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View Full Version : Tanking [Hotkey questions] A step in the right direction... I think... Where's my compass?!



Ardis
12-26-2010, 08:53 AM
With a new expansion of raiding out and Blizzard stating that the new encounters are going to be very movement intensive (and several raids scheduled in my guild for this week), I find that it is time to finally do something about this big problem of mine.

For as long as I've been playing WoW, I've had to click skills to use them, meaning I wasn't actually looking at the encounter since my eyes had to look my action bars every ~1.5 seconds. I've been trying for half of that time to use hotkeys, but my problem is that the keyboard just isn't very effective for hotkeys for me since one through equal sign on the keyboard are lined up in a straight line, meaning I would have to reach all the way across the keyboard to use whatever I put on the equal sign key. I have difficultly using all twelve of those keys because my keyboard is never in a consistent position, if my hand shifts slightly, I lose where my hand was and I suddenly start using the wrong abilities. I tried to adjust by having my pinkie finger resting on the 3 key, but I find myself straining to reach anything past 8 and have to actually take my eyes off the screen to find the 3 again. I've been using Dominoes (it's like Bartender, but I found this one first and it seems easier to work with) to set up all my action bars in a stack in the bottom center of the screen.

I've found that hotkey healing works pretty well for me since I have enough hotkeys available, but I'm primarily a Paladin tank and with two taunts, a lot of different threat generating abilities AND defensive cooldowns, I find that I don't have enough hotkeys on the one through equal sign keys to do that.

I've tried to think of a few solutions and I wanted to hear what you guys did in regards to this.

I want to avoid using modifier keys (Control, Shift, Alt) because of the problem mentioned above.

I've considered buying an external keypad for quite some time, but right now, I can't really afford much. But a problem I've seen with those is that I have to sacrifice some of the keys on it for movement keys already and that would effectively give me the same number of keys as I had before, unless there are ones out there that already have a special set of keys made for movement. This would, theoretically, remove the problem of my hand needing to reposition itself after certain abilities and moving.

Another thing I've been thinking about is the Razer Naga mouse, but cost is a problem again. This seems like it would help as it would give me a new set of keys to map rather than remapping existing ones or having my had sitting on a new device separate of the keyboard. It seems like I could remap my main action bar with my threat rotation to the gaming mouse and bind my 1 through equal sign to cooldowns and stuff I don't use in a normal rotation.

I've also been thinking about remapping my whole keyboard, instead of using only the one through equal sign keys, I would remap lettered keys as well. But at the same time, I recall hearing that I shouldn't remap my directional movement keys because they do have their uses from time to time (strafing, moving forward while you need to click an ability that isn't on an action bar slot mapped to your hotkeys) I was told early on in my WoW playing days to fight the habit of keyboard turning, so that isn't a problem for me, but I don't want to lose strafing.

TL;DR
I need to figure out a better way to use hotkeys and want to hear what works for you guys.
Options I've considered:
-Remapping keyboard entirely, losing normal movement keys and shifting all movement exclusively to the mouse. Good by strafing!
-External keypad, expensive, seems to recreate the problem and it's another piece of tech that can break.
-Razer Naga, a gaming mouse with its own keypad, expensive but seems like a good choice as it adds 12 keys on top of the ones I already have.

Toushiro
12-26-2010, 08:56 AM
I use QWE for movement, S for back paddle on my tank only. And pretty much use any key I can reach.

Ardis
12-31-2010, 11:11 PM
And that's where my problem begins. My reach is too limited for the number of abilities I need to use, anything past the eight key is out of my comfortable reach without moving my hand outside of my normal resting position and if I move it from there and the modifier keys also shift my hand and cause me to lose my resting position, I have to find my resting position again and that's time my attention is pulled away from the raid.

