Monday, December 14, 2009

Procrastination


Last Christmas my sister got me a G15 keyboard that I was asking for. I mostly wanted it for the LCD display but the programmable keys (seen on the left hand side) were attractive too. I had visions of macro-ing commands like "Drones Attack" and "Drones Return" and "F1 to F8". This was the time before weapon grouping you see, and eight weapons on the Rokh got a little monotonous at times.

The LCD worked perfectly and soon I was seeing who was talking on teamspeak while in game which is extremely useful for putting names to voices, especially in large fleets and someone is going "warp to me, warp to me!".

But I could never get the macro keys to work in game. They were setup right according to the instructions but in game there was never any success. I swore I would try again but procrastination combined with always being busy meant I gave up and moved on. After all, weapon grouping came in Apocrypha and solved my biggest bugbear anyways.


Then last week I was listening to Song Li sing praises about his G13 gaming keypad on his Missions Collide podcast and how the macro keys made life easier for him and I got to thinking how I am wasting half my keyboard's functionality by not solving that issue.

So this past weekend I actually had some free time to mess with the software and try to figure out why the macro keys refused to work in Eve. Eventually I remembered I was cursed with Windows Vista (came with the computer, only option at the time, and I was too impatient to try and install my own OS as I wanted to play Eve RIGHT AWAY) and to make key strokes while playing Eve get picked up by Teamspeak and Ventrillo I have to run the programs in admin mode because I run Eve in admin mode for auto-patch reasons and other difficulties. Once I changed the macro program to run as admin as well, the two programs could share keystrokes and I was off to the races.

Let me tell you, I wish I had not waited so long! Not only do the drone commands work brilliantly, I have also tied my first four midslot activations to macro keys so I don't need to tie them to high spots for the F1-F8 keys. On top of that, the six programmable keys have three memory sets so I can have 18 programmed macros. I tied the second set of six to toggling overheat on and off on the first three high spots and first three mid spots... because trying to get the little green button in the heat of combat is insane BTW. So far in my testing in non-PvP activities the macro keys are great.

So, if you are a gamer and looking for something to make your experience more enjoyable, I highly recommend a gaming keyboard from Logitech.

8 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for this review!

    I've been using this same clompy keyboard for 10 (omg!) years now! It works fine, but really, time for a change. Its been so long since I've done any amount of research I didnt know where to start, and seeing as it plays so well with EVE, well that makes things even better. ;-)

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  2. I use a Nostromo SpeedPad n52 http://tinyurl.com/y7bukj and it works great. Although it doesn't have an LCD like the G13 does. I've gotten so used to it that it feels like an extension of me.

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  3. yeah, this keyboard rocks. I own one as well and I'll never go back to a normal keyboard and mouse setup. being able to set up profiles per game is very handy because it all automatically tracks your macros without needing to manually switch them. very nice!

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  4. Agreed with all the above. I've got a Saitek Cyborg keyboard, and I've got a profile set up, for example, with three launcher groups and a "broadside" key. I also have the Logitech Z-10 speaker, which has the same display as the G-15 keyboard on it. It used to show Ventrilo info on it, but for some reason after I rebuilt my computer the last time, it stopped doing that. Most odd.

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  5. @James: did you go into Vent setup and tell it to use the LCD again?

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  6. Love my G15! When I built my new rig last year for Apocrypha I splurged for the G15 and I don't regret it. If nothing else, I love it for the backlit keys.

    Like you, I'm a Vista64 user and just haven't taken the time to map the keys properly. Thanks for the kick.

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  7. Now you just need to get one of these too: http://warmouse.com/pr121509.html

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  8. Now, don't you wish you had the original G15 version with 18 buttons instead of 6? It would only give you 54 different macro's since you still have the 3 profile buttons.

    I don't understand why they cut down on the number of G keys on the later revisions to the keyboard, perhaps to make it a bit narrower as the thing is so wide.

    As to eve bindings, the first binding I ever did was to make all weapons fire, but I apparently had a complete mental block and never thought to bind the drone controls to it... DOH.

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