@AbsoluteZero This may be the first time I've ever disagreed with you on something before! You're actually the reason I don't post much on BBG-related things nowadays, you always say everything I want to say and more articulately too.
Loadouts simply help remove the luck factor from the game. Imagine being stuck as one class in the start of a TF2 game: a medic is desperately needed on a team, and you're unable to switch. This would not be so much of a problem based around the "playstyle" classes of B1K, Botch, Saberi, and Sanchez, but in any FPS with class roles, with built-in counters, strengths, and weaknesses, being able to cover your bases in order to better assist your team is critical and adds much-needed flexibility.
Removing loadouts would add much of the luck factor back into the game again and would see a return of meta class diehards who choose only the most balanced classes (Oliver and Riggs) in order to mitigate potential weaknesses.
I'll never forget this one game I had in BBR where I was a speed Heavy against two camping Snipers, one positioned on the top of each Aztec Temple. I remember raging over the fact that I would have never picked this class if I knew what I would be facing ahead of time, and it was the dumb luck of my team abandoning me, class choices on both sides, and a disadvantageous map that completely stopped any chance of victory. It would have been extremely easy to turn the tables if I was able to switch to a long-range, speedy, or stealth set. I wouldn't want to be stuck as a "diverse" Heavy on this map if I was given the choice, and if I knew before the start what map we were playing/who I was going to be up against. Losing these sorts of matches really cheapened the whole experience for me back then. It also led to some difficulties for BBR/G tourneys on the Bearacks, as sometimes one person would end up with the perfect counter/map for their wacky strategy, and things would come down to luck way too often.
Ultimately, the best way to ensure a wider variety of classes used on each different map is to give these characters options through their equipment and give them the ability to carry situational weaponry to mitigate weaknesses. Weapons such as Art of War served this purpose perfectly, and made Sniper a force to be reckoned with on Factory due to her agility. Of course there will always be maps friendly or unfriendly to a specific class, but that's where you have your other loadouts and classes that you've practiced with to back it up, and you still have the ability to win one for the team.
I definitely agree with an option to allow/disallow switching in private games, though, wanted that and other options for years. Whenever I see "Demo Only" or "Huggies" as a lobby name, I always like to make a mental bet on who's going to be the first to switch, lol.
Edit: also, almost GG earlier, kept getting booted so I gave up :P
Trang and I will make sure all BBO players get something special in the new BBG.
Just a quick question: will the something special be unlockable by BBG vets as well and not entirely exclusive? I'm itching to use the gas I've stockpiled through countless ads/offers, and I'm hoping not to have to spend the next several years kicking myself for never creating a BBO account whenever I see some epic exclusive skin/cosmetic the BBO players all received. :P
This is some huge and very interesting news. Although things are going the way I personally hoped they would, my best wishes to everyone who built wonderful lasting memories with BBO. I'm looking forward to enjoying a little bit of what made your game so special!
My thoughts exactly, @AbsoluteZero , thank you for the superb summary. @SkyVu_Ben I really hope a BBG revamp will bring some good cash in for you guys and will market well, because I've been waiting and holding out hope for a BBG revamp ever since BBU's announcement, lol!