Tuesday, March 31, 2009



LunarSphere is a mod that does a lot of things. At its heart, it is a sphere action bar mod, but unlike the other sphere mods I have tested, it is not class-specific, and has far more customizability and side options. LS's official user manual can be found here.
  • Up to 2 circular gauges for rep/health/energy/xp/5-second-rule/etc.
  • All buttons can have unique actions assigned to left, right, and middle-clicks
  • 10 main buttons that can be turned into menus
  • 12 extra buttons available per menu for a total of 120 buttons with 3 possible actions each
  • Main sphere can become minimap or an extra action button, with a text display
  • Built-in keybinding interface
  • Stance support per menu
  • All elements can be skinned with your own graphics
  • It can co-exist with other bar mods because the action buttons are not tied to the blizzard action bars
  • Speech tools for automated announcements on action or spell cast
  • Mount and vanity pet random selection, with controls for epics vs 60% and ground vs flying
  • Dynamic selection of "best" food/water/potion in inventory
  • Auto-repair, auto-sell greys, auto-reagent purchase
  • Simple tooltip skinning and positioning
  • And probably more.

To the left is a screenshot of my druid's LunarSphere, showing 5 of the 10 main buttons that are available. The buttons on either end of the chain have been made into menues.

The column of buttons reaching up the screen is a submenu. The submenus can be customized to show on your preference: at a click of the menu button, on mouseover, or always shown. Here, the submenu is closed:

The graphic in the center sphere is one that I made for myself, using artwork from a webcomic that I enjoy. You can download some of the graphics that I and others have made here (shameless self-plug!).

ALERT: When updating Lunarsphere, DO NOT overwrite your LunarSphereImports folder. If you use any sort of downloading/automatic install tool such as WoWMatrix or Curse's downloader, you will need to make sure you back up your imports folder before allowing it to update your LunarSphere, or you will lose all of the graphics and scripts you have imported previously.

Getting Started

When you first load LunarSphere, you will be prompted to either load a class template, a generic template, or start from scratch.

  • Class templates load up your known spells into pre-defined menus. If you learn a new spell after loading the template, you will need to add the spell manually, or reload the template.

  • Generic templates will not load your class spells, but will add mounts, food/water, potions, and trinkets.

  • Start from Scratch will begin with nothing bound to your buttons. It is my preferred method, since I like building it myself so that I know where everything is.

Starting from scratch, you can see that you have 10 main buttons surrounding a center sphere, which has two ring gauges (defaulted to your health and energy), and a blank center icon.

Ctrl-click on the main, central sphere to bring up the "mini menu." From here, you can open the main settings window, lock the buttons/sphere placement, and open the buttons for editing. When you first load LunarSphere, the editing mode will automatically be turned on.

Editing buttons:

The 10 buttons around the sphere are the main buttons, and they are the only buttons that can be made into menus. The submenus that each of these 10 main buttons can create contain up to 12 buttons each. You cannot nest menus within a menu.

When you click on a button in the edit mode, you will bring up this settings menu.
  • Stances: individual warrior or druid stances can be applied to a main menu button, and if you enable stance support on a main menu button, all of its submenu buttons will have stance settings as well. If stances are enabled, you can apply a different set of actions to each of the clicks for every individual stance or shapeshift form that you know.

  • Click Actions: these drop-down lists are where you decide what each button does when you click it. You can select a different action for each of the three main mouse buttons.

  • Keybinds: this is where you click to set a keybind for that particular click action. Instead of having to click on the button with that mouse key, you can press your specified keybind to activate that action. If you have stances turned on, then that keybind will copy over to that mouse click for each stance, so lay out your actions wisely.

  • Show Icon, Count, Cooldown: This applies to the graphic on the button. You can select which of your assigned click actions shows its graphic icon, count (# of potions for example), and cooldown on the button.

  • Set button padding: individual control over this button's distance from other buttons.

When you have edited a button, be sure to hit "Save" at the bottom, or the changes you made will not be saved.

Advanced Button Editing:

Menu Buttons:
These are the click options available for a MAIN MENU BUTTON. Fewer options are available for submenu buttons.

In order to turn one of your main buttons into a menu, select "Open Menu" for one of your click actions on that button. When you save this button, its submenu buttons will show up for you to edit.

This will also open up new options on the settings menu below the icon/stack/cooldown choices. These new settings determine the scale of the "child" submenu buttons, their padding, and the direction the menu angles away from the main menu button. You can also choose if the button or its submenu will show or hide on different conditions.

Other actions:
You can see in the list on the left that there are lots of other actions you can apply to a button. All of these actions can be applied to any submenu button as well, EXCEPT for those pertaining to the creation of menus.

Moving buttons:
You can drag and drop a button to any other available action button or submenu action button. What this does is copy the contents from one place to another. All keybinds go with the contents of the button.

Detaching buttons:
You may detach any of the 10 main buttons from being locked to the center sphere by checking this option in the button's settings. The button will then appear in the center of your screen, where you can then move it where-ever you would like. Locking and unlocking detached buttons is done separately from the main sphere and its attached buttons, and is available as an option from the ctrl-right-clicked mini-menu.

Deleting buttons:
You can delete the contents of an action button by holding the CTRL key while right-clicking on the button. This action is irreversible, but does not completely remove the button from future use: it just clears out its contents.

Menu Example:
Below are some of the options I have selected for my "professions" menu button:

- Left Click to open submenu.

- Right Click to use the submenu action that I used most recently: in this case, it was leatherworking. I have keybound this click-use to be "i" so that I can quickly redo something, such as fishing or disenchanting, without having to reopen the menu, or even clicking on the menu button.

- Middle Click (scrollwheel) to use a random epic flying mount.

Stance support is not selected, and the button shows all the information on my last-used submenu action. The menu angle I chose is 90 degrees (vertically up) and is offset by 100 degrees (the submenu is set 100 degrees off of the main menu button, which is just slightly off-kilter).

