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Change cycled ability controls


Borg1611
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Someone posted on reddit a GIF showing Titania may about to be getting ability cycling on Tribute as a replacement of the current system. While that's an improvement over the current enemy-specific system (which isn't saying much), ability cycling in general has needed some QoL improvements for a long time.  

All cycling abilities that already exist already feel clunky and annoying to use as has been mentioned repeatedly in the past, but it seems like a good time to reiterate feedback on this system if it's being recycled again (but even if it wasn't it needs to be changed for the frames that already have to deal with it). 

I think you should replace the baseline control scheme for all cycled abilities or add an optional alternative for people who hate having to use the existing cycling system. I currently avoid frames with cycled abilities or avoid using those abilities as much as I might if the control scheme wasn't so bad for them. 

Idea 1: ability wheel

I think this has been suggested a number of times by multiple people. 

Instead of the current cycling system, the abilities could bring up a wheel with the 4 abilities when holding the abilities button and simply moving your mouse/joystick/whatever in the direction of the sub-ability will quickly swap to that ability, then tapping the ability key will use that ability. Basically it would work like the gear wheel, but with only 4 options, top, bottom left and right. Another way to do it (or an additional way to select on top of the previous) could be to long press to open the wheel, then the wheel stays open until you press 1-4 to select one of the sub-abilities. 

I think this would be a lot faster and less annoying to use to swap abilities than having to constantly repeatedly press and cycle through the order to end on the ability you want to end on. This would especially be true if you actively used all abilities in the cycle and sometimes say you wanted to use 3 and 4 and every time you went back to three from 4 you had to cycle 3 times. With a wheel system it always takes the same amount of time to swap from any sub-ability to another. 

I do think it would still be obnoxious to have to do this on Wisp for motes, but I think alternative suggestions specifically for rapidly putting out all 3 motes when you want all 3 that have been suggested elsewhere should be implemented specifically for her.

Idea 2: Key-combo

Tap the ability key to temporarily change all ability keys to the cycled abilities/sub-abilities. After again pressing an ability key to then use that ability or after a short period of time, abilities swap back to their normal abilities. For example with Ivara. You tap 1 and 1-4 now become all of her quiver arrow abilities that you normally have to cycle between. You then tap 1-4 to cast the arrow you want to cast. After casting the arrow your 1-4 keys are back to doing what they normally do unless you press 1 again. To make it somewhat less annoying to re-cast the same ability you could make long-pressing the ability repeat whatever was cast last (IE: you'd have to tap 1 then tap 4 to do sleep arrow, you could then do that again to re-cast it or long-press 1 to cast it again and of course in the case of Ivara, alt-fire with artemis bow out would still work the same). 

I like the wheel idea more I think because this system might be annoying if you mostly are just using one of the sub-abilities all of the time or have abilities that are frequently re-cast since you'd have to rapidly tap two keys for every cast. However, this kind of system might actually be better for certain abilities like Wisp's motes since you are only re-casting them occasionally and it would still be a faster way to cast than existing cycling. Wisp really could use a separate scheme from the rest since you use her abilities differently than other cycled abilities. For her, you frequently cast all 3 of her abilities right in a row and then don't cast them again for awhile, which is a different situation than other cycled abilities where you may want to frequently swap and cast. 

edit:The more I think about it, I think for Wisp this would actually be amazing and it would let you add a 4th option since she only has 3 reservoirs. 1-1 for vitality 1-2 for haste 1-3 for shock and then since she has no 4th reservoir, add a special function for 4 where 1-4 drops all 3 at once. 

Idea 3: Frame-specific overrides:

In the same way that Overwatch allows you to override keybindings for specific heroes + give hero specific binding options where appropriate, you could do this and add cycled abilities under frame specific options and allow those frames to bind each ability individually if they wanted to (possibly only adding an extra binding to one or more specific sub-abilities they personally are going to use a lot). This would also be nice for the game in general as you'd be ability to bind each frames abilities to different keys if you didn't want to use the existing scheme (IE: maybe you want to bind all CC abilities to a certain key and they don't always happen to be on the same number key). 

Personally I'd like to see a combination of both idea 1 and 3 but I'd also be happy just to see 1 or 2 or 2 and 3. Or perhaps 1 for most abilities and 2 for Wisp. If you have other alternatives you think would be good improvements to cycled abilities feel free to add those as well. Having multiple systems as options may be nice also for different kinds of people or different control setups. 

TLDR: existing ability cycling controls bad, alternatives suggested

Edited by Borg1611
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11 minutes ago, taiiat said:

i guess option 2 might be a potential avenue for solution.

please no option 1 though, losing Camera control would not be a help.

Well ideally it would only take you a fraction of a second to move your mouse in the direction of the ability. I also think it could swap to that ability as soon as you move it in that direction rather than having to click like the gear wheel. 

I suppose another option would be a wheel-like system that doesn't bring up the mouse but only works the second way I mentioned in idea 1 where you'd long-press the key to enter the selection mode and then press 1-4 (or whatever your normal ability keybinds are) to make the selection. Unlike idea 2 it wouldn't cast it but just change the ability selection and then tapping would cast it. IE: long press 1 to enter selection mode on ivara then press 4 would change her 1 into sleep arrow. 

