Arenanet developer Joel Helmich has posted more info on the Action Camera Mode following the announcement on Friday.
So it turns out I reaaaaaally should have brought a list of key items to talk about on the livestream, but at any rate there are some details about action camera and associated features that are worth clarifying. I’d also like to address some questions that I’ve seen get asked since yesterday.
When will this be available?
HoT launch, so… five and a half days or so from now.
Will these features be restricted to people who purchase HoT?
No, they will be available to everyone.
If I don’t want to use action camera, what should I do?
You should do nothing, since the toggle key isn’t bound by default and you can’t accidentally turn it on without that binding. The camera and controls will continue to work as they always have.
What do I do if I want to use action camera but I’m bad at aiming?
If you turned off autotargeting at some point in the past, you should turn it back on. Basically think of it as aim assist when you’re in action camera mode; you still have to point more or less at your target, but it doesn’t have to be super precise.
What specifically determines the state of the crosshair, and what do these states mean for skill use?
dot – nothing is going on; skills will fire at the crosshair
X – the thing under the crosshair could be a target but is out of range, or autotargeting is turned off; skills will fire at the crosshair
X+circle – the above, plus the target is within range of at least one skill on your bar; skills will fire at the target
X+circle (rotated) – the above, plus the target is within range of skill 1 (i.e. your left click); skills will fire at the target
What determines whether or not I run toward the camera at full speed?
When you are using a skill, and for a short period after the skill completes, your character will face in camera direction. Moving backwards will cause you to backpedal in this case. When not using skills at all, you will run at full speed in all directions. Generally, this should work out so that when you are actively attacking something, you will be facing toward it, and when you are repositioning without using any skills you will run normally. Practically speaking, your character needs to face in camera direction during skill use because it would look kind of dumb to fire arrows and things backwards. Many skills have checks in skill script to make sure that you’re not attacking something behind you, for this reason. It would be a problem if action camera caused this check to fail all the time, hence the described behavior.
Can I use snap ground targeting and skill retargeting without action camera?
Yes, these features work with or without action camera.
Can I use other target selection methods (tab, closest) while using action camera?
You sure can. Doing so will lock whatever target gets chosen, and as explained (hopefully) on stream, locked targets receive greater priority when deciding who skills will be used on.
Can I rebind left/right click?
I’ve seen this asked a bunch of times, and unfortunately the answer is no, not at this time. That is not to say there is a lack of desire to make it happen, but there are significant complicating factors. Left and right mouse buttons are treated as special snowflakes in our input system and throughout code, and changing that so that people can arbitrarily bind them to other actions was a can of worms I didn’t have time to open. Another consideration I had was to put some action-camera-specific binding selector for right mouse in the options menu; however, I decided pretty early on that I wouldn’t have any options specific to action camera in the options menu for this first release, other than the toggle keybind itself. Generally speaking, we don’t have options that themselves depend on other options, and I didn’t want to unnecessarily ruffle feathers. Anyway, custom rebinding is definitely not off the table™ but it won’t be natively supported for now.
Can you hold down left+right mouse button run forward while in action camera mode?
I like having skill 1 autocast and don’t want to hold down the left mouse button all the time, but I still want to use action camera otherwise. What should I do?
While in action camera, both the regular hotkey for skill 1 and left mouse will fire skill 1. However, if you use the regular hotkey, it will also respect your autocast settings for the skill, and will keep using skill 1 so long as you continue to aim at the target. Left click ignores autocast settings because it is intended to be more of a precise action, with a deliberate start and end.
I’m using snap ground targeting and sometimes I want to target AoEs at my feet, but I’m too lazy to be bothered with the snap ground target toggle key. What should I do?
There is a secret feature of snap ground targeting that is available only when you are also using action camera. If you aim the camera so that it’s pointing as close to straight down as it will go, the ground target marker will snap to your character’s feet, rather than being placed at either the crosshair or at your target’s feet if you have a target. This issue came up as an annoyance during alpha testing and the aforementioned behavior was the best compromise that happened at the time.
I’m using snap ground targeting and sometimes I want to target AoEs on an ally, but I’m too lazy to be bothered with the snap ground target toggle key. What should I do?
Snap ground targeting will work for allied targets, but ONLY if you lock them as your target first. If your are using action camera, you also must be aiming mostly at the ally for the snap to happen. Allied targets picked up by autotargeting intentionally do not get the snapping behavior.
Does snap ground targeting work on structures too?
It does, though this presented an interesting problem. Many ground-targeted skills do a line-of-sight check to their target point, and many structures obstruct line of sight. As a result, putting the ground target marker at the base of the structure would cause LoS to be obstructed every time, which would be sorrow. Because of this, snap ground targeting has special behavior where it will put the target marker at the point where the LoS check failed (should it fail), typically resulting in it being placed on the surface of the structure.
I’m using snap ground targeting, but I really don’t want to Blink right on top of an enemy, and I’m too lazy to use the toggle key. Am I doomed?
Skills which do a preemptive path check (typically shadowstep skills, such as Blink) are exempt from snap ground targeting and will always cast under your crosshair/mouse cursor.
There are a few targeted shadowstep skills in the game, such as Guardian sword 2, that can be used from outside of skill range to shadowstep you in the direciton of the target. Won’t this behavior no longer function with action camera?
Probably nobody was asking this until now, but it’s worth knowing all the same. This small set of skills (I think there are four of them total?) gets a special exception to the usual crosshair rules. So long as the target is under your crosshair (so it’s in the X state), these skills will activate on that target, rather than try to fire at the crosshair with no target.
I have a different question about one of the new camera and control features.
This thread is a great place to ask!