I have it open/close my menu on mouseover for ease, though I can still left-click it to open or close as well. Since this menu is to be used for just my professions, I chose to have its submenu hide when combat starts.

Button Tips and Tricks:

- Show Major Cooldowns
Have your main sphere buttons show the icon and cooldown of a spell that is one of your major cooldowns. This way, you can monitor the cooldown at a glance. Any other actions you have bound to that button should be ones without a cooldown, unless you have a different method for monitoring those hidden cooldowns.

- Self-Cast Bandaging
Make use of the Spell/Item/Macro (self-cast) with a bandage. It saves time from having to target yourself, if you have not already macroed it.

- Alter your macros to account for button clicks.
"/cast [button:2] Thorns; Mark of the Wild" will, for example, not fire Thorns if you put it in the left-click position of the editing menu, because LunarSphere will only run the macro if it is left-clicked (button:1) and, in the given macro, thorns is only fired with a right-click (button:2). You can, however, place this macro in both the left and right-click positions at the same time, and then the macro will operate normally.

- Use macros to expand what your buttons can do.
Use Ctrl/Shift/Alt modifiers to enhance the number of clicks you can keybind into a single button. You can also use #showtooltip Spellname on a macro to have it show a completely different cooldown from any of the actions that you have bound to that button. For example: Left-click Mark of the Wild, right-click Thorns, middle-click vanity pet, shift-click Gift of the Wild, and yet show the cooldown on Wild Growth, all in one button.

NOTE: the macros you use in Lunarsphere MUST have unique names in order for the mod to call them up correctly. If two macros have the same name, they will not work.

~for tips on creating macros, you can see my guide here.~

- Mounts
Separate your epic ground and epic flying mount summons so that you have control over which (ground or flying) you choose to summon. The alternative is to create a mount-summoning macro with the [flyable] modifier, but this will not randomly select among your mounts and must be told specifically which to summon.

- Combine similar spells or actions
Keep similar actions bound to the same button, so you can easily remember where to find them. Hearthstone, Portal to Moonglade, and the Black Temple Portal necklace can all be click actions together in one button, for example; or left-click to open enchanting menu, and right-click to disenchant.

- Last-Used Submenu Action
Make use of this action on your menu buttons, particularly with a professions menu. This is exceptionally handy for disenchanting, milling herbs, prospecting ore, and fishing. I also suggest keybinding this action.

- Create a Bag Menu
One click to open the menu, one to open all the bags, and one to just toggle the primary backpack that your looted stuff filters into. Add your other bags individually as submenu actions. You can tell one of the submenu bags to also toggle the keyring, if you prefer.

LunarSphere Settings:

This is where you can find the settings for the main sphere, gauges, tooltips, speech, skin, and more.

The first tab is the Sphere settings panel. You can see the other option tabs listed along the far left.

You can select what text is shown on your main sphere. If you have a different click-action bound to your sphere, you can choose to have it report a completely different cooldown or count in this window. There are other options you could select for your text, or you can choose to have it show no text at all.

The overall scaling and spacing options here will apply to all of the buttons that have not been individually set in their own edit button settings.

You could also choose to completely hide the center sphere, which will hide its gauges as well.

Gauge Settings:

This tab controls the two rings circling the Sphere. There is an outer gauge and an inner gauge.
  • Gauge event: this is what that gauge is monitoring. There are many options in the drop-down menu.

  • Color: the color of the gauge.

  • Marks: this is the number of hash marks that circle the length of the gauge, helping you to visually see relative percentages. 5 marks will break it up into segments of 20%, and 10 marks will break it up into segments of 10%.

  • Angle Offset: this will rotate the gauge.

  • Reverse: the gauge will now fill clockwise. Unchecked, it will fill counter-clockwise.

  • Show gauge: you can choose to turn off one or both gauges. Hiding a gauge will show more of your center sphere graphic.

Button Settings:

Here you can customize all of the buttons.

  • Button Status Colors: Check the box if you wish to customize the colors that will mark your buttons when your current target is out of range, out of mana, or both.

  • Global Scale: this is the size of all of the main buttons and submenu buttons, and will affect all of the buttons that you have not individually scaled in their own button settings.

  • Cooldown Options: Select whether or not you want the GCD (global cooldown) timer to show on your buttons, to make them shine when they come off of cooldown, and if they will show the cooldown count in text format. You can change the colors of the cooldown tint and text colors, and select from a list of special cooldown effects.

  • Display Options: These are miscellaneous options regarding keybinds, DrDamage support (an outside mod), pet buttons, and how the mod handles your drag-and-drop of buttons from one place to another.

Reagent Settings:

In the Reagent tab, you can choose to auto-restock some of your reagents. Drag a stack of reagents from your inventory to add them to the list, and type out the number you wish to keep on you.

Now, whenever you visit a reagent vendor with that item, LunarSphere will automatically purchase the number of reagents you need to refill your current stack.

It will not go over this stack limit. If your reagents are purchased in stacks rather than individually, then it will only purchase the stacks that will get it as close as possible to your limit without going over that limit (such as symbols for paladins).

I highly suggest that you confirm purchases over 10g (once this feature has been re-enabled). I once copied my settings to an alt and about died when it auto-purchased 20g worth of reagents I didn't need.

Inventory Settings:

Hey, auto-repair!

Auto-selling gray items will occur the moment you talk to any vendor. Printouts of profit reports, if selected, will go in your chat window. There is currently no way to specify particular gray items that you don't want it to sell, aside from "non-equip," "weapons," and "armor," so if you want it to sell old plate boots but not your fancy Cloth Hat, don't select this feature.

Auto-repair will repair anytime you chat with a repair vendor, and log the results for your perusal. As with auto-selling junk, the printout goes to your chat log. You can choose to make it use guild repair when it has been made available by your guild leader. If you don't check the guild repair box, it will use your own funds every time.

