Monday, December 22, 2008

Ask Coriel: Action Bar Setup

Arnold asks:
How do you set up your action bars? With the now three types of judgments available, and the various seals etc, what fills your hotkeys? What is the most efficient/best/useful setup to use? I currently have all three judgments hotkeyed to button 2, with alt and shift as modifiers to swap between them, though it still feels clumsy. Also the various seals. Ought I not bother with them, or should I try and set them up with modifiers as well? Any recommendations?

I'm not really the best person to be asking this. The sad truth is that I click a lot of my abilities. What I generally do is have the number keys 1-6 bound with the abilities I use most often. The 2, 3, 4 slots are the core spells that are cast all the time. Then I tend to click the other abilities that are used less often. I tend to use the default button bars, and not a lot of mods.

For Retribution:

1 - Hammer of Wrath
2 - Judgement
3 - Crusader Strike
4 - Divine Storm
5 - Consecration
6 - Flash of Light, Cleanse, Hammer of Justice, or Exorcism, depending on the fight.

For Seal refreshes, I click the Seal I want every two minutes. For Judgement, I find that I tend to cast one type of Judgement throughout the fight. You don't often switch Judgements. Whichever Judgement I am
casting I move into the 2 slot.

I'll have similar layouts for Protection and Holy. For example, for Protection, the 1 slot is Righteous Defense. I haven't made a Prot layout yet, but I'm thinking of using two castsequence macros. One for the 6s abilities, and one for the 9s abilities.

Holy has the heals in the 1-6 spot, usually all with mouseover macros. I haven't really gone Holy and made a good layout yet, though.

For another perspective, take a look at Ferraro's setup.


  1. I have mine set up in a similar way. I play using the main action bar, 1-6, and 7-= is shift-1-6.

    For Ret I have it:
    1. Judgement of Light
    2. Judgement of Wisdom
    3. Seal of Command
    4. Hammer of Justice
    5. Crusader Strike
    6. Repentance
    S1. Seal of the Martyr
    S2. Divine Storm
    S3. Hammer of Wrath
    S4. Exorcism
    S5. Consecrate
    S6. Judgement of Justice

    For Prot, it's a slight variation of Ret:

    1. Judgement of Light
    2. Judgement of Wisdom
    3. Seal of Vengeance
    4. Righteous Defense
    5. Holy Shield
    6. Hammer of Justice
    S1. Shield of the Righteous
    S2. Avenger's Shield
    S3. Hammer of Wrath
    S4. Exorcism
    S5. Consecrate
    S6. Judgement of Justice

    And for Holy, I hold shift and scroll to the next bar. Ret and Prot are always the first bar, and Holy is the second.
    (Some spaces left blank due to lack of Lich King experience as Holy)
    1. Holy Light
    3. Beacon of Light
    5. Flash of Light
    S1. Divine Illumination
    S2. Cleanse
    S3. Holy Shock
    S4. Divine Favor

  2. Bad Rohan, no excuse for clicking.

  3. I play a lot of alts, with my main 4 characters being healing hybrid classes. So I need a system that will work well for all of my characters.

    I mainly use two bars, one is ~ through 5 and the other is F1 through F5. I can't comfortably reach any other keys past that, so I don't see a reason to have them bound. I generally have a big group of buttons I click on, with two bound to my two mouse buttons, one for F, T and Z as well.

    I usually keep my attack abilities on my number keys and my healing/utility spells on my F keys, with F1 always being my big heal and F2 always being my quick heal, working down the list for my lesser-used heals on the rest of the buttons. Dispels/cleanses are always on my closer mouse thumb button, with my emergency buttons (bubble, vanish, NS>HT, etc) on the farther button.

    When I'm instancing/raiding, I'll often page over to a separate layout with ALL of the buttons as healing spells, since I don't need to be using my attack abilities at all but I will need some of the more niche heals.

  4. I am rubbish at KeyBindings so I just bought a Logitech G15 keyboard.

    Best investment i've ever made. The extra buttons really help ^_^

  5. Personally, I have one of those ergonomic keyboards that's split down the middle, so I can really only use 1-6, and then anything else has to be clicked. Works fine generally. I also like to make /cast and /castsequence macros to make sure I put lots of things on the same button. Eg for Ret I have Seals (blood default, justice on alt, light on shift, wisdom on ctrl) on button 2, the various offensive spells (CS/DS/Cons) on 3, hammers on 5 and 6. Flash of Light on 7 with Holy Light on shift-click, etc.

    For prot, I have a '6' Macro that's a simple /castsequence that opens with Hammer of the Righteous and then Shield of Righteousness, with a reset on combat, alt, and 5-second timer. Then I have two '9' macros with the same sequence - holy shield, judgement, consecrate - one using judgement of light, one using judgement of wisdom. Light for more threat, Wisdom for more mana. Both macros also have a /startattack at the start so that when fighting groups you can just hit one of them and make sure you're attacking immediately. I then have Avenger's Shield for pulls, so the general approach will be to pop a seal, pull, then hit 1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2 whenever the GCD is down. Works a treat and you generally get up a pretty nice rhythm going.

