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Old 11-16-2004, 02:13 PM   #1
Achillesz7
 
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Post -The NEW Rebel Spy-

Hello friends,

It's an enormous read but I hope you enjoy my design document for the rebel spy class.

-Achillesz7

P.S. - I hope all that read this document respect the work I've put into it by NOT plagiarizing it and trying to pass it off your own ideas.
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Old 11-16-2004, 02:15 PM   #2
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The Rebel Spy
by Achillesz7

The Spy. Immediately, the word can conjure up images of Sean Connery, Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan in the role of 007. But what really is a spy? When creating a new spy class for Battlefront I asked myself what can and cannot be translated from the reality of a real spy to virtual reality of a game. During my research I determined that there are three specific roles that a spy can carry out during a tour-of-duty. The first is the role of an intelligence gatherer. In this role the spy gets behind enemy lines, finds a source of intelligence and then feeds the information about the enemy to his allies. The second role of a spy is sabotage. Here the spy carries out missions with the intention of slowing down enemy movement, cutting off supplies or destroying important enemy footholds. The third role of a spy is that of an assassin. In the role of an assassin the spy liquidates targets of importance by tracking them down and eliminating them. The effect of this action is more political and can cause serious breakdowns in the morale of the enemy. With the role of the spy broken down into these three categories now we can approach the translation of the spy character into the current game.

Star Wars spy?

Since the game is based in Star Wars universe we must consider this question: What has already been done in the Star Wars universe that can give us data on how to create an authentic "Star Warsey" spy? With this in mind we first look at the movies themselves for data. Here is a short list of how the Star Wars movies define/paint a "spy":
-Bothan Spies giving information about the second Death Star.
-Rebel spies delivering Death Star plans to Princess Leia in A New Hope.
-Obi-Wan Kenobi listening in on Count Dooku's meeting on Geonosis and then warning the Jedi of his intentions. (Very James Bond-ish)
-Probe droids sent to gather information about the whereabouts of the hidden rebel base.
-Darth Maul releasing Sith probe droids to find the location of Queen Amidala's ship.
-Garindan spying on Luke and Obi-Wan as the make their way to Han's ship.

Also the Star Wars Expanded Universe must be considered for research although it does not hold as much "weight" in comparison to the films. Using both the research of spies in the real world and the definition of spies from the Star Wars universe we can now pursue how to create a spy class in Battlefront.

Emotional response

But with all the information above the question remains how should the player feel when playing the spy and what should be "preserved" in the game play to keep the spy playing like a spy. Here is what I believe should go through the mind of the player as he chooses the spy character:
"I'm going to totally screw this enemy team up. No one is going to see me. I'm invisible. I'm not here. *sneak sneak* This should stop their advance on our command posts...They have heavy mech units heading towards sector 4...You don't see me. You don't see me...That sniper has to be rooted out and taken care of...Woah! Officer! Crap. Hide! Hide!...If I can take out that Officer I can frenzy his comrades...I'm one of you, keep walking...You can kiss that mech goodbye! Blammo friends...Just plant a few more and they won't know what hit them..."

So, what exactly does that say about the emotions a player goes through when playing as a spy? When you play a spy you want to be cunning and clever, invisible to your enemies. You want to gum up the enemy’s strategy, turn the tables on your opposition and help your comrades out. You want to be able warn your team about approaching dangers or inform them of weak points in the enemy. You provide critical information. You destroy enemy strongholds. And you assassinate enemy units. Let me make it clear, you are an undetectable thorn in the enemy’s side that cripples them from effectively fighting.

What it means

Now, many might be asking, why all this information, why all the research? And I answer this: Because without it you create a new class that's not an authentic spy at all; just a solider with a different texture and gun. You want to make that player who chooses a spy LIKE a spy, not like rocket trooper. Also, you want to tap into the wealth of players that will actually enjoy playing this type of role. Some players get a kick out of sneaking and sabotaging instead of blasting away at troopers in a firefight. Another reason for the parade of information is to clearly indicate that the spy player class is not like the others. The spy plays differently and helps diversify the game play rather than let it stagnate with the same old tactics. Now, having answered all these questions we can start designing the Rebel Spy.


The Rebel Spy Class

Skins: I’m very open to suggestion on the issue of skins. If you were observant you may have noticed that in the subject heading I dropped the “Bothan” part and left it open to any possibilities. Anyone that has played the Dark Forces series knows that Bothans aren’t the only rebel spies. But just to keep it simple I wouldn’t care if it was the original Bothan skin or a guy that looks like Crix Madine. Just as long as he looks cool with a smart looking uniform and such.

