The Commander Experience

J!J! NS2 Artist Join Date: 2004-11-14 Member: 32788Members, Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester Posts: 422
Hi guys. I'm working on the NS2 commander interface at the moment, so I've created this thread to hear your thoughts in general about the NS commander experience so we can improve it as much as possible for NS2.

Ask yourselves questions like:

What are some of your most memorable experiences (good or bad)? For example - what was it like the first time you stepped into the command chair?
What do you love and/or hate about commanding?
Maybe you avoid commanding and if so, why?
Why types of features would you like to see added or removed?

Anything goes. Let's hear your thoughts!
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Comments

  • ozbirdboyozbirdboy Join Date: 2007-08-07 Member: 61827Confirm Email Posts: 222
    edited August 2007
    First time commanding is generally daughting cause it's difficult to keep up with everything going, upgrades, attacks, players, etc. After several goes you get the general idea of what to do. Only problem is when a new comm jumps in the chair, it usually ends up wrecking the game for rines as nothing really gets done. Maybe some sort of comm simulator needs to be developed so it gives players a better idea of what to do before they get going into the real thing.

    - I would love to see support for multi level/story maps. At the present, it is difficult to create a map which has a few levels.

    - I also wouldn't mind being commander and being able to click on a player and see in a little screen what they are seeing, may prove to be abit resource hungry but yer, i think that would be cool.

    - Perhaps a hud which you can toggle to hide/show which displays the health/ammo of all your players that way you can quickly hand out meds/ammo to who it is needed without a player always having to call for it.

    - Allowing different view angles rather then just top down
  • BacillusBacillus Join Date: 2006-11-02 Member: 58241Members Posts: 2,774 Advanced user
    Most of the annoying things in comming are height related. For example low areas don't have any soundscape and are difficult to med while high areas get too close to the camera. Another, mostly map related thing is that there are still a plenty of objects blocking the medpacks. Its annoying to waste 4 res on a quick medding and the meds just drop on some random object on the ceiling. The most popular maps don't have many of such issues like that, but maps like caged and nothing have some quite nasty areas. Elevators and water limiting the dropping are nasty too.

    After the map related problems are fixed my only wish is that ns:s takes the rts element up a few levels. Now in organized play its excecuting variations of a few tactics that almost all involve 1-sg-res pressure and taking out the 2nd hive with siege or rush. If it fails, you hold till proto. RTS games aren't tactically very variable anyway, but I'd still love to have some more room for my own plans. The lack of strategies might also be due to the inactivity of the players, but I think ns doesn't encourage creative tactics either. Wasting other players' time on your experimentations is a setback for creative play too.

    As for the public play I'd like to have some more means to make the marines understand what I want as a commander. Of course I can order everyone around via microphone and typing, but it gets a bit spamtastic sometimes. Waypoints like "hold the area", "clear the area", "take out the rt there", "cap the res this side of the map" and "phase to X and from X rush to Y" would all be nice. It might help the field marines to understand the game flow and make the learning curve a bit smoother that way.

    Oh and please highlight the comm communication as much as you can. Now its nasty if someone decides to play field comm and starts giving out orders messing up the even the very little plans you can have in public.
    cypher0six
  • J!J! NS2 Artist Join Date: 2004-11-14 Member: 32788Members, Retired Developer, NS1 Playtester Posts: 422
    Valid points, Bacillus, you'll be glad to know we've got a bunch of ideas to solve all those problems.

    I should note that it would help if you guys commented on very specific things, such as the speed of the interface... or even the size of the buttons. It's all good.

    Kalopsia: I like the idea of a simulator, MGS style or something.
  • MasterPTGMasterPTG Join Date: 2006-11-30 Member: 58780Members Posts: 283
    ---What was it like the first time you stepped into the command chair?

    My first time commanding I had already played like fifteen games and I was tired of total noob coms. Given that I was a noob com, at least I knew how to win the game and that is to kill/eliminate hive/hive locations. I used to play a lot a long time ago, and my first experience with com'ing was frustrating because upgrading was a pain (b/c I wanted to follow the marines and look @ the base upgrades @ the same time, but I really couldn't do so effectively so one or the other suffered).


    ---What do you love and/or hate about commanding?

    Hate upgrading, b/c I have to check all the little buildings--as such, in one scrim..we had 7 minute armor 1 just b/c I forgot about it :x. If it's not on Ze Screen, it's obviously not important wink-fix.gif. Nor is the 2nd IP tounge.gif. LOLOL.

    ---Maybe you avoid commanding and if so, why?

    I avoid commanding b/c I can normally tell the commander WTF to do, and the commander normally can't shoot anyway, so I need to carry the team =D. lol. That, and people rage when they have a com who gives medpacks but doesn't always get upgrades except for PG's and AA lol. Everything other than PG's and AA is just trivial as no one welds or can shoot accurately anyhow wink-fix.gif.

    ---Why types of features would you like to see added or removed?

    A slicker interface would be awesome.

    Larger comparitive view screen (right now, a lot of the com screen it blocked by the rather very very large gui. Anything to streamline, make smaller, etc would be uber.), i think, would be nice.

    The buttons are pretty large... Having more distinct buttons/button styles/contrast between them would be uber.