There's a nice little option to bypass all vendor gossip text and jump straight to the buy/sell/repair window, eliminating the extra clicking.

Lastly, the Auction House options speed up your mail collection by automatically collecting all AH mail with money and/or items attached, and can also show your total bids/auctions price.

Speech Settings:

This window is where Resurrection Macros go wild.

Speeches are things that will automatically be said in the /say channel whenever you perform a specific chosen action. These are used primarily for humor and fun, a way to spice up the standard "Ressing %T" macros.

A Script is a list of different speeches you'd like to have available for a particular action. You can import or export your scripts. Making the script global will make that script available to all of your characters, rather than just your current character.

To add speeches, type one in to the "current speech" box and hit Add. To edit a speech, select it from the list, make your alterations, and hit Save.

%T will insert the name of your current target into the macro. %F will insert the name of your focus target, and %P will insert the name of your non-companion pet.

To bind your script to an action, select the Settings sub-tab.

You can drag and drop a spell or macro into the box next to the Add button, and then hit Add. This will add the new spell or macro to the list of things that will automatically fire off one of the speeches from the script.

You can change the chat channel to be a different one from the default /say channel. As a general warning, be gentle with your channel selection, as scripts can get spammy if mishandled.

The odds affects how often a speech might be selected when the action occurs, vs not happening at all.

If you choose to pick speeches in order, it will go down the list from one speech to the next each time you perform the chosen action. If not, it will select randomly.

The speeches in my revive/rebirth script can be found here.

Skins Settings:

The Skins panel controls the visual elements of LunarSphere. You can reskin the sphere graphic, button borders, gauge shading, and the main border.

You can select the style you like most from the designs that come packaged with LunarSphere, or you can import your own.

Imported art must be in .blp or .tga format, with pixel dimensions in multiples of 16, which is standard for all WoW imported art. 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, etc must be the pixel heights or widths for any given graphic. For sake of ease, I recommend 64x64 TGA with a transparent background around the circular graphic. A detailed guide on creating your own sphere graphics can be found here. Alternatively, you could save your graphic as a .png and use a converter tool to change it to a .blp.

If you would prefer not dabbling in graphic editing yourself, there are several people who may be available to turn an image you have found into a sphere graphic that you can import into LunarSphere. To do so, I recommend that you put a post on the official LunarSphere forums asking for an icon to be made, with a link to your graphic.

To import art, you need to drop your (appropriately sized) .tga or .blp graphics into the LunarSphereImports folder in your addons folder (before you have started up WoW). Then, once the game is loaded and you have brought up this panel in settings, you click on the Import Art button, which will bring up this window.

Type in the EXACT NAMES of the graphic files in the folder, excluding the .tga and .blp extensions, each filename separated by a comma as shown. Some large collections you can download from LunarSphere's website include lists that you can copy-paste (ctrl c, ctrl v) to quickly import a large number of files without having to individually type them out. They will be uploaded to the selected category once you click "Import," and then be available for selection in the main skin settings panel.

Random Graphic Shuffle:

If you check the "Use random sphere texture," it will change your sphere texture from among those you have imported every time you log into your character. If you'd like to make this graphic change a click-action, you can use this script:

/script Lunar.Sphere:SetSphereTexture(math.random(1, (Lunar.includedSpheres + LUNAR_EXTRA_SPHERE_ICON_COUNT + Lunar.API:GetArtCount("sphere"))));

Turn the above script into a macro, and then insert the macro as one of your click actions.

LunarSphere Graphics downloads:

Tooltip Settings:

You can just click through the 4 information/size options to see the difference in-game. These are fairly straightforward, and you can see the changes to the tooltip size and configuration by selecting each at a time and mousing over one of your action buttons to test the changes. A beginner may wish to have full text showing for each click; as you grow more comfortable with your layout, you may choose to slim down the information showing so that the tooltips don't take up so much screen space.

You can also select a different location for your LunarSphere tooltips, and also change the location of the default tooltips. To change the game's default tooltip location, check the box next to "Set default GameTooltip anchor" and then press "Show." You will see a little moveable box appear with corners/sides you can select: this is the "anchor" for the tooltip, rather than the tooltip itself. The tooltip will rest on the side or corner of this anchor box that you have selected.

Personally, I prefer them both to be locked to the far right side of my screen, far enough up that they won't interfere with threat meters or standard backpack when opened.

** If you have any specific questions or bug reports, I recommend asking on the LunarAddons forums, where a team of LS addicts and our catlord Moongaze reside! **

Monday, March 30, 2009

Useful Little Mods

Here are some mods that I find rather nifty, but may not be widely known.


/lrm show

Does your roll window interfere with your casting or healing? Does it block important things on your UI? Well, move it.

Setup: Just move it where you want it, right click the frame to lock it, and you're good to go.


Wanna remember where your herb and ore nodes are so you can fly by later and see if it has respawned? Have your minimap track your node locations! Works for all node-specific gathering professions, as well as Hodir Ice Shards and treasure chests. Adds icons to your world map, and simple circle outlines when you get close to a node on your minimap so that any yellow tracking dots are visible.

Setup: works great out-of-the-box, though it does not come with pre-installed node locations. You can download locations with an additional addon, or hunt them out yourself.


For teh rogues! A moveable poison menu that will open/close at a click, listing all available poisons in your inventory and applying them to your MH with a left click, and your OH with a right click. Only useful for rogues.

Setup: just choose the position for your button menu.



We all know that if you can't learn a recipe, then it is colored red. Well, how about coloring the ones you already know with green? This mod will also color recipes that your alts already know, so that you don't buy a recipe for your alt only to find out later that it isn't needed!

Setup: works great out-of-the-box. Just make sure to open your professions tabs in-game for the mod to parse when you first install it.


Moveable paperdoll durability alert, PLUS it will add your durability percent to each item on your character equipment panel, along with an estimated cost of the repairs they require.

