Terrible Meta and Gameplay
I am writing to give my personal feedback on the current iteration of the game's meta. Squad when played at a competitive level is very meta focused, we have to learn and understand the meta in order to beat opponents.
Right now there are a few things that really bother me meta wise:
1) FOB Spam: The fact that a team has to build multiple FOBs in order to out spawn the opponent creating multiple angles of attacks without much penalty is very absurd. Half the time you find yourself fighting against FOBs rather than the actual objectives which makes the gameplay kind of silly, for example in the recent Doc's Office vs VAC game on Mestia, the game was played by destroying enemy FOBs around Crucible rather than playing over Crucible itself. This should signal that there is something inherently wrong with the way the game is being played. The fight should be over FLAGS not FOBs, I would suggest limiting the amount of FOBs to be placed on the map at one time by either increasing FOB range via 300 to 500 or 400 or just limiting the amount of fobs placed on a map at the same time in general, maybe the commander can have an ability to destroy a fob.
The game played much better when both teams had 2 - 3 FOBs maximum and infantry was much more focused rather than spread out and playing this "spawn management" game. This also played into SLs having to communicate with one another at the beginning of the game talking about fob placement more. Now SLs just go and place fobs wherever.
2) Mortar Spam: A personal hatred of mine, in competitive you are unable to place fobs anywhere, Teams are so astute now with mortars, if you put any FOB or HAB in the open, the opposing team will immediately mortar it. This forces you to essentially place all FOBs in buildings. Entire games are played with your screen shaking constantly and hearing BANG BANG BANG BANG in your ears ALL DAMN GAME. Something has to be done with this meta, Mortars being as strong as they are is something that can't continue to go on. They are simply too strong and limit teams ability to place FOBs in more places.
A couple of simple nerfs are this: Increase ammo cost, add over heat, decrease damage to HAB/Radio.
3) Power of Airstrike/UAV/Artillery: These things are simply really silly and overpowered, once again limiting FOB spots and causing the "counter mortar" meta. Teams CAN NOT place fobs in the open because of these abilities. Mortaring becomes a chess game of removing mortar tubes when UAV is up because of the opponent will actually counter mortar your mortars through UAV coordination. It's absolutely silly and over powered.
Suggestion: Remove Commander abilities that effect the other team through damage (add supportive abilities). Maybe add a supply drop ability. Change the way we get commander abilities rather than on a timer? the timer makes games seem very time based and kind of artificial rather than natural, the game seemed to have more integrity without commander abilities. Another suggestion would be to remove the ability for commanders to call in air strikes through UAV and require an SL to mark what he needs air struck, along with reducing the circle diameter that is generated when a call in is done on the map which would force an SL to get a very accurate mark down.
4) Heli Dominance/UAV: Helis are simply way way way too strong with fob spamming and gaining intel without much punishment, they need to be much weaker to small arms and have to have some kind of height based fob. Smart heli pilots can essentially fly without penalty and spot vehicles across map. A good example of this is on Yehorivka, if stepne is taken a good heli pilot can call out any logis that are pushing stepne on border of the map etc. making it virtually impossible to get an attack going. They need to be nerfed in some way shape or form. The exact nerf is very difficult to say to be honest.
5) Vehicle Tanky-ness/LAT spam: Vehicles need a massive balance change, What I have found is that Vehicle players are not having fun playing in them and Infantry are not having fun playing against them. you find that vehicles can do some things like sit on a hab and frag dump it while taking multiple lats, which in fact it should be that vics should not want to get any where close to an enemy spawn and instead play with their own infantry and shoot from a distance.
Suggestion: reduce the amount of LAT and HAT and increase the damage those kits do. Give vehicles Thermals and/or better optics (give them a 1x Zoom with thermal).
Conclusion: I think all these problems are very very important to be addressed in the next update and I hope to see some gameplay changes regarding these. These changes are relatively simple and I would love to see some of them tested.
Thanks for reading,