Evolving healing interface – macro stuff


I’m slowly changing my healing interface to move away from using purely number keys (well the occassional click) for casting healing spells to making better use of my mouse and mouseover healing.

Previously I have been using a ‘left-click target then hit a key’ type healing method mainly targeting via Grid.  This mostly works, but does limit the variety of healing spells you can reach without moving you hand off the movement keys.  In particular once I start using the 4 and 5 key, which had Prayer of Healing and Renew on them, my fingers start to come off the movement keys.  This can be bad.

This isn’t going to be a complete interface overview type post.  Mainly I have been working out macros for casting in both main (discipline) and off (shadow) specs.

This started for a variety of reasons.  On my warrior I have my mouse wheel bound for Shield Slam and Revenge which works very well, but I have forever had my mousewheel bound to zooming in and out on my priest.  Zooming is all well and good, but I don’t really need it bound to one of my most valuable user interaction tools (the mouse wheel).

I’m using a standard 2 button + mouse wheel type mouse.  Pressing the mouse wheel down has activated Ventrillo’s push-to-talk since the beginning of time.  So that leaves two buttons, left = target, right = turn, and scrolling the mousewheel up and down as interface options. Perhaps I should consider a fancy multi-button gaming type mouse?

Another reason is that I have also fiddled with Vuhdo a bit as a potential replacement for Grid/Decursive.  I didn’t end up sticking with Vuhdo for a number of reasons (perhaps a subject for another post?) but it did make me wonder why I was using Decursive.  Decursive is an excellent add-on but do i really need another set of squares just for removing disease and dispelling magic?  I’m thinking I should just set up Grid to display the stuff I can remove and then bind the spells to do it to perhaps ctrl+left click and ctrl+right click or similar.  I haven’t done this yet but it did trigger this how soul searching thing about making use of the mouse better.

So first off the mouse wheel.  I’m using the default Blizzard key binding system so the mouse wheel bindings don’t change between specs.  Basically I wanted a macro that I could bind to mouse-up to cast Mind Blast in Shadow Form or Prayer of Mending otherwise.  This resulted in some learning about how macros work, especially the ‘target’ part of the conditionals.  This was the result:

/cast [stance:1,harm] Mind Blast
/stopmacro [stance:1]
/cast [target=mouseover,help] [help] [target=targettarget,help] [ ] Prayer of Mending

  1. cast Mind Blast if i’m in shadow form and I can harm the target
  2. stop processing the macro if i’m in shadow form.  This is to prevent the following Prayer of Mending from casting if my target is friendly or Mind Blast is on cool down.
  3. cast Prayer of Mending if I’m not in shadowform (from 2 above):
    1. On my mouseover target if I have one who can be the recipient of healing spells or,
    2. On my target if they can be the recipient of healing spells
    3. On the target of my target if they can be the recipient of healing spells.  This is to heal the agro target if I have a foe targeted.
    4. on myself if all else fails.  This is mainly for soloing.

This results in a healing priority of mouseover target > current selected target > targetoftarget > self

This is combined with an aura, from Power Auras Classic, which lets me know if Mind Blast is off cool down in shadow form or if Prayer of Mending is off cool down outside shadowform (in combat only)

Initially I planned to use this macro instead:

/cast [stance:1,harm] Mind Blast
/cast [stance:0,target=mouseover,help] [stance:0,help] [stance:0,target=targettarget,help] [stance:0] Prayer of Mending

But it does not work.  The cast Mind Blast part works fine, but due to the way conditionals work the healing part always failed unless I had myself or no-one targeted.  This is because the ‘target’ part of the conditional always gets processed first.  So I thought “[stance:0,target=mouseover,help]” ment that if I was not in shadowform, and I can heal my mouse over target, then cast PoM.  What I think it was actually doing was saying, if my mouseover target is not in a stance and can be healed then PoM them.

I set up a similar macro for my mouse down only using Mind Flay and Power Word: Shield.

/cast [stance:1,harm,nochanneling] Mind Flay
/stopmacro [stance:1]
/cast [target=mouseover,help] [help] [target=targettarget,help] [ ] Power Word: Shield

The ‘nochanneling’ part just means that Mind Flay won’t be cast if I am already channeling it.

