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How veichles and rally points are killing the game

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IMHO, the recent (or not so recent) changes in the gameplay, namely on veichle usage and rally point dynamics, are killing the game.

 

Back to Alpha11 we had only a few fighting veichles, and none of them was unbeatable by the infantry. A BTR or a Stryker would have gone to the heaven with a few RPGs; and losing such an asset was considered a waste, both for the amount of tickets lost and for the tactical disadvantage (usually there were 1 max 2 armored veichle per faction... and not on every map). This forced the players, and the SL mostly, to join the forces and coordinate their infantry attacks.

 

Now, when you lose a tank, it is a matter of 15 tickets or so, much less for an APC. Even the Logis have indirectly become disposable asset, unluckily. When a round starts, there is a rush to get the veichles, lock the squads, and that's it. There are so many times you can see 1-2 tank squads, a few APC squads, and if/when you are lucky 2 full infantry squads (ignoring the fact that there are many SL that lock their squads at 2-4 players).

I feel so strongly that there are way too many veichles in every map, compared to the number of soldiers. There is no balance and there is no incentive to cooperate (most of the people rushing for veichles aren't interested in winning a match, only in killing targets).

 

At the very same time, the rally points have been made so overpowered that they completely lost their original meaning and made the HABs so less important. In the past, a rally was a temporary measure to ensure that a squad was not completely removed from action in case of bad luck or a poor SL heading directly towards the enemy. The 9 spawns system required coordination and team-effort, being a fragile and delicate backup option. Now you can easily give-up without any visible consequence other than losing a ticket (and so many people lately seem not to care about losing tickets). Also, respawning on a rally with a few mags and a patch is more than enough to allow people keeping on giving up. If at least they would respawn with very limited resources...

Not talking about the buddy rally system, that completely destroyed the reward of being good tactician. If a SL performs poorly or if the squad performs poorly, there should be consequences. It is too easy to teleport a full squad on the other side of the map because of the good work of someone else. You should deserve what you get, and not viceversa.

As a consequence of what described above, the HABs placement is now being neglected. Too many times I see SLs not only not coordinating, but completely ignoring the deployment of a couple HABs on the initial stages of the match, and possibly even later. HABs are dependent on FOBs, which mean FORWARD OPERATING BASE. It make sense to spawn there primarily, not on a generic, abstract point on a map where a few backpacks have been dropped.

And talking again of tickets, the drastic reduction of tickets lost when a FOB is dismantled by enemies is not punishing enough: if you aren't good in placing a good FOB and defend it, you should pay the consequences.

 

I'm not a fan of realism at all cost; not at all. I just miss the dynamics of Alpha11 so much. It was probably the perfect balance between a milsim and an arcade game. Now the game is heading to some flattened gameplay I don't understand: it is still too hard for casual gamers and unsatisfactory for those more dedicated.

 

I strongly hope the devs can spend some time on this topic and make their decisions accordingly.

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Agree with rally point. I wonder if going back to PR rally would be better where it lasts for a minute to just ensure that a squad can regroup per rally drop. Buddy rally is just too easy. I have definitely have noticed killing enemy attack FOB does not s.ow down enemy's momentum due to buddy rallies and infinite spawns. HOWEVER, I feel killing a FOB is very easy at the moment and I do not wish rally to be nerf without FOB getting some survivability buff maybe? Like two c4 to radio to kill it? So you need an engi and a rifleman to sneak for FOB to go down.

 

In terms of vic... not sure if I agree. I am lucky that the server I play at has consistent high-quality games every night after dinner time and during weekend nights. So we usually see 3 full inf squads, vics and a logi squad. Upgrading to 100 men squad without adding more vehicles will do a lot to help with INF vs. VIC player balance. In terms of generalising people who rush vics as non-cooperative players, I have very little experience of this in the server I play at. 

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Posted (edited)

Some good points overall. Personally, i'm a big fan of the old Project Reality mechanics:

 

