Druid of the Moon’s On The Button

by on July 13, 2010


Jacemora over at Druid of the Moon has hit on a great idea. A few days ago he posted a detailed breakdown of his feral kitty bars and button placement. Strange to say, it struck me that posts like this would be really useful(tm) for all sorts of players, and that us bloggers have been missing a trick in not sharing our button-related logic.

[pullquote]FYI, I mouse click anything on the top 2 rows.
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Jacemora’s article is well written – he covers little details like both PVP and PVE buttons, and his hand placement on the keyboard - details that wouldn’t be obvious to point out but really help his button logic make sense.

I had no idea which buttons did what when I swapped my ruffled owl feathers for a bristly bear backside (mmm. What a bargain) at Christmas. I worked it out on my ownsome – all right, with the help of a few forums – but a blogger here and there talking about their own experience of how button placements works for them would’ve given me a jumpstart.

Rather than building my bars from scratch the groundwork would already have been laid and the blueprints there to explain why that button’s way out near the moudly shed end of the keyboard. I could have built and personalised from there, safe in some knowledge of how the buttons [pullquote]Note that Tranquility is right above Barkskin, this is because 10/10 times you are going to Bark then Tranq[/pullquote]worked and why. Indeed, months on I’m looking forward to Jacemora’s follow-up post about bear buttons to see if I get an “ah yeah, should’ve thought of that” reaction.

Imagine how many people, new and old players alike, could find button-logic discussions useful. Of course, such posts would have to be vaguely accurate in the abilities they cite as important but I don’t think many bloggers would be looking to share their love of autoattack on buttons 1-9. Certainly Jacemora’s article seems accurate. Well. I trust Jacemora to know more about kitty DPS rotation than me, given I’ve yet to touch the spec with a 10 foot protodrake wing.

This is a whole, generally unexplored area of – I hesitate to use the word theorycrafting, but at the very least – shareable wisdom. Best of all – it’s applicable to all classes and specs. Where you put your buttons will always end up a matter of personal preference – for example, I prefer Dominoes over Jacemora’s championed Bartender addon and prefer my key abilities on the left side of the keyboard so I can still run with wasd, over Jacemora’s preference on the right side. But if this little facet of sharing button-placement preferences were to take off I can see it helping all kinds of players improve their playing.

Granted. It might be more difficult if you’re the type of class that has 73 auxiliary spells, all of which you just know are useless until the second you take them off the bars. Am I right? What’s your spec, and how do you corral your buttons?

Quotes direct from Jacemora’s post – his homepage is here.

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jacemora July 14, 2010 at 2:11 am

Wow, thanks for the compliments… honestly the article was kinda rushed… never seem to have enough time these days (thus I missed mentioning Tranq). Let me say, if I had 12 fingers on one hand this would all be a mute point. Also, anyone debating it, get the Naga mouse… you won't reach all 12 buttons on the side but 4 are well within reach and extend fast reactions when needed.

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Hugh Hancock July 14, 2010 at 12:43 pm

Very interesting stuff for me, given that I literally can't play WoW these days without my Belkin Nostromo. (13 buttons plus modifier keys = win).

I'd love to see more articles on WoW UI from a usability design perspective.

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Rebecca Judd July 14, 2010 at 1:18 pm

It really seemed to me like a good idea – rushed or otherwise, I think players could learn from your post. It'd be great if what I'm calling from here on in 'button-logic' posts took off – might do one meself over at WoM in the next couple of weeks.

Just out of interest Jace – why do you go for the right side of the keyboard instead of the left? I do find left side more convenient for tab and wasd movement buttons, so I'm quite curious :)

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Jacemora July 14, 2010 at 9:47 pm

It just happens to be where my hand falls comfortably on the keyboard given my desk, keyboard tray, chair armrest, and mouse positioning. When you first start out playing Wow for hours on end you kinda sink into a certain position that is probably hard to break. Using the mouse for movement is probably just from all the previous first person shooter experience I have… that and I am right handed and couldn't imagine having to control something so important with my left hand.

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Jacemora July 14, 2010 at 10:47 pm

It just happens to be where my hand falls comfortably on the keyboard given my desk, keyboard tray, chair armrest, and mouse positioning. When you first start out playing Wow for hours on end you kinda sink into a certain position that is probably hard to break. Using the mouse for movement is probably just from all the previous first person shooter experience I have… that and I am right handed and couldn't imagine having to control something so important with my left hand.

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Rebecca Judd July 15, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Aye, fair point, can see that from an FPS background. I have to admit my current left-handy is a recent adaptation of *cough* being a keyboard turner previously (I grew up playing Doom2, though in a lamentably inefficient manner!)

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