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Alright, cool.

 

Now that we're off that little side-tangent, I'd just like to say that hotkeys are awesome and the more cues PE takes from RTS control-schemes, the better.

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If selected character abilities are laid out in a standard grid (3x3 for example), consider mapping the default hotkeys by the grid location (say Q,W,E for the top row, A,S,D for mid row etc) rather than a particular key for each ability.

 

We won't need to reach across the keyboard and the only thing to remember's the location of an ability on the grid.

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Spreading beauty with my katana.

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If selected character abilities are laid out in a standard grid (3x3 for example), consider mapping the default hotkeys by the grid location (say Q,W,E for the top row, A,S,D for mid row etc) rather than a particular key for each ability.

 

We won't need to reach across the keyboard and the only thing to remember's the location of an ability on the grid.

 

Yes I very much like this idea. There's really no reason for hotkeys to match the first letter of the action especially since keyboard users use much more muscle memory than actual brain power to find the key they wish to press. It might have a slightly higher learning curve (if that), but the advantages are worth it.

 

I will just say this though, having a customizable menu would be better, but the most important thing is to actually have hot keys that are useful and intuitive. Without hotkeys implementation, standard grid doesn't much matter.

Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Hotbar

Let us be able to place ALL kinds of skills/abilities/spells on it (including Stealth, Pick locks, Pickpocket, etc)

That way I could use same hotkey for different skills depending on what class I have selected.

Example: Q could be Shield Bash for my Fighter and it could at the same time be Stealth for my Rogue.

Edited by freche
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If selected character abilities are laid out in a standard grid (3x3 for example), consider mapping the default hotkeys by the grid location (say Q,W,E for the top row, A,S,D for mid row etc) rather than a particular key for each ability.

 

We won't need to reach across the keyboard and the only thing to remember's the location of an ability on the grid.

 

Yes I very much like this idea. There's really no reason for hotkeys to match the first letter of the action especially since keyboard users use much more muscle memory than actual brain power to find the key they wish to press. It might have a slightly higher learning curve (if that), but the advantages are worth it.

 

I will just say this though, having a customizable menu would be better, but the most important thing is to actually have hot keys that are useful and intuitive. Without hotkeys implementation, standard grid doesn't much matter.

While a grid setup makes sense - I use a pseudo-grid for SC2 - some players are accustomed to having WASD for camera control. I've been playing a lot of Natural Selection 2 (team-based FPS/RTS) lately, and holy **** does making the jump from soldier to commander ever get disorienting for that very reason. Going from running on ceilings with WASD to having those keys as your construction hotkeys leads to a lot of accidental units, buildings, and upgrades.

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Hotbar

Let us be able to place ALL kinds of skills/abilities/spells on it (including Stealth, Pick locks, Pickpocket, etc)

That way I could use same hotkey for different skills depending on what class I have selected.

Example: Q could be Shield Bash for my Fighter and it could at the same time be Stealth for my Rogue.

 

Interesting approach which I kind of like. Baldur's Gate 2 had something like this. The biggest problem I had then was the huge amount of actions certain party members (mages, clerics, paladins, druids) had, and the relative lack of actions others (fighters, thieves, barbarians) had in combat. Hotkeys are useful outside of combat, but in a real-time game they are most useful inside combat. Being able to play more complex actions using hotkeys and without having to pause would be quite satisfying.


My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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If selected character abilities are laid out in a standard grid (3x3 for example), consider mapping the default hotkeys by the grid location (say Q,W,E for the top row, A,S,D for mid row etc) rather than a particular key for each ability.

 

We won't need to reach across the keyboard and the only thing to remember's the location of an ability on the grid.

While a grid setup makes sense - I use a pseudo-grid for SC2 - some players are accustomed to having WASD for camera control. I've been playing a lot of Natural Selection 2 (team-based FPS/RTS) lately, and holy **** does making the jump from soldier to commander ever get disorienting for that very reason. Going from running on ceilings with WASD to having those keys as your construction hotkeys leads to a lot of accidental units, buildings, and upgrades.

