Let's start this off by saying I have been playing Squad from the get go, I am a backer that bought the game mid-late 2015 before it released on steam. I have been playing consistently over the years and would consider myself a veteran player, I don't have the most experience out of all the player base but I'd say I have a high experience level. For those that know who I am which is probably very few of the player base would know I love the game, base off my time in game, playing, admining, competing (for a limited time). I have seen it all from a clan perspective, as both a leader and player and from a non-clan/ community member. Mainly player in the OCE region but with some time in EU and NA. From the early versions of the game till now the game has progressively limited its potential and current customers. At the moment around 4 groups exist being casual, veteran, retired and new/ potential buyers. What I'm saying won't reflect everyone in all groups but should be relevant in some way to all.
For those that have been in the squad community for a time will know that there are a lot of opinions being thrown around from all genre of players and due to the actions of a few in the past I can understandably see why the developers have chosen to accommodated the players that wish for the game to slow down to a almost complete stop. With previous versions I saw a mix of game play types across a variety of servers, all genre of players were accommodated for because the game was open to interpretation and mostly how you wanted to play come down to which server you decided to play on. Although most of these servers are still around with much the same rules and guidelines the game play style that has been slowly implemented means that those wishing to play others styles don't have a choice anymore. Joining any server limits you to the one and only play style. This style has been reinforced by major changes that include but are not limited to, bleed, cap rushes, vehicles, fobs/ deployments, stamina, suppression, gun play and bloody persistent ammo. While some of the updates were for the good, others have completely killed some player styles.
The game as it is does not reward players that show initiative, being on attack does not reward you and for the most part if you want to win a game the easiest way to do so is to "park the bus" on a defence flag. Bleed was the major factor change to this new meta. Before its removal players had the opportunity to show greater initiative, trying new techniques and experimenting with attacking an objective, whether that be a cache, flag or fob. Without costing the team more tickets then it was worth spending to attack. Even though flag caps are now worth a lot more in an attempt to even out the loss of bleed this hasn't changed how people play. For the player group that liked to keep attacking, this means that they were shunned from the player base. Obviously players still attack but those that are left, are from the player base that like to takes things more realistically. With the games having 2 hours to play out this means that most of the time only a couple of flags are actually focused on and maps with large amounts of flags are left largely unexplored. Asking the question why bother have some many flags when all you need is a few. Also this leaves me wondering why time and effort is put into building large 5x5 maps when on a regular basis only 80% of it is actually going to be used.
My point on attacking to a degree goes hand in hand with cap rushes, as it used to be the game wasn't fun for anyone involved when a team that was experience rushed first/ second caps. Most of the time defending teams were left completely out of position leaving the game to be over sometimes in the matter of 15 minutes. How the developers changed the capping system was great, it allowed those that still wished to rush in the game without ending a game in short periods. This changed although limiting some players didn't push them completely out of the game and found a way to accommodate all. Whoever at OWI thought of and implemented this system I applaud you.
Realistic vehicles are not a viable part in squad while other new changes are put in place. Over time vehicles have slowly been buffed to absolute god tier level. With the game hopefully someday making its way to the promised 50v50 players this will leave 90% them on some maps relatively useless against amour. Tanks and other armored vehicles have way too much health and I believe that this has now been put in place because players have forgotten that they should not be used as melee range. Tank barrels are not used as blunt weapons to slap the enemy around from a few meters away. Vehicles are long range weapons used to support the capture of flags or engage other vehicles at long range, buffing them with ridiculous amounts of health does not help anyone. With the implementation of persistent ammo this leaves most infantry completely useless against amour. The average amounts of anti-tanks kits in a squad is 2, with the exception of the heavy anti-tank class. With the current health of vehicles this means that even trucks can drive around safely without the worry of being destroyed, let alone MBTs. Now that FOBs can be deactivated from 30 meters away this means vehicles will be able to drive straight to them and unload a force of troops rendering the FOB useless. Taking major objectives like this should take more skill and precision then driving straight at it head first without a worry in the world. While health is the main problem at the moment with vehicles, ticket loss is also a factor to be considered. In the unlikely situation where infantry can muster up the strength to destroy a vehicle without allied vehicle assistance, they do not lose a great amount of tickets. The loss of a MBT should be a major loss as it can affect the game greatly, at times more than a well place FOB. Yet it only costs 15 tickets on maps that have 500 tickets per team.
Where to get started on the horrific idea of persistent ammo. Already I spoke about anti-tank kits inability to kill armored vehicles that have huge amounts of health, persistent ammo hurts these kits further. Spawning on a rally or FOB that cant get supplies because of a MBT in the area leaves the team with nothing. No hope for the infantry to have some effect on vehicles, with the eventual loss of a flag or FOB as they don't respawn with any ammo. I'm going to keep bringing it up as this is all I'm talking about but this new change slows the gameplay down. For those that like it, go nuts but for those that wish to play the game differently, they have yet again been shunned by the developers. Obviously persistent ammo doesn't just affect one kit but all, all kits have been left with very little to continue a fight of any effort after the first major engagement. As the updated suppression system has been added ammo is needed more than ever but using it means that you are then useless. The 2 changes in a perfect world look great on paper but in reality they counteract each other. Contradiction of these changes gets me thinking if anyone knows what is actually going on.
