Monday, December 8, 2008

Elemental Macros In Depth

As mentioned in my prior post, my main pew-pew buttons are macros which are bound to the 2-3-4 keys, making DPS a muscle memory and cooldown-watching exercise rather than a frantic click-fest.

Bumwaller and D-Form posted some comments/questions after the last post, so I'll attempt to answer here by posting the actual macros and breaking them down line-by-line.

Lightning Bolt w/Trinket Pops
#showtooltip Lightning Bolt
/console Sound_EnableSFX 0
/use 13
/use 14
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()
/console Sound_EnableSFX 1
/cast Lightning Bolt

The first line (showtooltip) forces the macro to display the spell/ability/item you specify - making it "look right" on your toolbar. Otherwise it just picks the first item in the macro (slot 13 in this case, your first trinket slot). Sound_EnableSFX 0 turns off your sound in anticipation of "that item is not ready yet" audio, which gets annoying after a while.

Use 13 and 14 are your two trinket slots, and if the first one is on cooldown it'll attempt to use the next slot. UIErrorsFrame:Clear() will remove the potential "item is not ready yet" from the display. So after re-enabling sound effects with Sound_EnableSFX 1, we can finally actually cast the spell: Lightning Bolt.

Since the only thing that triggers the global cooldown is the spell itself, the macro becomes "spammable," meaning you can press it over and over again (after waiting on the cast time of LB, of course).

Flame Shock + Lava Bursts
/castsequence reset=14/target Flame Shock, Lava Burst, Lava Burst

In this macro, I'm not using showtooltip specifically because I want to watch Lava Burst's cooldown in my action bar. Instead, I use a castsequence to cast Flame Shock, then Lava Burst, then I'll do some other stuff until the second Lava Burst becomes available. (I use this glyph to extend Flame Shock's duration so it covers two Lava Burst cooldowns.)

The reset number tells the macro to reset the sequence after that amount of idle time has elapsed. (The /target right after it also resets the macro when I switch targets.) Now back to the timer: every time you press the macro, the timer starts over. The reason I'm using 14:

Lets look at the timeline of this macro (assuming zero latency and no haste):

at 0 seconds: Flame Shock instant-cast (18 sec duration w/glyph)
at 1.5 seconds: first Lava Burst
at 9.5 second: Lava Burst

After the 2nd LvB, a 3rd would be available at 17.5, but that's cutting it too close to the end of FS's 18 second duration, which you always want up on the target. Working one global cooldown backwards from 17.5, we're at 15 seconds which is the ideal time to re-apply FS. My macro is listed at 14 because I want to give myself some wiggle room - and if I cast it a smidge too early it's not a big deal since the guaranteed LvB is more important than a tick or two of FS.

You may be asking yourself: "but if 14 is idle-time-since-last-keypress, wouldn't the macro wait too long to reset to Flame Shock after the 2nd LvB?" Luckily, the macro seems to respect the "castsequence" part and will reset back to FS after the last LvB. :)

I chose not to use a trinket here since I generally open with a Lightning Bolt (either for a long-range solo pull or to let the tank get a bit of aggro before unloading). Also didn't use Elemental Mastery since having Flame Shock on the target already causes Lava Burst to crit - and I'd rather save Mastery for the relatively expensive Chain Lightning.

Chain Lightning + Lightning Bolts
#showtooltip Chain Lightning
/console Sound_EnableSFX 0
/cast Elemental Mastery
/script UIErrorsFrame:Clear()
/console Sound_EnableSFX 1
/castsequence reset=6 Chain Lightning, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Bolt

In this macro, I'm doing some of the futzing with the sound effects and UI errors around the casting of Elemental Mastery, which takes the mana sting out of Chain Lightning. The two Lightning Bolts after it (when added to the CL) comes to a total casting time of 5.5 seconds for the whole sequence. The reset of 6 matches the cooldown of CL, so if I only use this macro once or twice on a pull, CL will be available again after the cooldown.

I'm not using reset=target here since the reset has everything to do with CL's cooldown, as opposed to the FS+LvBs macro where I always want to apply FS first on new targets.

Macros Aren't Everything
Due to the dynamic nature of many fights/encounters, sequences can easily get out-of-sync, so be prepared to fire off these abilities manually by using other available action bar slots!

Haste Changes Everything
There's a certain amount of haste that will undoubtedly have an effect on Elemental rotations, but until I actually get a bunch of haste gear I'm not really sure how things will get affected. My priorities as I head to level 80 raiding are some balance of spell damage, crit and hit. For the moment, haste just helps me deal with a small amount of latency/server lag.

What's with the Propeller Hat?
I have no idea. I just think they're funny.

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