As a long term "squad"-Player I bought this game as soon as i heard of it.
So far I can only say, the game is a very exciting piece of software. Kudos to the developers.
A few suggestions from my side would be:
1. Put an end to the staging time madness
Introduce either "blocked weapons" or "friendly fire on" during staging time, so the immersion killer right during the start : "everybody shooting and clubbing each other" disappears. I am sure you have that planned, but i thought i will write it anyways.
2. (Optional) HUD reduction
The gritty view of the maps is really good, the HUD-Design however kills the immersion for me. I think the HUD should be reduced to the very essentials and the HUD colors should also be more in line with the overall feel of the ww1 battlefield, less saturated and less "in your face". I would appreciate an option to turn most of it off to be honest.
3. Low crouch -> High crouch -> Stand up fully
Since the battlefield of ww1 is a lot about trenches and getting your head down all the time everywhere, it would really help to have at least one more stage of crouching available. In a lot of situations you wanna gradually elevate your head and weapon over the cover just enough to shoot.
4. Effects during retreat (disabled weapons)
I fully understand the reason for the timer- mechanic , but i think there is a more subtle way to do it like some kind of "panic"-effect kicking in after the timer goes to zero, giving you a more shaky gun and an affected view. Maybe slightly blurry on the edges of the screen etc.
I imagine, it would be more fun and create a more immersive experience for everybody.
Honestly, i hope nothing of what you suggested will be implemented 🙂 No offense. But whenever unique games are made, some guys come along and demand it to become another utter desaster like genderfield 1. This game here is trying to depict WW1 in a more accurate manner, not "I am a special snowflake with my special snowflake gun". 90% of the people back then were normal dudes with the basic loadout.