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Augetout

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

81 posts in this topic

3 hours 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.

 

While there were some squads that really delved into the area of role playing the rank system and all that, by and large I would agree that 'organized' is a relative term.

 

I don't wish to get into generational issues or non-issues, as I do not feel it is productive, nor do I feel the evidence leads to a conclusion that millennials are the problem.

 

S!

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3 hours ago, vasduten1 said:

Why did squads leave?

That question probably has a lot of answers, but the things that stand out for me were the AO system, tweaks to the HC system, TOEs and more.

It seems that a lot of the incentive to squad up in this game were removed systematically and culminated when the game went into the "dead period" a few years back, where a patch came in to help with latency actually made it much, much worse where we had levitating tanks, ei running in place when shot and so much more.

The game was almost dead for good, but XOOM and some volunteers stepped in to keep the dream alive.

 

The trouble is, while they try to fix numerous issues without the tools to do so, and with code nobody really has any idea how to manage, the game still suffers.

Most of Jg51 just left, they were the last LW squad still active. They, too fot tired of the hokey game play and imbalance. There are numerous bugs that stay in, despite giving the Allies an unfair advantage. Take the X-Wing fighter Spits, the DB7/Havic damage models, the UFO dynamics of them and well... it's disastrous.

Why would anyone pay to play this any more when there are better sims around and even in FPS games, great strides are being made with regard to map size.

I've gone to PUBG, because playing as a squad there is just more fun. The weapons actually work, and the graphics don't look like Super Mario Bros.

These people in here blaming the "new" generations of gamers who want lone wolf play are looking past the clunky mechanics, the bad damage models and the hirribke graphics and they're pretending that's the issue when it's clearly not.

Plenty of squads still around, just not here.

When the devs remove most of the tools that squads depended on for cohesion, and added HC flag-chess ti make volunteers manage the game for them, it started a long slow decline.

 

Sure, changes are inbound... but they keep pushing the timeline out and frankly, paying $178.88/yr for the promise of a fun FPS experience just isn't worth it.

 

You're like the guy who shows up as the staff cleans up and wonders when the party ended.

It's done.

 

Hell Let Loose and Post Scriptum will drag the last remaining squads and payjng subscribers away.

I appreciate your reply, (as I do all the others).  I've asked in replies what it was about the elimination of the squad missions, or the AO system, that caused squads to go away/dwindle in numbers.  I wonder if the simple freedom of being able to choose one's own attacks is that big of a deal or not.

 

I believe you are on to something with the lack of incentive to join a squad---with the AOs perhaps there is no ingame reason to be in a squad.

 

I hope I am not 'the guy who shows up as the staff is cleaning up wondering when the party ended', but that is a distinct possibility.

 

I took a look at both 'hell let loose' and 'post scriptum'----both 50 on 50 with 1 to 1 scale maps of (while larger than an average call of duty map) areas of around 16 square kilometers---big but nowhere near wwiionline.  Perhaps I am in the minority, but part of the allure of this game has (for me) always been the sheer size of it all, along with the 24/7-ness of the game----no resetting to the same map every 20 minutes or so and all that.  If that isn't a key for others, I would imagine other games will drag players away, but I truly believe that there's something to be said about taking a town and holding it until the other side decides to take it back from you, being miles ahead of the normal (or now-increasing in map size) FPS games.

 

S!

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14 hours ago, augetout said:

Not sure why you seem to have decided upon an antagonistic attitude here

Huh? 
What are you talking about?

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well said saronin. my feeling  also. we (some of the groups ) though this game would evolve and it never really did it just stop.(graphics...etc game play... maps) I also don't play anymore but will continue to support this game with a paid subscription(I have another  account) hoping for a new graphic engine but I already playing other games and eye balling some of the games saronin mentioned.

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Reading above post, somebody mentioned players like me who pay but aren't playing any more.  Ive run out of patience with this game hoping but not delivering on promises. The graphics just is a non starter now  for me . I didn't really want to give a ultimatum that's why since I can afford it give the new rats a chance (time ticking now) for a new graphic engine basically they got until dec then its over for me.

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Your post presupposes that the 'dwindling of squads' is a "problem" and implies that if it is one, that there must therefore be a "solution". Don't misunderstand me, I'm all for  squads, from the social side of things, but really, the "good old days" of pre AO's and Pre HC's were anything but, and that the hegemony of half a dozen very large squads on the previous occasion we had "town-based supply" may have been a barrel of laughs for members of those squads, but the gameplay was dire. Most battles consisted of getting the most possible armour to a town in the briefest possible period, to camp all cp's and especially ab's before defenders had a chance to learn of their arrival, much less spawn in.