Health: Much like his Imperial officer counterpart the rebel spy should be weak. His power resides not in combat endurance but in staying out of sight where he can do the most damage. Plus, if he’s wearing no real protection the spy should be killed easily after a volley of 7 blaster shots or one close grenade. Again, like the imperial officer, having the spy very weak helps balance the game play as you'll find out later on.


***Weapons***

When creating the spy’s arsenal I crafted each weapon with the intention of it being used for assassination or sabotage. I wanted to make sure that the weapons fit the role of a spy and they “played” in a spy like manner. Another idea that I worked on is how much could a spy carry and conceal on the battlefield. So, immediately you can forget about rocket launchers and heavy assault rifles; a spy carries swift and concealable weaponry.


- Vibro-knife – (Qty: Unlimited)
This close range melee weapon can be used in devastating effect upon unsuspecting troopers. With one swipe of the vibro-knife an enemy unit can be killed instantly. This weapon would be used for undercover work behind enemy lines as it is silent and very effective.

Positives:
The idea of a powerful melee weapon given to the spy class is not a new idea. Team Fortress and other class based FPS’s have done this with their own spy classes. So, giving the spy such a powerful close-range weapon won’t have drastic effects on the game play as it has already been tested and proven balanced in other games. Also, giving the spy a melee weapon adds to the overall character of the player class.

Negatives:
Not everything that glitters is golden. All games are different and so is Battlefront. Just because other games have the one-hit, one-kill weapon available to the spy doesn’t mean it should be implemented into BF. Balance issues should be a concern with such a devastating weapon available to a class that can disguise himself as the enemy.

Conclusion:
It has worked in other games before Battlefront and I think that this melee weapon for the spy deserves a shot. Implement the vibro-knife but test it and see if it’s fair enough to maintain the rule of one-hit, one-kill. Anyway, this type of weapon is completely appropriate for a spy class because you have to be careful and silent before you strike.


- Poison dart pistol – (Qty: 5)
The poison dart pistol is an exotic weapon that fires a single poisoned dart which kills an enemy unit upon contact. Once fired the gun must be reloaded again to fire off another round. The advantage to this type of projectile weapon is the minimal noise it creates when fired. However, its disadvantages are that it reloads slowly and the spy would only be able to carry 5 shots total. Also, the distance that the dart could travel would be a half the distance of a standard blaster shot. This prevents ridiculous “sniper-like” kills and forces the player to come within moderate range of his target and execute a shot.

Positives:
This is weapon perfect for spies who want to silently liquidate enemies without drawing to much attention. It also falls in line with the idea that the player works like a stealthy killer, moving unnoticed among the ranks of the enemy until he strikes. I like this weapon because it forces the player to carefully choose a person to assassinate. You know you only have one shot and then you’ve got to slowly reload. So, when you’re behind enemy lines you find out who is the top player on the imperial side and take them out. Or find an officer leading a squad of troopers and assassinate him before he leaves the vicinity. You can create quiet a stir when suddenly a top player is assassinated and he’s squawking on the chat for somebody to find a spy. This action causes distraction and paranoia within the ranks of the imperial forces as they go on a spy hunt in the vicinity of the CP.

Negatives:
Doesn’t the spy already have enough one hit, one kill weapons? Granting the spy one more powerful weapon seems like it could tip the balance scale too much. A possible solution could when a dart hits a player it slowly poisons them to death. So, instead of an insta-kill you have a weapon that slowly drains the enemy of health after contact. The problem with this idea is that it isn’t too Star Wars-ish and works nothing like the poison dart Jango Fett used in Episode II.

Conclusion:
The Poison dart pistol has great potential but it does upset the balance of game if the spy has two uber weapons. But if push came to shove I would side with the Poison dart pistol to stay in the game. Because you can execute enemy units so effectively with this silent weapon it makes playing of a spy a lot cooler and a ton of fun. Another awesome thing about this weapon is that it allows the player to act out the role of a spy by being an assassin. The player knows that the weapon has limited ammunition and a long reload rate, so he must choose his target wisely and act appropriately like an assassin hunting his quarry. With the addition of a poison dart pistol you can dramatically change the way the user plays on the battlefield and help diversify the game play of the spy.


