augetout

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

78 posts in this topic

45 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.  

If squad leaders chose not to buy in, as you say, and I have no reason to dispute that, the questions of 'why', and 'how can we fix that problem' still exist.

 

I would say that AOs and Brigades were implented due in large part to HC Officers asking for it to happen----ending town-based supply was a goal of much of AHC from day 1, (myself included), as it was impossible to stop 1 opel with 1 INF from wreaking havoc on the map.  Town-based supply made battles largely unnecessary from a german point of view, thus their blitz-opel-krieg was decisive more often than not.  I am sure some german vets would want me to point out that not having very good counterparts to Chars and other such issues had something to do with dictating the opel-krieg tactic, but in the end, it made for poor gameplay, i.e. a lack of good battles.  As much as it was intimidating to see 10-20 panzers descending on one of our Allied cities, it was far better than watching german flags pop up 3 towns behind the lines and spreading from there, as at least it meant there would be an actual fight.

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12 hours ago, stankyus said:

....  I think that route of compromise is really is in the best interest of everybody. 

Can we have the  real  Stankyus back please? :P

Hehe. 

It seems there's some agreement now. The one point I'd like to pick up on was someone mentioned the "cult of personality" in relation to squad leaders. I think that's true in a wider sense though, ie, it's not limited to squads at all. There are some HC'ers for whom you'll drop what you're doing and try to comply with a request for blowing an FB or setting-up an FMS, and there are some for whom you'll do it when you've finished  what you were doing when they asked. For no other reason than you've formed a working relationship with them and their decisions and aims are more successful and timely than other HC'ers.

Success in this regard breeds success; conversely, these HC'ers (or indeed squad-leaders) can prevent a retreat turning into a rout, which is by far the better test of leadership in my view. Any damn fool can take towns at will by spamming the text-buffer when he has the advantage of numbers, the real test for both players and HC'ers is to "give ground, but not up".

AO's and Brigades made Squads less relevant, but only because (as a sweeping generalisation) there's no logical role for squads beyond the social now. Whilst I do have strong views about some of the worst excesses of squad behaviour pre AOs, I do think this is a shame. I'd like to see a role for squads between the player-base and HC, without AO powers, but with members  indoctrinated in Brigade movement and able to follow the decisions of HC. This would provide a ready pool of players who could go on to HCing, as well as useful "eyes" to keep feeding back information to the MAPCO about how attacks are going, supply issues and so forth.

More than anything however, we need far better map tools for HC'ers, OIC's and ML's, and for ML's, the ability to limit the units spawnable on their mission, and for that information to be searchable by players, so the player desiring to spawn a (for example) AAA gun, can find a mission specifically calling for these. This, more than any other measure, would allow ML's to make and transmit sensible orders and aims for the players on their mission. It's essentially impossible now, as the mission is nothing but a gateway to spawning in whatever the player wants to, and 9 times out of 10 with little or no relevance to what the ML wishes to achieve.

In other words, leadership and command is, and always has been, fundamentally broken. Where-after discussions of HC's, OIC's and indeed squads is, frankly, moot. The only reason the "cult of personality" method "worked" was that zerging the maximum possible kit to the town faster than defenders could react was about the limit of what could be achieved. There simply wasn't, and isn't, the scope for more nuanced game-play.

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53 minutes ago, fidd said:

Can we have the  real  Stankyus back please? :P

Hehe. 

It seems there's some agreement now. The one point I'd like to pick up on was someone mentioned the "cult of personality" in relation to squad leaders. I think that's true in a wider sense though, ie, it's not limited to squads at all. There are some HC'ers for whom you'll drop what you're doing and try to comply with a request for blowing an FB or setting-up an FMS, and there are some for whom you'll do it when you've finished  what you were doing when they asked. For no other reason than you've formed a working relationship with them and their decisions and aims are more successful and timely than other HC'ers.

Success in this regard breeds success; conversely, these HC'ers (or indeed squad-leaders) can prevent a retreat turning into a rout, which is by far the better test of leadership in my view. Any damn fool can take towns at will by spamming the text-buffer when he has the advantage of numbers, the real test for both players and HC'ers is to "give ground, but not up".

AO's and Brigades made Squads less relevant, but only because (as a sweeping generalisation) there's no logical role for squads beyond the social now. Whilst I do have strong views about some of the worst excesses of squad behaviour pre AOs, I do think this is a shame. I'd like to see a role for squads between the player-base and HC, without AO powers, but with members  indoctrinated in Brigade movement and able to follow the decisions of HC. This would provide a ready pool of players who could go on to HCing, as well as useful "eyes" to keep feeding back information to the MAPCO about how attacks are going, supply issues and so forth.

