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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