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MAG Developer Tips: Leadership Roles

Jeremy Dunham's Avatar + Posted by Jeremy Dunham on Feb 23, 2010 // Sr. Community Manager, Zipper Interactive

Do you have what it takes to lead your soldiers into battle? If the answer is yes then today’s MAG Developer Tips post is the one for you. Audio Lead Keith Sjoquist is using our platform here to introduce everyone to the world of combat management, and as always, we’re opening things up with a video:

Hi there, this is Keith from Zipper and today we’re looking at some general MAG leadership tips.

Leadership is important because MAG is just as much a tactical game as it is run-and-gun. A savvy leader can herd a bunch of noobs and steamroll a platoon full of high-level lone wolves more often than not. If you decide to opt in for leadership, that’s great – just make sure you’re ready for the responsibility.

Basic Tips:

  • Remember your responsibility! It’s all too easy to get in the habit of opting for leadership at the queue screen but then forget that there are a bunch of grunts looking at you for direction. Long story short: if you’re a leader, be prepared to give directions. Wallflowers need not apply.
  • Have a plan and a back-up plan so that you can change tactics if your original strategy isn’t working. If you find yourself in a map you don’t know well or a situation in which you feel that you’re over your head, remember you can opt out of your leadership position (just press start and demote yourself from the leadership menu). No one likes a quitter but no one likes charging headlong into turret fire for 30 minutes either.
  • Be prepared to be promoted at any time! If someone does demote themselves in-game and you applied for a leadership spot beforehand, you may be the one automatically bumped up with they quit.

Advanced Tips:

  • Communicate! I know that doesn’t seem advanced but it’s important. Coordinating your command abilities effectively can be devastating to the opposition. Squad leaders can drop cluster bombs and then have them available again immediately if the OIC follows up with an asset recharge. Different command abilities can be combined in different ways all depending on how well you communicate.
  • FRAGO! FRAGO! FRAGO! So you want to take out that AA, but why not set a staging area in that abandoned building just outside the perimeter? You can set waypoints and targets as often as you like – just make sure everyone is concentrating they’re efforts correctly.
  • Don’t spend all your time prone in the bushes staring at the CNI. This can be perfectly legitimate strategy from time to time, but remember your teammates get bonuses when in your vicinity (faster reload, better XP, etc.), so go where you are most needed and there’s always the need for another active gun out there.

Thanks Keith, that’s a good primer. Tomorrow we’ll be back with more specific tips on how to be an effective Squad Leader from Audio Manager, Mary Olson. Check back then.

//Add Your Own

41 Comments

1

+ Richard_Pimentel on February 23rd, 2010 at 7:17 am said:

Great so the next tutorial will be on how to effectively use rockets on turrets and vehicles. After that, my MAG experience may consist of less noobs.

I highly doubt it.


2

+ emiru69 on February 23rd, 2010 at 7:20 am said:

Is it true that you have to choose one faction and stick with it the rest of the game?


3

+ Othello500 on February 23rd, 2010 at 7:21 am said:

I’ve been playing awhile and I find that I’m continuously learning new things about the game’s intricate system and strategies. So, MAG captured me immediately because I love to learn, and I believe most gamers at heart are the same.

Anyway, can’t wait for the leader specific videos and the next patch, and DLC!

PS- Don’t “adjust” (read: nerf) S.V.E.R. too badly, please.


4

+ Othello500 on February 23rd, 2010 at 7:23 am said:

@2

No. When you hit the level cap of 60, you have the option to start fresh with a new PMC in “Veteran Mode” while keeping your total experience, stats, and awards intact.


5

+ inkme1 on February 23rd, 2010 at 7:27 am said:

HEY SONY<

IM GETTIN SICK OF ALL THIS MAG LOVE! YOU KNOW HEAVY RAIN DID RELEASE TODAY! HOW ABOUT SOMETHING ON THAT!

sorry for all the caps but you are not pushing HR the way you should be. no one but hardcore gamers knows about it. and therefore it wont sell well. cmon media blitz!!! oh well you got my money!


6

+ BATTLEFACE on February 23rd, 2010 at 7:30 am said:

Thanks for posting this. The amount of Squad Leaders who either don’t know what they’re doing or just don’t communicate is astounding. I feel Zipper needs to allow squadmates the ability to demote terrible SLs via voting.


7

+ emiru69 on February 23rd, 2010 at 7:31 am said:

@4 Thanks for your time and your answer. The review on ign.com said that so… well I’m not surprised either way after the 5/10 to White Knight Chronicles…

@5 Heavy Rain is getting a great reviews even from sites that are the “usual” ones like nbc.com gave the game 9/10. Fortunately that will help the game which I doubt is going to be extremely comercial.


8

+ Richard_Pimentel on February 23rd, 2010 at 7:35 am said:

I have a solution for people who do not use leadership roles effectively, vote them out! Most squad leaders either don’t frago targets or only frago targets they can complete for double the points. I should know, since I frago for myself since my team mates are often times, pure garbage.

No one is going to demote themselves unless they think of transferring the role to a friend.

