View Full Version : Tanking Breaking a bad habit

06-02-2010, 04:45 PM
I'm hoping for some constructive advice. I am a casual player and after 2 years my protection warrior hit 80 about two months ago. I have been a clicker since I started. I have tried to break this habit on multiple occasions. I know that there are people out there that consider themselves clickers, and have some things keybound. But I literally click everything. The most I have been able to do is bind heroic strike for my rage dump.

I am looking some advice from people who have either broken the habit or have helped someone quit. Just a little background. I'm not a young guy and I have never formerly learned to type......gasp I know hard to believe. I think this is part of the problem. Arthritus doesn't help either......lol.

I mostly leveled solo so it really wasn't a problem. But now that I'm tanking heroics its becoming more difficult. I do pretty good, hold aggro, crowd control, and rarely wipe. But I can tell if I'm going to take the next step up I'm going to need to address this soon.

First timer here so any help would be appreciated.

06-02-2010, 04:51 PM
Start out by binding a few things. If you try to go into the deep end and bind all 30 (or whatever) of your abilities and macros, you're not going to remember a single one. You should start by binding your most used abilities in regular combat. So bind Devastate, Shield Slam, Heroic Strike, Cleave, Thunderclap and Shockwave. Even if you just put them on 1 - 5 just try making your fingers remember their position.

One of the first binds I ever made on my warrior was for Charge, and I put it on C because C stands for Charge :D I've stuck with it ever since, and I picked it up pretty quickly because the way I thought about it was that it wasn't an ability as such but just an extra movement button next to my WASD keys.

Theres a great guide to keybinds somewhere on this forum if you want to get into it a bit more and see what options you have or get some ideas.

06-02-2010, 05:00 PM
I did try jumping into the deep end at one point, It didn't go so well. Way too much to remember. I'm so used to having my hand on the mouse that taking it off to use the number pad feels odd. You are refering to the number pad right? I tried the conventional numbers and that was tough.

I'm not trying to be stubborn. But I don't want to quit playing to learn. I may have to quit on my main for awhile and make an alt to get this fixed. Because trying to learn while tanking is a recipe for wipe.

06-02-2010, 05:42 PM
Oh no, your right hand (assuming you're righthanded) would stay on the mouse pretty much the entire time.

If you're completely new to it all, I'd start simply by getting used to moving with the WASD keys - think of them like the arrow keys, just over to the left. Continue to click on your abilities while you get used to moving with the keyboard - you use the mouse to turn (by holding the right button down) or to move the camera (by holding down the left) so it's very rare that you'd want to let go of it.

Try binding strafe left to A and strafe right to D and keeping W for going forward and S for going backward. It takes a little getting used to and I think a lot of people probably take it for granted simply because it's now become such an established PC gaming standard for movement.

Once you've got used to turning with the mouse and running with WASD you can begin to add your most common abilities to the buttons around your movement keys - so that'd be the "traditional" numbers along the top of the keyboard as well as anything else that it's comfortable to reach when your fingers are resting on the movement keys - things like F, R, E and Q are all very nearby and make good keybinds. The main aim is for your left hand to have to deviate from that position as little as possible as that will speed up your reaction time.

It may take a while to get used to moving with WASD and using the mouse only for looking around or turning but once that's burned into your muscle memory I'm confident that the other parts (such as binding your main abilities to 1-5) will seem very natural as it puts everything in easy reach of where your fingers will have, by that point, become accustomed to resting naturally.

As I say, I think it's something a lot of us who grew up with PC gaming very much take for granted as it's been pretty much the standard for nearly two decades (or possibly more) but just like anything it's a skill that can be learned with a little practice. Best of luck :)

06-02-2010, 05:55 PM
Mert hits the hammer on the nail - start with moving with the keyboard. (Just don't turn with it.)
Once you have that down, your right hand will be in the right spot to start using some keybinds. Take it one step at a time, and correct yourself whenever you start clicking stuff again. (Try tanking something with the right mousebutton pressed throughout the fight - it allows you to look around and move slightly quicker too.)

You don't have to do this on your main, though. Start a new toon for it, so you get used to using the buttons in a low-pressure enviroment, and you don't have to worry about too many buttons all at once.

