eggman

An idea to possibly mitigate gheymeyness of rushing tactics

The opening of many Squad rounds end up quite similar, that being to rush forward and establish an FOB, blocking the enemy from taking a critical objective while your team takes the objectives behind you. The enemy is typically doing the same and it's usually predictable as to which objectives these will be. Many maps grind down to a battle over the middle objectives.

 

More often than not, the outcome of this "opening gambit" dictates the winner of the map. Not always - which is one great aspect of the very organic Squad / PR gameplay dynamics. While this rushing tactic is not awful, the games can still be tremendous fun to play, it does not feel very tactical; it's a super gamey dynamic imo. I do not believe you can get rid of this all together, but I think it can be made less gamey.

 

An idea to possibly mitigate the gheymeyness of rush tactics

One thought I had is that mappers could, optionally, pre-define areas where a single rally point can be placed before the start of the game. These would be placed fairly far forward along the lines of advance. An SL can place a rally point in this area.  Once an SL has placed a rally point within the pre-defined zone, no other SLs can place a rally point there.

 

The "reset" timer on the rally point would start the moment the game started, so another one could not be set for 2 minutes (or whatever the duration of the timer becomes).

 

This would reflect the advanced stages of a "movement to contact". This would not prevent rushing tactics - in fact this approach accelerates the opening minutes of the game into direct contact - but this approach would mitigate the negative impact of a team's first 60 seconds of the game dictating how that entire round will play out. There is nothing really interesting or tactical about getting out of your main fast and intact; it always feels gamey to me.

 

These "patrol zones" would also enhance the need for pre-match coordination amongst SLs. It helps to establish "areas of operation" for individual squads at the outset of the game. In a future state where there was a command squad and commander, these rally point allocations within the "patrol zones" could be defined by the commander. See SL suggestions thread:  http://forums.joinsquad.com/topic/25631-suggestions-from-an-sl-point-of-view

 

Here's what the Patrol Zones might look like for Chora AAS v1:

patrrol-zones-chora-aas-v1.jpg

 

 

In addition to this...

Tie the spawning of logistics trucks at the main base to the capture of your first objective. Once the first objective is captured, the logistics trucks would spawn at the main base. This reflects the idea that this type of combat support is not available until initial contact with the enemy has been established and resolved.

 

For asymmetrical play, insurgents might get a logi at main in the opening.

 

This will add a degree of importance to securing the first objective (as opposed to it being one that often is left behind as meaningless in comparison to the need to block the enemy's first capture). With a "patrol zone" near that first objective, there is no excuse for it not to be easily capturable.

 

Summary

  • Add mapper defined patrol zones for each team where a single rally point can be placed by SLs
  • Tie Logistics Truck spawns at main to capture of first objective.
  • I think the combination of these two dynamics eliminates the ability to establish an FOB in the middle of the map as an opening gambit.
  • It enables the first few minutes of the game to be significantly more tactical in nature (as opposed to who can get out of their main the fastest).
  • It helps to establish a clear AO for squads.
  • It forces coordination amongst squad leaders at the beginning of the game.
  • It creates a "movement to contact" phase in the opening of the round, effectively getting some squads "into the fight" right away.
  • These things won't eliminate rushing tactics, but rushing forward becomes significantly more risky; a more deliberate approach will likely be more successful.

 

Thoughts?

 

Cheers,

egg

 

Edited by eggman

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interesting, it would be worth testing out to see how it plays out. Deff somethign a custom server could do once wrokshop hits

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These are just patch-job "fixes" that try to treat symptoms instead of the underlying cause, drastically increasing the learning curve through implementing one-off and un-intuitive mechanisms that do not logically follow from the rest of the game. It would also just restrict gameplay variability.

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3 minutes ago, Tartantyco said:

These are just patch-job "fixes" that try to treat symptoms instead of the underlying cause, drastically increasing the learning curve through implementing one-off and un-intuitive mechanisms that do not logically follow from the rest of the game. It would also just restrict gameplay variability.

 

 

What are your suggestions on how to fix the underlying problems?

 

The reality is that if you leave a dynamic open to being exploited for the purposes of winning, players will exploit it. There is no way to eliminate rush tactics entirely. It's about mitigating the efficacy of the dominant "meta" game so that a variety of meta game options emerge as viable.

