Cutting it short: EVE shortcuts revamped
There are times in EVE Online where split second decisions make the difference between life and death. It is entirely possible that those split second decisions must be made through a right-click menu. Realizing that this may not be the best way of doing things, we have done a complete revamp of the shortcut system in EVE Online, which will be hitting Tranquility in the upcoming release, Incursion.
There is bad news...
To be able to do shortcuts properly, we saw no other option than discontinuing the current "set-chat-focus-on-any-key" functionality. Annoying as it might be for the chatty of you to begin with, this will by far be outweighed by the benefit of freeing up the entire keyboard, which has in a sense been held ransom by the chat focus functionality. Instead, there will be a special "set chat focus" command that can be bound to any key (SPACE by default).
And now for the good news!
Bind shortcuts to any key
Yes, that. It is now possible to bind shortcuts to almost any key on your keyboard (with the exception of some reserved keys like ENTER, ESC, etc.). No longer will you be forced to include mod keys (CTRL, ALT and SHIFT) in your shortcuts (even though you still can of course).
EVE now finally recognizes that your mouse might have more than two buttons. You can now bind mouse buttons 3, 4 and 5 directly for shortcuts, or use them as mod keys to create shortcuts like MOUSE4 +A (if that's your thing).
I think that most people agree that targeting stuff through CTRL+Click is the way to go. We decided to iterate on this and introduce _combat shortcut_s. Long story short, you can now do most in-space essentials like warp, approach, orbit, keep at range, etc. by holding down the designated shortcut key and clicking the target. Those shortcut keys are of course configurable, but the defaults are conveniently bound to buttons on the left side of the keyboard:
A : Align to, Q: Approach, D:Dock/Jump/Activate gate, E: Keep at range, CTRL: Toggle lock target, ALT: Toggle look at, W: Orbit, T: Show info, S: Warp to
Don't like clicking?
Fine. In that case you might be interested to know that you can execute the combat shortcuts explained above through your keyboard alone. Simply set focus to the overview (there is even a new shortcut to do that; ALT+SPACE) and press one of the combat shortcut keys.
There is more
Improved shortcut bindings system in the ESC menu. Shortcuts are now neatly categorized, and bound and unbound commands are now displayed in the same list. The key binding pop-up window has been made simpler to use as well.
Default shortcuts assigned to more commands, for example, commonly used windows have been bound to ALT + key shortcuts (ALT+S for science and industry, ALT+W for wallet, etc).
Combat shortcut buttons are now included in the mouse hints of the Active Item buttons to make it easier to memorize them.
Check it out on SISI
As of this being written, the new shortcuts are live on Singularity for you to bash on. It is wildly important that we get feedback on the changes before moving on to Tranquility. Are some defaults annoying as death? Are there commands that you would love to see shortcuts for? If so, tell us, and we might very well listen.