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Thoughts on Verdun. How the 64 Player Introduction Killed Flanking and Maneuver
I use to play a ton of Verdun and it was one of my favorite games but I stopped after the introduction of bots and 64 player mode. But recently again I've been getting back into and it is still my favorite FPS for multiplayer. I know the Devs aren't going to change anything but I just wanted to say that 64 player mode killed one of the funnest parts (imo) of the game.

What they killed being the flanking and maneuver part of Verdun. With 32 players or a smaller number flanking and raiding was an extremely fun part of Verdun. Primarily running into hostile no mans land to flank behind enemy soldiers in the trench. But also doing spoiling attacks when defending, ie. when defending charging into no mans land to kill NCOs in foxholes or running into NMLs trenches (such as in Picardie or Champagne) to catch enemy soldiers off guard and kill them. Here's an example of Vosges flanking (and my favorite map for how powerful flanking was). Doesn't get a lot of kills in this example, mainly showing the pathing.

On all the maps there use to be a variety of flanking and maneuver options but now there is such a high density of firepower and vision that doing such things is now much harder and often fails. (Ironically a reflection of the relationship of firepower and maneuver in WW1). I still like Verdun and I do like a lot of the other things the developers have done but this is my biggest issue with Verdun and I was just curious if anyone else feels the same way.
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Showing 1-15 of 54 comments
kenberg Nov 15 @ 4:24am 
There was one of the Dev's a month or so ago saying somting of setting it back to 32 players with bots and haveing the 64+ in custom matches only?.
I like the 64 players, and the bots. I find the volume of fire to be appropriate. But i have a similar issue. I miss being able to sprint into a trench, fix bayonets and race along the trench stabbing the defenders in the back as they focus fire on the rest of the attacking force. It just doesn't work any more as the bots always know you're coming, so you lose momentum too soon to make an impact.

I'd like that to be effective again, as surprise attacks (and flanking) was fun. But if we have to lose the attacks across a broad front, and the feeling of a wave of men to get it back, I'd prefer to stick with the 64 players.
three years ago this december when 64 players were first permitted in custom games, Verdun x64 was formed and we have been playing 64 or larger custom games long before 64 became the standard template. as one who personally hosted many of these large trials please permit me to share with you some of my thoughts about "flanking" and the 64 template.

1. even the 32 template was not the normal size for competitive tournaments which often saw recon units flanking and spawning on the flanks to win. these tournaments typically had a 16 template or eight versus eight. in other words there was not as much flanking with the old 32 template as some might assume or falsely remember.

2. when the 64 template became standard some of the maps like argonne were slightly widened. my custom trials had found that all the maps worked with 64 players with trench captures at pre-change argonne possible with that many soldiers but i did suggest map widening for better gameplay on the smaller maps and the developers did tweak those smaller maps. "flanking" is much more likely now than with the old maps like the original argonne.

3. i personally doubt that frontlines should feature "flanking" as the go-to method of victory in the verdun game. once trenches were set late in 1914 there wasn't a whole lot of flanking possible at the tactical level until 1918. even trench raids using small numbers of raiders could not really "flank" the opposite trench and raiders instead often in vain searched for a lightly guarded section of said trench.

4. i assume that game style varies from person to person. some like to be some scout at the flanks while others instead seem to camp far away with a scoped rifle. i personally prefer the basic rifle and bayonet over-the-top reckless assault style which is more realistic/historical than the sniper or the scout. i do not think the game should be based upon what is best for snipers nor for scouts.

5. since i mentioned personal preference i actually feel that all the maps of verdun easily could handle more than 64 soldiers and that some maps like picardie and flanders actually feel especially empty to me unless at least more than 80 soldiers are running around. i have even seen trench captures at argonne and artois in custom games with 128 soldiers when one side has much better teamwork.

6. one wanting still wider verdun frontlines maps may optionally choose to have them in custom games with a simple custom command. the command is /openmap true (include the "/"). this command eliminates the desertion zones so one may test wider "flanking" moves in custom games. the custom match host can later return the desertion zones by typing /openmap false.

flanking fits better tactically, historically, and realistically with tannenberg and sector capture than with verdun and trench capture. i do not feel that verdun should change to make "flanking" the key to victory in frontlines.
Last edited by biggalloot; Nov 15 @ 12:13pm
Sulomon Nov 15 @ 5:28am 
Flanking didn't and doesn't happen on either version of Argonne (unless the player count was very low). I have to disagree with your assessment on flanking being more possible now. Making a map 10-15% bigger when the player count is doubled does not leave more possibility for flanking.
Last edited by Sulomon; Nov 15 @ 5:43am
to Sulomon:

trench captures are possible at argonne even with 128 soldiers. i have to admit that my many trials of the larger templates over the past three years as a host for Verdun x64 events only recently included bots so that my post is especially relevant regarding captures during 64 or larger games featuring all-human soldiers. i do suspect that trench captures using the larger templates are more likely with human teamwork compared to whatever "teamwork" the bot AI may conceive.

there are also a few other changes now regarding 64 and larger games compared to my trials from several years ago. the momentum clock used to be a major problem in larger games because the attack often never ended due to the attackers being rewarded extra time for inflicting heavy defending losses but this has since been fixed and currently an attack in a large frontlines match is more likely to lose momentum and to then require retreat. another major change from years ago is having the respawning now more likely to be forward from the original trench compared to in the past. this respawning forward tweak should make trench captures more likely in large template games as long as wise attacking human ncos provide the needed forward respawning.

i did not suggest that the key to argonne or any other map is, ever was, or should be flanking nor do i wish for game victory to be typically determined by whichever side has the better flanking. i did say that trench captures are possible using large templates when one side has much better teamwork and this becomes evident when human numbers greatly exceed bot numbers.
Last edited by biggalloot; Nov 17 @ 5:12am
Sulomon Nov 15 @ 6:17am 
I know trench captures are possible on Argonne. I am talking about flanking.