- Laser Pistol w/sonic dampener – (Qty: Recharge)
A low-powered blaster pistol with a sonic dampening coil attached to the barrel. This allows the weapon to fire without the heavy effect of a reverberating sound emanating off the discharge. In layman’s terms it is a silencer, and not a very good one. Even with the sonic dampener attached the weapon still makes an audible noise and can be heard from a distance. The gun shares the same unlimited ammunition and rapid firing rate that all blaster pistols have in Battlefront. The exception with this weapon is that its “shots” are weaker than typical blaster bolts. This damage change evens out the spy’s ever increasing powerful arsenal.

Positives:
It’s in my belief that the spy needs a weapon like this. If the spy were to get into a situation where he is discovered he needs something to defend himself with he has nothing. But with a weapon like the laser pistol he can take out a few guys before he escapes or dies trying. Dampening the sound of the pistol was done so the spy can kill quickly someone without causing too much of a ruckus. And to balance this effect the blaster bolts are weaker than a standard pistol. This prevents spies from wreaking total at an imperial CP by slaughtering those who can’t hear the shots or know at first who is firing them.

Negatives:
Is the ‘sonic dampener’ all that necessary? Why should you make it easy for the spy to be so silent? Why not give him the temptation and the risk to use the blaster pistol with full knowledge its going to be loud? Sure, it’s not very spy-like to have a loud and normal sounding weapon, but give the player the choice/risk of whether or not to use it.

Conclusion:
I think this is weapon is absolutely necessary for a rebel spy. Dampening the noise of the pistol adds another layer of immersion for the player that chooses to play the spy. To keep this detail makes it authentic and cool. But the reason why this gun is so important is that the spy needs something to pull out and quickly defend himself with. With the laser pistol you give the player a chance to stay alive a little longer. And because it is low powered, quiet and has a good firing rate it fits the spy’s personality and character of an under-the-radar threat.


-Camouflaged IM mine- (Qty: 3)
An anti-infantry mine that is camouflaged to look like an ammunition pack.
The trick here is fooling the enemy into walking over and picking up some more ammunition only to find out it’s a mine. The only discernable difference between a real ammo pack and the camouflaged mine is that the ammo box is orange, not red. Besides knowing that it is a mine by visual identification all imperial officers would have the unique advantage of seeing right through the camouflage and knowing what is a mine. Outfitted with 3 camouflaged mines the rebel spy would have the ability to “toss” the mines much like when a pilot distributes ammo/health packs. The camouflaged mine would share all damage, range, activation, duration and destroyable properties like a regular mine except it would not be able to stick to surfaces.

Positives:
I think this weapon is a must have. Talk about sabotage and underhanded tactics, with the camo mine you could really screw some people up! Imagine in the heat of battle you’ve got an undercover spy scattering camo mines down. I can just imagine some careless imperial troopers walking over to get some more ammunition and SLAM! One less imperial. BOOM! Another. Sabotage, that’s the kind of cunning tactic that the spy would have available to him with camo mines. I mean everyone’s always looking for a little extra ammunition and this is where the spy plays off that mentality by laying down camo mines. And after a couple of imperial players fall into the trap it will cause them to slow down and worry about picking up ‘bad’ ammunition.

Negatives:
Don’t you think it be useless to lay a bunch of ammo packs right in a row when the enemy is going to recognize that pattern as a mine field? And think about a level like Yavin where regular mines are lot more difficult to spot. How is an orange colored ammo pack/mine going to rake in more kills then a regular mine that is dark colored and hard to spot easily? Just because the camo mine has a little disguise doesn’t make it that useful in comparison to a standard mine.

Conclusion:
I think this weapon should be implemented because it is a nice addition to the spy’s weapons. Although it’s relies on careless players not watching what ammo their picking up, I’m sure that plenty of people would easily fall into this trap. In addition the camo mine was inspired from a British spy handbook. During WWII British spies were camouflaging bombs as all sorts of objects including: dead rats, vegetables, books, biscuit tins and wooden logs. If you want cool, authentic and deadly spy weaponry the camouflaged mine is the right choice.


- Homing beacon – (Qty: 2)
A “sticky” homing beacon that once attached to a target calls down an orbital strike. Remember in Attack of the Clones where Obi-wan throw that little homing device to the hull of Jango Fett’s ship? Well, take that same concept and pair it with the orbital strike and you get the homing beacon. As seen in Episode II the homing beacon would be small in size and “delivered” in game play like a thrown grenade. The homing beacon would be able to attach to any object, player or vehicle. After physical contact the beacon begins a countdown from 5 and then bombards the location whether it is in motion or not. This means that a spy can chuck a homing beacon to hull of an imperial mech unit walk away and watch the fireworks. The spy unit would only carry two of these homing beacons and it cannot be replenished by ammo or droids. The damage delivered to the target should be increased to two times that of a regular orbital strike. If the beacon is spotted by the enemy it can be destroyed in one shot. This allows enemy units a chance to stop the orbital strike before it is too late. Imperials can also cancel the orbital strike if they can kill the spy who planted to beacon before the countdown ends.

