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About Vance

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    Fireteam Leader

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  1. There's a strong argument for both sides, to be sure. If the role is only used some of the time, I'd rather it not exist at all. I agree with OP in that the role needs its own set of mechanics to work in SQUAD: FOB authorization, vehicle assignment, perhaps even buying the vehicles w/ points from the team's pool before the match. I can tell you that as a regular Squad Leader, I have often keenly felt the absence of a battlefield commander. While SQUAD does work with just the Command channel, oftentimes there is just far too much on my plate, and I can't both lead my squad in the middle of an engagement and simultaneously coordinate with other SL's on where the next FOB should be, how many construction points to load, where mortars should be fired, where the enemy armor is moving to, the cap status on our flag, all while accurately marking and updating enemy locations on my map. The best roles are the ones that grow organically out of gameplay, and in case the devs are wondering, yes, there is already a vacuum of power that exists in any game of SQUAD. Even pre-match planning is often too much for me to handle adequately as I make sure all my troops are selecting roles (Medics, LATs/HATs), making sure everyone is spawned in and loaded up in the right transport, while also briefing them on everything being planned in Command. I would say that if the devs do want to implement a Commander role, he needs a special screen. Not just the spawn screen everyone else gets - you should be able to look at a tiny thumbnail of a YouTube video and immediately tell this person is playing the Commander role by his user interface. It's gotta look the part - while functionality is what drives gameplay, the design of the driver's seat should be tailor-made so that people can't help but intuitively understand the role they are expected to play. Studying RTS games is probably the best route for designing the Commander role, as he must derive his gameplay satisfaction from pure RTS-style gameplay. The role be designed so that it can't be ignored without sabotaging the quality of your own gameplay experience, as OP mentioned. Roles that exist in name-only rarely work in video games, it's gotta be backed up so that even a foot soldier can tell if the enemy Commander is incompetent at his job. THAT'S how you know you've made a gameplay-relevant role. On the other hand, part of the draw of SL is that you can make Command-level decisions which the footsoldier simply can't make due to lack of access to the Command Channel, FOB placement ability, and map marker use. I usually know exactly where the team needs a FOB, and just placing it there can secure the match, while being ordered to construct a terribly placed FOB by an incompetent Commander could not only be demoralizing to the squad and its SL, but also take a capable squad out of the fight that would otherwise be engaged in smarter things. After all, if people have a dumb SL, they just change squads - if you have a dumb Commander, you could be forced to leave the match. I think SQUAD will do just fine as an SL-only affair, not having a Commander role isn't going to kill the game at all - and the game is called SQUAD anyway, not PLATOON. The limited command structure is simple enough for new players to understand and follow - SL's do the planning, squad members do the shooting. If I was to cast my vote now, I'd vote "no" to Commander role, because there's nothing that's worse for a PVP game than bogging it down with empty roles and unnecessary red tape. Keep it lean and mean, and distill the gameplay down to the tense Squad v Squad firefights we all love.
  2. On Behalf Of All Scouts - CHECK YOUR MAP

    Driving over a friendly mine is potentially one of the costliest mistakes in the game: #1. Lose your team's Logi, APC/IFV, or Troop Transport full of troops (no FOB, armor support, or squad attack) #2. Make the road safe for enemy travel again (potentially saving an enemy Logi, APC/IFV, or Troop Transport at the same time) #3. Waste the Scout's time that placed the mine (often takes 5-8 minutes to place a good mine, and if you blow it the Scout may as well have been AFK in main) Admittedly one of the most hilarious sights in the game is a Scout frantically running towards a Logi driving down the road, screaming at the top of his lungs "STOP THE F***ING TRUCK! MINE! ABLAS ESPANOL??? STOP-O POR FAVOR, ROAD ES NO BUENO!!! F***ING STOP, YOU'RE GONNA DIE!!!" Then the subsequent explosion and the expletive-ridden swearing of the Scout heard in the distance... "IF YOU WOULD HAVE JUST LISTENED TO ME, YOU WOULDN'T ALL BE DEAD. I HOPE YOU ENJOY DRIVING IN HELL, BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE DEAD PEOPLE GO." Check your maps when you drive, guys. I play a lot of Scout and I place my mines in areas you can't swerve in.
  3. Squad Leader 101

