Several Fans in the How will ArmA 3 differ from Arma 2, and ArmA? thread, have commented on the desirably of an enhanced Squad System and mechanics for ArmA 3, and I find myself agreeing that this is could move the franchise forward, make the game more accessible and appealing to a broader audience and add new feature depth to the game.
Historical Synopsis (skim or skip this if you're easily bored)
A little Historical Retrospective of Tactical Realism games that have definitive 'Squad System Machinery' features and design (in rough historical order of development not appearance) that would in this ArmA Fans opinion make for compelling addition to ArmA 3:
· Rogue Spear
· Ghost Recon
· Full-Spectrum Warrior*
· Battlefield 2
· Close Combat First To Fight
· SOCOM Tactical Strike*
· Elite Warrior Vietnam
· Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter
Rouge Spear was unique for its Squad System that allowed every individual on a team in PvP MP to control an AI squad; this is one game mechanic that could be realized in ArmA 3 on a scale that could be truly impressive.
Ghost Recon inaugurated the Real-Time Tactical Map with a tool interface similar to some turn based strategy games that allowed for sophisticated squad formation, way-pointing, precise positioning and ordering AI squad members with ROE -- while this had little play in MP PvP some of it's ideas made their way into Battlefield 2's Commander's CCC interface.
Full Spectrum Warrior and SOCOM Tactical Strike have a shared *ICT pedigree, are not technically First Person Tactical Realism games, but inaugurated real-time tactical way-pointing in tactical gaming; using real-time machinery similar to but more precise then RTS games; but again only controlling an AI squad or fire team.
Battlefield 2 is one of the first games inaugurate real-time tactical way-pointing as part of a CCC Tool system for Squad Leaders and Commanders to way-point, command and support their squad, team, and mission on the map in real-time. While the execution at times is quite 'game like' the result in how it enhanced how the game was actually played in substantially more realistic.
Close Combat First To Fight, Elite Warriors Vietnam, and GRAW all too the ICT real-time tactical squad AI move and maneuver mechanics in new and more focused directions, simplifying, streamlining, adding more realism, and unique control features that make each system worth playing with if you haven't.
Squad Machinery For ArmA 3 Pet Wish Design Synopsis & Features
Summarily I'd like to see features and options for:
· real-time tactical way-pointing for PvE COOP games
· real-time tactical way-pointing for Squad Leaders in PvP (similar to BF2)
· real-time action markers for all Players (spotting, marking, orienteering)
· optional Command CCC role, for logistic support, controls of respawn/reinforcement system etc.
· game mode offering real-time AI squad control making every player an AI squad Squad Leader
· squad join channel system
In my pet-wish game-mode and scenario we'd see something large scale were every Player had an AI fire-team that they individually controlled, that were in turn commanded by a Squad or Section Leader, and supported and strategically directed, supported and commanded by a Commander.
If you died, you would assume the role of one of your fire-team and still lead your squad; if your entire squad got wiped out from a visit of a MOAB you'd go in a reinforcement cue till the Commander requisitioned a vehicle, or air drop to send you back into the battle where he needed you; but he'd have time constrained resources to do this to keep the balance of the game going.