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Shortcut keys for Army Setup in Tournaments (Browser version)

Shortcut keys for Army Setup in Tournaments (Browser version)


  • Total voters
    29
  • Poll closed .

Yogi Dave

Well-Known Member
I've heard several complaints about troop selection for battles and have jointed in with them.
Adding shortcut keys offers the best solution for what I think is the most significant complaint:
The sheer number of mouse clicks and small movements required to score more than a few thousand points in a tournament can and often does create a repetitive strain injury, RSI.​

There are three dialogs used to setup and auto-fight a battle regardless of it being for a tournament, world province, or spire encounter. They are:
  • Province dialog - choose between negotiate/cater/convince or fight.
  • Army Setup dialog - choose troops and decide to Auto or Manual Fight
  • Battle Results - Heal troops and return to province
    Of these the Army Setup gains the largest benefit, but all would benefit.
These days a good score in tournaments requires fighting many, many encounters. It's not unusual to score over 5000 points. 24 provinces to 5 stars gives 5080 points. That is 480 encounters. Only counting the clicks required in the 3 dialogs and strictly auto-fighting using only troops from the barracks troops takes 8 clicks an encounter or 3840 clicks for the tournament. Some people maintain an average above 10000 which would take twice as many clicks. A small mouse movement is often needed between the clicks. Even with the tournament being 4 days long, this number of clicks can lead to an RSI which is painful to the thumb, a couple of fingers, forearm and shoulder. Using a keyboard doesn't produce an RSI nearly as often since the same finger is not constantly used and arm motions is less.

The game has shortcut keys in several places. You can select an encounter in a province with a number key. 1-4 for tournaments and 1-8 for world provinces. <Esc> is used in the first two dialogs to pop you back to selecting an encounter. So, what keys would be good here?
Here are ideas for shortcut keys on each of the 3 dialogs. The letter in the graphics are intended to show what they are associated with. They are not intended to be shown on the dialog.

Province Dialog:
  • N Negotiate, Cater or Convince
  • F Fight
ShortCutProvDlg.png


Army Setup:
  • B Barracks
  • T Training Grounds
  • M Mercenary Camp
  • 1-5 Selects troop from left to right (Same as selection in military buildings)
  • X Removes the last added troop from selection
  • A Auto-Fight
  • F Manual Fight

ShortCutArmySetupDlg.png


Battle Results:

  • B Back to Province
  • 1-5 Selects the troop to restore with diamonds. (Ignored if the troop isn't damaged.)
ShortCutBattleResults.png


Pros:
  • Improves playability.
  • Reduces repetitive motions which can lead to RSI. This reason rises above all others since it's a common injury playing games that require a lot of small mouse movements and clicks.
Cons:
  • There is always the coding time. However, since there is precedent for the use of the number keys in the troop selection dialog in the training buildings, it seems like this may not be difficult. It all depends on common code organization.
Considerations:
  • This could lead to even higher tournament scores which may or may not be desirable.
  • Does this create too great an advantage for browser play versus mobile play?
  • Use of keyboard macros would decrease the time to complete encounters.
Even with the considerations, I think the lessening of RSI overrides these.​
 
Last edited:

Risen Malchiah

Well-Known Member
However, since there is precedent for the use of the number keys in the troop selection dialog in the training buildings,..
Wow! Thank you. I didn't even know about this.

I love the whole idea. My mouse hand needs a break while my left hand just sits there on the keyboard doing nothing, waiting to use the arrow keys to shift over to the next tourney province. There are many places in the game where keyboard shortcuts could be added and this is by far one of the best possible places.

Is there one for the tournament tent and the new Spire & Crafting buttons? Those would be immensely helpful as well, especially the tournament tent.

B Back to Prov
Rather than B, I'd love for Enter to be the keyboard shortcut. This could then be applied universally to every Awesome, Back to Spire and Next Wave box in the game.
 
Last edited:

Yogi Dave

Well-Known Member
There are many places in the game where keyboard shortcuts could be added and this is by far one of the best possible places.
The is a list of shortcut keys in the game in the wiki here.

Rather than B, I'd love for Enter to be the keyboard shortcut.
I'd thought of <Enter> and even <Esc> would work here, but worry a bit about browsers. They sometimes use the keys for their own purpose. <Esc> doesn't seem to be a problem, but I know <Tab>, which is mentioned in the wiki as a shortcut, doesn't work in Edge. So I shied away from keys other than letters and numbers. Hmm, okay looking back at my post I did mention using <BkSp>, but probably should removed it.
 

