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Macro-roni and Cheese? Not at Launch, But…

Published by under Blog,Bounty Hunter,Breaking News,Game Mechanics,news on May. 23. 2011.

One of our favorite forum do-gooders, Georg Zoeller, dropped by the main forums today to wish us a Happy Rapt… no, my apologies!  He wanted to clear up a few things about auto-attacking, and whether or not there would be macro functionality in SWTOR at launch:

Macros are a pretty broad term for certain convenience and advanced user functions at this time. Some of those features are present as possible key binds in the game, others are not.

We’re not opposed to macros, we don’t hate them, in fact we will probably add them, but probably not for launch.

So what does this mean for us?

Well the good news is, although macros will not be available right at launch, we will have some of their functionality in the form of key binds, and they definitely have not ruled out implementing them at a later date.

Mac Droid

Do astromechs dream of electric... cheese?

Each of us tends to use macros for different goals.  Many folks use them to streamline their gaming experience.  Some people attempt to automate their entire attack sequences, which generally draws the ire of our beloved developers.  Crafters have used them as well to reduce “the grind.”  In the end, they’re another tool at our disposal, and it’s ultimately how we use them that determines their overall acceptability.

A favorite of usage of mine in other games was to link consumables or self-buffs, or even target-based debuffs, with common attacks.  Pet-based classes might use them to ensure that their minions’ attacks are in synch with their own, for example. I can imagine several SWTOR scenarios in which macros would be helpful:

  1. In PvP, quickly being able to call out targets on the fly and announce Crowd Control abilities you might be casting upon them.
  2. Adding in a /say or /shout to other certain abilities (i.e., macroing any number of silly phrases to Rocket Punch).
  3. Using mouse-over macros to streamline the healing experience.

My own usage will tend to be more on the PvP and/or healing side of things, but we’ll have to wait and see what sort of a system we eventually receive to be certain.  What types of macros have you used in the past?  What sorts of macros do you envision yourself using in SWTOR, when they are finally implemented?


8 responses so far

8 Responses to “Macro-roni and Cheese? Not at Launch, But…”

  1. Aldricon 23 May 2011 at 1:10 am

    Another good article. Philip K Dick rocks! (as does mac and cheese I suppose). 😉

    The only thing I’ll be likely to use macros for are to add nifty sayings like you already mentioned. I’m particularly keen on a having a catchphrase to go with Death from Above.

  2. Dalqakon 23 May 2011 at 1:21 am

    If you ever doubt the true power of Mac, you need only consult the masters:

    Soooooo inspiring, so life-affirming!

  3. VorAbaddonon 23 May 2011 at 3:14 am

    I use macro’s to link abilities in EQ when there’s not enough space. For example, the Shadowknight Class has several “Feign Death” abilities which make you limp like a corpse and mobs leave you alone. But they can fail or be broken, and have cool downs.

    The cool downs are held seprate, so if FD 1 fails, I can try FD 2. This isn’t Overpowered because, generally, if it matters you’ll get punked before many tries. So, I use a hotkey to link them and if I tried one, and it failed, I stand and hit the same hotkey. It realizes the first is still cooling down, and does the next.

    The issue is that, often, macro’s are used in CONJUNCTION with other programs, perhaps outside software triggering keystrokes, to truely automate gameplay, which makes me stabby.

  4. Dalqakon 23 May 2011 at 9:28 am

    Exactly, Vor!

    BioWare have not stated which (if any) program they will be using for security (for security reasons, actually!) WoW uses its own “Warden” software. Warhammer uses Punkbuster. I assume BioWare has something in mind which they’ll implement for the same purpose.

    We shall see!

  5. MrFesteron 23 May 2011 at 11:40 am

    Well this is certainly not stopping people from using hardware based macros. People will always find a way to do things easier.

    There is some network security ramifications to think about as well, this maybe why BIOWARE is not jumping the gun at providing macros in game just yet, but people don’t want to hear that.

    If I can remember right, the hero engine already does have a security system in place with a build in encryption system for client and server side.

  6. Dalqakon 23 May 2011 at 11:56 am

    Indeed – keyboards like the G15 line are pretty ubiquitous at this point.

    And yeah, it does seem like the Hero Engine provides at least some element of security:

    I’m not sure if that extends to scanning system memory though.

  7. Tim Skijwalkeron 23 May 2011 at 8:02 pm


    there goes my:

    hey, join our awesome guild


    and my

    well hello beautiful!

    thats gonna be a lot of typing i guess =P
    (AT 1st… until they get in-game!! UNLIMITED POW>>> SPAM!!!! =P)

  8. Dalqakon 23 May 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Custom avatar

    Hahaha, yeah – actually come to think of it, Age of Conan had a nice in-game macro system that I used for guild advertising at the time. It let you create a link that when clicked, brought up a window full of information about the guild, etc.

    I’m sure we’ll find a way around such limitations though! 😛