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#1 Sep 29 2009 at 12:00 AM Rating: Decent
What features would you like to see included in FFXIV's macro system? Looping, full gear set changes, and more than 6 lines seem like musts. More precise /wait commands, and "do not stop when another macro is pressed" would be nice too. Has anyone seen features from other games they thought worked well?
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#2 Sep 29 2009 at 12:04 AM Rating: Good
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I think it'd be hard to gauge or say what I want from a macro system until we know exactly how battle mechanics work.

Looping, I doubt we'll be seeing...
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#3 Sep 29 2009 at 3:08 AM Rating: Decent
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seeing as you will have often party vs poarty fights, and thus more <t>'s, i would like them to wlook after the target command.
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#4 Sep 29 2009 at 7:57 AM Rating: Good
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I would love to have an expanded library of functions for the macro system in FFXIV, am I worried though that if they build it to be too intuitive, it will suffer from FFXII syndrome and become more watching a movie of fighting than actually doing it.

A few things I would like to see:

  • A more streamline targeting system. This is something FFXII did very well.
    • closest target
    • most healthy target
    • least healthy target

  • Variables (by which I mean, typedefs for sets of equipment/spells/abilities [rest_gear = Errant Hpl., Dark Staff, ect...])
  • Threaded macros (as Shintasama mentioned multiple macros running in parallel)

  • A few things I do not want to see:

  • Loops (this sounds great, but there is only one thing more boring than killing the same monster over and over again... watching the same monster be killed over and over again).
  • GoTo statements (same reason as above, goto or macro calls just make things... too easy)

  • I'm still on the fence about decision structures. They really take a lot of the work away from the player and make things even more like pressing a "Start Fight" macro, then watching it do its thing. On the other hand, without loops, function calls, and if they limit the number of lines available to us, I could see decision structures being very useful without taking too much out of the hands of the players. None of this is set in stone though, as I said before, the more functionality you give a macro system, the more you take the game away from the players and put it in the hands of the computer. I would ere on the side of less is more.

    Edited, Sep 29th 2009 11:58am by Hulan
    #5 Sep 29 2009 at 8:04 AM Rating: Good
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    I'd want Spellcast so we could write conditions, even if they were simple ones.
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    #6 Sep 29 2009 at 9:13 AM Rating: Good
    Gambits O.O
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    #7 Sep 29 2009 at 9:17 AM Rating: Good
    lolgaxe wrote:
    I'd want Spellcast so we could write conditions, even if they were simple ones.
    semirelated, optional onscreen spell/JA recounts and status timers would be nice too. crtl+J, esc, crtl+J, esc, crtl+J, esc, gets old.
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    #8 Sep 29 2009 at 9:27 AM Rating: Decent
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    I don't really want to see much in the way of macros.

    I don't think there should be any conditional logic, I don't think there should be mob switching based on health, I don't think there should be a way to auto do anything.

    The only thing I want to see in macros is the ability to chain commands together.
    /attack
    /super attack
    /heal
    /attack

    or
    /put on healing gear

    But nothing like
    if mob_health <= 15%
    /superattack
    else if my_health <=30%
    /heal
    else
    /attack

    That just makes things too easy.
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    #9 Sep 29 2009 at 9:40 AM Rating: Decent
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    ^ Agreed. With this kind of scripting, after the initial thought, all you need to do in most situations is button mash. If that is the way it will work.

    I don't think we will be swapping gear in and out anymore and as such don't believe these "macros" will allow you to set conditions. It will more than likely just allow you to set spells and abilities in slots like BLU currently does.

    Did I miss anything that says you can change weapons or spells/abilities in battle?
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    #10 Sep 29 2009 at 11:02 AM Rating: Decent
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    lolgaxe wrote:
    write conditions
    lolgaxe wrote:
    write conditions
    lolgaxe wrote:
    write conditions
    lolgaxe wrote:
    write conditions
    lolgaxe wrote:
    write conditions
    lolgaxe wrote:
    write conditions
    x a lot more.
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    #11 Sep 29 2009 at 11:26 AM Rating: Decent
    Kirb wrote:
    I think it'd be hard to gauge or say what I want from a macro system until we know exactly how battle mechanics work.
    I think we've seen enough on battle mechanics to be able to make educated guesses on what macros/etc would be useful/OP/etc.
    Quote:
    Did I miss anything that says you can change weapons or spells/abilities in battle?
    Last I heard it's still partially up in the air, but they were leaning towards only being able to change weapons/class out of battle. They haven't said anything about other gear though.
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    #12 Sep 29 2009 at 4:00 PM Rating: Good
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    I'd like to see a movement away from macros, for reasons related to what other's have said.

