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Thread: How-To key-bind for PVP & PVE

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    Ascendant Gunzip's Avatar
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    Default How-To key-bind for PVP & PVE

    Keybinding for dummies 101
    Keyboard layout
    finger positioning basics

    Prelude: Ok ladies and gentlemen, I have over the years always scratched my head as to why most folks have such horribly inefficient key-binds. And it recently dawned on me, most folks never took a single typing class or course in their entire lives. Its actually the norm to come across 90% of the population that have no clue how to type formally.

    After taking some time to think about a proper approach to tackle this dilemma in games such as Rift or any MMORPG for that matter, the best approach would be to give some upfront information and images to properly illustrate the importance of having formal typing education and how its applicable to games played on a keyboard.

    Aright, the single most important thing about having formal knowledge about typing on a keyboard, is key to finger placement. This is extremely crucial in games like Rift that requires you to have many key-binds and buffs to perform your role whether it be pvp or pve. And the folks that do not rely on key-binds, will always be your lowest performance individuals hands down. The biggest gain from utilizing and having formal knowledge on typing on a keyboard, is you do not have to look down at your keys to type, its memory based, and you can pay attention to what is actually happening on the screen right in front of you. Your reaction time is increased ten fold, your ability to maneuver obstacles and opponents are greatly magnified. Especially in pvp, this is why its very important to get a firm foot hold on proper key to finger placement and memory.

    First thing is first, many players that do not have formal typing education, most likely use key-binds, but they're again, likely inefficient. An example of this would be using "Function" keys as binds for frequently used abilities. But what if I have big hands? doesn't matter, if you're needing to stretch over to a key obviously placed outside the normal usage of the average individual, it just means your reaction time will always be slower. And for the folks that say, but I can click just fine, ok this is true, but what is happening scientifically is, your eyes are spending an ordinate amount of time physically looking at your hot bar instead of your opponent or obstacle.

    And for all you clickers out there, everything i'm saying can be researched online, people that have formal typing education like myself, can type upwards of 60 words per minute without looking down at our keyboards. While you observe a non typist staring at their keyboard struggling to etch out a single word in a minute. This carries over to video games, especially MMORPG's. It is crucial to utilize key-binds, it is also even more critical to have binds that are extremely efficient, without further delay, let me illustrate with a graphical representation of a physical keyboard.






    Ok, so what we have here are two things: keyboard layout for gaming goes as follows

    Easy efficient bind layout should be (ASDF) (1234) (QERC) (ZX)
    You can increase your layout with additional binds using the "Shift" key as a modifier, my personal choice I recommend to most folks would be.

    SHIFT: (1, 2, F, R, C, A, D, S)

    The rule is you do not want to over utilize shift binds, but the ones you do use, should be extremely comfortable and within reach of your left hand only. Human error is always an issue when using binds, and the best way to lower that is to use the closest binds possible without having to think or look down at the keyboard. Again, this is about the best possible reaction time available to you and your task at hand.

    So lets total how many binds we were able to accumulate so far just using the closest keys possible so far.

    I recommend strafing to be set to (Q, E) they're incredibly close to your (A, D) keys, and my reasoning is if you utilize (A, D) as ability binds, your fingers are always right on top of them, allowing for the best reaction time possible in dps or healing.

    (ASDF) (1234) (QERC) (ZX)
    (1, 2, F, R, C, A, D, S)

    So from the above list, we have covered 21 binds that are the closest and most efficient possible. You can throw in a mouse-button bind, I personally use the scroll wheel as a push button for my stealth, and in Sab its used as detonate, again, the rule for gaming binds are you should never remove your hand from the mouse or ASDF keys to do anything. Except for tells and typing words in chat channels. But when performing in game tasks such as pvp or pve, that is the standard.

    I can not reiterate the importance of not having to look down at your keyboard, or your eyes being locked to your in game hot bar for utilizing in game abilities. When it comes to abilities that have long cool-downs, I recommend KaruuAlert to track said abilities: http://www.riftui.com/downloads/info84-KaruulAlert.html

    Now, lets take a scenario in pvp for example, I'm on a healer, and another opponent is actively dispelling my personal buffs, I can set KaruuAlert to highlight buffs that are not enabled on myself, and when they pop up. I can easily use my binds set to Shift:1, 2 Alt:1,2: Shift: R, F to redo my personal buffs and keep dpsing as if nothing happen. The only thing it will cost me are the GCD per buff to put them back up. It would take far too much reaction time to click your personal buffs, which is why they're on my secondary binds using the shift modifier. All my dps abilities are on primary binds not using a modifier.

