How To Make Yourself an Overall Better Player
There are certain things a player can do to make himself better, that are all fairly simple. This works for every game out there since they are general things focused more on you and not the game. This guide is seperated into 3 different sections.
1. Use Hotkeys and Mouse Turning
Use Hotkeys and Mouse Turning
Hotkeying your abilities is the most important thing any gamer can do. A gamer who clicks all of his abilities may do half way decent, but he will never be as quick and responsive as someone who has everything Hotkeyed. The "concept" of clicking isn't inferior, It's just impossible for a clicker to move across the screen and back to hit abilities. Where the "Hot-key user" can just mash both nearby keys.
If you've been a clicker your whole MMO career, fear not! Using Hot keys will be uncomfortable at first but you will quickly learn to use them and trust me... You won't regret it! In order to set up key bindings you will need to go into the options panel of your game, find the "Key Bindings" tab and go to town! I'll explain the different keyboard layouts that you can possibly use, if you're a bit confused.
WASD vrs The Arrow Keys
The age old arguement is that WASD is better than the arrow keys, no matter what, forever and ever, no arguement. This, however is not true. WASD has the same exact configuration the Arrow Keys do, Forward, Backwards and side to side. (Isn't that a song?... hmmm)
Find which of the two best suites you. I personally use the Arrow Keys as them combined with the Num Pad offer a more "controller" like feel to games. I of course don't move around -only- using the arrow keys, I do what you do, mostly just use left and right with the right mouse button to strafe. Now, the keys will be in the shape of a pyramid (Crappy one at that). Place your fingers as follows:
W - Middle Finger
This is the standard setup for your hands when using the WASD layout. W moves you forward, A moves you to the left, S moves you backwards, D to the right and Space Bar jumps your character. Also I've included the "Pinky" if you use ventrilo, this will generally be your push to talk button. Or some people bind Ctrl as a secondary abilities button, meaning when you hold down Ctrl it will allow you to use a completely different ability when hitting an old hotkey. I personally dread that configuration, I would never have a button I hold down which enables another set of hotkeys as not only is it radically uncomfortable but it also limits the amount of movement you can do with your hand as you are holding down the button. Your hand will be "rooted" in place, something you will never want to do.
It is very important you don't get used to jamming the A S or D key to move or turn in that direction. Doing this will only hurt you MAJORLY in the long run. To "professionally turn" you will want to use your mouse in addition to your keys. I will include more on this later.
Below is my general set up, for the Arrow Keys.
Up Arrow - Middle Finger
I use the same setup as WASD, the only difference is I use "0" on the Num Pad to jump.
It's important that you play with whatever you feel more comfortable with. I play all other games using WASD as I find it more comfortable but for MMORPGs I became accustomed to the Arrow Keys when playing Asheron's Call and Everquest and they have just stuck. The main reason I dislike WASD is because it feels completely uncomfortable to me; there is too much margin for error when hitting abilities and using WASD means I have to unbind other hotkeys that I can't live without such as "R" to immediately reply to whom sent me a tell or C to open my Character's Window.
Another ability that defines you as a pro gamer or not! Turning with your mouse is the second most important thing to learn after programming Key Bindings. Generally in every game when you right click and left click at the same time your character will move forward. This can be used instead of the "W" key or "Up Arrow".
When you just plain left click with the mouse, you will generally be able to move your camera around and change your camera angle. Now the important part. When you right click with the mouse and use the "A" or "D" or "Right Arrow/Left Arrow" keys you will STRAFE. Anyone that still uses Strafe Keys in MMORPGs is completely wasting two keybindings and is severly limiting themselves in what they are capable of doing as a player. Since Right clicking and using A or D or whatever it is you use will allow you to strafe it is absolutely pointless to use Strafe Keys. Break the habit before it breaks you.
Strafing is the second most important thing for you to know. It's very important you learn how to Stafe and learn to like it! Strafing will allow you better mobility, which in term increases your survivability! Now, as I said earlier, don't get to used to turning with your side to side keys. When you hold your right click, and hit etheir one of your "Side to side keys" you will strafe side to side.
Do this, Hit your D or right arrow key until you face east, this will take about a second. Then hit your forward key to start moving in that direction. Now, instead, Right click and hit your right directional key. After you've done this slowly pan your mouse right until you're camera is facing the direction you want to go. A lot easier yes?
This also works for your "Backing up". It makes me quiver when someone, as I call it "Arrow keys backwards" or "backpeddals" . When you're backing up you will generally move at a quater of your normal run speed. You can quickly learn to turn your self around while holding the right mouse button or "Backwards Strafe" with the method I listed above.
