Home > Lord of the Rings Online > LotRO: The Path of the Hunter [Getting Ready to Play]

LotRO: The Path of the Hunter [Getting Ready to Play]

Groupplay1

Welcome back to the part of “The Path of the Hunter".  If you haven’t read it yet I recommend you start out on it.  Follow the following link for the first part of the guide: LotRO:  The Path of the Hunter [Introduction].  So far I’ve covered the basics and a quick look over the hunter class.  In this article we’ll be looking at 3 steps I always go through whenever I start a new game, as well as a new class when it comes to MMOs.

The topics covered are the following:
  1. Interface
  2. Game Performance
  3. Key-binding

The Interface

The interface constitutes most of the game for an MMO player.  It’s the one thing you’ll always be looking at while gaming, without it you lose almost all control over your character.  Customizing it to fit your tastes and make it comfortable is of prime importance.  The most drastical way to change your interface is by acquired a modified interface from the internet.  I myself use Deewe’s interface called “Yessh”.

Above is a screenshot showcasing the interface, taken from the website provided.  What I love about it are the cleaned up quickslots, auto attack is centered (we use this button to track our focus) and it feels extremely clean.

I recommend you give it a shot as a hunter.  Secondly, you can open the Options panel (Ctrl+O) and navigate to UI Settings, you can scale up or down various Interface components if you scroll down, as well as manage a few miscellaneous interface settings.  Finally I suggest you go in Combat Option and enable all options except for “Auto Move to Target” which would be plainly annoying unless you’re a Role Player… or an annoying/lazy.

 

Game Performance

Frames Per Second.  Keep it high.  Above 30 if your computer can handle it, no matter how wrecked your graphics are made to look.  If you have client-side graphical lag on top of network lag, you’re pretty much crippled compared to other gamers.

Note that not all settings when set on low will save you performance.  In fact some of the settings make your game look great and take away only 1 or 2 fps at all situations.  Play around with those settings until you acquire solid, hopefully stable FPS.

 

Keybinding

Following is the bigger part of this short article.  Keybinding.  Let’s go over the “What? How? Why?” for keybinding.

What it is: Simply put, you avoid clicking abilities.  Instead you press keys which correspond to those abilities.  For example, my Focus ability is bound to “F”.  Hitting F makes my character focus.  So on and so forth for most other skills.

How to do it: Keybinding happens in the Key Mapping (CTRL + O) area.  Find a free quickslot, drop various key bind combinations on it, and then move the abilities over the quickslot bars as you deem fit.  (I have a screenshot down below to show you my setup).

The benefits: Two noticeable benefits:  Increases reaction Speed (Higher Control) and lowers/removes mistakes as opposed to clicking.

Why you shouldn’t click:

  • Clicking is slow.  It takes time to move the mouse and click, while changing opponents.  Interface lag amplifies this.
  • Clicking is often inaccurate.  It’s not the first time you end up clicking the wrong ability no matter how used you are to the abilities, you may jolt the mouse just enough to click another neighboring ability.
  • Clicking can become disastrous.  Click-dragging abilities is the most dangerous things to do while in combat.  You’ll shift skills about, and possibly remove them from any quickslot, making it unusable (unless you keep skill panel open) throughout that fight.

Keybinding:

  • Is fast.  Normally you have WASD for movement.  I use F to use the Focus Skill.  That’s just right next to “D”  A simply finger movement helps me focus.  Same applies for every other skill  (shift and alt combinations become very swift when used to them).
  • Is as accurate as you’re used to it.  Keybinding is a total pain the first time you try it.  Once you get used to the binding layout and learn your keyboard well (only the area you keybound) you’ll make absolutely no mistakes (Using me as an example).
  • Never risks you click dragging abilities.  All your skills will stay on the quickslots.

So I never click anything?

No, I do click mobs, I do click panels, and I do click a few abilities which are long cast and/or have a long cooldown which are NOT used in a combat situation.  Examples?  Teleports and tracking.

Aside from those, all combat skills, all curatives and restoratives, Crowd Controls, Planning abilities and such are bound to a key (combination).

Keybinds

Above is my quickslots.  I won’t go in detail as to what ability I bound to which key.  It depends on your keyboard, your hand and the knowledge of your own keyboard.  Experiment, and follow the following tips when keybinding:

  • Keep it compact.  I keybind only the left part of my keyboard:  [r,f,t,g,z,x,c,1,2,3,4,5,6].  Obviously those aren’t enough to bind all abilities.  There’s where modifiers come in.  Shift, Ctrl and Alt.  Use them with those for near-limitless combinations
  • Keep it intuitive.   I take Focus as an example.  I bind it to F because the first letter is F in Focus.  Focus deals with my focus bar, and so does Intent Concentration (fills up Focus bar fully even in combat), as such I bound it to Shift + F.  Shift has the idea of an “elevation” ability for me.
  • Keep it organized.  Don’t throw different abilities all over.  I keep all restoratives on Alt + 1 to Alt + 4.  All curatives on Ctrl + 1 to Ctrl + 5.  All abilities are either on 1 to 6, or spread around the letters I mentioned above, and mix in shift, ctrl and alt with them as I feel most comfortable.  I try avoid using alt combinations as much as possible because I use Tab for cycling through targets.  Alt + Tab will minimize the game, and that would put me in quite a pinch!

Don’t expect yourself to either get keybinding right from the get go, nor to get used to it quickly.  It takes time both to keybind correctly, and to get used to it.  But all time spent doing so is time well invested in my opinion.  The benefits are something I cannot live with out!

That’s that for the 2nd installment in The Path of the Hunter series.  Next up we’ll get a look on playing the hunter in both solo and group situations while leveling.

Onwards to the 3rd part:  LotRO: The Path of the Hunter [Playstyle]

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