These two work extremely well together for minimising lag effects, especially when DPSing.  Mouse up for Mind Blast then start rolling the mouse wheel down.  As soon as Mind Blast has finished its cast time, regardless of lag, Mind Flay starts casting.  You can keep rolling the mouse wheel down to chain cast Mind Flay without interrupting the currently channeling one.

I still use some keys for casting.  I’m using Bartender4 so the bars change when I change spec. In shadow spec I have the following main spells bound:

Vamp Embrace (1 key), Vampiric Touch (2), Devouring Plague (3) and SW: Pain (4)

The reason I have VE bound to the seemingly important keybind of 1 is that it is actually easier to reach the 2 and 3 keys from my QWEASD movement key setup.  Actually I turn using the right mouse button so A and D don’t really get used.  Currently I click the action bar to cast the less used spells like Mind Sear, Shadowfiend and Dispersion.  I have some healing spells on my bars too for shadow but they are all manually clicked if I need them.

When in Discipline spec I have my keys set up like this:

Renew(1), Penance(2), FH(3), PoH(4), Pain Suppression(`), Mass Dispel (r)

Once again I have lots of other spells, including wand and shadow spells, on my bars but they are manually clicked to cast.

There is one more type of macro (well a few but this is the last i’m going to mention) that I use regularly.  Renew, Penance and Flash Heal all are cast using a macro like this:

/cast [target=mouseover,help] [help] [target=targettarget,help] [ ] Renew

This is very similar to my mousewheel macros.  Heal my mouseover target if possible, otherwise my current target, otherwise my target’s target otherwise myself.  This is part of my accidental program to move to a more mouse-over healing type interface.

OK one more macro:

#showtooltip Red Drake
/castrandom [nomounted, flyable] Red Drake, Majestic Flying Carpet
/castrandom [nomounted] Swift Green Hawkstrider, Black War Bear

This randomly casts a mount of the appropriate type or dismounts if mounted.  Sadly It works really well about three times per login then stops working for some reason.  I think castrandom is broken.

So what’s next?

I guess the next bit is to get Grid to display magic and diseases in an effective way and then set up a simple way of removing them.  That would allow me to drop Decursive.

Anyway, enough rambling.  Better post this before I start on another topic.

Gobble gobble.


26 Responses to Evolving healing interface – macro stuff

  1. Keeva says:

    I have Grid colour the person’s frame according to debuffs.

    If they are poisoned, their whole frame turns green. If cursed, they go purple. A lot of people prefer icons, but I find it much easier to have the frame change colour – I can react faster than trying to interpret an icon.

    For me, abolish poison is bound to G and abolish curse to shift-G (I like to keep related spells on the same key, but with modifiers).

  2. Hikari says:

    Not going to lie. Never have used a macro before except a “using PS on this person” one. Or even better, the old standard Tranq Shot macros in BWL as a hunter.

    :E Interesting read though!

  3. leneliesvoice says:

    You know I want to do the mount macro but it is just such a pain to type in all the mounts I really wish you could just do /castrandom [nomounted, flyable] and it pull random from all the fliers etc

  4. jfpro123 says:

    using the Logitech G5

    and Uberoptions

    Using mouseover macros(using Grid & some Clique)all of these are on my mouse
    left mouse – GH
    alt left mouse – target (not used much)
    right mouse – PW:S
    wheel forward – FH
    wheel backward – Penance
    push middle button – renew
    tilt middle button either way – mass dispel
    first button behind mouse – PoH
    second button behine mouse – BH
    side buttons – PS and PI

  5. BobTurkey says:

    You guys camping my blog or something? 😉

    @keena – yeah i was thinking of making the border change colour or perhaps the the background. No sure yet. F or G might be good keys to use. Thanks for idea.

    @hikari – I’m not exactly a die hard macro person, but I am finding them mroe and more useful.

    @leneliesvoice – I discovered that Bliz intentionally broke /castrandom to prevent people from using it. A kind of anti-botting strategy, but it makes no sense to me. I guess they had problems i’m not aware of.

