Sunday, September 5, 2010

My keybindings

It happens from time to time. I write a post on something and a few days later it turns up somewhere else, in the form of someone elses thought on the same subject. Most recently I wrote a post on daily chores and two days later has a Breakfast Topic about daily chores - not my post per se, but the very same subject. Or the other way around, I have a thought on writing about a certain subject, and while surfing the bloggosphere I find someone who's recently written a post about that. I don't think people copy eachother much in the blog-world, and a decent amount of borrowed inspiration it was makes blogging interesting imo. In fact I think it's just coincidences. Condering how many bloggers about WoW there are out there it is bound to happen quite often that two bloggers get the same idea at about the same time. Especially if you like me write posts fairly often and about anything.

So I had a thought about sharing my keybindings with you. Mostly because I think it would be fun to explain my way of thinking when binding keys, and hey maybe I learn something about it in along the way. But also because it might be the source of some keybinding inspiration for some of you out there. In the end I always write about things I would find interesting to read about. So I noticed, while thinking about doing this, that some other bloggers have done this quite recently too, and I'm not trying to get a certain point with this, just sharing an anecdote about the bloggosphere!

So, my keybindings then. Maybe I actually can give a new take on this, since I play all classes and so have to find keybindings that suit all classes without it messing up in my head each time I go from healing to tanking to dpsing. I know plenty of people who play one class alot and when switching to their alt they try to do stuff they can't. A tankadin friend of mine usually forgets to stealth on his rogue alt for example. Love sometimes tries to go into flight form after jumping off a cliff on his mage alt (which has killed him a couple of times, because he's then too chocked about not shapeshifting to remember he can Slow Fall instead). I do mistakes like this too, but some skills are easier mixed up than others, for instance I always try to life tap after playing my warlock. It's just something you do all the time so it kinda gets stuck.

First of all, I've got nearly the entire keyboard, next to my left hand, keybound. There are the default buttons of course, but I have re-bound plenty of them to skills instead. Then there are the shift-combinations, which I use some too. I don't use ctrl-combinations though, since ctrl is my PTT button :P I did have it bound to totems before, but people could hear me say hilarious stuff when talking to myself and dropping totems at the same time. Once I apparently said "Mother fucker!" just like that during a fight. So that keybinding had to go ^^ Alt is only bound to my Clique addon, and I won't talk about that addon here (probably another time though!).
I'll try to give one example per class to give you a general idea of what kind of skills are used for each keybinding.

The numbers:
1 through 5 - My core abilities, the ones I use the most. Healer classes are special, for my main heals on each class I use the Clique-addon. Examples: Devastate, Hemorrhage, Stormstrike, Fireball, Shadowbolt, Steady Shot, Mind Flay, Icy touch, Holy Shield.
6 through 8 - Skills I use more rarely, but still in combat, are usually bound to these buttons. Some classes don't have that type of skills. Examples: Shadowfiend, Entangling Roots, Cone of Cold, Tranq shot, Death Strike, Expose Armor, Frost Shock, Holy Wrath, Drain Life, Mocking Blow

The shift combinations:
Shift 1 through 5 - Also for skills I use in combat, more seldom than my core abilities but generally more often than the 6 through 8 skills. Lifeblood is often bound to shift+1 if I have it on a char. Examples: Mass Dispel, Nature's Grasp, Spellsteal, Aspect of the Cheetah, Sprint, Stoneclaw Totem, Arcane Torrent on my paladin, Health Funnel, Commanding Shout
Shift+E - For skills I don't use as often as my core abilities, but generally have to get to very fast when I need it (not all classes have this). Examples: Crazy Alchemist's Potion on my priest, Hunters Mark, Pestilence, Cloak of Shadows, Totemic Recall, Divine Shield, Soulshatter, Intervene.
Shift+T - Ground Mount
Shift+F - Spare skills, used occasionally. Examples: Inner Focus, Mark of the Wild, Counterspell, Autoshot, Chains of Ice, Vanish, War Stomp on my shaman and warrior, Rain of Fire.

