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Gopblin

Let's discuss vehicle/infantry balance in V12 (cross-post)

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This got over 2k views / 77 comments / 76% upvotes on Squad reddit, so I figure community wants to talk about it and I'll cross-post it. Original thread for those who want to read the comments: 
https://www.reddit.com/r/joinsquad/comments/9xel36/lets_discuss_vehicleinfantry_balance_in_v12/

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I'd like to hear people's opinions on the vehicle/infantry balance in V12.

The community is obviously split down the middle on some V12 changes (looks like my V12 post got about 94 upvotes and 90 downvotes by now), and I personally think the biggest meta shifts were tanks, vehicle location damage, vehicle ticket costs and limited ammo.


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Here's why I want to focus on that in particular: I haven't seen anyone who really feels too strongly about rally wave spawning, bandage revival, increased logi capacity, role loadout interface, HAB locking, increased suppression, new map marker options, new weapons, rifleman ammo, RAAS mode or Talil map - I think the community agrees that all of these changes have been positive or at least neutral.


I also don't think people notice the limited small arms ammo too much. It takes quite a while to run through a full load of ammunition, and it's relatively trivial to replenish, so the "persistent ammo" system isn't a problem. On a side note, I don't know why it's called "persistent ammo", because I thought each respawn is supposed to be a new soldier entering the fray. Do US soldiers get issued their dead comrade's weapons and ammo when joining a battle? "Sorry, last guy threw a grenade and shot 5 mags, so you'll have to make do with this". That said, I don't think players mind it. It's obviously a system that's supposed to give a moderate advantage to well-supplied squads in infantry battles, and it does that well enough.


~~~~~~


Finally, we come to the one big change that I think affected the meta the most: the quadruple nerf of infantry anti-vehicle capability in the form of:

a) Introducing new very powerful vehicles (tanks, seemingly need 4+ perfectly aligned LAT hits) without introducing much for new counters

b) Introducing location damage which seemingly doubles survivability of old vehicles (at least I've seen APC and shitboxes not exploding after 2-3 LAT hits, heck even logis need two LAT/HAT hits now)

c) Reducing vehicle ticket costs, which enables crews to risk them a lot more (yes the respawn timers are long, which in some ways makes sense as a way of punishing the incompetent crews rather than punishing the team as a whole, but generally there's spare armored vehicles sitting around at Main)

d) Severely reducing LAT ammo due to the persistent ammo system (spare me the fairytale scenarios where each LAT is followed by 2 riflemen - it never happens on pub servers, and in clan play the super-organized infantry would be facing super-organized vehicles and get roflstomped just the same)

I don't think most people understand the implications of this new meta yet, but I've already seen APCs rush through enemy-held areas straight to the HAB and drop infantry in smoke for lockdown (yeah, cool but unrealistic), tanks parked in enemy-held capzones with relative impunity (see my whine here - https://www.reddit.com/r/joinsquad/comments/9x302w/my_take_on_v12/e9qabxa/?utm_content=permalink&utm_medium=front&utm_source=reddit&utm_name=joinsquad ), light armor clearing forests ahead of infantry, etc.
 

I don't think this new meta is "unrealistic" at the mechanics level - the whole point of armored vehicles is that they're hard to kill. MBTs and even APCs have been known to remain operational after multiple LAT hits IRL. However, I think this meta is "unrealistic" in the sense that it doesn't represent the real-life proliferation of infantry AT weapons. A real infantry squad doesn't normally have 1 AT guy with 1 HEAT round, whereas in Squad this is commonplace. In fact, it seems that people start taking LAT less now, because what's the point when your chances of destroying armor are so slim?


Someone on Squad forums mentioned that their Swedish infantry squad of 6 people had 2 marksmen with AT4s, 2 machinegunners, and a Carl Gustav 2-man team. Fully 4 people out of 6 were some form of AT role. I think in the near future we'll see either increased rifleman ammo (always respawn with full ammo bag, or ammo bag holds ~250 Ammo), LAW/RPG26 for Riflemen and SLs, reduced LAT ammo costs, or increased LAT ammo reserve (c'mon, it takes at least 4 perfectly aligned hits to kill a tank, and you'd be lucky to even make one!).


~~~~~


Had everyone else's experience been similar to mine? Tankers - I haven't played as tank crewman much yet, what does it feel like on your end?


~~~~~


EDIT:

Added from discussion:

The thing is, I think tank damage models are fine-ish.

You can pen them in the rear half with LAT, and you can even severely damage the engine with a couple hits (although penetrating turret doesn't seem to do much other than decrease health). They're perhaps somewhat more durable than IRL, but it's not too bad.

