Thursday, February 21, 2008

Macro Polo

Today's theme came about partly because of something I omitted in yesterday's post about catform DPS. When doing catform DPS on a boss, if you're fairly confident you wont need to be using it to heal, you can utilize your mana pool to get extra attacks for free by abusing Ferocity via "Powershifting". And since 2.3, powershifting has been easier than ever due to the change in how shapeshifting (and indeed all spells) are handled by the game, as a power-shift can be performed simply pressing a macro. . . one of the three I want to present to you all today. And so, with no further ado, my four favorite (only) feral macros of all time!

1: The Hunnypot
#showtooltip Super Healing Potion/Mad Alchemist's Potion/Super Rejuvenation Potion
/use Master Healthstone
/use Charged Crystal Focus
/use Super Healing Potion/Mad Alchemist's Potion/Super Rejuvenation Potion
/cast Dire Bear Form

(Yes, the Hunnypot. Named so because Surania is actually my Fiancee in RP-terms, and she is absolutely obsessed with Winny the Pooh.)

What it does: Pretty much any feral druid who hasn't been living under a rock knows about this by now. Due to changes in how spellcasts are handled by the client and server in WoW, druids can now shift out of form, consume a potion and a healthstone, and shift back into form with a single press of a macro (and with little, if not absolutely zero, time spent out of form).

The first, second, and last lines are fairly straightforward. The first line is there so your macro will display your potion of choice as its icon, and more importantly, the cooldown on your potion. No point in hitting the macro if you're not actually able to use the potion/stone, it'll just shift you out and back in, with nothing to show for it but a reset rage bar and a thousand less mana. The second line takes you out of whatever form you're in (most likely bear, but can also take you out of catform if, for example, you accidentally pulled aggro while DPSing and need to both get your health back and switch to a more durable form until the tank re-establishes aggro). The last puts you into bear form. The second line will consume a warlock-provided healthstone, or if you dont have one, the third line will instead eat a self-farmed Charged Crystal Focus. The fourth line, in turn, chugs a health potion of choice, regardless if which, if any, stone was consumed.

A few notes: First, you have to be VERY careful when using this macro. NEVER hit this button unless you're sure you are not currently on global cooldown. GCD wont stop the bulk of this macro from going off, as shifting out of form and using potions/healthstones are independant from it, but shifting back INTO form triggers, and thus is prevented by, GCD. That means if you hit this macro immediately following a lacerate, maul, faerie fire, demo roar, growl, or anything of the sort, you will shift out, drink your potions, STAY out of form, and probably get smashed by Mr. Big Bad Baddie MacBadderson for much, much more than you just got from the potions. If you think you're going to need a health infusion at any moment, stop mangling and lacerating to avoid issues (you can, however, still use Maul, as its cooldown is your swing speed, not the GCD).

Second, I want to HIGHLY recommend that all tanks, bear or otherwise, spend some time and farm up a stack of Charged Crystal Foci. They aren't quite as good as even an untalented healthstone, but they're a heck of a lot better than nothing when you don't have a warlock, or already used your stone(s).

Third, I give you three choices of potion. Most of you will probably just use Super Healing Potions, as they're relatively easy to get, and usable by anybody. Mad Alchemist's Potions are for alchemists like me, since they're only usable by us. They also have the added benefits of slightly higher average healing, a free random buff (if not elixir buffed, IE tanking easy stuff), and they're dirt cheap to make, taking only a couple ragveil and a crystal vial to make. And the Rejuvenation potions have the same health return as mad alchemist potions (And PS: They give mana too, though you're not likely to need it if you're tanking), but also take much more expensive mats than healing potions, and the health difference is not all that much.

2: The Power Shift:
/cast Cat Form

What it does: This is basically a super-stripped down version of the potion macro. It simply shifts you out of whatever form you're in and puts you into cat form.

Sounds pretty useless, eh? Well, not if you know about powershifting. Basically, powershifting is a tactic used to convert your caster-form mana into cat-form energy via the Furor talent. To do that, you need to do 2 things:

1: Use up all, or nearly all of your energy.
2: Press this macro while NOT on the global cooldown.