Dreina
01-01-2011, 03:29 AM
Something that works well for me I actionbar paging with modifiers. So that when you hold down shift,ctrl and alt you get different abilities on same binds, multiplies your available keybinds with 4 :)

Cheesewheel
01-01-2011, 10:47 PM
Honestly your only cost effective options is to start using modifiers and get used to them. Rebind your letters and worry less about the numbers. I use 1-6, q, e, r, t, g,f, z, x, c, v, mousewheel up, mousewheel down, and pushing the mouse wheel as a button and modify them all using shift because I dont like alt and cntrl is my vent key. so that gives me 38 different options. I still click my trinkets but i have them set up on a bar near my icehud so my vision doesnt shift much

Ardis
01-01-2011, 10:49 PM
I've also mentioned that's a bit of a problem with me. Modifier keys are outside my reach without having to recenter my hand and that pulls my view off of the screen. I don't want to explain every last detail, but my desk isn't very clean and has a tendency to be inconsistently laid out, things always shift around and that makes it harder to find the same spot on the keyboard every time. I suddenly find my hand is slightly off and start using the wrong abilities.

Cheesewheel
01-01-2011, 10:57 PM
Getting your hand off-center is something that is fixed with practice. New keybindings always feel very akward but you have to practice and get used to them. I suggest spending some time at the training dummy practicing followed by a few heroics or normal dungeons

Timberton
01-03-2011, 04:07 AM
I'm using

mouse wheel (up-down-clik) with alt-shift-ctrl modifiers -> 12 actions -> main ones since you don't moove your finger from the mouse (right hand; left hand always powers the modifiers, you need to go to keybinds and disable ctrl-mouse up/down and shift-up/down actions, otherwise wow macro interpreter won't take into consideration your ctrl/shift modifier for the wheel)
Q alt-shift-ctrl modifiers -> 3 more actions (left hand) (yeah..QQ skill is here)
1,2,3,4,5 - > various skills -> 5 mor actions (room to grow to 10 actions)(left hand)
F -> 1 mor action (room to grow to 3 actions) (left hand)

" ` " key for mah charge (left hand)
and "- " and "+" from the num-pad (right hand thumb) for some not so often used things

I find those are enough

Doc309
01-03-2011, 09:45 AM
seriously I can not recommend the belkin n52te highly enough 14 keys, a d-pad for movement (front, back and strafes.), another big button that can be assigned shift etc. (and can modify the 14 other keys.), another button that i use for gogomount, an additional mouse wheel (three more bindings)... its full of WIN.
that and a 9 button mouse, and i only really use my keyboard for chatting...
It has lived through many alts and many years. in fact i am starting to wear the black off my two most used keys, but it has never failed me.
one note, if you play alts try to bind the buttons similarly. ie rotation buttons 1-5, "oh shit" buttons 11-14 etc.

Bosk
01-05-2011, 07:01 AM
Get some superglue.

Very carefully run a very small trail on the bottom edge of the 3 the 5 and R keys. Let it harden then repeat about 3 times.
You'll end up with a small ridge on the bottom edge of the 3 the 5 and R keys.

You can now practically play in the dark, your fingertips will let you know where you are all the time. I prefer ALT modifiers as it is easy to press with my thumb when my hand rests in the aforementioned position.

klausi
01-05-2011, 07:28 AM
There are at least 31 abilities you want to have keybinds for at the same time:

Battle Stance
Berserker Stance
Victory Rush
Rend
Thunderclap
Taunt
Heroic Strike
Battle Shout
Commanding Shout
Shield Bash
Cleave
Shield Block
Disarm
Revenge
Intimidating Shout
Challenging Shout
Shield Wall
Demoralizing Shout
Berserker Rage
Spell Reflect
Intervene
Enraged Regeneration
Heroic Throw
Inner Rage
Heroic Leap
Concussion Blow
Shockwave
Devastate
Last Stand
Charge
Intercept

Add Vigilance, set focus, clear focus, set raidtarget 1 till 5, up to two on use trinkets, healthstone, healing potion, another potion, cancelaura macro for bop/etc, push to talk for voice and maybe an extra button for defensive stance if you don't use macros and things get complicated rather quickly. With how many modifiers you feel comfortable with? Do you really like hitting alt+5 while strafing to the left? Are your function-keys in reach or do you need to rearrange your whole hand to hit them? Questions over questions and no good solution that will fit for everyone. Depending on your hardware, your physiognomy etc.

