Radio Backpack/Comms Change

Static comms is boring and radio backpacks do not serve enough of a role in marine gameplay. Anyone assigned to comms knows it is often staring at a wall playing Uno if and when the time arrives for a xeno siege, or a burrower pops in a stomp/slashes before disappearing again. The biggest problem is it in no way encourages squad cohesion and team work. XO tells a squad to set up comms, they go down and dick around, assigned a handful of unlucky bastards to sit there, and oop maybe they defend it, maybe they wander off.

I propose we make FTL and the Radio Backpack core to comms by reworking the radio backpack to be an AoE comms relay. This would eliminate loathed static comms, and encourage marines to work more cohesively. Currently nearly anyone can grab a radio telephone. It’s clunky and offers little advantage besides being able to spam call CiC. Instead the radio telephone would be limited to select few, essential roles such as SL, FTL, and IOs. The radio telephone pack would act like a bubble with falloff for headset radio relay. Within X tiles of the functioning pack you have comms, while straying from that you enter a falloff with comms breaking up, acting like getting whispers nearby where you can’t hear the full message. This lets the player know they’re straying too far from their SL or FTL. Once outside the operational bubble you lose comms completely.

This change would mean marines have to stick with their leaders if they want communication, and encourages them to keep their radioman safe. For the realism nerds this is also quite realistic to how squads would operate. This also means if you lose your FTLs and SLs or wander off you are punished (besides just dying to shadow money lurker gang). It also makes FTLs and sticking to fire teams all the more important. While this could work out to be a buff in some ways, if marines act more cohesively as a result, it is also more punishing than static comms if FTLs and SLs unga off and die in the first few minutes by trying to act like the main character (an issue already ahelp-able as well concerning SLs).

The biggest issue with this for marines would be xenos potentially targeting FTLs or anyone with a radio telephone for capping/permaing, which just incentivises squads sticking together and protecting them more or losing their comms. Xenos no longer have to try to assault a mini FOB (if marines bothered to fortify it) to remove comms, and isolated marines will be all the more vulnerable to them. In the end this would relegate the comms relays to points needed to be held for the Nuclear endgame option for marines, but not essential to communications, and nobody is stuck there playing Uno.


I like this quite a bit, forces more cohesion in that, if you’re not with your squad, you don’t get the massive benefit of having comms.

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Static comms isn’t going away. It’s likely we’re moving towards more map objectives rather than less.

Sidestepping them isn’t really what I’m looking for either.

The “phone” part of the radio backpacks is the coolest part rather than an AOE free radio comm post IMO.

Giving incentives to personnel for being near SLs/FTLs is absolutely something I’m for just has to be done in a different way.


What about making static comms necessary for the Radio Packs to function in the way suggested instead of giving blanket comms when up? The phone feature would still be very useful if static comms goes down. If you want comms you need the tower(s) up AND to stick to your SL/FTL/IOs.

Before you say it yes this could be a marine nerf. I said it. Yeah. It might also buff if they actually decide to play like a team because of it. (1% chance to start I am sure, UNGA STRONG)

Edit: this might also encourage marines to try to keep both comms up since one tower operational doesn’t just blanket the map with comms, furthering map objective play. Best of both worlds.

“Giving incentives to personnel for being near SLs/FTLs is absolutely something I’m for just has to be done in a different way.”

I have an idea; maybe revamping the Orders command to have it a consistent AOE buff? Since its constant, maybe lessen it’s effectiveness? Maybe have different AOE buffs that Squad Leads and Team leaders can cast and have a constant effect?

On the other side for Xenos, maybe some sort of Fear Aura that Hive Leaders or a new strain can toggle to lessen accuracy, lessen toughness, or speed of nearby marines? So in essence, Xenos Leaders are Debuffers and Marine Leaders are Buffers.

It could inspire bonuses and cohesion and give regular marines and xenos a reason to stick together more.


RE: passive buffs/debuffs

This is absolutely something I’d be interested in. Feel free to recruit a coder to work on it :pray:

Uh, which part are you referring to?

This is a good idea, I’d prefer it over static comms personally; however checking radio range against every viable player every 1 second or w/e is almost definitely computationally expensive.

I think it would be a better implementation than static comms, more fun, more interactive, but harder to implement and may not be possible to implement in an elegant performant way.

With that said, while it discourages moving away from your SL/etc. it also encourages murderball; which I don’t think is an interesting style of gameplay.

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