Monday, November 22, 2010

Putting my money where my mouth is; the Shattering

After my last post, I kept thinking about different gamepads. Logitech's G13 is consistently lauded as superior to the Nostromo/Belkin n52, and claims to support Apple products these days. Since I posted that the lull before the expansion was a good time to try something new, I thought I might follow my own advice and give the G13 a try. It will run you $70-80 US, so it's not cheap, but has a plethora of programmable options to expand your gameplay.

Why the Shattering in the title?
Try it and find out! Regardless if you've been using your traditional keyboard or something else, any time you change the layout of keys/buttons/etc, you'll find it takes some time to adjust.
Just like shooting free throws, a small change in biomechanics can take quite a while to adjust.
It may feel like everything you knew before, those effortless run-jump-spin-strike abilities, all of it is just gone. Just like our old Azeroth will be tomorrow.

My most vivid memory of this, strangely, comes from bowling, an activity I do less than once a year. When I was a child, my family went bowling with my uncle's family. My uncle bowled semi-professionally at the time. I was a kid, of course, and my parents had shown me the basics of bowling but I really didn't know what I was doing. I usually bowled about a 120-140. My uncle took one look at my 'form' and started correcting my walk up, my swing, everything. I tried doing what he told me to, and I was horrible! Of course, his corrections were, in fact, correct, and as I practiced them, I eventually got better.

So, over the weekend I messed around with the G13, trying some different key combinations and just trying to get used to it. It was actually very frustrating, because I didn't know where my abilities were! I felt like such a noob and had to force myself to find the keys on the gamepad rather than resorting to clicking with my mouse, but I did get to the point eventually where I could at least stand behind a dummy and feel comfortable. In fact, the biggest change made me the most comfortable dpsing. That is, I'm trying to use the little thumbstick to move around instead of using keys. If you can move with your thumb, it frees up 4 keys in the middle of the keypad that can then constitute some of your most-used attacks. It feels great Scourge Striking from the 'rest' position, instead of having to constantly move my hands up to the number row to do my attacks.

The keypad is very easy to program. At it's most basic, you can just click on any G-key and then hit a key on your regular keyboard and you're set. I just translated my keybindings from before to the G13 (for example, the G1 key is set to 'H', my Dark Transformation). For how to set up and run the G13 in Wow, Gravity at has a couple of superb threads on the topic, so head over there and search for 'G13' if you're interested!

I'm feeling a bit Shattered, but if I can stick with it, I think in the long run I'll be very happy with the results.

On a side note, I'm excited for tomorrow, and the next few weeks!
Yes, there will be turkey in a few days, but I can't help but anticipate the case of Monsters I'll be imbibing as of December 7 just as much. :)

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