Project 5×2: Brainstorm

Begin the Brainstorm | The Challenge is ON!

Cynwise suggested a macroless setup.  It got my creative juices flowing a bit — reminded me of certain spells I took for granted.

I started to write out macros, using my favorite macros resource, Fitzcairn’s Macro Explain-o-matic.  I looked up using conditionals on /castsequence, I made sure I put aside some pet control, I looked up how to incorporate Soul Swap into a macro.

At first I thought it would be simply writing a handful of castsequence or modifier macros.

Hoo boy.

No matter how confusedly difficult it gets, I plan to see it as a challenge to demonstrate what I know about affliction PvE play (I’m not quite ready to tackle this for PvP), but also to learn more about affliction PvE play.  The things I take for granted, like spell usage.

Spell Usage | Difference Between Group and Solo

The more I wrote some snippets and thought about things, the more I realized that solo often has a laxer and Drain-Life-esque rotation than in group.

Group is typically the raid rotation, or close to it.  You use Haunt, you use Curse of the Elements, you use Shadow Bolt, you end with Drain Soul.  Solo, I typically toss out Corruption, maybe UA and a BoA, then pop a Shadowflame if I want to, and move on to the next mob, draining as necessary.  I even slap up Curse of Weakness more often than not in solo because I’m drain-tanking mobs, and it always helps that the melee mobs don’t smack off chunks of my health.

Can I add a Soul Swap macro in?  Do I even need Soul Swap, or can I still multidot old-school fairly effectively?

When I’m in raid, I of course need access to my Life Tap.  When I’m solo, or in a 5man (presuming the fight isn’t too terribly long), I Life Tap out of combat.

I need Fear and Banish at the ready in 5mans (focus macros are amazing), but not so much in raid or solo.  Can I fit both in one focus macro?  What if I need to control two targets?  (Multi-CC in Grim Batol comes to mind.)

I use my Doomguard in raids; I hardly ever use a guardian outside of raids.  (Maybe just for Infernally stunning fun.)

Dark Intent can be placed out of combat, but I still want the ability to place it on someone when I’m not grouped.  Doing dailies around Tol Barad & the Peninsula, I tend to trade buffs since it appears I can’t soulstone non-group members anymore.

The AoEs — Seed and Rain — have their places and times, so I’ll need to work up something for those as well.

Then there’s Soulburn, there’s Soul Harvest, there’s healthstones and soulstones and summoning.  If I’m expected to utilize the soulstone as a brez (combat!), can I fit it in somewhere?

Can I get a pet bar or a macro of pet control in there somewhere?

Possibly Using Addons | The One Ring

Originally, upon learning addons were okay, I thought of Dominos‘s advanced use.  You can add macro conditions to Dominos’s bars (the default is [combat]show;hide), and there’s a few dropdowns where you can use Bar 2 if you’re targeting a friend or Bar 3 if you’re targeting an enemy.  I thought of using those, to lighten up the macros.

Then, I used my hearthstone, which is in a ring I made in OPie, and it hit me.  The One OPie Ring.

Of course, if OPie is ever discontinued or breaks beyond fixing, you’re totally screwed out the ass, but as long as it works, it appears to be a wonderful idea.  You can embed rings inside rings, so it would make the perfect out-of-combat keybind.

You could make a Pet Bar inside one keybind.  You can make a pet bar, a stone bar, a CC bar, a consumables bar …all inside one keybind.

As long as you can macro it, you can fit it in an OPie ring slice.

Keybind Arrangement | The Nuke Center

The 2 key is my nuke button, since my 1 key broke its top off a long time ago, and the 2 key is still fairly close to my navigation keys (W, AD strafing, S).  I still use the number row (1-0,-, =) as my main bar, and then I have a Dominos bar for clicking set just above that one.

Then I have a plethora of OPie bars bound to nearby keys (alt-Q, alt-R, shift-F, shift-X).  Then I have even more macros bound to more keys via BindPad (Soulshatter is shift-Q, mounts are alt-E, boss macros are shift-E, etc.).

I wonder sometimes what would happen to my current setup if I used a Razer Naga or similar multi-button mouse.  (I currently use a simple USB Logitech two-button mouse with a scrollwheel.)  Or even if I had an actual gaming keyboard versus my compact laptop one.

I mouse-turn while casting spells, sometimes (Shadowflame is a cone, you can sweep it).  I have to move while casting my instants — that is the whole point of Fel Flame, isn’t it?  Do the navigational keys count in the 5 key count?  Do disabled players mouse-turn (alternating with movement keys?) or keyboard-turn?  Do they use that special clickable movement interface addon instead?  (Can’t remember the link ARGH)

Should I arrange my 5 keys in the 1-5 row or use multiple rows in a cluster?  Should I position them more like a PvP setup, curling around the WASD keys?  Should I position them on the right side of the keyboard, for better keyboard-to-mouse movement, if the player plays with a right-handed mouse?  Should I design the keybinds to operate separately — that is, there’s no “order” to press them in?

Does It Work? | Testing Needed

At the end, once I’ve got a setup I think with work, I’d like to try it out myself.  The big difficulty will be breaking my habits and trying as faithfully as possible to play in a disabled fashion.

I can’t remember the movement pad addon, but I’ll try using that.  I’d have to make a special profile for Dominos and OPie and BindPad, so I’m not tempted to use my many many keys.

I’m not sure whether I should just go pug something on Live with it, or whether those who are also working on this project can get a 5man together once on the PTR (for max-level testing), where we can test multiple classes and specs and ping ideas off each other.


This is an initial brainstorm of a post.  I plan to continue thinking and scribbling on this.  I encourage others to try it out for your class and spec, even if just for kicks.

If you’ve got other brainstorms going on, feel free to comment, whether it’s aff-locking or not.  I find my best brainstorming happens when I can think for a bit and then talk to others.

If you don’t feel like putting it in a comment, feel free to leave a link to a post in a comment or talk about it on Twitter (I’m @slowpoker).

Update: I’ve started a page to compile things.  Feel free to comment there to add references & links.

Project 5×2: Brainstorm

3 thoughts on “Project 5×2: Brainstorm

  1. What an excellent effort. I have a quadriplegic friend from college, that I sometimes chat with. He has very limited use of his hands, but something like this would be a great way to get him playing. He likely wouldn’t be able to raid, but questing and non-fighting components (those that don’t require a lot of coordination) would probably be fine with his limited movement.

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