Guild Wars 2 Passes the Cheetos Test, but Barely
This is a question that has been on the minds of many… can I play Guild Wars 2 while eating snacks. And not just any snacks, Cheetos. Why Cheetos? Because Cheetos need a dedicated hand, the hand that becomes thick fluorescent yellow-orange as you eat them, that in no circumstances can be allowed to touch keyboard or mouse lest they too become gooey in cheesy goodness.
This is the Cheetos Test
Now we all know that Guild Wars the Second has more emphasis on movement and action than Guild Wars the Original. As such, it would be fair to assume it would be impossible for it to pass the Cheetos Test. Especially with the click-to-move having been removed. I was surprised to find that I could do the vast majority of my gaming one-handed with only a relatively small perceived performance drop at crucial times. Here are the details.
- Hardware: Keyboard. Computer. Screen. Internet. Mouse optional.
- Wetware: Left hand on keyboard, despite dominant right hand. Right hand deep in Cheetos cheesy goodness. Mouth moving like that of a cow chewing grass, as my attention was being diverted from mouth area to screen & keyboard.
- Software: I set WADX to movement. I choose X because S feels too cramped, although I guess that’s personal choice. Some people like their carpal syndrome, I won’t judge. I remapped AD for strafing, because nobody in their right mind ever uses those keys to rotate the camera. And then I remapped QE for rotating the camera. All other keys were default. On second thought, I should have checked if there was a key to go deeper into water, that would have been useful.
- Testing: Mostly PvE, but some PvP as well. Because I am that awesome. Or stupid. Your call.
Ok, I have to admit, even though I could play the game with only one hand, it was not optimal. In my opinion though, and I hope ArenaNet is reading that article and do something about it, it wouldn’t need much at all for Guild Wars 2 to be 100% possible to play keyboard-only casually, allowing a high score on the Cheetos Test.
- The only three times I actually used the mouse (I didn’t figure out a way to avoid doing so) was (1) when picking up loot, (2) when having conversations, and (3) when I needed to go deeper in water. That’s it. Everything else I did casually was keyboard-able. And even then, I found that I could use the mouse left-handed to do those two first things (they happened at less stressful times afterall, where I could afford to click around inefficiently). Underwater combat works with autoattacks, but it would have been easier with a dive key.
- Even the PvP was keyboard-able, although if you play PvP casually you deserve to die, as I often did (regardless of mouse use, to be fair). And when I say you deserve to die, I mean in-game. Because you will take a performance hit which you cannot afford in PvP. But… regardless of whether it’s a good idea, the fact remains that it can be done, which is pretty impressive.
- Dodging is a breeze one-handed. Camera control works really well with just the rotation keys (QE for me) but admittedly it is somewhat slow and best kept for casual playing. Combat was really good as the game features automatic targeting for most skills. I could play one-handed easily with both my Mesmer and my Engineer.
- Some skills use ground-targeting, and obviously that’s incompatible with keyboard-only playing. Don’t worry though, you can make pretty good builds while avoiding those skills. You’ll just need to be a bit creative, but it can easily be done. Even underwater combat passed the Cheetos Test, as at least for the area I did, I didn‘t have to look up or down too often, just floating on a level height was plenty enough. You might need the mouse to dive initially though, or you can jump into the water, that works too.
- I can see also the game working really well with mouse-only gaming, but not a regular mouse. You’ll need a mouse that has at least directional keys if you’re ok with clicking skills to activate them, and a lot more buttons otherwise. That will open up ground-targeting. I did not get to try this because although I have a gaming mouse, it’s made for precision rather than MMO.
Overall, the game manages to give you a lot more complexity at the decisional level while maintaining itself manageable at the control level. I am very impressed. I do hope that ArenaNet implements an easy way to use only the keyboard for conversations with NPCs as well as for picking up loot and diving, as that would make Guild Wars 2 pass the Cheetos Test with flying colors. Flying fluorescent orange mostly.