I would like to make a suggestion towards new layers with existing factions. I currently arrange the map rotation for the Exodus servers and I feel like its very easy to become stuck with using the status quo of the more popular layers.
My suggestion is that layers should not be restricted with western factions against eastern factions. I would like to see more layers for example: AUS vs UK, UK vs US, US vs AUS, CAF vs UK etc. I can understand that there is a realism aspect however I feel as a video game, we should have a wider variety of fictional battles between nations on squad.
Add a barrel blocked indicator.
Why add it? In other games, bullets come out of your eyes which means no issues for peeking cover, while in Squad it obviously comes from the gun. In real life, you would have better awareness and depth perception than the flat image displayed on your monitor. To bridge this gap, many realism games add a barrel blocked indicator to bridge the gap between reality and game.
What it should do? A small warning at the bottom of the screen should appear if the game detects that the distance between the end of your gun's barrel and a wall is less than an arbitrary constant (let's use 10cm for now).
How does this improve gameplay? This avoids the hokey pokey of learning, crouching and shooting to attempt to shoot through those holes in walls to engage someone to only hit the wall in front of you. It's a silly guessing game that in some way should be made less so.
Who would find it useful? Anyone. New players especially, if told what it is in some kind of UI diagram or tooltip would find value in it.
what do you think about a community mod called CBA !!!
Community Based Addons for Squad ?
Personally, I think it would be an enrichment for the game.
Currently it's nearly impossible to play Squad without being a Squadleader yourself (since often, ALL Squads are full or locked!!! So you have to create a new Squad...) And what fun is it to lead a Squad of players who don't follow your orders and not even be rewarded by OWI or by the server-owner for having created a Squad? (some Squad-wide OWI-reward-system, or at least one whitelisting slot for example. Although that isn't even enough compensation imo for ""leading"" a Squad full of players who don't follow your orders...)
# Squad Problems and Improvements
(note, I'm hoping that this form supports markdown, and if it doesn't, apologies for this formatting)
* [Introduction, My Background](#introduction,-my-background)
1. [The Consequences of Team-Wide Spawn Points](#1.-the-consequences-of-team-wide-spawn-points)
* [The Problem](#the-problem)
* [Possible Solution](#possible-solution)
2. [Fob-based Buildables and the Organization of Logistics](#2.-fob-based-buildables-and-the-organization-of-logistics)
* [The Problem(s)](#the-problem(s))
* [Possible Solution(s)](#possible-solution(s))
* [Introduce a purpose built Logistics squad, and make the Leader of this squad the Commander.](#introduce-a-purpose-built-logistics-squad,-and-make-the-leader-of-this-squad-the-commander.)
* [Rework the existing logistics system to include the transportation of a limited number of discrete deployable assets to FOBs.](#rework-the-existing-logistics-system-to-include-the-transportation-of-a-limited-number-of-discrete-deployable-assets-to-fobs.)
3. [Squad Specialization, Asset Allocation and Team Balance](#3.-squad-specialization,-asset-allocation-and-team-balance)
* [The Problem(s)](#the-problem(s))
* [The Solution](#the-solution)
* [Conclusion / TLDR](#Conclusion--tldr)
## Introduction, My Background
This is an en-masse brain-dump of some ideas that have been bouncing around in my head for a while, so I figured I might as well write them down in case they may be of use to someone. Also, it's fun to make whish-lists.
I've got some thoughts on the current state of the game and possible improvements that could be made, with a primary focus on improving squad cohesion, strategic options, and delegation of responsibilities within teams.
For some background on me, I'm an experienced Squad player (1700+ hours at time of writing). I play squad leader but I've spent a good deal of time in other roles as well. I spend most of my game-time on servers which have a reputation of being "sweatier", such as SEALZ and Tactical Triggernometry.
I'm aware of any suggestions that I make will be biased towards serving more competitively-minded players such as myself so I've tried to limit my suggestions to gameplay elements that would not be detrimental to the experience of new players, and I think in many cases will improve their experience as well.
The format of this post is several instances of the following template:
- a quick outline of a set of game mechanics and the typical player behavior surrounding it
- an explicitly stated problem or problems caused by that set of game mechanics
- a possible solution to the problem(s)
**Without further ado - here are my thoughts:**
## 1. The Consequences of Team-Wide Spawn Points
At a high level, Squad is a game about fighting for control over objectives, balanced against expenditure of tickets. The primary method of projecting control over objectives is building FOBs, which are team-wide spawn points that allow a large volume of players which have recently been killed to rapidly respawn and reinforce control over an objective.
