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augetout

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

81 posts in this topic

16 hours ago, saronin said:

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.

Yah, I don't remember in my time with the 3rd plz a revolt and log. I do remember a few times dinker  having his AOs cancelled by other higher ranking HC After we spent time setting up and we went ahead and picked a fight with no AO. Then refuse to participate with certain HC on AOs. Dinker was HC, and GHC had a lot of in fighting, personality conflicts etc. Usually the 3rd plz had the ranking HC on but not always. Dinker would throw his weight around with uncooperative HC. we would just go do our own thing. I was not there at the end, I had been kicked out for playing allied one map mb 6 months before dinker left. I think swiftcut who was also a natural leader in the 3rd pz left a year later and that pretty much was the end of 3rd pz. So it is possible that dinker might have logged in protest, he had left HC and was getting more irritated on TS well before I left the squad.

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On ‎12‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 9:30 AM, bmbm said:

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

That works for me. Although, I wanted to avoid presenting players with too much information. It should be enough for most players to see what their ML wants them to achieve and where friendlies are. If a player becomes and ML then he should see what the OIC wants achieved, and where he wants xyz. I wanted to give squads more functionality in this regard.

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On ‎12‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 10:33 PM, Pittpete said:

"Squads are and will always be the backbone of this game."

....with every vertebra fused solid, inflexible and [censored] all use as a spine

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I only played for a short period in 2017, so I'm not qualified to discuss historical matters.  What I would like to do, however, is add a data point by explaining why I didn't join a squad, and probably wouldn't join a squad.

1)  Virtually every squad expects/demands voice comms of some sort.  My house isn't particularly large.  Due to timezones and server activity levels, the only time I could play with even a half-decent amount of friendlies online was after midnight.  I simply can't talk during those times because it will wake the little lady.  Her sleep is more important than my entertainment.

2)  I didn't see the point.  HC sets the objectives.  I could see them on my screen.  Squads would seem ideally placed to do things like "strike behind enemy lines" — but that is actually prevented by the game mechanics.  Globally visible (and extremely limited numbers of) AOs eliminate any ability for small groups of players (e.g. squads) to pursue covert objectives.  Squad objectives == public HC objectives >> squads are irrelevant.

3)  Strategy seemed one-dimensional (from the trenches).  Whether HC is active or not, and whether HC is effective or not, there only seems to be one strategy — capture facilities so that you can capture towns.  So every match ends up being a close quarters firefight where running around with an SMG is the only playstyle/unit that is viable.  That's fine if you live in the US and have a 20ms ping to the servers, but is virtually impossible if you live in a different country with 150ms+ pings.  Didn't make a difference if you were covering a staircase from the top floor and dumped half a mag into the head of an enemy player the instant he appeared... he'd still run up, turn around, shoot and kill you ... before keeling over himself.  I couldn't see how being in a squad would actually change any of that and allow me to enjoyably participate in 90%+ of the 'action' dictated by one-dimensional strategic objectives.

4)  Whilst a good number of those in HC seemed competent, only a small number actively encouraged/fostered alternate playstyles (and by that I mean anything apart from players getting trucks and setting up FBs to move the spawn up, and CQB over facilities).  When HC was inactive, the ratio of self-appointed 'leaders' that pursued one-dimensional strategies/playstyles tended to explode, and the amount they cared about you actually enjoying the game tended to fall through the floor.  At least if you're a un-squadded 'lone wolf', you have a chance of avoiding the attention, pressure and abuse from players who think that there is only one way to play the game.  If you're in a small squad, then your ability to 'do your own thing and just enjoy the game' drops to zero.

5)  Scheduling.  Life gets 'messy' when you get older.  You no longer have 16 hours a day to spend indulging yourself in hobbies.  You grab what time you can, when you can.  Much/most of this is unpredictable from one day to the next.  The mere idea of rigidly-scheduled "squad nights" is virtually unimaginable.  If you can't regularly play with your squad, and thus you miss out on most/all of the 'organised events', then, really, what's the point?

6)  Suspension of disbelief.  I play Axis.  Even if it was possible to join a squad that didn't force you to speak using voice comms, and even if your squad leader was happy for you to just listen in (using headphones) and acknowledge orders via chat, merely hearing English-speaking players would totally ruin any suspension of disbelief and thus any immersion that may have been possible.  Every single time anyone spoke, it would be a jarring jolt back into reality and a reminder that you are playing a game.  My experience in other games has been that voice comms in groups/raids/squads always ends up being a never-ending stream of micromanaging and/or off-topic inane chatter.  That just ruins it completely for me.  If I could join a German squad and just listen in on the other players, that would be fine.  I'd have no idea what was going on, and would be useless as a result, but at least the voices would be authentic and would serve to suck me further into the game instead of ripping me out of it every couple of seconds.

I think that covers the main points/issues I wanted to raise.

The above accurately reflects my experience and views.  Whilst I don't expect anyone to relate to all of the above, I'm sure that most people can relate to some of it.  All I'm trying to do is highlight some factors that don't seem to have been discussed (much) so far.

For me to even entertain the idea of joining a squad:

  • I'd need to move to a different timezone/country
  • I'd need a bigger house with a dedicated (acoustically-insulated) games room
  • I'd need to dump Axis and play Allies
  • (Limited) AOs would need to be removed from the game or seriously reworked
  • There would need to be more viable playstyles/units than CQB/SMG
  • Squads would need to be able to tackle meaningful covert objectives (that didn't involve capping facilities)
  • Squad leaders would need to realise that player enjoyment is more important than strategic/tactical objectives — if players aren't having fun, winning is pointless;  winning and having fun are two different things
  • I'd have to quit my job, retire, divorce my wife, disown my family, or otherwise find some way to free up large slabs of the future so they can be allocated to scheduled squad events

Realistically, I don't see much chance of even a fraction of that happening...

