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  Doctorhyde's Guides: Assisting (and some basic Macro'ing)
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    PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:30 pm 
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Doctorhyde's Guides: Assisting (and some basic Macro'ing)

I was asked to write up a guide on assisting. If you're reading this and going "wtf, he thinks we're stupid?" then this guide is not for you! But there are alot of people who make it even as far as TL7 (title level 7, L205+) without realizing what this macro can do.

Many games don't allow a /assist. Anarchy Online does. Why should you use it? Well, simply put, the way AO has evolved has made assisting ever more important, especially for large raids.

There are 2 types of assisting. Named assists (/assist <name>) which show you the target of a player (you can't do a named assist on a NPC/mob). And the more generic but flexible /assist, which shows you the target of whoever you have targetted (most important for healers).

THE BASICS

The usage can get fairly complicated, so lets start with the simplest form, "/assist". Then we'll progress to a named assist, and finally we'll cover some advanced topics like combining the 2 assists for assisted healing.


> Exercise 1: generic /assist
  • Find a mob or player that is in a fight. Target them. Type (in the chat bar of course) "/assist".
  • RESULT: You will see your target change from who you had targetted first to the person they are fighting. If they are fighting -you-, then you should have targetted yourself.
  • NOTE: You can not /assist -yourself-. I personally find this stupid. If I am in combat with a mob, then when I /assist, my target focus should move back to the mob. It doesn't work this way. Once you are targetted, you have to use tab, control-tab (which targets friendlies) or your mouse to change targets.
  • NOTE: "/assist" isn't meant to -replace- such things as the function keys for selecting your team members. You'll still have to do that from time to time as well. It compliments it. Unfortunately, many people never go beyond the pressing of F1-F6 to select team members. This is not a big deal if you're only in a single team, but will quickly be insufficient as you start to do more complicated things.

> Exercise 2: create a /assist macro
  • In the chat bar type "/macro assist /assist" and put it on your Quickbar. I always put this macro on quickbar "1" on every toon I create. You can put it anywhere you like on the quickbar.
  • RESULT: Doing this will allow you to just use the quickbar button to hit /assist instead of typing it out.
  • NOTE: Assisting is not as important to all professions. If you are a non-healing profession (shade, NT, etc) then you may not want to keep this macro. Quickbars can be pretty crammed. You might want to keep it on one of your hidden quickbars though (shift+1 through shift+0 will take you through all 10 of your quickbars, or simply click the up/down arrows on the bar to cycle it).
  • NOTE: The "assist" in "/macro assist" is the name that will show on your quickbar. You can make this any single word you want. The important part is the final "/assist".

Ok, so we've got a generic assist. Next is the named assist. If you see someone in your team saying "assist me" regularly, or maybe your team/raid has picked a target caller, then its easier/faster to do this than it is to manually select the person and then use the generic "/assist" command from above.

Remember, you can't use /assist <name> on pets/mobs/etc. You have to target them and use a generic "/assist" to see their targets. What this macro is primarily for is to focus all people on a single team/raid member's target. This is important in situations where you don't want to pull secondary aggro, or you are mezzing adds, or you need a single target to go down -fast-.

> Exercise 3: using /assist <name>
  • Find a player, whether on your team or not, who is in a fight and type "/assist <name>" where <name> is the name of that player. DON'T worry about targetting this player first, in fact, its better for this exercise if you don't, so you can see that it really does work.
  • RESULT: When you assist this person's name, you will target whatever they were fighting.

> Exercise 4: Making a caller macro ...
  • Type "/macro <name> /assist <name>" and put the macro on your quickbar.
  • RESULT: You can now assist this same person whenever you press the quickbar button.
  • NOTE: When someone says "make a macro for <name>", this is what they mean. Many bots will have a command to generate the macro for you (usually "!assist <name>"), but not all. Its a good idea to know how to do it yourself.
  • NOTE: Assisting a caller can save lives, especially in raids. You won't pull aggro to yourself (unless you OD the tank), and your mezzers can mezz. It ALSO has a big benefit especially in AI raids with multiple teams, because all people can focus on the same mobs, making sure all teams get all of the AXP.
  • NOTE: You don't need to call the macro "<name>", but I like to as it lets me look at my quickbar and remember who my caller macro is currently set for. You can call it anything you want.
  • NOTE: The caller doesn't have to be your friend :) If you're in a tower war, Tara, etc and you know who is probably going to be in the front lines on the enemy's side, make a caller macro for THEM. You'll see which of your friends are being targetted and you can heal your friend.


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    PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:31 pm 
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GETTING DEEPER: ASSIST HEALING

The REAL power of assisting for healers comes in combining both of the above macros. Most times in a raid with multiple teams, there will be one or two tanks taking the majority of the damage, but aggro can shift quickly. So we need a way to be able to quickly see who is taking damage right now.