 

I don't think that we'll be having a lot of camera control in this game, though, since everything is pre-rendered 2D. Maybe moving the map around, but that could be handled with the arrow keys.

Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Good point about the limits of camera rotation. If it's available, maybe rotation through PageUp/Down that's just above the arrow keys for shifting the screen so people associate camera views to the right side of the keyboard.

 

Some other ideas

- Keys 1-8 for selecting characters

- drag and drop ability/inventory item icons into the grid for customisation

- Tab/CapsLock/Shift to access different tabs of the grid

- R could be generic "use" or "interact" key

- F could bring up/close class-specific ability menus (think MotB's mini spellbook list organised by levels)

- I for inventory, J for journal, something close for character sheets and detailed ability pages, spellbooks etc

 

I kind of miss A for force-attack (neutral?) targets or attack all in path though. Guess it could be in the grid like Starcraft though.


Spreading beauty with my katana.

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I Don't really get the difference between the radial menu and the 3x3 grid with direction keys … one can navigate a radial menu with direction keys just as easily … or did I miss-grasp the idea? A rotating wheel with the skill in focus being enlarged would be quite nifty, be it perhaps cumbersome on the calculating power of the machine. I would have no problem whatsoever if they just stuck to the bottom skill-bar as was used in the BG series though.

 

I really dislike the idea of binding those WASD-movement keys (or whatever they are on a qwerty-board) to some other navigation tool as a default setting than the arrow keys though. I'm a numpad player on an azerty keyboard. For that reason I also think it's quite reasonable to expect all hot-keys to be fully re-mappable by the way.

 

(A hotkey to focus on the active character might be handy though).

Edited by Ranath

Ranath the Not So Wise - Master of Bats, the Obsidian Order

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I Don't really get the difference between the radial menu and the 3x3 grid with direction keys … one can navigate a radial menu with direction keys just as easily … or did I miss-grasp the idea? A rotating wheel with the skill in focus being enlarged would be quite nifty, be it perhaps cumbersome on the calculating power of the machine. I would have no problem whatsoever if they just stuck to the bottom skill-bar as was used in the BG series though.

 

Hmm I don't think you understood the point of the 3x3. Have you played Starcraft? On the bottom right of the gaming HUD in taht game, they have a set of commands that you acn give to your units. These commands are laid out in a 3x3 grid and are also mapped to hotkeys.


My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Love this thread. I'm a PC power user, and combine the maximum amount of hotkeys with mouse actions at any time. It saves my poor mouse arm, since I work at computers all days long.

 

What a well designed hotkey set up boils down to, I'd say, is:

 

- Logical, context sensitive hotkeys. Eg. arrow keys turn pages in the Spellbook, change character in Inventory view, and pan the screen in Game view.

 

- Solid (context sensitive) selection tools. Eg. party members correspond to keys 1-6. Mimicking other standards would be good (eg. Windows CTRL key being held down for selecting multiple items). CTRL-2-4 selects party member 2 and 4. CTRL-2-4-3-2 selects party member 2, 4, 3 and then deselects 2. Holding CTRL while clicking on items in your inventory selects each one, then either right click > send to party member, or left click to pick all of them up, use arrow or number keys to switch to a different party member, then drop all items in that member's inventory with a single click.

 

- If characters are tied to 1-6, make their abilities F1 - F# (this was done in BG2, at least, and works great. I have the reflex to press 2-F4, to start detecting traps)

 

Baldur's Gate/IWD inventory systems were golden, making each of your characters feel unique by keeping them separate, but they lacked features (hotkey support, multi select) to minimize tedious things like moving items between characters.

 

I'd like to reiterate, hotkeys should be designed to support the game, not something that is added as an afterthought :). You can see how far well designed hotkey systems got games like StarCraft. (StarCraft 2 is worse, as some menus don't have their options tied to keys - WTH? SC1 always did)

Edited by mstark
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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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^basically this. most power users don't even use the mouse. an example in the real world is excel power users in the banking industry. They train you basically to do everything with the keyboard using shortcuts and hotkeys... :)

 

a keyboard is innately superior than a mouse in speed and precision.

