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First Timers, Mice, and Being Noticed

October 24, 2011

Dear Reader,

I’ve got a really good topic I’m working on regarding the social acceptability of violence versus femininity, but I’ve got a stack of papers to grade, so I’m not sure when that one will actually turn up.  I’ve a few other ideas bouncing around, too, but for today I’ve just got a little quickie to tide us over until our next correspondence.

I had a couple of friends (who are also, in fact, a couple) over this Saturday to play some games.  They also play WoW, so eventually we decided (after playing several other games; I do other things…) to drag out their laptops and see what we could do.  They’ve only been playing a short while and less so at end game, but their experience with the current patch is greater than ours.  All the same, the only other time we’d spoken to them about playing WoW, not about the game itself, we’d learned many distressing things, such as their practice of shifting through two actions bars but not using key bindings.

So we taught them.  I explained how putting important moves on F, G, Q, E, R, T, Z, X, and V (as well as the shift- combo of those keys) allowed them greater access and speed to use those moves.  They were both clearly interested in improving their play, but the wife was far more willing, it seemed, to really try it.

That was about a month ago.  When they pulled out their laptops on Saturday, we learned that they wanted some help with keybinds, macros, addons, and the like.  As they logged in, though, a more pressing matter came to my attention.

“Where are your mice?” I asked.

“Oh, we don’t use them.  We use the touch pads,” they responded.

I threw up a little in my mouth.  “How, then, do you move?”

“We use the directional arrows.”

Good lord, I thought.  It certainly explained the husband’s tendency to die in almost every boss fight.  As melee, he was trying to turn around with the D keys, THEN run out; most melee-killing abilities would off him well before that.  “This has to stop!” I declared (ooohhh… an exclamation mark…).

The wife, once again, was interested in trying to play with a mouse, but the husband staunchly refused.  I like this couple a lot, but I’m not good enough friends to be honest about how I feel about his decision.  He’s deciding to continue being a sub-par player instead of just relearning, which, yes, would be difficult.

We did some PvP since they wanted to get the G.N.E.R.D Rage achievement, and they were both obliterated repeatedly.  Now, they’re new to PvP, so it was to be expected, but their inability to even hit their opponents drove home my point about the need for mice.  The husband still wouldn’t budge.

Now, I’m not one for forcing people to play a certain way, so I’m done trying to lecture about “right” and “wrong.”  I just can’t imagine someone wanting to play the way they play.  The turning is so slow!  You die all the time!  These problems can be solved!  But alas, I’m keeping my mouth shut, though a wry smile plays across it every time I think about a rogue trying to PvP with the D keys.

Afterwards, we asked how they’d liked it.  It was very confusing for them (and somewhat me, too, since we kept getting Gilneas and Twin Peaks, two BGs I have very little experience in since I generally stop PvPing at 85), but the wife said, “I don’t know why I was so afraid to do this,” and when asked, she wanted to do another.  The husband seemed less interested.  I wonder why (;

On a separate note, I got 14 spam comments over the weekend, so apparently someone’s noticing me.  Anyone else get hit like that?  Incidentally, if you want to get a diet pill discount, I know a place…

Sincerely,

Stubborn (and amused)

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13 Comments leave one →
  1. October 24, 2011 9:33 am

    WoW actually supports point&click as means of movement. You can enable it in the settings. It’s a really good question of whether this actually benefits the game or hurts the game, from a business point of view.

    • October 24, 2011 3:15 pm

      I had no idea this was even an option; I’ll go play with it later tonight. Who knows; this might actually help him in scripted encounters. I’m not going to mess with it for a while, though, in case he was getting tetchy.

  2. October 24, 2011 10:18 am

    I have a guildie who uses a touchpad, and he’s just as effective as if he were using a mouse.. I played for a couple of years using only 1 hand – so I’m pretty adept at using my mouse to move and cast or whallop at the same time… it freaks Koch out 😛 (it’s also ultra handy for drinking beer while playing :P)
    I totally admire people who manage to play using a touchpad though, because I can’t even use the damn thing while typing. First thing I always do is disable it 😛

    I think if you can be effective then do what’s easiest for you.. but the minute it hampers you.. and effects your team, then you should look at changing it.

    I get a tonne of spam comments on one of my other blogs.. they make for hilarious reading sometimes 🙂 “You made some beneficial things there. I did a look for on the subject and identified most persons will concur with your web site.” is my current favorite. I’m so awesome it hurts 😛 The spammers obviously think I’m way beyond the help of diet pills though, I don’t get any of them 😛

    • October 24, 2011 3:14 pm

      I would assume if he were using the touchpad to move, it wouldn’t be such an issue, but the directional keys to move, the touch pad to target, and the hotkeys to attack means he needs a third hand. Perhaps if he’d been playing since launch he’d have overcome it (or learned to be a master at it) by now, but he’s only a short time in, really.

  3. Cinder permalink
    October 24, 2011 12:36 pm

    I am a rogue who spent the entirety of WotLK playing on my MacBook using just the trackpad. You would be suprised at how well one can handle themselves with only the keyboard.
    Suggest for your friend to turn left WHILEstraifing right, and vise versa. This allows for tight keyboard only turns.

    My reason was that for all of wrath, I did not have a desk, and would sit on the couch with my girlfriend while raiding (with headphones on one ear). Also, I didn’t have enough keybinds available for all of the abilities that I have/had. Having them spread out across the keyboard, with both hands on the home row gave me plenty of places to put abilities, and allows me to maintain 99%(stupid saronite bomb targeting reticule) dps while moving, provided I could maintain full uptime on the boss.

    Even now, I raid with both hand on my keyboard at my pc, the only negative that ive had sofar is that I am terrible at starfox(flying on alystrazor) so I stay down fulltime for add duty.

