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Rushing Meta: Discussion of poor flag layout

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  • Rushing Meta: Discussion of poor flag layout

    I was perusing the JoinSquad forums today and took a look at the Modding section, looking for new maps. There is a map called 'Karasu' under development by a Squad community member that I was looking at and, while looking at his mini-map, was struck by just how bad this rushing 'meta' is. More importantly, it is not being help at all by map designers. Important note: I am not picking on the map or the developer, just using it as an example of my point.

    Before I start I just want to say that the map looks great. Let's get that out of the way first. It certainly looks fun to play on and offers nice scenery. My issue with it is that I can easily identify exactly how it's going to play out as soon as the round starts - with a rush to the enemy back flags.

    First, let's look at the most recent iteration of the map and the flag layout:

    Can you see the problems?

    The RUS main (in the SW corner) has considerable advantage to reach the second flag of their opponent, and the opposing team has no advantage reaching the RUS second flag. You'll have to forgive the non-precise route illustrations, but I think they convey the point. The RUS has road advantage to reach those flags in addition to distance advantage.

    These type of flag layouts make no sense to me at all and seem to encourage the 'rush' meta we see round after round. Again, I'm not trying to dissect this one map but use it as an illustration of the issue we see on more than one map in the current iteration of Squad.

    What do you think? Have any other examples of obvious flag layout issues that are exacerbating the issue with rushing?

    "You milsim guys are ruining the game."

  • #2
    All they have to do to fix this.. is make it so if the other team is not at that flag in line yet they can not move the flag cap or stop it.. make it so even if the team has 1 guy there they still outcap a full squad due to the other team not having this in play.. if this happens then it will get rid of rushing. This is because it will no longer have any effect in the game. They will be wasting time and resources.


    • #3
      I think you have a good point there Dispo. Provide them the feedback and see how it goes. Just because they are map making does not mean that they excel at meta. Hopefully they will appreciate the help and improve the map design.


      • #4
        I think we are all intimately familiar with the gameplay of Fools Road AAS V3.

        The team that rushes Papanov first and secures it is almost always the winner of that round. I concur with Crazy's sentiment that a non-invasive solution would be to force teams to commit entire squads to capping the first several points. No more dropping off 1 guy at the first 2 caps while the team rushes for the middle. This solution at least prevents the trouble of having to redesign maps.

        The devs are more than aware of the rush capping meta. On the last free weekend, they actually asked the entire Squad subreddit to not rush points so that new players would have a better time learning the game.

        To all the SLs out there, would it be possible to postpone the current "must rush their first flags at all costs"-meta until monday? We get that...

        Distinguished Squad Leader


        • #5
          Map sizes, which are generally on the smaller side right now, as well as flag layouts that make no sense are definitely part of the problem.

          The bigger issue is logistics. The game simply makes it very little risk and high reward for rushing first objectives. Prior to A9, any SL could drop a team spawn point anywhere without any supplies required, only 2 members of the same team nearby. Coupled with a rally that gives 9 spawns meant that if the rushing squad could hold off a cap for 7 minutes then the entire team could spawn there. If they took a logistics truck, then the entire team could instantly spawn on the point. I've actually been in rounds where the team strategy was to have multiple squads hold spawn and wait for the radio to come up, then spawn on the point to deny the enemy team capture of their first point.

          Things are a little better with logistics in A9, now requiring a little more time to get a spawn point up, but there are still no logistical requirements to deploy the radio.

          I would hope that logistics would be changed in a fashion that would slow down the pace of the game a little more, increase the value of logistics and to make rushing a very high risk to achieve such a high reward (winning the round in 15 minutes). Something like this:
          • First, add real crates that are dropped from the back of a truck. Each crate is worth 250 build points (scaled lower - say 150 - for insurgents)
          • In order to drop a radio, you would need at least 250 build points (150 for insurgents). So dropping a radio consumes all of the build points from the crate.
          • HAB costs and everything else remain identical, so a HAB requires more than 1 truck load of logistics to get operational.

          Make SLs have to reload the rally point at an ammo box or be within X meters of an active HAB. However it is done, don't make it always available except for time. A rally is a valuable asset for the squad and should require re-arming. This will have a lot of benefits to the game in terms of slowing it down and especially in players giving up all the time.

