Originally Posted by boourns
You don't need an essay to sell me on the value of being able to easily toggle smartcasting on your abilities.
We're not actively working on it right now, but I would definitely like to see it happen.
In the course of playing WoW I developed an unusual way to deal with the mass of key bindings. I'd use a swap action bar 1 2 macro set to Q and shifted WASD over to ESDF. So what where the results? I could get used to 1-6 for all my primary abilities and just swap back and forth! It was a great savings in keyboard real estate for someone that isn't used to involving themselves in all the keyboard at once.
In contrast SC2 has some hotkeys that get difficult to hit because they occur on the right side of the keyboard. Certainly learning SC2 helped expand me to utilizing more key space but having to hit L is still annoying.
So where does this matter in regards to LoL? Personally I had to develop a different keybind set up to deal with smartcasting vs straight casting. Straight changing WASD over to smart casting didn't seem a good idea. So I now use WASD regular cast and ZXCV smart casting! Recently I've had someone say they use similar with ASDF for smart cast keys. Personally I like DF for summoners so I couldn't get used to that custom keybind. Tried it though.
So part of my point thus far is there are people out there like myself that are unsatisfied with losing regular casting for smart casting and resort to custom keybinds. You may ask why not Shift + WASD but I feel that is unsatisfying for smart casting due to being less responsive. So why do it the way we do? I can't speak for others but can give my own reasoning.
The biggest thing is that regular casting feels better for a number of abilities and has benefits over smart casting. Generally any time you want to take your time checking range, location, and width it's more effective to take the second to look at the regular cast template. This is going to be more true as you learn a champion or try to pick back up a skill you may be rusty on.
Even when you are super used to a projectile's hit box, projectile speed, and cast animation there are times having that bar can be useful. I'm pretty used to Caitlyns Q and mostly smart cast it. However, when I'm in a brush aiming at someone that doesn't know I'm there? I take that extra time to see where they are in regards to the template to make sure their in range. Another notable use is when firing into the Fog of War I may take the time to line up my skill shot and think a bit more about where it's going vs where I think my enemy may be standing.
Also for something like dropping a Caitlyn trap. Quite frankly it's super useful to see that trap trigger radius and compare it to terrain walls to maximize effectiveness.
On the other hand smart casting is really good at getting skills out just that much faster. Continuing the example with Caitlyn. I smart cast my Rs, I often smart cast Qs, I almost always smart cast Es... It's just more effective in combat and I want the option.
How about a support like Karma? I can hit Q to aim my skill shot. I can hit Z to smart cast my skill shot. I can smart cast my shield with C. I can hit r/v and then E to check if my opponent is in range of a shield burst off a minion. I can do all these really effective things just as quickly as eachother.
How about Sion or Taric? Know the target's in range? Smart cast that stun. Trying to check the range so you can estimate if they'll escape? Regular casting let's you do that.
Now so far I've explained how I've adapted my desires around a custom key set up and why it works for me. I didn't really touch on where a smart cast toggle key would be useful! Let's end on that.
A smart cast toggle would allow a player to do what I do with one keybind change vs my Frankenstein monster. It would be easy to give up Z, Ctrl, Alt, Shift, Tab, Capslock to toggle and leave all the regular keybinds alone! Adapting to new keybindings usually involves a period of irritating and frustration as you force out old muscle memory. With a toggle you get to keep that old muscle memory and just have to build a single new one.
Thus adding such a keybind would be providing a simple solution for what is currently a fairly difficult question to answer. It'd add value for players looking for it and make them feel better about the interface as a whole when they find such an easy out. It'd also make it easier to convince players to try smart casting out because they can swap back at any time they feel uncomfortable in combat.
PS: I'll be sticking to my monster because I'm so used to it. I'd likely have adapted to a toggle if it had been available.
PPS: I'm counting this as a short essay and declaring victory.
PPPS: I missed the "don't" because I'm an idiot. Too bad you get an essay anyway.