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BCM Career Modes

Supreme Cmdr

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In response to a post in some other thread. This is culled directly from my design docs and which is how the game currently works.



BCM is the first title in the series to support different play modes. Previous titles only

supported the highly complex and involving, carrier Commander career. Also, in the previous

title, you could only play as one race (Terran) or caste (Military). In BCM, you get to play

as any of 12 races from 13 different castes. You now even get to pick the gender of your alter-ego.

In this mode, you are playing with all the bells and whistles. Not only do you

have to worry about looking out for your own well-being in the game world, you also have an

entire crew of inexperienced whining officers, engineers, medics, marines who'd rather play

cards during a long deep space incursion rather than train, and a team of mostly egocentric

fighter pilots, to deal with. The first time one of your green marines encounters an intruder

who has boarded your ship and you find him making a beeline line for the safety of a bulkhead,

you'll want to just eject him out of an airlock.

The Commander career now has the option of determining exactly what sort of playing

experience you want, at that level. This career has a choice of 9 carriers, 10 cruisers and

8 transports of various classes and types. A fleet of 4 super carriers has the capacity and

marine crew compliment to prosecute and flatten an entire planet the size of the moon.

The carrier class have a higher compliment of crew and support (fighters, ground

vehicles, shuttles) crafts, the cruiser and transports have very few crew and only shuttles

as support craft. Due to their sheer speed and firepower, cruisers are used for frontline

combat assault.

The Commander who just wants to trade in all manner of items, including selling illegal weapons

to frontline troops (due to their huge cargo bays) from an armed transport,

can do so without ever having to be concerned with a large crew. In fact, the largest

transport has a crew of only 6, compared to the 117 on a heavy carrier. Similarly, the vast

range of options also allows the player to command a military based armed transport,

complete with the support required to keep a fleet in deep space, fully supplied and

functional for long periods of time.

As a Commander, though you have access to first person mode, like any other character,

you only have access to one weapon. So, you probably won't find a player running

across a planetary base, wielding a pistol. It would be one short career.

This career is the most advanced, complex and involving. Complete with the ability to

capture stations, control the assets of practically every entity in the game, including

the assembly of fleets from station assets, the deployment of ground troops, fighter craft,

orbit to surface bombardment etc, this career wields the power of every feature in the

game - everything from the previous title, and then some. Every multiplayer game needs

an experienced Commander or we know who gets to dominate the server.

There are two pilot careers. The Planetary Support pilot based on a planetary starbase

is responsible for flying combat missions on the planet. These range from defense profiles

to highly dangerous enemy airspace incursions. This career only has access to deadly low

flying gunships for combat assault, as well as shuttles for dropping supplies to frontline

troops or evacuating injured or troops pinned down behind enemy lines. If you like flying

around and shooting stuff up, this is the career for you. Of course, you still have to

contend with orbit to surface attacks, as well as marine combat troops toting deadly surface

to air weapons as well as armor piercing sniper rifles.

The Elite Force pilot is based on a starstation in space and has access to 24 types of

fighter crafts. Unlike the PS pilot, the EF pilot can fly in space, planets or between the

two, carrying out all manner of combat missions. Unlike the Commander career, fighters

have limited firepower and reactor power, so they can't travel very far from their support


Like the Commander career, the pilot player character also exists in 3D and can therefore

exit and re-enter the craft at will. Even in extreme situations, the player can safely walk

away from a crash landing and hop a ride back to planetary starbase for a new craft or

hop on a transport back to a friendly starstation. With access to only a pistol, first person

combat encounters are not advisable.

Your typical brute force character, dedicated to planet based mayhem. Again, two

career types. The Infantry Marine and Elite Force marine have access to every conceivable weapon

of mass destruction you can think of - and vehicles to boot. Vehicles include a tank-like All

Terrain Vehicle, a Humvee, a Combat Assault Buggy, two types of APCs and two types of assault

vehicles. Though the character can start off with or without a vehicle, for gameplay reasons,

it may be changed so that both characters start off at the planetary starbase without a vehicle

and must requisition one from the starbase (like other characters), if available.

