WARNING: Tough Love
I used to post under "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot" and I have been around since BETA 6.
This is going to sound harsh but keep in mind this is tough love and in no way is this meant to hurt anyone...
I recently caught up on the podcasts and in the 7th podcast Charlie and Max talk a little about the commander concept and possible tweaks for NS2. When I finished the transcript I was left with a bad taste in my mouth, specifically, I felt that I have lost all confidence in the DEVs.
About 3-4 years ago, right around the time that the Pub Community for NS Classic was stagnating and there was a raging debate in the community among Pub Regulars and Clanners about the direction of NS. I was involved in a thread (I may have started it) about the evolutioin of the NS resource model that branched into ideas about the future of the FPS/RTS concept as well as gameplay models for NS. It was theoretical as much as practical but we discussed the problems of the NS model and possible improvements.
There were many great contributions to that thread both from regular Pubbers and Clanners, it didn't seem to get much attention from the DEVs (they didn't post in it but I hope they read it). It was shortly after that thread my interest in NS started to wane... I was a NS Classic Pubber and it was a bad time for us, hence my attempt to promote NS Classic and encourage discussions on how to make it better.
That thread was 3 years ago, flash forward to PODCAST 7 and from what I have read Charlie and Max is still theorizing about the commander concept? I always thought the FPS/RTS model has potential, and I had high hopes that concept would be incredible fun for a Sci-fi game in the same vein as NS. However, and I used to express this opinion quite a bit, the model will require rigorous testing to make it fun and practical. It needs to be tested by both Clanners and Pubbers with a mix of both newbs and vets.
I'm going to put it bluntly Charlie, "You are wasting a good idea."
If you want NS2 to be more popular than NS you need to avoid the same mistakes that were made in NS but from what I have read so far, it doesn't look like you guys have harvest anything significant from NS!?!?! How could you still be "humming and hawwing" about something as fundamental as the Commanders basic abilities?
I know games are for Fun, but from your perspective Charlie, it's a business and TIME IS MONEY. I understand you haven't been paid to do much of the work and you have been actively looking for investors but it doesn't seem like the NS model has advanced an inch for years!
By advanced I mean, serious testing of the FPS/RTS model for NS. There was some basic problems in NS that was huge when it came to encourage teamplay in Pubs and for the competitiveness of Clan play. Those problems need to be addressed and unless there is some serious effort into testing alternatives NS2 will just be NS with a visual update. Even though NS was popular relative to the other mods that existed, the problems that held it back from being the top MOD will still be a problem in NS2.
There needs to be some serious discussion and more importantly serious testing if NS2 wants to become more than a niche game. All I see in here is fluff, and what's worse, I hardly hear anything significant about NS2. I don't mean screenshots or a NS2TR... I just mean gameplay elements (ie. RTS/FPS model, resource model) that advance the NS model and possible solutions to the problems we had in NS.
Maybe I'm being harsh but I'm going to give everyone a chance to respond before I post more of my thoughts.
PS: I have long forgotten my password and email attached to my old account but if one of the mods can assist me in recovering it I would love to log in and try to retrieve some of the threads I am talking about. IM me if that is possible.