Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Key Binders Versus Mouse Clickers

My friend and esteemed guild leader, Verde, placed a video on the guild youtube channel of his raid group downing Yogg. A really great achievement for our mainly social guild. Along with a few positive comments, he also got a slew of trolling about the fact that he is a 'fail clicker rogue'. This seriously makes me ask, can you really accuse someone of being 'fail' if they're killing tough end game bosses?! Verde has posted on his feelings on his blog and I thought I'd follow on from this with a slightly more in depth view.

I asked via twitter and via our guild forum whether people play as clickers or key binders, or indeed if there were some hybrids. I wasn't surprised to find that the majority of people who replied on twitter were binders. My experience is that people who use twitter are generally more computer literate, adding the fact that most of the respondents are also bloggers, I felt that they would be more au fait with setting up a keyboard to make their lives easy. This isn't a scientific test by the way so don't leave me comments about it not being a representative study ok?

My fellow guildies were quite a mix and this is where I got some interesting information. A mix of pro key binders (to the point of having those special gaming keyboards), avid-clickers with programmable mice and a lot of hybrids like me. A few stating that it depends on what class they are playing, that on some chars they play with a macro heavy set up and on others it's clicking all the way. I wanted to know why they played this way, for the binders it seems to be that they were used to this play style from all the RTS, FPS, and RP games they played before. For those who click, it's pretty much how they started playing WoW and if they change now, all sorts of problems occur in their raid teams.

Us hybrids are in an interesting position. For my own part, I really didn't get all the 'wasdftw' stuff until very recently. Then I realised that I hadn't key bound anything, I was just pressing the buttons WoW's standard UI told me to. Other hybrids range from those just beginning to start binding to those who use keys and the mouse and are raiding the very latest content. There were a few people who commented that for melee classes especially, key binding was a definite advantage, but not a necessity and then there was our trusty guildie who plays with no add-ons whatsoever and no clue about the terminology of clicking versus binding.

So if you do click, does it really make you a 'fail' player? Well I go back to my original remark, if you're downing tough end game bosses, then how can you be a 'fail' player? In this particular case I know that the player can knock out the high level DPS needed for these end game raids. I also know that the player isn't being carried by his team, this team works hard and works together. Personally I can see that key binding has definite potential. I haven't bound any of my keys further than the WoW standard so far, but having had this debate on the forum and having seen Cynwise's PvP set up I am inspired to make some changes. I don't know what impact the changes will have or if I'll stick with them when I make them, I will obviously keep you informed.

Essentially, as with all things in this World of Warcraft, if you're enjoying it, keep doing it. If you aren't enjoying it change it or stop doing it and leave everyone else to enjoy their game. Simples.


  1. Fabulous and thank you, and your Guild Leader, for the (uknowing) courage of opening up this topic. I loathe haters that hate for the sake of hate. Those haters need to get lives and something else to care about, instead of focusing so much on how other people enjoy their own copy of the game. Personally, I use a bit of both clicking and keybinding, and really I'm just happy to play with competent and nice people. In fact, I'll take nice over awesome assholes any day of the week.

  2. Like someone else you mention in your blog, I have refused to what I see as "cheat" and use addons. I must admit I have levelled slower but feel all the better for it. After all, if Blizz meant us to use addons they would have integrated them into the game wouldn't they?

    I know nothing about Key Binding and assume you mean when you tie one key into several functions? Again here I am like yourself and a Hybrid. Thats how I started and thats how I play. Though I have been sorely tempted to buy the WoW mouse and since reading this have looked up the keyboard online. I really like it but worry that using it will beat my Purist dream of being a top ranked player with no addons and no assistance.

    I am interested in knowing if your Guild Leader (or anyone else who clicks) has issues choosing their next target in a big fight? I find that with multiple Team members and multiple monsters that shoosing my next target can be difficult and slow especially if your group leader has prioritised targets? I click on the next target and invariably some team member gets in the way. Then I try again and I get the final target instead of the next. Using the Keyboard for selecting the next target is much easier. Anyone else suffer teh same issue?

  3. Demeternoth i aspire to be you...
    this blog is perfect in every way!

    to answer the question from anonymous....

    I use the 't' button to scroll through targets until i find the right target.
    Its very quick to do and you can find your target quick enough.

    HEY!!!! that makes me a Hybrid! LOL


  4. Nice to see I'm not unique in my dislike of Addons!

    As Verde has mentioned I use the T button to target as well.


  5. I am an unashamed clicker. I use Grid when healing to have all my raid members available to CLICK on, and I cast spells by clicking. If I am dpsing, I use "tab" to cycle through targets. I've had many people laugh hysterically when they find out I'm an "end game" clicker. Then they are kind of in awe that I can do, all that I do, by clicking.