Thanks for listening.

Edited by ottomatic1

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58 minutes ago, ottomatic1 said:

I only played for a short period in 2017, so I'm not qualified to discuss historical matters.  What I would like to do, however, is add a data point by explaining why I didn't join a squad, and probably wouldn't join a squad.

1)  Virtually every squad expects/demands voice comms of some sort.  My house isn't particularly large.  Due to timezones and server activity levels, the only time I could play with even a half-decent amount of friendlies online was after midnight.  I simply can't talk during those times because it will wake the little lady.  Her sleep is more important than my entertainment.

2)  I didn't see the point.  HC sets the objectives.  I could see them on my screen.  Squads would seem ideally placed to do things like "strike behind enemy lines" — but that is actually prevented by the game mechanics.  Globally visible (and extremely limited numbers of) AOs eliminate any ability for small groups of players (e.g. squads) to pursue covert objectives.  Squad objectives == public HC objectives >> squads are irrelevant.

3)  Strategy seemed one-dimensional (from the trenches).  Whether HC is active or not, and whether HC is effective or not, there only seems to be one strategy — capture facilities so that you can capture towns.  So every match ends up being a close quarters firefight where running around with an SMG is the only playstyle/unit that is viable.  That's fine if you live in the US and have a 20ms ping to the servers, but is virtually impossible if you live in a different country with 150ms+ pings.  Didn't make a difference if you were covering a staircase from the top floor and dumped half a mag into the head of an enemy player the instant he appeared... he'd still run up, turn around, shoot and kill you ... before keeling over himself.  I couldn't see how being in a squad would actually change any of that and allow me to enjoyably participate in 90%+ of the 'action' dictated by one-dimensional strategic objectives.

4)  Whilst a good number of those in HC seemed competent, only a small number actively encouraged/fostered alternate playstyles (and by that I mean anything apart from players getting trucks and setting up FBs to move the spawn up, and CQB over facilities).  When HC was inactive, the ratio of self-appointed 'leaders' that pursued one-dimensional strategies/playstyles tended to explode, and the amount they cared about you actually enjoying the game tended to fall through the floor.  At least if you're a un-squadded 'lone wolf', you have a chance of avoiding the attention, pressure and abuse from players who think that there is only one way to play the game.  If you're in a small squad, then your ability to 'do your own thing and just enjoy the game' drops to zero.

5)  Scheduling.  Life gets 'messy' when you get older.  You no longer have 16 hours a day to spend indulging yourself in hobbies.  You grab what time you can, when you can.  Much/most of this is unpredictable from one day to the next.  The mere idea of rigidly-scheduled "squad nights" is virtually unimaginable.  If you can't regularly play with your squad, and thus you miss out on most/all of the 'organised events', then, really, what's the point?

6)  Suspension of disbelief.  I play Axis.  Even if it was possible to join a squad that didn't force you to speak using voice comms, and even if your squad leader was happy for you to just listen in (using headphones) and acknowledge orders via chat, merely hearing English-speaking players would totally ruin any suspension of disbelief and thus any immersion that may have been possible.  Every single time anyone spoke, it would be a jarring jolt back into reality and a reminder that you are playing a game.  My experience in other games has been that voice comms in groups/raids/squads always ends up being a never-ending stream of micromanaging and/or off-topic inane chatter.  That just ruins it completely for me.  If I could join a German squad and just listen in on the other players, that would be fine.  I'd have no idea what was going on, and would be useless as a result, but at least the voices would be authentic and would serve to suck me further into the game instead of ripping me out of it every couple of seconds.

I think that covers the main points/issues I wanted to raise.

The above accurately reflects my experience and views.  Whilst I don't expect anyone to relate to all of the above, I'm sure that most people can relate to some of it.  All I'm trying to do is highlight some factors that don't seem to have been discussed (much) so far.

For me to even entertain the idea of joining a squad:

  • I'd need to move to a different timezone/country
  • I'd need a bigger house with a dedicated (acoustically-insulated) games room
  • I'd need to dump Axis and play Allies
  • (Limited) AOs would need to be removed from the game or seriously reworked
  • There would need to be more viable playstyles/units than CQB/SMG
  • Squads would need to be able to tackle meaningful covert objectives (that didn't involve capping facilities)
  • Squad leaders would need to realise that player enjoyment is more important than strategic/tactical objectives — if players aren't having fun, winning is pointless;  winning and having fun are two different things
  • I'd have to quit my job, retire, divorce my wife, disown my family, or otherwise find some way to free up large slabs of the future so they can be allocated to scheduled squad events

Realistically, I don't see much chance of even a fraction of that happening...

Thanks for listening.

Very good insight analysis from a « noob »! S!

As an original hardcore squad-player myself, today most of these reasons prevent me of being fully involved in any squad (if their remained one within the French speaking community...).

Still, my current experience is about 30% as fun as I lived within a squad. 

This is why I believe that teamplay must be improved to allow improvised squad-like actions without its constraints. And let real squads be allowed to live their own life like before, in order to see alternative roleplay-style modes of playing the game that brings variety regarding the fun factor but not specifically regarding winning tactics, indeed. Although a squad will always better perform than LWs.

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Over the last 2-3 months 90% of DDZ has quit the game and a couple from Bk aswell.  DDz has some active players still but a lot of us just got bored with the game to be honest. 

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