augetout

Why did squads dwindle, and how can we fix the problem?

78 posts in this topic

In order to gain a modicum of credibility, I should point out that I was a day 2 player (day 1 purchase---dial up patch download took forever...) who founded and helped build one of the more successful squads ingame:  Lafayette Federation.  I served in AHC (highest  position:  Commander, French Army) as well.  Augetout=an11bgod

 

When life got so much in the way that I stepped away from the game, the HCs utilized squads to help move the map (or stop the map from moving as the case may have been).  I understand why Lafayette Federation slowly went away (we weren't doing the right things internally to maintain our numbers, from failing to properly branch into other games, to moving our website without making sure that all of our members active or semi-active were aware of the moves, and perhaps failing to recruit enough new blood to keep pace with the natural turnover this game population deals with), and I will pledge to do my part to rebuild my own squad, but what happened to the rest of the squads?

 

'What happened to the squads', I believe, is a fundamental question that provides partial if not complete solutions to some game issues:  1.  getting the word out about the game,   2.  increasing ingame population numbers,  3.  increasing the percentage of paying customers/community members,  4. evening out some of the side overpop issues, 5. improving the usefulness and credibility of each HC.  (I would argue there are other benefits, but will stick to verifiable facts).

 

So I ask:  What happened to cause/allow the squads to lose their ability to maintain their numbers?   How can we as a community (and most likely with CRS' help) fix the issue?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In this day and age the average player is a lonewolfer. That must be part of it.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These days I've noticed Sqauds need to be VERY simple. People don't have time for all the crap. They just want to play a game with a group and have fun. I tend to see that people don't even have time for squad forums anymore, they don't want to create a new account and put in an app. 

Find em in game, try and get them in discord. That's the first step. If you cant rope them in with that they probably wont stick around. 

This game is much more fun in discord, while working together. However, some aren't up for it I guess. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, bogol said:

In this day and age the average player is a lonewolfer. That must be part of it.

I don't have hard numbers logged in my memory banks, but lonewolves were always a significant  part of the equation, and you'll get no argument from me on maintaining their ability to continue lonewolfing.  Lonewolves may or may not have always been the 'average player', though, so while I didn't mention them, I should point out that fixing the problem of ingame squads should not have an adverse effect on the lonewolves.

 

S!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, bmw2 said:

These days I've noticed Sqauds need to be VERY simple. People don't have time for all the crap. They just want to play a game with a group and have fun. I tend to see that people don't even have time for squad forums anymore, they don't want to create a new account and put in an app. 

Find em in game, try and get them in discord. That's the first step. If you cant rope them in with that they probably wont stick around. 

This game is much more fun in discord, while working together. However, some aren't up for it I guess. 

 

So if I understand your point, you are stating that one of the issues with squad numbers dwindling was the squads themselves (for lack of a better term) 'botching' how they got members.  Well said.

 

S!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

exactly last year to march squad nights still drew huge crowds and there were great battles.

this was just after the 09 fix up to the FMS+3days.

 

looking backwards the game reached "1-AO" points after the FMS, before the 09 fix, when there was no HC, and before Tz3 was tamed

between those times squads were relatively healthy.

 

i think the past few years squad issues are more of a server-wide population issue than a squad specific issue. back when i jumped between BK and lancers there would only be 2-4 others on at a time, can't help lonewolfing with those numbers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The French speaking community dropped from 150 to 0 in 2012. Now it is almost nonexisting though a few returned with steam.

Everything started as soon after as AO and brigade spawning were introduced, as HC squads could no longer take initiatives in their dedicated area of operation.

It’s a pity because now We have amazing tools and features I would have loved to use during squad nights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, augetout said:

So if I understand your point, you are stating that one of the issues with squad numbers dwindling was the squads themselves (for lack of a better term) 'botching' how they got members.  Well said.

 

S!

Yeah, issues with the game past and present aside...it's also how you go about getting members. Like I said, people just wanna play and have good time. So if its too serious, or you're asking to much of them (weather you think it or not) they wont stick around. 

The current ability in game for squad-less players to "Join" squads on the persona menu...is alright...just alright. It does its job of getting new players into squads, so the real squad members can try to pull from them. However, it's hardly successful unless you get them in discord.

Discord or TS is the key to recruitment...as well as overall squad activity in during high pop times. 

"Squad nights still drew huge crowds and there were great battles." @major0noob

Also this...another issue is that THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE community events. Organized events makes for awesome game play. Awesome game play makes for higher game pop. Higher game pop makes a good game. A good game draws new players. 