  1. You got a lot of transport vehicles per map so people could move easily. Move, not teleport, and they could be attacked and killed along the way. Some of these were armed (eg humvees) and some were not (transport trucks). These cost a few tickets only and had a fast respawn timer. They were not used primarily as fire support vehicles and people weren't scared of losing them, so movement was easy. Surviving the drive was the challenge. Contrast with Squad, where everything with a .50 on top is used mostly as fire support or a killing machine.
  2. The abundance of vehicles allowed you to have harsher mechanics for rallies. They lasted 60 seconds unless placed a certain distance from a friendly FOB. It was just a way to regroup the squad, not move it. Moving the squad was done by vehicles, which could be countered (see point 1)...
  3. ...and this meant that you actually needed to place FOBs and have a healthy spawn network for your team. No FOBs, no win.
  4. These FOBs had to be taken down by explosives. I don't mind the digging to disable part in Squad (it doesn't seem unrealistic to be honest and it's slower than explosives, so there is a fair tradeoff for being able to do it with non-sapper roles), but destroying a radio shouldn't magically despawn everything. The way i see it, the radio should become optional. I'd say remove it altogether and keep only the HAB, but if you want to place emplacements only, you shouldn't have to put down a highly visible structure. A radio should do in that case. If you want to place only a spawnpoint, you should be able to place a HAB without needing the radio. If you want a spawn point and emplacements, you should be placing both a radio and a HAB, or only a HAB. Destroying the radio should not magically despawn every other thing you built. Currently FOBs are too easy to take down and rallies are a pain to spot, which makes the rallies much more powerful and leads us to the current problems with extremely fast pacing (SLs often don't have time to even coordinate), teleporting squads and being unable to wipe the enemy off a part of the map for any meaningful amount of time. Well, until someone manages to sneak past your entire team and wipe all of your rallies at once, and then you have to walk from main because all the vehicles (all 5-6 of them) are abandoned in the field. There should be consequences, not an endless meat grinder. But at the same time, these consequences should happen in a way that gives you time to plan and react to the changes.
  5. The armored vehicles were quite powerful in PR, but they also cost quite a few tickets and they could be killed by a single infantry squad. A LAT was usually enough to kill an APC/IFV if attacked from the back and a HAT was the same against tanks. I don't mind having somewhat realistic penetration mechanics (eg, ricochets do no damage, only penetrations) which would require a few more rockets to get a kill, but we're at the point where even unarmored vehicles such as logi trucks don't die from a LAT. Either the AT in general need a damage buff (which could unbalance infantry vs infantry combat to an extent), or a lot of vehicles need a durability nerf (which is the way i'd probably choose). You want the toys with the big boom sticks? Learn to use them and be prepared to lose them. There should be consequences for losing something as important as a tank.
  6. Helicopters, enough said. Loads of flanking opportunities and asymmetric, dynamic play. Go to a suitable junction or hill, set up a FOB with ATGMs and block enemy armor from coming up the main road. Or leafrog your mortars forward as you cap flags to keep the fire on the enemy. Or just build sneaky, spawn-only FOBs in hard to see places. This opens the game up much more, and helps players move away from from the predictability of continuously assaulting a point from the exact same place and route, just because your logis are all stranded in the field and nobody is building any FOBs. Well, until someone starts doing the buddy rally dance. Also, it would encourage building FOBs in places other than directly on the objectives.

Generally speaking, there should be some kind of punishment for messing things up, and the pacing should be slower to give you time to plan ahead and react to changing conditions. Because if losing doesn't have enough of a consequence, then winning doesn't mean anything either. Give us something that's strict but fair. It's been already done after all, the formula is known.

Edited by Burningbeard80

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Hardly, if anything the rally point is the one thing that has been keeping the game alive. 

 

Back in PR, most players were more or less dedicated players and therefore had at least a basic understanding of how the game works(considering all the additional steps to download the mod and find the servers). Therefore most SLs would be able to put down FOBs and keep the game going.

 

On the other hand, since Squad was released on Steam, its player base would be more casual and therefore many new SLs would find it difficult at first to learn to adequately place a FOB and build a HAB, thus risking losing interest in the process. As such, having rally point as the basic mechanic for spawning flattens the learning curve to allow a better retention ratio of players.  

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Burningbeard80 said:

Generally speaking, there should be some kind of punishment for messing things up, and the pacing should be slower to give you time to plan ahead and react to changing conditions. Because if losing doesn't have enough of a consequence, then winning doesn't mean anything either. Give us something that's strict but fair. It's been already done after all, the formula is known.

1

^ highly agreed

2 hours ago, Noobgamer said:

On the other hand, since Squad was released on Steam, its player base would be more casual and therefore many new SLs would find it difficult at first to learn to adequately place a FOB and build a HAB, thus risking losing interest in the process. As such, having rally point as the basic mechanic for spawning flattens the learning curve to allow a better retention ratio of players.  

1

I didn't take the SL role cause of the casual aspect. I need my time but the current meta is way to fast so I'll pass on that role.

