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The Failure to Retreat

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  • The Failure to Retreat

    I often witness a platoon fighting onward deep into enemy territory, and almost inevitably it seems, having their back bases captured by the enemy and being completely surrounded.

    I cannot count the number of times I have seen this in various outfits and the behaviour leaves me curious. Why the pattern?

    I suspect that the answer is that players do not care to leave an intense conflict (with its high xp gain) for a low level rear guard action. Redeploying, massing forces in territory already held by your team in preparation for the oncoming sacrifices easy xp gain.

    I am not a fan of abandoning a fight. I prefer to be pushed back to the warp gate, see forces rally, slug it out, and regain territory, rather than switch continents to find conditions that are favourable.

    Keep in mind these comments are not directed towards any particular TG PLs. I do not fully understand the game or the motivations behind strategic moves such as abandoning a continent and so I am in no place to comment on individual choices of specific PLs, nor indeed do I have any such individuals in mind.

    My habit of late is, once I see a situation deteriorate to the point of certain entrapment, to abandon the PL (as I can no longer follow orders), reposition to what will shortly be the new front line a quadrant or two back, and wait. Within 30 minutes or so I will often experience hordes of friendlies spawning on my Sunderer and, eventually, armour reinforcing the position. A new battle, a new front line.

    I am aware that collective actions in PS2 are often dictated by the in-game reward system. Yet the (apparent) demand to be constantly engaged with the enemy, to be in closest possible proximity to the enemy, and to gain the most xp possible -- actions that appear to shape the 'collective intelligence' of a PS2 army, are perhaps the real enemy.

    I post this not as a rant, nor with the assumption that I have a solution or a better way.

    Mostly I am just trying to understand why collectives behave in certain fashions within particular game environments.

    The pity of PS2, it seems to me, is that the game design works against itself.
    Last edited by E-Male; 02-01-2013, 11:14 AM.
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  • #2
    Re: The Failure to Retreat

    Originally posted by E-Male View Post
    [...]
    The pity of PS2, it seems to me, is that the game design works against itself.

    Very right. In several respects too. The nature of the current meta game does not reward defending and makes battles have no actual purpose other than being a battle (because fighting (including supporting actions like flying a gal between the WG and the battle area) is the only fun part of the game at the moment) and also the fact that the game is F2P and the items are unbelievable expensive, causes players to rather gain xp, to gain certs than 'play the game'. I think the second issue is one that comes with the initial mistake to make the game F2P. Its effects could only be reduced if items were far less expensive, so player would not always feel urged to gain xp and more xp and even more xp, because they need those tons of xp to shape their character to be actually useful (both, in teamwork oriented supporting aspects, as in pure fps aspects (like pimping ones gun)).

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    • #3
      Re: The Failure to Retreat

      If everything was cheaper, I'm sure more people would be willing to put money into the game and that could lead to increasing the longevity of the game and even encourage the development of items...but the unlock system needs to be revamped, for sure.

      I used to play for certs, not joining TG squads because I wanted to do my own thing on Indar, a continent that always needed help while everyone was capping Amerish. I don't mean that as an insult or anything, but that's what I noticed in the month of December. Tawrich was always contested, and it was incredibly hard making any head way on the continent.

      I do wish that they would give us some sort of reward for defending a base, like when they give us the 'Base Defended!' celebration thing, I wish they rewarded it like captures, giving us 500, 1000, and 1500 xp respectively if the cap meter goes below one half, but we recap it. It would greatly encourage that gameplay unlike defending an Amp station or Tech Plant to make sure we keep the bonus.

      Anyway, back to E-Male's topic. I think it's because of people concentrating in one quadrant and breaching their front and rather than capping the surrounding quadrants, they just push up. I remember a zerg going from Tawrich all the way to Quartz Ridge Camp, losing TI Alloys which connected them to the mainland and then being completely surrounded. I know that people end up living longer when everyone sticks together, but people need to eventually learn that capping surrounding territories will save them so many headaches and they won't get pushed so far back when a territory falls.




      "Certainly, being bombarded with 105 millimeter shells is bad. But the knowledge that you've armed your enemy thus, with your sloth and your ineptitude, unfolds in the heart like a poison." Tycho from Penny Arcade in reference to the nuke in MW2

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      • #4
        Re: The Failure to Retreat

        I was just thinking about this myself; last night I went in for some late-night action, joined up with 7Cav outfit, ended up defending The Crown at all costs while we got surrounded and capped out to the WG. I couldn't figure out the logic behind this (besides, ooh, fighting at The Crown is awesome!) but decided to just go to bed instead of bringing it up.
        |TG-6th|Belhade
        "I am actually looking forward to watching Jon and Kate plus 8." - Dirtboy




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        • #5
          Re: The Failure to Retreat

          Simple, for most people it's more important to gain certs and develop their character than to controll territory.
          What you unlock for your favorite class is permament, while owning any territory is only temporary at best and doesn't improve gameplay experience at all.
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          • #6
            Re: The Failure to Retreat

            Originally posted by Buflak View Post
            Simple, for most people it's more important to gain certs and develop their character than to controll territory.
            What you unlock for your favorite class is permament, while owning any territory is only temporary at best and doesn't improve gameplay experience at all.
            This. I personally have witnessed it as well. Shame, but then the game doesn't really punish you too much for pushing on so hard.

