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Macro Anatomy: Walk phase

Sean Forsgren
If you have been following Macro Anatomy, you should be comfortable with macro basics by now. If not, you may want to consider taking a moment to review what we have covered thus far. For the rest of you, welcome to the next installment, where we'll be covering a commonly used, but powerful macro type, the /castsequence command.

This slash command will allow the user to specify a given sequence of commands, tied to a single button. As a reminder, this will not facilitate one-click sequences, but will require you to click or press a bound key for each iteration in the sequence. This also means you'll be timing your input in step with the Global Cooldown.

The most obvious use of the /castsequence command comes into play when you realize you're casting the same spells in nearly every fight. I use this type of macro for grinding, with one for PvP situations as well. (Curse of Exhaution be praised!)

To use this macro, you simply open your macro interface, create a new macro and in the text box, start with /castsequence, then list the spells you want to cast, in order, separated by a comma. It should end up looking something like this:

/castsequence Spell 1, Spell 2, Spell 3, Spell 4

One helpful addition to your cast sequence is a reset function, which will allow you to reset the macro (start your sequence over), preventing you from having to step through each spell before starting again. A good example of this is when I run through a series of DoT's on someone in PvP, then switch targets (sometimes before finishing my sequence) and want to start my sequence again. This is accomplished by inputting a reset conditional, like so:

/castsequence reset=conditional Spell 1, Spell 2, Spell 3, Spell 4

There are a number of conditions you can use to reset your sequence. They include:
  • combat - resets the sequence when you leave combat
  • target - resets the sequence when you change targets
  • n - the number of seconds before the macro times out
  • control, shift, alt - resets the macro when you press the macro key with one of these keys pressed
You can also chain these together by separating multiple conditionals with a slash ( / ). The n conditional requires some specific attention, has a great explanation of this function:

"Where n is a number of seconds. You can specify any number of these conditions separated by slashes as shown. Seconds are used as a timeout for the command. Each time the sequence runs, it resets the timer. If you don't use the macro within the number of seconds specified, the sequence will start over. This is a very important distinction because it means you cannot use a reset timer to account for cooldown. target resets the sequence when you change targets; combat when you leave combat; shift, alt, and ctrl when you activate the macro with one of those keys depressed."

My own cast sequence, which I use to grind on my Warlock looks like this:

/castsequence reset=combat/target/shift Siphon Life, Curse of Agony, Corruption, Life Tap, Drain Life, Drain Soul(Rank 1)

I also use the "?" icon for my macro, which causes the macro to update the icon to the appropriate spell in the sequence. The #showtooltip line also shows the corresponding tooltip for each spell as they cycle through the cast sequence. This sequence sends my pet to attack my target and runs through the given sequence. I do have to click once for each spell, but I find the whole business very efficient for grinding. As a note, I also use an addon that auto-destroys Soul Shards once I have filled up my shard bag, this keeps me from filling my bags with them, but I get the benefit of Improved Drain Soul.

One more thing, you can use items, abilities and spells in your sequence, don't feel limited!

That should give you enough of a start to begin writing your own cast sequence macros. This can bring a measure of efficiency to your grinding. Try this out and check back often for the comments section, as many readers provide great feedback, advice and more tips! Until next time, take good care of those macros!