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Old 10-18-2004, 06:50 PM   #1
Achillesz7
 
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-The NEW Imperial Officer-

Imperial Officer

My old friend, the Imperial Officer. What comes to mind when you think about this character? I know what drops into my mind. I think about how they hold one arm behind their backs when they fire a blaster. I think about how they say, "You rebel scum." with such contempt. I think about how cool it would be to have my own squad of stormtroopers at my command. And then I think about Star Wars Battlefront and when they announced that they cut the imperial officer class from the game. It was a sad loss, but now we have the opportunity to make the imperial officer ourselves. Here are my lengthy ideas on how the Imperial officer should have been AND should be implemented in the game.

Skins: The imperial officer should retain the look that we see in old screenshots of Battlefront. However, on more rugged maps like Hoth the skin should change to a General Veers type outfit.

Health: The officer should be weak. Wearing no armor like regular troops the officer should go down after a volley of 7 blaster shots or one close grenade. This helps balance the gameplay as you'll read later on.

Weapon: An officer gets only one real weapon, the Imperial blaster pistol. This blaster would fire at the same rate/speed as the Jet-troopers commando pistol. This gives the player an extra edge, because he doesn't have overwhelming health or firepower. Also, like the jet-troopers commando pistol the officerís pistol would recharge.


***Passive abilities***

- Spy Detection -
With an imperial officer the player can detect rebel spy units disguised as Imperials troops. With this automatic spy detection this balances the notion that rebel spies could get away with whatever they want while in still their disguises. And they very well could until an imperial officer stumbles across them. In addition to the officer uncovering the rebel spy any imperial troopers in his vicinity would also see through the disguise.

- Rebel Jammer Detection -
When a rebel spy builds a satellite jammer the imperials lose the ability to A.) see their own units on the map and B.) See rebel and NPC forces on the map. Once the Rebel Jammer is online the imperial side is virtually blind, except for the Imperial Officer. Only he still can see his own units and rebel units moving on the map. This special exception allows him to coordinate forces and tell this team to defend and attack. In addition to still seeing units on the map the officer also can see the precise location of the rebel jammer. Represented by a blue satellite icon the Imperial officer can tell troopers to move to its location and blow it to hell. This special detection ability teamed up with the "Rally Point" feature mentioned later on can really amp up the importance of the officer and effectively counteract the rebel spy.

- Imperial Leadership -
This latent ability would grant the player that chooses an imperial officer the power to heal and give ammo to those within a small radius of his presence (think mobile med/ammo droid). If anyone has played Diablo 2 they are most likely familiar with the character class called Paladin. In Diablo the Paladin had the unique ability to turn-on a skill/stat/power enhancing magic called an "aura". When the Paladin chose what aura to use a visual circle would appear around his character. Depending on the type of aura the Paladin could choose one that would significantly increase how much damage he could dish out or with another aura he could increase the speed of striking an enemy. But the real tactical factor in the Paladin class was his ability to share the effect of the aura with any of his companions in close proximity to himself. This would be the same for the officer's "Imperial Leadership" ability. But instead of activation, like in Diablo 2, the imperial officer would automatically have a "aura" around himself and anyone nearby. Maybe this aura could be an light gray semi-transparent Imperial symbol that would mark the officer and troopers that are under the effects of "leadership". But the moment a trooper steps outside the invisible radius that Imperial Leadership extends the symbol would immediately fade out from under the trooper. Of course, these simple visual cues would be visible for both factions. So, at the start of a game the Officer would have the ability to heal and dispense ammo to troops automatically if they are nearby.

Questions and Answers-
1.) But how could you program the officer to automatically heal and give ammo? Well, you already see the automatic healing and ammo dispensing in stationary droids, why can't you program the same attributes on a moving character?
2.) What about programming the invisible radius that "Imperial Leadership" would extend to? How could you do that? That also is already present inside the current game. Think about the distance you can be away from the center of a command point in order to convert it. You can be pretty far away and still capture it without sitting directly on top of it. If the programmers in that situation were able to figure out how to translate, "this far away you can do this, THAT far away and you CAN'T do this" then Imperial Leadership could be done.
3.) What would happen if two officers walked with bunch of troops? No, the speed of healing or amount of distributed ammunition would not double. With more than one officer the effect of Imperial Leadership would neutralize to a single officer. Nor could officers heal one another or themselves. The same goes for ammo among the presence of multiple officers.