If you don't like the regular modifiers i'd recommend trying out something like X+hotkey while moving with RDFG. It doesn't have to be alt, crtl or shift but using absolutley no modifiers at all greatly increases the route your finger have to move to hit certain hotkey areas. Using a mouse with some/several buttons can be of further help but not everybody likes doing that, same goes for a pad like the mentioned belkin one.

adamjgp
01-05-2011, 01:39 PM
Before I bougt my Razer Naga, I used the numpad and *cringe* keyboard turned for most of the time. There were moments where I'd jump my right hand to my mouse real quick to do a fast turn, but for the most part I found that having access to 12 buttons in a very small area outweighed the detriment of the occasional keyboard turn. While doing that, I am also able to easily access my ctrl, alt, & shift keys, giving me a total of 48 combinations.

I combined that with domino's ability to have multiple bars shift based on my stance, and I had more keybinds than I could use. The nice thing about using the numpad for your abilities, is that the numpad doesn't share the same keypress as the number row does, so you're able to map to the easily reached numrow buttons at the same time.

This method has become so efficient for me that I still revert to it when I panic while warrior tanking, and my thumb can't keep up with my brain when trying to fit 3 keypresses into a single GCD (interrupt, HS, SS). The Razer Naga is nice, and if you combine it with the Razer Anansi keyboard (out soon), you'll have a lot of utility.

As you said, cost is an issue, so maybe try using the numpad to use your skills. The keyboard turning *cringe again* is preferable imo to clicking your skills.

Beleriond
01-06-2011, 04:33 AM
Honestly your only cost effective options is to start using modifiers and get used to them. Rebind your letters and worry less about the numbers. I use 1-6, q, e, r, t, g,f, z, x, c, v, mousewheel up, mousewheel down, and pushing the mouse wheel as a button and modify them all using shift because I dont like alt and cntrl is my vent key. so that gives me 38 different options. I still click my trinkets but i have them set up on a bar near my icehud so my vision doesnt shift much

Just on a semi-related note I'd like to ask this here since Cheesewheel seems to have a mouse similar to mine: mouse buttons, buttons on the left side, and a mousewheel. In a web browser I can scroll both horizontally AND vertically.

Now, what I'd dearly love to do is to bind the horizontal scroll option of the mousehweel (i.e. pushing the wheel to the left/right) to strafing left/right.

So far, I've not been able to find out how to do that...any information/help would be much appreciated.

Bel*.

Selene
01-06-2011, 06:23 PM
There are at least 31 abilities you want to have keybinds for at the same time:

Battle Stance
Berserker Stance
Victory Rush
Rend
Thunderclap
Taunt
Heroic Strike
Battle Shout
Commanding Shout
Shield Bash
Cleave
Shield Block
Disarm
Revenge
Intimidating Shout
Challenging Shout
Shield Wall
Demoralizing Shout
Berserker Rage
Spell Reflect
Intervene
Enraged Regeneration
Heroic Throw
Inner Rage
Heroic Leap
Concussion Blow
Shockwave
Devastate
Last Stand
Charge
Intercept

Add Vigilance, set focus, clear focus, set raidtarget 1 till 5, up to two on use trinkets, healthstone, healing potion, another potion, cancelaura macro for bop/etc, push to talk for voice and maybe an extra button for defensive stance if you don't use macros and things get complicated rather quickly. With how many modifiers you feel comfortable with? Do you really like hitting alt+5 while strafing to the left? Are your function-keys in reach or do you need to rearrange your whole hand to hit them? Questions over questions and no good solution that will fit for everyone. Depending on your hardware, your physiognomy etc.

If you don't like the regular modifiers i'd recommend trying out something like X+hotkey while moving with RDFG. It doesn't have to be alt, crtl or shift but using absolutley no modifiers at all greatly increases the route your finger have to move to hit certain hotkey areas. Using a mouse with some/several buttons can be of further help but not everybody likes doing that, same goes for a pad like the mentioned belkin one.


