Archive

1.07.07 Hotkeys for Dummies

Updated Fri, Jan 02, 2009 by Shayalyn

Vanguard Hotkeys for Dummies

By Xeldar


  1. Overview
  2. Basic Hotkeys
  3. Spells and Skills
  4. Target Commands
  5. Equipment and Forms
  6. Conclusion

I. Overview

Vanguard contains many "slash commands," which are commands you enter in your chat window by typing a slash ( / ) followed by the command. There are slash commands for almost every action you can perform in Vanguard. While many actions, such as casting spells, can be bound to keys or clicked in the UI, there are some things that can only be done by using slash commands.

While slash commands can be very useful, having to type them out every time would make them pretty tedious. There are also times when you might want to use several slash commands right after each other. That's where hotkeys come in. Hotkeys allow you to execute a group of slash commands with a single click or press of a button. When a hotkey is used, the command on the first line is executed, followed immediately by the second and so on, without any delay between them. While having no delay between lines limits you somewhat, there is still very much you can do with hotkeys.

To create a hotkey in Vanguard, simply right click on an open location on your hotbar. This will bring up a macro window, which will allow you to create the hotkey using a line for each command you want to execute.

II. Basic Hotkeys

One of the first hotkeys anyone should make is an assist key. For those that have played other MMOs that use an assist command, this should be very familiar. For those that don’t know, assisting a player will allow you to target whatever that player is currently targeting. There are two different types of assist keys you can make:

To assist the main tank in your group:
/assist “tank name”
To assist your defensive target:
/assist %td
Notice the %td in the second example. Again, if you have played other MMOs you may remember %t being the code to display your target’s name in chat. Because there are two target types in Vanguard, offensive and defensive, there are two different codes for displaying each. %td is for defensive target and %to is used to display your offensive target’s name. Another basic hotkey you can have is one that announces an incoming mob to your group.
/g Incoming %to
There's a neat little trick you can use to make part of a message in a hotkey appear in pink text, like an item link. The trick is to wrap a fake item tag around the part you want pink. Using the above hotkey as an example, to make the target's name show up pink you would do this:
/g Incoming <item=00000::0,0,0,>%to</link>

III. Hotkeys for Spells and Skills

You can also cast spells or skills from hotkeys. While you cannot use hotkeys to cast more than one spell at once, you can use them to cast a spell and then do other things, such as announce to your group what you are casting. The command for casting a spell or ability is:
/cast “spell name”
You can create a new hotkey and type this in yourself, or you can right click on an existing spell and it will create a hotkey with a single line that casts the spell. To add an announcement to the hotkey, press enter to move to the next line in the hotkey, and then you can enter the channel and message. For example, to announce to your group that you are healing somebody, your hotkey would look like this:
/cast “Healing Touch I”
/g Healing %td
There are some instances when you may want to cancel the spell you’re casting and cast another spell instead. While you can bind a key to cancel spells, and I would recommend it, you can also cancel whatever you are casting in a hotkey using the following command:
/cancelability
For example, to make a hotkey that stops whatever you are casting, counterspells your target, and announces it to your group you could do this:
/cancelability
/cast “Nullifying Field”
/g Counterspelling %to
Items with right-click effects can be used in hotkeys with this command:
/itemuse "item name"
While I mentioned earlier that you can't cast more than one spell at a time with hotkeys, it is possible to cast a spell and use a clickable item in the same hotkey. This is because items are not affected by the global cooldown timer for spells and abilities. This means you can cast an item immediately before or after casting a spell or using an ability. For example, if I have a weakened stave with a right click frost spear nuke, I can use it together with one of my regular nukes for added damage:
/itemuse "Weakened Stave"
/cast "Mental Blast I"
Be warned however that using items with spells that are part of chains may interrupt the chains. You can have a separate key for chains however. In fact, there are even commands for executing active chains or other reactions:
/reactionautochain
/reactionautocounter
/reactionautorescue
/reactionautosympathetic
Each of the above commands executes its corresponding reaction if it's able to. If you included all 4 commands in one hotkey like above, it would execute the first one in the list that was active, or none of them if none were.