    Writing macros/scripts has an element of fun from a strategic standpoint, but once it's done and it's time to play, it becomes almost like buttonmashing. Just... slower, and with more buttons. The thing is, if the strategy is sufficiently simple that it can be covered pretty adequately with macros, then the combat is probably too simple and will quickly get old. But if it's not simple and has a great deal of depth and complexity, macros become less useful because they become too specific to be useful. And maybe there's a happy medium in there somewhere that has yet to be found.

    But because I want to see more active decision-making as a gameplay element, macros as they are now won't cut it. I'd like a more controller-scheme oriented game-- when you break it down, button combinations are essentially macros. Up+B, Left+R-- they're essentially macros, but the orientation allows you to execute them more sequentially.

    Basically, I'd like to be able to program a keyboard macro to execute a simple script. In a sufficiently deep game, it doesn't need to be overly complex because that will likely just reduce the number of situations where it will be useful. But I also want the emphasis to be on my on-the-fly decision making abilities by keeping me on my toes with strategic approaches. That should require me to execute a few abilities in succession that I wouldn't have a macro prepared for. If I have to select them from a menu, ability bar, etc... it's not likely to be fluid enough.

    Plus, controllers are generally more ergonomic than keyboards.

    So, I'd like to see controller button-configuration macros.

    Buuuut, that's only a part of it. I would also like to see less of the "push button, get bacon" formula where the entire input design is simply tapping buttons. e.g., using in game sliders to adjust spell power:mana cost. Or random prompts to improve attack efficiency (lacking a good example, but I think they had something like this in The Last Remnant). Basically, not making the entire command input a matter of tapping the button= command execution.
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    #13 Sep 29 2009 at 4:36 PM Rating: Decent
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    I actually like what FFXI has for macros, though there are a few things I'd like to see improved:
    1. Allow for making gear set (if FF XIV is as "gear is situational" like FFXI)
    2. More than 6 lines if no gear set.
    3. Show /recast on the same line as much as possible rather than having to see each /recast on a new line.

    I totally hate Spellcast because it's practically almost like making a bot. You no longer play the game and control your character because you let the program does it for you. No more checking how much HP/MP/TP you have, no more checking what buffs you have and decide which gear to equip, and so on. You just let the program does it for you. So I don't want any macro that is "too advanced" because it dumb down the game. Sure it might "maximize" your character, but again, I don't feel the need to be superman. The "human" factor is what makes me enjoy playing a game.

    A less advanced Spellcast like macro can be great IF we have NPC/Fellow in the game though.

    On-screen recast time is somewhat okay as long as not done like the windower style where it becomes more like a stupid flight simulator game with timer/clocks/numbers everywhere all over the screen.
    #14 Sep 29 2009 at 9:23 PM Rating: Default
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    This is how I think macros should be implemented in FFXIV:

    1) The same as FFXI but increase the number of lines per macro to 15. Also allow one macro to call another macro, this will enable chains of macros.
    2) Allow looping but do NOT allow conditional statements
    - Looping should be allowed so that when fighting "Too weak" monsters (for farming purposes), you can create a macro that does an "auto-attack" to grind through them without much effort.

    - One thing that needs to be considered with looping is that they have to implement a way to break out of the loop. A special command would need to be created to stop a macro. Also to reduce complication, only one macro should be allowed to be active at a time.

    - Conditionals are not allowed because it makes the game way too automated and takes away from the combat experience.

    Edited, Sep 29th 2009 10:23pm by Cyiode
    #15 Sep 29 2009 at 9:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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    Cyiode wrote:
    Looping should be allowed so that when fighting "Too weak" monsters (for farming purposes), you can create a macro that does an "auto-attack" to grind through them without much effort.