This is why I will probably never Tank with a Warrior.

Ellóren
01-07-2011, 02:20 AM
I don't have nearly as many keybinds. I mean, if it suits you, go for it of course! But I can never remember more than three keys plus two modifiers, and I'm struggling even with that. So what I do is bind the most important/frequent abilities only and keep the rest handy on the action bars. You don't ALWAYS run around like a headless chicken (or shouldn't, or melee dps won't be able to hit the damn mobs), and in the "still" phases it's no problem clicking actions.

That's how I do it, doesn't mean it's the right or best way, I'm just saying it's possible.

Illidra
01-07-2011, 02:52 AM
my keybinds

123456 ( it ps hs ds rs OuB )
123456 + shift ( HoW DRW addmacro FeS raiseD DarPac) (add macro is a fight specific macro for high prio adds that need to be picked up etc)
qwerty ( boneshield, deathgrip, pest, bb, dark sim, 'avoidance check macro')
qwerty + shift ( chains of ice, dark comm, NecS, DC, Lichborne, raise ally)
mouse buttons x 3 ( dnd, rune tap, vamp blood)
mouse buttons x3 + shift ( ERW, IBF, AMZ)
f ( DMC trinekt)
f + shift ( any on use trinekt i swap in for specific fights)
g ( Lichborne DC)
g+ shift ( /yell /s /raid for external cd macro -- jsut incase the people on vent won't stfu)

thats my main moves aka
alt shift s ( yes ass haha) for ground mount
alt shift a for flying mount

szc for movement


keybinds are fun, and im so much better than i used to be without them.

Illidra
01-07-2011, 02:55 AM
There are at least 31 abilities you want to have keybinds for at the same time:

Battle Stance
Berserker Stance
Victory Rush
Rend
Thunderclap
Taunt
Heroic Strike
Battle Shout
Commanding Shout
Shield Bash
Cleave
Shield Block
Disarm
Revenge
Intimidating Shout
Challenging Shout
Shield Wall
Demoralizing Shout
Berserker Rage
Spell Reflect
Intervene
Enraged Regeneration
Heroic Throw
Inner Rage
Heroic Leap
Concussion Blow
Shockwave
Devastate
Last Stand
Charge
Intercept

Add Vigilance, set focus, clear focus, set raidtarget 1 till 5, up to two on use trinkets, healthstone, healing potion, another potion, cancelaura macro for bop/etc, push to talk for voice and maybe an extra button for defensive stance if you don't use macros and things get complicated rather quickly. With how many modifiers you feel comfortable with? Do you really like hitting alt+5 while strafing to the left? Are your function-keys in reach or do you need to rearrange your whole hand to hit them? Questions over questions and no good solution that will fit for everyone. Depending on your hardware, your physiognomy etc.

If you don't like the regular modifiers i'd recommend trying out something like X+hotkey while moving with RDFG. It doesn't have to be alt, crtl or shift but using absolutley no modifiers at all greatly increases the route your finger have to move to hit certain hotkey areas. Using a mouse with some/several buttons can be of further help but not everybody likes doing that, same goes for a pad like the mentioned belkin one.

this is why i want to tank with a warrior

klausi
01-07-2011, 03:12 AM
and in the "still" phases it's no problem clicking actions.
So what you can "click"? You'll want to have access to your buttons
a) you hit more frequently than every 10s (heroic strike, devastate, shieldslam, revenge)
b) you hit more frequently than half a minute (shockwave, thunderclap, rend, demoshout, shieldblock)
c) special buttons that needs to be hit ASAP (shield bash, spellreflect, taunt)
d) emergency spells, are you really willing to spend up to 2 seconds while moving around with your mouse until you hit that button? (last stand, shieldwall, potion, healthstone)
e) movement supporting ones, clicking charge/intercept/intervene/heroic leap instead of hitting them when it's needed (interrupting with charge on cho'gall, returning to al'akir after tornados/windburst, specced intervening to the rescue, leaping away from those glaciate ultimate)

You might be able to click some of those abilites you only hit once in a while (concussion blow, either battle or commanding shout, heroic throw, victory rush) but i can't see how you click the majority of them and still perform as well as a hotkey user. Take charge for instance, might save you half a second instead of running on some fights. If you need to click it instead you move away your concentration from the middle of the screen and might even end up with a net gain of nothing.

