For all practical purposes, an FFXI macro did one thing. There were probably some gear swaps involved in that one thing and maybe a short message depending on what the thing was, but they did one thing. If you needed to do more than one thing, you needed more than one macro. And that describes basically every job above level 10.
The fact is, if you wanted to actually be good, your macros got complicated. Like.... really complicated. I've seen large flowcharts drawn for macro planning depending on the job, mostly because each macro only had 6 lines. Want to do things without macros? Welcome to Menu Purgatory, your one stop shop for soul crushing menus, scrolling patterns, and arrow key sequence memorization. btw this is why we use hotbars for things now, just sayin'
So COULD you put 5 abilities in one macro? I guess. Is that a good idea by any rational measurement? Absolutely not.
what about a macro to throw u p all your att buffs (berserk, warcry, last resort etc etc) before unleashing a devastating weapon skill?
Separate buttons because gearswaps exist. Also all those things are rarely on the exact same cooldown and as soon as a job ability fails to activate because it's on cooldown, the whole macro grinds to a halt.
Or what thief didnt have an SATAWS macro?
The one that didn't want to accidentally fire an attack round between macro wait states ruining their big hit. SA, TA, and WS are on minimum 3 macros. This got more and more true the higher level you got. My THF right now typically stabs at least 6 or 7 time per attack round and with enough haste it's actually super hard to know when an attack round ends and the next one begins.
or a macro for divine seal Cure tucked in a corner for "just in case"?
Maybe... it's a lot safer to put DS on its own macro since your go-to cures are almost certainly already on macros of their own and now you're not having to wait a full second between DS and casting your cure. Edited, May 26th 2017 3:14pm by Callinon