More than anything however, we need far better map tools for HC'ers, OIC's and ML's, and for ML's, the ability to limit the units spawnable on their mission, and for that information to be searchable by players, so the player desiring to spawn a (for example) AAA gun, can find a mission specifically calling for these. This, more than any other measure, would allow ML's to make and transmit sensible orders and aims for the players on their mission. It's essentially impossible now, as the mission is nothing but a gateway to spawning in whatever the player wants to, and 9 times out of 10 with little or no relevance to what the ML wishes to achieve.

In other words, leadership and command is, and always has been, fundamentally broken. Where-after discussions of HC's, OIC's and indeed squads is, frankly, moot. The only reason the "cult of personality" method "worked" was that zerging the maximum possible kit to the town faster than defenders could react was about the limit of what could be achieved. There simply wasn't, and isn't, the scope for more nuanced game-play.

I am not sure if you are directing the whole response to me but in case you are.  What I said was the HC was not filling the void left by the large and mega squad natural leaders.  We have had a few very successful HC officers who seemed to naturally attract players.  However you lacked comradery in those situations... and I have heard it over TS.  They want us involved and hear grumbling over TS.. but ultimately the question was thrown back to CE, Mons, Jselic or Canukplf.. "what do you want us to do?"  That's the crux of the situation.  I think AOs are helpful to control the excessive 1 guy, 1 opel causing havoc all over the map.  I know back when I was with the 3rd PZ, dinker would get 10 of us to go do these havoc causing mele's while the rest set up 88s and entered ABs full of tanks waiting on our first cap and mad spawning of allied tanks.  So I definitely see a place for the AO and ews.

 

I think better HC and MOIC tools are just a small portion of the equation.  A bigger portion of the equation IMO is a simplified UI for the rest of the PB.  Again I go back to the map clicking UI, towns static spawn points being just windows into the supply available and the mission/non-mission spawning.  The Brigade movement and AOs will still be up too HC.  I think that would have a bigger impact for moving the pb around the map over better MOIC and HC tools... so the solution would be to work both ends of the spectrum in that regard.

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I'd be interested to know what map tools you deem the most necessary, and an assessment of how effective these would be with and without ML spawn limitations (qv). I don't claim to be familiar with all other titles on the market, but so far I've seen only one interface offering a free pen marker used for drawing zones, lines etc - and I have no idea of how or if that tool actually makes a difference. 

E.g. the ability to paint a ZOC and routes to it seems natural and relatively easy to implement - but would players abide by the ML's battle direction? While some tool is better than none, I fear people will nevertheless largely just forge on and about without second thought. Tools, while desirable, are secondary to an engaging personality IMO.

As for HC and squads, there was never, far as I know, any obstacle for squad COs or driving squad personalities to join HC, thus to lay down AOs suitable for squad AND general playerbase needs. To the contrary, they were invited, formative and very much sought after. The real reason for squad migration lies elsewhere: in burn-out, in disappointment with the AO-induced loss of easy blitzing, in greener pastures and what have you.

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9 minutes ago, bmbm said:

I'd be interested to know what map tools you deem the most necessary, and an assessment of how effective these would be with and without ML spawn limitations (qv). I don't claim to be familiar with all other titles on the market, but so far I've seen only one interface offering a free pen marker used for drawing zones, lines etc - and I have no idea of how or if that tool actually makes a difference. 

E.g. the ability to paint a ZOC and routes to it seems natural and relatively easy to implement - but would players abide by the ML's battle direction? While some tool is better than none, I fear people will nevertheless largely just forge on and about without second thought. Tools, while desirable, are secondary to an engaging personality IMO.

As for HC and squads, there was never, far as I know, any obstacle for squad COs or driving squad personalities to join HC, thus to lay down AOs suitable for squad AND general playerbase needs. To the contrary, they were invited, formative and very much sought after. The real reason for squad migration lies elsewhere: in burn-out, in disappointment with the AO-induced loss of easy blitzing, in greener pastures and what have you.

One of the HC tools that could use a overhaul is a more defined and probably graphic way to set brigade movement and fall backs.  IE allow the HC to do a simple mouse over the town which shows tickets and fallback locations graphically - like a green line for pending movement and yellow or red for fallback designation. All the HC would have to do is move the line to the town associated with the brigade movement or fallback graphically.  Saves them from .dot commands and right clicking etc to check the brigade status and movement.  MB even have a color code denoting a visual status of the brigade strength like green for over 75% supply, yellow for 50% and red for under 25% avail to HC members.  MOIC could have a pen tool map to designate how he would like the pb to set the town up and mb even have a  topo associated with it.  These are some things that would simplify and allow HC to asses the map much easier and faster.