In most gamemodes there are multiple objectives which require the team's attention, and even in cases where there is only one objective, squads will pursue different instrumental objectives to aid the team.
These include but are not limited to:
- contesting cap range
- building FOBs
- destroying enemy FOBs
- destroying or deterring enemy vehicles which are supporting the objective
- controlling key terrain and providing fire support
- preventing the enemy from establishing new FOBs
As a player, I have the capability to contribute to any one of these instrumental objectives as long as there is a spawn point near by. By default, players will spawn near other members of their squad since that seems like the right thing to do, but in many cases the team would be better served if players were to spawn near a hotly contested objective rather than with their squad, which may not be in an ideal position to help.
It's certainly true that an organized squad is a more effective fighting force if they'll all in roughly the same area, which is why spawning with the squad should be the default for most players - but this is a secondary consideration to immediate requirements for man-power from the team.
Many of the instrumental objectives I listed above don't require a full squad to pursue, so as a squad leader if I can pursue two or more of the most important objectives in different areas of the map with portions of my squad simultaneously, I will do so.
As a squad leader I will often tell dead or downed members of my squad to give up and spawn half-way across the map to do just that. In extreme situations, I'll ask my squad to intentionally let the enemy team kill them, or use the respawn command if no enemies are available. There is a ticket cost associated with this tactic, but there are plenty of situations where it's well worth it.
Put simply: in Squad, death gives players the power of teleportation.
One common tactic that results from this mechanic is what I'll call the "proxy FOB strategy", where if a new objective requires attention, instead of transporting one or multiple squads to that objective by conventional means, a handful of players will construct FOBs on and around the objective, allowing dead players that were previously fighting over another objective to quickly relocate. If done correctly, the result will be a huge wave of players, which from the perspective of the enemy may appear to have come out of nowhere, and higher utilization of infantry when comparted to transporting them with vehicles.
### The Problem
Now these are tactics that I and other experienced squad leaders use all the time, but that doesn't mean I particularly like them and what they do to the game. I just also like winning.
Here are few reasons why I don't like this paradigm, and the gameplay which comes from team-wide spawn points in general:
- Results in a very unintuitive set of tactics to players not familiar with the game's meta.
- New players that are confronted with a squad that isn't in a discrete location will often spawn arbitrarily without consulting their squad-mates.
- Players approaching squad as from a mil-sim perspective will be frustrated that their slow, deliberate, highly coordinated squad tactics are not rewarded.
- Related to the above, Some of the most fun I have in squad is when an entire squad is working together to pursue one objective, and team-wide spawns disincentivizes this. This is when squad is at it's best in my opinion.
- With all squads spawning everywhere, games will often devolve into intermingled blobs of players from different squads pursuing the most readily available objectives. This makes it difficult to delegate specific responsibilities to specific squads, which makes inter-squad coordination much more challenging.
- Squad strategy is overly centralized around building and destroying FOBs. This is the "FOB Spam meta", which is often talked/complained about.
- Related to the above, FOBs being teleportation devices greatly reduces the strategic considerations for squad leaders in how to deploy their squad.
- Allows arguably cheesy strategies such as proxy FOBs. The counter to this strategy is to have a squad spread out and screening common FOB locations, but not many players are patient enough to commit to this tactic.
- Related to the above, it should be more useful to keep track of the troop movements of the enemy teams between objectives to prepare counterplay(this is still a valuable activity, but what you can't do at the moment is estimate the strength of the attack, since any FOB that's placed has the potential to spawn any amount of enemy players).
### Possible Solution
*As a caveat to this and all other suggestions, I'm sure better solutions will be reached via experimentation than I can come up with with my ungrounded mind-palace of My Ideal Version Of squad^tm.*
**Allow squad leaders to chose one and only one FOB for their squad to spawn on, and have that mechanism be contingent on their physical location in some way.**
Make radios/HABs interactive, and give squad leaders the option to "garrison"(there may be a more appropriate term) their squad in a particular FOB, allowing squad members to spawn there. If the squad leader moves too far away from the garrisoned FOB (maybe ~500 meters, or upon entering another FOB build radius, to prevent quick FOB switching), the squad becomes ungarrisoned (If the squad leader dies within the radius, the garrison is still maintained.). An arbitrary number of squads can be garrisoned at a fob at any one time. This mechanic still allows squads to split up in some situations, especially when part of the squad is left behind when it comes time for the squad to displace, but squad members will tend towards a single location much more strongly with only two possible spawn points available outside of main at any one time(Garrisoned fob, and the rally point).