The problem is that IRL most infantrymen would be carrying at least LAW/RPG26 when expecting to engage tanks, also there would be way more than ~25 infantry with ~3 LAT troopers and 1 HAT fighting against 2 tanks and a number of APCs/IFVs. So a faithful modeling of weapons without a faithful modeling of tactics and numbers brings unauthentic results.

Kind of like if you gave each infantryman faithfully modeled man-portable ATGMs and Javelins: yes, while those things are very effective IRL, but in order not to make infantry too OP, you also have to model their scarcity and keep game balance in mind.


EDIT2:


Testing vehicles on range, they seem a lot less durable than ingame. For example, logis always burn out after one LAT hit, whereas ingame it seems they always survive. Anyone else notice this?


EDIT3:


Another possible solution to the current imbalance is to expand the areas that can be hit to impair mobility. Currently, only directly hitting the engine itself decreases mobility. However, IRL hitting the drivetrain, gearbox, axles, or the tracks/wheels themselves would impair mobility too, not to mention hitting the driver (if we can't hit crew inside vehicles, the least OWI can do is make hitting driver's seat a mobility kill). I don't think its unreasonable, for example, for tank tracks to count as "engine hit" for mobility purposes. Obviously a tank that took two RPGs to the tracks is going to be driving very slowly.

However, increased amount of mobility kills might cause an issue where a great many vehicles would be abandoned in the field, often mobility impaired and surrounded by enemy infantry. To prevent "hold enemy armor hostage" gameplay, a vehicle-respawning mechanic would be needed, but one that can not be abused. For example: 1. SL who owns vehicle can start 5-minute countdown till it explodes (simulating a friendly airstrike on the thing for example) 2. Countdown stops if friendly enters the vehicle; also possibly require the vehicle to be more than 25% damaged for this countdown to be started 3. After vehicle explodes, ticket loss and respawn timer are processed as normal

=====

2ufplk1.jpg

Best wishes,
Daniel

Edited by Gopblin

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I think the top comment sums it up nicely.

Fighting vehicles is boring and frustrating. I spend most of my time in matches  trying to deal with enemy armor, and in order to do that I have to stop doing what I want to do (which is play infantry) and go drive a damn truck for 20 minutes so I can place a TOW that will just get me killed again.



 

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3 minutes ago, Bonnie Money said:

Just wait for when helicopters come out. Everyone will wait at the spawn like bf3.


This isn't the answer, it just escalates the problem of overpowered vehicle assets. Are we going to be asking for jets when attack helos are added and they are given the ability to sit 3km away from the fight and pop vehicles with impunity?

PR always had a more battlefield approach to vehicle vs inf to keep things fun for the infantry. We don't need helicopters we need javelins.

Infantry should always have weapons available to them that pose a serious threat to any vehicle in this game.
 

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I agree up to a point with what´s being said.

 

  1. Still, I think some people are exaggerating. All that needs to be fixed is the HP of vehicles and hit locations and that´s it. There´s something that is broken at the moment that the devs clearly did not intend to have. 2/3 lats on a logi is obviously not intentional. 4 lats on rear of an APC was not intended. It´s just something that need "technical fixing" not a "design change"

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Update: THREE LAT hits to kill an MRAP now.

https://www.reddit.com/r/joinsquad/comments/9xwvjw/next_step_reverse_the_trap/

5 hours ago, Nightingale87 said:

I agree up to a point with what´s being said.

 

  1. Still, I think some people are exaggerating. All that needs to be fixed is the HP of vehicles and hit locations and that´s it. There´s something that is broken at the moment that the devs clearly did not intend to have. 2/3 lats on a logi is obviously not intentional. 4 lats on rear of an APC was not intended. It´s just something that need "technical fixing" not a "design change"

 

I think you're right, devs probably just forgot to adjust vehicle HP after adding a new system for calculating damage based on location, or something. Still, I think we should be vocal about it before the problem gets too annoying and turns off too many players, especially V12 newcomers

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Increased LAT/HAT rounds for infantry is my favoured solution to this problem. This would follow the same design principle of the weapon sway and suppression system increasing the duration of firefights. As LATs do less damage now, give them more rounds to continue the fight if the vehicle decides to stay after taking the first couple hits. Vehicle operators and their squads could respond by retreating, taking cover, attempting fire superiority, or popping smoke while the LAT reloads. Better than the one- or two-and-done vehicle explosions of v11, and better than the armoured impunity of v12.

