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Vance

Thoughts on Suppression

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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.

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@Vance 

Well written arguments but no suggestions of alternatives.

 

The overall requirement of a "fun game" is that there is 1. low wait times and 2. lots of targets (for me this is real competitors, not AI).

To achieve both of the above we need players to be able to return to the battle quickly.

 

Gameplay requires some concessions to reality and reading between the lines of your suggestions there would be a massive change to the entire spawn system AND the way a win is decided. 

Not to say that there isnt a combination of realism and fun which can't be found but there needs to be a whole series of systems which can allow this.

 

Any suggestions? Aim punch is one, but it is going to be very hard to keep the fun and the simulated fear balanced.

 

My suggestions for dealing with suppression using the aim punch system:

  1. Adaptation...you get suppressed for a period you are going to start to get used to it. Make the first few flinches and effects quite strong but reduce them almost to nothing after 20 or so bullets have caused this effect within a period.
  2. Experience... If you have lived through a number of skirmishes after spawning you could be considered a 5 minute veteran, this could allow you to receive a reduced effect from the suppression. Consider it a bonus for living so long. Time and conditions to achieve this could be adjusted easily and could also be removed or reduced if no conflict is close for a certain period. Hiding in the hills gets you nothing, only active combat and experiencing suppression can increase your immunity to it.
  3. Overcoming suppression effects... The enemy is shooting toward you but hasn't hit you. You panic a bit but then take the time to focus and take a careful aimed shot by holding the focus key. The suppression is gradually reduced to background noise and effects but with no aim deviation after a period of focus. You take your shots and release the key and the suppression continues as before.

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Posted (edited)

@Vance

 

Great analysis, and I agree with pretty much everything you said. 

 

For me the "everything is OP"-model, where every single bullet hitting its target has a noticeable effect, is the right way to go.

 

- Get hit, and take a good amount of damage, one way or the other you are combat ineffective until a medic has patched you up.

 

- Get hit, but not take serious damage, would put you in a somewhat paralyzed state for a short while, a state that could be shortened by having a teammate lay a hand on you to snap you out of it.

 

Simple solutions for complicated issues. 

 

1 hour ago, suds said:

The overall requirement of a "fun game" is that there is 1. low wait times and 2. lots of targets

This is simply not true. There are many games that turn this formula around, in order to make each interaction with another player more of an intense experience. Building tension and adding an extra layer or two of micro- and strategic management does not make it a "boring game" as you suggest. Maybe boring to you, but that does not reflect everyone else's experience. 

 

Low wait times, lots of targets. Sound like Battlefield to me, not Squad. 

Edited by PuddleMurda

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That's basically what I've been saying about this. Getting hit in Squad is no big deal. No wonder people just don't care.

 

Just one thing: the ammo changes that are planned to come might balance out factor #2, that remains to be seen.

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15 minutes ago, Vegetal said:

That's basically what I've been saying about this. Getting hit in Squad is no big deal. No wonder people just don't care.

 

Just one thing: the ammo changes that are planned to come might balance out factor #2, that remains to be seen.

well the ammo changes should also balance out number 3. Since one of the main respawn reasons is new ammo/kit.

 

I am not really against new suppression. If it is horrible it can be tweaked or removed. It is actually one of the only things that work better in PS than Squad. So scary to be shot at by a MG42 there, it can really lock down a flank.

 

True you can make suppression work by changing it to one hit kills and setting spawn to only main and 10 minutes. But it would kill the game. This is another way to achieve the same.

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21 minutes ago, Romby said:

I am not really against new suppression. If it is horrible it can be tweaked or removed. It is actually one of the only things that work better in PS than Squad. So scary to be shot at by a MG42 there, it can really lock down a flank.

But there are many different factors in PS. Spawning is more limited, and also, the common rifleman is equipped with a craptastic bolt action rifle, a weapon that was arguably obsolete at the beginning of ww2, so the gap between them and an mg is a lot bigger.

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Posted (edited)

The "out of ammo, must die" situation is a conundrum and runs counter to what should be a goal in both PS and Squad, staying alive to kill the enemy. I often play LAT out flanking in enemy territory, and I sometimes can stay alive for a relatively long time if I'm careful. I don't normally run into caps with weapons blazing, I'm cautious, I only fire when I have an advantage, and once I engage, I'll then move to keep from being overrun. So, I'll have SL's get annoyed when they start screaming for their LAT,  I've already killed a vic and am out of rockets, without an ability to rearm. Should I suicide repeatedly or stay alive for 20 minutes at a pop? 

 

I've often run into the same problem as MG or marksman, any role providing overwatch and support. It's easy to stay alive long enough to run out of ammo and be stranded. 

Edited by LugNut

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6 hours ago, suds said:

@Vance 

Well written arguments but no suggestions of alternatives.

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.

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