Weapons for this character class range from a multi-mode combat assault rifle to a high-

precision sniper rifle with armor piercing ammo. All the usual first person items,

including various types of body armor, grenades, med kits etc, are all present. Unique

optional items include a backpack for carrying more items, a jetpack for low-level flying, a

target designator unit for lasing targets for precision strikes by low flying gunships, a

helmet based digital monocle with infra-red or green display modes for use in various

weather conditions, a portable shield unit and a deployable automatic personal rocket


A player choosing this career, is only interested in one thing, bringing pain to the other

side - be it humans or NPCs. With access to various ground vehicles, these guys can get

around fairly quickly - that's a good thing, considering the size of the planets. With the

ability to prosecute ground or air based targets, marines drop launched behind enemy

lines, if un-heeded, would probably flatten an enemy base in under twenty minutes by

first taking out all air defenses, blowing up all weapons platforms, and calling in an orbit

to surface bombardment after egress from the strike zone. A real charmer. With the

ability to planet hop (on transports), an elite team of marines can be a real problem to the


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hehe... Sc must you torment us with these tidbits?


Commodore Kyle Antilles

ICV-Eclipse, Destiny Starstation (Nevuela)

Commanding Officer, Destiny

Spectre Fleet

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oh btw, in case you were wondering, the PILOT and MARINE careers only have the ROAM (was Free Flight) mode. This, of course means that they only have the following objectives in single-player:

  1. Attack any and all hostile bases on the planet.

  2. Prevent your bases from being taken out

  3. Planet hop, in search of one more war to fight. biggrin.gif

Anyone see any problems with this as far as single-player is concerned?

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...a helmet based digital monocle with infra-red or green display modes for use in various weather conditions...

I can just imagine Resnig taking unexpected shore leaves for "Tea time" smile.gif

SP sounds good to me.. first I'll take out Mars, then Earth, then it's Moon, then Jupiter, then... MWA HAHAHAHA!

*Evil psychotic laughter*


Cmdr. Parias

ICV-Galatae, Awaiting final assignment

Balor Fleet

ICQ 1293359

Staff member at HardNews

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One question:

Say I want to play as a sniper. How hard would it be for someone to find me? If I hid real well would they be able to see me on the radar? Could I wear some kind stealth suit where they could only see me visually but not on a radar?

Quote from another post:


and us hard-core eggheads, no-lifes who take "the treatment" will be in command of the big ships and installations. Move over bill gates, BC3K is here.. muahaha...

Wow, hold on there for a sec. Just because I want to run around blazing does not mean I'm not hard-core! biggrin.gif I'm will be hard-core by any means necessary!

By the first thing after installing BCM I will hop onto a super-carrier and relive some stress.

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This is my first post here, although I've been lurking around the forum for a year. Of all the promising new features, the improved FP surface ops and these new careers are the most interesting to me. The limited pilot and marine careers sound like a brilliant way to acclimate new players with the gameplay--being a commander for the first time can be overwhelming. I loved playing BC3K, but I'll be practicing with these careers before I go head-to-head in MP. It sounds like bases' air defenses will be stronger--giving surface ops more importance. This was an imbalance, I think, in BC3K, where it was so easy to bomb from orbit. Maybe a further incentive not to use OTS weapons would be cargo pods full of raw materials and goods stockpiled at bases. If I was a raider or mercenary, who I hope can trade like the freighter captains, I would want to loot those bases rather than nuke them.

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stealth suit? stealth suit? are you mad? what do you think this is, a Saturday morning cartoon? Sniper rifle or not, if I'm in a low-flying gunship and I see you on radar, I'm going to introduce you to my rockets -or- radio ahead and have someone with a TDU mark your position for bombardment.

Being at ground-zero, has its pros and cons, just like driving around, flying around, or in orbit. Just because you're a sniper doesn't mean you have any sort of special powers.