Positives:
The key feature of this weapon is the fact that it can “lock on” to anything and when it fires it will not miss. That means whoever or whatever is tagged by the beckon is going to be in a world of pain. Groups of soldiers, tanks and mechanized units would be demolished by a strike that has pin-point accuracy. And unlike the recon droid no time would be wasted to signal the orbital strike. Upon seeing the target all the player must do is tag it and get out. This streamlines an annoy process which currently requires the player to take a recon droid, swoop around the level, find something to strike and then run next to the target calling the strike in hope that it hits the target. Forget about that nonsense, this is a better system.

Questions:
Honestly, what is so different about this strike in comparison to the regular recon droid strike? And what about the wookiee time bombs? This idea of having the beacons stick and countdown sounds A LOT like them. Why try and mash the two (recon droid/time bomb) together when they work fine now? And what happens to those two items when the homing beacon is implemented? And I believe it’s a bit unfair to just toss the beacon on a target and it magically does everything for you without a second thought. That’s a bit unbalanced.

Answers:
Let me say this right off the bat: Wookiee time bombs suck. Why?
#1.It is the wrong weapon for the wrong character. I mean think about it, who do you see sneaking up on an AT-ST and planting a time bomb? A.) A rebel spy that can disguise himself as an imperial trooper. Or B.) A big, huge furry wookiee who is the tallest, most visible character on the battlefield? Hmmm. Don’t you think the rebel spy should have that weapon? To make a long story short, after the rebel spy was cut from the game his weaponry was shifted to other characters and in this case the wook smuggler.
#2. The time bombs are useless, ineffective weapons to begin with. They aren’t powerful enough to do any REAL damage. They are “thrown” like someone is tossing a heavy watermelon. They don’t immediately stick to the surface of the target. And lastly, time bombs are way too visible for their own good. To me it seems rather UN-Star Wars for a time bomb to be REALLY BIG and not do a lick of useful damage on a target. And who in the first place said that the time bombs had to be mega big? Did you see Han trucking in a watermelon sized time bomb to blow up the shield generator for the second Death Star? Did you see Luke pulling a pumpkin sized time bomb from his flight suit and chucking it up in the underbelly of that AT-AT on Hoth? I don’t think so. And that’s why time bombs suck in comparison to the homing beacon which corrects all these problems.

The question was asked what would happen to recon droid and time bombs if the spy class was implemented with the homing beacon. I will not address this issue in this document, but I will say that both the sniper and wookiee do not deserve those poor excuses for weapons which are too weak and cumbersome for game play.

The ease of use for the homing beacon I will admit is too simple for its own good. Throwing the beacon on a target and then walking away while the thing explodes after a short countdown is a bit too easy. To correct this problem my suggestion is the following idea:

If you remember Duke Nukem 3D’s pipe bombs then you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. In that game you’d throw pipe bombs and then activate them by a remote switch in your hand. In a same manner the homing beacon would be activated by the rebel spy’s own “remote switch”. Remember Lando’s little watch he used Empire Strikes Back? Well, just as he punched buttons on his watch to activate his friend Lobot, the spy would have to “dial in” the final signal activating the orbital strike.

Let me visualize the process. You throw the beacon at a tank. It hits the tank and sticks on its surface. Immediately the spy’s left and right wrists come up on the player’s HUD. The left wrist, wearing a Lando watch, is held outward and the right hand assumes a dialing position above the tiny watch. Now, all that the player has to do is “dial in” the signal and activate the orbital strike. This last action can be performed in two ways:

#1. After pressing the fire key the spy’s right hand taps a button on the watch and the orbital strike commences.

#2. When a pilot starts to build a turret a green completion bar appears on the HUD and the player must continue to hold down the firing button in order to complete the turret. In the same way the homing beacon can only fire after being “built” or in this case “dialed in” on the Lando watch. So, as the player holds down the fire key the signal is “dialed” into the watch by the right hand and the orbital strike fires after it is complete. The amount of time it takes to dial in can vary after testing. I suggest that it be the same time it takes a player with a recon droid to call down an orbital strike.

