Author Topic: The future of FH2  (Read 953 times)

Offline LuckyOne

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The future of FH2
« on: 16-08-2018, 23:08:17 »
First of all, I'd like to congratulate the devs on another successful release!  :) ;D

I thank you from the bottom of my heart for many enjoyable evenings "wasted" playing this masterpiece. I do not regret a single one.

In the past 3 months the new trailer got over 26k views and I have noticed many new faces on the servers.

The new maps are examples of fine craftsmanship and some have almost art-like qualities. I'm sure many people find the gameplay on them really enjoyable. I can only speak for myself but I find the quality of the maps has improved immensely since I first started playing (around 2011 IIRC).

But as we all know, FH2 is not getting any younger.  :(
With the incoming hype train that is Battlefield V (and many other indie titles such as Post Scriptum and Hell Let Loose) a revival of the WW2 FPS genre is expected to hit us at any moment.

This could be a great opportunity for FH2... Or a road to a slow, painful death as the player numbers on the servers slowly wither away due to more popular games. We the community and our devs are the only things standing between a lively, prosperous future FH2 and a slowly decaying shell of a once great mod.

Therefore I ask these questions, for all of us to reflect upon:

  • How do you imagine the FH2 of the future? What can we as a community do to make such a future happen?

  • How do you think should the mod we all know and love rise up to the challenge of the newcomers, with their shiny graphics, smooth engines, innovative gameplay mechanics, never before seen factions and map locations?

  • What should the main focus of a future FH2 be ? The goal is to scoop up some stragglers and lost souls that will inevitably come when they get bored/disappointed of the new games.
    New factions and content, more insanely polished maps, new game modes, new gameplay mechanics, easier distribution, installation and learning curve for the newbies?

  • Go back to a time when you first discovered FH2. What were the things that annoyed you the most, the main sources of frustration? What were your expectations and greatest disappointments you had while playing? How does the game of today compare? Have the issues been fixed?

Please share your thoughts and let's get a discussion started.

The devs probably have their own vision, but if we can reach some useful conclusions we might provide them with valuable insights that could ensure we all get many more years of well populated rounds of FH2, loved by the players and cherished by the devs.


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Offline LuckyOne

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Re: The future of FH2
« Reply #1 on: 16-08-2018, 23:08:37 »
Alright, time for my answers.

1. How do you imagine the FH2 of the future? What can we as a community do to make such a future happen?

I'd love to see more people playing FH2 in the future but that has a really slim chance of happening, barring some extraordinary breakthrough. Still, my ideal future for FH2 would be the following:

  • Healthy population, being able to find a full-ish server every evening on workdays and any time on weekends. I'd also love to see a revival of the North American community
  • More quality content: new theaters, especially early war France, Italy, Pacific and South East Asia.
  • More maps featuring "special" game modes. Push with additional objectives, tanks only, naval battles, air maps... Maybe toss in some capture the flag too ? I remember when CTF was introduced in BFH. It was great fun!

I think it would really help if more people in the community were interested in learning high quality mapping. We have some great talent that makes maps for the tournaments but their approach is often "raw" and lacks certain finesse and polish the official maps have.

One other thing I noticed is that FH2 is quite lacking in the Public Relations department. The devs are doing great with devblogs and livestreams, but we lack a community which can create a buzz and preach the qualities of FH2 to other sources of players. The server admins could also step up with helping to organize funny events like it used to be in the past. Another (war) bear hunt anyone ?  :P

2. How do you think should the mod we all know and love rise up to the challenge of the newcomers, with their shiny graphics, smooth engines, innovative gameplay mechanics, never before seen factions and map locations?

Unfortunately on the graphics front there's not a lot that can be improved. FH2's visuals are pretty damn good for its age. Still I'd love to see some reworks of the effects and sounds. PR for example has some really great explosions. And their sounds are pretty powerful which makes being in a firefight really awesome.

I don't think moving to a new engine is feasible, unless FH2 merges with some other dev team that already has lots of motivation and experience.

New gameplay mechanics in FH2 are something I feel that has been woefully neglected for the past few years. The mod's gameplay is pretty solid and really balances that thin line between arcade twitch shooter and hardcore FPS. Still, that doesn't mean there's no place for a few more improvements.

