists][nodead]someone nearby.;%t!"))

Darkflight/Path of Frost

This is sort of worgen specific and sort of not, you can replace darkflight with the utility ability of your choosing. When mounted or swimming path of frost is use otherwise darkflight. Using a modifier will cause the opposite ability to be used.

/use [mounted,nomod][swimming,nomod][nomounted,noswimming,mod] Path of Frost; Darkflight

Frost Strike/Death Coil

For frost death coil isn't ever use except on the off chance you need to hit something from ranged. This macro does just that by casting death coil when using frost strike while holding a modifier key down.

/use [mod] Death Coil; Frost Strike
/use 10
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

Obliterate/Death Strike

Similarly for frost death strike isn't really used aside from self healing as needed. So this macro allows you to death strike using your obliterate key with a modifier.

/cast [mod] Death Strike; Obliterate
/use 10
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

Bone Shield/Icebound Fortitude

Now for a tanking one. This macro only allows icebound fortitude to be use in combat so it isn't possible to accidentally burn a mitigation cooldown when it won't be used. This is also where I use my engineering mitigation glove enchant, but again only in combat.

/use [nocombat][btn:2][mod] Bone Shield; Icebound Fortitude
/use [combat] 10
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()


When under the effects of the lichborne buff you become undead and can therefore heal yourself with your own Death Coils should you choose. This macro allows you to spam death coils onto yourself after hitting lichborne all with the same button. That's a lot of death coils! I added one for each second of the lichborne buff in case by some freak of nature you manage to get that many off and besides it's not like it hurts to have them there.

/castsequence [@player] reset=12 Lichborne, Death Coil, Death Coil, Death Coil, Death Coil, Death Coil, Death Coil, Death Coil, Death Coil, Death Coil, Death Coil

Ghoul Health Pot

Some death knights keep ghouls around for pets, I don't much care for ghouls and prefer to use them as two minute health potions. Hit it once to summon a ghoul and a second time to sacrifice your ghoul for a health boost. There is a two minute timer on your ghoul without talents so if you don't sacrifice it in that time then the button resets to summon a ghoul again.

/castsequence reset=120 Raise Dead, Death Pact

Hearth/Death Gate/Have Group, Will Travel/Dimensional Ripper/Wormhole Generator

Click to use hearthstone or right click to open a death gate. When in a group right clicking will summon your group/raid unless you hold a modifier key to open a death gate as if you weren't in a group. As added bonus holding down one of the three modifier keys will use a different engineering teleportation device.

/use [btn:2,group,nomod] Have Group, Will Travel; [btn:2] Death Gate; [mod:alt] Wormhole Generator: Northrend; [mod:ctrl] Dimensional Ripper - Everlook; [mod:shift] Dimensional Ripper - Area 52; Hearthstone

For you non-engineers this would be:

/use [btn:2,group,nomod] Have Group, Will Travel; [btn:2] Death Gate; Hearthstone

Mounts/Running Wild

I'll include my mount macro here since my worgen death knight varies from all my other toons in that I have two ground mount possibilities I like to use. Using a modifier while swimming with use the seahorse, otherwise the deathcharger. Aside from that clicking will summon a flying mount when possible and revert to a ground mount. Right clicking will use a ground mount no matter what.

/cast [mod,swimming] Abyssal Seahorse; [mod] Acherus Deathcharger; [flyable,btn:1] Winged Steed of the Ebon Blade; Running Wild

Shaman Macros (Restoration/Enhancement)

Healing Wave/Lightning Bolt

Cast lightning on unfriendly targets or heals on friendly ones.

/cast [mod:alt,@player][noharm] Healing Wave; Lightning Bolt

Chain Lightning/Heal

Cast lightning on unfriendly targets or heals on friendly ones.

/cast [mod:alt,@player][noharm] Chain Heal; Chain Lightning

Resurrection with Announcement

Let everyone know you are resurrecting someone at the start of your cast.

