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How-To-Improve domination ideas
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Joined: 18th Mar 2018
Rank: Developer
Likes 6
9th Dec 2018

Hello !

As you know, we've been working on insurgency missions, but domination didn't get much attention lately.

Rather than doing a "straight port" of Domination to other maps, we'd like to do some work in order to "improve" the mission (in the wide meaning of the word).

Please share your ideas !
Joined: 18th Mar 2018
Rank: Member
Likes 11
9th Dec 2018

Ho boy, do I have some ideas.

In order not to drown the creative process, I think I will open this topic with just sharing what I think should be the ambition for a true domination 2.0.
We have talked a lot about what makes a "new" mission. Insurgency is improving by a series of small steps in the right direction, but with domination I think it would be good to rethink the concept.

The small current AO allows us to fight in many different locations, but, the gameplay feels samey anyway. The moment we generate a new AO, I do not feel exitement of where to fight next, but I feel anxious of finding out how long the travel time will be. There is no redeeming factor, I do not say, "Nice! this is close to an airfield, this will have impact on gameplay somehow".

- I propose, scrap the small randomly placed AO's for now, and make a single solid domination that both digs deeper (in gameplay) and by extension also digs wider (more ground actually used). (You will see what I mean).
Refer to the "map overview" image.
- The map is currently split into 2 areas, "AO" and boring filler area. Make use of the map as a whole, and limit our flexibility in how to attack and enemy position. We are terrible at diving headfirst into combat, because it is so easy to find a hill and camp. It is safe, so we can just circle around and attack from where we want.
With a bigger AO we can not clear 2/3s of the maps enemies from one single hill,and with a new objective structure everry single enemy and bunker is not important to us, unless it is trying to kill us.
- Enemies should be limited to defense, but could make intercepts with individual units to spice up travel a bit. As enemies now reinforce actively, and a lot of travel during mission will be inside the deeper AO, then travel is further made into active gameplay.
- Enemies will reinforce form a predictable direction, (though maybe too predictable, we will see), which allows for more nuanced strategies. A team could split off and go even deeper and block enemy reinforcements, thus giving an advantage to allies fighting to take a strongpoint that was hard to take in itself. (we need more gameplay as exiting as when we assaulted the Palace in Zargabad. Real enemy bases in domination should be like this, though in a more traditional style). It will appeal to a broader audience with more diverse options for play. 4 People wanna go in ghillie style with a bunch of mines and explosives? sure! Because now it matters and if done well, coordinated well, it helps allies in a relevant way. We still might have trouble with filling a full combat infantry unit, but that is a problem with the activity in the community, not because a few additional assets in one mission, and I see the only solution is to make the game as interesting as it can get, to draw people back in.

Refer to AO overview
- Less enemies loitering around in 8 man conga lines should also be avoided. Relevant and limited patrols, sentries, scouts, fortications and then relevant lavish dynamic enemy reinforcements should be the way forward. This way, the russians are not wasting manpower in patrolling fields, but instead using them for manning important defenses that pose a challenge to us. It is in dealing with this challenge (and not a horde of pixels out in fields) that we have to fight smarter from cover, instead of sitting on the highest hill for 1 hour every time. If the enemy gun is bigger or they react with artillery/air strikes, then you might not want to sit in the open, and thus you have to manouever in close. Unless you are also fielding the firepower to take them on head-on.
- The contents of the AO should be expanded further. Maybe 1 important base in the area, more coherent defensive positions that are actually supporting each other and defending an actual area worth defending. We do not need sidemissions per se, if the mission is so well nuanced that the presence of a SAM sites is enough of a strategic hindrance. We do not need High command to tell us we need to deal with an AA gun to get flyboy support. What we need is to figure out there is AA by ourself, how much, where it is, and deal with it if it is relevant to our task. If the zulu pilot is sad about the commander of a team does not think it is important right now? tough luck, strap on some boots and become an infantry fighter. On the Contrary, talking to each other, actually plan a mission and evaluate what will benefit the team is the way forward, we could help each other get the SAM site down as the first target, and then zulu can assist with cracking enemy defenses, MG fortifications, artillery positions etc. Air assets go silly when they clear the AO on their own, but if we make it so that the AO is so nuanced that Air needs infantry and infantry needs Air, then people will cooperate and prosper. Same goes for tanks, bunkers, radio towers, fuel tanks, supplybases, artillery bases, field hospitals, general Staff quarters, bridges, towns, Radar sites, motor pools, barracks. These things are not filler objectives but relevant strategic architecture that should have relevant impact, for enemy assets and our assets, which the commanding player will decide whether is a hindrance to his goal.
- What should be the end goal then? To take an enemy main camp or something. A straight forward mission, the camp could either be premade, generated, placed on mission start, known, unknown, doesn't matter. But a big challenge in itself, and all the other stuff is a challenge by supporting the base. A chess board. Before you move in on the king, you have to peel off layers of defense, even sometimes dealing with far away assets because they provide indirect cover that hinders your progress (ie. a fuel depot allowing the enemy to field more tanks, a supply depot allowing the enemy to deploy armed MI-8's instead of unarmed MI-8s, a barracks that gives the AI enemies 10% higher skill stat, or maybe a 1% chance of surrendering etc).

I hope I have proposed something interesting, and the point is not to say, I want all this, but just that there are plenty of ideas, and they do not fit in the current AO size - so, scrap it, let's build something bigger that interests all of the playerbase, something that allows us to use assets, tanks and helicopters without feeling we are overkilling, because the mission so far is so simple and basically just a load of targets presenting themselves to us in such a manner we can deal with them easily from the top of a hill.

All this is only ideas for a NATO/Russian setting
If we want a Tanoa domination mission, eks. closer to the small scale we have now, with a more cartel vs. police/mercenary  "war on drugs" tug of war in the jungle, I also ahve some ideas at a later point.

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Joined: 18th Mar 2018
Rank: Developer
Likes 4
9th Dec 2018

To sum up what we have discussed yesterday and to maybe inspire other people to share their thoughts:

- inverse domination: OPFOR as player faction, BLUFOR as enemies
- less predictable, static objectives: no more rigid 4 bunkers + one radio tower in each AO. Instead, the objectives are more randomised and are assigned in stages. For example, first stage: Find and secure a fortified enemy position. Second stage: defend against counterattack, third stage: Push on to next position etc.
- enemy reinforcements are not all thrown at you as soon as you fire the first shot, but are mobilised according to your progress through the stages of the objective. That means that you can't neutralise all resistance from a hill 2 clicks out before entering the AO.
- enemy close air support: give the enemy gunships and jets.
Joined: 18th Mar 2018
Rank: Developer
Likes 6
21st Dec 2018

Hey Charles !

Make the supplies limited !
And when you capture enemy strongpoints, you get bonus supplies !
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