    Mouse scrolling speed should be faster, and I think using the arrow keys to scroll would be nice (I'm pretty sure you can't do that now? or something. Not sure).
  • BacillusBacillus Join Date: 2006-11-02 Member: 58241Members Posts: 2,774 Advanced user
    QUOTE(MasterPTG @ Aug 11 2007, 03:53 PM) »

    Hate upgrading, b/c I have to check all the little buildings--as such, in one scrim..we had 7 minute armor 1 just b/c I forgot about it :x. If it's not on Ze Screen, it's obviously not important wink-fix.gif. Nor is the 2nd IP tounge.gif. LOLOL.

    Hotkeying (Ctrl + number 1-5) the necessary buildings is easy in ns. Just have obs, armory, arms and proto on your hotkeys for quick access and flashing red warning while under attack. Maybe people became aware of the hotkeys if the keys were assigned automatically after the building is dropped. Some icon showing which upgrade is teching might be a nice feature too. At least I hate to cancel upgrades because I'm not sure if it was a misclick.
  • aeroripperaeroripper Join Date: 2005-02-25 Member: 42471NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation Posts: 2,409 mod
    edited August 2007
    QUOTE
    What are some of your most memorable experiences (good or bad)? For example - what was it like the first time you stepped into the command chair?
    What do you love and/or hate about commanding?
    Maybe you avoid commanding and if so, why?
    Why types of features would you like to see added or removed?


    - The first time I hopped in, I was very slow with giving medpacks and accessing the "Q\E" menu hotkeys. In the future, things like meds\ammo should have an option to drop them with one key, designated in your keyboard options. True, you can get fast with these things with practice, but every little bit helps a beginner.

    - I love the comm interface itself honestly (one of the things I noticed most when I started). I'd rather see some sort of 3D interior comm chair, so you can really feel like you're inside this chair. Things like a red light flashing on the dashboard when base is under attack, the low hum of a running fan in top left corner, would really add to the immersiveness, and prestige of being a commander.

    Giving the player the possibility to free look around the chair would be a plus as well, if only to view the detailed inside of the chair itself (maybe a little slit window in the back of the chair to lookout, or screens with marines fps views). Imagine all the funny situations where a skulk would be stuck to the back of your comm chair window looking in to see some of your commander screens, and then relaying tactical info back to his team. I can already imagine the comm yelling to his team to get the moth off the back of his chair haha.

    Also, if possible, add the animation back in where the commander gets into the chair and closes the door himself as again, this adds to the immersiveness. If possible, have it so his view stepping into the chair is handled like it is when you get into the jeep in half-life 2. Instead of the comm interface just magically appearing, you'll actually be sitting in a full 3d modeled cockpit.

    - I think a lot of people avoid commanding is that the game itself has become fairly unforgiving if you don't get everything right from the start. You have to be on your toes IMMEDIATELY into the game (base placement, medding early marines, dropping RTs, listening\locating hives etc...). If the pace of the game was slowed a bit, and the possibility of more strategies added in, it might be less intense for a newer commander.

    - Added: I'd like to see something like a "commander presence" bar added to the top of your marine hud, where a light blue bar would light up if your commander's view was overhead, or it would turn green if the commander was watching your first person view. Again this would add to the effect that the commander is the "caretaker" of his team, and is looking out for them.

    Removed: Waypoints. The waypoint system should be removed or completely overhauled. The problem that I see is after a while no one tends to follow them because commanders usually don't update them. As the skill of your players goes up and location names become memorized, waypoints become all but useless clutter on your screen. I'm not sure how you could enhance on the current system, but I'd imagine they could be made more useful.

    QUOTE
    As for the public play I'd like to have some more means to make the marines understand what I want as a commander. Of course I can order everyone around via microphone and typing, but it gets a bit spamtastic sometimes. Waypoints like "hold the area", "clear the area", "take out the rt there", "cap the res this side of the map" and "phase to X and from X rush to Y" would all be nice. It might help the field marines to understand the game flow and make the learning curve a bit smoother that way.

    Oh and please highlight the comm communication as much as you can. Now its nasty if someone decides to play field comm and starts giving out orders messing up the even the very little plans you can have in public.


    Agreed. You could make the commander's voicecomm bar have a special symbol on it, and maybe a green color to distinct it from your marines comms. This coupled with the 'commander presence' bar on every marine hud would further entrench that the comm is talking specifically to you or the marines in your area. I'd imagine players would get the idea that they need to follow his order if his hud bar turns blue, then bright green as the commander locks on his view to give him a direct order.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • MasterPTGMasterPTG Join Date: 2006-11-30 Member: 58780Members Posts: 283
    QUOTE(Bacillus @ Aug 11 2007, 04:09 PM) »

    Some icon showing which upgrade is teching might be a nice feature too.


    That was my point. You can't easily see when ups are done/what ups you have left. It'd be nice if there very small or transperant buttons that you could just press for each of the upgrades. Even if you have 20 buttons there, it's better than freekin hot-keying through the different buildings--which really annoys me. I already ahve to go through menues for buildings, weapons and meds...
  • ComproxComprox *chortle* Canada Join Date: 2002-01-23 Member: 7Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, NS1 Playtester, NS2 Developer, Constellation, NS2 Playtester, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver, Subnautica Developer, Subnautica Playtester, Pistachionauts Posts: 6,615 admin
    Hey, I made a topic a while ago about some interface things so here is a link to it: http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/index....howtopic=101672

    Dealing with upgrades and how MasterPTG says he hates them. You could do a system like Supreme Commander (I think that's the right game) where you have a button for every upgrade building on your HUD which allows you to click it and do upgrades without having to scroll back to the marine start. Yes, you could use hotkeys, but frankly with only 5 groups you don't have room for buildings and marines right now.

