Platoon Commanders: Why do you hate us SOE?

Discussion in 'PlanetSide 2 Gameplay Discussion' started by Anaryl, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. Anaryl

    That's right SOE, you hate us. Yet in terms of you mission statement, we add the most value to the game.

    "Don't be crazy, platoon commanders get (please if you can even think of something to add here half seriously let me know)"

    I will regularly find myself babysitting 48 players, complete with their hopes, dreams and aspirations, and all SOE sees fit to give me to do this with is my wits, which are BYO. As it stands right now, PlatComs are glorified squad leaders with a handful of deficiencies:

    1. PCs can either run their squad and the platoon at the same time, depriving that squad of a dedicated squad leader, or
    2. Deprive themselves of all of their command tools - that's right, if you don't waste a squad leader slot on yourself, no smoke, no beacons. I mean Jesus, we weren't given much to begin with were we?

    So platoon commanders have a role which is not just setting objectives but in fact managing and creating emergent gameplay on behalf of their platoon - gameplay which they don't get to participate in! That's right, a good platcom is too busy looking at a map and giving orders to actually play. Maybe 5 mins out of twenty I might jump and play, help in an assault - but that's not my role, and platcomming is hands down the least rewarded role. Not just in certs/XP but in terms of player satisfaction, in terms of other players gratitude, in terms of immersion, we get nothing. Platoon commanders are unpaid DMs for SOE (My invoice is in the mail, Mr. Smedley, I've charged you at my lawyer & his hooker's hourly rate).

    Right now commanding 50 people with shy more than an arrow is like herding a collective noun of angry cats with a spilt milkshake. That is to imply that it is not the most rewarding task.

    Not only do we have to contend with a substantial lack of support, lack of tools to achieve tasks, or hell even articulate them, but we get NO rewards for doing our job. Not a single one! If I'm an absolutely [expletive deleted] platoon commander who [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] [expletive deleted] in the [expletive deleted] with mangy dogs, I will still receive the exact same reward as a modern Rommel, Zhukov or Patton - nothing!

    This thread is partly to *****, and partly to gt us underpaid, overworked platoon commanders some bloody tools to do our job.

    1. Give us multiple waypoints. In Supreme Commander I can drag and drop orders & waypoints within those on the fly. And they look pretty. In BF2142 I can give orders to each squad rather than hope he can read my mind.

    2. Let all platoon members use my beacon, and FFS give me a spawn bonus on it, it's too expensive as it is. Let platoons operate on terrain not on arbitrary spawns.

    3. Give me an area of operations overlay, that just warns players when they stray too far from the platoons ops area. Heaven forfend giving players a lattice, but at least let me tell my squad what area they should be in more precise than "Indar" and a little bit more flexible than the end of an arrow.

    4. Give me some damn intel. Forward intel in this game is shocking and the woeful render distance is just salt in the wound. How can I plan strategically if the first news I have of a platoon of Liberators is their imitation of the Late Heavy Bombardment raining down upon me and my platoon of chumps faces? Give me a bloody scan, or something to set up so if I need to hold an area, it might just make us an actual defensive area and not an XP farm for Zergs.

    5. Let me know where the other platoons are on my team. Seriously, is there something wrong with knowing where my own damn team is? At least show me an icon with all platoon and squad leaders, and a bar to show the strength of their platoon. How do you expect us to work together if there absolutely no information at the company level?

    6. Bigger flares. If a platcom puts down flares, make them actually visible, and give us some damn range on them. If I try and put them more than 200metres out, they wont deploy. I still get the cooldown but no flare. Thanks guy, the only marginally useful thing you give me, and it barely works. And it has a cooldown, because I had to pay for it and that's just good enough. Seriously, you guys give me a [expletive deleted] cooldown on my [again] command and control tools, are you feeding mice to igaunas whilst thinking this **** up? Did you move from the Internet Explorer development team because the money was bad or "tormenting gamers whilst feeding rodents to reptiles" was just too good a perk to pass over? (Actually, do you guys have any vacancies)

    7. There is no number 7.

    8. Give me some colours to draw on the map. Just the primary ones plus that one everyone else likes. So I can tell my platoon that's where I want classes.

    9. Give us some XP for capping objectives. Not the platoon, US. Reward us for doing our job.

    10. There aren't even any platoon command related upgrades. Every other class and vehicle has it's own set of upgrades. Even the squad leader. It's like platoon commander's don't even exist.

    11. Let me move MYSELF around in a platoon 48 people in a platoon, and the only one I can't move is myself.

    12. Give us an asset count. If I have ten tanks, tell me damnit, even Starcraft let me command that much. Show me Icons of the classes on the ground, we've had icons since Win 3.11, not groundbreaking stuff. Give me ways to select my platoon based on class or vehicle type. Right now Platcoms have less fine control than a pillow wielding a hammer.

    Anyways pardon my rant, I think the game is coming along nicely and its a bang up job thus far. But Platoon commanders need more than SOE to [expletive deleted][expletive deleted][expletive deleted] right up the [expletive deleted]expletive deleted][expletive deleted] and an octopus.
    • Up x 26
  2. mistikl

    I support this. I lead a platoon a lot, and I'd love to be able to see and set waypoints for all of the squads.
    • Up x 3
  3. {joer

    You aren't a squad leader until you get shot in the face by a BR1 infiltrator because you were trying read the map.
    • Up x 13
  4. akajefe

    I think this is one of the features that is correctly added later in the game, not on or shortly after release. What is the point of creating commander tools if you dont know how players are going to play the game? Once people have settled down and decided on a "correct" way to play PS2, then you can create tools that are helpful.
  5. mistikl

    They could at least give PLs access to /leader.
    • Up x 1
  6. Anaryl

    That logic would lead one to some pretty strange conclusions e.g we shouldn't have guns in the game until we know how players ill use them, hell we shouldn't even have the game until we know how players will play it. It's recursive - also it doesn't pass reductio ad absurdum.
  7. Gammit

    A for message, F for delivery
    • Up x 3
  8. Isila

    See, we used to have this kind of progression and tools and such.


