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  • Balance between 'professional' and promotional comms

    There is he problem with the comms. That is using more or less exclusively inagme comms causes them to become quite poor. But this is done to promote TG to pubbies that play with us, so they might eventually join TG. I have addressed this issue several times in several threads. Last time in "TeamSpeak 3 Usage Request". Mindkill asked my to open a dedicated thread on this. I will just copy what I wrote on the other threads, I think that will do sufficiently. I assume everybody is aware of this problem anyway, so that won't do major harm...

    Here we go (there will be some redundancy):


    1) “I would say use TS for inter-leader comms to take away traffic form the platoon channel. That has no negative effect for 'non-outfit-members' what so ever. In addition TS would allow for fireteams. As in fireteams only outfit members would cooperate and communicate anyway, the fireteam specific comms would just get removed form the squad comms. So also this had no negative effects for those 'non-outfit-members', as squad comss only get cleaner but squad wide relevant information still is broadcast in squad channel.“

    2) “Maybe they misjudged how unwell this might turn out. And apparently it turned out to not work too well.
    Whilst the idea behind, to get more players more quickly, of course is easily accessible let me point out this:

    You cannot attract gamers that are like-minded to you when you present yourself in a way, that does not represent your own mindedness correctly.

    Better coordination represents TG better than not so good coordination I would assume. Maybe the approach must be improved. Certainly there is a solution that does both – allow teamplay to live up to what we expect of it (or at least more than what we have atm) and also integrate non-outfit-members.“

    From this thread: http://www.tacticalgamer.com/planets...e-request.html

    3) “Too much platoon-coms make squad-play very difficult or even impossible. In our squad there wasn't really much communication to support coordination on the squadMEMBER side partly because there was too much traffic from outside. This – I assume – was not only the case for our squad, as this happens more or less always when playing as a platoon.
    I think something must be done there.
    I personally find the squadplay always becomes very poor as soon as the team reaches platoon size, as platoon-comms then engage; and bad comms causes bad coordination. As there is no low-level coordination platoons tend to become sort of mini-zergs, or act in a zergy way.
    This is a problem that spawns mostly in the bottom tiers of the team (the individual players – not considering their role in the hierarchy of the team) and cannot be solved the top-down way. This problem must be solved bottom-up.
    How?
    Don't let it emerge in the first place! Proper comms are a fragile animal that needs a suitable environment. This environment in most for the cases cannot be enforced from above, but must arise from the bottom. The ways to build up an environment that makes good comms possible are manifold. But in the end it always comes down to not letting the chaos of the game environment spread into and infest the comms. A possible way to do that is to not get into the chaotic game environment in the first place. This sounds easy on paper, but is of course hard to realize in practice (if you don't want to ghost cap all day long...^^). Another way might be very, very disciplined but agile and high frequency*1 low level (low in the hierarchy) coordination that withstands the chaotic environment and allows you to directly go into those chaotic environments because your team does not collapse under the pressure of the chaos, because it has good coordination (which in this case more or less equals good, organized comms). And when you withstand the chaos it does not spread over into your comms (hypothesis...).
    Regardless of what ever other ways there might be to solve this problem, it is a problem that we need to work on and find a way that suits us to work around or solve it.”


    From this thread: http://www.tacticalgamer.com/planets...iscussion.html


    And basically also these threads (The topics of the following threads have something to do with the issue. They don't specifically address it though):

    http://www.tacticalgamer.com/planets...awareness.html

    http://www.tacticalgamer.com/planets...fficiency.html


    So, at least I feel like this problem needs to be addressed further.
    If you feel like sharing your opinion and maybe have an idea on how to solve this issue, please go ahead and post it.

  • #2
    Re: Balance between 'professional' and promotional comms

    Respectfully, I didn't feel like it impacts gameplay that much to the extent you are saying.

    When I join a non-TG platoon (TAS, CML, BL etc) the first thing I'm looking for is seeing people talking to each other. More often than not you'll find that those squads/platoons (outside of TAS usually) utilize TS more than anything. As a Squad Member, if I'm not hearing the SL's communicating via platoon chat or some other function, I leave. I assume they are not doing anything, and are just leading mindless lemmings.