This is the best solution I could think of which remains simple enough to be obvious to new players, and not overly punishing to players which find themselves out of position.
- Deactivate rallies if the squad leader moves too far away from them(~300 meters), so they are unable to retroactively escape to another FOB if their squad is killed, and their garrisoned FOB is lost. Squad leaders should be required to either commit to their garrisoned FOB or choose to retreat so they aren't wiped entirely from the objective, and can try to come in again from another angle.
- It may be required to provide some warning to the squad leader if they're about to leave the minimum distance from the garrisoned FOB.
- Greatly reduce the FOB exclusion radius. The large radius is less necessary if players can't easily jump between FOBs, and destroying FOBs mean a significant, concrete reduction of infantry on the map.
- allow squads to remotely despawn vehicles they own. This will reduce the pain associated with getting wiped and having to spawn main, which will happen much more frequently with these changes.
- make rallies more durable. They should have to be found and destroyed instead of the current squash mechanic
- Allow fireteam leaders move and place rallies. This still implies one rally per squad, but if necessary a fireteam leader can take possession of the rally if the squad leader is indisposed or out of position. I feel this would be a good change in isolation, but would aid in maintaining active spawn points for the squad in the absence of fallback FOBs.
Bonus change which may be cool:
- Allow the enemy team to see how many garrisoned squads are present on a fob when interacting with an enemy radio. This will provide an interesting avenue for intelligence gathering.
Squad will become a slower, more deliberate game. More thought will have to be put into when and where to deploy troops, as the opportunity cost will be much higher for moving infantry around in vehicles compared to respawning them closest to whatever objective requires attention.
Individual squad leaders will be less able to carry a team by placing high-value FOBs for their teams, relying on blueberries to spawn in waves to hit objectives. The emphasis for squad leaders will instead be on squad-level tactics and movements.
Inter-squad coordination will be both easier and more necessary, as the map will be easier to read. If I'm a squad leader, and a friendly squad is garrisoned on a fob on one side of an objective, you can be more confident that their intentions are to stay near that side of the objective to ensure their fob isn't destroyed. This will make the decision to focus your squad on the other side of the objective easier, possibly with a fob of your own.
Due to decision making such as the above, squads' positioning will be more decentralized, which will make it much easier for squad leaders to read the map and understand what their squad can do to help.
Squad wipes will be a lot more punishing, and possibly demotivating for new squad leaders and players, but as a plus the squad will remain together and be able to bounce back as a group, rather than squad cohesion breaking down entirely with the members spawning in various places on the map arbitrarily.
Lone-wolfing will be far less prevalent and possible.
Bad squad leaders will continue to be **really** bad for the team. If a squad leader chooses maneuvers which don't contribute to the team, it becomes much more likely that their squad will continue to be useless. Lack of forethought into squad transportation and positioning will be extremely punishing, and will lead to more marathon simulator gameplay for new players.
However, while on the surface this change would make the game less new-player friendly, it will make the game easier to understand overall, and nudge players towards working with their squad, which will improve their experience in the long run.
## 2. Fob-based Buildables and the Organization of Logistics
Logistics in Squad is, in many ways, very simple. If you as player have a logistics capability, there is a responsibility for you to to:
- build FOBs which support objectives
- keep existing FOBs supplied with ammo and build when required
- ensure that the vehicle isn't destroyed, or worse, captured by the enemy team
- if unable to do any of the above, deliver the vehicle to someone who can
You have 3 main decisions you need to make when doing logistics:
1. Which fobs needs supplies the most
2. the route you should choose to get to those fobs
3. what supplies to bring
FOBs have a number of buildables which are very strong and can easily make the difference in controlling an objective.
- HABs, for obvious reasons
- mortars, for their ability to remotely destroy HABs and even entire FOBs with ease
- ATGMs, with their ability to destroy high-value vehicles and close off large sections of the map to vehicles until dealt with
- repair stations, to allow vehicles to spend less time driving to and from main to rearm and repair
You can build as many of these as you want if you have enough build and ammo to operate them(one per FOB, of course), and if damaged can either be built back up or replaced. Machine gun Emplacements and barriers are also useful, but are far more situational and often not worth the ammo and build cost they consume.
