@Elite-Team-Killer Well, given Steve’s comments on #questions in Discord yesterday, it’s starting to sound like there isn’t going to be protected spawns after all; I had better start emotionally preparing for that eventuality.
But while I still have hope, I might as well talk about them a bit more.
I value protected spawns for a lot more than just their impact on second-to-second gameplay, but since that’s what you’re talking about, I’ll elaborate on what they offer.
If enemies are close enough to your spawnpoint to hit you, then they have a large, unfair advantage. It isn’t as simple as whether or not you’re afk when you spawn. The enemy knows exactly where you’re positioned and in which direction you’re facing. You, on the other hand, do not know in which of the infinite directions is your enemy or even if there is one attacking you at all. Those are not fair conditions. It’s comparable to the situation of a surprise attack, except instead of earning the surprise by using the layout of the map, the enemy gains it by exploiting the fact that this is a video game and you need to appear out of nothing at some point. It’s extremely jarring to be thrown right in a fight immediately after floating around in spectator cam.
Besides, people do just stand there after spawning. Chiv matches last upwards of half an hour, and people often play many back-to-back. It’s unreasonable to expect them to be 100% alert 100% of the time. Deaths and their subsequent respawns serve as down times between hectic fights for players to rest and type in chat. It sucks to kill players that are afk typing; protected spawns are spaces in which people can use chat out of sight and mind, thus not braking gameplay for anyone else. For a game to have good pacing, it needs to oscillate between high intensity and low intensity. Deaths give the FPS genre there moments of low intensity, and protected spawns go one step further in empowering players to choose how long they wish to collect themselves before engaging in the high-intensity gameplay again.
Again, this is only getting into the hard, primary-loop gameplay benefits of it; they do a lot more in TO. I could genuinely write ten full paragraphs about them, no problem.