Tuesday, July 28, 2009

EQ2 Macro: Changing Clothes

Sometimes the smallest things can leave the biggest impressions. I had a pretty productive time in EverQuest 2 last weekend. On my armorer, I finished the New Lands, New Profits quest and am halfway through the faction grind required to start the tradeskill epic quest line. I leveled my sage up to level 77 and should be able to hit level 80 and start the tradeskill epic next weekend. Oh, and I got my 192nd AA point on my ranger. But none of those got me as fired up as a discussion about changing clothes.

Changing clothes? You have to understand something about EQ2. We have appearance slots to put equipment into purely for show so we can wear our truly ugly and mis-matched armor that have great stats and still look good. I have two sets of really good equipment I use; my tier 2 shard armor which I think looks rather drab, and my dark green Far Seas crafting gear which not only gives me great crafting stats but looks really good. So I wear my crafting gear in my appearance slots.

The subject of guild chat became my appearance gear and how I switch between my crafting gear and my adventuring gear. I mentioned that you can have macros to swap your appearance gear with your adventure gear. At that point I was told that no, the devs screwed up and you could not do that. Now, I really hadn’t played with the macros since the change, but I had some clunky ones that worked and said so. At that point I was told that’s all you could do with the macros, that what I had written was totally inadequate and that the devs were incompetent because they couldn’t come up with anything better. I was actually told I was doing a good job of trying to cover up for the devs’ incompetence.

WTF? I guess to some people if you don’t blindly trash the game you like you’re a fanboi. Besides, in my line of work, I get tired of programmers telling me the software will not allow them to do something when I know it will. This sounded like someone who couldn’t figure out how to make the macro so decided that the problem was not his skill but the tools the game gives us. I was so mad I stopped what I was doing and asked questions until I knew exactly what he was looking for a macro to do. Basically he wanted to use the appearance slots as another bag. My macros required that I have a lot of empty bag slots to use them and he didn't like that. So I wrote a macro that will unequip gear in your appearance slots, then place it in an equipment slot, then take the piece of gear that was in your equipment slot and place it in an appearance slot. Once I figured it out and said what I did in guild chat, I got a request from someone else asking me how to do it. Below is what I posted in my guild’s forums. It isn’t the full macro, but it will tell you how to create your own.

I wrote a macro that will allow you to swap gear between your appearance and regular equipment slots. The secret is the following command...

/unequip_appearance [slot]

The slots you can use are named:
  • head
  • cloak
  • chest
  • shoulders
  • forearms
  • hands
  • legs
  • feet
  • ranged
  • primary
  • secondary
To swap your chest piece, for example,
  1. choose command at macro step and click on add step
  2. type in /unequip_appearance chest
  3. choose equip item in macro step and click on add step
  4. drag the icon of the item into the empty box. You cannot do this directly from the appearance tab. You have to do it from one of your bag slots
  5. choose equip item in macro step and click on add step
  6. drag the icon of the item you want to move into the appearance slot into the empty box and check the appearance check box. You cannot do this directly from the equipment tab. You have to do it from one of your bag slots
I'm told there is a limit of 24 steps to a macro, so you could switch all your armor and cloak between your appearance and regular equipment slots in one macro. In order to run the macro, you will need to have 1 empty bag slot. I created two macros; one to move my crafting armor from the appearance to equipment tabs and my T2 armor to my appearance tab and then another one to switch them back.

Just remember that as you are building your macro that you can hit the "Test" button at any time. I hit the test button after I set up each macro step and not only did this let me test the macro, it moved the item from either the appearance slot or the equipment slot to my bag, making it easier to access the icon to move it into the macro window.

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