I seem to remember an episode of DS9 where Jake Sisko was stranded on a planet that was a battleground in the short lived Federation/Klingon War. The Feds and the Klinks were engaged in ground attacks hot and heavy. The defending fleet was away fighting the Klingons in space, and was unable to provide support of any kind for the besieged defenders. The Klingons were using transporter inhibitors to keep the enemy from transporting in and out of combat at will, and, if I'm not mistaken, they also had some kind of device that disrupted repulsor lift technology, like what was used in the personnel carrier that the wounded Federation soldier was riding in. I've heard the argument many times that ground vehicles and ground combat doesn't fit in with Star Trek and Starfleet is a peaceful organization dedicated to exploration, blah, blah, blah. Ground combat has been explored several times in DS9, and in Voyager, Tom Paris once stated he wanted to join the Federation Naval Patrol (a navy that sails in ships on the oceans of various planets) but his father wouldn't allow it, and then there is that thing from Nemesis. The fact of the matter is, you can't fight a war without taking it to the ground at some point in the conflict, and just because it isn't featured prominently, doesn't mean it's not a part of Star Trek. The Federation would've lost every conflict it ever fought in if it relied solely on away teams with support from shuttles to fight its ground wars, and a starship is not a reliable means of support if it is fighting for it's life against a Klingon Negh'var battlecruiser.
I am a supporter of ground vehicles and having the ability to call air and artillery strikes, but that is not what ground combat needs to be good. In my unit we call that cheese. The thing with cheese, is even though it tastes good, it doesn't completely cover up the flavor of a bad dish.
Being a combat soldier, I would like to weigh in on a few things that I think the ground combat system needs and would make it immensly better.
First, and most importantly, an expansion of the ability to command my fire team. I want to see the ability to put my team into formations like the vee, file, wedge, or the line. What is also needed is the ability to issue commands such as attack, defend, break contact, weapons free, weapons tight, hold fire, or take cover. I want to see the ability seperate my fire team and put them into the places where I need them, like if I want to conduct a hasty ambush on a squad of Klingons coming down the trail, or maybe I want to leave most of my team behind and recon an objective. These are commands that should be easy to use. Currently, the only way I can even approach using fire team tactics is to pause the game and rush to implement my plan before the time runs out, and I have to wait for the timer to recharge before I can use tactics again. My final suggestion is that players have the abilty to jump between the direct control of team members (this should be limited to ground combat in PVE mode so there won't be an issue of players controlling character races that they haven't purchased in the C-store. Just this addition would greatly improve ground combat and make it immensly more popular in my opinion.
Second, the AI needs to be upgraded a bit. The way the ground AI works is perfect for the Borg, but for the Klingons or another faction that doesn't rely on mindless drones to do its fighting, the AI needs to use a bit more strategy in the way it fights, especially if my first suggestion is taken into account. I think that each faction needs to have a doctrine governing how their respective AI fights. The Borg are spot on in my opinion, but the Romulans for example, need to have more deception and trickery implemented into the way they fight. Honestly, the Klingons aren't really that bad either, but the Cardassian and the Federation AI, for example, could do with more strategy and tactics.
Lastly, and this is something that would probably work better in the open ended war zone that the Dstahl mentioned, is larger maps for ground combat. I would do it like this: Start with one system, say it has a G class star and 6 planets. There is an M class world where most of the population resides, a gas giant, an ice planetoid, and three planets that are mined for resources and have small garrisons present. Some of these planets also have moons that may or may not have defenses, garrisons, or their own settlements present. There is also an asteroid belt that splits the middle of the system. Higher ranking players would have a limited amount of credits to implace more defenses, or to move defenses already in place to make them more effective. Attacking battlefield commanders would have support options available to them to help their side with the battle. These abilities would be similar the BO abilities, but would work on their own timer and would not give the attackers a distinct advantage over the defenders. The game itself would pick the battlefield commander based on his/her rank and standing in PVP. The space map could be divided into sections like the sector map, or it could be just one massive map with a few spawn points for the defenders and for the attackers. Players fight each other in epic space battles and work to win control of the space around one of the planets. Once the space around the planet is won, the planet is opened up for a ground invasion. The planet could be split up into several maps centering around strategic locations, or it could be one massively huge map with strong points that requires players to work together to take or defend (see the open ended war game, Aces High to get an idea of what I'm talking about). Each planet could be worth victory points which would vary in the importance of the planet taken. This would go on until the invaders are victorious, or the system is successfully defended. Once the battle is over, the map would reset, rewards would be given to each participant based on the part they played in the battle, and the whole process starts over again.
