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  • Alien Commander

    I've had this idea and I figured I'd throw it out and see what happens. If it gets shot down, I want it shot down with an (good) explanation.

    Basically, the aliens need a central...alien to be in charge and bark orders, coordinate attacks, and over all get things done, like the marine commander. This is pretty much a different tactic to be used, but I also thought of a plugin that might help.

    So, after the aliens decide their commander, whoever get's chosen types something like "/assume" and gets the word "Commander" written by their name (like jetpack/heavies) and maybe even a red(/white) box for voice comm. That's it. I don't really want it to change gameplay as much as it should change the way the game is played.

    Role Of The Alien Comm: Unlike the marine counterpart, the alien comm does not micromanage as much as where people go and the buildings, because they also have to play the game. Instead, the assume the authority of the commander to give out orders for coordinated attacks, SOPs for engagement (always parasite/attack in twos...), and gets the ball moving on chambers/hive. They don't have to approve every building, but general orders like "don't build via node, it's too easy to be killed" or "gaurd falled shotguns until they disappear" should be followed directly like marine orders. Because the alien comm will have to lay down the law, a fade would probably be a bad idea. Any good marine comm who isn't a good skulk would do nicely.

    Qualifications: The alien commander should be loud and authoritative or at least be able to command the respect of the fellow players. S/he will be bossy.

    My reason for even thinking this is to do with the lack of response I've been seeing to requests by alien teammates that lead to the loss. If those requests had been orders well...

    If you all think this is not needed then I would like another solution to the problem above. This is largely in beta stage, we can work out the kinks in this thread and in game as they are needed. And if someone has a different idea for this, feel free...

    EDIT: I realized this post touched base on this a little bit. But it wasn't entirely solved or totally for aliens.

  • #2
    Re: Alien Commander

    Nice idea. I am a huge believer in the morale / psychological parts of this game in determining not just outcome, but overall enjoyment. Just the fact that its an order will change the game.

    imforit!

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    • #3
      Re: Alien Commander

      I've always been a fan of a more organized Kharaa. So I'm of course willing to give this a try.
      "Chance favors the prepared mind" -Sir Isaac Newton

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      • #4
        Re: Alien Commander

        As a noob I like this idea. I always join marines if possible a) to learn one side at a time, and b) because they have a commander.

        I tend to find the game more frustrating when I have to play aliens because there isn't normally someone leading the team and telling me what I need to be doing.

        Root
        BFCL TF2 league admin

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        • #5
          Re: Alien Commander

          I thought one of the best parts of alien team was that they didn't have a commander. I think that it just doesn't work because aliens benefit so much from spreading out and lying in ambush, I don't want some guy in pipeline telling me what to do when I'm about to get the jump on on a marine in overlook.

          I think our usual deal of assigning roles and announcing actions before taking them is fine for aliens. As far as these little announcements go, I don't see the need for one person to do all of them. What nodes to cap can easily be made as a team decision, and coordinated attacks are best coordinated by the people doing the attacking, and the less voice chatter needed the better. It doesn't take a lot of coordination to pull off a two skulk bait manuever, just watching your nearby teammates and reacting intelligently to their actions will save a lot of voice chatter and confusion.

          I think a better idea might be a "buddy system". Players can team up with another alien, and sort of work together as a two-man team. A skulk protecting a gorge, two skulks setting ambushes/baiting, a gorge and a higher life form, a lerk and a higher life form, all of these work excellent as pairs. This just sort of happens some times and works very well, maybe we could strive to do it a little more by picking a specific player at the beginning with a diff role (for example, fade and rt team up, so fade is skulk while the rt builder drops the node, then they skulk together for a bit, when the fade goes fade the skulk can hit nodes, or go gorge for healing the fade, etc)

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          • #6
            Re: Alien Commander

            It's the Republic Vs. Democracy issue: A commitie is useful for determining law, but when it is time for action it is one of the worst forms of decision making. A leader on the other hand allows for quick decisive action, but is fallible.

            Though in practice, the Kharaa team generally attempts to function as a Communist group, with an amazing tendancy to work either really well, or to be a total failure.

            Occasionally, we even get a dictatorship on the Marine side, which no one responds well to.

            And then we have the anarachists, (which objectively I must say I have a tendency to fall into occasionally) who follow whatever they think is best.

            I'm still waiting for a dynastic monarchy to arrive, and I'd love to see someone Try a totalitarian socialist state.


            But I digress....
            "Chance favors the prepared mind" -Sir Isaac Newton

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            • #7
              Re: Alien Commander

              How about an anarcho-syndicalist commune?

              Now you see the violence inherent in the system!

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              • #8
                Re: Alien Commander

                I like al's response. A lot of what was said is a problem with this idea, and needs to be worked out. However, I think you were getting too much of the impression that the alien commander is the exact duplicate of the marine commander. I was thinking that the alien comm should have the same authority, but less of the microscopic decision making. It's the big things like "2 rines inc sub5" that need to be heard by the comm, and turned into "DROP WHAT YOU'RE DOING AND GET TO SUB! THAT'S OUR HIVE!"