 

I've had years of gameplay design experience, I would not consider these "unintuitive". It's immediately learnable for the regular infantry - as simple as "spawn on the rally". Adding layers of player controlled depth is what keeps games like PR and Squad appealing to an audience on a long term basis - some folks don't know, need to know, and may never care about certain aspects of the game; others can accumulate more knowledge of the systems and dynamics and attempt to apply that to their squad / team advantage.

 

 

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Seems like a decent idea, but this would generate weird dynamics with vehicles (i.e. some of the squad would have to spawn main, grab armor, bring it, etc.)

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18 minutes ago, eggman said:

I've had years of gameplay design experience, I would not consider these "unintuitive". It's immediately learnable for the regular infantry - as simple as "spawn on the rally". Adding layers of player controlled depth is what keeps games like PR and Squad appealing to an audience on a long term basis - some folks don't know, need to know, and may never care about certain aspects of the game; others can accumulate more knowledge of the systems and dynamics and attempt to apply that to their squad / team advantage.

 

Well, it's bad game design. Your proposed additions do not follow from any other game mechanic or system. Why can't you have a logistics truck until you cap the first flag? What is the basis for the "patrol zones"? 

 

Your suggested game mechanics are in effect forcing gameplay into a box that it must conform to, restricting gameplay variety. You're not adding layers of player controlled depth, you're defining the accepted gameplay parameters. Why should you "reflect the stages of a 'movement to contact'"? Why are you enforcing "areas of operation" for squads? These are things that the players can define for themselves through what the game informs them. The only thing you're doing by making them explicit through game mechanics is restricting gameplay to that specific avenue.

 

While these two things in a vacuum are not hard to learn, they do require that you look them up instead of them being a logically understood as an inherent extension of apparent gameplay. And the more of these you put in the game, the worse it becomes. They do not solve the underlying issue, they introduce layer upon layer of exclusive and isolated rulesets that are only relevant for certain sections of the game. There's already enough of these in the game, and introducing even more will not help.

 

19 minutes ago, eggman said:

What are your suggestions on how to fix the underlying problems?

 

Dump AAS. It's a game mode conceived to concentrate conflict when PR was still using BF2 spawning systems(Spawn on SL, vehicles, flags). It's been outmoded in PR since spawning was restricted to FOBs and RPs, and it's outmoded in Squad. The linear capping of the AAS game mode is the underlying problem. Game mechanics should be implemented based on emergence: Simple systems with simple rules that allow for vast complexity. AAS does not do that, and no amount of patch-jobs will fix it.

 

Introduce a game mode that puts the entire map in play:

Add an entirely player-driven logistical system:

Dump the current vehicle spawning and claiming system in favor of one that allows squads to design their squads with certainty, instead of the anarchy of rushing for the vehicles at spawn:

 

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1 hour ago, Tartantyco said:

 

Well, it's bad game design. Your proposed additions do not follow from any other game mechanic or system. Why can't you have a logistics truck until you cap the first flag? What is the basis for the "patrol zones"? 

 
 
 

 

Can you point me to any playable games that establish your qualifications as a subject matter expert on game design that qualifies you to determine good or bad design (over and above being a gamer)?

 

1 hour ago, Tartantyco said:

 

Your proposed additions do not follow from any other game mechanic or system. Why can't you have a logistics truck until you cap the first flag? What is the basis for the "patrol zones"? 

 
 
 

 

"Spawn on the rally" is about as simple as it gets in terms of understanding Squad gameplay mechanics. Establishing that a patrol is out looking for enemy contact is pretty much what the game is about in it's opening stages. That's been bastardised to exploit an incomplete design that allows establishing an unrealistically fortified FOB early in the game. If executed well - as in you got moving faster and had no issues getting to the critical objective - you have a disproportionately upper hand rewarded for what amounts to very little tactical competence.

 

The delayed spawn of logistics trucks is an idea to prevent the rushing forward tactics. Squad is a metaphor for tactical combat (because a literal representation would not be fun). The metaphor in the suggestion is that the logistics element would not push forward until some foothold in the combat area was established (again a metaphor because typically a supply truck would be pretty rare in combat zones as represented in Squad).

