Archive for May 2008

MMORPG Info Logo Character Creation in AoC


The race you choose has two game-play effects: it determines your basic appearance options and restricts the classes you can choose.



MMORPG Info Logo Using Macros in EQ2

The macro system in EQ2 is very simple to use and can save you a lot of hotkey space. Your macros are on a tab on your socials window. The default way to bring up this window is by pressing the letter “o” and you can create and edit your macros directly in the window. You can also turn any ability or spell hotkey into a macro simply by right-clicking on the hotkey and choosing the “create macro” option. That ability will now be the first step in your macro and you can add various other functions. [More…]


MMORPG Info Logo Utility Macros

I’m aware that it’s starting to sound like I have a macro for every function in the game – actually, that’s probably true. I’m terrible at remembering commands and I have a lot of alts. Having macros set up makes it much much easier to get into the swing of things quickly without having to remember specific details for every toon I play – like what clothes she should swap when going from solo to group and whether she’s using spells, items or potions for self-heals.

A number of my macros that are shared across different characters aren’t particularly life-changing but they do make life a bit easier.


For example, I have a mute button which is really useful for when work calls mid-fight. The line command to turn off game volume is /master_volume 0 but that’s not something I can remember when the phone is ringing, let alone type quickly. So I’ve made a hotkey to turn the volume off quick – and of course a corresponding one to turn the volume back on. The command to set your volume back to full is /master_volume 1 but that is a bit much for me, so I have my macro set to half volume: /master_volume .5

Items with Effects

I also find it useful to have pieces of equipment set up as a macro so I can equip and use them quickly as needed. This amulet has a heal effect which is useful but the stats on the necklace aren’t good enough for me to want to keep it equipped. I always put non-primary heals under control-5, so characters who don’t have the amulet will have heal pots hotkeyed there instead.

This way, I have a single keypress that I already hit instinctively which allows me to equip and use the amulet quickly when I want a heal. Whether it’s the necro who needs a top-up mid-fight or the ranger trying to minimise downtime, “fast heal from equipment” is always in the same place and so I don’t even need to think about it. Between fights, I just press my hotkey that equips my fighting gear and I’m back to normal.

Downside: as you can see from the screenshot, equipment used in this manner doesn’t grey out the hotkey. If you hotkey an item you can see when it’s usable again but within a macro you simply can’t tell, other than trying it. If it’s a piece you use often, you will need to watch out for this or make a separate hotkey (not tied to a keyboard combination) with just the item in it so you can see when it’s ready to be used again.

Equipping and using items can be done in a single hotkey if you use the /use_equipped_item command, as explained in detail in the post about Equipment Macros.

Bear in mind that a lot of items do not need to be equipped in order to use them. In that case, you don’t need a macro at all, just drop the item onto a hotkey and you can use it from your inventory.


There isn’t a lot of call for the individual skills in your knowledge book when it comes to harvesting, as you can walk up to any node and simply click on it to use the correct skill. It may seem odd to bother with a macro rather than just use the default action (the f key in the standard set-up) until you use the default action on something you shouldn’t have…like people wandering around oblivious to the fact that you are oblivious to them.

Maybe it’s just me, but I tend to read web pages or listen to Radio 4 while I harvest nodes so I’m only keeping half an eye on the screen. All it takes is for some idiot NPC to walk in front of me and suddenly I’m swinging my sword at him, ready to attack. It finally struck me that I could get around this by specifically using the harvesting skills instead of the default action. If I happen to end up targeted upon a fool whose walked between me and my pick-axe … well, no problem! I’ll simply get an error message that he can not be mined and he can carry on his way, never knowing what a narrow escape he has had.


MMORPG Info Logo Using Macros in Combat

A critical function of macros is to save time and so it’s no surprise that they are used to great effect in combat and group play. There are two different types of macros which you will find useful in a combat situation: command macros (automating a commonly used line command) and ability macros, using spells or combat abilities in combination or for situational awareness. Equipment macros are less useful as you are limited as to what you can do with equipment during combat. [More…]


MMORPG Info Logo Need vs Greed

Most MMORPGs offer a system for looting meant to cut down on the amount of discussion needed. The general concept is simple and meant to mimic the conversations that were theoretically taking place after every kill.

“Do you need this? Does anyone? Is it an upgrade or just for selling?”

Need is usually accepted as meaning “I can and will use this item.” This way, items that are upgrades go to the people who actually need them, with the rest being randomly distributed amongst the group as cash loot.

Sounds simple – so what is going wrong? [More…]


MMORPG Info Logo Vampire Slaying

I’ve not seen I am Legend yet – I can’t quite see how the book could make a full-length feature film and so I strongly suspect I’ll hate it. If anyone who has read the story has seen the film, do let me know what you thought of it in the comments, please.

Meanwhile, we can have fun replaying the plot on Norrath as a Vampire Slayer extraordinaire. There are a number of ways you can increase your damage against the blood-sucking beasts, making you the darling of Mistmoore Castle raids.

Vampire Master Strike

Vampires don’t have a Lore and Legend quest like most of the other primary races. I suppose this is because they crumble into dust rather than leaving body parts for us to harvest.

At any rate, to gain the master strike you need to complete the Bloodline Chronicles. This is an adventure pack so although I believe it is included free as a part of the Kunark all-in-one expansion, you may find you need to purchase it separately. The adventure pack consists of an extended quest-line from either the Hand of Marr or the Brethren of the Night. The two quest-lines are very similar and aimed at groups but you can do the quests solo (gray) from around around level 45 onwards. [More…]


MMORPG Info Logo Gold Selling Can Lead to Jail

Via Raph Koster’s blog is an interesting news story about Chinese gold sellers in serious trouble. It seems that following a dispute, one man reported his partner … ending up with them both getting some unwanted attention. [More…]


MMORPG Info Logo Review of Age of Conan

My son reminded me that I promised a quick overview of my experience with Age of Conan on the PvP weekend! I’d like to reiterate that this was a cut-down version of the client and that we were limited to the tutorial (levels 1-5) and PvP instances (beta-buffed to 20). This means that I (and the others who took part in this PvP weekend) did not get a full view of the game.

Starting Up

Accepting that it was not the real game but simply a cut-down version, my initial response was good. The character creation process allowed for a fair amount of customisation – you could go for basic choices (tall broad woman with a “resolute” face) or you could dive into the advanced character creation and twiddle with the details, such as mouth width and eye angle. [More…]


MMORPG Info Logo Equipment Slots

The /use_equipped_item is a very useful command because it enables you to to equip and then use an item in a macro. The “Use Item” macro step fails in this instance as it does not recognise that you’ve equipped the item. However, you can add a Command step and use the command line prompt in order to use the items immediately as they’ve been equipped, in the same macro. For an insta-cast item, this means that you can equip the item, cast it and then equip the original piece in a single macro. For non-insta-cast items, you can only do the first two steps, else the cast will be interrupted by the re-equipping. However, it is still useful to quickly equip and cast an item using macros rather than searching for the item in your inventory. [More…]


MMORPG Info Logo Equipment Macros

A huge benefit of macros to me is the ability to use and switch my gear quickly to meet the situation, without having to rummage through my backpacks trying to find the right items and hoping that I don’t miss any of them. Once you’ve set up your macros, you can put equipment on or take it off, use items and change your appearance slots at the touch of a button. It’s important to remember to update your macros as you get upgrades to your equipment but it doesn’t take long to get into the habit of dropping the new items in as you receive them. [More…]