Playing SWTOR using a G15
I use my G15 keyboard in 99.5% of the cases for the extra keys only. It’s an extremely rare case where I would program a macro. But using my Logitech G15 keyboard with various computer games can still be very annoying for me at times. Not because the extra keys won’t work, but because it’s tough to have visual feedback. By that I mean some kind of association between the hotkey layout on screen and the layout on the keyboard. For instance, the G15 addon for WOW gives me 3 blocks of 2 rows, each with 3 keys. A perfect match on screen. Other games allow me at least to place 3 vertical bars of hotkeys next to each other.
What drives me nuts are games who have action bars of a fixed size on a fixed location and most likely with a limited number. I don’t want to talk about games without hotbars, for instance Skyrim.
I have my G1-G18 keys mapped to Shift-F1 to Shift-F12 and Alt-F7 to Alt-F12, avoiding Alt-F4 in the process. In game I then map those keys to the desired action bar and I am ready to go. If those action bars can somehow form a 3×6 matrix and the matrix can be moved to the lower left corner of the screen. LOTRO for instance won’t allow me to shorten my action bar to 6 keys, but lets me move them freely, and have 3 bars. So I have a block of 3×12 keys on the left side, and the lower 6 are mapped to the G-keys. The upper 6 are used as mouse-clickable actions, like drinking a potion, or long lasting buffs.
SWTOR allows only for an unmoveable layout with 2 bars bottom center and 1 vertical bar left and right of the screen. Using the left and right bars is out of the question. I’d never able to associate the hotkey icon, screen location and key location with each other. Which leaves me only one choice, the bottom center keys:
This way, I have at least the 2 rows of 3 keys together, repeated 3 times to the right, leaving 3 more keys for clickables. It’s still troublesome finding the right keys when switching from the first to the second block and even worse when switching to the 3rd block. But if you manage to group your keys together properly, all is fine. I build groups for instance for AE, ranged, melee, point builders (WOW rogue, Star Wars knights and warriors), finishers, etc.
That’s all I can do for SWTOR right now. Which makes it 300 times better usable than Skyrim.
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