Sunday, March 3, 2013

Perfecting Skirmish

Currently Skirmish is a very flawed mode. The ability to spawn on objectives not only doesn't make sense with the lore, but it also has a lot of negative consequences for gameplay; the value of CRUs, drop uplinks, and dropships are diminished by the ability to just magically appear on objectives, and it makes defending objectives require little effort. Despite the "mobile" in "mobile command center", MCCs are static, and contribute to one-sided stagnant and boring battles. Skirmish itself is very uninspired "capture the objectives" mode without much to make it special. There are 4 proposed changes I found on the official Dust 514 forums that can be implemented to make Skirmish a truly great game mode.

Part 1: Remove objective spawning.
Get rid of spawning on objectives. It will increase the value of CRUs, drop uplinks, and dropships. It will also allow for more advanced tactics. For example: If the enemy is rushing one of your objective, you could decide to use the opportunity to stealthily capture their undefended objectives. Such a tactic is not really supported in the current Skirmish since the enemies who died in the rush to your objective can just respawn back and their objective to easily defend it.

Part 2: Add more CRUs.
To reduce the increased chances of spawn camping that comes with the removal of objective spawning, the amount of CRUs on the battle should increased. The CRUs should be spaced apart with enough distance from the objectives so they don't become functionally the same as objective spawning. Without objective spawning the game will be much more complex since it won't just be about capturing the objectives, it will also be largely about capturing the CRUs to maintain access to the objectives, as well as to deprive access to the enemy.

Part 3: Making MCCs circle the map.
CRUs are very hard to destroy, but on the off chance that someone manages to destroy all the CRUs even with their increased numbers, there needs to be a method to make spawning relatively safe. This is where the orbiting MCC idea comes in; MCCs should circle the perimeter of the map, thus always changing the drop zone. This would not only make spawning from the MCC safer, but also make the battle more dynamic; spawn points usually determine who has the easiest access to which objective since there is always an objective that's closest to a particular spawn point, but always changing spawn points means who has better access to which objective is always changing as well, leading to more shifts in who controls what. This would be a great way to make Skirmish battles less stagnant.

Part 4: MCC boarding.
This is the most radical, and most spectacular idea yet. Players should be able to board the enemy MCC once the shields are down, and destroy them from the inside. This idea is not only obviously awesome, but would add yet another layer of tactical complexity to Skirmish; say both yours and your enemy's MCC shields are down, do you keep fighting over the objectives? Should you have your team prioritize capturing railgun installations to destroy possible enemy dropships carrying boarding parties to your MCC? Do you get your CRU dropship to drop your teammates into the enemy MCC to destroy it? Perhaps you don't have enough players to successfully hold the MCC long enough to destroy it, but you board any way as a distraction to get the enemy's attention away from the objectives. There are so many tactical possibilities that would arise, and the interior of the MCC would be an interesting close quarters environment to fight in.


  1. We like your previous sky spawning idea [they are dropsuits after all] many play dust to forget all the bad mechanics of fps past. spawn camping needs to be a thing of the past. Let guys drop in from cloaked RDVs.

    1. I like the sky spawning idea as well (wasn't originally mine), but I think it would be better for the game if we didn't have objective spawning.

    2. Giving us more spawn variety is good. I take advantage of the spawn camping too--but I wish I couldn't.

  2. would luv 2 board the mcc

  3. So what you are saying is make Dust 514 into Battlefield 2142? Why not then you could just drive the MCC or as it was named in 2142 "Titan" to the enemy objective then deploy directly over it.

    APCs that launch pods up into the air so you can board the opposing MMC would be good as well.

  4. I have also wondered why we are able to spawn at the objectives. It seems strange that we appear at the objectives without a reason from the lore.
    It does make the CRU's less valuable. They are only useful for the attacking team to take, and the defensive team just holds them from the enemy.

  5. I like the ideas presented but not sure I totally agree that objective spawning makes defense super easy. Under most circumstances assault troops can move on an objective, dispatch defenders and hack it (thereby eliminating defender respawn capability) with relative ease if the assault team is coordinated and communicating effectively.

    Without objective spawning CRU's would need to be indestructable least both teams be relegated to base spawning after tankers looking for easy points level them all.

    Personally, I find plenty of uses for Drop Uplinks in-game. Nothing gets reinforcements into a hot zone faster IMO. Also great for defenders too when enemy has rolled up and cut you off.

    All in all, Skirmish could be a more dynamic game mode. We can only hope the future gives us some variation on the tried and true model.