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Commanding is the Real-time Strategy (RTS) aspect of Natural Selection 2. The role of Commander is assumed by one player from the Marines and Aliens by entering the Marine Command Station and the Alien Hive. Having a Commander is the common attribute between two otherwise very different teams.
Both Commanders receive a top-down view of the map, as in any normal RTS Game and are tasked with giving orders and directions to their team, placing structures on the map and upgrading the abilities of their team.
Main article: Marine Commander.
The overall aim of the Marine Commander is to support the Marines on the field to destroy all of the Alien Hives. They achieve this by placing support structures and Extractors on the map for their team to build and upgrading the Armor, Weapons and Equipment available to their team. The Marine Commander gives real-time direct support to Marines on the map, via med-packs, ammo packs, catalyst packs, nanoshield and scans.
The Marine Commander involves a significantly greater deal of micromanagement than the Alien Commander due to the fact that Marines in the field rely on med-packs and ammo-packs to maintain their ability to fight.
- Co-ordination of the Marine Team by verbal or written commands
- Placing structures on the map for Marines to build
- Providing direct support to Marines on the field with Med-Packs, Ammo Packs and Catalyst Packs
- Researching upgraded Armor and Weapons at the Arms Lab
- Researching improved weapons such as Shotguns, Hand Grenades and Mines at the Armory
- Researching advanced equipment such as Jetpacks and Exosuits at the Prototype Lab
- Enabling Marines to travel the map quickly by researching Phase Tech at the Observatory
Main article: Alien Commander.
The Aim of the Alien Commander (sometimes referred to as the Khammander - a portmanteau of Kharaa and Commander) is to upgrade the abilities of the Aliens and spread Infestation across the map to enable expansion of territory. The role of Alien Commander predominantly involves interacting with the environment to capture Resource Nodes and upgrading the Alien team through the research of Biomass & Evolutions and the building of Upgrade Chambers.
The Alien Commander primarily interacts with the environment as opposed to their team, to create optimal conditions for the Alien team to expand and conquer territory, but can also provide powerful boons to field units by using the support abilities of a Drifter.
- Co-ordination of the Alien Team by verbal or written commands
- Expanding Alien territory via the use of Cysts and Infestation
- Placing structures on the map for Gorges/Drifters to build
- Providing direct support to Aliens on the field with Drifter abilities such as Enzyme, Mucous Membrane and Hallucinations
- Providing direct support to Aliens on the field with Support Structure active abilities such as Heal Wave, Echo and Ink
- Building Upgrade Chambers
- Researching Biomass