The Story Teller Vs. The TDM CM

[I just want to forget about this]


Cm is as “team deathmatch” as you want it to be theres no forcing players to roleplay in the kind of RP that you personally want to see. Xenos notwithstanding marines are still able to create their own stories and if anything the balancing of CM comparer to “old cm” means RP and making a story isn’t circumvented by the embrace the suck mindset that the devs and staff team enforced back then.This conversation is brought up over and over and over again qnd frankly, its an opinionated and dated argument. Whether CM is TDM or HRP doesnt matter, the game is the game and as long as it’s enjoyable, then thats all that really matters.


Actually, I disagree with this, to an extent. I don’t think that RP is being actively removed, but I do think that there’s an edge to some changes that do cut it unintentionally.

Losing a limb and only having it fixable on the ship sucked.

-ㅤ but it did send you towards shipside, either slowed and struggling to outpace the enemy, or severely disadvantaged and down to a less-controllable longarm or your sidearm. You’ll get on the shuttle with other marines, talk about the mission, and on the ship to talk with doctors. There was some RP.

Having the entire round decided on whether or not a small group of IOs found enough intel for the LTB or Nuke was one-sided, gamey, and potentially overpowered.

ㅤ- but it did send IOs out to relive the movies, as a lone agent walking through dark and eerie buildings looking for notes and folders, before the spine-chilling sound of your motion detector went off. Most marine corpses could be easily ignored, but finding an IO clawed to pieces in a pool of their own blood and a bag full of intel could change a round! You had other marines helping not by building the FOB or by charging the hive, but going around and meticulously learning the map and using mechanics to increase defcon. Hell, sometimes entire squads (Okay: Charlie) would be rerouted to aid the IOs, which was at least different than

  • Alpha: Rush hive
  • Bravo: FOB
  • Charlie: Telecomms, then rush hive.
  • Delta: You’re going to rush the hive regardless.

That’s kinda the large issue, really. There’s no PR against RP, but the meta favoring ASAP deployments to prevent hive spread killed Charlie breakfast, it has left cards, UNO, a basketball church, a gym, a conference room, a liason, multiple canteens, and a lounge all virtually untoched every round.

I think that you could have some relatively unimpactful ways to improve RP and keep your TDM, as well.
A thirst mechanic could help restore blood when full (a frequent marine gripe) while also helping to literally encourage water-cooler talk with marines around water carts that they’d now be encouraged to find, instead of ignoring. It could also help hot and arid maps feel more immersive.

Locking the dropships until thirty minutes into the round, or letting marines get their boots and uniforms but not their gear until a certain point could still allow them to enter the game and begin talking with eachother, play a hand of cards or a short game of basketball, but could also allow for clever command players to see what they work with before forming orders, and then allow marines to equip for their objective rather than not wasting the run back to prep and redoing an entire loadout. Hell, even just locking weapons at round-end but allowing 15-25 minutes after the round would be plenty for Xenos to gloat and destroy the Almayer, or let marines gear-down and report back to the CL or command, and hang-out. Celebrate. Tell stories IC.

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Heres the thing about the TDM level of CM.
No matter how much people say that its going towards TDM, and that we’ve started building around it.

Our TDM side is still shit compared to things like TGMC.
I played terra gov once, and holy shit, its TDM is just objectively better.
But it has no roleplay, whatsoever. it is just a SS13 cod lobby.
CM should not be that. We should work to differentiate from other servers and stop all this hand holding TDM sadness in exchange for better stories, as you said.
Otherwise, Colonial Marines can only run on nostalgia for so long before the TDM players realize there are much better options.

Best way to explain it, is that if other servers are TDM servers, CM could be a hardcore server. While its just plain harder, its much more immersive and makes for more unique rounds and interesting stories.

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I frankly agree with slowing down things a bit, as marine and pilot, with the prep I do I don’t have time to properly RP stuff out until 0:18 or something, and by then briefing’s already started and after that it’s just drop.

