Darktan13 on regen, spotting, teamwork (old post from Bf4 forum)


Wanted to link this to someone on reddit, but the old forum is dead.

Quoted from "Zormau": While I am opposed to the removal of all regenerative measures from the game, I agree that the removal of auto-healing and auto-repair can (!) lead to great gameplay

As I’m about to explain, I fail to see how this is the case whatsoever, and I’m betting you make this assertion because you prefer old-school composition Requirements rather than meaningful choice for the players.

Quoted from "Zormau":
Classic mode greatly encourages teamplay by removing auto-regen

As in the previous page, several including myself point out how removal of healing tools, automatic or otherwise harm gameplay, but we’ll ignore that and focus on the “teamwork” only aspect. In what respect does no regen encourage teamplay?

Without health regeneration, many things happen, none of them are beneficial for gameplay flow or teamwork. We’ll start with composition - what classes and equipment the squad brings to the map.

Squad composition - Without health regeneration, we now lack the ability to manage our own defences without one specific class with a specific loadout, so the squad MUST bring at LEAST one assault with a medic-loadout, one player to manage the health and defence of 5 people simply isn’t viable for most engages. For the squad to have any real flexibility with movement and positioning and still have a level of staying power, you’ll need TWO medic-loadout Assault players. Congratulations, now 40% of your squad is functionally forced into a single role just to provide enough sustain for general enagements, and there’s only ONE way to deliver group sustain - medic-loadout assaults.

40% of the majority of squads forced into a single role and a single delivery system for that role is incredibly limiting, Vehicles, already the kings of the maps, become even more powerful, players forced away from engineer and support just so the squad can survive the general level of damage without simply burning tickets greatly improve the survivability of armour.

No-auto repair murders aircraft, it forces an Incredibly defensive style of play, barely making any impact on the maps whatsoever, especially for jets. With the range of aircraft weaponry in general, this functionally makes jets and to a lesser degree - attack helicopters non-viable, as they cannot be healed in any reasonable fashion without significant time investment. and Scout/transports become even MORE reliant on some poor fuck who holds mouse1 for 20min rather than engage with the game. This has the obvious outcome of making ground armour even STRONGER, with their primary counter almost completely removed from meaningful levels of interaction. Happily, without jets and AH to hunt them, and with 40% of many squads forced into medic roles, scout helis in particular have much greater freedom, able to repair on the move ( thanks to some poor sod or two pressing Mouse1 all game and otherwise not interacting with the game ) allowing them to more easily engage ( or more accurately, farm ) infantry. no-auto repair makes almost no impact on ground armour, who already carry additional crewmen for that very purpose. both during and after engages, they get repairs anyway and so this makes very little practical difference to them, but it does occasionally slow them down.

Long story short, you heavily restrict the offensive aircraft by virtue of having no real response to receiving damage during an attack run. And drastically reduce the general level of anti-tank weapons on the maps. And reduce the ability of the remaining AT weapons to successfully engage armour. All whilst making near-zero impact comparably on the tanks ability to deal and sustain damage. The game, already heavily skewed towards vehicle-centric defensive strategies ( not necessarily a bad thing ) becomes Extremely dependant on a single type of vehicle in a single role whilst marginalising all others and limiting the impact of infantry, particularly in sustained engages. ( this is definitely a bad thing, effectively killing combined-arms, replacing it with static tanklines with infantry support, and exacerbating the already-problematic defensively orientated spawn mechanics )

( Faster TL;DR drastically lowering rate and length of offensive aircraft map engagement + slowing infantry engagement + lowing offensive strength of infantry whilst having minimal impact on tanks = very very slow, entirely tank-orientated gamplay, with a focus on static gunlines )

Effects on vehicles and such aside, and back the primary issue with composition - Skill.

Managing offensive and defensive resources available to the player is a skill. it takes experience and talent to know how much of each you can afford to spend during each moment of an engagement, and how you intend to replenish used resources is also part of that. Offloading a good chunk of that decisionmaking and positioning / timing this requires onto other players isn’t more skilled, it’s less.

