Confessions of a Clicker

“fucking keybind.” “lool stop clicker.” “Guy clicks his spells nice.” These are just a few of the “anti-clicker” comments I’ve received on my recent raid boss soloing videos. In fact, these sentiments actually represent most of the comments on the videos, period. Clearly, clicking is a Bad Thing, which means that clickers are Bad Players and need to be reminded of this as often as possible.

Hello. I’m Matt, and I’m a clicker in WoW.

What is Clicking?

Clicking is exactly what it sounds like: using your mouse to hover over and click on the abilities you’ve placed on your action bars. The main alternative to clicking is keybinding, wherein you assign hotkeys to every ability you need and thus use the keyboard to order your character around. I am an obligate clicker, as are many other people. Is this a problem? I never used to think so, but lately I’ve been observing that not only is clicking considered bad, incorrect, and a hallmark of a poor player, but it is something that devalues any in-game accomplishments made while doing so.

What’s Wrong With Clicking?

That depends on who you ask (assuming they’re not a clicker themselves). At best, it’s inefficient, requires more hand movement, and takes the player’s focus away from the playfield in favor of waiting for little buttons to light up. It’s using hunt-and-peck to write a paper instead of touch typing. I’m willing to agree that clicking can be a bit inefficient, and it certainly does give my mouse hand/arm a workout when things get hectic. However, even keybinders have to wait for their little buttons to light up, and I’ve done pretty well at optimizing my action bar placement for minimal extra movement.

Moving on from the inefficiency argument, we enter the murky realm of the elitist players. Here, clicking is the Wrong Way to play (as defined by the WoW Player Input Council, apparently). Learn to Play Properly, or don’t bother playing at all, you lazy scrub. I suspect that the Venn diagram of keybind elitists, mythic raiding elitists (“mythic is the only real raid difficulty, everything else is tourist mode”), and faction purists is a single circle. Woe unto any clicker who drifts into the gaze of a keybind elitist, lest they become the subject of pity or ridicule.

Why Click, If It’s So Awful?

I can only speak for myself, but I have three reasons; interestingly, they’re precisely the same reasons I can’t/don’t touch-type:

  • It’s how I learned to play almost 15 years ago. Old habits die hard, and this is a very old one indeed for me.
  • I physically can’t keybind. I have very poor mobility/flexibility/dexterity in my fingers, so using WASD to move around is about all I can manage. It’s why I don’t touch-type, and why I prefer smaller console controllers whenever possible (XBox controllers are too damn big, as an example). I hesitate to call the keybind elitists “ableist”, but there does seem to be a smidge of that attitude in there somewhere.
  • It’s Good Enough. This reason seems to be one that gets the elitists riled up, especially when a clicker accomplishes something that could be considered at least semi-impressive (such as soloing mythic Kil’Jaeden, as a very skilled Hunter recently did WHILE CLICKING). I can do everything I want in-game while clicking (raid tanking, boss soloing, mythic keystones, essentially everything except PvP and mythic raiding), so why worry about it? I have nothing to prove to keybinders, and I’m certainly not hurting my teammates in group play if I’m playing well.

Why Do Keybinders Care?

To be honest, most of them probably don’t. But this is The Internet, and the loudest voices are typically the most toxic. Perhaps the overbearing, sneering attitude makes the elitists feel, well, ELITE. Regarding videos, do they find the little mouse cursor flitting around the action bars to be annoying? Perhaps, though that seems like a fairly petty reason to be an ass in a comments section. I’m actually considering a small experiment: make a new set of soloing videos, but with the cursor hidden via the recording software so that they’re not as easily identifiable as Clicker Abominations. Hypothesis: I will receive increased positive comments on my skills/achievements, despite having changed nothing in the way I actually play.

So What?

Here’s the deal: we clickers KNOW that we’re clickers. Keybinders have been pointing it out to us for YEARS, as if we were somehow unaware of our “condition”. You can stop pointing it out. Our reasons are our own, and our play style impacts yours in no way whatsoever. Next time a keybinder wants to knock a clicker down a few notches when they do something impressive, they might want to remember: the “inferior” clicker was able to do something that they could not.

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2 Responses

  1. Bailey says:

    I just recently learned that clicking is a bad thing. I started playing during WOTLK back in high school, I only ever clicked while playing PC games…I never knew that there was any other way to play.
    I recently got back into WoW just before the launch of BFA, so I started watching some YouTubers and such…something I noticed is that people make a HUGE deal about people who click, like seriously, I never thought that people could care SO much about how other people play their game that THEY pay for every month. To be honest, seeing these comments has been making me feel so insecure about how I play to the point that I haven’t really been playing much at all lately, despite loving the game. I’ve tried to learn otherwise, but it just feels unnatural and awkward. However, seeing this article has helped to make me feel a bit better about it, so I thank you! Keep doing you <3

  2. Lumzetuff says:

    Just found your channel and decided to read through your stuff and going through it a bit, mostly because i’d never expect to see a prot warrior actually solo stuff in BFA. Since had alot of warrior friends complaining about the selfhealing aspect and found it pretty refreshing to see, even the old stuffs. Was also interested in a co-op if you weren’t on US…. EU pleb here of some sort.

    For clicking in itself though, from a nonclicker myself. It’s not really that big a deal, i stopped clicking my abilities when soloing Sinestra personally because the delay timer i made was what held me back from the kill ages ago. However results speaks for themself, since i can only compare to myself. For Varimathras as an example in mythic recently, i did pretty much as much dps as it was simmed i could (Made one missclick through the fight essentially.) Durendil who i checked out on twitter did the same boss, around 10-11 seconds faster than me and he had to use a tanktrinket due to difference in absorbs for hunter/warlock. (He has access mythic Azerite.) Butt still loosing out on that trinket slot i think speaks for itself that he is definitely playing his character pretty damn close to his max if not what is actually the max possible. As the only proper comparison i can do. And you seem to do aswell, results essentially speaks volumes more than how you press your buttons.
    Seen him aswell get alot of hate for that, which honestly is kinda heartbreaking taken all the effort that goes into the stuff and that’s what’s pointed on towards. So you keep doing you and being amazing!
    Know shit like that gotta be demotivating but, as you said. A clicker managed what no nonclicker could do, or be even remotely close to in KJ.

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