There’s also the other side of the equation, the xenos and survivors who wait longer. I don’t play xeno much, but I have played survivor and it’s depressing when the marines don’t show up after 20 minutes of sitting in a locker (unrobust surv :skull:).

So maybe the server could have asymmetric start times, where marines get the head start to RP it out (don’t let them use the dropships until like 0:30 or 40 or something), and xenos and survs can just do something while waiting (idk if xeno RP is a thing, I’ve never experienced it, and calling on the radio as a survivor isn’t very entertaining after 10 minutes of doing it).

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Of all the points made thus far, most of which I have always held such opinions on since coming back from a 3 year absence from this server and community, I suppose one matter not touched on is the ability or lack thereof thoughtful and impactful strategies for CIC to implement.

Having been a CO back then, I can see already having spent time in CIC as an SO, that this is simply no longer a possibility, and seems to be leading to the majority of CO’s deploying and trying to lead from the front. When I was a CO, this would usually get you removed from command for the round by staff and kicked. I also remember being given a ticket simply for giving a briefing command to one squad, a single squad, to move towards the LAB in Trijent Dam map, simply because the Xenos hive was there and I was accused of meta rush. Now obviously this is quite an overreaction, you can’t meta rush a hive with one squad, and nor did I even know the hive was there but that’s beside the point. The buck starts at the top, and if the command roles are not held to higher standards, then we cannot expect lower roles to either.

I’ll not go into detail as to how strategies are no longer viable in the current server setting, as we’ve all no doubt seen how things go south if you don’t keep all the squads together when faced with a hard grind.

On another note, while as has been said, Xenos having to guard their caps is something I don’t really believe should be brought back. The ability of a red runner to be able to cap someone (me) not 5 steps away from the FOB cade line (LV map, LZ2 Garage area) and then have me inside their hive and hugged within 15 seconds (small map) is frankly ridiculous. I also seem to recall there was a small amount of time when the server allowed multiple burst larva from a single body.

It’s good to see I’m not imagining things since coming back, regarding the limbs issue. There’s nothing quite like having an arm and a leg torn off on the front, going shipside, and then coming back down to your squad to show off your new robotic limbs. People WILL respond positively, and engage with you for a short conversation about it. Stories matter, as it seems there is agreement on. And it makes us interested in coming back for more, to see what else can happen, not the same bum rush or grind in the caves of a colony for the 100th time.

All I can say is, if member want the server to go a certain way, you have to get a dialogue going with staff and other general members, both old and new to get the ball rolling.

2019/2020 were in my opinion, the best years of the server that struck the right balance.

I also miss being able to strap myself with C4…

: Addendum - About Command again. I’m really tired of how often CO’s seem to get themselves killed and lose the tablet ground side… Not to mention the prevalence of some SO’s wanting to deploy immediately upon any round start.


Don’t know what you can read into this, but admins used to play songs while we were on the first drop to the LZ more often than they do now. (I don’t know if they even do anymore, I haven’t heard anything since coming back.) Most popular being OOGA CHAKA, and the Starship troopers deployment song.

I think there are a few issues hampering RP on the server and a lot of it does stem from things that may be hard to fix.

The first is the pace of the game and how it affects the players. Things happen so fast now that there isn’t really time to RP or unwind, Marines have to basically rush to try and give Survs a shot at surviving at all and even after an evacuation there isn’t much time. This has basically killed memorials and more banter beyond simple macros and shouts as there just isn’t really a break between the action other than when a hive spends a decent period of time to hijack. If I had to suggest a way to give marines time to RP as it stands I think Hijack needs to be delayed a bit, long enough for marines to get a little reprieve and unwind and also to allow medics a chance to relax after doing post evac medical work.