/run R=R or CreateFrame("Frame")R:RegisterEvent("UNIT_SPELLCAST_SENT")R:SetScript("OnEvent",function(R,E,T,T,T,T)SendChatMessage("I am resurrecting "..(T or UnitName("mouseover")),"SAY")R:UnregisterEvent(E)end)
/cast Ancestral Spirit

Fire Totems

Left click for a single target Searing Totem and right click for an area of effect Magma Totem.

/cast [btn:2] Magma Totem; Searing Totem

Windfury/Flametongue Weapon

(Re)Buff enhancement shaman weapons. Places windfury on your main hand and flametongue on your offhand weapon.

/castsequence reset=5 Windfury Weapon, Flametongue Weapon
/click StaticPopup1Button1

Hearth/Astral Recall

Use Astral Recall to return to hearthstone location or use hearthstone with a right click.

#showtooltip Astral Recall
/cast [button:2] Hearthstone; Astral Recall

Friday, November 6, 2009

My Macros

A compilation of all the macros I currently use, I split out the class specific macros to the following posts:

Druid Specific Macros
Shaman Specific Macros
Death Knight Specific Macros
Hunter Specific Macros
Rogue Specific Macros

Here is a listing of all my generic macros that aren't specific to any class in particular.

Mage Food/Healthstone

I get a chuckle out of combining the items supplied to me by two adversarial classes into a single macro. That and it makes sense, mage food is only useful out of combat and healthstones are only really useful in combat. I included the pre-85 mage food as well for leveling alts with mages that don't quite have the best food yet. You could also add some vendor food/drink to fall back on the same way. I have a separate action bar slots for my vendor food and drink currently, but I may make macros for them eventually.

/use [combat] Healthstone, Conjured Mana Cake
/use [nocombat] Conjured Mana Strudel
/run UIErrorsFrame:Clear()

Show/Hide Helmet or Cloak

I like to play around with my helmet or cloak sometimes and occasionally pull one of these macros up onto my action bars. Just toggles your helmet/cloak from showing to not showing or vice versa.

/run ShowHelm(not ShowingHelm())

/run ShowCloak(not ShowingCloak())


Sometimes I just can't help myself and mark even when I'm not tanking. I have a small macro to stick a skull on my current target when I left click and a cross when I right click or use a modifier.

/run SetRaidTargetIcon("target",SecureCmdOptionParse([btn:1,nomod]8;7))

Alternatively you could use modifiers to make every raid mark available in a single button, but I'm still trying to decide if such a thing is useful.

/run SetRaidTargetIcon("target",SecureCmdOptionParse([btn:1,nomod]8;[btn:1,mod:alt]5;[btn:1,mod:ctrl]4;[btn:1,mod:shift]1;[nomod]7;[mod:alt]6;[mod:ctrl]3;[mod:shift]2))


Few toons, duals specs on some, and multiple sets of gear on all leads to a lot of different trinkets. I have a couple macros to use my trinkets and show their cooldowns right on my action bars. Also serves as a nice sanity check to make sure you have the right gear equipped.

/use 13

/use 14


The most recent incarnation of my mount macro includes combining it with another ability that is only used in combat. This serves three purposes: it cleans up my action bars, I can't accidentally hit my combat only ability out of combat, and I get a speedy hotkey to mount.

The ability I've chosen for all of my toons is a crowd control and/or snare removal ability. For druids this would be "power shifting" or shifting out of and back into your current form, expending a global cooldown in the process. Obviously shifting forms isn't something that burns a cooldown out of combat, but I'm just being consistent between toons. I've also got my mount combined with Cloak of Shadows (Rogue), Tremor Totem (Shaman), Lichborne (Death Knight), Fear Ward (Priest), Master's Call (Hunter), Escape Artist (Gnome), and Hand of Freedom (Paladin).