    As others have stated, the problem with commanding is it is so "elitist". If you don't know exactly what you are doing people jump all over you. The only real way to handle that is train people before they get in game or tons of reminders in game (but that gets even more confusing).

    Maybe the ability to draw on the minimap of players like Savage has? I am not 100% sure of this, but throwing it out there.

    Again, as others stated: sometimes it is very hard to drop items in certain areas, hopefully some new code will help with that.
    NAPT
  • PikminwarsPikminwars Join Date: 2006-11-07 Member: 58468Members Posts: 137
    The ability to move the commander's view with the arrow keys would be nice.

    As for me, one of the most difficult things for me to keep up with while commanding was the handing out of weapons. There should be an option added to the armory that basically allows you to lock or unlock weapon access to players. This way you can make sure the three shotguns you hand out early games will be used efficiently, and late game you can just let people get their equipment back as they die without you being forced to constantly drop more in base. Babysitting your pile of weapons and armor in base can get annoying at times.

    Any reminders about upgrades would be nice, since I constantly forget in all RTSes, but that's an acquired skill. Maybe if you had a sidebar or a tech tree that allowed you to check the status of and research all your upgrades at once instead of having to go through all the buildings, it would be a little easier to get the hang of.

    As for my commanding experiences, I've only ever won one game of NS, which I was very proud of. It seems the biggest reason I never commanded much is NS is that there is no way to practice commanding without either joining a clan or pissing off a public server. Any type of practice mode would be much appreciated.
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  • whoppaXXLwhoppaXXL Join Date: 2006-11-03 Member: 58298Members, Reinforced - Shadow Posts: 711 Fully active user
    + A squad window where all squads are listed in different colors, if you click on a squad a pop-down menu comes up with all players in this squad.

    + An Animation when you enter the CC.

    + When an upgrade is researching a small icon on the top left should pop up with text how far the upgrade is and/or how long it takes.

    + If you doubleclick on a marine in the squad menu your camera flips to him.

    - Make the Logout button smaller.

    - Flash Icons and such when it's attacked, ready, ...

    - Team Resources should not be 2 words but an icon. So you can place more icons in a row. Like a resource icon then the number, an icon and the number of marines that are just in the battlefield, and icon and the number of marines that are reinforcing, how many RT's you got...

    - Different view angels. Not much, just 10° - 20° in every direction.

    more to come.

    But the guys here got very cool ideas.

    Hoping the best for the new comander interface .. wink-fix.gif


    "I got in one little fight and my com got scared, he said you're moving with your squad to the ###### hive."



  • korzeckorzec Join Date: 2006-11-12 Member: 58553Members Posts: 51
    edited August 2007
    i would like to see buttons for upgrades and functions like scans that would be always available on screen,

    also i have problems with selecting a proper item from the menu like R > S for shotgun, sometimes i locks for me on other item and causes delays, but its just cos i dont comm much ;d

    there was a theread where i proposed to use supreme commander's waypoint system :
    http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/index....howtopic=102083 alsothere are other comm-related ideas

    there was also a topic about chaining the pgs dynamically by the commander - its a must in my opinion
  • ScytheScythe Join Date: 2002-01-25 Member: 46NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation, Reinforced - Silver Posts: 4,371 mod
    edited August 2007
    I've always found tine commander interface to be very difficult to use, vaguely dissatisfying. I realise that this kind of feedback is utterly useless for your purposes so I'll try to be more specific...

    A big one is trying to drop medpacks on marines in a hurry when there's roof detail in the way. That's a biggie. Another thing is when a marine requests a medpack, ammo or orders while s/he's running in a straight line. You hit spacebar to jump to request and they've already moved off the side of your view. One small thing I'd like to see is to have your view follow the marine along for a few seconds such that you can drop stuff on him without wildly flailing about trying to aim a medpack. This'd make things easier on newbie comms too.

    A verbal reminder of an excess of resources would be nice. Sometimes you glance up and realise that you've got 70 res and upgrades waiting. Again, a big help to newbie comms.

    --Scythe--
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  • UnderwhelmedUnderwhelmed DemoDetective #?! Join Date: 2006-09-19 Member: 58026Members, Constellation Posts: 756 Advanced user
    edited August 2007
    QUOTE(JJJ1 @ Aug 11 2007, 03:46 AM) »

    Hi guys. I'm working on the NS2 commander interface at the moment, so I've created this thread to hear your thoughts in general about the NS commander experience so we can improve it as much as possible for NS2.

    Ask yourselves questions like:

    What are some of your most memorable experiences (good or bad)? For example - what was it like the first time you stepped into the command chair?

    The first time I stepped into the comm chair, I dropped a TF and turrets in base. I got ejected in less than two minutes with no real idea of what I did wrong.

    I really learned comming by jumping into a 1 vs 1 NS game between two CAL players. The other marine went on the field and told me what to do over voicecomm. That little session basically increased my skill in comming in orders of magnitude.

    I don't really have many other memorable sessions. I remember one where I probably lost a half of a match by jumping out against 2, 3 skulks. One on OldF where I lead an epic 50 minute game of musical chairs, except with hives. Another where I had a siege going on a hive, then beaconed for a shotgun rush on another hive simultaneously.
    QUOTE

    What do you love and/or hate about commanding?