    It got sticked on Squad's Steam forum around 24 hours after I posted it - link here I'm planning to create an entire 101 series for Squad, partly to train my squad and partly because I think a lot of squad roles (Machine Gunner and Marksman especially) are not being used optimally by the average SQUAD player. (For all you Marksman haters, I love having a Marksman in my squad). If you have any special requests for guides (Mortar 101, SuperFOB 101) just let me know and I might work it in. Most of this info comes from notes I wrote for myself in Evernote while I was learning the game, so I have the foundations of all the guides ready to go. Please upvote and comment on the guide if you liked it, it helps me by bringing the guide to the top of the list so people find it - and ensures more people read it so we start getting better SL's (and better games) in the SQUAD community.
  4. H.A.R.M. Tactical Squad

    Slots still open in H.A.R.M., our first scheduled session starts tomorrow, on Saturday August 25th. PM me if you're interested in joining and you may get a permanent slot in Squad 1 based on attendance - we will be playing a casual session the first time around just to get to know each other.
  5. Thoughts on Suppression

    My honest opinion is that getting hit should either hurt you more or kill you faster. It's not a popular opinion on this board and I could be wrong about whether it would be good for the game or not, but my decision to shoot back at an enemy attempting to suppress me has nothing to do with the effects that are being superimposed on my screen. I do it because I can afford to get hit, period. If you've ever played the Diablo games in Hardcore mode (a.k.a. one life mode) you know it changes absolutely everything about how you approach the game, from what stats are valuable on items, to what engagements you take, to the kind of people you want playing with you. It didn't stagnate the game, it actually made it more dynamic, and once I started playing it I never, ever went back (also what most people report). In game design, it's better to try and design a derby then make it safe, than design bumper cars and try and make it exciting. You can afford make the gameplay punishing, hostile, and volatile, then dial it down with patches, not the other way around. The best gameplay, in my experience, is when everything is balanced to feel too strong. IDEAS - Weapon sway proportional to remaining health - Torso one-shots - Stacking spawn timers (longer and longer spawns the more you die) - Players cannot self-bandage - Limping or reduced movement on being hit - Aim punch on being shot - Fall down if hit by a shot that does more than 50% of your health in damage (just like we fall down when hit by a truck) - Immediate incap if shot while Bleeding (no more walking away from being triple-tapped) - Yell in pain on being shot, and groans while moving in Wounded state - Can't Sprint if Wounded - Much slower Crawl speed if Wounded or no Fast Crawl - Much faster Bleed Outs - K/D ratio on Official Servers is tracked and tied to your Steam profile, viewable on a Career page - Dying frees up your chosen Role for another squadmate until you re-select it on spawn (if it's still available by then) These are just some ideas to experiment with. Some of them are extreme changes, but all-in-all, it's best to make those kind of changes while the game is in Alpha and not when designing the 8th helicopter for the expansion crowd. I personally don't think I'd mind my screen just going black on taking a nasty bullet or getting a mortar to the helmet. The only thing that really gets the autopilot crowd to play it safe is if they are punished by not being able to continue playing for a while if they put their character in irresponsible positions.
  6. There is a common misconception I see in the suppression debate. The argument is often thrown around that recruits IRL are very affected by suppressive fire, while in SQUAD people behave like stone-hearted elite operatives and ignore the hail of bullets in favor of returning accurate fire, due to a weak "suppression effect" in the game. It might be interesting to consider this: Though the recruit is definitely more scared of bullets than the operative, recruits die to bullets far more often than elite operatives do. This is because operatives don't actually need to receive fire to evaluate what they can and can't do in a certain situation - all that is needed to suppress an operative is the threat of fire. If an operative knows he is within the effective range of an MG, and all other factors considered, he evaluates that this engagement is not in his favor, he will not come out of cover by even as much as a pinky finger. Suppression IS happening, without a single bullet being fired. The MG is already winning. Recruits, on the other hand, will often peek, try to maneuver, or try to return fire - and receive what is ordinarily termed "suppressive fire" as a result. Suppression can happen WITHOUT bullets being fired. As for how to fix the current problem of suppressing fire not being very suppressive, I can only speak from my gameplay experience. When I choose to run through a bulletstorm, which I admittedly do often, I make that decision for 3 reasons: #1. CURRENT BULLET DAMAGE I know that the only way I can be dropped in one shot is to get hit with a .50 cal bullet or higher at close range, or get shot in the head. Due to the fact that I can take two bullets before I go down (or even slow down), I am much less afraid of "bullet hoses" or rifle "area fire," because hitting an enemy twice in a row, MG or no, requires you to focus on firing at a specific single target. The soldier doesn't mush his face into the mud because he's scared of getting hit twice - it's because he knows that getting hit at all is not an option. #2. REVIVE If I do go down, I know that I can still get back up due to Medics. This isn't an argument against Medic revives per se, but the "everyone revives" change that is supposed to be implemented in the next patch may exacerbate the suppression problem. I know that when I'm out of bandages, I suddenly find myself a LOT more scared of the bullets landing around me. #3. SPAWN MECHANICS It is often a benefit to die in SQUAD. Sometimes I'm low on ammo and I truly want to die. I may be separated from my unit and I know it's much faster to die and spawn on my squad's rally then to go cross-country and risk dying on the way to them anyway. Sometimes I evaluate that it's definitely in our team's favor for me to trade with an MG if I'm already close to my FOB. Sometimes I just would rather die to see how things are going on the other side of the map. If you nerf spawning, you buff suppression. That's just how it works. I honestly don't think aim-punch or sway is the answer. The current effect is, in my opinion, perfect, and one of the most immersive effects in the game. Addressing the lack of suppression by making nearby bullet cracks into RNG-inducers is not treating the root cause of the problem and will cause unnatural-feeling gameplay. If being injured made my life miserable, if bullets killed me better, or if death didn't feel like an option, I would take those loud cracks a lot more seriously - and MG's would see a lot less of me when they are hosing down an area.
  7. Here are my top 2. #1. Only Medic revives. I don't think the "everyone can revive" change should go through. Being able to get people on their feet again is really the only thing that makes it fun to play a Medic ("Can I get to him? Will he die before I get to him? Who is most important to revive?") Having everyone just get the guy next to them up (even after being shot with a .50 cal seconds ago) will not, in my opinion, make the game any more fun for newcomers or vets - penalty time or no - and will make Medic a real chore to play as you are basically just a heal dispenser. #2. Weapon sway when injured. Your weapon should sway if you're injured - in proportion to the degree you are injured, whether you are bleeding out or not. Shooting someone in the chest from a window half a mile away, watching the guy take cover, then getting a laser-accurate bullet to the head from the same guy a moment later, should not be something that can easily happen. I understand why the devs don't want one-shots to be common (even if I think higher calibers should drop you with a chest shot) but as it stands if your bullets didn't incap, you basically did nothing to him except make him write "bandage when poss." in his day planner.
  8. Squad Leader 101

