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Reader Comments (24)

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 5:49PM cic said

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Oh my, do I hate WASD and NUMPAD controls in games.

Games with no key bind settings for movement... I can't play most of the time. WASD is so uncomfortable and unergonomic for me. I've been using ASDF since Quake 2 days and find it much less straining, relaxed and more natural for hand placement.

F - Forward, A - Backward, S - Strafe Left, D - Strafe Right



Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 5:59PM cic said

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I don't keyboard turn...
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 6:04PM cic said

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"Your way confuses me because it seems to require stretching your little finger up to "a" or moving your other fingers around and thus losing sense of where the keys are sometimes."

My four fingers are always rested on ASDF. Starting with the pinky on A to the index finger on F and my thumb on the spacebar.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 6:23PM Beau Hindman said

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Sic: I know what you are talking about, and I hear it every time I mention camera controls. :) I understand that for many people, keyboard turning is not an ideal setup while playing in a FPS match or raid -- that's why I indicated that if I wanted to turn faster I would use the right-click method. "Of course, if I want a faster turn or want to control the camera with right-click for a moment, I can do that."

I have been made fun of for suggesting that I must use trackballs, alternate controls and other helpful things. Normally, this comes from FPS players. They tend to forget that I am talking about MMORPGs! :)

One day, those FPS matches or raids will not be so comfortable, trust me. Of course, we might have alternate control methods within a few years.

Anyway, the problem comes in when you do not have the option for a follow camera, or any options at all.

Beau
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 5:53PM (Unverified) said

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I am very used to the controls in WoW, LotRO, etc. But I really can't stand it when there is no way to customize camera & control. If I can't invert my y-axis, then I'm playing it.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 5:54PM (Unverified) said

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*not playing
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 7:04PM DarkWalker said

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Yeah. Inverting the Y axis on the mouse/joystick for camera control is a necessity for me. I only play games without that option if either the Y axis is almost never used, or if the game is so better than the competition I would not mind playing with the controls upside-down.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 7:39PM Beau Hindman said

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Invert the Y axis? Forgive my braif-fart, but aren't you talking about a reversal of "normal" controls, like in a plane? (Up goes down, down goes up, etc..)

Beau
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 6:04PM Space Cobra said

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First comment a comment on this :

"The old Nintendo controllers, for example, are now considered clunky and awkward. For a disabled player, however, their simplicity provided many opportunities for customization. Now the controllers have many more options, but so many that they are harder to adapt to. More choice isn't always good."

You are so right, but you know what I consider the BEST controller, even over that? The good-ol' Atari 2600 Joystick. Maybe not as grand as the NES controllers, but just give me that stick and one fire button and I that was great. So yeah, "more choice isn't always so good", especially with modern joysticks and their control schemes in certain games.

Now, on to the rest:

You know, it just is not about camera movement, there are many other things in a game that I've noted that hampers people with disabilities. Now, I am not so hampered atm (:knock on wood:), but reading a few forum posts in other games, even games in beta, I can sympathize. It strange, but in contrast to "a simple control scheme is best", I think "more game options that you can give players is best". That way, you can have the color-blind play more games and easily tell what-is-what on the mini-map during PvP sessions (or PvE ones).

I am a bit sad that this article only focused on camera options. Granted, it is needed in every game, but there are other options that would be helpful to those with other various handicaps. Of course, customizable key-binds covers many of those areas, but there is more to consider, like the color-blindness issues and others.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 6:50PM cic said

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"It strange, but in contrast to "a simple control scheme is best", I think "more game options that you can give players is best". That way, you can have the color-blind play more games and easily tell what-is-what on the mini-map during PvP sessions (or PvE ones)."

This definitely... I'm color blind, so red and green used in game mechanics doesn't work for me. Also colors like blue and purple, green/red/orange and brown are hard to tell apart if they're not significantly different in shades/tone/etc.

Funny, because just last night I had to return a game that I purchased for my console because it used green and red indicators for it's combat/combo system. Lucky for me I purchased it used from a local video store and they had no problem with me exchanging it for another game.

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Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 6:09PM DarkWalker said

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Although not disabled, I do love having good control options in games - I tend to consider any PC game that unnecessarily restricts how the player can control it as lacking. I also love when I'm able to use just one hand to play the game (specially online games), as it allows me to keep playing while doing other things (such as answering a phone) - in WoW, being able to handle all needed skills to tank, as well as crude movement, with just one hand has already enabled me to avoid a few wipes when faced with a few kinds of distractions.

