Thread: How To: Keybind

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  1. #1

    How To: Keybind

    Aside from wanting shiny loot, I felt that now would be a great time to try to give back to the community. Keybinding is something that lots of people argue is or isn't needed. On top of this, people who try to start often, as I first did, find it overwhelming, hopefully this will help.

    This post will cover keybinds.


    Part 1: What's important about keybinding? (Blue)
    Part 2: How do I do it? (Red)
    Part 3: My Personal Binds (Blue again)


    Keybinding, it's importance is one typically overlooked by the people who don't do it, sacred to those who do, and often considered hard to transition to for people new to the concept. It's advantages in both PvP and PvE are as numerous as they are impacting.

    Why Keybind:
    The answer is two-fold when broken down to the most simplistic of reasons.
    First, moving your mouse to click spells takes longer than simply hitting a button on your keyboard when practiced. The average class has well over thirty plus abilities, not counting targeting/focus/castsequence/pets and other macro's or modifiers. This takes up a lot of room no matter how you configure your UI or how small you make your bars. You also lose the ability to pick certain targets out without the need to tab-target through all of them. This can mean missing a crucial interrupt by a short time, or losing pressure because you take longer on swapping.

    Second is movement. Turning with your mouse is infinitely faster than turning with your keyboard. I say infinitely because it is only limited by the speed at when you can move your mouse and your reaction time. The simplest way to test this is to do the following. Go to any target dummy in any major town, stand so your back is toward it. Now, try any way you can to face this dummy. Keyboard turn to face it, reset your position, then use your mouse to face it. The mouse speed should win, provided you aren't over eighty-five. Another common mistake is to backpedal. Again, stand in front, back to the and try again. If this target was a player, keyboard turning and back-pedaling would not get you to face them.

    This will improve your PvE game as well, imagine if you will, a boss fight such as Marrowgar, even if it is outdated. The best clickers in the world can use WASD to move while clicking their abilities. But when Marrowgar charges during bonestorm, their turning to face the boss and getting to him costs them time. Anytime you ever have to turn, it is faster to do so with your mouse.

    What do I keybind?
    In short, everything. If under any reason you will ever use an ability or item it should be bound. Using your mouse to turn and target means that it isn't freed up for moving to click skills. This is a good thing. It will seem like you don't have near enough room on your keyboard to do this, but with the help of modifier keys (I'll go into detail in post 2), I promise you can. I play a feral druid as my main, I have all of my abilities (including balance spells and heals) bound comfortably within reach of my left hand on the keyboard. If I can do that, all other classes can to.

    ---------- Part Two! ----------
    How to go about it:
    The majority of people who click and want to make the transition to keybinding are overwhelmed by the thought. I admit, when I learned this on my own I was very much the same. I promise you thought, after this post you'll feel much more comfortable about the situation, if not, find me in game and I'll be happy to go over anything you want to know about it.

    Things to know getting started:

    What keys to use:


    First thing is first, let's take a minute to look at the image above and let me explain.
    Blue: These are your movement keys. Unbind strafe from Q and E and make them A and D respectively. Strafing is important.
    Green: These are the keys easiest to reach from blue, this is where your most important abilities should be bound. Interrupts and main attacking abilities go here.
    Yellow: These keys may take a bit of a stretch of your fingers and move away from your movement keys, but are still ok. Bind these to things that you use, but not as often.
    Pink: Are the modifier buttons. See below
    Orange:Tab and space. Tab swaps to nearest target, space jumps.


    Work in Stages!
    Go in stages. Don't try to do it all at once. Go in stages, when you're comfortable with one stage, move on to the next.
    Step 1: Unbind Q and E in the keybindings menu, make your strafe A and D. this forces you to use your mouse to turn.
    Step 2: Bind the green buttons. Pick your most important spells and bind them to some of the green buttons, get used to using them that way.
    Step 3: Work your way out!

    Modifiers!
    Finally we get to the section I've said look below to find twice already. Modifiers! These keys let you use them in conjunction with another to use a different spell than if you pressed it alone. For example, on Rand I have
    R bound to rake
    Shift-R bound to rip
    Ctrl-R bound to berserk.
    Alt-R is unbound, I find it uncomfortable to use Alt personally.
    This lets me use a button in the good zone more than once, multiplying the number of abilities I can fit onto the keyboard.