And there's not much forgiveness in the new raids, you need to do things intuitively - without barely thinking about it - or you end up whiping your raid, especially during kiting/interrupting duty and there's a lot of stuff around that wants to be kited/interrupted.

Ellóren
01-07-2011, 04:55 AM
What can I say, I just do things differently. There are healers who heal without an addon, I can't understand how they do it (although I've done it too - in the Beta, for example - but it was a mess, barely manageable for me) but I've seen some do it quite successfully. People have different playstyles, and some people - like me - would take a lot longer trying to remember every keybind (30+ would never become intuitive for me - call me old and slow, lol!) than it takes me to hit keys.

Now I'm a bit of a noob tank but I do know people who are very successful raid tanks and use hardly any keybinds. I'm just saying that it's possible.

klausi
01-07-2011, 05:44 AM
There are healers who heal without an addon, I can't understand how they do it
They are carried by others or their class itself and there are some quite healing intense fights (2 manning Cho'gall) where the differences between top notch players and slackers becomes really obvious. Having intelligent healing assignments smooth it out but you still need to do about 10.000 hps individually over ~ 8 minutes to beat that boss. You really needs some sort of mouseover macros, healbot esque addon or button-push instead of button-release program to squeeze in more heals in the same timeframe. It doesn't matter that much for a dps, losing some percantage of your dps might wipe your raid on the long run (enrage timer) but not immediately.

And you can't learn 30+ hotkeys at once, being a teen or a granddad.. start with the most logic ones and add others over time. It's the same like driving a bike for the very first times and trying to do it without your hands and down some stairs :D

Ellóren
01-07-2011, 08:29 AM
Read my previous post, please. People are different and do things differently. What's hard for you may be very easy for me, and vice versa. What works for some (or even most), doesn't necessarily work for all....

To return to the healer-without-addon example: One of the most competent healers I've ever met heals without any addons. So much for being carried.

Again: I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just saying that your way of doing things is not the universally only way to successful tanking.

shieldbanger
01-07-2011, 12:03 PM
He also mentioned macros and others. Also note it may not be nesscary, a good healer becomes better at squeezing more out with the right help. From what you've stated it sounds like that healer has reached his max, especially if he/she is unwilling to try things to improve, sometimes that means doing something your not familiar with to get a higher potential than before. As in several puzzle games I've played "you have to go down to go higher up"

Deathsvalor
01-07-2011, 01:27 PM
My list of Keybinds:
Q Dark Command
Shift-Q Death Grip
w Foward
E Blood Boil
R Rune Strike
Shift-R Deathcoil
T Outbreak
Y Empower Rune Weapon
A Turn Left
S Back Peddle
D Right Turn
F Mind Freeze
G Chains of Ice
H Strangulate
Z Horn of Winter
X Death and Decay
C Blood tap
V Vampiric Blood
B Ice Bound Fortitude
N Raise Dead/Death pact macro
Shift-C Dancing Rune Weapon
Shift-V Bone Shield
Shift B anti-magic shell
1 Icytouch
2 Plague Strike
3 Heart Strike
4 Pestilence
5 Death Strike/ Cancel Hand of Protection
6 Rune tap
Mouse 3 Back Peddle
Mouse 4 Strafe Right
mouse 5 Strafe Left

In addition to these I still have several clicked abilities
Army of the Dead
Raise Ally
Potions/Trinkets
Lots of abilities that I don't use in combat (Poth of frost, Deathgate ect.)

I did not learn these in a day. I played a ranged class when I first started playing and quickly turning/ changing targets while using abilities did not seem that important. So when I made my DK I was a mouse clicker just like on my warlock. I managed to do a good job, but after having several moments where I just could not react fast enough to a situation (like having a DPS directly behind me pull aggro on a melee mob and getting 2 shot) I started key binding.

