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  • Dyermaker
  • Member Since Apr 23rd, 2007

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Reader UI of the Week: Crafting a UI for a disabled player {WoW}

Mar 1st 2011 6:24PM This is a pretty good topic for a few people who don't often bring these issues up.

I am a disabled player as well. From birth I have three fingers on my primary hand and a single finger on my secondary. I have had some great success playing WoW, even holding the top Alliance Paladin DPS on Brutallus in the world for a while. After returning from a year away from WoW, I picked up playing and started to wonder if I had leave WoW permanently. Playing console games pretty much ended for me since I cannot control two joysticks and press buttons simultaneously. With all the extra abilities for Paladins this time around I was really struggling to do anything more than mouse clicking abilities. I had to really consider my layout or just give up playing.

At first it might seem that the disabilities are very different, however, I think you'll find some of my experiences helpful. One of the hardest parts of having a single finger pushing buttons is a lack of keyboard awareness that can take place. To compensate, I try to clump abilities into zones. I can move between the ~ and 6 key pretty easily, and run my finger up and down that line to track. I try to keep my primary abilities in that zone. WASD movement works out well for me, since I can keep my finger in place and just slide it to the direction I am looking to go. You might benefit from this technique since keeping a finger in a single spot can often compensate for the mobility issues.

I wanted to take advantage of macros. These days there's nothing for paladins like the 9-6-9 macros that used to exist for tanking, but there are some efficiencies that are available. With a single finger, shift/ctrl/alt combinations are out of the question. Decide which abilities can be stacked with logic. For example, I modified my Templar's Verdict to cast Zealotry. Since Zealotry would only go off if I had three Holy Power, I was able to combine these abilities into one and have a minimal DPS loss. (Note: I have since moved Zealotry to my wings macro since it is a DPS boost) The only downside was the annoying error message, but there's settings to disable that too.

Then there were hot button abilities that I needed to have accessible, and I could rarely afford to miss them. I used the G keys on my G15 keyboard to macro these abilities. Sometimes mapping multiple keys to the same ability. If you're not 100% certain you're going to hit the key when it counts, and you can afford to do so, multiple keys in the area give you the best chance. With time, muscle memory will help. This will hold true even for people with disabilities that cause motor issues. You might not hit the exact key you intended all the time, but you can get close enough to count. A good example, I have all of my AoE abilities next to each other. Granted, I might not hit them in the perfect order every time, but I know I am using them when I want to.

And lastly, don't be afraid to change things up! Try new things. Watch yourself, perhaps even record yourself playing and figure out what is working and what is not. Then, figure out why. One of the hardest things I had to overcome before I was a progression raider was to get away from the arrow key movement. It was very comfortable and reliable and I really struggled at first to move to WASD and mouse. But it was necessary and when I was able to rely on my single digit to press buttons I was really able to step up my game.

The Queue: Wherein The Queue has as much consistency as Smodcast {WoW}

Aug 10th 2009 8:24PM You'd be surprised at just how well adjusted I am really.

The Queue: Wherein The Queue has as much consistency as Smodcast {WoW}

Aug 10th 2009 8:05PM My /played is currently 364 days, 11 hours, 43 minutes. How should I celebrate reaching a full year /played?

Is WoW being run by its B-team? Is that bad? {WoW}

Jul 15th 2009 10:27AM I think some people are missing the point about the article. The B-Team might be the better team, and I personally believe that Ghostcrawler is far far better than Tigole Bitties ever will be, but they have less experience and will make what should have been learned lessons.

There is a point at which you accept that the game changes and different things come and go. But when their plans outlined for the next three patches changes between patches, it suggests that they are working off the cuff. I do not believe that a game of this scope can effectively be managed when planning isn't happening for the long term.

I think releasing any raid content, like they are planning with 3.2, without any trash mobs is a mistake. It will damage raid design dramatically. Trash is the only real pacing mechanism, which what gives an instance its epic feel. Some people will be very happy to treat the next boss like they do their daily quests, but it will hurt the game for many others. WoW has already suffered for their design choices which remove the epic feeling, its hard to see an encounter as something special when you're one shotting with pugs your first time through.

The example of leatherworking quivers was right on target, and while relatively meaningless it is hardly the only example. Look at the changes to Block just within the span of the 3.2 beta. At this stage of the game the designers should have a more firm grasp of what their changes meant before they left the conference table. The time spent implementing an idea who's results were pretty obvious to anyone who's used a blocking tank before is absurd. The idea that they are changing mechanics as a stop gap until they change the mechanics... well... its just a poor philosphy. Could you imagine if car manufacturers said they don't like the way gasoline is working in their cars, so until they can get better green energy they are just going to cut Flinstone holes in the floors. Everyone would know what a dumb idea this is, but they wait until the first few come off the lot and prove the point. Point is, if you have a better implementation that will take time, then let it take that time. Any stop in between will only be a distraction from getting the job done right.

