i define my reality through misery
So you asked what's the best way to play Doom with the keyboard, huh? Well, that's evolved a lot over the last eight or so years.
The original default configuration had you using the arrow keys and they controlled walking forwards, backwards and turning left and right. Running was controlled by holding down an additional key, usually shift.
Naturally this is a slow and cumbersome method of locomotion in a fast paced game like Doom.
Nowadays most games ship with a completely different configuration and it works great with Doom too. Here's how it works.
Assign the following keyboard keys to the respective function:
W = Walk forward
S = Walk backward (backpedal)
A = Strafe left
D = Strafe right
Spacebar = Open (or jump, depending on the game)
Left Shift = Run (or crouch, depending again)
Make sure that A and D are assigned to strafing, not turning.
Now, before you do anything, place your left hand there. Put your middle finger on the W. Thumb on the spacebar, first finger on the D, ring finger on the A and pinky on the Left Shift.
Comfortable isn't it? A helluva lot better than using the arrow keys.
I know what you're thinking, though, how do you turn? Simple. That's what the mouse is for. Put your right hand on the mouse (assign the buttons any way you like, you don't get very many options in Doom). Use it for turning basically.
Now, Doom isn't very friendly with mice... the sensitivity (if you crank it up as far as it will go in the game) just often isn't enough. You want to be able to jam the mouse and do a quick 180 degree turn in a split second yet still retain the ability to do precise aiming. Then again, you don't want to move the mouse an inch and spin around forty times either.
If you just can't get the sensitivity high enough in the game you can edit the original CFG file, default.cfg (its just plain text ascii, Notepad will do it) and manually change the sensitivity yourself. I have a Logitech USB one and I have to set the sens to 35 to get good speed.
Of course, if you're using Doom95 (ugh), Legacy, or ZDoom (Yay!) you can adjust it as high as you will need it to go, that's one of the first things they fixed. =)
There is another handy trick you can do to the default.cfg file. Open it up in Notepad and change the line "joyb_speed" value from it's small number to 31. Yeah, thirty one. Now, in Doom, you'll be auto-running like Quake or Duke. It saves you from having to hold down shift with your pinky all the time. =)
Okay, so now that you have that configuration going and you seem to be able to play like that, practice. This should become a natural configuration for you. In the newer games you can tap R to reload and that's easily reached with your first finger. In Undying I even have Q and E set up as handy functions too.
In Unreal Tournament R (although not listed in the config screen) is the shortcut for the Translocator... which is very handy in a heated Domination battle.
There are a lot of benefits to playing a FPS game like this. In the newer, fully 3D games the mouse also has you look up and down... giving you a really good immersion factor and also allowing you to aim anywhere quickly. The newer Doom ports have mouse freelooking too, although the autoaiming still works fine.
If you want me to make a demo for you to show you just how effective this is lemme know and I'll do it. I'll even use (ugh) Doom95 if I have too and I'll include instructions on how to run the demo (for the port of your choice) in the email.
Have a nice day, kiddo. I know I will be... I'll be asleep for the next twelve or so hours. Ahhh...