Why should Squad just be another fast-paced tactical shooter? Aren't there quite a lot of those already? Insurgency, DoI, Rising Storm, Rainbow Six, Verdun and many others already follow this philosphy: while they feature more detailed options, more detailed gunplay, better ballistics, etc, they are all supposed to be played in 10-15 minute rounds, with incessant combat. Squad shouldn't just be just like these games.
Squad should set itself apart.
Look at the Steam reviews. People LOVE that Squad is different, that it actually requires teamwork and thinking. Insurgency may have more customization, Rising Storm may be prettier, Rainbow Six may be competitive, but Squad provides a far more engaging experience that's not all about your K/D ratio. Insurgency and other games like it are all very nice, but in the end you are still just running in circles around a small map, killing people. This doesn't mean Squad shouldn't be accessible, but it also means it shouldn't be simplified for the sake of accessibility either. Arma is nice also, but when you have to chose between playing some godawful Wasteland or zombie survival servers, or entering clans to play very long, very orchestrated scheduled sessions, this is obviously going to keep a lot of people away, even those interested in playing tactically.
If you just want to play a fast-paced tactical shooter, then why not play any of the other games I've mentioned? They're all finished, they're much prettier, they have ranking systems, shiny weapon customizations, and quick rounds that constantly provide stimulation and rewards.
But, hey, for some reason people are still playing Squad. Even though it has a smaller playerbase, it is also far more loyal than any other other. Look at Squad's data in SteamSpy, and compare it to Insurgency's, for instance. Insurgency has eight times more players than Squad, yet for some reason there are currently virtually as many people playing Squad as there are playing Insurgency, much more people who own the game and also play it, AND they have higher average and total playtimes. Squad has been initially released over a year ago, yet it still grabs more attention on Youtube and Twitch, and the same pattern applies over time to Insurgency, Red Orchestra and other older games, and even newer ones like R6 and Rising Storm 2. People don't want more of the same, they get tire of it. This is all in spite of the lower number of units sold, which no doubt can be attributed to its lack of advertisement as well as higher price tag. Even if the playerbase is decreasing, which is a natural and ultimately unavoidable phenomena (many people seem to be irritated at the rate at which updates are being released also), it is doing so at a much slower pace than other games of its kind. There are more than a few other tactical games around, including new ones being released.
Squad is unique in its team-oriented gameplay actually being team oriented. It keeps people engaged in it, and it makes rounds far more interesting and refreshing. It keeps them playing it for a long time, it keeps them interested in it, it keeps them wanting to recommend it to friends. This uniqueness is something Squad should embrace, not turn away from. It is possible to make a game that's tactical and team-based, but also accessible and fun. Hell, just look at how PR did it for over 10 years. People WANT Squad to be tactical, they want it to be challenging, and at the same time they appreciate how it's not hard to get into, how the controls are responsive, how the interface is clean and functional. And right now I think the game is indeed going at too fast of a pace, death is still too cheap, teamwork is still mostly dependent on having a good squad leader.
Very little of what Squad does is related to actually restricting the player, so much as it is about changing the rate at which resources are dispensed (if you think of kits and vehicles as resources). This changes the meta considerably; when dying is inconsequential, you don't care about it, when it's damaging, you care about it a lot. Just having something like respawn times being affected by your behaviour is absolutely genius in its simplicity: people hate having to wait for respawn, yet at the same time they aren't frustrated by it, because they know the game is long. In most games, if I have to wait 10 seconds to spawn I would be almost pulling my hairs out, in Squad, if I have to wait 50 seconds I'm going to collect my breath and prepare.
Again, look at the Steam reviews. People are amazed at the experiences they are getting, in public servers. Hell, there are even people making the same comparisons I did, transitioning from Insurgency and even RS2, because now that they've experienced a true tactical game, they've lost the appetite for games that only go halfway. Absolutely nobody is saying "this is just like insurgency but better".
And about public servers: I think a great part of what makes Squad (and PR) great is just how organic it is: people play tactically because the game encourages them to, the mechanics make it a requirement. You can play even CoD tactically if you want to, but that's obviously not going to happen in a public server. However, Squad still manages to have public servers wherein teamwork is an actual possibility, thanks to its mechanics not only allowing it, but requiring it also. Like I've mentioned, Arma is a great game, but for a lot of people it is simply not possible, either because of language, patience, or simply lack of time, to enter tactical groups and clans, to have scheduled operations in a very strict manner. It's a lot like simracing, people like to have realistic racing games, but not everyone wants to sign up into an online league with oh-so-serious scheduled events, and in the case of milsim it looks like an entirely untapped segment of the market to me. While this doesn't mean clans shouldn't be allowed into Squad or anything, I do think the game should do everything it can to keep public rounds as smooth as possible.