    H.A.R.M. applicants were PM'ed today - check your inboxes and follow the instructions. Guide updated with minor fixes.
  9. H.A.R.M. Tactical Squad

    Applications for Squad 1 are closed - chosen applicants were PM'ed today. Applications for Squad 2 are still open until max playerbase of 18 members is reached.
  10. H.A.R.M. Tactical Squad

    First submissions are in, I'll be waiting to review them until I have more PM's from people wanting to join.
  11. Squad Leader 101

    I understand your point - the original version of the guide was longer and went into more depth on the subject - edited for brevity and clarity. I do stand by the opinion that new SL's should definitely stick with the base of fire. SL's in the flanking element are committed to the fight and it's highly unlikely they will be able to withdraw with a squadmate if they need to place or refresh a rally. They are also not in a position to make use of their binoculars to survey the battlefield; i.e. spotting reinforcements entering a town attempting to attack the flanking element. SL's in the flanking element must also divert all their attention to attacking and it's near impossible to multitask - responding to other SL's talking in Command, placing map and unit markers on the contacts called out, and issuing accurate orders to the members of their squad. I trust randoms to be better at the run-and-gun tactics of taking a town than having the patience required to be an effective base of fire (most of us were raised on CoD4 anyway), so I don't feel I need to be there with them unless the squad completely lacks initiative. The flanking element can be stacked if heavy casualties are expected - the base of fire only needs 2-3 rifles, or one Autorifleman/MG, to do its job. Lastly, it is U.S. Army doctrine that Squad Leaders stay with the base of fire.
  12. H.A.R.M. Tactical Squad

