From: Montreal, Canada
Well allowing free form coop play where any player could issue orders to any force would detract from the realism aspects and also nullify the value of segregating into different comamnds so that each could be managed in its own thread. I would prefer to have a system where a player has control of one or more commands and can only issue orders to forces within those commands. We could allow for the transfer of units between commands, albeit with some orders delay built in. This would allow for load sharing if all the action is occuring in one sector but also allow us to speed the game up by isolating commands and threading them separately.
Definitely agree. Co-op should really integrate elements of cooperation between players/commands. Furthermore (and this is potentially a critical point to consider re: investment/pay-off), this feature should be pretty important for military training should some militaries have a license of this engine.
However, from what I understand from the previous posts, this would be a substantial investment in terms of development. In that case, free-form co-op *would* be better than no co-op. I have no idea how much investment this would require, but since there is already the netcode available for 2p, and it wouldn't require the implementation of multiple commands/threads (since both players would just have 'full' control), would there be much extra coding required for implementing this? I think it'd be pretty neat, since players (fans of this series should be mature enough for it) could pretty much just arrange amongst themselves which units each should be commanding. Paradox games do something like this. You can co-op as multiple nations, but you can also co-op as a single nation and each player can control everything about it; they just delegate different areas amongst themselves. It'd be a pretty cool bone for co-op fans.
On a sidenote, HistWar (Napoleonic era) is doing this in a very interesting way. In addition to what seem to be order delays for commands and such, it goes a step further. Even communication between players takes time, and players have to send out couriers to carry out messages (including orders/intel and such). Even more cool is that the enemy can intercept them and thus obtain the message content (and the initial recipient never gets the message). Pretty awesome!