Pre-set Control Groups in Option

This is an idea I have wanted to see tested for a long time. Its hard to explain but I know if it were to be implemented a lot of people would enjoy this… What if there was an option to pre-set our control groups? For those who prefer the original playstyle they could keep this option disabled, but this could be a great QoL improvement especially for new players

If you look at the left side of the screen you see the icons for each unit and building (this specific video is just for Terran, but the other races are there)

Now imagine clicking each of those icon and pressing a # to set each units Ctrl-Group, just as you would in a game except this is in the options menu. Imagine if we could choose to have Ctrl 1 as manual (default), but pressing 2 auto-selects all ranged units, and 3 automatically selects all non-worker melee units, and 4 could be set to air or siege or magic, even buildings, etc…

During a game, whenever a unit is trained it will automatically gets added to your control group. So if you train a rifleman, and you have 3 set to ranged, the new rifleman would instantly be part of group 3 without having to manually add it using Ctrl.

We could pick and choose how to set each Ctrl group in the options before the match, instead of constantly having to add each newly trained unit into a group. I know pro players would be against this idea, but many casual players would really enjoy this and it would improve their playstyle without giving them any sort of major advantage

Setting the Ctrl groups manually would still be possible so if you wanted to change your groups mid game, you could still do that by pressing Ctrl as normal. Then we could have Alt + # used to reset the group back to the original setting chosen in the options menu.

NEW: Maybe there could be an auto-group on/off button in each building queue, like you could right click on the set-rally button similar to auto-cast, and maybe it could have hotkey such as “set rally point without grouping when using shift” … this could be really useful imho

It would greatly increase accessibility for new players without giving anybody a major advantage! I hope I explained that simply enough :slight_smile:

Addendum: Unit groups should be increased to about 16-20 units maximum, just for LADDER only. Custom games should be uncapped


I support your suggestion. Had the same idea. It would simply increase the usability without beeing an disadvantage for anyone.


Thats the biggest point I cant stress enough here, is that it would not be in anyway giving an advantage, its simply a QoL improvement!


removing 12 unit limit wuld help with this aswell


I would like to see unit limit increase to 16 or 20, but it should not be removed entirely


they should beta test the unit limit


I think this is as “disruptive” if not more than uncapped selection, and I hate the idea of one without the other. Press a button to select 12 random units that matches a description, this smells like a convoluted way to implement SC2’s select all army without simply allowing people to select as many units as needed.


Can you explain how or why it would be convoluted or disruptive to have Preset Ctrl Groups? personally, I dont see how it would be any more difficult than using manual control groups.

now if you want to say that having a “select all” units would be easier, i completely disagree with you, because selecting all units creates a “deathball” effect which is not how we want this game to played, because its the exact opposite of micro

I never said the unit group would be “random” it would be pre-set in the options menu, and units would automatically get added to their specified group during play when they are trained. Players would then beable to still use Ctrl as normal (if they wanted) or just use the # keys only. If you don’t understand, I can try to explain it better.

My intention is to reduce the number of times a player should have to use Ctrl, without taking away from their ability to separate units into groups. See, if a player relies on simply selecting all, then why would they even use groups at all? I think its better to encourage players to use groups, and allow them to be automatically pre-selected in the options menu

I would not mind if Blizzard increased unit group sizes to say 16 or 20, I just think its a bad idea to have a “select all”. I do think that if unit groups were increased a little bit, AND we had pre-set ctrl groups, that it would be a great QoL improvement

So, if it were possible for you to try and think in a slightly positive manner for a minute or two, what you might say is that you would like having Pre-set Ctrl Groups, but that you also want to have larger group sizes? If that is true then maybe we are somewhat in agreement after all :slight_smile:

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I question myself a lot if it can even happen in WC3, unit pathing, collision size and turn rate aren’t a joke. In any form, as long as high level play doesn’t devolve into F2 A-move fights, I don’t have a problem with it, noobs should be allowed to have their fun too.

If one of my presets is “ranged units” and I have 13 of those, which ones get picked? I don’t understand how to adapt your system to the game with the selection cap in place, any sort of automatic selection/global control group would need a tiebreaker to decide who’s in.

Because it is the optimal way to play the game. You don’t have to artificially impose it, any player that is trying to improve will learn how to do proper micro and unit control groups. The game very naturally leans this way, let those who aren’t interested in improving have their own fun.

I am not opposed your idea, it’s actually pretty innovative, I’ve never heard about something like it. But I don’t really think it is a must, nor am I seeing how would the proper implementation look like. Perhaps a literal list of the type of the units to be selected is better than assigning characteristics:

If the “key_1_tag” is “ranged”, then I get a group with Rifle, Prist, Sorc, Gryph. And they would all need a field with the name of their tags.

If the “key_1_units” is { Footman, Knight, Mountain King }, then I get exactly what I’m asking for.

That would require some impressive UI to work properly and might be too obscure to the target audience (new players/noobs).

