standing at the back in my sissy robe

August 2, 2009

this will be my mousterpiece

Filed under: Bitchin 'n' Moanin,Real Men Wear Purple — Tamarind @ 6:06 pm

The thing about running regularly with a guild is that it makes you think about the stuff you’re actually ostensibly there for, in my case standing at the back in my sissy robe (healing). Although on the subject of sissy robes, despite the fact the one I have is blatantly rubbish I’m loathe to let it go because, unlike every other robe in Northrend, it is not black, black like my soul, black like my coffee, black like a teenage goth’s bedroom. It’s. Um. Mostly black. And, in the right light, if you’re feeling generous, purple. Not the kind of glaring beacon of purple-ness Blizzard has led me to expect, more a sort of bruise-coloured indigo. But, holy fuck, it’s a colour, and I’m not knocking it.

[Mournful edit: woe, woe and thrice woe upon the House of Tamarind. Since writing the above I have been obliged to replace the robe with a new robe. And guess what that looks like. Sigh.]

Recently, I’ve been putting a lot of thought into my healing (which I shall relate in excruciatingly detail later, be assured) but the long and the short of it is I’ve been experimenting with more mouse-click centric healing. It’s going quite well except for one minor drawback.

My mouse is shite.

Except, no, that shouldn’t be the case. My mouse is average. It’s a 4-button, not bog standard but not top of the range either, kind of mouse. I’m not really up on mouses, since a mouse is the sort of thing I invest in only when the current model has died and been pulled back from the brink so many times it might as well be Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I, therefore, had trouble when I went out to purchase Microsoft Shite Mouse 3000 because mouse technology had, of course, swept into the future, leaving this luddite wringing his hands and saying things like “but don’t want it to be cordless, mouses have cords.” Also, perhaps this is another sad example that I may be turning into my mother, but I don’t believe a mouse should cost one over £30. Not unless it is made of solid gold, calls you darling and gives you regular foot massages.

Anyway, the drawback of the Microsoft Shite Mouse 3000 is that, although it comes equipped with a reassuring cord and is basically functional, WoW only deigns to recognise 2 out of its 4 buttons. To be fair, they’re the important two, but still. The 3rd button, which lurketh beneath the mouse wheel, it remembers exists maybe 66% of the time. This does not a happy healer make. In fact, it’s worse than the button just not working at all because part of you believes that if you can just make it function enough of the time, this will somehow, miraculously lead to it working all the time. So instead of concentrating on healing a fight you’re fingering your mouse like you’re trying to find its G-spot. Harder? Softer? Change of angle? Different finger? What if I flex my wrist like this?

This is just the sort of trivial technological setback I find disproportionately irritating because it’s basically insoluble. There are few sensible things you can try, and each potential solution lulls you into believing that this’ll be the thing that sorts the problem out, but, after a while, you just get completely and helplessly stuck. I mean, I’m not a mouse whisperer. It’s not the sort of technical problem you can demand Blizzard or Microsoft fix for you. You can’t even take your computer down to Dodgy Dave The Laptop Fiddler to see what he can do about it.

So I did everything I could think of to deal with the problem in WoW. And I did everything I could think of to deal with the problem with the mouse software. And then I sat there, growling.

There was the computer.

There was the mouse.

There were buttons 3 and 4.

There was World of Warcraft.

Why won’t you believe in each other? For fuck’s sake, it’s RIGHT THERE. THE BUTTON IS RIGHT THERE. Gah! No, I don’t want you to bring up a magnification window. No, I don’t want to invert the mouse. Come on, this is perfectly simple. Mouse, meet Rosamunde, she’s my laptop. Rosie, this is Microsoft Shite Mouse 3000. Rosie enjoys over-heating, running out of memory and scanning for malware when I’m trying to instance. Microsoft Shite Mouse 3000 enjoys making me tear my hair out by the roots. You two should get along beautifully. Rosise, MSSM3k, this is 4th Button: I don’t know what 4th button enjoys because neither of you will talk to him.

It makes me suspect the problem was not technological but philosophical. We started from first principles and, although my mouse now knows it thinks, therefore it is, it still doesn’t believe it has a fourth button in World of Warcraft.

Why, in the name of God, why?!

Anyway, I now have a new mouse. And it has caused me precisely ZERO trouble.

Excuse me, I have take the Microsoft Shite Mouse 3000 out back, where I will be hitting it with a hammer.