Essentially, hitting your power shift macro will reset your energy to 40, no matter what it was at beforehand. If you had full energy, you just lost 60. But if you had, say, 3 energy, you just got 37 more. Note, however, that it is not so easy to do this effectively, because once again, we have to be off global cooldown in order to shift back into cat, and we need to be in cat before the next "tick" (which occurs every 2 seconds and gives us 20 energy). On the plus side, catform abilities only have a 1 second GCD, instead of the 1.5 seconds most other abilities have. However, that only leaves us a 1 second window to powershift, due to the order of events that have to occur (Energy remaining in parenthesis, note that this is assuming a perfect powershift, you wont often actually get to 0 energy):

(22) -> Energy Tick (42) -> Shred (0) -> Power Shift (40) -> Energy Tick (60)

Oh, and if you do a lot of powershifting, its highly advisable to pick up Natural Shapeshifter, as 3 points in NSS lets you powershift nearly 50% more before running out of mana. I'd also advise picking up a DruidBar or similar addon that tracks your mana while in forms, or you're likely to try to powershift when OoM, and end up stuck in caster form.

3: Stealth and Stuns:
/cast [modifier:shift]Prowl; [combat] Maim; [stealth] Pounce; Prowl

What it does: This is one of two macros I use to save space on my cat bar. I'm really proud of this one, because I managed to combine three skills into one button, and it automatically chooses the right skill for the current situation:

First, the macro checks to see if I'm in combat. If I am, prowl can't be cast, and pounce either can't be cast either, or would be useless to me (because being in combat means I either already got hit, thus am not stealthed any more, or means a boss put me in combat, and bosses are immune to stun). Therefore, the macro assumes I wanted to use maim to incapacitate my target.

If I'm not in combat, the macro then checks to see if I'm stealthed. If I am and am within range of my target, it assumes I wish to pounce upon whatever I'm targeting, stunning it so I can run behind the mob and shred it to death.

And finally, if I'm neither in combat nor in stealth, the macro knows that I WANT to be stealthed, and casts prowl for me.

Basically, the only time this macro doesn't do anything if I push it is when I'm in combat, but have no combo points. Handy, no?

EDIT: I improved on this macro today, but wanted to test it before I posted. . . I added the [modifier:shift] Prowl to the beginning. All this does is give me an easy way to DEstealth if I should so desire, just hold shift and press the button.

4: Backbiter:
/cast [stealth] Ravage; Shred

What it does: Well, after the conditionals of the last macro, I imagine you already know what this one will do. If I'm in stealth, I unleash my most devastating non-finishing move, Ravage. If I'm not in stealth, I instead shred. And of course, given the nature of these two abilities, this macro does NOTHING if I'm not behind my target. Which of course means I'm soloing, and the mob isn't stunned/incapacitated. Because a druid in catform will never be standing in front of a tanked mob, right? RIGHT? Right.


Matford, Nagrand said...

I was under the impression that one button press on the keyboard = one button press in game, meaning that to use the Hunneypot the button would have to be mashed. Seems I was wrong.

I have a similar macro to your maim/pounce/prowl except mine's shred/ravage/prowl. Yours might be more elegant.

Tavvi said...

One other note about Hunnypot: you also have to beware of incapacitating effects. The GCD is one thing, you can prepare for that by just not attacking for 1.5 seconds before you might need the pot. But if you're fighting a boss that stuns or fears and keeps attacking you (like Nightbane)then this macro should only be used as a last-ditch effort.

The same rules apply: you can always shift out, you can't always shift in, so you may find yourself not only stuck in humanoid form, but with your back to a big-ol' dragon.

SuraBear said...

That is correct, at least for most spells. The trick is, any action that doesn't invoke a global cooldown allows additional actions to be taken with the same button press. Shifting out of forms and using consumables are two actions that do not invoke the cooldown (though consumables have their own, separate CD).

Trinkets are the same way (my warlock has his two trinket slots macroed to Unstable Affliction, since it is the first spell he casts when applying DoTs, so whenever he has a trinket up, one of them gets popped as soon as he tosses out a UA).