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If none of the real squad leaders liked being in or working with HC then it follows that if you want real squads back you need to get rid of all the BS associated with HC. 

 

Also not a good sign when people still don't realize why someone that puts in their free time to run a 50-person gaming group doesn't like having someone else with no investment boss them around and disrupting their game nights. This game is built around putting those that can't in charge of those that can, and so the squad leaders bailed on the game. Now the game is left with a bunch of roleplaying generals without underlings moaning about evil squads and personality cults.

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1 hour ago, david01 said:

If none of the real squad leaders liked being in or working with HC then it follows that if you want real squads back you need to get rid of all the BS associated with HC. 

 

Also not a good sign when people still don't realize why someone that puts in their free time to run a 50-person gaming group doesn't like having someone else with no investment boss them around and disrupting their game nights. This game is built around putting those that can't in charge of those that can, and so the squad leaders bailed on the game. Now the game is left with a bunch of roleplaying generals without underlings moaning about evil squads and personality cults.

Seriously David. Please stop being so absolute.  AEF has had MANY HC in it include our squad leaders.  CE, Mons, and Canukplf are or have been HC.  Prior I do believe Engine2 one of the founders if the 23rd Armored now AEF was HC.  There are several HC on the Axis side who have been or are squad COs.

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5 hours ago, bmbm said:

I'd be interested to know what map tools you deem the most necessary, and an assessment of how effective these would be with and without ML spawn limitations (qv). I don't claim to be familiar with all other titles on the market, but so far I've seen only one interface offering a free pen marker used for drawing zones, lines etc - and I have no idea of how or if that tool actually makes a difference. 

E.g. the ability to paint a ZOC and routes to it seems natural and relatively easy to implement - but would players abide by the ML's battle direction? While some tool is better than none, I fear people will nevertheless largely just forge on and about without second thought. Tools, while desirable, are secondary to an engaging personality IMO.

As for HC and squads, there was never, far as I know, any obstacle for squad COs or driving squad personalities to join HC, thus to lay down AOs suitable for squad AND general playerbase needs. To the contrary, they were invited, formative and very much sought after. The real reason for squad migration lies elsewhere: in burn-out, in disappointment with the AO-induced loss of easy blitzing, in greener pastures and what have you.

I think that ML spawn limiting is absolutely a pre-requirement for any kind of graphical orders system to function, as until that exists you'll have loads of different types of equipment on each and every mission, as now (from missions from FB or AB's). It is too much to ask for ML's to contend with issuing orders (that make any sense) to all those differently spawned players, and so they don't, or at least, the orders are do general in nature as to be near useless.

As to the map-tools:

For HC's, I shall not comment, but I daresay a list could easily be compiled. I've been out of HC for so long that I wouldn't like to comment. The HC's should nominate an OIC, or, any player of Lt Col rank can apply to be an OIC for an AO or DO. Once "okayed" by HC, he/she then gets the OIC map tools. In the case of an AO, he can apply for OIC-ship before the AO is placed by clicking on the town to be attacked. This gives him time to employ his map tools, the output of which would be visible to all HC's, and to all ML's spawning into missions to that town. The ML's in turn get map-tools, shewing their MSP location to to the OIC and all HC'ers. The detailed map markings made my ML's would only be visible to players on their mission. (so as not to clutter the map). Conversely, a regular player would only see map markings by his ML.

An exception to the above, could be that all map-marks from ML's or OIC's would be visible to all members of the same squad. So a lonewolf would only see map-marks from his ML, a squadded player would see all map-marks from all members of his squad, provided that the ML's or OIC were members of his squad. This would confer considerable advantage to squads taking tactical leadership in the form of ML's and especially the OIC position, without over-awing a new player with tons of map-marks. (Remember that lonewolves only see map-marks from their ML)

I propose that map marks simply be the same as we use for "enemy contacts", but a different colour,  and mirror-imaged and/or vertically inverted to the enemy contact marks. I would further suggest that there be a hotkey to cycle "enemy contact", "friendly contacts", "friendly orders", "all". The map tools could be fettled with over time, but that, coupled with spawn limitations, would be the bare-minimum that might work well, I suggest.

