From Keyboard to Mouse+Keys:
A discussion about the transition
Lets talk about a true story here...
A Doom player plays a lot of Doom2, and gets pretty good with it. Doom2 came set up with a keyboard configuration, so thats what the player used, and the player learned to use it well. Strafing, aiming, timing shots, running, all of the important stuff. Even a form of circling around a target while shooting it is learned....and that really rules for killing things.
Then...through internet, the doom player finds out that there are incredibly skilled players out there...The doom player watches recordings of these players and cant believe the agility that these players have. They are so skilled that they could crush the doom player in any deathmatch, and badly.
It becomes clear that the reason they can move like that is because of use a custom keyboard configuration and the mouse at the same time....So the player wants to learn to use that too. So the player asks one of the great players what keys they use to play, re-configures Doom2, and tries it with the mouse.....and it absolutely sucks, its terrible, its frustrating!
This is my own true story....the beginning of it anyway. Like many other skilled mouse+keys players, I was a keyboard-only player. Many players started out using something other than mouse+keys, and then decided to switch, and then they became greatly skilled players for having done so. The Doom-God Xoleras is a former Gravis Gamepad user (now a mouse+keys player).. If you have seen any of Galiu's demos (Montreal player, winner of DMcon 95 Map1 tournament), be aware that you are watching a FORMER keyboarder at work. Also, if you were dooming long enough to have watched the televised Deathmatch 95 competition, you would have seen Kreuzin competing there....a former joystick user who switched first to trackball+keys, and then, finally, mouse+keys.
Switching from keyboard only to a custom mouse+keys config, after you have become somewhat skilled with keyboard, can be HELL. It was very hard for me, I remember exactly what it was like. It was starting all over again. I know which way I want to go, but the keys are all wrong. Just walking in the direction I want is a problem. Everything is disorienting and backwards feeling, especially since the movement keys are now on the left hand, when they used to be on the right. And the mouse well....its just useless when you cant even go the right way! And then, on top of it all, I start getting motion sick!
Yes, its hard....Yes, it's starting all over....Yes, people you formerly beat in Doom and skill levels in single player that you had mastered are now a overwhelming challenge.
Back to the story.....
The doom player took 2 weeks off from Deathmatching anyone, and decided to just focus on learning how to use the mouse+keys. It was frustrating when the player controls were just so mixed up. The player sucked so bad that the player had to -warp to different Doom2 maps using the -nomonsters parameter, just to move around without getting killed....and to think, the player was formerly able to play thru several levels of Nightmare-skill Doom2 before!
After about 2 days of practically hell, forward and backward and turning made enough sense that Doom2 single player was borderline playable again, in the lowest skill level only. In addition to playing single player at the lowest skill level, the by-onesself practicing continued; Circling a target while firing at it somehow wasnt exactly -easier- with the mouse, but it was -simpler-.
The doom play continued, and the player practiced a new-found trick that was amazing and fun: the mouse could make the player turn around practically -instantly-.
The player then resumed deathmatching. It was hard, the other players still had their comfortable controls, and the player's own controls were new and still confusing at times. It was an unfair advantage for them, in a way, they didnt have to deal with what the player was dealing with.
About 2 weeks of Deathmatch play go by, and the player comes to realize that the agility is back up to where it was as a keyboarder. The amazing thing about this is...the Baby Mouser realizes...that the great agility of Mouse+Keys is only starting to be tapped. Theres SO much farther one can go with this agility! Its not so much a frustrating thing now as a learning process: Learning to SSG more effectively, learning to use circlestrafing better, trying to run around corners in hallways without bumping into the walls, lots of things to learn. The Baby Mouser can picture how badly the other players will suffer once mouse+keys are REALLY learned!
This is just the beginning, the learning of the full use of this agility continues for a long time.
The point of this discussion is:
Keyboarders: Most of us Mouse+Keys guys were like you once, we had to deal with the frustration of switching too.We know what its like and yes it is hard...but it is WORTH it! The bad things like the confusion and the motion sickness go away, and the good things grow and grow.
Coming from having been a former skilled keyboarder: Keyboard skills dont come close to the damage you can inflict with mouse+keys. It is WORTH the hell you have to go through at first.
You have the advantage of having facility.wad to practice your skills in. When I was a baby mouser, I wanted a place like facility.wad, but none existed. You have it; use it, let it help you to learn to play your best.
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