Find The Right Key Bindings For You!
This is more of an OCD thing than anything, but I do think it will help you out. I've found that using similar universal key bindings makes it easier to switch between classes and will help you. Across all of my characters and all of the games I play I have specific key bindings that are made for certain types of abilities.
I can only explain this by giving you demonstrations, So I will name my Paladin's Keybindings in WoW, My Hunters and my Choppa's in WAR. First, I will list my key bindings and the general type of ability I use it for
. (On Numpad) - Spamable ability, generally up close melee button mashing ability.
(Above the Arrow keys)
Delete - Third most commonly spammed ability
Left mouse button (Not left click) - Quick hit, commonly used on the move ability (Instant Cast)
Hunter in WoW
. - Raptor Strike
Delete - Aimed Shot
Left mouse button - Hunters Mark
Paladin in WoW
. - Crusader Strike
Delete - Cleanse
Mouse Left Button - Arcane Torrent
Choppa in WAR
. - Lotsa Choppin
Delete - Moral 1
Left Moust Button - Outta My Face
Learn Your Class, His Abilities and How He Works
The most important part to being good at a game is learning how your class works and how other classes work. Once you learn your class you'll be better killing both players and helping your group accomplish tasks. To become good at your class you will need to learn all of your abilities and learn the right time to use them.
To give you an example, say you're a healer. You have a group of 5 and you're crawling through some "part-way" difficult dungeon. You're the only one that is able to cast healing spells, so if you don't heal anyone there is no one that could step in and help. Whenever someone goes below 100% you should immediatly cast your HoT (Heal over Time).
Then you need to gauge when the tank is taking damage for when you start channeling your main heal. Say your big heal takes 3 seconds to cast and you know within 3 seconds the tank drops 10% in HP. You don't want to start channeling this heal when he is at 60%, because he will end up at 50%. Also on the HoT note, you will always want to keep a HoT on the tank while he is engaged in combat. Over the course of a really long fight a HoT will heal for more damage than you would expect.
A core rule is never let the tank drop to 50% or below, always try to keep him above 50%.
Also on the same note, if you know the tank is good enough to fight a mob for 10seconds until he needs a heal, you can feel free to throw a DoT or two on the mob. (If DoT's are available to you and it isn't going to limit your mana or energy usage during the fight). Learning what you can use at what time is very important to make yourself better.
On the same note after you learn your class, It is important that you learn the other classes in the game. Learning the other classes will allow you to become better at your class. If it's a pvp game, learning the other class will help you defend against him. Or if it's a PvE driven game, learning the other classes will help you know their strengths and weaknesses. Which you can use your abilities to make up for them.
Learn The Game!
Aside from learning your class, the next most important thing is learning the game that you're playing. You will need to learn the gameplay, games mechanics and about the game. It's important to know what your role is in a group when you play the game. Along with what your group members roles are, when you know this it will make it much easier to fill in their weaknesses with your strengths and vice versa.
Also when learning the game, learn where things are in the game. Learn each area, dungeon, City, Town, Raid Instance etc etc. When you see someone pull one mob out of a pack of 3 in a dungeon, ask how he did it. Get some advice learn the secrets of how to Dodge mobs and show your next group how you did it.
If you're unsure of something, ask questions. Some people will be nice enough to explain it to you, others will just laugh at you and call you a noob. This is life.
You'll notice when you learn more about the game, the classes and such you will slowly start to become better. Another crucial thing to learn about, aside from game play is the game mechanics. Mechanics will take a lot more coordination to learn and get used to. The most important game mechanic that I think to learn is Terrain and Jumping.
Learning how high you jump and the distance you jump in almost any game is important. Expecially a PvP game, being able to jump over a fence when a pissed off Warrior behind you could save your life if he doesn't make the same jump. Learning your Jumping distance helps as well. Once you learn your jumping distance you will be able to take shorcuts. Like jumping off a bridge towards the end and landing ahead of anyone who ran over the bridge and then turned.
Another part of learning the game mechanics is to learn what type of terrain you can "run up". You will have to learn how steep is too steep and learn what terrain is coded to be ran up. I can tell how terrain is made, just by looking at it. By this I mean, you can look at the terrain and say "Yeah you can run up that" or "Yeah you can just barely run up that, jump off to the terrain the right and continue climbing it".
This helps you a TON when trying to run away from another player or get some place quicker. All of these things will help you become a better player when playing MMORPGs. I advise you to stick with my methods listed above, you won't be disappointed!