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GABB - an updated keybind set


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I tend to wave the flag for the Technical Guide pretty often, but it's been a long time since I said much about its companion piece, the GABB bindfile set. So for those of you who haven't found it over the years, a brief PSA.

 

IMVHO, the default binds for City were never very good and represent the state of the art for keyboard control ca. 2005... at best. I know many players have become very comfortable with them and routinely use things like the semicolon as the start of emote entry strings and such. But really... it's 2020 and the Homecoming era really needs a clean, updated, well-planned keyboard interface.

 

I'm only a middling gamer, but I am a UI/UX/Human Factors designer whose career in such goes back long before the terms "UX" etc. were coined. I like simplicity, intuitiveness, self-teaching and -reinforcing interfaces that are forgiving and adaptable.

 

Which is why I created my own sweeping bind set long ago, and updated it for the new era, and have polished it over the last year or two. I highly recommend that all players give the GABB - Gunner's Advanced Basic Bindfile - at least one good try, no matter how much it might need a little adaptation from years of "digital memory" of commanding the game.

 

I won't go into detail here except to post the key chart for quick examination. The complete guide, which walks you through all the binds and highlights those you need to edit for your own installation and preferences, is on the website with the Tech Guide. You'll want both the manual and the little ZIP of the bind files.

 

You can even try it risk free if you do this:

  1. Save your current bind set up with /bindsavefile [game path]\MyOldBinds.txt.
  2. Edit the new bindfile (see the manual), GABB.txt in Notepad, Notepad++ (highly recommended) or any ASCII editor.
  3. Load the new binds using /bindloadfile [PATH]\GABB.txt.
  4. Experiment with the key reference chart at hand.
  5. Keep, modify and update... or reload your old binds with /bindloadfile [PATH]\MyOldBinds.txt.

 

Among other things, the GABB file blanks out ALL OTHER EXISTING default binds so that the game can't sneakily overwrite them. I strongly suggest NOT trying to blend the new binds and the old set, no matter how comfortable whacking ; or ' might be. 🙂 It also implements a basic system of rolling binds for toon-talk, so that you don't just say "Gratz!" over and over.

 

All comments welcome.

GABB-chart-119.pdf

Get the I27-2 Technical Guide, the GABB Bindfile
and more useful stuff at 
www.Shenanigunner.com
Beam on over to The Teleport Guide!
/evillaugh at www.CityOfZeroes.net

 

 
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Here are my honest abservations. After looking at these controls, I could never really get used to something like this, not only would I need to have the reference chart in front of me for a while (which is annoying) and there is some prime keyboard real estate dedicated to commands that are non useful in combat, notably F, Q and G which I use to bind powers I use in combat.


Q= Cancel Autorun: I can just use a movement key to cancel autorun

F = Follow: Unless I'm going AFK and i want to keep up in missions that have a lot of ambushes (notably ITF) I can just manually right click on the player I want to follow. Personally this happens so infrequently that I wouldn't need a dedicated bind for this, especially not on a key that is useful for combat binds

G = Grapple: Don't even know what this is, i guess it's like follow but for a much closer range, again I would never use this and having it on a prime keyboard location isn't necessary
T/Tab= Target Near: Pretty much every MMO in existance uses Tab for this and it would be weird to change it to something else, especially to replace it to toggle UI which is rarely used except to take screenshots, Again, prime keyboard space used for something not combat related, not only non combat related but for a function that will significantly hinder your combat ability when toggled

 

One thing that I do like are the F1-F5 to eat inspirations but even then again, I would need to have a cheat sheet in front of me to remember which does what. I would only really use F1 and F2 for this for Red and Green insps

Edited by Seigmoraig
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All fair comments. Or, maybe, all fair comments if (in all good humor, here):

  1. You were required to use this bind file;
  2. You were unable to make your own mods to the binds;
  3. You regard the historical key assignments as something that Must Not Be Changed (even if they have no good justification);
  4. and you have hours of memory storage for the esoteric details of IOs, crafting, accolades, Incarnate choices etc. but have run out of storage for a different (far more organized and intuitive) key set.