 

Edited by bmw2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not 100% sure exactly.
I am sure some of the things people mention repeatedly are very much contributing factors, losing people did not help at all, but people seemed to have changed too, or at least seems so to me.

More individualistic play style for newer/younger players and the want of instant gratification.

If we go way back to the beginning, squads were really organized, even the disorganized ones.
They all had websites, you joined the website and participated, it was required.
Each had their own Orbat.

During missions each guy had his job, your job may not be the most exciting, the guy on guard for 45 minute probably was not excited
but he was important. 
And people tended to follow the squads battle plan
A B and C you three take an atg and 2 smgs to the little green shack,  this group take these 2 tanks and these 6 infantry and approach as laid out on the squad website map tool etc.
It was about the operation more than anything else, definitely not the stats.
To the squad, the guy who drove trucks for the entire OP was just as much the hero as anyone else.

But the play style of a lot of people is not the same as then, more individualistic sometimes than even the original lone wolfs.
A lot of new people don't generally like being told what to do or where to do it.

I think it makes it difficult, even if you have the numbers, to get back the kind of squad you might remember from way back.
I wont mention any squad names, but i will see tags that i recognize, and they will have their old guys in discord, and they will be working together at least somewhat, but all their newer and lower ranked guys i will notice won't be in discord, and are kind of just here and there willy nilly doing their own thing.
They will have a lot of them, but they wont be together.

Dunno, maybe you just have to be an old guy now?
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

squads should be small, unless flying. best one I was in had timbo69, acess1212, xspiers, puttzy . we mostly just talked,laughed and swore at each other.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, major0noob said:

exactly last year to march squad nights still drew huge crowds and there were great battles.

this was just after the 09 fix up to the FMS+3days.

 

looking backwards the game reached "1-AO" points after the FMS, before the 09 fix, when there was no HC, and before Tz3 was tamed

between those times squads were relatively healthy.

 

i think the past few years squad issues are more of a server-wide population issue than a squad specific issue. back when i jumped between BK and lancers there would only be 2-4 others on at a time, can't help lonewolfing with those numbers

I'm not sure what you mean when saying "when there was not HC", as the HCs predate the game going live back in '01, (please explain further so I can understand your point).

 

If, as you say the squad issues are more of a result of overall ingame population than anything else, than I would not be sure what could be done to fix the issue other than getting more people to play the game, which is beyond our control to some extent.

 

I appreciate your comments, as I appreciate all who have taken the time to comment.

 

S!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, bmw2 said:

Yeah, issues with the game past and present aside...it's also how you go about getting members. Like I said, people just wanna play and have good time. So if its too serious, or you're asking to much of them (weather you think it or not) they wont stick around. 

The current ability in game for squad-less players to "Join" squads on the persona menu...is alright...just alright. It does its job of getting new players into squads, so the real squad members can try to pull from them. However, it's hardly successful unless you get them in discord.

Discord or TS is the key to recruitment...as well as overall squad activity in during high pop times. 

"Squad nights still drew huge crowds and there were great battles." @major0noob

Also this...another issue is that THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE community events. Organized events makes for awesome game play. Awesome game play makes for higher game pop. Higher game pop makes a good game. A good game draws new players. 

 

Agreed on the 'just wanting to have fun' statement---I do think that some squads got a little too into dictating---an Army must be a dictatorship but in a game setting squads should probably have at least some elements of democracy.

 

Voice Coms has always been an important piece of the recruiting pie.  I do recall that with Lafayette Federation we even had tutorials sent out to new members so they could get on voicecoms (if they chose) and such.

 

Community events are community-driven.  If that ends up being a piece of the solution we'll have to be the ones to implement it, then.

 

S!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, merlin51 said:

I am not 100% sure exactly.
I am sure some of the things people mention repeatedly are very much contributing factors, losing people did not help at all, but people seemed to have changed too, or at least seems so to me.

More individualistic play style for newer/younger players and the want of instant gratification.

If we go way back to the beginning, squads were really organized, even the disorganized ones.
They all had websites, you joined the website and participated, it was required.
Each had their own Orbat.

During missions each guy had his job, your job may not be the most exciting, the guy on guard for 45 minute probably was not excited
but he was important. 
And people tended to follow the squads battle plan
A B and C you three take an atg and 2 smgs to the little green shack,  this group take these 2 tanks and these 6 infantry and approach as laid out on the squad website map tool etc.
It was about the operation more than anything else, definitely not the stats.
To the squad, the guy who drove trucks for the entire OP was just as much the hero as anyone else.

But the play style of a lot of people is not the same as then, more individualistic sometimes than even the original lone wolfs.
A lot of new people don't generally like being told what to do or where to do it.