I keep my "assist" on quickbar button 1, and my "named assist" on quickbar button 8 (I don't care where you put yours, that's just where mine ended up). In a raid with lots of mass aggro, I will almost always press "8 1" (named assist + assist) or "1 1" (assist + assist) or "tab 1" (target nearest mob + assist) to assist heal, often before every heal. My last keyboard had the "1" and "8" keys rubbed clean.

By the way, hell yes, the 3 above can end up being a lot of work. No one said assist healing was easy. But it will keep you busy. And your teams will stay alive longer.

Let's practice what these do.

> Exercise 5: "named assist + assist"
  • Find someone who is in a fight. Make a named assist macro for them (/macro <name> /assist <name>). Press it and you should target whatever that player is fighting. NOW, press the "assist" macro (/macro assist /assist) and you will re-target whatever that TARGET is fighting (usually it will be the player you assisted in the first place).
  • RESULT: using 2 keys, you can always re-check which person is taking aggro from the caller's mob. You always have the caller to check with, but you can see if the target has switched aggro to someone else. Even if they're not in your team.
  • NOTE: If you do this, and you don't see things change when you press the "assist" on the target, then that means the target isn't fighting back. Maybe your caller shot a grey mob that is running for its life, or maybe you're watching someone getting ganked in PvP while they're AFK :)

> Exercise 6: "assist + assist"
  • Sometimes you won't have a target caller, or you will need to check another player, or your tank will already have the right mob targetted. Target the player you want to assist (if you haven't). Press "assist". Press it again.
  • RESULT: Your target will bounce around. Usually between the same 2, but sometimes you'll see that player A is fighting Mob B, which is fighting Player C, which is fighting Mob B/D/etc. Using /assist like this lets you keep a wider view of aggro when it is bouncing alot.
  • NOTE: Use this in raids along with the "named assist + assist" to keep an eye around the field a bit more.

> Exercise 7: ADVANCED TOPIC "(escape) tab (tab (tab)) + assist"
  • This is useful in a situation with multiple teams where there are MANY mobs and you want to be sure you haven't missed someone who is getting hit. Press "tab, assist". You'll see the target of the mob nearest you. No heals needed? Press "escape, tab tab, assist". This will show you the target of the mob 2nd nearest you.

    Repeat, adding a "tab" for each next mob until you've cycled through all mobs that are in combat. Don't forget to keep an eye on the tank, use "named assist" + "assist" often if (s)he's not on your team.

    This one takes a lot of practice to balance.
  • NOTE: You will NOT always have time to do this. If your raid has a primary and secondary healer, the primary healer needs to focus on the main tank. The secondary healer(s) needs to be the one looking for alternative heal targets.
  • NOTE: Fighting a mob is useful as a "bookmark" so that you can tell when you've cycled through all of the mobs.
  • NOTE: I'm not saying you should FIGHT everything using tab ... this combination in a raid is primarily for HEALERS. Don't become that guy/gal who tab-pulls entire armies of mobs on a raid that would have otherwise stayed calm.


Last edited by Hyde on Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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    PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:31 pm 
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RAIDLEADER TOPICS

Last topics, mostly for raid leaders:

A) What I term the "composite named assist". You don't need to know this one as a healer or as a typical team member. But its still good to know, and you might want to know the mechanics of it.

Macros can have multiple commands stacked within them so that they behave a bit like scripts. They just have to have each command separated by a newline (\n). This means you can have multiple target callers in a single macro. This is useful for situations where the callers are lagged, or are likely to die quickly.

Its important to realize that the -last- caller listed who is in a fight is the one that will be assisted. This isn't intuitive to most people, as most figure the first one listed is the primary caller. The primary caller should always go last, with the order in reverse.

> Exercise 8: ADVANCED TOPIC "composite named assist"
  • Find 3 people you want to assist. For this exercise I'll use the names Primary, Secondary and Tertiary, you just replace them with their real names. These people can be in your team or spread across multiple teams. Make this macro (all on 1 line): "/macro ALL3 /assist <Tertiary> \n /assist <Secondary> \n /assist <Primary>". Press the macro.
  • RESULT: If Primarycaller is in combat (even if the others are too), you will see his target. If he is not, but Secondarycaller is, you will see Secondarycaller's target. If he is not, but the 3rd is, you will see Tertiarycaller's target.
  • NOTE: You can have MANY callers on the same line. I would guess that the limit is the same as with a script, so you can have up to around 1000 characters on the line (untested).
  • NOTE: You can also apply this to an enemy macro, so that in a PvP war, you can see whoever is being targetted even if the enemy's Primary is killed.
  • NOTE: This can be useful even if you only have 1 team. Every been in a situation like APF where your team needed to "/assist <name>" to get AXP because they were a bit low on damage? Instead of only picking 1 caller (which can be slow and is a problem if that player dies), create an assist macro with your entire team listed (/macro TEAM /assist player6 \n /assist player5 \n /assist player4 \n /assist player3 \n /assist player2 \n /assist player1). Anyone can then take over targetting duty. Can also be handy to see if the entire team is assisting or not :)


B) Raidcheckups, only useful for Raidleaders, added for the sake of completeness.