Gameplay wise I'd love if FH2 of the future sees some work on the forgotten features that FH 2 started with, but today feel like unfinished placeholders. Evolutionary leftovers that can still somehow be fun and sometimes even significantly alter the gameplay. I see some potential in the following:
  • Bringing back the commander and increasing the significance of his assets. Airdrop tanks in a Market Garden scenario? Airdrop jeeps for squads stuck somewhere in the middle of a desert map with a long walk ahead of them? Airdrop AT guns on Crete? I say why not ?! It's not like it would be that degrading to history if it's properly balanced so it can't be spammed ...

  • Ammo resupply. It's a wholly underutilized vBF2 mechanic

  • Objective mode. I've had some really great rounds on Op. Hyacinth and Anctoville in the past. But they rarely pop up these days. PDH is still played though so maybe that is the right way to incorporate more Objective based gameplay

  • Destructible chokepoints. Something that in CoH can really alter the flow of a map and make it feel fresh again

  • Selectable alternative kit loadouts like the NCO kit. This would really make FH2 better compete with the newer titles that offer unlimited kit customization. Why not have rifleman separated in the long range Grenadier and more close quarters focused Assault (maybe with a permanently attached bayonet ? *wink* *wink*)

  • Deployables. Right now they feel like a gimmick. The kits on some maps are way too far from the front for their worth and therefore they get rarely used. I'd love to see that improved.

  • Score system. The current one is quite nice and has been improved several times in the past but I feel there's room for more improvements. Why not reward more points for following SL (or commander's) orders? Currently on average 50 % of the players don't join squads and just do their own thing. When lots of new players join a team gameplay often degrades into boring stalemates where nobody bothers to squad up and good SLs with cunning plans are ignored while everyone wanders around aimlessly, with no sense where they might be needed. I feel that sometimes an experienced central coordinator that has some tools at his disposal to "nudge" players in a specific direction could lead to decrease of those uncoordinated borefests that pop up from time to time.


3. What should the main focus of a future FH2 be ? The goal is to scoop up some stragglers and lost souls that will inevitably come when they get bored/disappointed of the new games.
New factions and content, more insanely polished maps, new game modes, new gameplay mechanics, easier distribution, installation and learning curve for the newbies?


I think the greatest strength of FH2 are the maps and that should continue to be the main focus to attract players. Beautifully recreated historical landscapes coupled with painfully crafted models make FH2 stand out in the midst of countless average WW2 games.

It seems to me right now the main problem is distribution. FH2 videos are filled with clueless (young ?) gamers willing to try it out but having no idea how to get it, having been spoiled by the new digital distribution channels.

4. Go back to a time when you first discovered FH2. What were the things that annoyed you the most, the main sources of frustration? What were your expectations and greatest disappointments you had while playing? How does the game of today compare? Have the issues been fixed?

When I first started with FH2 the main source of my frustration was that everybody felt overpowered. The learning curve coming from more arcade games in FH2 is downright brutal and the short TTL gameplay on some maps does not really help you enjoy the game for the first couple of months.

In game (and even out of it for some things) we lack quality tutorials that would explain sector push, objective maps, spotting, artillery, the importance of bleed... And also some funny mechanics like the ticket reinforcements on Sidi Bou Zid. I've seen countless new players stumped on those things.

The game of today is quite different and with improved map design and my own skills I find most rounds really enjoyable.
Today my main sources of frustration are quite the opposite from the micro level frustrations of my beginnings.

Now I am frustrated at the macro level:
I see patterns in the maps and player behaviors and lack the proper tools to communicate them to other players. If I use the available tools I have a problem of motivating other inexperienced players into following me.
I see people doing some extraordinary things and have no way except chat to commend them and get their deeds recognized. I feel there exists a way to solve my frustrations but I'm not really sure how.

Should the in game tools be improved to solve these ... Better VOIP (Mumble anyone ?), longer lasting map markers, chat commands for commendations ?

Or maybe we need better external tools? Voting for the SL of the week, teamplayer of the week and having the poll results show in the launcher? I think the official awards system had some great potential but was not accepted due to community (762) already having developed their own and unwilling to lose their progress... Maybe it could be reshaped into something different ?

