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major0noob

"generating activity" game philosophy/attitude, can it be directed to the FMS

135 posts in this topic

1 hour ago, XOOM said:

yes it will alienate non-Squad members from participating which adversely affects the new user experience.

Perhaps i didnt explain it well

The squad mission can be seen be EVERYONE

The SQUAD Mission Leader(SML) can accept/refuse a player requesting to join the mission

 

31stWC sets a squad mission

Merlin51 is the SML

Non squadddie Pittpete requests to join the mission to blow FB x as an Engineer

Merlin51 gets a PM or message that Pittpete wants to join.

Merlin51 replies and asks Pittpete  to spawn an LMG because there are already 10 Engineers spawned in.

Pittpete(noob) spawns an LMG and joins the mission.

The squad directs Pittpete to cover the infantry spawn with his LMG.

This is instant teamwork.

Pittpete says wow this squad has its crap together.

I think i'd like to join the 31stWC because their comms are good.

Now if Pittpete spawns in on the squad mission and runs around throwing smoke and acting like a [censored] then Merlin51 will think twice before allowing Pittpete on the next squad mission.

Rinse,wash and repeat.

I don't understand how players are alienated?

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1 hour ago, Pittpete said:

Also noone is being alienated from joining a squad mission unless they are a known troublemaker.

-Set a mission at an FB for armor and ask everyone to hold up and 1 or 2 guys say screw that and drive to town setting off EWS.

-Set up an FMS and joenoob spawns and throws smoke all over and pisses everyone off

-setup an FMS and watch a guy stand there with his map out for 10 minutes doing you know what?

Those are the little things that call for patience and planning and players working together.

 

with good leaders, growing and leading their squads / its members participating with maximum effort

Squads will grow when players join their missions and see how organized they actually are.

Once they get larger, naturally more leaders are born.

squads were trying to do this with 3min build times, there were complaints in game for 2 months about having trouble making them, then people just stopped logging in

 

if a squad wants to make a spawn they've always been free to do so. with the current amount of FMS's if and when a squad makes one it's likely the only one at the AO

that's how it's alienating

 

squads used their own FRU's for years, now with the FMS if there's one up it's the only one or one of the 2-3

squads not having FMS's isn't the problem, not having FMS's in-game is the problem. everyone's forced to use a squads FMS

 

 

Edited by major0noob

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I don't want to beat the dead horse or sound like a broken record, but I have to bring attention back to the AO mechanic.

With AOs there is that constant danger that when your squad logs in there may not be an available AO at that time for any number of reasons. I've been there when the MapOIC had to make the call and say "sorry no AO, we are attacking up north."

Its not the map OIC fault, he just did what was best. But I created havoc with running a squad which is built on the premise of squad initiative at the time and place the squad deems fit.

I think that even with elaborate tweets to the AO systemic will be impossible to guarantee squads the ability to attack on their own terms. And it wo t take many weekends if AO-less squad nights to have ppl not bother to log in.

I fully understand that there are real drawbacks and unintended co sequences of an AO-less system circa 2005, but I think there are tangible solutions to the individual problems that plagued the old system, mainly: behind the lines caps, pre camping, moling large cities, and difficulty with new players to find where the action is. But those are addressable issues with linked-town capping, rear FBs, breaking up large towns and contesting/capture timers.

No need to through the baby out with the bath water. Until squads, large and small, can again man a sector of the front that they call "theirs" and have the tactical flexibility outside of HC when and where to attack, then there is little incentive for squads to put in the long and hard upfront time investment to organize a squad op.

 

EDIT: As I said before, I believe in the value and need for HC and the AO system. But I think it has to have s more signaling, organizational, and advisory role primarily acting as a liaison between squads and organizing lone wolf and new players.

Edited by aismov
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1 hour ago, Pittpete said:

Larger squads will have more players to set FMS'.

 

Some one in this thread already addressed this statement:

18 hours ago, Pittpete said:

The large organized squads are all but extinct.

You can't keep designing game mechanics that only work for player numbers that you don't have.  If you keep putting in game mechanics that require large numbers of players and ONLY work when those large numbers are present you will continue to see a population death spiral.  The game needs to be fun even if you log in and only find four squaddies on versus forty.  What incentive do people have to stick around and wait for more members to log in if the game isn't fun in the interim? 

