The Galactic War Update brought in a new hotkey system designed to make it easy to build things from the keyboard. I thought it would be useful to elaborate on what factors influenced the design. We may continue to refine this design, and of course there is the popular mod hotbuild2 already out there for those who like that design. First, let me state the design requirements and then we can discuss how that shaped our choices. 1. All items should be buildable from the keyboard so you don't need to move the mouse back and forth between where you place things and the build bar. 2. The same key sequences should deterministically build a given unit, regardless of selection of fabricators/factories, so you can commit the the key sequence to muscle memory and stop thinking about it. 3. Just as common key sequences are important, common visual locations are import for people who prefer to use the mouse. 4. The interface should visually represent what keys could be pressed, so it can teach people how to use the keys. 5. A spectator on Twitch should be able to see what key was pressed so they can know what was built even if it happened quickly. 6. Key sequences should be short and easy, especially for the most commonly built items. 7. Queuing up multiple units at a factory should be fast. 8. The design should have some capacity for expansion and modability. 9. Avoid collisions with RTS standards, like A is Attack and S is stop. Before we defined these requirements, we were planning to model it after hotbuild2 given it was already popular and familiar to some and we love you guys. We abandoned that model because it violated #2 and to a degree #3. At that time, we hadn't come up with the visual requirements yet so we didn't have an idea of how we would explain visually the idea that one key would be pressed repeatedly in order to build different items. The combined requirements of both common key sequences and visual locations helped inspire creating a correlation between the grid of the build bar and the grid of your keyboard. Trying to put items in static locations resulted in the sometimes empty looking bar, so we focused on making the basic stuff on the bottom row and the advanced and orbital stuff at the top, so we could collapse the upper rows if there wasn't anything in those slots. We thought about making it so if you only had a bot factory selected, then you wouldn't have to press the "bot" prefix key in order to build bots, but that violated requirement #2. Fortunately, once you press it you can keep queuing up items as long as you don't delay longer than the one second section timeout. In galactic war, I found myself pressing L to set continuous build, and then just strumming the ZXCV sequence on my vehicle factories to get one of each going. You'll note that when you press a key sequence, the selected item flashes momentarily to satisfy requirement #5. I had really hoped to have the most common sequences be just one key, but with so much stuff to build and the ability to heterogenous selections of builders, it ran into conflict with the other requirements, especially #2. Even if you could only have homogenous factory selections, you still might need a prefix key to avoid requirement #9. So the build bar is big, and we're looking at some tweaks to help with that. For example, we're trying internally a change so fabricators have an orbital tab like factories do, allowing us to reduce the number of rows and make the orbital fabber bar less blank. Also, we'd like to have a advanced mode where only the active build tab shows up and only when you press the prefix key, and collapses once you make your choice and start placing, so by default there is no loss of screen space.