4.3 Holy Radiance: Casting a completely different spell

I have a confession: I game on a Macintosh.

I’ve been using Macs at home, almost exclusively, since high school. Even though the mice have always come with one button (they still do, sort of) I have used and preferred multi-button mice for years. But I get a laugh out of people who try to make fun of Macs and their stereotypical 1-button mouse because in most cases I get a rather confused and outraged reaction when I show them what I use:

Original Naga

Razer Naga: 17 buttons of fury!

“Why?” “Who needs that many buttons?” “How does it even work?” I’ve heard similar questions from plenty of people including many who are not at all unfamiliar with computers. Even a few who understand the Nostromo but still look a bit cross-eyed at the Razer Naga.

Click Healing

I bring this up because the change to Holy Radiance in patch 4.3 causes me a problem and gives me and excuse to describe part of my interface. The original spell was a perfect fit for the number ‘5’ thumb key. The new Radiance, because it is targeted, is a completely different spell in my interface. I cast targeted healing spells with the same two fingers and 3 to 5 mouse buttons found on lesser devices.

Naga main buttons

The actual 'mouse buttons'

Allow me a moment to plug my favorite group/raid frames addon, the seriously awesome Vuhdo which supports everything: click casting, mousover macros, even support for Clique.

To better understand my conundrum, take a look at my 4.2 configuration for targeted spells:

Cataclysm to 4.2
Left button
‘Forward’ button
Right button
Click
Holy Light
Hand of Protection
Divine Light
Shift-click
Flash of Light
Hand of Salvation
Beacon of Light
Ctrl-click
Cleanse
Hand of Sacrifice
Lay on Hands
Alt-click
Holy Shock
Hand of Freedom
Word of Glory

I liked this configuration because of the way it groups frequent and infrequent spells against particular modifier keys. It also matched two thirds of the configuration I used throughout Wrath of the Lich King. So much of my performance is tied to familiarity with my interface.

Where’s the middle button? Well, I don’t like it. I prefer using the wheel as a wheel, controlling my camera zoom. I tried using it for Radiance on the PTR this week and I couldn’t get over how much I hate the feel of the wheel as a button.

Why don’t I use the thumb keys? The simple answer is I developed my click-healing habits on a 3-button mouse back when Paladins had two spells. I get into more details on the thumb keys further down.

Needing a new way to cast Holy Radiance, I’ve worked my way down to two possible solutions. The first option makes use of an additional mouse button. The advantages are I don’t change existing mappings and the new action is simple/unmodified. The disadvantage is I need to learn a new finger contortion on my mouse hand. This is the option I’m starting with.

4.3 v1
Left button
‘Forward’ button
‘Back’ button
Right button
Click
Holy Light
Hand of Protection
Holy Radiance
Divine Light
Shift-click
Flash of Light
Hand of Salvation
Beacon of Light
Ctrl-click
Cleanse
Hand of Sacrifice
Lay on Hands
Alt-click
Holy Shock
Hand of Freedom
Word of Glory

The second option moves a low priority spell like Cleanse to a new modifier combination. The  advantage is it uses a familiar bind for a spell I expect to be using frequently on some fights. The disadvantage is potential mis-casts if I cannot reliably hold two modifiers. While Control & Shift is the easiest two button combination, I worry missed casts could happen at critical moments. I will keep this, or a similar variation, ready if the first option feels uncomfortable.

4.3 v2
Left button
Forward button
Right button
Click
Holy Light
Hand of Protection
Divine Light
Shift-click
Flash of Light
Hand of Salvation
Beacon of Light
Ctrl-click
Holy Radiance
Hand of Sacrifice
Lay on Hands
Alt-click
Holy Shock
Hand of Freedom
Word of Glory
Ctrl-Shift-click
Cleanse

Action Bars

So let’s talk about that ridiculous 12-key pad on the Naga. The first thing you need to know is they aren’t really mouse buttons. They are recognized as a keyboard. In the case of my original Naga there is a hardware switch on the bottom of the mouse to select one of two modes. The first mode duplicates the ‘1’ through ‘0’, ‘-‘, and ‘=’ keys which are on the top row of your keyboard and the common default for action bars everywhere. The second mode duplicates the ‘1’ through ‘0’, ‘-‘, and ‘+’ keys from the 10-key area on the right side of a standard extended keyboard. This gives you the option to map keys on your number row and your 10-key, using one on your right (mouse) hand and the other on your left.