06-03-2010, 06:46 AM
Not sure how useful you'd find it, but you could try out HelpMeKeybind (http://wow.curse.com/downloads/wow-addons/details/hmk.aspx). It's a mod to help you get used to keybinds and part of its design was specifically to help clickers adapt to hotkey binding.

I use a Razer Naga when I tank which helps almost all of my keybinds are on the mouse buttons, so I hardly have to move that hand.

Those are both "exterior" options. The only other advice I have is to persevere - you'll get there in the end and it'll feel natural and you'll wonder how you couldn't do it before! Just push through the frustration :)

06-03-2010, 07:58 AM
I still have not fully moved to binds however with a new mouse that has several buttons and a G13 game pad its getting easier. All my CD's are bound to various buttons on my mouse, some combined into macros like Pot + Healthstone, for quick use.

Right now I guess I would say I'm a 50/50 mix of click and key.

06-03-2010, 08:50 AM
I have to say I have no specail keybinds(I use the 1..0 keys and movement ones), I have never found the need for macors.

06-03-2010, 10:33 AM
I only have one actionbar keybound.
1234 to move, wasd, e, and f for some, then duplicate the same paired with the shift key.
The bound keys I have using this method are really the only ones I use consistently, the rest I just click when they're needed.
In a way I regret that decision, since the keybound keys are the ones I use most often, it ends up with me spamming them. I swear I'm getting tendonitis from hitting them so much in consecutive insta-random heroics...

06-03-2010, 10:42 AM
There is always the option of using an action bar mod, like bartender, to move your buttons to a position where they are closer to the action. baby steps are the key.

06-03-2010, 08:40 PM
I recently switched from clicking to keybinds after convincing myself that it would benefit me much more than clicking.

The main source that helped me was this video on youtube, it explains how to make the switch and how to practice getting off all your skills and abilities ingame without clicking. And since I play on a laptop most of the time, I rely 100% on the keyboard since clicking with a trackpad is extremely slow.

The keys for my skill I use are :

WASD- Moving
1 2 3 4 ` - My main abilities
Q E R F Z X C - Also my main abilities, but more situational, taunt, charge etc.
H P V B - Switching stances, precence, auras, aspects

Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WOUwxwz93k

06-04-2010, 05:51 AM
Here's something that will REALLY force you to do stuff.

Download a mod like dominos or bartender. Bind a few keys at first (devastate, HS, SS, revenge or something) and then HIDE THAT ACTION BAR. Write down what you have bound on like a sticky note or something and put it on your monitor so you remember what is bound to what. But if you hide your action bars, you can still use those buttons, but then it is literally impossible for you to click them.

As you get more comfortable start binding more things, and if you still need to hide those action bars as well. This can also clear up a lot of clutter in a UI if you can manage to hide your action bars.

I only used this method to break myself of the habit though, I need to see what's on cooldown, what is affecting the target (like sunders or if I'm arms things like rend, or a DPS class I have dot timers on the bindings themselves), etc. So I now show all of my action bars, but press everything.

I have 1-7, shift 1-7, q, shift q, e, shift e, f, shift f, g, r, z,v, `, cntrl v, F1, caps lock, M4. shift M4, and M5 all bound (and I have the number pad bound to raid target icons)

Edit: specifically

1 - devastate
2 - HS
3 - Revenge
4 - Shield Slam
5 - Shield Block
6 - Conc Blow
7 - Zerker rage

Shift 1 - charge
Shift 2 - commanding
Shift 3 - demo show
Shift 4 - Blood Rage
Shift 5 - Int Shout
Shift 6 - Challenging Shout
Shift 7 - ... actually I can't remember what I have bound here, I guess I don't use it much

q - trinket 1
shift q - trinket 2, or if I don't have a second trinket with an on use effect equipped I will bind this to WotF
e - shockwave
shift e - heroic throw
f - thunder clap
shift f - macro with charge and heroic throw bound to the same thing
g - focus
r - taunt
z - commanding shout
v - spell reflect
` - vigilance
cntrl v - equip weapon, sometimes for arms this is my 2hr for when I use my spell reflect macro, sometimes this is bound to items such as the rocket pack on gunship
F1 - Last Stand (I click shield wall to insure I never accidentally fat finger it)
Caps Lock - taunt focus target macro
M4 - "oh shit button" - has pots, healthstones, enraged regen, etc. etc. bound to it
Shift M4 - just enraged regen
M5 - shield bash/pummel macro

06-04-2010, 07:46 AM
I was a clicker pretty much until my guild got into the later parts of SSC/TK...I had bound my abilities by then (most of the main rotation ones, that is) and was doing OK. By the time we got to Illidan I changed them all around and moved my bar to a different position on the screen....learning a complex fight like that with new keybindings and also while drunk was an interesting decision, but I did it anyway, and I learned the keys fast. We also killed the boss within 2 nights of tries. Less problems with me, more with the warlock tank and 2 fire tanks getting their techniques down.

