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External Macros

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Plexius
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External Macros

So I just bought a gaming keyboard that has the ability to record, retain, and execute macros. The accompanying software allows for even more complex programming than simple key sequences. All of this got me thinking about the dilemma that such hardware or software creates for video games. From other discussions I've read on the web, it's something of a hot-button issue (pun intended).

On one hand, it's a simple matter of convenience. On the other, it's a way to implement botting. I'm not sure there's a clear line between what's acceptable and what isn't. Should it be limited to "one key equals one action"? Should it be limited to what the game's macro engine is inherently capable of? Should it be limited to non-repeatable sequences of simple actions? Should it be limited at all?

Consider that the macros I'm referring to in my case are implemented on the hardware itself. The keyboard has its own processor and memory for storing and executing macros, so a game could only detect its use heuristically at best. I don't really want to discuss the cat-and-mouse game of cheating and getting caught, though; I'm more concerned with the ethics and policies regarding the use of such devices, especially for City of Titans if a dev is willing to jump in here.

And honestly, I'm looking for a little bit of advice on how to use this great power with great responsibility.

Tannim222
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As someone who has used a

As someone who has used a gaming keyboard with macro-software, within the context of MMOs I have only used it to remap executions already allowed within the game to desired keys that fit the way I wanted to play, including using additional keys not available natively within the game's key mapping. That is, I have never pushed the boundaries of capability that was provided for function within the game itself even though I could have. Now sometimes those executions could be rather elaborate between key binds, up loading key bind files, and macro execution to pull off some nifty tricks, but it was never something that wasn't possible in some manner for anyone else in the game. The way I looked at it was I just had extra buttons to use to do something with and sometimes having those extra buttons alone is an advantage to pulling off stuff that others without them would have to go through more effort to replicate.

I would say using any program to create a function not intended within the game natively is where the line is crossed. An example could be the are no direct macros set up for movement to particular locations within the game. Outside the game it may be very well possible to pull this off and set it to a single key (or two but most likely one). No one can use in-game commands to create this function, but someone using additional soft / hardware outside of the game can, to me this is crossing the line.


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Plexius
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Thanks for your input,

Thanks for your input, Tannim222. I will most likely engage in the same type of usage that you did. My intention is to be conservative in what I implement. Thinking back to CoH, I can't even really think of anything specific that I would have liked to automate that wasn't already possible using the game's own macro system.

Still, it's something to keep in mind when drawing up the EULA/ToS for CoT. I doubt I'll be the only player who dabbles in macros to enhance their gameplay, and I don't think any of us want to be punished for using them. This is where a well-defined policy is necessary, in my opinion.

Gangrel
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Plexius wrote:
Plexius wrote:

Thanks for your input, Tannim222. I will most likely engage in the same type of usage that you did. My intention is to be conservative in what I implement. Thinking back to CoH, I can't even really think of anything specific that I would have liked to automate that wasn't already possible using the game's own macro system.
Still, it's something to keep in mind when drawing up the EULA/ToS for CoT. I doubt I'll be the only player who dabbles in macros to enhance their gameplay, and I don't think any of us want to be punished for using them. This is where a well-defined policy is necessary, in my opinion.

The way in which a lot of companies (from what I have read on forums) deal with the gaming keyboard/software problem is like this:

One action per key press

Now if that action is to fire off a macro button that is in your powertray and ANYONE can write exactly the same ingame (just like CoX) then it would be fair game.

If however the "real world" keypress did something like this:

1) Move forward
2) Action 1
3) Wait 4 seconds
4) Action 2
5) Wait 2 seconds
6) Action 3

(basically hitting the keyboard/clicking the power activations separately as if you were hitting those keys yourself)

Then that would be crossing the line, especially if there was NO method for a player to do that normally in game.

CoX only let you fire off one macro and queue up another. So at most you had 2 power activations per keypress.

Using an "external" macro though, you could chain up a whole attack chain if you so desired (Dual Blades combo with just one button press for example), which would be breaking the "spirit" of them.

Me? I use gaming software all the time

I use the razer synapse (for my Tartarus) and the Logitech Gaming software (for my keyboard/old G13)[1] and I just use them (for MMO's at least) to "one press one action". Just in a better placed area than some others.

The thing to remember is that the gaming software that companies release is really very weak when compared to AutoHotKey and what that can do.[2]

[1] The Tartarus/G13 have just 20-30ish keys total, so being able to map what each button does is important. Even then I still refrain from doing multiple "combat" ingame actions to one press.

[2] It can do pixel color matching at certain locations of the screen to fire actions off according to the color of a pixel or 2, draw up forms for interactions and so on and so forth. I know that a couple of Eve Online mining bots were coded in AutoHotKey and that players got banned for AFK mining for hours on end. It has other uses as well (that are good overall).

Side note: I am not so bothered with macros for chat windows. They are not "affecting game play" directly, and I have only heard of one person who got a temp ban for using macro software with chat windows. That will happen when you spam the same channels non stop every few minutes for 6 hours.

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Gorgon
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I wouldn't mind a longer

I wouldn't mind a longer command queue, with key to abandon it, or auto-abandons when target dies.

This could increase the fun as micro planning-ahead, successfully, is awesome.

How about two ctrl-clicks, too? (Auto-fire the power when it recycles, this is independent of command queues.)

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