If each mission had icons to shew what the ML wanted spawned, and players could sort those missions by requested unit, this would help greatly because:

Then a player wanting to spawn (say) a PZII, could simply look for a mission not excluding the Pz II, and choose which of those he wanted to join. In effect missions would become logical groups fulfilling a role, or roles, dependant on what the ML was willing to "lead". So, a player that wanted to defend CP, would probably "allow all" to spawn, but, a mission from an AB might be for "AAA alone", or "ATGs alone", or "ATG's and infantry", and so on, with a defined purpose via the .orders command.

The important point is that spawn-limitations applied to missions could be changed in real-time, so in practice I'd expect initial defensive missions at a town to which an AO has been applied, to be "unlimited", but which the ML could apply restrictions to, if he wished, as time went on. Attacking missions would more likely be "limited" from the word go, but this would remain the choice of the ML. 

In short, the spawn-limitations and indeed map-marks would be an available tool for ML's, OIC's and HC's to elect to use, not a "hard" system to preclude any given player from spawning what he wants. If there's no mission calling for the unit he wants to play - very unlikely imho - then all he has to do is make a mission, as now.

Edited by fidd

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Sounds complicated <shrug>. In my personal opinion and experience, KISS rules.

This isn't rocket science, and making it so will likely be more a hindrance than a help. IOW, the more dohickeys the ML will have to manage - and the players supposed to check and expected to abide with - the less effect and the more frustration it will produce. As always, that's just my opinion and you're free to ignore it.

I do believe in teaming up before setting out however, which is sort of a spawn (or action) limitation. I think it comes more naturally for a fighter or a tank unit who is used to going out in strength with clear leadership and defined roles, than what it does for your random horde.

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7 hours ago, fidd said:

Can we have the  real  Stankyus back please? :P

Hehe. 

It seems there's some agreement now. The one point I'd like to pick up on was someone mentioned the "cult of personality" in relation to squad leaders. I think that's true in a wider sense though, ie, it's not limited to squads at all. There are some HC'ers for whom you'll drop what you're doing and try to comply with a request for blowing an FB or setting-up an FMS, and there are some for whom you'll do it when you've finished  what you were doing when they asked. For no other reason than you've formed a working relationship with them and their decisions and aims are more successful and timely than other HC'ers.

Success in this regard breeds success; conversely, these HC'ers (or indeed squad-leaders) can prevent a retreat turning into a rout, which is by far the better test of leadership in my view. Any damn fool can take towns at will by spamming the text-buffer when he has the advantage of numbers, the real test for both players and HC'ers is to "give ground, but not up".

AO's and Brigades made Squads less relevant, but only because (as a sweeping generalisation) there's no logical role for squads beyond the social now. Whilst I do have strong views about some of the worst excesses of squad behaviour pre AOs, I do think this is a shame. I'd like to see a role for squads between the player-base and HC, without AO powers, but with members  indoctrinated in Brigade movement and able to follow the decisions of HC. This would provide a ready pool of players who could go on to HCing, as well as useful "eyes" to keep feeding back information to the MAPCO about how attacks are going, supply issues and so forth.

More than anything however, we need far better map tools for HC'ers, OIC's and ML's, and for ML's, the ability to limit the units spawnable on their mission, and for that information to be searchable by players, so the player desiring to spawn a (for example) AAA gun, can find a mission specifically calling for these. This, more than any other measure, would allow ML's to make and transmit sensible orders and aims for the players on their mission. It's essentially impossible now, as the mission is nothing but a gateway to spawning in whatever the player wants to, and 9 times out of 10 with little or no relevance to what the ML wishes to achieve.

In other words, leadership and command is, and always has been, fundamentally broken. Where-after discussions of HC's, OIC's and indeed squads is, frankly, moot. The only reason the "cult of personality" method "worked" was that zerging the maximum possible kit to the town faster than defenders could react was about the limit of what could be achieved. There simply wasn't, and isn't, the scope for more nuanced game-play.

Oh absolutely.  @mattwitt and I were just talking about this thread last night when he mentioned the "cult of personality" that I first included in this discussion.  My very first counterpoint to him (playing devil's advocate) was "so aren't we just trading squad cults for HC cults, and if so, how is that inherently superior?"  

 

I also agree 100% about "give ground, but not up" and use that exact metric when gauging other leaders.  I know a former AHC CinC (who was generally well-liked).  One night when he was on map, I asked him about some fallbacks and if I could fix them.  Word for word, his response to me was "Dude, I don't even do fallbacks.  Like, I don't even know how.  When I'm online I take towns."  The obvious converse to that statement is "I am not online when we are losing towns" but I think it went right over his head.  

