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Why Are We Still Using Wasd?


bairloch
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Hello All,

This is just a personal gripe. Ignore if you feel like it. But it's something that's bothered me for a while so I thought I'd write it down here where people can pick it apart.

 

When I first started computer gaming, I already knew how to type. If you're like me, the first thing you learned about typing was to find the home row keys. You know, the ones with the little bumps on them so you can line your fingers up just so and have the greatest access to the keyboard. After years of typing, my hands just automatically fall on the home row. It has become natural, despite typing being a very un-natural practice.

 

So, imagine my surprise, when I play my first modern 3D computer game (Quake, I don't count Wolfenstein 3D with its lack of mouse support) and the default keys are mapped to WASD. WASD? So I have to shift my left hand one key to the left? And then shift it back to the right if I want to type? Why would I do that? Why not just stay with the home row keys I've learned so well?

 

And, as I came to learn, using WASD limited my key-binding ability. It took away a whole row of keys I could hit with my pinkie. Just wiped 4 keys off the map. I still didn't understand why this was the standard configuration.

 

Fast-forward 20 years. I'm still spending the first few minutes of every new game re-binding from WASD to ESDF. Still confused over this illogical standard. Still in the minority.

I'm in this for the Experience, not the XP.

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I don't know who started it.  But I do know that I like being able to reach the Shift key and thus I prefer WASD over ESDF.  And for anyone who may mention that you can still reach it from there I have very small hands which is a pain in the ... neck.

Between dreams and reality.


Lantern Watch

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You could use a keyboard that also has a set of arrow keys on the lower right side. My gaming laptop has arrow keys just for that purpose. Very convenient.  

Click your profile name>Click Manage Ignore Prefs>Find "Add a new user to my list" at the bottom of the page>Type in a username>Check options>Save Changes>Silence is bliss.

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You could use a keyboard that also has a set of arrow keys on the lower right side. My gaming laptop has arrow keys just for that purpose. Very convenient.  

 

Since my right hand is on the mouse, and my left has the full range of keys available to it, I don't see what the arrow keys would benefit me.

I'm in this for the Experience, not the XP.

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Since my right hand is on the mouse, and my left has the full range of keys available to it, I don't see what the arrow keys would benefit me.

Fine. It was just a suggestion. 

 

Personally, I don't use a mouse much. I prefer track pad and arrow keys. 

Click your profile name>Click Manage Ignore Prefs>Find "Add a new user to my list" at the bottom of the page>Type in a username>Check options>Save Changes>Silence is bliss.

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I don't know who started it.  But I do know that I like being able to reach the Shift key and thus I prefer WASD over ESDF.  And for anyone who may mention that you can still reach it from there I have very small hands which is a pain in the ... neck.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHHB00Nu3Ak

Shadowbane - Aflac 
Advocates of Evil - RIP

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But shift, ctrl and alt are designed to be hit from the home row. I mean, that's why it's the home row. Typing and the keyboard evolved together with that in mind.

 

Maybe I just have giant hands...

 

And for those that might think my replies are dismissive, there is no way to put facial expression and inflection into text. Please don't read to much into it.

I'm in this for the Experience, not the XP.

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But shift, ctrl and alt are designed to be hit from the home row.

 

Just practicing with it, when staying in "home row position" I struggle to reach CTRL without my finger moving off S.  When in WASD position it's not a problem.

 

Edit - Should say it's not a problem to say on A.

Edited by Arkamedeez
 

Sorry you turned into a two-bit carebear whose feelings get hurt over forum banter.

 

 

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Hello All,

This is just a personal gripe. Ignore if you feel like it. But it's something that's bothered me for a while so I thought I'd write it down here where people can pick it apart.

 

When I first started computer gaming, I already knew how to type. If you're like me, the first thing you learned about typing was to find the home row keys. You know, the ones with the little bumps on them so you can line your fingers up just so and have the greatest access to the keyboard. After years of typing, my hands just automatically fall on the home row. It has become natural, despite typing being a very un-natural practice.

 

So, imagine my surprise, when I play my first modern 3D computer game (Quake, I don't count Wolfenstein 3D with its lack of mouse support) and the default keys are mapped to WASD. WASD? So I have to shift my left hand one key to the left? And then shift it back to the right if I want to type? Why would I do that? Why not just stay with the home row keys I've learned so well?

