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  • "Jais" started this thread

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Friday, April 29th 2016, 9:05pm

How to make the Support class viable (competetively)

Or: "Why can MOBAs and RPGs have a functioning 4-role system while Battlefield only has 2 viable roles?"

The support class has a pretty insignificant role compared to the Assault and Engineer, and competetively it is not used at all (the recon class has much the same fate, but can be extremely potent with its spawn beacon and motion sensors/MAV) The reasons for this are two-fold:

  • Ammo. Being an ammo dispenser is all well and good, but it does not compare to the usefulness of healing oneself (not to mention reviving other players). Health is of immediate use, as it means you last longer in the next firefight, but a lack of ammo is only felt the moment you run dry. And with plenty of ammo to start with, the ammo field upgrade, as well as the ability to pick up weapons from the battlefield it is only rarely relevant.
  • Indirect fire. This is supposedly the niche that the Support class has in BF4. The only problem is that the gameplay in Battlefield is far too fast-moving for it to be of much use. In addition, many players despise indirect weapons and they are getting nerfed left and right. At the end of the day, a mortar or XM25 does not come close to the usefulness of a rocket launcher.
So, what could be done to the support class to make it more appealing, and give it a solid, needed role on the battlefield? These are my suggestions:
  • The Tank role. The MP-APS and Ballistic shield were on the right track, but they didn't go far enough. I've argued this before, but I'd love to see these two gadgets combined into a single, defensive super-gadget. Plop it down and you have both a handy stationary shield against small arms fire, as well as APS against rockets and shells. This would mean a proper, entrenched position for infantry and vehicles alike. A portable bunker.
  • The Healer role. Simple: give the medkit and defibs to the support player, and make the Assault class into a pure DPS / anti-infantry role. This was tried with some success in BC2, where medics carried LMGs instead of assault rifles. With being able to dispense both ammo and health, the support class would truly have a supportive role, similar to healers in MOBAs.
  • The Battlefield Control role. Give the support player the ability to lay down status or visibility effects on the map, through a mortar or grenade launcher. These could include a large smoke screen, incendiary firewall to deter infantry, or EMP field to mess with vehicles passing through. The important thing is to make it relatively long-lasting (20-30 seconds) and covering a large area.
What are your thoughts? I know this is mainly aimed at a future BF title, but I'm just a bit frustrated that for a game with so many classes, only the Assault and Engineer roles are viable in competitive play.

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Friday, April 29th 2016, 10:13pm

Pretty sure it is a consequence of popular (and poor) rulesets rather than poor class design.

That is not to say the class design isn't poor because it kind of is.

Just that with how most "competitive" rules are set up, you are not going to see any class but Assault or Engineer.
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  • "Jais" started this thread

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Saturday, April 30th 2016, 12:28am

Pretty sure it is a consequence of popular (and poor) rulesets rather than poor class design.

That is not to say the class design isn't poor because it kind of is.

Just that with how most "competitive" rules are set up, you are not going to see any class but Assault or Engineer.

Could you expand on this? I don't really see how it's the rulesets' fault. It's a pretty simple fact that if you want to win the hardest, you're going to get the most value out of either another reviving-and-healing Assault, or - if vehicles are present - another dude with a rocket launcher. Being able to hand out ammo or get a new RPG every 8 seconds is just cute and precious compared to this. The recon class fares little better, but at least they have some merit as their spawn beacon can be invaluable in certain scenarios.

Again, I remain wholly unconvinced that it is due to the competitive rules themselves that the support class is underused, when anyone can see that the niche it currently occupies is incredibly shallow, overlaps with that of the other classes and is ultimately unneeded.

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Saturday, April 30th 2016, 12:34am

If by "competitive" you meant things like ESL, then yes the ruleset really screws a lot of things.

If you didn't actually means omething like ESL, then it isn't Support being bad so much as Engineers simply being necessary to deal with and maintain vehicles to drive the battle. In those scenarios, even Assault kind of loses its relevance as well.
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Saturday, April 30th 2016, 12:59am

If by "competitive" you meant things like ESL, then yes the ruleset really screws a lot of things.

If you didn't actually means omething like ESL, then it isn't Support being bad so much as Engineers simply being necessary to deal with and maintain vehicles to drive the battle. In those scenarios, even Assault kind of loses its relevance as well.

Exactly. If vehicles are a major force on the map, it's mostly entirely engineers running around, with some assault players for support. If there's only a single LAV or so per team, the roster can be made up of more assault players. If there's no vehicles, it's all assault. In neither of these situations does the support class become viable in any meaningful way.