 

1 hour ago, Tartantyco said:

Your suggested game mechanics are in effect forcing gameplay into a box that it must conform to, restricting gameplay variety. You're not adding layers of player controlled depth, you're defining the accepted gameplay parameters. Why should you "reflect the stages of a 'movement to contact'"? Why are you enforcing "areas of operation" for squads? These are things that the players can define for themselves through what the game informs them. The only thing you're doing by making them explicit through game mechanics is restricting gameplay to that specific avenue.

 
 
2

 

There isn't much restriction on variety in the suggestion. It would merely adjust the first few minutes of the round (also eliminating the rather uninteresting stage of capturing objectives with 1 person). Either you didn't comprehend the suggestion, or you have interpreted it incorrectly.

 

Reflecting "movement to contact" is looking at the dynamics of actual combat and using that basis for gameplay dynamics as a means of addressing a flaw in the current (incomplete) design.

 

There is no enforcing areas of operations, the idea of a squad taking a specific area (by means of establishing their initial spawn in point within one of the patrol zones) is to clearly articulate where squads will start the game. That initial spawn point being clearly visible to all other squads on the map helps with team-wide coordination (as opposed to the "you go South, we go North" only to find that both squads went North because they changed their minds, or the driver got lost). The restriction to gameplay to a specific avenue is intentional as a means of making it significantly less viable to rush forward and spam down a team wide spawn point.

 

1 hour ago, Tartantyco said:

While these two things in a vacuum are not hard to learn, they do require that you look them up instead of them being a logically understood as an inherent extension of apparent gameplay. And the more of these you put in the game, the worse it becomes. They do not solve the underlying issue, they introduce layer upon layer of exclusive and isolated rulesets that are only relevant for certain sections of the game. There's already enough of these in the game, and introducing even more will not help.

 
 
2

 

The suggestions don't require that a regular Infantry man is aware of them. Just Squad Leaders. The "metaphor" that Squad leading in PR and Squad is intended to establish is that being a Squad Leader in a military operation is significantly more complex than most people would think. There is a huge amount of training required to be an Infantryman and even more to lead a squad. This isn't intended to be a "buy the game, lead a squad, be the hero" experience.

 

1 hour ago, Tartantyco said:

Dump AAS. It's a game mode conceived to concentrate conflict when PR was still using BF2 spawning systems(Spawn on SL, vehicles, flags). It's been outmoded in PR since spawning was restricted to FOBs and RPs, and it's outmoded in Squad. The linear capping of the AAS game mode is the underlying problem. Game mechanics should be implemented based on emergence: Simple systems with simple rules that allow for vast complexity. AAS does not do that, and no amount of patch-jobs will fix it.

 
 
2

 

AAS is to Squad is what Conquest is to BF. It's the bread and butter game mode. It's easy to grasp for most players. I don't see it going away (tho in Project Reality AAS evolved substantially over the years).

 

Game modes will always develop an established meta around them. That's reality. When the metagame aligns to the gameplay dynamics and tempo you want, you stop ****ing with it. I don't think Squad and AAS are there yet.

 

Some aspects of your suggestions are really great. But until those things are playable in a game situation, you can't really tell.

 

An example of a metagame that would evolve in Territory Control is 5 guys in a vehicle performing a massive envelopment loop at the beginning of every game. Whoever wins the opening envelopment loop encounter has a substantial advantage in the round. And then it becomes a jigsaw puzzle game where you zig-zag 5 guys into a 2 or 3 thick line of squares to cut off the enemy territory, creating a "wtf just happened to all our territory" response from players just before they rage quit. It creates a "fight the squares on the map" objective as opposed to fighting the other team.

 

Also if you think what is proposed here requires "looking up" and that is some sort of bad thing, after reading some of your suggestions again (I've read them int he past) we clearly have different experiences with what gamers think of as complex.

 

1 hour ago, Tartantyco said:

Introduce a game mode that puts the entire map in play:

Add an entirely player-driven logistical system:

Dump the current vehicle spawning and claiming system in favor of one that allows squads to design their squads with certainty, instead of the anarchy of rushing for the vehicles at spawn:

 

 
 
2
Edited by eggman

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6 hours ago, eggman said:

Can you point me to any playable games that establish your qualifications as a subject matter expert on game design that qualifies you to determine good or bad design (over and above being a gamer)?

 

I just have a functional brain. Anyway, it doesn't seem that experience in game development has provided many people with much in the way of game design competence.