With the radar fog of war, though everybody can see everybody (personnel don't have radar, just a tacops-like map of the immediate vicinity), it requires more skill and planning because the guy you can't see on radar at 30K feet with a wide-band scan of 10K, will probably be the guy who shoves a SAM as soon as you break from cloud or mountain cover.

And yes, there are tons of balancing issues still in the game. Only beta testing and feedback, will catch all of them. As for the orbit problem - you now need to be in orbit to observe the planet. And it takes about 2 mins to get into and out of orbit (it uses a transition, similar to planetfall). So, by the time you get into orbit and are scanning, a SAGAT or CENTAUR surface to air missile, could very well be in bound. With a damage factor of 15000 and 25000, respectively, and the ability to fly beyond orbit (yep, once they reach orbit, they behave like regular ODS missiles) all it takes is one shot. And you can't jam them either.

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We'll have to wait and see how the fog of war works... I understand Spacephish's question because its one i've been asking myself lately.

If I am a guy on the ground and I want to sneak upon or ambush someone else... be the ambush/sneak target a ground vehicle or another non-airborne unit, how could I do that if there is an "almighty, all-seeing radar" screaming my position?. It would be like playing Unreal Tournament and having a BIG arrow pointing down on my from the sky telling everyone where I am. Except that here I would have fighters and tanks and hovercraft and SAL's and SAM's taking potshots at me just because they see my poor grunt on the ground 10 clicks away.

Orbit... me like that! biggrin.gif

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Well for one thing, you might think that aircraft or ground radar, shouldn't pick up troops on radar. Well, even in modern combat, thats false. And in the future, am sure that radar would have been developed that picks up heat signatures....of course that red dot on radar could be a bear.......toting a SAM? biggrin.gif

If it becomes a problem, I will just have it so that air/ground radar can't pick up any troops if they are not holding any weapon. In first person, you have the command to put your gun away. So, if you have a gun in your hand, then maybe you show up on radar, lit up like a Christmas tree. Dunno. Its a gameplay balancing issue that I'd rather not deal with just yet.

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Guest aramike01

Hmmm, that is a concern. It'd be nice if only ground personnel could detect other ground personnel with motion sensors. Radar would be nice if reserved just for vehicles and such. That way, if you're a marine without a SAM and a lowflying IC comes screaming overhead, you're not a freebie for it. The IC would have to detect you visually or it would just pass overhead, harmlessly.

However, say the marine starts firing pot-shots at it...


Vice Admiral Michael Kristophers

ICV-Intrepid Spectre (Antis)

Fleet Leader

Spectre Fleet

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Man and I'll be absent during the playbalance testing.. ARGH! Just the thing im good at! wink.gif

I would suggest just making the troops invisible to radar unless they go airborne by using their jetpacks. Since a SAM or any missile fired would be picked up in radar, firing a SAM would give away the soldier's position. Once an enemy unit has visual contact with the ground soldier, THEN is when it would show up on radar (simulating that soldier's location being reported by the one who saw him).

Besides, I believe that if troops are cannot be seen on radar it would make the infantry usefull... otherwise we'd get all the quake junkies driving ATV's and other, heavier gun-totting vehicles instead of being Grunts... go to a TRIBES server and see the maps where people are allowed to get unlimited amounts of heavy suits and aircraft... you will never see a ground soldier in those maps =P.

But this is all to be seen during the beta.

One last Q for the SC: Will visual contact be determined by individual unit's field of view (aka, a 60 degree angle going out from where the soldier/unit is facing with its visual detectors) or will it be that things will be seen by units the moment they enter into the "visual range" (aka, an atv would "see" a soldier approaching from the rear the very moment it enters X range)?.

You got us all jumping now SC... say more more more wink.gifsmile.gif

Gallion! Get in touch with the Hammerhead team... I got the floor plans for the SC's office.. raid begins at 22 hundred hours.. MARK! biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

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motion sensor = new feature. The game has been on feature freeze for several months. I could'a sworn I'd made that clear.

