I sat down the other night to finally spec and talent my druid for the first time since Cataclysm's release. I had been keeping mostly current with the resto changes, but my other spec - Boomkin - was anarchy. I had no idea what the new talents were and what they did, or how the new Eclipse system worked, so I spent a good 15-20 minutes just reading the tooltips and messing around at the dummies before finally getting a handle on them.
One of the things I also spent a lot of time on was remaking my druid macros. I'm obsessed with utility. I hate letting something go to waste, ever. Which is why the druid class is both a blessing and a curse.
Even though I spend all my time in Tree (well, caster form now) or Boomkin form, I should know how my feral abilities work. And more importantly, I should be able to use them if I need to!
A simple example: Professor Putricide. I was healing it and was targeted by the red slime, the one that you need to kite. Instantly I hit my Cat form/Dash macro and sped away, and the slime didn't even get close.
Another example: Valithria Dreamwalker. One of the most dangerous elements in that fight is to burn down the Blazing Skeletons before they use their brutal Lay Waste ability. But they only use this move when they reach their current target. As a hunter, I would Distracting Shot (taunt) them so they chase me all the way across the room, letting us DPS them down while they were fixated on me. Well, the next time I did the fight I was druid healing and we didn't have a hunter with us. So whenever one would appear I'd hit Bear form, Growl it and go back to Tree form while keeping my distance. Dead Blazing Skeleton, no fuss, no mess.
In both of these cases, they were immediate, no-thought reactions. I didn't have time to hunt down Dash or Growl on my bars, let alone open my spellbook and search for them. Just because I almost never use them doesn't mean I shouldn't be PREPARED to use them. In the Valithria example, I hadn't cast Growl in months, maybe even a year, but it was still keybound and ready for me when I needed it.
(Of course, Feral Cat druids especially should have their Bear spells ready for use. I think most of us have seen a tank go down, only to see the Cat shift into Bear form and successfully tank the boss to a successful kill.)
The problem with keybinding all your Caster, Bear, Cat, Tree and/or Boomkin spells, is space. There are only so many key combinations available! There is an easy solution though, and that's to make macros that do different things depending on what form or spec you are in.
Spec MacrosThis type of macro casts different spells depending on what spec you are in. These aren't great for the emergency utility I spoke of, but are nice for spec-specific spells and efficiency.
/cast [spec:1] Tree of Life
/cast [spec:2] Force of Nature
This will cast Tree of Life form in my primary spec (Restoration) or Force of Nature (Treants) in my secondary spec, Balance. In this case, these are my "big cooldown" moves.
Form MacrosFirst of all, here are your various forms and their identifying numbers, which are needed for these macros.
5: Tree AND Boomkin
Of these, I don't bother with Aquatic and Travel form, since you usually won't be able to use those forms in a fight. Additionally, since I use Vuhdo (a healing bars addon, like Healbot, Grid, etc.) I don't really have to worry about macroing my healing spells.
Here is my "stun/interrupt" macro.
/cast [form:0] Cyclone
/cast [form:1] Skull Bash(Bear Form)
/cast [form:3] Skull Bash(Cat Form)
/cast [form:5] Cyclone
What does it mean? Well in Caster, Tree or Boomkin form, I'll cast Cyclone. In Bear form, I'll cast the bear version of Skull Bash, or the kitty version in Cat form. All in a single button push.
Do I use these stuns often? No. In fact, hardly ever. But if there's a mob that absolutely has to be stunned, and the person who was assigned to do it just ate a Cleave or DC'd...well, might as well shift into Bear form and try! It's better than just resigning yourself to failure and wiping.
You also don't NEED to put a spell for each form. If you removed the last line of the above macro, then pressing that keybind while in Tree or Boomkin form simply wouldn't do anything. For example, my "Growl" macro doesn't do anything in caster form:
/cast [form:1] Growl
/cast [form:3] Maim
/cast [form:5] Starfall
This level of fine-tuning may not be for everyone, but I believe it's a huge waste to not utilize all the tools at one's disposal! Don't get silly with it, of course - just because you have your Feral abilities keybound doesn't mean you should start meleeing in Cat form instead of blasting away as a Boomkin. But there's zero harm in being well-prepared, and much to gain!
Note: Ithato has left a very useful comment about macro efficiency that I highly recommend reading. My example macros are NOT written very efficiently, but I am going to leave them as-is because I think they clearly show the different forms and their separate abilities.