Positives-
Imagine an officer running alongside a squad of stormtroopers and suddenly they stumble upon a pocket of rebel resistance. Blaster fire is exchanged and some stormtroopers are hit! But the stormtrooper players stand firm and continue to fight. Why? Because an imperial officer is there blasting along side them! With his presence on the battlefield other players can rest assured that even if they take hits they'll immediately be healed by "Imperial Leadership". Even after a battle troops accompanying an officer can be "recharged" and live to fight another day. The effects of Imperial Leadership on gameplay are devastatingly awesome. 1.) Players benefit by sticking together and functioning as a squad. 2.) The psychological impact of players trusting in an officer to stand firm and help them as they fight is very powerful. This builds trust in player to player relations: "You help me and I'll help you." 3.) The dynamic of the game is changed so that more strategy is involved with moving forces forward in the map with squads of people. This also cuts back on the loners who do their own thing only to be killed by an overwhelming rebel force, thus wasting tickets. 4.) How much more Star Wars-esy can you get? The idea of Imperial officers leading troopers into battle is just plain cool. Take a good hard look at Return of the Jedi my friends; you'll see officers running with troopers.

Negatives-
The only negative I see with "Imperial Leadership" is the fact that you get to heal and give ammo to troopers. An awesome squad of troopers under command of an officer could be a nearly unstoppable force. This could really tip the balance of power way out of scale. So, to remedy this effect here are three suggestions that might balance gameplay:
1.) Make the Imperial officer's health very weak. Change his health so that he dies in 6 shots or one grenade. Make him very fragile so that his troopers place extra value on keeping him alive. Make him weak so that rebels will make a concerted effort to kill him first and knocking out all those bonuses he grants allies.
2.) Change the automatic healing and ammo to something else. Maybe health and ammo is not the answer. But is extra damage per blaster shot sound any easier? Or how about equal speed for anyone under the umbrella effect of "Imperial Leadership". Think about it.
3.) Severely limit the rate at which health/ammo is passed out. Instead of neighboring troops drinking up the health and ammo with big gulps, let them sip it through a straw. By changing the rate at which troops receive health and ammo this may help even out the gameplay.
But what about the fact that pilots can already pass out health and ammo on the battlefield? Come on! Are you serious? No one really puts that feature to good use. It's way too cumbersome to switch to the health/ammo dispenser and then "throw" them to your teammates. With Imperial Leadership you skip that extra step and automatically give them the goods. Plus, it's out of character to have pilots give little packets of stuff to soldiers on the field. But with the role of an Officer it makes sense that troopers would get benefits by sticking with their commander.

Conclusion-
I honestly believe that this would kick some serious ass if it was implemented into the game. You change the tactics, the psychological impact, the feel of Star Wars and the unity of a team by adding this feature. I hope other people will agree.


***Activated abilities***

- Rally point -
Taking battlefield directions from comrades by voice or chat sometimes just does not work when playing online. Here's where the Imperial officer's rally point solves this problem. As an officer you would be able to pull up your full map and mark an 'X' anywhere on the map that tells your teammates where to focus their attention. After, placing the red colored 'X' on the map an automated message would flood to all the imperial players saying, "Imperial Officer orders received" and then the same 'X' would appear on their maps. The 'X' symbol would stay on the map for a set amount of time and then disappear off the map. So, when grunts are off doing something thatís not benefiting the team the officer could clearly communicate to all the players "we need troops here" with a simple symbol and message. Imagine trying to type out all that battlefield information, "Yea, go take the command post in the middle with the rocks." Or "Get the CP at dock two. Oops!! No, no, the other one!! I meant the dock on the left side!" And by the time your done typing someone else as bumped your instructions down and out of sight. With the officers rally point this communications issue could be alleviated. Another idea is to have a vehicle rally point symbol to mark on the map where vehicles should attack. I'm open to other suggestions. Maybe waypoints or 'defend' markers...One closing thought: marking rally points does not mean creating spawn points. It means, "I want everyone to go to this area here *points finger*."