Trying to appeal to everyone really has turned the game into a fingerpainted hodgepodge. Yes, some people will like it for a while... until their favorite aspect is mushed in with something else. Classes used to be unique, but in the interest of chasing their tail of the mythical "Balance" beast there's going to be how many classes with Mortal Strike effects? When every single melee class has an interrupt except Paladins, they do kinda lock themselves in a corner and will have to pass that along too.

I anticipate the resilience change will mark this point better than anything else very soon. Some could argue that its a change long in coming. Others will argue that its going to inflate the value of healers. But what it will definitely do is reinforce some of the worst balance elements currently in the game. Something this sweeping is being rebalanced across all classes at once, and lets face it, the time is not being spent to review where other design decisions from days past will be impacted. Resilience was designed around crit-based abilities. When WotLK came out they ignored the bursting issues around the new abilities so they were forced to make a change to resilience. But those resilience changes will not impact all classes equally, some classes do less moment to moment damage and rely on crit damage instead. Without making those adjustments, are they not just creating new problems for them to chase in the next patch instead of working on something new?

Breakfast Topic: Do you buy just because of the WoW brand? {WoW}

Jun 15th 2009 11:53AM My wife bought a couple bottles of game fuel today while she was out shopping. She called to ask if I was orange or blue first, which caught me off guard because she didn't provide any context. She said she saw it and it made her think of me, so she decided to buy it.

It was probably because it said World of Warcraft that provided the link in her thought process, but who's to argue for someone getting you a "thinking-of-you" surprise?

The curious case of Ferarro {WoW}

May 31st 2009 3:47PM In all honesty, who cares who's at the other end of the keyboard? Either the articles are worthwhile or they are not. Authors using nom du plume has been around for hundreds of years, why is there any difference for a blog? Anyone who can say there is a difference in the content based on who the author is really isn't reading in the first place.

An opportunity to change Retribution {WoW}

Apr 28th 2009 8:02PM Blizzard cannot make up their mind with Retribution Paladins, and until they do there will be nothing that will work with the class.

For example, they want us to heal and defend in raid situations. Its why they give us the fast heal and engage us with Hand spells. However, this role is inconsistant with their newly stated desire to have complex DPS rotations.

They want us to make talent choices for DPS, but then they make it so you can take very DPS talent and not think about anything.

Blizzard has been inconsistent with their goals, inconsistent with their delivery, and now they want to redesign things again. Sorry, this should have been addressed in WotLK beta, but they were too stubborn to do so.

Bornakk defends removing the drakes {WoW}

Apr 2nd 2009 1:12AM The 2% of people who have completed end content is long gone. This was the goal, Blizzard has very clearly stated it was successfully reached. You can stop demonizing people who have been successful now.

Retribution should branch out {WoW}

Mar 6th 2009 1:20PM I think this is a poor idea and one that is difficult to implement if other ideals are to remain a part of the Paladin class.

The problem is, each of a Paladin's trees focuses on a specific role. Other hybrids have multiple ways of filling roles, but Paladins really only have one for each. Druids and Shaman can DPS with melee or casting, very distinct differences. Warriors chose between the different styles of Arms and Fury, more subtle than Druid/Shaman differences but still different.

Paladins do not have those options. DPS will always be a Two Hander. If they try to make spell power take too much of an impact, they undo all the work they did in baselining itemization at the start of WotLK. You cannot have a caster DPS option for Paladins because you are back to needing too many stats.

This leaves adding melee DPS elements to the Protection tree, the very things they removed at the start of WotLK when they pulled things like Precision.

What I think Blizzard wants is for the DPS elements in Retribution to be attactive, but not leave enough of the PvP talents available so a single Ret build has enough for both. I believe this is a noble goal. They do not want to dump all the PvP elements into a single tree for fear of it becoming "the PvP tree", so they need to have enough in that tree such that each spec is meaningful in a PvP setting. But as long as you have to "waste points" to get something meaningful in another tree, its back to what they had before. If they just add a 5 point talent to holy to make the defacto Ret build 5/5/51, is it really a meaningful change? Points in another tree are nice, but unless they are manditory points, its a waste. And if they are manditory points how it is any different than what was Precision before WotLK?

SteelSeries WoW mouse dangerous in no uncertain Terms (of Use) {WoW}

Jan 24th 2009 10:05PM Unfortunately, this is on a rather long list of things that put egg on Blizzard's face but should have been seen coming from a mile away.

Putting advertisements on the official forums, like they need the money. Who didn't expect the gold seller ad to slip through? Sure, informed people know gold buying is against the rules. But what about the casual player who doesn't really spend a lot of time on these things. They see it on the official forums... who can expect that to be bad?

Blizzard is selling their credibility for money they really do not need. WoW is the most successful game ever and they are nickle and diming their customers and putting themselves in very obvious situations that will make them look bad.

They really should examine their business practices. Its going to catch up to them really quickly.