I suspect NWI will invest in their AI resources in time, and the current behaviors are just placeholders. The game was rushed to market with a whole lot of features broken or incomplete, though thankfully NWI is amazing about releasing post-launch content and improving the game. DOI eventually got improved bot AI and was truly challenging to beat on Coop Commando, so they can get at least to that level in-house.
I think what @Zayzek is talking about are those times when you fall between the few second gap when your screen fades after a death and the spawn of a new wave. I have experienced this plenty of times and also noted this gap, which was addressed in INS14. It feels more fair to spawn in those people who died and were waiting for their screen to transition.
@MLB7 is right. If your goal is to pump up your K:D and support your team in winning, there is no better option now than an LMG. Along with commander/observer it's probably the most important role one can take on both offense and defense.
Check out AndreaFPS's review of the PKM - he's learned to use it even without the bipod. I tried it out and confirmed that if you learn how to control the vertical recoil, it can be an effective weapon indoors or while moving. I do think it would be too powerful if the recoil was reduced in any significant way. Why would anyone choose any other weapon at that point? You have an AR, LMG, and a Marksman rifle all in one.
I like the idea that a specialist can pickup a radio.
Since we're spamming our imagination, what if a rifleman had a single deployable and destroyable barrier that could provide cover and stay up for say, 10-15 bullets? This could open up a plethora of different tactical options.
Still can't think of anything for the Demo class, though I would like the option of choosing between 4 40mm grenades as opposed to 2 + 2 RPG/MAWS
Good suggestions all around. I'm curious to hear what the developers are thinking along these lines? I know you can't make promises, but would be cool to know what you are weighing.
Another option to consider are class-specific abilities not related to unique loadouts. How this could work:
Commander - already has the ability to make calls
Observer - As mentioned above, a radio would act as extra armor, like in DOI
Breacher - Runs faster by default
Gunner - Can carry a heavier loadout by default
Sniper - Can hold breath/focus longer by default
Demolitions - ideas?
Rifleman - ideas?
One feature I am missing that was incorporated into the INS2014 is the automatic extra supply point per extra round. This allowed me to experiment with different loadouts & tactics, and also to counter the other teams tactics more effectively. I propose that adding this feature back in would increase the fun and shelf life of the game for many.
I also really liked in DOI the ability to gain extra supply based on objective capturing and combined kills/injuries. The latter option might be too OP for Sandstorm, and it would reward Gunners, Demolitions, Commanders and Observers in an unbalanced way, but what do you all think about 1 extra SP for the first objective captured, and maybe toying with an extra SP for the first 5 enemies killed who are inside an objective, or shooting from within an objective. This last feature would provide more incentive for players to play the objective.