This was called "superior tactics" but it was literally killing the game. AO's, EWS and HC's followed "swiftly", as CRS attempted to staunch the loss of players. The worst of it was that it became the only reasonably surefire way of taking a town, so each TZ tended to become dynamically unstable, ie as numbers moved away from balance, they became more so, and faster. The logical result of this was the 'Breakfast Club' in TZ3.

A return to town-based supply and squad-driven AO's will almost certainly see me unsub. It's been tried before and caused so many problems that CRS spent the next 3-6 years trying to correct them instead of generating new content. Returning to that is depressing beyond words.

What's needed are tools for ML's, tools for Squads, tools for OIC's and HC's, so that there's better communication both ways up and down the chain of command. Heck, 17 years after the game was begun we still have no  way for ML, OIC or HC (or indeed a squad officer) to mark on a map where he wants stuff, and other players be able to see it and comply. In short, the very basics of any kind of organisation are missing, and frankly, not greatly improved by being in squad either. If you want a reason why  squads "dwindled", that's it, right there. The communication tools are so poor in game that they allow for little more than a great snake of armour following the leader, followed by ultimately poor game-play. It was inevitable player numbers would drop.

Instead we have the prospect (or wet-dream) of a return to map-rolls and huge squads and a return to "the good old days". Lunacy.

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On 1/8/2018 at 3:02 PM, augetout said:

So I ask:  What happened to cause/allow the squads to lose their ability to maintain their numbers?

This happened lol ↓

11 minutes ago, fidd said:

Your post presupposes that the 'dwindling of squads' is a "problem" and implies that if it is one, that there must therefore be a "solution". Don't misunderstand me, I'm all for  squads, from the social side of things, but

OP this the mindset that the game operates on. Guilds are somehow bad for a MMO business instead of good. Can't even get the devs to bring back private missions.

Squads are to be a source of low-level grunts and officers for the HC to play with, and also they're in charge of training the new players. Suggest that they be allowed to do anything else and you'll get a wall of text saying how bad it would be.

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in my last few weeks with BK there were only a handful on at a time, same with lancers.

never had any problem simply playing in the same town as the others, there were always too few to pull off any sort of teamwork beyond that.

 

OPS were just 2 guys blowing a FB by the time i unsubbed. my last squad night with lancers we softcapped a town with 2 flags in it, axis didn't even spawn.

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58 minutes ago, major0noob said:

in my last few weeks with BK there were only a handful on at a time, same with lancers.

never had any problem simply playing in the same town as the others, there were always too few to pull off any sort of teamwork beyond that.

 

OPS were just 2 guys blowing a FB by the time i unsubbed. my last squad night with lancers we softcapped a town with 2 flags in it, axis didn't even spawn.

In all fairness, BK's attendance is heavily dependent on FSJR02.   If he can't make BK likely won't be there either in any real numbers.

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The loss of squad numbers is multi-faceted, but wholly not responsible for the lose of the player numbers.  I will deal with the squad numbers issue.

I think some of the problem is has to do with the elimination of some of the things that squads had like squad missions.

I think a big issue was the elimination of TBS and the addition of AO placement, and less about "organization".  If you look at what squads did back when they where big a HUGE portion of the squad did was overstock or rather gather supply from surrounding towns then roll in. Some of the squad went to interdict supply etc..  It not only was a great time on TS and Chat, squads had a sense of ownership in the game along with individual players. The social aspect has a much larger draw than some realize. Some of these prior mechanics led to some of the most epic no mans land battles where two massive opposing forces met each other by accident.  I miss the day when while flying finding a massive Allied tank column rolling in on a town and yelling across side channel - 40+ tanks inbound to such and such town!! and then the scramble to defend.  I am not the only person who recognizes the impact of TBS to the brigade system, I just am not as vocal about it.  I also see that there can be a compromise as I do recognize the desires of the otherside of the Isle about the Brigade system and AOs.