That's all from me for now, please keep the discussion going! Maybe we can squeze something useful out of all these lines of text  ;D
« Last Edit: 19-08-2018, 13:08:46 by LuckyOne »
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Offline Matthew_Baker

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Re: The future of FH2
« Reply #2 on: 17-08-2018, 02:08:28 »
How do you imagine the FH2 of the future?

Honestly, I see FH2 ending up very similar to mods like Forgotten Hope Secret Weapons and other BF1942 mods; in the sense that people will continue to mod it for many more years. Eventually (even now to an extent) there will just be a core group of guys making content as a hobby in their spare time. Releases will be more infrequent, and not exactly chock full of content, but the mod will still be there and still grow.

Imo, the player base will only "die" when someone forgets/ stops paying for the servers that keep everything running (762, WaW login etc...) Maybe new people with the know-how and dedication to run a server will step up, but eventually the multiplayer will slowly die out. All that will be left is Singleplayer and Russian/ Chinese modders that make crazy mash-ups of stolen content :D

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What should the main focus of a future FH2 be ?

This is the real question ;D where a lot of people have a lot of different ideas about what should happen. And honestly, idk what I want.

I think overall I'd be just fine with FH2 'staying the course' and unfolding like I said above. It's been an amazing decade and not a lot of people thought FH2 could get this far. :) Just slowly adding content and making it the most 'complete' WW2 game is a great achievement.

Another part of me would love to see FH2 expand to a new engine and make a whole new game. But the obstacles associated with that are enormous. For a team, that is only a skeleton crew of what it used to be, to venture out and start making their own game is hard to fathom. We see games like Post Scriptum, Hell Let Loose, Traction Wars all have their own struggles along that same road. Some have made it and released to mixed reception (Post Scriptum), some are still under development and the hype is starting to die out (Hell Let Loose) and some have seemingly called it quits/ will probably never be the game they wanted to be (Traction Wars).

It is HARD to build a game from nothing AND advertise it, AND iron out the bugs AND make enough money to keep putting in that enormous amount of work.

It would be an admirable effort to venture out and make a new game, but if I'm being realistic, it'd be against the odds for it to come out successful. :-\

Quote
Continued...

Honestly, I'd like to see the dev team stay the course. Keep doing this as a hobby that you love, and adding content to this mod. Make it the most 'complete' WW2 FPS that the world has ever seen. :)

Realistically, I would like to see 2 major things happen in the future;

1) Create an 'official' standalone installer. Streamline the installation process so that new comers can easily find/ download the game and play on our servers without questions, disconnects, or having to dig through many channels to find information. Radiomersh has already created a great standalone installer that is being advertised on this website. I think it has a few kinks to work out (some people have mentioned having trouble on the discord) but once those can be worked out, it would be helpful to incorporate it into the website. Link our big download button to the installer and update any other places that people can download our mod (moddb comes to mind).

2) Start to slowly incorporate the community created content in an 'official' manner. It would be nice to see the community updater done away with and merged with the official updater. This way people could download new FH2 updates, along with new tournament updates, along with my texture pack and community map pack all in one place.

Optimistically, I would like to see a few things happen in my "perfect FH2 world;"

-FH2 would be standalone. Clicking the download button on the website, automatically downloads the standalone installer and gives you the FH2 updater. On the side bar of the homepage, we could link to websites like 762 and CMP instead of Wolf and BF1942 files :P Bring back 'Image of the Week' (or Month) and change it to one of the many screens posted in the 'official screenshots thread.' However often EU wants to do it ;D but I liked that idea.

-The developers would continue to develop FH2 as they are now; they have their own plans to fix bugs, improve old maps, add new content. The FH2 updater would download these 'official' updates as they became available.

-The FH2 updater would have a 'Community Content' section that takes the place of the current Community Updater.

-The tournament would continue to organize events and make new maps/ content based around tournament gameplay. You could opt-in under the 'community content' section and download the tournament as it becomes available. The updater would notify you when a new tournament is happening and it would get posted on the front page as it does now.

-My texture pack would also be able to be downloaded from the 'community content' section. It would be supported officially and I could expand upon it and make updates as I can.

-The CMP Map Pack would be available under the 'community content'  section. It will still be developed by the people who work on it, but with the goal of making the content polished enough to be 'official.' As maps and assets become more improved, the devs would adopt them officially and possibly work on assets to replace placeholder assets that the map might use. (things like FH1 models and unfinished vehicles or w/e)

-Maps and content that weren't 'official,' can still be downloaded and played on servers, but with a clear understanding that it's in a WIP state and will be improved upon. Maybe with a large 'WIP' or 'BETA' marking on the loading screen.

