Murf has a couple of posts about keybindings for MMOs, something that’s actually quite important to me. Nothing annoys me quicker than an MMO thinking there’s something better than the default WASD (plus Q & E) control scheme.
Some of my regular customisations for keyboard and mouse are:
- Middle mouse click for autorun
- W and D are turn, Q and E are side step (strafe)
- Mouse button 4 for interrupt (or oh sugar! button on a healer)
- Mouse button 5 is ‘class feature’ button such as stealth
- Shift+4 is mount
- 1-5 for main attacks/abilities
- Ctrl+1-5 for proc abilities or secondary attacks
- Print Screen for screenshots
There’s probably more but you get the idea. I have a background of playing FPS games on PC (back in the 1990s mostly) but that has stuck with me always. For me in MMORPGs of all kinds (action, tab target or any combo of the two) I want to move with my WASDQE keys, the mouse is for camera angles, interacting with NPCs/objects and clicking the odd ability.
I’m into keybinding abilities usually as well, so I’ll use number keys, CTRL+ number, Shift+number and even Alt+number. I prefer games with lots of character abilities to be honest – the trend for simplification and action combat does make me itch for more buttons to press.
Although I have some simple rules that I follow, the various MMOs I play are different enough that I do not have exactly the setup across them. Indeed I don’t even have exactly the same keybindings for different characters. Most of my UI setups evolve organically as I level a character.
Given the amount of time we spend playing these characters, having a flexible and customisable user interface is very important. We spend time fighting monsters, I don’t want to be fighting the default control scheme as well.