Training Sense Heading
6 November 2002
One of the most useful skills is Sense Heading. Without it, you have to rely on visual recognition and the /loc command to navigate around zones, which is frustrating at best. I have met players in their 20's with Sense Heading skills of under 10, and I can't understand how they can find their way around. It is also a difficult skill to raise, needing lots of repetitions to get a single skill increase. Automating your Sense Heading ability is a great way to get quick skill raises, and to keep the skill maximised. If you do this, it starts to become dependable somewhere between level 10 and 15; at level 10, a few quick key presses will pick up a reading, and at 15, most of the time your compass will be accurate.
If you haven't already, create an ability key for sense heading - just choose one of the blank buttons in the abilities menu, and select sense heading. Then click and hold sense heading and drop the button that appears on your hot key menu; I usually put it on button number nine (bottom left corner). Once that is done, use the Options->Keyboard->Macros panel to attach your forward key to user macro 9; or if you are using the old UI, use F10 to go to the old fashioned windowed display, and choose options, keyboard, next (and next again?) to arrive at the page with User Defined 9. Right click on this to select the second (null) line, and press your forward key - usually numeric keypad 8. Now, whenever sense heading is available, moving forward will trigger it, and you will get the fastest skill increase possible, with almost no effort on your part.
Some people prefer to put it on their left or right keys, as these are used more often - but then the heading is less likely to be accurate when you need it, which is when following on a direct bearing.
This is fine if you only want to train and use Sense Heading in this way. However, if you are a class/race that can forage, you will know that this is a skill that raises even slower than Sense Heading. It is possible to combine both of these skills (in fact, any number of skills) on the same key press with a social macro.
To create a social, go to your Socials menu (far right on the menu bar in the same window as Abilities), and tab through this until you find an unused button. Right click on this to open an editing window. Give it a name, I usually use 'Forward', and create something for it to execute. My Forward social looks like this:
In this case, my Sense Heading ability is on ability button 1, and my Forage ability on button 2. Then put this social onto your hot button bar, replacing the Sense Heading button you created above.
You can extend this social to include other functions; I know someone who has put Tracking on her forward key, and this can be added in to the macro in exactly the same way to train this skill.