First, just want to say this is a great game and I'm really enjoying it and having a lot of fun. Despite this, there are still a lot of kinks with the game, however I've seen most of what I've seen covered before so I will instead focus on my newest found interest within the game: combat patrol.
I'm currently sitting at level 8 from just over a dozen hours of grinding link games and finally unlocked a DMR. Thought it might as well be a good enough time to hit up again what I'd avoided after one game of absolute mayhem and death rained down upon me by unseen enemies. It was time for me to brave combat patrol. The first few games fell absolutely flat, no teamwork, teamkilling, people in random directions, you name it. Somehow, however, I was able to figure out what the gamemode was all about and decided to try a very low popped server of about 2 other people. It was going great and then more and more people started showing up and I had the full expectation of it going downhill at any second. Somehow, however, we managed to keep everyone all together and focused and I had the greatest game of combat patrol I'd had yet. Everyone was happy, it was all of our first wins. But it was bittersweet, of course, as we found no xp would be awarded to us in our victory and we left, feeling a tad bit empty. Still, I managed to trudge on and I have continued playing and it has become my favorite gamemode to join, tell newbies what to do, rally them behind a somewhat coordinated command and through wins and losses it's usually the same sense of "man we almost kinda did it" or "that worked... somehow." I love it. Currently in my goal to beat every scenario I have found myself running into the same issues many times over. So, now that you've read through all this we come to where I am now; bearing (hopefully) helpful observations, issues, and suggestions.
The detection distance of the bots is inhuman and occasionally unfair. Thankfully, this has helped me improve my ability to pinpoint the direction of incoming fire, but it does nothing for me when I'm headshotted from silly ranges. I should elaborate, however, and say that even bots I am actively tracking and avoiding will occasionally just "spirng to action" and start sending bullets downrange. It's a very odd phenomenon, but when playing alone and simply stalking the area for targets I will get shots ring out in my direction that feel absolutely out of the blue. It can be very frustrating and definitely detracts from the more tactical feel. I'm okay with them shooting at me from long ranges, I just think the detection could use some tweaking.
The bots seem undeterred by foliage and blocked lines of sight. This one is especially hard to deal with and currently the only workout I have found is to never engage a target that I can't see. Unfortunately for me, the target will always be able to fire at me without a proper line of sight and with what seems like a similar precision to normal.
The bots seem to have very little reaction to both other dead bots and active gunfire. One of the more unnatural things I have noticed are the patrols that never react when you fire upon their buddies in the town. It is obvious that there is active gunfire but they have little or no reaction outside of what seems like a certain radius. Even coming across a dead body will not faze a bot in its patrol.
The bots move at irregular speed from a distance. It's a peculiar sight but sometimes I swear it's like they know I'm watching them. They'll get a quick burst of speed out of nowhere and will seem to hop forward a little faster than their normal patrol speed. Makes for a difficult time trying to track your target and looks very unnatural.
What's up with the armored truck that you can't harm in any way but will drive to you with only a driver and get caught on rocks? This one confused me and I wish I had video but immediately after losing too many tickets on a sabotage the trucks mission an armored truck with just a driver came barreling down our way and just kinda hit some rocks and would attempt a 32 point turn to get really nowhere. You can't shoot him, you can't shoot the tires, he's just kind of there. Strange, to say the least. I should elaborate and say that this is not a jeep that usually rolls up it was just a driver in an armored truck, sealed windows, bulletproof glass, armor plating; the works.
Sometimes resistance, sometimes not. My guess as of now is that it's map dependent, but I always find the sprint to get to the exfil a little... frivolous. This is especially true on missions where there is no resistance all the way back. The enemy just sits in the town and when you're out of sight, just run for a few hundred meters. I really enjoy having to face enemies all the way to the end of the mission. I should add the jeeps that drive up on you are great. When you get rolled up on by a group of four guys it's really cool to get that resistance. Love this, wish it was even more.
After getting an objective, and a truck rolls up, it seems like they have foresight into where you are, no matter where you go. As much as I love the trucks, it's always a little unnerving running from a truck that seems to hunt you down. It's great when your path is obvious like previously, but in this scenario it is bothersome, especially after the first objective (this applies directly to sabotaging the trucks, because that's when I noticed it) when you want to remain a little tactical by hiding after the explosion.
