How squads should work in NS2



  • reasareasa Join Date: 2002-11-10 Member: 8010Members, Constellation
    NS2 is far too hectic for squads, at least right now. Marines have no sense of security at any time in the game to even think of beginning this kind of organization.

    Maybe give them sentry’s that actually can defend a location from a skulk or two, and a proper counter to multiple Onos (hint: exos are garbage) and then we can worry about squads.

    I did use sqauds in NS1 though, because you actually had time as a marine com to do things like that, in NS2 you are always on your heels. No time for fun little things because everything is always breaking.
  • Malachi_NGCMalachi_NGC Join Date: 2012-11-13 Member: 170530Members
    I just finished a discussion about this and thought about posting about squads when I came across this thread.

    I agree that the fast gameplay makes elaborate squad controls less useful.

    I like the idea of being able to group squads (as others mentioned). To assign orders, you give a squad order to the squad leader. These orders would be similar to existing orders, but could persist despite squad members dying or being replaced.

    So you could assign Squad A to take and hold reactor core. That order would remain in effect until the squad was given a new order (or cancelled). So if you were on Squad A and died trying to take reactor, you orders would still exist on your next spawn.

    You could also highlight the room on the map of your squad's destination.

    As others mentioned, HUD reminders would occasionally pop up when you weren't where you were supposed to be.

    Squad leaders would have the additional option of asking for squad orders, as well as be able to see who was on their squad.
  • HazeHaze O RLY? Join Date: 2003-07-07 Member: 18018Members, Constellation
    I understand the game is fast and you always need to be getting somewhere urgently, but waiting for a squad mate doesn't impact your team negatively. I mean, you have to weigh the situation at hand -- is it an RT that's right next door that you can sprint to real quick, save, then regroup with a buddy from base before moving out? Or is the pressuring incident on the other side of the map, where the long distance of travel (phase is down?) is more prone to multiple ambushes, where traveling as a group is obviously the safest and most beneficial choice. It takes a somewhat seasoned marine to make these kinds of calls but that's part of what makes this game both cumbersome to learn but incredibly rewarding once you do so.

    Again, this suggestion is well thought out and neat and cool and all, but it's only going to confuse new players, not affect rambos who do their own thing anyways, and be background noise to players who already know what they're doing.
  • WhiteWeaselWhiteWeasel Join Date: 2012-11-25 Member: 173197Members
    edited November 2012
    +1 OP. But of course the aliens need this too, because organizing troops in a fast convenient way just for the marines seems little unbalanced.
    So maybe "packs" for aliens?
  • HusarHusar Join Date: 2012-11-11 Member: 169523Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    <!--quoteo(post=2033029:date=Nov 23 2012, 07:35 PM:name=Safewood)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Safewood @ Nov 23 2012, 07:35 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=2033029"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--><b>@ Husar:</b>
    Or for example <a href="" target="_blank">this</a>.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->
    Sure, why not, what ever fits best.
  • kespeckespec Join Date: 2012-11-18 Member: 172279Members
    excellent idea, perfect, needed
  • Soylent_greenSoylent_green Join Date: 2002-12-20 Member: 11220Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    Players form and break ad hoc squads essentially non-stop. 2 players get toghether to build and RT, 3 players get toghether and take out their upgrade chambers, everyone is beaconed and phase through for a push on a hive(essentially one big squad).

    Squads don't stay toghether, there is too much entropy, they get broken up when players run to attend different tasks or players die. Trying to impose some kind of artificial squad structure ontop of the natural ad hoc squad formation will at best be ignored or at worst get in the way of actual squads.
  • l3lessedl3lessed Join Date: 2010-06-07 Member: 71977Members
    edited November 2012
    How about this then, a squad system which marines on the ground have complete control over. Let me explain a little more. The commander assigns orders from a predefined list, like secure an area, pressure the enemy, harass harvesters, move to an area, attack an area. The orders will be more general orders as small things like building a building and so on are all currently handled automatically and thank god. Lastly, the comm can select how many players he wants for each order/task and once it has that many players working on it, the order greys out on the list, with some sort of notification, and no more marines can select to join it.

