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Archive for May, 2009

voteI deliberately let the current poll run for a long time because I didn’t want people to scream that it was unfair because I closed the poll early.  I believe it’s been running at least two months.

This poll asked which class annoyed you the most (for any reason).  Conversely it can also be argued that the poll results also show which class annoys you the least.

I think it comes as no shock to anyone that Deathknights and Rogues were #1 and #2 respectively.  I mean seriously… what’s the first thought that goes through your mind when you go into a battleground and see an opposing team full of deathknights?  Exactly.  Rogues are not much better and only vanish’ed out of first place by a single vote.

Most beloved of all classes are the warriors and shamans.  I’m not entirely sure about the second one.  A well geared elemental shammy can be a nightmare in some situations.  But I will agree that the warriors (the few warriors) are generally a good lot, and not annoying.  Much.

What should we poll next?

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"Assisting The Tank(er)" Thanks to peet on Flickr!

"Assisting The Tank(er)"

We all know that we should be focusing on the tank’s target and not breaking off and fighting the whole pull one-on-one right?  It’s really the difference between a good group and an awful group.  In an ideal group environment (in most situations) the tank should be absorbing all of the damage so the healer only has one person to heal.  When Mr. “I One-Shot Your Mom” Rogue decides that he “can handle one on my own”, suddenly the healer has his or her hands full, agro is spread around, and things generally don’t go well.

There are a bunch of ways that you can automate “assisting” a pre-defined player (usually the tank) in your group.  Veteran players will swear by CT Raid Assist.  I used Simple Assist for a long time and really liked it.  Or you can do it manually if you’re fast with your fingers, but doing it manually is a bit of a pain because you have to select the tank everytime you want a target and it’s time consuming.

All this week I’ve been getting “Interface action failed because of an addon” kind of errors and after some deduction, I figured out that my Simple Assist addon was what was causing the problem.  So I tossed it and figured out how to have almost the exact same effect with no addons at all.  Sorry I don’t have screenshots.  It’s Tuesday and WoW is down — like you didn’t notice.

My technique involves the “target focus” function they added to the game last year that hardly anybody (outside of hardcore raiders) knows about or uses.  To make this little hack, you will need to not be using focus for anything else and you will need two (2) action buttons.  That’s it.  I used the bottom two over on the right bars, but you can use any that you like.

This is where the compromising part comes in.  Focus may reset from time to time (especially if your pet is the focus and you fly or mount a lot).  So where a dedicated assist addon will “remember” your assist persistantly, this method may forget from time to time in certain situations.  Considering I’m on a slower machine, I will gladly take this minor disadvantage considering that I’m using less memory and I can easily reset my assist with a couple of keystrokes with no muss and no fuss (especially if you know how to target group members/pets from the keyboard.)

First.  Make a macro.  Type /m to bring up the macro screen. It’s probably a good idea to make both macros you will make today as “general” macros so you can use them on all of your characters.  Make a new general macro, and call it “Set Assist”.  Pick whatever icon you want.  I chose one with a bullseye on it.  In the macro window, simply type “/focus” (with no quotes).  That’s it.  Because you’re going to target the person you want to assist before you press this button so whoever you have targetted when you press this button will become your focus.  Don’t overthink things, grasshopper.  Trust me.  This will work.

Now make another general macro.  Call it “Assist Focus” and pick whatever icon you want.  I used one with a hand in it.  In this macro, put the single line “/assist focus” (with no quotation marks again).

Now drag these two macros to two unused buttons.  Like I said before, I used the two at the bottom of the right-hand bars, but you can use any two buttons you like.  (I already have all the “lower” buttons keymapped so I just wanted to put them somewhere that wouldn’t interfere with my current keybindings.)

Now the only thing you have left to do is to set key bindings.  I used Control-F and F because those were the two keys I used to use with Simple Assist.  (I have “manual” assist — which is normally “F” — set to “G”.)  So to mark an assist, I target someone and press Control-F.  To assist them, I just hit F.

So go to key bindings, and find the locations of the buttons you are using for your two assist macros and bind keys to them.  Remember that the right bar of the two vertical bars is “number one” and that the buttons are enumerated from top to bottom.  So pick your hotkeys (you don’t have to use mine) and you’re set!

You now have a quick and dirty (and easy!) assist setup with no addons whatsoever!  Just remember to keep your eye on that focus window.  If it disappears, you will have to use your “set” macro again!  (Tip:  If you don’t like where the focus window is, you can right-click on it, unlock it, and move it somewhere else.  When you’ve decided on its new location, right-click and lock it the same way so you don’t accidentally move it.)

I had a statutory holiday yesterday and my brain is a little gelatinous today.  So if I wasn’t clear, please feel free to ask questions in comments!

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