 

Another portion of the equation is the leadership of squads.  Some players just have the ability to lead squads and the playerbase just responded to their call to action - they are natural game leaders.  Jselic is one of those people and when they are absent the squad cohesion tends to dry up leaving a core of squaddies.  AOs killed the original leadership of the 23rd armored and many of the 23rd left with them. However the 23rd did survive with about 30 active players under Mons and Jselic, and we formed AEF. Once Jselic left we still have Canukplf who does a great job but with J out, some of the AEF pb left, went back to their original squads or switched sides. We still have a core of about 12 ppl.  I am not saying that AO's are bad, however they did have a negative impact on the leadership of the large and megasquad leadership.  AO placement with in the game required HC.. replacing the natural leaders in a game setting with "artificial" leaders - something that upset the natural leaders with in the squad structure.  Especially sense many of the megasquad leaders had a much greater knowledge of the map and free reign to run their squads objectives then being reliant on less knowledgable HC to set those objectives.  I am not the only one who sees this which is why you see many of the OG players wanting squad missions back and squad based AOs.  SO how AOs impacted the squad...

As to break it all down as related to squads leaving out some of the things like squad missions.

1. TBS to TO&E eliminated the social aspect and ownership of squads.

2. AOs replaced natural leaders with artificial leaders stripping them of the ability to dictate their squads functions in the game.

3. TO&E and AOs together culled many of the natural leaders.  The loss of those leaders effected the cohesion of the squad and HC has yet to produce very few natural leaders.  IF they had produced the natural leaders I believe the impact of TO&E and AOs would have been a wash.  OR if those natural leaders freely joined the ranks of the HC instead of poopooing it and leaving squad cohesion would have stayed.  That's on us.  HOWEVER the idea that they would have stayed on as HC is ignoring basic human behavior outside of a regimented and regulated system. This is a game after all, no natural leader in a game wants his ability to dictate his squads behavior passed on to those who have not earned the respect of their squad.  This VERY important point was lost to the RATS 1.0.  I think they failed to see how important squads are to the game and how important it is to have worked with the squads on a compromise to change the game to the Brigade TO&E and AO structure.

 

I like the fact that Xoom recognizes there is something to this.  I still believe there is a better way to handle the transition back to the TBS system with AOs while allowing for the natural leaders to have the ability to lead the squads and squads to have their sense of ownership back.

 

1. The garrisoning - It is my personal opinion the way to structure this is for them to be used to supplement the Brigade - not the other way around which I think is the current model.

2. The Brigades would move the map - IE AOs from the brigade structure only.

3. Garrisons should always be one tier behind as not overshadow the Brigade strength.  IE in T3 - we are talking S75s, M10s, P4Gs and StugGs.  The Brigade should always be considered the hammer. Garrisons a way to slow the map down... overstocking garrisons can be a way to set a supply motor pool and even add the fog of war into the mix. A massively overstocked garrison just might be a hornets nest if you decide to go after it.  It can also be a supply pool for the brigade system, however they also could be a risk if you have depleted them to overstock your brigade.... who knows.

4. Overstock limits on RPATs however I am willing to relook at that once the audit is in, ATM they are way too powerful.

Limits on Brigade HQ overstock of top tier equipment.. IE, Matty, Char, StugB, CH7, TIger and S76s in their respective tiers simply because I want to avoid Matty and Tiger maps.  I also don't want to have TBS garrisons be mini-factories for top tier equipment.

5. I would suggest a compromise with squad AOs and HC.  Squad COs with a certain number of active squad players in the game should have the ability to place or have a say so with AO placement. Even some sort of squad missions - which I outlined in my proposal to have Non mission and Mission spawning. Something to think about.

6. Overstocking runs will bring back squad effort and ownership along with the social aspect that went along with it.

 

I believe these are the key ways to compromise between both the TO&E and TBS camps allowing squads to flourish.

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its the same for every squad though, only a handful on at any given time. the exceptions are squad nights and some guys like FSJR02 and Fox402 rallying.

the exceptions aern't the rule... there simply isn't enough people on to do stuff.

 

OP wants to know how we can fix it: in-game VOIP would help, so would a better chat and orders system. so squads can work as a team dynamically instead of needing to prepare in advance for teamwork

 

it's questionable if "squad only missions" will do anything for population, we can already use a spawn as a squad and do missions as a squad. it'll help squad OPS, but the problem of dwindling squad pop and participation will presist, if any benefit is made it'll be minor beyond OPS.

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3 minutes ago, major0noob said:

its the same for every squad though, only a handful on at any given time. the exceptions are squad nights and some guys like FSJR02 and Fox402 rallying.

the exceptions aern't the rule... there simply isn't enough people on to do stuff.

