XOOM

Why don't small squads, merge to become bigger ones?

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Offering a squad yet another text channel isn't going to make them merge. Squads can already have their own "division" channels if they want by using either the official side channels or their own custom ones. Group continuity is totally disrupted by the supply and AO systems anyway, and larger groups have it worse than smaller ones. Five little squads could unite to form a "division" and they would still have all the same problems that the current squads do.

 

In other games forming organized units makes sense because the participants get benefits like additional spawning options.

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1 hour ago, david01 said:

Offering a squad yet another text channel isn't going to make them merge. Squads can already have their own "division" channels if they want by using either the official side channels or their own custom ones. Group continuity is totally disrupted by the supply and AO systems anyway, and larger groups have it worse than smaller ones. Five little squads could unite to form a "division" and they would still have all the same problems that the current squads do.

 

In other games forming organized units makes sense because the participants get benefits like additional spawning options.

This idea of a 'Division' coalescing squads together only works if the game mechanics neatly fit into and align with the structure. The main game element is the AO; the frameworks you describe and call Divisions should fit into the AO framework, so any players or squads aligned with your Division are automatically (or by default at least) clustered with other groups/players into that AO.

 

It's all about AOs, and having game systems align with the concept

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I assume some players are just lone wolves. Some smaller squad is just easier to get away from. In a bigger squad you have to have an organization and leadership. Player who don't follow have to be kicked out. If you're not willing to follow you are better off in a small squad.

Also, as someone mentioned, squad's lost its value with the removal of the squad missions. In 91st we have always players from other squads in our Discord channel and we just play together. Sometimes they join us and sometimes they just play with us.

For xoom's point, I'd like to see bigger squads again and I believe smaller squads should consider it. So maybe CRS should create a list with all the squads, their member amount and Timezone. This way squads could search for allies. As Discord isn't going to be enough.

 

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As a founder and CO (ret) of KGW, I have seen this game rise and fall with Squads .

Everybody (after climbing the very steep experience curve) can be a lone wolf in a 1st person shooter . However large Squads gave to WWIIOL from Day 1 an additionnal dimension  which lone wolves can never add - organised teamwork towards a common goal . They also provided (for free !) the welcome and the training for new players . Last but not least they were the place where people created friendships, achievements and common memories . In short, large Squads are (well, were) what made WWIIOL different from any other generic 1st person shooter where people log in from time to time just to kill a few things and then log off .

For that to work, Bierbaer said it . Leaders are necessary . And I mean real leaders . People like Vasquez, Shilling, Dinker and yes Deadlock :) People who play every day and have the common fun of the members in their Squad (by extension of their side) in mind . And I am well placed to know that this is a damn hard work on line but also off line . For instance KGW started to decrease in numbers and motivation when nobody wanted to do the officer work anymore - the old leaders were burnt out or left and there were no more any new . I am convinced that this process happened in all other large Squads identically . The change from the  system based on KGs/Divisions with Squads attached to each of them allowing Squad missions to the system with AOs only made things worse because it removed the freedom of Squads to organize operations which was one of their main motivations in the game . Merging small Squads without having several good leaders who organise, command and manage wouldn't certainly do a great Squad .

Now unfortunately I have no magical solution how to ressuscitate dozens of great leaders . They are all gone and won't come back - they did their time . Perhaps if Steam is a success, then there will be 1 or 5 % of people who could be great leaders . But if it is the case then it'd be mandatory to give them Squad Tools and recognition that is necessary . Squad missions should be promoted and communicated . In my opinion the organisation system with KGs and Divisions was also superior to the AO system but I would agree if somebody said that it only works with many people OL - the threshold is probably somewhere by 300-400 players per side . Below 100 players per side (e.g that's what the KGW alone had in the past) no Squads are necessary and WWIIOL becomes basically just a solo shooter game .

