New/More Slots for the Quick Bar

Discussion in 'Game Discussion & Feedback' started by Silvanito, Jun 19, 2015.

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  1. Silvanito

    Silvanito Dev Team Team DarkOrbit

    Hi guys!
    We have seen some of you requesting for more slots on the quick bar to be able to easily use more items, skills or formations.

    Basically the problem is that there are a lot of ammunition, extras, rockets, and formations that need to be quickly and efficiently managed during a battle, without being distracting.

    On the other hand, we have the problem that too many slots will overcrowd the interface or will still hard to manage.

    Some DO team members had already a brainstorming to collect ideas, and we got from it a couple of ways to deal with the problem. But before we go ahead and start prototyping those systems we would like to hear from you what you think is the best way to improve the ammo, skills and formations switch management.

    This is a really core feature and at the end are you guys the ones who are dealing with the problem every day. So, for us it makes a lot of sense to have you involved in the conception of this feature from the beginning. We are quite sure you have already thought about awesome solutions.

    Drawings, sketches and mockups are of course welcome.

    You can leave your suggestions in this same thread; we are looking forward for your answers!

    Thanks, and have fun!

    P.S: As I already mentioned once, we are not looking at the forums all the time. So if you are asking something it might take some time till you get an answer. Your patience is appreciated ;)
  2. Okapi32

    Okapi32 User

    I think it could be cool if we had a new type of hotbar that suits the things that players maybe only have to use once or twice in a fight. I think it would be good to have a couple of these types of hot bars that people can put their formations, techs, some ship abilities on and so on.
    Then players could put stuff like ammo and aegis / citadels / spearhead abilities on the normal hotbars since they would be likely to use them multiple times during a fight.

    I had to mock up some images to explain it better ^^


    The current picture shows it in the "off" state - if a ship was under it then I would be able to lock that ship and not press any of the formations. The Heart is highlighted because that is the one I am currently using on my ship.

    Then if I wanted to use anything that is on this new hotbar I could do it three ways:
    • Assign a hotkey
    • Unlock the padlock then click on the one I want.

    When the player unlocks the padlock the hotbar goes to the "on" state, something like this:

    Then the hotbar's items and outlines lose their opacity and the colour of the padlock changes to something brighter to show its been unlocked encase the user click it by accident. I think if a user was able to assign a hotkey for the padlock it would be quick good, something where they can hold down a button to unlock it then when they stop pressing that button it would automatically lock again, I would use Shift for example.

    Would it also be possible to use something like Alt or Shift for alternate hotkeys?
    So for instance if I had x4, rsb and sab on 1, 2 and 3; could it be possible for me to make a hotkey so that if I held down something like Shift and pressed 1 I could activate one of my items on a new hotbar, such as pincer in the example. That way players wouldn't have to stretch across to keyboard with their hand to activate a hotkey.

    Printscreen of how it looks with all the other regular windows:

    Hope I explained it clearly enough x)
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2015
    SolarBurn likes this.
  3. Omega

    Omega User

    you can also make them all smaller and do what Okapi said , but if u make them just a bit small , since either way we don't really need to see how much of each thing is there ,we can just hover our mouse over it ,but what okapi said is a good solution
  4. veritas

    veritas User

    Okapi, why aren't you on the design team already? :p I like these ideas.

    And I was just thinking (again) a bit ago how many obscure but useful bombs/rockets/mines I have, but can never access them quick enough when the need arises and I don't use them often enough to take up valuable hotkey space. So any changes could be an improvement.

    Not sure if this is a tangent or not, but would it be reasonable to have clustered hotkeys? Have maybe five items that can be activated/changed with one keystroke. Abuses of this would have to be considered/guarded against I suppose. Maybe one small safeguard could be a 10 second cooldown for use of clustered hotkeys.

    For instance, you could have a defensive/flee config so when you hit 'D' it could switch to diamond (or whatever) drone formation, switch to SAB, SAR hellstorm rockets, lay down a slow-down mine, and change to freeze rockets. As a very loose example.

    Then you could also have a defensive/fight back config, and then maybe a attack/solo and an attack/group config.

    There are probably a few items that I would want to use together, and only in certain circumstances, and if they could be clustered under one hotkey it would save space.

    Maybe set a max of three 'cluster' hotkeys?

    Anyway, just a rambling thought to add to the mix.
  5. Finally back in the english forums. (Guys it is really hard to post between german and english forums with all the relogs :() First of all, forgive my grammar, i know it´s horrible sometimes.

    But to topic:

    We recently had the discussion (better said i caught it from sinking) in the german forum and it was very split up. Personally I am glad you guys have the same thought as me.