 

Rushing happens because of the linear capping order in AAS. Rushing isn't really a thing in Conquest or Insurgency because there is no value to it. In fact, rushing is frequently detrimental in Conquest because you often end up with a porous front line that cannot counter the enemy advance. At best, you capture a flag that the enemy doesn't really need to hold, at worst your rush is wiped and you're forced on the back foot to defend your rear flags with a weak front line.

 

FOBs aren't generally used much in rushes. Players depend on RPs instead. Restricting logistics trucks until after the first cap isn't going to have any effect. If players can just spawn at main and get vehicles to rush ahead to objectives instead, they won't use the "patrol path" RPs. Plopping infantry sections out in the middle of nowhere without vehicle support is only going to result in squads relying on RPs instead of transportation and FOBs.

 

The team will decide when the logistical element moves ahead on the map, it should not be dictated by game mechanics.

 

All you've done is add restrictions and rules that have no tangible effect on the problem and makes matches more repetitive.

 

AAS is the bread and butter of Squad because it is the only widely playable game mode right now. Conquest has three maps, Ins and ITC are both crap game modes that people don't play.

 

6 hours ago, eggman said:

An example of a metagame that would evolve in Territory Control is 5 guys in a vehicle performing a massive envelopment loop at the beginning of every game. Whoever wins the opening envelopment loop encounter has a substantial advantage in the round. And then it becomes a jigsaw puzzle game where you zig-zag 5 guys into a 2 or 3 thick line of squares to cut off the enemy territory, creating a "wtf just happened to all our territory" response from players just before they rage quit. It creates a "fight the squares on the map" objective as opposed to fighting the other team.

 

No it wouldn't because that would favor the slower of the two teams. You just have to cut a single territory in that long chain of that massive envelopment loop and that tactic is dead in the water. What it would do is force teams to consider the entire map a potential battlefield, much like what Conquest mode does currently(Although the low number of objectives on the map means many players still try to play it like AAS). Rushing isn't a thing in Conquest because the non-linear capping means the reward of halting the enemy cap isn't there.

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2 hours ago, Tartantyco said:

 

I just have a functional brain. Anyway, it doesn't seem that experience in game development has provided many people with much in the way of game design competence.

 

 

Aaaaaand... we're done.

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1 hour ago, eggman said:

 

Aaaaaand... we're done.

 

How about you just try to defend your ideas based on their merit, instead?

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denying rushing should be made by the map designer and or "forced" or made possible by him to balance the assymetric warfare and to give players the possibility to create different szenarios for every round on this map.

its on the players to understand where to send your troops.

rushing is viable tactic and nothing gamey about it imo.

 

everyone spawning in at main base and getting out of there is no bad thing too imo

its the time where u first get your squad together and get ready for a maybe 2 hour fight

it also gives you time to cooperate and talk with other squads or squadmembers while not beeing under fire

 

edit

the part with capping first flags with only one man which might feel awkward and not fun for the one guy capping could be solved by the map designer  by giving them this flags from start. like in kohat us vs russia. or by game designers to implement an automatic flag capture option for map designers (with maybe a impossibility to rush those flags and a indicatior for it - like a greyed out version of an already capped flag)

the need of capping a flag is slowing down the game too by itself and therefore maybe wanted by the map designer

 

the gameypart imo comes in when you rush, succeed or at least stand and have a fob established in minutes where the whole army which got wiped elswhere or even held their spawn can spawn in in a second.

the gameypart imo is when "all" u need to do is outnumbering the enemy on the actual flag

 

because of this mechanic its often contraproductive to control territory around the flag

it might be contraproductive to send a squad searching for enemy fob because it might end up searching mushrooms in some woods not finding it and beeing utterly useless because u lose numbers on the flag

and due to game pace and mentioned above things its easy to than flank the enemy unseen establish fobs/rallys and start steamrolling on next flag on some maps.