P.S. please allow larger groups to que for rooms. If it doesn’t happen by the time I get Platinum then I am done with MAG.


9

+ SOOPERGOOMAN187 on February 23rd, 2010 at 7:36 am said:

I’m just wondering when Socom 4: United Front( tentative name) is coming out from you guys at Zipper?


10

+ wu-stix on February 23rd, 2010 at 7:38 am said:

3 things:

1) If you’re an OIC and you’re defending Jam the enemies signals right away. It really bugs me when people don’t do this because it means the enemies will do it and then you just get steam rolled.

2) If you are going to be a leader have a mic. When the signal is jammed you have to give orders and can’t just frago them.

3) Frago targets especially when the default Frago is behind a whole line of bunkers and other targets that need to be removed.


11

+ wu-stix on February 23rd, 2010 at 7:43 am said:

@8 Do you know how long it will take to get platinum? I would say 200+ hours. Just to get the level 60 on each faction takes 195 000 exp. That is the easy thing getting all the repair and destroy medals will take much longer than those gold trophies.


12

+ GiraffeeDreams on February 23rd, 2010 at 7:46 am said:

I have stopped playing for the time being, i find people leading our squads who don’t communicate or even issue fragos, when i started playing i was under the impression that you could rate your leaders and as leaders rate your squad members, i find myself quitting games because of leaders not being leaders, or squad members who don’t follow orders (finding kids running off to hunt down and get another kill leaving bunkers and vehicles under-defended).

To be honest i haven’t even played since the update, the stat problems and the unbalanced maps have just left me disinterested, i can’t see myself coming back until actual fixes are made, got plans on selling up if these arn’t done soon.


13

+ Toastrules on February 23rd, 2010 at 7:54 am said:

@Zipper

Me, and no doubt the rest of the MAG community, have noticed that Zipper has stayed relatively quiet since the launch of MAG? Sure, you answer questions on here and everything, but we don’t know of your progress with the map balancing, the faction balancing, and anything else that could be included.

Is it too much to ask for you guys to have a page dedicated for patch notes, and then advertise that page so that the MAG community will be more up to date and current?

If Zipper stays quiet, MAG is going to lose more and more players, and its already relatively tougher to find matches than it was say, a few weeks ago. Speak up! You guys have really been on the down low since the release, except for these videos which seem to be run by 1 or 2 people ;)


14

+ Othello500 on February 23rd, 2010 at 8:02 am said:

@7
You’re welcome. =)

I wouldn’t use IGN as your source for game ratings and reviews until there writing becomes at least subpar. There are better, much more intelligent and thoughtful sites that you can get your reviews from.

Personally, I’m digging kotaku.com: No score and no spoilers. They provide an intro, two separate columns of things they loved and hated about a game, and a closing. It sounds barebones, partially because it is, but the content is good and very helpful.

How IGN became so big is beyond me…


16

+ Dangeresque92 on February 23rd, 2010 at 8:05 am said:

I would like to request an option to demote a squad leader with fewer votes, or make the game pick a squad leader with a mic over someone up for the position who does not have one. I have never played a round that went well when my SL was mic-less, and when its a PL or OIC, its just hell. I know people might say that gives an advantage to those willing to pay extra, but you know what? it gives an advantage to everyone in a squad to have a mic.

We need someway to ensure that our SL will communicate. any help coming Zipper?


17

+ emiru69 on February 23rd, 2010 at 8:08 am said:

@14 I hate the scoring obsession so I will check kotaku.com I usually check the reviews to know how long is the game or how interesting is to replay it. Thanks again and have fun! I have to go, I have an Anatomy test today and I though playing Assasin’s Creed 2 will count towards my extra credit but looks like It Ain’t Going To Happen.


18

+ StalkingSilence on February 23rd, 2010 at 8:12 am said:

At the 35 second mark, there is an interface shown that looks different from the in-game one. Is that an update coming or just made for the video?


19

+ WestCoastR3DUBZ on February 23rd, 2010 at 8:28 am said:

This game i sick GOD!!!!!!


20

+ poodude on February 23rd, 2010 at 8:39 am said:

I really need these tips. I was a squad leader once before but I did a very mediocre job; fortunately my team still won.


21

+ poodude on February 23rd, 2010 at 8:41 am said:

@ 17 / Stalking Silence

I was wondering too. Maybe the video was shot before the game was actually released so those maybe those shotss are from when the game was in its early stages. At the end of the video it even says “Available January 26th 2010″, but that was less than a month ago.


22

+ wu-stix on February 23rd, 2010 at 8:53 am said:

@13 Go to MAG.com and check out the community section they have all the stuff you’re looking for posted there. Apparently they said they are just QAing a new patch 1.3 I believe.

Also the amount of time to get into a game is still really fast (less than 2 minutes usually) and I am saying this from having been on all three squads now since release. Just joined S.V.E.R 2 days ago and before that I was with Raven, and I started with Valor.


23

+ GiraffeeDreams on February 23rd, 2010 at 8:56 am said:

myself and 6 of my friends are all selling mag because of it’s balance and gameplay and stats issues, it wouldn’t have been so bad if everything had been fixed (especially the stats, that is very basic programming and has been in games for well over 10 years now without problems), this game is very broken and the updates that came out were not what i wanted, sorry zipper but you’ve lost a fan, several actually.