Emplacements and well placed FOBs should influence the team greatly as they do but increasing the limit of construction/ ammo points to 20,000 is not necessary. In a average game 1-2 squads want to build massive FOBs, that's ok as long as it helps the team. Building a super FOB 600m away from any major objective with a full squad and use of 1 logistics truck however, is baffling. The game is marketed as a team game, any SLs that have dealt with players wasting assets know that usually they are left completely helpless unless a admin is around. Increasing the points on a FOB reinforces that it's completely ok to leave the team without 25% of its players and down logistics vehicle. Obviously the developers don't put these construables in the game to not be used but some medium ground has to be found. Yet again only one player style is favored in this all, shunning those that don't feel this is crucial to teamwork left wanting. Mortars and TOWs are a great change to the game that allowed all player styles to enjoy FOBs and constructables while still being able to effectively help the team.
Skill gaps in the game are becoming less defined as they used to be on a individual scale. Suppression changes lower the skill gap yet again, with the removal of friendly effects and increase of enemy effects. I feel as if the way it was before v12 was sufficient, friendlies should be able to suppress you, this game is a realistic shooter not a kindergarten. The updates to suppression have made players less skilled as they no longer need to be situationally aware. In a fight between 2 teams the better shooters should have an advantage but in this scenario it comes down to whoever can puts more rounds down range. Yet again for those players that like the challenge of winning fire fights have been left shunned by the developers. Those that like the game this way are again usually part of one play style only. One change that is appropriate is that the larger the caliber, the round the larger the suppression effect, in that aspect it's not all bad news.
As with all the updated effects, changes can be hard to judge without proper testing this does not exclude stamina. This has been changed too many times to count over the years but yet again its favoring one play style. Lets not forget that this is a realistic shooter the troops you are controlling ingame are meant to be modeled off professional soldiers. From my understanding some of the developers are ex-military with understanding of troop stamina in reality. As to are some players ex and current serving military from all over the world which I think is great. Something I can't understand though is the complete inability of troops in game to run more than 150 meters without dying of exhaustion. Sprinting this distance in full gear isn't fun and the way a sway system was put into the gun play after running was a great idea but it doesn't take as long as it does ingame to regain a bit of stamina. Adrenaline takes control, troops can react faster, run longer and fight harder because of it. An increase in the stamina system is needed in my view. Professional soldiers shouldn't need to take a 2 minute nap so they can run for less then 150 meters in the midst of combat.
I could probably keep going with other changes to the game but I think these are some of the major points. As I have said there are many different player genres in the game, none of these groups are wrong. even though from what I have said it might seem that way. Changes that are made to the game should accommodate all players to some degree. I understand that in part the game is a updated replica of Project Reality. But all I have to point out are the player statistics of that game and this game in the past. Yes Squad has been slowly growing its player base which is great to see and I hope it continues for many years to come. Emphasis on slowly. Yes I know the company is small compared to other large gaming corporations but the modding community is also around. Hopefully in the future these mods will be introduced into the game, for those that haven't tried some of them get on steam and have a look around. Some I would love to see and understand that may be introduced are factions mods, maps (old bf2), game modes (zombies), equipment (helicopters). From what I have heard and read around, OWI are involved with many of these mods already which is great to see and can't wait for these additions.
Basically what I'm getting at is that don't limit your player genres, doing so just limits you customer base. Allow the servers to set changes to the game that way all players can find somewhere to play the game they want to play. If OWI aren't willing to give that much freedom to the servers then major changes need to be put in place to accommodate the majority not single out one play style. Other games in the past have done this and fallen completely on their own swords, look at DayZ for example. I don't feel that the leaders from some groups have been representing incorrectly and are spending too much time brown nosing and not giving a no bullshit response, those few that do know who I'm talking about. I haven't spoken up in the past so I guess I'm at fault as well for the current state of the game as much as the next person. Saying all this I don't like people that just outright complain and don't bring ideas to the table so Ill express some in dot point below.
- Get rid of persistent ammo, in my opinion was a complete waste of time and effort. Speaking with many players before this was introduced and a large percentage didn't like or want this change.
- Stamina needs an increase or perhaps a adrenaline system should be put in play so that if you are in contact your soldier can fight better. then when out of combat or traveling large distances on foot you have increased stamina degradation.
- Vehicle health lowered and tickets increase to punish those player that use them incorrectly.
- Giving more power the the servers to create a games that suit certain player types.
- Suppression effects lowered. Comparing to PS which is very similar game in many aspects which has a horrific suppression system and fault to why the player count is so low.
- Greater spread of flags on maps, this allows players to experience more of the maps and gives SLs more room to maneuver for an assault.
- Bring back a bleed effect in some aspect even if very little. Attacking players are given no reward for showing initiative.
- Addition of major mods.
- Differing game modes, addition of random flags is yet to be tested so time will tell but maybe something along the line of moving flags. The battlefield changes so should flags.
- Game mode idea: Capture and Hold: flags spawn randoming teams fight to cap and hold for certain amount of time, once successfully held of time limit they gain 1 point. First team to 3 points wins. Flags disappear once they have been capped and held. New flags spawn randomly.
To finish off I'm not saying that people playing the game slowly is a bad thing but it's about welcoming all and growing the player base for all players types not just 1. Aslo forgive my english skills I was never talented in that way.
I welcome a discussion if you want to talk about what I have said.