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Keybindings Guide

Hello ,hello if you are still using 1234 for your main skills then this video is for you. If your arena partner is still using 1234 for his main skills then send him this video. This guide is addressed to all classes, it tries to uncover the logic behind good keybinds.

Key bindings are very important for any gamer. If you take the time and you set up your key binds properly your skill level will definitely increase. Not only the pros not only the ones that play day and night can get high arena ratings, with smart key binds and a little bit of strategy so can you.

Considering only keybinds and leaving out the strategy what sets a casual player apart from a really high rated player is that The high rated player can accurately and consistently hit all his skills and macros right in the nick of time.

How can you improve your reaction time? Well it’s a process, it doesn’t happen over night. Preparation is required and willingness to try and improve. Most likely you are used to a certain key binding setup and you are finding it hard to modify it. That’s because of muscle memory, you remember skills on certain positions and when you change them you end up using the wrong skill, at least, for a while. Most players will try a new keybind setup and because of their muscle memory they will find it hard to adapt to, and even though it may be a better setup they give up on it before learning it. Don’t make the same mistake. Willingness to change and improve is what sets players apart.

When keyboard manufactures created keyboards, they intended that your hands should stay kinda like this…, place your fingers on the keyboard like you see in the image. Notice the two bumps on the F and J keys, those are for your index fingers.

Let’s try and figure out which type of movement keys are better for you, WASD or ESDF? Everybody knows about WASD, you are probably using WASD right now. ESDF is just like WASD just that you slide your hand one key to the left.

The greatest advantage of using ESDF as moving keys is that you gain 3 extra fast use keys in the form of QAZ, accessible with your pinky finger. Wait what? You are saying you are already using qaz? Yes true, then think of it as, you are gaining TGV then. Either way you gain 3 extra keys. The disadvantage is that by sliding your hand a bit to the right, accessing alt with your tumb becomes harder. Also the same finger that you are using for qaz, you are also using for shift, and thus using key combinations becomes more complicated.

For faster reaction time on more keys, esdf is better, for more key combinations, wasd is better. Another factor to consider is the size of your hands. Usually larger persons will have larger hands.

A larger hand will usually feel better, less cramped on ESDF while a smaller one will work better on WASD.

Because of muscle memory, after changing your keybinds it will take a fair amount of time for a player to get accustomed. But well you can never really know what’s best for you until you try it. If you feel you can reach every single ability and macro with ease then you should be fine.

Many players feel handicapped without having a backpedal key. It’s not the end of the world if you use backpedalling but it’s definitely better not to, you are moving slower when backpedalling. Backpedalling is mostly designed for classes that can tank. It is important for any ranged not to backpedal, hunters in particular. It pains me whenever I see a hunter backpedalling. A ranged should move away from his enemy with the strafing keys. Hunters should always kite melees by strafing left or right. Strafe while keeping your target to the side of the screen to make sure auto attacks go off. You should also strafe, jump, turn mid air to face enemy , use a shot, turn back, land, strafe. Repeat until enemy is dead.

If an enemy is losing you you can use a similar technique to close in on him. Move towards him, jump, twist, disengage, twist back, land.

Healers should never backpedal, when you wish to go backwards turn your camera and strafe. Healers should use strafing to maximize the use of a pillar for avoiding ccs or for kiting an enemy. All healers have smth. that gives them speed bonuses or immunities to speed reductions. Druids have travel, shamans have ghostwolf, pallys have freedom priests have set bonus. Enemy gets slowed, you kite around pillar. Enemy gets slowed you you backpedall, you die.

Now lets look on how skills should be keybinded.

Most classes in wow have their abilities divided into 3 major categories, based on frequency of use and importance. The 1st category usually consists around 4-5 skills, which are under the 10 seconds cooldown mark and which are part of the main dps or healing rotation. For example: bloodthirst, slam, crusader strike, icy touch, lifebloom, pennance and so on.

These skills need to be the closest to your moving keys. When I play on my druid I use R for Rejuvenation, W for Healing Touch G for Cyclone and Space for Lifebloom . Yes, space, space is a really good spamable key to use and not enough ppl actually use it. Why waste it for jumping when jumping is not needed that much. I use space to spam Bloodthirst on my warrior, Pennance on my priest cobra shot on my hunter. I use mouse button 3 for jumping.

