With the increasing number of factions that we might encounter as well with the increasing difference in tank gameplay design that we have seen in the last two titles it should be considered to change how vehicles are distributed over the different factions.
In general, the faction locking had the effect of an increased immersion, as it sharpens the profile of every army, but as a consequence this left not much room for variation between the individual vehicles, and many of them were in general reskins of a standard vehicle. This worked for Bf4 and earlier titles but got dropped for Bf 1 and when reintroduced into Bf V caused massive problems. Player would join a server, realise that they are in the wrong team and leave again. Especially after the release of new vehicles this resulted in very one-sided matches.
Another problem that results from a harsh faction lock is the number of different vehicles needed when trying to create equivalents to a single unique vehicle. Not only do some vehicles lack a counter part in one or more factions, but more important, the workload for each new vehicle increases exponentially.
The best solution for these problems would be in my opinion to use a less harsh faction lock, which lets each faction remain a different base vehicle, but other vehicles could be shared among all western/eastern factions and individual, very unique vehicles could become available for all factions.
This would be especially helpful with main battle tanks, were we have many vehicles that are, after taking out the aspects that are covered by the customisation, quite similar, but on the other hand have some vehicles that provide the possibility for a very different implementation.
To demonstrate the effect of softening the faction restriction I will provide an extended example for MBTs below:
Assuming that there will be four main factions (USA, EU, China and Russia) and that other minor factions are handle as sub factions to these big four we would start out with four basic tanks (M1A2, Le Clerk, Type 99A and T 90)
Now we want to add a duel situation focused tank based, e.g., based on the T 14A (resulting in a tank with more armour on the front, less on the back and a gun with higher muzzle velocity, with some other downsides to balance out this vehicle). Instead of adding three more tanks we make it also available to the CN faction and pair it with the Leopard 2 for both western factions.
Furthermore, we could want to add a very squad based Merkava Mark 4, with two top LMGs instead of a HMG, a fourth seat to control a Mortar and a protected spawn-point behind the tank for the fifth squad member. As this vehicle does not directly belong to any of the named factions and has no direct eastern equivalent it would make sense that it can be available to all factions.
At this point we would have three different implemented MBTs designs available to all factions with less vehicles than there would be needed to implement two different designs with strict faction lock. (7 done vs 8 needed for two designs with faction lock, or 12 for all three designs.)
I think the advantages of this system should be clear by now, and especially when extending the customisation options, in example by allowing players to change the main weapon of a vehicle, this system will allow the implementation of way more designs without creating an unwanted asymmetry between factions.
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