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Thread: Keybinds and You

  1. #1
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    Keybinds and You

    In This Guide
    • Why Should I Use Keybinds?
    • Common Keybinds
    • How to Learn Your Keybinds
    Why Should I Use Keybinds?
    A keybinding is a shortcut exclusively pressed by your left hand on the keyboard to make your character do something, fast. Clicking does things slowly and thus is less effective than someone who uses keybinds. Clicking forces you to watch your action bars and hinders you from watching what is going on around you causing tunnel vision.

    To change keybindings, you press the Esc key, click on Key Bindings in the menu that appears in the middle of the screen, and scroll down through the various different abilities. The function of the ability is described on the left side, and the two boxes in line with the description are the two possible keybindings. To assign a new keybinding you click on the left box and press the keybinding you wish to assign. Click Okay after you’re done changing things.
    Common Keybinds
    The first thing you need to keybind is your movement base. I would suggest you use WASD as your movement base. If you currently turn with your keyboard you need to stop. Turning with your keyboard is slower than turning with your mouse (hold right mouse button and drag it). Your movement keybinds should be:

    W: Forward
    A: Strafe Left
    S: Backward
    D: Strafe Right

    Some people use ESDF instead of WASD. They feel that this opens up more keybind space.



    You can use modifiers (Shift/Ctrl/Alt) with normal keys to open up even more space on your keyboard. These keys allow you keybind all of your spells while keeping everything within reach of your left hand.

    Everyone does what is comfortable to them, but this is the general idea:

    Common keys are `12345QERTFGC. You can also bind abilities to your mouse wheel.
    Your most used spells will probably be most comfortable if you place them on QERF4 and then branch out from there.
    Use shift/ctrl/alt as modifiers for keybinds to keep them near your movement base.
    Leave nothing as a clicking ability.
    Keybind your focus target.
    I find that Caps Lock is a great keybind for Ventrilo.

    How to Learn Your Keybinds
    You won't be able to learn keybinds overnight. It takes time and effort to get used to them, but in the end you won't regret it. I have a few suggestions on getting used to them.
    • First just practice your keybinds in a BG or solo. I don't suggest trying them while you're in something important such as an arena match or in an instance or raid because you won't be used to them yet. As time goes on you'll usually notice that some keys need to be bound differently. Change them and continue to practice the keybinds by yourself. After a while (depends on the person) you'll usually start to meld your keybind play while you do non-solo activities and then you'll start playing with keybinds full-time. When this happens: Congratulations you've mastered the use of keybinds
    • If you're having troubleput all of your binds in order(on your bars). If your spells are jumbled around it can get confusing for some people and makes them harder to learn.
    • Download an action bar mod if you don't already have one. I would suggest Bartender4. This mod has a keybinding feature that allows you to type "/kb" which brings up a little window. Once the window is up you can hover your mouse over your action bar buttons and bind and clear the keybinds for each button. Not only does it help with keybinding but it also allows you to hide your bars. Hiding your bars makes you depend completely on your keybinds. You don't have to keep it hidden because you need to be able to see your cooldowns, but keeping it hidden while you first learn them is very helpful. This is a video on Bartender4: Bartender4 | pvptutorial.com


    • Map out your keybinds in an Excel spreadsheet. List the keys you want to use down column A and modifiers along the top. Go through each keybind. If one is an uncomfortable reach, mark that cell red and continue through the list. Type out all of your spells. Once they are all there, think about how you want them set up and move them up into the keybind section. I did this recently and my new keybinds are a lot smoother and more accessible.


    • Pharaunmizz showed me a very useful spreadsheet that I'm sure the TS community could use. It was made by Tielc - Akama Horde (US). It is an Excel sheet that has been modified to look like a keyboard. It has pictures of all prot warrior abilities and they can be dragged around onto whichever key you like. It also has a few other classes and I'm sure if someone put in the effort, they could make one for any class they wanted to. You can download it here (some people are having compatibility issues with this. I'm not sure how to fix it so I guess you're on your own with that.):

      http://www.pvptutorial.com/files/help/keybinding.xlsx
    • A useful addon is HelpMyKeybind. I'm pretty sure it's still functioning fine even though it's out of date. You can input your keybinds and what spells you want them to have and it will test you on them. You can download it Here.
    • Another tip (Warrior specific) is to combine stances into macros for all of your stance specific spells. For example:

      #showtooltip Charge
      /cast Battle Stance
      /cast Charge
      That one keybind will function as your battle stance key when you're not in battle stance and it will function as your Charge key when you're in battle stance. This prevents you from moving your hand to hit multiple keybinds to use stance specific spells by combining it into one useful key.

    That's it for now. I hope this helps clear some things up and I'm open to any info or suggestions
    Links
    Last edited by Bloodwraith; 03-14-2010 at 05:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    Thank you for this, more things to try out tonight.

  3. #3
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    wow great guides..thx alot mate

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    Quote Originally Posted by bujingai View Post
    wow great guides..thx alot mate
    Glad you liked it
    Last edited by Bloodwraith; 12-28-2008 at 03:22 PM.

  5. #5
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    For my warrior I use my mousewheel to change stance. Up for battle, down for defensive and click for Fury. It works very well for me.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by innuendo View Post
    For my warrior I use my mousewheel to change stance. Up for battle, down for defensive and click for Fury. It works very well for me.
    Same thing, except I only use up and down for switching to the 2 remaining stances I'm not in at the moment. click is insignia

  7. #7
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    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.