The rally mechanic is a regroup tool but currently misused as a mini HAB. The Wave system helped to regroup with impatient players but at the same time, the Rambo-style player knows there can just respawn in seconds and try again and didnt get punished for their playstyle.

 

Some peeps killing themselves with nades just to skip a 300m walk ... unbelievable and not even funny anymore, it's just sad to witness such actions. 

Edited by Phoenixstorm
spelling

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maybe the reason for the more streamlined version is the free weekend, so new players join, then i hope in the next version they make the game more hardcore again. 

 

i also notice about myself that i dont care about respawning all the time anymore, was the respawn timer longer in the past? i think it should be 50% longer + heavy nerf to relly  points please, that would make clearer battle lines and therefore less lone-wolfing. 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, Noobgamer said:

Hardly, if anything the rally point is the one thing that has been keeping the game alive. 

 

Back in PR, most players were more or less dedicated players and therefore had at least a basic understanding of how the game works(considering all the additional steps to download the mod and find the servers). Therefore most SLs would be able to put down FOBs and keep the game going.

 

On the other hand, since Squad was released on Steam, its player base would be more casual and therefore many new SLs would find it difficult at first to learn to adequately place a FOB and build a HAB, thus risking losing interest in the process. As such, having rally point as the basic mechanic for spawning flattens the learning curve to allow a better retention ratio of players.  

I respectfully disagree. The situation you're describing is not false, but i don't think this is the right way to fix things.

 

It sounds something like this: "Hey, we have a lot of new guys in the game. Instead of expecting them to gradually learn how to play the game, let's change the game instead to bring it to a level that accommodates their lack of knowledge". Well, this way they will never develop into a mature player base and it lessens the impact of the experience for everyone who already knows even the bare bones basics.

 

Retention might be a fashionable buzzword, but it's not that easy to balance. Prioritizing short term retention over everything else usually results in reducing the challenge factor and this can easily backfire badly. If there is no challenge, the long term retention suffers. If the game becomes repetitive and predictable, players feel like they've seen it all and move on to something else. I feel this is the reason that the game sells so well during steam sales and free weekends, but the concurrent player peak numbers stay more or less the same over time. People need a challenge to keep playing and the game needs to balance appeal to a wider audience with its niche origins. If it becomes a battlefield clone it will have to compete with multi million dollar companies that can afford to churn out sequels of the same thing every 1-2 years. And it will tank. Hard. It would be a real shame to be honest. Squad is still unique (although definitely more casual than the original vision and earlier versions), it should maintain that. That's its main competitive advantage.

Edited by Burningbeard80

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4 hours ago, Burningbeard80 said:

It sounds something like this: "Hey, we have a lot of new guys in the game. Instead of expecting them to gradually learn how to play the game, let's change the game instead to bring it to a level that accommodates their lack of knowledge". Well, this way they will never develop into a mature player base and it lessens the impact of the experience for everyone who already knows even the bare bones basics.

I was about to write the same thing....

 

+1

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16 hours ago, Noobgamer said:

Hardly, if anything the rally point is the one thing that has been keeping the game alive. 

 

Back in PR, most players were more or less dedicated players and therefore had at least a basic understanding of how the game works(considering all the additional steps to download the mod and find the servers). Therefore most SLs would be able to put down FOBs and keep the game going.

 

On the other hand, since Squad was released on Steam, its player base would be more casual and therefore many new SLs would find it difficult at first to learn to adequately place a FOB and build a HAB, thus risking losing interest in the process. As such, having rally point as the basic mechanic for spawning flattens the learning curve to allow a better retention ratio of players.  

 

It's kind of circular, the buff to spawns increases the pace of the game which makes it intolerable when a team doesn't have spawns up

 

Squad is putting a lot on this idea that experienced SLs will want to play schoolteacher and explain a spawn system that's at least as complicated as PR (or more complicated, my FOBs in PR were mostly dig, ditch logi, and forget - no rushing, no resupply necessary). If it all comes down to folks spawning Rally and running-shooting-respawning anyway then it's probably just a convoluted system for what it is.

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Posted (edited)

The prevalence of the rally point as spawn point of choice is not only because we have buddy rallies. It's also because FOBs are hard to manage, yet their staying power is not that great for the work you have to do to set them up.

