I think party restrictions were the wrong way to go about tackling the problems a lot of people had with TDM.
I actually think 4v4 is fine; a lot of the maps in Gears 5 are small and don’t work well with 10 players. It really feels like past games (like gears 3) had larger maps on average. There’s less getting flanked from multiple sides and you need to have more coordination in order to make a successful push because you can’t spread out your team as much. This is worst in KoTH, but they’re already experimenting with 4v4 there in the next dev playlist (excited).
The real problem TDM has, and the source of many’s frustration: bad team-mates that hemorrhage spawns by repeatedly rushing in and dying. It happens constantly: to me, to you, to everyone. You will have the majority of the team playing fairly well and managing to keep their deaths low. Then there is that 1 (or maybe 2) player that just runs into the meat grinder, wasting your spawns until you run out and are forced to work against a hard lead. It sucks, but you can’t blame the player himself for being bad at the game, really. Some people are just worse at things than others. But I have a solution to mitigate the problem!
Instead of respawns being a shared pool by the entire team, you split that total up between each player. 20 total respawns, split between 4 players (in the current 4v4 format) would mean each player can die 5 times. Now you add a little more personal responsibility onto the shoulders of each player: if you run out of respawns too quickly, you can’t play for the remainder of the round, and you’ll be hurting your team. After a few matches of this, most players will realize they need to slow down their approach and think about what they’re doing if they are repeatedly forced to sit out of matches.
I had another feature that could be added, where a player with remaining respawns could “donate” a life to someone who is out and bring them back. This could add a layer of strategy and make things more dynamic. Maybe you are down a player, and the enemy has a hard camp set up. Breaking that with 3 players would be very difficult, so someone donates a life and brings the 4th back to help them push.
I know there are potential problems with this approach. Off the top of my head, the main problem would be narcissistic players that constantly pester and spam to bring them back into play with the life donate system. Also if a player loses all their spawns, they might leave. You really can’t do anything about the former, except maybe limit the donation to happen when total player spawns are under a certain number. The latter should hopefully be remedied by a harsher penalty for quitters. I have a really unique idea about a solution for the way quitting works, but that’s something for another thread.
Overall, this idea isn’t a perfect solution, but I really think it would mitigate the main problem I consistently see in TDM: losing the whole match because of 1 or 2 players dying 10+ times in a single round.