Tac, anyone using a jetpack (if you can find one, that is) shows up on air radar automatically.

As for vehicles, they are in limited supply and only available at the base. If one gets destroyed, it is not immediately replaced. You have to wait (repair time) for another one to be created or find an engineer (npc or human)who can repair it.

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hehehe...been there whole time waiting fer ye to show up Tac biggrin.gif

As to detecting Infantry with radar - we have the technology already and it works. To a certain degree. Contacts still require visual confirmation before terminating with extreme predjudice.

Motion sensors and heat sensors are a fact of life in the star wars military os today. To those nation(s) that have invested the R&D costs into it. They have come a long way in 19+ years I might add.

All these technical marvels can be fooled be any halfway competent grunt - oops, oxymoron mayhaps..?

IR can be fooled with other heat sources. Radar can be jammed with EMP or chaff. Misdirection is the key IMO for mission success.

Infantry is the Ultimate weeapon if deployed - or played - correctly. Infantry without Air or heavy ground support will be DeD rather quickly. I am not much of a shooter type game fan but look forward to exploring the grunt capabilities.

As to the single-player Marine options - I see no problems with the choices at this time cool.gif

Looking forward to exploring the Military Commander Caste features though biggrin.gif

Though this does concern me, a SAGAT or CENTAUR surface to air missile. I guess that by 3010AD a decent surface to space missile will have been perfected. Nothing that the PTA system cannot deal with biggrin.gif ... I hope eek.gif

Gameplay issues will be a constant development issue IMHO - even after market release. There will always be its to hard, to complicated whinners.

Sounds good SC, let the mayhem begin biggrin.gif and remember the KISS principle.

[This message has been edited by Gallion (edited 09-24-2000).]

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Guest aramike01

Motion sensor - meant only as a generic term for a marine-type radar unit. Think I got confused with what capabilities a marine has. wink.gif


Vice Admiral Michael Kristophers

ICV-Intrepid Spectre (Antis)

Fleet Leader

Spectre Fleet

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PILOT: There are two pilot careers. The Planetary Support pilot based on a planetary starbase is responsible for flying combat missions on the planet. These range from defense profiles to highly dangerous enemy airspace incursions. This career only has access to deadly low flying gunships for combat assault, as well as shuttles for dropping supplies to frontline troops or evacuating injured or troops pinned down behind enemy lines.

For complicated reasons, I wanted a Type 3 shuttle as my asset when I registered in the fleet database. I realized I could have one only if I have chosen the PS carrer, so I did so. However, I had no intention of remaining on the surface of a planet, as my duties as leader of Wraith Fighter Command would demand amounts of time in space.


Unlike the PS pilot, the EF pilot can fly in space, planets or between the two, carrying out all manner of combat missions.

I saddly assume this means a shuttle pilot of any sort will never be able to enter space. Will I have to abandon my Type 3?


Commander David "Whipser" Liev


Leader- Wraith Fleet/Wraith Fighter Command

"The underestimated weapon will deal overestimated havoc."


P.S.- But is still sounds like fun! biggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

[This message has been edited by Whisper (edited 09-25-2000).]

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Damn SC torturing us again... How can we get him back... must think... MUST THINK!!

I know! How about we make a big deal about how much sleep we've been enjoying! smile.gif

I had a whole 10 hours sleep last night, SC, how much sleep did you get?? biggrin.gif


Commander Robert Martin


S26 Wing Leader, Prime Fleet Beta Wing

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Gallion: I doubt that your PTA system will prioritize a STO launch since it will only come into the priority list once it leaves the planet and breaches orbit. Even then, PTA may already have a full target list. But, you are welcome to rely on it.

Whisper: shuttles do not have any restrictions on travel - if you have the power. Those HAG/LAG gunships, as well as the PAS crafts, can't fly about 10K feet, so you know they can't leave the planet. Even if they could, they don't have the power required to go very far. The shuttles have no such restrictions apart from their reduced power requirements. Don't expect to take a shuttle from Earth planet, outside of SOL. You'll be calling for a tow in no time.