IV. Target Commands in Hotkeys

In Vanguard you have a defensive and Offensive target. There are several commands which can set these targets, and the following is a table of all the current ones:
Command
Result
/targetauto "name" Sets either your offensive or defensive target to the name provided, depending on whether it's a PC or NPC
/targetdefensive "name" Sets your defensive target to the name provided
/targetoffensive "name" Sets your offensive target to the name provided
/targetgroupmember # Tries to set a group member as your defensive target. Note: you are group member 1, group member 2 is the first member, etc
/targetself Sets yourself as your defensive target
/targetnearestnpc Sets the nearest NPC as your offensive target
/targetnearestpc Sets the nearest PC as your defensive target
/targetmynearestcorpse Sets your nearest tombstone as your offensive target
/targetnearestpccorpse Sets the nearest PC tombstone as your offensive target
/targetnextcorpse Cycles your offensive target to the next nearest corpse
/targetnextnode Cycles your offensive target to the next nearest harvesting node
/targetnextnpc Cycles your offensive target to the next nearest NPC
/targetnextpcdefensive Cycles your defensive target to the next nearest PC

Here is one trick I use to clear my offensive target before assisting the tank. This ensures that my target is the same as the tank's target, even if he or she has nothing targeted.
/targetoffensive clear
/assist "main tank"
Note that using "clear" as the name clears the target completely, and this also works for the defensive target command.

Another good use of targeting commands is in a loot hotkey. You can make a hotkey that targets the nearest corpse and loots everything on it. The loot macro works from bottom up. For a properly working loot (mob that you just killed) macro that works with one buttonpress, use this:
/endloot
/lootall
/loot
/targetnextcorpse
Note however that there is some server delay between the /loot command and when the loot window actually opens. Because of this, it is usually necessary to press this key twice: once to open the corpse and once to loot what's on it.

Another hotkey that is very useful is one that drags your own corpse, or another player's corpse. You can make a hotkey that drags your corpse if there is one nearby, or drags the nearest player's corpse otherwise.
/targetnearestpccorpse
/targetmycorpse
/corpsedrag
Note that the above hotkey targets the nearest PC corpse first, then it tries to target your own corpse. If you have one, then it will overwrite your target with your corpse, otherwise it will keep the other PC corpse on target, and the last command drags it.

Another targeting command that might be useful in hotkeys is the one which targets your group members by number. As a healer or other class with emergency abilities that depend on having a group member targeted, such as Psionicist's Psionic Barrier spell, or perhaps a fighter's rescue, it might be useful to make a separate key for each group member. That way you only have to press one key to target whoever needs to be targeted, and then have the spell or ability used right after, reducing the need to hit F2, F3, etc before casting. You could make six hotkeys like this:
/targetgroupmember 2
/cast "Psionic Barrier I"
Note that group member 1 is yourself, and group member 2 is the first member in the group, etc.

V. Hotkeys for Changing Equipment and Forms

You can create hotkeys that can equip multiple items at once. This is mostly useful for weapons, since you can change those during combat. Here is one example of swapping weapons to a one hander and a shield:
/wear "Dusty Longsword" primaryhand
/wear "Dusty Shield" secondaryhand
You can use the wear command in conjunction with form changing command to both change your combat form and equip a difference set of weapons.
/combatformset "Offensive"
/wear "Dusty Longsword" primaryhand
/wear "Dusty Shortsword" secondaryhand
For bards you can have one hotkeys for each song that plays the song, changes forms, and changes your equipment. For example, if you wanted to play the song "Regen" which has song components that can be enhanced by a stringed instrument, you could make a hotkey that plays the song, changes to an instrument, and puts you in a defensive form, since you won't be attacking.
/playsong "Regen"
/wear "Lute"
/combatformset "Water Dance"
Note that using the wear command without an equipment slot keyword after the item name will equip the item in its default slot. Using this with a two handed weapon or instrument will just equip it like normal.

VI. Conclusion

This guide contains many examples of the uses of hotkeys, but there is an almost endless amount of other things you can do with them. To few the complete list of commands available in Vangaurd, click here.




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