Second is that most marines just don’t care about fellow marines beyond what role they are. This makes sense since often times there are so many marines at once and with how fast the game goes sometimes its hard to get attached to any characters beyond your immediate squadmates, and even then its hard when a lot of people also just don’t use comms at all. I spend plenty of rounds as things like IO where nobody talks at all, nobody cares to talk they just want to either go shooting or just do their job. And then there is the added issue of if nobody cares about their fellow marines they won’t care to do things like grab bodies either even of their fellow squadmates unless they are revivable. It creates a feedback loop that while not saying don’t RP often helps make RP much harder. I’m not sure of a good way to fix this issue really since it comes from two things you cant really change without upsetting players, Making rounds slower and finding a way to force people to care about their fellow marines. I see xenos care more about the individual because there are far less of them even if RP for xenos is more scarce than Marines on average and with the size and number of players I don’t think this is fixable in any reasonable way.

And lastly is Player Culture and this is the biggest hurdle honestly. With how the current player culture and mentality works its a hard thing to fix, I see in dead chat people complain a lot when a round goes beyond two hours when in the past average round lengths were three or so. Another thing I see more often than not is constant talking about balance and complaining about how strong things are. On one hand I agree that something being too strong can be unfun to play against but on the other hand I think worrying about balance as much as people do makes everything more about numbers than players. Older CM was not balanced by any means and often times was a mess for plenty of people involved but there is a charm about the jank and how people coped with it.

I don’t think we need to go back to old CM as there were plenty of issues with it too that get glossed over but I think when people think back on it they remember things that they don’t get anymore and miss. For me that thing is first contact, I liked the experience of learning how the Xenos operate and watching marines look on in disbelief as their buddy who was fine a moment ago now has a hole in his chest and a wriggling larva escaping. I know it wont come back and its probably for the best in some ways but I feel that the way things are at the moment there’s nothing really left to incentivize those kinds of events. Marines already know basically everything, even research doesn’t have that sort of surprise left anymore and it kinda kills a RP setting, I have hope that will change though and I do see some players make active efforts to roleplay and those people will be the ones to remember in the long run instead of the emotionless and blankslate horde.


I believe that one of the major causes in decreasing the story-generation potential on CM is something that has been touched on in previous posts here. It’s quite simply too much supposed “QoL” features and a much faster pace the game has these days.

Yes, it is true that nobody is strictly removing RP or actively try to hinder it. What gets constantly removed are “RP hooks”. Sure some of the mechanics of older versions of CM may seem (and were at times) annoying when all you want to do is fight xenos. But they provided much needed reason and context to RP off of. There was an objective need to return to the ship or talk to people. An objective need to rely on good communication and RP relationships with other players.

When you got fucked up in combat there was no self medicating or ignoring symptoms until the round is over. Because only the medics or shipside medbay were able to rid you of some of the injuries and they were painful to deal with. And you couldn’t ignore it because the rounds were longer and combat more punishing. When you wanted to have something special in your loadout you had to be on good terms with the RO because there were no vendors full of attachments, grenades, special ammo and shit like that. It was important to have a reliable escort for the IOs and to get that escort you had to form a team by talking to people. The list goes on…

The important thing is that while on the surface these things have no purpose and are “annoying” to some, they actually serve a critical role in providing the opportunity for natural RP. These days we don’t really have that anymore. Sure nobody is stopping you from going back to medbay as a marine for example but you will almost instantly be met with “Why are you here?” and in todays CM you won’t have a good answer to that.

Almost all of the roles became so indepentent of one another and the basic gameplay loop so streamlined that there is little reason for naturally occuring RP. As the game got faster now if you go out of your way to RP you are not only “wasting time” but people will argue with you ICly that you are actively hindering marine progress or “annoying them”.

I said this before on many occasions already, but if you want to create more RP in CM it has to be integrated to the main gameplay loop and not treated as a “side activity”. Provide gameplay reasons for marines to communicate and rely on each other. Make departments have to work together to achieve 100% effectiveness. And yes (i know a lot of people will disagree with this) but make running everything solo hard and punishing for the player. When you reintroduce the need to talk to people to succeed that’s when you’ll have a good ground for naturally occuring RP that doesn’t feel out of place or forced.


People disagree with making running things solo hard? For me the big appeal of CM is that it’s a really big team game that also engages my autism brain. I also like playing leadership roles and it’s super frustrating if people run off by themselves, so I guess that’s also a reason why I like mechanics requiring cooperation. There of course needs to be a balance because depending on population levels, not every position is filled (there might only be one CT and no RO or a squad doesn’t have any TLs).

