A few suggestions from what I've seen so far

BigMjolnir

New member
Jul 19, 2020
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So based on what I've seen I have a few things I want to mention.

First, the Dust 514 style system of gear. It looks like there's a tier system for weapons, gear and vehicles (different from MAG's old system of T1, T2, T3, T4 which wasn't very important). I'll be honest, the MAG community will rip you a new one for that. The MAG players who did play Dust likely remember proto-stomping. It drives players away when they're getting flattened by guys who spend a ton of time or money getting jacked gear. Buying power will hurt the game immensely and even if you can't buy power with real money even the idea of it can cause a lot of damage to a game's reputation. The system of gear being consumable also worked in Dust because of the ties to EVE and the general understanding that anything used in EVE could easily be destroyed, that idea is also very niche and doesn't appeal to a ton of people. Trying to transfer that idea outside the EVE sphere of influence runs a fairly high risk of driving players away. It also runs the risk of making one of MAG's biggest issues even worse, faction imbalance. I saw a lot of people play SVER because they had higher damage weapons than anyone else. Making gear better as it increases in quality will only increase that gap. It also goes against what a lot of the MAG vets in the PS4 community talk about, relying on skill alone. A lot of the guys there remember how you had to be good to win.

My solution for this is to keep the old weapon system for MAG. To deal with imbalance make it so when a player hits max rank and vets out of a faction all weapons from the faction become available again but at a price increase (ex. A SVER player vets and starts over with Valor, a T1 Valor LMG costs 10,000 mercenary bucks and the SVER one costs 12,500 because it's an off faction weapon). This way no faction has a permanent advantage over others and players will eventually spread out to whatever faction they like based on visual aesthetics instead of power.

If the concern is monetization then I'd say do like Modern Warfare. Sell character skins and weapon blueprints. The skins can be faction bound and need to be armor bound to help with threat identification (a cosmetic trench coat can be labeled heavy armor but then that coat has to only be heavy armor so players understand and aren't deceived into thinking someone is stronger or weaker than they really are). Weapon blueprints would allow players to use weapons with attachments without unlocking them yet and could be cross faction (A Valor AR blueprint can be used if playing Raven even if the user hasn't vet from Valor to unlock the weapons yet). To prevent players from ever vetting a faction it could also be that the blueprint weapon can have attachments removed but can't have new attachments unlocked until the base weapon is unlocked. Making blueprints available regardless of vet status also gives users a feeling of value to the blueprints since they then don't have to vet right now to make use of the purchase.

Second, vehicles. Seeing MBTs and fighter jets is cool. My concern comes from how they're implemented. APCs are mobile spawn points and too many vehicles may render them worthless due to how easily they get destroyed. If APCs are rendered useless then groups will just stop using them and running from spawn to locations slows down the game and will result in people getting bored.

A solution is twofold. First, tanks and air vehicles become command call-ins. This keeps them from becoming too frequent and messing with the APCs and through that a core element of MAG. The second part is a rework of the command system. In MAG everything was on a cooldown and that was abused by some groups to use large artillery strikes to continually saturate some areas to a point where the enjoyment of the game was actively hurt. Instead abilities should have a point value, points being earned through squad/platoon/company performance and FRAGO points. This keeps players on objective and rewards groups for doing objectives by giving them more support.

A command rework would also give that role more depth. More passive skills to assist nearby troops, different call-ins to unlock like scout helicopters (think a littlebird), attack choppers (Hind/Apache), transport (Hind/Chinook), MBTs, light tanks, VTOLs, white phosphorus strikes, single mortar strikes (definitely a squad leader level call in), supply crates dropped for troops to get ammo (opposing team can blow them up for points), and more.

Overall the design of the game should be MAG then have the existing mechanics expanded. Changing things too radically makes the game seem more like a different game wearing MAG's skin to draw in users and that won't go well.

There are a lot more things I have to suggest, I just want to bring these issues up first.
 
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BigMjolnir

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Jul 19, 2020
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After some more thinking and going over new art and assets shown I figured I'd cover a few new things.

Player hubs are honestly not really needed. For an FPS game people just want to jump in and shoot stuff. Planetside 2 has the Sanctuary and even when the game forces you to spawn in there before going anywhere else I see only a handful of people and nobody talks. They run to the few vendors, then either adjust loadouts at the terminals or through the menus, then leave to fight. It ends up being a waste of server space and development time. Anything offered can be done faster through a menu option. You want to have as much screen time be useful as you can.

Merc Money. So it's clear players will earn in game cash. How it's spent has kind of been brought up and from what I've seen it's not too great. Buying consumables takes players out of the gameplay loop for a rather annoying maintenance bit. I'd rather see something along the lines of how MAG did it before. Get cash, buy guns, attachments, or camo, and go. It was straight forward and pretty much to the point. Plus with how games have evolved and the possible guns and attachments (more muzzles, stocks, undermounts, foregrips, magazines, sights, etc) it would be pretty easy to give players a wide assortment of things to buy so they always have something to spend on until they hit max rank to vet. Depending on the number of weapons and attachments players could still have more to buy even at max rank (never a bad thing).