Conclusion:
Despite the fact that there are similarities between the old weapons and the new homing beacon I believe that the homing beacon would be a superior addition in presentation, implementation and gameplay.

(continued)
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Old 11-16-2004, 02:16 PM   #3
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(continued)

***Spy Equipment/Abilities***

When I crafted the rebel spy’s weapons I had assassination and sabotage in mind. But with the equipment I wanted to hit upon the other role of a spy: the intelligence gatherer. Using that as a starting point I created items that would allow the player to get behind enemy lines, gum up the imperial intelligence or grant the rebel team extra intel bonuses.

- Disguise Kit – (qty: unlimited)
The rebel spy has the option to disguises himself as an enemy unit.

Dressed to Disguise:

1.) Choosing the disguise
When the disguise kit is selected and activated the player then can choose what imperial unit he/she would like to disguise themselves as. This disguise selection screen would be similar to the unit selection screen. With the disguise now selected all the player must do is “dress” himself.

2.) Dressing in Disguise
The act of “dressing” in disguise would similar to a pilot rebuilding a medical droid. As the pilot holds down the right mouse button he quickly rebuilds the droid until it is finished. The spy does exactly the same except instead of rebuilding a droid he is “dressing” in disguise. This little process balances out the speed at which a spy can go into action, much like the concept of fuel for the darktrooper and Jet trooper. All actions with the disguise kit, including dressing, re-dressing and un-dressing, would take the same amount of time for a pilot to repair a destroyed medical droid.

3.) Un-dressing
To “un-dress” from a disguise you can simply fire a weapon or holding down the right mouse button to “un-dress” from a disguise. Yea, I know it sounds silly but this type of action prevents the spy from easily cloaking in and out like a Predator. And why wait all that time to “un-dress” instead of firing a weapon? Maybe when you’re behind enemy lines you don’t want to attract too much attention to yourself by shooting a blaster.

4.) Re-dressing
If during the course of play a spy “turns off” his disguise he has the ability to “re-dress” back into it. This option gives the player another chance to go back undercover, do a few more things and not be killed outright with a single-use disguise kit.

Detection:
On the battlefield disguised spies will appear “normal” to enemy players and will register as friendly on the map. To other rebel units a disguised spy will appear no different and will look the same. One thing that does not change when in disguise is the player’s name listing on the team roster. Cautious imperial grunts can easily root out a spy is by checking the team roster and noting who is really on their team. But the main method of spy detection is the presence of an Imperial officer.

As documented in the Imperial Officer essay all players who choose to play as an imperial officer have the ability to detect spies upon immediate visual contact. This means that the rebel spy must be wary of an imperial officer’s presence as he can see right through the disguise. In addition to immediate spy detection the officer also has the passive ability to let other units in his radius see through the disguise. So, in the presence of an officer all neighboring imperial units are granted instant spy detection as long as they remain in his area. With these powerful abilities available to the imperial officer a rebel spy must be very careful and cautious if he is to escape detection behind enemy lines.

Disguise Limits/Clarification:

1.) Does the disguise give you enemy unit abilities?
Even though the player can disguise himself an enemy unit he does not inherit the character’s abilities, weapons and equipment. The disguise is merely a façade and nothing more. So, if a player chose to disguise himself as a darktrooper he would not be able to use the jetpack.

2.) Can I fire my weapon and still stay in disguise?
Although there is no time limit to how long a spy can stay in his disguise there are certain conditions in which HE will cause himself “uncloak” and be revealed to nearby enemy units. If a player fires any of his weapons or plants explosives the disguise will “turn off”. This means that once you fire a weapon and your true identity will be revealed. If the spy does not fire his weapon or “un-dress” during the course of play then he will retain his disguise until his death. If a spy wishes to go back “undercover” after firing a weapon he simply must hold down the right mouse button to “re-dress” into his disguise.

3.) When an Imperial Officer sees a spy does he “turn off” or automatically “un-dress” the spy’s disguise?
No, the officer merely reveals his true identity and sees past the façade. So, if an officer spotted a spy the disguise would not “turn off”.

4.) Can I change my disguise multiple times to different enemy units?
No. The moment you select your disguise at the selection screen that is your disguise for the duration of your life. Only when you die and respawn then you can choose a different disguise to wear. This limits the spy’s disguise kit to just one disguise per life and balances its gameplay power.

