WoW Dragonflight is set to land in Blizzard’s venerable MMORPG later this year, but for the moment it’s still in alpha testing. A recent alpha build quietly added a set of new accessibility options – an interact key, “action combat”, and most importantly, a hold-to-cast option. Every Warcraft veteran knows that the game is hardly friendly to those with RSI or other joint issues, as most classes need to be keeping up a continuous stream of key presses to keep their rotations optimal. This new option should improve the game experience for all players, especially those with physical disabilities.
Often, classes will have a single core skill that is spammed between abilities with short cooldowns, like Bloodthirst for Fury Warriors. In the past, players have been forced to resort to addons or third-party programs if they want to give their fingers a break; but finally, after years of requests, hold to cast will be an in-game option.
The principle is simple – instead of spamming the key, you just hold it down, and the skill will cast on cooldown. Even better, you can interrupt the sequence by pressing another key while still holding down the original key, and the new ability will override it. The only downside is that it doesn’t work with macros, presumably to ensure the function isn’t abused to overly automate rotations.
While less exciting for many players, the other new options introduced are also excellent accessibility features. The new interact key allows players to automatically start interacting with a nearby NPC or object just by pressing a single key, without the need to mouseover or click the target.
“Action Combat” causes you to automatically target enemies when you get close to them, and also dynamically switches between targets when you move your camera accordingly. Using traditional targeting methods, like clicking or using tab, overrides the Action Combat setting, so you’re not stuck with it in all situations.
For more of the latest updates, check out our rundown of the new WoW Dragonflight Demon Hunter class trees. Alternatively, get excited for Peacecraft, as WoW cross-faction guilds may be in the pipeline, according to the Shadowlands game director.