    There is a far more fundamental problem here that you are avoiding.
    Cyiode wrote:
    Conditionals are not allowed because it makes the game way too automated and takes away from the combat experience.

    Automation isn't what makes the game boring, it's the need for it that does.

    Edited, Sep 30th 2009 12:46am by Allegory
    #16 Sep 29 2009 at 9:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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    Cyiode wrote:
    - Conditionals are not allowed because it makes the game way too automated and takes away from the combat experience.
    But allowing command loops doesn't?
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    #17 Sep 30 2009 at 12:49 AM Rating: Decent
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    I hope the move more towards what WoW did. Allow for complex macros, but keep a very close eye on exactly what can be done with them. In WoW you can do much muhc more with Macros/Scripting but Blizzard was VERY good about making sure none of it allowed anything close to automation.
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    #18 Sep 30 2009 at 1:10 AM Rating: Decent
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    Quote:
    I hope the move more towards what WoW did. Allow for complex macros, but keep a very close eye on exactly what can be done with them. In WoW you can do much muhc more with Macros/Scripting but Blizzard was VERY good about making sure none of it allowed anything close to automation.

    Can you elaborate a bit for us who don't play WoW? Maybe explain and also give rough equivalent of how it'd work if it were FFXI. I'm not sure how complex macros aren't going to be automation, and I'm definitely interested to see what Blizzard did here.
    #19 Sep 30 2009 at 3:41 AM Rating: Decent
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    Quote:
    Cyiode wrote:
    - Conditionals are not allowed because it makes the game way too automated and takes away from the combat experience.
    But allowing command loops doesn't?


    there's a lot of difference i'd say

    with conditions, the game is the one playing, taking care of every thinking

    with loops the game only takes care of the boring, repetitive actions(auto attack)

    a simple loop(with no condition involved) isn't that bad, you'd just be using "attack x" forever as soon as your power gauge is ready.

    but i guess that would be easily broke if they makes "advanced" <targets>
    #20 Sep 30 2009 at 6:50 AM Rating: Good
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    An interesting tidbit, it is actually impossible to implement any looping statement in a script/language without implementing decision structures. This has to do with the way compilers unroll them into assembly language. Even with macros, which do not have to go through a compiler, are build out of a small library of simple functions, which then can be combined into more complicated functions. Loops are an example of that. So... sorry Cylode, no conditionals means no loops.

    Infinite loops would be too easy to exploit. Do you really want RMTs/obnoxious people to have looped /sh macros available to them in towns? So you would need some way in which to leave the loop within the logic of the function, i.e. a decision structure.

    This brings us to macro calls within macros, I was actually playing with this idea myself earlier today, and I came to the conclusion that it is unusable, if for no other reason than I guarantee you clever programmers/mathematicians will use self referencing to create recursive macros, and you've just opened a true stinking barrel of fish if you let us play with recursion. Now, I would be alright with macro calls within macros if it precluded self-reference. Although, there's really no need, as long as they give us enough space to work with, you should never need to call other macros.
    #21 Sep 30 2009 at 8:59 AM Rating: Decent
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    Vaagan wrote:
    Quote:
    I hope the move more towards what WoW did. Allow for complex macros, but keep a very close eye on exactly what can be done with them. In WoW you can do much muhc more with Macros/Scripting but Blizzard was VERY good about making sure none of it allowed anything close to automation.

    Can you elaborate a bit for us who don't play WoW? Maybe explain and also give rough equivalent of how it'd work if it were FFXI. I'm not sure how complex macros aren't going to be automation, and I'm definitely interested to see what Blizzard did here.
    You can actually run scrips that are reminiscent to C+ scripts with WoW's macro system. However, they have limitations. They can only be so long, and certain functions are completely disabled. Basically, their macro system only allows for the execution of multiple commands, conditional commands, and targeting functions. Here's a solid example of a conditional from WoW's macro system.