Right now everyone has 3-4 mounts they use on a regular basis: an Abyssal Seahorse, a flying mount, a ground mount, and perhaps an additional RP type mount. I know my Worgen have use an additional ground mount just for fun when they don't want to use Running Wild. So keeping all of these things in mind my mount macros look something like the following:

Worgen Rogue

/use [combat] Cloak of Shadows; [btn:2] Black Stallion; [swimming,mod] Abyssal Seahorse; [flyable,nomod] Magnificent Flying Carpet; Running Wild


/use [nocombat,swimming,mod] Abyssal Seahorse; [nocombat,flyable,nomod] Swift Flight Form; [nocombat] Swift Zulian Panther; [form:1] !Bear Form; [form:2] !Aquatic Form; [form:3] !Cat Form; [form:5] !Moonkin Form; !Travel Form

As you can see out of combat the Abyssal Seahorse will only be used if you are swimming and using a modifier key, otherwise if you can fly it will use your flying mount and otherwise your ground mount. In the case of my Worgen I use a right click to use an alternative ground mount. Using a modifier will also use your ground mount over your flying mount, sometimes it comes in handy. In combat these macros behave just like the ability or abilities you combined it with.

Druid Macros

Hearth/Teleport to Moonglade/Have Group, Will Travel

Combines your hearthstone, Moonglade teleport and group summon guild perk into a single button. Left click will always hearth. When not in a group and right clicking will teleport to Moonglade. When in a group right clicking will summon your group and hold down a modifier and right clicking will teleport to Moonglade.

/cast [btn:2,group,nomod] Have Group, Will Travel; [btn:2] Teleport: Moonglade; Hearthstone

Barkskin/Mark of the Wild

I wanted to make my druid buff more accessible, but not take up another precious hot key so I combined it with barkskin which I never use out of combat (and this macro ensure that I never will on accident either). So in combat barkskin will be used, unless a modifier is pressed for buffing in the middle of combat. Out of combat mark of the wild will be used.

/use [nomod,combat] Barkskin; Mark of the Wild

Resurrect with Announcement

With multiple people able to resurrect it is helpful to let everyone around you know that you are doing it. This macro also combines Rebirth and Revive so you never accidentally use your battle rez out of combat in addition to putting them both on a single button. Now with mass resurrection!

/use [combat] Rebirth; [btn:2] Mass Resurrection; Revive
/run SendChatMessage("I am reviving "..SecureCmdOptionParse("[btn:2,nocombat]everybody!;[noexists][nodead]somebody nearby.;%t!"))

Power Shift

Kind of a misnomer at this point seeing as this won't give you more energy in cat form anymore, but it still provides a way to generate a little rage in a pinch when talented for it. Mostly it is a means to shift out of your current form and back into the same form with one button and remove any movement impairing effects. Since cataclysm removed the ambiguity for form:5 this macro now works for all druid specs without modification.

/cast [form:1] !Bear Form; [form:2] !Aquatic Form; [form:3] !Cat Form; [form:4] !Travel Form; [form:5] !Moonkin Form; [nocombat,flyable] !Swift Flight Form; !Travel Form

Healing Spell/Damage Spell

There are a lot of healing spells and a lot of damage spells, neither of which are particularly useful to a feral druid, and only half of them are useful for a balance or restoration druid. So I combined the majority of healing/damage spells into single buttons which change depending on target to save a bit of space. When a hostile target is selected the button will use a damage spell and when a friendly target or no target is selected a heal will be cast. Using the alt modifier will do a self heal.

/cast [mod,@player][noharm] Regrowth; Starfire

/cast [mod,@player][noharm] Nourish; Wrath

/cast [mod,@player][noharm] Rejuvenation; Moonfire

/cast [mod,@player][noharm] Lifebloom; Insect Swarm


Cleanses a friendly target of a poison, curse or possibly a magic effect if resto or if a hostile target is selected it will cast soothe to remove an enrage effect. Using the alt modifier will self cleanse.

/use [mod,@player][noharm] Remove Corruption; Soothe

Cat "Stealth Bar" and Feral Consolidation

There are a few more cat abilities that can actually fit on your cat bar (ditto for bears). The cat overcrowding stems from the fact that cats don't benefit from a separate stealth bar like rogues do, but you can use macros to emulate one.