    As to the how: I am really not sure. Okapis suggestion is nice and I think it´s far better than mine. Anyway I am throwing it in here:

    In the end my idea was to only add a third hotbar (two are standard and the third will be the premium hotbar). So even the non-premium player have a little bit more room at the same time we premium player still have our (from many people so beloved) advance. At the same time, change the standard buttons and move them from 1-0 and F1-F11 down to the letters (and move PET to 1-0 [and add a costumizable Key i.e. for Kamikaze]). This way the people have also a little bit more opportunity to learn to love the usage of these buttons and also I think in this case a bit more people will take advantage of the possibility to change the hotkeys to a "better" personal layout. As i can see (at least now i play a bit more and talk a bit more) not so many people use the feature to costumize the hotkey and this is sad as it is really a big difference between using the standard keys and your own costumized hotkeys, at least from my point of view.
    jackknife likes this.
  6. Silvanito

    Silvanito Dev Team Team DarkOrbit

    I really like your suggestion as it goes in the same direction as one of the ideas we got from the brainstorming.

    Here is the idea we had:
    - The players have a new clustered space where to put any quick acces they want, as the one on your picture.
    - Instead of being "locked" or "unlocked" it is by default hidden, so it doesn't reduce the visibility in any form.
    - By pressing a special key once, it becomes visible and you can interact with it, by pressing a second time the same key you hide it again.
    - While being visible you can activate the items in that menu using your mouse or the numbers from 1 to 0, the regular bar will not be affected as you have the focus only on the cluster.
    - Once you have selected one of the options from your cluster it hides again automatically.

    Using the shift key and the example of you picture: switching from Heart formation to pincer formation will be executed by pressing shift (making the cluster visible) and then the number 4 (it is the fourth in your example) and the cluster will immediately hide again till the next time you press Shift again.

    The idea of this system is to have a really quick access to those items, so that in less than one second and with the minimum distraction you have performed the action you wanted.

    How do you guys feel about a system like that? Would this be useful for you? Do you see any cons on that or do you have any suggestion for improvement?

    Thanks for your feedback!
  7. Okapi32

    Okapi32 User

    I like the idea of the cluster being invisible until a button was held down, would definitely help keep the UI from looking too busy. All seems very solid, like the sound of it a lot personally.
  8. .Wagon.

    .Wagon. User

    I like it but I've a major concern regarding this. As you've said that "it hides automatically after we use an item".

    Not everybody in the game would like to use this slot for drone formations or even if they do, in battle we may require to quickly change formations or use different items together.
    Pressing a key to first activate the slot and then after using an item if it by default deactivates then I'd have to use atleast 4 keys (or steps) to use 2 items and 6 keys to activate 3 items.

    So basically I've to use 2 keys to use one item. Its not that convenient and would consume time and attention during a fight.

    Having a 3rd shortcut bar maybe important but it'd consume more space on the screen.

    My idea is to make 3rd shortcut bar similar to the current two bars (maybe players can use keys to activate & deactivate it). But once activated it remains active and all the items could be used consecutively along with other 2 shortcut bars.
    To avoid blocking important screen space, we can remove (make invisible) some of the not so important icons temporarily. Like not just closing the user statistic panel but completely remove its icon from the screen as well.

    Players can choose which icons they want to remove from their screen (like quests, user stats, boosters, help, etc.) and when needed they can bring it back with a key. This would clear some space and compensate the visibility of the 3rd short cut bar permanently or for as long as the user wants.

    So in this way, players can actually use 3 shortcut bars together consecutively without deactivating any of them.
  9. I have the same concerns about this. Also to count in: There are atm 11 Drone formations in the shop. With Bat and (Lance?! Don´t know the english name, the one for mine damage) there are 13. And with the new formations (actual are planned 7 afawk) there are 20 drone formations. How do you want to set the standard hotkeys for all of them and what did you imagine how we should work with all of them?

    Or did i missunderstood and we can freely choose which item we can put into this hotbar? I read it like you have to choose to add the whole drone formations or rocket section i.e. to this hotbar.

    Do you plan to add an option "always show 3rd hotbar" for those of us which don´t want to be bothered with this circuitous solution?
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015
  10. Okapi32

    Okapi32 User

    I can see why you might have some worries about it but I think you might be looking at it from the wrong direction.

    Using 2 buttons on a keyboard to activate something is incredibly common in games. The example of Shift is by far the most common, 'W' is typically used to make a character walk forward, then holding down 'Shift' and 'W' at the same time will make the character sprint. If you are not used to doing this then it will just take a tiny bit of practice.
    Pressing 'Shift + 1' is just as quick as pressing '1', all you need to do is press them both at the same time.

