Im probably thinking too much ahead as my thoughts go into the actual gamemode and not so much the technology behing it.
But in any case, for a big teambased game like this im expecting that players will take part of squads and maybe even squads divided into divisions (or whatever the next quantity is). So were bound to see some form of order/waypoint system where maybe squadleaders can assign to their squads, and maybe even a commander assign to squadleaders (battlefield 2).
But since there will be multiple battles fought over the system and there will likely be several places in need of attackers and defenders, maybe there could also be an automated system. When a facility is under attack, a “defense” order is automatically generated and placed within the factions order/task list, with priority markers on those in dire need.
BF2 had a nice and simple ordering system which works well if all players are on the same page, but iirc Planetside 2 features a system to autogenerate “missions” based on the events unfolding.
This aids both the organized players and groups to see what is going on in relation to their activity, as well as the solo player to get to action quickly while also getting an objective to perform (instead of just randomly fly around shooting stuff).
It might of course be too early to speculate in this but a mission system would offer a player a sense of winning and losing short term beside the longterm win or loss of the entire round.
So long as everyone has access to sensor data from friendly facilities, with enemy activity highlighted, I think that would be all we need. So long as teamwork and following orders is somehow rewarded (medals/achievements/points or something) we can let commanders make the strategic decisions. Losing/destroying facilities would be the indicator of winning or losing.
Have the devs said anything about commander type roles, or is that just an idea we have?
Assuming there won’t be any, each player would have to keep track of possibly dozens of different strategic locations. I imagine icons for these targets would appear on the HUD when in range showing its status. Do you think it would be reasonable to have some sort of notification, just as text appearing at the top of the screen, letting you know that a facility is being attacked/approached?
In regards to mission generation, I think it would be best to leave things as open as possible. Strategies should be devised by the players, not some sort of quest rotation for daily rewards. With that said though, with the battle spread across a whole solar/stellar system, players would need a way to figure out what they need to do.
In my opinion, the early game would mostly consist of exploration with small scout ships finding enemy installations. After some small skirmishes, a capital ship is purchased which enables long range sensors, basically letting them see all facilities in the system (or perhaps in a very large area). The pilot/crew of this ship would then essentially “command” the battle by letting people know what’s going on.
They mentioned more experienced players taking commander roles. I suspect there will be some kind of experience system that is persistent over matches to help determine who the better leaders are.
Commanders would likely have extra tools to use for giving commands and communicating with other commanders, and I would expect some way for players to group themselves into squadrons with a separate communication channel for each squadron.
It is my fondest hope that INS doesn’t go down the garden path of making it easy to understand what’s going on. I don’t want to see system-wide broadcasts automatically generated. If you want to know if the enemy is attacking your installation, send a scout. If the scout sees something, he’ll tell you. You can forward it through the communication channels as appropriate. Keep information dissemination at the player level. Don’t automate it.
DO give players tools that they can use as a common reference for discussions, but don’t do things that can be assumed to be reliable. If someone sets a mark down on a planet to indicate an enemy fighter group, it may or may not be accurate. It may or may not be current. That’s the fog of war, and it makes combat games much more interesting.
When everyone has the same information and it is always reliable, you get the exact same gameplay every single time. It is a disaster for a game.
Some don’t seem to want to know what is going on elsewhere. So radio no longer works in the future then? If one of your sides installations gets attacked is it not reasonable to assume they are going to radio for assistance?
Yeah, we want to avoid all battles being 1-sided sneak attacks against undefended installations with no-one on the defending team knowing about it. A sneak attack should be difficult to pull off and even if you do pull it off the defenders should always have a chance to get forces to the installation before it is destroyed/captured.
Perhaps an attacked could have a way to destroy outgoing comms? Or maybe an addon for a ship in your group, which would have to have some penalty for having it like it taking up a weapon slot or something, that would act as a jammer and would delay an SOS being sent out by the installation being attacked.
A group without a good plan could simply rush in and raise the alarms leading to a very swift response from nearby defenders, but a group with a cunning plan might be able to slow or perhaps even stop reinforcements. But this would have to be tricky to pull off in some way. Simply turning up with a jammer would be too easy.
One could also consider the size and importance of the installation being attacked.
Maybe a small outpost will only have a low range alert distress signal, while the big vital stations will have a high grade communication relay. And as suggests @Memnoch, if the damage can be dealt on a particuliar part of the infrastructure, like the said relay communication, then the agressors could avoid incoming reinforcements if the distress signal wasn’t caught yet by the attacked team.