Would it be reasonable to ask CA that they include functionality for the Xbone Chatpad to allow for programmed unit groups and hot keying, allowing for much similar controlling as on PC RTS’s.
Obviously, the biggest problem is that not everyone has a chatpad, nor would they necessarily want to buy another peripheral that may see limited use. But as it has already been proven by games like Guitar hero and Rockband, people are willing to pay for additional peripherals if their use can be justified.
If CA did include this functionality, they would have to include a functional control scheme (similar to the one utilized by Halo Wars [original]) that still allows for moderately smooth control of units without the more advanced capabilities provided by the chatpad, if they chose to not buy or did not own one.
Of course, this would create an advantage for players with chatpads, but due to the somewhat reasonable price of them, it is not unreasonable to expect people going for the competitive experience to buy them. Much in the same way that competitive FPS players buy elite or programmable controllers.
Without the chatpad you would still have full function of all units and gameplay, but at a slower speed of access. The advantage provided would be comparable to PC RTS players who utilize hotkeying vs. those who don’t. Both play together in the same games to different effect. It would allow for a higher skill ceiling, but not simply hand it to the player. Playing without a chatpad would not limit your experience in any way, as it just provides smoother, more rapid control of units, and only if so desired by the player and only if they are capable of using the more advanced feature. (Not all PC RTS players use hotkeying as it may be too confusing or advanced for them, and yet that does not warrant not including the feature for the more advanced players)
Again, this would be not act as a miracle win tool. Having the function does not instantly make you a better player, but simply allows better players to better separate themselves from the weaker ones.