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8 hours ago, pinko said:

Increased LAT/HAT rounds for infantry is my favoured solution to this problem. This would follow the same design principle of the weapon sway and suppression system increasing the duration of firefights. As LATs do less damage now, give them more rounds to continue the fight if the vehicle decides to stay after taking the first couple hits. Vehicle operators and their squads could respond by retreating, taking cover, attempting fire superiority, or popping smoke while the LAT reloads. Better than the one- or two-and-done vehicle explosions of v11, and better than the armoured impunity of v12.

Also a second HAT kit for all factions could be considered and a ammo bag with more ammo points.

 

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I would say that the LAT:s are better now than in V11, now you can get a mobility kill with one hit on all GV including the MBT:s. So they are far more dangerous to a GV than before. In V11 a Bradley could take 3 LAT:s before going down. A mobility kill is a big deal and even if you dont manage to kill it completely it means that the crew need to get out to repair it and then go to a repair station (in a very slow pace) so the GV is out of action for a significant amount of time. Now you also have the ability to team up with a riflemen and reload your LAT. I think the main issue is that its hard to hit the right spot.

 

I dont think the tanks have change the balance that much, they can be dominant in a small part of the map but so far most tankers dont know how to use them efficiently. In general the biggest issue is the poor coordination between infantry and Vehicles, but i guess that it will be better once the players becomes more used to the tanks.

 

As for helos: My opinion is that if attack helos is added then we also need stingers/Igla to counter them. Transport helos will just drop people off so they would not change the balance as much as attack helos.

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9 hours ago, Pluto is a planet said:

I would say that the LAT:s are better now than in V11, now you can get a mobility kill with one hit on all GV including the MBT:s. So they are far more dangerous to a GV than before. In V11 a Bradley could take 3 LAT:s before going down. A mobility kill is a big deal and even if you dont manage to kill it completely it means that the crew need to get out to repair it and then go to a repair station (in a very slow pace) so the GV is out of action for a significant amount of time. Now you also have the ability to team up with a riflemen and reload your LAT. I think the main issue is that its hard to hit the right spot.

 

I dont think the tanks have change the balance that much, they can be dominant in a small part of the map but so far most tankers dont know how to use them efficiently. In general the biggest issue is the poor coordination between infantry and Vehicles, but i guess that it will be better once the players becomes more used to the tanks.

 

As for helos: My opinion is that if attack helos is added then we also need stingers/Igla to counter them. Transport helos will just drop people off so they would not change the balance as much as attack helos.

 

1. It takes 2 LATs to mobility kill an MBT at the range, probably more on live server (vehicles on live servers appear to be 2x-3x more durable at the range). Mobility kills are inconsistent even when shooting HAT at an MRAP engine block.

2. On that note, it used to take 3 LATs to kill a Bradley in V11? It now takes 3 LATs to kill an MRAP (see end of original post).

3. Repaired engines work fine, the lose some power but aren't that much slower.

4. As you correctly pointed out, for now most tankers don't know how to use them efficiently. So the imbalance on tanks (and other vehicles) vs infantry will get much worse as tank crews learn, unless it is fixed at some point.

Edited by Gopblin

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As a dedicated infantry player, I am really pissed off by the fact that vehicle players now hardly get punished for their stupidity. For one thing, take the new FV APC for example, it took like 4 LAT to the bump plus 2 to the side for it to go boom. Sure you can hit the engine and disable it, but either you waste another 500+ ammo point and like 2 minutes of your life to take it out for real(assuming there's an ammo crate nearby) to only delete 10 tickets from the enemy, or leave it there and some crew guy would later sneak up, repair it and drive it away. 

 

If the dev really must make the vehicles so dominant, at least make sure that it is rewarding to destroy them, say assign 50 tickets to a tank and 35 to a BTR, and transfer the battlefield repair ability from the crew man to the logi truck, and make it that only the crew man can perform the repair when there is a logi nearby with 500 construction point.

 

PS: The player base health of a Squad server depends on the capable infantry squad leaders who regularly visit that server and make games playable for the ordinary players. I'm from the most competitive CN clan KSK, and what I have been hearing from my peers since V12 was that it was no longer rewarding to be an infantry squad leader, as now a single APC or tank can complete ruin his planning even if the other enemy infantry players were complete noobs. "No more willing SLs" = "The death of the game".

Edited by Noobgamer

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Not liking the Tanks. They end up being the bull in a china shop. Ruining every good small arms fight they show up to. 

And they need to fix the LAT/HAT roles. They need to be more lethal or more abundant.  I would go with more abundant. 

