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PuddleMurda

Game depth and role significance

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The upcoming implementation of fireteams within the squad is a great addition to both depth and role significance, but only if done right and if managed correctly by squad leaders. Personally I hope that only fireteam leaders will have access to squad comms as radios are overwhelmingly abused by the majority and it is getting tiresome as squad leader to constantly have to tell both other SLs as well as squad members to stay off comms, unless they have imperative information to share. 

 

All seasoned SLs have on numerous occasions had that one guy in the squad who is very active on comms, suggesting strategies and constantly calling out activity, or just small-talking. What I do on these occasions is calmly explain to the fella to stay off comms, and if the urge to organize a squad is that strong I advice to create a squad of their own. I don't need anyone else's constant opinion with every decision I make. However, sometimes a bit more initiative from squad members is a welcome addition and a guy like this, who often is pretty competent on a treeline-to-treeline level but not necessarily SL material, could possibly be a great fireteam leader. 

 

I believe a deeper hierarchical structure, enforced by limiting communication the lower in rank you are and keeping your rank communications relevant, can have very positive results in pretty much every aspect of the game

 

Please note that this has nothing to do with "realism" or "milsim". This is just basic human psychology and a structure tried and tested over the course of human history. Thousands of years of perpetual war and every single army, guerrilla, faction, and even street gangs function most efficiently with a general principal of a hierarchical structure based on unquestioned rank in place. I am very happy to see features like this that enforces such a hierarchy in a tactical shooter like Squad. 

 

What I hope for; 

 

Grunt = No radio

Fireteam leader = Squad comms

Squad leader = Squad comms and SL comms

Commander = SL comms

 

If the grunt does not have access to squad comms he / she will have to stay close to squad- or fireteam members to be up to date with what is going on. This can to some sound counter productive, but I assure you it is not. The grunt's main objective is to be combat effective, identify and neutralize targets. If the grunt is constantly being peppered with SL commands, or is distracted by the grand scheme of the operation, the grunt's combat efficiency is reduced. Keep the grunt on a need-to-know basis through local voice communication; "Hold here and keep eyes to the south, south east, east", or "We are moving west toward that compound roughly 100 meters out", "Fire at will", "Hold fire if not in a stand-off and call out contact direction" is all the information the grunt needs. 

 

The fireteam leader will recieve orders from the SL, and in his / her own way pass on and execute these orders with much greater efficiency than if the entire squad hears the same order, and everyone is acting out their own version of said order (headless chicken phenomena activated). As grunts are restricted to local voice communication, the fireteam has to work closely together as a unit. When a fireteam leader then call out contact or an immediate threat over squad comms the squad leader will much faster have a greater understanding of positions and the general situation, without total comm chaos. 


The squad leader will now be relieved of micro managing each individual player in the squad, as this is taken care of by the fireteam leaders. He / she is then allowed to primarily focus on the squad's general purpose, and coordinate defense or attack strategies with other SLs. At the moment we do not see many, if any, coordinated strategies executed by more than one squad simultaneously. I think this is due to the squad leaders having too many responsibilities, and is forced to be at a know-it-all basis at all times, not the need-to-know basis that is historically proven to be much more effective. 

 

The commander is also on a need-to-know basis. Only receiving relevant information,  giving squad leaders orders accordingly which, with minimum effort, will trickle down the ranks. The commander does not need to know if a LAT-grunt is taking fire from the south of his / her position, and often this type of information is redundant even to the squad leader, which is why the fireteam leader is there. If that same disturbance to the south becomes a more of a severe threat to the squad's objective, the fireteam leader can then inform and discuss this with the SL. If the SL decides that this threat is of greater importance the commander will be informed. 

 

 

I know some people in here is going to claim that this is "boring" or "too complicated", and the realism / milsim / arcade debate is on. Again, please note that this claim is not my personal opinion of what would be most effective. This is not personal preference, or based on "what type of game want to play". These are facts, based on thousands of years of combat and warfare. 

 

I understand that some players want to sit in a Discord-channel with 15 others, listening to a rumbling thunder of voices and trying to sift through all the noise to get to the relevant information. Some might even claim that this is an effective way of communicating in this game. Trust me, and most importantly trust the developers, on this one. It is not. A hierarchical structure based on unquestioned rank is the most effective way of leading larger numbers of combatants. That's it. End of discussion. The developers seem to have realized this, and is slowly implementing a system that will enforce this. Again, if you want you can circumvent this system by hopping on an overly crowded Discord-channel, but it is an unquestionable fact that you are doing yourself and your team a disservice. 

 

 

What it comes down to is the topic at hand: Game depth and role significance

 

There is only so much the developers can do to create this spectacular digital world. In the end we as players must populate and make this digital world come to life. We also choose in what manner we do so. We all should try our best to own each respective role, and do our part for the greater good of our fireteam, squad, team, game. 

 

In team objective based games where the actual differences and purposes between player roles or classes are minuscule the headless chicken phenomena is no longer a phenomena but instead the norm, or even meta if you will. Look at the Battlefield franchise. With each game that was released, starting from 1942, the differences and significance of each role were slowly watered down to the point where the franchise eventually became unrecognizable, and lone wolf / headless chicken gameplay was all you'd get to experience. Now Dice is trying to revert this, but it is too late. The playerbase is broken up, and no one really cares anymore. 

 

I hope OWI continues to break down Squad into more layers, and adding to it's depth. If all of the features are implemented correctly, and players actually invest a little bit of themselves in trying to understand and own their assigned role, we could have immensely complicated and multi-layered missions that would play out beautifully thanks to a very simple concept; A structured unquestioned hierarchy, and each role is on a need-to-know basis.

 

 

 

Side note regarding role significance; A sense of real participation and purpose is also an important component. Another reason as to why I am opposed the "everyone can revive everyone"-feature. 

 

Edited by PuddleMurda

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I personally don't have any problems with squad comms. If a player refuses to shoot the shit in local, he gets kicked, no excuses. Make it clear at the outset (when introducing yourself at round start) and you won't get back talk from other players. 

 

I also encourage good use of squad comms. If a player isn't relaying information I'll tell them to speak up. Placing squadmates on overwatch to be eyes and ears is in my mind an important tactical ability. If only the fireteam leader can relay information, they would have to take those roles, which I don't think is what's intended. I'd rather have a fireteam leader on the objective or controlling a killzone than on overwatch, depending on their kit.

 

The glory of this game is when you've reached that level of coordination in your squad that you can tactically dominate of as much of the map as possible. Limiting squad comms would diminish the ability to do that and lower the skill ceiling. I get what you mean about need-to-know, but I think the grunts can handle a little strategy chatter and if they're inexperienced maybe they'll learn something. I'd just wait and see how the fireteam mechanic plays out as is. 

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You cant remove comms from grunts... even in a fireteam... If the fireteam leader goes down what info are you going to get at that point?  There is always the backseat SL who never makes a squad, I think they are the type of guys not confident enough to run one themselves but happy taking the credit if their idea works and pointing fingers at the SL if it doesnt... will never change.

 

I do hope they have a Fireteam comms though as local can be hit and miss depending on range and its not a big range and this would also remove the confusion of someone always shouting out in squadcomms but no one is sure which fireteam they are on.

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