    TG does not lead mindless lemmings. We lead professional, tactically minded individuals to accomplish a greater purpose

    The way we currently have it setup now, via the Squad Leaders all communicating via Platoon, and SM's utilizing Platoon chat as a last means "CODE RED, INCOMING" scenario, allows the team to keep concise and collective comms.

    What you bring up is valid - in essence 2 radios going on at all times. As an SL, if I get a command from the PL, I will then reconfirm it to the squad, via squad voip, taking that time to elaborate on how we as the squad are going to accomplish the objective. In doing so I've a) just reconfirmed with anyone that might have missed the previous orders, b) expanded on how how we are a squad level are going to accomplish it c) giving follow-on instructions so each member knows what is expected.

    Now, all I'm waiting for is contact reports. If I can't differentiate the between the other SL's/PL, and my own squad members, I shouldn't be leading. Its weeding through the noise and hearing what is specifically for you that makes a difference.

    Edit: This is the bigger issues after reading through Todd's post in the FNO's Discussion thread -

    "I had a hard time giving my squad members orders when I received them from the Platoon leader because TG people were discussing/questioning those orders right after they were given.
    This needs to stop!! If you have a question or want to discuss the PL orders do it in TS not in game. It sounds very unprofessional!! If you want to PL then step up and PL.
    Some of this is my fault as a squad leader. I didn't say something right away like I should have."

    This shouldn't happen period. If you're a squadmember, the only time you should be pushing the Platoon VOIP key is if a load of Gals is Incoming from the south, and about to wreck everyone. A squadmember SHOULD NEVER be asking "hey, we're losing this point, maybe we should go there." It is your job as a Squad member to follow orders, and cover your sector. You're not the strategic mind at the higher level. Leave that to the PL as he's going to have a bigger focus on the team.

    This problem also falls on the Squad Leaders to then pipe in over squad voip and correct that issue.


    These Things We Do... That Other's May Live

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    • #3
      Re: Balance between 'professional' and promotional comms

      To cut down on the 'Platoon Speak' overlaying into us, not affecting our members and allowing us to focus on tactical methods, is an important point. Personally I never thought the Platoon channel was overwhelming but perhaps at Qartz Ridge Camp. That battle was a great one and personally I think it outlines the level of efficiency versus effectiveness you had posted about.

      The chaos of the battle and the numbers of hostiles and non-platoon-allies was huge! Frankly the fog of war was so heavy that I do not think such an event could use Platoon Coordination but rather Squad Coordination. The battle was chaos as a whole but if you had split it up into many smaller parts you could take on it all. Here is when I find that being a Platoon Leader is meaningless and this is when the Squad Leaders shine, and they need to.

      Beyond this I never had a terrible time with the Platoon Comms though and our Squad Comms were good.

      To avoid the impact of Platoon Comms on everyone though, I think it just comes with an understanding by the Platoon Leader as to when to let the troops fight and when to guide. Beyond that regular SMs could reduce the Platoon Comms volume. Its info that is not need to know for them.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Balance between 'professional' and promotional comms

        Don't worry Evil, I'm monitoring this thread and I will be jumping in soon. I'd just like to wait and see more community members opinions before I weigh in.

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        • #5
          Re: Balance between 'professional' and promotional comms

          Didn't notice this:

          "I had a hard time giving my squad members orders when I received them from the Platoon leader because TG people were discussing/questioning those orders right after they were given.
          This needs to stop!! If you have a question or want to discuss the PL orders do it in TS not in game. It sounds very unprofessional!! If you want to PL then step up and PL.
          Some of this is my fault as a squad leader. I didn't say something right away like I should have."

          I agree with Serj... this should never happen. A SL shouldn't even question the PL's orders!