 

I see your point about squads not having a role, but I also disagree with it a bit too.  As a Map Officer, any squads present often play a critical role in how I run the map.  First and foremost, their requests are given priority whenever possible (more on that later).  Second, they form the foundation of any operational initiatives I am trying to accomplish for the side as a whole.  If I know AEF and Lancers are online in numbers but there are no 4-wing online, I instantly know what I have to work with and how to best utilize them as resources while putting them in optimal positions to be successful (in this case, we would have ample ground forces but may be lacking on air support, and so my AO choices may lean towards areas away from Axis AFs).  I think the issue here is a lack of clear "definition" for the roles, since the squads define it themselves more often than not.  

 

As far as tools, I couldn't agree more.  Again, this exact point popped up in my conversation last night in regards to zerging and the cult of personality.  Because the in-game situation has always fostered this behavior, the bigger squads naturally saw more individual success and thus their sense of self-importance rose disproportionately to their actual contributions.  For example, during one of 3rd Panzer's squad nights, they logged on and asked for an AO from the MOIC.  However, giving them an AO would have taken it from 30-40 people who had been working there for quite some time and were in the heat of action.  The MOIC asked them to wait until the conclusion of one of the current AOs (perhaps no longer than 15-20 minutes).  3rd Panzer responded by demanding the AO or logging off, saying that they were the single largest squad online (which was true; they had about 20ish online).  It is in cases like these where the MOIC has to look out for the best interests of as many players as possible and occasionally squads are denied their wishes in the short-term.  

 

In that situation, it would have been better for all involved if they just went to one of the current AOs and helped out their team until the MOIC gave them the word to setup the next AO of their choosing.  Squad still gets what they want without taking it from anyone else.  

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3 hours ago, stankyus said:

Seriously David. Please stop being so absolute.  AEF has had MANY HC in it include our squad leaders.  CE, Mons, and Canukplf are or have been HC.  Prior I do believe Engine2 one of the founders if the 23rd Armored now AEF was HC.  There are several HC on the Axis side who have been or are squad COs.

naw he has a point, there are way more squad officers than HC of any rank, and there always has been.

CE, Mons, and Canukplf are not on 24/7 representing their squad in HC.

 

there's no arguing HC has more power than squad officers too. in the past they ruined squad nights and undermine squads with their ability to place AO's and Supplies.

the problem isn't they're not working together or they're hating on each other; HC (regardless of who's in it) simply dictates everything and squads have no choice but to follow.

 

go ahead and talk about working together, they're really working for or around HC.

Edited by major0noob

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I would suggest that if your "squad-night is being ruined (by HC)" you:

1. Have totally unreasonable expectations for it, and.. 

2. Have a completely dysfunctional relationship with your HC.

It's always been my experience that HC's love to facilitate AO's/Brigade movements for squads, where that doesn't require insane risks, or be simply impossible due to limitations on moving Brigades. By and large if HC can't, they'll say so, and if the MOIC is asked in a sensible fashion, (and I don't  mean whingeing that "HC are crap" etc) they'll usually explain if they have the time to do so.

It is manifestly unreasonable to expect HC'ers to keep track of whose squad-night is when, and how many are likely to log on. Given that, a certain latitude is necessary to allow them to recognise your squad is having a squad-night and to try and fit in, as far as possible, with what you want to do. It is simply nuts  to expect them to drop the current AO's at your whim, and at the drop of a hat. If you can't see that, I would suggest your time would be better spent getting some ADHD medication or therapy, than ranting at HC.

A little forbearance, politeness and humility, a bit of "give and take", good manners and "I've got 25 guys on, what do you need?" (to start with) rather than "I've got 25 guys in, we want the current AO dropped and a new one at xyz - now - or we log" is going to work wonders.

To Capco:

I was saying that there "isn't currently a role for squads", not "there shouldn't be one". Big difference!

To Bmbm:

It is  complicated to explain, but would be easy  to use and flexible.

Basically, HC decides where the attack goes in,

a squad CO (in all likelihood) takes OIC. He marks his map with what he wants there.

(When he's ready)

HC applies AO

The ML's who can see his marks, make missions to try and comply with that, and their marks/FMS positions are seen by the OIC and the players on the ML's mission. So at all times there's a flow of information, in crude terms, "what's needed where" and "I have a mission to accomplish this" back and forwards. As the spawn-limitations take effect, each ML only has the units he needs spawning on his mission, which means he's now got a manageable task, he's no longer trying to manage infantry, armour, atg's and AAA to a task that only (say) requires infantry.