    /cast [flyable,nocombat]Swift Flight Form 
    /stopmacro [flying] 
    /cast [swimming] Aquatic Form 
    /cast [outdoors,nocombat]!Great Gray Kodo 
    /cast [outdoors]!Travel Form; !Cat Form


    Basically it checks the conditions of your current area and uses the appropriate form of travel. (There are certain areas where you cannot fly, and you can never use a mount/travel form indoors.) Of course, then you run into your more complicated, C+ like scripts that can be run, much like this one that I use for an encounter that requires quick defensive maneuvers.

    #showtooltip Cyclone 
    /run SetCVar(”targetNearestDistance”, 20) 
    /targetenemy [noharm][dead] 
    /run SetCVar(”targetNearestDistance”, 20) 
    /cast [harm,nodead] Cyclone


    This one finds your nearest hostile target within 20 yards and casts "Cyclone" on them. It also makes sure that your nearest hostile target isn't a corpse, so that you're not trying to cast cyclone on a dead mob.









    I would love to see things like this in XIV, as there is generally nothing game breaking about the macros in WoW. They do not take much away from the combat experience, in fact often times they do nothing but make otherwise obnoxious tasks (Like mounting.) a lot simpler. Anyone who says that having a macro do some of the work for you is basically using it as a way to add flavor to an already boring battle system. And since I imagine XIV's battle system is going to be something akin to WoW's (real time battle, instead of XI's system which was a lot closer to turn based than anything.) which means that there will be a lot to do as it is, and having macros will simply add flavor to it.
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    #22 Sep 30 2009 at 10:40 AM Rating: Good
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    If else statements and also the ability to nest them would rock my socks. It would be more efficient because you can do similar tasks with one button:

    if(targets hp >= 20%){
    //more mana efficient
    cast cure IV

    }else{
    //for emergency
    cast cure V

    }

    now I don't have to waste space in my hot keys for an emergency cure and I can just hit the same button and have it throw out my most powerful cure spell when I need it most. So I don't have to fumble around menus or macros to find cure V which I rarely use and I can shave off seconds in a time of emergency. Now I could see looping with conditionals causing problems especially with nesting, you could literally just loop conditional and completely automate the jobs. But with conditionals you were going to make these decisions anyway, now you can just have the machine do it with one button rather than 5 buttons taking up hotkey spaces. You’re pressing a button either way now you just press the same button


    Edited, Sep 30th 2009 2:42pm by sirhenrywalton
    #23 Sep 30 2009 at 11:18 AM Rating: Decent
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    I would like for FFXIV to be intuitive enough that I don't need macros to play. Of course scripting features are great if you're the kind of player who enjoys using them, but I was essentially forced to use them in FFXI because the menus were so poorly-designed. I only used macros as a sort of 10x10 grid of action buttons, and it looks like FFXIV's action bar will take care of that for me.

    Not that I pine for WoW-like 100+ button interfaces, but as long as I can access what I need to access efficiently, I'm not worrying about macros just yet.
    #24 Sep 30 2009 at 11:27 AM Rating: Decent
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    Haha please no gambits...

    And I hope less blinking, or no blinking at all.
    #25 Sep 30 2009 at 11:30 AM Rating: Decent
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    TraumaFox wrote:
    I would like for FFXIV to be intuitive enough that I don't need macros to play. Of course scripting features are great if you're the kind of player who enjoys using them, but I was essentially forced to use them in FFXI because the menus were so poorly-designed. I only used macros as a sort of 10x10 grid of action buttons, and it looks like FFXIV's action bar will take care of that for me.

    Not that I pine for WoW-like 100+ button interfaces, but as long as I can access what I need to access efficiently, I'm not worrying about macros just yet.
    I agree with this. Not everybody in WoW uses macros either, they're for those who wish to over achieve. And they really help with cleaning up the user interface as well.
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    #26 Sep 30 2009 at 2:24 PM Rating: Decent
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    Quote:
    An interesting tidbit, it is actually impossible to implement any looping statement in a script/language without implementing decision structures. This has to do with the way compilers unroll them into assembly language. Even with macros, which do not have to go through a compiler, are build out of a small library of simple functions, which then can be combined into more complicated functions. Loops are an example of that. So... sorry Cylode, no conditionals means no loops.


    This is completely false. Having a simple loop structure, which is just a "goto" statement, with no conditionals, is completely possible in a scripting language and does not give anyone the full power of a common programming language.