I think it makes it difficult, even if you have the numbers, to get back the kind of squad you might remember from way back.
I wont mention any squad names, but i will see tags that i recognize, and they will have their old guys in discord, and they will be working together at least somewhat, but all their newer and lower ranked guys i will notice won't be in discord, and are kind of just here and there willy nilly doing their own thing.
They will have a lot of them, but they wont be together.

Dunno, maybe you just have to be an old guy now?
 

None of us are 100% sure I suppose, or we already would have fixed the issue. :)

The 'more individualistic play style' you mentioned intrigues me, as that was an issue even in the early days of AHC (and presumably GHC).  I wonder if (assuming it has increased) it is indeed a shift in the type of players involved, or a result of squads not being more prevalent/involved.

 

I remember the Itza bus very well...  I understand your point about bunker/flag guards.  In the 'old days' a lot of the HC duties were text-driven, thus once I got ingame I spent much of it sitting in bunkers multi-tasking.  I would love to say that 'more folks followed battle plans' but I'm not sure if that is the case or not.  Certainly the battle plans back in the day were more comprehensive than I've seen since I returned, but I'm not sure if that is a function of HC, or the game mechanics, or the lack of squad involvement.  When AHC was planning an operation when I was in, I would have to take into account what the units in IV Corps were going to be willing to do, how much of III Corps would be present, along with figuring out what if any units we could lend or borrow from BEF----I would get in touch with the unit leaders for troops estimates and mission preferences, and make plans from there.

 

I'm sure it will be difficult to get back the kind of squad I remember from (way) back...  That, and the enjoyment derived from watching that rebuilt unit take it to the other side on a daily basis is part of the fun of it all I suppose.  We had success (way back) with some of our members being on voice coms and some not----it takes unit leadership willing to communicate messages via ingame chat, but it can and has been done.

 

I certainly feel older, Merlin51. :)

 

S!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, MikeAZ said:

squads should be small, unless flying. best one I was in had timbo69, acess1212, xspiers, puttzy . we mostly just talked,laughed and swore at each other.

I certainly believe that all German units should be small....lol  (kidding)

 

The bigger the unit/squad, the tougher it is to manage, to be sure, but those of us from relatively large squads can probably point to a few times when having 30-50 members ingame was an absolute blast, rivaling those times when it is/was just 4-5 folks raising hell with the other side.

 

S!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, augetout said:

I'm not sure what you mean when saying "when there was not HC", as the HCs predate the game going live back in '01, (please explain further so I can understand your point).

In the beginning there was no HC really, there were just squads.
OKW was the first informal HC org to get going, the allied side lagged behind on getting anything going to help the squads organize together through a central org.
condensed version probably missing many details

 

1 hour ago, augetout said:

The 'more individualistic play style' you mentioned intrigues me, as that was an issue even in the early days of AHC (and presumably GHC).  I wonder if (assuming it has increased) it is indeed a shift in the type of players involved, or a result of squads not being more prevalent/involved.

Not talking about HC,  has 0 to do with HC, has to do with the squads themselves and even the non squaded players, but especially the squads.
You didnt just show up for squad night and say "Hi guys, im going over here and spawn some tigers"
Everyone got on and checked in, went over the battle plan got their assignments.
If your assignment was to take an mle47 and cut enemy armor leaving this FB, thats what you did.
If you were on bunker duty, thats what you did, and someone would come on schedule to relieve you because bunker duty was boring.
It began really organized.

When i first started playing with BKB, we knew who was doing what, who was what unit, who was spawning where, what route infantry
was going to try to take into town etc. It was very organized.
Not so strict as to be unfun, but orderly enough you knew who had your back and where.

We had our assigned roles, we had assigned mission leaders etc.
It was fun

Not all lone wolves, but a good number of them would regularly attach to a squad and would actually try to follow with the plans.
These were mostly the guys who were not squaded because they like to play allied on monday and axis on wed and flip a coin on the weekend.
Heads, steak hoagies and axis, tails large calzones and allied, with a 6 of heineken just for logging in.
I did that quite a bit for a good while, then food got too pricey...

You could go the whole squad night and get but one kill, maybe you sat in a field for the entire evening, but if you were not there and the enemy started rolling through, no one would have been there to stop them and you knew that, so you manned your post cause it was important.

Ever see the 31st wrecking crew* on a squad night?
100+ bodies signed in and organized enough to move probably almost all 100 people in a convoy in the games night (was dark then)
into antwerp, without touching a thing, and stage for daylight in the basement of the main RR station. Tanks, trucks infantry and towed guns, and they pulled the kit from many towns.
That does not happen without a lot of organization and everyone doing their assigned task.