    I like being instrumental in my team's success. I'm really not much of a RTS player, and I like the aspect of not having to really micromanage each player (Or at least not have to select him, click somewhere, etc) I hate having to command incompetent idiots who won't listen to orders. There's little more frustrating than watching your team lose a game then getting blamed for their mistakes.
    QUOTE

    Maybe you avoid commanding and if so, why?

    I used to do it quite often, but not much anymore. A team with a mediocre comm and mediocre marines probably has a better chance of winning than a team with an excellent comm and terrible marines. Commanding a decent team is fun; commanding a bad team is terrible. To paraphrase somebody, commanding on a pub is like having twelve girlfriends, all of them blond. If I don't comm, I'll at least get to shoot stuff, make a large difference on the field, and have a bit of fun, instead of watching helplessly as the team gets owned.
    QUOTE

    Why types of features would you like to see added or removed?

    I'd like to see the comm be able to actively make a difference on the field. Right now, you're pretty much limited to dropping meds, ammo, catpacks, and scanning. Maybe expanding the squad system a bit - I just hotkey my buildings, not marines. Most marines don't pay attention to what squad they're in anyways, you can scream "SQUAD 5 GO TO CARGO" at the top of your lungs, and nobody will respond at all. I think an equipment requisition system similar to the Empires HL2 mod (Where you can set what permissions each player has, ex. Player 1 can take out a shotgun, but Player 2 can't, etc). Something to target individual(s) when you speak/type, I find that specifying a player to do something usually works better than saying "somebody" go do this or that.

    Maybe something for chaining/prioritizing things. Like I can put a waypoint on a specific location, and when marines reach it, the next waypoint is lit up. One waypoint has a high priority and the other one has a low priority, etc.

    Progress bars for various things upgrading/under construction.
    An inventory (Shotguns on the floor, equipped, RTs built, etc)
    More specific requests, maybe (There's no real way to ask specifically for a scan besides over the voicecomm or typing it out right now)
    QUOTE (SmoodCroozn)
    Don't bother posting, because it seems to me, you don't even know how the game works.

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  • BacillusBacillus Join Date: 2006-11-02 Member: 58241Members Posts: 2,774 Advanced user
    QUOTE(Underwhelmed @ Aug 12 2007, 05:38 AM) »

    I used to do it quite often, but not much anymore. A team with a mediocre comm and mediocre marines probably has a better chance of winning than a team with an excellent comm and terrible marines.

    I'd say one of the biggest difficulties in comming is that its easy to lose games just by yourself, but you still can't win the games alone. In competetive play its sometimes a bit rough to get started since you know you've got the marines to win a round, but you still haven't got enough experience to pull off those rounds when there's actually some pressure on your decisions. All that makes winning double the fun though.

  • RadixRadix Join Date: 2005-01-10 Member: 34654Members, Constellation Posts: 964
    I think you should add support for multiple players in the CC. Even a system of Pilot and co-pilot (or navigator, or whatever) would get new players involved and begin breaking down the insurmountable learning curve NS is so famous for.
    NS2 Idea Map - Add your next suggestion thread here if you want it to be remembered!

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  • MouseMouse The Lighter Side of Pessimism Join Date: 2002-03-02 Member: 263Members, NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Squad Five Blue, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Shadow Posts: 3,567 mod
    I'd like to see a wider choice of Jump-to commands; namely 'Jump to Next Marine' and 'Jump to Previous Marine' (it'd be awesome if those two were bound to the mwheel). I'd also like all Jump-to commands to lock onto whatever they jump to until the commander attempts to move the view away.

    I'd like to see the item drop and structure menus moved to context sensitive pop-ups.
    For example:
    RMB on the ground and you're shown the icons of the items and structures you can drop there.
    RMB on a marine and you're shown the icons of the items (and weapons if you're within range of an armoury) that you can give to the marine.
    RMB on a placed structure and you're shown the tech/upgrades you can research there.

    I'd like to see the aforementioned weapon/structure/item popup menu to have a dual use. If you RMB on an icon, you're taken to a marine carrying that weapon/a structure of that type that's already been placed.

    I'd like to see hotkeys bound (or bindable) for all of the time critical activities such as dropping meds/ammo and Jump-to commands.

    I'd like to see more flexibility in manipulating squads. Such as the ability to add marines/structures to a squad without having to have the rest of the squad selected (the ability to remove a single marine/structure from a squad with the same level of ease would be nice too).
    -/AUS/- PS_Mouse
  • aeroripperaeroripper Join Date: 2005-02-25 Member: 42471NS1 Playtester, Forum Moderators, Constellation Posts: 2,409 mod
    QUOTE
    I think you should add support for multiple players in the CC. Even a system of Pilot and co-pilot (or navigator, or whatever) would get new players involved and begin breaking down the insurmountable learning curve NS is so famous for.


    What about a separate 'training mode' where you can have 2 comms in the same chair? This would expand on the simulator idea as well.
  • schkorpioschkorpio I can mspaint Join Date: 2003-05-23 Member: 16635Members Posts: 3,543 Fully active user
    edited August 2007
    WIDE SCREEN FRIENDLY! smile-fix.gif nothing worse than stretched sprites on a hud of any kind. (why not make use of widescreen also, the might detect if the res is a 16:10 or 16:9 ratio it could put in an extra side bar with a few neat features, so you don't see more than other comms, but you have a few extra functions or just squad info or something)

    my first attempt at commanding was pretty scary, i had a great team though which were nice enough to tell what they wanted instead of yelling at me and ejecting me - most people don't mind new commanders as long as they can be responsive, and that goes for pro commanders too, if they are too slow or it feel like they don't pay attention to you (some people have trouble multi tasking between 2 or more areas on the map) then it gets frustrating waiting for the comm to drop a res tower, when you could be progress further, or you only have a short moment of peace to build it. I don't know what the solution would be to this , but something to make the commander more aware of everything at once, but with out getting in the comms way.

