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L2P Patch Day: Macros

March 3, 2009

Let me begin with a story. Once upon a time, there was a paladin tank with a fairly basic user interface. The tank didn’t have any macros at all and not all his abilities could have their own keybind. Sometimes, if a squishy person was getting beat up, the tank couldn’t save them because he couldn’t bubble them fast enough.

One day, the tank had an epiphany. What if he made a macro so that when he used his taunt, Righteous Defense, he could also put a bubble on the person he was taunting off of? What a brilliant idea! The tank wasn’t very good at writing macros though. After thinking about it awhile, he wrote a nice little macro that would cast Righteous Defense and cast Hand of Protection on the target his mouse was hovering over. Then he put the new macro where his Righteous Defense button was and went to bed.

When your tank looks like this, run away!

When your tank looks like this, run away!

Then next day, the tank was asked to run a bunch of heroics for his friends. He gladly agreed and the heroics went very smoothly. Then the tank and his friends entered Halls of Lightning. The run was going very well and the group picked up a few achievements along the way. When they got to the hallway after the second boss where the statues come to life, the tank knew to pull the mobs back just in case they feared everyone. It went perfectly and the group was very happy.

Then came the pull of elementals. The tank knew that he should line of sight the cluster around the corner, so he warned his group to wait until he had them before starting to dps. He confidently threw his Avenger’s Shield at the nearest elementals and ran around the corner. He dropped Consecration and waited for his victims to come to him. The warlock in the group was smart (and maybe bored) and decided that he would help the tank by banishing one. He cast banish and some of the elementals decided to get revenge for their disabled comrade! Our confident paladin didn’t notice that the warlock had attracted some unwanted attention though.

There was a very smart warrior in the group and he saw the vengeful elementals heading towards the squishy warlock. He did what any good plate-wearer would do – got the attention of the strays and pulled them right over to the tank. The confident paladin saw that the warrior was in trouble! He targeted the brave warrior and hit his Righteous Defense button. Then everyone started dying and the tank panicked! He ran around, frantically hitting the elementals with abilities and trying to get their attention, but none of them would pay attention to him! There was nothing he could do as everyone began dying around him. He barely survived and while he was resurrecting everyone, he realized what happened.

He had cast Hand of Protection on himself! He explained what happened and apologized to the poor warrior. Thankfully everyone in the group thought it was hilarious and they laughed as the tank sheepishly replaced his faulty macro with his regular taunt. The rest of the instance went very smoothly, though the mage didn’t get her pants from Loken. The end.

Paladin tanks that bubble themselves are notorious. It’s rule number one of paladin tanking: Don’t bubble yourself! When I designed my paladin’s user interface, I deliberately chose to keep all bubbles off keybindings to prevent disasters such as the one above. Except for Divine Protection of course, which is analogous to a warrior’s Shield Wall. In general, that is a good practice for beginning tanks. It prevents accidental bubbles and their resulting wipes. Once a tank is more confident, it’s advisable to make use of abilities like the various Hands. Making those tools readily accessible can mean the difference between someone living or dying.

Only recently have I felt confident enough to begin adding macros to my paladin’s bars. The Righteous Defense/Hand of Protection macro was a very good idea! The implementation left much to be desired though and taught me my first Learn2Play lesson:

Test your macros before entering an instance!

This is the macro I wrote and then failed to use correctly. Keep in mind, this is a mouseover macro, so if your mouse is not hovering over a party member, you will bubble yourself. Use with caution!

/cast [target=mouseover] Righteous Defense
/cast [target=mouseover] Hand of Protection

A few other useful paladin tanking macros I’ve found:

Use this Divine Shield macro to remove debuffs from yourself. You may have to reestablish aggro afterwards!
#showtooltip Divine Shield
/cancelaura Divine Shield
/cast Divine Shield

Use this macro when you’ve accidentally bubbled yourself. If I had this macro when the incident described above happened, a few more friends may have survived.
/cancelaura Divine Shield
/cancelaura Hand of Protection
/cancelaura Divine Intervention

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