The struggle of maintaining a balance between combat and roleplay seems to be an extremely difficult task and I applaud the staff's efforts this far.
Combat is obviously a huge draw and an exciting and important part of gameplay to a large proportion of the community (me included) but just as equally, with it being a roleplay sever, people are duly entitled to expect a minimum level of RP (me included)
Trying to be totalitarian on either sides of these aspects of gameplay is never going to work.
I've spent in the region of 400 hours on this server, made donations for the upkeep (when I can) and feel somewhat invested in the server's progression.
From playing as Cop for the last 80+ hours, there's a core group of gangs that constantly and repetitively bait and attack cops, bleed out at first opportunity and go again.
Sunday just gone was such a sh*t show, I've never been so close to quitting the server.
My two cents on a few things from my experience as playing as a cop ( I'm speaking for myself and not all cops) ;
A HUGE part of my time is consumed by having to chase illegal vehicles that blatantly bait cops. This mostly happens at NPAS HQ/Air garage and at some Police Departments.
I Personally won't chase after them if they're baiting, but other cops will often give chase and you'll be inadvertently called in to pursue said vehicles. Usually ending in the baiter driving to a set up location or near other gang members and then you're into combat.
With there being a garage right next to a frequently used NPAS/APC spawn point , you constantly see people either spawning illegal vehicles or driving them to and through NPAS HQ ,circling or loitering. When approached they have an excuse like "I'm waiting for friends, hands up or die" or just "hands up or Die" just outside the HQ.
Also with the nature of the baiter being in a vehicle or being masked, it's difficult to ID said players to report them and obviously when Admins are busy they can't be there to spectate.
Rather than moving NPAS HQ, the garage or air garage, restrict the spawning of illegal vehicles at garages next to police stations.
Add specific garages to spawn illegal vehicles.
in addition to the above implement a rule that states that unless in an initiated situation, you cannot bring an illegal vehicle within a certain radius of a Police Department, or it's classed as baiting.
In general this will further highlight the issue of baiting being against the rules as some players seem either oblivious to this or wilfully oblivious.
Similar could be implemented to brandishing or having an illegal firearm on ones back within a certain radius of a PD.
This would potentially and drastically decrease the amount of admin/staff work surrounding the baiting issue and cut down the laborious player process of having to report someone, gather evidence and sit in support etc.
Again from my experience as playing as a Cop. There's a core group of combat hungry gangs that hunt down or bait cops at every opportunity. The vast majority once incapacitated will bleed out at the first opportunity to avoid RP and further consequences such as ticketing process or jail time. You'll often come across the same gang member a matter of minutes later doing exactly the same thing.
Recently a more and more common thing I hear cops saying is "Don't even bother waiting for the player to be revived, they'll just bleed out" which rings true a huge amount of the time.
This is a really concerning issue because I feel that it encourages constant fragging and combat with little to no consequences and undermines the core RP value of this server.
The above statement doesn't just apply to the gangs, it's a tactic that is widely used and somewhat contradicts the 'value of life' rule.
If an incapacitated player is within a certain radius of a Cop/Havoc they simply cannot bleed out. The Cops/Havoc will RP by stabilising the incapacitated player until the player is revived and the RP can begin.
*Note - Not applicable in Redzones
This will encourage Rebels to call the authorities to a combat situation or aftermath to make sure their aggressor is captured and justice can prevail.
Again from a cops perspective, yes there are combat orientated APC departments, but not all cops choose to be in said departments and can be on hand to RP and process the suspects while the specialised departments continue their operations.
It will quickly become clear that there are higher consequences to killing someone on the island and it will also add another level of challenge to the aggressor to not get caught.
This will provide more RP for other players such as Lawyers and potentially create new RP roles such as prison guards etc.
I think Red Zones are essential and having a large variety is key.
If the above suggestion of bleeding out was implemented it would discourage combat hungry players from flippantly killing others in normal lands. At the end of the day, a lot of the current combat in normal lands consists of geared players picking off easy targets and that frustration is becoming more and more apparent on the forums.
The suggested bleedout rule would potentially drive more combat into the Red zones, but this would require more objectives to entertain said players.
I'm in no way poo-pooing what has already been implemented in red zones but i fully support the introduction of some more time tested, successful legacy based ARMA combat objectives/mechanics. KOTH, convoys, time sensitive loot objectives such as the shipwreck but land based etc. I'd be happy to hear peoples opinions on such activities.
Also: Many servers have occasional pop-ups during sessions. If the above was implemented, a message could state that combat is encouraged in redzones and warn that any captured criminals in 'normal lands' will face full prosecution.
- Reduce ability to bait cops
- Remove Bleedout mechanic for incapacitated players when authorities (Cops/Havoc) are on scene, helping justice prevail and increase value of life. This will give higher consequences to initiating and players will need to RP after revive. Higher RP all round.
- Promote combat and Increase combat based activities in Redzones
There's my two cents on what I think could help the community.
I'm far from the most seasoned player here and I'm sure some veterans and staff may see some very obvious flaws in my suggestions and I'd be happy to hear some constructive criticism.
Ultimately I know it's hugely important to further tweak the balance to accommodate peoples play styles and so far it's been a really enjoyable ride, I just think there's building frustration within the community and want to help alleviate that.