  1. Have you ever tried using mouseover healing instead? I personally can’t stand click-casting, because I usually have too many healing spells and I’m really bad at remembering whether I had Cure Disease keyed to shift-right-click or alt-left click or whatever. After playing a priest in BC, I eventually created a healing method that involved just making a macro for each and every healing spell that goes something like this:

    /use [help,target=mouseover] [ ] Chain Heal

    You don’t have to click on people, you just hover your mouse over their frame and hit that key. So much easier to keep track of, and doesn’t require any mods. And if you’re not mousing over a friendly target, it just casts normally. (I’ve had a few occasions of accidentally mousing over a totem when I’m trying to heal myself, but it’s embarrassing enough that I don’t repeat it often.)

    But I totally hear you on mouse buttons not working. My personal favorite mouse (enough that I actually bought a second one for work) is the Logitech MX400 Performance Laser Mouse, and it does not have a mouse wheel button. This is not an issue for me, because I DESPISE mouse wheel buttons, and it instead has two buttons on the side I put my thumb. I like to assign these to do stuff like spell interruption and emergency buttons.

    I am lucky in that WoW recognizes these two side buttons as actual buttons. However, for some unknown reason, these buttons do not work with mouseover healing. If I mouse over a player frame and click one of these buttons, they act like I did not press them at all. The solution, for me, was to rebind them using my mouse software into some obscure key that I’ll never press (I think one of them is a semicolon) and then change the keybinding in WoW accordingly. A little annoying, but it works for some reason.

    Comment by Kiryn — August 2, 2009 @ 6:58 pm | Reply

    • Basically, I’ve been on a massive healing / add-on bender. I’ve tried my own macros, Grid, Healbot and VuhDo, and I’ve tried click-casting, keyboard casting and a mixture of them all. I’m just trying to narrow down the technique that works most effectively for me. I shall probably right an extensively dull post about all, actually. Currently I’m giving click-casting a spin and, as you can imagine, this is rendered more than unusually difficult by MSM3k.

      I am not sufficiently mouse-savvy to have a favourite mouse, although the fully functional non-microsft shite mouse is winning my love and approval. I tried to Semi-colon keybind technique with MSM3k but, lo, that didn’t work for me either. Gargh!

      Also I’m disappointed in your, young Kiryn. I would have thought if anyone would be deploying the semi-colon on a regular basis, it would be you 😉

      Comment by Tamarind — August 3, 2009 @ 9:46 am | Reply

      • Clarification: I do use semicolons, but only when typing — they’re painfully far away from my hand for something I want to bind to an action. The entire right side of my keyboard is off limits for things I want to use in combat, which makes a semicolon a perfect key to bind to an action on my mouse. The rest of the things on the right side are for opening windows of various sorts (guild panel, quest log, etc.) and it’s hard to remember what a punctuation mark is supposed to be for, since it’s not a letter.

        Boo for click-casting. I tried HealBot once and hated it (even after I turned off all of that click-casting nonsense that’s built in). Grid refused to color my health bars by percent health remaining (well, it could, if I wanted my health bars to change from “yay everything’s happy” Green to “OMG someone is about to die” Red at a set percentage, rather than smoothly moving from one to the other throughout the length of the bar), so that was a dealbreaker.

        I swear by PitBull4 and some good, honest mouseover macros. Perl is also okay, but doesn’t format the information in precisely the way I want.

        Comment by Kiryn — August 3, 2009 @ 5:38 pm

      • I’m sorry, I was teasing you shamefully about the semi-colons. I would never impugn your honour as a grammarian (gramatrix?) by suggesting that correctly applied semi-colons do not pour from your fingertips like wine at a Bacchanal.

        Between mouse-over casting and click-casting I have to admit my inclinations are taking me to towards click-casting but I think that might be partially because I don’t have a full-sized keyboard and I hit the Windows Key of Doom and Despair far too much for my liking as it is, left alone when attempting to do the finger dance.

        I don’t like healbot … it’s just slightly too automated, as I suppose the name implies 🙂

        Comment by Tamarind — August 3, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

      • I don’t have a full-size keyboard either =) When I was learning to play WoW, I played it on a 12″ powerbook (oh, my framerate in Molten Core!) and I really prefer laptop-style keyboards nowadays. The full-size keyboard I use at work just feels so clunky.

        All crucial abilities are bound to tilde-5 and F1 through F5, which are right next to each other on my keyboard. Letters like Q, E, F, T and Z are bound to longer-cooldown or less crucial things. I don’t generally have to reach too far to hit what I need, and even less-crucial things tend to be on side bars so I can click on them. Whenever I tried binding things to 6-0 or anything else on the right side, I’d catch myself mouse-clicking them anyway, so I just gave up.

