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Mapping Spells and Retraining Your Fingers

January 6, 2010

Derevka over at Tales of a Priest recently wrote about the importance of your healing hardware and using your mouse to the best of its capability. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit recently because I realized that my current spell map is limiting my casting. How you organize your spells plays an important role in which spells you cast during combat and which ones you neglect, as well as how well you move during the fight.

For my priestly needs, I rely on the addon Healbot. It provides a customizable raid frame and allows me to click-cast my spells by having my mouse over the raidframe of the target. Other healers use Vuhdo, Clique, Grid, or use mouseovers instead of an addon. It’s important to find which addon or macro combinations work best for your class and your personal healing method. Knowing your spells and mapping them intuitively will help you heal faster and smarter.

I have smaller hands than most players, coupled with chronic pain in my fingers, and a cat who likes to  lay on my arm and deprive my digits of blood circulation. This means that spells that require me to use alt or stretch to hit a modifier and a key at the same time aren’t really getting used. I neglect my Button 5 on my mouse because my hand isn’t quite big enough to reach it comfortably with my thumb. I am not casting Renew because I either forget where it is, or it’s awkward for me to hit the right combination without interrupting my regular position.

The answer? Remapping and retraining. It’s never too late to stop and take a fresh look at how you are healing and to investigate ways to heal better.

Hardware:

I use the Razer Deathadder. It has two side buttons, middle scrollwheel, and left and right buttons to which I can assign spells. I wish it had more buttons, but on the raid night when my cat spilled juice into my old mouse, it was all I could afford.

Mapping:

I effectively have three spell maps.

  • Spells that cast when I click on the Healbot raid frame
  • Spells that cast when I click anywhere on my screen
  • Spells that cast when I press keys, such as 1-4, shift 1-4, or certain letters (These will cast either AoE, on myself, my target, mouseover target, or focus target)
  • *I have a few spells that aren’t bound and I have to click to use them. Mainly these are offensive abilities that I do not use during a raid.

I’ll post a screenshot once I have my new setup in order.

Retraining:

It takes some getting used to. Try to streamline your spells between both specs if you dualspec. Keep AoE, panic buttons, or self casts on similar buttons regardless of whether you are healing or DPS. Run a few Heroics and a Battleground before you go into a raid so that you are comfortable with the new settings. If something doesn’t feel right, change it back. For me, the key is organizing my spells so that I can remember where everything is, can recall the information and press the buttons quickly, and can do it without physical pain after hours of raiding.

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From → Addons/UI

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