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so let small numbers without a absolute rock solid ZoC make a FMS

 

let squads make their own if they want instead of needing a whole OPS to make one for the server or AO

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51 minutes ago, minky said:

You can't keep designing game mechanics that only work for player numbers that you don't have.  If you keep putting in game mechanics that require large numbers of players and ONLY work when those large numbers are present you will continue to see a population death spiral.  The game needs to be fun even if you log in and only find four squaddies on versus forty.  What incentive do people have to stick around and wait for more members to log in if the game isn't fun in the interim? 

What does this have to do with squad missions?

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they should work even if there's only like five people in the squad. even if squads get a AO, the minimum numbers required just to get a battle going is too high, even a squad of 15 has trouble getting more than a single spawn up, an AO needs more.

not to win a town, just to get gameplay going.

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24 minutes ago, Pittpete said:

What does this have to do with squad missions?

What do squad missions have do with the lack of FMS  that  majornoob is highlighting? Squads already have the ability to FMSs and it doesn’t happen. How does providing the ability to exclude people from missions improve that situation?

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29 minutes ago, minky said:

What do squad missions have do with the lack of FMS  that  majornoob is highlighting? Squads already have the ability to FMSs and it doesn’t happen. How does providing the ability to exclude people from missions improve that situation?

Squad missions were brought up in response to Xooms post on page 2<<

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6 hours ago, aismov said:

I don't want to beat the dead horse or sound like a broken record, but I have to bring attention back to the AO mechanic.

With AOs there is that constant danger that when your squad logs in there may not be an available AO at that time for any number of reasons. I've been there when the MapOIC had to make the call and say "sorry no AO, we are attacking up north."

Its not the map OIC fault, he just did what was best. But I created havoc with running a squad which is built on the premise of squad initiative at the time and place the squad deems fit.

I think that even with elaborate tweets to the AO systemic will be impossible to guarantee squads the ability to attack on their own terms. And it wo t take many weekends if AO-less squad nights to have ppl not bother to log in.

I fully understand that there are real drawbacks and unintended co sequences of an AO-less system circa 2005, but I think there are tangible solutions to the individual problems that plagued the old system, mainly: behind the lines caps, pre camping, moling large cities, and difficulty with new players to find where the action is. But those are addressable issues with linked-town capping, rear FBs, breaking up large towns and contesting/capture timers.

No need to through the baby out with the bath water. Until squads, large and small, can again man a sector of the front that they call "theirs" and have the tactical flexibility outside of HC when and where to attack, then there is little incentive for squads to put in the long and hard upfront time investment to organize a squad op.

 

EDIT: As I said before, I believe in the value and need for HC and the AO system. But I think it has to have s more signaling, organizational, and advisory role primarily acting as a liaison between squads and organizing lone wolf and new players.

Ews-based AO proposal and brainstorming here! :)

 

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4 hours ago, Pittpete said:

Squad missions were brought up in response to Xooms post on page 2<<

the issue is there is still an underlying problem squad missions won't solve

there aren't enough FMS's being built, even by squads on squad nights

 

say they're given them their own FMS's, without addressing the problem with making them there will still be few FMS's.

they can and do pull out leadership and teamwork, but there's still a low number of FMS's.

 

 

assuming they're not leading well or playing with enough teamwork is frankly insulting. the FMS is just too clunky to work with. people try and try but it's too easy to fight against FMS's. evidenced by their low build rate.

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Too much outside the game required to play the game, that's why you need 15-30 people in a disc to do an AO. There are enough people if corraled, people want to work together, that's actually why they clicked on the game in the first place.

 

I think WW2OL would benefit from a LFG option.

Joining is just a list of Leader Names and descriptions.

Then, 2- 3 muti-columned (each column will be a mission made with MSP dude as leader), each with MSP, Tank, Few infantry, each with what its role is some generic default template a leader could pick. Let leaders move some sliders/input numbers whatever is easier as some missions would maybe need a different percent of each.

Now joining is role based, you pick one of the free slots under Tank Destroyer and "Armored Vehicle" selection comes up you pick and it fills your name into the button slot. Some information tells your waiting and you make your way off and pick the nearest active mission DO, spawn in and begin sniping from a CP, or your a big team player and sit in a CP spawnable like a hero. 

10-15 minutes goes by and leader determines enough is in the queue and hits lets do this.

Now everyone spawned gets notified that they need to spawn in and everyone gets the option to rtb, defer, decline. if they pick nothing and are in rtb range maybe auto rtb.

You are now spawned into where the leader decides and I think people would be surprised to see that many fellow inf in trucks, tanks, going at the same time. Each MSP/mission/column would help people stick with their group.