-As tournaments finish, the new maps that get made are filtered. The ones that have a good public layout continue to get worked on and made into 'WIP or BETA' maps to be tested and polished. Eventually, they would become 'official.'

-With this, all of the content creators are working towards the same goal of expanding FH2. But the content goes through '3 stages' of it's life cycle as it's released for a tournament, then worked on by the community, then worked on by the developers, and it improves and gets polished at each step. The benefit is that everyone gets to play the content as they do now, but it's streamlined into one easy to find place. Also, the content creators are working in a more organized fashion and seeing all of the projects through to the 'end-game.'

In the end, it seems redundant for 2 separate factions of people to be creating content for FH2.

This is all wishful 'in a perfect world' thinking from my own opinions ;) but making things streamlined and working with our community is the way forward imo
« Last Edit: 17-08-2018, 04:08:21 by Matthew_Baker »

Offline hitm4k3r

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Re: The future of FH2
« Reply #3 on: 17-08-2018, 16:08:36 »
As I have a few minutes of sparetime between work and exams I thought I would give my two cents about the topic, just from my pure own personal perspective as a player and fan and not so much from the development team perspective.

1. I see FH2 still having a few more years ahead, even if development seems slow or even inactive at times. There are quite a few people who sometimes feel the urge to produce some content for the mod in one way or another and I hope that it stays like that. I also want to encourage people to apply for a dev position, when they feel that they can contribute something. Because that is essentialy the best way to keep this monster alive.

2. How can we compete with upcoming games? After playing Post Scriptum I am not sure if those new games and FH2 are even competing in the same league. It may sound arrogant but firing up FH2 it feels like playing a very fine and polished game thanks to all the people who have dedicated their work to this project in the last 10 years, compared to Post Scriptum (wich is the only WWII next gen game available) wich lags alot of polish and has a long way ahead before I would even consider it in a releasable state - the release week was very messy and the ressonance shows this. How HLL and Traction Wars will do needs to be seen, but I don't suspect games with the sheer scale of FH2, even if HLL looks like the most promising from my perspective. Lets see.

3. So what should be up on the agenda? Simple: the devs and the community should concetrate on what they have and rely on the roots and strengths of this game and eliminate a few weak points. Once the devs feel like there is nothing more to gain or if the mod feels complete, then devs should move one. That's actually the hard part because there is so much potential stuff that fits in the grand scheme of FH2.

4. What is the most annoying thing that still needs to be fixed? The most annoying things in FH2 were the netcode, the tank physics and from my perspective the infinite sprint option. Most of it is in the nature of FH2/BF2 and coming back from PS or ArmA III I still feel that we are mostly on the better end when it comes to a polished game experience. But the infinite stamina is still one of the things that I would like to see removed to make the game perfect.

Offline blander

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Re: The future of FH2
« Reply #4 on: 17-08-2018, 17:08:39 »
Quote
How do you imagine the FH2 of the future? What can we as a community do to make such a future happen?

First of all I´d like to see 2 game servers being active at the same time. It´s annoying when when server is full with 100 people and 0 in the rest. Everyone is trying to join that server, waiting for someone to leave.

I´ve been back to FH2 after 8 years of being away from computer games. I´ve been playing again since less than a year ago, I don´t know much about the history of the mod. What I did see is how the player base increased since the last mod update. So yeah, more frequent updates are needed.

Quote
How do you think should the mod we all know and love rise up to the challenge of the newcomers, with their shiny graphics, smooth engines, innovative gameplay mechanics, never before seen factions and map locations?

Shiny graphics and stuff are great but I prefer a more complete game. It´s that easy. FH2 has like 60 maps (official and CMP). How can other game compete with 10 years of work? The BF2 engine is still good enough to deliver many more years of action before it REALLY gets outdated like the BF1942 one has.

Quote
What should the main focus of a future FH2 be ? The goal is to scoop up some stragglers and lost souls that will inevitably come when they get bored/disappointed of the new games.
New factions and content, more insanely polished maps, new game modes, new gameplay mechanics, easier distribution, installation and learning curve for the newbies?

