If you're lucky enough to be practicing your Roach Rushes and Double Hatchery strats in the Starcraft 2 beta, you might have noticed something odd about its interface.
Specifically, its non-customisable hotkeys. It's a feature all PC gamers have come to expect over the decade gap between the original Starcraft and now. And it doesn't take much time with the second iteration to really, really want to change those hotkeys. Not only do they range from one side of the keyboard to the other, common functions (such as making resource gatherers) require different keys for each faction. Once a father of RTS convention, is Blizzard now defying it?
While they've recently stated in a Q&A that they'd be looking into changing the issue, the debate rages on over the benefits of each direction.
There's certainly something to be said for a level playing field, and a hardcore section of the community (with time already invested in the current system, it has to be said) thinks allowing players to change the hotkeys will make the game too easy. Their argument is that, given the macro-intensive (organising your base, economy, and ordering units) element of Starcraft, hotkeys provide a somewhat dextrous side to the game, making them a "skill differentiator".
But surely if all players can customise their game, that's a level playing field too? Seeing as most units/buildings don't have more than four functions, what's so bad about hotkeys revolving around QWER, allowing the hand to rest in one place? Is it a question of hand-eye coordination vs tactical concentration? Unnecessary complication?
Removing one wheel from every car in a rally race would also be a skill differentiator. A level playing field, too.
Ladik has already made a simple mod that enables you to change your hotkeys against Blizzard's will, which is a definite advantage online - show up to a LAN though, and it's back to square one!