24

+ olapbill on February 23rd, 2010 at 9:10 am said:

So I’ve been playing mag for a few weeks now, and liking the experience a lot. It has that old CS feel but on a larger scale. The only things that annoy me about the game our loadmouth idiots ( thank god for the block function) and as noted above SL’s and PL’s who don’t set Fragos or simply don’t ever talk. I agree that there needs to be an effective way of demoting the SL if they are not participating. Personally I don’t think any faction needs to be nerfed. Sver has too many hang back snipers in it’s ranks, that never go frontline or to objectives anyway. Out of a full squad you’re lucky to get half of the members heading for objectives as it is.
Good game, I’ll keep playing it. If anyone wants a strong team player with a mike in their clan, hit me with a message on PSN.
Likewise if you still need a preorder code for the sver gear, as i have a spare.
Olapbill


25

+ whosdead on February 23rd, 2010 at 9:26 am said:

Are people actually playing this game. Can anybody tell me how many people are online at any givin time?


26

+ KJP4685 on February 23rd, 2010 at 9:31 am said:

I know this has nothing to do with leadership…but I would LOVE to see some women avatars. I have talked to lots of women that play and would like to represented as a woman and not a man. There are women that go to real wars. Stop being sexist…I can play video games just like a man can. I’m not alone on this..all of your women customers would appreciate this. Also, how come SVER can disarm C4 off of their doors from the inside?


27

+ olapbill on February 23rd, 2010 at 9:56 am said:

@25. I hop on at various times through the day and night (est) if playing sabotage, I’ve never queued for longer than a minute. the stats show 1000’s of users per faction online at any given time


28

+ Viprdude on February 23rd, 2010 at 9:56 am said:

Really? You guys should have made this FIRST and then the past few weeks would not have been so TERRIBLE playing on Valor and Raven because there are too many jokers with squad leader ability that are TERRIBLE!

Thanks for making it but damn, it took you guys long enough.


29

+ StalkingSilence on February 23rd, 2010 at 9:57 am said:

@GirafeeDreams,
Too bad you all are leaving. The stats issue is a SCEA Database team issue, not Zipper. I would appreciate if you guys would stick around through the bumps. I think this game is really going places…


30

+ StalkingSilence on February 23rd, 2010 at 10:01 am said:

To anyone saying Zipper is unresponsive, I’d encourage you to head over to forums.mag.com and look up Zpr_DunhamSmash or MizzSmartyPants – they are the community managers and posting multiple times per day.


31

+ Strombole on February 23rd, 2010 at 10:11 am said:

You should patch all these tips, especially this and the following leadership tips, into the game in the training section… there are really a lot of terrible leaders out there without a clue… I dont expect to be able to figure it out as quickly as I did by themselves. For me it was easy, since I have a degree in History, and focused mainly on tactics and warfare… so for me, a quick press of select and twenty seconds looking at the map taught me to play Dom fairly quickly. In regards to leadership, it shows you what abilities you have so even if you’re clueless you should be able to figure it out trial and error style… At least I would have thought so, but after watching my friends play spawn at bunker and run off in a totally stupid direction and wouldnt listen to me explain the game when I was right beside them, I guess maybe it is tricky to figure out… BUP… SO BEST BET WOULD BE TO PUT TIPS IN GAME… dont listen to the haters and babies, this game is exceptional.


32

+ Thwip on February 23rd, 2010 at 12:39 pm said:

Through trial and error I think I have become a decent “leader”, but I look forward to the forthcoming tips. Perhaps there is even more for me to learn.

Thanx!


33

+ Ostaf52 on February 23rd, 2010 at 1:00 pm said:

As usual good tips. Thanks.


34

+ The-ButtonMasher on February 23rd, 2010 at 1:32 pm said:

4 ways to fix MAG

1: Better Customization
2: A better sense of scale
3:Better sound quality and more powerful sounding guns
4: Multiple character files for each army


35

+ Maverick10 on February 23rd, 2010 at 2:04 pm said:

I’m so addicted to this freakin game. Loving it Zipper. Thanks guys


36

+ footballrule on February 23rd, 2010 at 2:26 pm said:

Thanks Jeremy!

Question: I don’t think i ever tried in the Beta or in full game but can Squad Leaders call in the airstrikes?


37

+ BALOT_1305 on February 23rd, 2010 at 3:07 pm said:

Wait so you can gain frago by going to waypoints?? O_o


38

+ SGAShepp on February 23rd, 2010 at 4:34 pm said:

sorry, Shut*


39

+ madeup6 on February 23rd, 2010 at 8:37 pm said:

I love be a leader.


40

+ Darth_Snider on February 24th, 2010 at 1:46 am said:

Make it harder to TK/make the punishment harsher.
I hate those people.


41

+ jubjub516 on February 25th, 2010 at 3:37 pm said:

You guys need to address the need for new maps. Is this going to be part of some DLC anytime soon?


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