BTW, your "Click-to-move with a follow camera" scheme is mostly possible in World of Warcraft, since the game does have Click-to-move, and the camera is permanently pointed at the player anyway. Enabling Click to Move (specially with a melee class) does have another nifty perk: you are then able to use the "interact with target" binding to move to the targeted player/NPC (although only friendly ones if playing a ranged class).

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 6:18PM Beau Hindman said

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Yeh, I think you are totally right. In fact, as I wrote that I was like "I think WoW has the follow CTM!" but, I haven't played it in months and months to verify. The keyboard controls, though, only allow for moving through a series of preset cameras, mostly just zooming in and out.

Beau
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 6:12PM Bhagpuss said

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Whatever happened to voice-control? Back in the 1980s it was assumed that the keyboard would only be with us for a short time and we'd soon all be instructing our computers verbally.

I even seem to remember that there was a time when this was technically possible in Everquest.

I can't say I'd fancy it for melee cmbat, but I can imagine sitting back yelling "Fireball!" "Root!" "Mez!"

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 6:26PM Beau Hindman said

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Hmm, I am sure there have been some developments in voice control. Ablegamers would be a good spot to check that out. I know that there have been games in the past that allowed for that. I'm forgetting the name, but there is an Xbox RTS that allows for voice commands. It was recommended for me by a Gamestop employee, since I wanted a good RTS that didn't require constant clicking.

Beau
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 7:17PM DarkWalker said

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Voice control is severely limited in some aspects. If you have a trusting friend, you might want to try a simple experiment: blindfolding him and getting him from one point to another in a flat, open field, using just voiced orders. It's surprisingly difficulty.

(Or, if you have the needed access, just go see junior officers training troop control using spoken orders. My own training was in a soccer field; I lost count of the number of times the in-training officer would lose control of the troop, including a few times the troop went inside the goal.)

Voice can have plenty of nifty uses. It's a really nice way to trigger functions that are either not commonly used or just don't require speed or precise control. But I can't imagine any traditional game using it exclusively.
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Posted: Nov 4th 2010 10:53AM CricketB said

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I think most of the voice control work is currently done in the smart phones market, but I can see it applied as an option for games. There's at least one powerful voice program out there that could definitely take over non-movement controls in games.

It could be really cool to have movement controls the old-fashioned way, but do some of the fancier skill activation by voice. There would possibly be too much lag for short-activation skills, especially with repetition (voiced key-mashing would be *awful* for the larynx) or interrupting short-activation skills, but I can see an interesting immersion effect in yelling "Fireball!" at an approaching enemy.
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Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 7:24PM Shazzie said

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I know what you mean about the trackball...
The Logitech Trackman Wheel is the *only* mouse I am able to use. I remember, years ago, this mouse was called the 'Marble', and everyone I knew used it. It was THE gaming mouse, the *everything* mouse.

And then Logitech simply shrugged it off and quit developing for it. It hasn't changed in well over 10 years. Two buttons and a mousewheel, and that's that. What makes them think a trackball is any less useful for gaming, since all their time and money seems to be spent on flashy mice that WILL CAUSE stress damage to the user?

But the trackballs...finger or thumb operated... can be used by people with carpal tunnel and other stress-related injuries that would normally make long term computer use painful...without causing any pain.

Posted: Nov 3rd 2010 10:21PM (Unverified) said

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Amen for letting players decide what is the best control setup for themselves! I never understood why game developers (I'm in the industry as well) thought that they knew better than their user! Sure, a developer should suggest what they think is the ideal control scheme, but give the user the ability to remap EVERYTHING!

FYI, WoW let's it's users remap just about everything out of the box. Of course there's add-ons that allow you to customize even more. WoW also has Click to Move (CTM) standard, it's an option under Mouse.

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 4:32AM bluehairedfairy said

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Just to let you know, logitech just released a new Trackman mouse with four buttons. I bought it the first day if was available in stores, and I have been loving it. My old Microsoft Trackball was on its last legs, but those two extra buttons it had kept me hanging on to it.

Posted: Nov 4th 2010 10:23AM Averice said

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Interesting. I actually can't stand MMO's that don't have the WoW camera style system. AoC had it, Aion didn't have it in pre-order beta but I think they had it later, I was delighted to discover that Vanguard had it when I installed it yesterday. Right click turns the camera And you, left click turns just you, and camera auto follow is off.

That was, besides the lag, one of the biggest things to turn me off FF14. The horrible camera in their open beta. I agree with the overall article, if I can't see, I'm not going to like it. I do have to say that I also need complete control over it though. Focusing on PvP mainly in my MMO's, the need for complete control over the camera all the time is what drives me towards the WoW style of camera control with the mouse. I've spent over 4 years kiting as a hunter, having a camera try to move on its own when you're kiting is just lol.

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