    Important Things:
    1.What you bind to which keys can and will be different for every player. A few things to keep in mind though. You should bind things so that they are easy to reach with one hand, leaving your mouse-hand free to do it's job. Ctrl+7 is a bad idea.
    2. A lot of these require that you unbind certain WoW functions to use them, C can no longer bring up your character pane when it's a spell. That's ok, there is a whole other half of your keyboard, and a number pad free! Rebind them in different places!
    3. People's hands and keyboards are different and because of this, what you are comfortable using may be different than me, remember, use keys closest to your movement keys first. I personally find it uncomfortable to use the Alt modifier, and my F1-4 keys are near out of reach. You may find using alt to work, and your F1-4 may be right on top of 1-5.
    4. Healing addons can help! As a druid I have an ungodly amount of spells, if you are going to use a raidframe (healers always do) make sure it's in a good place. Having heals set to modifiers+mousebuttons means you dont need to bind those to your other keys (if you have room though it's still good to). Mouseover macro's work wonders too!
    5. Macro's, like modifiers, are one way to get more room and bang for your buck. Using a macro that, when targeting enemy casts one thing, and friendly casts another, you can bind that to one button. Example as follows.

    Bound to a button
    Code:
    #showtooltip
    /cast [harm, nodead] Lightning Bolt; [help, nodead] Healing Wave
    This would cast LB if the target was an enemy and alive, and healing wave if target was friendly and alive.

    Bind something similar to the same button with a modifier, and you have four+ spells on one button!

    Do not, for the love of god, bind alt+f4 though.In fact, if you're going to use alt, be careful of things like alt+f4, alt+tab, and so on. It's another reason I personally don't like it.

    How to actually keybind:
    For sake of ease I'm going to assume you know how to make macros and move them onto your bars, and move spells onto your bars. If not, another post for another time.
    Simply hit esc, open your keybinding menu, scroll until you find the corresponding bar and button you want, and bind it to that button. If you have the addon bartender, it becomes even more simple. You would just type /kb mouseover the button, and press the button you want it to be bound to. Simple as that.

    This has been your intro to keybinding, it covers actual keybinding, but not the more complex things like macro's to help yourself. If you need any help, ask!

    ---------- Part Three! ----------

    My personal binds:

    This is mostly to show you how, with the use of modifiers and other things, I grant myself the ability to have almost everything a druid needs bound. Some of these have shifted and changed with the addition of spells, or removal, but for the most part, it stands unchanged.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------
    My Personal Keybinds (Feral Druid)

    My personal keybinds are built around stance macros, letting them do different things in different forms so that I can pack as many abilites as I can into the keys. Don't worry if you don't understand macro's enough to do it, remember, ask for help!
    Sanything means Shift-button
    Canything means Ctrl-button
    Ctrl has a lot of my special macros and targeting functions that I wont post just to save room and time.
    Also, my mouse binds are set to mouseover with an addon for healing, the healing spells are still bound even though I dont have them anymore (natures swiftness and swiftmend) just in case.

    S1: bearform
    S2: catform
    S3:Stance Macro (shifts from form to same form for snares)
    S4: travel form
    S5- flight form

    ` : PvP trinket
    1 : (Bear)-mangle (Cat)-mangle/pounce (travel/caster/tree) nourish
    2 : (Bear)-swipe (Cat)-swipe
    3 : (Bear)-lacerate (Cat)-Bite
    4 : (Bear)-faerief (Cat)- Tigers fury
    5 : (Bear)-enrage (Cat)-stealth
    Q : (Bear)-Charge (Cat)-shred
    W : move forward
    E : (Bear)-bash (Cat)-maim
    R : (Bear)-growl (Cat)-rake
    T : mouseover cyclone
    A : left strafe
    S : backup
    D : right strafe
    F : all forms faerie fire
    G : Vent Key
    Z : Nature's Grasp
    X : (Bear)-Challenging Roar (Cat) Savage Roar
    C : (Bear)-Demo Roar (Cat) Dash
    V : Mouseover abolish poison

    SQ: Barkskin
    SE: Survival Instincts
    SR: Rip
    SC: Feral charge cat (it's inferior to bear)
    SV: remove Curse