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Those would fall under caster or air, and hunts/breakers would count as melee IMO

well thats kind of the point, to diversify your army and not mass the same unit, so it would be the same as if you were to left click drag to highlight a large group of units and the game selects 12, though I do think upping it slightly would be fine for competitive ladder play

I think the simplest way to set it up (as default, for newbs) would be to have them set to 1 as custom/default, 2 melee, 3 ranged, 4 other, 5 workers, 6-7 buildings, with 8-0 left as custom/default.

sure it seems like a lot of complicated options but I dont think it would be that difficult to setup with the proper interface, and once you set it up to your liking you never have to touch it again. the more options the better IMO

you wont encourage new players to consider competitive with this pre set controls
with the unit limit remove all they need to learn is when they lose vs somon that know how to micro their unit that will open their eyes to more strategy

So you are assigning a “class” to each unit in the game? That sounds convoluted.[quote=“wc3tutor-1926, post:11, topic:254”]
well thats kind of the point, to diversify your army and not mass the same unit, so it would be the same as if you were to left click drag to highlight a large group of units and the game selects 12, though I do think upping it slightly would be fine for competitive ladder play

But what is the criteria? If it isn’t random it needs a defined set of rules.

Also on the topic of unit selection cap - what is the unit that would be OP if selected above the cap?

I played a few matches against the computer to see if massing the units I thought were the best to clump and control as one would really be OP. The result were pathetic! The two units I thought would work the best were Wind Rider and Gargoyles, not only the supply cost naturally made me want to avoid reaching for 12+, it was still impossible to micro these clumps as SC’s Mutalisks/Marines. There was no insane stutter stepping, the turn rates and attack animations are night and day. Until someone can provide a real unit composition that is too strong in the game with infinite selection I won’t bother with the “disruption of high level” argument in favor of the cap.

I think this is a nice and cool idea. First of all, the unit selection limit should be removed totally, because otherwise this system basically made the units that go over the 12-unit-cap inactive (and those units would require manual unit grouping, which would right away just render this system useless)

Then there could an option in options that are just boxes for each number and then you can drag whichever units you want to each box under their number. For example you could drag a Footman, a Grunt, a Ghoul and a Huntress to the first box and a Rifleman, a Headhunter, a Crypt fiend and an Archer to the box under number 2. After that when you go in to game, pressing 1 would automatically select all Footmen, Grunts, Ghouls and Huntresses, and the same would happen for number 2 and so on, I think you get the idea.

This would actually be very useful and (new) user-friendly, plus it would definitely bring the unit controlling up to date.

Unfortunately, I don’t Blizzard is going for such drastic changes. It is a big step if they even change the unit selection cap.

I dont believe I have done anything wrong by stating that Priests are magic, Gryphons are air, and breakers cannot attack air so they are a ground/melee unit… not sure why you are confused about that

Yes I agree

Mate, I’m talking about implementation here. The units would need “tags” that state what type they are under your classification. That would make the system a lot more rigid, and a lot less intuitive for anyone who doesn’t know everything about every unit.

Its cool that you are thinking about and trying to understand the best way to implement my idea, but you don’t have to make your posts sound so harshly argumentative. Try to explain yourself clearly and I will do the same. Thanks :slight_smile:

If its added to the options menu in the same way that custom hotkeys (probably) will be added (based on SCR) then maybe we can also have our “grouping” options alongside of our custom hotkey options

I think Butcher had a good idea to maybe show the unit icons, wth a tag showing the unit type, and maybe we can even just click the unit icon and press the # we want to assign to it.

About what happens if you have 13 rifles and can only select 12? lets say you press 2 for rifles and it selects 12 but you still have 1or more out of the group, simply click 2 again and it will change which unit(s) not selected, allowing you to simply double tap the number 2 for utilizing more than 12

Now this would eliminate the need for a “select all” because this way you could have 25 or more rifles and still be able to use the number 2 key… but the only unit that would ever happen with is probably gyro/flying machines. Which is why I think upping it to 20 would be more than enough

this are one of the more complex and confusing stuff to understand by just reading aswell as people gona need a tutorial map to learn abut that system!

while with the units limit removed it wont need that!

its abit hard to picture your idea…

I understand :slight_smile: have you seen how Starcraft handles hotkey customization?
I edited my OP and added a video

If you look at the left side of the screen you see the icons for each unit and building (this specific video is just for Terran, but the other races are there)

Now imagine clicking each of those icon and pressing a # to set each units Ctrl-Group, just as you would in a game except this is in the options menu. When you actually go to play a game, whenever a unit is trained it will automatically get added to your control group.

So if you set footman 1 and rifles to 2, they will automatically go to their set # key as you train them. Same goes for buildings. And you could turn it off or leave it default, whichever you prefer. But its very similar to how custom hotkeys works and shouldnt be that complicated if it were implemented in a simple way. Its just difficult to explain without pictures

heres another one on SC2

That was literally what I was suggesting, specific units rather than new “tags”.

I’m sorry, I alway do that and I was typing in a hurry the last one. My bad.

This is VERY convoluted with the cap. At this point why limit selection at all if I can use the new system? Only for that extra click?

I realize now that I made things a bit confusing, I have edited my OP and now added a video :slight_smile: hopefully that helps clarify and simplify things. As for the unit selection cap, I do think it would be fine if it were slightly increased, but that’s just my opinion.

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