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WoW Rookie: Keyboard shortcuts

WoW Rookie is brought to our readers to help our newest players get acclimated to the game. Make sure you send a note to WoW Insider if you have suggestions for what new players need to know.

Accept this fact: to be good at playing WoW, you need to learn to use your keyboard at least some of the time. You don't have to bail on your mouse, but it's very helpful to learn some of the very basic keyboard shortcuts that will make your life in the game that much easier. (Easy is good, right?)

Using the game interface
There are hotkeys for almost everything you do in-game. You can find most of them by just hovering your mouse over the icons that you click -- as no doubt you may have already noticed. Let's start with the button bar that you use to bring up your Quest Log, Spellbook and other things. You'll see that when I hover my mouse over the gold cup icon, a tooltip pops up. The L in parentheses after "Quest Log" means you can just press your L key to bring up the log instead of clicking the icon. (Don't worry that it's a capital L, just press lower-case L. When a keyboard command is capitalized, it's written as "Shift-L".) After the break, you'll see a list of keyboard shortcuts for the game interface.

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Filed under: WoW Rookie

Scattered Shots: Beloved complexity


This week on Scattered Shots, David provides a break in the rushing waves of Patch 2.4 news to wax philosophical about his love of being a hunter. To be perfectly honest, he hasn't had time to even try out the new patch yet, but he's really looking forward to waxing on and off about the patch at some point as well.

They say that being a hunter is WoW on easy mode, but in reality, the "easy mode" style of hunting is only the beginning of what a hunter can do. Sadly many hunters never really arise out of that stage - easy hunting can become like a rut in which one may not even realize that there is another way to do things. A player can rise out of this rut, however, either through an enterprising nature, or through acquaintance with a good hunter role-model. However one rises to it, the opportunity is there for hunters to do all kinds of things amazing things, mostly at the same time.

In fact, you could say that a fundamental mechanic of the hunter class, probably the mechanic I love most in the entire game, is that of controlling multiple characters at once: the hunter and the pet. You have the most control over your hunter character, obviously, and the pet functions as something like a yo-yo which is attached to the hunter. You can point the pet in the direction of an enemy to attack, or you can recall it to wherever you are, but you can't tell it, for instance, to kite an enemy around in circles in the same way you yourself could.

The limitations inherent in the abilities of the hunter and the pet, as well as the synergy between them, reminds me a bit of chess. Managing both the pet and the hunter to greatest effectiveness in different situations means you have to keep more than one thing in mind at all times. When you play most other classes, you can just pay attention to them and what they're doing, but being a good hunter requires you to be more aware of what's going on around you, just like chess requires you to keep track of the whole board, not just the little portion of it where the most action is happening.

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Filed under: Hunter, Tricks, Leveling, (Hunter) Scattered Shots

The Art of War(craft): Motion Theory Part I


I was looking through some of the career (class) descriptions over at Warhammer Online, EA Mythic's much-anticipated MMORPG which touts a rich PvP experience as one of its selling points, and happened to go over their description of the combat system. Listening to one of their amusing podcasts, I got the impression that some careers (classes) move faster than others. This struck me as odd, if only because I've grown accustomed to something we take for granted in World of Warcraft. In WoW, all classes and races move at the same speed. With the exception of enchants, spells, or talents, all characters move at exactly the same pace. Size changes that perception somewhat, with Tauren seeming to move at a plodding step and Gnomes waltzing around like Oompa-loompas hopped up on too much caffeine.

The martial arts is all about speed, about movement where there needs to be movement. More importantly, it is about freedom of movement. Speed is essential, but it can also be arbitrary because there are so many factors that affect it. Latency, computer power... all these things contribute to one's speed or reaction time -- or more accurately, how that reaction time translates into action within the game. That's another matter altogether. What we're going to look at today is movement. How we move, how fast we move, and how we can move better. When fighting a computer-controlled mob, with the exception of scripted events or certain boss phases, there is very little urgency to move. It's easy to kill most mobs by standing still and just attacking or casting spells. PvP, on the other hand, is all about movement. Standing still is tantamount to certain death.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, PvP, The Art of War(craft) (PvP)

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