    CR: berserk
    CF: shadowmeld macro

    With My Mouse! (LC-leftclick MC-middleclick RC-rightclick)
    Helpful (over friendly)
    Ctrl-LC : Lifebloom
    Ctrl-MC: Regrowth
    Ctrl-RC : Rejuv
    Alt-LC : MotW
    Alt-MC : Thorns
    Alt-RC : Innervate
    Shift-LC: Swiftmend
    Shift-MC: Natures Swiftness
    Shift-RC: Healing Touch

    Harmful (over enemy)
    MC-Cyclone
    Ctrl-LC : Wrath
    Ctrl-MC: Starfire
    Ctrl-RC: Moonfire
    Alt-LC : Roots
    Alt-MC : hibernate
    Last edited by Randaagulf; 2010-12-23 at 02:22 PM.

  2. #2
    i have tried keybinds before, but having been a healer since vanilla and since TBC using grid/healbot i just havent found it faster, with this as my guide im going to creat a new character, remove turn and backpedal as you say and give it another go ;-)

  3. #3
    thank you very much

  4. #4
    i believe v and b could be set to the "green" because that is where your thumb is lying on the space bar most of the time, making them very easy to use.

    My opinion though. good guide

  5. #5
    Love the guide. I have read sooo much on it through wotlk and i love how you group the binding. I am already replanning my bars ha ha. I Just thought i would say i could not go without F1-F4. I think its a perfect place for OH CRAP spells, or spells with longer cooldowns. On my shaman i use it for elemental mastery, spiritwalker's grace, and my 2 trinks.

  6. #6
    Really nice guide. I'd just like to add that you can unbind the zoom-in/zoom-out from the scroll wheel, rebind them to ctrl+scroll, and bind abilities you use a lot and need very fast reactions.

    Personally, I use scroll-up to break snares and roots, and scroll-down to interrupt casting (as a feral druid).

  7. #7
    Cool guide, this might help me with the issue that Bartender won't let me keep the same keybindings across shapeshifted forms.

    Don't suppose you can add any Macro assistance for the ones you specify?

  8. #8
    Really well writen guide, quiet like the idea of Ctrl + Click for those tasks, should try that out.

    I am sooooh.. going to post this in our Guild website.

    ---------- Post added 2011-01-18 at 10:26 AM ----------

    Maybe btw a nice thing to add, a mousover macro wich is really easy to customize. This is one for healing;

    Code:
    #showtooltip
    /cast [@mouseover,help,nodead][] Healing Wave
    What this macro does is checking if you have a Mouseover (may be the player itself or something like Grid), if he's not dead and if he is actually a player. The empty [] is there so it will act as normal when you are just targeting someone. Replace 'help' with 'harm' if it is for things that you wanna throw on your enemy.

  9. #9
    Blademaster
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    One thing I have done, which I haven't seen anyone do other then my brothers (cause I told them) is move your hand one key to the right.

    Make your movement keys esdf instead of wasd, it opens up a bunch of new keys in the easy to reach range. With this I am able to bind my main moves to "qwazxcrtgv" then have shift + those keys for secondary moves. I have always found the number keys to be very awkward to use, but they are somewhat in reach still anyways.

  10. #10
    Important thing for casters is having instant abilities which require facing the target keybound so that you can press them while strafe running. For example if you have "fireblast" bound to "shift+e" it's nearly impossible to press while running from a melee at the same time. Spell with cast time, on the other hand can be bound to less accessible buttons, since these abilities require you to be standing still.

    For stance based classes (war/druid/rogue) I recommend using similar abilities of different stances/stealth mode/form on the same hotkey (Charge/Intercept, Ravage/Shred, Pounce/Maim/Bash, Ambush/Backstab etc.)

    Also I would recommend using the following easy accessible keybinds:

    shift + space
    ctrl + space
    shift + mouse wheel up/down
    ctrl + mouse wheel up/down

    I find ` button very good for interrupts.

  11. #11
    Stood in the Fire Subliminal's Avatar
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    Nice guide.
    I haven't been using keybinds for very long so this will help me some more, especially when I'm going to make a new alt.