 

And, as I came to learn, using WASD limited my key-binding ability. It took away a whole row of keys I could hit with my pinkie. Just wiped 4 keys off the map. I still didn't understand why this was the standard configuration.

 

Fast-forward 20 years. I'm still spending the first few minutes of every new game re-binding from WASD to ESDF. Still confused over this illogical standard. Still in the minority.

 

It's not illogical. It's the perfect spot for your 1 2 3 fingers to be while your 4th finger can comfortably reach the CTRL and SHIFT keys.

 

Plus your toe normally stands in the middle of the Space Bar wich is also comfortable.

 

"Just wiped 4 keys off the map"

 

You have like...... let's say 17~20 buttons to use with your 1 2 3 fingers. But when you hold the SHIFT key you can assign different functions to the same key. 

e.g.

F = Loot

SHIFT F = Ress 

 

C = Sits

SHIFT C = Summons Beelzebu

 

So that gives you enough combinations to play any type of game you want.

 

Also... Notice that with your left hand at WASD and your right hand at the mouse your both arms stay in similar positions.

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If that were true, we would all be typing that way. The modern keyboard has evolved over the years and if you have your hand on the home row you are able to hit every single key, if you're doing it right. You have to be able to hit the shift key to type correctly. How else do you do capital letters?

 

Why then, would we move away from the design of the keyboard?

I'm in this for the Experience, not the XP.

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If you ain't using arrow keys you ain't poorly made socks.

You are so incredibly helpful, CYT. I don't know how I ever managed to do anything before we met. I was just bumbling my way through life, all lost-like. Thank you. My blessing cup runneth over.

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If that were true, we would all be typing that way. The modern keyboard has evolved over the years and if you have your hand on the home row you are able to hit every single key, if you're doing it right. You have to be able to hit the shift key to type correctly. How else do you do capital letters?

 

Why then, would we move away from the design of the keyboard?

 

No we would not. 

 

When you're playing your focus is to play well. And the best figer position is WASD. 

 

When you're typing you want to type well. And the best finger position is SDFG ( home row you talk bout or whatever )

 

Simple as that.

 

It's like a guitar. Some people play in E. Others play in drop D because it's easier to power chord.

 

That leaves us thinking the best way to play power chords is tuning it one "key" to the left. Same as in the keyboard.

 

You can't simply say E is the best tune to play everything cause it was DESIGNED this way.

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...After years of typing, my hands just automatically fall on the home row. It has become natural, despite typing being a very un-natural practice.

 

So, imagine my surprise, when I play my first modern 3D computer game (Quake, I don't count Wolfenstein 3D with its lack of mouse support) and the default keys are mapped to WASD. WASD? So I have to shift my left hand one key to the left? And then shift it back to the right if I want to type? Why would I do that? Why not just stay with the home row keys I've learned so well?

 

....

 

That is actually a really good point.

 

Curse you.  I was happy.  Now I want to remap all my games... - particularly the MMOs with text chat.

 

I .... never... thought ... about ....this ...

 

Now... I am...

 

0fa.jpg

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I'd really like to find a mouse that could map move forward, strafe right, strafe left, and get comfortable using it. One of the things I really liked about SB was having my left hand on the keyboard naturally and controlling all movement with the mouse. WASD and working keybinds around it has bothered me in every game since.

NFC 4 LYFE / KNIGHTS OF SILVERMOON / LEGACY OF BRUTALITY / CULT OF THE HY'PHY / THE REPTILIANS


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I think the WASD argument comes down to comfort.  When playing Quake, how many times during a single gaming session were you pressing Shift, CTRL or ALT compared to using those keys during a week of keyboarding?

 

And really, who actually types to other people when playing games? :rolleyes:

 

Sorry you turned into a two-bit carebear whose feelings get hurt over forum banter.

 

 

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Fine. It was just a suggestion. 

 

Personally, I don't use a mouse much. I prefer track pad and arrow keys. 

 

Really?

 

Do you find it more efficient than a mouse? I can't see that personally, but to each their own. :)

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