 

 

*speaking of which, i saw Satmax in game on the 5th
Maybe he will stick around, the 31st has been dormant too long

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have been playing since 2004, and have basically been a lonewolf the whole.  I joined 5 or 6 squads over that time but never stayed in too long.  Mostly they have been a bust because few if any are on when I play and inclusion doesn't seem to be a priority.  Weird.  The best was the 32nd wrecking crew way back around 2008 or so.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"In the beginning there was no HC really, there were just squads.
OKW was the first informal HC org to get going, the allied side lagged behind on getting anything going to help the squads organize together through a central org.
condensed version probably missing many details"--------Merlin51

Our memories don't match up, although OKW, (the first incarnation of GHC I suppose), was well known to be far more aggressive in organizing players, whereas on the Allied side we tended towards following CRS' directives, which originally were to facilitate good gameplay by helping players to organize (emphasis on helping as opposed to actively running the show per se).

"Not talking about HC,  has 0 to do with HC, has to do with the squads themselves and even the non squaded players, but especially the squads.
You didnt just show up for squad night and say "Hi guys, im going over here and spawn some tigers"
Everyone got on and checked in, went over the battle plan got their assignments.
If your assignment was to take an mle47 and cut enemy armor leaving this FB, thats what you did.
If you were on bunker duty, thats what you did, and someone would come on schedule to relieve you because bunker duty was boring.
It began really organized.

When i first started playing with BKB, we knew who was doing what, who was what unit, who was spawning where, what route infantry
was going to try to take into town etc. It was very organized.
Not so strict as to be unfun, but orderly enough you knew who had your back and where.

We had our assigned roles, we had assigned mission leaders etc.
It was fun

Not all lone wolves, but a good number of them would regularly attach to a squad and would actually try to follow with the plans.
These were mostly the guys who were not squaded because they like to play allied on monday and axis on wed and flip a coin on the weekend.
Heads, steak hoagies and axis, tails large calzones and allied, with a 6 of heineken just for logging in.
I did that quite a bit for a good while, then food got too pricey...

You could go the whole squad night and get but one kill, maybe you sat in a field for the entire evening, but if you were not there and the enemy started rolling through, no one would have been there to stop them and you knew that, so you manned your post cause it was important.

Ever see the 31st wrecking crew* on a squad night?
100+ bodies signed in and organized enough to move probably almost all 100 people in a convoy in the games night (was dark then)
into antwerp, without touching a thing, and stage for daylight in the basement of the main RR station. Tanks, trucks infantry and towed guns, and they pulled the kit from many towns.
That does not happen without a lot of organization and everyone doing their assigned task."-------Merlin51

I understand you were not talking about HC-----I was, because it is a familiar frame of reference (for me) to the early days of the game---and my point was centered on the fact that there have always been lonewolves---plenty of them.

 

As for 'squad nights', not all large squads had them.  In Lafayette Federation, for example, we assumed we would have a significant presence ingame each and every day (and night).  Occasionally we set up special squad activities, but for the most part every day was a squad night for LAF, thus we did not tend to have what would have amounted to daily (and nightly) battle plans----we tended to go wherever we felt we were needed most in the south, specifically the then III Corps area of operations.  Whoever was OIC would work with AHC to figure out where best to use Lafayette Federation.  People settled into roles rather than having them cast into them.  We too had lonewolves who would attach themselves to us for a night, and we worked relatively hard to recruit some of them.

Indeed I saw the 31st Wrecking Crew all too often, and in too high of numbers at times, lol.  Not sure why you seem to have decided upon an antagonistic attitude here---it is easy to dismiss the lack of squads ingame as being the fault of a new generation of gamers, but that, like all simple/snap solutions, probably is not the case.  I will say that the early days of AHC were a lot about 'herding cats', and what I see ingame now is not all that dissimilar, other than today's HCs do not have the squads to at least help with the herding.  Perhaps I am seeing a problem where none exists, but on the outside chance it is an actual issue I (and no doubt others) have noticed, it is worth a discussion with the goal of seeing if as a group we can come up with some solutions that will help squads regrow, thus helping the HCs, thus helping the gameplay, thus helping the ingame population.

 

S!

Edited by augetout

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, GrAnit said:

I have been playing since 2004, and have basically been a lonewolf the whole.  I joined 5 or 6 squads over that time but never stayed in too long.  Mostly they have been a bust because few if any are on when I play and inclusion doesn't seem to be a priority.  Weird.  The best was the 32nd wrecking crew way back around 2008 or so.  