    Short story is /castrandom is useless ATM. 😦

    Thanks for the comments all.

  6. Tamarind says:

    (For some reason I can’t seem to comment on your blog without logging into WordPress… it’s driving me nuts 🙂 )

    I really like Vuhdo, partially because I’m crap with Grid – I’d be interested to read your evaluation, and why you didn’t like it.

  7. shamus says:

    I’d be interested in why you didn’t get on with VuhDo. I was a long time user of Grid+Clique but have over the last month or so switched to VuhDo. I’ve found it better for displaying stuff like PW:S and Weakened Soul, especially as it can fight timers on as well.

    When mouseover casting was first introduced I set up all my macros for it but I still got annoyed with it being keypress based. I do virtually everything off mouse clicks now.

  8. senres says:

    @Keeva – That’s a good idea to color Grid’s background. Maybe I’ll try that. My current setup is to display magic effects in the top center and disease effects in the bottom center. As such the location of the icon tells me if I need to cast Dispel Magic or Abolish Disease.

    @BobTurkey – One thing you might want to consider is only putting instant cast spells on mouse buttons and other non-movement keys. For healing your setup looks solid. For Shadow I’d consider putting Mind Blast and Mind Flay back on the keyboard and but Devouring Plague and SW:D (or something similar) on the mouse.

    I am reorganizing my keybinds right now to put all of my instant cast spells on either the mouse or accessible by my pinky. As an example I have Power Word: Shield bound to ;. What that means is that as I am running I can shield myself and others without moving any finger from my movement keys.

    I am left-handed so I use i,j,k,l as movement keys (hence ; is my pinky). As a right hander you’d need to translate your movement keys over a bit: e,s,d,f or r,d,f,g instead of w,a,s,d.

  9. Abi says:

    I’ve been tempted to set up some mouseover/grid+clid healing macros lately, so this was definitely a good read. I like Keeva’s idea of making the grid box purple for curse and green for poison (as a fellow druid) to keep it simple. I want to set it up where I can remove Decursive altogether and use grid for a left/right click dispel with the mouse wheel pushed in to use Rejuvination on the mouseover target. No reason to make my life any harder, right?

  10. savagefear says:

    Mounted: Does the whole “random” mount thing. Generates a “macro” that changes every time you go to mount.


  11. seesharp60 says:

    Bob, long time reader, first time commenter…

    If your goal is to remove the two step process of:
    a) click to select a target in Grid
    b) Hit a keyboard command to heal that target

    Consider this:
    a) “Chord” click the target in Grid. Done.

    Chord, as in music. Different combos of shift/alt/control along with left, right and other special mouse buttons, give you enough permutations.

    My “chords”:
    left-click: flash heal
    right-click: greater heal
    control-left: PoM
    shift-left: binding heal
    shift-right: shield
    alt-left: wings
    button 4 on mouse: renew

    Downside is a small learning curve.It takes about a day to hard wire these in to your head.

    Also, long ago, my movement keys were shifted one key to the left. So forward is E, back is D. I found the typical inverted T puts far too much emphasis on the weaker ring finger (W forward, S backwards). Your middle finger is much strong, at least if you’re right handed, like me.

    So I end up doing all my healing and navigation, with left hand on keyboard, right hand on mouse. Chat is the only time I need to get both hands on keyboard.

    And my scroll wheel stays intact for zooming, which I believe to pretty critical.

    Now, I still use decursive. That would require two more chords if I integrate it back into Grid + Clique, but I’m trying to avoid three “note” chords, like shift+control+left for magic, etc.

    Love your blog!! I read it everyday.

  12. seesharp60 says:

    Oh, one more benefit. You don’t need macros, at all with this.

  13. seesharp60 says:

    How could I forget, two most important one for healers:

    “X” for Circle of Healing.
    The big problem I have with CoH is that frequently, the last person I have targeted, is sometimes out of range. So I have to left-click somewhere, to deselect my target, then press X.