 

OP wants to know how we can fix it: in-game VOIP would help, so would a better chat and orders system. so squads can work as a team dynamically instead of needing to prepare in advance for teamwork

 

it's questionable if "squad only missions" will do anything for population, we can already use a spawn as a squad and do missions as a squad. it'll help squad OPS, but the problem of dwindling squad pop and participation will presist, if any benefit is made it'll be minor beyond OPS.

I think that's a very good point.  Squad only missions had a negative impact on the whole of the PB, however had a positive impact on the squad.  I had made a proposal for none mission spawning which could be used as a squad mission however it would not have all the perks to setting a mission.

The idea works like this.

Any towns static spawn point is a simple double click from the map.

All static spawn points become just windows into the supply pool held inside the town... IE you would see the brigades supply in the window... all the brigades. You would just select your equipment bypassing all the select side>brigade>mission>equipment. Instead you just select your equipment and spawn.. as a non-mission.  

How that can be used as a squad mission is that you could get your squad to gather on a non mission. Non missions are not broadcast to the playerbase. You can just tell them over chat or discord where to spawn. Then move out.  However missions would be required for the FMS.. thus not alienating the whole of the playerbase.

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You guys don't seem to realize that squads hold all the cards here, and that from their perspective they don't need to come back. Squads created most of the content, drove player engagement and retention, and trained new players. They even did most of the marketing and recruitment. Meanwhile the artificial leadership system of HC and brigades and AOs has been a total flop. The squad players moved on to other games, so trying to meet them halfway (or really like a tenth of the way from what I've seen) isn't going to entice them.

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42 minutes ago, david01 said:

You guys don't seem to realize that squads hold all the cards here, and that from their perspective they don't need to come back. Squads created most of the content, drove player engagement and retention, and trained new players. They even did most of the marketing and recruitment. Meanwhile the artificial leadership system of HC and brigades and AOs has been a total flop. The squad players moved on to other games, so trying to meet them halfway (or really like a tenth of the way from what I've seen) isn't going to entice them.

That's somewhat of an exaggeration, the new plan gives more back than 10%.  I am a squad centric player and have been around since the introduction of the Mac client... circa 2003. I also lean heavily toward the TBS and pre-TO&E.  I also understand what was wrong with the previous TBS style play.  There are also several aspect of the Brigade TO&E system I do like.  I believe I understand why both fail and what made both successful.  TBS pre AO was very squad friendly, and TO&E brigade system worked well for the chess player portion of the pb. I outlined what I believe to be a good compromise between the two camps of players without eliminating the things that drew the wide variety of player types. I cherry pick the best parts of both systems which would include squad growth, map maneuvering, HC leadership along with squad leadership and cohesion into the mix while keeping what made both systems successful... IE overstocking, TBS and brigades system as the tip of the spear.

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17 hours ago, fidd said:

Your post presupposes that the 'dwindling of squads' is a "problem" and implies that if it is one, that there must therefore be a "solution". Don't misunderstand me, I'm all for  squads, from the social side of things, but really, the "good old days" of pre AO's and Pre HC's were anything but, and that the hegemony of half a dozen very large squads on the previous occasion we had "town-based supply" may have been a barrel of laughs for members of those squads, but the gameplay was dire. Most battles consisted of getting the most possible armour to a town in the briefest possible period, to camp all cp's and especially ab's before defenders had a chance to learn of their arrival, much less spawn in.

This was called "superior tactics" but it was literally killing the game. AO's, EWS and HC's followed "swiftly", as CRS attempted to staunch the loss of players. The worst of it was that it became the only reasonably surefire way of taking a town, so each TZ tended to become dynamically unstable, ie as numbers moved away from balance, they became more so, and faster. The logical result of this was the 'Breakfast Club' in TZ3.

A return to town-based supply and squad-driven AO's will almost certainly see me unsub. It's been tried before and caused so many problems that CRS spent the next 3-6 years trying to correct them instead of generating new content. Returning to that is depressing beyond words.

What's needed are tools for ML's, tools for Squads, tools for OIC's and HC's, so that there's better communication both ways up and down the chain of command. Heck, 17 years after the game was begun we still have no  way for ML, OIC or HC (or indeed a squad officer) to mark on a map where he wants stuff, and other players be able to see it and comply. In short, the very basics of any kind of organisation are missing, and frankly, not greatly improved by being in squad either. If you want a reason why  squads "dwindled", that's it, right there. The communication tools are so poor in game that they allow for little more than a great snake of armour following the leader, followed by ultimately poor game-play. It was inevitable player numbers would drop.

