A lesson in buttons, How to switch specs and survive.


So I was inspired to write about my UI button layout.

Our resident 10 man Pally Tank had switched up to Ret and was having some issues with button presses. It occurred to me at that moment I could break down my button layout in my UI and maybe help some ferals out there new to either spec maybe layout their buttons better.

First, get Bartender addon.

Here is my Kitty map…

Lets start with the most important row… the bottom row is keybound to my number keys. I play with 4 fingers (pinky on 7, fingers running to the right 8, 9, 0.). I can reach over and mash – and = or 5 and 6… sometimes I stretch and reach 4. 1 I have 7 on my Naga mouse keybound to the 1 key just for Vamp biting, otherwise I never hit 1.

So lets look at my layout for the bottom row…

  1. Autoattack
  2. Moonfire – This is for pesky horde that try to run with 100HP left after a beat down.
  3. Ravage – Just cause
  4. Maim – Valks or trash/Horde caster interrupts.
  5. Feral Charge (Cat) – comes in handy on lots of fights, in particular Heroic Prince ICC… a Feral game changer.
  6. Rake – in the rotation
  7. Savage Roar – in the rotation
  8. Shred – in the rotation
  9. Mangle – in the rotation… sometimes… when I am unlucky… or stuck in front 🙁
  10. 0 on the bar, Rip – in the rotation
  11. – on the bar, Prowl
  12. = on the bar, Dash

So I use my right hand on the mouse for movement, and my left mostly for 6, 7, 8, 9, 0 the meat of kitty DPS rotation. Lets look at bottom bar when Prowling.

So Bartender changes my buttons when I am in Prowl mode. My favorite combo is on boss opening I mash 7 for FF and quickly hit 8 for kitty charge before bartender makes the button corrections for coming out of Prowl. I have Dash, this is for PvP purposes, pounce and the usual other Prowl openers you would expect.

Ok, lets take a look at the middle row. FYI, I mouse click anything on the top 2 rows.  I spend the bulk of my time from Cower over to barkskin. FF, Swipe, FB, TF, Berserk, and barkskin get used quite often. FR is right there on the far right in case I go bear and need some self heals (PVP or trash pulling). To the left of Cower you can see decurse which I use when needed on myself, then a macro labeled MIGHT… this is a fun macro for asking Pallies for might… we will leave it at that. Next is Abolish poison (PVP) and Challenging Roar (This should be Demo Roar, for PVP, I need to fix my bars.)

Finally the top row, from left to right…

  1. Rebirth – This gets liberal use.
  2. Hurricane – Just cause I can.
  3. Meld – Cause I like to live.
  4. NG – PVP
  5. Macro – Shift out and back into Cat (This is to break snares)

The next 5 are all healing, keeping myself or others alive in a pinch. Note that Tranquility is right above Barkskin, this is because 10/10 times you are going to Bark then Tranq.  The last is the Rocket Pack for ICC Ship.

Next post I will break down my bear bars, most importantly I change very little in the top 2 bars when in bear form or spec which makes it worlds easier to find spells when I need them regardless of form or spec. Main attacks like Mangle also don’t change so 9 in any spec of feral form is mangle.

Anyway, maybe this can benefit some people… if anyone sees a way I could be doing it better let me know… though old habits are hard to break.

9 Responses to A lesson in buttons, How to switch specs and survive.

  • Fantastic. I honestly have never shifted my movement/attack buttons from left hand side of keyboard to right side so this gave me a lot to consider.

    However… You have just failed my druid test.

    Unless Innervate is sneaky in that bar and I can’t find it no matter how hard I look. If Moonfire gets a spot there, Innervate totally should!

  • Jacemora says:

    It’s on a bar off to the right… I have 2 actually, one is a Macro for a specific healer and the other not.

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  • Antje says:

    From my perspective, your bars seem pretty disorganized. I try to keep similar abilities grouped together (i.e. Pounce and Ravage together, finishing moves together, Mangle + Rake + Shred together). I also try to keep abilities in the order that I would tend to use them. For example, my bar is Mangle>Rake>Shred>Swipe>SR>Rip>FB. The first 3 are the order of priority for regular melee abilities, Swipe is the basic trash ability, and then buttons 5-7 are finishing moves in the order that I would use them in a fight.

    Speaking of Swipe, I absolutely cannot fathom mouse-clicking Swipe. In fact, I will venture out and say that’s just plain wrong.

    I do agree with keeping abilities in the same spot for both bear and kitty. My bear bar is Mangle>FFF>Lacerate>Swipe>Taunt. So Mangle and Swipe are in identical locations for both cat and bear. FFF might seem a bit out of place, but it’s in there as part of the basic Bear rotation (Mangle>FFF>*ability1*>*ability2*>repeat). I also keep bear charge/kitty charge in the same spot.

    In the end, I do believe in doing whatever works for you. (Except mouse-clicking Swipe. That’s just wrong.)

  • Jacemora says:

    Mouse clicking swipe does suck, however a little delay in swipe is usually a good thing.

    I have had mangle in 9 forever, I can never move it now. I never pounce anymore in PVE and in PVP I never pounce ravage… right or wrong… I can’t remember the last time I used ravage.

    The ordering thing I do on my other toons, with Kitty I am in too much of a pinky to index finger groove in my rotations, running moves in succession would totally throw me off, probably the nature of the kitty priority rotation is why I don’t do this. When I was a Survival hunter I was doing the same out of order keys with L&L.

    With bear I just mash mangle, maul, swipe, FF, and my Growl… I have surivial CD’s as clicks.

  • Antje says:

    I had a certain bar set-up since vanilla WoW, and I re-organized when I hit 80 and started raiding Naxx (yes, I even moved my Mangle button!). It took a few weeks to get used to my new layout, but it was totally worth it because now my abilities seem to flow so much better.

    I do use a lot of macros. I have Maul macro’d into my 4 main bear abilities. I have Pounce macro’d to Mangle (because they both have relevance to bleeds) and Ravage macro’d to Shred (because they’re both straight-up damage). That way I don’t need a whole bunch of extra buttons for every single ability. I make do with 2 of the basic WoW UI bars, and I haven’t even filled up the secondary one all the way. What can I say, I hate clutter =)

    Like I said, whatever works for you is fine for you. But if you ever get the feeling that re-organizing might be helpful in the long run, don’t be afraid to take the plunge =)

  • Jacemora says:

    Hmm, Maybe I will give it a try in Cata… going to have new abilities that will need a spot anyway.

    I need to do the macro thing, make my life easier.

  • Myst says:

    Seems pretty messy to me.
    I’m also using Bartender, but only have two visible bars that change depending on which form I’m in. Similar or universal spells are always under the same button (e.g Barkskin on B, Fairie Fire on F, Mangle on Q, Battle Rez on Shift+F, Revive if out of combat etc).

  • Sil says:

    I will definitely look at this post again when I switch my specs. I love the look of those buttons.

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