    I'm thinking making the minimap more informative, and even interactive, like when marines request things little blips or icons would appear on the mini map, and you could drop meds into the minimap , it wouldn't be too accurate but it would be fast if you need to. Aswell as dropping res towers through the minimap, they could snap into the res node automatically so you don't need to be accurate. This would help keeps tabs on all of the action in one easy to see area - minimap.

    Another thing which would be nice, especially for new commanders, would be a warning that comes up to say "hey comm you've got no IPS" and an arrow (if auto help is on) that points at the IP icon.

    Keeping track of things can get difficult if your attention is taken away by a fierce battle or a sudden onos in your base for example. In the heat of the battle you might forget to um, upgrade the next level or armor, so i think when the message pops up to say armour 1 complete you should be able to click on it and tell it to research the next level - or take you to the arms labs so you can research someone else in that building.



    but also ....
    one thing i really hate in new games is clutter on hud, quake wars for example has so much stuff all over the hud i don't know whats going on, you can't even shrink the giant chat text. Then you have the annoying battlefield 2/2142 where the help interface keeps popuping up and telling about whatever it is that you are doing. pretty annoying, atleast you can switch it off.

    I think making it a lot more transparent, the ns1 hud takes a but about 20% of the bottom of my screen it would seem, transpancy is nice as you can see more, also the interface could work a bit like a windows menu, you can move it around, or minimize features you don't need right then or one thats you know the shortcut keys for, you don't need to see them. The more you can see of your playing field the better I think - so thats maybe where the scroll/slide out menus and buttons come in. Maybe even a right click thing - Right click gives orders atm, but perhaps if you don't have anyone selected it can med, or ammo, even scan (why not dynamic for filing the requests of the field marines, so you always drop just the requested amount - 1 marine requests 2 med packs and another 1 piece of ammo and another marine requests a scan, all in the same area, you right click 4 times which drops the 2 meds, 1 ammo and one scan, in that exact order. could even be 3rd/thumb mouse button, which a lot of people have these days



    EDIT
    regarding commander training - i think commander's view should be spectatable so you can watch how other comms do things. Also perhaps a general flow chart that comes in the game manual that simply illustrates a good build order, IPs, ARMOURY, ARMSLAB, OBS, in that order


    also I think the interface should be a bit more aussie, like the logout button could be an eski from top view and when you hover the mouse over it opens to reveal some delicious tsa beverages, namely beer cans. </joking>
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • CanadianWolverineCanadianWolverine Join Date: 2003-02-07 Member: 13249Members Posts: 1,010 Fully active user
    edited August 2007
    Hope this helps, I went through the idea forums and grabbed a link to anything that seemed Commander related so you can zip to them from one place. I apologize if I missed any and while one of the areas requested is tweaking and overhauling the upgrades, I left alot of threads out about improving the tech trees or the size of this list would easily double in size.

    Arms Lab Upgrades Enhancement, a way of increasing strategical variation

    Commander awarding good team players..

    Marine Hierarchy: Chain of Command, visually and officially intergrated in the game

    Commander Drawing Map

    Gun Request & Receive GUI?

    Multi Level Commanding, to make makes more intricate

    More commander options...

    Commander Chair / View, new dimension ^^ [>WARNING: Pictures here<]

    Simplifying commanding, better for new and experienced

    Commander Interface

    Mini-cam for commander, Commander sees first person action trough a small screen.

    When the CC is destroyed, have it make a massive explosion, For cosmetic purposes only

    More 'Active' Commandermode abilities, less boring upgrades please

    Priority Waypoints

    Tweaks to Commander Interface, Bringing it up to speed with current RTS games

    The 2nd Commander, Support Commander

    commander views, marine cam

    The comm chair (visual design of placeable)

    Assistant Commander or Sergeant, second in commander to manage large games

    Commander Mutli View, ....views anyone?

    commanders very own Base ######, a robot drone

    Commander view control ideas

    [NS:S] Commander Viewmode, 3D Toggleable View Mode (like viewing a 3D model in 3dsMax)
  • INKEDOUTINKEDOUT Join Date: 2007-06-23 Member: 61343Members Posts: 270
    I said it here! http://www.unknownworlds.com/forums/index....howtopic=102249

    I want to see the commander have a better control over his/her view point. This is mainly because I want to see better Map design. Maybe this should be by using the Mouse Wheel or Page Up and Page Down as a way to zoom in and out through floors. Or maybe buttons for each floor. Take a look at Battlefield 2, they have it just right! Admittedly they don't have multiple floors or building structures to deal with, but they have the zoom and the buttons. confused-fix.gif

    Another thing I would suggest taking from BF2 is the squad system, I know NS has a squad system already, but I have rarely seen it used much. Instead NS2 should have Squad Leaders, who can set waypoint on his mini map, that way people can join a squad and have a their squad leader give them way points as well as the commander. That way if a commander has forgotten about a waypoint a squad leader can set a new one. But you should still be able to command individual players, which BF2 lacks (I think, been a while since I played)

    The Squad Leader should be decided by who joins the squad first, or changed by the commander, or if possible based on the rank of the players who are in that squad.

