Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Jedi Counsel: Distributing Shields

Some might consider this a trade secret; however, I want to share this with the Community (and, hopefully, it will help alleviate the complaints when Tactical Team gets 'brought into line' down the road, as it should be).

Distributing your ship's Shields is one of the most important, yet, often, most neglected skills for new players. Some may not even realize that you are able to redirect your Shield strength, others that may not realize how important it is to do so. Not only does Distributing your Shields help to keep a shield facing up, and, hopefully, avoiding the full-strength damage of enemy projectile attacks; it also helps to maximize your mileage out of shield regeneration, as any regeneration that would normally be applied to a full shield facing, is not applied to the remaining facings, but is wasted, thus, if under fire, it is in your best interests to constantly be balancing your Shields.

Many players, myself included, put the Distribute Shields ability into a slot on one of our hotbars, and this is a good way to help train yourself to use it, but what if there were an easier and even more effective way to use it? Well, it turns out that there is...

Some players (again, myself included) are not comfortable with writing keybinds, some would not even know where to start; so, one of my friends who is much more comfortable with writing in-game keybinds, came up with this:

Quote:
/bind Space "GenSendMessage HUD_Root FirePhasers$$+power_exec Distribute_Shields"
All you need to do is copy that entire line (in the quote box above), paste that line into your chat box (with nothing else), then press Enter.

What does that do for me? Quite simply, it makes it so that every time you press your spacebar, it triggers the Distribute Shields effect (the same as if you had clicked on the power from your ability bar, or clicked the center of your ship icon on the main UI).

Does that interfere with the normal function of the spacebar? Not at all, it will still behave exactly as it did before, only now, it will also distribute your shields for you. Instead of manually having to remember to hit the key in your ability bar or click the center of your ship icon on the UI, just spam that spacebar (like so many of us do), melt your opponents, and keep those shields balanced out and effective.

For PvE content, this is especially useful when facing multiple-ship enemy groups, as they tend to surround your ship, and, in order to optimize your survival, not only do you need the right skills, you also need to ensure that every point of shield hitpoints is well spent. Keeping your Shields constantly distributed means that you are less likely to have enemy fire (especially the powerful torpedo attacks of high-level or Elite mobs) hitting your bare hull.

-Big Red Goomba


NOTE: To test whether the keybind is applied properly, simply enter any System space (ESD or Qo'noS is usually sufficient) and tap your spacebar... You should see the four shield facings on your ship icon in the main UI start to flash, exactly the same as if you clicked on the center of that icon, or pressed a Distribute Shields hotkey.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
08-14-2011, 09:53 PM
And, before someone asks (and I know that someone will): This is not a hack, exploit, or otherwise changing/altering the game files in any way that is not intentional or permitted by the in-game mechanics and tools provided by the Devs.

The ability to bind keys is present and encouraged in the game engine, but the Devs only provide the means/tools to do so, they do not write the binds for us.

Hope that answers that question and clears up any lingering confusion,

-Big Red Goomba
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
08-14-2011, 10:05 PM
I've found that hitting the arrows on the keyboard will effect individual shield facings too
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
08-14-2011, 10:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by KTagloH View Post
I've found that hitting the arrows on the keyboard will effect individual shield facings too
True, also at a slightly greater rate than simply hitting Distribute Shields, however, in general practice, Distribute is more than sufficient (and necessary to prevent loss of regeneration, either through Shield Power-related 'natural' regeneration, or the regeneration provided by BOff and Captain abilities). In any case, getting people to use any type of Shield balancing will go a long way toward helping them improve their gameplay experience.

-Big Red Goomba
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
08-14-2011, 11:36 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRedJedi
True, also at a slightly greater rate than simply hitting Distribute Shields, however, in general practice, Distribute is more than sufficient (and necessary to prevent loss of regeneration, either through Shield Power-related 'natural' regeneration, or the regeneration provided by BOff and Captain abilities). In any case, getting people to use any type of Shield balancing will go a long way toward helping them improve their gameplay experience.

-Big Red Goomba
I think you should mention the synergy with shield heals in the original post as well.

Shield healing from most powers, as well as natural shield regeneration, applies healing to each facing. A facing that is maximized receives no healing.
By distributing shield power during combat, you ensure that each facing has some damage that can be healed. This can up to quadruple the amount of healing you can get out of your powers!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
08-15-2011, 12:32 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
I think you should mention the synergy with shield heals in the original post as well.

Shield healing from most powers, as well as natural shield regeneration, applies healing to each facing. A facing that is maximized receives no healing.
By distributing shield power during combat, you ensure that each facing has some damage that can be healed. This can up to quadruple the amount of healing you can get out of your powers!
Updated, Archancellor.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
08-15-2011, 08:03 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRedJedi
And, before someone asks (and I know that someone will): This is not a hack, exploit, or otherwise changing/altering the game files in any way that is not intentional or permitted by the in-game mechanics and tools provided by the Devs.

The ability to bind keys is present and encouraged in the game engine, but the Devs only provide the means/tools to do so, they do not write the binds for us.

Hope that answers that question and clears up any lingering confusion,

-Big Red Goomba


Haha BigRed if that were true I would probably be 15 times haxxor :p
But great job with your explanations, as always.

Perhaps a little offtopic, but since I use alot, and alot of keybinds, I am really disappointed on how the game actually handles the tray abilities on a slow pace, unresponsive, etcetera. While this actually doesnt have to do anything with the keybinds itself, you will quickly notice this when you use more binds simultaneously.

Its like two or more abilities are constantly trying to pop, and they are really fighting over it which one can come first. The devs should take a lookat this like they did on ground.

It seems that Batteries and functions like Distributing shields, Firetorps etc, isnt affected by this, however it still remains very annoying. Sometimes even death as a result.

Well, just wanted to tell this so people are aware of this issue. Note again this does not interfere with the other functions other then +TrayExecToTray, like Distribute shields.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
08-15-2011, 09:49 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marctraider View Post
Haha BigRed if that were true I would probably be 15 times haxxor :p
But great job with your explanations, as always.

Perhaps a little offtopic, but since I use alot, and alot of keybinds, I am really disappointed on how the game actually handles the tray abilities on a slow pace, unresponsive, etcetera. While this actually doesnt have to do anything with the keybinds itself, you will quickly notice this when you use more binds simultaneously.

Its like two or more abilities are constantly trying to pop, and they are really fighting over it which one can come first. The devs should take a lookat this like they did on ground.

It seems that Batteries and functions like Distributing shields, Firetorps etc, isnt affected by this, however it still remains very annoying. Sometimes even death as a result.

Well, just wanted to tell this so people are aware of this issue. Note again this does not interfere with the other functions other then +TrayExecToTray, like Distribute shields.
I think it is some kind of "feature" to avoid exploits and "real" macros to work. You can bind 10 powers to the same key, but you then have to press the key 10 times, so you can't get a speed advantage over another player. And any externally provided Macros would also not gain you an advantage.
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