Setup: no configuration.



BA-DUMP! A working makeover of the old JIM'S CooldownPulse. Multiple frames are available with different scaling/opacity options, and you can choose to monitor more than just your spell cooldowns. Import any sound you wish to use as the pulse sound. Supports scrolling combat text alerts.

Setup: it works okay out of the box, but adding sound and personalization will take some work given the number of options available. Does not come with its own sound files. I recommend grabbing the lubdub.wav file from a JIM'S CooldownPulse folder and copying it to the GhostPulse sounds folder, then importing it in your in-game GhostPulse menu.


A purely audio mod that plays a sound each time you gain a combo point OR shaman maelstrom stacks, and when they reset to zero. There is an option to only play a sound when you reach the maximum stack of MW or CP, if you prefer. The defaults are subtle and non-distracting. You can add your own sound files to use, but personally, I find the defaults very nice.

Setup: works great out-of-the-box.


Do the skins on your action bars bore you? Make them cool and shiny with this mod! Simple skinning mod with additional presets available for download. The above skin is Entropy, one that I use. Gloss (highlight over the buttons) and no-gloss (just the border) options are available. It can also skin your Buffalo buff bars, if you use the icon format!

Setup: through the main WoW addons panel, it requires some selection of what mods you want to skin, and with what skin, and down to individual action bars if you wish. Additional skin designs must be downloaded and installed.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Keybinds

Edit 5/6/10: I have a fresh (and graphical) layout of my keybinds posted here, but this post still serves well with recommendations on things you need to consider when setting up your own keybinds.

My keybinds and macros are built for cross-spec support. With both a feral druid and a resto druid as well as relatively frequent respecs to turkey, I need my keybinds to be as flexible as they can without hindering me in any of the specs, while maintaining a minimal number of buttons showing on my screen.

The mods:

For my bindings, I use a manual keybinds on my action bars (Bartender and LunarSphere) combined with Bindpad.
  • Bindpad assigns the keybind to the actual macro or action, though it cannot bind mouse buttons. No stance support.
  • LunarSphere assigns the keybind to a specific macro or action as well, and CAN bind mouse buttons. Stance support.
  • Bartender assigns the keybind to the specific action button, can bind mouse buttons, and can completely hide a bar of keybound macros from being seen or clicked on your screen. Stance support.
I like to use bindpad because I can then move my actions around on my bars without having to redo the keybindings, and they're all easily visible in one panel together, rather than having to show a bartender bar I had hidden, or individually mouse-over LunarSphere submenu buttons that have 3 keybinds per button per stance. LS and Bartender just take over where Bindpad leaves off.

The binds:

I keep my left hand resting over the WASD keys, pinky on the shift key, and thumb on the spacebar. Pinky can reach shift, ctrl, and 3 extra buttons my G15 keyboard has to the side, and my thumb can reach the alt key. My A and D keys have been bound to strafe when I hold the Shift key. My right hand is on my 5-button mouse (Logitech), and mouse-look is frequently used, as with using my scroll wheel to zoom my camera. This setup thus has 15 easily reachable keys plus all 3 modifier keys, and 5 total mouse-buttons. I have trouble with my long fingers hitting the x, c, and v keys so I don't count them :)

Generic/caster, Bear, Cat, Tree, Moonkin

  • ~ is Hurricane, Survival Instincts, Survival Instincts
  • 1 is Bearform, Feral Charge - Bear
  • 2 is NS + HT macro
  • 3 is Catform, Prowl
  • 4 is Travel Form
  • 5 is Innervate (self), Berserk, Rip
  • q is Regrowth/Swiftmend, Swipe/Bash, Swipe/Rake, Starfire/Moonfire
  • e is Lifebloom/Rejuv, Maul/Mangle/Lacerate, FB/Maim/Rip, Wrath/Insect Swarm
  • t is variable on spec
  • y is Faerie Fire macro
  • f is Focus Target macro
  • g is Trinket + Lifebloom, + Mangle Bear, + Mangle Cat, + Starfire
  • M3 is Cyclone/Moonfire rank 1, Growl/Challenging/Demo Roar, Shred/Mangle/Ravage/FerociousBite
  • M4 auto-run
  • M5 is Raid Icon/Regrowth/dismount macro

My "t" key is a matter of contention among my various specs, mostly because moonkin and treeform both share the stance # of 5, and my feral druid's stance:5 is actually Swift Flight Form. So,
  • Resto "t" is Treeform, Nourish
  • Moonkin "t" is Moonkin form, Typhoon
  • Feral "t" is Enrage/FrenziedRegen/Challenging Roar, Dash/Savage Roar

I also have a G15 keyboard. I love this thing. The thing about these keys is that, when resting your hand over the WASD keys, the vast majority of the extra keys this keyboard provides are out of your reach (at least for my fingers, and my fingers are pretty long!). The only ones I can easily reach without stretching too far are the G12, G15, and G18 keys: the three keys closest to the capslock, shift, and ctrl buttons. I use these for:
  • G12 is Wild Growth, Feral Charge - Bear, Feral Charge - Cat, Starfall
  • G15 is Abolish Poison
  • G18 is Remove Curse
WoW, by default, does not recognize these extra keys as actual bindable keys. In order to bind these in-game, I had to tell the keyboard through its own macroing software that the keys were actually ctrl-shift-4, ctrl-shift-:, and ctrl-shift-" respectively, keystrokes I was unlikely to type out accidentally. The game itself was then able to recognize the keystroke combinations as bindable combinations, allowing these extra keys to be bound.

In addition, I have bound my Itemrack sets to my NumPad. These keys are recognized separately from the number keys along the top of the keyboard, so you can use them for less important keybinds. For example, NumPad1 is my healing kit, and NumPad6 is my tanking kit.

