Essay – The spawns themselves are not the problem – it’s map design

Spawns are one of the most common and persistent issues in the game. They've been adjusted multiple times but still are continously problematic if not broken in some instances.

Some of these issues stem from late spawns which is arguably the bigger issue, but I'm here to make an argument that no matter how much you'll tinker and adjust the spawns, you'll still run into the same problem. I'm here to make a case that the current problems with spawns mostly from map design which then has a derivative effect on pathing.

I'll start off with an inconvenient fact – at spawn none of the spawns have a direct sightline of eachother and for the most part have enough separation in terms of distance. The moment it becomes and issue is 15.. 30.. 45 seconds (and beyond) after spawn.

The root cause of the frustration is in my opinion – how much agency, or rather perceived agency, a player has. How much can the player do, how much gameplay (whatever that is) can he extract from a unit of time and how much perceived (or not…) control he has over his fate.

And as much as I love BSG's map design, how organic and real they look, they are not well designed for everyone spawning at the same time on the edge of the map to converge to centrally placed points of interest. For experienced players this leads to boring predictability, where deployment means a game of rock-paper-scissors. For less experienced players this means frustration as it seems like you can barely move out of spawn before doing anything.

I believe this happens because of an oversight from the devs. I think what they wanted to achieve was for the players to converge on a point of interest (POI) and engage in PVP there. However people took advantage of that and because of a finite number of spawns you can anticipate peoples movements, use chokepoints on maps to eliminate competition before they even reach the POI:

Expectation vs Reality

The most stark example and biggest offender is Shoreline Road To Customs side which probably takes up the bulk of spawn rants about that map. If we strip away minor stuff like purely quest focused locations and hidden stashes, we're left with a barren piece of land that serves just like a traversal zone.

You have one big ass POI and 3 minor ones that provide little to no reason to visit. This leads to most people rushing resort, which can create the following scenario:

[2] gets on top of the rocks and snipes [1], [5] rushes the broken down hose hill and snipes down at [4], [3]. Obviously it doesn't always happen, but it's a highly plausible scenario.

Another option is something like this:

You push radio tower and using elevation you ambush someone coming from the terminal spawn. I've been guilty of this myself on more than one occasion.

And it's not only Shoreline. We have other spawns that suffer from the same issue:

  • Customs Trailer Park spawn is notorious, especially with the tandem of the riverside spawn. They tick all the boxes – they don't have a direct sightline of eachother, they're 200m apart and yet all it takes is for you to run straight down the road and someone at the riverbank to push towards you and you can be dead within 10s. Going towards garages is a better options but you're basically trailing everyone else and they have the upper hand as you have to move towards them and it's only a cointoss if they decide to rush their POI or stay to clear out the spawn.

Potential routes and enemies

  • Woods Scav house spawn – you can either go towards the lake (1), bolt through the open field (2) or hug the fence towards the bunker (3). You basically have to go towards other spawns that have more favorable ambush positions or go on a suicide run across the open field.

  • Interchange Emercom Exctract spawn

Similar case. You're cornered with enemies on all sides and a few paths all of which are basically russian roulette. Again, not a given, but very plausible.

You basically have to commit and hope that you won't get spawn camped from that particular direction or you'll be able to fight your way through.

The players' frustration comes in the form of stark "imbalance" between spawns where RNG determines if you're spawning on Omaha beach or in the bunker on the cliffs above, with comfort that you have threats coming only from one general direction.

Another issue is with spawns where immediately at spawn you might not have a sightline, all it takes is a slight adjustment and a short sprint to still get a view on someone still standing in their spawn.

Interchange is a good example with the Oil Tanker and Power Station spawns. All it takes is for one spawning at the oil Tanker to linger a bit too long at spawn (or spawn late) and you can die 15 seconds later from someone rushing on top of the powerstation roof (guilty of this as well). Or the recently made famous South Western spawn where you can quickly get an angle on someone spawning in the middle of the highway.

Those ones are quite an easy fix – either slighly move the spawns or put some more cover between them. This is also a huge issue with the corner meadow spawns on Reserve.

Now, another incovenient fact is that you should never feel too complacent and expect immunity for a set amount of time. But at the same time it's not outlandish to expect at least getting out of harms way and into cover after you spawn, especially if you spawn in an open area, surrounded by open area that needs to be traveresed in order to get to safety.

IMO, they can tinker all they want with spawns, but unless you address the core of the issue, which is as per my post above, you'll eventually run into the same problems.


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