🙂

 

You can modify this setup any way you like. If you can't conceive of T meaning Target [Next] and anything but TAB for that is heresy, by all means reassign Target to TAB. G-for-Grapple is even simpler: Target Nearest + Follow; in the heat of melee battle it makes 'grappling' with the next foe a blink of an eye operation, with no need to try and click-click-click through a maelstrom of particles. The mnemonic binds make far more sense, from a viewpoint outside MMORG-land and for less... indoctrinated players.

 

Many keys are left for custom binds... Y, U, I, O, P, H, J, K, L and B for a quick start. Are these possibly different from your standard combat or other binds? Yup. So modify. I find it very convenient to use P to bring up all 'protections' - shields, etc. on every alt, adapting actual powers as needed - and CTRL+P to cancel them when it's useful. I for Invisibility, Hide, Stealth etc. on all alts, and CTRL+I to cancel it. H to fire self-heal, whatever the power. All of these are outside the basic bindset and available for any savvy player to use.

 

But that's all really aside. What the GABB does above all else is take all the bizarre, non-intuitive, "only key we had handy" binds like slash, semicolon, apostrophe and a dozen others and reassign them to more reasonable, intuitive keys, or combine things like chat-entry into one or two sensible combinations. Anyone who's howling and rolling on the floor because I nerfed semicolon and apostrophe here might benefit from ten minutes of reading the actual GABB manual. And about half of the default binds are next to useless because of evolution in the game itself and gameplay style... better to nuke/NOP them and keep random keyhits from bringing up menus or modes that get in the way.

 

And remember... GABB is worth every penny you paid for it, and comes with a full refund policy. 😄

Edited by Shenanigunner
Get the I27-2 Technical Guide, the GABB Bindfile
and more useful stuff at 
www.Shenanigunner.com
Beam on over to The Teleport Guide!
/evillaugh at www.CityOfZeroes.net

 

 
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23 hours ago, Shenanigunner said:

All fair comments. Or, maybe, all fair comments if (in all good humor, here):

  1. You were required to use this bind file;

Sorry if it came out harshly, It wasn't intended to bash you or the work you have done on this bind setup. They were just my honest observations and reasons as to why this would never work for me

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I have pretty much remapped my entire keyboard.  When I returned to HC I had to relearn how to make binds...then relearn what key does what.  It works for me because its quite intuitive to the way my brain functions.  Now, other peoples brains work differently so my keybinds would be a huge WTF to them.   

 

I think trying to create one set of keyboard controls for every person on the planet is just a bad idea, so CoH got it right in allowing the level of customization we can achieve.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, Seigmoraig said:

Sorry if it came out harshly, It wasn't intended to bash you or the work you have done on this bind setup. They were just my honest observations and reasons as to why this would never work for me

 

Not at all. Any snark in my reply is my mild exasperation at the "but it's always been that way!" arguments... which are not always wrong.

 

Certainly, if you're an experienced player of this and other games that use similar mappings, these would be less... good. I would hope some of the ideas (such as the rolling-bind chat entries) are useful.

 

 

1 hour ago, EmmySky said:

I think trying to create one set of keyboard controls for every person on the planet is just a bad idea, so CoH got it right in allowing the level of customization we can achieve. 

 

Absolutely. I consider a fully remappable keyboard (and mouse, and controller) a sine qua non for modern games, and CoX was one of the first to offer such vast customizing.

 

My hope/thought is that this updated interface is a better choice for new or returning (and not vastly indoctrinated/experienced) users to start with. If a player has to learn everything but the most basic WASD commands, better to start with an updated. clearly though out set and modify than the original set, which is just 'orrible in some ways.

 

Get the I27-2 Technical Guide, the GABB Bindfile
and more useful stuff at 
www.Shenanigunner.com
Beam on over to The Teleport Guide!
/evillaugh at www.CityOfZeroes.net

 

 
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