          I've gone slightly off topic, but I see these changes as being just as important, if not more so, than fixing flag layouts and increasing map sizes. If you could cost your team both of their logistics vehicles and therefore any possible spawns elsewhere on the map for a long time, and you can't just keep respawning on your rally point, then I would hope that the rush meta would start to disappear, at least on the first enemy flags.

          "You milsim guys are ruining the game."


          • #6
            I fully agree with most of the analysis done here.

            I see the following solution as the best one:
            many more versions, with fewer flags.

            The less flags there are , the more difficult it becomes to block capture.
            Having more layouts ensures variety over games. Instead of what we have now; one decent and maybe one or two crappy versions that are all over the place. "Spiderweb maps" one could call them, with the amount of lines there are.

            Another element is though that the devs/mappers seem to have not caught on to how this game works in some cases. Case in point: Roads.
            In some maps they think about the distance from main to flags, but they forget about travel time due to terrain. In some cases there is a road straight to an enemy flag that can be rushed/blocked, while the opposition has really difficult terrain blocking that option.

            What the mapper needs to do in these cases is take a truck, and measure out drive times to flags to balance the deployment phase.

            Still I think the desire to add many flags is the core mistake. Adding more flags does not make for longer games or more varied gameplay. It makes imo for more erratic rock-paper-scissor-type gameplay, with very little actual fighting, and very much being stuck on the wrong side of the map while the enemy is at your main.

            Flags should be deployed imo in a way that facilitates a natural flow of an actual battle, not in a way that forces you to run back and forth across the map to catch up with the gamey mechanics. I want to kill or be killed in this game, not cap or be capped.


            • #7
              If you wanted to really change up the gameplay just have only the next uncapped objective revealed. Once you cap it then the next flag(s) in line is added to your teams map. This might add an emphasis to actual recon at the start of the match, since you would not know what area of the map the enemy would be moving through until you were both capped to adjacent flags.
              |TG-12th| Namebot


              • #8
                *@namebot's suggestion:

                That is imo a brilliant idea namebot. One of the most original I have heard. I hope this idea reaches one of the devs at least.

                It would off course require that different flag layouts are available so you cannot learn the next flag by heart, or some kind of randomization. This is possible bc they are already planning to do it with some objects on the map.

                Seems to me like a pretty elegant possible solution to the dullest rush tactics.

                *Another VERY simple option would be to just have the first flags capped at the start of the map. Currently the roll-out forces you to leave people behind at flags etc, split your forces in many impractical ways. Wouldn't it be a LOT more fun to just have your whole team move out together to fight for that first flag in the middle of the map.

                The game would start, and everyone can move in preparation of a combined assault for one area (maybe 2). It would be a much more awesome start of the round. It would be a much better battle from the start, instead of random skirmishes of mostly unmatched forces all over the map.

                I imagine moving up together with 2 or 3 squads, 2 or 3 armored vehicles, someone setting a fob with the truck, all together for that initial fight.

                Compare that to what we have now. Everyone splitting up all over the map, and then very often one squad that manages to surprise the enemy ends the game after 20 minutes, with people leaving the server on the other team. Then in the end you get to hear that one squad that managed to surprise the most unorganised parts of the enemy force has won the game for us losers with a 3-1 KDR because they only faced truck drivers and half squads that didn't have spawn etc. Some rounds, after 5 minutes I can see it is going to be a loss for us, or an awesome game for one squad, and a boring one for the rest of the server. Usually it depends on whether the supply truck and radio survive the rush.


                • #9
                  Been saying since day one that flags should require way more people to cap (like a minimum of 6) and cap slower.

                  Many of the maps need way less flags but the flag zones should be larger. 40 people max per team is not enough for a giant map with 9 flags (or however many). It makes the game feel 'small' as an experience ironically.

                  Retain the map size, reduce the number of flags, increase cap radius. You still retain all the additional space for maneuver and placing fobs etc but you focus the engagements. The combat becomes more intense, more squads will be focused on a single objective. You will get more combined arms play on the same objective. As opposed to the current driving to flag, shoot a handful of people or see nobody, cap, wait, move on.

                  I'd much rather see 2 maybe 3 squads assault a town together against an entrenched force then 'x squad rush here, y squad goes there'.

                  At times it becomes an orienteering simulator. I'd much rather have more focused, meaningful combat that requires teamwork than the go fast peek a boo nonsense.