Drawbacks-
Multiple officers giving conflicting/different directions on troop movements might be a big problem. However, this issue could easily be remedied by giving each officer a different colored rally point/icon. This would prevent the problem of having 6 red X's spread all over the map screwing everyone up. Also, when the officer places the rally point on the map and the automated message is sent it would be personalized with his name, "Imperial Officer Achillesz7's orders received".



(Note: the below are ideas which are extremely radical and crazy. I wouldn't be surprised if people said that they will not work)


- Vehicle Order -
ONE TIME order (spawn) of a imperial armor unit. Out of the weapons selection the Imperial officer pulls out a datapad (optional 3d "object") that is held in front of the player. Suddenly, we pop out to a vehicle selection screen (like the character selection screen) but only with map-restricted vehicles available. The player then chooses which vehicle he/she wishes to "order". After selecting the vehicle the player must then "built" it by depressing the firing key (imagine how a pilot slowly builds a turret until itís at "full health", same thing). When the "building" is complete the vehicle is combat ready and appears in front of the officer.

Positives - An awesome way to imbue the player with the feeling of imperial power. This option fits in perfectly with the character of an imperial officer. It is a tactical decision that someone with high authority would make that the start of an assault. The tide of the battle could that a major change with an addition of another armor unit. What damage could a TIE bomber/AT-ST do to the rebel opposition on a map like Mos Eisely where there aren't any imp units present?

Drawbacks - Major repercussions on gameplay balance. What happens when two or more officers start ordering vehicles? What if there isn't enough space for the vehicle to be built, like on Mos Eisley? What about on Hoth, could you build vehicles there? Could lag become an issue?

Conclusion - This option can seriously damage the balance of a game. However, if the imperial officer WAS limited to what vehicles he could order into combat it could work. BUT even so, what vehicles could even FUNCTION in the maps. Remember some maps we not built with vehicles in mind. Bespin City was not built with the mindset to have an imperial tank or AT-ST cruise through it. Also, what would the officer be adding that wasn't already present? How could his additional vehicle benefit from a map that has plenty of vehicles already? Think about Bespin Platforms, what help could adding another TIE fighter have to an already vehicle filled level? Not much. However, a way to carefully implement this option to the imperial officer is to make the Vehicle Ordering option ONLY available on certain maps. So, on some maps like Hoth or Bespin platforms the Imperial officer would not have the choice to use Vehicle ordering. But on other maps like the Wookiee docks, Yavin Temple or Mos Eisley he would have the option of calling in armour units. Overall, having the Vehicle Ordering option map-specific would be a half-implemented idea and possibly too much work to do for a limited one at that. This goes to show you that if this idea was present at the beginning of Battlefront's production they would have built it into the design of every map.


- Mobile Spawn Point -
This allows the officer the ONE TIME creation of a spawn point at the player's current location. Like building a turret with a pilot, the imperial officer would "build" a temporary spawn point. The difference between the pilot building a turret and an officer building a spawn would be that an officer can build a spawn point anywhere, not just at specific indicated locations. After an officer finishes building the spawn a physical/visible representation would appear at the site. If anyone has played the Geonosis map then they may have seen the spire's spawn point. That is what the finished mobile spawn should look like. Why? Because it's nice and big. That spawn is much larger than all other CP's in the game and anyone can see it from a distance. And why should it be extremely visible? This allows players from the rebel team to see it and try to quickly destroy it. In addition to appearing on the level's landscape, the spawn would also appear to both factions on the map as a light blue command post. Of course only imperial players would be able to respawn at the blue post on the selection screen, but allowing the rebels to see the point gives them more motivation to destroy it.