 

How you make something like that top notch, would be to not tie it to depot or objective from the leader screen from get go but allow people to join off leader name and description, instead allow you to pick a first, second, third, kit in your role so that if your leader needs to pick somewhere where maybe there isn't optimal supply it all doesn't fall apart. This would allow it to be more dynamic, and not telegraph an attack 20 minutes before hand.

 

 

Information needs to be brought into the game, naturally. CP defense would benefit the most from this, though I agree AOs have the bigger issue.

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Regarding squad missions I think they would be a good options to help facilitate squad play. But I would say one word of caution is that in the early days we had squad only missions as well (difference was that there was no option to accept a nonmember into the mission). One issue was that squads were routinely making squad only missions and there weren't as many options for blue tags.

I think some option of a squad mission is good for ops, but it should be as simple if a mechanic as possible and as was said there should be an option for nonsquad members to join.

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If you could make the mission scope able to be changed after the fact that would be ideal. Many times it is the case that you want to keep the mission under wraps to begin with to maintain element of surprise ... but once that phase is done .... would welcome anyone to join. You can imagine trying to orchestrate blowing a lightly defended fb where they are not initially aware of your precense, or something like that.

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17 hours ago, major0noob said:

the issue is there is still an underlying problem squad missions won't solve

there aren't enough FMS's being built, even by squads on squad nights

There is a problem ingame with low population.

The less players, the less chance someone sets up an FMS.

Dont focus on the FMS, focus on building squads, which should retain more players, which leads to more players in game.

The population in game hasnt changed one freaking bit but the question we keep hearing is how do we get more players in game.

The answer is easy.

Nothing has been done for individual squad building in years and until something is done for them i would bet $$$ that next year the same questions will be asked.

 

 

 

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tz1's pop was decimated by 3min build times

there was no game to play so people moved on, pop was higher when there were spawns at the AO's

 

its just a extended tz3 now

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3 hours ago, Pittpete said:

There is a problem ingame with low population.

The less players, the less chance someone sets up an FMS.

Dont focus on the FMS, focus on building squads, which should retain more players, which leads to more players in game.

The population in game hasnt changed one freaking bit but the question we keep hearing is how do we get more players in game.

The answer is easy.

Nothing has been done for individual squad building in years and until something is done for them i would bet $$$ that next year the same questions will be asked.

 

 

 

Let's assume for a minute that everyone in this conversation is right.  

majornoob is right that the FMS is slowing down gameplay because it is too burdensome to build and maintain during an attack.

XOOM is right that it take 15 - 30 people to get an attack going in WWII Online.

You're right that there are fewer players and the large squads are for the most part extinct.

If all of those things are correct then what needs to be done to bring in more action so that people are interested in playing the game? Do you double down on game mechanics that take more people than you have in game for the average attack?  Do you find ways to allow the smaller squads that you do have in game to make difference or at least generate content for the campaign?  Do you force people out of the smaller squads and push them in to bigger squads in the hopes they will coordinate?

I stand by my statement that game mechanics for a large population base are not a good idea to implement when you don't have a large population base.  You are not going to magically build those four man squads up to mega squads if you don't first allow the smaller squads to find success and fun in the game.

 

Edit:  Oh, and you may want to think about give your HC guys a free account that can use trucks.  How many HC folks were playing multiple accounts to set up FMSs.  Like Potthead and his army of Pottheads.  What unintended effect did the DLC and the move away from trucks in free play accounts have for your content creator slaves in HC?

Edited by minky

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Whoever called Truck Audio is spot on...

 

Truck Audio biggest culprit for failed FMS establishment... Two vets can and will kill off up to 4 or 5 FMS's in about 10 minutes if they are on the ground shortly after EWS turns on...  When you are lucky to get three FMS to an attack, its a no brainer its doomed.

Get that truck audio down to 500-600m ASAP, and FMS's have half a chance to get setup...

600m is enough to provide some skill challenge still, in rolling the last few hundred meters to get setup.... Whilst also forcing any would be early responder to EWS to at least run a couple of hundred meters to the direction they want to patrol and hear things, and not simply being gifted the enemy location within the first 10 seconds of spawning in...

------

If audio range adjustment is proving hard to do technically.... then at least in the interim, as a stopgap.... reduce the build timer to almost nothing (I'm talking 5 seconds or so), so you can stop, build and drive off, at least offering some ruse..... Surely that couldn't be too hard to change...  

 

 

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I think you raise important points minky. At the end of the day I think the fundamental question to ask is why. Why did squads go belly up? I don't think there is any one smoking gun but the main reasons were touched on in this thread and others; and many changes are being made to help bring squads back into the game.