It's important that ammo and build be available at all times, especially on centrally located FOBs which can serve as resupply points to aid in the quick construction of additional FOBs, and as rearm points for vehicles.
There are 3 main ways that logistics is organized(Ignoring helicopters for now, for simplicity), each with their own advantages and drawbacks:
**1. Infantry Squad leaders remain in or near the logi**
This allows flexable decision making when it comes to doing logistics.
They can chose to build a fob anywhere on the map, supply any point they need, and can easily coordinate with other squads to determine where they should go.
However, squad leaders have other responsibilities, and as a result logis may go unused for long stretches. It can sometimes be unclear whether a logi is being saved for later or is free to take, which is often a point of friction in teams.
Squad Leaders are often the most equipped to make decisions about where FOBs should go, and the path of least resistance for them is generally to keep ownership of the logi, even if that may lead to supply shortages and the more loss of logis due to being close to contested objectives for long periods.
Squad leaders will lose a lot of situational awareness, which can lead to squad mismanagement.
**2. Infantry does logi runs under the direction of a squad leader.**
Squad leaders are overloaded as is, and this strategy frees up the squad leader to do other things such as help with squad-level tactics, place rallies, and be available to build FOBs with the help of helicopters. However, squad leaders will still have to keep track of the logi, and may not be in the best position to make decisions about logistics on other areas of the map. They must also take the time to pass instructions and information to and from the driver from other squads. Players who are uncomfortable with doing logi runs could be forced into it by circumstance, which can lead to logis being abandoned in inconvenient places, or destroyed due to a poor routing.
**3. 1-3 man dedicated logistics squads.**
Apart from helicopters, this is by far most uncommon strategy. Logis serve a dual purpose of transporting supplies and infantry, which generally put them under the domain of infantry squads.
As long as an experienced player is running the logi who understands the importance of building FOBs and transporting infantry, and is able to coordinate effectively, this strategy can work great. I've done this several times to great effect when I've joined a game late and there's a logi I can snag.
Unfortunately, many players who run small logistics squads are looking to instead play euro truck simulator by supplying unnecessary amounts of supplies to every immediately accessible FOB, and won't be proactive in looking for opportunities to build FOBs, leading to this strategy having a bad reputation among experienced players. Things can get even worse if a non-SL does this, as they are harder to communicate with and will lack critical information since they can't see squad leader marks or hear command-comms.
### The Problem(s)
Logistics is very important, but aside from the task of setting up new FOBs it's also a bit boring and one-dimensional. It's like this because it's meant to be an extraneous activity that only needs to be done every once and a while, but it's pretty clear that logis being used to build fobs and deliver supplies is one of the most important contributing factors in a team's success. Because of this mismatch between the communicated usage of the mechanics and their actual importance in the game, there is no canonical way for players to handle logistics. This has lead to a number of poorly formed compromises for logistics strategy, which leads to a lot of confusion and mismanagement of team assets.
Despite the simplicity of the underlying mechanics of FOBs, It's also quite difficult to balance the task supplying FOBs with building new ones, while remaining coordinated with the rest of the team. This challenge is more frustrating than fun though, as it's mainly characterized by communication failures and mismatched priorities from the different squads that own the logistics vehicles.
To focus on another area where logistics is lacking, FOB deployables are pretty difficult to balance. The ability to quickly replace destroyed or disabled deployables by either waiting for the threat to pass and rebuilding the deployable, or rebuilding the deployable in another position doesn't offer a lot of counterplay, or at least not counterplay proportional to the effectiveness of these systems(Mortars and ATGMs especially). If I as a vehicle gunner spot and disable an ATGM before it gets a shot off, I shouldn't have to worry about getting shot again from the same FOB only a few minutes later, if they happen to have some spare build.
HABs also suffer from this problem, since all that's required to completely counter an airstrike to a HAB is to have 600 build and a squad leader handy to rebuild the HAB and ammo crate once they're destroyed. Even otherwise impeccably timed airstrikes can be nullified in 30 seconds by a prepared SL. (Side note: It's for this reason that mortars are actually *more* effective against HABs than airstrikes: mortars will deny a HAB from being rebuilt for a long time before completely destroying it.)
