Friday, November 04, 2011

Reasons Why BF3 Desperately Needs the Commander Role

Squad leaders course [Image 20 of 25]Image by DVIDSHUB via FlickrIf you've ever played any of the battlefield series, you will notice quite immediately after moments of playing that there is no commander role in Battlefield 3. Why they would remove such an important role is beyond me. The commander was responsible for not only providing key battlefield intel, but also ensuring that squads worked together as a team.

While team deathmatch and rush can do without the commander, conquest - especially on large maps - is where the game suffers. This problem is further compounded by the crossover players acquired from the BC2 series where squad orders were all but abolished.

Here are the problems as I see it:

  1. Spawn on Squad Leader Only Should Be on by Default
    This forces people to not only acknowledge that there is indeed a squad leader issuing orders, but makes players more apt to follow the squad leaders orders instead of mindlessly rushing off to another objective. It also forces squads to stay closer together when they can only spawn on the squad leader.
  2. Make Issued Orders More Apparent
    BF2142 was great at this in my opinion. When a squad leader issued an attack order a sword icon would be displayed above the objective. Not only that, but a line would be drawn on your mini map from your current position to the targeted position which placed an emphasis on the order. Likewise, when a defend order was issued a shield icon would be displayed above that objective. I have been playing BF3 since launch and have only see a squad leader issue orders ONE TIME! This is absolutely unacceptable!
  3.  No Commander Means No Teamwork
    This is a big one. Rarely does anyone type in game unless it is to fire off a juvenile insult to another player. This means that unless you are playing with real life friends and created a voice chat channel before entering the game, that there is NO COMMUNICATION between players and squads. This leads to chaos. If the squad leaders are unwilling, too lazy, or don't know how to issue squad orders the commander could at least then issue orders to the squad leaders. This is also important because since the commander can see the big picture, he can see that 4 our of 5 squads are all attempting to take objective alpha when only one is needed. 
I really hope that DICE can see the need for the commander role and add it back in the game at some point.

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