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Poll: What new config should we use?
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Leave things as is, let noobs suffer
5 45.45%
Change to a better WASD version
3 27.27%
Change to ESDF
1 9.09%
Change to RDFG
0 0%
Change to other (Explain)
1 9.09%
Just stick with arrow keys for walking forward and turning like in Doom 1
1 9.09%
Total 11 vote(s) 100%
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[SUGGESTION] New Default Keybind Layout

So here is the problem - On starting up a new clean install of Xonotic, the new player is faced with a keybind layout which is considered to be useless by all of the active community. Using it results in decreased efficiency, and causes frustration (eg, while specing, "How is he/she able to change weapons so fast and do those combos? Do they have 20 fingers? are they cheating?"). So i think it will be beneficial to produce a new efficient keybind layout, and offer it to new players. I also accept the possibility of even giving the new player a choice of a few layouts, allowing to pick between more and less radical versions. Of course, that will need certain additional efforts, such as giving an introduction to the layout, or coding the layout switching interface. That is not critical, however. If we can decide on a single good layout we can offer to the players, there will be no need for additional UI, and the introduction can be addressed in the tutorial, similar to Nexuiz one. IIRC there are recent efforts directed to making a new tutorial for Xonotic.

So here are the choices i propose:

  1. Leave WASD as default, but rearange other binds around it.
    Here is an example of such a layout, created by -z-:
    [Image: gSI7CDa.png]
    As you can see, it places all the weapons within close reach, as well as some useful chat binds.

  2. Move to ESDF, giving more space on the left side.
    This is the layout that i personally use as well as many other users. In my case it is:
    esdf - Movement
    q - Hagar
    w - GL
    a - Devastator
    r - Crylink
    t - Electro
    g - Vortex
    3 - MG
    SHIFT - Laser
    2 - Shotgun
    y - Chat
    u - Team Chat
    h - Drop flag.

    There are also others, but i cant remember them very well. The main advantage of this layout is that it allows easy access to all the weapons, who are evenly spread on both sides. There is plenty of additional space for other binds a user may want to use. In my opinion it is perfectly well balanced. At the same time, the number keys could be still used for weapon switching to help new users integrate.

  3. Move to RDFG, allowing even more space.
    This layout goes even further, moving things another step to the right, giving even more space on the left to be used.

A perfect time to address this feature of Xonotic would be during character creation screen that opens when you open Xonotic for the first time. This is where they option to pick diffenrt layouts would be addressed for the first time.

Here is a thread dedicated to key binds for respiration and reference:

Everybody is invited to discuss and propose possible layouts.
[Image: 0_e8735_c58a251e_orig]

Relying on the num pad wouldn't be the best idea, as Num Lock changes their functions. It's also pretty standard for games to have their weapons on the regular number keys, while more advanced players may prefer to rebind them.

That said, providing alternative default layouts may be a possible option, just not sure how they would be introduced to players.
[Image: 230.png]

If you want to have good binds for new players, you shouldn't rely on additional mouse buttons that some mice have. Even some moderately expensive gaming mice only have 3 buttons. (Even though for insta having the hook bound to a mouse thumb button is the best imo)

Imo, the buttons 1-5 are usable for weapons. Putting binds for teamplay to those buttons will not make beginners use them. Better put them somewhere like v, b, n, h.

Also, since these layouts are intended for beginners, we should avoid binds that >90% of all players don't use. New players will probably not need them.

Leave it as it is and let EVERYONE suffer. There's no way to universally assign weapons or keys to something that would be comfortable to everyone.
People will always have to assign their own binds no matter what.

EDIT: Deleted post from other thread and relocated it here:

I would advice against defaulting ESDF, it's not common nowadays and the advantages of it are not self-explanatory. In Xonotic it's a beneficial layout because you have more weapons to stretch your fingers to.. but what would be the point of ESDF if the weapons aren't assigned around ESDF by default as well? And if they were, it would be a disorienting mess to anyone who's not familiar with that setup and it would not make sense to everyone because everyone assigns their weapons according to roles differently. People will have to "fix" their config for their own preferences pretty much no matter what. In this manner, assigning weapons to 1,2,3,4,5,6,7..etc is a good call because that's the least disorienting way to organize default weapon binds and let's be honest, WASD is everywhere nowadays. I would argue people who use ESDF are used to tweaking their configs and aspiring to do that anyway.

Best solution would probably be a notice upon first startup along the lines of "Warning: the default keyboard layout is based upon common expectations (wasd for movement, number keys for weapons), but being able to access each weapon instantly is greatly improving gameplay experience. It is highly recommended that you set up your own keyboard binds so you can reach each weapon comfortably, please take your time to set up something suitable for you, it will pay off."

As everyone needs to decide what works best it for herself/himself, it would probably the best way to just point new players to the insufficiency of the default binds for Xonotic gameplay so they are aware of the necessity to configure binds to their needs.
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Let everyone suffer with the Default layout, and it's also common most FPS games the default keys are 1 to 9.

If its really an issue, it shouldn't be hard to have 2 keyboard layouts, where people can choose which one they want and switch back later if necessary.

