A long time ago, I played a lot of WoWCrack, and spent a fair amount of time in their PvP battlegrounds. One of the lessons learned was to re-map the keyboard shortcuts to cluster all the battle-necessary action keys to be directly underneath the fingers of the non-mouse hand. Preference for the more frequently used actions went to keys easily reachable by the index and middle fingers, with less critical actions going to keys under the “less co-ordinated” fingers.
Now that I’m pretty much done with character development with Dawnshammer (yes, I retired Von, and gifted her “ph@t l007z” to Dawnshammer), I figured I’d jot down what I’ve done to Torchlight2 based on that PvP experience here. Below is an image of Dawnshammer in mid-dance, with all-but-one of the customized keybindings visible on the action bar below:
Here’s a brief run-down of the key-bindings and some reasoning behind each allocation:
- The ‘W’ key (not shown in the screenshot) has been remapped to the movement key. This is a tip of the hat to the WoWCrack days of ‘W’ being the move forward key. Experiments with other actions have failed. My mind is hardwired to expect the W key to involve forward movement.
- Keys ‘1’ and ‘2’ are devoted to consuming the best health and mana potions in my inventory. It’s easier to reach up in a hurry than to reach down, so I’ve moved potion hotkeys up and on the outer edge of what’s comfortable for the middle and ring fingers, as I don’t tend to use them often.
- The tilde key `~` gets portal scrolls, so I can drop one without having to open my inventory. The key itself is difficult to get to in combat, which is perfect for when I drop a portal.
- The `Q’ key gets the ‘Dervish’ spell, which given its 30 second cooldown, gets used infrequently. Often I save it for bosses to build charge fast so I can spam ‘Flame Hammer’. It’s easily accessible from the ring finger, and allocated based on the infrequency of use.
- The ‘E’ key gets Onslaught, which is often used as an opener for new mobs to slow them down, followed by a Seismic Slam for the stun. Given that it debuffs boss mobs and helps speed up map traversal, I keep it very handy under the index finger.
- The ‘D’ key gets ‘Seismic Slam’. It’s directly under the ‘E’ key, see. so a typical opener is the index finger punching a very easy to reach key, then another directly below it. The stun lasts only 2 seconds, which is all the time I need for a circle of trash mobs, but as they come in waves, I like being able to successively spam this skill as new waves replace their fallen fiends.
- The ‘A’ key gets ‘Ember Hammer’ which only really shines with a full charge, so I tend to let charge build on trash mobs before unleashing it. As it takes some effort to gain enough charge to make this shine, but continues to deliver while I can keep that charge, it gets the resting-position of the ring-finger.
- The right-mouse button gets Flame Hammer, which with a single charge point does some special damage. Because it burns charge, I tend to save it for bosses and chunky trash mobs, but it’s so damn useful that if I have charge to waste, I’m happy to slap that puppy about with wild abandon.
- The ‘S’ key gets ‘Ember Reach’. This is a single-point skill that I use purely to pick a caster out of a bunch of mobs, and mess it up before wading into the melee trash.
- The ‘X’ key gets ‘Dynamo Field’, which is allocated only a single skill point. It’s deliberately weak so I pick up charge but minimise mob damage. The X key is not so easy to get to with the middle finger, and I only really ever use this skill when I’m out of charge, and there is a large number of trash mobs surrounding me. It’s too painful to use without lots of mobs, so it gets a key based on it’s infrequent use.
- The ‘C’ key gets the ‘Healbot’. Given that it doesn’t need re-summoning often, it gets a harder-to-access key, but one that’s not too hard. No healbot means no mana for this build, which means nothing but autoattacks.
- The ‘R’ key gets ‘Force Field’, and is an easy key to reach from the index finger. With the build chosen, Dawnshammer is only capable of the 2-hander melee mash when the force field is up. If it drops in the later Veteran or Elite games, Dawnshammer very rapidly becomes pavement pizza. I need it very easily assessable so I can re-apply it the moment the previous bubble fails.
The final key-bindings above were settled on with trial and error. Skills I found myself spamming a lot gravitated closer to index and middle fingers with less frequent, not so important skills moving to harder to reach keys. And just so you know, the reasoning for why I settled on those skills with those keys came after I’d let instinct have its way with keyboard layout.
I don’t really have a spell rotation as such. Generally speaking though, ‘Ember Hammer’ deals with trash when I have charge, otherwise its auto-attacks, or if I have a crowd of trash mobs, ‘Dynamo Field’ for fast recharge.
‘Flame Hammer’ deals with bigger threats, and really punches it when ‘Dervish’ is also active. I burn a charge point on a Flame Hammer, and let auto-attacks rapidly replace that charge point so I can spam it again.
Given that ‘Force Field’ is absolutely necessary for survival, all charge gets dumped into that the moment it goes down, so the build is heavy on building charge fast.