Kit Improvements - QoL and Teamplay
I just wanted to start this off with I am deeply impressed by the Squad developers at making a highly addictive multiplayer game and their continued devotion to Squad. Despite a few bugs here and there, the issues are generally minor.
I have been playing Squad pretty much since it was available for testing on Steam.
Given my experience and own personal opinion derived from that experience, the following are my suggested changes to certain roles/kits in Squad to offer more team cohesion capability, better balanced effectiveness, or are simply QoL.
1.) TOW and Kornet
I'm pushing the toughest nut to crack right off the bat. This one is tough because it is mostly balanced as a ATGM used for the very purpose of firing at ground-based vehicles. The imbalance is in its anti-air capabilities. It is far too easy to setup, and has a low skill floor in use, to be able to so easily pop helos out of the sky in a single shot. Now does it always one-shot helos? No, but that can easily be chalked up to hit-reg issues/lag.
The only possible suggestions here would either be to impose a severe limitation on how much the Tow can aim vertically, perhaps even limit it completely from being able to aim above a flat trajectory relative to where the TOW is emplaced. This would simply increase the skill required, at the very least, during placement. If you want to use it as an effective AA tool, you better place it up high if such elevation is even possible on your current map. The other suggestion would be a range limitation, just as long as it isn't so much that it noticeably effects its average capability in countering ground vehicles.
2.) Machine Gunner (Specialist)
The Machine Gunner is most certainly the least effective and therefore least picked Specialist role. The main differentiating factor the Machine Gunner should have over any of the Automatic Riflemen is first and foremost the round fired (i.e. more damage per round) whilst being balanced out by having even worse handling, requiring bipod deployment for any effective use. However, in many cases, the Machine-Gunner is not only lacking good optics, some are lacking optics entirely. Not only should ALL Machine-Gunner roles across all playable faction/armies have optics, it should be better than the Automatic Rifleman of the same faction/army. Additionally, to make it even a remotely worthy choice to be in the same slot as say... HAT.. it needs a little team benefitting boost. One way this can be achieved is by giving it a deployable ammo bag, similar to rifleman, except it cannot be picked up and it can only supply small-arms ammunition. This would also require more ammunition supply technically to fully stock up a MG player. So it is not without some logistical drawbacks.
3.) Marksman Kit <insert eye roll here>
Despite a common misconception and stigma regarding this kit, it does indeed have a much higher skill floor than most roles. It is simply in the fact of such elevated skill floor, and no real clear team-based role purpose, that so many people that pick this end up being worthless (or next to worthless). For the most part, despite the minor advantage (disregarding the massive disadvantages as well) that the extra magnification/optics provide for this kit, it is much easier to eliminate infantry targets even distant ones with a Rifleman (w/optics) for most playable factions/armies plus all of the other massive advantages Rifleman provides to the team over Marksman. Heck, I would be confident in the claim that even the LAT tube is better at eliminating most targets you'd imagine being the Marksman's primary target.
First step I would take in changing Marksman is to split it into 2 sub-kits, just like some others are (For example LAT). The limitations would remain the same, including 4 per team limit standard. In this case, 2 of each sub kit would be the limit per team.
The difference between these sub-kits would not be limited to simply optics vs no optics like the others. Sub-kit #1 would mirror the current Marksman role, except the primary rifle would be equipped with offset/canted iron-sights as well. This would be in addition to the current optics and the player can toggle between them at will. Sub-kit #2 would instead have optics which are an exact copy of the same faction/army Rifleman optics (e.g. Acog for US), no canted iron sights, and the primary rifle would be equipped with a suppressor. At the same time, all Marksman roles will automatically have the spotting capabilities of FTL baked in, without requiring the player to be designated FTL. The marker colors will be unique but also expire faster, and will be lacking move markers. This will at least give the Role a slight benefit to team cohesion. In cases where the Marksman is still designated as FTL, the current FTL markers would overwrite the Marksman specific ones from this suggestion.
For Canada, the only currently playable army with a Sniper Role instead of Marksman, would also have the spotting benefit baked in, but would not have any sub-kits. Additionally, for Canada's sniper and any future playable factions with the same/similar kit, I would also give it laser-rangefinder binoculars in place of simple binoculars. This further adds some semblance of a team-play element (and immersion) where the Sniper can range targets, not just for itself, but also for other kits like AT.
UK's standard, direct combat Marksman would be unchanged.
I would add the side note that most people need to stop picking the Marksman kit and thinking (and playing) like they are going to be a Call of Duty Lone-wolf assassin. If anything, you should spend more or at least equal time spotting and mentioning targets you spotted in comms as you do squeezing the trigger, and supporting your squad... not being off on your own.
4.) Combat Engineer
Combat Engineer is in a relatively good place and is generally a good pick. Again, here considering it occupies the Specialist role shared with HAT, all Combat Engineer primary rifles should be equipped with optics at the very least matching Rifleman of the same faction/army. Additionally, it should have sub-kits with the ability to choose between the AT mine (1 standard) and Claymore mines (2 standard) for USA/UK/Marines/Australia and POM/PFM/PMN mine for Russia/Militia/MEC. All Anti-Personnel mines would require remote detonation (similar/same mechanic as IED).
5.) Clipping / Originating model point for projectile sprite
Yes, still an issue since the beginning, but it has gotten a lot better. There are too many times, still, where an enemy soldier has 90%+ of his model behind solid cover except for maybe an elbow or the top half of his helmet and he is able to fire out/through with complete impunity. At the same time, when trying to hit this same player, only those same tiny parts of his model that are visible can be actually struck to damage/kill him. On the similar hand, on certain parts of terrain, when you are prone and should have a clear LoS, whilst ADS to engage and kill a target, your rounds disappear into the terrain right in front of you as if you are laying on your rifle and the barrel is actually pointed down into the dirt/rock. Perhaps this is not easy to articulate or even visualize if you have not experienced it. I will try to follow up with screenshots at a later date.
Thanks for reading.