With any character that has melee styles, it's easiest to break it down into anytimes, positionals, and reactionaries. You may even want to organise it via paper and pencil before you put it on your hotbar.
- follow-ups to anytimes
- follow-ups to side styles
- follow-ups to rear styles
- parry reactionaries
- follow-ups to parry styles
- block reactionaries
- follow-ups to block styles
- evade reactionaries
- follow-ups to evade styles
Then evaluate which ones you want to use in each category. You probably don't
want and most likely don't need all of the styles. The post above mine has some good suggestions as to which ones are the "go-to" styles for your class.
Once you have determined what styles you want in each category, then you can build your combat bar. Here's what I usually do:
1 reactionary 1
2 reactionary 2
10 hotbar switch (for different modes, such as a DW bar, a sword and shield bar, or a 2hand bar). I do this by having bank 1 button 10 as /qbar 2 and bank 2 button 10 as /qbar 1, so that each time I push 10 it will toggle to the other bar.
The reason I have 3 as my anytime is because originally I had my middle finger always near the anytime, and the reactionaries could be near my pinky and ring fingers, with the positionals accessible with the index finger, as well as the follow-ups. With the acceptance of macros you can have all of the follow-ups fire with a single keypress, without firing off a bad style. You can do the same with reactionaries and positionals, but keep in mind that they will misfire if it's your first swing in combat when you want an anytime (most of the time.)
Just make sure to keep your style types consistent from bank to bank (usually accessible when you mousewheel over your hotbar.) For example on a Merc in Alb, I could have a Dual Wield hotbar (bank 1) with the DW anytime on 3, the side style on 4 and the DW rear style on 5, but on the Shield hotbar (bank 2) I will have the Thrust anytime on 3, the Shield side stun on 4 and the Shield rear stun on 5 (assuming don't have Slam yet). In either bar (and in either mode) I still have the exact same corresponding key to a similar corresponding action (in this case, positionals and the anytime) yet with different weapon sets, so that the muscle memory is the same. You could even macro a weapon swap with a bar swap, if you so choose.
I hope this made sense. If not, feel free to ask more questions.
The Drunken Ranger!-keeping Devs honest since 2012
Also playing a dual-wielding Saracen
The Drunken Ranger’s Guide to Drunken Rangery