The Quest For Dual Wielding

We have wanted some form of dual wielding since the inception of Crea. The motivation behind this was simple. First and foremost, we wanted the player to be able to use multiple items without changing their active item on the toolbar. We also wanted the toolbar to provide access to more items. We knew what we wanted but how do we get there?

When I think dual wielding I think left click for one item and right click for the other. I think this is how most games do it. There are games that have single click to use both weapons but we need to provide means to individually use the items. This creates some new questions though. Item interaction was right click but what is it now? How do we display which items are assigned to the toolbar?

We considered splitting the toolbar and having 1-5 be for left click and 6-0 be left click. Something else we tried was having items on the toolbar be left or right click. We tried having 20 items on the toolbar. There are many other paths we fumbled down. We commonly ran into two problems. The first was adding dual wielding with only 10 items on the toolbar seemed to add more complexity than it was worth. The other problem was if we wanted 20 items, two items per number, then how do we display the items efficiently? Every way we tried left at least one of us unsatisfied.

We ventured down several paths but none of them felt right. For awhile we even dropped dual wielding, but since we really wanted it we picked it back up. I had pigeonholed myself into thinking we needed dual wielding to happen with both left and right click. I stepped back from that and quickly stumbled upon a working solution.


Current toolbar showing what both the primary and secondary looks like.

Instead of having a single toolbar the player has two toolbar, which we call the “primary” and “secondary”. The primary toolbar is active by default and to get access to the secondary toolbar simply hold down the shift key. There are 10 items on each toolbar with each item assigned to a number key. There is only one number slot active at a time. There is also only one active toolbar at a time. Since only one toolbar is active at a time the solution to our display problem was obvious. We would only display one toolbar at a time. Left click always uses the active item on the active toolbar.

Time for an example! Lets say “3″ is your active item on the primary toolbar. Left click and you use this item. Hold down shift key and now you see your active secondary toolbar. Left click again and you will use the “3″ item on your secondary toolbar.

It took awhile to get there but it was a worthwhile journey. The controls feel right and I think are intuitive. I am looking forward to getting some feedback about this feature from the testers.

10 thoughts on “The Quest For Dual Wielding

      1. Katalyst

        Eh. Depends on the swingspeed of the most powerflu items. If you wanted to dual wield guns (In a mod?) or dual magic (IE Dual flamethrowing spell or whatever.) it wouldn’t work so well ;-;

  1. Kharidiron

    What about using caps lock as a replacement for those situations where you want to avoid having to hold down the shift button, but still want to keep the second bar active?

    I admit, I’m trying to think of when exactly this would be… but still, just a thought.

    1. Jasson Post author

      The reason we went with hold as opposed to press to toggle is because with hold the player always knows which bar is active without having to look. I’m definitely open to feedback as people play around with it, but so far it has been good.

  2. Yoraiz0r

    I must say this post kind of disappoints me.
    If what I read is correct , you can only efficiently wield 1 active item at a time , this means you cannot hold out both your shield and your sword at once , or both your swords or guns if you felt like it.
    Which…sort of kills the point in calling it ‘dual’ wielding , due to the fact that you don’t wield two items out at once.

    How about you’ll make it only display a single bar at once , but slash each display square diagonally (from bottom left to top right) , having the top part display the primary hand and the bottom part display the offhand , where if the items have stacks , the primary’s would be at the top left corner and the secondary’s would be at the bottom right corner?

    If Shift is tapped , you can swap the two bars…
    If Shift is held , you can temporarily swap the two bars temporarily to your convenience.

    I’d really love the ability to actively use two items at once without the need to hold shift , the latter usually hinders my ability to move properly in some games. (such as attempted in Terraria)

    Also , some offhand question – where would active skills go at , suppose a skill ‘shoot fireball’ exists , and you want to dual wield…say , two swords while using it?
    I’d assume buttons such as Q or E or Z or X or C or V ._. I’d like to know if you had tackled this question please.

    1. Jasson Post author

      Yorai, don’t be too disappointed. While, I do think that we’ll stick with this current implementation, it is what I found to be the best solution. It allows the most flexibility in regards to gameplay. However, if something proves to be off about it while testing then I’m definitely going to address it. I will make sure that it is the best it can be. If you do disagree with that then it is actually not too much work to change it thanks to the modding.

      As for your offhand question, skills are assigned to your toolbar. I may make it possible to assign them to additional buttons like you’re suggesting. I have not explored this too much yet. I will soon though.


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