Managing defensive and offensive options and tools available to the player and squad is a skill, it takes experience and talent to know how much of what kind of class and equipment your squad needs for each moment of different types of engagements and movements. Removing a huge chunk of available options to force a basic level of group sustain allows less options for teamwork and good synergy. Don’t get me wrong, most squads will need sustain regardless of auto-regen or not. but with auto-regen enabled, you have significantly greater freedom of movement, composition and use of tools to generate that sustain. without health regen you NEED some way to deliver health to your group, or you will die. you will take damage, and you cannot heal it. so only medic-specced assaults are viable to provide at least a basic level of group sustain. There are other types of sustain, but they’re only effective if there’s some level of HPS ( health per second ) coming in for the group already. Forcing players into bring HPS tools to even have ANY drastically reduces the available slots for other tools for generating sustain OR damage, particularly it cuts into slots the group could normally spare for more specific tools, specialist offensive or defensive ones ( especially single-use gadgets or limited use gadgets, typically recon tools. or even extremely personal ones like the shield and M26 personal shotgun )

Players should be effective by themselves, every squad, regardless of class or tool choice, should have a basic level of both sustain and offensive power allowing them to bring synergistic equipment and composition specific to the engagements at hand / immediate future. Picking relevant weapons/sidearms/squad perks/gadgets that work well together should be encouraged. Functionally requiring the squad to dedicate a good percentage of available slots just to generate HPS so the squad can engage effectively more than just once, and lowering responsibility of managing defensive tools on squadmembers isn’t teamwork. You’re simply restricting options and forcing specific roles just to remain viable on the map.


Teamwork is where players function by themselves, but their effectiveness is multiplied when they work together. Not a checklist of "did we bring a healer so we can start playing?"

I agree that players should work together as a squad to generate the defensive tools to be more effective. but HPS isn’t the only way to generate group sustain, and separating individual players from a huge chunk of their health management isn’t skillful or fun.

We’ve touched gently on group composition, vehicles and resource management ( resource management should of course, also have a group component to it. but requiring ALL of it to be on the group for invidual healthpools? not cool. ) Theres many other things we could talk about, but it’s long and boring and I hate typing. Voice comms is king, Symthic TS is open 24/7, can even record conversations with TS if the people involved are cool with it.

And on that note, all this really does, is expose further a fundamental weakness - You can’t easily tell the level of health/attack your group has without them telling you. There’s no healthbar on the squad UI, you have to mouse over your teammates individually at Very close range for a moment to see a small bar if you want to know their health state. Unless you use voice comms, and the others are too, you can’t co-ordinate heals or resupplies effectively. The UI handily displays if people are capable of being healed ( icons on minimap/screen when you are medic/support traited ) but don’t have any way for you to know if they NEED it. same UI/minimap flash for a dude at 99% who could be healed, and the dude at 10% who needs a heal right gorram now.

Without voicecomms, you have no reasonable way of knowing if that guy is only mag short, or has only one mag left, and the same with health. this makes it really quite difficult to effectively deliver health/ammo to the ones who need it, when they need it in most games. Unless you’re all actively in voice comms and informing your group of your basic status, they’ve no reasonable way of knowing you need help in that area. The largest issue here is health, with no squad healthbars, people just die unnecessarily. Dead players can’t contribute damage or anything else to the team. Voicecomms will always be superior, it always will have an edge for co-ordinating responses to a HUGE range of things. but a basic function like if a player is in need of health, or is in danger should always be available on the UI. Many teamwork-centric games have this. why don’t we?

Without such basic information, pub squads are effectively left with lower health and ammo polls compared to Voicecomm squads ( largely guild/clan/platoon groups ) and simply can’t compete even in basic sustain/damage output, let alone any co-ordination or synergy.

No health regen makes an already terrible situation significantly worse.

TL:DR - removing individual players from basic decision-making over their defence/offence further destroys public gameplay for a whole host of reasons, though a big contributor is a UI-deficiency that could be fixed by DICE.

It’s a big problem you hear people complaining about all the time - He didn’t Heal me! I needed ammo, why didn’t he drop any! there’s no medics! Why are these problems so common? because there’s no reasonable way your non-voicecomm teammates have the information to make the decision to solve that problem.

Quoted from "Zormau":
Classic mode greatly encourages teamplay by removing 3D spotting

This ones nice and short. removing 3D spotting doesn’t encourage teamplay.

Spotting is a valuable teamwork tool, it allows instant communication of the location of opponents you’ve seen to your entire team. Allowing you to co-ordinate a response.

