Iâ€™ve been thinking about this one for a while, and I think Iâ€™ve finally figured out why I find it so compelling.
Why not make Sentry Turrets and ARCs portable?
But before I get into how that would work, let's talk about some of the problems with the ARC, specifically:
Microing ARCs distracts the Marine Commander, Much the same way Drifters did for the alien commander. The Marine Commander gives his team direction, provides them support via supplies and upgrades, and leads them towards victory without actually being on the field. When he is commanding ARCs heâ€™s not commanding players and this is a problem becauseâ€¦
ARCs can move by themselves. I appreciate this was a design decision that was made earlier on in the development of NS2, but I feel that it doesnâ€™t work in the context of the NS â€œgenreâ€. Managing AI diminishes the experience of commanding real players, which was the sole focus in NS1 and what made that game really stand apart. As it stands, managing ARCs takes away valuable time that could be better spent playing with real people, for what is, basically, fiddling with slow, armoured RC cars. The only way to really use ARCs currently is..
ARC Trains. These things slow the game right down. Marines have to follow them slowly, aliens have to chew them down slowly. Itâ€™s unsatisfying and has proved difficult to balance.
So, whatâ€™s the solution? Hereâ€™s what Iâ€™ve been thinking:
Make ARCs PORTABLE instead of MOBILE.
In this configuration, ARCs are placed and built like regular structures, and can be â€œUndeployedâ€ by the Commander once construced.
When Undeployed, an ARC can be carried by a marine and placed at another location where it will automatically redeploy. ARCs would therefore HAVE to be with marines to move, ensuring that newer players (via necessity of the mechanics) come to understand the natural importance of staying close to otherwise vulnerable siege equipment.
ARCs, of course, no longer have wheels.
This could seriously bring back the energy and tension of the first gameâ€™s sieges, while preserving the added benefit of being able to reposition the ARC.
When the Exosuit is added to the game, it would make a lot of sense to limit hauling the ARC around to players in Exosuits. Regular Marines would be able to carry standard turrets, though.
Portable Turrets Let Marines carry turrets in the same fashion as above.
Iâ€™d love to see Turrets require a powered Turret Factory nearby (not necessarily in the same room, but within a reasonable radius) to operate at maximum effeciency. This means that Turrets placed outside of this range will have a reduced rate of fire, say by 50%. This would encourage Marines to commit to turret farms, rather than just dropping a couple at the entrances to rooms, and would lessen the effectiveness of â€œturret rushesâ€.
Just imagine, â€œYou three, grab those turrets in base and move â€˜em up, weâ€™re going to try to lockdown Computer Lab.â€
Food for thought.
(Shameless plug: this is basically a repost from my NS2 blag. And no, no official affiliation despite the .. familiarity of the name. Bad timing on my part.)