Instead we have the prospect (or wet-dream) of a return to map-rolls and huge squads and a return to "the good old days". Lunacy.

Indeed my initial post does presuppose that the dwindling of squads is an issue, and that looking for a solution is a worthy goal.  I understand your association of a return of squads and the bad portion (or at least one of) of the old days---town-based supply (which I was never in favor of, I should add).  It is my belief that squads added to the ingame population, and that squads helped with player retention, and gameplay, overall.  For the record, a return of 'instaspawning armies' behind lines would be a horrible thing.

 

I don't believe a return of squads requires a return to town-based supply, although I do believe there's a better way (not part of this discussion, though) to handle supplies and/or AOs (there's alwasy a better way, right?).

 

Communication ingame has alwasy been a challenge, to be sure, and the game (I believe) is taking (or has taken) steps (finally?) to rectify some of them.  Marking stuff on a map...lol I remember that in order to produce anything resembling an actual plan of battle, (phase lines, directions of attack etc) required the use of microsoft paint, photoshop, or some other out of game tool, and I also recall that getting that information to people wasn't as easy as it could have been, either.  Ingame tools, especially the ability to mark stuff on a 'battleplan map' that others could see, would be helpful.

 

S!

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I joined a squad. But the only time I felt like it was cohesive and useful was during FB bust missions. Otherwise, it's just people running randomly towards depots and army bases. There seemed to be no advantage to working in small units of 5-6 guys working together in close formation.

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3 hours ago, saronin said:

In all fairness, BK's attendance is heavily dependent on FSJR02.   If he can't make BK likely won't be there either in any real numbers.

Honestly, there is a lot of truth in this statement.

From past experiences with squads, if one or two of the leaders weren't logged in game, the squad would mostly be off doing their own thing. I think a lot of players liked having a strong leader in game and were willing to follow them and craved the organization they provided. It also didnt help that some squads decided to use their own Team Speak servers, which made it more difficult to communicate between squads. A lot of the old squad leaders were HC and were busy moving Brigades and managing the map. Now instead of leading squads, they were some what forced to now lead their side. Some handled it, and  i'm sure some got burned out, after being blamed by some of the player base for bad Brigade moves and questionable AO's. So some of these squad leaders, log in less, don't bother logging in at all, or unsub and move on to other games. Without leadership, other squad members soon follow and do the same

BK was and is a great bunch of guys but when i was a member if FSJR wasnt ingame, there wasnt a whole lot of cohesion.

Same can be said when CE left AEF and then Jsilec stepped up. He hasnt been in game for over a year and AEF is a shell of it's former self. The list goes on and on and is not meant to insult or discredit any current members of either squad. 

I think in order for the game to flourish again, it starts with strong leaders in squads. Strong squad leaders will keep their members logging in and interested. The average player could care less about Brigades and AO's and HC. Just my opinion.

 

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I looked at an hour's worth of videos from HLL and PS and I saw nothing of the team or battelfield tools (so far, but I'm sure they'll improve) that people are clamoring about in here, apart from integrated VOIP (?). I saw some el neato graphics, structures and effects but the gameplay... not a big improvement. I'll take a persistent unlimited map with massive combined-arms potential any day in the week.  That said, I too would of course appreciate better graphics, better terrain, better everything - who wouldn't? 

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1 hour ago, augetout said:

Indeed my initial post does presuppose that the dwindling of squads is an issue, and that looking for a solution is a worthy goal.  I understand your association of a return of squads and the bad portion (or at least one of) of the old days---town-based supply (which I was never in favor of, I should add).  It is my belief that squads added to the ingame population, and that squads helped with player retention, and gameplay, overall.  For the record, a return of 'instaspawning armies' behind lines would be a horrible thing.

 

I don't believe a return of squads requires a return to town-based supply, although I do believe there's a better way (not part of this discussion, though) to handle supplies and/or AOs (there's alwasy a better way, right?).

 

Communication ingame has alwasy been a challenge, to be sure, and the game (I believe) is taking (or has taken) steps (finally?) to rectify some of them.  Marking stuff on a map...lol I remember that in order to produce anything resembling an actual plan of battle, (phase lines, directions of attack etc) required the use of microsoft paint, photoshop, or some other out of game tool, and I also recall that getting that information to people wasn't as easy as it could have been, either.  Ingame tools, especially the ability to mark stuff on a 'battleplan map' that others could see, would be helpful.

