December 10, 2009
This post was inspired by and is in response to Arioch’s post today.
Keybindings have always been near and dear to my… fingers. The friend that got me started on WOW didn’t tell me I had to use them or exactly which ones to use… but he made it clear that if I clicked my abilities there was a special place reserved for me in geek hell. So I used keybindings.
Things get tricky when you have a major case of altoholicism, but I have a basic pattern I use for every single one of my characters, and it works out well. I have around 10 characters I’ve logged onto for awhile in the last month, probably gotten a level or two then gotten back on my mage. I know I have a problem, I’m working on it.
Back to the task at hand: I want to describe to you not just which buttons do what, but my thought process behind each one. If a keybind doesn’t feel right, I change it. No point in adding awkwardness to my own character when I’m already trying to learn a new boss fight or in the middle of an arena or some such.
I move with WASD. No, I’m not a “omg keyboard turner” relax, I’ve rebound A and D to strafeing, highly useful when kiting. I turn with my mouse, I strafe with my keys. I once tried binding “S” to Power Word Shield on my priest… lets just say that didn’t work out. “S” is backward.
My main spam spell is on “R”. My rogue friend said to put it on “E”, but I highly disagree with him on this point. I’m already resting my hand on WASD (Even when I’m at work, they are my home keys. And no, I don’t play WOW at work. I wish). By putting my “trigger finger” on R, I can move it to E, 4, T, or F at a moment’s notice. On caster characters it’s my main spell, on melee it’s usually an opener/spam of some sort.
R: Arcane Blast (pve), Frostbolt (pvp), Icy Touch, Sinister Strike, Smite, Immolate, Judgment of Light, etc.
E is a button that is either used as my “secondary attack” or one that procs off of my “R” button. Or a short term buff. It has a very specific use, something I want to have right there when I need it.
E: Arcane Missiles (pve), Icy Veins (pvp), Plague Strike, Slice and Dice, Shadow Word: Pain, Shadow Bolt
F is my button for short-term cooldown spells that I can hit when I want to but I probably use more than I should. Or just my 3rd attack. All my F buttons are instants.
F: Fire Blast (pve rarely, pvp a lot, with shift it is Arcane Explosion), Blood Strike, Corruption, Backstab (Ambush)
T: Spellsteal for when I need it. In pvp I also have it bound to 1 because I use it a lot more then.
4: Remove Curse. Again, for when I need it.
3: Every Blood Elf For Herself/pvp trinket. Ever since I farmed enough honor at level 29 I have had my pvp trinket on 3 on every single character I have. My middle finger is “always” on W unless I can’t move… then it’s free to hit my trinket isn’t it?
C is mostly for crowd control, or just for big attacks I don’t use as often.
C: Frost Nova (with control is Water Elemental’s Freeze), Sap, Scourge Strike (with shift is Chains of Ice), Curse of Agony
B: is for my backpack!!! (ok, it’s actually “open all bags”) I cannot STAND it when people bind something else here. I once tried to get on a friends account to do dailies for him or something… and he put his pvp trinket on B. /facepalm. In the course of just doing argent tournament dailies I must have hit his trinket a dozen times. So frustrating.
Z is for sleeping. Haha, no, it’s for silence. I levelled my mage as a Blood Elf, so it was always Arcane Torrent from level 1. I even macroed it to yell “SILENCE!” when I did, but it scared my little sister because she thought I was yelling at her every time. So I took the macro out.
Z: nothing. Haha I’m human now, but counterspell is Shift+Z. Also Brain Freeze/(shift) Strangulate.
I love Z because it’s close, real close to my “A” finger, but there’s no way I’ll hit it by mistake. My pinky rests on shift anyway, so Shift+Z counterspell is just second nature to me. I once tried moving Counterspell to just Z, and macro’ing shift+z to counterspell my focus. No way, I accidentally counterspelled my focus twice, never going back. Shift+Z is counterspell, it is so engraved in my memory I cannot go back.
` is my panic button. Nuff said.
`: Ice Block, Barkskin, Lifeblood, Enraged Regeneration, Vampiric Blood, you name it, it’s here. Sometimes with alt/shift/control, but it’s there. My only disappointment with it is that I sometimes hit Ice Block when I hit escape… embarrassing at the start of an arena
Q. Ah… Q.Q is a great button. Easily accessible, I use Q for so many things, so many macros that do different things. It’s probably my favorite button. It does something completely different on every character, but I know when in doubt press Q.
Q: Arcane Barrage (pve), Arcane Power + Arcane Barrage (pvp) +shift Ice Lance (pvp) +control POM+Hand Mounted Pyro Rockets + Frostfire Bolt (pvp) +alt POM + Polymorph (pvp)
Also Death Grip, Taunt, Charge, Dark Command, Growl, Stealth. Q is a busy button.
G. Oh boy, G is a very very very important button, one that I have spent hours perfecting. On any character other than my mage, it’s just some buff. Blessing of Might, Demon Armor, something. On my mage…
G: POLYMORPH! The macro looks something like this:
/cast [nomod] Polymorph
/cast [mod:ctrl, target = focus] Polymorph
I’m at work and not at home, I can’t look it up exactly but I’m pretty sure this is what it looks like. Basically, hitting G will make my target my focus and sheep it. If I feel like focusing a party member, I can “try” to sheep it and get the same results. When I’m tired of focusing, Shift+G just clears my focus. Control G sheeps my focus.
This macro took a long time to perfect, but I learned something very important that would have saved me a lot of headaches.
If you have a macro bound to “G” with a shift modifier, but you have some other ability bound to “Shift+G”, the other ability takes precedence.
So be extra sure that you have nothing bound to “Shift+G” or “Control+G” if you want this macro to work. With bartender what I did was bound those to my polymorph macro, then hit escape to clear all bindings from that button, then rebound G to it. It works.
This post is now twice as long as any of my other posts. Hooray.
Until next time,
Om nom nom