I have tried the Ideazon FANG gamepad, but it was really uncomfortable. The key spacing did not fit my hand, and I felt awkward with it, not knowing which of the tiny buttons I was pressing and my fingers kept slipping off the big bulky arrow keys. I gave it an honest try with both WoW and AoC, but gave up on it and went back to my G15 keyboard. My experience with the FANG has turned me off from trying the Belkin Nostromo, since the Belkin looks like it relies too much on the user reaching DOWN from the WASD keys rather than UP to the number keys. I really recommend that before you buy any peripheral game hardware, that you check first to see if your hand can comfortably fit it.

The other stuff:

For the unlisted abilities, I still click for them, but I keep them clustered in a square next to the middle of my screen, along with some of the major cooldowns that are keybound. Some few others are kept down at the bottom of my screen on Lunarsphere's buttons.

Bartender click-uses:
  • Barkskin, Tranquility, Nature's Grasp, Survival Instincts, Survival Instincts
  • Potion Macro
  • Starfire/Wrath/Moonfire/Insect Swarm when not in turkey form, or I don't feel like rearranging my macros (again, the stance:5 confusion)
  • Entangling Roots, Hibernate, Soothe Animal
  • Misc quest items

LunarSphere click-uses:
  • Revive/Rebirth
  • MotW, GotW, Thorns
  • Innervate that is not self-cast
  • Bandages
  • Warstomp
  • Mounts, professions, misc potions and items, minipets

The alts:

Memorization of keybinds is not something to be tampered with lightly. If I've gotta tank something and I'm feeling squishy, that "1" key for bear form better be something tank-useful on my alts, too!

You'd be surprised how easily you can adapt a cross-spec druid keybind system to any other class... you just may end up feeling a bit limited when the alt's class doesn't include as many different options. The most important part of keybinding an alt is that you get the reactionary things bound in places you can easily find them.

The categories you want to consider are:
  • "Shields up, Captain!" aggro response (bubbles, evasion, defensive stance, ice block)
  • Stealth (including fade and vanish)
  • Emergency heals/potions
  • Racial abilities
  • Interrupts, stuns, and knockbacks
  • Cleanses
  • Buffs
  • Sprint/speed increases (Aspect of the Run-Fast, Ghost Wolf)
  • Crowd Control
  • Charges/Death Grips
  • AoE vs Single-Target vs DoTs
  • Ranged vs Melee
Just as with keeping these actions similar across your shapeshifts, you'll want to keep them similar across your alts. Sometimes it might not always work out, but try to stick as close to the categorical ability layout of your main character as possible.

Even if you keybind a lot of abilities, you probably shouldn't hide them all until you feel fully comfortable with your alt. Even at 80, I kept all bars showing on my rogue's screen until I settled on her spec and got used to where things were (and what I had available)... though now, it's as clean as my druid's screen, something that fills me with a warm fuzzy feeling of accomplishment whenever I think about it :)

Feral Macros

UPDATE 4/20/09 - Mangle ability name changed.
UPDATE 6/11/09 - [spec] and [btn] modifiers, and reworked the keybind commentary.
UPDATE 3/17/10 - A few changes/updates.
UPDATE 10/26/10 - patch 4.0 updates

These macros are intended for Feral DPS and Tanking. They have been made specifically for keybinding purposes and to combine multiple abilities into one key. You can, of course, replace shift or alt with the ctrl key if you find it more comfortable. I included notes on my keybinds for each, as suggestions.

For more macros that are useful cross-class, see the Generic Macros post. An introduction to building macros is available here.

Table of Contents:

Catform / Prowl:

I bound this to my 3 key.

/cancelform [flying]
/cast [noform:3] [combat] !Cat Form; Prowl

  • If not in cat form, will turn you to cat form.
  • Cat form: will use Prowl (or cancel Prowl if already prowling).
  • If in combat, it will recast Cat Form (useful for escaping snares).
  • If flying, it will cancel your form (such as flight form) to shift you into cat, so mind your height!

An alternative that does Dash in combat is below:
/cancelform [flying]
/cast [noform:3] Cat Form; [nocombat] Prowl; Dash

Bearform / Feral Charge - Bear:
I bound this to my 1 key.

#showtooltip Feral Charge - Bear
/cancelform [flying]
/cast [noform:1] Bear Form; Feral Charge(Bear Form)

  • If not in bearform, will turn you to bear form.
  • Bear form: will use Feral Charge.
  • If flying, it will cancel your form (such as flight form) to shift you into bear, so mind your height! This is useful for "bear bombing" from the air.

Feral Charge:
I bound this to my G12 key on my G15 keyboard.

/cast [form:1] Feral Charge(Bear Form); [form:3] Feral Charge(Cat Form)
/stopmacro [form:1/3]
/cast [@mouseover,help] [help] [@player] Wild Growth

  • Bear form: it will cast Feral charge - Bear.
  • Cat form: it will cast Feral Charge - Cat.
  • If you are in neither form, it will cast Wild Growth. Replace this spell with another of your caster preference, if you desire; I keep it as wild growth so that I don't have to remap my keybinds when I respec.

Travel Forms:
I bound this to my 4 key.

/castrandom [swimming] Aquatic Form; [flyable,nocombat] Swift Flight Form; [combat] [ ] !Travel Form

  • If you are swimming, it will cast Aquatic Form.
  • If the area allows flying and you are not in combat, it will cast Swift Flight Form.
  • If you are in combat or the area does not allow flying, it will cast Travel Form.
The cheetah portion is NOT sticky, so if you are in Travel Form already in a non-swimming, not-flyable area, it will recast travel form; this is useful for quickly escaping snares or roots in battlegrounds.

Cat FB, Rip, and Maim, and Bear Lacerate, Maul, and Mangle toggle:
I bound this to my "e" key in feral forms.

