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sillyb

Emphasis on teamwork?

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First off, I really admire someone who has the balls to do something different and really make a great original game.

From the forum posts I read here, it sounds like the game was designed to be played heavy on the teamwork. I love this idea, but it is failing like every other game that trys to do the same: Not enough features to encourage teamwork.

In my opinion it is not enough to have voice chat although that helps greatly. You need many more things, such as:

- Squads. At the risk of sounding like I am asking for bf2, what the game really needs is smaller packs of teamwork oriented players. This could be accomplished just by setting up different voice channels perhaps. One key to talk to commander/everyone, one key to talk to your special channel perhaps?

- Teamwork ranking system. Be able to rate people on if they are a good team player, and the game will automaticly set you in squads or in a specific voice channel with them when they come onto your team.

- Let the commander give specific powers to squad leaders (or just random people) Perhaps one person in a special voice channel can select their teammates spawn vehicles?

- Give gameplay benefits to relatively close teammates. Things like sharing hit confirmations, perhaps towing friendly units out of danger, triangulating targets without line of site (One person on the squad can send a target to his teamates and if they accept it will set their manual distance so they can hit the spot from their location regardless of Line of sight?) (much quicker than using waypoints)

- Constructing larger structures(rediculous but had to throw it in) Perhaps 2-3 engineer vehicles could cooperate to make larger things?

- Maybe some weapons that take two vehicles to create and/or aim? (For some reason I invision two tanks with a laser cutter between them trying to drive around cutting off turrets of enemies)

Perhaps not quite as related to teamwork?:

- Hole digging should be a bit faster, to encourage more of it. In fact, I really really love the terrain deforming, there should be much more of it. Or a gametype like tank wars or something heh.

- The viper should be easier to fly, its only real purpose seems to be moving friendly units to high or safe places. As much as I like the concept of being hard to fly, there is no need, as it is a mostly defencive/strategic unit.

- A player should be able to fly in drop units manually (maybe just one person at a time?), then someone (a good pilot!) could come in low and drop a turret or tank somewhere strategically instead of straight down.

- Vehicle ramming!!!! Something specifically made to ram. Probably the worst idea here.

Some will say: Thats what clans are for. And I agree, but clans take way too much external effort. If a game is based around teamwork, than it should support it inherently.

Also an unrelated suggestion: Make as MANY things a server option as possible. I really enjoy things like difficult steering or extremely limited vehicles for a match. Hopefully if you make any huge changes, some of the old things will still be an option for server admins?

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I half agree with you - but I think the problem isn't the players, it's the maps we currently have.

Right now we have two very confined maps, which I guess have been decided on by the dev team so that we can test netcode, hit effects, and vehicle balancing issues. It also keeps the action fast-paced, captivating, and increases buzz and sales. Nothing wrong with that, really.

With small maps, every player can usually see at least one enemy on the map. You can ignore everyone else and beeline it to that badguy. There's no real *need* for command... Sure, command helps you win - but you don't absolutely NEED it.

Imagine this scenario - we're playing on a map that is ten times larger than these. Suddenly nobody knows where any badguys are. People will be carting each other around in vipers (who, in turn, won't be so vulnerable to enemy fire). Scouts will go on ahead with their scout vehicles, reporting back to the commander where they spot enemy units. The commander will then mark them on the map and give deployment orders.

It will be a much slower paced battle, but once the battle happens, it'll be moreso strategic warfare and intenseness.

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I think a lot of it has to do with the attitudes of people playing. Right now we're a lot more focussed on the individual game, because it's new to us. I kinda think that there just needs to be a bit more time before you start seeing tight team tactics.

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There isn't a lot of text messaging nor voice chat going on in the game right now (whenever I am on anyway). It could be that people are not used to the build in chat facilities; don't notice that there are other live players on; or more interested in locating game issues to provide feedback to the developers :confused: . One option for the player who would like more teamwork would be to initiate communication in game when other live players join ;) .

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Well, I'd have used the chat function to shout at you when you were splatting me with artillery just now ;)

Seriously though, is there a global chat or just a team chat?

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Originally posted by sillyb:

Vehicle ramming!!!! Something specifically made to ram. Probably the worst idea here.

Nothing wrong with that idea, IMO. I've already tried ramming other vehicles (typically Shrikes) when I'm out of ammo smile.gif . No obvious effect, alas.

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Seriously though, is there a global chat or just a team chat?
There is both. Off the top of my head, Team chat is "Return" key; global chat is "Control Return" and there is "Voice over IP" -- I think "P" is the key for VOIP since I don't have a microphone.

As for ramming, the collision damage on the servers may not be turned on.

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when i play as commander on defence i send messages with enemy contact information. people usually react to that. or if i say that we need some defensive help in some sector someone usually comes.

i didn't command attackers a lot yet, i'll see how will people react. but i think the cooperation will be worse.

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Speaking as a tester, I agree that there is always more that can be done to cater to team play. In fact, a lot of improvements have been made, and even more suggested, by testers during the months of intensive Alpha testing. Some of the ideas didn't go in because of time, some because it turned out they weren't necessary.

Time is the real kicker. A good gamer can come up with enough suggestions in a weekend to add 1+ years to the development schedule. Get 1000 good players going and you're looking at a ship date sometime around the next century :D Since time is limited, and can not be devoted to any one feature, all games will come up short in some ways. The good thing is that if the base game is solid enough for players to get behind and support, improvements over time are a sure thing. Look at the team features in long running FPS and RTS games now and compare them to the ones the first generation of those titles. Huge differences. If you guys get behind this game I know that more great things will come sooner rather than later.

As for things we testers found to be unnecessary, many of the reasons have been laid out above by previous posters. Some features that are in the game aren't being used or used effectively enough. Players are still in "selfish" mode for the most part, mostly due to learning the game. The deeper the game's depth, the more time it will take for players to feel confident enough in their own skills to start effectively working together with others.

Working well with others also takes time to evolve, just like anybody in the military can tell you. No amount of coding and good player suggestions will fix this. Just look at the military to see why. A bunch of well trained individual soldiers put into a single unit does not make that unit function effectively as a coordinated entity. That takes time, familiarity with each other, the ability to follow someone else's lead instead of everybody being Rambo, and in general knowing who is good at doing what instead of assuming everybody is equal at everything. We're very happy to see that teams are starting to form and improve their teamwork through "practice" (i.e. playing smile.gif ).

I can also vouche for the suggestion that the maps have a lot to do with the need for teamwork. Some maps are very difficult for individuals to play effectively, thus giving the team with better teamwork a distinct advantage. And in doing so the team gets more examples of why working together is so important and how to do it more effectively. Other maps are more open and therefore more "free for all", which will still give an advantage to the better organized team but an advantage that is more difficult to acheive. The ice map is one of two such maps in the game that comes right to mind.

Anyway... just some thoughts :D

Steve

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I think more teamwork will come when we have learned the controls. One problem is that typing commands takes away your attention from what's going on in the game and prevents you from manouvering.

Another "problem" is that most people want to drive around in a vehicle with a big gun, not using a command vehicle to issue orders.

But that will probably come as well.

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Part of the problem is that part of public play there is no tacticle info or squad roles (one example is America Army). When a player join, he/she has no idea what the squad needs help in ( clean up AA turrets for drophips ? Bombard dug in defenders ? Chase down the flag ? EW defense/offense ? Disrupt/distract enemy ? Turret farming ? Build defenses ?).

According to the xml files, it looks like the AI can't drive hovercrafts ( don't remember if they can use Mortar/Artillery/EWV either ). So in an AI game, a live player can pick those knowing the AI can't. With actual players, it is hard to tell.

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today i played as the commander of attackers, and it went great. people were really willing to cooperate. one annoyance is that you cannot drop towers while you're in the command vehicle. we were playing the ice map, we succesfully stormed the base, and then i had to keep new jammers and aa turrets coming to the base constantly, because they got killed quite a lot...that way i couldn't be on the field and call arty or help by other means.

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Originally posted by RIPper_SVK:

one annoyance is that you cannot drop towers while you're in the command vehicle.

CTRL-D should bring up the turret drop menu while in the command vehicle... unless somebody else is commander I suppose.

If you ask me, the number one barrier to teamwork are extremely disruptive vehicles like the hurricanes used in defensive or autonomous positions. All it takes is a pair or more of players using them in conjunction - the poor fire rate is no longer a concern when there's multiple craft, if it ever was a concern in the first place. It's extremely easy to just ctrl-m incoming dropships and have shells incoming to greet dropping teams. Even with jammer vehicles, visual identification can be done well outside effective retaliation range.

