When I posted my macros yesterday, Tigerfeet let me know that she is curious to learn more about what a focus target is and what it is useful for… so here I go!
I learned about focus when I was setting up a new unit frames addon. There was a section for configuring the display of my focus, and I had no idea what that meant! So I WoWwiki’d it, and I was amazed that I hadn’t already known about this handy little feature.
A focus target is basically a secondary target, one that you can sort of keep an eye on while you deal with your real target. Your focus can be friendly or hostile, and both have their uses as a focus.
To set your focus, just use /focus. It will set your focus as your current target. If you want to get fancy like me, you can set up a macro to set your focus to your mouseover target using /focus [target=mouseover].
Once you have a target set, you cast any spell that is castable on a target (depending on friendly/hostile) using the macro conditional [target=fucus]. Just put this between /cast and whatever your spell name is!
This is useful for Crowd Control, for anyone that targets a specific mob to CC, like mages or priest. So, something like:
/cast [target=focus] Polymorph
/cast [target=focus] Shackle Undead
will cast that spell on your focus target so you can keep up your banal pew pewing away at Skull!
I use focus for my misdirect. I set which ever tank I’m set to be MDing onto as my focus, and then whenever I cast misdirect, it automatically gets put on him. This helps so once I have my target I don’t have to switch to the tank and back to cast, and also if someone pulls aggro or there is some sort of emergency in combat, I can toss up a misdirect quickly to help the tank gain control.
I have heard that using a focus is also really useful for healers, but I have yet to experiment with that much. I suppose you could have your tank as your focus so your heals will go to them while you can have a mob targetted, or heals will go to the focus unless you have another friendly player targetted. If anyone has more information on how healers take advantage of the focus mechanic, I’d be happy to find out!