Friday, March 19, 2010

Locating Characters - A Brief Tutorial

This post isn't about making gold. I'm writing it because a surprising number of people don't know how to do things like find a mage in their city (for a teleport), quickly locate an npc they know they are close to, or locate race/class combinations for holiday achievements. I'll keep it quick.

First, either buy a Shadow Crystal Focusing Lens from the auction house or buy a Shadow Crystal and have a jewelcrafter make the lens for you. Each lens has 40 charges, which should last you a good long time. I keep one of these in my bags on all of my characters, in case I need to locate an npc or a character who isn't in my party.

If you are looking for a mage, instead of asking in the trade channel, open the social window (the exclamation mark in a white speech bubble right next to your quest log, default button "O") and click on the "who" tab or type "/who" in your chat window and press enter.

The black bar just above the "Refresh", "Add Friend", and "Group Invite" buttons is actually a text imput field. Click that black bar and type in the city you are in and the word mage (for example, "ironforge mage"). Press enter or click "Refresh" and you will see a list of all mages in that city.

Next, you will create a macro to target the mage. Either click the yellow speech bubble on the upper left of your chat window and click "macro", or type "/macro" into your chat window and press enter. Under the general macros tab, press "new". Name your macro and select an icon (I named mine "Target"). In the box underneath the line "Enter Macro Commands:", type "/target [mage name]". In the future, you will only need to open the macro menu, click your target macro, and edit the name.

Attach the macro to a hotkey (by dragging your macro icon from the Create Macros window to an open spot on your action bar which has a key bound to it) and run around the city pressing that key. If you can't find the mage, he/she might have left the city, so press refresh on your Who List to make sure they are still nearby. Once you have your mage targeted, use your Shadow Crystal Focusing Lens to point you directly to them (the target macro has a slightly larger range than the focusing lens, so you might have to run around a bit to find a place close enough for the lens to work.)

The same trick works to find an npc you know is close, and you don't need to use the who list. Just edit your target macro to target the npc, and click the hotkey. Once the npc is targeted, use your Shadow Crystal Focusing Lens to point you in the right direction.

For holiday race/class combonations, type the race and class into the text field of the Who List (for example, "dwarf paladin"). I prefer to complete the holiday race/class achievements in Dalaran, there's no pvp there and it's a small area, so I can find the characters quickly. To look for opposite faction race/class combonations, create a level one alt of the opposite faction, use their Who List to find the character you are looking for in Dalaran, edit your target macro (only works if you made the macro under the "General Macros" tab), logout (I ran my level one to an inn to save the 20 second logout timer), login to the character you are doing the achievement on, and run around Dalaran pressing that hotkey like a crazy person. Laser pointers for the win!

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