    See this NC? Starts off as a lowly little blueberry, without a care in the world. After a bit of experience on the battlefields of Auraxis, he hits Battle Rank 7 and gets his first uniform promotion, gets his yellow stripes so that his fellow NC know he's been around the block a couple of times at least, and is starting to know the game. Then he gets up to Battle Rank 14 and gets his gold armor. Eventually gets to Battle Rank 24 and gets to take his helmet off, put on a snazzy beret and shades. Somewhere along the way he picked up Command Rank 2 and got his shin bracers, along with a Command Uplink Device that let him send out a periodic pulse to get a read on all friendly forces in a large local area (eventually continent-wide), and nearby enemy forces in a very localized area (eventually a bit larger than the SOI of a base). Then, at the height of his career, he hits BR25 and gets his black armor, and finishes out to Command Rank 5 to get his forearm bracers and finally the coveted command backpack. His CUD now lets him do larger-range friendly and enemy scans, force-recall his platoon to their bound base or to sanctuary, and every couple of hours drop an orbital strike to take out key, entrenched targets.

    But screw all that man, you can buy giraffe camo and put spikes on your helmet now!
    • Up x 10
  9. nkenny

    Great post Anaryl.

  10. turtlestation

    They could also add more friendly indicators for your underlings. Right now, if you're an SL/PL and you tell people to follow you, they have to look around people's heads to find your name. That is dumb, at the very least a highly visible indicator like (SL) or (PL) next to your name should be there.
    • Up x 3
  11. Steppa

    Platoon leaders should have, at a minimum, drop-down menus capable of quickly allowing them to give orders. These menus should be modifiable by the platoon leaders.

    1) First and foremost, the PL needs his own command element. If that's just a slot with him in it to keep him from being in a squad, so be it.

    2) The PL needs to have a readily visible icon on the map. A star or something other than multicolored circles with numbers in them.

    3) Waypoints for each squad.

    4) Waypoint orders - right-click on a waypoint/building/terrain to get a context-based menu. If it's a building, for instance, CAPTURE THIS BUILDING or HOLD THIS BUILDING UNTIL FURTHER ORDERS. Terrain orders should be accompanied by the ability to quickly right-click the terrain, select ATTACK, or DEFEND, etc, and then drag in a direction. The squad in question would get an order where to go, and which direction they are responsible. In this manner, a perimeter could be set up for an entire platoon in less than ten seconds.

    5) Context-based squads - ingame tools allowing the PL to denote a squad as infantry, heavy armor, air superiority, close air support, etc. If air superiority, for instance, you should be able to right-click on an area, drag to draw a circle or oval, and select PROVIDE AIR COVER to a squad that is labeled as AIR/ESF, while a heavy armor squad would not have that option.

    6) All orders given to the squads should remain visible on the squad members' HUDs at all times.

    While no menu-based system will ever cover all contingencies, a combination of ingame, menu/draw-tool based tools and voice comms should allow PL's to effectively manage their troops AND give those troops the sort of hierarchical military experience the game is designed to impart.

    Oh, and before I split...allow the PL to turn open comms ON/OFF. Open mics mean open mics. If someone in a squad hits Platoon Voice, everyone can hear him. If Open Mics are OFF and someone other than the PL or a squad leader talks, their traffic will not be broadcast.
    • Up x 4
  12. Nenarch

    Was main reason why i loved lvl>ing in PS1.. was the uniform changes gradually to the cool look.
    • Up x 1
  13. Locke

    All good ideas here and I'm sure there are plenty of useful tools for PLs that could be added but before you do anything on this dev team you need to fix the bug that makes squad leaders being unable to promote their replacements!
    • Up x 3
  14. Duvenel

    Am I the only one that thought of this when I was reading the OP?

    /ontopic I thoroughly agree with you, platoon leaders are pretty useless right now.
  15. Von_Lipwig

    Fully support this, even though I don't tend to lead anything other than my moving target (heh). Some leadership-related XP income (a fraction of the XP earned by your lemmings within an area around the waypoints you set, for instance) would not be amiss.
    • Up x 1
  16. TheRealMetalstorm

    I'd love a press-and-hold-q menu to set waypoints or smoke for squad leaders and platoon markers - ghost recon advanced warfighter 2 style. Lets your play the command role from the FPS pov to a certain extent. Need to get in depth? pull up command interface. TAB in GRAW2, M in PS2.
    • Up x 1
  17. Anaryl

    I agree, we should be able to do a lot from first person. Perhaps even after using alt, set orders with a right click menu on the mni-map. Right now the best I can do is ride in a Prowler turret or a Sundy if I want to travel with my platoon & heaven forfend we are an infantry platoon, and having to find somewhere to hide, where as someone posted before, you end up shot in the face by BR1 sniper.
    • Up x 1
  18. icesail

  19. xpsyclosarinx

    Now that is awesome. Totally going to play PS1 when it goes F2P.

    Also fully agree with everything the OP said.
    • Up x 1
  20. ThunderFire

    Bit long for a rant, but at least I got the reason why flares aren't working out of it.
    100% agreed.
    Bare minimum, give platoon commanders the command channel when their not a squad leader, hell, toss in some nice platoon-sized-flares while were at it

    I appreciate the game is a little more compact than what planetside 1 sounds like for players, and even squad commanders. But I think if your willing to start learning at a platoon commander level, we can handle a few more overlays.