3D spotting is the same thing, but it also includes a handy coloured marker above their head if they’re in direct Line of Sight.

What difference does that make?

Largely, it helps lower-end systems, and players with less-than-flawless vision to use the spotting system closer to the level that keen-eyed beefy-rigged players can. Thats it.

Of course, those with keen eyes and/or shiny rigs will often be the ones to spot things in the First place, and so still have that advantage. but at least after that point, those less equipped can engage on a roughly equalish level.

Removing 3D spotting simply gives an advantage to the better geared, and also to again, voicecomm players, who can describe to you what to look for more accurately, without actually improving stealth. they’re still mini-map spotted regardless.

Removing spotting entirely? now you just really hate players who aren’t in cross-squad voicecomms. with no way to effectively communicate opposing players locations.

Quoted from "Zormau"
Classic mode greatly encourages teamplay by restricting squad spawns to "spawn on leader" (leader can spawn on any of his squadmates).

This one is particularly vexing. In what way does this encourage teamplay?

Squad leader isn’t a special rank or gadget you can acquire, it’s just down to who is in a squad first, basically. You know what happens with matches where squad spawn only is on? everyone constantly makes new squads, therefore bypassing the spawn on leader requirement, only this time, now you have to play MenuField4 - Rise of the Spawn - in the time between spawns. You could try to claim that this forces a player to make a choice between altering his loadout or changing his spawn options. but then I would call you a twat.

It really is that simple. every game with this enabled, any team with comms/organisation/an interest in winning simply constantly creates and re-creates squads to allow people to keep spawning effectively. Instead of giving players more time to make decisions, confer with their squad as to what to bring in the 10-15 seconds between respawns, and generally focus on making ingame choices. It becomes MenuField 4 - Who can find the right squad fast enough?

Where is the teamplay here? no-one has to play different ingame, everyone just plays as normal, then squadhops during downtime.

Quoted from “Zormau”:
Medkits are still in, but unlike in normal mode medics are actually really valuable in large, vehicle heavy conquest modes if auto-regen isn’t a thing.

This ones already covered above and in the previous page. but I’ll take a moment to give some extra comments, then some background to my claims/experience/statements. I’ve said many things, and it just wouldn’t do to not provide a context to what I’m saying.

Since in larger-scale matches there are more vehicles, and vehicles can access even more of the map - therefore a higher % of your infantry composition has to go towards anti-vehicle measures. This makes both anti-infantry assaults and medic-specced assaults more individually powerful. The higher anti-personell power they bring is more effective, thanks to higher numbers of less-equipped opponents, and the sustain they provide is more valuable individually for both being rarer, and the significantly higher lethality of the map.

Yes there are less of them, but that only means their individual actions are more important and impactful on the map, and they’re more powerful with respect to everything else.

Context time!

For functionally the entire of BF3, and for the first half of BF4 ( but alas, not so much these days, mostly pub games and hoping for 32v32s restored ), I was heavily involved in leading, planning and playing for Team Symthic ( and a few other teams to a much lesser degree, including Team Europe and during an ESL country cup, Team UK ) and played tournaments/matches/scrims in the following formats 5v5, 8v8, 10v10, 12v12 - 16v16, 24v24 and 32v32. Also I played a fairly significant amount of ESL Versus ( semi-pub 5v5 matchmaking ) and played in multiple seasons of LeveL - Battlefield 32v32 and other formats. And various other smaller competitive and casual BF4/BF3

I have played extensively with and without ALL of the settings mentioned here and more options besides, with both heavily restricted and completely unrestricted kit/weapon/gadget rules. Health regen off and squad leader spawn only in particular.

I’m not suggesting I’m the ultimate authority on settings or anything close to it, but I have tried all combinations of the above in a huge variety of formats and rulesets, and the effects they have are overwhelmingly negative towards overall gameplay and teamwork. Not just in organised play, but in semi-organised scrims with random teams, and in public matches ( hardcore/classic/normal )

Now, I’m fairly biased about this, since I have the experience. But I think with large-scale, testable changes like these, actually testing / playing under those changes or settings similar, matters. especially under conditions where both teams are on equal footing for organisation and voice-comms. it is after all, the way battlefield is meant to be played.

Ultimate TL:DR - Discussing things with voice is better than typing where possible. Symthic TS is open 24/7.