          Seems like might be a problem of people not keeping comms down.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Balance between 'professional' and promotional comms

            The fight on Quartz Ridge was a complete scramble at one point. We had Enclave drop podding into the middle of our positions. As well as, having sunders parked up the East and West ridges above the cap points. There was a lot of data that was being passed back and forth. I think something that would help is for PL to request Sitreps instead of SL's just throwing it out as it changes. We also need to let SM's know to pass on intel to SL's, so that they can be a filter to the PL. This will cut down a lot of "chatter" on platoon chat.
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            • #7
              Re: Balance between 'professional' and promotional comms

              Personally SM's should never speak on Platoon channel, ever. They should report it to the SL who filters and then reports it on Platoon. Its the old mumble/ts squad leader channel ans the SM's who used to argue that they wanted to sit in the SL channel and would only speak if it was necessary were wrong then as SM's using platoon chat are wrong now.

              To have a robust and sleek comms system it needs to have rock solid rules, it needs to parallel the Chain of Command and people need to adhere to it.

              SM's transmitting on Platoon when 'they' think it is justified is another example of fostering a backseat squad leader mentality. It also breaks the deliberate compartmentalisation that a comms system based on COC brings.

              SM's should not use platoon, ever. Use it for SL to SL, SL to transport SL etc. SM sees something, he puts it on the Squad Net. The SL decides whether that traffic is important enough to be escalated to the Platoon net, which carries higher priority traffic. By utilizing the proper checks and balances this system provides you can greatly improve the effectiveness of inter squad platoon comms, make it easier for Platoon and Squad Leaders and get Squad Members to focus on doing their job and following COC.

              Would type a whole lot more but I'm on my phone.


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              • #8
                Re: Balance between 'professional' and promotional comms

                Exactly. I've seen an argument for 'emergency call outs' but even then I disagree. Emergency call out for squad chat or proximity then!

                Sure if you see that liberator incoming I bet everyone else does. Even then there is nothing that can be done by the PL by that point... its now up to the grunts to see the battle through.

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                • #9
                  Re: Balance between 'professional' and promotional comms

                  We do have to remember however that we have PL's who not only request, but insist that SM's use platoon chat in some cases. I urge we exercise caution in this regard lest we discourage some from platoon leading in a manner in which they feel comfortable.

                  Then there are situations like a platoon of one and a half squads vs. four that are nearly full. The smaller squad of red-headed step-children :D tend to get left out of the comms loop despite the "platoon" basically still operating like a large squad.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Balance between 'professional' and promotional comms

                    Originally posted by Harlequin View Post
                    We do have to remember however that we have PL's who not only request, but insist that SM's use platoon chat in some cases. I urge we exercise caution in this regard lest we discourage some from platoon leading in a manner in which they feel comfortable.

                    Then there are situations like a platoon of one and a half squads vs. four that are nearly full. The smaller squad of red-headed step-children :D tend to get left out of the comms loop despite the "platoon" basically still operating like a large squad.
                    The analogy to Platoon = Just a Larger Squad works in many cases specifically in what I call 'Pick-Ups' (our normal non-event TG hosted squad/platoons). However where I think it holds us back is efficiency. Yes in many ways the Platoon is just a larger squad... however a Platoon, merely due to its size, can focus on many more things. Where one squad can hold a point against overwhelming numbers, a Platoon can have one squad holding the point and the remaining two providing an exterior screen.

                    A Platoon can properly divide its objectives through each squad. In FNF#1 John had it set up so that Squad Alpha was a non-combat APC squad and all others were infantry. At times those infantry squads would be given directly distinct orders, that while all occurring in the same 'region' were separate.

                    I understand that a 2 Squad Pick-Up Platoon is pretty much a 'Super Squad' but when TG persons take up greater than 50% of a near full platoon treating it as a 'Super Squad' is inefficient and often leads to redundant squad level operations.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Balance between 'professional' and promotional comms

                      I tend to agree with Wick's opinion, at least when it comes to organized events. During our daily operations, I don't have much of an issue with SM's using platoon VoIP for social interaction in-between fights. I feel that the idle chit-chat helps to build camaraderie and a sense of community, in effect, bringing us closer together. Personally, I've made quite a few new friends and even gained a new 88th brother from chatting with platoon members in platoon VoIP.

