Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 The Merits of Mouse Navigation
02-23-2011, 06:39 PM
Okay, so I got asked a question about a comment I made in my keybind guide regarding using the mouse for navigation. The comment was actually an off-the-cuff remark I threw in there for humor because of a debate I was having at the time with a fleetmate regarding the merits of WASD vs. Mouse. However, I stand by the statement. When you use the mouse there is an inherent ability to manage navigation. This is because of the muscle memory you have already developed using the mouse. I find that it is much easier, quicker and more reliable (no false starts).

With the left mouse button (middle finger) you can pan and look all around your ship. Should you see something interesting/important, just let the other (index) finger drop and woosh ... you are headed in that direction. During combat, you will find that because you are looking to a specific place on the screen you will be able to direct you ship there naturally as a result of this muscle memory.

To augment navigation and support scanning the environment, I also have my numpad 4,5,6,8 keys bound (see below) to provide continual movement in the designated direction (combinations of which also work ... 4,5 ... 8,6). That is, when I press my numpad 4-key my ship will begin and maintain a left (port) turn ... with the 6-key a right (starboard) turn. With that activated I am free to look about, as above, and if I find I want to head where I'm looking ... drop that index finger and deactivate the appropriate key(s). (The numpad direction will remain activated; if you release the mouse you will begin turning in the previous direction again.)


Keyboard Navigation
Numpad8 "++invertibleup"
Numpad5 "++invertibledown"
Numpad4 "++left"
Numpad6 "++right"
Numpad7 "throttleadjust .25"
Numpad9 "throttleadjust -.25"

Numpadenter "throttletoggle"
Add "throttleadjust .10"
Subtract "throttleadjust -.10"

With all this in place I find that the left-hand is somewhat jealous; that is where keybinds come in. While you are using you mouse to coordinate scanning and navigation, you left-hand is free to do other things and move about the country ... er, keyboard. While you are adjusting to keybinds, you will find that you have to look at the keyboard briefly (ever so briefly). While that is happening, you are still able to continue navigating smoothly.

Generally, I keep my left thumb on the spacebar (fire key). From there I have developed keybinds with my regular and most desirable abilities within easy reach of the other four fingers. This setup also allows me, with a marginal shift, to activate my left Alt-key and thus have another 1/4 keyboard worth of keybinds easily accessible as well.

Just my thoughts on Mouse vs. WASD
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