But I disagree that you need to tweak game mechanics to account for current players numbers. Yes, attacks certainly can be more challenging. But at the same time the map moves and cities get captured. And smaller squads can and will find success in the game. Even a 4-man group of infantry on voice comms can cause havoc; 4 tanks on voice comms is a scary thought. Bring in two 4 mans squads with one doing tanks and one setting up FMS and creating a true ZOC with the spawn placed behind the center tanks and the two flanking tanks in echelon formation and you will have a very hard time blowing that FMS while at the same time spawning infantry will ensure that engineers/sappers can't make it to the tanks.

The other side is going to see the organization and think "hey, we need to do something similar." And it creates a virtuous cycle where more organization and teamwork begets further organization and team work. Why? Because we are all selfish and have a natural desire to win, so we will up our collective game to rise to the challenge. Right now we simply don't have the incentives for squads to even attempt the above, which is ironic since some of the organizational tools we have now are superb and we would have killed for back in the day.

Should there be other mission types and targets for smaller squads and ad-hoc groups of blue tags? Of course! I would love to see that and can think or many ideas. But I disagree that changes should be made to the fundamental capture mechanics or broad gameplay goals since this is a MMOFPS after all. Much better to try to bring squads and more players into the game rather than change key game features and turn the game into a zoneless version of Post Scriptum, or even worse, H&G (shudder).

And also don't forget that massive squad tactics took a time to build up and perfect. Back in 2001 we started with small column of maybe 4-5 tanks. I still clearly remember one of our large ops back in 2001 we tried to coordinate hitting two targets at the same time. We succeeded in the objective but it was rickety, our timing was all off (armor arrived without infantry support at one town and vice versa at the other). But I think all squads started out small and worked our way up to organizing 30+ tank columns with combined infantry, ATG, and air support (or the toughest cookie of all... timing a CAS strike to coincide when your armor hits the town). Bring squad play back and a similar cycle will begin. Nothing fancy at first - probably only a few tanks and likely smaller squads cooperating together to pool their resources. But it is a start of something greater.

 

EDIT: just some picks from 2004 to show what was possible with squads.

 

Squad forming up one town back behind the lines. Notice in the chat the Plastic (CO/31st Founder) is calling for our air wing (JG31) to start patrolling... before the tank column that is 10+km away has even started rolling.

revin1.jpg

 

Looking backwards at the tail end as it forms up.

revin2.jpg

 

Low resolution unfortunately but a favorite of mine since it shows how massive the columns got. Note that the LAST tank here is billtank, who you will notice in the next picture is actually in the MIDDLE of the tank column.

revin3.jpg

 

As you can see here behind billyank there was another 12+ tanks as well as 88s (we always put them at the rear). So thats about 30+ tanks. And that was only one spearhead mind you (we had 2, each attacking from opposite directions).

revin4.jpg

 

The column was so big we had to stop a reform after making the journey from the behind lines town. I especially like the "wow, look at all those 88s" comments in the chat :D

revin12.jpg

 

And this was accomplished before depot spawning, before mobile spawning, before marks on maps, before objective markers, before publicly available voice comms (we paid for our own TeamSpeak server). Hell back then there were only 3 infantry types: rifle, SMG, and sapper.

 

Now if you don't call that "generating activity" I don't know what is S!

 

Edited by aismov
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4 minutes ago, karellean said:

Whoever called Truck Audio is spot on...

Truck Audio biggest culprit for failed FMS establishment... Two vets can and will kill off up to 4 or 5 FMS's in about 10 minutes if they are on the ground shortly after EWS turns on...  When you are lucky to get three FMS to an attack, its a no brainer its doomed.

Get that truck audio down to 500-600m ASAP, and FMS's have half a chance to get setup...

600m is enough to provide some skill challenge still, in rolling the last few hundred meters to get setup.... Whilst also forcing any would be early responder to EWS to at least run a couple of hundred meters to the direction they want to patrol and hear things, and not simply being gifted the enemy location within the first 10 seconds of spawning in...

------

If audio range adjustment is proving hard to do technically.... then at least in the interim, as a stopgap.... reduce the build timer to almost nothing (I'm talking 5 seconds or so), so you can stop, build and drive off, at least offering some ruse..... Surely that couldn't be too hard to change... 