### Possible Solution(s)
*Let me preface by saying that the suggestions I describe below is an even more drastic change than the one above. It would require changes to a number of core gameplay systems. I only mention it because of how much I think it would improve the game.*
#### Introduce a purpose built Logistics squad, and make the Leader of this squad the Commander.
- Give members of this squad access to a redesigned combat engineer which allow them to act as SLs for the purpose of setting up FOBs and Buildables.
- The new combat engineer wouldn't have any of the offensive capabilities that the existing one does. That role should fall to a new kit called a "Sapper" or similar.
This will give the Commander a more well-defined role as the dispatcher for the team's logistics, as well his supplementary role of managing fire support.
It'll also give the commander a much more important role in shaping high-level strategy for the team as a consequence, as he is in the best position to coordinate FOB deployments for the team.
This squad may be limited to 4 to 7 players, pending experimentation and the particular layer.
#### Rework the existing logistics system to include the transportation of a limited number of discrete deployable assets to FOBs.
(starting note, when I say "logistics" here I'm referring specifically to the act of building fobs and transporting supplies, not troop transportation)
The idea here is that in addition to transporting generic build and ammo supplies, logistics vehicles can also transport high-value deployables.
Namely, the deployables I listed above(HABs, Mortars, ATGMs, and Repair stations).
You could also make an argument for HMG and AA emplacements to be included here as well.
These deployables would no longer be able to be built with build points.
There would also be a limited number of each, and a respawn timer and ticket loss associated with each would be included, just like how vehicles currently work.
If a deployable is present on a fob/vehicle that is destroyed, or the deployable is destroyed directly, then the item's ticket value will be deducted from the team's ticket count.
They each take up a certain amount of space in a logi, and would take a proportional amount of time to load/unload).
Of course, All deployables start at main.
This would have the effect of making logistics require much more careful thought, which is now facilitated by the standardization of a dedicated logistics squad. Important questions about which squads need what supplies are now more difficult to answer, and will require better coordination as a result. However, there is now a clearer way for this coordination to happen, since it's now the clear responsibility of the commander to organize. Shuffling around deployables from FOB to FOB as required would be very important, to avoid unnecessary asset loss.
It would also give much more counterplay to deployables. TOWs cannot be immediately rebuilt once the vehicles that destroyed them move on, and the enemies' mortars will be silenced for a definite amount of time if they're discovered and destroyed.
The UI could be a fairly natural extension of the existing logistics menu, with deployables hidden in a sub-menu and loadable/unloadable in the same way that build/ammo are. The deployables currently stored in a FOB should be visible on its map tooltip.
- Reduce the number of seats in logi vehicles, and add extra troop-carrying vehicles to existing layers. This will allow squads to retain autonomy over their movements.
- Modify the existing commander voting system such that logistics squad members must elect one of their own to the commander role.
(Because of how important the new commander will be, I feel it's important that there's some mechanism to prioritize competent players to fill the role.)
- Logistics squads would not have access to anything other than basic kits (medic, rifleman) and the new combat-engineer kit.
- reduce the number of tickets a raw FOB is worth from 10 down to 5 or so. The difference will be made up by the tickets incurred for losing deployables after a FOB is destroyed
- make certain deployables easier to destroy entirely, and make them easier to deconstruct so it's less punishing if they're spotted
- If paired with the previously mentioned elimination of team-wide spawn points, players in the command squad should retain the ability to spawn on any FOB. This would be necessary to allow the logistics squad to recover vehicles, build things, and tear down fobs more easily, while allowing the commander to focus on commanding.
- Give the driver for all vehicles the ability to place a team-wide move-mark. Determining the intentions of vehicles based on the map is one of the more frustrating aspects of non-SLs operating vehicles, and a way to for drivers to reliably communicate intentions would alleviate this. This would be a good standalone change as well, but would ameliorate the decision to have the primary logi drivers to not be in command comms.
- Give the commander some logistics-focused command assets, such as airdropping supplies and light vehicles to fobs via transport planes.
Squad leaders now get to focus on leading their squad. Trying to get 8 strangers to work together and to the benefit of the team is a full-time job, and the distractions of logistics and managing command assets can be overwhelming to even seasoned players. In the new model, if the Command squad is not pulling their weight then they still have the option to handle logistics themselves if absolutely necessary, but not having to worry about that side of the game as much would make a lot more players consider squad leading more often.
