Don't forget where we came from (LONG)
OK, I was going to post this in 'Beta Information', but I thought it might get better coverage from the community at large. As noted, Flayra has a build planned to drop later today. That is NOT what this topic is about. That build will hopefully address the issue where marines have been able to stroll around the map solo because of the bite problem. When this happens, I think we'll find that initially marines will get owned BADLY. (since they are used to supremacy on their own)
Now, what I want to look at is AFTER this happens. Once marines learn that moving in groups = win and playing solo = lose, they will likely adapt. With VETs making up the lion's share of testers, I expect they will adapt quickly since they are intelligent players who are used to playing in groups as a team. That's not the problem.
The issue I want to look at is PUBLIC servers. With the majority of servers running as public servers, I think it would be prudent of us to examine if there are any concepts that could be applied that would encourage public players (playing as marine) to work together more.
Please note, I'm NOT looking for specific gameplay modification suggestions
, but moreso gameplay CONCEPTS
that we can think about and discuss. (Preferably simple concepts that could be implemented easily) Flayra has more than enough suggestions on his plate, I just want to look at concepts since that allows him to make his own decisions on implementation.
OK, with that all said and done, my thoughts...
As the game stands at present, while marines are rewarded for teamwork in PRINCIPLE (with a win if they pull it off) there is nothing to encourage teamwork in practice. In looking at other mods like TFC, the same principle applies. Quite often if you have one team that has good teamwork, then they will prevail. No secret there. However, you can play solo in TFC and still have fun while not really affecting the team's performance to any great extent. The same applies for most other mods.
NS is different though.
With this in mind, my first thought is scores. (Stay with me folks and do not jump to conclusions here please) Let's be honest. Scores drive almost every game. While the scores don't show in NS, and experienced gamer knows they can type 'status' in the console for a quick rundown. Scores are not shown for marines in order to discourage lone individuals from playing only for kills and not for the team. While this is a reasonable idea in principle, I don't think it is too much of a discouragement for most players.Concept: Adapt the scoring system to reward marine teamwork.
By using the scoreboard, we can appeal to the egos of the marine players. I would rather do this instead of providing an 'in game' benefit. (The following would NOT affect the current 'res for kills' structure - this is only a visual suggestion)
Possible scoreboard concept example: (pub servers only)
Give kill credits for: (positive)
-Team hive kills: A group of 3+ marines that kill a hive with GUNS each get +5 kills and those beside a siege when it kills a hive each get +10 (including the commander)
-Teamwork kills: Marines in a group all get a +2 credit for a kill if they are in a group of 3 or more (so no worry about kill stealing - everyone gets equal credit)
-Base defence kills: Marines get a +1 credit for a kill if they are in range of the active CC (even if alone)
Give NO credit for: (neutral)
-Kills in groups of 2 or when alone
-Kills by mines
-Kills by welder
-Kills by knife
-Kills by turrets
Give negative credit for: (negative)
-punish incompetence: Should a marine with a 'good' weapon (HMG etc) die WITHOUT a kill, they get a -2 kill credit
-punish rambos: For each death when ALONE give the marine a -1 kill credit
As a potential option, you could even 'punish' those with really bad scores by increasing their spawn time. If a player with a -5 or -10 score dies, they are LAST to spawn when others are in the spawn queue. All other players with a positive score would spawn ahead of him, even if they died afterwards.
To further make sure there is no punishment for working in a group, if players are in a group and they make ONE kill, then they would not suffer a negative credit for dying alone if their squad-mates are killed before they are.
All of the above would normally appeal to the marine's ego, and as such, MOST players on public servers would want to TRY to get a positive score. As it would be IMPOSSIBLE to get a positive score playing solo, 'rambos' and 'aimboters' wouldn't bother attempting to exploit the scoreboard.
Since the scoreboard is a POWERFUL motivator, then many players on pubs would try to increase their score by working as a TEAM. This would only serve to make pub play that much more enjoyable for players, not to mention the server ops.
Remember, when a person joins a game in progress they are not 'emotionally attached' to the game as those who have been playing all game long. So they may be less likely to want to work as a team. However, the above concept would allow a person just joining to se 'instant results' by working as a team and then their score will rise.
This same concept could be applied to the alien team, with bonuses given to aliens that score kills in range of the hive and in groups, and punishment to aliens that die when evolved to fade/onos and not getting a single kill. However I was more thinking about the marines when I was considering this concept. More thought can be given to this concept if Flayra so desires.