06-04-2010, 07:51 AM
Positioning your hand on the keyboard is important. I'm assuming you're righthanded and that you're using a full keyboard and not a notebook one.

Put your hand in a comfortable position where your fingers rest on A W D triangle. Now, without lifting your fingers, slide your palm a little upwards - as much as you can without getting your fingers uncomfortable or unnaturally "bent". That's how you should be placing your hand on the keyboard. Now, if you look, you'll see that some keys automatically line up under your fingers. Most notably, your thumb will probably be right over spacebar, your little finger somewhere between tab & shift. The fingers on AWD should also be in easy reach of the first few numbers (normal numbers) as well as tilda, Q, E, etc. Those are they keys to bind really frequently used stuff to. I like to reserve some of the "easy to reach but not naturally under any finger" keys like tilda to "oh shit" buttons like shield wall or trinkets.

Try to bind the frequently used stuff like devastate, shield slam, revenge onto the 1-5 buttons, wherever they're comfortable, in whatever order you prefer bashing them. (i'm listing warrior abilities but you'll get the idea even if you're another class). Now go practice on the training dummies. First start out with moving. Try circling the dummy while strafing. This should get you used to your movement keys (AWDS) with your left hand while using your right hand on the mouse for facing. Once you're done, start practicing your tanking moves on the dummy with just your left hand. Once you're comfortable with what's where, start praciticing tanking "on the move" around the dummy.

Combined with the "start slowly with a few abilities" advice above, this should get you started without having to roll an alt.

PS: One trick i use to "extend" the number of keys i can reach with my fingers is i use "ctrl" as a modifier to access another set. If you're using a fullsized keyboard, you can actually press the ctrl key with the side of your palm. That suddenly doubles your available easy-to-reach keys. So lets say i have shield slam bound to 3 and thunderclap bound to ctrl+3. I can spam slam normally and put in a thunderclap in between simply by tilting my hand a little, no need to move my fingers.

06-04-2010, 10:59 AM
Wow thanks for all the good advice. I'm going to bite the bullet and try putting some of these things into practice. Arr....my blackberry is not very tankspot friendly, very laggy. I think using the mouse for movement will free me up a bit to hit keys more.

I am really new to this game so it will be baby steps. I don't use any adds either. I should look into some to see if any will help me out. But my main focus will be on key bindings. There is nothing more frustrating than staring at you action bars just to see you missed a pat or the healer is getting beat on.

Thanks for all the advice.......BTW how do you post a link to the armoury?

06-04-2010, 11:20 AM
That utube video was helpful. If he can do it missing a finger, I have no excuses.

06-04-2010, 03:58 PM
Thanks for all the advice.......BTW how do you post a link to the armoury?

Just goto www.wowarmory.com (or I guess eu.wowarmory.com or whatever the silly European site is if you're on a euro server) and search for your character's name. Click on it (make sure it's the correct server) and then just copy the URL address once you are in your profile and paste it in here!

06-05-2010, 05:52 AM

Cool thanks

06-05-2010, 07:40 AM
I like this guy, puts epic gems in ilevel 200. A man after me own heart <3

06-05-2010, 07:55 AM
I like this guy, puts epic gems in ilevel 200. A man after me own heart <3

Agreed, he has all the markings of a future pro tank <3

06-05-2010, 10:04 AM
Thanks for the motivation and respect, both of you. My son thinks I'm nuts for dropping the gold, but I don't really do anything halfway.

I know this is off topic but....all of my experience has come from puggin 5 man heroics. How can I upgrade my necklace without losing my Meta bonus? I don't really have access to raids so I feel kind of stuck. I have read many of the gear guides, and I'm kind of wondering what to go for next.

Keep in mind I'm new to the game and most of my experince was solo till 80. All of the acranyms drive me nuts as an old guy who doesn't live and die on wow.......ya know 4 kids, wife, house, job, dog,......keep my wow time limited.