Risen Malchiah

Well-Known Member
I'd thought of <Enter> and even <Esc> would work here, but worry a bit about browsers. They sometimes use the keys for their own purpose. <Esc> doesn't seem to be a problem, but I know <Tab>, which is mentioned in the wiki as a shortcut, doesn't work in Edge. So I shied away from keys other than letters and numbers. Hmm, okay looking back at my post I did mention using <BkSp>, but probably should removed it.
What about <Space>? That might actually be better than <Enter>.

Come to think of it. If all of the keys for the fight selection were accessible with one hand, that would be ideal. For the different troop menus, B, T and M make the most intuitive sense, but Q, W and E would make the most practical sense from a gamer's perspective. That might confuse players though. Perhaps keep B, T and M for their respective menus as you said, but also add Q as Previous and E as Next. I'm more likely to hit E, even if I have to press it twice, than to stretch a finger over to M and then back to the numbers,

I'm rambling, but hopefully you get my point.
 

Yogi Dave

Well-Known Member
What about <Space>? That might actually be better than <Enter>.

Come to think of it. If all of the keys for the fight selection were accessible with one hand, that would be ideal. For the different troop menus, B, T and M make the most intuitive sense, but Q, W and E would make the most practical sense from a gamer's perspective. That might confuse players though. Perhaps keep B, T and M for their respective menus as you said, but also add Q as Previous and E as Next. I'm more likely to hit E, even if I have to press it twice, than to stretch a finger over to M and then back to the numbers,

I'm rambling, but hopefully you get my point.
LOL Yes, I get your point and it is valid. The game uses the arrow keys for left and right in places, but they aren't on your left hand. Putting them all on the left hand is best for right-handers, not left-handers. The shortcut keys Inno has assigned all use a letter from the name, and are not chosen for the ones warp speed gamers love. Yes, part of the reason for this change is for a speedup, but choosing keys that are consistent with the way Inno has been going seems important.

There's also the problem of already active keys. C, W, and R are active for the 1st two dialogs and take you to the City, World, and Research screens, respectively. It's why I chose N instead of C for Negotiate, Cater and Convince. It's also why W can't be used. I didn't want to suggest repurposing keys, even if they seem to be better choice.
 

Yogi Dave

Well-Known Member
This would be a welcome interface improvement.
When I read this, I thought for a few minutes it might have been more accurate to list this as User Interface, instead of Battle. It is strictly speaking a user interface change, but it's entire focus is for battle. So, I think Battle is the better topic class.
 

Yogi Dave

Well-Known Member
I hadn't thought of W already being valid
I learned a good bit about the shortcut keys while working on this, including where the most common key are valid. There were also several I did not know were usable, such as a number to choose which encounter to select and the arrow keys to move you around the world map. It was interesting to find that the number keys from the keypad don't work. They have to be from the regular keyboard. The arrow keys also don't work from the keypad.

I did test to be sure all the keys I've proposed do nothing in their dialogs, which is how I found out that C already had a function.
 

Risen Malchiah

Well-Known Member
Yeah, the arrow keys on the world map are great. I used to scroll with the mouse, but too many times, the game registered an unintended click. Now, the arrow keys are my main way of moving around the map (and it would be nice if they could also be used on the city map). The upside to that is rounds 2-6 of the tournament go fairly quick. All the tournament provinces are laid out in a diagonal grid, so you can just scroll up/left or down/right to move to another province (as long as you're not picky about doing them in order.). I find this slightly faster than opening the tent and scrolling through pages to click the next province.

But definitely, more keyboard shortcuts would be great. I suspect many players simply don't know about many of them. I consider you and me to be fairly well informed and even we didn't know about some of them.
 

Ashrem

Well-Known Member
We used to be able to escape to exit a lot of the Awesome boxes, but there was a bug where if you completed certain actions too quickly )like tournament and province encounters via negotiatie) the game would get mixed up as to whether an action was finished and require reloading tho province. Rather than fixing the bug, they took the escape key out. I still occsionaly find myself wanting to go [1][click negotiate][esc][2][click negotiate][esc][3][click negotiate][esc]...... would let you finish a province with very few mouse clicks in about 10 seconds.
 