IMO having an alternate key layout option might be good but choosing where to put all the various weapons around that option could be problematic as everyone has their own feeling for this sort of thing.
[Image: 21975.jpg]

Quote:“To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.” - Douglas Adams

Currently I still didn't change from the defult keyboard layout, and that's only from lazinnes(which is entirely my fault, yep), but I am pretty sure most beginners don't know about anything other than the defult keyboard layout.
it's there by defult on most fps games, and as a beginner, you don't THINK about "Hey, I'm having troubles switching weapons, I should change the keybind"
as your're more busy staying alive.
on the other hand, if you're more busy staying alive, it might be a little harder to do it when also adapting to new controls.
that's from my experience, other people might have a different experience as a beginner.

If there's ever going to be an in-game tutorial, I think it will be a good idea to put some words about it there.
I like the idea of alternative defult layouts

I think the most difficult part of coming up with the defaults will be making it work with all the mods Xonotic currently has. Currently vanilla has 9 weapons, overkill needs 2 more keys (drop weapon for nades, reload) and insta 1 more for hook. Then there's also "drop flag" that is used for exiting vehicles (any maybe something else). Some keys have multiple uses which collide in certain mods (drop weapon = throw nade/drop current weapon; hook = hook/drop nade in a retarded way). Earlier I made an attempt at making a list in the comments here. I am pretty sure I missed some.

I would suggest that Xonotic should split the overlapping uses (so they appear correctly in the menu with descriptive names) but allow binding multiple actions to one key to make up for the lack of reachable keys (which would need changes to the UI). For example there is probably no mod with both hook and jetpack, yet using the menu I currently can't bind them to the same key. Alternatively it could support multiple layouts for different mods (again, changes to UI).

Now, regarding vanilla, the current defaults are terrible and unusable. The weapons are ordered randomly (weak hagar between strong vortex and devastator; strong mortar between weak MG and electro (no newbie knows how to use electro, so let's treat it as weak)) and the strong ones are not reachable with fingers.

First I would suggest changing the order - it should be from weakest to strongest like in other games. Laser,shotgun first, then MG,hagar,electro then crylink and last mortar,vortex,devastator. I would also strongly suggest binding laser to either CTRL or ALT to emphasize it's use for movement.

With that order the simplest thing would be to invert the numbering. Devastator=1, vortex=2,... This has the benefit of being easily memorable.

Alternatively, keep the weak weapons on numbers 1-5 and bind crylink,mortar,vortex,devastator to the free keys around WASD. Q is free, "drop flag" could be moved somewhere else to free up F, then C and V.

I am strongly against anything else than WASD as that could turn off too many players instantly. All we're trying to do with the defaults is allow complete newbies to play well enough not to ragequit Wink Keep surprises to the minimum.
[Image: 30381.jpg]

<packer> when i see martin-t's name my blood pressure increases

<[BOT]Hоtdоg> anyone here lives near martin?
<[BOT]Hоtdоg> will pay monies for shooting him

+1 for Halogene's idea. It's the least effort solution and should be done regardless what the "new" default key setup ends up to.

Just do Halogene's idea, we really don't have to change anything.

I vote for 3 defaults to choose from and a notification like Halogene suggested.
4m038105 - Be the change.

I vote for leaving things mostly the way they are (but support Martin's idea on separating functions from the same keybind). I think going too far from the canonical keybind in this genre might actually make it even harder for beginners, who may have some experience from other games.

I came to this game with knowledge of WASD, numbers for weapons, etc. For example, in my first game in Xonotic, I already knew "1" is my basic default weapon, "3" is the machine gun, "7" is the sniper like gun, and "9" is some weird powerful weapon.

After a few weeks, I developed my preferences and started to rebind the keys.

I think Halogene's suggestion works.

I think showing a message box will only work for a small minority of people - those patient enough to actually read it. As nadi726 said, beginners don't have time to think about what's holding them back, they're busy staying alive.

An experiment: move your ~/.xonotic folder and play with clean defaults. The weapon order is completely useless. It's in fact so terrible that we need a second list of weapons that sorts them by priority. The result is that picking up a new weapon will sometimes switch to it, sometimes not and you have no idea what's happening and how to go back to the previous gun (or the new one). The numbers are too far to reach with your hand so you use the mouse wheel as in any other (much slower) game. Because every good gun is surrounded by two bad ones, you end up the a bad one. You learn one thing: switching is bad for your health.

My suggestion: order the weapons consistently with how good they are. I already posted it above. As a bonus, switching with the wheel will work reasonably well. Sure, maybe it's not for competitive gameplay but newbies aren't trying to be competitive, they're trying to have fun.

The defaults are the reason I rarely play vanilla. When I started with xon, I had no chance. Then I discovered that the 'pro' people keep switching their weapons to do more damage. Turns out to do that I need to re-do all my binds. Well, screw that. More than a year later, I discovered the priority list and played with it, suddenly, I could actually have fun. My left hand is free for movement and as a bonus I don't have to keep thinking about which weapons I have and which are out of ammo. Now that I know this game is fun and I might actually wanna start investing a bit of time into finding a more competitive layout. I already have vortex on E and from there I can access mortar and devastator with the wheel which is good enough so far.

TL;DR change order from weakest to strongest, show people the game is fun and maybe then they'll be willing to invest time into finding optimal binds.
[Image: 30381.jpg]

<packer> when i see martin-t's name my blood pressure increases

<[BOT]Hоtdоg> anyone here lives near martin?
<[BOT]Hоtdоg> will pay monies for shooting him

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