Macros and Aliases
There are two extremely handy tools in Star Wars Galaxies that allow you to simplify complex commands. These tools are the /alias command and the macro editor. Both work similarly, but each one has a few tricks that the other lacks.
A macro is a series of commands strung together and executed together. To create a macro, open up your Abilities & Commands menu, go to the Macros tab, and select 'New Macro.' Give your macro a name (with no spaces), and select an icon. Try to pick an icon that is distinctive, but different from the ones your own abilities use. In the space at the bottom, type your macro. A simple macro might be:
/stand; /bow; /say Hello
This macro would have you stand up, bow, and then say 'Hello.' Notice that the three commands are separated with a semicolon (;). This symbol is used to separate commands. The other important command to be aware of when creating macros is the pause. If you type '/pause' followed by a number, the macro will wait that many seconds before going on to the next thing. To put this into our example above:
/stand; /bow; /pause 5; /say Hello
When this macro is activated, you will stand up, bow, then wait five seconds and say 'Hello.' This is most useful when you are using a command that takes a while to complete. For example:
/forage; /pause 10; /forage; /pause 10; /forage; /pause 10; /forage
This would cause you to start to forage, which takes about ten seconds, then repeat the command a total of four times with ten-second pauses between them. When you are done with your macro, accept it, and you will have a brand-new icon under the macro tab that you can use like any other. You can now go into the controls page of the options screen and assign a hotkey to your macro, or you can drag the macro icon to a toolbar for easy access.
Some handy macro ideas:
- To sample for a long time, resting between sets: /sample; /pause 1000; /stand; /sit; /pause 200; /stand; /sample; /pause 1000; /stand; /sit; /pause 200 (note that the pauses will be different depending on your attributes)
- A general greeting: /nod; /say Good day to you.
- A farewell: /wave; /say Good luck, and farewell.
- An automated dance sequence: /startdance formal; /pause 20; /flourish 1; /pause 20; /flourish 2; /pause 20; /flourish 3; /pause 20; /flourish 4; /pause 20; /flourish 5; /pause 20; /stopdance; /pause 220;
- A marksman's opening attack with a carbine: /prone; /aim; /fullAutoSingle1; /overChargeShot1
An alias is a text shortcut to a longer text statement. To make an alias, simply go into the chat window and type '/alias', followed by the shortcut, followed again by the full statement. As an example:
/alias hiya Hello everybody, how's life? Anything interesting going on?
This creates an alias for the word 'hiya', so that when you type it as a command (/hiya), you get the full set of sentences behind it. This is useful for creating shortcuts for frequently-used phrases. As an example where this might come in handy, an armorsmith is frequently asked how much he charges for armor. He might have /bone, /chitin, and /tantel aliased, each being a shortcut to a statement listing the prices for each piece of that type of armor.
Aliases are quick and easy to use, and you can put commands and pauses into them, just like macros. In fact, any macro should work as an alias, too. What is the difference, then? First of all, you can't assign hotkeys to aliases, and you can't drag them to your toolbar. Secondly, aliases can be programmed outside of the game.
To program an alias offline, open the aliases.txt file with a text editor (WordPad works best), then start a new line. The line should look just like the command you would type into the chat box, but without the /alias command. Using our first example, you would put in:
hiya Hello everybody, how's life? Anything interesting going on?
Just like before, this would create an alias for 'hiya.'
Macros and aliases are great for saving keystrokes, preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, and relieving tedium, but rules are rules. It is in violation of the Star Wars Galaxies terms of service to set the game up to run itself and leave. You can create a three-hour alias to sample iron, but you are required to stay there while it runs. You can chat with friends, practice crafting, or count pixels. If you leave and let it run by itself, you could potentially be permanently banned from the game. What you do is up to you, but don't say we didn't warn you!
Quick Hints and Tips
- CTRL-SHIFT-H turns the interface off and on.
- CTRL-SHIFT-G turns on an interface window with some handy information. A smaller version of this window can be turned on through the options.
- CTRL-SHIFT-S makes the camera spin around your character.
- Star Wars Galaxies saves your character periodically, not constantly. If you crash, you may get a 'rollback' to a previous save and lose progress. You can force a save by logging out. Do this if you have just done something important (or expensive) that you don't want to risk losing.
- You can make a hotkey for any command by creating a macro for it, then binding it to a key in the options/keymap menu under 'Custom.' You can create a button for it by dragging the macro to your quick bar.
- You can drag any piece of equipment to your quick bar to access it through hotkeys.
- You can resize your quick bar so it shows two rows at once.
- Type /log to start keeping all your chat text as a .txt file in the Star Wars Galaxies directory. Type /log again to turn it off.
- If you are a Brawler and a Dancer, dance with a weapon--it looks cool, attracting watchers!
- You can tip someone from the bank with '/tip NAME XXX bank.'
- When shopping the bazaar, only the first hundred or so items will be displayed. Hit the next button to see the rest.
- Look at armor carefully. It lowers your secondary attributes when you wear it.
- Entertainers get more experience when grouped. Never fight for customers--share them!
- Contrary to popular opinion, when you quit through the menu, your character is not actually removed from the world for several minutes, during which time you are vulnerable to attack. To ensure you actually leave the world, quit by sitting (type '/sit'), then typing '/logout.' It will take thirty seconds.
- You can reset your survey devices to longer ranges through the radial menu in your inventory. Longer ranges do have a higher mind cost.
- Eating and drinking is not required, but if you do, your stats will be boosted for a short while.
- /follow will cause you to automatically follow your target.
- If you practice any skill that uses up HAM points (like entertainer skills or sampling) and have scout skills, you can practice in a camp. Your HAM will regenerate faster, and you will get survival experience.
- Hold CTRL while using your zoom keys (or mouse wheel) to zoom the overhead map.
- You can't wink on Galaxies. Comma-parenthesis makes a good substitute for a wink. ,)