    Like you mentioned, I could try to change it now, but it is how I learned, and I've been doing it that way for 2+ years now!

  6. Hybrid here - love keybindings and being a leftie the whole right side of my split keyboard is bound, the 'norm' WoW keybindings are on the left ex. Q for quest, etc.

    I'm surprised at how fast some clickers can click and guildie keeps pretty darn close to me on dps clicking away! As Valkyierisen haters for hates sake...screw 'um!

  7. Addon hate is 2nd on my dislike list to click hate, ya know. >_> Love call_me_kaylex's comment, too! I'm right there too, healing raids with Grid and tabbing my dps targets.

    I'll just stick to my guns and say we should all enjoy playing with other good players, no matter *how* they play!

    I personally use the simplest keybindings. One of the bars Blizz gave us have little numbers on them. So if you put a spell in that slot, hitting that number, will cast that spell. My main healing and dpsing and tanking spells are 1 through 4 and then I tend to click after that. My hand moves pretty quick from WASD to 1-4. ^_^

    (And, for what it's worth, addons simply take info that Blizz did give us in the default UI, and let's us put it where we want it. Nothing new. Nothing unusual. Gives us control over how the game feeds us info, instead of Blizz training us to do it Blizz's way. RAWR!)

  8. I have to say, that waaaaaay back when I first started playing, I didn't know about addons at all, or keybindings or anything other than what was literally in front of my face when I played.

    Then I went through the (short) phase where I felt all holier-than-thou because I didn't "need" addons to play, so therefore I was "better" than addon users.

    I got over that real quick.

    Now, I use about the same number of addons of the average player. However, when my healer main was in her heydey, I would only use keybindings for my healing. Refused to use HealBot, convinced that it was my dignity that was at stake... it was reflexive healing, since I had healed for a small guild using my keybindings but the raiding guild I had joined insisted I use it. I grew quite used to HealBot after that and it helped me a lot.

    However, it didn't completely take over - for my offensive abilities, I still used my keybinds. For just about anything not raiding related, it was bound. I thought it would be much more expedient to push buttons rather than search through an action bar with my mouse looking for the right thing to click as something's whaling away on me.

    My boyfriend though? Clicker all the way. He has rows upon rows upon rows on his UI and refuses to push buttons unless absolutely necessary.

    To each their own, I say.

  9. I'm really pleased to see how this has initiated debate.

    For my own part, I stated playing with the standard UI and didn't really have a clue about add-ons or UI set ups until I joined my current guild (at about level 54) and all this new terminology was flying round the guild chat.

    Add-ons have helped my game no end. Whilst a part of me admires those that want to play without add-ons, it can be frustrating gaming with them at times. Longstrider, you know I love you man, but sometimes I could hit you over the head with a laptop.

    As Valkyrie said, add ons take the information that Blizzard give us and presents it to us in a different way. In fact they've been planning to bring in a '?' marker much like Quest Helper. They've also already incorporated a lot of the information that you get with Deadly Boss Mods into boss fights also.

    As far as the key-binding goes, I'm still working on it but I'm pleased to say that one certain guild leader has made leaps and bounds with his binding experiment.

  10. Arg! Why do people think that I hate people who use addons? I Don't! The same way you shouldn't criticise me for not using them. I haven't used them for one specific reason, In my own mind I consider them a cheat. I am also a classic car owner. Many of my friends have modified their cars using newer better parts! Guess what? I go to end of the earth to find the obsolete parts because I insist that my car is 100% original!! It's just the way I am!

    I know that those I raid with find it strange that I don't have Deadly Boss mod (or whatever it's called) and I know Deme has been frustrated with me becvause with all her quest aids she's levelled up much quicker than me despite originally being the same level when she joined the guild. But thats just me! I am wierd like that.

    If Blizz bring things in then of course I will use it. For example I like the new Quest helper feature.

    So from a 100% non addon player (80th as well) I wish you a Happy Christmas a WoW New year!


  11. Just to clarify Longy, you don't raid. You run dungeons. And you're gunna have to get DBM, even for running heroics. I insist upon it. It makes the information coming in to you a LOT easier to understand and focusses your priorities. You will find you don't miss vital boss actions.

    Tbh hon, if you really wanted to go down the 'no add ons cause they are cheats' route then you would uninstall Team Speek too.

    And no one hates you you silly muppet, as said by the others, everyone can play as they wish. However, you will find WoW a much nicer place to be though with some of the add ons recommended and I guarantee they'll help you play better. For example, if you don't know what your DPS output (or damage output) is, you don't know that you need to improve it.

    If you ever did decide to raid, your raid team would insist upon DBM at the very minimum, that's how vital it has become.

    You are rightly very proud that you have got to level 80 without any add ons, and you should be, just don't let it cloud your judgement now. Try DBM, you never know you might like it.


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