5.) Can I overthrowing command posts while in disguise?
Another big limitation to the disguise kit is the fact that you CANNOT over take enemy command posts while in disguise. To overtake an enemy command post you MUST “undress” from your disguise. You can walk all over the imperial command post while disguised but you will not be able to convert it to the rebel side. This limitation prevents the rebel spy from unfairly overtaking command posts when enemy forces can’t clearly see who is converting the CP. But this limitation also has other benefits too. Now, the spy can blend in and walk all over an imperial foothold without having a worry about automatically converting it to the rebel side.

Closing Thoughts
Just remember you’re not Rambo, you’re a spy. And as a spy you infiltrate, work and kill when the enemy’s back is turned. So, after you’ve hit the target, assassinated a player or whatever, you rush back into the shadows, wait and then repeat the process.


-Portable Jammer/Scanner- (Use in disguise? Yes; Qty: unlimited)
Upon equipping portable jammer/scanner the rebel spy grants “full map” to his team or “blacks out” the imperial faction’s ability to see the map depending upon his current location. Player has the option to activate with or without disguise. And upon his immediate death the other player maps returns to regular status.

How it works
The player selects the portable jammer/scanner from his equipment. The rebel spy’s arms come into view holding a large walk talkie device with two antennas, one pointing left and the other right. The device looks like the scanner Han Solo used on Hoth to find Luke. Now, as long as the player has the jammer/scanner selected as his weapon he can do two things:

1.) Scanning
If he stays at any rebel controlled command posts he will automatically grant all rebel teammates the ability to see “full map”. What does granting “full map” mean? It means that rebel players can see all imperial and rebel forces all over the map. This also includes any vehicles and NPCs present on the map. This is action is called, “scanning”. The “scanning” bonus is granted as long as he:

a.) Remains alive
b.) Remains within the radius of rebel controlled command post
c.) Continues to carry the portable jammer/scanner as his “weapon”.

The spy can walk around, hide in a corner, lie on top of a roof just as long he stays in the vicinity of a CP and carries the device. To inform all rebel players that they have “scanning” status an icon of a blue satellite will appear at the CP where the spy is stationed. This acts as a little reminder to player so that they know have “scanning” in effect. The icon also appears to imperial officers so they can know that they are being spied upon and can send forces to stop the “scanning process”.

In addition to the spy’s scanner granting all rebel players “full map” he can also place markers, like the Imperial officer, on the map to help coordinate rebel forces. For those unfamiliar with this concept here is an excerpt from the Imperial Officer essay, under the section titled ‘Rally Point’:

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 that’s not benefiting the team the officer could clearly communicate to all the players "we need troops here" with a simple symbol and message.

The rebel spy’s ability to mark points on the map with portable scanner would follow this same course implementation.

2.) Jamming
The spy can decide to take his portable scanner/jammer over to an imperial controlled command post and “black out” imperial player’s ability to see the map the moment he steps within the CP radius. What does “black out” mean for the imperial players? “Black out” means that all imperial players, save for the imperial officers, can no longer see any unit indicators on the map whether it is rebel, imperial, vehicle or NPC. This means that they cannot see when vehicles have respawned at a command post or whether rebel troopers are inbound to a location. Imperial grunts can still see who owns command posts on the map but they cannot see anything else on the map. This action is called, “jamming” and it effectively throws imperial battlefield intelligence out the window.

And as with “scanning” when the spy successfully jams an imperials CP a blue satellite icon appears on all the rebel player’s maps indicating his current location and communicating that “jamming” is now in effect.

Countering “Jamming”
As mentioned before the only imperial unit that can still see the map is the imperial officer. And in addition to seeing the standard map he can zero in on the imperial command post that the spy is jamming from by the presence of a the blue satellite icon. Allowing the officer to see the precise location of the jamming signal balances the game play and gives the Imperial team chance to fight back even when they’re blind.