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As an unaffiliated lone wolf, why would I join a squad?  (In response to swelling ranks)

As a returning player who was in both larger and smaller squads back in the day, honestly my best experiences were with the more focussed smaller squads.  Those who worked an area of the map on any given night.  "Tactics" for the bigger groups typically came down to zerg rushes.

Someone mentioned a potential list of squads noting their style of play.  As an unaffiliated player I would use that tool.  Due to past experiences, Im no longer willing to join squads that want to dictate my play style.  I get enough of that from players in squads already without joining them.  If I could find those of like mind I might be willing to join them and enjoy the benefits vs the abuse.

Moving forward with Steam, new players will need instruction (i still cant whisper) but not dictatorship.  Help players to find those of similar styles and as a playerbase understand what motivates you to play may not motivate them, but likely your end goals are similar enough to be helpful to each other. So work together  instead of alienating them with smugness and superiority, and I think both squads and playerbase would grow.

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Scope not sure what side you play but if Axis ,Feldjager might be your cup of tea. Lonewolf , get together when need be , we are a loose bunch of vets that have fun ,as a group or in lonewolf situations.

Just thought I throw it out there.

 

As for the topic all I know Sturmgrenadier one of the largest squads that used to roam the Battlefield went bye bye once the AO system was installed. OJ if I'm not mistaken might make a come back once the AO system goes , how many of the former players he can bring back is a question I can't answer.

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Removing AOs would be just as, if not more significant than removing movable supply. And far more disastrous than the latter ever could be.

 

Talk about a catastrophe in the making. 

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I have an idea:

We launch Steam by side affiliation.

You pay to play as part of an allied force or as part of an axis force. We bring Japan and Italy in and each side has the ability to achieve the nuclear bomb if they protect their scientists and research facilities long enough. The game will last for years as all sides attempt to reach the holy grail. Then BOOM!

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Another thing to mention is that the user interface doesn't support forming large groups either. If there was a passable UI then officially joining together would allow leaders to keep track of their people easier. For instance in Planetside 2 any member of a platoon can look and see what everyone's class is, how far away they are, if they're dead or alive, and how they're divided. Sending PMs is quicker. There are waypoints and smoke signals. Even if that game didn't have important ingame benefits for platoons like letting members spawn on each other's vehicles, a leader would still put everyone in to a platoon just so they could organize more effectively.

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EVE online also has a great UI for managing large groups. In this game there aren't even squad waypoints that COs/XOs can set and be seen to everyone in the squad. Everything is broken in to stupid little missions and marks don't load consistently. If a mission is made wrong then target chat doesn't work. Almost all of the group organization has to be done out of game and using 3rd party programs which is shown by the push to get everyone on teamspeak or discord. What little ingame organization does take place uses weird improvisations like air squads setting target to their home base and ground leaders placing boat marks.

 

So a big thing inhibiting larger groups is that the game UI is catered toward some hypothetical high commander and a bunch of guys roleplaying rather than how the game flows. I have an AO/DO OIC and brigade OIC and a map OIC and all sorts of other bull[censored] but the people in my squad 100m away from the same army unit can't spawn on my FMS because they're on a different mission. So in that case I'll prefer a small squad with six guys on teamspeak with few hassles and try to enjoy my time instead of a big squad. Actually considering all the good leaders that have been burnt-out by trying to lead a big group in this game I don't see why anyone would want all the squads to merge unless they were just going to blandly issue P1 and P2 and then go afk.

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10 hours ago, dre21 said:

Scope not sure what side you play but if Axis ,Feldjager might be your cup of tea. Lonewolf , get together when need be , we are a loose bunch of vets that have fun ,as a group or in lonewolf situations.

Just thought I throw it out there.

 

As for the topic all I know Sturmgrenadier one of the largest squads that used to roam the Battlefield went bye bye once the AO system was installed. OJ if I'm not mistaken might make a come back once the AO system goes , how many of the former players he can bring back is a question I can't answer.

