Friday, January 30, 2009

Toes on the Precipice

...and I'm afraid to jump!

I'm referring to two things. The aesthetic issue is my UI. I would like to get a customizable UI that frees up some screen space. I'm curious about Spartan UI for this aspect. I also want one that makes it easier to track certain important aspects, such as my health and rage. I've seen some screen shots where there was a semicircle on either side of the character - HP on left, and rage on right. I love this concept because I don't have to take time to look top-left to see how my health is to decide if I need to blow a cooldown, pot, or stone. I have no idea where to find that though.

I have noticed a deficiency in my performance as a tank. I feel that my reaction time isn't quick enough. One example is in Violet Hold, when one of the dragonflight "blinks" behind you. It takes me forever to turn around and reengage. (This is due to the dreaded keyboard turning.)

This brings me to my second point. I need to keybind! I've known for awhile that I need to, but finally I'm running heroics every day and saving up and spending marks. After such a long time of being the wannabe tank, feeling the need to leave my guild to seek more opportunities, and spending time out of game to research class mechanics or instance strategy and form gear lists to prepare me for game time - I am finally an active tank!

I know that adjusting to keybinds and mouse movement and developing the muscle memory will take time, and I'm reluctant to take a break from heroic instances to invest the necessary time to readjust. I also still have questions regarding fights where you have to move a lot while continuing to try to keep up a solid dps/tps rotation. I can't fathom strafing with A or D while trying to mash on my F1, F2, F3, F4, 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.

So here I stand at the edge. I want to jump. I really really do, but the fear is just strong enough to keep me where I am.

Somebody please push me!


  1. I had(have)the same issue with key binding It seems like a lot of work to rebuild your play style and adjust while still tanking everynight. I have a Fang keypad butIm sadly still mostly a clicker when tanking, I know this = BAD TANK!! One thing I have found useful is rolling an alt, I rolled a hunter, and start out keybinding ONLY with that character. Hunters are great for getting the feel of mouse movement since a good jump shot is just not happening if you use a keyboard to turn. The other plus to this is you only have a few spells to play with at first so you arent overhelmed with too many too fast. After a good 20 levels of this I can now use some keybinding on my warrior without wiping the group on the first pull. Prior to this the other key I had bound was "cast" for fishing lol

  2. Do it. Use the WASD for movement and put most used abilitied on the number pad. For example, on my pallytank (when I am a tank, lol) the '+' key is Target nearest enemy, 1= Hamer of Righteousnes, 2=holy shield, 3=Judgement. 4,5 and 6 are my seals. Consecrate is '.'. All my main pally tank abilities are right there, under my fingers. My response time is faster than the GCD sometimes.
    I think that you need to think about your main abilities, and start binding them to the keys in order of use, like sunder armor might be in the 1 slot for you, cleave might be in 2, ectera. I think once you start you will like it.

  3. @ Lucas: Thanks for the input. I have two personal problems with your system. First is that I most often play on my laptop, which does not have a number pad. Second is that it defeats the purpose of what I'm trying to accomplish. In my stated example in VH I pointed out the need to turn around quickly. With mouse turns you can turn 180 degrees almost instantly. With a key turn it takes a long time. I can't use keypad binds and the mouse simultaneously, so I would either be dong my rotation or moving, not both.

  4. There's an option to set a keybinding to turn around 180 degrees instantly, IIRC.

    I have it set on one of my mouse buttons, but I rarely use it because I use the mouse to turn.

  5. I realized while typing that this would be along comment so I pasted it in my blog instead:
    (free publicity ftw eh)

  6. Ah, so you are going to scrap keyboard movement entirely ...I must have misread the post. I also can not quite make the transition, mostly because I have the current way I am set up into muscle memory.
    Well, Let me know how it works, and what you bind on the actual keyboard for abilities. I have considered it from time to time as well.

  7. I'm kind of a hybrid keyboard-turner. I use my mouse for flight and swimming, but my keyboard in combat. If there's any one improvement I could make to my game, it would be to utilize keybindings. I literally click every spell I cast. To make matters worse, I don't even use any macros. If anything could improve my game from noobness, it would be those two things. It's just such a dramatic change in my playstyle. Bah! We'll see.

  8. As for the movement itself, I'd say the hybrid approach is going to be the most efficient. Combine WASD with mouse movement and you'll get to anywhere you need to be quickly. Put your most used abilities on the number keys just above where your fingers will land. Combine all that with a few choice macros and your reaction time will be much improved. I have a taunt/intervene macro bound to the '1' key and I can tap it with my ring finger whenever I need to do either. '2' and '3' are my main tanking macros, and the rest of my abilities are clicked as needed with the mouse.


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