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New key setup, why it is better, and why it is important.

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Joined: 23 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:04 am    Post subject: New key setup, why it is better, and why it is important. Reply with quote

While a lot of people like to offer advice to players regarding macro strategy using pill view, tactical things like how to take pills better, or how to kill/protect your lgm in pill wars etc, all these things are not possible if you do not have an optimal key setup to execute these actions efficiently.

Perhaps you are thinking, "Gee underdog, I don't think it really matters that much, I can drive and shoot fine, you are full of crap." While I am not going to confirm or deny that I am full of crap (I did have a big dinner a few hours ago) I will adamantly defend my position regarding the importance of an efficient key setup.

The key setup is perhaps the most fundamental, and thus crucial element to having success in a game of winbolo. I feel that it is neglected, and therefore a possible reason some players are unable to improve.

Winbolo is a real time strategy game that requires fast reflexes and solid strategic thinking. If you agree with this statement, then you must agree that having buttons located such that they can be pressed quicker will allow you to execute game actions quicker, react better, and thus play better.

If you understand the importance of strategy, then you must realize that strategy is best implemented if you have the right information.

Information is power. Information such as where your enemy is, what condition your pills are in, where and when an lgm is landing, what your allies are doing, what state the terrain of the battle field is in, where your bases and your opponents bases are, etc, are examples of relevant information.

There are two primary facets to gain this information: pill view and scrolling. Logically, the faster one is able to gain information the faster one will be able to execute strategy.

To faster gain this information, your pill view and scrolling buttons must be used efficiently. If you stop scrolling to drive your tank, or can't return to tank mode from pill view fast enough to prevent your tank from dying, well, any information you may have gained is useless. You were unable to execute.

Me, Spintega and Lancelot were discussing key setups for winbolo on teamspeak tonight, and I came to the conclusion that my current key setup is suboptimal. First, let me show you my old setup that I had been using for years:

wasd: driving the tank
arrow keys: scroll view
r: decrease gun sight
f: increase gun sight
2: pill view
enter/return key: tank view
shift: lay mine
space: shoot

This setup had worked for me well for a long time. The mine/shoot and driving keys are all on the left side and easily accessible with one hand with little to no strain. The pillview button is right above my middle finger and is easy to tap. My arrow keys are in close proximity to my tank view button so I can switch between driving and scrolling, going to pillview, and snapping back to tank view and driving/scrolling with little delay.

This setup, by the way, is very similar to what Ren used, and Spintega is using, and most good players have a similar setup, give or take a few small differences. If you are using something drastically different, and you are not left handed, you may want to consider changing it if you wish to play better.

Anyhow, while this setup is fine, there are two problems.

One, it is difficult, actually impossible, for me to turn my tank to the right while decreasing/increasing my gun sight with my left hand due to my index finger controlling both. This is a major problem. While it is true that the scroll wheel will allow me to change sight while turning right, often i have my right hand on the scroll keys.

Two, I am not using any of the new hot keys for Block, Pill, Mine, Tree and Tarmac which are available in the key setup. While clicking has worked okay so far, there is a half second to full second delay between switching modes, and in the heat of battle this can make or break a pill war.

So here is the new setup:

wasd: driving the tank (same)
8456 (key pad): scroll view
7 (key pad): decrease gun sight
9 (key pad): increase gun sight
0 (key pad): pill view
enter/return key: tank view (same)
shift: lay mine (same)
space: shoot (same)
r: block hot key
f: pill hot key
e: tarmac hot key
q: mine hot key
t: tree hot key

So as you can see, the scroll keys, gun sight and pill view button are now all on the keypad. Using the keypad rather than the arrow keys is better, because the mouse is situated to the immediate right of my keypad. This means i can go between scrolling and controlling the mouse at a faster and more efficient speed.

As an added bonus to this setup, the enter key on the keypad works for tank view, just as the enter key in the middle of the keyboard had worked before, so there is no need to change this. The 0 key on the key pad is very easy to tap while still having my hands on the scroll keys, so that one is now my pill view.

Since the scrolling is on the keypad, and often my right hand is on the scroll keys, it was a logical conclusion to move the gun sight keys there as well, which I did. Seven is the decrease gun sight key because it is a bit easier to hit than nine from my right index finger. Decreasing your gun sight quickly and accurately to get a one-shot snipe on an lgm is finicky business that you want to have maximum control over. Increasing is less important because by default you should always have your gun sight maxed out. Spintega mentioned that it is important to use your index finger for gun sight because you have more control over that finger, which I agreed with, and in fact was doing previously with the left hand.

Since I want to be able to have my hand on the mouse while I am switching modes, the hot keys must be accessible from the left hand easily. I chose f as pill and r as block because they are the most important modes. e is next in important so that is tarmac. mine and tree are seldom used, so they are slightly more awkward, in q for mine and t for tree.

I will try these keys out for the foreseeable future and hopefully I will yield positive results. If you have noticed that you are unable to accomplish multitasking easily and it is holding back your ability to improve at winbolo, I challenge you to try the keys I am using. While you will inevitably face difficulty initially, as I currently am, long term I am confidant that your level of play will significantly increase. Once my brain burns new neural pathways for these keys from repetition, I *should* be better myself.

Best of luck and hope this was helpful, or at the very least moderately interesting to someone.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i posted the same key setup stuff a month ago heh. but yes its the best
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Joined: 23 Feb 2003
Posts: 1840

PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As mentioned a few times now, the default key setup is adequate, and very similiar to what you've posted underdog. I changed it a couple versions ago. All you really need to convince new players of now is to turn off autoscroll and use their scroll keys.

Default keys when installing the game are now, EDSF for movement, space and shift for mines, KP+ and return for gunsight, scrolling is the keypad 8456, tank/pillview is T/G and quickkeys are 12345. All of which is a perfectly usable and efficient key setup. Not much different than what you posted.

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Posts: 138

PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 6:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a laptop so the right hand is a little problem because there is no keypad as such. I am trying to get used to decreasing the gunsight using the scroll wheel but the keys i have for decrease/increase are next to the laptop scroll keys.

Someone could plant a pill next to me from the other side of the map so I can't really say this from a point of strength, but the logic makes sense.

Calculate the things that you are doing / changing most during a game and then try to keep those functions as close together as possible on the keyboard.
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