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RFC: Command Channel Noise

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  • RFC: Command Channel Noise

    I was back in the PL chair last night for a few hours. Stumbled along and made a few rookie mistakes but am looking forward to more.

    A few thoughts on the command channel.

    The command channel is a mess -- particularly and crucially so during Alerts. It often cripples the comms and destroys my own ability to hear and communicate with SLs. I asked for order from the command channel but was only given grief. Suggestions on reforming the command channel or instilling discipline may be forthcoming here, but I'll say from the outset that such efforts will be wasted. It is what it is and it is exactly what it was back in 2013 when i was PLing frequently.

    I doubt that I will use the command channel again. It is easy enough to see where there is an excess of allies and where additional force is needed and I do not need 6 people debating strategy in my ears while trying to run my platoon. I know Randy does manage to use the Command channel with great success and am not about to suggest he do otherwise on his watch. As for myself, I do not find it essential for efficient and effective action during Alerts.

    I'll upload a 60 minute record of last nights Alert so those unfamiliar with the Command channel can see what your PL is dealing with vis a vis incoming comms from other outfits.

    I think there is some form of Leader-wide chat function (?) -- if so I will make use of that to relay our movements. In the past I would delegate Randy to liaise with the Command TS group, but I am not sure of its status at this time.
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: RFC: Command Channel Noise

    It's really a mixed bag. Sometimes it's a real pleasure to work with if the right people are on, often it's a gong show worth muting. My compromise has been to keep leader comms at a very low volume and then only raise them if they seem to be productive.

    The channel is not unsalvageable, it's been done in the past and has had its ups and downs, often in time with NC cooperation initiatives as a whole. At this time, though, it's really a mess more often than not, and there's no NCC or the like to really bring it back under control.



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    • #3
      Re: RFC: Command Channel Noise

      The thing about command channel is that its a popularity thing. People only listen when certain ppl talk. Over the last year I've built relations with different outfits on all factions. Two days ago I ran into a VG who are TR platoon. They recognized me and said they will be playing NC Friday and that we should work together during prime time.

      A list of outfits who will usually work with TG

      DVS
      TIW
      SG
      BAX (only if you need air support, most of their pilots are ex TG so they always help if they can)
      PHX if they are in the area

      Im sure im missing a few

      a good way to start is just typing what you are doing and where you are going in command chat and build from there

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: RFC: Command Channel Noise

        -Yeah Generally speaking Im regretting purchasing the 100 certs command comms thing. Its a pain in the butt And I cant really figure out how to mute it when I'm SL'ing and its not important to be hearing what some of the outfit wide things that are happening When your leading a squad. Also the fact that just anyone with 100 certs can get on the channel doesn't seem to help either. I heard what appeared to be a younger person on last night saying and ranting about how "THE BEST DEFENSE IS A GOOD OFFENSE." witch although true in some situations, was causing A great amount of arguing and generally speaking inefficiency. While I could see it being useful the fact of the matter alot of people can misuse it and alot of times I hear arguing over it rather than communication and organization Especially during alerts. I'd say one of the best (not nesscecarily the best) Use for it at the moment is letting other outfits know where our platoons/squads are going in an effort that some may choose to help out, or to attempt to hold said base for a little while longer as our reinforcements are on there way.

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        • #5
          Re: RFC: Command Channel Noise

          Good advice all round which makes me "talk back" my comments above a bit. yes, I now remember doing what Starstriker1 mentions, very low volume in the background.

          Will try that again and use Command chat (could not find the key for it last night) for sending text notices of our movements and objectives.

          It was very foolish of the designers to allow SLs access to Command chat -- at very least it should be keep to top level (PL) ranks so as to help minimize noise. If memory serves me there is a way to mute individual speakers in Command talk (???).

          I'll see if I can setup a hot key for quick on/off use of the Command channel as well.
          sigpic

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          • #6
            Re: RFC: Command Channel Noise

            I've coordinated productively with TAS, VCO, LUX, and HYUN as well.

            For communicating on leader chat, just use /leader when you're an SL or PL. /orders is also available, and is a timer limited continent-wide text message to the faction, which can be helpful for zerg herding.