 

I disagree. Truck audio should be historic. The problem isn't the truck audio or the FMS. Its that you "attack" a town by rolling in defenseless trucks with no support and then are surprised that enemy infantry tear the soft targets to shreds. Its as if back in the day someone took issue with the fact that a truck full of infantry doing a hot drop to a CP was gunned down by enemy tanks. Its not a problem with the CP design. Or how fast the trucks go. Or how much damage they take. Its the fundamental issue of players using the tools at their disposal incorrectly.

But this is more of an issue with the current "AO up... get tge trucks rolling" attitude. It is a combination of no squads, lack of natural leaders, and uncoordinated attacks. Even making the FMS indestructable would make no difference. Instead of blowing it up the enemy would simply camp the FMS until the AO got pulled. Those same 4 veteran infantry would stop your attack dead cold.

Again, its about tactics, and not how the FMS is coded.

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27 minutes ago, aismov said:

 

I disagree. Truck audio should be historic. The problem isn't the truck audio or the FMS. Its that you "attack" a town by rolling in defenseless trucks with no support and then are surprised that enemy infantry tear the soft targets to shreds. Its as if back in the day someone took issue with the fact that a truck full of infantry doing a hot drop to a CP was gunned down by enemy tanks. Its not a problem with the CP design. Or how fast the trucks go. Or how much damage they take. Its the fundamental issue of players using the tools at their disposal incorrectly.

But this is more of an issue with the current "AO up... get tge trucks rolling" attitude. It is a combination of no squads, lack of natural leaders, and uncoordinated attacks. Even making the FMS indestructable would make no difference. Instead of blowing it up the enemy would simply camp the FMS until the AO got pulled. Those same 4 veteran infantry would stop your attack dead cold.

Again, its about tactics, and not how the FMS is coded.

I see where you are coming from, but what you highlight is a population issue, numbers,squads,leadership...

It is all well and good in an ideal world for maintenance of historical accuracy, and yes, no argument ideally it -should-  take a moderate group of 10-15 players to make a proper planned ingress into a town.   But maintaining accuracy, at the expense of putting even more players into retirement, by not providing mechanic adjustments needed to generate gameplay is simply not logical.

 

The population level for the ideal of 10-15 players to carry out a planned ingress, doesn't exist at present, and hasn't for a while.

Nor will the population ever return to that level, if attacks/combat action cannot be established effectively with some degree of reliability of reward for effort.

 

Therefore if we seek to increase the volume of combat action, and the reliability of establishing an active combat environment,  the mechanics need to be tweaked to reflect the reality of what population level exists now.

 

And right now, reality is that is you frequently only  have a group of 3-4 people with perhaps 5-6 accounts at their disposal --WILLING-- to establish the most critical element of an attack, viable spawn points,  through the use of Trucks and FMS's.

 

The mechanics therefore need to be tweaked to cater for the reality, and in my opinion adjustment to the range of Truck Audio, would go the furthermost towards addressing the issue of unreliably being able to establish spawn points in order to generate an attack, and combat activity.    Sure there's other things that -could- be done with timers.... but they will have more undesirable side effects, then simply reducing truck audio...

 

 

Edited by karellean
typo

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aismov, XOOM... the gameplay has turned into forced failure without extreme teamwork and leadership.

not winning or loosing without them, getting any gameplay going without tools outside the game is doomed. even hardcore guys with multiple accounts have trouble, as do squads on squad nights.

 

 

there were people using teamwork and leadership, without having fun: they could not beat the lone wolfs hunting trucks.

teamwork and leadership was fun, now it's futile work.

Edited by major0noob

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Completely agree that there are valid ways that FMS can be improved. Increasing the number of sachels so that a lone engineer can't ninja it is one option. But at the same time it is importantly to not repeat the same issues that was present with the UMS, as I think the fundamental design of the FMS (one truck, one FMS) is a sound one that avoids the unintended consequences of mobile spawn whack-a-mole and balances the difficulty of attacking (if should be hard) with the need to have a reasonable chance to defend a town. But that is just one man's opinion S!

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Oh the UMS whack a mole days were NOT fun...I was super active through that period....  and it rightly needed to be fixed and was... I agree completely that is not an option, and wouldn't be advocating a return to that in any form.  Truck placement of spawns is definitely the right path, not infantry mission leaders.

But if the trucks are not getting in often enough, something needs to be done, or you have one side sitting in an empty town waiting, with the other side pretty much staring at a map trying to figure out how to get there... (time economically, running 5km is NOT usually the answer, albeit on some very rare occasions it is)

Meanwhile the handful of those players trying to do the right thing and setup, are getting demotivated, giving up and logging out, after usually two, sometimes three fruitless efforts in a half hour period, and the problem worsens...

 

 

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