 

You have to take a logi, move it to your chosen location, put down the radio, build the HAB, possibly build some defences and/or weapon emplacements, possibly resupply (often multiple times) with logi runs. All that is well and reasonable (although it suffers from the known problems with vehicle handling, logis struggling to get up any form of inclined terrain and suspension modelling that makes them easy to flip). The main problem is that it can all be taken down by destroying the radio and it also costs tickets to lose, which makes it quite an incentive to go after on top of its value as a spawn point. There is a lot of work to do in getting a FOB up, a healthy incentive to kill a FOB and it can be taken down in mere moments. Apart from sandbags and the like, all the useful stuff (HAB, weapons, etc) despawns once the radio is down. It takes time, needs anywhere from 2 people to a full squad to place and maintain, and can be all very easy to disable or outright wipe from the map.

 

In contrast, a rally can be easily placed by just 2 players, is harder to spot and costs no tickets to lose (or at least it costs less than a radio, i'm not entirely sure, correct me on this if i'm wrong).

 

Part of the problem will be alleviated once we get helicopters. Resupply will be much faster, so reliance on logi trucks will probably mostly be maintained for FOBs that are somewhat close to main, on defensive or overwatch positions close to suitable locations (eg, not in the middle of the mountains, but somewhere that trucks can easily resupply)  or having a lot of emplacements. Also, the fact that squads will be able to spawn main, take a ride on the chopper and be on the other side of the map in a couple of minutes will somewhat reduce the steady stream of infantry coming from a FOB, making it harder to spot.

 

However, unless the rally point is slightly nerfed and the FOB slightly buffed (a redo of the radio mechanics and especially the magic despawn of all assets), helicopters could also make things worse. I can be hovering 5 meters above the ground, far from danger in a concealed valley, with my SL and another guy in the chopper and drop them off at a suitable place whenever the team is out of spawn points. If it's clear i can drop them right where they need to be and pick them up immediately afterwards. If it's a hot landing zone, i can drop them off some distance away, take the chopper back to main or wherever it needs to be (moving other squads or doing a logi run), they can walk for 2 minutes, place a rally, engage in some combat, die, respawn main, get back in the chopper and off we go again. And the rest of the team can buddy rally off my guys for the duration of the round, minus 5 minutes or so per respawn whenever the chopper is shot down.

 

To be fair though, i think it was said they will probably disable buddy rallies once the helicopters are in the game.

Edited by Burningbeard80

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Again, if official helicopters are anything like the mod then they aren't going to change much really. I could see helicopters complementing the existing system but only up to a certain point.

 

I mean you guys do understand that there are a wide variety of threats that a chopper will face just getting from the main base to the LZ right? I can't imagine Squad could deviate too far from the disposable way Rising Storm 2: Vietnam handles choppers really.

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3 hours ago, Burningbeard80 said:

To be fair though, i think it was said they will probably disable buddy rallies once the helicopters are in the game.

I´ll believe it when I see it.

1 hour ago, Zylfrax791 said:

Again, if official helicopters are anything like the mod then they aren't going to change much really. I could see helicopters complementing the existing system but only up to a certain point.

 

I mean you guys do understand that there are a wide variety of threats that a chopper will face just getting from the main base to the LZ right? I can't imagine Squad could deviate too far from the disposable way Rising Storm 2: Vietnam handles choppers really.

I´m afraid you´re right.

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If anti-air is worth anything then you're probably restricted to building fringe FOBs on the safer side of the map, maybe a little territory around enemy side but nowhere that a normal logi truck couldn't access

 

FOB building as a strategy has been buffed a lot but I don't think it has added up to any sort of decisive meta change. Fringe fobs are great as sort of a niche tactical base, a backup FOB, or to allow your team to get the initiative after some big game shakeup... but you can't rely on them alone, or you will be steamrolled by more centralized FOBs. A FOB churning out infantry is just too powerful to ignore. Like In TC when there's a FOB spitting infantry in every direction, how do you even deal with that? It's near indestructible.

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3 hours ago, Good-Try Greg said:

If anti-air is worth anything then you're probably restricted to building fringe FOBs on the safer side of the map, maybe a little territory around enemy side but nowhere that a normal logi truck couldn't access

 

FOB building as a strategy has been buffed a lot but I don't think it has added up to any sort of decisive meta change. Fringe fobs are great as sort of a niche tactical base, a backup FOB, or to allow your team to get the initiative after some big game shakeup... but you can't rely on them alone, or you will be steamrolled by more centralized FOBs. A FOB churning out infantry is just too powerful to ignore. Like In TC when there's a FOB spitting infantry in every direction, how do you even deal with that? It's near indestructible.