/cast [form:3,mod:alt]Rip;[mod:shift,form:3] Ferocious Bite;[form:3] Maim
/stopmacro [form:3]
/cast [nomod:alt] !Maul
/cast [mod:shift] Pulverize; Lacerate

Cat form:
Bear form:
  • Standard click will queue up a Maul on your next attack, and cast Lacerate.
  • Shift-click for Pulverize.
  • Alt-click to use Lacerate only, such as if you need to avoid breaking CC with a two-target Maul or if your rage is low.

Swipes, Cat Rake, and Bear Bash toggle:
I bound this to my "q" key in feral forms.

/cast [mod:shift,form:1] Thrash; [mod:alt,form:1] Mangle(Bear Form); [@mouseover,harm,nodead,form:1] [form:1] Swipe(Bear Form); [stealth] Pounce; [mod:shift] Rake; [@mouseover,harm,nodead] [] Swipe(Cat Form)
/startattack [nostealth]

Cat form:
  • If in stealth, it will cast Pounce.
  • Standard click for Swipe, with mouseover targeting.
  • Shift-click for Rake.
Bear form:
  • Standard click for Swipe, with mouseover targeting.
  • Shift-click for Thrash.
  • Alt-click for Mangle.

Bear Taunts/Roars toggle:
I bound this to my middle mouse button in bear form.

#show Growl
/cast [mod:shift] Demoralizing Roar; [mod:alt] Challenging Roar; [harm] [@targettarget,harm] Growl

  • Standard click will Growl either your current enemy target, or on your friendly target's own target, if that is an enemy.
  • If shift is held, it will cast Demoralizing Roar.
  • If alt is held, it will cast Challenging Roar.
  • In all cases, it will start up your auto-attack.

Cat Shred, Ravage, Mangle toggle with Tiger's Fury (plus Cyclone and Moonfire):
I bound this to my middle mouse button in all forms but bear.

/cast [mod:alt] Tiger's Fury
/cast [mod:shift,form:3] [mod:alt]Shred; [stealth] Ravage;[form:3] Mangle(Cat Form);[mod:shift] Moonfire; [harm,nodead][@focus,harm,nodead] [] Cyclone
/startattack [nostealth,harm]

Cat form:
  • If in stealth, it will cast Ravage.
  • Otherwise, on a normal click, it will cast Mangle. If you do not know Mangle(Cat Form), replace it with Claw.
  • If shift-clicked, it will cast Shred.
  • If alt-clicked, it will cast Tiger's Fury in combination with any of the above (stealthed will be Tiger's Fury + Ravage, nostealth would be Tiger's Fury + Shred).
Caster form:
  • If shift-clicked, it will cast Moonfire: a great way to kill totems or other small things.
  • Normally clicked, it will cast Cyclone first on your enemy focus target, else on your target.

Faerie Fires, with Tiger's Fury toggle:
While technically keybound to "y" on both of my druids, I rarely stretch to press that key in combat, so I have it bound to an extra mouse button as well. It has a place on my screen because it contains so many useful cooldowns that I want to monitor.

Pure Feral:
/cast [mod:shift,form:3] Tiger's Fury; [mod,form:1] Skull Bash(Bear Form); [mod:alt,form:3] Skull Bash(Cat Form); [form:1/3] Faerie Fire (Feral)(); Faerie Fire

Resto primary/Feral secondary Spec Variant for cooldown monitoring:

/cast [mod:shift,form:3] Dash; [form:1/3,mod:alt] Skull Bash;[@mouseover,harm,nodead,form:1/3][form:1/3]Faerie Fire (Feral)(); [mod:shift,spec:1] Swiftmend; [mod:alt,spec:1] Nature's Swiftness;[@mouseover,harm][] Faerie Fire

Kitty Charge + Ravage:
I bound this to my "t" key in cat form.

/cast [mod] Savage Roar
/stopmacro [spec:1]
/castsequence reset=8 Feral Charge(Cat Form), Ravage, Mangle(Cat Form)

Cat Form:

Bear Enrage/Frenzied Regeneration/Challenging Roar and Cat Dash/Savage Roar:
I bound this to my "t" key in feral forms, and use it as a cooldown monitor visible on my screen.

/cast [mod:shift,form:3] Savage Roar; [form:3] Dash; [btn:2][mod:shift] Enrage; [mod:alt] Challenging Roar
/stopmacro [noform:1]
/cast [btn:1] [mod:shift] Frenzied Regeneration
/stopmacro [btn:2]
/s You no take cookie!

Announces in /say if you have cast Frenzied Regen. Replace the red text with your own Frenzied Regen announcement, or remove it if you prefer.

Bear form:
Cat Form:

Trinket + Mangles:
I bound this to my "g" key in feral forms, and keep it visible on my screen to watch the cooldowns.

#showtooltip [mod:shift] 13; 14
/use 13
/use 14
/cast [form:1] Mangle(Bear Form); [form:3] Mangle(Cat Form); [@mouseover,help] [help] [@player] Rejuvenation

  • Standard click to use both of your trinkets and cast a form-appropriate Mangle.
  • If you are in any other form, it will cast rejuvenation via mouseover with your trinket instead of mangle. This is useful when using healing trinkets.
  • If necessary, replace Mangle(Bear Form) with Maul, and Mangle(Cat Form) with Claw.

Defensive Abilities + Tranquility:
Keybound to H as well as a mouse button, and I also keep the macro visible prominently on my screen to watch the cooldowns and click things as needed.

/cast [form:1/3,mod:shift] Survival Instincts; [mod:alt] Nature's Grasp; [btn:2] Hurricane; [mod:shift] Tranquility
/cast Barkskin
/stopmacro [nomod:shift] [form:1/3]
/s Pretty lights! Gather close for healing!

  • In all cases (including a normal click), it casts Barkskin.
  • If Shift-clicked while in cat or bear form, it casts Survival Instincts.
  • If Shift-clicked and you are not in cat or bear form, it casts Tranquility and announces to everyone that they need to be near you to get the heals. Replace the red text for your on Tranquility announcement, or remove it as desired.
  • If Alt-clicked in any form, it casts Nature's Grasp.
  • If the macro is right-clicked, it will cast Hurricane.