    H.A.R.M. is a squad for players that want to take their SQUAD game to the next level. Infantry tactics and close coordination are what this squad is all about. The basic principles this squad is built on are outlined in my Squad Leading guide, Squad Leader 101, but the goal of H.A.R.M. is to further refine and implement real-world infantry tactics and close-knit teamwork until the unit is a well-trained fighting machine. This is an elite unit and slots are limited - the unit is capped at 18 regular players on rotation. THE 3 PILLARS OF H.A.R.M. #1. PATIENCE H.A.R.M. is only for the patient player. The squad's goal is to implement real-world infantry tactics in SQUAD, repeatedly practicing those tactics until they can be carried out consistently and effectively in public matches. Training the fundamentals will take time and repetition, including dedicated practice matches and squad scrims, and players that are impatient to "get on with their game" are not going to like it in H.A.R.M. The first and foremost quality required is patience. #2. TACTICS not FLUFF H.A.R.M. is not a military fluff squad. It is not interested in implementing military practices that do not directly translate to SQUAD's gameplay. H.A.R.M. is about stripped-down and distilled infantry tactics, not a painstaking re-enactment of real-life military ranks, obscure jargon, and impractical infantry doctrines. If it's practiced in H.A.R.M., it's because it actually works in-game. The fundamentals of infantry combat are timeless, and that's what merits the repetition and practice. #3. TEAMWORK H.A.R.M. operates on a small roster to ensure the teamwork is close-knit and well coordinated. The squad will learn to operate as an team - refining tactics, communication, and execution until second-nature. Members are expected to always follow orders - whether from their SL or their fireteam leader. Members must master their role - their understanding of their job as it relates to the squad will enable them to effectively function in their role even without specific direction, eliminating the need for micro-management and greatly reducing unnecessary casualties. H.A.R.M. FUNDAMENTALS - The unit will cap at 18 players, on rotation (two full squads in total). - The squad will always play one private practice game to train tactics & teamwork before queuing for public matches. - The unit will organize 9v9 private scrims to further train and refine these tactics in practice combat situations. - Unique lessons for the day may vary, but the fundamentals will be drilled time and time again until they are second-nature. - Squad members are expected to specialize in one role - limited flexing is allowed depending on player availability. - Members must have enough available playtime to play at least a twice a week - play sessions will last from 2 to 5 hours. - Squad Leaders and Team Leaders must read the Squad Leader 101 guide in full - regular members are highly encouraged to read it also. - Squad members must follow orders promptly and to the best of their ability. - Squad members must have a firm enough understanding of their role to be able to carry it out without being told what to do. - Squad members are expected to memorize and use gameplay-relevant callouts, and use them consistently. - Squads will be divided into two Fireteams, each with their dedicated Fireteam Leader. - Team Leaders are expected to put in extra time and effort into learning their role and functioning as leaders for the unit. - Basic unit formations will be implemented - Column, Line, and File - as well as the Traveling Overwatch and Bounding Overwatch doctrines. - Members are encouraged to do their own learning on the subject of infantry tactics and the use of their weapon. - This is a commitment-based squad, not a performance-based squad - if you are committed to improving, we will train you until your performance is up to par. - H.A.R.M. is a positive environment to enjoy SQUAD. Negativity and toxicity, especially racism or verbal abuse, will result in an immediate kick from the unit. - Timezone is "Global" until a play schedule can be worked out. The hours you are able to consecutively play is more important than what time of day you can play. APPLYING FOR H.A.R.M. Please send me a PM if you want to join (the subject line should be "HARM Application from <Steam Name>, and include the following: #1. Why you want to join H.A.R.M. #2. Your timezone and playtime availability #3. Your top two desired roles in the squad (one may be taken) #4. Confirmation of your commitment to practice until you have mastered your role in H.A.R.M. (Applications for positions are currently: OPEN) **If you are accepted, you will receive a reply PM - change your in-game clan tag to [H.A.R.M.] ***Positions are extremely limited, don't take it personally if you don't receive a reply ROLE AVAILABILITY SQUAD 1 Squad 1 Leader (Vance) Alpha Team Leader / Rifleman Medic Machine Gunner Grenadier Bravo Team Leader / Rifleman Medic Autorifleman LAT/HAT SQUAD 2 Squad 2 Leader Alpha Team Leader (Rifleman) Medic Machine Gunner Grenadier Bravo Team Leader (Rifleman) Medic Autorifleman LAT/HAT
  13. Squad Leader 101

    SQUAD LEADER 101 is the complete manual to becoming an effective SL in SQUAD. It includes kit and role breakdown, leadership tips, infantry tactics, callouts, and much more. It's written to be the ultimate guide to Squad Leading and should help many aspiring SL's learn the ropes. If you like it, please upvote it and leave a comment on Steam. GUIDE CONTENTS i. Introduction ii. Earning the Stripes 1. Squad Leader Basics 2. The Squad Leader 3. R.O.P.E. 4. Rallies and Fobs 5. Infantry Tactics 6. Squad Roles 7. Vehicles 8. Leadership I 9. Leadership II 10. Callouts Link to the Steam Guide