Hi dev team,
So, as Theel confirmed, a squad system is being developed for DH. As someone with nearly 3k hours on DH, I have to say that it will be a drastic change to the game play and that it really needs to be done right. But you probably already understand that. I am writing here to express a few of my concerns, and to make some constructive suggestions.
1. A lot of DH players like to keep to themselves or do their own thing. Vast majority of players have a mic but just don't talk, especially the experienced players who have seen it all. There needs to be an incentive that makes these people work with their team.
2. #1 should be done in a way that does not make people feel forced (for example, requiring a full squad to be in a capzone to allow them to cap would be a bad idea, because there will always be a few people doing their own thing no matter what - this is a video game. It would ruin other players' experience)
3. Frankly, a lot of the current maps, especially the popular ones, not ideal for the squad system. They are often too small and fast paced. Employing map-appropriate squad systems might work nicely and bring out the flavor of different types of maps (for example, full platoon/squad system with more features on big maps, more bare bone squad/fireteam system for smaller maps). Please keep in mind that the beautiful thing about DH and the reason why so many people fell in love with the game in the first place is because of the variety of experience it provides - Intense fast paced CQB, as well as slow-paced tactical gameplay, mostly depending on the map. DH needs both to survive. The squad system should complement both styles and not destroy one of them.
Suggestion: allow us players to choose between "default mode," which would be the current iteration of team-deathmatch style public play, and "tactical (or whatever) mode" that uses the squad system. Alternatively, maybe some small CQB focused maps should not use the squad system at all and keep them as they are now.
4. This one ties into balancing. In DH, players are fragile and guns are accurate, which means that people die very easily during combat. However, making players tankier or making guns less accurate would not be a healthy way to balance DH, as we saw in players' reaction to the hipshooting changes in 6.0. Randomness is not rewarding and also lowers skill ceiling. From my experience in the 29th, playing with a full squad using squad tactics never worked out during public play, because inherently people die very easily and squads are never at full strength. It just becomes a team deathmatch. Project reality addresses this issue with the use of rally points. Rally points work in PR because they contribute to speeding up the gameplay by allowing squads to be reinforced on extremely big maps. However, DH is a completely different game with different style of maps, and it's very probable that something like PR's rally point system will throw off the balance of the game/maps, or that it will become prone to abuse.
Suggestion: Instead of a PR style rally point system (not that that's what you guys are planning, I don't know what you're planning), add squad checkpoints that are in predetermined locations (i.e. appropriate distance away from the objective) that can be captured by a squad and be used as a respawn point just for that squad. Forcing dead players from the same squad to respawn at the same time if the number of KIAs reach a fireteam size might promote team play (this might in fact slow down the gameplay a little bit).
5. As I mentioned in #4, employment of a squad system will probably result in huge changes in gameplay even if it's done right. And it is not going to be appealing to a SIGNIFICANT portion of the current player base. Us players need you developers to understand that we played this game for many years and we built up a "meta game" that is firmly fixed. Squad system can throw it all away and it's something that cannot be taken lightly. Please proceed with caution.
I would like a response from a developer stating what your guys' thoughts are on the concerns and suggestions I raise here. Thanks for reading and I hope this gave you some stuff to think about.