    Squad Leaders should only be able to set way points and maybe request certain structures is built where they are looking. I'm not sure if that last bit is a good idea? What do you think?
    INKEDOUT (Watch this space)
  • locallyunscenelocallyunscene Feeder of Trolls Join Date: 2002-12-25 Member: 11528Members, Constellation Posts: 4,022 Fully active user
    I second the idea of having the buildings clickable in the hud. Warzone 2100 had a very good hud in this way as it didn't take up much of the screen unless you expanded it, leaving you free to micro to your heart's content but you had complete access to your base w/o taking up hotkey slots. Also one click keys for medpack/ammo would be useful, and help prevent armslabs from dropping by mistake.
    QUOTE (Flayra @ Mar 28 2007, 09:21 PM) »
    It's not an easy balance to achieve, but we do want to make a game that will be both the best competitive game since Starcraft and also one that many people can enjoy casually without being in a clan or an experienced or knowledgeable NS player. That's the goal at least!


    - NS in game name - tilde - My Steam Id Page - .
  • MisereMisere Join Date: 2004-03-28 Member: 27568Members Posts: 202 Fully active user
    edited January 2008
    Great commanders need two main things to win: 1) the ability to multitask and 2) a team that listens. The new interface must make this as easy as possible. So it should be customisable as much as possible (remember your settings) plus easy to move around. Possibly add stuff like res nodes 1-10 accross the top of the screen, or dimanic buttons that you can drag stuff onto for quick licking but are see through when not in use.

    Reminders
    ~Even those that can multi can sometimes forget that they have finished A1 because the announcement went off while they where dealing with a skulk at base. So a RES reminder (as mentioned above) would be great. It should go off when res hits 50 or 100 and there are still un-researched tech upgrades and/or marines running around with just LMG's

    Upgrade system
    ~A pop up tech tree screen with three different symbols for each upgrade
    1. White unsearched
    2. Grey/white ratio in clock style to show researching plus time left.
    3. Black researched
    Clicking on any white symbol would cause it to get researched next, providing you have researched the previous TECH. If you need more RES it will start researching as soon as you have it but the icon border will go black to show that its cued. Right clicking cued or a upgrade under research would cancel it. This means that you will spend more time zooming around the map looking at what is happening rather than weighting to get X more RES.

    Now I don�t think you should be able to build the AL and then click A1, W1, W2, W3, A2, A3. To have it automatically start on A1 and cue the other five in order. There has to be some sort of input from the COM along the way. We can't make COMMING too easy. It could also be a bad thing if you are sneaking into a hive to siege it and then poof there goes that 50res you had for the phase and TF.


    TOOL FOR MAKING MARINES LISTEN
    ~ A marine summery panel which acts as both a stats page, an alternative way to assign squads and assign equipment. Accessed the same way as the TECH tree. This would the standard plus the following options:

    AUTO EQUIP: marines can get certain items from quipment from AA without the COM if the team has 20 or more res (set at the COM's choice) . This would also free up 2v2 alot for the marines.
    ASSISTS: is sort of like ice hockey, if you do damage to an alien/strucure 5secs before it dies you get some credit.
    WAYPIONTS%: The percentage of waypoints you gone to in your currrent game session (over several maps/servers), waypoints have to remain for at least 30 seconds to count to prevent a COM spaming WP all over the show and stuffing a players stats.
    BUILDS: Number of build points you have done, higher amounts mean that you reguarly build stuff for the com rather than running out of the base
    WELDS: Amount of damage repaired, vents welded
    AUTO RATING: Caclulated from WP%, BUILDS & WELDS, not kills. A way of showing your a team player even though you get less kills because your the one always building/repairing and hence not getting as many kills.
    COM RATING: Personal rating for this player and set by you, stays with them always so you can rember noobs and good team players who you don't see often.
    SQUAD#: Drop down selection, all marines are always SQ1 for full team orders but can be grouped selected from the top down view like the current system into another squad for smaller instructions (e.g. be both SQ1 and SQ2) but you can also transfer individuals between squads here. i.e Move [Evi]^ to SQ5 and get him to sneak into a hive without deselecting all of SQ2 or having to hunt [Evi]^ down on the map. You could also preset squads at the start of the game while waiting for the game to get going.

    Now the com can keep track of who is following orders, current status and review the individual performance. Sure NOOB killed more than Bob but he died alot as well, i.e. he was off ramboing while Bob built the buildings and EVI covered.

