What people are arguing for is the contextual cursor. Hover the mouse over a chest and the cursor changes to a lockpick. Highlight and click, that simple.
I'm not a big fan of context cursors, but I could go along with that ... as long as there was no other way to interact with a chest.
I would be fine with contextual cursors when there is only one possible action to be done to an object as this makes sense and is good design.
That leaves a contextual menu that you open with a right-click, and then select the correct action with another click. How big should the menu be? If it's too small, people might make a mistake and attack the chest instead of picking it. If it's too big you still have the dragging mouse issue.
Or you can just have a single, context-sensitive click. Don't recall the original, but I know that's how NWN 2 did it.
I mean, what the hell else is the thief going to do with the chest?
Let's assume that you only have one context to the chest. Great, we've solved the problem for one specific object (chests). What about other NPCs? Will you also have context-sensitive menus for them? Pickpocketing? Attacking? Dialogue? Sneakattack? Cast spell, etc?
What about other objects? Doors? Will you have a lockpick, lock, bash, open, close context menu or no? How about setting a trap? Or disarming a trap? Would you just right-click the floor and it automatically sets a trap? What if you wanted to throw an object there instead? There are too many contexts to have a single-click.
Edit: Changed mind about contextual clicking.
Edited by Hormalakh, 06 November 2012 - 04:39 PM.