The function buttons:
F1 through 5
: Longer cooldowns and trinkets. Examples: Mirror Image, Rapid Shot, Icebound Fortitude, Evasion, Shamanistic Rage, Lay on Hands, Metamorphosis, Shield Wall.

The letters:
T - Flying Mount
H - If the class has an aoe this is generally where I put it.
F - Core abilities, to complement the 1 through 5 buttons. Examples: Fade, Faerie Fire, Blink, Kill Shot, Death & Decay, Stealth, Water/Lightning Shield, Judgements, Life Tap, Concussion Blow.X, Z and J - skills not used often, but that I don't want to click when I need them, or skills that didn't fit where I usually put them. Examples: Bloodfury, Throwings, Offspec skills (like dmg skills on healers), Evocation, Ghost Wolf, Blessing of Protection, Curse of Elements, Challenging Shout.
A - Core abilities, usually interrupts if the class has it (not all classes has this binding): Bash, Feign Death, Mind Freeze, Kick, Shield Bash.
- Utility skills (not all classes have this). Examples: Disengage, Death Grip, Heroic Throw

The symbols:
§ - Core abilities, to complement the 1 through 5 buttons. Often skills of a more buff like nature. Examples: Power Infusion/Circle of Healing, Enrage, Mana Gem, Misdirect, Blood Tap, Shadowdance, Spirit Wolves, Healthstone on my warlock, Berserker Rage.
Also I use a key that I can't show here since Blogger tries to read it as part of a code which might screw up the entire post. It's the key next to Z on swedish keyboards.

The mouse:
I use the two buttons usually bound to forward and back, they're called B4 and B5 in my interface. They're usually also for core skills or other skills I need to get to fast. Examples: Self-target, Maul, Iceblock, Petattack/follow, Rune Strike, Slice and Dice, Wind Shear, Divine Plea, Seed of Corruption, Heroic Strike.

Those are all my key bindings. Over the years I have bound more and more buttons as I have noticed that clicking them just doesn't work good enough for me. I remember when I started healing I used to mark a target and then click the heal of choice. Wow... I do click plenty of skills however, usually non-combat skills like buffs, portals or summon stone and the like.
Here are some examples of UI's. I won't show you how the UI looks of all my 80's, since that would just be too many pictures. Also my tanks, healers, melee and casters usually share layout style of their UI.

The UI of my priest main. Love has called it the "most fucked up UI in Azeroth", because he is an UI gourmet and has spent way too much time making his UI perfect. I just want it functional. The keybindings are in the corner, and not really important since I know them by heart. I have them displayed just in case. Any skill without a letter/number/symbol bound to it is a skill I click.

The UI of my most well geared tank (the only warrior tank I've raided with). It is the standard for all my tanks. The difference to my healing UI is that my core abilities are closer to the centre of the screen, this is so it's easier for me to see short cooldowns like on Thunder Clap and Revenge. On my healing UI I have grid in the centre instead. The bigger buttons in the lower half of both screens are spare buttons. Anything from rarely used skills to macros to items I put there. I throw anything there that I don't know where to put anywhere else.

Comments on this? ^^


  1. Wow! I have problems remembering keybindings between different specs ;) I am amazed. Also, I like you UI. If it works for you then it is perfect for you, right? My UI looks like a mess too but I have a system that makes it easy to use for me.

    I would like to know wich class you think is the easiest to tank with and why. Also, wich class is most fun to tank with. Easy does not mean fun... not always anyway :) Maybe you can make a bloggpost on the subject ;)


  2. Oh oh, I'd love to! Funny I haven't thought about it myself, considering how much I tank ^^ Oh well too many things going in a small brain.

    And you're right, funny and easy are definitely not the same. The answer to your questions might be an interesting one... stay tuned!