~~If you need help or would like to see one of these macros more customized for your spec, feel free to ask in the comments! ~~

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Wild Growth

Simple tutorial on the use of Wild Growth.

Wild Growth (WG) is the druid restoration 51-talent-point spell. It is an AoE heal that you cast on another person: it does not automatically center on yourself, like Tranquility does. Also unlike Tranquility, Wild Growth can be cast on other raid members (as well as mobs and bosses, in fact!), rather than only your party. It has a 6-second cooldown and a 7-second duration, with a total of 7 ticks of healing applied during that time. The ticks occur quickly at first, and then slow down towards the end of the spell duration.

Because it can be cast upon other raid members or enemies and its area of effect is centered upon your target rather than yourself, Wild Growth requires a bit of finesse to use effectively; if you miscast the spell, its cooldown will prevent you from having another chance for 6 seconds, and in the healing world, that could mean deaths.

Here is the diagram style I will be using to illustrate WG. The little colored circles are people, and the big blueish circle is your Wild Growth's area of effect. It has a 15-yard radius centered on the person (or pet or enemy) you cast the WG on; the whole circle is 30 yards in diameter. Yay geometry!

If you cast WG on yourself, only those people within 15 yards of you will receive the HoT: yourself included. Everyone else is left out and is sad. Or angry. Maybe that's why I made them red.

If you cast the spell on someone else (you have a 40-yard range to target with), then they, and everyone else within 15 yards of them, is eligible for the spell (assuming they are friendly targets in your raid/party). Now here is the tricky part: only 5 total people/pets can receive the WG heal within that circle, including the target of the spell. Your WG will automatically choose the 5 people/pets who are currently lowest in health (by percentage). Everyone else will, again, be left out.

Remember: this is not based on who is furthest away or closest. If they are in range of the person you cast the spell on, they are eligible, and will receive the heal if they are one of the 5 who need it the most at that moment in time. This means that it may not put a heal on your actual target: WG may instead splash on 5 people and/or pets that are lower in health than your target.

Due to this, you can choose your target carefully, selecting them not because they actually need the heal, but because they are within range of the most people who ARE in need of the heal. These targets are commonly referred to as "Bridges."

If no good Bridge is available, you can move and make yourself the Bridge. This will let you cast your WG upon yourself, and have it splash heals on the people who are in your 15-yard range.

Notice in the above diagram that there are 5 other people hit by the WG, though you targeted yourself. This means that either:
  • you were the highest health out of the 6 total people in the area of effect, and so the WG applied its heal to the 5 others within your splash range and you simply served as the Bridge; or
  • you picked up the Glyph of Wild Growth that is now available in patch 3.1, and so your WG can hit 6 people :)

Hope this helps!

On Replenish / Revitalize

Patch 3.0, with edits on 3.1 changes
Replenish talent. 3.1 will see it become Revitalize.

This talent seems to be one that druids either love or hate. Among those that hate the spell, reasons tend to include:
  • they don't cast rejuvenation that much, or
  • they can't easily see the benefits because it is so passive and uncontrollable, or
  • they do the numbers but judge its worth based on the raw mana cost of rejuv, rather than accounting for all the times they cast rejuvenation WITHOUT this buff anyway, or
  • they PvP so would like to include PvP talents in their build rather than this, or
  • they read bad things about it and never gave it a chance.
Also, they may not've taken into account the upcoming addition of having it proc off of Wild Growth. I loved the talent even before this change; adding Wild Growth just makes it all the more desirable for me, and opens the door to those players who don't cast rejuvenation as often.

(EDIT: the math in this post follows additive probability, which appears to be supported by the gathered WWS data.)

Getting into the math: Rejuvenation

Personally, Rejuvenation accounts for an average of 28% of my healing. If it's proccing energy back to people, all the better! Following/building on Phaelia's work that it has a proc rate of .9 procs/cast, which matchs the 15% proc chance per tick on the tooltip assuming 6 ticks from Nature's Splendor: review of my own WWS reports has confirmed this. For example, in a recent Malygos/Naxx10 combined raid where I was the only resto druid,

  • I cast rejuvenation 820 times.
  • Replenish was gained as a proc 734 times.
  • 734 procs / 820 casts = 0.895 procs per rejuvenation cast.

This proc rate assumes the druid has the Nature's Splendor talent, which adds an additional tick to Rejuvenation, for a total of 6 ticks. The 4-pc T8 set bonus will add yet another tick, increasing Replenish's proc rate by an additional amount (EDIT: unfortunately, the extra "tick" from T8's set bonus does not seem to be counted as a tick of rejuvenation, thus does not proc revitalize, but I will leave the math here for now):

To confirm the 15% proc chance:
  • 6 Ticks w/ Nature's Splendor per cast
  • 0.9 average proc-rate per cast
  • 0.9 procs / 6 ticks = 0.15 procs per tick

Adding a 7th tick with T8:
  • (0.15 procs per tick) * (7 ticks per cast) = 1.05 procs per cast

This means that, in the long run, with Nature's Splendor and 4-pc T8, a rejuv is practically guaranteed to proc at least once every time you cast the spell, unless the RNG is especially cruel! Usually this will play out by getting 2 procs in one spell cast, and 1 or (more rarely) none in other casts. Overall, though, assuming you are getting an average of 2.5k heal ticks, your rejuvenation will now not only heal for 17.5k over 18 seconds (with T8), but also it will most assuredly grant at least a small portion of energy to the target as well.

Per proc, replenish will return:

  • 16 runic power to DKs
  • 8 energy to cats/rogues
  • 4 rage to bears/warriors
  • 1% of total mana pool to mana users

With every 18-second (talented) rejuvenation cast, replenish will return an average of:

  • 14.4 runic power
  • 7.2 energy
  • 3.4 rage
  • 0.9% mana pool

To compare how this stacks up against other energy-returning talents, we can look at the per-minute returns, assuming an 18-second duration that is refreshed immediately, resulting in 3.33 casts per minute:

  • 47.9 runic power per minute
    • Compare to Butchery (Blood), which is 24 runic power per minute.