Integration of all the community! It feels like there is an official FH2 community and then all the others. Why so much arrogance? Devs need players and players need devs. The community is small already. No more arrogance please, let us all become one community.

I think all FH2 related forums should merge. Make it easier for everyone to be in contact.

FH2 lacks devs? There are people willing to collaborate (me for example) but don´t find a common place to work on their ideas. Most likely that work ends up being lost. I could elaborate more on this but I don´t think this is the right place.

Quote
Go back to a time when you first discovered FH2. What were the things that annoyed you the most, the main sources of frustration? What were your expectations and greatest disappointments you had while playing? How does the game of today compare? Have the issues been fixed?

At the start of 2005 I discovered the BF1942 public release which you could download and play for free, the only map available was Wake Island. I was AMAZED about the integration of land, air and sea assests in a single battle. 6 months later I read that BF2 was coming out. Since BF2 was not based on WW2 I said to myself I should go a bit ahead and see what else BF1942 had to offer.

Google then taught me about the existance of the BF1942 WaW tournament. Oh my... THIS is what I´ve been looking for! Oh wait, they use a mod called FH, alright lets give it a try. OMG! It´s even better than vanilla BF1942! I became addicted to FH from that point up to the first year of FH2, when only the african campaign was available. WaW battles lasted 12 hours, I usually played them straight from start to end.

In short, I was looking for the most realistic (at least from my point of view) integrated WW2 experience, that´s why I ended up where I ended up. I´ve told my gamer friends about FH but they prefer easier run n gun games. I think FH should advertise where target players (WW2 fans) are more likely to be.

Offline Nikkopasqua

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Re: The future of FH2
« Reply #5 on: 17-08-2018, 17:08:32 »
I think that adding Mumble to FH2 can help to avoid the death of the game in the long run. For the ones that doesn't know Mumble is a software that allows for a better VOIP communication between team members (not only squadmembers) and also allow the 2 different teams to speak to each other. I have a very powerful pc and I play quite a lot of recent games focused on multiplayer and the VOIP is essential NOT to the game itself, but to the community. My point is that the newcomers will be used to have such VOIP settings available, and enjoy using it. On the other hand, having the potato VOIP we are using now, might make newcomers not like the game, or at the very least not like the VOIP.

Also some of you might have noticed that the player Ekiso, who also have a youtube channel recently made a few videos called "WTF moments" showing some funny moments in game, the first one got thousands of views in few weeks, therefore this is a good way to advertise FH2. Now add to that a VOIP worth of its name, that allows many new form of funny interactions between idiotic players (and lets be honest, FH2 is not running low on idiots) could make a lot of difference and maybe even attract so many players to see both 100 players servers full.

Offline Alubat

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Re: The future of FH2
« Reply #6 on: 17-08-2018, 18:08:21 »
As hardware still getting better and better.
Server hardware upgrade +
Internet upgrade +
Client hardware upgrade +

No matter what this game will get better each year :-)


Offline jan_kurator

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Re: The future of FH2
« Reply #7 on: 17-08-2018, 21:08:47 »
First of all I´d like to see 2 game servers being active at the same time. It´s annoying when when server is full with 100 people and 0 in the rest. Everyone is trying to join that server, waiting for someone to leave.
Join any other server whenever the most popular one is full and others will follow. You have no one else to blame but you and people who think exactly like you for seeing 0 people on other servers. Every time I joined the "immersive" server when one of the [762] servers were full we always ended up with enough players to at least keep the small layers of the maps enjoyable.
« Last Edit: 18-08-2018, 21:08:11 by jan_kurator »

Offline Great Khan

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Re: The future of FH2
« Reply #8 on: 18-08-2018, 20:08:44 »
I severely doubt any game will ever come close to Forgotten Hope.
Large-scale battles will never be replicated quite as good as FH did it.
The game might never break a triple digit playercount at one time but there will always be people to play with.

Offline Oberst

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Re: The future of FH2
« Reply #9 on: 20-08-2018, 17:08:36 »
Thank you devs and the whole community for the joyful last 10 years and more to come.

I personally love the game as it is. It's relatively simple playstyle. Just spawn and start. It's scenario. The deadly gamestyle. FH is the only game I know, which somehow manages to combine a realistic feeling with an arcady, fast paced gameplay (not negative, this is what I mean with 'simple playstyle'). No other game has this unique combination. Of course, this combined with air, land (and sea) is awesome.

