Saturday, December 11, 2010

Eclipse and reconfiguring action bars

As any astute/obsessive screenshot studier can tell, after years of 2 is Starfire, 3 is Wrath, 4 is Healing Touch, and 5 is Moonfire, I've finally given in and changed. I've slowly been moving stuff around, adding Starfall, Insect Swarm, and Forces of Nature to the main action bar, and occasionally now swapping Travel Form (great for PvE escapes) with Moonbeam or whatever it is that silences folk. The new Eclipse dynamic plus the addition of Hurricane, Innervate, and Moonbeam to my situational rotation finally required an Action Bar rethink.

The Main action bar now has Starsurge at 2. Though the mouseover doesn't say what the dmg is, it's a lot. I haven't bothered with mathes, but I use Starsurge whenever it hits cooldown. It's my lead pulling shot the way Starfire used to be. Starfire used to be the choice because it had greater range than Wrath and because its slow casting speed didn't matter for the first shot. Now Starsurge's cooldown plus insane damage says it's the new "2".

3 stays Wrath. I wish I could force Eclipse to start off going Lunar, as I still want to smash 3 after 2, but for me, Starsurge seems to always give me 15 towards Lunar the first time through. Perhaps I should swap Starfire and Wrath so that 3 is Starfire, but I also like knowing 3 represents Wrath's speed. Anyhow....

Note: Actually 3 and 5 are macros that proc my spellpower trinkets and then cast Wrath or Starfire. This is an absolute must, folks. Macro-ing trinkets is the easiest dps upgrade there is.

4 is now Moonfire, which throws me off a little. I accidentally hit 5 off and on for a few hours. The muscle memory is scary. But the move down makes it easier to think of [towards] Solar at 5, [towards] Lunar at 3, with both dancing around 4 as it fades.

5 is, duh, Starfire. I hate having three keys spent where I used to have two for the same purposes, but I'm getting used to it. It has pushed me to reconfigure more keys, however (see below).

I'm debating permanently swapping 8 from travel form to moonbeam (?), and have tried it out a few times, as silencing folk looks cool and has its practical side. I just use travel form so often -- running from the bank to AH, eg -- that it's hard to take off of the main bar.

Before now I, admittedly, moused everything else. I had a few more bars set up, like Shift-4 for when I needed to go healz for an extended period of time (see? Healing touch was 4 on my main bar, originally, and Shift-4 is a bar full o' healing), but I've broken down and set up my Num Pad for the left action bar above the main. It's mostly in order of the picture, above. Heals are 4-6 to keep with the 4 theme. 1-3 are aggressive. 0 is to pop Tranquility in a 5-man emergency, which happens more than I'd like. (Anyone notice that they were doing more off-healing right before Cat? I'm thinking lots of Priests were alts.) + is to take a healing pot.

I'm eying the Razer Naga to make this all even easier, moving those num pad selections to the right hand, keeping the movement, esp strafing, easier to reach with the left. I might eventually end up swapping the main action bar to the mouse instead. Can't tell what would be best.

So my only "heady" point here is to say to people who think real-world cash doesn't influence virtual world performance, even beyond the ability to buy the game and expansions, beyond buying net access, and beyond the computer's hardware so that you can see more than 14 fps, we can drill all the way down to a $70 mouse allowing you to access more spells quickly and efficiently. It's a one-dollar one-vote system for everything past Angband, I think.

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