Sunday, November 8 2009

SuperMacro, to the rescue!

[no relation to the ancient Borland SuperMacro product, which we once used to automatically navigate the swamp in Leather Goddesses of Phobos. clap, hop, kweepa]

Like most MMOs, Champions Online has some built-in macro support. It’s fairly primitive at the moment, but there are certain key-bindings that I want for all characters.

First, I hate their default for keyboard movement, which seems to have been inherited from the first-person shooter market; they use Q/E for turning, rather than A/D.

A +turnleft
D +turnright
E +right
Q +left

Second, the lighting in the game is currently a mess on many graphics cards, with some areas suffering from absurdly low contrast, and others with light colors blown out to white. Gamma correction is not exposed in the GUI settings, but it’s available to macros, and it helps a lot. As a bonus, these macros disable the build-switching bindings that are basically useless to characters who are under level 40. (F7 is the default lighting)

F5 Gamma 1.5
F6 Gamma 1.25
F7 Gamma 1
F8 Gamma 0.75
F9 Gamma 0.5

Third, I like to create alternate costumes for my characters, and easily switch between them. And I don’t make much use of the second power-bar, so I don’t need those buttons to have keys bound to them.

Alt+1 SetActiveCostume 0 0
Alt+2 SetActiveCostume 0 1
Alt+3 SetActiveCostume 0 2
Alt+4 SetActiveCostume 0 3
Alt+5 SetActiveCostume 0 4
Alt+6 SetActiveCostume 0 5

Finally, I like to take screenshots, but my Mac laptop doesn’t have a dedicated Windows PrintScreen key, and Function-Shift-F11 is a painful workaround, especially when I’m trying to capture an in-flight image from the side, which requires holding down mouse buttons. This method also saves as a TGA rather than a JPEG, which avoids lossy compression when I want to edit the results. Also, Shift is the block key, and half my screenshots were showing the character in mid-crouch, which is never flattering.

V Screenshot

All of these are stored in a file named ent_keybinds.txt, in the …/Cryptic Studios/Champions Online/Live directory. For each character, I just have to type in /bind_load once, and all the bindings are preserved for future sessions. You can also dump your current settings into this file with /bind_save.

[Update: More things that have come in handy.]

Toggle mouselook:

Rightclick ++CamMouseLook

Move the second power bar to Control-<bottomrow> (you get a silly number of powers at higher levels…):

Control+Z +PowerTrayExec 7
Control+X +PowerTrayExec 8
Control+C +PowerTrayExec 9
Control+V +PowerTrayExec 10
Control+B +PowerTrayExec 11
Control+N +PowerTrayExec 12
Control+M +PowerTrayExec 13

Activate your secondary travel power (earned at level 35):

Y +PowerTrayExec 15