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My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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a keyboard is innately superior than a mouse in speed and precision.

For arbitrary targeting (attacking an enemy, or making a selection or brush stroke in Photoshop) I would argue that mouse input is far superior, but I know what you mean. I use my keyboard for probably 90% of all actions. The mouse should really be considered the secondary, supporting, input (which is actually the case, it is secondary to the keyboard).

 

Since a mouse with a GUI can, innately, execute everything that a keyboard can, it's easy to forget about supporting the true input of a computer. The keyboard is usually the faster & less straining option for everyone.

 

Everyone? Yes, mostly everyone. Most people are more familiar with using the keyboard than the mouse, even if you're not a power user. The mouse is generally only used for a few seconds in intervals, in order to target the next area where you have to input text for longer stretches of time.

Edited by mstark
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"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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Yeah I mostly use the keyboard for Excel, but the difference is I have both hands on it. However if my hand's on the mouse most of the time in the game, I'd rather not reach too far across the keyboard (1 to Backspace, F1-F12) or check that I'm getting the right keys to get things done.


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if my hand's on the mouse most of the time in the game, I'd rather not reach too far across the keyboard (1 to Backspace, F1-F12) or check that I'm getting the right keys to get things done.

Good you brought this up, since this is a very important point for a well designed hotkey system.

 

StarCraft 2 (and to an extent, 1) made sure to keep all hotkeys to the left side of the keyboard. The main keys you'd be using are CTRL, SHIFT and 1-6, so anything else you may have to access placed in their vicinity.

 

Windows 8 has its hotkeys concentrated around the Win (flag) keys (both right and left on most keyboards), since this is used to trigger most new hotkeys (so many good ones).

 

The standard way of placing your hand on the keyboard for IE games, I believe, is your thumb on the space bar (pause), your pointing finger on Q (quick save), and your index finger on TAB (highlight interactive items). Z is used for resting, and the number keys + ctrl/shift for selecting characters, and F# keys for abilities. It covers pretty much 99% of usage scenarios while in the game window, all neatly placed on the left side of the keyboard.


"What if a mid-life crisis is just getting halfway through the game and realising you put all your points into the wrong skill tree?"

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Well for a game lkke this being able to use the mouse for everything is more important I think. I'm sure there will be hotkeys for most things though.

 

This.

I tend to play RPG's (well, all good games actually) for pretty long stretchs at a time.

When the going is not intense, I prefer a more laidback position to being crouched over the keyboard.

KotOR was excellent, being able to run about and doing most everything using only one hand on the mouse.

 

Also because when I played KotOR the first time, I had had nervous injury on my left hand and had to make do with only the right.

Surprisingly many games are totally unplayable unless you have both hands available. I think I also played NWN 1-handed.

 

Understandable with keyboard + mouse shooters, but no hurry rpg's should really be able to do better.

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Well for a game lkke this being able to use the mouse for everything is more important I think. I'm sure there will be hotkeys for most things though.

 

This.

I tend to play RPG's (well, all good games actually) for pretty long stretchs at a time.

When the going is not intense, I prefer a more laidback position to being crouched over the keyboard.

KotOR was excellent, being able to run about and doing most everything using only one hand on the mouse.

 

Also because when I played KotOR the first time, I had had nervous injury on my left hand and had to make do with only the right.

Surprisingly many games are totally unplayable unless you have both hands available. I think I also played NWN 1-handed.

 

Understandable with keyboard + mouse shooters, but no hurry rpg's should really be able to do better.

 

mouse will always be fully implemented. guis are standard. unfort. keyboards have fallen to the wayside.


My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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Personally hotkeys aren't too important to me since PE will be a pause based game. The minimum that I require is space = pause, Q (not A, not F5, Q! ^^)= quicksave and pressing the hotkey for a page, such as map, while the map is open closes it. For some bizarre reason it really annoys me when nothing happens when I press M with map open.

