After reading a couple of threads on reddit and here with different opinions on the matter I've decided to create this post to hopefully serve as a place to provide some structured feedback on how you feel about the new mode, but more importantly what do you like/dislike about it and why. I believe the metadata DICE is getting will still be one of the key metrics they use in making decisions, but maybe providing them with constructive and structured feedback instead of screeching will help steer them in the right direction.
Let's get into it!
To provide a little background, I've always been into shooters, (Enemy Territory, Quake, CoD, BF, Americas Army, Dirty Bomb, CS, Planetside 2, Overwatch, Tarkov) but never really had the time/skill/drive to go in heavy into competitive scene, instead I dabbled here and there for a few months, exploring different games. Even though I was always more or less a tryhard in these games, I've never really achieved anything competitively. However being exposed to so many different game design philosophies, mechanics, modes gives you a comprehensive perspective. I just hope some of my ramblings will help.
First off I gotta say that while I really enjoy it I can understand the frustration it can cause for casual players used to big game modes. It promotes teamplay and emphasizes individual skill and requires a lot of coordination making voice comms almost mandatory. I find it a better iteration of Incursions in terms of map sizes, map design and vehicle vs infantry balance. I think it's an important step for the team in a journey to create a fully fledged competitive mode. It vaguely reminds me Enemy Territory: Quake Wars due to call-ins and vehicles (I'd love to see Arty Barrage and Smoke screen added later on).
Couple of things I've noticed:
- Classes finally feel like they each have their niche and Assault no longer seems like a no-brainer, but more like a situational pick vs vehicles. Recon can change the tide of battle by a well placed Spawn Point or Flare. Because of the lower amount of players on the map scope glint is no longer a death sentence. Medics only gain value with the cover they are providing for each push with smokes and with recent smg tweaks they feel more deadly. I've also found a support with shotgun to be incredible for defending and objective; you're able to build up defences and lure everyone in your kill box and LMG's can easily compete with SAR's if you pick your angles right (especially in defense using a bipod).
- 8v8 is great for well coordinated squads and potentially clanwars. Pushing/Defending feels intense, there's always a chance for someone to sneak around to ninja cap a point while the rest of the enemy team is focused on a firefight. The flow of battle becomes manageable, for a change it's not one huge clusterfuck where nothing but following the zerg matters. I wonder if increasing the number of players for public up to 12 would negatively impact that, might be worth considering in order to introduce a bit more chaos for the casual players.
- The maps have sufficient routes to push and the only way you feel boxed in is when you get locked in your initial spawn which could have additional ways of getting out of (at least on Rotterdam). I really like the small adjustments on maps such as truck and barrels on Hamada that provides cover in an open space between B and A, fortifications on B point on Arras actually give you an advantage and the placement of Health/Ammo stations makes defending really easy (maybe too easy?)
- Vehicle balance - heavy vehicles are at a significant disadvantage right now, splash damage for tank cannons regardless of caliber seems slightly undertuned. It's very easy to juke any vehicle right now, however you need to cooperate with another assault to take it down (2 sometimes even 3 PIAT's are not enough)
- Due to poor matchmaking, casual players are getting absolutely destroyed (but that is also true for Domination) which is incredible frustrating, especially if you're being forced into playing a mode to progress the campaign. I realise that it's next to impossible to come up with a well adjusted MMR system. If you're playing solo, you will almost always screwed regardless of how good the system actually is. I actually think matchmaking is one of the worst features for player experience introduced to online shooters but that's a whole different rant
An entirely separate "competitive" MMR must be introduced along with system punishing leavers or afk players. It would be a huge project though.
- Alternatively as a community, we could take it upon themselves to create a competitive discord for scrims/clanwars where everyone roughly knows what skill they are and they pair up accordingly. This used to be a thing back in the IRC days, but I fear matchmaking made it too convenient to just get into game and play.
That's it for now as I've just been playing for a few hours so far. I'll try to update the post with more thoughts over the next days.
What's your feedback?
Edited for swearing. - EA_Cian