"i did not suggest that the key to argonne or any other map is, ever was, or should be flanking nor do i wish for game victory to be typically determined by whichever side has the better flanking."

I didn't suggest that you suggested that nor have I suggested that flanking should be the key to winning. I do not know why you keep bringing that particular point up. I only said I wished flanking was as present as it use to be and that it is/was a fun part of Verdun.
to sulomon:

getting a toehold on a flank and then sweeping the trench is fun, but i have also seen properly reinforced center toeholds work during large template games. i have witnessed some argonne toeholds from edge to center on occasion as have others in Verdun x64.

the out-of-bounds areas actually work abstractly well to represent another fact of world war one trench warfare and that is sector boundaries. all battalions before going on a big assault would have their sector boundaries distinct from the adjacent friendly battalions. soldiers crossing into the adjacent sectors were strongly discouraged from doing so in part because mixing battalions was a good way for communications to completely break down for the entire regiment.

think of it this way as a flanker:
in real life if you were on the extreme edge of one of your battalion's sector boundaries you likely would be shot at by the enemy in front of the adjacent friendly battalions if you strayed to the sides. those imagining flanking out where no in-game enemies currently exist would come back to reality if the out-of-bounds areas were covered by killing fire from invincible nonplayingcharacter heavy machineguns. "flanking" was much more difficult for the world war one trench soldier than exists in the 64 and larger template verdun games and the verdun game even with the 128 soldier template on the smallest frontlines map might better represent a rare "lucky" attack battalion accidentally finding one of the "softest" segments of the enemy line.
Last edited by biggalloot; Nov 15 @ 1:44pm
Yuithgf Nov 15 @ 7:42am 
for sure it has been made harder, but i still think flanking is possible. for argonne, i remember recently flanking the far left flank as a stoss NCO, theres a small opening that can be exploited if youre sneaky enough (and kill the few players guarding the area if there is some)
People just need to communicate

And good NCOs should use the attack orders properly
Yuithgf Nov 15 @ 9:27am 
tbh, attack orders are most useful for stoss and canadians, but not that much for other squads. well unless your squad has bots, they sometimes follow it, but humans usually go where they can/want rather than following the order
i like 64 players myself i kind of like the mayhem in a full server

but bringing back 32 players is a bad idea look at ps4 where its 32 player servers it has killed it i only see at most 30 people playing and thats at peak times ive noticed on eu server and american servers none no its very bad idea why because it will kill playerbase as it has on ps4 almost

ive also heard on the fb community that its gonna 32 players for tannenberg aswell so if true it gonna end up like verdun on console or even dead entirely on console

which would be a shame as i know quite a few people on fb community were disapointed about 32 players staying for both games on console as they were excited about getting it game and i was excited about tannenberg on console aswelll until i heard that

i mean if u look at tannenberg for pc its normally 81 players at peak times on pc
for verdun its around 120 from what ive seen on pc

the reason i say this is because i am both a ps4 and pc player and i like pc version better
so i think both versions myself should be 64 players

Originally posted by kenberg:
There was one of the Dev's a month or so ago saying somting of setting it back to 32 players with bots and haveing the 64+ in custom matches only?.
Last edited by I-[6thAL.I] Pvt. steve zhukov; Nov 22 @ 2:29pm
I think the biggest impact on flanking/infiltrating weak spots as Attackers was the change to how Defenders can always respawn behind their trench. (Used to be that respawning NCOs and/or squaddies missing forward spawns on the Defending Team would end up in their second trench.)

Not really much can be done about Defenders breaking out into NML to take out hiding Attackers, but I do still think that if the Attackers gain Momentum then the Defenders should be forced to respawn at their second trench.

Would give more reason for Defenders to provide forward spawns to boot (and I don't know maybe allow the maps to progress passed the initial starting location(s)) in order to close the extra distance to get back into their trench.

With some tweaks to the Forward Spawning Mechanics for the various squad types as well, it would make providing those forward respawns a little easier I think in some respects. (e.g. Sentries having forward spawns inside of the Defenders' NML and Assaults getting forward spawns within the enemy trench as Attackers)

P.S. To compensate for the Defenders having more distance to get back into their trench: slow down the capture speed by some small percentage (to start with). e.g. 15% Slower Capture Speed.

P.P.S. Could even give the Attackers a little more of a time increase when gaining Momentum. (e.g. An additional 20 seconds on top of the current time increase)
Last edited by LV|Ironstorm767; Nov 15 @ 1:25pm
Those are fine ideas. It is frustrating after getting a foothold in the trench then having an entire platoon spawn again 2 metres away.
Yuithgf Nov 15 @ 1:29pm 
Originally posted by LV|Ironstorm767:
I think the biggest impact on flanking/infiltrating weak spots as Attackers was the change to how Defenders can always respawn behind their trench
...50% of the time. because when youre defending on flanders, that the entierty of the right half of your trench is empty and the game decides to spawn your whole team as far left as possible, its not hurting the flanking possibilities much.

also, about other things iron says: i still think making trench capture a little longer would make matches a little less stale. theres moments where attackers capture a trench and it gets taken back 5 seconds afterwards, which resets the attack timer.
Last edited by Yuithgf; Nov 15 @ 1:29pm
Kilij Nov 15 @ 1:45pm 
I feel ya op. Vosgues is still my favorite map for all of the crazy pathing you can do to get the drop on the enemy but its harder.
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