Those of you who have teamed with the Widowed and/or Bloodywedd may have noticed a peculiar quirk which most Heroes don't exhibit: Text macro combat chatter. And I've received quite a few requests along the lines of "Hey, Widdy! How did you do that? I want to do that too." So this is where I show you.
Let's face it: Battle cries suck. You only get one of them, it has a much more limited number of characters, and it comes with a "Go get 'em" pointing emote which you may not find necessary. So clearly the better choice is to create your own way of letting your friends (and maybe even your enemies) know that a fight's about to break out. Text-macro-based combat chatter is easy to create, it's easy to use and it can help roleplaying as it is easily tailored to the personality of the Hero in question; Anyone who has teamed up with both the Widowed and
Bloodywedd has probably noticed the different tones of the chatter that those two fling about.
And, well, even though this is more of a topic for player help and player advice (and I have no earthly idea where those
would go), well, if I want to keep it in the artwork section then I had better pony up one hell of a title board here....
Intro to Combat Chatter, With the Widowed.
(With special thanks to our dear friends at Crey Industries.)
(Yeah, I know. I made the Tank's helmet too big, I forgot to shade in two neckties and one baseball cap, and I have a few smudges to clean up. I'll get right on it....)
And now, the one crucial command that you will need to create a text macro--any
text macro, verbatim:
/macro [name of macro], "[channel] [chatter]"
[name of macro]: The name of the macro, of course. When you create the macro, the button for that macro will appear in the first available slot in the first tray which hasn't yet been completely filled. Alas, that button will only display the first four or so letters of that macro name, so there's no need to get too elaborate and go beyond that.
[channel]: The chat channel which you want the text to appear on. Options include "local", "team", "broadcast", "request", "CoHGuru.com"...et cetera. I happen to be from the camp which believes that Local is for roleplaying and everything else is for out-of-character, so my combat chatter goes in the Local channel. (In the past, I have created a few Tactics macros for Team chat--a la "Go right", "Attack the [targetted enemy]" or "Protect [targetted teammate]"--but these were eventually deleted from lack of use.)
[chatter]: Whatever you want to say, with a push of a button.
So let's get to my two favorite types of text macros: The ones I say when charging into battle:
/macro Hi, "local [chatter]"
...and the ones I say when an enemy has been defeated (preferably whenever my Hero was the one who dealt the deathblow):
/macro Bye, "local [chatter]"
I use a few other types as well: "Run?" (to alert teammates to a fleeing enemy whom I may or may not decide to chase), "Run!" (when we should be the ones fleeing) and "Dead" (when Widdy or Bloody have been felled and are in need of a rez). But these receive such little use that they are less worthy of the mention.
Now, the step-by-step process. And no, Widdy's not in the hospital because she got her butt kicked. I wanted a place with some privacy without the hassle of walking into a door mission. Why not? If you were testing your text macros out in the street somewhere, wouldn't you
get tired of random Heroes coming by and making comments about what you were doing? Yeah, I thought so.
1) Type the macro command into the UI.
2) Hit Enter. The button will pop up in the tray, in the aforementioned location.
3) [Optional] Simply right-click to check the macro for errors.
4) Move the macro into the desired slot in the desired tray.
To use the macros via the keyboard, remember that the minus/underscore key cycles the bottom tray backwards through all nine trays, while the equals/plus key cycles the bottom tray forward. To cycle the second tray (that being either the top tray or the middle tray, depending on if you're displaying two trays or three), you would hold the Alt key while mashing the [-/_] and [=/+] keys. I have yet to figure out the keyboard command for cycling the shiny new third tray; Please enlighten me if you're privy to this knowledge.
Of course, in light of my ignorance towards how to cycle the third tray in that manner, I usually leave the third tray on the highest tray number with macros. Trays #1 and #2 hold powers and other commands that are vital to Widdy's success as a superheroine; Trays 3 and up get to hold the macros.
So I've gotten pretty good at the routine of hitting [Alt +] until I'm at some random combat chatter tray full of Hi and/or Bye macros, mashing an Alt number on the keyboard from [Alt 1] to [Alt 0] corresponding to my want (ie. a "Hi" macro while charging a Crey Tank), then mashing [Alt -] the same number of times, which will put my second tray back at Tray #2.
Really, it's not that difficult. And it gets even easier with practice. I've gotten to where I can do it without looking at either the trays or my keyboard. And if I can do it, well, then you
can probably do it too.
A random "Hi" macro in action. I don't bother checking which macro I'm using before clicking it, as long as the button says "Hi". It keeps the chatter more random that way.
...and a random "Bye" macro in action. Okay, this one isn't
so random; I just wanted you to see what became of our brave little macro which I created in the hospital back there. Heh.
Another important command variable is "$target
". Including this text in your macro chatter will replace "$target" with the name of whatever you've targetted, be it a Hero, a Villain, a citizen, an object...whatever. Observe this command:
/macro Hi, "local Goddamn, $target, you're ugly!"
Depending on what you have targetted, the actual quote would read any number of ways:
"Goddamn, Crey Power Tank, you're ugly!"
"Goddamn, Tyrant, you're ugly!"
"Goddamn, Back Alley Brawler, you're ugly!"
"Goddamn, Xanatos, you're ugly!"
"Goddamn, [null], you're ugly!"
"Goddamn, File cabinet, you're ugly!"
So, you know...use with caution.
There are a few other variables, if you're so inclined to use them. $origin and $archetype are two more. I don't know what use you might have for Origin, but Archetype is suddenly more useful now that we have PvP ("You sure die a lot, even for a Tanker.").
"But Widdy," you say, "Those 'Hi' macros are all well and good, but how do I put one into an actual Taunt or Challenge power?" I'm glad you asked. You see, Widdy has a few of those too. And I create them like this:
/macro Taunt, "local [taunt chatter]$$powexec_name [name of specific power in your Hero's arsenal]"
That way, your Hero gets his chatter off right as he uses his taunt/challenge power. The "$$" separates the two commands in a macro. Observe:
/macro Taunt, "local Bet you can't put out my OTHER eye.$$powexec_name Warriors Challenge"