Then and only then would ground combat be ready to see vehicles implemented into the fray. I would love to be able to command a Federation tank in battle against a squad of Klingon Warriors, or call in an air strike and watch a flight of Peregrine fighters drop photon bombs on a bunch of Borg Drones, or call for artillery or mortar fire on a group of Romulans or Remans defending a hill. Right now though, I don't think STO is ready for that. Maybe in the future we'll get to see something like this.
Yep, we need space combat on the Bridge, check SWG.
On the ground, we don't need more, it's not WH40K it's a other style.
Small fighters, yes cockpit view and full HOTAS would be appropriate. Large vessels, it would not be exciting at all. Quite the opposite since on a large vessel, your crew handles most of the flying while the captain deals with tactics and organizes the chaos of combat.
Though I can understand and relate to those of you wanting bridge combat, I am afraid that you are almost certainly a small minority and the combat the way it is is the most feasable method to retain the excitement of combat while still allowing the use of bridge skills. I know I don't want to sit in my captain's chair shouting out commands, I played that game in 1978 over dumb terminals.
I’d like to see ground vehicle I’d also really like to see us be able to use our shuttles on the ground as aircraft. I know they didn't really show any ground vehicles or strike craft but i think that had more to do with budget then anything else. I'm sure if they could have gotten a iron man style body armor deployment and combat effect for the price of a dude swinging around a wooden bat sword you’d have seen it.
as far what makes sense in trek that always depends on the episode. Personal I never understood why transports were not made into weapons they would have ended combat rather quickly. sure they could prevent you from getting the whole person but they never said they could stop you for getting some of them, In fact most episodes that dealt with this topic tended say out right or in a round about way trying to beam somebody up while an inhibitor field was up would most likely just kill the guy you were trying to grab which is what you want in a weapon anyway. just start dematerialise anything that's not friendly after a while what left won’t be able to fight either way.
so ya I'd like to see ground vehicles and shuttle and fighters maybe even a holographic robo suit thing you could stomp around in that could deploy from your kit for like 2-3 minutes at a time.
The whole post isn't just about ground vehicles though....Star Trek focuses only on our starship captains. To assume that tanks, ships and planes don't exist is short sighted. They have even been mentioned, but that isn't the main focus of star trek. If Sisko beamed down to a war torn planet, he would see them...but Star Trek focuses on Space. Now some of you might say...exactly, so don't put tanks in there. If that is the case, you might as well take ground combat out of the game completely...because thats not what Trek is about. If they created a Star Trek that focused on the infantrymen...alot of people would be ****ed off. They exist, and it is a possible way to improve combat on the ground.
HOWEVER, don't make this topic only about vehicles...
Environment....how bout urban fighting, under skyscrapers, in a capitol building, in a military laboratory.
Calling in support from your ship above...shuttle bombardments.
BETTER LOOT for sure.
Different enemies as well....spice it up.
Also, the bridge thing...make it optional, control it from the bridge or fly the ship. Bridge Commander did that no problem.
Planets with more life will be really good. The Deferi planet, for instance, was alive, with a ton of people and aeral vessels. In the other hand, the rest of the planets seams lifeless. Only a couple of standard colony houses and that's it. Give the planets more ambient besides some flore and cristal like plants that sing.
Being chased by a vehicle? Beam us 20 km away or beam us to the ship.
Sorry, Captain. The technobabble of the week has blocked the transporters for the fifth time in a row.
I fully support changing our current ground tactic, "Walking around unprotected so the Borg can assimilate us more easily", with the potentially more effective "Run over drones in a tank while giggling madly."
As for ship combat from the bridge, I played ST: Bridge Commander and almost never used the bridge view if I could help it. Consider what is cool about space combat. It isn't Picard ordering "Attack pattern Omega-1" and pushing a button on his command chair while everyone lurches to the right. It's watching the purdy starships unleash hot fiery death in space.