                Your idea of a buddy system is great, but who will keep it orginized in-game? Maybe I underestimate our own ability to pull this off without a manager, but this whole idea would remain optional for each game. We get a team full of competent regulars, and we won't need one. A team with a few lacky players but 1-2 adept ones could use a bit more management. That's where turning a player who is just being a bossy control freak into a higher ranking order-giver is helpful.

                I'm happy this was well recieved thus far. :)

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                • #9
                  Re: Alien Commander

                  I think this is a great idea. I have noticed that marines have gotten much better and aliens have gotten much sloppier. The only problem with this is people may feel that the alien comm is bossy and strict. I have noticed that many people try to be an alien comm but they come off as being a bossy jerk and thus people start to dislike him/her. Even though the alien comm is telling you waht to do or yelling at you for the good of the team people will see him as an a-hole.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Alien Commander

                    Even for coordination like that, the alien commander is still always going off hearsay.

                    "The whole marine team is at XXX!"
                    ...
                    "Oh wait it's just 2 guys."?

                    Having the commander as a filter might be good for these situations, where he'll be like "everyone to XXX!" or maybe he'll just do "oh it's al he's probably drunk or something, no one go there."

                    Authority is definately something the alien team could use, provided the commander is willing to make decisions and not be like "well what do you guys want to do". I think that's the worst part.

                    T_BEAR has a good point too, he'd have to be careful not to sound too bossy, but I think as long as people understood what was going on they wouldn't have any problems.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Alien Commander

                      A Khaara commander would change all the gameplay, and i do not agree with that.
                      Aliens have a great advantage over marines, they're fast and it's the principal thing you must do playing as Khaara, be fast.
                      Khaara already have gorges, wich make they're strenght down, and as alien you do not have any time to command a team, because you're fighting too, as we have gestations...no it is not a good idea ;)

                      Uways al-Maruzi

                      Code59 Natural Selection Clan

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                      • #12
                        Re: Alien Commander

                        No, I still think it could work out just fine, with voice comm. I get the impression you're thinking about it as the exact duplicate of the marine commander. You don't need a skulk to tell every gorge where to put their chambers, have requests for nodes, etc. Let me put a whole new emphasis for the role of the alien comm: general (not the rank, they're already comm). General orders for the team; "move in twos or close enough to assist 'lifeform under attack' warnings", "if you don't have any plans for focus/cloaking get scent of fear!", "2 rines awfully close to cargo hive GET THERE NOW!"

                        I agree that aliens have too much to do to have any time for...coordination. A lot of alien games are won by skill. If every battle goes their way, the marines don't get nodes and the aliens get rfk. Resources are the key to the game, so...they win. But we need a way for games where the aliens are outskilled to go a different way. Far too many games recently have been decided by amx_random's chance outcome of stacking the teams one way or the other. That's when an alpha alien can push its team (to go faster) in the right direction to over take the marines. A brains > brawn scenario.

                        Some revisions I've made after this thread:[Alien comm...] "should cordinate alien attacks": scrapped. "Should be bossy": bossy indicates too much time talking - scrapped. "Should give general rules of engagement that don't need to be repeated and can be heeded at the grunt alien's best discretion": reinforced/revised.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Alien Commander

                          I went to the NS forums to suggest an idea. But first, I read through the webbed threads about suggesting an idea. One of the things that they said never to suggest was...an alien commander! They said that the alien team was supposed to have the different gameplay as part of the game and te idea's been shot down enough times. So, that leads me to drop this idea, given it's current driection and starting title. I still think that the aliens have been sluggish lately and need some form of motivation.

                          P.S: No, this was not the idea I was planning on posting. One word: flamethrower (it's already been suggested and being worked on).

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                          • #14
                            Re: Alien Commander

                            Go for it, this is a great idea...very nice.. =)

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                            • #15
                              Re: Alien Commander

                              The reason it is stated to never suggest an alien commander in I&S is the aliens are supposed to have a non-centralized command structure. This does not mean, however, that someone coordinating attacks and directing general resource usage and strategy is out of the question. There is no way for the alien commander to 100% dictate the game as the marine commander can, and that is what the I&S rule is in place to prevent. Someone directing the alien team is almost a requirement for higher play, otherwise you end up with un-coordinated wastes of time fighting against a well-coordinated marine team. The only catch is the person playing this role has to not only be experienced at the game, but capable of constantly watching what is going on via the map while also playing their part. Not many people are capable of this, which limits the number of people capable of doing it even more so than the marine commander role. The level of micro-management is lower as alien commander, so some people will in fact find it easier than playing the marine commander. Most alien gameplay is based on immediate reactions and reactions based on experience, whereas marine gameplay is slower and can be coordinated on the spot verbally. Keep this difference in mind and it becomes a lot easier to direct an alien team.

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