Welcome to Mage Corner! Your first stop for all the news to print about mages of all shapes, specs, and sizes! I’d like to spend a little time each week in this section of our blog discussing different aspects of playing a mage, whether it be grinding up to 70, picking professions, theorycrafting your way to DPS dominance, or anything else a little Intellect may inspire! Enjoy!
Today’s Mage Corner is about an often overlooked skill for mages, but a skill that is extremely useful when mastered. What is it, you ask? How to sheep, of course! Now I know, I know, all you mages are saying, “What? Gimme a break - you don’t need to know anything special about sheeping, you nubzor.” But hear me out - there really is an art to it. The two problems mages run into when sheeping - sometimes without realizing it - are the following:
- sheep getting broken and not resheeped in time, one-shotting three healers before the mob is resheeped, and…
- sheeped mobs ending up in a troublesome location, often getting hit by an AoE slipup if they’re right in the middle of the fray, leading the situation back to point number one - broken sheep one-shotting healers before they get resheeped.
The easiest way around both of these problems is with smart macros and a well-setup interface.
UI Setup: I use Xperl for my UI, which among a ton of other useful settings, offers a wonderful focus target. I set up my focus target to the right of my actual target, and make him a little smaller. The main perk of having my focus target like this is that I get visual confirmation that he’s sheeped (by the little sheep image in his 3D target image screen that Xperl offers), and I can see his buffs/debuffs (like the sheep icon, or a rogue poison, which lets me know who to yell at.) Here’s a cut of just my toon target, my actual target, and my focus target:
Here’s a snapshot of the sheeping bars in action. The third bar over is my target’s target; in this case, our MT. My focused target, the sheep, is the fourth one over.
Here and here are two full size version of the screenshots those came from, so you can get a better feel for how it looks in full screen. I’m not insisting mages use my exact same UI setup (although noticehow clear and uncluttered it is? mmm…) - but whatever you choose to do with your UI setup, just make sure that you’ve got a nice, clear focus target window; it’s necessary for making full use of your macro, which brings us to….
Sheeping Macros:Now for sheeping macros, it really depends on how kookie you want to get about it. The macro I love is in fact two macros, one to focus and one to sheep, but I like the confirmation that focusing your own sheep allows. It requires just a little more awareness when in the fray, but I think most semi-awake people can handle it, and it’s what I like. There are also hundreds of much more complex variations, which I offer you as well, so you can try both options and pick your fav.