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Addon Spotlight: Making the most of macros with MacroBank


Each week, WoW Insider's Mathew McCurley brings you a fresh look at reader-submitted UIs as well as Addon Spotlight, which focuses on the backbone of the WoW gameplay experience: the user interface. Everything from bags to bars, buttons to DPS meters and beyond -- your addons folder will never be the same.

Macros recently got a small but important save feature in the default UI, as well as the ability to keep the macro window open with other windows to facilitate easier macro creation across the board. These were quality-of-life changes that made an already robust macro system a bit easier to navigate. Macros in World of Warcraft are powerful tools that can up your game significantly, and the right macro combination can turn one action button into a powerhouse.

One of the more difficult aspects of macros is sharing them. Going to a website, copy-pasting the macro you need, and working through the system is not the ideal way to send macros from one person to another. Categorizing your macros has been a pain since the inception of the macro window, since the only real category options are character-specific macros and general macros. There has to be a better way!

This week, we're talking macros with MacroBank, an addon that gives players more options on the macro UI and gives players a crucial tool in macro sharing. Hopefully, with increased proliferation of MacroBank, we can get the ability to share macros with each other as a default feature in game.

Money in the bank

There are two aspects to a good addon: feature set and aesthetics. MacroBank works on both fronts, giving players a more robust feature set while fitting in well with the default user interface. MacroBank is a tool that augments the macro user interface to make macro creation easier on the player. Here are some of the features that MacroBank provides.

MacroBank lets you import and export macros from MacroBank to the default macro window and vice versa, while saving macros in the MacroBank in user-defined categories. You can create, categorize, and export macros from MacroBank with ease with the little import/export arrows above the option sets.

One of the most infuriating aspects of the default macro interface is the tiny window used to select an icon for your macro. Most of us use the #showtooltip command, but sometimes you want to select something specific for a non-#showtooltip macro. MacroBank features a larger window for icon selection -- much larger, to be exact. You can quickly jump to the section of icons with just a spin of the mouse wheel, and you're working in a nicer, larger area.

For those new to macros, the #showtooltip "Ability/spell" command in macros allows you to show any ability's or item's icon as your macro icon, when it is available in the cast sequence or in your inventory.

Want an example?

As a protection warrior, I've got a decent number of macros that work to keep me alive and use my cooldowns and trinkets without me having to really take my eye off the ball, as it were. For instance, when I am using an on-use strength trinket, I've got it macroed into Shield Slam to get the most out of my big-hitter ability. Another macro I use frequently is a combination Healthstone/Mythical Healing Potion button that pops both of these items at the same time for a huge, quick heal once per fight.

The problem when creating these macros in the default macro window is that I only get two options -- general or character-specific. MacroBank allows me to create all of my HP cooldown macros in their own category or my defensive macros in their own category. As a stickler for organization, I enjoy this feature more than I probably should, and you will too!

Sharing is the new sharing

When I started with macros back in the day, they were never created by myself. I would troll around forums and WoW sites, figuring out the best macros to use for my priest while copying and adapting other people's stuff. Having the ability to send someone macros in a happy little package would have been an amazing feature. If everyone has MacroBank, we can all shoot macros over to each other with ease.

Here are two scenarios.

A young warrior tank asks me for advice for a Shield Slam macro that uses his trinket beforehand and has a modifier for another ability when it procs. Rather than having to explain the macro, I can send this player my own version of the macro so he can visualize and understand the syntax and make changes as he wishes. I like the idea of easy sharing, since it facilitates better play.

Two members of the 25-man raiding group show up unprepared for a boss fight that requires players to hit a macro when they have some sort of debuff or a countdown (much like the Consumption Junction achievement from Glory of the Hero). Now, instead of having someone go and make the macro themselves, you can save time and energy on this obviously unprepared fool by sending him the macro and just tolerating him before ejector-seating him out of whatever raid you're running. Sending macros like this could save time, and time is money, and money is awesome.

The end of all things

I like MacroBank because it gives me features I want. The only drawback is that you cannot shift-click abilities into the window due to some coding of the spellbook. For me, this is not the biggest hurdle in the world, considering I can just hover over the ability and type it in. Shift-clicking is a much easier way to do it, and I hope that MacroBank finds a way to make it work, but for now I'm satisfied with what I've got. The amount of macros and categories I can create while having the ability to share makes MacroBank a useful tool for macro junkies out there. I'd say give it a shot.

Download MacroBank at [WoWInterface].

Addon mailbag themesong goes here.

Hey Mat,

As I was reading "If there's a mod you think Addon Spotlight should take a look at" I thought "Nope ...", and then quickly remembered after closing the tab, THERE IS!

Unfortunately I have no idea what it's called!

It's part of RealUI, and it's the most amazing thing, I can't believe I've been flying for two expansions without it! It's a little level at the side of the screen (that appears only when you're on your flying mount of course) that shows you if you're tilted up or down, or going perfectly straight! It's so simple I can't believe no one thought of it before (or maybe they did and it's just me that's finding out about it for the first time thanks to RealUI), and so useful I can't believe I ever flew without it!

I'm always telling my friends about it, but the conversation always ends "Oh, yeah, sorry, I have no idea what it's called." :-)

As simple a thing as it is, I personally think it is awesome enough for Addon Spotlight ... if you can figure out what it's called! :-)

Thanks for the email, Hyacin. I think this one still works, despite not being updated in a while, but you'll want to pick up LevelFlight. You can level out your flying or swimming with one button press.

Check out Levelflight at [Curse] or [WoWInterface].

Addons are what we do on Addon Spotlight. If you're new to mods, Addons 101 will walk you through the basics; see what other players are doing at Reader UI of the Week. If there's a mod you think Addon Spotlight should take a look at, email

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