Bears on the other hand just have too many abilities to fit on your bear form bar, period. One option would be to put some abilities up onto other bars which are accessible all the time, but then you have to look at unusable abilities when you aren't in bear form. My solution was to combine a few related abilities to make it all fit.

Once you start making macros for all these different druid abilities you actually start to run out of slots to create macros. In fact using all of the macros on this page will fill every slot (assuming one macro spot reserved for mounts). To keep my number of macros down I've combined each of my cat macros with a bear macro and just added the additional check to see what form I am in. The following few macros employ all three of these ideas.

Cat: Ravage/Shred, Bear: Challenging Roar/Growl

When in cat form use ravage while stealthed, otherwise use shred. When in bear form use growl and if a modifier is pressed use challenging roar.

/use [stealth] Ravage; [form:1,mod] Challenging Roar; [form:1] Growl; Shred

Cat: Pounce/Shred, Caster: Nature's Swiftness/Healing Touch

This one is a little different, instead of sneaking in a bear ability I included a caster ability. Since caster form and moonkin form are both mutually exclusive as are cat and bear form it is possible to combine a macro that does something different in up to all four cases. Something to keep in mind should you choose to customize some of this.

When in cat form use pounce while stealthed, otherwise use rake. When not in cat form (i.e. caster/tree form) use nature's swiftness and healing touch. I have an extra check to make sure I am in my secondary spec before casting nature's swiftness since my other spec is feral. You can replace [spec:2] with [spec:1] if your primary spec is restoration or remove it completely since you don't have to have it on your bar in specs that don't make sense.

/use [noform:3,spec:2] Nature's Swiftness
/use [noform:3] Healing Touch
/stopmacro [noform:3]
/use [stealth] Pounce; Rake

Cat: Prowl/Ferocious Bite, Bear: Swipe/Thrash

When in cat form use ferocious bite while in combat or not stealthed, otherwise use prowl. Since you can't stealth in combat, and also will never use a finisher while stealthed over an opener, it is convenient to combine prowl and a finishing move.

When in bear form use a castsequence that alternates swipe and thrash. Since swipe is cheaper I stuck it first in the sequence since at the start of a pull it is more likely to be available. Added another swipe at the end since swipe's cooldown was lowered to 3 seconds from 6.

/castsequence [form:1] reset=6 Swipe(Bear), Thrash, Swipe(Bear)
/use [combat,nostealth] Ferocious Bite; Prowl

Universal Faerie Fire plus Marking

When in cat or bear forms Feral Faerie Fire will be used and regular Faerie Fire otherwise. Since I use this ability to pull while tanking I also incorporated a way to quickly mark a target with a skull and let people know to attack it.

/cast [form:1/3] Faerie Fire (Feral)(); Faerie Fire
/stopmacro [btn:1]
/run SetRaidTarget("target",8)
/s Please assist me in killing %t {Skull}!

Crowd Control a Focus Target

Druids have quite a few crowd control options available and there are times when you'd like to focus on keeping a particular target locked down. The following macros will crowd control your focus target if your focus target is alive and hostile, otherwise the ability will behave as usual and cast on your current target or switch to a hand cursor to select a target if you didn't have anything targeted.

If you don't currently have a focus target or your focus target is dead using one of these macros will set your focus to be your current target. Right clicking won't cast anything, but will force your focus to your current target no matter what. I often use these macros to set a focus target for whatever reason.

Finally sometimes druids will crowd control more than one target, but we only have one focus to work with. Holding down a modifier will crowd control you current target and ignore your focus if you have one and set it if you didn't.

/focus [btn:2][@focus,noexists][@focus,dead]
/stopmacro [btn:2]
/use [mod][@focus,exists,nodead,harm][] Entangling Roots

/focus [btn:2][@focus,noexists][@focus,dead]
/stopmacro [btn:2]
/use [mod][@focus,exists,nodead,harm][] Hibernate

/focus [btn:2][@focus,noexists][@focus,dead]
/stopmacro [btn:2]
/use [mod][@focus,exists,nodead,harm][] Cyclone

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I've been sitting on this for a while, but I finally cleaned up the simple utility I was using to split apart my combat log files after a week or so of raiding to the point where I feel comfortable sharing it.