    “H” for Prayer of Healing
    Again, for the same reason as X, in 10 and 25, I usually select the party in my raid that needs it most, by middle-clicking a target, then hitting H. Usually, my MT is targeted, I’m in the tank’s party, so we all get a nice, fat PoH heal (with 3 stacks of Serendipity), when I press “H”.

    Also, I found it necessary to still select people in Grid. Since left click is mapped to Flash Heal, I mapped the middle-mouse click to select. Then, in Clique, I have to tell it to ignore regular party and target frames. That was a life saver.

    Other misc keyboard mappings:
    q quest log
    w e r (slide left, forward, slide right)
    t (not used! I just found a free key!)

    a (fade)
    s d f (turn left, back, turn right)
    g map

    z dispel
    x CoH
    c character panel
    v (unused, another free key, damn!)
    b bags

  14. 1ucerna says:

    As mentioned above I feel that Grid + Clique, or something similar but simpler, HealBot, are by far the easiest ways to heal. No having to click 3D targets at all. Shift/Alt/Ctrl+Left/Middle/Right buttons is enough combinations for pretty much all your spells.

    Also wanted to share my mount macro:
    #showtooltip Magnificent Flying Carpet
    /use [nomounted,flyable] Magnificent Flying Carpet; [nomounted,noflyable] Swift White Steed
    /stopmacro [nomounted]
    /dismount [mounted]
    /cast [target=player] Levitate

    If you are not mounted and in a flyable area it will use your Magnificent Flying Carpet (or your Flying) mount.
    If you are not mounted and in a non-flyable area it will use your Swift White Steed (or your Non-Flying) mount.
    If you are mounted, it will dismount you and cast Levitate.

  15. 1ucerna says:

    Not sure where the tabs instead of spaces came from in the above macro.

  16. seesharp60 says:

    I like that macro 1ucerna. One question: why dismount as Levitate? Because it’s cool? That’s a valid reason 🙂

  17. xeonio says:

    I move with the WASD keys and I haven’t changed Q or E cuz I strafe… A LOT. I use T, G, Z and X (I kind of hate using X since its also the fly down button but I have a mouse). Other then that I use 1 through ‘=’ but mainly just 1-6 and the equal sign.

    On GRID I have upper right be magic or disease (magic is bluish, disease is brown), in bottom right hand I have curse (purple) and poison (green). Around the border I have a yellow outline if they have weakened soul debuff. Lower left corner I have a green dot to let me know if they have renew up.

  18. 1ucerna says:

    @seesharp60 Yes, because its cool :p Also fun to dismount in mid-air and take no fall damage.
    Only situation were I could say it might be useful is jumping of a cliff in the non-flyable areas, nice run up with your mount and then dismount into Levitate to float down.

  19. BobTurkey says:

    Thanks for the comments all.

    I’m reserving my judgement on Vuhdo ATM, but its Grid 1 Vuhdo 0. I will post about it some time soon.

    I ended up putting ‘debuff type: magic’ and ‘debuff type: disease’ (if you use Grid this might make sense) as icons on the bottom of my Grid cell. As per Keeva’s suggestion i’ve currently got Dispel Magic bound to ‘F’ and Abolish Disease to ‘G’. I haven’t used them seriously yet though. I’ll know more after the next Faction Champions fight 🙂

    I’ve left Decursive on and will compare it with Grid soon.

    Having moved to icons in Grid it is starting to look like Vuhdo though…

    @senres – For healing I have instants on the mouse wheel, but for DPS I have Mind Blast and Mind Flay. This works really well so far, but i’ve only raided a few fights as shadow.

    @savage – Thanks for the tip on Mounted addon.

    @seesharp60 – Welcome. I initially planned on using ‘chords’ but found the binding too confusing. The modifier keys are also in a bad spot for me to access except with my little finger.

    I also have my left hand moving and casting (via keyboard) and my left hand turning, targeting and now also doing some casting via the mouse. I don’t have any issue with my ring finger. My little finger however is too weak for regular use when raiding.

    I love Decursive, but I want to get rid of it because it take up screen space, some CPU and it duplicates whats being displayed in Grid.

    re:macros – once you ge the hang of them the basic casting ones i’m using are pretty easy. Then again i’m a former developer…

    @1ucerna – I’ve never used Clique but as I understand it the macros i’ve manually written absically duplicate its functionality.