I just think it would be interesting, perhaps even exciting, if there was a more rich and varied class dynamic in the next BF title, for example by having the support class deploy a proper defensive gadget (such as a combined ballistic shield and MP-APS) to block off routes and having engineers hide behind in combat. Another way of promoting more dynamic class roles would be to transfer the healing and reviving ability from the assault class to the support class, and making the assault class entirely focused on killing infantry instead (perhaps giving them the ammo box instead). Either way, the point would be to shake up the current, 2-role meta.

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Saturday, April 30th 2016, 1:26am

And when has there ever been "No vehicles" besides something like 5v5s?

Wanting variety is good and all but stop pretending that Support is getting shafted. Even Assault is mostly irrelevant when the primary concern is to keep your vehicles alive.



Let's not forget Support gets a flying, long range, user guided 40mm grenade.

And for the most part, I play only Support because it is the only self-sufficient class.



Engineers should be hiding behind their tank holding LMB with the repair torch equipped. A Support shield would be irrelevant.

And giving Support medkits is equally meaningless. You said yourself that the Assaults stick around only to support (or more specifically heal) reppers (which isn't really needed if the tank the Engineers are repairing is properly shielding them). Transferring the healing utility to Support only means that Support would be the other half of the" 2 class meta".
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Saturday, April 30th 2016, 1:48am

If by "competitive" you meant things like ESL, then yes the ruleset really screws a lot of things.

If you didn't actually means omething like ESL, then it isn't Support being bad so much as Engineers simply being necessary to deal with and maintain vehicles to drive the battle. In those scenarios, even Assault kind of loses its relevance as well.

And when has there ever been "No vehicles" besides something like 5v5s?

Wanting variety is good and all but stop pretending that Support is getting shafted. Even Assault is mostly irrelevant when the primary concern is to keep your vehicles alive.



Let's not forget Support gets a flying, long range, user guided 40mm grenade.

And for the most part, I play only Support because it is the only self-sufficient class.



Engineers should be hiding behind their tank holding LMB with the repair torch equipped. A Support shield would be irrelevant.

And giving Support medkits is equally meaningless. You said yourself that the Assaults stick around only to support (or more specifically heal) reppers (which isn't really needed if the tank the Engineers are repairing is properly shielding them). Transferring the healing utility to Support only means that Support would be the other half of the" 2 class meta".



Let's disregard ESL, because it is run by scrubs.

In reasonable leagues like BNL and CCS, the only classes used are Assault, Engi, and Recon. Support is almost completely pointless, as Recon can take care of vehicles just as easily, and has actually useful gadgets like TUGS. Assault is good at the start of the round on some maps to gain flags. The rest of the team is going to be Engineer because Vehicles. Looking at Support's gadgets in the competitive scene:

Ammo box: Pointless. Just redeploy, and no one lives long enough to need it anyway
Ammo pack: Pointless. Just redeploy for more rockets
C4: Just play Recon
MPAPS- Mostly pointless
Shield - Pointless
XM25 - Takes too long to set up to be effective; not enough damage output
Mortar - Pointless

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Saturday, April 30th 2016, 2:00am

Pretty sure it is a consequence of popular (and poor) rulesets rather than poor class design.

That is not to say the class design isn't poor because it kind of is.

Just that with how most "competitive" rules are set up, you are not going to see any class but Assault or Engineer.


Bullshit. Having played in all kinds of rulesets, including many with nothing banned. Support was still almost entirely useless.

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Saturday, April 30th 2016, 2:31am

Of course redeploying isn't going to matter in the long run. Ammo Boxes aren't going to be needed at all.

The Recon's utility is continuous spotting ostensibly through a MAV, otherwise it's going to be Engineers as previously mentioned.

I remain unconvinced that Support requires any tweaks to be "viable" anymore than the other classes do besides Engineer.
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Saturday, April 30th 2016, 4:27am

I want support to be useful in battlefield 4, but if it isn't by now after all the patches then I assume it will never be. I made some threads a while back on the support class and concluded that maybe one thing you could do is use support with another class to indefinitely put out very large volumes of firepower or explosive firepower on a target. I imagine three engineers in the tower at A flag on rogue transmission next to a support player firing infinite rockets at C flag, for example. But I do not ever see this behavior so I suspect that it is not a viable way to make support useful.

On a side note I notice lots of threads on things people wished were different about the game or future games. Do the people from dice really come to such websites and see what the players want?