As a side note players could also have daily challenges for Merc Money and additional challenges of increasing difficulty that players buy with Merc Money to get even more (spend 500 for a kill X players in 3 Sabo matches to earn 750). This also gives players more to do if they feel bored and want to give themselves a challenge.

Unlocks can also be tied to Merc Money over level. If I want a better AR I should be able to just buy it whenever I want instead of grinding to a certain level. This makes player progression something they control and lets players trick out a gun the second they get it if they want to.

Armor classes. This is one that has me worried since it's giving me big Dust and Planetside vibes and neither are all too good. PS2 had horrible class balance in terms of health and abilities. Dust ended up being so specific that players were pidgeonholed into set builds and it reduced some of the fun of theory crafting and making classes I want to use. It seems like armor is meant to take the place of the old skill system and while I do think the skill system had problems it also let you build however you want. Heavy armor and sniper? Do it. Light armor and LMG? Sure. Basic AR, light armor, frags, and sensor? Fine. The only thing I get is trying to get people to back away from the medical tool since everyone ran it but I think that would naturally happen if more equipment options were available. Toss in a small ammo pack to give people, thermite and incendiary grenades, trophy system, decoy grenades, heartbeat sensor, radar jammer, stuff like that will get players to diversify their builds without having to force them.

Buying supplies. I don't know the full extent of what gear can be bought but it's still concerning. Games like Ghost Recon Online did the whole having consumable grenades thing and it was annoying to deal with. Yes the cost was minuscule but it added up and having to stop playing to buy more gear is bad screen time, it takes people out of the action and slows everything down.

The Unit Wallet is concerning to say the least. Being able to pay for clan equipment and possibly having the money looted or stolen aren't good looks for an FPS. Dust did it because it was tied to EVE and being the biggest douche in space was part of EVE, you look on any site that mentions big events happening in EVE and the comments are full of people saying "I'd love to play but the Game of Thrones level backstabbing and thievery keeps me away". Your average player will not want to start a clan if that's a possibility. If the whole idea behind it is to give clans something to work together on and strive for and provide competition then it's a very odd way of doing it. The best way to keep the clans around and active is simple. Fix what was broken in MAG. MAG had a busted clan deploy that spread people out way too much so you'd have a platoon and each squad was half filled with clan members so everyone would have to move squads to fill up properly. Fix that. Add clan leaderboards so all the clans can show off there. Add a competitive mode for clans, make it so it's Sabotage since everyone did that anyways for clan fights and add ELO ranks. You want competition? Imagine watching clans going into competitive constantly trying to get from silver rank to gold or gold to diamond. Considering the fairly competitive and braggadocious nature of some clans and their members if you give them proper competitive tools they'll definitely use them and stick around.

In fact have a good number of leaderboards. Most kills, most headshots, most wins, best K/D, most kills with a repair tool (the only one that really matters), most kills with an APC, most APCs destroyed, most revives, etc. People love ranks for stuff.



Now to avoid being entirely negative I want to toss out some random suggestions:

Undermount grenade launchers - smoke, flash, argus gas (you better bring back argus gas), thermite

Undermount shotgun (OG MAG didn't have it)

Undermount flamethrower (I need it)

Make undermounts work on LMGs. Having a grenade launcher on an LMG doesn't really unbalance it considering you have to give up a possible bipod or grip for it.

Flamethrower - Think a more modernized flamethrower, it could be a primary weapon to keep people from running an AR plus flamethrower. It should be a main weapon, plus it would justify making it quite lethal.

Diversify shotgun ammo - Slug, flechette, dragon's breath (this could be applied to undermount shotgun as well)

Under gassed and over gassed modifications - Over boosts fire rate but increases recoil, under reduces fire rate but reduces recoil

Ballistic Mask cosmetics - Army of TWO made ballistic masks pretty cool and they're pretty much blank slates as for whatever you want (also easy sink for Merc Bucks).

Drones - Players could use drones that mark players or attack drones with guns on them. They could be high loadout cost items to keep people from including them as just an extra thing as opposed to building around them. This gives players another support option and give a relatively safe recon option. Players could get one then need to resupply so players can't hide the whole time unless they're really good at keeping the drone alive. Plus they could be locked on by launchers just to give lock on launchers a bit more use.


Building off what I said in my initial post. Giving commanders the ability to call in a supply crate would be nice. It lets players pick where they want to resupply and helps map design since the placed ammo caches in MAG were either out of the way and not worth going to or right in the middle of fighting and people would sit at them trying to farm kills. Plus this helps on modes where APCs are rarely near an objective due to risk of destruction or not available.
 
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