    For example, lets say I want to heal if my HP < 15%. Just because I have a goto statement that doesn't allow me to check my current HP and do an action depending on my HP. Even if you can check your HP, since you don't have conditionals, you can't do a "goto" depending on what the HP is, so having the HP and a "goto" command doesn't help.

    The "goto" command will allow the player to easily do simple repetitive tasks, but won't allow the player to do any complex conditional type tasks (ie combat against challenging monsters, and hopefully crafting).

    I agree that I hope that a "goto" command isn't necessary and that there will be no simple repetitive tasks, but let's face it, this is an MMO, and it's unlikely to always have enough content or be complex enough that there wont be any simple repetitive tasks.

    Regardless as to whether a "goto" command exists in a macro, it doesn't prevent things like people spamming shouts. There are 3rd party tools for the PC (ACtool and AutoHotKey just to name two) that will repeat key presses and serve as a way to automatically repeat macros.

    #27 Sep 30 2009 at 3:00 PM Rating: Good
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    are you talking about a goto statement? Im not that experienced with programming but isnt it used to get out of a loop.
    #28 Sep 30 2009 at 3:21 PM Rating: Default
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    Quote:
    are you talking about a goto statement? Im not that experienced with programming but isnt it used to get out of a loop.


    A goto statement can be used to get out of another loop, but the most simplistic loop is using a goto statement. Here is an example

    Line1: /shout THF Looking for Party. Please Invite.
    Line2: /wait 30
    Line3: goto Line1

    This would set up an infinite loop such that every 30 seconds the shout would be printed out. When Line3 is reached it will go back and execute Line1 and Line2 again, and the it will hit Line3 again and repeat.

    Or you could use this to do an auto-attack:

    Line1: /attack <t> using attack1.
    Line2: /wait 10
    Line3: goto Line1


    #29 Sep 30 2009 at 4:21 PM Rating: Excellent
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    Quote:

    Line1: /shout THF Looking for Party. Please Invite.
    Line2: /wait 30
    Line3: goto Line1


    I understand the allure of programmatic power, but, I think the annoyance potential here is a bit high.
    Could you imagine? Whole cities of people with Bazaars constantly spamming advertisements for as long as they chose to leave their computers on. @_@

    Anyway, I think they must've had a balance reason for the non-auto attack. It's a bit against the grain of your typical MMO, so, it doesn't seem like a desicion that was made lightly. I don't think they'd implement something in the macro system that circumvented that.



    Edited, Sep 30th 2009 8:28pm by Zemzelette
    #30 Sep 30 2009 at 4:27 PM Rating: Good
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    With any luck, autoattack has no strategic purpose.
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    #31 Sep 30 2009 at 4:38 PM Rating: Good
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    with out a conditional its just infinite looping, which is problematic in itself. I agree if you loop without conditionals you wouldn't have a problem, but again I think it would be better to have conditionals but no loops, it would be safer and more useful.
    #32 Sep 30 2009 at 5:30 PM Rating: Default
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    Quote:
    with out a conditional its just infinite looping, which is problematic in itself. I agree if you loop without conditionals you wouldn't have a problem, but again I think it would be better to have conditionals but no loops, it would be safer and more useful.


    I agree that you would also have to make it so that you could have a command and/or hotkey to break out of the loop.

    It would be "better" to have conditionals from an efficiency point of view, but what we want to avoid is too much automation. Conditionals would be getting close to just letting people script their own bots from within FFXIV's macro system.

    Quote:
    I understand the allure of programmatic power, but, I think the annoyance potential here is a bit high.
    Could you imagine? Whole cities of people with Bazaars constantly spamming advertisements for as long as they chose to leave their computers on. @_@


    I also agree with this, it does make it too easy for people to spam. But you could always have a system to ignore or blacklist people so you don't see their spam.

    Quote:
    With any luck, autoattack has no strategic purpose.