 

what might help is not only a minimum number to cap an actual flag but also a max cap eg: 1 squad for both teams where the flag indicator starts going to neutral

so as attacker you can neutralize the flag with even numbers

so you can "hold" the white flag as the previously defending team with even numbers

 

this would give both sides time to try control area around the flag and to start considering the whole map as battlefield

searching for fobs ...

creating unique experiences and objectives due to different, changing frontlines

and slow down the game and could help reducing steamrolling which is imo the much bigger problem than rushing to a flag at the start itself. (which i dont think is a problem itself because it creates different experiences)

it might slow it down too much.

u might have to set different max limits for different flags and with this indicators for the players so they know when they are on max

u might have to tie the defending max cap to the requirement of having at least a prevouisly owned but now white flag connected to this flag for the attackers

Edited by gshAT
added suggestion for 1 player cap situations

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I'm quite pleased to see that others also share the feeling that in certain maps the games has become largely a rushing festival. The fact that there is not way to disable respawning in a FOB/HAB other than shoveling it down, disrupts gameplay. Last night an enemy squad rushed to one of our first flags with a supply truck, barricaded themselves in there and managed to hold that flag for far too long! They had endless ammo and an active FOB inside the compound, all the while exchange frag granades over the walls. So, they died and respawned in there and had infinite supply of frags and bullets, quite...gamey.

 

It's worth to mention that our team did the exact same thing, rushed their flags while leaving ours vulnerable to this. The logistics system needs the overhaul ASAP, points for ammo and construction must cease to get replenished as the clock goes by, if they need more bullets and sandbags, they need a supply drop.

 

 

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Would be ezpz to fix rushing, just make the first few flags for both teams already capped at the beginning of the round.

 

Then we can all enjoy pushing the same middle flags on every map, every game, till our hearts content!

 

It just speaks to the inherent flaw of AAS game mode... Lets keep it, but also pray for more dynamic game modes in the future...

 

 

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The easiest way I see to stop the mandatory Rushfest that I also find annoying without creating a new gamemode, is to tie deploying HAB/FOBs to a radius from the caps you control. Logically, a HAB would not be built isolated far ahead in enemy territory since it's a significant investment in time and resources. They should be built in friendly territory, near the front line to support the fight there and to enable pushing forward. If you can only drop them within X meters of a cap you already control, it would eliminate transports and logis racing across the map to try to create an instant, teamwide spawnpoint on the enemies first cap. Being able to only drop them near the next cap would force a more linear progression. 

 

Give rallys a longer cooldown and it would still allow squads to dash across the map to try to head off or flank the enemy, but make it far riskier, which would mean a less valuable tactic. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, LugNut said:

The easiest way I see to stop the mandatory Rushfest that I also find annoying without creating a new gamemode, is to tie deploying HAB/FOBs to a radius from the caps you control. Logically, a HAB would not be built isolated far ahead in enemy territory since it's a significant investment in time and resources. They should be built in friendly territory, near the front line to support the fight there and to enable pushing forward. If you can only drop them within X meters of a cap you already control, it would eliminate transports and logis racing across the map to try to create an instant, teamwide spawnpoint on the enemies first cap. Being able to only drop them near the next cap would force a more linear progression. 

 

Give rallys a longer cooldown and it would still allow squads to dash across the map to try to head off or flank the enemy, but make it far riskier, which would mean a less valuable tactic. 

 

 

 

I'd call that a massive step backwards. That kind of restriction would seriously reduce gameplay variety, lessen the impact of good logistics, and make games very predictable.

 

The solution is really simple: You need supplies to build and maintain FOBs/HABs. Curently, you can just dump a FOB behind enemy lines, wait a couple of minutes for supplies to accumulate, then build a HAB for infinite spawns. You don't even have to get a logi there. If you need supplies to even build the thing in the first place, and you need to keep resupplying it because spawning on it consumes resources, the issue disappears completely.

 

At that point you're going to have to maintain safe supply lines to the FOB. You're going to have to repeatedly resupply the FOB. You're not going to be able to do that with advanced FOBs, and you're going to suffer badly if you waste your logis trying it. Instead, you'll end up with teams placing FOBs in more conservative, secure locations, and building up from there as they gain ground.

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1 hour ago, Tartantyco said:

 

The solution is really simple: You need supplies to build and maintain FOBs/HABs. Curently, you can just dump a FOB behind enemy lines, wait a couple of minutes for supplies to accumulate, then build a HAB for infinite spawns. You don't even have to get a logi there. If you need supplies to even build the thing in the first place, and you need to keep resupplying it because spawning on it consumes resources, the issue disappears completely.

Can't wait for this to happen. The need to actually have logistics as a prerequisite to placing FOBs is starting to reach breaking point.

 

Of course, I might just be too old fashioned according to some people.

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rushing discussion and ideas on how to fix it >

 

it's really quite simple in the end.

 

Edited by LaughingJack

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