Right now I'm using Tarantyco's basic autonomous FOB distribution strat where my kid and I in a two man locked load the logi up with enough build points to create four FOB's and then we carefully go deep into enemy territory and spread them out in zone coverage with great success for the team. If we make it back alive we repeat the process again for even more coverage. If we're lucky we make zero contact and even if we do make contact we break off, circle around and then we continue spreading them. If our team is even halfway decent we almost always win by projecting power forward like this to the point of it almost being an exploit.

 

The trade off is it's a little exciting stopping the motor, listening and playing hide and seek with the enemy but mostly it's simply a lot of boring digging etc. with zero reward and validation for the average players who would do the same thing as us. In addition, there can be complications to this strat as often times random lone wolves spawn on these secret Habs and draw contact right away and give away the FOB position.

 

 

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This will typically result in a win in A14. Particularly valuable as it is only 2 out of 40 players and the ticket/asset risk is low while several logis are accessible

 

Assuming both teams get all their flags capped the win depends on which team wins the middle flag and has people ready to get the next one. The few games where this does not result in a steamroll are the good ones.

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Posted (edited)

You guys are right for the most part. As for helicopters, AA will probably come in 2 flavors. Small arms fire and things like the ZSU and guided missiles (both FOB emplacements and man portable ones with an AA kit). Sure, they are dangerous but they are not unbeatable. You can ignore small arms fire most of the time since it's rare to be immediately downed and you're flying to and from main most of the time to pick up supplies, so you get repairs between flights. Dodging unguided AA guns like the ZSU depends on having intel from the team and be a good enough pilot to be able to fly nap of the earth and adjust your ingress/egress profiles accordingly. And as for guided missiles, choppers also carry countermeasure flares to spoof them. Finally, they do have guns of their own, so if you can fly low enough to remain hidden and pop up at the right time, you could potentially suppress and kill a bunch of guys on a FOB before they have time to react, then you drop your infantry to mop it all up. It happened in Project Reality quite often, because just as in Squad, people don't man FOB weapon emplacements 24/7. The most dangerous things used to be the APCs lying in wait in an ambush position, because they have enough mobility to move around and enough firepower to deny landing zones. Clever guys would wait until you were dropping off your infantry and start shooting when you were on the ground or hovering a couple of meters above it, against a pretty much stationary target.

 

So, it's quite situational. Helicopters are not magic or invulnerable, but they are not defenseless or free kills either. Their main advantage is neither firepower and durability nor the ability to fly, it's the speed of traversing the battlefield. Think about how many times you see a very small window of opportunity to shore up your team's position with a much needed FOB, but you know you can't do it because logis are either abandoned in the field or they will take 10 minutes to crawl up a hill at a walking pace. With helicopters you just go "everyone spawn main and get on the chopper" and you are there in less than a minute, with a full load of supplies.

 

As to how disposable they are, it depends on the gaming population. I've been saying this a lot, there are certain issues that have to be solved by the players themselves. Implementing game mechanics to force them to play a certain way, when they should have the common sense to do the same thing by their own will, just unbalances something else down the line.

 

In Squad people mismanage vehicles all the time. Last night i was in a 2-man logi squad on an AAS layer in Scorpo. My SL had the sense to not build FOBs directly on the objectives but around them and in cover whenever possible. The team did the usual overextension and when they started getting rolled back we started losing some of these FOBs (and associated tickets), at which point another SL starting complaining to my SL about our choice of placement and the lack of ammo on a lot of them. Well, we had mostly construction points on our first run and we were expecting to make a second run across all FOBs to top up ammo, but the team got pushed back. At the same time, all the other squads were passing by in vehicles that had carried ammo (eg APCs) and i think i never saw one single guy drop some in the FOBs as they were crossing through the build radius (i had the supply counters enabled in the map). Then, as we were all defending the last FOB in the game, a guy just stole our logi while we were under fire, drove it across the bridge and died immediately, leaving it stranded there, which prompted me to congratulate him in chat xD

Sometimes it's just hilarious.

 

In PR, if you took a vehicle without asking and especially if you wasted valuable assets you had the entire server, from admins to the commander and SLs, all the way down to your own Squad members, breathing down your neck and you could easily be kicked if you didn't acknowledge your mistake.

 

It's not the game's fault, it's the player's fault.

Edited by Burningbeard80

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A LAT is a rifleman with some AT capability, they are now more dangerous than ever due to their ability to track even tanks. A good LAT is very dangerous to all vehicles. While they are mostly not the ones that kills the vehicle a mobility kill very often leads to the destruction of the vehicle. Too often you see a crewman jump out to fix the track and once he is down there is only one left in the tank with very limited ability to save the situation.

 

 

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