I've been lazy of late, and it took me a while to finish composing this.
With all the hardware in place, I have to decide which spells I'm going to bind to the various buttons.
In the game itself I'm going to be using the Bongos2 bar mod. Bongos2 is a very simple low frills bar replacement mod with easy to use GUI. It allows me to create any number of bars of varying dimensions, up to a maximum of a 120 buttons in total. To begin with I'm going to have all the active buttons visible on the screen, in order to help me re-learn how to play after I've finished configuring. Eventually I'm going to modify the bars so that only those that are active based on a shift state are visible. I'm not entirely certain at this point how this is done, but it appears to be fully supported by the current version of Bongos2.
First I need to list which spells I need, organizing this with regard to both how often they are used and how quickly they need to be accessed. I won't bother reproducing the entire list here, as I will be displaying the final results of this organization eventually anyway. Once this list is finished, I can start organizing and binding the spells.
Before I setup the spells, though, I really should make sure that I can move around without any trouble. To do this, I bind the n52 direction thumb pad to the appropriate default movement keys (QWES), allowing me to easily move forward or backward, and strafe left or right, using only my thumb. For turning I use the mouse in conjunction with the right Mouse 2 button. I can also drive and steer with the mouse by pressing and holding both the Mouse 1 and Mouse 2 buttons simultaneously if I wish.
Unfortunately with this setup I don't have anyway to easily jump while moving. To solve this I bind the n52 space bar below the thumb pad to the keyboard space bar, which is the default jump in the game. I also bind the Mouse Page button, which sits on the top of the mouse, to the space bar jump action. This way, whether I'm using the mouse or n52 thumb pad to move, I'll be able to jump when I need to without requiring any digital gymnastics. This setup should also permit me to easily perform jump and spin frost shocks while on the move for effective kiting. I also decided to bind autorun to the CTRL+space bar, since I use auto run quite a bit and it's nice to have this in a handy spot.
Now I can start binding specific spells. To begin, I'll finish off binding the remaining buttons on the mouse. I leave the Mouse 1, Mouse 2 and Scroll Wheel to their game default settings, which leaves the Mouse 4 and Mouse 5, and the Cruise Up and Cruise Down (above and below the Scroll Wheel) . I've decided to bind to my most used defensive totems to these mouse buttons: Grounding Totem, Tremor Totem, Earthbind Totem, and Poison Cleansing Totem. To do this I simply create a 4 x 1 bar in Bongos, and bind the appropriate mouse button presses. For now I leave it visible on the screen, but will eventually set it to invisible after I get used to using the mouse buttons for these spells.
With the mouse bindings complete, I can move onto the n52 pad. First I map the keys on the n52 to actual keyboard button presses using the n52 profile software. The two right most buttons on the keypad I set to the Left ALT and Left CTRL keys. These two buttons will be used to set the shift state between multiple bar pages. The remaining twelve n52 keypad buttons I map to the keyboard 1 through =. These are the standard action buttons for the game. I then create three 4 x 3 bars in the game using Bongos, and map them to the 1 through = buttons with an appropriate shift state. The big orange button on the n52 I map to the grave button `, beside the number 1 key, and create a 1 x 3 bar for it's bindings through Bongos. The n52 scroll wheel up and down I set to the Tab and Alt+Tab keyboard presses, which corresponds to the enemy targeting buttons in the game. Using the CTRL bound n52 key in conjunction with this permits ally targeting as well. The scroll wheel is itself a button as well, so I bind it to the G key to allow me to quickly target the last enemy. I also add additional game key bindings to permit me to use CTRL and ALT with this in order to quickly target myself and assist my current target .
Finally, since I'm thinking of using my keyboard game pad as a tertiary device, I bind it's buttons to the number pad keys, and create three 3x3 bars in bongos that map to this, each with a different shift state.
With all the key bindings setup, all that's left is to drag the appropriate spells on the appropriate Bongos bars. Basically, I want to bind those spells that are most used and/or important to have quickly accessible onto easy to reach and remember keys. This is the current setup I've come up with.The Extra Four Mouse Button BindingsMacros Bound to the Grave / Orange Button
The Primary n52 Key Pad Bindings
The Secondary Keyboard Key Pad Bindings
I was going to list out all the spells, but it's a bit tedious. If you play a shaman in World of Warcraft, you'll know what most of these are. The basic idea is to organize the spells so that the most used spells and/or spells that must be quickly accessed are easy to find and use.
I've been using the above setup for a little over a week, and though it's been tough to relearn it's turning out fairly well. I may have to tweak a few around, as some of the spells with long cool downs are a bit too easy to activate accidentally, but other than that it's good.
The next step is to rake a look at improving my versatility through the use of macros. Currently I only really use one macro of note, my Nature's Swiftness + Healing macro. There's still some improvements to be made with the right macros, I think. I'll post this in Part III.