Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I recall very early in my WoW career making the switch between clicking my abilities and keybinding them. The transition was smooth and natural - I still love the feeling of hand-dancing through my shot rotation. I'm very partial to my set up, as well. The visual person that I am works to make sure what is on screen coordinates with my keyboard. I can't have two things that are far away from each other on my bars be adjacently bound under my fingers. My spatial reasoning likes things being symmetric.

So, what's my set up? First of all, I began my life as a hunter with my main shots centralized, melee abilities off to the left, and off-shots to the right. I didn't realize it at the time, but it allowed me set up the rest of my keys without range constraint. With my main shots in the middle of the main action bar, my hand had free range of the rest of the key board. However, it didn't allow me to get into the habit of making key-modifier macros, since my hand is only in the left portion of my keyboard for melee situations. CTRL and Shift modifiers just never became a habit for me, so I balk at using them.

Here are my action bars:

A couple of macros I use are my Kill Command/Kill Shot macro, which I still spam as a remnant of the BC days, and a stopcasting/Disengage macro for middle of Steady Shot get-a-ways. For fights like HM: Twin Val'kyrs, where AoE effects come from every direction, the bottom two bars are hidden since they don't contain any vital abilities. For fight specific macros, there is a column not shown to the direct right of Master's Call, health stone, and mage food (hence the box looks uneven). My aspects are in a hidden bar off to the left of my screen, so they are not seen here. Mounts are handled by Livestock, which also applies Aspect of the Cheetah/Pack when indoors, but I keep a pair on hand just in case.

Here is my keyboard:

My hand is constantly centered with my ring finger on 5/Chimera Shot, middle on 6/Aimed Shot, and index able to do the full gambit around that area. Pinky takes care of `/Pet Attack and F4/Aspect of the Viper; ring manages 4/Disengage and F5/F6/Kill Macro in addition to Chimera; middle Y/Viper Sting, F7/Multi-Shot, and H/Mend Pet along with Aimed Shot; and index deals with U/Tranq, 7/Arcane, 8/Steady, 9/Serpent Sting, F9/Aspect of the Dragonhawk, and I/Volley. My thumb takes care of ,/Rapid Fire and ./Readiness. Silencing Shot is bound to my third mouse button under my right thumb. C/Push To Talk is handled by whatever finger is free at the time.

As you can see, I put a lot of weight on my index and middle fingers to take care of some more random effects. What I rely on them to do are the necessary abilities that for the most part do not have priority over other shots, so they should be free to do those shots when they are called for. Thus, if Jaraxuss needs to be Dispelled, I don't need to remove my fingers from my important shots in order to shoot Tranq.

Abilities I do not have keybound are those that do not necessarily have to constant throughout the fight, are only called on for circumstance, or simply have too many options. Misdirection, for example, I keep the main spell in addition to two macros for: One to keep it up on the focused tank, the other to keep it up on the target of target. Because fights can be unpredictable, I don't want to be in the habit of hitting the same keybind for the focus-target Misdirection when the situation may call for the target of target or the free Misdirection. Deterrence I do not want to hit accidentally and waste precious DPS time and the cooldown.

While I am fluent enough at maintaining a hand bound rotation, I am still working to completely transition my movements to mouse. I am such a dependent strafer, it is difficult for me to abandon WASD. Every time I go to Best Buy, I drool over the $80 mouse with seven buttons that I would love to bind to my strafe, but I just can't justify the cash. Right now I'm about 50-50 with my movements, mouseturning when I am maintaining a basic shot rotation, keyboard turning when not.


Brajana said...

Woah! That is such a strange set up to me. My 1-5 keys are so important, since they are right above the WASD keys... I would never bind them to something I use as rarely as melee! Interesting :)

You've inspired me to do my own "keybindings" post, Neg!

lyraat said...

I have a steel series mouse. I dont use half the buttons on it, I'm just not that dextrous. I really should, though, as mouse strafing would really improve my suckiness on H:TV.

Kordwar said...

Back before i broke down and bought a 3 button mouse my keybinds were actually pretty similar to yours, they were comfortable for me because i was using a touch pad then eventually bought a five button and still need more buttons D: