Monday, August 25, 2008

Nostromo, Part III: Mage Bindings

When last we left off, I'd shown how I mapped the Nostromo's keys in a way that I don't need to change it from one alt to another and, more importantly, it's a mapping I'm comfortable with. Today, we'll start with a "simple" example of how it works in-game using my Mage, Enara*.

Where Do I Start?

You've just installed the Nostromo, played around with its editor for a bit and now you're launching WoW. Now, much like when starting your character, you'll have to decide which skills will actually be on your action bar and where. In general, I try to make the skills on my bar be my most often used combat skills - while it's very convenient to have Arcane Intellect in there for easy rebuffing, fact is the action bar is just too small so you'll probably be better off rebuffing using the mouse**.

Next decision you're going to have to make is where to put each of the 12 skills you've just chosen. My advice - put your "basic" skill in the middle row, under your index finger (mapped to '4' in case you're following my setup), with alternates for it in the top and bottom row. Then work your way from there. Also, try to have some logic behind the setup, as (especially when you're just getting started) you will get confused a lot until you get familiar with your bindings.

Enough With The Babble - Where Are The Bindings?

I'm sure by now you're all itching to see how this actually works for Enara, so here it is:

The bindings was designed so that the top row is for Frost spells, the middle row for Fire, and the bottom for Arcane. The index finger is used for "missile" attacks (Pyroblast/Fireball macro, Frostbolt and Arcane Missiles), followed by AoEs (Flamestrike, Blizzard and Arcane Explosion), CC (Frost Nova, Polymorph, and Scorch since I had a free space), and finally some instant-casts (Fire Blast, Counterspell and Blink). Of course, it didn't turn out exactly as planned (with Scorch not being a CC and Counterspell sitting in the Frost spell row), but all in all it's relatively easy to remember and intuitive to use. But, hey, don't take my word for it - I encourage you to experiment and try your own settings. Find what you like and let me know how it goes!

Posts in this series:

* I am not saying playing a Mage is easy or simple. However, a Mage only has 1 main action bar which is what we're looking at here. A rogue has 2 (1 main, 1 for Stealth) and a Warrior has 3 (one for each stance), so in comparison a mage is "simple".

** Note that I'm only talking about the "main" action bar here. I heartily recommend you turn on at least one other action bar and use that space for the rest of your skills.

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