Monday, September 22, 2008

The Alt Key

We've all thought about it: Why do we have to hold down the Alt key in Diablo 2? Well, Blizzard thought about this too. And Bashiok answers:

"The way it works now is that when an item drops the name shows for about 5 seconds and then they fade out and disappear. Pressing Alt shows all dropped item names for again about 5 seconds and then the names fade out and disappear. I actually didn't like it at first, I liked the on/off state of pressing or not pressing Alt, but with the names showing immediately after drop and having a sort of "grace period" after just tapping Alt, it's really grown on me and is a lot more intuitive. It's a lot easier to see what just dropped quickly and decide if you care, and it isn't necessary to constantly hold down Alt while scavenging after a large fight. I still want to see -nopickup return but I haven't really asked anyone what the possibility of that is. I don't think it would work well with the current system, so options may have to be a possibility."

This makes sense. There are plenty of occasions where if I see something drop, I stop everything I'm doing and pick it up. I don't however enjoy the idea of battling a group of monsters, checking the drops and then having 5 seconds of items being shown leading to accidentally clicking on Bolts, Arrows, Cracked Boots, etc etc, while you're trying to take down a cultist.

The pickup system should be 3 options.

1. Hold down Alt to see the items (as in Diablo 2)

2. Always show the items that drop.

3. No pickup option.

It cannot be that hard to let the user choose how he or she views the items on the ground. But, as I said above, I like the Alt key in Diablo 2. I would put Ring, Middle and Index finger on 123 keys and my thumb on alt. Very comfortable; very easy. I wonder if they'll add anything else to the pickup options.