I think most people are making good points here.
I disagree with you, NorthWeapon, on your conclusion, that Relic shouldn't have any community input on balance.
I would prefer if members of the balance team weren't just volunteering, but actual paid, part-time employees. I'm a sucker for labour rights, but that's not what this website is for. Having community members with a voice on balance is important for having realistic and desired changes. But those community members shouldn't be top 50 automatch players. They should be map designers, they should be casters, they should be active community members at several tiers of automatch. they should be anyone who wants to respond to a call for balance perspectives. I want a balance team that asks for and looks at the opinions of everyone, not just what someone who is paid to make games thinks. I don't think those people have enough time to play their games to the degree that many of the fans do.
With regards to actual balance in this game, I think this quote from Mirage from page 3 says it best:
Faction Flavour Should Be done Without Compromising Core Aspects
Having no core tools for core systems such as reliable suppression - Kubels will never cut is as MGs late game to counter blobs - should not be the case. All factions in their core should at least have the basic tools to counter either large infantry assault, defensive positions, and/or heavier armoured vehicles.
Can't always be done due to lack of assets, but the core tools should be there.
I'd expand this to the opposite as well, where flavour shouldn't negate a core aspect. Classic example of this was Obersoldaten ignoring Retreat modifiers. When I was playing USF back in 2014-2016 I was so frustrated that I would lose games to OKW that were in an even dead-heat until the late game, when OKW's veterancy design eventually made them better than my riflemen. When we had traded evenly, both losing a combat squad, both losing a light vehicle (or not), see-sawing on VPs, it was fun and engaging. But once those squads got their fourth and fifth level of vet and my squads were stuck on triple vet with 2x BARs, it felt like the OKW player was being rewarded more for their preservation of units and that would snowball into more lost manpower, less map control, etc. on my end.
Every faction should have access to reliable suppression, mobile indirect fire, anti-personnel and anti-tank mines (either split mines like Ost or dual-purpose like Sov). There are a bunch of other things that are too numerous to mention here but y'all get the idea I hope.
I'll admit, the balance changes can be daunting especially when I'm playing less 1v1s or even team games regularly. But I would rather have balance changes and "revamps" every 4-6 months (that also fix bugs!) than leave the game in broken and bugged states. Who knows what would happen if we were still playing the game we were in mid-2017. I think it would've died. Maybe not completely, but it would be a steady hemorrhaging of playercount.
On this idea:
I think competitive COh2 would benefit and be elevated by having a competitive tournament mod/build where the game would be more "competitively" minded and balanced in terms of cheese strats, and abusive mechanics/faction combos, etc. The mod could be designed by a committe of the "pros" , guys that know about the meta, and all the individual units and mechanics, and what not, kinda like the current build of the game is designed.
But I think we havent seen this because it would split an already smallish and honestly already currently divided playerbase, and the top players probably would find it difficult to practice properly,...i think? Maybe they dont wanna change how things have been done for almost 2 decades at this point going back to Coh1?
obligatory shoutout to Wuff for making the Tourney Mode mod and for AE/MasterLeague for promoting its use.
I think this is a great idea. I would love to be able to play against random people in a more competitive setting. I'm not sure about balance changes, but I like what Wuff's mod has done and kept it relatively barebones, but eliminating some of most egregious non-competitive elements. I'd also be for replacing OKW base defenses with MG emplacements so OKW can be base rushed.
I think the way to implement this would be to have temporary leagues with fresh leaderboards. There would be global leaderboards like we have now, but just use that same ELO system in a separate leaderboard and search system (that is saved online so people can always go back and look at their stats or other players' stats) in a league that lasts 4-12 weeks using the hyper-competitive mod.