Good commanders will be put into a position to lead a team to victory. Having control over the team's logistics will afford them greater authority which will allow the team to make quick and definitive decisions together. This of course also means that the Commander will easily be able to solo-lose the game for the team, but you could argue this is only slightly less the case now, with the squad leaders who control the logi trucks and have the capability to place FOBs deciding the game for the team in the current meta.
The commander will have a lot of responsibility and will have a very high skill ceiling, but hopefully the other players in his squad can aid in decision making and handle much of the important decisions on where to move assets.
The new deployable mechanics would give the game a new strategic depth, and add counterplay to the more powerful FOB assets.
It's unclear to me if there would be enough players willing to do logistics even with these changes on the average, but in the cases that there aren't then squad leaders can pick up the slack like they're used to doing already. They may feel less compulsion to do so, though, which may become an issue.
It sounds on the surface that these changes to team organization and logistics would be very challenging for new players, but I think the clear separation of responsibilities would make getting into both squad leading and logistics much easier, as well as give players more to dig into with the logistics gameplay. Right now squad leaders assume both of these roles in most situations, and trying to manage both is too much to learn on the fly for most players. Learning only one is much more tractable.
## 3. Squad Specialization, Asset Allocation and Team Balance
Squads tend to be of a few broad categories:
- Mortars/ATGMs/Firebase(I'll call this kind of squad a "utility squad" in future)
And occasionally you also see:
All squad types are expected to name their squad appropriately, so it's easier to keep track of them.
These last two are one to four man squads which try to scout out enemy team positions and assets with light vehicles, and do logi runs, respectively.
Armor squads are generally expected to keep their squad count in proportion to how many vehicles they control
At the beginning of matches, some players will make squads with specific intentions behind them, hopefully naming them accordingly, and other players will join according to their interests and maybe even in an effort to make the team better. At the same time, they will claim vehicles.
Vehicles are generally divided up in the following way:
- troop transports and logis go to infantry and utility squads
- all armored vehicles goes to the armor squads, and sometimes they'll transport an infantry squad with them
- light vehicles go to infantry or scout squads (they're usually chosen to supplement the primary squad vehicle, usually a logi, or chosen by smaller or later-created squads)
- helis go to heli squads, obviously
The allocation of APCs have always been a bit of a grey area for many players. Some squads want the ability to run mechanised/motorized infantry style squads, and in some circumstances this may be a good strategy since it allows for tighter coordination between the infantry and the APC, increasing its survivability and the infantry's mobility. However, when it comes to armor v armor conflicts, the better situational awareness for vehicle crews have in an armor squad is crucial. Also, if the squad leader is either driving or gunning the APC then he won't be doing other important Squad leader things as reliably, like placing rallies and keeping track of his infantry.
This organization is enforced or augmented in different ways on servers, ranging from nuanced rules about squads with specific naming patterns which may be required to be locked gaining priority on vehicles in certain situations, to a first-come first-served policy.
Provisions made to ensure team balance are limited to team switching being disabled when the switch would make the team population sufficiently unbalanced, and efforts made by more experienced players to maintain an even distribution between the two teams.
### The Problem(s)
It's rare that the right number of squads will be created for each role in the team, and it's often not clear to newer players which vehicles they should claim when creating a squad.
Disputes over vehicles can be a source of conflict on many servers when there are too many armor or heli players for example, which is made worse by the ability of infantry squads to intentionally or unintentionally claim helicopters that they aren't equipped to properly make use of.
Even among reasonably competent players, there will often be a deficit in a particular role which leaves that team at a major disadvantage, leading to imbalanced games.
### The Solution
It seems clear to me that most players need some direction on how to organize themselves. I would suggest a role/team selection algorithm as a third(or possibly only, on server admins' discretion) option which would present the player with a set of roles they can sign up for and prioritize(with infantry being the default role), and the algorithm would then create the necessary squads as required and populate them with players.
This has a number of advantages over the current system:
- If there is a surplus or deficit of players that can play a specific role on a particular team, they can be automatically switched to restore balance, meaning all roles are filled more reliably for both teams.
- Team composition will make more sense by default, and another barrier would be removed from squad leading, namely deciding whether another squad is necessary, and what its role should be.
