Why warfare fails as a game mode.
I believe that warfare is one of the more exciting and inovative ideas brought to the table by BIS. In fact the unpresidented scale offered in arma2-3's engine makes this one of the few games capable of delivering this kind of gameplay. This is hardly the first thread on this topic (Why does no one play standard warfare missions- Superpower & When Diplomacy Fails?) but I'd like to call this topic into focus as it relates to Arma3.
1. A major hurdle of warfare is the assumption that each player will command a squad of AI subordinates.
This assumption fails because:
a) The interface and feedback of AI command and control is non-intutive.
b) AI pathfinding is erratic
c) AI has weak self preservation. (Spends too much time standing in firefights or refusing to move.)
d) AI spotting distances are not good enough for PvP battles
This results in an AI that is hard to use, cannot be depended upon to spot and engage obvious targets, and frustrating as they appear to refuse direct commands. In short few players bother investing the time necessary to learn how to use AI soldiers well.
2. Economic system is byzantine and lacks transparency.
The effect an capturing a town or destroying an enemy vehicle is hard to quantify. What does it really mean to loose a town in warfare? Cash over time certainly... but is this is hard to feel any sense of immediacy when the effects are so 'soft' or long term. Warfare games often seem to be lost on technicalities (enemy stumbles over HQ) rather than strategic investment of resources.
Given the amount of money a long time player is likely to amass; casualties quickly cease to manner in any strategic sense.
3. Lack of gameplay patches
Yes. I'm serious. While Arma2 (and OA) hasn't lacked for patches I ask this: How many of them have tweaked or improved unit/weapon statistics as they relate to game balance? None as far as I know of. In comparison. How many Real Time Strategy games of any relevancy have NOT gone through a couple balance patches? I refuse the notion that because Arma2 is a simulator the arbitrary weapon values are fitting.
Within BIS studios there seems to be an aversion to providing config level fixes. This results in inconsistent weapon, vehicle, and soldier performance.
What do you think?