  • 23.9 energy per minute
    • This has been found by others to be a 4% increase in yellow damage, which would correlate to a 4.6% increase w/set bonus.

  • 11.9 rage per minute

  • 2.9% mana per minute
    • Compare to Replenishment, which is 15% mana per minute. For mana users, this equates to:

    Mana Poolmp5
    6k12 mp5
    8k16 mp5
    10k20 mp5
    13k26 mp5
    15k30 mp5
    18k36 mp5

In graphical form,

(Edit: ignore the yellow line)

So, compared to other sources of energy, Revitalize off of rejuvenation is an amazing proc for runic power, very nice for cats/rogues, okay for any rage-starved bears/warriors, and no where near the power of a true replenishment for mana users.

A perk to a raid heal:

In the long run, you can really see the benefits across the whole group, just from using rejuvenation normally as a raid heal. In a single 3.5-hour raid (10-man), I had replenish tick 734 times across the group out of 820 rejuvenation casts, averaging about 3 procs per minute over the course of the raid. Most of these procs were on tanks because I steadily keep rejuvenation on them, but other raiders saw benefit from these procs as well, since I like popping them a rejuv as a raid heal around wild growths (keeps em swiftmendable and lasts a long time).

Among the replenish numbers from rejuvenation, this resulted in almost 14k mana returned to myself, 13k mana to our often mana-starved prot pally with a relatively tiny mana pool, and 1500 rage to our feral tank. I think that's pretty impressive for a purely passive proc on a spell I cast to heal with, imo.

PTR 3.1: Procs from Wild Growth

Assuming that the revitalize will have the same 15% chance to proc per tick as rejuvenation does on live server, a base of 7 ticks of wild growth per cast results in the same chance to proc per spellcast as does a Rejuvenation with both Nature's Splendor and the 4pc T8 bonus. An important difference to note is that Wild Growth lasts 7 seconds, and Rejuvenation lasts 18 seconds (talented): 62% less time taken to have the same number of ticks occur.

With every 7-second WG cast, revitalize will return an average of:
  • 16.8 runic power
  • 8.4 energy
  • 4.2 rage
  • 1.05% mana pool
...per person hit by the WG.

This is pretty amazing, especially when you then consider that each cast will hit 5 people (or 6 if you have the wild growth glyph), and the casts per minute equate roughly to 8.6 casts, or 10 casts if you have a large group (so that you aren't overwriting ticks on individual people) and you are casting WG on every 6-second cooldown.

Casting chain WGs every 7 seconds, revitalize will return a per-minute average of:
  • 144.5 runic power
  • 72.3 energy
  • 36.1 rage
  • 9.03% mana pool - much closer to the 15% of replenishment.
...per person hit by the WG.

Frankly, I'm worried that they're going to nerf the proc chance on Wild Growth. The PTR tooltip does not say specifically that it has a 15% chance to proc per tick of Wild Growth: that is simply being assumed. (EDIT: Update: the WoWhead PTR tooltip has been updated to re-include the 15% proc chance for rank 3, I noticed as of 4/12/09). I do hope that they will release the exact proc chance after they are done testing on the PTR and release this change on the live servers.

An important PTR note to include is that spirit-based mana regen is being nerfed, which may make these small extra procs to mana users quite more useful when these changes go live.

Short of the Long:

While entirely passive, this talent can return a lot of energy to the people you are healing, provided you actually make use of rejuvenation and have buffed it to have more ticks. It's no innervate, but it is well worth a 3 talent point investment, in my opinion. With the upcoming changes to include wild growth, there is little reason not to take this talent, unless for some obscure reason you rarely cast either rejuv or wild growth at all.

The key to working with this talent is to avoid casting the spells JUST for the purpose of the revitalization. Rejuvenation and Wild Growth are powerful heals if used properly, and together, they make up an average of 50% of my healing. Cast the heals to be heals! Let revitalize do its magic in the background. The spells that the talent affects are still great healing spells, and healing should remain their primary function in your mind.

Of course, in the case that there's not much for you to heal and/or you have plenty of spare mana, you can still decide to throw this around the raid just to grant extra energy to expedite dps. As flexible as druids are renowned to be, we would be remiss to completely ignore that the talent could be used as a small boost to our buddies' energy, even though the mana cost to ourselves is quite inefficient for something that isn't really healing them (again, assuming they aren't taking damage). This usually occurs when you find that your raid is outgearing an instance.

When you do find yourself in this situation, be aware that some classes may be better targets than others based on how useful that amount of energy may be to their class--or their playstyle. My priority as far as replenish is concerned is thus:
  1. Deathknights (but only the DKs that actually USE UP their runic power),
  2. Cat Druids (most of their damage is based on yellow hits),
  3. Rogues (less of their damage is based on yellow hits than cats),
  4. Warriors and Bears (favoring whoever is the most rage-starved),
  5. and then Mana Users (tanks should always have rejuvenation ticking, regardless).
Deathknights in particular receive an amazing amount from its proc, and I've had several DKs thanking me for it. Sometimes I will cast it on DKs before a boss pull so they can tick up the power to buff Horn of Winter. For others, the change is much smaller so they don't usually notice the tick themselves, but it is still a bit of energy that they did not have before.

So, I really like this talent, even before Wild Growth is to be added to it. Wild Growth's addition only empowers this talent further in my eyes.

~ Of course, if you find holes in my math, please let me know :D ~

Kudos to Phaelia of Resto4Life on her original work regarding the Replenish talent.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Comic: Gridlock

I created this short comic after my first healing experience in Treeform with Grid in Karazhan.

Many <3's to Kado :)