I started with 1-5 and Dark command. Over a period of 2 years, I have slowly added in the rest.
I still have a few more I am planning to work in like trinkets and pots.

So what was the reward for all this? I now can react to situations far faster than I could before. If I need to change targets soon, I can park my mouse on it and change immediately. If something runs through me, it will only make it a couple steps. It was definitely worth the effort although when I first started it did not seem like it would be.

I now key bind on every character I have including my warlock. It is nice to know that I can use any ability at any time regardless of what is happening instead of being locked out while targeting and mouse turning.

Gorthankk
01-08-2011, 12:47 AM
I personally am not great at having and using keybinds. I know for a fact that i'm not using them to their maximum potential, and could be an insanely better player if I did use them more often and effectively.

It took me a long time to finally come around from clicking, a lot longer than it should have, but I did it gradually, over time, and a few abilities at a time.

Now, I use 1-5, shift 1-4, Q, E, shiftE, shiftR, V, and G relatively effective (I can give a list of what abilities I have bound to those, but prob unneccessary)

I still find I click things like Cooldowns, Health Pots, Challenging shout, Bezerker Rage... I KNOW I would be a MUCH better tank if I could get all of them bound as well, but for me, it is a gradual process. I've noticed that the difference between having the few binds I use now, and when I had NO binds, is enormous.

It really does help step up your game in a massive way, cannot recommend more if you can get used to it.

I see that you are worried about losing your place on the keyboard, or not being able to reach, thats why Shift 1-4 and binds such as Q and E are so easy to use, they're right near the default movement keys, and very easy to hit.

All in all, practice makes perfect, and it sounds like it might be a gradual long term process for you as well. Try binding your 5 main abilites to some keys, and start with using those, then expand on that

edit: The above poster said and confirmed what I was also saying

I started with 1-5 and Dark command. Over a period of 2 years, I have slowly added in the rest.
I still have a few more I am planning to work in like trinkets and pots.

So what was the reward for all this? I now can react to situations far faster than I could before. If I need to change targets soon, I can park my mouse on it and change immediately. If something runs through me, it will only make it a couple steps. It was definitely worth the effort although when I first started it did not seem like it would be.

Ardis
01-10-2011, 06:31 AM
Not meaning to go off topic with the others, but I tend to be spiteful of healbot users because back in Wrath we had to cancel/postpone raids whenever healbot didn't work until a new version came out because all but one of our healers (we have two now, but only one back then) didn't know how to heal without it...

Back on topic, Adamjgp just mentioned a convenient group of unused keys I didn't even think of even though it's right there, the numeric keypad (numpad). I could definitely map my cooldowns, potions/healthstones and situational keys to that and move my hand off the mouse for a split second to use it. Though, I just realized another thing, my hand can't reach the modifiers from the number row, but it can from wasd, so I can use that with a gaming mouse. I realize it sounds like I'm not reading the posts about the modifiers, but it looks like some money I had set aside might suddenly be coming back to me, so the option of buying a gaming mouse is a lot more viable now than it used to be.

And, if I get lucky by being unlucky, my plans to go to a convention* at the end of the month will go wrong. Plan C is falling apart by the day and there isn't time anymore to make a Plan D. That's money that I can suddenly put towards getting a Razer Naga. I got a Razer Carcharias headset (money I don't have to spend on replacing my dying $20 Logitech headset) for Christmas and I'm loving it, so if I can expect the same level of production quality from the Naga, I'm definitely willing to spend $70 for the Naga.

Though, I do wonder, are there any cheaper MMO mice ($30-$50) out there that anyone can recommend for me that I can use until I can afford a Naga? Basically to help me get used to using an MMO mouse until I can afford a Naga. Plus, I can talk my brother or one of my friends into splitting the price with the promise that they can have the cheaper mouse once I get a Naga, so I'd probably only be paying half on the cheaper mouse.

*Reason I'm broke right now.