    Thanks all.

  20. buffarms says:

    Always been anti-Grid, am now VuhDo for life. We can agree to disagree on that, but I sympathize with your reluctance to bind your mouse wheel to anything besides zoom — I can’t imagine. I like having the best of both worlds: wheel decurses on VuhDo mouseover, zooms otherwise.

    Your setup seems pretty intact, I don’t see why you’d need a fancy gaming mouse. I play on a laptop so I actually heal with a wireless mouse *gasp*. I did upgrade to a (standard, non-gaming) 4-button mouse, with which I’m very pleased. Thumb click for bubbles!

    I’m here to talk about Decursive though. I recently bound my decursing spells (am disc, so Abolish and Dispel) to up and down mouse scrolls in VuhDo. I was pretty fast at decursing before, but now I am blazingly fast. It’s extra supremely awesome for timing-critical dispels like the Fusion Punch — previously I had to stop healing, go hold my mouse over the Decursive box I’d memorized as belonging to the tank, and wait for the effect to pop. Eliminating that travel time is just fantastic.

    However, I haven’t quite been able to let go of all the extra information Decursive provides… Without the popup box to tell me what ailment it is, I’m decursing blindly, not able to prioritize that polymorph or mind control out of the group of that’s merely slowed. I also don’t include pets in my raid frames for healing, but will randomly decurse them if I have nothing else to do, since they do appear in my Decursive array (though I guess it’s somewhat silly to say I’ll decurse but not heal them). So I’m currently still running both. Has anyone else been able to successfully wean themselves off of Decursive? Any tips for coping with *not knowing* what effect you’re dispelling?

  21. BobTurkey says:

    anti-Grid? Crazy talk! 🙂 Actually I don’t really miss zoming, other than playing with it when i’m bored between fights. I kep accidentally casting PoM and PW:S on myself out of combat.

    re:Decursive – i’m finding myself removing pretty much everything in raids. About the only thing I remove sometimes which is probably a waste is the debuff from Frostbolt. I must admit when learning new fights not having the detail of the magic/poison/curse/disease will be a slight annoyance, but Once I know what gets thrown around in a fight I don’t look at it anyway. I also use it a bit in Faction Champions, purely because of the huge variety of debuffs happening, but i’m usually assigned to remove anything anyway so thats what I do.

    Decursive is a great addon, i’m just not convinced I need it along with a decent Grid/Vuhdo set-up.

  22. sparklefreeze says:

    Looking forward to your Grid vs VuhDo post. I saw my friend’s VuhDo UI and his crazy praise for it. It does seem that VuhDo’s got pretty much every essential healer add-on rolled into it and I’m considering fiddling with it for a couple of test drive raids.

    I’ve always stuck with healing on clique + grid so all my action is in the click + button combos. It’s prolly coz my preference is to have bosses in my target frame so I see what naughtiness they’re up to next. My problem is that I’ve run out of bindings on clique. Prolly time to think abt key bindings and mouseovers.

  23. […] on from my earlier post about my changing healing UI the evolution has continued and is starting to settle at a new steady state.  This is one of my […]

  24. khenna says:

    I’ve recently switched to Vuhdo (because of your posts here). I must say…WOW! I have become “that healer” everyone talks about with lightning quick reflexes who saves the group from wiping (did it last night on Headless Horseman- me and a DPS cat took him alone…almost, dang Fade CD. lol).
    I LOVE Vuhdo!! It has brought my “A-game” out for sure. I’ve used Helaobot, Grid and a couple others in the past with little success. The ease of use/setup of Vuhdo is phenominal compared to them.
    Do you think I like it? I DO! Would I recommend it? OF COURSE, delete all the others and get to know it, you WON’T be sorry!! Just make sure you have a good gaming mouse, I’m in the market for an even better one now, maybe the WOW one I saw at Best Buy…

  25. BobTurkey says:

    Heh heh, glad to hear. That what addons should do. Make you a better player or enhance your expereince.

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