There has always been one feature of World of Warcraft that I have never truly mastered: macros. While extremely powerful, learning to use this tool can be quite daunting, and remains much of a mystery to the majority of the players. Furthermore, there are no official guides on how to use them, forcing the community to rely on itself for help.
That's where MacroToolkit comes in. It has been created with a clear goal in mind: to make the macro language clearer, easier to use and learn.
When first using the add-on, there is one feature that immediately comes to attention: syntax highlighting. In other words - it colors the text depending on category of terms and commands, making it much easier to spot typos and errors. For instance, if you type a command and it does not become clear brown, then it's not a valid emote.
But what if you don't know what you're doing wrong? Don't worry, MacroToolkit got's you covered! If there is any mistake in the macro, it will be displayed on in the right side of the panel.
Writes for You
Still, macros can quickly become quite complex, especially when dealing with conditions. For instance: if you want to cast Fireball on your focus, but only if he is an enemy and while you're swimming, what do you write? I would not be sure how to start.
For that purpose, MacroToolkit is able to generate the most complex parts of macros for you. Simply ask him what you want, and it will write it! No more need to browse the web or ask your friends for help!
But Wait, There's More
This is just a small sample of the features MacroToolkit has. It comes with many more, such as extra slash commands, or even the ability for advanced users to make their own.
Check out the addon's page, for more information, or browse our picture gallery!
We also had the opportunity to have a chat with the add-on's author, Deepac:
Why did you decide to start this MacroToolkit?
After Mists of Pandaria launched I decided to redo all my macros. I've never been very good at macros so I decided it was high time I learned. That’s when I got the idea to make another addon – one that would make it easier to spot mistakes as I was learning.
What do you think most distinguishes your project from other macro-related addons?
To the best of my knowledge there is no other macro addon with syntax checking and highlighting. In my view this makes the macros so much easier to read and understand – and to spot mistakes, which are not always obvious with the default UI.
To which type of user you believe your addon is most suited to: macro experts or beginners?
I’d like to think my addon is best suited to pretty much anyone, as it has features that are useful to both beginners – syntax checking/highlighting, code insertion, condition building – and more advanced users – extended macros, custom slash commands, etc.
Approximately how long did it take to finish the first working version?
The first working version took me about 3 weeks to complete – it would have been sooner but work kept getting in the way. I’m fairly experienced with addon development now so I can code them pretty quickly.
Which was the hardest feature to implement?
That was easily the syntax highlighting – or more accurately, displaying the different colours. Without trying to get too technical, the way in which WoW embeds colour codes into the text makes it very difficult to keep track of where the cursor should be when you’re editing the text and constantly adjusting colors.
I tried numerous methods, but in the end I kinda cheated and overlapped two edit boxes – one for editing the macro and one for displaying the coloured text. Keeping the two sync provided a few extra challenges for me though.
Could you tell us about any other mods you are working on?
I have 10 other actively maintained addons on Curse at the moment:
Loremaster and Loremaster Collector – for anyone missing quests for the Loremaster achievement.
Easy Tradeskills – just moves the “has materials” check box back to where it used be before it got put into the flyout menu.
Misdirection Helper 2 – taken over from the original author, a tool for Hunters and Rogues.
Kipper – a guildie had a habit of running into raids with her fishing rod equipped, Kipper just spots things like this and warns you before you make a fool of yourself.
AutoLog – another one taken over from the original author, AutoLog automatically turns on/off combat logging when you enter a preconfigured raid.
Looter’s Aid – Helps with loot distribution and tracking based on the +1 system.
Pet Selector – A hunter addon to help select the best pet for your raid.
Speak Up – adds sounds to in game events such as chat channels, party members dying and lots of others.
Queue Timer – an onscreen countdown timer bar that shows the average wait time for LFD, BG and Secanrios.
We come to the end of the interview. Any shout-outs?
HOPE – for all the help he tirelessly gave with testing Macro Toolkit.
Thank you to Deepac for answering our questions and developing this add-on.