Already, some may be wondering what the limitations of the mobile spawn point are. As I've mentioned it will be totally destroyable. However, what the mobile spawn CAN spawn is a bigger issue and there are several ways of balancing this effect in gameplay. One option is to limit the duration of the spawn point. After "building" it the spawn point could be activated for 20 or 30 seconds. Another method is to have a limit of how many players can spawn from the point. You could limit the number of players that spawn to 30 or 10 "tickets". Or maybe there would be no limits whatsoever; except that after it is destroyed it no longer spawns players. This is definitely something that must be game-tested.

Positives
Again, this places great authority and sweeping tactical power into the black gloves of an imperial officer. IF he can get a spawn point up and running he could strategically plan assaults on rebel controlled choke points by diverting forces right to the front lines. IF an officer was able to set up a mobile spawn point right after an imperial CP was overtaken his team might be able to rally back by spawning in and quickly storming the CP. It is this kind of tactical advantage that imperial officers would bring to the battlefield.

Negatives - Just like the vehicle "ordering" mentioned earlier the mobile spawn point could be abused in a major way. What happens if more than one imperial officers set mobile spawn points surrounding a rebel bunker? Wouldn't that be unfair if multiple officers could spawn in 40 guys to sweep right through an area?

Conclusion - I think this idea of mobile spawn points could work if the limitations were set just right. If it was tested and proven in gameplay that mobile spawns are better balanced when they last for 20 seconds OR they only allow 12 tickets to spawn then maybe this could work. And how much damage could a spawn sustain before being destroyed? Maybe the crucial balance issue could be a matter of the spawn's "ease of destruction". If it's tested that just one grenade is enough to destroy a mobile spawn in order to balance things with the rebels, then so be it. But if its tested that having the spawn's "health" be equal to that of a genetic turret then use that instead. I mean think about it: Let's say that four officers successfully build four spawns right outside the rebel encampment. Now, immediately the rebels know that the imperials setup mobile spawn points on the map and its just a matter of dealing with them. So, to counteract the imperials the rebels send out two rocket players to knock out the 4 spawns. Making visual contact with the imperial spawns the rebels launch their missiles and easily destroy them before more troopers arrive. This sets the imperials "strategic push" right back to square one, with the exception that maybe they spawned in 12 troopers before they got shut down. But the balance would be, "I can EASILY shut these spawns down before they get out of control and bring in loads of troops because they're so weak." Again, this must be tested and tried in various gameplay tests. But I believe that this idea of imperial officers having the option to create mobile spawn points has serious potential.

END


I'll be looking forward to your comments. Oh, by the way I'm looking to get into the video gaming industry as a game designer. So, if you know anyone give me a shout.

-Achillesz7


P.S. - Look for my Rebel Spy write up later this week.

Last edited by Achillesz7; 10-18-2004 at 07:12 PM.
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Old 10-18-2004, 07:30 PM   #2
TK-8252
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Man, you have too much time on your hands!

Seriously, you got some good ideas.

But... I'd like to say that the Imperial Officer
skin should not be the typical commander you
think of - being scolded by Vader, or pondering
on a Star Destroyer bridge.

I think that it should be a noncommissioned
officer, who has a more active role in battles.
He looks somewhat like the Death Star/Navy
Troopers, but has a regular officer's hat
and four belt boxes.

The gray-uniformed command officers like
originally in the game never were active in
battles (in the movies at least). They seem to
only be there to give orders and boss around
the commanders that are lower than them.
But the noncommissioned officers were in battle,
and reported directly with the grunts. They were
most often seen in the Endor bunker, armed
with blaster pistols.





There's a few examples of noncommissioned
officers.

Also, I'd like to add that it'd be nice if the
Imperial Officer could get Orbital Strikes back.
I don't mean a Recon Droid, but how it was
before Recon Droids. I assume that it was
using binoculars to target an area to bombard.

Interesting ideas! Hope to see it come to life.