06-05-2010, 10:07 AM
You dont want to gem pure dodge to get your meta, you want to use a hybrid purple.

Look through your other gear and look for a blue or red socket to put a purple gem in. Purple gems like Expertise/Stam Agi/Stam or Dodge/Stam are probably the best.

06-05-2010, 10:39 AM
Drizzt74, here are some really good gearing guides:
Polar's Easy Pre-Naxx Tank Gear List (http://www.tankspot.com/../forums/f97/40966-polars-easy-pre-naxx-tank-gear-list.html)
http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...ur-Tank-in-LFD (http://www.tankspot.com/../showthread.php?66111-Tankertots-Gear-your-Tank-in-LFD) <- this one is probably the most relevant for you
http://www.tankspot.com/showthread.p...nse-Gear-Guide (http://www.tankspot.com/../showthread.php?41986-Cider-s-Easy-540-Defense-Gear-Guide) <- probably not as crucial for you at this point, but still a great guide.

06-05-2010, 03:18 PM
Thanks again.

06-05-2010, 03:43 PM
Some good advice in this thread. One thing I'd like to add is that the key to keybinding (lol, how punny) is making the setup feel comfortable for YOU. No two people have the same hands, and it's crucial that none of your keybinds make you overstretch.

A good start to finding what keybinds work best for you is to place your hand on your movement keys, then see which of the surrounding keys feel most comfortable to reach. Personally, I use W for move forward, S for move backward, and Q/E for strafing. My fingers usually rest on the QWE keys, making 123 reachable with very minor movement. ~ and 4 are only slightly less accessable. I removed the default turning keybinds from A and D, and use those for abilities (Spell Reflect and Shield Bash on my Prot Warrior).

Once you get comfortable with moving and using these keybinds simultaneously, start adding modifiers. Some people really like shift for this, but I personally prefer to use alt for my primary modifier. It feels more natural for me to slide my thumb over to alt (it naturally rests on the spacebar). When I used a lot of shift modifiers I was getting pain in my left hand from straining my pinky finger, so I only use it for my less used keybinds these days. Ctrl is my push-to-talk key for vent, so I don't use it as a modifier. I know people who use Caps Lock for push-to-talk to avoid keybinding issues, but I've found that gets annoying when I'm typing to chat.

06-06-2010, 04:26 AM
I switch at least 6 key binding in the last 2 years, if not more. Which means I have to re-learn my muscle memory anew each time. This is kind of similar to your status where you need to learn how to do it.

The best way for me to do it, is to go to some level 80 area and start grinding the mobs in a furious killing spree. I start with just one mob, and use only my key bindings. I use them slowly at this stage, but the mob does not (by itself) pose any danger to me. After a bit I move to more mobs. Soon I have tons of mobs on me, and I need to start some more complicate rotation - maybe thunderclap to do some aoe damage and reduce the damage on me, some CD like last stand + regeneration to return HP and so on.

The idea here is to challenge yourself slowly with more and more mobs. Learning how to use the key binding in Heroics can be a bit hard on your mates as they will die. And the dummy is boring and not challenging.

Grinding mobs is best. You start with low numbers and just try to use the key bindings. As you get more comfortable, you take more mobs, which both needs more key bindings and challenge you more to use the key bindings faster with more muscle memory. After killing a few hundred mobs you will have the keys burned into your hand muscles and a bit more money.


06-06-2010, 07:27 AM
[QUOTE=NewfieDave;421668]Some good advice in this thread. One thing I'd like to add is that the key to keybinding (lol, how punny) is making the setup feel comfortable for YOU. No two people have the same hands, and it's crucial that none of your keybinds make you overstretch.

I'm 6'4" with hands appropriate for my height so I can cover a fair amout of the keyboard.

Puffy, I really like that idea I will try that. Because at least I can farm while I am at it. I farm 80 areas for leather anyway so it will be part of my routine anyway.

Good stuff thanks

06-06-2010, 07:31 AM
Here's how you break the clicker habit:

Keybind everything so that it makes sense to you (PVP forum has a guide for that I think).
Get the addon kgPanels.
Put a transparent panel over your action bars that is not click through.

Boom - You can't click anymore, you are forced to press the keys. Sure at first you will look at your bars and maybe even at your keyboard but you will get used to it very fast and you will notice how much faster you are.