True Balance???
But is jamming truly balanced? Again, the conditions to jam are as follows:
a.) Stay alive
b.) Have the portable jammer/scanner in the spy’s hands at all times
c.) Stay within the radius of the enemy command post.
Now, a smart spy would put on the disguise kit and walk into the imperial CP keeping his eyes open for any imperial officers. Remember only an officer has the immediate ability to see through a disguise, no other unit. So, as the spy walks into the base he bustles around for a while and then he pulls out the portable jammer. Immediately all imperial battlefield intelligence is shut down and some imperial players start to take notice. An imperial officer on the other side of the map stops what he is doing after he notices a blue satellite appear on his mini-map. He opens the full map and sees that a spy is at the eastern command post. The officer then marks a rally point on his map where the spy is currently jamming. In addition he deftly messages his team informing them that the spy is in the vicinity of the eastern command post. Now the hunt begins. The spy now is on the move acting “busy” as stormtroopers are swarming around the CP looking for a spy. One stormtrooper is checking names off the player list to see who is on his team. Meanwhile, rebel soldiers take notice of the “jamming” by the blue satellite stationed on top eastern imperial CP. A rebel soldier messages his team and tells everyone to attack the weakly defended north imperial CP. Another group heads west in hopes to hit the CP before the spy is discovered. An imperial player respawns as an officer at the eastern CP and grants all his neighboring comrades the ability to detect the spy. The spy knows his goose is cooked and sees blaster fire erupt around him! The spy turns around to see an officer with a pack of stormtroopers bearing down on him. He quickly shuts off the rebel jammer and pulls out his poison dart pistol. Running away from the imperial CP he takes a shot at the officer and kills him with a dart to the chest. But it’s too late! The stormtrooper’s blaster fire sends him tumbling to the ground, burnt to a crisp.

Conclusion:
Although there may be doubts about MULTIPLE rebel spy’s jamming let me explain the four ways the imperials can easily counter this tactic:

1.) When a spy starts jamming an imperial CP everyone should know a spy is on the loose the moment the map blacks out. This should be a kick in the pants to everyone to find and kill the spy.

2.) The second balancing measure is the officer’s ability to immediately locate the command post that the spy is jamming and tell his team. With this ability you’re literally handing the spy’s head on a plate to anyone that is in the vicinity of the jammed command post.

3.) A third balancing measure is the simple fact that imperial players can check the player list and determine who player is really on their side. If an officer is not readily available this is a nice alternative and anyone can do this.

4.) And, lastly, an officer arrives to conduct a sweep of the command post to find the spy. This should be a slam dunk for the imperial to find and kill any rebel spies who are brave enough to hang around at an enemy command post for more than two minutes.

These four ways give the imperial side plenty of time to understand that a spy is screwing them up and that they should do something about it. But, honestly, if the imperial side was getting really annoyed with the map constantly being blacked out the easiest solution would be to post an imperial officer at each command post. This way the spy would never have a chance jam the imperial CP for fear of immediate detection and death.

But if the imperial team is not defending this way a spy can easily slip in with his disguise kit and start planning major chaos with a jammer. Because once on the inside with the jammer online, all you must do is keep your eyes open for officers and look busy. And as long as you can maintain that busy “look” by shuffling around the CP and avoiding contact with an officer you continue to black out imperial intelligence. It is a powerful tool but one that can easily be extinguished by a good imperial team. I think the portable jammer/scanner deserves a place in the rebel spy’s bag of tricks.

- Feign Death – (Use in disguise? Yes; Qty: Unlimited)
The rebel spy can play dead to avoid detection. This ability allows the spy player to fall to the ground with a single key stroke and act as if he has been killed. With another stroke of the feign death command the spy will get up from being “dead” and be ready for action. No matter what health, weapon, location (except vehicles) or otherwise the spy can act as if he is dead anywhere. But while feigning death he cannot move and fire/use any of his weapons or equipment. There is no time limit to how long the player can remain “dead” but a body that does not disappear after awhile might raise suspicions with other players.

A Nutty Problem:
Can an Imperial officer know whether a rebel spy is feigning death or not? No. If a rebel spy is NOT disguised while feigning death the officer will not know if he is really dead or not. However, if the spy is in disguise and playing dead the officer will see right through the costume and realize that the “dead stormtrooper” is really a spy feigning death. So, as long as an officer is not around the spy can easily play dead while in an imperial costume.

Overall:
The concept is simple but very effective especially when being hunted by imperial forces. The ability to fall to the ground and look like just another stormtrooper killed in action can be quite deceiving to the standard grunt. Entire spy hunts without an officer present could end with the spy slipping away by faking his death near a firefight. Or even when the spy is being attacked with a simple keystroke he can act is if the last shot was the killing blow. All the imperial troopers see is the body fall to the ground and they assume the spy is dead, but in reality he’s alive.

Another nice thing about the ability to feign death is that has been done in other FPS team games. This gives nice grounding to the rebel spy’s ability to feign death in Battlefront’s gameplay. It’s also quite appropriate to give the spy the ability to bail himself out or trick other players into thinking he’s dead, it matches the character of the spy and adds to the immersion of gameplay. Feigning death would be a good ability to have for the spy and a neat way to trick other players into turning their back on a seemingly “dead” body.