In addition, squads created of particular types(especially armor and heli), should automatically get claims over specific vehicles, and be afforded a certain amount of time where no other claims on those vehicles can be made. In addition, squads should not be able to claim vehicles outside of their jurisdiction. The combination of these two rules would eliminate 99% of vehicle disputes, such as those between armor squads which both want the same vehicle.
APCs are a bit of a grey area as I outlined earlier, so in their case, they may be claimed by infantry as well as armor squads as circumstances require.
Specific squad types should gain access to specific kits, such as armor with crewman kits, heli with pilot kits, etc.
- a "party" system must be implemented, so players that are trying to play together can land in the same squad reliably. An option for players to fall through to the old self-determined system may solve this as well, but a party system would be a cleaner, more familiar experience for most players.
- squad symbology on the map should reflect that squad's role, to make reading the map easier. Right now, unless squads are kept track of closely, it can be easy to mistake a 1 or 2 man squad surrounded by blueberries to be a full squad, when it's a really just a rag-tag group of players that happen to be co-located.
- a "specialist" catch-all role may be a good idea if a squad leader has a very specific vision for a squad, and there are players looking for such squads.
- infantry squads could possibly be subdivided into subtypes, such as Assault, Fire Support, Mechanised Infantry, recon etc and could be given kit loadouts and max/min squad sizes to suit their purpose. This could add an extra layer of depth to the game, as well as serve as a point of distinction between factions. Certain factions may only have access to certain Squad Types.
- allow servers to determine the character of squad types and roles available. this would allow some difference in playstyle and strictness
Squads will be, by default, far more organized and effective. Players will be playing roles that they're comfortable with more often and teams will be more balanced, leading to a better experience for everyone. Friction during the squad creation and vehicle selection process will be reduced, solving vehicle disputes and reducing the number of decisions new players are confronted with.
These changes may lead to less flexibility in team composition and less ability for players to try unique playstyles, but at the end of the day, Squad is a team game and players must be willing to follow the rough outline of a gameplan so things don't devolve into chaos, which is so often the case at the moment.
## Conclusion / TLDR
You may have noticed that most of these changes aid, at least partly, in improving the team's overall ability to organize effectively by:
- doing more to incentivize squads to stick together and to fall into a distict role both in the current gamestate and in their overall mission within the team
- bringing the game's meta into greater alignment with players' intuitions by promoting real-world tactics through changes to FOB mechanics, allowing them to keep track of the game and contribute immediately, without having to learn the intricacies of the FOB meta and how to bause it(note, this doesn't necessarily mean reducing the learning curve of the game, it just means making it coincide more with real-world strategy and tactics by reducing the "gamey" elements where possible)
- reducing the collective decision-making burden for players at game start, by giving each player a more well-defined role and automatically allocating **willing** players to critical roles where possible
- sensible defaults for distributing vehicle assets based on team role
- spreading out the current responsibilities of squad leaders to dedicated logistics players and fireteam leaders, giving each of these players a more clear direction, and making each individual role more accessible
- giving the commander more ability to influence macro-level team strategy
Even if my particular suggestions in this area aren't used, I think this is an area of the game which deserves attention, and has massive consequences when it comes to the average players' overall game experience. Some of the changes I've proposed in this area may be perceived as not "new player friendly"; especially changes to spawn points, which will mean less overall action, but to think this way is, in my opinion, to misunderstand the identity of the game. If the game allows and rewards playing the game like it's battlefield with slightly more realistic gunplay and longer times between firefights, then that's how many new players will play it, and when they get bored of that shallow game loop, they'll go back to arcade shooters. To me, the core experience that Squad provides that separates it from other similar games is one of teamwork and communication, and "new player friendly" in this context means that more steps must be taken to integrate new players into their squad, and convey to them what roles and specializations are available to them as they play the game more. One way of doing this is via tutorials and tooltips, but there are better options.
The point I want to reiterate is that it's not "new player friendly" to facilitate new players in spawning wherever they want on the map and running towards the sound of gunfire, or immediately hopping in the vehicle with the biggest gun available. Some amount of this behavior is unavoidable, but there are things that could change in the game to make this less common. We want to encourage players to work as a team in any way we can and understand the developed norms of how players achieve this, and the clearest step in this direction I can think of is to **Integrate desirable organizational norms them as game mechanics**.
If any member of OWI stumbles on this, thanks for hearing me out, and helping create one of my all-time favorite games.
Hope you enjoyed.