Extending Vocola (More Commands)

One of the tricks to making the most out of voice dictation (and Vocola in particular, I think) is that you must be willing to continually improve upon the way you do things. The command you wrote three months ago and that has served you well since can likely be improved upon in response to a changing play style. This post explains three techniques I have recently introduced into my gameplay: using dynamically declared variables to heal your off-tank, issuing multiple commands at a time, and dragging and dropping.

Dynamic Variables

I have previously demonstrated how one can pre-define an array of values as an available variable for use in a macro, allowing you to write just one macro to handle all spells of a particular type (targeted, helpful; targeted, harmful; untargeted). This can be expanded further, however, by using the Variable Vocola extension:

This simple extension allows you to remember things between commands during the same session. For example, you could remember the current contents of the clipboard (obtained via Clipboard.Get()) for inserting later via a different command. By session, it is meant that all these variables are forgotten each time you exit Vocola or use the “load extensions” command.
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Raiding with Voice Recognition (Nighthold)

By popular request, I have created and uploaded two YouTube videos from our Normal Nighthold adventures this week: Elisandre and Skorpyron. Because it was important to observe the voice commands I was using, I was unable to exclude our voice chatter. (I believe that to do so, I would have to install a second soundcard, but someone please correct me if I’m wrong.) These are not the only videos that I created, but I have a tendency to die to stupid effects during our Heroic runs, due to the inherent latency of voice recognition. Please comment below with any questions you have.

Thanks for watching!

Vocola: Part 4 — Raid Healing and Communication

In Part 2: Healing, Abilities, and Multiple Characters, I gave three examples of how you can heal a group without the use of your hands:

  1. Referencing group members by name or alias (difficult when players names’ include non-standard characters)
  2. Mouseover healing, cascading to target-healing, cascading to self-healing
  3. Referencing group members by numerical index (1-4)

Within a raid environment, approaches 1 and 2 serve reasonably well. The numerical index system used in a group can get a little tricky, though. Because, while it’s possible for you to heal the thirty-second member of your raid by saying, Mend 32 to issue the /use [raid32] Swiftmend command, it’s difficult and kludgy to identify raid members visually (it would also likely conflict with your group-healing macro, depending on where your group falls within the raid). But by leveraging any one of the many grid-style raid addons, it’s possible to solve both of these issues.

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Vocola: Part 3 — Movement, Mouse, and Camera

It was obvious pretty early on when setting up my configuration that spellcasting was not going to be my biggest problem; movement was. Because while using abilities and casting spells, opening and closing interface panels, and even targeting other players are very binary actions, it is infeasible to play without the analog mouselook feature (I tried). I have had good luck using a SmartNav: EG head tracker at work, an assistive device I had purchased out-of-pocket to reduce my use of the mouse as a software developer. This camera tracks the movement of a small, reflective silver dot that you wear somewhere on the top of your head. That movement is then translated into mouse movement on-screen. Once I was certain of its efficacy, I requested that my work buy one for my use at the office so that I could take the one I had purchased home.

To hopefully pique your interest, I have created a short video of me demonstrating all of the techniques in this post:

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Vocola: Part 2 – Group Healing, Abilities, and Multiple Characters

In Part I of the Vocola series, I demonstrated several syntax features useful for creating flexible macros: alternative words, optional words, and variables. In a couple of examples, we looked at spellcasting macros that, while effective, would be difficult to maintain. In this post, I’m going to show you my latest iteration of how I am able to manage my many different abilities with minimal effort.

The key to the system I recently settled upon is recognizing that you have 3 distinct types of abilities:

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