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Macro Anatomy: Crawl Phase

Welcome, my friends, to the second installment of Macro Anatomy. In this episode we'll be going over some basic macro commands and I'll introduce some simple macros for you to learn and play with.

Before we move ahead, I wanted to reiterate an important change to many macros since the release of Patch 2.3 for those of you who are already writing and using macros. The /stopcasting command is no longer necessary between instant-cast, non-GCD spells. An example would be the following macro:

/cast Divine Favor
/stopcasting
/cast Divine Illumination
/stopcasting
/cast Holy Light

To conserve space, it can be shortened to:

/cast Divine Favor
/cast Divine Illumination
/cast Holy Light

Previous articles found on this site may feature macros that still contain this command. So, feel free to remove it when you copy and paste said macros.

Now, let us move onto the "Crawl" portion of our Crawl-Walk-Run approach to macro writing.

Last time, we went over some basic principles of what macros were and what they could and could not do. The most basic macros are simply slash commands that have been redefined for easier use. An example of a simple macro would be something like:

/wave
or
/y The cake is a lie!

This macro, once used, would either wave, in the event you have no target, or wave to your current target, just as if you typed the /wave command. Macros can facilitate the stacking of multiple slash commands. A word of caution, however, stacking too many emotes and/or chat in a macro can threaten the edge of spamming. Here is an example

/y You eated my cookie!
/roar
/sob

This macro will yell: "You eated my cookie!", roar and then sob. However, you won't see your character actually do roar emote, as its overridden by the sob emote, but it will show in the chat log.

So we've lock-stepped through basic emotes and chatting, but lets try some other basic commands.

/cast Spell name – this one casts whatever spell you input
  • Example: /cast Holy Light – casts your highest ranked Holy Light spell.
/cast Spell name(Rank #) – this command simply defines which rank of a given spell you wish to cast.
  • Example: /cast Holy Light(Rank 2) – casts Rank 2 of your Holy Light spell.
/use Item – uses an item in your inventory (this needs to be the exact name)
  • Example: /use Moroes' Lucky Pocket Watch – would use this trinket.
/use slot – this would use the item in a given slot number of your inventory. Inventory slots become important when you're managing multiple trinkets and rings at higher levels.
  • Example: /use 13 – this would use the item equipped in slot 13 of your inventory, the first trinket slot.
/use bag slot item slot - this would use the item in the specified slot of the bag in the specified bag slot. Bags are numbered from zero to four, bag macros give the user very focused control over their inventory and using specific items.
  • Example: /use 1 11 - uses the item in the "11" slot of the bag in the first bag slot
/equip item – this command will equip an item by name.
  • Example: /equip Carrot on a Stick – this will place the item in a default slot, just as if you had right-clicked the item.
/equipslot Item slot Item – equips an item into a specific slot
  • Example: /equipslot 14 Carrot on a Stick – this will equip the Carrot on a Stick in slot 14, your second trinket slot.
/target name – this will target the closest match to a given name you provide
  • Example: /target Stab – this would target that pesky rogue Stabsu, or the closest match in range. (Watch out if you're a priest named Stabme.)
/assist – by default this will assist your target's target
  • Exampe: /assist – if you were targeting your Main Tank, you would target his or her target.
/assist name – providing a name simply specifies who you want to assist. This is a great macro for DPS classes trying to focus fire on their tank's target.
  • Example: /assist Ondos – would target Ondos' target.
/petattack – this will send your pet to attack your current target. I thought I would throw this in for you budding Warlocks and Hunters. My testing shows that this command will also cause your pet to attack the nearest enemy in the event that you do not have a target.

This, fair reader, is just the tip of the iceberg! I would suggest that those of you who are new to macro writing practice with these basics, learn by doing!

There are a few more things to know from the get-go. To access your macro interface, you can type /macro or /m in your command prompt. You can also access if from the Options menu, which is found by clicking the Options icon or hitting Esc, then clicking the Macros button.

When selecting an icon for your macro, the "?" icon will automatically choose the icon that matches the spell or item being used. You can change this with the following command:

#show name – This will show the icon for whatever spell or item you designate.
  • Example: /show Summon Charger - will display the Summon Charger icon
Another useful command is:

#showtooltip – by default, when you mouse over a macro icon it shows the name of the macro in the tooltip. This command will toggle the display of the tooltip for the appropriate spell. You can also opt to input a name for a specific spell tooltip.
  • Example: #showtooltip Lesser Heal – this will always show the Lesser Heal tooltip, and if you're using the "?" icon, it will also show the Lesser Heal icon.
For those of you just learning, don't be discouraged by what can seem like an overwhelming amount of information. Try writing some of your own macros, and feel free to play with these easy, sample macros.

Mount and equip a trinket (by name)

/use Reins of the Striped Frostsaber
/equip Carrot on a Stick

This macro, as written, will cause you to mount your Striped Frostsaber and equip your speed-increasing Carrot on a Stick.

Eat and Drink at the same time!
/use Sweet Nectar
/use Stormwind Brie

Will allow you to eat and drink at the same time. (Sweet Nectar and Stormwind Brie in this case, since we input them by name.) This one is even more handy because it adds an item count on the icon to tell you how many eat/drink combinations you have available.

Suggested by Richie:

#showtooltip Consecration
/fart
/cast Consecration

This one, for Paladins, can be adapted to any class using AoE spells. I've added the Consecration tooltip, and if you're using the "?" icon, it will display the Consecration icon. (Tip: for paladins trying to find a pesky enemy who is stealthed, change /cast Consecration to /cast Consecration(Rank 1) to conserve mana.)

Next week, we'll delve into how to create more complex command sequences. You can also refer to last week's Macro Anatomy: Primer for links to previous macro-related articles or this page for some good information.

Filed under: Tips, Tricks, How-tos, Features, Guides, Macro Anatomy

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