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One question and one suggestion:

Question: Looks like you can choose to be a commander of any race/caste, but as far as I know there are only 3D models for human male/female commanders? What happens if you're a gammulan cmdr and you decide to go out for a walk on a planet?

Suggestion: About all this radar/sniper stuff, is it too much work to make it so that the radar won't pick up a guy in prone position? That would be cool!


See you out there, among the stars

Cmdr Nava, GCV Nemesis (Official BC3k tester)

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As to detecting Infantry with radar - we have the technology already and it works. To a certain degree. Contacts still require visual confirmation before terminating with extreme predjudice.

If the technology exists today to be able to pick up people on radar, it would be a mistake to immediately assume that the blip is hostile. I know that playbalancing is premature right now, but it seems to me that a radar will not be able to determine one's intent, only their presence.

To that end, it might be nice if radar detection of ground troops first assumes a non-hostile target (maybe even a generic label at first) until proven otherwise. This could also be considered fog-of-war related. If the interceptor only reports the presence of an entity, it would still require line of sight confirmation before classifying the target as hostile. Only then would it be a fair target for attack, otherwise severe penalties result from attacking non-hostiles.

This would only apply to organic life forms. Mechanized units would be determined immediately.

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My question is by choosing the career mode of "Commander" does one gain access to managing/controlling bases and it's assets? And if so will commanding a base/port work on the same principals as controlling a star stations (etc only a limited number of assets available and when depleted have wait for rebuild or new shipments) or more like your traditional RTS (an asset isn't available until a particular structure is built)?

[This message has been edited by Karl Wolf (edited 09-25-2000).]

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Hector:: All races are bipeds so the a standard 3D mesh, with a different texture, will be used. In fact, the officers all share the same mesh, but different textures. The pilots, engineers, medics, all share the same mesh. The two marine types have different meshes. Check the screen shots page for pics of them all.

I will consider that because I know the posture of the entity and as such can just filter it out of the radar target list. But

I don't know what good that would do since if someone even sees you firing, they can simply laser your position with a TDU and have their friends light up your location like a Christmas tree.

Steve: The radar cross-section in BCM is not line of sight based and remains unchanged from BC3K. The only change is that the ranges are fully enforced and vary depending on craft. Rather give a L/M/S search option, all blips are still tracked as they are now, but if you attempt to ID one, via STT, that is outside the fixed scanning range of the craft's radar, it will show up on the CVD as an Unknown Contact.

And the longer you keep it painted in STT mode (if you switch modes, the radar will forget about it) the faster it will be idenfied (there is a guage). If the closure rate becomes low enough for it to be within visual range, it will be immediately identified without the scanning delay.

Also, beeps will no longer be color coded unless they have been previously scanned and identified. And if you switch out of STT mode, say to select another target, the current one will remain identified and will slowly fade out of the radar memory if it goes out of visual range or the elapsed time for its memory, expires.

And the size of the target also affects its scanning time. eg carriers will be identified faster than fighters.

I'm not particularly worried about troops being visual to radar. If you are laying low and fixated on a target, not using your DIE (which has a built in binoculars) to search around for a incoming hostiles, you deserve to be clipped.

Karl: You don't have that kind of access even in BC3K, without Fleet C&C - this remains unchanged in BCM. And its not permitted in multiplayer due to gameplay balancing issues.

Starstations are the same as Starbases, they just happen to be in different environments. So, if you have Fleet C&C, you will have access to the Starbase assets.

Whisper: LOL!!

[This message has been edited by Supreme Cmdr (edited 09-25-2000).]

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My vision is to have you strapped to a rocket and sent off into orbit.

Whats the matter with you anyway? Can't you see that we're discussing something else.

CAT, please delete his post on sight. I would have, but I want others who see my reply to have a chance to see his original. Thanks

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