Warning: This is going to be one huge post ... but I just wanted to get rid of a load of my own ideas and create a nice place to pool some thoughts about how to add strategy and thus a whole load of fun to Battlefront. I've tried to pick up on a number of propositions already made by the community... and I hope there are many of you who share my feeling that this game could benefit greatly from a little more complexity - which shouldn't be impossible for the developer team as the great Battlezone series was also made by Pandemic!
So ... let's start with the most simple possibilities and slowly proceed to the more complicated ones.
A) Galactic Conquest for Multiplayer:
Not exactly a new idea - but one that seems to meet general approval from fans ...
Now Galactic Conquest as it is now is not exactly threatening to rival Master of Orion. But, as I already said in Alegi's "(my big) suggestion list" thread: BECAUSE it is such a simplistic game type - and once was announced to be multiplayer-compatible - I see very few obstacles as to why it shouldn't be made to work.
For suggestions as to how one could make Galactic Conquest even more interesting, please consult the already mentioned thread, especially Redtech had some very good ideas. I might perhaps add that there are really a lot of possible improvements to this mode: for example, you could actually try to include a few empire management options - the purchase of vehicles on a planet or perhaps even the distribution of troops between planets (resulting in more ... or less ... reinforcement points for your faction on that planet).
B) Team Leaders:
Again, not revolutionary ... yet I would plead to add them better sooner then later, as - at least in my opinion - the game can only benefit from this ... it would make it much more complex and fun. I think there are many possible ways to integrate them - some of them rather simple and - at least in my uneducated eyes
- not such a great problem to add ...
- Well, the most obvious solution would be to integrate a commander mode, like it's being done in quite a number of current games, allowing the leader to issue commands on a realtime-strategy-game like map ... I actually like this a lot ... but this would probably require an add-on at the very least and is unlikely to be implemented very soon.
But as I said, there are several other possibilities ...
- The (I think)most simple: how about allowing a team leader during the game via a small menu to influence the class picks of the PC-controlled soldiers of his team. Perhaps not 100% specific like "First I want 5 snipers and then three pilots" - this might lead to slightly monotone battles should some classes be completely ignored - but something more along the lines of: "Stormtroopers - Priority: Medium, Pilots: High, Vanguards: LOW).
The next step in complexity would be an option to allow team leaders to set similar priorities for certain spawn points and perhaps stop spawning from one position completely in favour of others. That seems to me to be a reasonably simple but quite tactical option.
For an even bigger tactical touch, how about some more detailed commands for officers? VERY nice indeed would be a command system similar to that of great old Battlezone. It wouldn't even have to include the option to sent your troops to a specific place, just directing them to a specific command point would already be a nice option.
I'd definitely like to see officers as a class, seeing as they were already once intended to be one. Though all the strategic "team leader" options mentioned above could in theory be performed by some random player with a crown floating next to his name, it would of course be much more atmospheric when there were actually some officers for this job.
Yet there should be a place for them even if none of those expanded command options ever get integrated. Originally they were supposed to be able to call for an orbital strike ... an ability that was stolen by the scouts. How about the option to create probe droids that stay around the officer and guard him? Or how about the ability to strengthen a particular soldier's attack power/life points for a short period of time by giving him ... an ecouraging medal? A red shoulder pad? A flag? Drugs? Some nice words? Well, something like this ...
As another tiny little tactical improvement, officers might perhaps be able to shoot a bright flashy light into the air - perhaps only as a signal for other human players (might even appear on the map) ... then again it could also urge friendly pc-troops in the vicinity to come to your aid. Oh, and the blaster pistol of the officer could be chargeable, like the wookie bowgun, for a particularly heavy shot. It might also be a nice option if officers were able to capture command points quicker - either just by standing close to them or by the placement of a flag ... that's all I can think of at this moment ... aside perhaps from EMP grenades or personal shields -which might be a little weird equipment for an officer. Anyway, I think there is a place for officers in this game.
...and for the moment a last suggestion...
As Redtech already proposed in the already mentioned thread from Alegi, protecting /eliminating VIPs could be a nice alternative mission objective. Not only that ... a player functioning as a VIP admiral, for example, would also make an ideal team leader ... he wouldn't even need extraordinary hit points in this role. He could stay at a fortified command post ... either on the map or perhaps inside a heavy vehicle (a nice excuse, perhaps, to introduce a small corellian corvette hovering over the battlefield, with a command bridge and perhaps several other rooms? But perhaps I shouldn't get too greedy
). Anyway, he could have some of the expanded command functions to keep him busy. The more the better ... If it's too complicated to let him command the entire army of computer soldiers, he might perhaps be allowed to command a limited amount of probe droids or the vehicle on which he is stationed in a real-time strategy manner. But ... that's probably stuff for an expansion or even Battlefront 2, should it ever be published. Anyway, I think it's a nice idea. It would naturally be even BETTER if another multiplayer mode would be integrated into the game that actually allows the building of a base (free or at least the construction of buildings on predefined locations). Now THAT would help to keep a VIP admiral busy :
It's not really likely to happen, but ... what can I say? I'm a big fan of the battlezone series ... and this would certainly be the perfect step to more strategy ...
Phew ... if anyone managed to stay to the end: Thanks
... and now I'm really curious about your opinion.