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Commanders: is 64 players too much?

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  • Commanders: is 64 players too much?

    I noticed that quite often, we do not have a commander, even on the TG server! On Sunday, I was playing MEC, and realized we were halfway into the round with no commander on duty! So I tried. And I realized why nobody steps up. I realized that managing 32 players, in about 6 squads, is not very rewarding. Here's why:

    1) Grapes. The Commander UI shows you the top-down view of the theatre, with 32 green dots on the map (minus the few dead players waiting to respawn). The squad leaders are represented as a circle, with the squad number in the middle. Problem: these green dots stack up, and actually can hide the squad number. So sometimes you're wondering "who's that grape of dots right there?"

    2) Dead SL. The dead SL do not show up on the map, because they're... dead. This adds to the 1) pb, and makes it difficult to keep a clear view of who is where. SLs, please stay alive! When you die, it makes the CO's job even more difficult (not mentionning your team's)

    3) Transport lag. Unlike Warcraft, the squad leaders will not follow your orders mechanically. So you tell "Squad Leader 1, move to the east". And they will eventually follow your orders. But it might take some time before they do so: often they will have to cleanup the base they are on. Then time to find a vehicle. Then time to travel. Then unpredictable obstacles. So it could take two minutes or more before that squad is actually at destination. This means that as a commander, you need to predict what's going to happen in two minutes from now. Two minutes is *a lot* of time for a fast-paced game like BF2.

    4) Opponent strategy is difficult to read. When the commander scans the terrain for enemies, the UI shows 1 red dot per enemy. It won't show you who's a squad leader and who's not. Only grapes of red dots/ This makes it difficult to read the opponent's strategy.

    So to my point. Because of the confusing UI, the transport lag, and the difficulty to read the opponents movements, the commander is *extremely* busy. Busy trying to figure out where his squads are, and what the opponent is up to. Not to mention dropping supplies, sending the UAV, and artillery strikes. And maybe with the exception of the artillery strikes, all of this is not much fun.

    I believe that a smaller number of players (say 16 or 32), would make the job much more satisfying for the commander. Think of it: three squads on the map! Now that's easy to track. He could actually spend time guiding a single squad through a flag assault. Why not organize an artillery strike followed by a heli drop? Or SL1 for suppresion and SL2 for flanking? All of this and you get to watch all the fun action in the zoomed-in view.

    As a result, we would have more people ready to step up and take this role, and thus the average skill of the commander would increase.

  • #2
    Re: Commanders: is 64 players too much?

    Originally posted by ABPositive
    As a result, we would have more people ready to step up and take this role, and thus the average skill of the commander would increase.
    I've done this and will continue to do this. So too will others.

    Yes, 64 players is too much for me right now. But I'm a patient person. I'll learn. So too will others.
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    • #3
      Re: Commanders: is 64 players too much?

      It's not for me provided people follow orders and join squads. I LOVE commanding in BF2. Everyone else are just little ants for me to smash with artillery strikes. I live for it and the more I play, the more effective I will become.

      I have already become pretty damn good at detecting enemy tactics and movements on the battlefield. Since, BF2 is a much slower game than NS, I can take my time and goad them into acting where I can tear them apart.

      Scanning, makes my life worth living while commanding.

      Listen to me when I'm commanding. Even if it seems stupid for me to send you somewhere, I know what I am doing. And if you go where I tell you, when I tell you: we stand a much higher chance of winning. The more people I have to command is the more meat bodies I can use to defend key locations.


      • #4
        Re: Commanders: is 64 players too much?

        I don't think it is too much, necessarily. It's a skill that you need to learn.

        Frankly, if you do a good job, noone notices. If you don't, you get 1000 mutiny votes. Only, noone else is going to step up and do it, so the mutiny generally fails.

        One thing that both SLs and COs need is some patience. If you send a squad halfway across the map (if they are the closest squad available), then the CO needs to realize that it's going to take time for the squad to get there. And the SL has to realize that there is a good reason for the order, and execute it, not stand around kill hunting.

        My first attempt at CO, I was reminded of a mother hawk tending her nest of young: everyone wanted everything NOW, and were so busy saying "ME! ME! ME!" that my directions went ignored. I eventually gave up and went back in game.

        It's work, not that much fun, and pointless if noone follows orders.


        • #5
          Re: Commanders: is 64 players too much?

          The commander should be able to click on SL's on the map and it'll highlight in the squad listing so you can see who's who. Some SL's will be really good and see where they are needed without waiting for orders.

          Opponent strategy shouldn't be read so easily. We don't need to know where the enemy SL's are. It should be enough that a group is moving to some point. I think it's already generous to be able to scan the map and see where everybody is located (even in buildings).

          Transport lag is ok because the squad will still know what to do in the area. If an attacking force needs to be dealt with before it reaches its destination then I think air support would be better to handle the situation. There are usually a couple that like flying the entire time.

          I think commanding shouldn't involve running a single squad in attacking a flag. That's the SL's job. The commander should assign orders that will lead to victory. Along the way he can give out support when needed. This means SL's should call in for supplies and artillery when needed. The commander shouldn't have to watch the map for a good time to bomb an area. The SL's will look out for that and notify the commander.

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