Sunday, November 11, 2012

Coming Out of the Caves...

The server restart was going slower than Blizzard anticipated...

Yesterday was something of a revelation.

Firstly I need to thank again all the people who took the time to reply to my post: I am very grateful to all of you, especially to the Guildies who wrote such kind stuff. The fact remains however, I am a Cavewoman in gaming terms. Its been like this for a long time, and the more things go on the harder it becomes to change, but it needs to be done. I must venture out of the cave, and yesterday I took my first tentative steps into the sunlight.

12 buttons, no waiting!

The first order of business, after extensive thought and consultation with my husband (who knows me better than anybody) was to find a way to move all my main abilities into one place. There is now a bar, just below my feet on screen: I realised fairly fast that twelve buttons weren't going to be enough and that I needed a way to combine abilities together. This is, of course, where macros come in. I am sophisticated enough to already possess a macro for using Spirit Mend on myself and a way to activate my pet's Mastery ability simultaneously with Rapid Fire. This is clearly not optimal, but we're working on it. There was the opportunity to put Intimidation and Bestial Wrath on one macro, plus Stampede and Readiness on another (again, not optimal but it's a start) and with that, I had sufficient to begin with. This bar isn't yet keybound, and for a good reason.

I normally use the arrow keys for movement, but on prompting from my husband I have decided to move over to WSAD for basic movement and the mouse for strafing, which I normally can't cope with. I was getting confident enough late in the day yesterday to use my left thumb for the space bar and even be able to tab target and move simultaneously, but I am well aware there is a long way to go. My ultimate plan will be to keybind everything, but for now the speed increase I have from having this bar closer to my character is enough to make a noticeable difference on heroic bosses. I need to walk before I can run, after all. There's a new Post It note on my screen too: NO ARROW KEYS!

I ran a ton of heroics yesterday, all with Guildies (thank you guys) so I could get used to the system: an added benefit I can't talk as much as I normally do because I'm far too busy concentrating on making sure I don't stuff everything up. The real test however is when I'm on my own and grinding/doing rep: whether this makes stuff die faster and I don't expire frequently in the process. That will really be the indicator as to whether I've grasped the new playstyle or not. I even managed an upgrade (450 bracers to 463) so all in all, what started as a fairly introspective day became one of massive positivity. It was proof, if it were needed, that if you can bring yourself no only to admit you have problem but be prepared to accept help when it is given then there is always the potential for improvement.

I'll keep you updated on how things progress, but for now I think its fair to say that I'm more optimistic about my ability to play my class well than I have been for quite some time.


Olivia Grace said...

Great start! When learning to get away from old habits, one option is to rebind your old keys, so for you, the arrow keys, to make them useless. Turn them into camera movement keys, or just unbind them altogether. For a friend, who had a similar issue, I bound the keys he was quitting to a macro that made his character /say 'not that key, [name]!

Further to the article I linked yesterday, if you're not already using bartender or dominos or similar, they're such a big help.

Jaedia said...

I remember having to learn about effective movement while simulataneously maximising dps and watching not to stand in the shit. It was a horrible time of feeling inadequate and I wouldn't wish that feeling on anybody! *hugs*

Is there anything I can do to help? Advice? Instances? Nudge me ingame/on Twitter if I can. :)

Rezznul said...

Nice! I had to adapt from movement by arrow keys early on. Another great place to practice movement/abilities without much pressure is in Battlegrounds.

When I want to practice movement or keybinds, I'll go in there. For me, it's slightly less pressure than a dungeon, and you get the added benefit of some HKs, hopefully. ;)

Anonymous said...

If it helps reinforce the hubby's suggestions, and give an insight into how other people play in case it's useful. WASD (and Q and E) means that your left hand is close to the tab key (for fast target switching), and buttons 1 to 5 for your rotation, or major regular spells.

As healer, I leave the main tank targeted, which means that buttons 1 to 4 are my HF, smite, GH and PoH so I've got everything I want to throw at my target (you could substitute the work "focus target") under my left hand. Healing everyone else is via clicking on my interface, as is shielding. My other numbered buttons are my major other functions, with things like spirit shell macroed to a GH or PoH, and my archangel and cooldowns.

As a dps, I've got my double dot sequence macroed under 1, mind blast under 2, mind spike (for when it procs) under 3 and SW:D under 4 - the most used of my rotation. Having the tab key at hand whilst running means I can rapidly target switch/target rotate as required.

So - I can run with left hand (and strafe) and click on spells as I run, or I can run with mouse and button mash my rotation as required. Maximum situational flexibility.

The only thing I don't like is the way that the function keys are used to select group members. Wish I could allocate them individually as I'd have tank1 on f2, tank 2 on f3 and myself on f1 (as normal) which would allow me to switch targets as needed. As dps, when the tank swap happens on the statues (and one of them takes 2 statues), switching to the person who has 2 statues and using target=targettarget on the macros means I can just point at the right tank and spam dps shots, occasionally using tab to select the other statue to redot as needed.

When the swap happens, click the 2nd tank and go target=targettarget crazy....

Or at least that's how I'm doing it. No idea if it will be of any help and you HAVE been playing a lot longer than me, so don't forget the Godmother's patented [Slap] for eejit priests.

Jonathan said...

I retrained myself last year from arrow keys (for forward and backward only) to WASD (or rather, W and S, as I've always been a mouse turner) after changing keyboard. Took some time but I'm mostly there now.

Remember that nobody is born using a keyboard or mouse, so like reading and writing it's all a matter of learning and practice.

OldRolandGuy said...

Janathan wrote: "Remember that nobody is born using a keyboard or mouse..."

You've met our kids, right? :D