Also, note that actual spells that dont invoke the GCD, such as Arcane Power, Icy Veins, or Nature's Swiftness, can also be chained with other spells in a macro (such as nature's swiftness + Healing Touch). However, at least pre-2.3, you needed to add an additional line, "/stopcasting" after the instant spell or the macro would break itself, as you're already "casting" a spell, and the WoW client wouldn't allow you to cast another spell until it got a message from the server that "you can cast now, that one's a freebie". By adding /stopcasting, you trick your client side computer into thinking "oh, he decided not to cast that first spell after all, so its okay to let him cast something else", while the actual command to cast the first spell still got through to the server.

Matford, Nagrand said...

That makes sense, thanks.

My SWP's going to be a bit more dangerous now >:-)

Messyah said...

Dude, I love you for the Hunnypot macro. I would love it if they actually let us use Healthstones in form, but until that day, this is golden. Friggin Excellent!

Do you have any quick macros for casting Rejuv or Moonfire?? Can you do something such as:

/cast Rejuvenation
/cast Cat Form

Karlenn said...

With the last patch changes, most macros are something like:

/use Super Healing Potion
/cast !Dire Bear Form

The same applies for casting spells - we don't need /cancelform anymore!!

Also, the "!" is a new thing, meaning "toggle on" the form.

SuraBear said...

Interesting, Karlenn. Actually, thats how I expected the macro to work when 2.3 hit, but it didn't at the time. Good news.

And Messyah, I'm afraid that wouldn't work, because rejuvenation will put you on global cooldown, thus leaving you stuck out of form. If you dont mind being out of form for a second, though, you could make a two-press macro like this, though:

/castsequence rejuvenation; Cat Form

You wouldn't need /cancelform for this one, regardless of any recent changes, because trying to cast spells while in forms has in fact automatically dropped forms since 2.3.

PS: I actually would continue to use the Hunnypot macro, even if they DID allow us to use stones and potions in forms. Dont broadcast this fact too loudly, but while you lose all but 10 of your rage by shifting out to eat and drink, you also get STRONGER healthstones and potions, because for that split second you're out of form, your health pool is much smaller, so that 4500 health you're gaining in caster form equates to 6k+ health in bear.

Shhhh, its a secret!

Messyah said...

Damn, that is a very good point. Hey, what if you have two lock stones, one improved and one not? How would you macro the use of both stones in one shifting? Can it be done?

Does Barkskin trigger a GCD as well? If not, that would be amazing in Bear Tanking.

Anonymous said...

@ Messyah
I believe the line in the honeypot macro:
/use Master Healthstone
will cover all 3 versions of the max level health stones (0/2 tallent points, 1/2 tallent points, 2/2 tallent points), but they all share the same 2 minute cooldown so you'd only be able to use one at a time.

Also, since I'm still using my charged crystal foci to farm for a Ring of the Overseer, I use Fel Blossom for when I don't have a warlock health stone. They're only available to herbalists and they're not nearly as strong, but they are an option.

-Squirrelz (Muradin)

Messyah said...

Badge of Tanacity FTW!

308 Armor & (Use) 150 Agility for 20 sec. That rocks! Best gift I ever got!

SuraBear said...

Yes, barkskin is on the GCD as well. And the /use Master Healthstone line will in fact grab the first available stone, regardless of how many talent points the warlock had (so sort them in the order you want to use them in your bags!), and if you dont have any, will default to a CCF (and if you dont have one of those, you just get the potion effect)

Good luck on your ring. I have yet to successfully do that event, though I got to the end boss of it at one point. Just lost interest in doing dailies, especially the banishing demons one.

I do have 2 runes right now, though, I should give it a couple tries when I go to farm more CCF (I'm down to 7 now). I think the badge still sells well on my server (I actually farmed trash for 4 days to get my badge, made like 1k gold just from greens and vendor trash up in the plateau!)

tkc said...

Hmmm, I wonder if something like this would work.

/castsequence Bash, Lifebloom, Dire Bear Form

Of course, you'd only want to do it on something you could stun, AKA, not a boss.

tkc said...

Also, I wonder if Flame Cap will proc off of feral melee attacks.

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