When playing alone, spawning where you died both breaks the immersion and sometimes the game. I think maybe this kind of goes towards the respawn system for the mode in general, but it seems odd to me the way you spawn on your corpse. This has occasionally placed me in a rock or a wall and put me in some spots where I'm just killing the same enemies my former dead self was fighting seconds prior. I would rather a respawn in some sort of designated area (player decided perhaps, or just pre-set areas based on the mission) or something of the sort.
Why when reviving someone do they come back with more health than they started. There's no way to heal as of now (right?...) so it always bothers me when I've taken two shots and have to consider intentionally getting shot so I can be picked up for more health (Is it a full revive? To be honest I only assumed because I'm pretty sure the groaning ended after this). Probably just a general game issue with no healing but it seems like an odd mechanic. Maybe give me some bandages. And a medic role (see below).
Just some game bugs that affect play:
Sometimes no loadouts even show up, respawning just puts your character on the map and you don't even leave the respawn screen. You can die, but you're stuck looking at the map while your character is just (presumably) standing still. Also, you can't leave the server, just gotta quit the game and restart. (The real reason I actually stopped playing long enough to write this.)
Map bug where you join after your teammates and you can't see them on the map makes for an interesting guess where the dying body is type game.
The loadout bug where the first loadout slot becomes the first default weapon pushed down what you spawn on and can be a little more tricky to deal with in this type of gamemode where your smg just can't quite get those 300m targets like your dmr can.
Sometimes you just have all the default kits. Happens after a mission has ended I seemed to note.
Sometimes I've fallen and I can't force my own death. Happens occasionally, most notably last when I was TKed (separate issue, sorry) and couldn't kill myself. I eventually bled out, but not before losing my sanity begging him to revive me.
Lots of nitpicks, lots of broad scope, but mostly all negative. Sorry, I promise I enjoy the gamemode. Now here are some personal feelings about potential directions of the gamemode.
It's like clash, but with bots and more TK's. I'm kidding obviously, I don't want this, I just enjoy the feel of one mission affecting another as is the case in clash. What I really want is for picking a mission and succeeding to give a tactical advantage on the next. How I feel this could translate into a mode like combat patrol is some continuity between missions. Maybe this is already in the works, but I'd love to feel like I'm working for a greater goal. Something even like a lattice system or new areas of attack from sweeping certain areas.
Planning. I know this would certainly be a difficult task for some online servers I've been on but having some sort of customization over the way you tackle a mission would be nice. I'm thinking like even small stuff such as designating good sniper spots and possible points of entry all the way to potentially deciding where you spawn to where you go. I know some of this can be done on the map in at least a limited fashion but a more immersive way would be interesting.
Roles. Maybe. I say maybe only because part of the fun is being able to bring your own DMR and whatever else into the fight but this idea comes from... well it's sort of already there. A team leader designation pops up occasionally but you can't pick it before it changes to the normal loadouts. And I don't really understand the workings of it but a general rifleman kit was the only one to choose at one point. I don't know what happened. Maybe you're thinking I'm a doofus for not getting where and why it happened but it did and I'm still a little perplexed. Regardless, it might be interesting (since it seems sort of separate from PVP) to allow for roles to be chosen from kits. Could have max amounts of one kit at once, etc. Maybe.
XP. This is my last point only because I'm not really sure what to say. I have mixed feelings because I put a lot of time into playing to have no reward in terms of progression. The progression is completely in my head as I complete each new mission. The biggest issue I see is that you have to unlock everything in PVP before you bring it into combat patrol which makes for a lot of new players with no gear kind of doing nothing and not really having fun. Could be fixed in three ways as I see it: a) separate progression for PVE b) roles c) XP in a limited way. Point a) seems like it could be implemented in a way similar to the PVP progression system but with potentially different branches and such. Not extremely worked out in my head because it's a theoretical of a theoretical but I feel it could be interesting. Point c) seems like the one I have seen been most argued against but I don't see the issue as much. To me, it's effort in, effort out. Maybe even if easy gave absolutely 0 XP and normal gave out on average like 1000 I'd be happy. As long as it is a difficult task I feel it is reasonable to reward it to at least some degree. I don't really see that much of an issue if people grind out their time playing PVE and bring it to PVP. To me, as long as they are taking longer to progress with just PVE it would be less of an issue than anticipated. Regardless, I understand the arguments against it. I don't feel they are wrong, I just feel there is a middle ground. Doing well feels good, especially knowing you reap the rewards of getting over failure in both your eyes and the eyes of the game.