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Mouse wheel, just buttons?

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The mouse wheel clicks. It's basically just an up/down/off signal, isn't it? Direct Input seems to list the control as an axis, but it looks to me like it's usefulness in games is much more suited to two seperate buttons. For example, if the user binds the up action to zoom-in for Halo, one click zooms in by some specified game amount, not by the amount assigned to the mouse wheel hardware. The same seems true with all games. Are there any mouse devices out there that have a wheel that spins smoothly like the other two mouse axes? Not just the physical feel of the spin, but the data that is sent to the system. And if so, does it cause problems in most games when the up and down are bound to actions? For example, do the game actions get activated when they shouldn't, get activated multiple times, or get amplified too much? I guess my question would be this: Can the mouse wheel change to one day be an actual wheel rather than two triggers?

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The Mighty Mouse has a 'scroll ball'. It still makes an artificial clicking sound and does work with clicks as you describe, but they are so small it's almost analog. It's not useful in games because it's waaay to sensitive but for nearly all other purposes I think it's great.

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Firstly, most mice would have their own software implementation that could control the sensitivity of the scroll wheel if it were too high - so I don't think you should worry yourself over that, as it's simply out of your control. (Although, you can always add your own sensitivity control in-game to guarantee that the facility is there).

Secondly - coming from someone who mainly uses a laptop, and then mainly uses it without an external mouse - don't (please!) add functionality to any program or game that utilises the scroll wheel without a *decent* keyboard alternative. It's highly frustrating when there's bad alternatives, and can be impossible to play on some games that simply forget some people (even with proper mice) don't have a scroll wheel!

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Quote:
Original post by MrSparky
Firstly, most mice would have their own software implementation that could control the sensitivity of the scroll wheel if it were too high - so I don't think you should worry yourself over that, as it's simply out of your control. (Although, you can always add your own sensitivity control in-game to guarantee that the facility is there).

It's not at all out of my control. I wish it were. If developers assume that the mouse wheel will always deliver 'click' like events, then they can completely ignore the amount of scroll data sent via this event and use the event as just a trigger.

If games like Halo did actually read (or want to read) the amount of scroll sent in this input event, then how many sniper-rifle zoom levels does 5 scroll lines equal? See where I'm going with this? Does mouse-wheel-up one click equal one click, or five lines? If game A uses lines and game B uses clicks, then game A is going to behave strangely with a clicky wheel, and game B is going to behave strangely without one.

As a player, I don't want my scroll-line count that I set up for my mouse (in control panel) to represent the number of weapons scrolled in GTA or my zoom levels in Halo. So it makes sense to ignore the intensity of the wheel and just register the clicks. Is this safe or not?

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