    On the marine side, they have a very small blinking notification on their hud saying something like "Commander's Orders". They can then pull up a list of the current orders the comm has and select one; that notification will then switch to reading out the current order your working on. All marines who choose to complete the more general task, whatever it is, are grouped together in a squad. This allows marines to decide what they want to do according to their play style and demands, and then groups them with players who are similar and share the same macro-goal, instead of the commander trying to force people into squads they don't want to be a part of or care for. Lastly, while spawning, you can use the orders list, so when you spawn your already in a squad focused on completing the same task.

    However, orders won't automatically go away once "completed." Instead, a commander either has to end them himself or update them, but once changed the squad is disbanded, marines are notified, and they can quickly select a new order, and thus squad, to complete.

    That is how players operate now anyways, but it is very sloppy and not really clear to new players causing numerous instances of frustration when a marine or two completely ignores everything going on and goes rambo.

    Lastly, as long as your registered as a new player by the game, it will automatically bring up the list at the beginning of every game and force you to chose an order at least once. This will help new players understand the system and get into the routine of using it to coordinate objectives with fellow teammates.

    Again, I want to point out this would be only for larger macro-game objectives, which are really the ones commanders tend to care the most about anyways. Smaller tasks marines are competent to handle on their own, like building things and killing specific chambers and lifeforms.
  • Chubby ChuChubby Chu Join Date: 2012-11-20 Member: 172576Members
    edited December 2012
    I’ve suggested making group’s be coded on the minimap in the past, but I think I’ve come to see that as a somewhat useless feature. As other’s said, groups fall apart quickly when your squad starts dieing and respawning at random intervals. I think a persistent waypoint system the commander places, that players could individually chose to follow, would be a much better grouping mechanic (like the Alien Kom’s pheromones).

    I like the idea of a command interface like <a href="" target="_blank">Majesty</a>. You didn't directly control the units, but you would place bounty rewards on the map for the NPCs to go complete. The NPCs would either choose the do the objective, or just wander off and do their own thing. When you think about it, that's how your units (other players) are in a pub game :) You even had magic you could cast (similar to med packs/ ammo/ nano sheild/ nutrient mist/ bone shield/ etc), and could build buildings.

    Why not change the group interface similar to how the previous poster suggested. But instead do away the commander assigning groups, and make it instead to the commander places a waypoint of importance, and it's up to your units to choose if they want to do it or not. However I think instead of picking how many teammates you want to fulfill the objective, how about when the commander drops the order he picks between high or low priority (maybe even a 3rd mid priority but that’s probably too much detail).
    Let it be just like the alien com has now with the "pheromone" waypoint system. Let the 2 (or 3) levels of a request be shown on your "build" menu (high and low priority) so you can quickly hotkey to them i.e. press r+(a/s/d/z/x/ or c). Change up both coms to have the following 3 waypoints:

    "build/ hold here" = placed to indicate we want to expand / hold this area, useful for building forward bases or telling unit’s you’d like to build a res node here.
    "search and destroy" = placed to let your units know you want them to take their time and get to this area, then clear it of structures / enemies. Useful for a sustained assault to clear or claim an area, or simply kill an enemy res node.
    "double time" = placed to let your units know you want them to ignore everything rush here on the double (can be used to push / rush an area, or in the case of aliens let your players know you want them to chase down that onos at all cost).
    Having a high and low priority allows the com to let his units know how urgent something is to be fulfilled. Lock the options all to the build UI interface for the 3 different order types and the 2 different priorities as discussed previously. And telling a unit to build a res node can be designated as lower priority vs telling them to rush so-and-so area.

    I’m not sure letting units pick their order is something that needs to be done. Seems like an active quest system sort of like from an MMO. I guess it could be useful though. List all the orders somewhere on a UI (in a minimally invasive fashion, maybe integrate it with the map button). Then the unit picks his order and his HUD shows that order as a bright blue highlight or something like Hive site. You could even give marines a shortest path indicator on their radar / minimap (not sure if that could be duplicated for aliens without a minimap). If he picks nothing then all the orders show as the dim blue color (so it’s not mandatory to pick and choose).