                      There is also the point that Harlequin brings up. I would prefer to not "discourage some from platoon leading in a manner in which they feel comfortable". We have precious few community members willing to lead a squad, let alone a platoon and, quite frankly, we can't afford to lose them.

                      With that said, I'll now attempt to address your concerns, Evil.

                      Originally posted by Evilhardt View Post
                      There is he problem with the comms. That is using more or less exclusively inagme comms causes them to become quite poor. But this is done to promote TG to pubbies that play with us, so they might eventually join TG. I have addressed this issue several times in several threads. Last time in "TeamSpeak 3 Usage Request". Mindkill asked my to open a dedicated thread on this. I will just copy what I wrote on the other threads, I think that will do sufficiently. I assume everybody is aware of this problem anyway, so that won't do major harm...
                      There is most definitely a problem with our comms and I think it'd be very difficult to find anyone that disagrees with that. I would, however, dispute your assertion that exclusively using in-game VoIP causes the quality of communication to degrade. It's my opinion that misuse of in-game VoIP is what's causing most, if not all, of the problems you describe later in your post.

                      Originally posted by Evilhardt View Post
                      Here we go (there will be some redundancy):


                      1) “I would say use TS for inter-leader comms to take away traffic form the platoon channel. That has no negative effect for 'non-outfit-members' what so ever. In addition TS would allow for fireteams. As in fireteams only outfit members would cooperate and communicate anyway, the fireteam specific comms would just get removed form the squad comms. So also this had no negative effects for those 'non-outfit-members', as squad comss only get cleaner but squad wide relevant information still is broadcast in squad channel.“
                      No. Unless directed to by those above my 'pay grade', I refuse to make a hard and fast rule that would require TS to be used in place of any in-game communication. There are many reasons why I'm taking this position. Along with the reasons I listed at the beginning of my post, I feel that it would have a negative impact on non-outfit members. It would be denying them the opportunity to see us in action, to see what makes us TG.

                      The idea of fireteams in Ps2 is interesting and I'd like to see it explored. I believe that it could be done without requiring TS, as long as the fireteams are far enough apart to use proximity VoIP. Which, by the way, would be another great recruitment tool. Imagine a couple of non-outfit members in the area of operation of a TG fireteam, listening to the contact reports, coordinated movement, and tactics over proximity. I think that'd be a better advertisement than even a flashing, neon, Las Vegas-style sign AND a full page ad in the New York Times.

                      My main point concerning TS is this: Tactical Gamer is a niche community, catering to those that value teamwork, communication, and objective based game-play. In today's world, we are a rare breed of gamer and it's difficult enough to find like minded individuals. If we were to follow the suggestion of using TS to replace any in-game communication, we would be making ourselves even more exclusive.

                      Originally posted by Evilhardt View Post
                      2) “Maybe they misjudged how unwell this might turn out. And apparently it turned out to not work too well.
                      Whilst the idea behind, to get more players more quickly, of course is easily accessible let me point out this:

                      You cannot attract gamers that are like-minded to you when you present yourself in a way, that does not represent your own mindedness correctly.

                      Better coordination represents TG better than not so good coordination I would assume. Maybe the approach must be improved. Certainly there is a solution that does both – allow teamplay to live up to what we expect of it (or at least more than what we have atm) and also integrate non-outfit-members.“

                      From this thread: http://www.tacticalgamer.com/planets...e-request.html

                      3) “Too much platoon-coms make squad-play very difficult or even impossible. In our squad there wasn't really much communication to support coordination on the squadMEMBER side partly because there was too much traffic from outside. This – I assume – was not only the case for our squad, as this happens more or less always when playing as a platoon.
                      I think something must be done there.
                      I personally find the squadplay always becomes very poor as soon as the team reaches platoon size, as platoon-comms then engage; and bad comms causes bad coordination. As there is no low-level coordination platoons tend to become sort of mini-zergs, or act in a zergy way.
                      The vast majority of my 300+ hours in game has been playing in TG squads and platoons, and I've rarely found squad-play to be difficult or impossible because of platoon VoIP. The times that I have had an issue is when all hell is breaking loose in-game and everyone comes down with a case of 'the headless chicken'. When the poop hits the fan, brevity is the key to cleaner comms and we have an awesome set of communication specific SOP's that address that very problem (they can be found here).

