I've decided to create this thread given that the ARMA 3 development blog & reveals was getting infested with this topic. Below are several quotes with feedback about this topic posted by members of this community.
@Smookie & Vespa,
If A3 does indeed get a modernized interaction menu system (ex. hold a key [SPACE BAR]? & use mouse movement to select) this will free up the [MouseWheel] from action items.
As Sniperwolf572 suggested, [MouseWheel] to control movement speed might work great. I tried making a prototype for A2 a while back, but couldn't get it fluid enough.
Increase speed [MW UP]
Decrease speed [MW DN]
(+) Fluid movement that is intuitive. (Quick flick of your [MouseWheel]).
(+) Frees up [SHIFT] and [2xW].
Also, since [SHIFT] would now be freed up, this could be the stance modifier (Closer and easier to reach then [CTRL]).
[MouseWheel] speed worked great in SplinterCell/Hidden&Dangerous (where 3+ speed modes are used), but unsure how well it would work for an FPS where quick response is needed.
Since most games don't offer 3+ different speed modes, there aren't a plethora of examples. For A3 however, [MouseWheel] speed might work out well, but would need serious testing.
Mousewheel speed and keys only for UP/DOWN stance change are extremely unintuitive and unresponsive.
Imagine if you walk and see an enemy and you can't shoot him but you need to rush for cover and go prone? How will it look?
It will look like - you are walking, then you are tactical-pacing, then you are jogging, then you are sprinting, then you are slowing down to crouch and then you are going prone.
All while enemy laughs as he fills you with bullets.
Right now in ArmA2 you hit 2xW and you are immediately running then you hit prone and you are immediately prone.
Sure it will work in Splinter Cell when the world is player centric and you are going through linear corridors and always see all the enemies, while they don't see you. They won't run to kill you from the whole level either. But in ArmA every moment matters.
As for the wheel use for speed, it's great in splinter cell, but I'm used to the actual scheme of A2 (eg : shift toggle + double tap for emergency sprint).
I think I'd better have the mouse control stance though : scroll wheel up/down for stance, and MMB+left right for analog lean or front back to go on your belly or back.
Of course, that would mean another order system (space bar + click or something else), but I never found the scroll wheel menu optimal anyway (it's easy to overshoot).
I also don't believe in the "make everything optional argument" : off course that's the ideal, but that's just no practical for BIS. If it's just key bindings, then fine, but if it's another completely different system (mouse control for instance) it's not really viable to have 2 totally antagonists systems being streamlined at the same time.
i agree completely about rebinding, i just don't want the action menu on the scroll wheel, and have it cluttered with cumbersome actions. setting a satchel or mine should not be done through the action menu(way too many cases of fully loaded choppers blowing to bits cause the get in option flashes briefly and caused a player to drop a satchel. if you want to place them, select them like we currently do with binos and hand guns.
You can already set satchels by cycling through F and Left-Clicking MB - Set Satchel & Touch Off need to be removed from the Action menu, because this is an accident, which is waiting to happen.
Timer functions could still be retained via Action menu; Touch Off would happen by cycling through F and selecting the placed satchel, then Left-Clicking.
Basically, what I would do: unload the Action menu from similar actions that should not be there and then possibly rework the Action menu system to something like radial selection by one key (middle mouse button, or whatever you bind it to) depress activation -> mouse over -> releasing the depressed key/button will trigger the action.i would rather have the F key solely used as a fire selector for my primary weapon. every time i change the fire mode, i have to go through [grenade][smoke grenade][satchel] then it goes back to [semi].. it sucks, it's slows things down and just gets in the way.
thats why grenades should have it's own dedicated key, as well as explosives.
whats more intuitive? scroll down action menu, select M136. use M136, scroll down action menu, select primary weapon.
or - press 4, equip M136, use M136, press 1 equip primary.?
removing the whole command/action menu from the number keys, and using a pop-up rotary screen menu would not only speed up action selection, but also free up the number keys to be used for more useful tasks. the number slots can be inventory slots. that way we would be able to equip any specific inventory item we need at the time, instead of having to go through our gear menu.
i think this is what many people complain about when they say the ArmA series has clunky controls, apart from the animations and the bad collision model when inside buildings.
this is how i currently have my ArmA2 keys set:
WASD - general movement control
E - use/interact
Q - quick swap/last weapon used
R - main weapon sight
T - toggle between main sight and back up battle sight (AGOC and Elcan Specter DR have back up iron sights)
F - fire mode cycle (wish it didn't have grenade-smoke grenade-satchel on this)
G - gear menu
Z - reload
X - prone
C - kneel
V - stand
B - binoculars
N - night vision
Left Shift - lean left
Space bar - lean right (there's a reason why i have used shift and space for lean. i don't like using one of my movement control fingers to lean. it limits my movement options, as i either lean or move. with shift/space as my lean, i use my pinky and thumb to lean and can still move around freely. it makes moving around a CQC environment more dynamic)
i would love to add the scroll wheel as a control for movement speed. scroll up to go into a sprint, and scroll down to dynamically slow down to a slow walk. there are 3 phases in the movement animation, walk, jog and sprint. if you are at slow walk, as you scroll up, the walk animation speeds up. once at a specific pace, the animation changes over to jog. as you scroll up further, the jog animation speeds up until it changes over to the sprint animation. i would still keep key bound to these actions for times where you need to instantly change your movement speed.