Removal of AOs would destroy this game 

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2 hours ago, david01 said:

So a big thing inhibiting larger groups is that the game UI is catered toward some hypothetical high commander and a bunch of guys roleplaying rather than how the game flows. I have an AO/DO OIC and brigade OIC and a map OIC and all sorts of other bull[censored] but the people in my squad 100m away from the same army unit can't spawn on my FMS because they're on a different mission.

The UI is complete garbage.  Everyone knows that.  

 

But to suggest that the current UI is somehow geared towards "some hypothetical high commander" is utter nonsense.  There is zero, zilch, nada when it comes to HC features in order to help us lead outside of .axis/.allied.  And then to pile on how much is expected of us with how few tools we have to accomplish it... and YET you still have the gall to run your mouth about that which you clearly know nothing about.  

 

Your anti-HC agenda does no good for anyone except your own ego.  

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1 hour ago, Capco said:

The UI is complete garbage.  Everyone knows that.  

 

But to suggest that the current UI is somehow geared towards "some hypothetical high commander" is utter nonsense.  There is zero, zilch, nada when it comes to HC features in order to help us lead outside of .axis/.allied.  And then to pile on how much is expected of us with how few tools we have to accomplish it... and YET you still have the gall to run your mouth about that which you clearly know nothing about.  

 

Your anti-HC agenda does no good for anyone except your own ego.  

Gagamel put it best - the fact that the best command-control in game is the enemy boat mark tell you a lot about the areas that need investment if we're to get to coordinated, cohesive activity 

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Removal of AOs would destroy this game

would it? Game worked before without it. All I know AOs came a huge squad dissapeared. The leader stooped logging in and slowly the squad went the way of the dodo bird. I'm not saying accommodate one squad. But CRS needs to find a happy medium. SG even had a counter squad on the Allied side , that SG actually hid their stats so the other side did not always know where SG operated in. I believe it was the 23rd Mech . And to be all honest I haven't seen Armor column in game anymore like they used to roll either.  

AOs were implemented to get the shrinking player base onto a commen battlefield and not have the player base all scattered around the map which I completely understand. But certain players did like that freedom of not having to adhere to an HC hirachy , and I'm sure the Allied side had these players too.  

Sad fact is these players are gone now and most likely will never come back. Nothing Xoom or the group that runs CRS has done ,but the former team is to blame . XOOM is just picking up the pieces and trying to fit it all together again in the hopes that old players give it another try and will like it again.  But I think ( my opinion) is that the former CRS have done a lot of damage and a shattered reputation is hard to build up again.

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57 minutes ago, dre21 said:

 

 

would it? Game worked before without it. All I know AOs came a huge squad dissapeared. The leader stooped logging in and slowly the squad went the way of the dodo bird. I'm not saying accommodate one squad. But CRS needs to find a happy medium. SG even had a counter squad on the Allied side , that SG actually hid their stats so the other side did not always know where SG operated in. I believe it was the 23rd Mech . And to be all honest I haven't seen Armor column in game anymore like they used to roll either.  

AOs were implemented to get the shrinking player base onto a commen battlefield and not have the player base all scattered around the map which I completely understand. But certain players did like that freedom of not having to adhere to an HC hirachy , and I'm sure the Allied side had these players too.  

Sad fact is these players are gone now and most likely will never come back. Nothing Xoom or the group that runs CRS has done ,but the former team is to blame . XOOM is just picking up the pieces and trying to fit it all together again in the hopes that old players give it another try and will like it again.  But I think ( my opinion) is that the former CRS have done a lot of damage and a shattered reputation is hard to build up again.

Adding AOs may not have been the direct cause for large squads decreasing in numbers.  I don't think people can make such a conclusion.

There are other explanations for population decrease as well:  for example this is a very OLD game - 17 years.  People don't play the same game forever - they move on in life.

The decrease in population may have absolutely nothing to do with AOs or other gameplay changes.   It may just be the result of the fact that the game is OLD with old graphics.

To be honest its amazing that this game has survived as long as it has.  And this game's remarkable longevity might be the result of the game actually having GOOD gameplay mechanics.