    It would be great if this were true. But is it possible to never have a scenario where the player needs to kill X number of "Too Weak" creatures to farm X number of items, for use in a quest or for crafting or just to sell for gil? We already know they have "kill X number of monsters" quests from the gameplay footage at Gamescon.
    #33 Sep 30 2009 at 6:04 PM Rating: Good
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    I don't want to get into a semantic argument, since it's really not important to this macro debate, but allow me to qualify my statement so that I do not confuse people with my previous post. Loops are branching structures, similar to or identical to conditionals. At a basic level, you can do almost exactly the same thing with a loop that you can do with a conditional.

    This is a loop without a conditional with a goto (b),

    L1:

    add r1 r2 r1
    b L1

    which will add a number to another number and accumulate indefinitely. But it's useless, even from the perspective of a macro, if you can't decide in some way to exit, i.e. a conditional. Which is why I said semantically loops and conditionals are co-dependent.

    You are correct that loops are not based in conditional statements, and thank you for correcting me so I could clarify. Also, I apologize profusely for being unclear, especially since the way I put it was basically misinformation, occasionally I just can't quite say what I mean to say the way I mean to say it. I merely am trying to illustrate that fundamentally, if you have a loop, you have a branch, and additionally, a loop without a branch (either in the macro, or game logic) is unusable. You can make up for an actual conditional statement with clever practices. The first thing that pops to mind is to macros that call each other, but each exclude the other, the power is limited to things like mp maximization I believe (just visualizing the macros, I'd have to play with it to be sure), but it can be done. In the case that we have honest to god loops and not gotos.... Hmmmm, assuming they are by default infinite loops, we would have to see what causes them to stop in the game logic, depending on what the conditions are, they could be exploited as the "if" of a conditional statement. ****, one trick a few friends and I used in Dynamis was to line up all the tanks in the same macro with cure spells in order of appearance, which would conditionally cure the first one it found alive. Haha, which, I suppose, is a good argument that it doesn't really matter, someone is going to come along and figure out how to do something clever no matter what we're given.

    Edited, Sep 30th 2009 10:21pm by Hulan

    Edited, Sep 30th 2009 10:32pm by Hulan
    #34 Sep 30 2009 at 6:06 PM Rating: Good
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    It would be great if this were true. But is it possible to never have a scenario where the player needs to kill X number of "Too Weak" creatures to farm X number of items, for use in a quest or for crafting or just to sell for gil? We already know they have "kill X number of monsters" quests from the gameplay footage at Gamescon.


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    #35 Sep 30 2009 at 7:28 PM Rating: Good
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    I agree with kachi they could be like, defeat this..... sudoku puzzle!!!!!!

    honestly, some times I wonder if they should just do away with macros and design the game in mind with that fact.
    #36 Oct 01 2009 at 6:19 AM Rating: Decent
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    I'm not sure what leads everyone to believe "macros" will be the same (or similar).

    I've only seen a brief reference to macros just to explain that you can bind abilities to Ctrl-1 and use it like XI uses macros today (L1+X for a controller).
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    #37 Oct 04 2009 at 12:25 PM Rating: Decent
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    As long as we still play the game instead of the game playing it's self I'm ok with whatever macro system they decide to use. It seems to me that loops and gotos would only take away from the gaming experience. Unless they restrict how features like these can be used I'd rather not see them in the game at all. e.i. allow goto/looping but cut all macros off after x amount of seconds or minutes. Or limit the amount of times it can repeat before canceling. Something to limit it so we're not allowed to cheat ourselves of the game experience.
    #38 Oct 04 2009 at 12:37 PM Rating: Decent
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    Here's a idea for how it may work for ps3 controller, the idea is from my own game idea that I have.

    Macro’s-When on the macro menu select a macro such as macro 1. You can then write a message or command in it, or push L1 which brings down a list of powers, scroll through and select a power and the macro will be filled with power and the powers icon appears on the macro icon. Can then write text in if you wish such as Burn or Eat this, etc. Push R1 for list of Emotes and dances, select the emote and the macro will be filled. L2 to select from a list of menu windows to put in your macro, such as the equipment menu window or the macro menu itself. R2 to select something from your inventory such as a weapon or item. When macro is pushed you equip the weapon your use the item. Macro appears grey if you can’t use it such as an item out of stock or on cool down or a power you no longer have equipped. There are 12 macros in a set and 10 sets of macros.
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