Once player's selection of a unit-type is in accordance with what the ML is asking for, a sea-change in teamwork becomes possible. If your ML wants nothing but AAA, then before long he'll have a number of self-selecting players on that mission spawned as AAA, and he can get a number of players operating together very effectively - and having fun. If players chose that mission to spawn what they wish, with the prospect of an ML who has a clear task in mind, they'll be much more likely to try and make that task a success.

 

Edited by fidd
clarity
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36 minutes ago, fidd said:

I would suggest that if your "squad-night is being ruined (by HC)" you:

1. Have totally unreasonable expectations for it, and.. 

2. Have a completely dysfunctional relationship with your HC.

this was 2-4 years ago when there were only 2 AO's max 3 and HC liked 3-5 hour AO's

nothing you said solves the fact that HC is clearly in charge and squads must work for HC, your wording makes it sound even worse man...

 

36 minutes ago, fidd said:

It is simply nuts  to expect them to drop the current AO's at your whim, and at the drop of a hat. If you can't see that, I would suggest your time would be better spent getting some ADHD medication or therapy, than ranting at HC.

AO's and supply are the property of HC and everyone must live with it. this is the problem...

there are problems in HC making it worse: no HC, slow or unresponsive, HC "in the know" logging and someone else taking over, some grand plan that has priority, softcaps, etc...

Edited by major0noob

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8 hours ago, major0noob said:

naw he has a point, there are way more squad officers than HC of any rank, and there always has been.

CE, Mons, and Canukplf are not on 24/7 representing their squad in HC.

 

there's no arguing HC has more power than squad officers too. in the past they ruined squad nights and undermine squads with their ability to place AO's and Supplies.

the problem isn't they're not working together or they're hating on each other; HC (regardless of who's in it) simply dictates everything and squads have no choice but to follow.

 

go ahead and talk about working together, they're really working for or around HC.

That's not what I was referring to. It was the use of "never". It's simply a false statement. It's hard to get past points while trying to filter out absolute statements.

 

Edit: not arguing the point about HC having more power than squad leaders. In fact I pointed it out and how it effects the natural leaders. Most of the time AEF responds to HC outside our squad. We did with dcoy, stghenning, dfadd... etc. not always but more than not. I have few HC I did not like, however we have recognized poor decisions and refused to participate in bad AOs, simply because success would most likely end in disaster later putting the side at a huge risk or because the AO gets us nothing but attritted brigades with zero tactical advantage.  AEF has map movers in the squad, very experienced players with a great deal of knowledge or has n the past and are well versed in the good and bad.  MB not the very best but map movers none the less.  Not in denial about personality difficulties between squad leaders and the MOIC. I know they exist. I also know there are some HC AEF rarely supports because success with thier leadership almost always means the second move is horrendous. Some are simply dictatorships that refuse reason.

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Fidd: Thanks for the clarification. The thing that makes it onerous is the variety and exclusion of marks. I think you have to make amends for inevitable mission creep and cooperation between sub-missions, and the need for overall situational awareness. Ideally, the mission selection window would include a better overview of the objective with more descriptive information of the sub-missions. Today at any given objective you see tons of missions but the only content indication you get beside the spawnpoint is the ML name, activity bar and MS marker. If these missions were also portrayed graphically and with a headline, both in a list and on the objective map, you'd make a more informed choice. 

E.g.

Spontin (AO)
KG Anton - Center screen - Infantry, Pak and Sdkfz 251 only - ML name - activity - MS 
--- KG Cesar - Left flank - Infantry and Sdkfz 251 only - ML name - activity - MS 
--- KG Dora - Flak - AA, Sdkfz 7, infantry - ML name - activity - MS 
--- KG Friedrich - Right flank - Flak 36, Sdkfz 7, Sdkfz 232 - ML name - activity - MS 
KG Berta - Panzer centre - any panzer - ML name - activity - MS 
--- KG Gustav - Panzer interdiction - PzIIIF - ML name - activity - MS

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I like a lot of these suggestions, but no matter what, in reality I think large squad based play has gone the way of the Dodo bird.  Sure you have a couple mega squads which I feel a lot of players don't necessarily want to join because they might feel they lose their identity, but I think the future is smaller squads of up to 10-15 players who are active in the game. Even then it's tough. Just check the recruitment forums, you'll hardly find any responses. Perhaps use forum links posted in the chat bar. I think everyone who subs or resubs get an email welcoming them, perhaps that would be a good time to provide a link to the forums too. Lastly, maybe it's time free play and starter accounts (maybe starter accounts already have access?) have access to the full forums. I just think you need to start with the smaller ideas before you plan of shaking up OIC's and AO's.         