    The idea you have raised of pressing a button to open it then having to press a button again the close it would make it very hard to assign hotkeys. If bar 1 is 1 - 0, bar 2 is f1 - f10 ... what is bar 3 going to be? I don't want to have to assign hotkeys that are on the other end of the keyboard, that is why the common concept of using Shift + another button is used very, very often in games. Making me use my mouse to click on them would be even slower.

    If a player chooses not to use the new type of shortcut bar for things such as drone formations and for some reason puts items that they will use lots of times in a fight, then I think they are being foolish and just handicapping themselves for no particular reason.
  11. Runcho

    Runcho User

    Interesting how this topic have raised now. Premium members have 2 slot bars and non-premium players like me have always been playing with 1 bar. This has been in disadvantage for the non-premium players for years and now because there is too many items you decide to add a 3rd bar? I'm sorry, but this discussion is missing the point of fair play even more as I am sure the option with visible/invisible bar will be for premium users only too.

    Here is the thing - I challange you to fight with 1 slot bar only for a few weeks to see the difference. This is where the real skills lie, not just pushing few buttons in a sequence.

    As for developers request - you have released too may things out of greed in order to increase the profits from the game and now this is catching up to you. The current solution to use 2 buttons to activate another slot is not going to work properly. Why? Try to press shift+3. It's easy right? Now try to push shift+7. Not going that well this time, huh? Imagine implanting this in game and the time it consumes to hit those buttons. Fights between UFE and non UFE ships continue less than that.

    The smart thing to do here is to get rid of those quick slot bars at all. You say 3 is too much anyway, maybe you are right. Right now in a fight those quick slot bars are just taking place as players are using keybindings and not clicking them. Than make an option that you can use key bindings when selecting a certain ammo/rocket/formation to it (by selecting I mean from the main bar with all the stuff in it). That way you will have only 1 bar visible on the map and all key bindings are going to be hidden. In order for this to work properly you can replace one of the quick slot bars by adding a cooldown bar - only items that are currently on cooldown will be displayed there with a timer on them - the first to recharge will be the first in line.
  12. Okapi32

    Okapi32 User

    So ... what's your solution? You don't want shift to be used and you are saying that 3 or 4 of the shift combinations might be a little hard for people to press. What is your suggestion for no shift combinations?
    As I said bar 1 is 1 - 0, bar 2 is f1 to f10. What is your suggestion for bar 3 if you think shift is such a bad idea and will make life so much harder despite shift combinations being incredibly common in games.

    I would also presume we could rebind the keys, so if shift + 7 is just too hard you could change it to shift + Q, for example.
  13. .Wagon.

    .Wagon. User

    I see, using shift + a letter (say W) is easy but as Runcho pointed out there is a limit of using shift + a number. Not all keys are closer to shift and might have trouble using them together.

    For 3rd short cut bar we could maybe use F1, F2... or 1-9 for those who're on PC having a keyboard with Num lock keys. The thing gets hard for laptop players as they don't have these num lock keys. Maybe using shift be best alternative for them.

    But one thing is important to understand, it is not at all "easy" to use 10 shift + x combination. After some it'll become harder or time consuming to press them. Perhaps maybe they should re-consider their decisions of introducing new drone designs that would be used in PvP battles.
    But I still don't like the 3rd shortcut bar to remain invisible. I think they should leave this to players choice.

    Right now, if we keep the main menu open, the shortcut bar is hard to use as the items drag along with the mouse click instead of being activated. This feature needs to be turned off. Quickly changing item in shortcut bar should only be made possible during config. mode. Or maybe if we try to drag them forcefully, then only in normal mode. [Like it was 2-3 years ago with previous client]
    Reason: No matter if we have 3 shortcut bars, there will always be more items to use in a fight than on the shortcut bars. Able to use items directly from the main menu along with the shortcut bar is crucial and the current system makes it hard.

    So Silvanito, I hope you consider changing this feature along with new 3rd short cut bar or better if before :)
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2015
  14. chixonator

    chixonator User

    Hmmm.... iv'e got a few ideas... i do like some of the suggestions listed here and i think we should combine a few.

    As you see here, we keep the 2 current hot key bars, add another 1 for quick use of items. then also put in @Okapi32 's idea. this way we would be able have more hotkeys for immediate use for pvp etc and then have okapis idea for the extra stuff.
    and how would we use all of these keys?
    well i would use it like this, the 2 normal slots are the way i currently have them set up and the new bar would be my f1 -f12 keys. and the "shift" key would open up okapis idea.

