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Right-click orders inconsistencies #16669

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dragunoff opened this issue Jun 9, 2019 · 8 comments

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@dragunoff
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commented Jun 9, 2019

There is a very unintuitive inconsistency in "Right click orders" mode. Order generators in most cases are applied with left click but in a few cases with right click. I think this is poor UX that leads to frustration.

I have compiled the table below to document and illustrate the inconsistencies:

Order Applied with Canceled with
Sell; Power Down; Repair; Place Beacon LMB RMB
Support Powers LMB RMB
Place building LMB RMB
Mass minelaying RMB LMB
Attack move; Guard RMB Can't cancel with the mouse (as LMB deselects). Order generator can only be deactivated with the command bar button.
  • Normal move command and all the other comamnds that are applied using RMB (enter, capture, heal, C4) are not in the list. That is because they are executed as the default action in "normal mode" - based on the target and without activating any order generator.
  • "Attack ground" and "Force move" are also not in the list because they act as modifiers for the default action (only active while the key is pressed, no toggling).

And this leads me to how I think right click orders should be implemented - the way it's done in StarCraft (and many other RTS):

Mode LMB RMB
Normal Select; Deselect Apply defalut order depending on target
Order Apply active order generator Cancel and return to normal mode

That way there is a consitent and predictable pattern of "LMB apply, RMB cancel" in order mode and a "smart default" system in normal mode.

The biggest offender here is "a-move" (and "guard") and I guess this is where it all started (modeled after CNC3). Unfortunatelly this is unlikely to be changed for the deafult mods (unless we make it user configurable in settings). But I think that at least 3rd party mods should have an easy opt-out of this flawed behavior.

Related issues: #12852, #6126

@pchote

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commented Jun 9, 2019

The behaviour may be unintuitive, but it is not inconsistent. Attack move, Guard, minelaying are unit actions and therefore follow the rule for standard ordes like attack, move, enter -- i.e. controlled by the left/right mouse button option in the settings. The others are global orders, and are always issued with the LMB.

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commented Jun 9, 2019

🤔 I can see your point (actions that work on the selection vs global actions) and looking at it that way makes sense.

But I still think it is inconsitent because of what the user sees - a change of cursor resulting from a hotkey being pressed (a toggle, not a modifier). And I think it doesnt't matter if it's a unit or global action - as long as the user sees a change of cursor the same pattern of apply/cancel should be in place.

I can't tell you how many times I've double tapped Esc in the heat of battle to get out of support power mode because I was not sure what button cancels the order.

And regarding minelayers - the interaction there is very unintuitive in general... I don't use them often but in one game I was repeatedly trying to order mass minelaying by using LMB (as I saw a change of cursor) and I was very frustrated that the minelayer won't obey - even to the point of thinking that it's bugged.

@pchote

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commented Jun 9, 2019

The minelayer order is an exception because it is just generally awful, and mostly ignored because we don't have any universally good ideas for how to fix it. If I could have my way I would remove that OG completely and require players to queue-force-attack each cell (and then buff the mines to make the extra difficulty worthwhile).

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commented Jun 9, 2019

Changing it to your proposal would also cause inconsistencies: the new undeploy+anyorder OG for delpoyed units would after this logic work with left click but the same cursors you see in that OG are typically used in "standard OG" with right click.

I think this "Blizzard" style setup- although it is very good - only works flawlessly for games without modifiers and only few different OGs.

@tovl

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commented Jun 9, 2019

I think attack-move/guard should really be implemented as a modifier. That would be more consistent while also working much better with queued orders. (In fact they can actually be implemented with the same modifier and depend on context. They are so similar in practice already. Just rename it to guard-move or something.)

Getting rid of the mass minelaying interface would be a big mistake. Even while being half-baked and incomplete it is still miles ahead in convenience compared to using the deploy interface. I think it should instead be revamped and expanded to be able to cover other actions as well (Like spreading out units over an area for example).

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commented Jun 9, 2019

Changing it to your proposal would also cause inconsistencies: the new undeploy+anyorder OG for delpoyed units would after this logic work with left click but the same cursors you see in that OG are typically used in "standard OG" with right click.

🤔 @matjaeck Maybe I don't understand here... isn't that activated with the force-move modifier (i.e. we remain in "normal mode" and the action is expected to be applied with RMB)? I'm not suggesting a change to that.

I think this "Blizzard" style setup- although it is very good - only works flawlessly for games without modifiers and only few different OGs.

Yeah, agree that the blizzard setup was not tailored with modifiers in mind but I think it can be extended to cover that. It is definitely great for unit abilities.

I think attack-move/guard should really be implemented as a modifier. That would be more consistent while also working much better with queued orders. (In fact they can actually be implemented with the same modifier and depend on context. They are so similar in practice already. Just rename it to guard-move or something.)

I can get behind such a change. This would make them consistent with "attack ground" and "force move" and with the already mentioned queue benefits I think it's a big win.

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commented Jun 9, 2019

Generally speaking, we prefer to be consistent with the later C&C games if we don't have a strong reason to do otherwise. I may be misremembering how C&C3/RA3/Generals worked, but I thought it was at least broadly consistent with what we have now.

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commented Jun 9, 2019

thinking @matjaeck Maybe I don't understand here... isn't that activated with the force-move modifier (i.e. we remain in "normal mode" and the action is expected to be applied with RMB)? I'm not suggesting a change to that.

You're right - I supposed it is a order generator but it is a modifier.

I think attack-move/guard should really be implemented as a modifier. That would be more consistent while also working much better with queued orders. (In fact they can actually be implemented with the same modifier and depend on context. They are so similar in practice already. Just rename it to guard-move or something.)

As mentioned in #16381 (comment) very welcome. I don't know how the later games handled the modifier vs / switch thing, I personally would find combining two modifiers (assault move /queue force attack) more comfortable than turning attack move "on" and then modify the order.

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