Immediately upon logging into the game initially during early access, I set my keybinds, and then typed "/m" into the chatbox, intending to get a feel for macro function within the game. I was surprised, as were many of my friends, guild mates and others that I've spoken to, when nothing was forthcoming. I went straight to google, and my query was "SWTOR macro support?". My jaw literally dropped as, on the first link I followed, I read that there would be no macro support at launch.
The lack of macro support in tandem with focus functionality initially inhibited me, and many others I've spoken with, from playing as effectively as we feel that we are capable of, and by extension, decreased the amount of enjoyment we were able to derive from PvPing in this game.
Here's why: No one can deny, a large portion of SWTOR players are going to be coming either directly from WoW, or will at least be players with prior experience with that particularly behemoth. If you ask any competitive PvP player in WoW, focus and macro functionality are absolutely vital to maximize efficiency. In addition, many healers will find their ability to effectively heal a large group impacted by a lack of mouse-over macros, another staple of the competitive WoW PvP and PvE communities.
Before you point out "this is not WoW", we're all aware it isn't, obviously. But not supporting features that detract nothing from the game and would be welcomed (and the absence of which is already negatively affecting the experience of many people I know personally within the game) is silly.
Many aspects of this game and the systems within it are derived indirectly from other MMOs, WoW included and probably the most prevalent due to it's size and popularity. Macros and focus are a staple within WoW particularly at end-game and proliferate even more at higher levels of competition, both within the PvP and PvE communities. I'm positive that competitive PvE and PvP scenes are something that Bioware wants to cultivate and foster within TOR - the development of these scenes would benefit the game hugely. It is within the best interests of the games success and the developers to attract as many players as possible and to facilitate truly competitive gameplay. I believe that Macro and Focus support are vital to the realization of this eventuality, and that is the bottom line imo.
There is nothing about macro and focus use that suggests "skill-less". Ask yourself, what is easier to manage? A single target, or multiple targets, each of which could be casting spells or performing abilities that you need to maintain awareness of at all times? The only people who dislike macros in this context either were unable to use them properly, or were unwilling to even try using them initially.
Bottom line, macros, particularly in a PvP scenario and particularly in concert with focus, should be supported and available to those who wish to utilize them.
Finally, please, please discuss this. Opinions from every perspective are valid, and I know there are players who both vehemently support and oppose the advent of macros within TOR.
If you agree that macros do belong in the game, why?
If you believe the implementation of macros would harm the game, why?
EDIT FOR BREVITY!
Here's a condensed version/TL;DR for everyone unwilling to devote the time to read everything said above:
-The lack of Macro and Focus functionality/support within the game inhibits the play experience. Particularly for those coming from other games (WoW being the most prevalent) that are used to the increased effectiveness macro use facilitates.
-Macros and Focus are vital elements in a truly competitive PvP/PvE scene, the development of which can ONLY benefit the Game as a whole.
-Not supporting features that detract nothing from the game and would be welcomed (and the absence of which is already negatively affecting the experience of many people I know personally within the game) is silly.
-Macro use, particularly in tandem with focus, is not "skill-less" but the converse. It adds complexity to the game.
IMPORTANT: I am NOT necessarily asking for support for completely customizable macros, but support for what I believe are two functions VITAL to competitive and satisfying gameplay:
-Focus Macro Support
-Mouseover Macro support
MACROS ARE NOT ADDONS. Here's the disparity, and it's a fundamental one. Addons are pieces of coding written by 3rd parties which alter the User interface, primarily. Macros are lines of text written WITHIN THE GAME, that do not alter the UI, change any frames, or give you information you wouldn't otherwise have access to. What I am asking for is NOT an IWIN single button spam for multiple abilities.
"Macros are a pretty broad term for certain convenience and advanced user functions at this time. Some of those features are present as possible key binds in the game, others are not.
We’re not opposed to macros, we don’t hate them, in fact we will probably add them, but probably not for launch."
WHAT I AM ACTUALLY ASKING FOR SUPPORT FOR:
Focus macro functionality to use with the focus frames that are already within the game. Such a macro would look like this:
/cast [target=focus] "abilityname"
Here's a mouseover macro -
/cast [target=mouseover] "abilityname"
Devilishly complicated, right?