REBEL SPY CONCLUSION:

At the beginning of this document I set out to create the rebel spy by drawing upon the reality of real spy and the rich elements of Star Wars. In this document you can see that all of the spy roles from assassination to intelligence gathering to sabotage are purposefully injected into the rebel spy class. For assassination the spy gets a deadly vibro-knife, a poison-tipped dart pistol and a silenced laser blaster. For sabotage he is outfitted with camouflaged anti-infantry mines and a devastating homing beacon that can attach to a target and call down an orbital strike with pin-point accuracy. For intelligence gathering the ability to feign death was granted and valuable equipment was issued like the disguise kit and portable scanner/jammer. These tools allow the spy to infiltrate, deceive and disrupt the enemy intelligence, gumming up the Empire’s ability to fight an effective war. Pair the spy’s arsenal with his equipment and you have an extremely deadly foe, and an effective spy.

THE END
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Old 11-16-2004, 02:44 PM   #4
TK-8252
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Very well analized.

However, here's what I have a problem with (if you've already addressed it I apologize; I skimmed though your last paragraphs):

When disguised as an Imperial, the spy needs to have at least one of the weapons used by the Imperial unit. Otherwise, a Stormtrooper running around with a poison dart gun isn't going to play the Imperials for fools very long.
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Old 11-16-2004, 05:54 PM   #5
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Original Spy

The original Bothan Spy in the game could disguise himself as a Stormtrooper and had various weapons, including a Spiker-like gun, One was the disguise weapon, but when disguised the spy could not shoot. As soon as he did, the disguise was dropped, otherwise it just wouldn't be balanced. To counter this, the Imperial Officer could see through the disguise and track all enemy units on the mini-map. Both turned out to be not too useful with the kind of gameplay in SWBF because it's more about fast paced action than strategy and espionage.
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Old 11-16-2004, 06:05 PM   #6
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However with proper modding, the gameplay could shift to rely more on strategy and covert tactics. Come on, war isn't just about kill kill kill. Achillesz' ideas for the new Imperial Officer and Rebel Spy could really stimulate the need for team work.

Anyway psych0fred, how do you know so much about the Bothan Spy?
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Old 11-16-2004, 08:05 PM   #7
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he is one of SWBF developers...


GT-1 team at:
http://www.gametoast.com
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Old 11-16-2004, 09:45 PM   #8
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this is very well thought-out, and for your sake i hope this spy is implemented in a mod because of all of the time you put into writing this
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Old 11-17-2004, 05:46 AM   #9
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A very nice, well developed idea. As of right now, this is nowhere near possible, unfortunately. This is the kind of idea that has to be implemented in development, or in a game that is much more mod-friendly than this one. I do hope that once we get mod tools, this (and the imp officer) will be possible, as this would add a nice strategy twist to the game. One idea that I would add is that you have a longer respawn time as a spy, and there can be only one spy and one or two imp officers at a time. After all, who wants a war between spies and officers?


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Old 11-17-2004, 07:06 AM   #10
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Psych0fred,

Check your private messages. Thanks,

-Achillesz7
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Old 11-19-2004, 02:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by TK-8252
Very well analized.

However, here's what I have a problem with (if you've already addressed it I apologize; I skimmed though your last paragraphs):

When disguised as an Imperial, the spy needs to have at least one of the weapons used by the Imperial unit. Otherwise, a Stormtrooper running around with a poison dart gun isn't going to play the Imperials for fools very long.
TK spelled "Analyze" wrong!!!
heheh...ANALized sounds pretty *krhm*

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Old 11-19-2004, 02:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Pho3nix
TK spelled "Analyze" wrong!!!
Damn. Well, no one's prefect perfect.
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Old 11-20-2004, 08:39 AM   #13
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yeah

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Old 12-05-2004, 08:59 AM   #14
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This is going to be an AWESOME MOD!!!


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Old 12-09-2004, 10:56 AM   #15
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yea this looks great!! good job dude




The Dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins.

It always wins because it is everywhere.

It is in the wood that burns in your fireplace, and in the kettle on the fire; it is under your chair, your table and your bed.

Walk in the Mid day sun, and it is under the soles of your feet.

The Brightest light casts the darkest shadow.

Join the Dark, do not resist yourself.

xfire-tommygunner
aim-tommygunner311 or tph1121
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