Edited by krazydog
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People don't play the same game forever - they move on in life.

 

I need to rethink my video game life then.   

I have played other games but this game still takes most of my video game time if I have such.

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voice comms become more polluted with ever person.

smaller squads ftw

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The AO system when put in was with the goal of increasing numbers of players in battles instead of the whack-a-mole that was happening with small numbers scattered around the map.  The majority of people who play the game were wanting the big battles to remain, but as the game aged the numbers started to shrink.  Killer talked about the small numbers in battles and the AO system was born.  While it did increase the numbers of players in battle areas, it did so at a cost.  The brigades were on  the way into the game which like when they were on paper squads would attach to a brigade and players to either the squads or brigades.  When the AOs shrank in numbers due to lower population, then it made attaching squads and players to brigades not able to work.  Back then brigades were assigned areas of operation which many took great pride in.  This was no longer possible with the lower population and AOs.

I do agree that the cost of the AO system was high.  Was the cost too high to increase the number of players in a battle area?  The AOs also helped to funnel new players into the battle.  At the time it was a big problem.  The majority of missions in the UI were where AOs were or were about to be, which new players could find action easier through the missions.

If the AOs were removed today it would be a big nail in the coffin since the player numbers are still low.  Yes Steam is on the way which will help populate the world, raise the AO numbers, and fill in the HC system to how it was designed to work.  The goal is to increase the numbers which makes the game play much better for everyone. 

Back in the day, the squad leadership and their members made up the majority of the HC, which gave their squad the ability to lead their brigade/KG and have a say in the Division and above leadership.  This also allowed them to have an equal vote at the table for AO placement.  This is still true today.  Maybe the Brigade/KG system on paper should come back to help in this.  Being able to say XXX squad is in XXX brigade and their members are the leader of that brigade.  In the old days the Orbat was updated and posted by the CinC level so that people knew where they are at.  The HC was not there to boss around but to coordinate and it gave the tools to allow more organization on the field.

The squad is a core part of our game and we want to increase their ability.  There is a place for small squads, and a place for larger ones.  We are looking for ideas that enhance the ability of the squads and to help increase the ability of a squad to retain members and help grow our community.

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11 hours ago, Silky said:

Gagamel put it best - the fact that the best command-control in game is the enemy boat mark tell you a lot about the areas that need investment if we're to get to coordinated, cohesive activity 

No hate on the enemy boat mark. You'll miss it when its gone!

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5 hours ago, BADGER said:

Back in the day, the squad leadership and their members made up the majority of the HC, which gave their squad the ability to lead their brigade/KG and have a say in the Division and above leadership.  

The squad is a core part of our game and we want to increase their ability.  There is a place for small squads, and a place for larger ones.  We are looking for ideas that enhance the ability of the squads and to help increase the ability of a squad to retain members and help grow our community.

Back in the day... CRS tried to eliminate the need for squads and make them unnecessary. It didn't work.

If you want to give squads tools ... BRING BACK SQUAD MISSIONS.  

It's the one thing we continue to beg for and CRS continues to ignore us.

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19 hours ago, Capco said:

But to suggest that the current UI is somehow geared towards "some hypothetical high commander" is utter nonsense.  There is zero, zilch, nada when it comes to HC features in order to help us lead outside of .axis/.allied.  And then to pile on how much is expected of us with how few tools we have to accomplish it... and YET you still have the gall to run your mouth about that which you clearly know nothing about.  

 

Your anti-HC agenda does no good for anyone except your own ego.  

It took forever to get an "active battles" tab as the default that showed where the actual players were instead of some worthless brigade screen. And as I'm clicking through the spawning screens I'm informed of OICs and all of these make-believe roles, yet the squad roster doesn't even update reliably. Everything in this game was oriented towards HC and how some HC might be structured and led. Squads even had their private missions removed because bottom-up leadership and organization didn't fit with the high command roleplaying experience. I don't see how you are even trying to argue that HC hasn't been the main focus of the game.