    Now, if you're the kind of person that has been playing MMO's and you're stuck in the mental state of always using A/D/S to turn and walk backwards, this is a big problem. And I recommend you setup your binds and remove them, utilize strafe as a means to move away from your opponents or obstacles, there is zero reason to walk backwards in pve or pvp, even as a tank. Your "S" "A" "D" keys are better off used as primary ability buttons. Practice with it, and you'll be pleasantly surprised how much your output will be increased.

    One example of the very reason you need efficient binds to perform extremely well in any given situation is not a pvp example I'm going to use, but a raid boss fight. Inyr'Kta is a raid boss right before abominous, this fight requires you to dps and move on the go, plus watch your environment for moving gates that come from North to South. And further in the 3rd phase, the gates come in double segments both from the North & South. I have witnessed folks that click do less than 9k dps on that fight against the boss. The reason for that, they're too busy looking at their keyboard, looking at their in game hot bar to move their mouse over to the desired ability, all the while being required to constantly move and adjust their character in the environment to avoid being one shot by the moving gates.

    If you're that person, your performance will be greatly increased if you start to use effiecient binds in my layout and practice with them, your dps will dramatically improve, and your ability to deal with situation awareness in pvp or pve will see a magnified boost. You no longer have to be distracted by your in game hot bars, or keyboard in front of you.

    One more thing, if you're concerned about losing the ability of turning with "A" "D" lets not forget you can always mouse-turn, its easy, just hold down mouse-buttons left & right to quickly turn left/right. Your toon will pivot a whole lot faster in either direction, and you can do it while bunny hopping too. Its hands down superior, so make that leap, switch to mouse-turning. You can never have enough efficiency in any given game when it comes to freeing up easily accessible binds to perform a task. I highly recommend this, I was once a clicker, and after making the switch now for over 8 years, I could never go back.

    One more thing, if you've noticed, I do not utilize Alt much as a modifier, because physically, if you're using WASD position, the shift key is right under your left hands pinky finger, and Alt is way out of place under your whole hand. Its not efficient. Have a nice day, and good hunting in pvp, enjoy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Muspel View Post
    I believe Assassin DoTs are uncleansable.

    It's still a terrible PvP spec compared to Marksman, though.

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    Ascendant Gunzip's Avatar
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    here is a sample of my key-binds.

    Quote Originally Posted by Muspel View Post
    I believe Assassin DoTs are uncleansable.

    It's still a terrible PvP spec compared to Marksman, though.

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    Telaran Ethaar's Avatar
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    Great stuff there! I'll toss my two cents in and show a different way of achieving pretty much the same result.

    If you own a mouse with two or more side buttons, you can use them as modifier keys. Unfortunately, Rift doesn't necessarily recognize all the extra buttons, but it's safe to assume that if a mouse has more buttons than Rift can detect, it also has software that allows to bind keystrokes to buttons.

    That's exactly what I did - I bound Alt, Ctrl and Shift to side buttons on my mouse. I use keys 1-5 for abilities that I use often in most encounters, that's 20 easily reachable abilities right there. 6 with modifiers is for abilities that I use once or twice during a fight and which are not critical, that's another 4 abilities. Then there are Q, E, R and F with modifiers, another 16 possible keybinds. In total, 28 keybinds reachable without moving more than one finger from the movement keys and another 12 for abilities that are not critical or are used infrequently. Currently I use WASD for movement and I'm pretty comfortable with it, but I'm considering trying out QWES or WERD to have my hand one row closer to ability keys.

    there is zero reason to walk backwards in pve or pvp, even as a tank
    I wouldn't discard moving backwards as a valid way of handling certain situations. The first example that comes to my mind is Ultane. I've done it with several groups and majority of them kites the adds around the room while backpedalling so that they are stacked nicely and the purple AEs are gone before they make a full circle.

