Keybinding so difficult?

67 Gnome Death Knight
685
I'm trying to learning to keybind but it's so difficult I find myself just going back to clicking, and helpful tips and tricks? We're should I set my binds at and stuff?
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90 Human Rogue
16950
First of all, if you are completely new to keybinding, don't try to keybind everything at once. Pick out your most common actions first and keybind those. After you feel more comfortable, pick out the next most common actions and keybind those. And so on.

Try to map your keybinds in such a way that you move your hand as little as possible. It may be different for you, but I try to keep my middle fingers hovering over the 1234-qwer-asdf area while my thumb is over spacebar and the keys around that, with occasional forays into g-h-land, and my pinky floats over the modifier keys - I mainly use shift and caps lock, which I remapped for ctrl since my hands are relatively small and I have a condition that somewhat limits my manual flexibility.

Point is, even during the most hectic encounters my left hand moves within a relatively small space - I am not stretching and twisting in crazy ways to do what I need to. If you have access to a multibutton mouse, even a simple 5-button one, don't forget you can also use that for keybinds as well.

I mentioned modifier keys - shift, ctrl, and alt can be used with other keys to make macros, which can be used to create additional keybinds. One thing you will find as you level up is that you will gain so many abilities that it will become difficult to map them all comfortably. Using modifier keys is a good way to save space with your keybinds - see the examples below (sorry for using rogue abilities, I'm just not familiar with DK stuff). This is a bit more advanced, so feel free to wait on this part if you want.

Keybind 1
/cast Mutilate
or, you can just drop the Mutilate command into the slot like normal
This is what you're doing currently. 1 key, 1 command. In this case, hitting your chosen key will cast Mutilate.

Keybind 2
/cast [mod:ctrl]Rupture;Mutilate
Hitting your chosen key will cast Mutilate like normal, but hitting the key while holding down ctrl will cast Rupture instead.

Keybind 3
/cast [mod:ctrl]Rupture;[mod:shift]Shiv;Mutilate
Same as Keybind 2, but in addition, hitting your chosen key while holding down the shift key will cast Shiv instead of Mutilate or Rupture.

If you want to learn more about macros, I recommend the links below. Also feel free to ask questions in the UI and Macro forum. There are many helpful regulars there.

http://www.wowpedia.org/Making_a_macro
http://www.wowpedia.org/Useful_macros
http://www.macroexplain.com/
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90 Blood Elf Paladin
8690
All the advice you've gotten from the above poster is spot on.

I just wanted to add to spend some time practicing, too. To get used to it myself, I went to Orgrimmar and practiced on the training dummies. After two days (of course I didn't spend all that time practicing! I still went about questing and what not :) ) I had the hang of it and have not clicked since. It's easier to practice by hitting on training dummies as you don't run the risk of dying while doing so if you forget which key to hit.

Stormwind should have some somewhere, too.
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90 Human Priest
10345
I mentioned modifier keys - shift, ctrl, and alt can be used with other keys to make macros, which can be used to create additional keybinds. One thing you will find as you level up is that you will gain so many abilities that it will become difficult to map them all comfortably. Using modifier keys is a good way to save space with your keybinds - see the examples below (sorry for using rogue abilities, I'm just not familiar with DK stuff). This is a bit more advanced, so feel free to wait on this part if you want.


I would point out that it depends on the class - some classes have a ton of stuff at max level while others not so much depending on spec. Mage, no problem. Shadow Priest, eh a few extra here and there to pick up stuff I don't use that often, especially since I only use that spec to quest.

Protection Warriors - *Stabs eyes with forks* There are so many abilities I had to create new key bindings for the first time in 6 years. It sounds like Rogues might be in the same boat at max (mine is only around 69 and made to farm lock boxes for my Pally so not all that familiar with the class).

OP - It can take quite a while for anyone to learn a new system, even veterans of the game. This priest was my first healer ever (though ironically not the first to max level, she sat around for years while my Resto Shammy made it to max first). At around level 40 a friend told me that I needed to start thinking about getting a healing addon or using Clique if I wanted to heal raids in the most effective manner.

It was hard to get used to and took quite a while. While my abilities where keybound I was used to clicking or using F1-F5 to target individual players to heal. It took a lot of practice just healing friends in SW and running 5 mans before I finally felt comfortable with it. And while I can keep my healers straight normally there are still times I try to chain heal on my priest or place PW:S while on my Shammy.

Practice makes perfect. Use keybindings you feel comfortable with, as my system (for example) may not work for you and it's a pretty personal process on where you like things to be.

Remember also that rarely used spells, or spells you don't want to take the risk of accidentally using because of long cd's you don't have to keybind as long as you know where they are and can use them fast with a click in an emergency. My Pally tank, for example, doesn't have Lay on Hands keybound just because I don't want to risk using that major of a cd by accident but I can reach it fast and without problems in times of need. Again it's a very personal process and it depends on your tastes and needs.

Also, at the end of the day, I have met some amazing players who were 'clicker's and/or 'keyboard turners'. No one knew the difference and because of the stigma attached to these play styles they weren't clamoring to say they used them. It just matters that your play style allows you to play to the best of your ability. My fiancee can't keybind to save his life but is an amazing tank and I honestly don't know how he can keep track of all those Warrior abilities and click on them so fast.

The only other thing I can suggest is if you really want a hardcore way to force yourself into using keybindings is to set them all up, unplug your mouse/turn off your mouse pad and go kill mobs till you feel comfortable (you can move by arrow keys during this short phase of getting used to things just to help you get rid of your dependence on the mouse to click if that's what you really want to do). Also, practicing on target dummies with the mouse unplugged can help.
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90 Draenei Shaman
10295
02/20/2013 10:05 AMPosted by Antoniolo
caps lock, which I remapped for ctrl


you can do that??? I am SO going to try that when I get back in game, thank you!
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90 Night Elf Druid
12230
caps lock, which I remapped for ctrl


you can do that??? I am SO going to try that when I get back in game, thank you!

