Does this subject warrant yet another article to be written on it? Surely, we’re at the point where it is considered striking a deceased equine. Well, I’m afraid it’s time to break out those beat sticks because I’m going to go over it yet again. For those of you who have heard it time and time again, just pretend you’re in an operation with some first timers listening to boss fight explanations. Zone out, take a bio, get a drink or whatever. The rest of you listen up, you’re about to become a better player.
The new and improved movement keys
Keybinding is about putting your most used abilities on keys on your keyboard that are nearest to your movement keys. Presumably, these keys are going to be W-A-S-D because that is what every first person shooter and MMO has taught you over the years. What if they were wrong? What if it’s a conspiracy? What if there is something… better? Dun dun dun!! Well, it may not be better for you, but consider this: When you are typing an email, where do your hands automatically go? A-S-D-F and J-K-L-;, of course. That’s why there are those little knobs on the F and J keys. If you shift your hand one set of keys over to E-S-D-F it starts to open up new possibilities in your keybinding. Instead of just the lowly Q and Z to the left of your movement keys you now have available A, W and X that you can now bind. Three additional abilities at your fingertips. In addition to more keys on the left side of your hand, you now have more keys accessible to the right. An entire column of keys becomes available for even more abilities to bind.
Triple your keybinds
Even if you stick with the old fashioned movement keys you can still triple your keybinds with the combination of the Ctrl and Alt keys. If you’re new to keybinding then you may not have realized that little tidbit. You might find it a little difficult at first to find those keys, but I’ve found it easier to ‘lean’ the outside of my left palm against the Ctrl key to hit that one. For the Alt key, your thumb is close enough to tuck under and get it. Just don’t bind anything that require’s jumping at the same time. 🙂
Now some people avoid this altogether and end up using game pads like the Logitech G13 or the Razer Nostromo. These offer up a completely new learning curve to adapt to, but they offer up excellent options for keybinding. This option may be preferred by console gamers who have made the jump to SWTOR due to the small thumb joystick that are integrated into them. Another great tool which some of you probably utilize is the excellent Razer Naga mouse. The learning curve isn’t nearly as hard as adjusting to new keybinds but it still takes some practice. While the mouse gives you 12 side buttons you will be a little hard pressed to really utilize them all. The ones towards the bottom of the mouse are a little hard to reach but it still offers an additional place to bind abilities to that is easy to get to.
Inevitably, the choice of play is going to be a matter of personal preference, but if there are ways to improve your play then I suggest that you try them out. I’d love to hear about the different tools that are out there or the different keybind combinations you guys prefer to use. One of my personal favorites is a footswitch that I use for my vent push-to-talk button. Not only does it save me another key to bind but it also saves me from having to frantically scramble to push a button and call out “Get out of the reticles!”. 🙂
Ready check done? Pulling in 3… 2… 1…
Thanks for this article, Ghoztt. I’d like to know more information about the footswitch for Vent talking that you mentioned. That sounds like it would be very helpful to me.
Hey Thross, the switch that I use is called the Stealthswitch 2. I don’t know if the company who makes it is still in business but you can still get the switch from Amazon. It essentially binds a keystroke to the switch so you can still use either the keyboard or the foot switch to activate it.
great article, I had heard about using those keys and thought about giving it a try and I think this is the push I needed! besides no time like now when server pop is so low I don’t get WZs popping, I won’t have to worry about trying to reprogram my brain to play with new keys while playing some Hutt Ball. 😛
I use different parts of my thumb to push the buttons on the Naga. I also like WASD because I use shift, ctrl, and alt to quadruple my Naga numbers.
Thanks for the reply/info Ghoztt.