Getting the best of both worlds to work together
As recently re-highlighted by a community video, there has been some notable overlap and issues in how marines acquire equipment. Causing balance concerns among other things.
In NS1, the commander had total control in what the team had access to, as he had to supply his team with dropping equipment using team resources.
This made every bit of equipment dropped an investment for the team and the commander's strategies. The downside with the system is that you could play many games and still not be given a shotgun by your commander, causing players to get impatient and leave or start begging.
In NS2, the marine equipment has taken the alien evolution and personal resource approach. Where the players would purchase their own equipment and the commander doesn't have much say on what they spend on.
Now instead of the commander spending team resources on a assault for his strategy, the commander needs to hope his team has enough personal resources to ask them to spend it for the assault. Even though the commander can spend his own personal resources to drop equipment for his team, the same resources goes to medpacks and ammo so it isn't worth it in the end as the team can easily supply themselves.
Ideas on giving the commander more control again.
QUOTE (Step 1. Armory Pricing)
Keep the ability for players to purchase equipment at the armory and prototype lab, however, make those purchases more of an personal investment or reward for playing.
This can be done by modifying the costs on the equipment they can purchase with personal resources. Taking a look at the alien evolution price scaling. (Based on the 100 p.res max model)
15 resources for a welder.
20 resources for a pack of mines.
25 resources for a jetpack.
30 resources for a flamethrower.
50 resources for a shotgun.
75 resources for a grenade launcher.
With this it would take the marine 35 p.res to support his team with by repairing structures and fortifying defenses with mines. Although it would take him 75 p.res(onos equivalent) so he can lone wolf it with a jetpack and shotgun if he wanted.
The increased weapon costs is balanced by being able to pick up and drop weapons. And their p.res is high as they are purchased for the marine themselves instead of for the team. And so the flow of oncoming p.res weapons and equipment are minimal at least in the early game.
QUOTE (Step 2. Commander drops using team res)
Have Commander dropped weapons and equipment cost t.res again. While keeping the pricing of the weapons and equipment based on the ns1 model.
This used to be avoided as when there were multiple commanders, a player could run in and waste all the team resources on weapons and equipment for himself. Now that the possibility is gone, this can work again. As it worked in ns1, and the armory pricing in step 1 would support this.
10 t.res for a shotgun, but also 50 p.res for a shotgun.
The t.res shotgun is an investment for the team by the commander to help his team survive for his plans. Like this the early shotgun rush would require sacrificing the base or potential resource advantages.
The p.res shotgun is an investment for the player's own plans, by the player. Given the high costs of weapons and the low income early game, the players wouldn't be able to repeatedly purchase shotguns to offset the early game balance.
The commander would moderately regain control and be able to drop weapons or equipment for any matters he sees fits, as it would be coming out of the team res pool.
And the players would be able to hold their resources so they can purchase something themselves later if they died, or if they never received anything, alleviating their frustration.
With that the Commander gains more control over the equipment his troops are supplied with, with more incentive for supplying them for his plans, and more incentive for them to follow his plans(free guns). The players won't have to grow impatient waiting for the commander to give them a specific item as they can treat themselves to it if they save up enough resources. But their p.res won't just fill up instantly as support equipment like welders and minepacks can still be purchased to support their base.
Pricing can be modified for balance concerns, and always open for input into making both systems work together.