The result is that any coordinated attack becomes a coordinated mess. For every actual kill there's a neutered thor in a crater and two paladins with damaged engines or shredded tires. Attackers spend half the game sitting outside AA range deploying and extracting with damage they can't fight with. Repeat at every chokepoint, AA funneled drop point and open field. The game becomes focused on the disruption craft, and every minute spent uselessly chasing around single players (who can extract themselves at the slightest hint of damage or even danger) is another minute where the team isn't focused on a goal.

I've been on the giving and receiving end of this, and I have to say it really doesn't feel like teamwork. The amount of (extremely effective) artillery vehicles available for use at any point of time in this game is downright alarming, but at least with the majority of them you can throw your hands up and get the cumbersome AA vehicle to follow you around. Even ions can create a surprising mess from incredible distances, as most every vehicle except the thor or hovercraft go down to it fairly quickly.

The hurricanes are just the biggest offender. Generally, disruption is too easy. We have the very powerful ability to deploy anywhere we want in mere seconds, combined with the ability to bring exactly the right weapon for the job. There's a reason why seemingly every successful attack on that ice map (with more than just a few actual players defending) involves sneaking a sensor jammer in and dropping as many players on the base as possible. I really don't want this to be the greatest extent of attacker's options.

I think saturation is the key thing here. You can't cover the playfield with conventional vehicles well enough with 6 players if there are 3 players playing disruption on the other side. If it were all 6 hurricanes deployed but 24 players with paladins were dropping where ever they like, it might be another story.

Disruption craft are far less useful if they need to stick by their teammates. It makes the tactics of armor combat far more sensible, when there are fewer angles to cover from. If single players can loiter on hills/fields/map edges firing completely unmolested until someone is available and able to drop on top of him, you're going to be chasing players around all day, because that is what is effective. This may become even more effective once ATGM countermeasures are in place. Using turrets to plug the holes is tedious and generally ineffective, they aren't very dangerous and rarely work as even a speedbump. They generally only aid players that are still occupying the region (preventing you from dropping on them, and thusly giving them escape), which is another point for the disruption player. If they need to stick with AA cover and a supporting teammate, maybe even dig a fortification, you're going to see larger concentrations on a lesser number of hills/fields/whatever, and hopefully a more exciting/interesting game.

Firing EMP or fire missions at lone players usually seems like a waste.

Without suggestions, of course, this is just a whine post.

The main problem is that there are proportionately too many extreme ranged craft available at a time. I can't realistically ask for more players or larger servers, of course, so I suggest that craft availability should change throughout the match. Not having all 6 hurricanes and 40+ artillery/ion pieces for defenders at the onset would go a long way. Hell, attackers shouldn't even have that many to start with, especially with 6 players on a team at the most.

Maybe then someone would use the mortar paladin.

Adjusting the availability for player count couldn't hurt either. It's just sick having a 2 on 2 ctf game. EVERYBODY has a hurricane, and I feel real sorry for the team who loses them all first.

And maybe, just maybe, drop the caliber of the hurricane weapon.

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I fail to see how larger maps specifically will somehow increase the need for "teamwork" in a category of weapons that are all long-range.

What's wrong with considering what the problem is on maps that already exist?

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You are correct, I think maps may play a huge role in this. Personally I don't think either map available for this test is suitable for teamwork. They seem way too open, I want to see cavernous mountains everywhere. So people who like the long range combat can be on the hilltops, and small attack forces can get to their objectives through tight passways.

Then you would at least be forced to coordinate the upper and lower forces in some circumstances.

I don't agree with the point however that people don't like to play in a command vehicle. That is exactly the type of role I enjoy. For instance in BF2 I am always a squad leader, and I tend to stay away from the action, but as close to objectives, as much as possible. That way all the people on my squad are having alot of fun. Yet my fun is gained by having a job well done.

This is the way I have fun in teamwork games, its not always about the action for me, its about accomplishing what I set out to do.

There must be others that play like this as well? Even if only occasionaly for a change?

I agree people are in selfish mode, but if the game catered to teamwork benefits than I think some would enjoy testing out those features, and it may just happen naturally instead of being externally forced.

This discussion brings to mind another game: Wulfrum 2 (http://www.wulfram.com/). This is an incredibly old game, that is still played heavily by a fair number of people. The game itself has similar ideals to Dropteam: open ended to let players decide everything on their own, vehicle/tank combat, and envisioned as being played with teamwork. I cherish the idea of a game made to be played better and more enjoyable with teamwork.

