A little over a month ago I first mentioned that I was the proud owner of a G13 now. It’s been a little over a month now and I thought I’d share my impressions of it.
First off: relearning muscle memory is hard. I never thought it’d be so hard. When I ran my first instance with the G13, we wiped several times until I rebound everything and went back to the old way. Then I ran H HoL with it, and again, it was pretty painful. But I kept at it, trying to learn. My basic layout is to have the center row as 1-7, with the thumb buttons bound to Shift and Alt. This allows me to use modifiers for the center row, so that’s 21 buttons right away. The top row is 8-0, Tab-Target, ß (which is next to 0 on German keyboards), my health pot and healthstone keybinds. All abilities that are staples are bound to easily accessible keys. Devastate on 3, Revenge macro on 4, SS on 5. These abilities are hit by ring-finger, middle-finger, index-finger respectively, which is very comfy. Taunt is on 2, Charge on 1, both hit by the pinky.
Now, the big lesson I learned is that muscle memory lets you know where you have all the abilities you don’t use that often, but which are still important. I was in trouble. I had trouble remembering where Taunt was. Getting used to the thumbstick made Shockwave positioning not so great. Challenging Shout, where art thou? Ouch, where’s Shield Bash in a pinch? My friend Kaylexanna definitely confirmed that my AoE threat was down the toilet, so I did what I had to do and went back to the regular keyboard. However, I know that won’t be forever. I use the G13 for solo play all the time. It’s just me working on muscle memory now.
On alts, like the retribution pally I recently leveled to Outland level, it’s super-awesome. If you start with a fresh character, the G13 will come naturally. Also, a wonderful side benefit for a keyboard player like me: you stop being a keyboard turner. Completely. It just breaks that habit real quick. If you look back to when I started my blog, it was something I struggled with, but now, I mouse turn, all the time. It’s faster, and I really feel it makes me a better tank. Especially on such encounters as Loken, Anub’rekhan, Heigan, turning with the mouse is a huge advantage.
As for the display, I find it helpful. I don’t use the RSS feature, though I guess I could add WoW bloggers to make it more exciting than my current news feed. The WoW display is kinda pointless, I have other tools to see my durability and character stats. Same with the whisper alerts. The Ventrilo app is pure win though, I can finally see who speaks on Vent, when people join, my ping, good stuff!
My final verdict is that the G13 is a great piece of hardware. If you are a dedicated keyboard player, it’s definitely worth it. If you are currently a clicker, the learning curve might be a bit much, and it might not be enough to break the habit. Keyboard turners who are looking to change their ways, the G13 is gold.
As next investment, I will likely go for a 5-button mouse, because that will add even more flexibility to an already powerful combo.