 

Anyway to get away from the butthurt and back to the topic of helping real online game groups, even if there's no gameplay benefit to forming a large squad then the game can still incentivize group collaboration via the UI. But there's an inadequate UI. So there's no gameplay buff and it's not more convenient to play as a squad, what is there to make squads? Basically nostalgia, or relying on personal associations but that doesn't make large squads just a bunch of little ones. 

 

Since big game systems aren't changing I suggest any cheap hacks to improve the UI like being able to change the target mid-mission. If no one can program the UI then move it to the command line. For instance bring squad missions back as a dot command that makes the mission invisible to all non-squad members. Literally ".open" or ".closed" from the mission leader and have the server stop feeding the info to players outside the squad. Really I'm not sure why it hasn't been done yet.

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I don't think limited or restricted missions would be a problem if the broader funnelling of players to action was smooth. 

As it is, any mechanism that is restrictive will hurt the game imo

 

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2 hours ago, david01 said:

It took forever to get an "active battles" tab as the default that showed where the actual players were instead of some worthless brigade screen. And as I'm clicking through the spawning screens I'm informed of OICs and all of these make-believe roles, yet the squad roster doesn't even update reliably. Everything in this game was oriented towards HC and how some HC might be structured and led. Squads even had their private missions removed because bottom-up leadership and organization didn't fit with the high command roleplaying experience. I don't see how you are even trying to argue that HC hasn't been the main focus of the game.

Combined-arms battles with military grade ballistic calculations in the background was, is, and will always be the bread and butter, the main focus of WWII Online.  Any components or additions to the game, whether they be new vehicles, squads, HC, brigades, AOs, etc., have always had that focus in mind, regardless of success or failure.  

 

Mission leaders are older than the HCs themselves.  I'm not even sure how you try to connect that with the HCs.  The mission leader role helps HC in no direct way whatsoever; it indirectly functions as a method for herding cats via the '$miss' command (and that function was certainly not the design intention, but rather a byproduct of the missions being named).  And blaming the loss of squad missions on HC?  Like... where do you even come up with this stuff?

 

Tell me:  what part of the current UI makes our job as HC easier that also comes at the expense of the playerbase?

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<S> All, personally i would not mind it. And i know that i gonna [censored] of some vets know.

buts holding on to the past while the game is preparing to exists in the future, we as vets need to change our mind on something. The glory old days are not comming back by CSR steam release. So we can either hide in the sqauds and look at old sqaud names and their last log in.

Or build it all over again and make it even beter in some points.  It's easy for me to say this, because i never played in the 'glory days'.

S

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12 hours ago, lipton said:

It's the one thing we continue to beg for and CRS continues to ignore us.

It has not been ignored, Xoom has addressed this many times in chats and on the forums.  I was not here at the time but what I was told new players had a lack of missions to run on with other players.  Other LW players were isolated and caused less grouping.  As numbers went down it became more of a problem.  It is something that is on the board for the future and we have taken in some great ideas from the community to help with the issues, but it is something that will require numbers to increase. 

Squad missions to me are important in order to give organization to the squads and a tool to the leadership of the squad.  I think some of the ideas the community has suggested in the past are good ones but with our limited resources everything has to be planned and organized in priority.  It is not being ignored, but ideas have come in to help, and man power has been on higher priority items which with very few that can address this issue.  While the team has grown, Coders are limited to a very few.

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I like the platoon idea.

Hopefully one day there will be squad missions with squad members who had the ability to type .join (or whatever) so that non squad members could join in the same chat channel.

The squad I co-founded (Dambusters) is small and not active but I do not want to quit. The reason I do not want to quit and join a larger squad is I believe that eventually the Rats will fix the game enough to make former players return.

Some new toys and removing most of the flags would do that (IMO).

Dear Xoom, please make us some heavy bombers so my RDP squad can come back to life!

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