Editors note 5/9/16 – For up to date keybinds, see my post on Feral Druid keybinds in Legion.
Now that I have reached level 100 and have access to all of my abilities, spells and talents it’s time to look out how to place them on my bars. The purpose of this post is to show what my kindbindings are and give some tips for people looking to learn. I’m not going to go into ‘how to keybind‘ but I will link some articles for those who would like to read more.
- Official Forums – Click No More! – A Guide to Keybinding
- WoW Insider – How to Stop Clicking
- The Fluid Druid – Keybindings
Where I currently stand
I am still progressing from clicking to keybinding so I still have some spells that aren’t keybound e.g. my mount, Travel / Flight Forms, Mark of the Wild and others. I also use the addon Clique for spells that interact with raid frames like Rebirth, Remove Corruption, Soothe, Entangling Roots, Rejuvenation etc… This is mainly for easy targeting as Clique functions very similarly to mouse over macro’s but without the need for a keyboard press, bar space or target select + activation. I’ve talked about why I use Clique in greater detail and how to set it up in this post.
My keyboard set up
My keyboard is set up to have my core rotation, defensive abilities and some utility spells bound. Below is an image of a keyboard showing which buttons I have bound.
I have unbound ‘Q’ and ‘E’ as strafe keys in the Blizzard keybind menu and remapped them to ‘A’ and ‘D’. I turn my character using my mouse. I then use bartender to assign a keybind to a specific spot on an action bar. This can be on my main bar so I can see it or on a hidden bar. I have left some keys unbound such as ‘R’, ‘C’ and ‘V’ as I still use their default function – reply to last message, open character info and toggle name plates. I did have tilde (~) bound to “interact” at one point. This was so I could interact with quest givers as the mouse can’t select the correct target during crowded periods (read expansion launches).
Below is an image of a keyboard show my keybinds while in Cat Form with spell icons over the keys that they are bound to.
4. Savage Roar
5. Healing Touch
|Q. Ferocious Bite
E. Tiger’s Fury
Z. Survival Instincts
|F1. Bear Form
F2. Cat Form
F3. Goblin Glider
The next image shows my keybindings with an alt modifier.
|1. Skull Bash
2. Mighty Bash
F2. Stampeding Roar
F3. Nitro Boosts
Note: Talents will automatically stay bound to their key when you swap them e.g. If I decide I want to use Ursol’s Vortex instead of Mighty Bash, when I switch the talent Ursol’s Vortex will be bound to Alt+2 where Mighty Bash is. The same goes if I swapped Typhoon for Mass Entanglement, it would stay bound to ‘T’.
Tips when learning to keybind
- Take it slow – Any sudden, large scale change is going to make you feel clumsy and frustrated. I can’t stress this enough. Start with one spell at at time, ideally a spell that you use frequently.
- Moving with your mouse – One of the major things about keybinding is freeing up your left (non-mouse) hand for activating spells only and using the mouse for all (most) of your movement. This can be a major hurdle for some players so as I mention above take it slow. I suggest unbinding strafe from ‘Q’ and ‘E’ and moving them to A and D. You can’t strafe using the mouse but you can turn. This has two advantages; it is the first step to using your mouse for movement and it frees up to easily accessible keys for binds.
- Focus on binding your rotation first – These are the spells that you are going to us the most; questing, PVPing, dungeons, raiding, basically everything. With the ability pruning in Warlords of Draenor, most classes should have had their rotation ‘streamlined’ to 5-7 abilities. Feral Druids had Pounce and Ravage merged into Rake and Shred respectively freeing up two slots. Also Faerie Fire is no longer needed opening another slot.
- Don’t be afraid to try something different – If you have large hands and/or a small keyboard and can reach the 7, 8, ‘Y’, ‘H’, ‘N’ keys then go for it. There is no correct way to keybind. I have Thrash and Swipe bound to Alt + mouse wheel up & down. This frees up keys in the busy area (W,S,A,D), lets me react quickly to procs e.g. Omen of Clarity, allows me to turn and move with my mouse all while still letting me zoom in/out with the camera.
- Don’t bind anything to Alt+F4. You’re going to have a bad time.
Looking back I wish someone had told me about keybinding and shown me when I rolled my first character. Breaking existing clicking muscle memory is hard and frustrating. I started raiding in The Burning Crusade but didn’t starting really keybinding until Cataclysm (Yes I raided Ulduar, ToC and ICC as a clicker… and I was good at it!). Overall I think it has improved my play, my dps and made me a better, more aware raider. I strongly recommend that anyone that doesn’t currently keybind look into it.
What is your keybind set up? Was it difficult for you to learn your new keybinds? What advice do you have to players wanting to keybind? Let me know. Feel free to leave a comment on the post, send me an email at email@example.com, follow me on twitter @Elamari_ or like and comment on the File Under Feral Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/FileUnderFeral.