Thursday, September 5, 2013

SEP 1 - RIFT Thrustmaster

Hi everyone. So I would like to share something I discovered with hopes you get a chance to try this out. I recently purchased a Thrustmaster game pad in the attempt to stretch out on my couch while playing my favorite PC games. I originally bought it for my old Nintendo games I play on my lap top (Final Fantasy, etc)... And I tried testing it out on Dragon's Nest. It worked ok, on Dragons Nest but not so great as DN requires allot of precision in movement such as fast snaps of the wrist to dead halts, something 2 game pads is hard to do, and a mouse is better at doing.
That said. I tried hooking it up to RIFT, just for giggles, but ended up with a very well responsive experience. So good in fact, it is my new RIFT game pad. Here is my guide on what I am using and how to set it up:

The Game PadThrustmaster Fire Storm. I was on a budget and needed something solid, but not expensive. This seemed to be the best choice. Under 20 bucks. It has 12 buttons, 2 analog sticks and 1 direction pad. USB plug n play.

3rd Party Software: Joy To Key. Keyboard mapping freeware. http://joytokey.net/en/

The most important part for me was controlling the camera. I mimic the WASD movement with the LEFT analog stick, and the regular mouse with the right. As you know, when you move the mouse around, it just moves the cursor around. So to move the camera, we all know you hold RIGHT MOUSE BUTTON and move the mouse. So, I added the LEFT and RIGHT mouse buttons to the back of this controller. WORKS like a CHARM! I move just as fluid with controller as with a mouse! Here is the back:


That is all there i too it. Add the Left and Right mouse buttons here and POOF! FULL CAMERA CONTROL! And I can scroll, and click through quest dialog, open and view my map etc.

Also, when I push the Analog sticks in for the buttons, they ZOOM perfectly, it mimics the mouse wheel so I zoom in and out of the map, camera, and SCROLL to the bottom of text etc.

I can do everything but CHAT. I will need my keyboard of course...but, I rarely chat... I play solo or in a dungeon group and no one ever chats. When I join a guild I imagine I will chat. But since this game is 90% solo farming, this set up works PERFECT! 
Also, you know what happens in game when you hold both the LEFT and RIGHT mouse buttons down? You auto walk forward. To do this, you just hold down those back two game pad buttons and POOF! Auto walking. And I use the right analog stick to steer around. OR you cna use the left stick (WASD), but it is more comfortable to just hold in the back to buttons, whatever you want. The point is: it mimics the mouse and keyboard exactly with added comfort.

Here is an example of using the CAMERA it is the same thing as right click and swinging the moue around: 

Also, BIG KEY here! you can keep your mouse and keyboard active while using this! YUP! I have the mouse and keyboard plugged in as usual and the game pad. IF you need to leave quickly or rapidly take the mouse and keyboard, you just throw down the game pad and use your original set up. Nothing changes. 

I personally found this great to hook up to my big screen TV, and then just kick back with my controller. ALLOT less wrist pain. 

"But how to map the keyboard to the controller?" I used Joy To Key. Here is my set up. You can customize all the 12 buttons to your liking. THE BEST PART, if you copy the mouse movements like I did, you can even minimize the game, and run around windows with your game pad...your game pad becomes the mouse! 



That is all. Any questions feel free to post below. I tried making a video but my lighting in my house sucks. IF you look carefully at the descriptions in the photos and tinker around with the software, you should get the hang of it! 

In addition, and BEST part for me: I found that assigning skills to the controller meant I had acces to them faster and therefore USED more skills than the standard keyboard mouse set up. For example, most of us set up our primary 3 attack skills as , 1, 2, 3. The second and especially the third action bars are tough to add on the keyboard as they take up space. Usually, I leave the third action bar, resting on the very top, as a "CLICK TO USE" bar. That is, I DO NOT HOT KEY the third action bar, I just click on it. I reserve this "hard to reach" bar for BUFFS, and SUMMONS... You know, those "once every hour" actions...Well with the analog controller, I was able to map my actions closer to my fingers, so I ended up using my shields and barriers WAY MORE with a game pad than with a keyboard. I liked this. I can honstly say this is one of the better game pad combinations I have used besides the Nintendo games. I hope this helps you and feel free to recomend other set ups and controllers that worked for you.

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