    Now i really liked @veritas idea about having "cluster" keys, as you see me in my picture they could possibly be skill abilities, cpus, or ammo all activated with 1 key. like emp, cloak, and slowmine, or the 2 aegis HP repair abilities .

    Some rules with cluster keys:

    1. can have a maximum of 2 or 3 cluster keys
    2. each key can contain no more then 3 things
    3. can not have multiple items from the same type in the same key. except abilities or cpus (example- 2 different laser ammunition's cannot fire at the same time so you would only be able to put 1 laser, rocket, mine, or drone formation in 1 key.

    How to get cluster keys: should be able to unlock them (like pet slots, or hanger slots) - first 2 slots 75k uri. 3rd slot 50k uri
  15. Okapi32

    Okapi32 User

    Again, as I have already mentioned, that is why we have the ability to remap our keybinding in the game so we could use shift + W if we wanted to ...

    Defaulting them to the number pad would be one of the worst possible solutions. As you have mentioned not everyone has the number pad. It also happens to literally be at the other end of the keyboard and so it would actually be a massive disadvantage to even use any of the hotkeys there since you are taking your hand away from the rest of your hotkeys so you cannot react at all if your enemy does something.
  16. Silvanito

    Silvanito Dev Team Team DarkOrbit

    I am glad to see you engaged in this discussion. I will give you some clarifications for the current design status of this feature.

    You don't need to press two keys at the same time, just one after another.
    With the current design you don't need to hold shift while pressing a second button to activate the shortcut. By pressing Shift, it will open/make visible the third bar. But you don't need to hold Shift. Once you have pressed shift, the 3rd bar will keep open till you press any quickbar shortcut, you click one of its items or you press Shift again, and then the bar will hide again. So, your hand will have complete freedom for movement. We are assuming that you will put the items that you most use in the first and second bar while leaving the 3rd one for those exceptional but sometimes necessary and handy items like EMP, drone formations or mines.

    For those who like to use only the mouse there will be a small button that will expand the 3rd bar.

    The 3rd bar will use the same key mapping as for the 1st one. By default this is from 1 to 0, but you can customize this. As this will use the same mapping, the 3rd bar needs to have active and nonactive status, triggered by the shift (or any other key you set up).

    The reason to use the same mapping as for the 1st bar is to reduce the amount of key bindings that you need to memorize. It feels that is already hard enough to manage keys from 1 to 0 and from F1 to F10 to add then some extra keys from Q to P, for example.
    This way you can have the ammunition you mostly use in the key 1 and a second ammunition on Shift-then-1. For example, 1 can be MCB-50 and Shift-then-1 can be SAB-50. Of course this is all up to you.

    It is also about having free space on the UI. Probably many of you have a high resolution in your screen, but there still players which have a lower one and having a 3rd bar always visible will take a lot of space in their UI's.

    Full customization:
    The 3rd bar is not only for drone formations, you can put there whatever you want as for the other two bars, just by dragging and dropping the items in it like for the other two bars.
    Also you can change the 3rd bar position and arrangement from the configuration mode in the game's settings to be at the place and in the shape that is most convenient for each of you.

    This concept will be in the test servers before being released. You will have the chance to try it and give us your feedback so that we can iterate based on it to ensure that we are delivering something that is useful for you.

    Again thanks for your feedback :)
    Enjoy the rest of the weekend!
  17. chixonator

    chixonator User

    now would this 3rd bar be available to everyone or is it a premium bar like the other 1
  18. hello in my opinion there is enough bars already , you will not use all formations in a single fight ..
    sorry for my english
  19. if UI space is problem then we should be able to hide standard bar in settings, but it should still work, i have same stuff on my standard for years, and i know what is where. when i have premium bar i click on it with mouse. it is easier for me like that.
    3rd bar should be optional. i like to click on my extra bars with mouse so it would be good to keep it visible all the time, and for those who don't want it visible make option to change it in settings one way or another.
  20. Im glad this topic is in discussion.Something ive been brainstorming about for awhile.

    The first suggested way by the Team and okapi is simple and removes the blocked part of the screen quick...Something else I was thinking about is a way to activate set ammo, tech and even ship shills in certain circumstances...

    "Example":Your in a solace and your hp is reduced by 50% so a "Feature" activates your hp repair skill ,insta shield and maybe even activates backup shields....So this would either be an auto cpu feature or a passive hotbar build....Of course customizable to a point by players so they can set it to their fighting style.
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