I think the notion of putting functions like Map on the “M” key is somehow outdated and the amount of keys that follow the notion have decreased over the years.
E:D for instance has following buttons left that follow the notion:
- J - Jump
- L - Landig Gear
- B - … whatever that is
- P - Pause
35-37 Functions are distributed in some other fashion on the Keyboard.
Above is quite a good example for instance. For such a frequently used button the Jump key is pretty far away from all of the rest of the navigational keys. I don’t think it would be that hard for people to learn to have “C” for Jump for instance.
Personally, those are the keys of which position I don’t like the most. I can remember how strange it was to activate them when starting to play E:D.
Mind you that I touch type, in fact I don’t even have markings on my keys.
Also. For instance in the German or Swiss layouts, the right part of the Keyboard is heavily altered to QWERTY. QWERTZ in fact.
There are dozens of games that have a lot of neatly ordered functions on the right hand side of the board, like zoom in zoom out on the brackets. Those totally break down when used with those layouts.
You can see how Y and Z are swaped and the brackets are in completely different position. And most importantly. They are secondary functions. You need the shift key to access them.
I think after 2-3 hours of gameplay most players would prefer the most accessible binding configuration. Having that be the default consistently, no matter what layout the player uses and giving the player an already well configured default would be preferable in my opinion.
In the above layouts that are used by millions of people there are more then 10 deviations in key character/symbol positioning from QWERTY. Compare that to the 1-5 Functions that have something in common with the character they are defaulted to. (Map, Jump, Landing) As well as the removal of the need to provide several default binding configs.
I think this is the main reason why most games do this nowadays. Less hassle for international users.
Sure there will be people out there that used, for instance AZERTY, forever and are used to have the key on the home row, I can understand that.
I think using “real” keys would be the more progressive and modern approach.
For anyone that wants to give his opinion, not that I say we should decide, just as an additional input:
For (default) key bindings. How would you like them to be applied to your Keyboard?
- Fixed to character/symbol (how it is now)
- Fixed to physical button position
In the context you gave? Because of the change of possible character/symbol meaning? Or because of possible implementation bugs?