                      To sum up, and add a few suggestions/ideas (mainly because I've got someplace to be soon :) :

                      - TS is not the answer to our comms woes. (the last thing I need, is another button to press in the heat of battle)
                      - Ordering non SL/PL's to refrain from using platoon chat at all, is not the answer.
                      - Concise comms will help a great deal with cleaning up the chatter, as will adopting the practices outlined in the SOP's.
                      - If a squad member finds Platoon VoIP to be too distracting, lowering the volume/muting Platoon VoIP will take care of the problem.
                      - If you don't wish to limit the incoming information from Platoon VoIP, you may suffer from information overload.
                      - Squad members should shut their gobs when the PL or an SL is speaking on Platoon VoIP.
                      - Platoon VoIP is not for contact reports.
                      - In a fight or during planing/issuing orders, you should only be using comms for game relevant information. Nobody cares that you got your dog fixed (or whatever), in the middle of a tank battle or Bio Dome defense.
                      - Think before you speak.

                      In the end, if an Outfit member want's a particular style of play, they should step up and lead the platoon, because then they get to make the rules for that session.

                      Also, everyone should remember that they are not alone in the game and that your comms usage affects other community members.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Balance between 'professional' and promotional comms

                        Thank you for your detailed answer. But one thing I don't understand – you repeatedly say “using TS to replace any in-game communication“. Where is the motivation for that? I always said 'use TS for what can't be done with ingame comms' (to paraphrase it). Using TS only would be outright stupid, as there is no reason to use TS for things that you can do with the ingame tools and thereby have the side benefit of pubbies hearing you.
                        Whilst I understand your points I don't see how they benefit what you want to accomplish.
                        On fireteams:
                        1. Not always can fireteams be far enough apart from each other to sue proximity chat without overcutting into the other FTs prox chat or even other squads prox chat.
                        2. Not in all situations can FTs use prox chat (because the members are too far apart from each other – maybe one went down and the others changed position so that the distance for prox chat between them and the down player's body gets too great) and then need to use squad channel disturbing the other Fts.

                        Therefore FTs could use TS as a backup for those situations and use prox in every other case, which would have only advantages and no disadvantages compared to the prox-chat approach to fireteams.


                        On PLs and SLs talking in platoon chat:

                        There is no benefit to anybody, also not for advertising, because SLs would repeat the orders they get over TS to their squad anyway. If those to-be-recruited players have only half a brain they should notice orders are coming form the PL when they see that the platoon acts as a whole. And then they should even appreciate that they are not disturbed with the orders from the PL.
                        This makes a more professional impression in general and might attract possible outfit-joiners the more (that is what I said here: “You cannot attract gamers that are like-minded to you when you present yourself in a way, that does not represent your own mindedness correctly.“ This of course only applies if we were using TS in addition to ingame comms if we didn't want to advertise ourselves).
                        Also this psychologically makes the SL more important to the squad, because the squad doesn’t hear the orders form the PL and thus focuses solely on the SL as their leader.

                        This is the next point (which I have not made yet):
                        PLs talking directly to the bottom tier takes away some of the SLs' purpose, that is distributing and expanding orders. He can still repeat and expand that, but some of the purpose is gone – namely that the PL should not directly talk to the bottom tier.
                        As stated above, this makes the SL partly (!) redundant and removes some of his leadership role. I think it is important to the SL (primarily to the SL indeed) to not be partly redundant so he can fulfill his leadership role on his tier to a hundred percent. This allows him to act in a more independent fashion within the scope of his squad which serves to the overall dynamic and agility of the squad.
                        Primarily this is a psychological thing though. There is nothing which hinders the SL from acting in the same way under both of those different circumstances. Still it CAN hinder him, if he let's himself be hindered by it. Certainly it is easier for the SL to act in a more e self-confident wa when he get's granted more importance.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Balance between 'professional' and promotional comms

                          For clarity's sake, are you just theory-crafting on platoon communications, or asking the Outfit Administration for something?

