ErgoDox EZ Struggles – Part 2 – Dishonored 2

To be honest, I don’t often play games with a keyboard and mouse because I tend to prefer using a controller. Dishonored 2 happens to be the only one I’ve played recently and it’s a pretty fun game, so I figured I’d also use this opportunity to write a little bit about it. (This post assumes some knowledge of the Dishonored games).

This post took longer than I would have liked, the reason being that in my original post, I had a lot of complaints about how cramped the keyboard felt while playing Dishonored (and also because of Election Day), but then I realized “hey, literally the entire point of a programmable keyboard is that you can reprogram it”. So I did.

This was my initial layout (this image is also in the previous post):

I saw at least a couple comments on trying to use WASD on an ortholinear keyboard and how it felt sort of awkward because ASD are not in a straight line. I actually didn’t have an issue with this at all. I didn’t really have issues on any of the QWERTY keys. I did learn however, while I don’t have any issues typing without looking at the keyboard, as soon as I have to press R or J in game, I rely on looking down to press the key – just an interesting observation.

The other keys necessary are ctrl for block, shift for run, and space for jump. Alt for lean is probably pretty useful for being stealthy, but I always forget that that maneuver exists and also I’m bad at being stealthy.

I initially had problems with the later two, run and jump. I delegated a small key in the bottom right of the left keyboard for jump because I liked how my thumb keys were set up. Having such a small key so close to the rest of the keys as a substitute for the space bar was very cramped and uncomfortable.

I don’t know if I consider Dishonored as a jump heavy game, but I do really enjoy playing the game vertically – climbing on rooftops and window ledges. I really enjoy using Far Reach to try and get as high as I can because the lower levels have too many people for me to be good enough at stealthing.

Actually, to be honest, I enjoy playing Dishonored 2 on high chaos much more than low chaos. You get a lot of tools and toys that you can’t use on low chaos (i.e. the grenade). But alas, I want to get the good ending and also I keep dying whenever I try to confront people in high chaos.

But the thing I enjoy the most about high chaos play is the hand to hand combat (even if I die a lot). I played Dishonored 1 back in like…2013? I don’t remember how blocking or parrying works in the first game. Here in the second game though, if you get a perfect parry, the next attack you do will be lethal. Getting that parry and execution feels really satisfying, especially if it’s done multiple time when fighting a group of people.

In regards to the keyboard, I actually really enjoy having the parry button (ctrl) delegated to the thumb key. It makes it easier to pull off and more satisfying to do. This is by far my favorite key binding of this experiment. I think I’d probably in the future attempt to rebind any block actions to ctrl.

I would put a screencap of a parry/kill here, but that’s a hard screencap to take.

I mentioned the shift key in the last post – the key that inspired me to get this keyboard at all. I originally thought that having shift on the same row as ASD would be really nice to have, but it actually felt really awkward and cramped. I would say it mostly felt quite cramped. I don’t necessarily do much running in this game anyway because I’m usually crouching and moving slowly or using Far Reach, but I was in a mission that disabled Far Reach and also had a lot of empty room to run around in without getting caught.

So in the end, my final keyboard configuration for gaming looks like this:

Yup, turns out that my preferred keyboard configuration is just the one that every other keyboard has. It’s boring I guess, but it works really well. It ain’t broke.

Swapping between layers is really easy too. It’s a single key press to swap between my typing configuration and my gaming/normal keyboard configuration. That’s pretty neat.

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