Once upon a time I used to wait a few seconds loading log files into wordpad (the only text editor handy that can handle it) and search by date for where the break the file. Then since the log from a raid is still too large for the clipboard I had to delete the parts I didn't want and save to a different file (careful not to overwrite the original combat log file). Then repeat over and over for as many logs as I needed to split out.

I did that for a few weeks before deciding it would be easier to write a program to do that and some of the other repetitive tasks I was doing like naming the files by raid name and date. So I wrote a quick program to parse the file, find the breaks and write out smaller logs. A little speed tweaking later and there is sat for a few more weeks. Usable, but not quite there.

So now I've got the finishing touches on it where you can set up how long to wait before splitting to a new log file (minimum time between raids), name output files automatically by raid name if one was configured, directory to look for combat logs, directory to save into, etc.

Without further ado, download it here and try it out for yourself. I repurposed a website I had made a couple years ago and just ripped out the old content so it's pretty sparse, but it works. If you have any feedback feel free to comment. I draw the line at automatically uploading stats to various website (there are too many and they change too often), but anything short of that is fair game.


Pretty isn't it? I never much cared for screen shots as they leave nothing up to the imagination. With an "artistic rendition" from paintbrush you can imagine your own favorite add-ons and whatnot instead of wondering why I was targeting some guy named Napkins who was recently defeated in a duel by Coolguy (true story, kind of an inside joke now for stupid names).

Anyway I use a lot of the default UI and placement, since it is easier to transition as old mods die and new ones are born from release to release and sometimes playing on a computer without mods (gasp).

I also use the same UI for all my toons which is why I prefer mods that are more generic and customizable to something out of the box that only works for one class and/or spec. I've recently begun trying to standardize my action bars across toons as well so that similar abilities are in more or less the same places to have muscle memory work with me instead of against me when I switch to an alt. It was a little hairy for a while, but well worth it.

If you're at all interested in what mods I am using specifically I have a link to the right listing them all with links to go and download them.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Disturbing Trend

10$ for a pet. Sure that's way cheaper than those noisy murlocs "sold" in the past, but it somehow doesn't sit right with me. Sure there was some cost in paying the artist who made the pet, but surely not anywhere near the potential profit. It's like stealing, but with permission.

I was a little unsettled by realm transfers, then character recustomizations, then faction changes, now race changes. I did actually transfer my death knight from horde to alliance to get more play time out of it. I justified that by taking into account the amount of time it would take to delete the character and level it up again.

I'll might even take advantage of the race change option as well for a similar reason, but the difference will be my race doesn't affect how much I can play my character. That makes it less of a split second, this is the right thing for me to do, type decision. I'll mull it over for a good long while. Last time I thought about it I was all for it, today not so much.

I pay a monthly fee to play the game and I feel I get my money's worth in entertainment value. I don't however relish the idea of Blizzard deciding which new features are worth even more money on top of that and which are included. I can say without a doubt in my mind that WoW could run forever on subscription fees alone and turn a profit. The fact that I have to shell out another 40 bucks for an expansion seems greedy on Blizzard's part. Hell I wont even get a discount for having paid my subscription for the entire previous expansion.

Oh and the spectral tiger mount scam they fixed by making the item boe, they totally reintroduced it with these new pets. The pets will have to be bind on account to avoid people from making new level 1's just to get a new copy of the pet and auction it. So there will be people selling codes and tricking people as before. Told ya so?

It is nice that they give away half of their pure profit on the one pet to charity though. I'm sure it was done for tax reasons more so than as an act of good will.

When does it come to a point where you pay for certain instances to be available outside of an expansion purchase? Or pay for the ability to learn new dances? Oh crap, I planted the seed.

I am blissfully unaware of my monthly subscription fee since I don't have to be reminded of it constantly. Start flashing more and more price tags at me and I am quite likely to say enough is enough even if I don't buy anything. It certainly detracts from the game experience.