How to make Ember less micro intensive?

I like Ember as a character and really want to add her to my party, but it really bothers me that she is so insanly micro intensive if she stays in her given class.
Especially the cackle hex is a problem. To keep the hex-buffs going I have to pause every few seconds to activate cackle (auto casting cackle does not always work) or play turn-based. Buffing before a fight is also not a fun option, because it takes to much time and feels like cheating. To circumvent this I tried to come up with a witch build without hexes or at least without the buffs or debuffs, but this way the witch class seems to be pointless. Also while contributing to the party big times by just casting and upkeeping Protective Luck (a ridiculously good buff in my opinion) on my tanks, without doing this Ember just does nothing particular useful and looks like a very bad version of a witch that uses that buff.
Is there a way to build her as a witch without being so micro intensive or as another class altogether while being relevant to the party (outside of healing after fights) and not just standing around doing nothing in the majority of the fights?

You could respec her into a different archetype of Witch. Both Hex Channeler and Elemental Witch are less micro intensive to control as, relatively speaking.

Hex Channeler can give up hexes in favor of strenghtening her channeling instead if you like. And said feature can be auto toggled if need be. Elemental Witch gets a bit less hexes than the standard Witch, but gets semi-kinetic blasts with infinite uses. Its rays are a tad underpowered in their output. But it’s another feature you can have auto toggled once you run out of spells.

Personally, I save the micro for when its needed. The quickest fix for me would be allowing autocast to be set for a specific target for a positive buff, most notably protective luck, so I could just have her spam this on the tank by default. As it stands, I generally find Evil Eye AC my go to autocast, though this does have the infuriating habit of targeting your own party member when combat ends rather reliably. If you fail the save this is a really annoying debuff you are stuck with for quite a while.

Also, I am not sure if it would be a house rule (I am pretty sure pre buffing with cackle to extend durations to several minutes is not working as intended), but as a quality of life change, cackle should reset to the original duration of the hex, not merely extend by 6 seconds. This would prevent a lot of cheese, and make cackle a much more reasonable autocast option as you wouldnt need to do it literally every single round to keep it going.

Both of those archetypes are still going to be played optimally by using the very powerful and very spammy hexes like evil eye and protective luck.

I see. Perhaps I could try to just let her autocast debuffs while focusing on Evil Eye. So far in my runs I abandoned this strategy after I briefly tried it during the early game with sleep. She often just choose the wrong targets or casted the spell too early to make a significant impact on the fights. I also fear that the stronger enemies will just save against Evil Eye and thus render it quite useless without cackle, but maybe I am wrong here.

Well sleep scales very poorly, as the enemy saves rise far faster than your hex DCs have any hope of keeping up with. But if you focus your party on attack one target, for example, then having her by default cast evil eye can save you micro.

Ultimately, if you want to optimise party performance, a fair amount of micro is unavoidable.

I usually do not use respec mods or the like if the game is not somehow broken.

Also if it is true that those archetypes have the ability to use Evil Eye and Protective Luck, I probably would just make her a normal kineticist instead of Hex Channeler or Elemental Witch if I were to use a respec mod. That way I also would forfeit any buffing/debuffing while getting a blaster/healer that is really easy to control with enough HP to sustain a hit or two.

Starting at 2nd level, Hex Channeler lets you select an optional boosting “hex” which permanently improves channeling by 1d6 each time its taken by the player. So if you go all out you end up with a single hex from 1st class level and a channeling of 10d6 at 20th.

By selecting a passive hex like Iceplant you effectively have a Witch without hexes and their micromanagement. From the looks of it, that’s basically what you’re asking for.

Regarding pre-fight buffing, on Core and above the game is balanced around the assumption that you’re buffing yourself thoroughly. And yes it’s a massive hassle that just scales up as the game goes on and you get more and more spells. The only solution is to install one of the autobuff mods.

Personally, I like this one:

It’s simple, easy to use, integrates with the UI nicely and once you set it up you can cast all your buff instantly with a single click. It’s made the game VASTLY more enjoyable…

I just built her to be an Arcane Trickster. Not as good with Hexes, but the features are less micro intensive. And it means her cantrips are passable, since they add Sneak Attack damage.