nebukatze#7749 posted (#post-44386)
I also think this is a polarizing change. It strengthens the casual / random gameplay while weakens the (competitive) teamplay.
There (release version) should be a casual game mode (8vs8, squad of 3) and a "ranked" mode for competetive play (8vs8, squad of 8 or 5vs5, squad of 5).
But even this suggestion doesn't seem to be optimal because of a different gameplay in casual and ranked.
This is a real hot thing. They have to change something because 5 randoms against a 5 man squad sucks. But if you are a teamplayer then a 3 man squad in a 8 man team is too small for real teamplay.
I think having a separate queue on release for competitive play is fine. Gameplay should be different between casual and ranked play. What is important is that balance supports both and that the game remains fun.
With the game releasing as F2P, at this point it is important to cater to casuals and new joiners to make sure the new gameplay experience is as fun as it can be. 8v8 is a step towards this.
Starting ships need to be balanced carefully and offer alot of versatility to new players who prefer different playstyles and need to be exposed to alot of basic tactic choices early.
As players graduate in skill to start seeking clans and ranked matches, the gameplay and future ship unlocks should advance into more skill-based/tactical/out of the box type strategies. Higher tier ships should be higher risk but have more rewards when paired with stronger supports.
Some of this is already baked into design, examples being the Monarch -which is a powerful ship when supported by a skilled healer but is weak when lone wolfing against artillery cruisers. The Koschei is another example, which offers the best healing in the game but will cause a full fleet wipe if killed/not given fleet cover and is unable to quickly get back into the battle if taking armored lockdown instead of target warp.