Bitten by the bug…

So I’ve been bitten by the bug.  The Alt-bug that is.  I started messing around on my Boomkin/Resto druid (86) and my Guardian/Feral druid (85).  I’ve also been working on my rogue (88) and my low level WW/MW Monk (64).  All the while still doing some dailies on my 90’s and farming up crops.

Wholly cow!  How do you keep it all straight?  Well, sometimes I don’t.  LOL!  But most times, I can.  I have a strategy.  When I first started healing and using Vuhdo, I looked into getting a mouse with multiple buttons I could use for Vuhdo.  I tried a couple but ended up with a Steelseries Legendary Mouse.  I love it and use most of the buttons for different heals on Vuhdo.

Most healing classes have similar healing spells.  You have your HoT, your “fast, expensive heal”, your “slow, big heal”, your “cheap, slow, medium heal” and general AoE heals and buffs.  I tend to try to put my heals in similar spots for my different healing classes.  For instance, Rejuvenation and Riptide share the right click button in Vuhdo.  Same goes for Regrowth and Healing Surge.  They share the lower button on the left side of the mouse.  I made up a picture of the mouse in Word and numbered the buttons how they are numbered in Vuhdo.  So I can quickly refresh myself what spells are where.  By knowing what spells, in general, are where, I can get back into the swing of things with a healing class faster when class switching.

But what about the dps side?  I have to admit, my controls are probably not optimal.  People always say “to get the fastest response, keybind EVERYTHING and use the mouse to control movement.”  But one thing I have learned over the years is that I move and attack.  I seem to do it a lot.  Especially strafing.  I am never happy just standing in one spot and going through my rotation.  Even on toons like my warlock, I move.  Mostly because the bloody tanks are always moving and grabbing adds and stuff.  Nothing ever stands still.  I move to get out of stuff.  Or to move into good stuff (like heals – do it folks – make your healers happy).  I move to get a better shot on something or get myself into a better position for an AoE spell.  I can’t not move.  And it seems like we have to in MoP more than in previous expansions.

So I still use the standard movement keys.  ASWD and QE to strafe.  “ARRGGHHH!!!  KEYBOARD TURNER!” the mob screams accusingly.  Yeah, sometimes.  But I more tend to use my mouse to turn quick if I need to.  Most times though, I have found things don’t suddenly appear behind you.  And that strafing to the side while keyboard turning can get you re-positioned fairly quickly also.  I’m not saying it never happens though, like in Spirit Kings.  When you fight Qiang the Merciless you run through him when he starts to do the annihilate.  When I run through, I quickly mouse turn.  But if Subetai the Swift starts to volley, I don’t turn and run with the mouse, I strafe and turn with the keyboard.  Remember, I’m a healer normally so I am waiting with my mouse over the Vuhdo panes to heal someone.  It’s hard to move when you click to heal.

DPS man!  Stay on topic!  So after watching all sorts of videos on moving and keybinding and such, and having difficulties translating that into how I play (with the healer mentality) I settled on my own way to keybind.  To my mouse.  I use Bartender to modify my bars on my characters.  Of all the buttons on my mouse, I find I use about 6 easily.  I could use a 7th but honestly, that is the default auto-run button and I like using it for that.  LOL!  The nice thing about the Steelseries mouse is that it is directly integrated into the game.  The buttons can be linked to directly without having to setup something third party.  I do have a Logitech G19 keyboard and I had to do some funky stuff to make use of the extra keys on the left.  But the mouse had none of that.  :)  Go into the keybinds, find the button you want to bind, click and you’re done.

So with my Bartender I setup 3 rows of spells.  Top row was my normal mouse clicks.  This was the 6 spells I used the most on a character.  Normally not cooldowns and such unless they are really short.  Or very special (like Ascendance) and I didn’t really have anything better to put there.  On my second row, I tend to put AoE spells.  Or spells that are still used a lot but not as much.  You might find a few more short cooldown spells there.  Things like buffs that drop frequently.  This second row is cast by holding down shift and mouse clicking.  And then the last row I put my cooldowns.  The last row is simply numbers 1 through 6 on the keyboard.  With 3 being my most often used CD.  This gives me 12 spells I can cast via my mouse while still moving with my keyboard.

Yeah, but you still keyboard turn!  Yeah, sometimes I do.  But we can’t have everything.  I have yet to see a good guide on how to heal and move well.  It just requires too much.  I think my way works for me and after doing it for years, my muscle memory is becoming quite adept at it.  Relating my dps and tank setups to a similar style helps that muscle memory to still work when switching classes.  I find I rarely stand in crap (with help from every raiders buddy, GTFO) and can move well when needed.

If you play a lot of alts, doing a similar thing can help you get into the swing of a class when you switch toons after a bit.  And check out the multi-button mice like the Steelseries Legendary mouse and the Razer Naga.  The extra buttons really do make a huge difference.  Especially if you have the same healer mentality I do and feel that you just can’t get completely away from the keyboard for movement.

Oh, and one last thing.  Many people have suggested in their keybinding videos to change strafe to A and D and not turn.  This does open up two more keys to bind spells to and if you need to “circle strafe” something, you just turn with the mouse. While this may work for some dps, I find that moving my mouse on and off the Vuhdo frames to do the turning actually slows me down more.  And with keybinding to my mouse, I can still get enough buttons to do most everything I need to.  But what ever you do, give it a good try.  Don’t try it for an hour of dailies and then give up.  It takes awhile to build up that muscle memory.  Moving the mouse less to “click” your spells on your bars will make you a faster, more reactive player and increase both your survivability and your dps.  And being alive through the entire fight is always more fun than being dead.  :)

Leave a Reply