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17 hours ago, Capco said:

Oh absolutely.  @mattwitt and I were just talking about this thread last night when he mentioned the "cult of personality" that I first included in this discussion.  My very first counterpoint to him (playing devil's advocate) was "so aren't we just trading squad cults for HC cults, and if so, how is that inherently superior?"  

its a cult game.  there are small cults around stat/weapons players (czeska, hathcock, catfive, squidrd <your favourite here>);  other cults around HC mapmovers (dfadd, fenir, potthead, ce, henning, dcoy, dinker, loonie <your name here>); and other cults around squads; KGW, 23rd, Schwartz Trucking, <all your squad names here>).  I think there are even cults waiting for the return of stairways to rooftops, 2D buildings, climbable trees and 'hard' forests. 

my personal cult favourite was Bud4U of 23rd who flew C-47s by so calculated and exact long/lat, ground height and air speed that he could drop 10 paras from 300m into the little high-walled porch leading into the old white concrete bunkers beside the air raid siren. 

Image result for cult posters

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19 hours ago, stankyus said:

Seriously David. Please stop being so absolute.  AEF has had MANY HC in it include our squad leaders.  CE, Mons, and Canukplf are or have been HC.  Prior I do believe Engine2 one of the founders if the 23rd Armored now AEF was HC.  There are several HC on the Axis side who have been or are squad COs.

Well the game is in an absolute situation. There are are two relevant possibilities at this point:

1. big squads are here, bringing subs, content, and free marketing

2. big squads aren't here

Even if you know some guys that were willing to be both the leader of a MMO guild as well as an unpaid game admin, that doesn't mean it's a viable concept. CRS wasn't able to replicate or even sustain that behavior despite years of tweaks and changes. It's a bunch of "Would've, could've should've" at this point.

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2 hours ago, david01 said:

Well the game is in an absolute situation. There are are two relevant possibilities at this point:

1. big squads are here, bringing subs, content, and free marketing

2. big squads aren't here

Even if you know some guys that were willing to be both the leader of a MMO guild as well as an unpaid game admin, that doesn't mean it's a viable concept. CRS wasn't able to replicate or even sustain that behavior despite years of tweaks and changes. It's a bunch of "Would've, could've should've" at this point.

David, ask your self.. how long has TO&Es, Brigades and AOs been around and are we still around?  Secondly after they where added the Subs actually went up.  Thirdly, your absolute had ZERO to do with what you stated previously.. It had to deal with the phrase "none of the real squad leaders".  You speak of absolutes but then qualify Squad leaders to whom you would describe only as the real ones? Why? so you can argue which ones are considers "real" if someone presents squad leaders who are in HC?  Here is a fact for you, if you are in a squad and are the CO of the squad you are in fact a REAL squad leader period. It does not matter if you have 2 ppl or 200 in your squad. Be consistent.

 

All said and done, squads DO and have been responsible for player retention by and large and it is my opinion they have a very important part of the game. 

 

TBH I think you are being unfair.  Even though I don't agree with some of the decisions by CRS and I have made my disagreements both in the forums and privately with Xoom, If you ask him I would bet he would tell you that I am not his favorite person. I dont think I would have a leg to stand on arguing that the RATS or the game is a load of would of/should of. Not this crew.  I guess no good dead goes unpunished.

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your missing his point

On 1/11/2018 at 0:03 PM, david01 said:

If none of the real squad leaders liked being in or working with HC then it follows that if you want real squads back you need to get rid of all the BS associated with HC. 

 

Also not a good sign when people still don't realize why someone that puts in their free time to run a 50-person gaming group doesn't like having someone else with no investment boss them around and disrupting their game nights. This game is built around putting those that can't in charge of those that can, and so the squad leaders bailed on the game. Now the game is left with a bunch of roleplaying generals without underlings moaning about evil squads and personality cults.

not every squad officer is in HC. HC has absolute control over where to fight.

squads have no choice but to obey HC or have someone in HC, either way it's up to HC. it's a absolute cause it's a in-game rule, squad leaders can't generate activity without HC. hell the game goes catatonic without HC even if there are squad leaders on.

 

 

4 hours ago, david01 said:

Even if you know some guys that were willing to be both the leader of a MMO guild as well as an unpaid game admin, that doesn't mean it's a viable concept. CRS wasn't able to replicate or even sustain that behavior despite years of tweaks and changes.

at this point only the squad leaders that worked in or with HC smoothly are left, its survivorship bias like the historic American bomber armor, or the in-game tankers that sit 1km+ out, and ATG gunners.