    Another idea to go with the 3 orders is integrate them as either a waypoint, a circular area, or a entire map sector.
    “build/ hold here” would be a medium sized circle the commander places for maries to loiter around.
    “Search and destroy” could either be a chunk of the map or another large circle type area.
    “double time” should be a single waypoint.
  • Chubby ChuChubby Chu Join Date: 2012-11-20 Member: 172576Members
    Also something else I thought of. Instead of having the individual players pick the objective they want to do and highlighting that; how about each waypoint has an indicator on it letting you know how far it is away from you (shown on your hud in the distance like alien hive vision). So you could see the comm wants 3 different objectives done, 1 is 50 steps away, 1 is 100, and one is on the other side of the map. You could take this a step further and highlight the closer ones brighter than the far away one.
    Make the system smart enough to take into account phase gates (or gorge tunnels if they ever come into being) when calculating distance (may take a bit more processing power and some logic design, but should be more than possible). If it it’s quicker to take a phase gate to get to an objective, have the waypoint be displayed on the player’s hud in a sequence (I.E. waypoint across the map with a phase gate in between should show the waypoint at the phase gate for the marine 1st, then once he phases, it updates the waypoint on his HUD to show the marine exactly where to go.

    This could be integrated as a feature to allow a commander to set phase gate priority (or Hive spawn location priority) Whatever has the highest priority, the phase gate will try to dump out marines at the closest gate (or spawn you at the closest hive to the most important task).
  • Champlo0Champlo0 Join Date: 2012-04-17 Member: 150617Members
    This is really neat and a nice approach into the way you developed it. Someone should hire you to demonstrate concepts somewhere.
  • spacedanielspacedaniel Join Date: 2009-11-11 Member: 69348Members
    edited December 2012
    <!--quoteo(post=2032368:date=Nov 22 2012, 08:02 PM:name=Zenu)--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Zenu @ Nov 22 2012, 08:02 PM) <a href="index.php?act=findpost&pid=2032368"><{POST_SNAPBACK}></a></div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->No thx. I don't want to be stuck in group with people that have different playstyle than me.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    Ehhh, then you'd play aliens... not rines. No place for Rambo in rines.

    And what the hell do you mean with "playstyle" anyway? The particular way you choose to die alone or the number of
    offending textmessages to the commander per minute?

    I'd rather switch server than play with a marine with a "playstyle"... means you missed the whole point.
    Marines are about doing everything in a pack, fast and efficient and helping out where you can.

    And if you looked at the pictures above (which more or less describes how the old group system actually worked)
    you would see that you would be able to switch group by just going to it and staying with them, not that you would since
    I guarantee you wouldn't find enough people with a.... "playstyle".

    Frankly, Zenu, I find your comment a tad offensive.
  • l3lessedl3lessed Join Date: 2010-06-07 Member: 71977Members
    edited December 2012
    Chubby Chu, I feel in such a fast paced game that is the only type of system which would work. A commander sets up a list of some sort of objectives then players choose, using a very quick and simple GUI with built in shortcut keys, which one he wants to complete at the time. Maybe even allow the comm an option to reward some minor t.res to those who complete the objective giving them some sort of positive feedback for following orders correctly. If you secure this area, I will reward everyone within that objective squad 1 p.res from the t.res pool. You defend this area from an attack, you're rewarded another 1 p.res from his t.res pool. This would also allow the comm to easily prioritize objectives by making the most important one give the most resource reward.
  • Soylent_greenSoylent_green Join Date: 2002-12-20 Member: 11220Members, Reinforced - Shadow
    We already have "squads" and they work fine.

    Method 1: Draw a box around some marines, give them an order. The ones who listen form a temporary "squad", regardless of whether the game officially recognizes it as such.

    Method 2: "Steve, Bob and Alice, go do X".

    Those "squads" last exactly as long as there is a task they're trying to complete. They don't overstay their welcome, they don't shoehorn people into stale and meaningless configurations of people who are scattered around the map(because people <b>invariably</b> die or run to attend different tasks).
Sign In or Register to comment.