                  • #10
                    It is a flaw in SQD AAS game mechanics implementation. If the round wouldn't start with all neutral CPs this problem would be solved automaticly. There is also other small things that should be changed for AAS to really flourish as a gamemode. The 1st AAS iteration back in 2004 were spot on in so many ways, while game itself had many quirks. Less and bigger CPs or more people (as a on/off limit) wouldn't be necessery a solution, atleast as a gamewide (containing public and "private" servers) long term solution.

                    I just hope the final implementation is atleast somewhat recognizable to AAS if not it should have a new name.

                    A few things:
                    AAS is a semi strategic and tactical gamemode, with claws and tooths back and forth fighting of objectives at pretermined order. It is not your diehard strategic warsimulation mode, but a fun, easy to jump in ultimate skirmish mode.

                    It should have:
                    * A spawn queue so that if whole team is wiped out, it can not spawn simultatneusly from one point (except main base), but the dispersion of "reserve units" in this case needs some though what is the most beneficial for the team.

                    * The CPs should have the most strategic importance in the map. This could be created in many ways. ie. that FOBs could be only placed on the CP areas and the ownership of CP area is determinated who have a functional FOB in there.

                    * The points system should give a push to recapturing bases to create situation where frontline moves back and forth during the round. (with somewhat balanced or Lucky! teams)

                    * The capturing order must be linear, but should allow parallel spots with group of areas need to gain ownership to go deeper to enemy territory.

                    * The CPs should have assets generated on them, ie. low powered vehicles. (depentend of the map designers thoughts)

                    * The CPs thoughness (the time and troops overpower compared to another team) should be possible to set on design level. IE. some important flags could have two times longer reclaim time, so CP swapping gample needs much more thought and coordination in places.

                    * The round should be end when team doesn't have any CPs under control (except main) and the winner in this case is obviously the team that have the whole map under control.

                    * The winning team should be the one who owns more area (CPs). IT does create those we need that area at all cost situations, which in the end creates really epic fights if both teams knows what they are doing (since with defence you should be able to keep the control with less resources if defence is thought out and game mechanics aren't totally senile).

                    * Only the border CPs middle of the capping string should be neutral (or all CPs could be split between teams at the beginning, without any neutrals) at the beginning of the round all others closer to the main bases are owned by the respective team.

                    * The spawning at the beginning of the round can happen from any owned CP not just the mainbase.
                    Last edited by WARti0k0ne -BG-; 05-24-2017, 05:56 PM.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by WARti0k0ne -BG- View Post

                      * The CPs should have the most strategic importance in the map. This could be created in many ways. ie. that FOBs could be only placed on the CP areas and the ownership of CP area is determinated who have a functional FOB in there.
                      I'm intrigued by this suggestion. Never heard it but I love it. Have the presence of an active radio(+hab) in the flag radios determine capping.

                      -You'd have to have sufficient control to bring a truck in. But whether you have control is no longer determined by the flag mechanic, but by your estimate whether it's safe enough for a truck to make it.

                      -Control would depend on protecting or destroying an object, rather than some formula counting bodies in a circle. If we would then have a destructible radio, or perhaps a destructible other type of new deploy-able specifically created for it.

                      I'm optimistic at any rate, because the sunday playtest if you read it, seems like an attempt to revive the fob building gamemode that was experimented with in PR but never made it into an iteration that was fun enough to allow further development. Perhaps with the amplified possibilities of an open engine someone can find a way.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post

                        I'm intrigued by this suggestion. Never heard it but I love it. Have the presence of an active radio(+hab) in the flag radios determine capping.

                        -You'd have to have sufficient control to bring a truck in. But whether you have control is no longer determined by the flag mechanic, but by your estimate whether it's safe enough for a truck to make it.

                        -Control would depend on protecting or destroying an object, rather than some formula counting bodies in a circle. If we would then have a destructible radio, or perhaps a destructible other type of new deploy-able specifically created for it.
                        It would also solve many logistics and "empty string of CPs" related problems. Most of the current problems in the AAS mode arises from the separation of the FOB (free to roam) and CPs (the inbuild structure / backbone). Also the logistics supplying would be on par more fun I would assume because enemy would know the end points of your route (while not the actual route.) and setting an ambush a supply lines would be a one par easier (no need to quess which keypad enemy do have FOB to supply), which in the other hand would create more importance to supply defence and more dramatic autcomes from the succesfully denied supplies.

                        If that route is taken it needs also some thought on supply truck spawning as they will start to blow up a lot atleast on the public games, where team cohesion is not as high as in "private" servers. Public is important as it keeps the game going / community alive / pays the bills.




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