Not in-game, no. You can't remap keyboard strokes within the game. That's a separate system function if you want to remap your keystrokes.

All the game does is take what the system tells it. If you want the keyboard to tell the system that you're pressing a non-default key (such as pressing Caps Lock to trigger Alt), you need to use an external program to change your keyboard settings.

Slight tangent: Try playing WoW on a keyboard using Dvorak settings. You'll get screwed up in the head pretty quick! :P
Edited by Icedragon on 2/20/2013 11:35 PM PST
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67 Gnome Death Knight
685
Thank you so much this helps a ton, I've been trying to keybind everything at once and this helps a bunch :)
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90 Human Rogue
16950
Glad you found all this helpful, Waxle! Good luck to you.

@Nebliina: to build on what Icedragon said, you don't remap keys within the game, and how you remap depends on what operating system you use.

For Macs, it's set within a panel in System Preferences:
http://dailymactips.com/2012/11/26/remap-modifier-keys-in-mac-os-x/

For Windows machines, you can download one of a handful of modifier programs, or tweak the registry directly (I'd only recommend the registry method for more advanced users, since messing up your registry can be bad news):
http://vlaurie.com/computers2/Articles/remap-keyboard.htm
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90 Draenei Shaman
10295
For Windows machines, you can download one of a handful of modifier programs, or tweak the registry directly (I'd only recommend the registry method for more advanced users, since messing up your registry can be bad news):
http://vlaurie.com/computers2/Articles/remap-keyboard.htm


Thank you very much. I've been sorely tempted to yank the cap lock key out of my keyboard entirely; this would at least give that key a legitimate purpose!! Maybe I can simply exchange cap lock and ctrl, so I still have access to it on the very very rare occasions I might want it. I'll bug my computer savvy buddy for help.

For Macs, it's set within a panel in System Preferences:
http://dailymactips.com/2012/11/26/remap-modifier-keys-in-mac-os-x/


I thought I remembered seeing that functionality before....I used to use macs, till I got broke. Got very frustrated a few months ago trying to remap keys directly on the computer. Thanks again.
Edited by Nebliina on 2/21/2013 9:46 AM PST
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90 Human Rogue
16950
No problem, glad to help! Full disclosure: I do computer support IRL, so I tend toward caution when mentioning anything involving the registry. Most of the time my clients who do that sort of thing don't have issues (<3 savvy users). But the ones who don't know what they're doing and don't realize they don't know what they're doing ... well, let's just say they keep me employed.
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02/20/2013 10:30 PMPosted by Calamai
Remember also that rarely used spells, or spells you don't want to take the risk of accidentally using because of long cd's you don't have to keybind as long as you know where they are and can use them fast with a click in an emergency. My Pally tank, for example, doesn't have Lay on Hands keybound just because I don't want to risk using that major of a cd by accident but I can reach it fast and without problems in times of need. Again it's a very personal process and it depends on your tastes and needs.

I just wanted to reiterate this -- while everyone gets a slew of abilities by level cap, not all will be used so often that they need to be mixed in with your main attacks, and some you may find that you never use. Some may be preferred for PvP and others for PvE, some for tanking and some for questing, etc. You don't have to bind EVERYthing, just what will make combat easier for you.

The main reason for keybinding instead of clicking is convenience and efficiency, so if something's on a 10-minute cooldown, it can be off to the side somewhere, but still in a part of the screen that's quick to find with the mouse, like at the end of an action bar. And in that vein, I find it useful to bind similar abilities in the same place across characters -- main attacks on these keys, finishers here, buffs over there, CC in this spot, like that. That way it's easier to remember what to use when, and how to activate it, especially if I haven't played a character in a while and need to refresh my memory.
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90 Human Rogue
3805
Can I play devil's advocate OP? You don't HAVE to keybind, I hope somebody isn't pressuring you to do so. Now I realize that high ender raids, arena, and probably some instances require it, it's certainly not necessary to enjoy most aspects of wow, I'm very visual and enjoy seeing the icons so I don't keybind, although I have in games where it's the only option and even got used to it.

It's all good advice though, keybind if you want, but take it slow.
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90 Tauren Paladin
6750
I've been in the same boat as Waxle, I keep trying to keybind my commands but it always feels unnatural since I've been clicking my keys ever since I was playing EQ over 10 years ago. With keybinds are the number keys above QWERTY and the number pad on the right the same keys or can they both be set up as different keybinds? I've always felt comfertable using the number pad and thought about trying that for some keybinds along with using the 1-5 keys from above QWERTY. Can they be used seperately or do you need to use the modifier keys? I hope I made my question clear enough. Thanks for any suggestions.
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15 Pandaren Hunter
2490
Just wanted to pop in, and say that I got a lot of help switching from clicking by using action bar addons. I was able to set them up in three columns with four rows for each bar.

I try and only use up to the 4 key, since I get lost reaching out for the 5 sometimes (I'm sure I just need to start using it more to build up that keyboard muscle memory!) So I'm able to have a visual representation of where my skills are on my keyboard.

That way Row one can be your regular, row two can be your Alt modifier, and three can be Ctrl.

Anyways, just wanted to say that having an onscreen layout really helped me get into it.
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90 Troll Hunter
15525
02/22/2013 06:14 PMPosted by Ghimlar
Can they be used seperately or do you need to use the modifier keys?

Yes, "1" and "Num Pad 1" are separate keys in the Key Bindings menu.
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