In Which Arkenbrien Posts Another Wall of Text Inspired by a Book
I do love me a big wall of text, doesn't it seem?
I was listening to an audio book about being a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. The title of the book is Guts 'N Gunships. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in this area. This book inspired me to jot down these two suggestions, although with the understanding that they've probably been hashed out eons before.
Come to think about it, this is another wall of text inspired by a book. I'd better stop reading, it's giving me ideas...
Advanced voice porting/channels in-game (also applies to text). I believe that, if there are going to be large groups of players working towards a common goal, communication will be key. Therefore, voice, text, or both need to be employed, in game if possible. Of course, there's Discord etc, however being able to handle complex communications without having to alt-tab will be a huge boon to I:B. So here is how I would see voice/text chat working in-game.
A ship channel. Every ship has an individual voice channel. This allows for command to contact individual ships. This will benefit multi-crew ships.
A squadron/wing channel. This allows for general communication for a smaller group of players, and allows for command to contact larger groups of players. Command will be able to choose individual squadrons or group select them.
A general call-out channel. This is for call out for player locations. For example, if there is a bogey detected at a specific coordinates, a call out of those coordinates could be made on this channel, and a friendly would be able to hear this, and confirm their location. If not, then it might be a bad guy... Of course, there would be a coordinate indicator in every ship.
A strategic channel. Command exclusive, contacts all players associated with command: i.e., player corp leaders, squadron leaders. Used for strategizing.
A general strategic channel. Also command exclusive, but used for dictating general commands to all players.
A general/random channel. Anybody is able to talk on this channel.
For anyone in a ship, there are four channels always on by default: the ship, squadron (if applicable), general call-out, and general strategic. If there's an incoming call for that ship from command or another player, the person in charge of handling coms will accept or deny the call.
All channels can be turned off/on, except the ship channel.
Four channels might sound like a lot, but if in an interceptor or bomber, there won't be any ship channel. General call-outs will be rare. Squadron/wing channels will used for a small group of players, and general strategic will only be heard when a command is given.
A player can only speak on one channel besides the ship channel at a time. However, once logged into a strategic channel, the ship channel is turned off, in order to have a clear line of communication with command.
A player can technically listen to all four of the "always on" channels at a time. It probably won't happen, but you never know in a busy situation. The game could detect when an incoming general call-out request is unnecessary, such as in the middle of a fight, which brings the total down to three. An additional rule could be made to have all traffic coming from general strategic to be diverted to the squadron leader. It will be that person's responsibility to relay commands to the squadron.
If there's a troll on any of the channels, affected players will be able to vote to ban that player from that channel. The ban will last a short period of time. If more than three bans are given in a certain time period, that person is banned for a much longer period. Players will also be able to vote against that person being banned, in the case of a vote.
What is the second seat in the corvette used for? Here's how I see a two-player crew on a corvette working.
1) Piloting the ship.
2) Firing any forward firing weapons/missiles.
3) Telling what the Copilot is supposed to do.
4) Any form of ship defense.
1) Sensor management (you knew this was coming ). The CP will be in charge of monitoring and manipulating the ship's sensor(s) for the purpose of highlighting potential targets for the pilot to aim for, and also to warn the pilot of any unmanageable threats.
2) Com management. The CP will be in charge of all coms, leaving the pilot to deal only with as many or as few voice channels as they want. BTW, in the book, Guts 'N Gunships, the CP was in fact required to learn to listen to 3 busy radio channels simultaneously and learn exactly what the pilot needed to know, like where not to fly if avoiding the parabolic flights of mortar rounds was wanted (!!!).
3) Turret controls. Assuming that the corvette is armed with turrets, the CP will be in charge of firing/managing the turrets.
4) Missiles. An extension of the Turret controls. The Pilot can also fire missiles. If the corvette is an interceptor destroying beast then I hope it can fire more than one missile at a time.
5) Any form of ship defense.
Of course, if there isn't a second player for the corvette, all functions will be available for the pilot. However, I want there to be a clear advantage to having a second player. Having the pilot deal with everything is going to be overwhelming. Having a CP to take care of everything other than flying a ship will give the ship a much higher survivability rate.
All that said, I'd love it if all my suggestions came to fruition, seeing as I tend to see I:B as having a deep tactical possibility, and I think of ways that could happen. At the end of the day, my biggest, most importantest suggestion is:
Give the players tools.
If not, then I'm sure it'll come out awesome anyways.
Keep it up, gents.
.... for now....