  6. I'm holy at the moment so:

    2 - Holy Shock
    3 - Judge Wisdom S3 - Bacon
    4 - Judge Light S4 - Holy Shield
    5 - FoL
    6 - HL
    7 - Consecrate
    8 - Stun
    9 - Holy Wrath
    0 - Exorcism
    SS - DF + HL
    SF - Divine Plea

    FoL and HL include mouse over & trinket & Divine Illumination, the Shift - S adds the Divine Favor
    Also using grid/decursive/pally power mods.
    In a couple of months once I have finished all the Northrend quests and much of the faction grinds I'll streamline it into something more sophisticated. Hopefully by then I'll also have a mage at 80 to do my mat farming.

  7. My set up is great...atleast I think so. Quite differnt for other peoples set ups as I don't go anywhere near WSAD.

    I use the mouse/arrow keys to move. I use the num pad for all my hot bar skills. This lets me easily access 1-9. I have '0' bound to select closest hostile target. Also on the num pad are "/ * -". These go right in a row on the keyboard so I have them set up to be the hotkeys from 10-12. Page down(the one above the arrow keys) swaps between hot bar 1 and 2.

    So this set up lets me access 24 skills very quickly with almost no clicking. The mouse is used to for turning or looking.

    Q: But @ 80 we have a lot more then 24 skills?

    A: I have the most commonly used skills bound to the hot keys, or anything that I will need in emergency. For example all my buffs are on the side bars and I always click on them, as buffing is never a priority.

    Q: Do you do anything special with alts?

    A: Yes, try and stay consistent with every character. '-' is always my "uh oh" button. With my pally it is the bubble, with my DK is is icebound fortitude, with my rogue it is clos & vanish. Also my attacks are always on hot bar 1, and my heals(if the class is a healer) are always in hot bar 2. Makes having alts I havn't played in a while very easy.

    I'm still thinking about reconfiguring my set up so that I use the insert/home/del/end/pg up keys above the arrow keys. Right now I have them bound to functions like select self, or closest friendly player, but nothing that is needed. Since wotlk came out I'm starting to run out of space.

  8. For the new Judgement system, all I did was take my current keybind and macro all three. Pressing 'R' will cast Judgement of Justice, 'Shift+R' is Judgement of Light, 'Ctrl+R' is Judgement of Wisdom.

    Currently I have mapped abilities to:
    1 through =
    Shift-1 through -5
    Ctrl-1 through -5
    Alt-1 through -5
    R, Shift-R, Ctrl-R
    Z and Shift-Z
    X and Shift-X
    C and Shift-C
    F1 through F7

    While my Paladin is happy with these bindings, I'm having trouble finding the most efficient / intuitive layout for my Druid. Shapeshifting is fun, but really adds to the complexity. :)

  9. Not really about my Pally who is so low that he does not need more than like 5 buttons, I can answer about having lots on my priest and hunter.

    I play on a laptop without a mouse. I do have a touchpad for the odd times I need it, but pretty much everything is keybound.

    I run with 4 optional action bars showing and have them all keybound.

    My primary abilities are bound to 1 thru =

    My seconadry or pet abilities are F1 thru F12

    CC, mana regen, and oh crap buttons are alt1 thru alt12

    utility stuff like potions, food, and buffs for out of combat are shift1 thru shift12

    That leaves one bar for mounts, tracking, bandages, quest items, and other random stuff all of which is on seperate hotkeys.

    Yes I have 60 keybinds to remember. Apparently I am just insane =P

  10. My setup has a few core principles:

    1) Right hand on the mouse. I remap its 4th and 5th buttons for running and backing up. I don't use keys for motion at all, especially not for turning-at-the-speed-of-slow.

    2) left hand for time-critical spells on keys sitting right there under my fingers.

    3) Seriously, I don't know what kind of hands you people have but something like alt-8 seems like a great recipe for RSI.

    I ended up using bartender to construct button bars which mirror having remapped almost all the keys under my left hand. Q-Y, A-H, Z-N, are all mapped to button bars. Shift is the only acceptable modifier key because it's very easy to hit along with these 18 letters. There's also a decent mental image of lower and upper case letters meaning different things.

    This gives me great situational flexibility. I don't have to hide rotations behind macros so I can mix up which spells hit as the GCD expires as situations warrant. I can throw in trinkets and long cooldowns easily.

    Finally, I use the number keys for targeting players in 5-mans and bind shift-{1-8} to the raid markers.

    You can see screenshots of the bartender setup in a post I just did on this too. The timing is uncanny ;).

  11. I use macros with alt -- Alt is too handy to waste on self targeting, if I have to self target I hit F1.

    1. Mount macro (on all characters, alt ground mount)
    2. Bubble (alt HoP)
    3. Flash of Light (alt Sacred Shield)
    4. Holy Light (alt DI+Shock)
    5. Holy Shock
    6. Judgment of Wisdom (alt SoW)
    7. Judgment of Light (alt SoL)
    8. Judgment of Justice (alt SoV)
    9. Hammer of Justice (alt HoW)