Edited by Lipton (Easy)

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I haven't seen anyone who really feels too strongly about rally wave spawning,

Oh boy you haven't met me. I hate it and I can't shut up about it!

Uh anyways, vehicle changes: The only positive change in vehicle's favor is the removed damage multipliers on the rear (also sometimes LATs do 0 damage which might be a bug, not sure). This means they can be more bold if the enemy is weak, you can sometimes drive through enemies like cavalry. On the negative, losing an engine to 1 LAT is obnoxious (it's usually a hit to the front or side!). Infantry has new advantages with ammo bags. You have more LATs than before, and you should be building more FOBs. If the Infantry are able to leverage resupply from a vehicle or FOB, they're in no danger at all unless a tank shows up. But no matter what, if the enemy is leveraging vehicles the best solution is to use your own. That was also true in v11 you just never figured it out ;)

5 hours ago, Gopblin said:

1. It takes 2 LATs to mobility kill an MBT at the range, probably more on live server (vehicles on live servers appear to be 2x-3x more durable at the range). Mobility kills are inconsistent even when shooting HAT at an MRAP engine block.

MRAP engines are very easy to take out. You can even take them out with rifle rounds from a FAL

 

2. On that note, it used to take 3 LATs to kill a Bradley in V11? It now takes 3 LATs to kill an

MRAP (see end of original post).


Bradley/warrior took 5 from the front, 4 from the side, or 2 from the back. But it died in 1 HAT anywhere (it still does?). The major strength of these vehicles was never their anti-infantry performance, it's that there are simply no Russian vehicles that can damage them. Except on Belaya RAAS which matches 1xBradley up against a T-72 lol

 

3. Repaired engines work fine, the lose some power but aren't that much slower.

It works well enough that the vehicle isn't going anywhere. In some situations that's an effective kill, in others it will be weaker and force an eventual RTB. It's very annoying.

 

4. As you correctly pointed out, for now most tankers don't know how to use them efficiently. So the imbalance on tanks (and other vehicles) vs infantry will get much worse as tank crews learn, unless it is fixed at some point.

Tanks are the most effective counter to tanks. Presumably, whoever exposes themselves to infantry first will be at a disadvantage in a tank fight. I like that they're scary but on the other hand they're sluggish, they have very little MG ammo, and their HE sucks. In my experience so far I would say they are the ultimate vehicle killers and not great at much else. They're the top of the vehicle food chain though, and that means they win games.

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Tanks definitely win games right now, although i do see bradleys taking out T-72s every now and then. It just depends on how good the crew is. I feel like the balance is mostly fine tho, tanks require some heavy teamwork with infantry squads for intel to be able to work properly, otherwise they are in huge risk of being destroyed out of nowhere.

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Game lasts too long due to new ticket system. Vehic's are too cheap in comparision with the ammo LAT/HAT have right now and the amount of rockets needed to get one vehic down is just ridiculous. If public played - and randoms don't know how to use Logi's properly - the team has a lack of ammo and therfore a lack of power against enemy vehics.

 

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I am also concerned about this issue.2 hits from TOW by MBT is too much.And Yes Mina/detonated bomb doesn't destroy a tank/Bradley and even damage the engine. Most of the players play infantry and on the map Talil Outskirts become live targets for MBT.To destroy a tank with infantry head to hard. I think you need to increase the number of LAT/HAT.At the moment the game is not balanced.Sorry about my English.

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2 hours ago, Good-Try Greg said:

Bradley/warrior took 5 from the front, 4 from the side, or 2 from the back. But it died in 1 HAT anywhere (it still does?). The major strength of these vehicles was never their anti-infantry performance, it's that there are simply no Russian vehicles that can damage them. Except on Belaya RAAS which matches 1xBradley up against a T-72 lol

This is a big thing, barely said at the moment and easy to fix. You cant equal BTR-82 against a Warrior or Bradley. And it doesnt make it better to give russia two BTR-82 when they are both nearly useless in this fight. Maps where this is the case are highly in favour of US and British when this vehicles are used properly. Same with the Bradley against T-72 Matchup. When you make vehicles nearly immortal against infantry its really important to take care of an vehicle balance on the maps, cause otherwise infantry is just delivered to the vehicles.

 

Also it is maybe an idea to make the tank death timer even lower, cause at the moment when one teams loses its tanks, the other tanks often can do what they want for nearly 20 minutes. When we win a tank fight we just drive into every enemy HAB noticed on the map and kill the crap out of them, for 20 minutes often enemys cant do than a lot, they can try to place a lucky TOW or Kornet, but with a good team this is often spotted to quick. If the tank timer would be lower, the tanks would need to care for the enemy tanks faster. And infantry is barely getting problems with tanks while they fight each other.

