Proximity-based AO: giving back map freedom

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Time to get discussions going on again as 1.36 is coming along :)

IMO, I believe for 10 years now that the current AO design isn’t adequate and contributed to drastically decrease our squad activities. 

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I will take a stab at it looking from a 1.36 perspective where there is no more flag shuffling and soft capping. First and foremost I think it is important to realize that if we really want squads to make a comeback, there has to be a 100% guarantee that at the time and place of their choosing they will always have an AO to place. No squad is going to roll the dice and hope that maybe this squad night they will get lucky and finally get an AO. If this is any short of 100% you will see squads wither away again because nobody wants to take all the time to plan an operation and then not be able to execute it.

At the same time we have to think of ways that the system can be exploited and how to take into account special situations such as low-pop and numbers imbalance. The solution to this potential issue, however, is not to place a ceiling on the maximum number of AOs for the reasons I stated above. Hard limits would be a deal breaker for squads, and interestingly, for new players as well since during the steam release my squaddies said how many new players wanted to start their own attacks but were frustrated they couldn't and that they didn't "get" the whole HC system.

In other words, the system has to be simple and understandable by your average players and especially new players. If we can't communicate to new players in less than 10 seconds how to attack a town there is a problem. That said here we go:



1) AO automatically placed when EWS above threshold (don't complicate by adding in an OIC middleman)

2) No concurrent AO limits (see above reasoning)

3) EWS with active (non-AFK) players needed to sustain AO

4) AO automatically removes when players fall below certain threshold (with time lag/warning)

5) Time lag to allow placement and smaller lag to prevent it from being immediately lost if someone logs off



10 players within 1000m CP to initiate AO, 5 players within 300m to sustain AO (players must no be AFK to avoid 2nd accounts gaming the system)

5 minutes between EWS going off and AO being placed

No change in table/AB timer rules (not point of this thread but would be tweaked)

Players drop below maintenance threshold, there is a 3 minute warning, then AO goes away and  need to get 10 infantry.

10 minute cool-down timer between AO going away and repeat one being placed.


Ways to prevent the system of being exploited: currently if a group of 10 players sets an AO and they want to immediatly despawn and set up another AO this happens:

00:00 10 players in EWS range Town A > 5 minutes until AO placed

00:05 AO placed Town A > then 10 minutes until tables are hot (15 minutes for defenders to respond)

           10 players despawn in attempt to exploit system and set another AO in Town B

00:06 System registers players in Town A AO are below threshold > 5 min warning timer starts

00:07 10 players get into EWS range at Town B > 5 min AO timer

00:11 AO removed Town A

00:12 AO placed Town B > 10 minutes until tables hot


The idea is that you have the timer set where it takes longer to get the AO placed than it does to have it removed. This way anyone trying to exploit it will be chasing their tail with AOs going down faster than they can put them up. A few other points: players would likely try to exploit this system by having a FMS pre-set within range via a 2nd account, so that you could fast switch. However, it still takes some time to despawn, get in another mission, and spawn in. Another important point is that AFK players do not count toward the minimum number needed to sustain the AO.

How to solve the issue of population imbalance? The AO # required to set and sustain and dynamic and change with the population balance. The idea is that you want to have roughly the same amount of AOs and DOs per side. I would adjust both the initiation number as well as the sustaining number for the overpop side (more needed to initiate and sustain). So the way it would work is look at the underpop side and see how many total active players there are and then normalize it, so that if the overpop side has 10% more players, they need 10% (rounded up) to initiate the AO and to sustain it; so in that situation it would be 11 and 6.

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