Daily Archives: January 4, 2010

Do You Re-Map?

You know how it feels.

You’ve hit enter to bring up the cursor in the chat window, but somehow you didn’t hit the key hard enough of it didn’t take for some reason.  You don’t notice however.  Instead you start typing in your message.

And your first sign that something is wrong is the sudden appearance of a variety of different windows in your field of view.  They open, close, change focus, move tabs, and generally put on a little dance while your brain figures out that you’re not typing into the chat window at all.

So you know that sensation, right?

I have a friend who re-maps his keys so radically that touching the keyboard in WoW brings up that very sensation.  Nothing does what I expect.  I want to just move and windows open and close all over.  The keyboard is, essentially, unusable by anybody but him.

Now his history in games is a little different than mine.  He picked up at Diablo, then went to Diablo II, and then straight into EverQuest where he became a raider, was in a big guild, ran multiple accounts with a couple of level cap characters on each.

But he never had any interest in first person shooters.  He played a little StarCraft with us, but that wasn’t his thing either.

No, his primary influence was EverQuest.  And he didn’t like the keyboard layout in EverQuest that much, so he created his own layout.  This layout is perfectly logical to him, but he has so far be unable to explain its logic to anybody else.  It only makes sense in the context of being him.

And when he jumped from EverQuest to World of Warcraft, his keyboard layout came with him.

Now I am about the farthest one can be from him when it comes to re-mapping keys and still actually do some re-mapping.

I move the key for the quest log to “L,” because that is where most games I play put it in any case.

Most developers agree, the quest log should be mapped to "L"

For a while, when EverQuest II was my main game, I would re-map the quest log to “J” because that was how SOE did it.  However, now when I play EQ2, I map the quest journal there to “L.”

And, if I have to, I will edit the WASD key functions to make sure that they behave the way I expect.  There seems to be a surprising lack of agreement on which keys should be used to strafe and which should be used to turn.

Other than that, I tend to leave everything as it is.

This, of course makes my system as unusable to him as his is to me.  And it leads to some pretty futile, opinion-laden discussions about which is the better system.

With those two points of view in mind, I thought I would open up the year with a poll.