If I could change things in this game, It wouldn't be much. I love to be a squadleader in this game and the spawn mechanics inherited from vBF2 are extremely nice. But there is one thing: while in vBF2, you have medics and can be revived, you can't be in FH2 (which is fine). However, this means that per team up to 9 people are just relegated to hide and NOT to attack, because else you loose your spawn. And everybody hates his squadleader, who always is killed. Also as a squadleader you can rarely man any defensive structure. Again, nobody can spawn. This doesn't fit the game. While certainly people pretend to be role players, the leading in this game mainly comes from the spawn point location of the squadleader. He hides and this decides the direction of attack. Nothing else.
Personally, there are two things: I either would love to see more of the spawn half tracks/vehicles. This means that defending team has to destroy the spawn vehicle, which adds another gameplay element. But I personally would favor the introduction of rally points, similar to PR or in the campaigns. In the campaigns it works wonderful and an important gameplay element it is always to find the enemy rallypoint. This way the squadleader can take a more active role, he can fight. Spot for artillery, and actually go for a flagzone without worrying about being killed. 10 players more to fight on the server, who wouldn't want that? I mean this can be balanced. Limit the time of the rally point, e.g. 5 minutes. Limit the minimum distance to flags. Both exist already in the campaign. And if you don't want to have the whole squad pop from a pile of bagpacka/a radio, make the rally point only a fall back option for the squadleader. So only he can spawn, when he dies, but the squad still spawns on him. That is the only thing that is bothering to be a squadleader. YOU don't have a spawn, a fall back option, when you are killed. The rest of the squad has. And it is you.

PS: That is just my opinion. My dream.

Offline LuckyOne

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Re: The future of FH2
« Reply #10 on: 20-08-2018, 18:08:39 »
Agreed, rally points would be cool. I don't like SLing because of the immense pressure to stay alive. And you don't really have much to do as a SL. Sure you can watch the minimap and plan but there's barely any info on it if nobody is actively spotting...

Ideally the rally should act as a fallback. So when the SL dies the players can regroup around it. It should be easily blocked so it prevents spamming it very close to the flags and so we can still do "squadwipes". Think of the possibilities with two spawns, you could actually lead flanking moves as a SL while your main force spawns on the rally! Would be much easier than trying to coordinate with another squad when you have VOIP with your squad members...

Also the SL should have at least a teammate or two near him to deploy it to reduce sneaky attacks and precapping.
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Offline Nerdsturm

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Re: The future of FH2
« Reply #11 on: 22-08-2018, 02:08:29 »
There are some minor issues with SL spawns (people cycling the SL position when the SL dies, for instance), but reworking the spawn system would be a pretty massive change to address something that isn't obviously a real problem.

In the campaigns it works wonderful
The campaign maps were designed around that concept - most official maps would need changes to support it. Open desert maps, such as Siege of Tobruk or El Alamein, just have nowhere outside of flagzones that you could place a rally point without it getting immediately noticed. Furthermore, removing the ability to spawn on SLs in tanks would alter the balance on most maps in the game, particularly in Tiger-centric maps like Sidi Bou Zid or Ramelle, but also in maps like Brest where infantry are just not very survivable. Finally, it also breaks up squads, because if your SL is on the way to somewhere you wouldn't be able to just spawn in their halftrack with them.

Putting a rally point as a backup for the SL is an option I guess, but it seems unnecessary. I like the pressure put on the SL and their squad to keep them alive, it's one of the few games where there is a real motivation to not die. If you don't like being an SL you also don't have to play one-there are usually more people wanting to be an SL than there are players to fill their squads.

Offline Sandre

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Re: The future of FH2
« Reply #12 on: 22-08-2018, 23:08:49 »
The RP system will never work on a puplic server.

Offline LuckyOne

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Re: The future of FH2
« Reply #13 on: 01-09-2018, 06:09:58 »
The RP system will never work on a puplic server.

Now you're starting to sound like a certain maximalist from FH2's past... I believe his favourite phrases were "Players don't know what they want" and "Battle communication is the ultimate gameplay goal".  ::)

...  but he sure knew how to make a map beautiful :P
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