@thetruepilliger - I don't think that's pretentious at all. It's an important observation for anyone thinking about possible game-modes and got me thinking outside the box a little about what aspects of payload are actually important and how to replicate them on BE. I agree payload escort would be pretty difficult to replicate on BE, even though I love that particular mode in other games. I do think it might be possible, however, to replicate what I view as the core elements of payload - those core element being the first-past-the-post victory and the checkpoints that segment play into distinct phases, ensuring you don't waste time on a losing game.
This element of not wasting time on losing games, in my view, is the best thing about payload. For all the talk about issues with the matchmaking in BE (perfectly legitimate, so not meaning to undermine that here) I think a core aspect of the problem is just the wasted time. If you get paired with a bad team and you know early on that you're being crushed, you're forced to either take the leaver penalty or just waste time on a game that you know is already lost. (Yes, yes, comebacks happen, but that's not the point here.) On payload escort games, in contrast, because of the multiple checkpoints, if you lose it's over quickly. If the opposing team made two checkpoints, you instantly lose after you don't make the first one and you don't have to keep fighting it out. If you made half a checkpoint, the opposing team instantly wins as soon as they make it past your distance marker and you again don't have to play through a drawn-out loss. You take the loss, and you get to reshuffle right away into the next game, try again against a different opponent, and there's no angsty questioning about whether to quit.
Here's a completely unpolished (emphasis on that, completely unpolished) idea for how to replicate that time aspect with the maps that already exist in BE as a variant of objective control:
- Only one objective is active at a time, starting w the once closest to Team A's base and ending w the one closest to Team B's base (if proximity is applicable on the map, like in aqueducts, otherwise they're all equidistant so doesn't matter).
- Team A's goal is to capture each objective, and Team B's goal is to prevent Team A from capturing.
- Slow down the objective capture drastically. Instead of standing on the objective and taking control as long as someone else isn't on it, and then starting up the point-counter, make it take 2 minutes (or whatever) to control an objective. If you're standing on it, you start to gain control. If the enemy is on it, they wind back any control gains you made.
- You have X amount of time to capture each objective. If you succeed, you move on to the next one. If you fail, you switch sides and become the defense.
- After Team A gives it there best go, switch sides and Team B does the same. Whoever captures the most objectives wins. If equal numbers, comparisons go to partial capture percentages (equivalent to distance measure on payload). If still equal, go to overtime and reduce the timer, etc.
You get the idea. Again, I'm completely making this up so haven't put thought into how it would interact with character dynamics on BE and there may be some flaws. Maybe instead of a slow point capture it's that you have to destroy three successive boxes w a certain number of hit-points, one box on each objective, and Team B has to defend them, w win comparisons coming down to who did the most damage in time allotted if the objects aren't fully destroyed. The overall point is that what's great about payload is the first-past-the-post aspect and the segmentation, which makes it feel like fighting hard is always worth it.
I'm definitely a fan of some of the new map modifiers BE added in with the latest patch, which makes it clear they're thinking about this kind of stuff. So hopefully that bodes well for more options down the road.