Lonewolves have always been a significant part of the game, to be sure.

 

S!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The down fall of squads was the removal of squad only missions. 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Zebbeee said:

As AO and brigade spawning were introduced, as HC squads could no longer take initiatives in their dedicated area of operation.

IIRC this is true.  Once the squads lost the ability to choose their own targets in conjunction with HC is when things started to fall apart.

Now.........I will admit AO's are good for the game, especially now as the numbers are not what they were in 2003-2008 levels as it funnels players into a certain area........but squads did die off in this period and pilots left as well............but cant remember why.....maybe it was the "fishbowl" effect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...and don't listen to Merlin. Every time a glaringly obvious gameplay or issue with a unit comes up, he says it's the players.

 

Example: the FMS PPO is unprotected on the spawn side.

All anyone has to do is push an ATG up to it, park it at the door and the ei spawning in die instantly without seeing who "killed" them.

The peanut gallery here all say, "well, you should be banned if you do this..." but we've been clamoring for better FMS design and more PPOs that can help mitigate the bad design, or an outright REdesign, and nothing happens.

 

No, we get a "parking etiquette" thread where the bad design is dismissed and nothing changes.

It's not the easy accesibility of the FMS; oh no... it's the players who exploit the easiest of exploits designed into the FMS.

 

Sure...

 

So when Spit pilots leaking coolant for an hour during a sortie keep on flying like they're in an F16, they should RTB and not exploit the bad design?

I know of at least ten pilots who exploit this one regularly but don't seem to mind working the exploit in their favor...

Or the M10 sights. They were WRONG for ten years. Then they were changed to the RIGHT scope, but some people complained about resolution, (Super Mario Bros.,) and CRS changed it back to the S76 sight, though they constantly talk of accuracy in the units' representation and all.

 

Not gonna work.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, saronin said:

Typical merlin51 response here. It’s the players not the game. Squads back in my day were organized. No. They weren’t. They just had more people and the tiny percentage of organized players was larger in proportion right along with the overall population. 

There is nothing wrong with the newer/younger generation. Being a Gen Xer I’ve got to work with them quite a bit.  I’ve watched the millennials take the brunt of the global war on terror for well over a decade now without complaint. Meanwhile their snowflake boomer parents and grandparents who couldn’t handle Nam whined moaned and told them they couldn’t win. I’m guessing the boomers believed this because they were too busy dropping acid and smoking weed at that age and couldn’t fathom that these kids are more responsible and tough as nails.

The younger generation has no problem working as a team and doing their part.  The truth is that they don’t find the aging game worth their time and hard earned money when there are newer cheaper options out there. It’s called being a smart consumer.

In the end there are simply fewer people resulting in smaller squads.

 

Greetings,

Just had to chime in here as I find it laughable that the generation or two that have had the real power to affect change try to blame the worlds woes on a generation that has not even come into their own. If anything did fail it failed under the old guards watch. Millennials have nothing to do with it. Come back in a 50 to 100 years and  then we can talk about their actual effect on society. It's bizarre. If we would just get out of their way in most cases we would be better off from my point of view. Too bad fear is such a great motivator.

I'm in the pre Gen-X generation but just barely by a year or so. the very end of later half of the boomers. Really feel like I'm somewhere in between boomer and Gen-X and belong to neither.

I have greater faith in the younger generation than I do in the majority of the older generation.

S!

 

 

 

 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, hierbart said:

The down fall of squads was the removal of squad only missions. 

What actual effect did that have on the squads?  Was it a case of squads deciding that what the HCs were coming up with wasn't as effective as what the squads were coming up with on their own, or some other deal?

 

S!

Edited by augetout

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, bmw said:

IIRC this is true.  Once the squads lost the ability to choose their own targets in conjunction with HC is when things started to fall apart.

Now.........I will admit AO's are good for the game, especially now as the numbers are not what they were in 2003-2008 levels as it funnels players into a certain area........but squads did die off in this period and pilots left as well............but cant remember why.....maybe it was the "fishbowl" effect.

The timing matches based on what I'm hearing, but causality has yet to be established, although it seems a good area to concentrate on for the purposes of this discussion.  Coming from my experiences in the early days of AHC and Lafayette Federation, I recall some units not wanting to 'play ball' when assigned targets by an HC----would then, the elimination of being able to choose squad missions have amplified this issue to a point where squads threw in the towel?  If true, it sets up a challenging set of variables needing a fix in order to bring squads back----or perhaps it signals that efforts to bring squads back will likely fail.  Then again, other factors may have caused the problem, and the timing match of the end of squad missions might be a red herring.

 

S!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.