Having multiple optional systems for players who prefer different styles of controls could be nice also. I imagine some people like it the way it is but I've always hated it. edit: also depending on how often you want to change specific abilities or re-cast them different systems I think would just be better for different abilities. 

Edited by Borg1611
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How many frames with this kind of ability do we have?

There are Ivara, Vauban, Wisp and now potentially Titania.

Frame specific controls would be really nice, specifically because the Ivara and Vauban controls should be different. I am not sure, that this is actually needed, since most people seem to either not care or agree, which system is better.

For Wisp I think it would make sense, if it just rotated every few seconds automatically.

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14 minutes ago, gluih said:

For Wisp I think it would make sense, if it just rotated every few seconds automatically.

I think having it just auto rotate would be annoying if you had to wait for it to auto cycle to the thing you wanted to cast, particularly if you just missed it right before you wanted to drop it again. 

I've had lots of different ideas for Wisp. My first one when she came out was holding down the key just automatically drops all 3 in order if you keep holding it down after the first one drops (only dropping 3 and not just continuing to chain drop them).

I kind of like the key combo idea for her though and would maybe add another option where pressing 4 just drops all 3 at once since she only has 3 sub-abilities. IE: tap 1 then tap 1 drops vitality, 1-2 drops haste, 1-3 drops shock and 1-4 could just drop all 3 at once. 

Edited by Borg1611
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1 hour ago, Borg1611 said:

IE: long press 1 to enter selection mode on ivara then press 4 would change her 1 into sleep arrow. 

That's not better or faster than what we already have now.  With the current method, I can still move, jump, etc while switching my Quiver arrows, and this is even while using a controller to do it all.  

Maybe for the other frames you're suggestions might be cool.  Just not for Ivara.  Especially that 1st one you suggested.  I don't like that one for the same reason Taiiat listed above.  

Technically the 3rd suggestion already exists.  I say this because I mapped two frame abilities to specific buttons (dpad) for my Elite Controller's paddles. The option is in Settings under keybindings in the abilities section. Just not the specific cycled abilities though.

Edited by DatDarkOne
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Option 3 would be best imo.  I don't see any reason why we can't have dedicated keys for each cycle option on PC.  Using Vauban as an example we could then bind Tether Coil to 'I', Flechette Orb to 'O', Vector Pad to 'J' and Overdriver to 'K' (or just not bind the abilities we never use).  Obviously those keys aren't optimal, but a lot of us either have extra buttons on our mice or have macro pads/layers.

Edited by Jiminez_Burial
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13 minutes ago, Borg1611 said:

I think having it just auto rotate would be annoying if you had to wait for it to auto cycle to the thing you wanted to cast, particularly if you just missed it right before you wanted to drop it again. 

I've had lots of different ideas for Wisp. My first one when she came out was holding down the key just automatically drops all 3 in order if you keep holding it down after the first one drops (only dropping 3 and not just continuing to chain drop them).

I kind of like the key combo idea for her though and would maybe add another option where pressing 4 just drops all 3 at once since she only has 3 sub-abilities. IE: tap 1 then tap 1 drops vitality, 1-2 drops haste, 1-3 drops shock and 1-4 could just drop all 3 at once. 

It would require some testing to find out how quickly it should rotate, but it could be fine. Make it just slow enough so 99% of people can hit the one they wanted.

Wisp has more options than the other ones. You could also make it, so dropping one in an area, that already has one, just put down the next one.

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5 minutes ago, DatDarkOne said:

Technically the 3rd suggestion already exists.  I say this because I mapped two frame abilities to specific buttons (dpad) for my Elite Controller's paddles. The option is in Settings under keybindings in the abilities section. 

Are you just referring to being able to re-bind 1-4 to different keys? When suggesting frame-specific overrides I mean that each individual frame could have bindings that are different from the other frames + giving frames with cycled abilities the ability to directly bind the specific sub-abilities of their cycled abilities to a specific key that just cast them directly. 

 

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1 hour ago, Borg1611 said:

Well ideally it would only take you a fraction of a second to move your mouse in the direction of the ability. 

I suppose another option would be a wheel-like system that doesn't bring up the mouse but only works the second way I mentioned in idea 1 where you'd long-press the key to enter the selection mode and then press 1-4 (or whatever your normal ability keybinds are) to make the selection. Unlike idea 2 it wouldn't cast it but just change the ability selection and then tapping would cast it. IE: long press 1 to enter selection mode on ivara then press 4 would change her 1 into sleep arrow. 

still a volume of time that you are incapable of Camera control, which means you basically have to stand still for that period of time.

 

but a form of Option 2 where either Tap or Hold would set the Ability keys to a menu selection of which item to switch to would work, for me atleast.
ironically despite being a Console first game, Monster Hunter World has a pretty memorable way to handle quick access to items (for KBM that is). via taking a similar route as that and having categorized submenus. 4 individual buttons to switch between submenus and then the same Numeric string selects the thing in that Category. so the ideal to me would be having two buttons to handle these rotating Abilites, one Casts and the other toggles into selection mode to switch. not that i expect Warframe to do that though, due to Platform count and that thesedays the game is made almost exclusively for Switch.

but anyways, while that would work for me and be faster than what i have now for me, it wouldn't necessarily be a good fit for everyone.

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