        Comment by Kiryn — August 3, 2009 @ 6:09 pm

      • Yes, I think that’s part of the thing – I was caught halfway between mouse-clicking and keyboard-clicking and I want to move more comprehensively in one direction, since half-and-half is extremely inefficient.

        Comment by Tamarind — August 4, 2009 @ 11:19 am

  2. Totally feel your pain as a one time Holy Pala. I feel dirty admiting that but meh. Beast Master 4 Life yo 😀
    AAAAAAAAnyway… get Healbot(tm) til your in 25mans then get grid(tm) and maybe decurse. Healing is with the vanilla UI a masochists world. Maybe you like that 😀 but assuming you don’t I can recommend both addons as a Healers Friend…

    btw 15lb hammer = more fun with microsoft products ;D one shot one kill

    Comment by Salvà — August 2, 2009 @ 7:51 pm | Reply

    • I wouldn’t like to speculate about what Tam enjoys (if anything) but I am certainly not up for masochistic healing. I’ve been experimenting with the various add-ons. Grid kind of laughs in my face, it knows I’m not sufficiently serious to be worthy of it, but I’m rockin’ VuhDo at the moment.

      Yes, I should have known better than to get a Microsoft mouse the first time round. But, y’know, it was cheap, how bad could it be … oh. Well, I won’t make that mistake again.

      Comment by Tamarind — August 3, 2009 @ 9:54 am | Reply

  3. If all you’re doing is healing 5 mans, you might want to try Clique. Very simple addon that binds any spell you select to any click combo you desire. For example, have GH bound to shift-right-click and FH to shift-left-click, then when you’re in a group and you want to Flash heal someone, just hold down shift and left click their party frame. Apart from the obviously faster reaction time, the main benefit is that you never have to untarget your tank to heal anyone else in your party.

    Comment by pewpewlazerz — August 3, 2009 @ 1:32 pm | Reply

    • I’ve played around with various add-ons in order to find one that suits me. Currently I’m definitely preferring VuhDo over clique but I couldn’t precisely tell you why apart from a wibbly feeling. Given how rubbishy my computer I am currently angsting about slow-down.

      Comment by Tamarind — August 3, 2009 @ 6:01 pm | Reply

  4. I live by healbot. It is incredibly easy to use.

    Comment by Darraxus — August 3, 2009 @ 3:18 pm | Reply

    • Hmmmm…I’ve tried it but I haven’t warmed to it. I think it’s partially the name, and I think it’s partially me and my neuroses 🙂

      Comment by Tamarind — August 3, 2009 @ 5:48 pm | Reply

  5. Basically, I bind the same macro to every key on my keyboard. I then gently lay the left side of my face on the left half of the keyboard, and slowly roll my head backwards and forwards across to the other side of the keyboard and back.

    If it gets any more complicated than that, I figure the fight really isn’t worth my time anyway. I mean, there’s 24 other people in here, right? They can’t expect me to do EVERYthing!

    Comment by Zaphind — August 3, 2009 @ 4:01 pm | Reply

    • What kind of add-on are you using on your head, because you know the default UI for the face is rubbish, right?

      Comment by Tamarind — August 3, 2009 @ 6:03 pm | Reply

  6. Great post as usual <3. I use Grid, now, after stubbornly refusing to learn how to use it through all of TBC through Sunwell and such. 😀 However, once your wrangle that beast, it is REALLY nice. This is the guide I used, a little dull, but it made the whole process easier. I used to use Healbot, but then it failed in the middle of a ZA bear run. Never again! Anyways, here is the guide

    Comment by Lilîth — August 4, 2009 @ 8:01 am | Reply

    • Oh thank you kindly 🙂 I’m currently kind of digging VuhDo which is slightly more accessible than Grid, although I have fiddled with Grid a bit, although mainly it sneers at me for daring to try to use it 🙂 Thanks for the video-link, that’s really useful (although I find myself drifting off as if in a maths lesson on occasion, the helpful gentleman has an extremely soporific voice)

      Comment by Tamarind — August 4, 2009 @ 11:11 am | Reply

  7. I do believe I just wet myself, damn you!!!

    Comment by Joe — August 4, 2009 @ 11:22 am | Reply

  8. The comment about fiddling with the mouse button like trying to find it’s g-spot is quote-worthy. It’s such an appropriate analogy for any manual coaxing of stubborn technology (not that I would know, or anything!).


    Comment by Boris — August 4, 2009 @ 2:02 pm | Reply

    • Hehe, yes, of course, I, too, was merely hypothesizing =P

      Comment by Tamarind — August 4, 2009 @ 8:02 pm | Reply

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