Last edited by Kurgan; 10-18-2004 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 10-19-2004, 02:22 AM   #3
Visceral
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Great ideas, but I'm afraid this is impossible for a mod. I'm pretty sure one of the devs reads this board sometimes, though, so if they decide to do an expansion pack your ideas might be taken into consideration.
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Old 10-19-2004, 05:50 AM   #4
arachon
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yeah it would be nice but keep the orbital strike (the one he targets with bionuclars)
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Old 10-19-2004, 07:58 AM   #5
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Well, nice idea, although a bit over-loaded with abilities.

Let's see what's remotely possible, and what's impossible by modding with current abilities and information.

The Imperial Leadership (mobile healing and ammo) is, I think, virtually within the grasp of hex modding, but it is also the most useless in game terms ability (the pilot already has the ability to spawn power-ups and medpacks, and the healing droids are all over the map).
But it's true that this option (especially if we turn off the pilot's ability to throw power-ups) will cause players to stick together as squads, which would be awesome they would be protecting the officer, and he would protect them from losing health..

Rally point is also virtually in the grasp of modding (just a bit more info, and it's possible!). But this is a multiplayer feature, in single player you don't need it (bots obey commands without failure!)

The vehicle order is also, possibly, modded. But not with a datapad - possibly just by pressing a number or something like this.
As for spawning vehicles, just put restrictions on maps (Mos Eisley won't fit an AT-AT, but other stuff will go).

Mobile spawn point is also something possibly modded.

Other ideas are great, but virtually impossible by modding in it's current state.


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Old 10-23-2004, 05:30 AM   #6
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that's a really great idea.
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Old 10-23-2004, 09:21 AM   #7
arachon
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yeah sure its very cool myself am i trying to replace the darktrooper with the original imperial fleet officer and the wookiee smuggler with the bothan spy


and TK-8252: I spelled wookiee right

Last edited by arachon; 10-28-2004 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 10-23-2004, 10:41 AM   #8
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If it is any Imperial officer, though, it'll have to be an NCO, like TK-8252 said. Also, they should carry more than just a blaster pistol, I think maybe 1 concussion grenade or 2, or a therman detonator. Once someone agrees to help me with my newest mod, I hope to create a real blaster pistol for the Imps, replacing that crappy one they have now with the DH-17, the one used by all of the Death Star troopers and NCO's. Maybe they could have a Blaster Carbine like the E-11, and a pistol, but no explosives, to make it fair. I think that they sould also be able to repair/build stuff, and get a bonus when piloting a vehicle, not a starfighter, if that's possible.
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Old 11-08-2004, 03:31 PM   #9
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Actually, the Imperial Navy never used whatever that pistol was, and both branches of the service (Navy and Army), always stuck to the DH-17 blaster pistol, which was a truly excellent weapon.
Once again, I think that the NCO's should have a DH-17, or a better pistol than that crappy Scout Trooper blaster that they use, and I think that they should have an E-11, because a few of 'em actually did use some at the Battle of Endor, if you examine the DVD closely, and I think that without an E-11 or something, they have nothing going for them, at least combat-wise.
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Old 12-15-2004, 11:07 PM   #10
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My ideas for the Officer would be:
All troops within a certain radius receive a 25% increase in HP and damage.
Snipers no longer have OS and the Officer gets it and targets an area for OS with the binoculars.
Binoculars can also make enemy units show up on everyones map by looking at the target with the binoculars for 3 seconds.
Bothan spies can be spotted by Officers and then targeted by the binoculars to seal their fate.
Only weapons would be a blaster pistol and a few mines. (maybe a shield like in JA?)

Bothan Spy:
While wearing disguise appears as a stormtrooper to all non officers and cannot attack while disguised.
Able to place det packs and another sort of time bomb that calls in an OS after enough time to run of course.
Weapon is just a normal blaster pistol but with much greater accuracy than a normal one.
Being a spy they have a natural danger sense and are able to spot mines better (they glow) and enemies show up on the radar at close range (just around the corner).

Limiting OS to being placed manually and through binoculars helps stop spammage drastically as you have to able to see your target and if you can see them they can probably see you.


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