 

Fully customisable works for me though :)

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^basically this. most power users don't even use the mouse. an example in the real world is excel power users in the banking industry. They train you basically to do everything with the keyboard using shortcuts and hotkeys... :)

 

a keyboard is innately superior than a mouse in speed and precision.

 

 

No :no:

 

The "keyboard is innately superior than a mouse in speed and precision" is only in some specific applications - like excel - but in games more often than not it is far from the best tool. I'm sure you wouldn't play Call of Duty or Counter-strike with keyboard only and hope to survive. It is mouse only, joypad only, joystick and keyboard or keyboard and mouse that is superior -not keyboard only- in almost every single game. Most applications of keyboard only superiority is when you only have to do one thing over and over again (like typing or working in excel cells).

 

I'm a power user myself, but a good power uses uses the best tools for the job. I'm not saying I disagree on the importance of good hotkeys, but please don't try to paint keyboard only as superior in games. I do think lots of customizable hotkeys are a great idea, but never instead of a good way to do it with the mouse and especially not in a way that makes playing with the mouse worse in any tiny way, like expecting people to have to use hotkeys if they don't want to.

 

 

With that said, I would rather have a few customizable hotkeys than a lot that cannot be customized (arrow keys for the map or camera as someone wrote? Oh god no, my shoulders hurt just thinking about playing with the arms and hands so close together for hours of gameplay. WASD or customizable keys please) :yes:

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The "keyboard is innately superior than a mouse in speed and precision" is only in some specific applications - like excel - but in games more often than not it is far from the best tool.

Depends on the game. Your first-person shooter examples are well taken - and I don't think anyone would try to make the case that keyboard only is superior for those games - because screen location is EVERYTHING in those games. However, not all games are first-person shooters. Apples and oranges. The ONLY thing critical about selecting a screen location in Project Eternity will be in target selection. It's not a twitch game, where you have to click fast on the enemy to shoot him with an arrow. You just have to tell the game "I want character #4 to shoot an arrow at Target B." It's the game that makes the "to hit" roll, and player precision is (or should be) totally unnecessary. This is the kind of communication that can easily be done with a mouse, to be sure ... but I maintain that it can be done more efficiently with a keyboard.

Edited by Zombra

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^basically this. most power users don't even use the mouse. an example in the real world is excel power users in the banking industry. They train you basically to do everything with the keyboard using shortcuts and hotkeys... :)

 

a keyboard is innately superior than a mouse in speed and precision.

 

 

No :no:

 

The "keyboard is innately superior than a mouse in speed and precision" is only in some specific applications - like excel - but in games more often than not it is far from the best tool. I'm sure you wouldn't play Call of Duty or Counter-strike with keyboard only and hope to survive. It is mouse only, joypad only, joystick and keyboard or keyboard and mouse that is superior -not keyboard only- in almost every single game. Most applications of keyboard only superiority is when you only have to do one thing over and over again (like typing or working in excel cells).

 

I'm a power user myself, but a good power uses uses the best tools for the job. I'm not saying I disagree on the importance of good hotkeys, but please don't try to paint keyboard only as superior in games. I do think lots of customizable hotkeys are a great idea, but never instead of a good way to do it with the mouse and especially not in a way that makes playing with the mouse worse in any tiny way, like expecting people to have to use hotkeys if they don't want to.

 

 

With that said, I would rather have a few customizable hotkeys than a lot that cannot be customized (arrow keys for the map or camera as someone wrote? Oh god no, my shoulders hurt just thinking about playing with the arms and hands so close together for hours of gameplay. WASD or customizable keys please) :yes:

 

Er right, my mistake. Keyboard and mouse more superior is what I meant. :) Though Zombra makes a good point.

 

I think the best situation would be many customizable hotkeys. But maybe that's just me :)

 

Carry on.

Edited by Hormalakh

My blog is where I'm keeping a record of all of my suggestions and bug mentions.

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/  UPDATED 9/26/2014

My DXdiag:

http://hormalakh.blogspot.com/2014/08/beta-begins-v257.html

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