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    Ascendant Gunzip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ethaar View Post
    Great stuff there! I'll toss my two cents in and show a different way of achieving pretty much the same result.

    If you own a mouse with two or more side buttons, you can use them as modifier keys. Unfortunately, Rift doesn't necessarily recognize all the extra buttons, but it's safe to assume that if a mouse has more buttons than Rift can detect, it also has software that allows to bind keystrokes to buttons.

    That's exactly what I did - I bound Alt, Ctrl and Shift to side buttons on my mouse. I use keys 1-5 for abilities that I use often in most encounters, that's 20 easily reachable abilities right there. 6 with modifiers is for abilities that I use once or twice during a fight and which are not critical, that's another 4 abilities. Then there are Q, E, R and F with modifiers, another 16 possible keybinds. In total, 28 keybinds reachable without moving more than one finger from the movement keys and another 12 for abilities that are not critical or are used infrequently. Currently I use WASD for movement and I'm pretty comfortable with it, but I'm considering trying out QWES or WERD to have my hand one row closer to ability keys.



    I wouldn't discard moving backwards as a valid way of handling certain situations. The first example that comes to my mind is Ultane. I've done it with several groups and majority of them kites the adds around the room while backpedalling so that they are stacked nicely and the purple AEs are gone before they make a full circle.
    I have Rapid Assault GA, and I never walked backwards on Ultane, ever, so no, I vehemently disagree, there is zero reason to walk backwards. And keyboard turning is still very bad whether you're used to it or not.
    Quote Originally Posted by Muspel View Post
    I believe Assassin DoTs are uncleansable.

    It's still a terrible PvP spec compared to Marksman, though.

  5. #5
    Prophet of Telara Fiskerton's Avatar
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    I still dont get why you dont side strafe to run backwards. It allows you to shoot backwards while running.
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    Ascendant Gunzip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiskerton View Post
    I still dont get why you dont side strafe to run backwards. It allows you to shoot backwards while running.
    This is correct, side strafing is how its supposed to be done.
    Quote Originally Posted by Muspel View Post
    I believe Assassin DoTs are uncleansable.

    It's still a terrible PvP spec compared to Marksman, though.

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    Telaran Ethaar's Avatar
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    And keyboard turning is still very bad whether you're used to it or not.
    I'm glad we agree on this point I use A and D to strafe left and right respectively.

    I still dont get why you dont side strafe to run backwards.
    When I want to run backwards, I side strafe. When I want to walk backwards, I backpedal.

    I see zero reason to, having 40 keybinds at my disposal, limit my options by unbinding walking backwards, even if it were to stay there only to take a step back from an NPC.

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    Am I correct to assume you're not using hand on your mouse at all during fights?
    Plastic@Typhiria.

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    Plane Walker Kittyhawke's Avatar
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    Overall good information, but what do you recommend for people like me that are left handed? Using WASD with my right hand puts most of the keyboard keys out-of-range of my small hands, and is ergonomically horrible because of the WASD key position in relation to the overall keyboard layout. (Try using WASD with your right hand and you'll feel the akward positioning)

    I mouse turn, use my arrow keys for forward/back/strafe left/strafe right, and use my num pad and the 6 keys above my arrow keys for most of my attacks, etc.

    Suggestions?
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    Ascendant Gunzip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimagron View Post
    Am I correct to assume you're not using hand on your mouse at all during fights?
    My right hand never leave the mouse.
    Quote Originally Posted by Muspel View Post
    I believe Assassin DoTs are uncleansable.

    It's still a terrible PvP spec compared to Marksman, though.

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    Ascendant Gunzip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kittyhawke View Post
    Overall good information, but what do you recommend for people like me that are left handed? Using WASD with my right hand puts most of the keyboard keys out-of-range of my small hands, and is ergonomically horrible because of the WASD key position in relation to the overall keyboard layout. (Try using WASD with your right hand and you'll feel the akward positioning)

    I mouse turn, use my arrow keys for forward/back/strafe left/strafe right, and use my num pad and the 6 keys above my arrow keys for most of my attacks, etc.

    Suggestions?

    http://www.amazon.com/Handed-Keyboar.../dp/B001DEUPIE

    There are products out there for people with different needs.