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1 hour ago, stankyus said:

Here is a fact for you, if you are in a squad and are the CO of the squad you are in fact a REAL squad leader period. It does not matter if you have 2 ppl or 200 in your squad.

It certainly does matter. The little squads left in the game are too small to train new players. They either won't or can't run serious ops. Beliefs like this are why the game is struggling.

 

You might as well compare a few people that periodically get together for a frisbee game with an organized football team as if they're the same thing. I think that instead of compromising with the existing failed system just ask current/former squad leaders what they need to grow as big and as fast as possible, then implement as much as CRS can. It's not a good idea to listen to the guy with a five-person squad because he has a dramatically different perspective, and also because that's how the game got in its current low-population slump. Not like they have much to lose anyway.

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29 minutes ago, david01 said:

It certainly does matter. The little squads left in the game are too small to train new players. They either won't or can't run serious ops. Beliefs like this are why the game is struggling.

 

You might as well compare a few people that periodically get together for a frisbee game with an organized football team as if they're the same thing. I think that instead of compromising with the existing failed system just ask current/former squad leaders what they need to grow as big and as fast as possible, then implement as much as CRS can. It's not a good idea to listen to the guy with a five-person squad because he has a dramatically different perspective, and also because that's how the game got in its current low-population slump. Not like they have much to lose anyway.

David, does the term "breakfast club" mean anything to you?  I say that simply because I was a part of the breakfast club back in the hay day of the mega squad. Low pop TZ3 has always been low pop.  The Allies would have 5-10 ppl playing during that time and the Axis 30-50.. Sounds familiar.  I would say that it has been more the rule than the exception.

I have no argument what so ever about the benefits and IMHO necessity to focus on handing back some of the powers and abilities back to the squads.  HOWEVER.. I can tell you that the 3rd PZ had several active HC officers through the transition to the Brigade system. 3rd PZ crumbled after Dinker left. I moved over to a Stuka squad and it dissolved after our CO left due to life matters, IIRC his father had cancer. His mother played in our squad but I cannot remember for the life of me what his name was. We had 26 active ppl in it and ran stuka operations with Zcasts crew flying excort for many of the operations.   The 23rd had 7 active HC officers at that time including our CO.  Even when I became XO of the squad we fluxed between 5 to 8 HC in the squad.  Now as XO for AEF we have IIRC 5 HC in the squad, including our CO.   As for small squads being influential - I point you to the old Blackhand - they had mb 15 ppl.. Moz, Catfive, TBomber, Monster etc. IIRC Catfive was HC also and Catfive is an or was an exceptional HC officer and map mover. Blackhand was no trifle to deal with, they where dangerous but few in number. 

 

I do believe there is a lot to cherry pick that made both systems a success and the RATs have identified several areas of the successes and from what I read are working on it. Who knows how its going to pan out, but I'm not going to panic.  I also have the confidence that the RATs are listening and reading, however there has to be a compromise between the two supply movement IE TBS/Brigades and between HC and Squads in the process.

 

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On ‎1‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 2:21 PM, Capco said:

As far as tools, I couldn't agree more.  Again, this exact point popped up in my conversation last night in regards to zerging and the cult of personality.  Because the in-game situation has always fostered this behavior, the bigger squads naturally saw more individual success and thus their sense of self-importance rose disproportionately to their actual contributions.  For example, during one of 3rd Panzer's squad nights, they logged on and asked for an AO from the MOIC.  However, giving them an AO would have taken it from 30-40 people who had been working there for quite some time and were in the heat of action.  The MOIC asked them to wait until the conclusion of one of the current AOs (perhaps no longer than 15-20 minutes).  3rd Panzer responded by demanding the AO or logging off, saying that they were the single largest squad online (which was true; they had about 20ish online).  It is in cases like these where the MOIC has to look out for the best interests of as many players as possible and occasionally squads are denied their wishes in the short-term.  

No offense, but without specific details this sounds like a "this one time at band camp" story.  In my experience 3PZG made up most of the HC online when they were on anyway and so were calling the shots by default.  I don't buy into the whole HC versus the squads thing.  Rather, I think the crappy game dynamics that TOEs presented and still present were/are more responsible for the loss of players as a whole.  People signed up for a first person shooter game, not a sit in a CP and cap it with no opposition game.

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1 hour ago, stankyus said:

David, does the term "breakfast club" mean anything to you?

cWI4GUL.jpg

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