Dual-wielding your keyboard for max keybindings
I'm honestly the only one I know who's done this, but it's worked great for me for multiple years so I'll share.
As a tanking warrior, with a premium placed on reactionary abilities, and something available at almost every GCD, I found the traditional key binding + mouse approach too restrictive when nearly everything (movement, modifiers and actions) are all overloaded on your left hand, with your mouse just used for turning or occasional targeting.
Instead, I've opted to use my left hand for movement and modifier keys only (and a select few non-GCD abilities such as heroic strike and healthstones/pots that are out of "rhythm"), with my right hand on the numeric keypad, leaving the mouse entirely unattended when in combat (out of combat my hand goes back to the mouse for NPC interaction, changing view etc. because it has to)
The advantages I found are as follows:
- Separate movement from actions. No finger complications at all kiting a boss around while still hitting your rotation 100%.
- Way less hand movement. Key are abilities accessable from home position on your right hand. Shield Slam (4), Revenge (5), Devastate (6) and Shield Block (+) are my home row. No movement of hand at all required. Move up a row for AOE tanking w/ Thunderclap (7), Cleave (8) and Shockwave (9). Also, your left hand has access to both Shift and Alt modifiers without it moving off its home position.
- TONs of keys, all easily accessible. With this many combos you don't have to force things into awkward combinations (try hitting the '1' key while strafing back right and trying to talk on vent at same time to get the idea of the problem this avoids). Everything is accessible with easier to learn motions. And you can do things like fully mark up a pull with lucky charms without touching the mouse.
The challenges are:
- Learning to REALLY get good at tab targeting. With no mouse you must become zen with how tab targeting works. Having mastered it, it's awesome, but it takes a bit of time to go from casually comfortable to zen master.
- Arena: You'll be a keyboard turner, so you won't cut it in serious arena.
Who knows, it may be a terrible setup for anything other than a tank warrior (my priest sure doesn't use it), but for a tanking warrior, I've tried just about everything and this works best for me by far.
9 months later, I'm now a happy regular vanilla keybinder. No more two hands on the keyboard. While I still maintain that the specific "keyboard turning is slow" aspect of things is not really that detrimental in PvE content, not having a hand on your mouse is a major liability compared to what can be done with full mouse control. So I'm writing this quick addendum to debunk my own arguments to avoid any chance someone might have read it and thought the approach I discussed was an optimal one.
Reasons you just plain need the mouse:
- Looking around quickly and without turning, (i.e. left mouse button). Very useful when spotting incoming adds, deep breaths, not having a awkward camera view when tanking with back to the wall
- Click targeting. I maintain that tab targeting can be used for a lot of situations, but there are some specific fights where its just easier to click target adds. Being good at both methods > being good at one method.
- Continuity. No switching between 2 hands and 1 hand in and out of combat. Minimize differences between tank/dps, pve/pvp configurations. It's just much easier.
All of the claimed advantages of 2H keyboard, I ultimately found disappeared after a month or so of retraining my brain to learn the new setup. I do still like to minimize the use of modifier keys, and so went with using ESDF vs. WASD to get a couple extra keys in easy access of my fingers without a modifier.