    Using the number keys on a keyboard is not really advantageous, so you may want to purchase a left handed keyboard and apply the same principles for yourself in this guide.
    Last edited by Gunzip; 06-04-2014 at 11:12 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Muspel View Post
    I believe Assassin DoTs are uncleansable.

    It's still a terrible PvP spec compared to Marksman, though.

  12. #12
    Plane Touched
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    I'm about to blow your mind!

    WASD is stuipd because it limist you to the left side of the keyboard. Even your entire guide with the pretty pictures and keybinds is all on the left side of the keyboard. All those keys on the right side are wasted.

    What I do is move the up key to the right slightly a few keys. Instead of W why not make up R? The reason I like R is because I use my middle finger to go up and when at rest I can easily find F because of the little piece on it. This gives me access to a larger portion of the keyboard and thus I can use more keybinds.

    Pretty much this is how my fingers are resting

    Pinkey on A
    Ring Finger on D
    Middle Finger on F
    Index Finger on G

    When I go to cast a spell or use an ability I just shift my hand up to the numbered keys and I'm now resting on 1, 3, 4 and 5. Now obviously using abilities on 2 and 6 are very easy to reach in this setup.

    Anyway, the short answer is that WASD is dumb and people need to stop using it!

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    Ascendant Gunzip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baian View Post
    I'm about to blow your mind!

    WASD is stuipd because it limist you to the left side of the keyboard. Even your entire guide with the pretty pictures and keybinds is all on the left side of the keyboard. All those keys on the right side are wasted.

    What I do is move the up key to the right slightly a few keys. Instead of W why not make up R? The reason I like R is because I use my middle finger to go up and when at rest I can easily find F because of the little piece on it. This gives me access to a larger portion of the keyboard and thus I can use more keybinds.

    Pretty much this is how my fingers are resting

    Pinkey on A
    Ring Finger on D
    Middle Finger on F
    Index Finger on G

    When I go to cast a spell or use an ability I just shift my hand up to the numbered keys and I'm now resting on 1, 3, 4 and 5. Now obviously using abilities on 2 and 6 are very easy to reach in this setup.

    Anyway, the short answer is that WASD is dumb and people need to stop using it!
    Professional gamers that compete would disagree with you, its a preference, but the guide is used by a wide variety of expert gamers. I used to pvp with some really high end folks in another game, they taught me most of what I know about key-binding.
    Quote Originally Posted by Muspel View Post
    I believe Assassin DoTs are uncleansable.

    It's still a terrible PvP spec compared to Marksman, though.

  14. #14
    Plane Walker Kittyhawke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunzip View Post
    http://www.amazon.com/Handed-Keyboar.../dp/B001DEUPIE

    There are products out there for people with different needs.

    Using the number keys on a keyboard is not really advantageous, so you may want to purchase a left handed keyboard and apply the same principles for yourself in this guide.
    Thank you for the link, however all that does is reposition the numpad to the left side of the keyboard. WASD are still to the left of the center of the board, requiring a lefty to contort and twist their wrist to use those keys. You're sitting in front of your keyboard now, try to reach those keys with your right hand. (and you don't have a crushed right boob to worry about)

    My setup allows me to move freely with the arrows, allows me to mouse turn, and I have 20+ keys within reach of my right hand (shift is also right next to my movement keys if I need more) without having to really take my fingers off my movement keys.

    "Professionals" may use the WASD method because they're probably all right handed and that's more comfortable and more accesible for them, however I think that my current setup is best for me under current circumstances.

    Thanks anyway.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gunzip View Post
    Professional gamers that compete would disagree with you, its a preference, but the guide is used by a wide variety of expert gamers. I used to pvp with some really high end folks in another game, they taught me most of what I know about key-binding.
    Except most "professional gamers" that you speak of probably never even thought to change the key binds. I'm not saying you can't do well with the default keybinds. In games like Rift where gear and spec trumps pretty much any type of skill that an optimal keybind would give you the default is fine.

    I'm not trying to hurt your ego or troll you or anything like that I'm just letting you know that the way that was used in the past is not always the most optimal. Professional Gamers should always be open to new ideas and ways of doing things if it can improve their game. Shutting down an idea before trying it out and just say "well we always did it this way," is a quick way to stagnate your skill growth.

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