The next category of skills on our list are those with a higher than 10 seconds cooldown, these usually include dots or hots effects on the enemy targets. Such as serpent sting from hunters or Renew from Priests. These should be located close to your under 10 seconds skills or as a fast accessible combination such as Shift R.

The last set of skills are those that are on a 1 to 5 minute cooldown, they should be furthest away from your main moving keys, but still accessible.

Don’t order your keys solely on their displayed cooldown. Order them also on frequency of use, for example how many paladins have you seen dying in the arena because they weren’t fast enough to use their bubble. The bubble is on a 5 minute cooldown. So retris usually place it further away to make room for other skills, but when the nuke comes, some don’t activate it in time.

Useful available keybinds you should consider using are space, shift space, backpedal key, shift + backpedal key. Shfit and mouse weel up or down.

Mouse buttons are also useful but don’t over do it with the buttons. A mouse with 2 extra buttons to the side and one on top is a perfect mouse. On my mouse I’ve configured the fast double click button that I have on top to simulate a key press, and on that key I have an ability. Why not have a bilion extra buttons on the side? Because the mouse is for turning. How many pro blizzcon competitors have you seen using a mouse with a bizilion buttons on a side? You need your thumb on the side of the mouse to provide accurate mouse turning and moving. Each time you press a button on the side you loose some of that turning accuracy. 2 buttons on a side plus one on top are ideal for binding some extra keys while still maintaining turning accuracy.

The frequency of a skill usage determines how close it should be binded to your moving keys, gain 2 more keys by rebinding space and backpedal, get 3 more keys by going ESDF, or stay WASD and use both shift and alt.

Caps lock is another usable key, especially useful for long cooldowns, I have Recklesness, Retaliation and Shield Wall on it. On druid I have nature’s swiftness macrowed into an instant healing touch. If you are a class that can switch action bar as in a warrior, druid or rogue you should have similar skills binded to same keys. Like charge, intercept intervene.

As a resto druid I press Shift T to switch to bear and then T again to stun. Having the switch and the stun on the same key makes me move faster.

As discipline priest priority is given to Pennance, Shield, Flash Heal Renew and Fear. 2nd in priority: Mana Burn, Pain Supression, Mind Control.

Another thing to consider is keyboard macros. I don’t use them much but I had a gladiator friend, holy paladin who found some use in them. With keyboard macros you use a keyboard software to bind one key to several others. What I mean is let’s say you press number 5 on your keboard and software simulates that you are pressing 5678910 at the same time. This means you can put lots of skills on one keybind, this is good for lets say you have 2 skills you are in a situation where no matter which one you use you get a desired effect. Overall I don’t recommend using keyboard macros. Use them only if you can’t reach enough of your keys, or well use them if you are a really high lvl pro and you know what you are doing.

I hope this guide has helped you. If you wanna show your support and see more videos from this channel check the link in the description to give a thumbs up on facebook. Thanks 4 watching.


+1 #6 love2playwow 2011-06-16 01:37
Quoting paokthes:
why not use right and left click to move and wasd and etc for abilites?

As a healer, you can't pillar strafe a polymorph.
As ranged dps, you can't kite while holding your enemy in your sights.
As melee dps you can't strafe circles around your enemy.
0 #5 FROMRUSSIAWITHLOVE 2011-05-30 12:16
Super guid! Very thx for transcript ;-)
0 #4 bizounce 2011-05-27 14:36
Being a seasoned veteren of WoW (PvE) and not so much in PvP, I honestly feel like I understand more about the arena minded/pvp heavy people than I ever thought possible. I thank you very much for this extremely useful and clearly informative video.
0 #3 Humewami 2011-05-21 22:38
I'll just stick with wad then ;-)
0 #2 love2playwow 2011-05-20 09:04
using esdf means having your fingers on ESF, with index on F, i donno i guess most ppl don't really mind the small bump on F, maybe on your keyboard is more pronounced then it should be.
0 #1 Humewami 2011-05-18 09:17

How do you use the esdf-key setup without laying your finger on the 'f-keyrest/little hill/hump'.
Since I have tried to use it, but what held me back was that my indexfinger felt rather uncomfortable on the f-key.
So is there some way to place your finger to avoid it, or are there any keyboards without it. (I mean I am able to type, without looking without this dumb f-key thing)

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