    ADDITIONAL GOODIES

    ~ deselect button/hotkey, sometimes it the hud gets confused and you end up recycling something by accident. Observed it with experiance and noob players alike plus done it myself.
    ~ shift + Left click on recycle button required to recycle (see above)
    ~ shift + Left click = ammo
    ~ shift + right click = med
    ~ ctrl+ shift + Left click = scan from obs with most energy
    ~ commander voice overrides all other chatter, this means that the team can get a clear set of orders. If the com is a noob he will be ejected or can be muted so no problem with power abuse.
    ~ If marine requests orders while standing next to a empty RES NODE then he says "at a res node" and a res symbol pops up instead of marine face
    ~ If marine requests order while standing next to a live hive then he says "at hive" and a hive symbol pops up instead of a marine face.
    ~ List of Phase GATES and the room they are in from a pop up menu like the TECH TREE. Com can select one as Primary phase (maybe this could be a TECH?). Once a Marine phases they go to this one first and then will cycle through the rest in the order that they where built. After 15 seconds the next time the marine phases it will be straight to the primary phase again even if there are more on the list he has not visted. This way the marines can GL 30 rounds into the OC nest, phase back to base, reload and phase straight back. Alternately if the marines "shift+use" then they could either phase directly to the primary phase or get a location menu.
    ~ Ctrl + shift + 1,2,3,4,5 are hot keys assigned to buildings for old style tech development/zooming to RT in hives.
    ~ Custom 1-5 combat packs (i.e. WLD, HMG, HA is pack 1, WLD, GL, HA pack 2) for quick deployment of equipment to marines rather than have to select each one indiviudaly. This would work by holding down shift and clicking on the Custom 1 button, then say JP, WLD, SG, Mine, to set. Each time you hit custom 1 the equpment is loaded into the AA or droped on the selected marine res & tech allowing. If low res or not researched, items are dropped in the order you select. So with 15 res and no JP research the above player would just get the welder. Meds and ammo can not be treated in this way.

    Anyway good luck, and I look forward to COMMINg with your system.
    Post edited by Unknown User on
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  • niaccurshiniaccurshi Join Date: 2002-12-30 Member: 11629Members, Constellation Posts: 1,075
    QUOTE(JJJ1 @ Aug 11 2007, 11:46 AM) »

    Hi guys. I'm working on the NS2 commander interface at the moment, so I've created this thread to hear your thoughts in general about the NS commander experience so we can improve it as much as possible for NS2.

    Ask yourselves questions like:

    What are some of your most memorable experiences (good or bad)? For example - what was it like the first time you stepped into the command chair?
    What do you love and/or hate about commanding?
    Maybe you avoid commanding and if so, why?
    Why types of features would you like to see added or removed?

    Anything goes. Let's hear your thoughts!


    OK, this is coming from a non-competitive n00b commander. I've only really done it on occasions in pubs when no-one else jumps in. In that sense it's very much like jumping in feet first to dark water. As long as it was something that you could permanently turn off for experienced users, a tutorial text or "mask" of suggested basic structure placement (IP, armoury mainly) for people to potentially follow that only the comm can see might help people that just jump in hoping someone else will take over.

    I do generally avoid commanding though, and I'd say that would be because I find it so hard to micro manage and command at the same time. The minimap never really shows enough for me compared to other rts games. Also it is a pain to have to go and find a specific structure for a special comm ability. If I have an obs I should be able quickly ping and beacon instantly for example, these abilities should be added to the general commander HUD.

    I'd love to be able to zoom out and in, even to restrained levels, on some maps. Again, this comes down to previous RTS experience and the usual/standard distance from units (ala warcraft).

    Other than that making it more clear that upgrades have been researched would help, as I always miss the fact, but then I am a poor comm wink-fix.gif
    Known on Servers worldwide as "pygmy.shrew"
  • cariocacarioca Join Date: 2003-09-02 Member: 20511Members Posts: 921
    new buttons for the commander handle:

    sheduler: for the upgrades for you doesn`t need to find the build and make the upgrade you jsut go to shedule and choice the upgrades you want be made maybe as script so not experience comms just load the shedule and handle the emergences.

    stats: program in the comm console you just click to see the status of each marine and the worst one become in the top of it to easy choice mark that to receive meds, ammo or self weld.

    a new button:

    some kind of self welding where the comm click and the build or marine self weld for a amount of res. a way to self weld the marines would be nice cast 1 res and weld 50 points of armor.


    new sounds:

    i would like to see some ai in the game for the comm better than just the soldier is under atack or the base is under atack.



    "could be a fade is slauthering all the marines" is more important to know which type of atack you suffering and the important ones not like know a skulk parasite the marine.

    "The Advanced armoy is under atack" is more important than know a skulk parasite a rt.

  • SkwareSkware Join Date: 2006-10-31 Member: 58125Members Posts: 113
    new GUI pops up for every structure that can gain upgrades

    if you build an Arms lab, a sidebar comes up with upgrades

    if you build multiples of a certain structure there will be numbers listed along the top/side that represent whichever structure went first, so you can manage TFs or secondary Obs
  • N_3N_3 &#092;o/ Join Date: 2004-03-12 Member: 27291Members, Constellation Posts: 487
    a lot of interesting ideas here and i think i'll add my own too.

    Firstly, i have to say i'm against squads and marine grouping. It's a 6 vs 6 game and the way marines group up is too dynamic. People will try and tell me that it's good for pub play and whatnot though.

    As for the interface, it needs to be quick and efficient. Cool animations are ok as long as it doesn't slow you down. I also like how the comm interface it almost entirely pictures and no words. My biggest stress however would be the button layout and hotkeys, ie GRID KEYS. It worked very well in ns and it should be ensured the geometric layout of buttons is intuitive/logical and lines up with qwerasdfzxcv, other panels if implemented could use control qaz etc.

    Another thing i've seen a few people ask for is interface buttons for things that are normally attached to a specific building, like scan, upgrade etc. Whilst i the control+# in ns wasn't too useful for making marine squads it was vital for having buildings on call and hence their abilities on call. Thing is, everyone has different preferences. What would be really cool is customizable shortcut panels. ie have a bar up the top corresponding to 1,2,3,...,9,0 (maybe a second bar too with shift+# if ppl are desperate) just like the ns1 bar but you can right click drag buttons or selectables up there.