    When I made the inital transition from laptop to pc, I initially developed terrible pain in my wrists that was nonexistent with my laptop. Turns out elbows at your sides, forearms straight out to laptop was alot mor ergonomic then sitting at a desk for me, and to this day I need to keep my keyboard at about a 35* angle to compensatefor my bad wrist, and I have to sit at the very edge of my chair to retain the proper height to play on my desk. If my chair is low enough for my legs to fit under, my wrists dig into the forward edge of my desk. If my chair is high enough for that angle, my knees hit the front of the desk and I cannot slide under, and then cannot reach the keyboard. I could put the keyboard on my lap, but would then have no way at all to reach my mouse on the rare occasion that I need it.

    Sorry, wall of text crit. TLDR; keyboard only + trackpad is not so bad, try strafing while turning!

    • October 24, 2011 3:17 pm

      If he were using the pad to move, I might suggest it, but he only uses the arrow keys; he didn’t know he could strafe and when I explained to him how to do it, his response was “I don’t see why I’d ever need that.” Ah well. They’ve only been playing a short bit pre-LK, so they’ve not got the background that someone like you has; they didn’t know about basic macroing of various abilities (like vanish + cloak of shadows), so they’re already fighting an uphill battle of knowledge without the extra handicap.

  4. Polynices permalink
    October 24, 2011 2:12 pm

    Seems like the proof is in the pudding, to use a cliche. If he plays badly and uses the touchpad while the commenters above can play well and use the touchpad… perhaps he’s just really bad. Though even being plain bad it may be that using a mouse would help him improve. The above commenters being good with touchpads doesn’t mean a mouse can’t help someone bad.

    I have a friend who is like your friend. He plays on a laptop in the living room with the sound off (a wifely requirement) and does not do well. A mutual friend convinced him to stop trying to tank PUGs, at least. It probably makes me an elitist snob but I really have trouble dealing with people that don’t try to be their best at everything they do.

    • October 24, 2011 3:19 pm

      I think it has more to do with his level of experience versus theirs, to be fair. It sounds more like your friend’s situation, where the physical limitations of his situation have hampered him to the point that he’s gotten used to it. I do agree, though, that I don’t understand why someone would refuse to improve on a bad situation, but that’s the case, so there it is.

  5. October 24, 2011 4:44 pm

    I threw up a little in my mouth. ”How, then, do you move?” – Stubborn.

    This post, ah. How many times have I tried to explain, just the same or similar situation, to my friends. It’s like fighting a brick wall.

    I took pleasure in reading this 😄

    – Jamin

    • October 24, 2011 6:56 pm

      I’m glad you like it. It makes it really hard when they’re such nice people who you’re just getting to know, since you don’t want to mess that up by being a jerk to them. Still… he dies on damn near every boss fight, and relearning to use the mouse, which might take a day or two of regular play, would save him. Why?!

  6. Tomega permalink
    October 26, 2011 5:36 pm

    Allow me to explain, as the rogue in question. I play on a laptop, which resides — you guessed it — in my lap. Why? Because I spend all day sitting at a desk, working at a computer, and when I choose to wind down, I choose to remove myself from said desk. Further, I do play almost solely alongside my wife, and we do not have a setup that allows us to be at desks together, so we sit side by side in a pair of comfortable chairs (thanks, Ikea!). Okay. So, to a lot of people, it’s already a bit lame to choose to relax and socialize with my wife by logging on to WoW. Point taken. But that’s often what we choose. And we choose it for those reasons. Not because we are out to be top DPS on a run, or to be able to strafe and spin on a dime, or to down the bosses faster and faster. But because it is a pastime that we enjoy together. And if I die a few “too many” times or my DPS suffers so that I can relax and sit by my wife while we play together, then that’s what I’m going to do. [On the flip side, though, I am digging the key bindings…]

    • October 26, 2011 6:53 pm

      Dude, you don’t have to justify yourself here. It’s a game! I use this just to bluster and bleat about this and that. Please don’t take it personally, as I try to make things as anonymous as possible. Bobbi doesn’t read the blog, nor do any of my other friends who I speak both well and ill of off and on (I speak both well and ill of myself off and on, too).
      As for it being “lame,” no, I don’t think it is. I actually had a long conversation with Bobbi the other day (before you guys came over) about Juli asking her about how to improve. Bobbi didn’t know how to react, because you guys enjoy the game and play casually, which is great. When you move over to the “dark side” of improvement and efficiency, you lose a lot of that luster and enjoyment in trade for progression. WoW’s been ruined for me time and again for exactly that reason, but it’s how I think now: in numbers. That’s the worst way to think about anything related to human beings, and I know that. That’s part of what this blog is, a chance to view my dark side along with my small but still remaining nice side.

      I’d take you on a raid over a max dps jerk any day. I’d prefer to play with friends than progress, which is evident by my being in ya’ll’s guild instead of with strangers who are downing H Rag on one of my other servers (time is also a factor, but I could go back to Red Branch (maybe; I don’t think I burned any bridges there) and be doing H Firelands stuff). You guys are my friends, and I like playing and laughing and teasing. But I can’t turn off the math any more, either.

      Hopefully you won’t be too upset.

    • October 26, 2011 7:35 pm

      @Tomega I have a guildie who’s been known to raid while in the bath.. I’ve begged pictures many times 😛 That’s how to wind down and relax in style, none of this *comfy chair* nonsense 😀
      And yeah, what Stubborn says, this is his space to mull stuff over and trigger thoughts and ideas. Kudos for outing yourself to explain, but it was never an attack on you, I think it was more Stubborn wondering why he can’t relax a bit 😛 Although I am all for playing the game your way, it is really hard once you’ve number crunched to _not_ do it 🙂

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