 

In my opinion, its not about buffing the infantry again, its all about balancing the vehicles.

Edited by Rangarson

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I think in term of Vehicle balance ru might get more variety of IFV such as BMP-2, or BMP-3.

 

And yes I still think Infranty should pack more heavier punch like Javelin, SRAW, Eryx, or SMAWW

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12 hours ago, Noobgamer said:

 

 

PS: The player base health of a Squad server depends on the capable infantry squad leaders who regularly visit that server and make games playable for the ordinary players. I'm from the most competitive CN clan KSK, and what I have been hearing from my peers since V12 was that it was no longer rewarding to be an infantry squad leader, as now a single APC or tank can complete ruin his planning even if the other enemy infantry players were complete noobs. "No more willing SLs" = "The death of the game".

This is such a critical point.

I love jumping on servers and leading my squad but V12 has made it so difficult. My frustration levels playing this game have gone through the roof due to the emphasis on vehicles. Consider me an increasingly unwilling SL.

 

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A Russian IFV is a must, preferably BMP-3, to match the Bradley/warrior. Rebels and insurgent should get TOW/Kornet as deployables in order to increase their AT capability, The SPG-9 is hard to use against Tanks. You might even want to consider having a Technical with an ATGM.

I still think the main issue is the lack of coordination, Vehicles are there to support the infantry and they both will be more efficient than when they operate independent. Talil for ex is a nightmare for infantry without vehicle support. Too often the trucks are parked all over the map while APC:s and tanks are playing their own game so the infantry have to walk across the map. So GV squads must be better at do the boring part off the job and provide transport for the infantry. (And the infantry squads must use their trucks better)

As for the infantry more AT is definitely an option, but im a bit worried that only the GB/US/RUS sides gets Anti-tank missiles while the irregular forces are stuck with AT-7:s. With both inferior vehicles and AT it will be a hard job to win for them, unless we have maps that allows for ambushes and hit-and-run attacks.

Edited by Pluto is a planet

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The fact of wether i'm willing to squad lead or not often depends on how the other squad work together. If my team is shit, i'll not be happy to be leading in it. If the communication between the squads is good tho, i still love to do it. At the beginning of a match i often ask from all squad leaders to keep sharing as much info on the enemy as possible, they often do so. Knowing where enemy tanks are, and where they're going is a big deal as an infantry SL (or mechanized infantry).

I honestly don't mind OP enemy tanks being near my squad, it brings more tense moments, and makes stealth more important. As long as i know where they are, and our own tanks or others are working on taking them down, i am usually not worried about them, and just focus on what i can engage, enemy infantry.

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Vehicles are pretty damn powerful now. We just spent an invasion match where we would drive APCs into fortified capture points and basically park em there till dead (i.e.  however long it took enemy LATs to reload 6-8 times). Cost us a few tickets but certainly far less than failed infantry assaults did, and prevented the enemy from stopping the infantry advance.

Also, it only takes 2 tank HEAT rounds to disable a HAB, I think. And only 1 to take down a radio I believe. FRAG doesn't do much for some reason but HEAT and even AP work OK.

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On 11/19/2018 at 1:05 PM, Gopblin said:

Also, it only takes 2 tank HEAT rounds to disable a HAB, I think. And only 1 to take down a radio I believe. FRAG doesn't do much for some reason but HEAT and even AP work OK.

Yeah, I saw this on a video. A tank shouldn't be able to take out a HAB all on it's own. That just negates the whole point of the game... "Squad"

Edited by Lipton (Easy)

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Combining vehicle boost and tanks in the same time as infantry has been punished with limited ammo capability ... it's just bad. Now I feel that game called "SQUAD" is about a vehicle fight with infantry in a role of dogmeat.

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11 hours ago, Tempest said:

This is such a critical point.

I love jumping on servers and leading my squad but V12 has made it so difficult. My frustration levels playing this game have gone through the roof due to the emphasis on vehicles. Consider me an increasingly unwilling SL.

 

Dedicated vehicle players would be extremely pleased by the update, however they would not be the ones leading the infantry squad(they could but it wouldn't be practical as it requires 3 squad mates to set up rally point, and you can't just go wherever the APC should be going leaving your squad behind). 

 

My clan was basically dominating the game prior to V12 with an emphasis on infantry skills, but even us are now considering raising dedicated vehicle players to keep being competitive. 

Edited by Noobgamer

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