Many of AO's larger raids have raidbots that require you to be added to the raid to get raid points. These bots often will require the Raidleader to check the raidlist. When you have 100ish people, well, that gets REALLY DAMNED OLD clicking on each person's name.

> Exercise 9: ADVANCED TOPIC Raidcheckup script
  • The solution? If the bot is able to produce a raid checkup list in this format:
    /assist Aplayer
    /assist Bplayer
    /assist Cplayer
    (etc)
    as Cameloot, Phatznet and Alienfun are able to do, then you can copy the entire list of players into a script (in "\program files\funcom\anarchy online\scripts\"). Save the file, then run the script to check all players in the script in no time at all. When I ran raids regularly, I would just keep this text file open so that I could quickly paste the information into it.
  • NOTE: You can also fire off this script every once in awhile to see if people are assisting or not (you'll see your targets quickly switch between multiple mobs). You won't be able to tell -who- isn't assisting, but if the problem becomes regular, you can start manually checking suspects and/or work with a damage log/dumper to see who the tab puller is.


Last edited by Hyde on Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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    PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:32 pm 
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(reserved)


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    PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 6:44 pm 
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wow, nice post doc! will help out many people I'm sure!

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    PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 8:06 pm 
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very nice guide. this is a must read :D


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    PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2006 10:59 pm 
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Great guide. This is one of the things you'll learn eventually as a new player, but it's much easier if someone writes a good guide for it. I use most of theese ways, maybe not the "tab tab.. assist" but I dont play a healer class. Haven't thought about making a composite assist for apf, will try that at next one.


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    PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 4:26 pm 
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Awesome guide! :D Great job!

I'll put a link to the Heal assist in the Doctors profession forum, as it is ESSENTIAL for a high level doc to know that. 8)


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    PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 9:47 pm 
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I wanted to add a little something seeing things from a target caller's point of view.

Assuming there are more than one TCs in one team the rest of the TCs besides the primary one must also assist the others in that team.

That is done by using the same macro but excluding their name from it.

It is especially important to continue assisting when there is a primary TC for a raid or team switching to the target that the primary TC thinks is the appropriate one (pf42 is a good example of where this is imperative).


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    PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 2:49 am 
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Great guide, Doctorhyde. :wink:


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    PostPosted: Sat Aug 19, 2006 10:59 pm 
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Ty Dhyde :) in addition for the ones who like to open websites fast

use /macro 'name' /start http:// etc

maybe there are commands for casting a nano or buff directly on a target or in team, but need to ask Hellfyre since he can edit stuff on test ;)

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    PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:09 am 
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very helpful, ty DH :wink:


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    PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 6:23 pm 
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I just had a bit of a news flash ...

"/macro assistheal /assist {tankname} \n /assist"


Should assist the tank to get his target and then assist his target to see who to heal.

EDIT: Unfortunately it doesn't work as a hotbar macro, maybe it needs a delay, but it should work as a script.



I'm not sure how useful it is ... as you have to remake it for every tank, and you're still going to want the other 2 macros. But, hey, why not?


And you can make the process of making the macro a little faster by making this a script:

/macro assistheal /assist %1 \n /assist


Last edited by Hyde on Thu Nov 09, 2006 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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    PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:10 am 
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Hyde wrote:
"/macro assistheal /assist {tankname} \n /assist"

This is where scripts and macros working together really excel.

Script "Assistheal"
/assist %1 \n /assist

Macro "Aheal"
/macro Aheal /assistheal {tankname}


All that is needed is to remake the simple "Aheal" macro each time. (saves remembering how to use multiple commands in a script)


Last edited by Kyttn on Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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    PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 12:24 am 
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Kyttn wrote:
Hyde wrote:
"/macro assistheal /assist {tankname} \n /assist"

This is where scripts and macros working together really excel.

Script "Assistheal"
/assist %1 \n /assist

Macro "Aheal"
/macro Aheal /assistheal {tankname}


All that is needed is to remake the simple "Aheal" macro each time. (saves remembering how to use multiple commands in a script)


I'm missing something ... I'm not seeing how that makes it any easier than just using the script I posted above :) you make the script I said, then type "/script {tankname}" and it makes the macro for you to put on your hotbar.


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