    Update:

    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.
    Last edited by Mssxwpn; 11-04-2009 at 11:34 AM. Reason: Update

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mssxwpn View Post
    - Arena: You'll be a keyboard turner, so you won't cut it in serious arena.
    Keyboard turning can be detrimental to all aspects of the game, not just arena. Being a clicker is better than being a keyboard turner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ceravantes View Post
    Keyboard turning can be detrimental to all aspects of the game, not just arena. Being a clicker is better than being a keyboard turner.
    Sweeping generalizations are both much easier and far less helpful to make. Care to elaborate on specifics?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mssxwpn View Post
    Sweeping generalizations are both much easier and far less helpful to make. Care to elaborate on specifics?
    Keyboard turning is proven to be slower then mouse turning. A quick 180 which I often use isn't doable keyboard turning. So someone used to mouse turning will have an edge over someone using keyboard turning. There is no way you can be as fast in turning with your keyboard compared to your mouse.

    Clicking vs keybinds: you are limited by cooldowns all the time, so you almost always have 1,5 seconds to get your mouse to the approriate button and if you're good at it can have similar performance as keybinders.

    And in the end most people use a hybrid of keybinds and clicking. I still click the spells I rarely use and have keybound my bread and butter skills.
    Even if you're only useing 1,2,3,4,5,6 you're already using keybinds, so the difference between keybinders and clickers might not even be so big. The amount what people have bound to keys seems to make the difference.

  11. #11
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    The biggest noticeable fight that keyboard turning will destroy you in is against a rogue. A good rogue will keep attacking you from behind, preventing you from being able to dodge/parry/block and allowing them to fire off their backstab related attacks. Anyone who keyboard turns will PROBABLY never get even 1 attack to land on said rogue. Show me a warrior who keyboard turns who can keep up with said rogue, and I'll show you a terrible rogue.

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    Now when you say keyboard turning are you refering to pressing the 'W' key while using the right click on the mouse? Cause I do that in PvP, or I just use both mouse buttons.

    Or is that what your saying is good... im confused. Cause I still get pwned in pvp
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shifthappens View Post
    Now when you say keyboard turning are you refering to pressing the 'W' key while using the right click on the mouse? Cause I do that in PvP, or I just use both mouse buttons.

    Or is that what your saying is good... im confused. Cause I still get pwned in pvp
    Keyboard turning = Using the Directional arrows on your keyboard or using A and D for turning (Not binding them to strafe).

    The most effective way to turn is to use the right button on your mouse.

  14. #14
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    that is not keyboard turning, that's keyboard movement.

    keyboard turning is people who don't use right click on the mouse, but just use a or d to turn left or right, very slowly.

    THAT is keyboard turning. I use qweasd for directional movements but i quick turn with my mouse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Turelliax View Post
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    The question I was trying to get Cervantes to elaborate on is whether there's really any significant disadvantage to keyboard turning when tanking in PvE (my post on double handed keybinding and tossing the mouse out the window). PvP there's no doubt what-so-ever that keyboard turners are dead men walking.

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    Excellent written guide! Cross-linked, lol.

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    Thanks Pharaunmizz! You're video on keybinds inspired me to redo mine back in BC. They're a lot better thanks to your video (Same with my UI) .

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    Freshly turned 80 warrior here, anxious to drop his button clicking ways.

    Can anyone share a link or show what they're using for prot warrior key binds? I'm looking to get some ideas and start the painstaking process of cleaning up my mess of a UI.

    Thanks,

    gk

  19. #19
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    Greetings

    The most effective mouse/keyboard setup I have found is to use the mouse exclusively for movement and the keyboard exclusively for bindings.

    The mouse setup I use is as follows
    Upper thumb button: Move backwards
    Lower thumb button: Auto run forward
    Left mouse button: Camera turn (Default)
    Right mouse button: Character turn (Default)
    Mouse wheel up: Strafe left
    Mouse wheel down: Strafe right

    For the key board I use the buttons
    1 - =
    Q - Y
    A - H

    As well as the Shift and Alt version of each

    This gives my left hand ready access to any ability I need well leaving my right hand to perform any movement I need.

    Hope this helps someone

    (Note there is always 1 or 2 bars I leave unbound for actions I use exclusively out of combat)
    Last edited by Strucker; 01-23-2009 at 10:40 AM.
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    Here's what I'm using for my warrior. It's obviously mouse specific. Command is actually just mapped to control. (Yes, I use a Mac. Used a Mac keyboard before the Mac too, for that matter) I'd suggest using whatever key happens to be next to your spacebar so you can hit it with your thumb.



    I used to use 1, 2, 3 and Ctrl+1, 2, 3 for marking targets. After I found Opie, I stopped doing that. I was also forgetting which buttons were which mark. Since then I haven't found anything else to do with 2 and 3 on my warrior. I have the Opie hunter trap ring mapped to 2 when I bother with that character.

    A generic suggestion for people who have trouble remembering keybinds across multiple characters, map similar things to the same keys. G is always my casting interrupt. Ctrl+W is always my racial ability. Ctrl+Space is my "oh shit" ability; vanish, psychic scream, feign death. The back button on my mouse usually the "spam this button repeatedly" action; mutilate on rogue, mind flay on priest.

    Some keybinds ... I have no idea how they wound up there. Concussion blow is an obvious one. Demoralizing shout.... The thing is, once you get used to your setup it's really hard to change. And it's not worth changing unless it's really causing a problem. TBC, my shield slam was R. 3.0 came out and I had to use it a lot more frequently, so it had to move.
    Last edited by Rude; 01-23-2009 at 03:52 PM. Reason: Garden Gnomes.

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