                          If it's the former, then by all means, continue. I'll have to bow out of the conversation, as I'm not much of a theory-crafter.

                          If it's the later, I'd like to direct your attention to the Mission Statement, as it were, on our Outfit Info page.

                          Here's the relevant part:

                          Originally posted by Jeepo View Post
                          The TG Outfit is here for the benefit of all TG NC Mattherson players and exists to assist our diverse player base to self organize themselves in game. It is not a top down hierarchy. The Outfit facilitates the ad hoc assembly of groups of TG players and public players into organized squads and platoons making use of the in-game chain of command and communication systems to establish control and coordination of participating individuals and units.

                          While members of the Outfit are encouraged to participate in Outfit run squads and platoons as well as organized TG events or training, these activities are not mandatory. When you are in a squad or platoon, you must follow the in game chain of command. In order to help streamline control and coordination, the Outfit has established some recommended Standard Operating Procedures.

                          Special events or some multi-platoon operations may require the use of our Teamspeak 3 server for coordination. Why wait for an event though. We encourage all our members to join us in the PS2 channel when firing up a game session so install it today.
                          So, if you'd like to see your communication structure implemented, you'll have to organize an event (which I would be happy to assist you with) or start up a platoon and implement it.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Balance between 'professional' and promotional comms

                            Both of it, I'd say. I have my view. I pose it to you and asking for critics on my view and for you to pose yours. I then see what I find sensible about yours and what not and what I find better about yours than mine or vice versa to in the end find the (optimal) solution. If you call this theocrafting... then yes, I am theocrafting. Though I would call it problem-solving, as there is the idea of application behind it - I do not want to discuss this for the sake of discussing this. I what to discuss this to eventually find a better solution than what we currently have.

                            Also: Why would I want to do an event if apparently there is no one that shares my view.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Balance between 'professional' and promotional comms

                              There's no need to get despondent. I'm sure there are more than a few community members that are intrigued by your proposals. (Hell, I'm interested in seeing them put into action.) Something to keep in mind is that only a handful of community members have voiced an opinion in this thread, whereas we have close to 200 members in the Outfit. And of those 200 members, quite a few have come from titles such as ArmA and PR, and are most likely itching for a more serious and realistic experience in Ps2.

                              Other than our cluttered comms issue (to which there are many possible resolutions), this thread has highlighted that Ps2 @ TG is a community driven title. Meaning that the community decides how they want to play the game on a daily basis, using the Outfit as a means to organize. So, maybe it's time, after the discussion in this thread and the discussions you've been a part of in the Strategy and Tactics sub-forum (which I've followed with interest), to put your money where your mouth is, so to speak. Step up, set up an event, and put your theories to the ultimate test. If you like, write up a proposal for your event and submit it to the COA and we'll see what the Administration can do to make your effort as easy and streamlined as possible.

                              You may also consider reaching out to some of our established SL/PL's for advice, guidance, or to even 'hire' one of them to lead your event. JohnF is also someone that can help, seeing as he's our Event Coordinator. I bet he's a great, quivering mass of anticipation at getting your project on his desk and helping you to coordinate it.

                              I guess what I'm trying to say is this: We've got a great tool box at our disposal to achieve our goals, whatever those goals may be. We've just got to start using it and not worry that a particular idea or style of game play might not be well received. Ps2 is what you make of it, and you can't make anything of it if you don't try.


                              As to your effort at problem solving our comms issues: I'd like to thank you for bringing the subject up and focusing the communities attention on it. There have been some good ideas discussed in this thread so far, and I hope that more community members chime in with their opinions and potential solutions. I also hope that our current SL/PL's are watching this thread and thinking of ways to incorporate the ideas that they like into their mode of operation. My final hope is that this discussion has sparked interest in future SL/PL's with ideas on how they'd run a platoon. Perhaps some of them identify with the ideas and theories you've presented and we can wiggle them out of the woodwork, as well as giving them the courage to step up.

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