Macros, Huh, Yeah What Are They Good For?

Absolutely nothin’?

I’m a young WoW player.  6 months haven’t shown me half the world and things to do in-game, but I did discover macros after 3 months play time.

If it weren’t for a friend asking me about them, I wouldn’t have looked into macros at all.  As it was, we knew they existed but that was it.  So that day he asked, we both started looking into it, and initially the prospect of using macros looked fun.

I was quickly getting excited and my mind stirred with happy thoughts of stringing heals and attacks together.  Of course I found out you couldn’t do that- not in WoW.   In fact, my happy thoughts quickly turned sour when I realized macros were pretty much limited to text and had me lag-shouting, through my mic, at my friend “What the hell good are macros!?!”

Yes, it is nice to be able to have a chunk of text explode “Sickedly Wicked!” onto the screen at the touch of a button-usually after humiliating another player, but that seems awfully limited for a macro.

The Free Dictionary lists a macro as:



1. Of great size; large.
2. Large in scope or extent; large-scale: a macro analysis of many reports.
n. pl. mac·ros Computer Science

1. A single, user-defined command that is part of an application and executes a series of commands.
2. A shorthand representation for a number of lines of code.

The ability to string text together seems a lot more specific than this definition.  Maybe WoW should be calling their Macro App a Text Engine instead.

I was pleasantly surprised-even more so after my dull experience with WoW macros, when I found you can string attacks, buffs, and text together in Runes of Magic’s macros.  Indeed, I could never go without such things as my knight’s enhanced armor+holy seal together in a macro.

But after thinking about this article I found the real “mystery” was why does Blizzard intrusively block players from using skills inside a macro?

Firstly Runewaker no doubt built the ability in, taking into consideration all components of RoM, but most players realize that beyond the wide variety of macros you can make, you usually only make very short macros containing 2 maybe 3 skills at most- The thought behind it being that you want to stay with situational tactics.  Once you start a macro it needs to run it’s course before you can take any other actions, and if your opponent surprises you, you want to be able to react fast enough to the change.

I could see this aspect of gameplay being used as a prime argument for why Blizzard removed the ability in WoW, except they’re seemingly forgetting about an important aspect-the player.

Players love options.  Even if it’s an option the player won’t use, having the option goes a long way in my book.  Knowing you have the option gives more power in the players hand and gives them a sense of well-being: A sort of electronic St. John’s Wort.

The fact Blizzard took away my option and is telling me I can’t do something, in this case using skills in a macro, just makes me suspicious-whether I would ever use macros or not.  I can’t help but think Blizzard has some underlying hidden reason, as if they’re hiding the fact their game has become say…less of a skill based game and more of a button-masher, and if players had the option to put skills in macros this would be glaringly evident?

Whether a RoM player, WoW player, both, or play an entirely different game, do you use macros? For what purpose(s)?


One Response to “Macros, Huh, Yeah What Are They Good For?”

  1. theerivs Says:

    I am not a macro master, but in WoW, I do use macros for certain things like I use to macro the Mage ability to Arcane Power, Presence of Mind, Pyroblast..3 spells when used in conjuction could almost one shot someone back in the day. Now i just use macros to help with assist, and focus magic spell, a buff.

    In my other game WAR no i don’t use them at all, never had the need, but then again I’m a tank in that game.

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