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            • #7
              Re: The Failure to Retreat

              Originally posted by Jeepo View Post
              This. I personally have witnessed it as well. Shame, but then the game doesn't really punish you too much for pushing on so hard.
              There has been suggestions that you slowly lose territory over time if its not connected in anyway to your warpgate. I think if they implemented this, more attention would be paid to the "backfield". Right now there is no punishment for being cut off, and in most cases it causes the major fights which equal more xp/certs.

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              • #8
                Re: The Failure to Retreat

                Default attrition would be neat but they are talking about some sweeping changes to the strategic game in general so who knows where they will go right?

                On the subject of retreat. Its a viable tactic and is seen in minor spurts in Indar however the density of Indar makes it a terrible place for retreat. On Amerish and Esamir the distance between bases are so large that you do see these events in small scale, problem there is that they are rarely well populated by two factions.

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                • #9
                  Re: The Failure to Retreat

                  Thank you for the various answers -- all enlightening.

                  Fortunately, the game is stable (today's fix not withstanding -- crash crash crash), comm systems are robust, squad and platoon management systems are adequate, and in the end, you can always play the game the way you want to.

                  Very pleased to see a mature, cooperative, disciplined and team-focused group of TG players converging on the PS2 environment. This game is delivering much more than I expected, and holds much promise.

                  We must continue to resist the gravitational pull of the normative modes of play and, as always has been the case, develop a uniquely mature approach to play (a contradiction in terms?).
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                  • #10
                    Re: The Failure to Retreat

                    E-male, good work being the gunner in my gal tonight, allowed for me to be able to get away from threats quicker. The final assault that finally got us was only due to air dropping into a hot zone. We need to rethink how we air drop in areas like that. Drop them in a few 100m off target let them hoof it in. I think we could have survived if we had done that.
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                    • #11
                      Re: The Failure to Retreat

                      Originally posted by E-Male View Post
                      We must continue to resist the gravitational pull of the normative modes of play and, as always has been the case, develop a uniquely mature approach to play (a contradiction in terms?).
                      I agree. This does not mean we cannot try to also earn some points I think, to me it means just a difference in focus, where earning certs is not on the very top of the priorities list.



                      *On retreating I would like to remark: If you get at any point wiped out by a force that seems undefeatable (2x or 3x manpower), don't pull back just one sector so you can be killed again.

                      I recommend pulling back much further to where you think friendly forces will be able to help you beat them. Or perhaps even going to the other side of the map to secure what you have against the other faction.

                      Or a third possibility I see is deploying to counter attack to the side and rear of the big group, forcing them to redirect forces, to split up, backtrack, or face pushing on the attack with no connected territory. If this succeeds you will make the large force abandon the attack and redirect elsewhere.

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                      • #12
                        Re: The Failure to Retreat

                        Good points Al. I have made the mistake of retreating to a position TOO close to the enemy line and not being able to regroup effectively because the squad or platoon is immediately embroiled in a battle.
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                        • #13
                          Re: The Failure to Retreat

                          Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post
                          Or a third possibility I see is deploying to counter attack to the side and rear of the big group, forcing them to redirect forces, to split up, backtrack, or face pushing on the attack with no connected territory. If this succeeds you will make the large force abandon the attack and redirect elsewhere.
                          It takes 200 guys the same amount of time to cap a base that it takes 36. Attacking the flank of the zerg is a much better strategy than a straight defense (one exception being the defense of a Bio Lab).

                          Also, it takes 12 people the same amount of time to cap as 36. So it can sometimes be good to split the platoon into squads and cap multiple sectors at once and then meet at a common goal later.
                          Viking

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                          • #14
                            Re: The Failure to Retreat

                            Originally posted by BigGaayAl View Post

                            Or a third possibility I see is deploying to counter attack to the side and rear of the big group, forcing them to redirect forces, to split up, backtrack, or face pushing on the attack with no connected territory. If this succeeds you will make the large force abandon the attack and redirect elsewhere.
                            This really caught my eye.

                            On some evenings, I and my 88th brothers (and a few personal friends) run a 4-6 man squad that solely focuses on that very tactic. Well, that and recon/harassment tactics. Being half a squad, we are limited on what we can accomplish and how big of an enemy group we can force to redirect/split/etc.

                            I think that it would be extremely interesting to see the TG platoon attempt this tactic when we get out-manned by the Enclave, or even just an enemy zerg.

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                            • #15
                              Re: The Failure to Retreat

                              Mindkill do you mean e.g. splitting a whole platoon up into small units to hit everything around them at the same time?

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