 

S!

Thankyou for taking my post seriously, and giving a considered sensible reply. Personally I have never understood why squad leaders, by and large, failed to join/remain in HC and lead through that mechanism. I recall at the time of HC being introduced there were a lot of toys threwn out of the cot, and several squad leaders at the time made some ill-advised statements of opposition to the HC system they subsequently felt unable to publically retract. However, I do not assert that this was entirely problem born out of this attitude. CRS were equally culpable in my view for the failure by:

Not making HC training a two-stage process whereby players could, after HC training, shadow a serving HC officer to understand what he did, and why, and why he didn't make certain map-moves. This would have led to a more gradual change between HC training and moving Brigades, as well as providing HC with willing hands on the ground who could communicate back up the chain of command with feedback on the status of attacks/defenses. Instead there was a sudden responsibility for  hundreds of players, and if mistakes were made, a tirade of confected abuse from squads who "could  have done it better" - but never did.

The other failure, was, as I said, the utter absence of ability for transmission of orders on the map. I'd suggest:

A different coloured set of "friendly" orders icons. These would be placeable by an attack or defense OIC, and would shew "where he wants" tanks/atg's/fms's etc. These could be changed in realtime by the OIC. ML's would have the ability to make a mission to one of these, and on deployment, if within (say) 300m of it, then the "order icon" would change to MSP icon". Similarly ML's could set "where they want stuff" but their "order icons" would only be visible to players on their mission. Orders set by the OIC would be visible to all ML's, but not to all players. 

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1 hour ago, bmbm said:

I looked at an hour's worth of videos from HLL and PS and I saw nothing of the team or battelfield tools (so far, but I'm sure they'll improve) that people are clamoring about in here, apart from integrated VOIP (?). I saw some el neato graphics, structures and effects but the gameplay... not a big improvement. I'll take a persistent unlimited map with massive combined-arms potential any day in the week.  That said, I too would of course appreciate better graphics, better terrain, better everything - who wouldn't? 

 

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Overall I agree with @fidd.  While there was certainly something special circa 2001-03, once the honeymoon phase wore off the population started to drop precipitously and that is ultimately why AOs and Brigades were even developed in the first place.  Their genesis wasn't some out-of-the-blue phenomenon, where CRS was trying to fix something that wasn't broken.  Their were flaws in the first version of the game and it only took a matter of time for them to become apparent.  

 

Likewise, roughly the same story same can be said of AOs and Brigade movement, and how they spawned the genesis of 1.36.  

 

Ironically, being in HC and leading an entire side is easier for me than leading many less overall players in a squad.  The guys who can keep squads together have a special ability that I admire in the few that possess it.  However, many of them have passed through the ranks of HC and everything worked out fine.  The squad leaders that bought into HC had no problems doing so.  

 

Because of the squad leaders in HC that I've seen make it work, it's obvious to me that the squad leaders that left the game chose not to buy in; they chose their personality cults over their team.  There was nothing stopping them from being successful with AOs and Brigades other than themselves.  

Edited by Capco

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"Thank you for taking my post seriously, and giving a considered sensible reply. Personally I have never understood why squad leaders, by and large, failed to join/remain in HC and lead through that mechanism. I recall at the time of HC being introduced there were a lot of toys threwn out of the cot, and several squad leaders at the time made some ill-advised statements of opposition to the HC system they subsequently felt unable to publically retract. However, I do not assert that this was entirely problem born out of this attitude. CRS were equally culpable in my view for the failure by:

Not making HC training a two-stage process whereby players could, after HC training, shadow a serving HC officer to understand what he did, and why, and why he didn't make certain map-moves. This would have led to a more gradual change between HC training and moving Brigades, as well as providing HC with willing hands on the ground who could communicate back up the chain of command with feedback on the status of attacks/defenses. Instead there was a sudden responsibility for  hundreds of players, and if mistakes were made, a tirade of confected abuse from squads who "could  have done it better" - but never did.

