Being a veteran player of Final Fantasy XI, I was interested in how macros would work in Final Fantasy XIV. After all, now there’s that nice shiny action bar at the bottom of the screen where we can set up all of our abilities. Do macros really have any purpose in Square Enix’s upcoming MMO?
The short answer: Yes
Back at E3, we asked Hiromichi Tanaka if it was possible to group up pieces of gear to make it easier to gear up after changing disciplines. He said they ran into a few issues with it, but if it was something players wanted, they’d look into it further. Now there’s an easy solution. Macros!
For Final Fantasy XI players, the macro system is a very nice improvement. The macro window can be found under the configuration menu and displays 50 macro boxes under the CTRL and ALT tabs for a total of 100 macros. Each row can be accessed in the same manor that rows 2 and 3 can be selected on the action bar while holding down the CTRL or ALT keys (or corresponding controller button). The image above is a macro I created to do two things. First, change my discipline to Botanist. Second, equip the abilities that I currently have for the class.
Once you select which slot you want to create your macro in you have three things to do before you’re ready to put it to use.
This is the name of your macro. You can have the name be a decent length, however only about 5-6 letters will be visible on the action bar when you go to use it so name it accordingly.
Final Fantasy XIV allows you to select one of 100 icons to be displayed in your macro box. If you’re names aren’t enough to help distinguish certain macros, you can give them all a different image to make a certain macro easier to find. In the image above I selected a skull icon for my Bontanist macro. Why? Why not?
In the future, I think that it would be a great idea to include each disciplines icon into the list of possible icons, but even in beta there’s quite a large variety to choose from!
Last but not least is what makes the macro do what it does! Text commands! There are many different types of text commands that you can use. They can allow you to equip gear, equip actions to certain slots, and to use certain abilities on a target. The most exciting thing for me as a Final Fantasy XI player is the extra macro lines that have been added. Now players can have up to ten lines in a single macro.
Note that you can add many, many lines to the macro, but upon closing the window, only the first ten will be saved.
You can also paste in macros by using the keyboard command. This will make it easy to get a list of commands from a friend and put them into a macro for yourself!
So far, I’m impressed with Final Fantasy XIV’s macro system. More lines, ability to add icons, and now the ability to add abilities to slots on the action bar will make macros an important tool for any adventurer.