This allows for some interesting changes to your interface. In my case, my left hand is freed from action bar duty and the contortions required to combine it with push-to-talk, modifier, and movement keys. I’ve used the thumb keys in conjunction with modifier keys while healing, tanking, and even in Starcraft 2. Mouseover macros can also be mapped if that better suits your style

I use the thumb keys for anything which is not a friendly-targeted spell. I definitely haven’t filled every button, but I’ve grouped spells by modifier keys and/or button to handle similar functions. More commonly used spells are on the first six buttons because they’re easier for my hand to reach. While I haven’t tanked since ICC, some spells (Crusader Strike) are holdovers but others (everything on key ‘0’) are too important in critical situations to leave sitting in the spell book. Since removing Radiance from these keys I will move Light of Dawn to ‘5’ and eventually find an appropriate spell for ‘8’.

Here are screenshots of my action bar with descriptions of my current mappings.

Unmodified (common & timing-sensitive spells):
Bar unmodified

Unmodified

  • Judgement, Divine Protection, Divine Favor
  • Crusader Strike, blank (old Radiance), Aura Mastery
  • Hammer of Justice, Light of Dawn, Arcane Torrent
  • Rebuke, Holy Wrath, situational or fight-specific macro
Shift-modified:
Bar shift

Shift modified

  • Holy Shock (offensive), Divine Shield, Avenging Wrath
  • blank, blank (old Radiance macro), blank
  • blank, Nitro Boosts, Divine Plea
  • Hand of Reckoning, Consecration, blank
Control-modified (least used spells):
Bar control

Control modified

  • Hammer of Wrath, Healthstone, Guardian of Ancient Kings
  • Exorcism, blank (old Radiance macro), situational trinket
  • Turn Evil, Parachute Cloak, mana potion
  • Righteous Defense, blank, Inquisition

While Razer has an addon specifically for the Naga, I use Bartender. The modifier keys are configured to page to additional action bars which are normally hidden elsewhere at 0% opacity. I prefer to keep this action bar in a 3×4 arrangement to match the thumb keys because it helps me quickly learn new mappings. Fitting this bar into a complete UI is better left for a later date when I’ve had time to come up with excuses for the mess on my screen.

If you use a Naga, what’s your favorite feature or advantage? If you click-heal, do you follow a pattern or method in your bindings? How do you deal with the removal or addition of spells? Let me know how you do it or even if you think I might be a little crazy with the way I do it.

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3 responses to “4.3 Holy Radiance: Casting a completely different spell

  1. Well, I tend to use modifiers for EVERYTHING, but that is because my hands are small. I can’t comfortably reach the side buttons that you use for backward and forward. And I can’t really reach 10, 11, 12 on the mouse. So it’s a lot of 1-9 and top 3 mouse buttons with modifiers. I use shift, control, alt, and control+alt as modifiers.

  2. I bought a Naga without trying it first and I simply cannot get along with it. In theory it’s great but the button positions are awful.

    The 7-12 buttons are bad but the worst culprits are the forward and back shoulder buttons, they are too far forward for thumb use and being recessed makes it even worse.

    My mapping in Vuhdo is:
    Left click – Target
    +shift – Flash Heal
    +ctrl – Heal

    Right click – menu
    +shift – Greater Heal
    +ctrl – Unbound

    Forward – PW:Shield
    +shift – Prayer of Mending
    +ctrl – Renew

    Back – Penance/Circle of Healing
    +shift – Prayer of Healing
    +ctrl – Leap of Faith

    Middle Button – Power Infusion
    +shift – Levitate
    +ctrl – Fear Ward

    Major cooldowns (#1 Hymn of Hope, #2 Divine Hymn, #3 Pain Suppression/Guardian Spirit, #4 PW:Barrier/HW:Sanctuary/HW:Serenity, #5 Desperate Prayer and #6 Shadowfiend) are all on mouseover macros which are bound to CTRL+ keys 1-6 which are in turn bound to the macro keys on my Logitech G510 keyboard

    • 7-12 are not particularly easy to reach, but all of the buttons get a lot easier once you put in a few weeks of practice. I raid about 9 hours per week and I’d give myself 3 to 4 weeks to adjust.

      As for the Forward/Back buttons, they were frustrating at first. Then I just started using my index finger for them and it felt a lot better. I don’t use the middle button because I dislike unintentionally adjusting the camera zoom when I press it. I’d recommend placing more frequent casts on the two main buttons. I bound Target and Menu to multiple modifier combinations within Vuhdo while leaving them to their normal behavior with default player frames and the environment.

      Treat the Naga like any change to your key bindings: you’ll need lots of practice to get comfortable again.

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