The other failure, was, as I said, the utter absence of ability for transmission of orders on the map. I'd suggest:

A different coloured set of "friendly" orders icons. These would be placeable by an attack or defense OIC, and would shew "where he wants" tanks/atg's/fms's etc. These could be changed in realtime by the OIC. ML's would have the ability to make a mission to one of these, and on deployment, if within (say) 300m of it, then the "order icon" would change to MSP icon". Similarly ML's could set "where they want stuff" but their "order icons" would only be visible to players on their mission. Orders set by the OIC would be visible to all ML's, but not to all players."---------Fidd

I feel at a bit of a disadvantage, (and a bit ashamed, I guess), in that my experiences ingame come (mostly) from that early period of 2001-2004.  I fear that entire 'generations' of players came in after I left, with many of them leaving before I came back.  Having said that, and being well aware that my experience with THIS particular version of wwiionline is as a rifleman trying a free account to see if the game is worth coming back to full boat, my goal in this discussion is to see what happened (and I think that a general consensus has appeared on that note), and what if anything can be done to make it better. 

 

The early AHC, of which I was a part, adhered to CRS' then dictum that our job wasn't to order folks around the map, but to help facilitate some semblance of organization without stepping on anyone's toes----basically an untenable position for most officers, I realize now, especially when (it turns out) our friends on the german side were basically ignoring CRS (which may or may not have been at least a part of the reason they stomped us so regularly back in the day).  Organized OPs required AHC Officers to communicate with squads, along with other Officers, in order to (first) 'cover the map', and then make positive gains wherever possible.  It was a bit of a dance trying to keep squads happy but it was possible.  I would say the early versions' ability to 'instaspawn armies' basically ruined the honeymoon period, at least for many of the hardcore Allied players.  Anyway,  now there's tools that seem to need improving, but squads have basically gone away (to other games, or to lonewolving, or whatever).  Quite the conundrum.  

 

Being an HC Officer required a bit more and a bit less than during my tenure.  Certainly we didn't have to train Officers on how to do AOs, but by the same token we definitely had to find a way, without many ingame tools, to get folks onboard with whatever strategy needed to be implemented.  This bred a few classes of Officers who were better at communicating and (perhaps) tactics.  Now Officers have to be more skilled at strategy, but as they control AOs, less skill is required in getting folks onboard with whatever is going on.  Having that in between group---squad officers, might help today's version of HC Officers even more than they helped 'my' generation of Officers, I dunno----I believe that would be the case but it's tough to say for sure, and until/unless squads are rebuilt it is nothing more than an untested theory.

 

I do know this:  When squads were more involved/present, members were proud of their individual units, along being proud of their Regiments, and Corps.  One need look no further than the forum sigs from back in the day to show this to be the case.  That 'espirit de corps' is missing now-----getting it back, whether it be via rebuilding squads, or making the units within the AOs matter, needs to get looked at.  Whereas before, I could message someone ingame and know by their Corps where they normally fought, how they normally fought, and what they were better (and worse) at, now that is no longer the case----I doubt anyone really pays any attention to which OrBat unit they are fighting for on a given mission.

I'll end the rambling, sorry.

S!

Edited by augetout

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44 minutes ago, Capco said:

Overall I agree with @fidd.  While there was certainly something special circa 2001-03, once the honeymoon phase wore off the population started to drop precipitously and that is ultimately why AOs and Brigades were even developed in the first place.  Their genesis wasn't some out-of-the-blue phenomenon, where CRS was trying to fix something that wasn't broken.  Their were flaws in the first version of the game and it only took a matter of time for them to become apparent.  

 

Likewise, roughly the same story same can be said of AOs and Brigade movement, and how they spawned the genesis of 1.36.  

 

Ironically, being in HC and leading an entire side is easier for me than leading many less overall players in a squad.  The guys who can keep squads together have a special ability that I admire in the few that possess it.  However, many of them have passed through the ranks of HC and everything worked out fine.  The squad leaders that bought into HC had no problems doing so.  

 

Because of the squad leaders in HC that I've seen make it work, it's obvious to me that the squad leaders that left the game chose not to buy in; they chose their personality cults over their team.  There was nothing stopping them from being successful with AOs and Brigades other than themselves.  

That's what I said, the Natural Leaders of the mega squads chose not to participate and instead left. That was on the pb not CRS. However the failure of the HC system was that it was not producing Natural leaders in enough volume to fix the void left.  The cult of personality is a fact that cannot be left out of the equation, it has to be worked with if you want to retain not just them but those who would go with them. Some of the OG did stay around but eventually left.  The problem is that the game needs players to feed the battleground and there have been many options on the table to include all the player types. Not just hand one side all the keys.  I think that route of compromise is really is in the best interest of everybody. 

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