CrazyWizard

Well-Known Member
hmm I see this more as an RSI negator, able to use mouse and some hotkeys combined.
I dont think it will reduce time in any form or shape. unless you are one of those e-sport 15 year old kid.

Or and I think this is the most important one, if you use one of those macro keyboards.

We have discussed this before and came up with some option, this combined with a macro keyboard is essentially that. you preset some key combinations and just select one of a bunch of macro's

The question is... will inno-games allow the use of macro's?
 

Ashrem

Well-Known Member
hmm I see this more as an RSI negator, able to use mouse and some hotkeys combined.
I dont think it will reduce time in any form or shape. unless you are one of those e-sport 15 year old kid.

Or and I think this is the most important one, if you use one of those macro keyboards.

We have discussed this before and came up with some option, this combined with a macro keyboard is essentially that. you preset some key combinations and just select one of a bunch of macro's

The question is... will inno-games allow the use of macro's?
I don't understand what point you are trying to make? We want to click the mouse less because it is a pain, even for people who don't find it actually painful. That might or might not have a small effect on speed but is not the goal of the suggestion.
 

CrazyWizard

Well-Known Member
I've heard several complaints about troop selection for battles.
Without changing game play adding shortcut keys can significantly reduce two common complaints:
  • The number of mouse clicks and small movements required
  • The amount of time it takes even if only auto-fighting
I don't understand what point you are trying to make? We want to click the mouse less because it is a pain, even for people who don't find it actually painful. That might or might not have a small effect on speed but is not the goal of the suggestion.

Its in the opnening of the TS post.

Also each mouseklik ins changed into a keyboard klik, this includes small movements to reach the different keys. as this proposal is not a WASD like shortcut.
the main change is that you can space the "clicks" over multiple fingers solving some RSI issues.

But it introduces a macro issue at the same time. as I will bet that no super high province count player will play without it if this is introduced. (the same players that complain about RSI from mouseclicks)

I am just giving a different perspective, but hey I would love it if they introduced it. when I am doing a 4 hour 6 round 70+ province speedrun trough the tournaments one of my bigges issue is the strain on my mousefinger as in all my years of playing online games with super clicky ones I actually have issues in that finger specific..
So I am all for building your own tournament macro's.
 

Ashrem

Well-Known Member
I see. I must have glossed over the "significantly reduce time" bit. It does seem optimistic to me.
 

Risen Malchiah

Well-Known Member
Yeah, the benefits (whether someone uses the hotkeys exclusively or a mouse-hotkey combination) would really be noticeable for players who go deep in a tournament. I have 3 cities and I push every week in all of them. I often stop at 25 provinces for 6 rounds, but sometimes I go as far as 40 for mostly 5 rounds. And there are times when I *want* to do more but my wrist hurts from all the clicking and I'm forced to stop.
 

Yogi Dave

Well-Known Member
I dont think it will reduce time in any form or shape. unless you are one of those e-sport 15 year old kid.

Or and I think this is the most important one, if you use one of those macro keyboards.
You make a good point about time reduction. Since I do a lot of typing and have little problem selecting the appropriate number keys, I figured at least a little speedup using keys once you figured out the rhythm for certain setups. Choosing 5 of the same troops will take about the same amount of time and that is the most common choice. However, when using troops from 2 different buildings, such as putting a couple of frogs at the top of the screen and orc strategist at the bottom requires switching between buildings several times.

I hadn't thought about macros. They would be quite the speedup in the case I just mentioned and many others.

If the B key is not allowed to close the Back To Province dialog, any time gain from using keys would be lost by having to move your hand from the mouse and back just for that one key click. However, since you don't need to move the mouse, just a reach over to tap the mouse key would not be too bad. So, without macros, the speedup I envisioned is probably more in my mind than in reality.

In actuality the RSI issue is the driving force behind this idea. The speedup was just a little bonus, like the second effect in some of the AWs.
I still occsionaly find myself wanting to go [1][click negotiate][esc][2][click negotiate][esc][3][click negotiate][esc]...... would let you finish a province with very few mouse clicks in about 10 seconds.
Actually, if you remove the <Esc>, that still works since there isn't a Back to Province dialog for catering. So, it's just [1][click negotiate][2][click negotiate][3][click negotiate]. You do have the Awesome dialog once all four encounters are done.
 
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