Proposed Problem: Current Marine ground combat is lacking in three key areas as it stands and has great room for improvement. These areas are Command & Control (C2), Fortifications, and Logistics. These are three ideas that would hopefully improve all three areas of gameplay.
- Command & Control (C2): Leadership is often difficult if not impossible at times for the USCM either for SLs, SOs, or even COs/XOs. Individual Marines are often wandering and getting killed by themselves, not following their squad leader, or generally not listening to orders. There have been several improvements to this area over the past few years, such as the addition of the squad tracker, but there is still room for improvement.
Solution 1: One way C2 could be improved is by adding a small passive buff to Marines within X radius of their assigned SL or FTL, with SLs buffs being greater than a FTLs.
- This buff would passively give Marines the Move, Focus, and Hold orders. SLs would still have the ability to give the issued orders for a short burst of “strong” effects. “But wait isn’t this just a Marine buff?” Yes yes it is, and that is ok but it as isn’t a buff for the individual, it is a buff for following orders and playing with the team instead of trying to rambo by yourself. The passive buff will only apply if you’re near your assigned SL/FTL to prevent this being overpowered. This will also allow teaching new players to be easier and provide them incentives to be by their SL. “Stick with your SL, it will make you stronger” is a simple task to explain to new players and will improve the new player experience (NPE) greatly. Exact values are subject to testing.
Solution 2: Give FTL/RTOs a special radio pack that acts as a mobile sensor towers with X small radius.
- This expands the roll more than just being Fire Mission callers, it will allow RTOs to also have more incentive to be closer to the front and help with leadership. And while you’re at it revert the FTL name back to RTO. This idea would need to be fleshed out more.
Solution 3: Give the center console in the CIC a “Queen Eye”.
- This console would be more limited than the actual Queen Eye, but would be a great improvement for Command Staff to track the ground operations. Base the accessible areas for the “Eye” off of Marine helmet cam visible areas and the sensor radius of the aforemention RTO sensors, this way it would prevent metagaming or seeing more information than what is already accessible. CIC can already do this in effect by cycling through helmet cams rapidly, but this would be a major QoL improvement using an already existing system. This game is heavily limited by being text based, anything that can be done to ease commanding Marines should be implemented.
- Fortifications: “METAL! WE NEED MORE MET-” comms cut as Marines are overrun by a xeno swarm since Req is either out of points, has been AFK, or all of the metal is at the FOB.
The issue with this is almost self explanatory, but CommTechs (CTs) are overburdened. Between the FOB, securing comms, and providing defenses for advancing Marines there is too much for the limited amount of CTs to accomplish with too few resources to make for engaging gameplay.
Solution: Make dirt be able to be formed into makeshift barricades using an E-tool.
- This would use the same system that exist for snow on Shiva, but tougher with the added ability to add concertina wire to the top of it. It would be weaker than sandbags, but the benefit would be that anyone with an E-tool could make the defenses. This would be more realistic than metal cades being everywhere too. To balance this out make metal cades either take longer to deploy, more materially expensive, or both so that engineers are focused solely on the FOB or other areas that require more intense fortification rather than wasting materials on a push that is likely to fail. “But won’t this make marines hug defenses more?” possibly, but Marines hugging cades is a whole other issue that would likely only be fixed by giving Marines more health and speed, which is a different rabbit hole.
- Logistics: Getting beans and bullets to the frontline can be difficult at times, even with supply drops. This will be the smallest addition out of the three but it is pretty straight forward.
Solution: Add a deployable backpack that acts as an ammo pack for Marines. It can be resupplied using already existing ammo methods, but this would allow PFCs to have a role of “Pack Mule”.
- The Pack Mule/Ammo Bearer would toss the backpack to the ground and Marines would be able to resupply by clicking the backpack which would then open a TGUI interface similar to the one for removing attachments that would allow the user to select which ammo type they would like to receive. The backpack could carry a variety of ammo types, but would be limited in total storage volume. “But can’t you do that with an already existing IMP backpack?” technically yes, but this backpack would be more streamlined and have a higher ammo capacity than a backpack full of magazines. Also a lot of the ammo boxes cannot be stored in a backpack due to the item size. This also gives a PFC a distinct “role” of being responsible for resupplying ammo to the rest of the squad. for balance perhaps limit it to 1-2 backpacks per squad.
This is three different ideas baked into one post but they kind of relate to each other.
- Give a passive buff for being near a SL/FTL
- Give RTOs a special radiopack that acts as a small radius mobile sensor tower
- Give CIC a “Queen Eye” based off of helmet cams and the aforementioned sensorpack
- Make dirt diggable into makeshift fortifications to allow engineers to focus on strong points
- Make a pack mule backpack that allow a Marine to be a mobile resupply point