    So for example:
    • you could drag scan from a specific obs there, and then drag your 2nd obs scan there too
    • you could drag the 'construct pg' button there (this means "construct building" needs a different pic/colour to "sekected building"
    • you could drag 'select specific arms lab' there (to do this, there would need to be some kind of 'button' that showed up in the main hud when a building/marine was selected - like a portrait in rts games) (or you could drag straight from the field of play)
    • similarly you could drag squads or single marines up there
    • you could drag an upgrade there (if it was say w2 it would be grayed or dull until w1 was done), (or the button changes from w1 to w2 to w3 etc)
    • right clicking on a empty button could bring up a pictorial menu of other buttons like 'select all', 'log out' etc (although i imagine they'd need to be somewhere on the interface)

    And what would be even more useful, is if these shortcutted buttons also had a status overlayed. ie the progress of the research, the health/request of the marine, the health/energy/progress of a building (whichever is most useful). So yer, that would be highly functional. Could allow for panels on the side too if people want to drag each marine there. Automated scripts to do this would be even handier, eg. it automatically puts your 5 marines in a panel on the left, or the first obs constructed goes to pos. 1 and first scan to pos. 2 and a1 to pos. 3 and w1 to pos. 4 or whatever you choose.

    Ok, now the next thing is status screens. The main two i've seen here is marine statuses and technology status. I imagine these things being similar to the tab screen. In the tech screen you would see a tech tree + research progresses + be able to click on the techs to research them in avail. A marine status screen would just be an upgraded version of the ns1 screen with details like health, ammo, gun, request, or whatever else. Again being able to click on them to select or double click to jump would be handy. As well as options as to how to arrange the list, by points (what it is in ns1), alphabetically, gun, health, or customized placement. A fixed placement would help comms who refer to it regularly and remember where marines are on the list and double click to jump to them.

    Mouse over help with varying levels of detail (which you can set in options) ranging from helping new players with descriptions and advice, to just various statistics like time, res cost, effect.

    Last idea is map pins. In addition to waypoints (marine specific) also have markers you can put on the map, both team viewable and comm-only viewable. Useful for marking hives/res/cloaked structures or as jump to points by having it's 'button' in the shortcut panel.

    Finally, i don't think there should be queues, or selecting a research to be carried out when res is avail.

    Anyway, thats my couple of ideas, some of them probably not so great (if not terrible) but i'm just putting them out there none the less.
    image iNi | N3 image NSGuides image NSP
    image
  • korzeckorzec Join Date: 2006-11-12 Member: 58553Members Posts: 51
    all these ideas are very nice and it would be sad not to have at least some of them in ns2, but while a bit off-topic, i am afraid that it could be difficult to make aliens copetitive to marines in management area, for example marking cloaked buildings is very powerful in my opinion, so any custom 'pins' might be bad, again off-topic, maybe alien going fade>gorge <building> gorge>fade should be cost-free.
    my point in this post it that i cant see all those automated features for comm could be countered by aliens , thanks
  • CanadianWolverineCanadianWolverine Join Date: 2003-02-07 Member: 13249Members Posts: 1,010 Fully active user
    Personally, while it may be valid, I am getting a little tired of reading "But how do you balance this with what the Kharaa have and use to counter with?" Seriously, can we not discuss that in a different thread?

    And until there is some serious play testing, how the heck are we to know how powerful or weak a new or tweaked feature of the commander experience or any experience may be?

    When you think this or that may make one side too powerful, just try to remember their blogs, where they have demonstrated they are programing all of this game so it can be easily tweaked during play testing. They are building this game from a solid development base.

    Chiefly, may I suggest that if it seems like a Commander gels his side a little too well, that Kharaa gain just as much, if not more, in health, speed, senses, and pack advantages. They are two totally different play experiences, right?!?

    Think some of this stuff is too powerful? Open up a thread to suggest ways for Kharaa to possibly counter.

    Remember: Paper, Rock, Scissors. You can either lose, tie, or win. That is balance.
  • RadixRadix Join Date: 2005-01-10 Member: 34654Members, Constellation Posts: 964
    edited August 2007
    I remember watching a B-rated scifi miniseries called Time Trax where the protagonist had a keychain item that projected a hologram visage of a feminine computer named Selma.

    That concept of holographic projection might be the best way to let the commander navigate in more dimensions than just top-down.

    It would be a lot of work to create a restrictive 3D camera for the comm - why not give him a simple top-down view as the default, and allow him to "spawn" as a hologram "avatar" within line-of-sight proximity of one or more squad members?

    If you did this, the commander could give examples of what he wanted done, whether you did this with emotes "this way.." or just simple navigation, it seems to me that it would serve a very valuable purpose. Additionally the "co-pilot" of the commander could handle this job while the primary comm dealt with meds and tech trees.
    NS2 Idea Map - Add your next suggestion thread here if you want it to be remembered!

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  • the_x5the_x5 the Xzianthian Join Date: 2004-03-02 Member: 27041Members, Constellation Posts: 3,175
    Would you consider adding in functionality to support one of my more popular idea replies to a topic by schkorpio, JJJ1?

    TOPIC LINK

    example picture (please read topic to understand what specifically is being proposed)
    IPB Image

    Ability to specify waypoint types and DIRECTION would seriously rock. I'm not sure if this specifically fits with what you are designing, but if you could find a way of supporting this, that'd rock.
    Coined the qualitative attribute entropy in reference to game maps.
    Do not eat the dark energy balls, please.
    imageimageimage
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