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Heres an idea. Make briefings longer. If you want to have this backed up with mechanics so co don’t just ignore it. Have the co have bits of information that change each round. Like how a building that is normally dry is now flooded due to rain. This is information the co would want to give the marines and would reasonably know before hand. Maybe have the fog be full of organic nerve toxin so he would need to tell the marines that.
Maybe have there be bunch of the colony’s blacks box hidden somewhere and the co needs to encourage the intel officers to go find it. Could be a fun game as the co has to decipherer where it is.

Thats one thing i think is halting rp from being as fun as you want it to be. Everyone already knows what going on and where tings are and where to put your cads. But if things change people have to adapt and communicate.


randomly generated CM (that affects regular marines instead of just IOs with intel placement or something) would be really interesting, wonder how they can do it (think payday 2 heist variations, but more CMish)

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I agree with you that it’s bad for especially shipside RP that the probaly highest-ranking person nearby who is probaly just a pencilpusher and directly became some higher-ranking officer without spending much time in combat knows how to use high-tech machineguns which are usually operated by a specialist-like role and is hopping around on the frontline.

command staff leaves the CIC to xenohunt onboard (dies miserably)

I very much agree its annoying when so many Marines just run off alone and ignore orders and do not follow the groups or their SL. I think a mechanical way to force people to stick together could lie in something like the Xenos pheromones and the SL order system!

If you give marines a weaker but active buff to marines near their SL long as the SL is alive like a drones pheromones it would encourage more TDM players to stick together. Obviously there will be a complaint about balance but I think so long as this isn’t overpowering and just a little boost it wont hurt much especially when SL’s can already just give their Marines those buffs as it currently stands anyways, it could even lead to more cooperation between squads as well.

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My opinion of Whitelisted, let’s not forget this WHITELISTED, CO’s deploying and more often than not, DYING in the process, has only solidified. It is frankly ridiculous the number of times that they decide to deploy and then die with no hope of revival. XO’s are now more often than not the ones truly leading an operation from CIC.

Why are these users being allowed to have such a position if the XO’s are being the responsible ones overseeing things from the ALMAYER.

As for what @Maegami states, if the SL actually takes an interest in the matter, alongside the SO/XO on OW if necessary, it is fairly easy to ensure 90% at least of a squad follows the orders of the SL. I am speaking from a main Bravo SL perspective, the kind of squad where you are always meant to defend the FOB, but end up with marines who want to fight and leave. It is possible to keep the squad focused on the actual objectives of that squad, cohesive and mentally attuned to each of the parts involved. But you have to, as SL, be focused on ensuring those marines know what they are meant to be doing and why.

In short, you have to SPEAK and RP with them like real people… A shocking revelation, I know.

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While I do agree with you that a good leader and SO/XO can help make marines more cohesive with roleplay and good leadership I don’t think it plays out that way even with good leaders. I have seen plenty of great SL’s and fireteam leaders and overwatch do their best in keeping Marines together they still have issues with cohesion.

You can see this if you ghost any number of rounds where Marines just don’t care about any of the roleplay aspects of the game and only want to TDM and with that mindset all that matters to them is not cohesion but getting the chance to go and fight whatever they know they have to. Spectate any round and you can see this in practice and this isn’t a knock on the leaders and I also feel bravo is generally better at the listening to orders side of it but even then its not rare at all to see bravo marines not listening to orders. My point before was that for these marines they need a mechanical reason to stick to their orders and leaders and not just roleplay rewards or incentives, I think they should want roleplay incentives to do so and I think that ultimately the TDM shouldn’t matter at all but to the players who prefer TDM and mechanics it does matter.

Also I very much agree a CO shouldn’t just go straight to the ground and become frontline soldiers instead of the extremely valuable eyes in the skies they are meant to be. If they do go to the ground it should be rare and to serve a purpose beyond just frontline commanding which is the job of SL’s in a way anyways.

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