in the end it's all about stream lining the players actions. with the current action/command menu system, you cycle through the commands as if they are pages. when something happens that needs your direct attention, you have to spam the backspace key to get out of the menu. a similar thing happens with the scroll menu... you have to press backspace to close the menu, or when you go to fire your weapon, you plant a satchel and get killed instead.
i completely agree on the rotary menu. click & hold middle mouse to open rotary menu, move mouse over the action you want, then release middle mouse to select action. if you want to close the rotary menu just release the middle mouse button in an open space.I'm in total agreement with you there on dedicated keys for unique/often used Actions, such as satchels, grenades. I used F as an example of what is already in-game, but given some thought we could free up a key for this particular Action.
Said radial menu could be positioned in the spot of the current Action menu, bordering the lower-mid right edge of the screen and it shouldn't exceed it in dimensions either - well depending on how big you want the text to be inside each "petal".
Something like a hexagon-shape with 6 equilateral triangles could be employed, giving you the choice of max 6 Actions to be placed there, but you could then divide the triangles in half, giving you 12 in total, though I'm not sure the text is going to be readable.
An octagon is another option,
North-South parts may present a problem in readability. Another configuration,
This is exactly what I meant (minus the small variability you talk about here). I'm not sure why people consider mousewheel slow and unresponsive. While I'm not advocating 100% Splinter Cell like system, doing the flicks as described above worked really well. Combining a modifier key like Shift, the action menu isn't affected at all, and there's no accidental speed alterations. Technically, Shift becomes your speed modifier key, and mousewheel is the analogue control method for selecting desired movement speeds.
I'm not sure why this is considered slow or unresponsive and I'd like to hear some reasoning behind this from anyone that argues that. Idea is that you don't have to stop moving, even for a millisecond, while holding W, and Shift + MW alters your speed without stopping. You're still free to go to any stance from any speed with let's say Y/X/C. In my previous post, Shift + Middle mouse was intended as safe/combat (weapon up/down, currently 2xCTRL on default) mode switch, which might have caused some confusion with stances. Abusing three, possibly more keys for different movement speeds is kinda strange to me.
Also, consider that such system could be used for vehicles to those who do not posses a joystick/gamepad. Let's say initially holding W in a car would eventually accelerate the car to it's top speed if possible, and if you wanted to keep in formation with a slower vehicle or infantry, you'd "dial down" the max speed with Shift + MW, acting as some kind of a limiter (or let's say that A3 cars have gears, and the same would instead control gears). Switching from "Warp 1" mode to "Warp 10" mode would be a flick of the mousewheel.
And to echo what DMarkwick said:
Regardless, from the comments made earlier by devs, it looks like they tried this and abandoned it, reasons unknown. So basically, stay civilized discussing things, all this arguing is probably irrelevant in the big BIS picture.
Ah, imagine if keyboard keys were designed as analogue inputs, we wouldn't even have this discussion.
Something like that. A few reservations, on which we both must agree:
1) 1-9 keys for weapon/gadget/misc items selection is best for streamlined gameplay. The bar itself should be positioned at the bottom of the screen, preferably in the lower right corner. The iconography must be refined to a level, where it blends in with the rest of the HUD elements and does not stand out against whatever you're looking at, or against any environment for that matter (Chernarus, Takistan, Lemnos). Ideally, when selecting a handgun for an example, only the second icon to would pop, leaving the rest of the bar hidden. This way you maintain HUD distractions/immersion breakers to a minimum.
2) Action menu must include self-Actions & player-world interactions, since this is essentially the same thing. A dedicated "action window" on HUD is not optimal, a better solution is a radial menu which changes depending on the context, much the same way the current Action menu does. Action menu would be brought up by depressing the middle mouse button -> move mouse over the required Action -> release the middle mouse button -> Profit.
3) Wholly agree on the command menu layout - a radial style cluster of hexagons. Activation by depressing the Space Bar, command & sub-section selection by mouse over -> left clicking. Right clicking would become the navigational "Back" button.
So far minimum shuffle, yet a lot of change in gameplay dynamics: Space bar for radial command menu, 1-9 for weapon/gadget selection, right mouse button becomes "backspace" when command menu is open. This frees up the scroll wheel up/down.
One radial Action menu, one radial command menu, one self-hiding, semi-transparent, slick weapons/item bar. Win?