Thursday, 1 May 2014

Learning control with a G600

I came to Guild Wars 2 from Final Fantasy XI and Aion.  If you know FFXI you'll know that the controls are not what you might call modern.  The game was built for the PS2 and they didn't do a very imaginative job with the controller, certainly not compared to the frankly amazing system in FFXIV.  Aion, being a "WoW clone" of epic proportions, was a 4-5 hotbar, button mashing nightmare.  I had to remap the Windows key to Shift to even get enough modifiers in play.  So, I came to GW2 using numpad for movement and 1-5 (+modifiers) for skills.  I didn't use the mouse at all.  Is there a name for that

My first character in GW2 was Necromancer and I quickly realised that Staff was just not going to work for me.  While I could ground target (GT) with my mouse and move with WASD OK I wasn't really able to fire off that many skills.  That was OK in a "stand at the back" zerg but not really much fun.  Of course I got pretty adept at swapping my right hand to the mouse for the occasional GT skill and back to the numpad but I didn't have the level of control I wanted.  I had to look down too much to see what I was pressing.  That might be why I gravitated to Clott's Daggermancer build, I just kept my hands in the same place and killed in a green glowing frenzy.  Of course he still suggests the staff for WvW.

When I started my Engineer the grenade kit was completely out. At the time I also believed that the bomb kit used GT skills so I never even unlocked that.  I only unlocked grenades because they were so great underwater (which turned out to be a bug).  I soon realised if I wanted to get the most out of my classes, and if I ever wanted to play a Mesmer, I'd have to buy a multi-button mouse.
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Never one to rush into a purchase I spent about 3 months deliberating.  Since this coincided with my New Year Living World break it's not as bad as it sounds but when I came back I was determined to be a better Engineer.  And to play more WvW.  That was where I was having my biggest problems: swapping hands meant standing still, only for a second, but that's usually enough.

So, having had the Naga Razar on my Amazon wishlist for 4 months, through Christmas and a my birthday no less (cheapskates), I finally plumped for the G600.  Didn't see that coming did you?  It boiled down to reviews and price.  The Razar didn't seem to offer any more for the extra money.
Even the box is pretty
I have had the mouse for about 3-4 weeks now and I am starting to feel quite comfortable with it.  I discovered I couldn't even circle strafe with my left hand when I first started.  It was quite a learning curve.

The main issue I had with the mouse was that I couldn't work out where to put my thumb for a "home" position.  The G13 and G16 keys are marked with tiny ridges (like f and j on a keyboard) which is really useful but I couldn't settle on the front six buttons or the back six.  Ultimately I discovered the sweet spot was right in the middle, resting on both of them.  The other problem I had was what you might call the "live long and prosper" issue or "pat your head/rub your belly".  Basically when I clicked certain buttons with my thumb my index finger just fired off on impulse.  No idea why.  I think my brain was just, like, "we click with the finger, hand! Not the thumb!"

Before I bought it I also wasn't sure about the g-shift key on the G600.  My old mouse was very narrow and I had a claw rather than a palm grip (it's an FPS thing apparently).  That's not been a problem at all and it's actually great to have that modifier there.

How is it for GW2?  Pretty awesome.  I'm not going to do a full rundown of how I mapped everything but to give you an idea G12 to G17 map 1-6.  I have so far resisted the urge to try and use keyboard modifiers with mouse clicks.  My intention is to keep my left hand on WASD at all times.  If I did use keyboard mods I wouldn't need to move my thumb from the "home" position but that kind of defeats the point of the other 6 buttons.

It's a great mouse, I'd recommend it.  My next post will be about my new Engy build and how I fared on my first trip into WvW.

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