But I don't think it can be done properly without more ingame features to encourage it.

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I agree with yurch on the disruption factor of Hurricanes. They have that name for a reason. :D

It's fairly easy (at least against bots) to just zip through them and fire a shot "from the hip". Disruption and intel at the same time. Of course, the risk of being involved in a "traffic accident" is pretty high. And I hate it when I'm on the receiving end of someone using the same tactic. :mad:

But we are still learning the game, and adapting to the two scenarios we have. But now I see sensor jammers being used regularly, command vehicles are used too.

A factor that currently hampers teamwork is lack of players. Sure, you can boss around the bots, but it's not as fun as coordinating plans with other humans.

Regarding too many vehicles with big guns: this is an availability problem, not a game problem. I guess the number and types of vehicles is decided by the scenario designer. In the demo scenarios I guess all types are represented and in sufficent number so everyone can try them. It would be frustrating if you really wanted to try some Übertank and there was only one available.

[ April 01, 2006, 10:50 PM: Message edited by: Kurtz ]

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Still put on the map objetive#1 #2 and so on and there no way to achieve #2 if #1 has not been achieve first will bring some coordination, tactics like EMP and others will be used even more effectively

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Originally posted by Kurtz:

Regarding too many vehicles with big guns: this is an availability problem, not a game problem. I guess the number and types of vehicles is decided by the scenario designer. In the demo scenarios I guess all types are represented and in sufficent number so everyone can try them. It would be frustrating if you really wanted to try some Übertank and there was only one available.

Perhaps we can imagine that this conflict is likely a part of a broader ground war being waged between the Liveships. While there might be 6 Hurricanes active and available in the area, perhaps only one is immediately available for deployment (the others being either in transit or deployed and operational in other zones).

The way availability is modeled now, all six Hurricanes are available to us immediately. It's a very simple system. What if it was more complex, and only one or two were available immediately, with others possibly becoming available during the course of the engagement?

That would throttle their use somewhat without restrictions like "you get one Hurricane and that's it!" It seems like a fair middle ground to me.

With the teamwork issue, I have to agree. People should have options to form things like task forces and organise that way (sounds like a good way to order bots too). Teamwork is just a bit clunky at the moment, and I think it has to be absolutely not clunky in the least if you want anyone other than the most hardcore players to take it more than quarter-seriously.

Even in scenarios that nearly mandate it, people aren't going to struggle through a system they find awkward. They'll just quit and go do something else, sooner or later. All scenarios like that will do is separate the ones willing to put up with the system from those who aren't - who can normally just truck around the place doing their own thing if they want to otherwise.

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Originally posted by yllamana:

The way availability is modeled now, all six Hurricanes are available to us immediately. It's a very simple system. What if it was more complex, and only one or two were available immediately, with others possibly becoming available during the course of the engagement?

That would throttle their use somewhat without restrictions like "you get one Hurricane and that's it!" It seems like a fair middle ground to me.

I think that's a really nice idea.

It reminds me a bit of the TacOps feature where you may get more airstrikes or ammunition for artillery: the scenerio dictates the probability of this happening. It can make a lot of difference when you're in a tight situation.

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Team work? I'm get to game where two team fighting. It was be about 2x 6 players on both sides. It seams as both teams advances coordinately but I not spot any command message.

May be team use other way to comunicate, such as TeamSpeek2 or ICQ like chat. But then I realy don't know what to do. If somone send some commads, I join and cooperate. I'm not good as commander but can be usefull member of team. At least as another target for enemy :)

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I think what would really help teamwork would be some sort of a lobby or chat area where tactics could be discussed before entering the game. Currently all you have is a two minute deployment period, after which everything must be done "on the fly." It would be much easier for ad hoc teams to form if they could do it outside the game interface. This way leaders could be chosen, tactics discussed, and subgroups formed to carry out particular tasks.

(Sorry for digging up an old thread, but I've been in Mexico for the least week, so I haven't been keeping up.)

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Im at ircnet #dropteam, see you there. ;)

Other choice would be using the www.combatmission.com irc, this way there would be no name collisions with the user names. Even better would be if the devs would fire up their own irc server and maybe integrate it with the game and user names. Not worth the work, propably.

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