You nailed it with the point a) in relation to the long term consequences.
Allow me to show you a short term perspective in an exaggerated, yet simplified, format. Again, this is a theory, a prediction, a hypothetical.
Patch notes: 03/01/15
You see the short term consequences are not only planned out but also manipulated. The long term consequences are predictable at worse.
The example above is a complete exaggeration, however you can see from it that as you progress down the line of patch notes, they become more appealing to the educated aware. Meaning, when you read patch notes, notice that #1-3 are catered to the masses. As you proceed, you will see that they become more intricrit in the sense of satisfying the long-term player base which will be paying $0.50 an airdrop.
Sorry, I got side-tracted. @SOE. Here it is.
You have managed to copy some of the most lucrative tactics and I am not mad. In fact I am astonished at how amazing this game truly is. I do believe though that you have copied too much. BR should not be your end all/be all. Especially because what is more popular now in ARMA3 is KOTH. The meta remaining in the fact that when you die after the initial spawn, the distance to the end goal is dramatically increased.
I am not saying add a KOTH mode which also accepts events tickets. What I am saying is, think outside of the box.
Listen guys, don't put any more resources into fixing the "server fps" which you have explained is the reason behind poor zombie interaction.
Creating a horde in left4dead was the biggest challenge, next to GTA, achieved in gaming history. If you follow Left4deads devblog you will see that they knew what game they would make but took 3 years creating the zombies. Things like inclination of the map effected pathing. When you create hordes, inclination in the terrain can effect the servers FPS.
Whatever, it doesn't matter. Focus your attention other places. I admit, you guys have achieved everything every game does almost perfectly, now its time for you to explore new areas.
I still suggest this first step.
License 75 - 200 songs that were creates and publishes within the time frame of 1910-1998. Acquiring licenses from old musician should be no challenge. Try Neli Young.
Now take that license and make something of it. Make an exterior speaker system that exists within the world. A reflection of the governments final attempts at saving their people through media. But since media in the form we currently know it is destroyed, allow for the exterior speaker system be the new media.
I Imagine the speakers thin and square on the bottom. With a Rectangluar speaker mounted on top within a bracket which is rounded. Perhaps a whiteish/greyish/rusted pallete to them.
The speaker system will cycle through the songs that you license. This will enhance the atmosphere dramatically... it will also allow for this.
Now we know that airdrops sound loud in the sky, but also allow for emergency broadcasts to interrupt the music when they are called upon. It could be a generic messages that consists of "We have received radio contact from a potential survivor. We are going to respond by dropping a care package in [x]. The estimated time of arrival will be 5 minutes (count down from there).
where [x] exists can be simple for you. You already have a platform that allows for a co-ordinate gps. This offers you the opportunity to divide the map into certain numerical values that will translate into [x]. What I mean by this is that if a player contacts the people in charge of an airdrop, the game would then find out there co-ordinates. Once the co-ordinates are figured out, the zone is determined. When the radio message plays, the zone can be named.
Now, with this speaker system you can also adjust your focus from taking 3 years fixing zombies. What I mean by this, keep things interesting and free.
I've always thought to myself the most viable thing in a game of a genre that has the nature of survival would be great if there was a crazy global threat.
To start things off. You can create a scenario where the US Army is called in. Imagine this scenario.
You as a player manage to find your way into lone pine development. As you enter you hear "Neil Young - Heart of Gold" playing in the distance. Now instinctively, you start to gravitate towards the music. As you get closer you realize this isn't the smartest thing, so you take refuge in a nearby house that seems vacant. You hid upstairs, still enjoy the music. All of a sudden you hear some sort of siren. An electronic alarm noise. There is silence. A booming voice comes over the speaker that is loud enough to be heard by everyone in lone pine development. Even by a few players that are running south on Greenhorn. The message plays.
"Attention Survivors. It has come to the US Armies attention that you may be in a quarantine zone. It has been decided that the quarantine zone most be eradicated due to the discovery of the virus being too dangerous."
Now this is when the zoning comes into play. The game calculates a zone of the map which is pre-recorded for airdops and this as well, and then it is communicated to the players as something like this.
"If you are near Pleasant Valley, please evacuate the area. The personel that are en route to your location have been instructed to shoot on site. You have been warned. ETA (timer variable)"
Whatever, you can make it an even that is paid for but is also free, I don't care. The point I'm trying to make is, think outside the box. You guys did it. You replicated Halo with planetside. You knocked it out of the park with the player count. You guys did an amazing job with h1z1, but we need to take it to that next level. The only way to do that is through creativity.
The #1 thing about CS:go is sound. It is so basic, yet so deep. Follow suit in that sense, but make it global, not individual.