  12. #12
    ok i gonna have to read this...i'm a warrior tank and i've always been a clicker and i managed to do 11/12 on hc in wotlk but now in cataclysm and specialy in interupting things it goes much faster to just click my interupt button instead of clicking it altho i was getting good in the clicking stuff

    also i tried arena for the first time in 2years playing and if u are a clicker there u are just screwwed

  13. #13
    Good guide.

    I got kinda big hands, so actually using <, z, x and Alt is not something i can do mid fight, but i use 6, y and h to make up for it, i also find f1-f5 useful for abilities.

    I do feel though that adapting to new keybinds is extremly hard For instance i am considering changing my interupt key from | (the button to the left of 1) to something else to improve my reactions (lol maloriak 1 sec cast -.-), but i can't really see myself changing something around without it being as mentioned, hard to adapt...

  14. #14
    @bikmackie

    While moving the key's from WASD to ESDF opens more options, it also opens more problemns. If your hand is going right and left instead of only right you can have a hard time hitting the key's in a quick way, but with practice this will be overcome. The main problemn ofcourse is the stress you leave behind on your hand.

    Also you cannon use Modifier keys as comfortable (more stress) and thusfar, leaving you behind with less keybinds except if you wanna have alot of strain.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by kildal View Post
    Good guide.

    I got kinda big hands, so actually using <, z, x and Alt is not something i can do mid fight, but i use 6, y and h to make up for it, i also find f1-f5 useful for abilities.

    I do feel though that adapting to new keybinds is extremly hard For instance i am considering changing my interupt key from | (the button to the left of 1) to something else to improve my reactions (lol maloriak 1 sec cast -.-), but i can't really see myself changing something around without it being as mentioned, hard to adapt...
    I personally use T for interrupts, it's far from my other keybinds so I dont run the risk to hit the wronk key, but still near enough to reach it comfortably.

    Good guide.

    Also, as you said, I use the function keys too, since any laptop has those keys directly above the numbers
    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom
    Not to mention that some people play the game because - OH MY GOD - they think it's fun. Not everything is about owning the shit out of people in PVP or raping the meters or single-tanking/healing Marrowgar etc.

  16. #16
    Awesome guide, i made the switch not long ago tough, but well worth it. Dont be disheartened if u hit the wrong key when ur starting out with practice it will become second nature.

    I like my interept on R easy and quick to reach. A silence or spell lock is usually shift 1

  17. #17
    Scarab Lord Zka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randaagulf View Post
    Alt-R is unbound, I find it uncomfortable to use Alt personally.
    How the hell?
    Alt+R -> can be pressed easily
    Ctrl+R -> unless you use both hands, it's painful to press. And I have a huge hand as I'm very tall. Ctrl+numbers work pretty well tho'.

    Retired raider coming back for WoD.
    WoD BETA CLUB

  18. #18
    I have a naga, it is amazing. If you're a hardcore raider or competitive pvper I definatley recomend it.
    The buttons on it can be set to either the 1-= along the top of the keyboard or the numberpad. Setting it to the numberpad allows you to have more open binds, using the mouse and the keyboard. This gives such a massive amount of easy to reach binds that let you do exactly what you want to do right there and then.
    STFU and kill shit.

  19. #19
    I personally use ESDF as my movement keys, so i have Q and A for 2 more abilities. As a prot warr I use:
    Q - Shockwave
    W - Revenge
    R - Charge
    T - Devastate
    G - Taunt
    V - Heroic Strike
    Y - Victory Rush
    H - C. Blow
    B - Shield Bash

    1 - Heroic Throw
    2 - Rend
    3 - Cleave
    4 - Shield Block+Shield Slam
    5 - Int. Shout

    I also have a Razer Naga mouse with 6 easy accessible keys on it, which are bound to Com. Shout, Demo Shout, Spell Reflect, Last Stand, Shield Wall, Enraged Regen. and 6 no-so-easy accessible keys, which are bound to other not-so-often used skills...

    ---------- Post added 2011-01-18 at 03:03 PM ----------

    Oh, and A is for Thunder Clap, missed that one.

  20. #20
    Great guide, my mother plays WoW, she's always been abit of a gamer (Had a Commodore 64 or w/e) but she clicks and keyboard turns.. I'll show her this guide, may help
    Signature.. Am I doing this right?

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