Communication Towers Reimagined

Narrative Introduction:

You are a Combat Technician in Delta Squad, it is Operation Cave Strike. You sit tight in your seat while listening to the engines of the AUD-25 dropship scream as it descends into the landing zone, thud, the dropship doors fly open and you run out. It is LV-624, a backwater colony in distress; your orders are to proceed to the WeyYu standard communications relay and investigate what happened. One of the Bravo engineers sets up the mobile secure relay at the FOB… nothing but static comes through the headset… are the comms jammed? Upon arriving at the colony comms relay to your horror, you discover some disgusting black oozing pillar jutting out of the relay. You try to cut it down but it isn’t working. You radio for more assistance but the comms come out garbled. What is that moving in the corner…

Reason for Change:

As it stands the current gameplay surrounding comms is not only boring (akin to guarding nest), but it also does not make sense lorewise. Why would an advanced quick reaction force such as the Marines rely on the unsecure communications system of a colony, that is likely in distress, to communicate amongst each other and the ship? Gameplay-wise I understand why it is there, it is placeholder for a future objective system, but that doesn’t mean it can’t change for the better.

I propose an alternative solution: change the communications tower from an asset GAIN for the USCM to an asset DENIAL.

Detailed Explanation:

  1. The USCM deploys with a mobile comms tower to setup at the FOB. (reusing the old asset from when that was a thing will suffice).
  2. The colony communications towers remain in their disabled state, but if the xenomorphs capture it and place a jamming pillar there are negative effects for the Marines:
    1/2 towers = communications garbled I.E “We #e%d h#(0 a0029 at ^b(Yz$#, copy? static…”
    2/2 towers = complete communications blackout.
  3. Restoring the colony comms still provides some benefit to the USCM, such as gaining a small amount of intel points akin to restoring colony power.

Counter Argument Answers:

Why do the xenos want to capture the comms tower?

  1. For gameplay
  2. For lore, maybe the xenos like the frequency or know the relay is important?

Why don’t the marines just blow it up if they don’t need it for comms?

  1. For gameplay
  2. I don’t really have a good lore reason, but open to ideas. Atleast it makes more sense then the Marines relying on a backwater colony for comms.

Won’t this be just like the current system but with added steps?

Possibly, but it’s worth trying, atleast as a TM. Also, perhaps only the Hivelord/Queen could make the jamming pillars, making it a strategic decision on whether or not the Queen decides to expend assets towards it.

Thoughts? This is the gist of my idea but it is not final, feel free to discuss expansion of the idea.

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so we’d have to guard both towers if we want our comms to be at all legible? unless you’ve got some really good marine backliners (especially a good scout), xenos own the backline, and that’s where comms are.

P.S. runners and lurkers can still break static comms, I’ve done it myself a few times.

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This is basically forcing marines to guard both towers to have proper comms.

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How about instead of a 100% fucked up comms with only 1, how about making it a chance to scramble a message? Like 25% or so. Not entirely detrimental, but not good either.

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Yeah this doesn’t solve the issue you have introduced. That being “guarding comms is boring”. Another comms tower would make the job a bit less important, but won’t make it less boring or anything. I kinda like the idea of making comms less stable when broken instead of outright shutting them down, but I can imagine people trying to game the system by spamming the same message until the receiving party understands what they are trying to say.

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The system would demand Marines repair and defend both comms towers, it would require a decent amount of metal and likely several people who are willing to guard the tower, it may also need some sentry guns to assist.

I do not know if this idea is specifically needed since there is already an impetus for Marines to defend both comms towers for nuclear weapon deployment.

Perhaps if the Marines gained a small intel boost for repairing both comms towers you’d at least encourage marines to repair both, since as it stands you get a intel boost for repairing only one tower, not both.

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Everyone has made good points so far. For this idea I did consider a reduction of scope, but that still wouldn’t solve the issue at the core: babysitting.

Other potential solutions:

  1. Ignoring the coding capability of it, making comms depend on having an RTO nearby (subject to testing) to function.
  2. Allow Req to purchase a high-ish cost (old) mobile comms tower and altering it to absolutely eat batteries, requiring the FOB engis to be on top of it or risk comms going down (which is bound to happen). Current comms networks would be a bonus in intel.
  3. Keep the current system in place, but make a lack of colony comms towers, cause intermittently garbled comms rather than complete blackout.
  4. Include some automated sentry system for the comms that turns on when the APC is repaired to reduce the babysitting required of the objective.

I hope we can all agree that something needs to change about the current system for the sake of the game. I hear your concerns, now if we could get some solutions that would be helpful. I don’t plan on just being an idea guy with this issue, I plan on at least attempting to code it and test it myself.

Defending 2 comms relays on lowpop :patrice:

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