            For managing the voice comms, head to the social tab on the menu and look for the voice subheading. Individual channels can have their volume turned up and down (including all the way down if you don't want to hear command at all, though frustratingly audio ducking still happens when you do that). Individual members of the channel can also be muted, or turned up and down if they're broadcasting too quietly or too loudly.



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            • #7
              Re: RFC: Command Channel Noise

              Originally posted by ghostshooter101 View Post
              The thing about command channel is that its a popularity thing. People only listen when certain ppl talk. Over the last year I've built relations with different outfits on all factions. Two days ago I ran into a VG who are TR platoon. They recognized me and said they will be playing NC Friday and that we should work together during prime time.

              A list of outfits who will usually work with TG

              DVS
              TIW
              SG
              BAX (only if you need air support, most of their pilots are ex TG so they always help if they can)
              PHX if they are in the area

              Im sure im missing a few

              a good way to start is just typing what you are doing and where you are going in command chat and build from there
              Aw, you noticed us! Yeah, we try to help out when people feed us intel. Last couple weeks have been pretty slow between leader burnout and general fatigue with the game (worsening performance, the overall state of the air game, and most recently this whole buyout/layoffs fiasco), but I reckon we'll pull together soon.

              In related news, I'm the BAX air lead now, and I'll try to remember to hop into the TG teamspeak when I'm leading. If nothing else, send me a tell if I'm on and I'll see what we can do to help!


              Originally posted by RaymondScout View Post
              tl;dr
              Son, is there an Enter key on your keyboard?


              A pilot who doesn't have any fear probably isn't flying his plane to its maximum. -Jon McBride, astronaut

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: RFC: Command Channel Noise

                Very glad to see you back in game E-Male, we've missed you. I can relate to your rustiness as a PL, as I have been rusty as well recently; like you I am also just returning after a long absence.

                And I hear your frustration. I hope that your recent experience does not prevent you from continuing to Platoon Lead, nor from liaising with NC COMMAND. These concerns have been voiced by many others, many times (usually in various alliance forums, or in talking to people one on one who have simply muted COMMAND because they are fed up with it). In fact, this has been a long running concern of mine, so I am going to go ahead and take some time and address it, not only for your benefit, but for the benefit of all of our current (and upcoming) Platoon Leaders.

                The COMMAND channel noise issue is a bit of a conundrum; I look at it as a double edged sword really. We've all gotten into this game, at least in part (presumably), because of the massive scale and coordination possibilities it offers, but the "reality on the ground" of that coordination (in COMMAND channel at least, at times) can certainly be off-putting. And especially more so to those of us who have chosen TG as a gaming community, as I suspect we are somewhat spoiled by our higher level of teamwork, better comms discipline, and higher maturity level in general.



                We Have A Choice to Make


                So... we have a fundamental choice to make: we can engage with COMMAND channel, or we can withdraw from it. When COMMAND is noisy, quite a lot of the sort of (reasonable, well disciplined, mature) people that we would like to see more of in there (including yourself E-Male, and many others) unfortunately choose the latter (withdrawal), which only leaves the bombastic to remain, further worsening the problem.

                But instead of withdrawing from COMMAND channel, I have always felt that this is a great opportunity for us (at TG, especially) to shine and lead by example, and influence the channel in a positive direction with our maturity and good comms discipline.

                After long experience in various alliances and COMMAND channels, my carefully considered opinion has evolved to also include promoting the idea that all of us who choose to lead are responsible for the sanctity of our COMMAND channel. Now you may think that to be a fool's errand, but consider for a moment the alternative (warning, strong language):

                Twitch

                Yeah, that's what I thought.

                But, what can be done?

                "It is impossible to influence COMMAND channel!" you may say...

                Well I am here to tell you that it is not impossible at all, it is just another level of in game leadership. Just as Squad Leading is different, and more taxing, yet more rewarding than being a squad member, and Platoon Leading is different, and more taxing, yet more rewarding than being a Squad Leader; well the next progression on that trajectory is to become one of the handful of recognized and respected voices in COMMAND channel (a Faction Leader or Shot Caller if you will). It is definitely different and more taxing, but IMO is one of the most rewarding things you can ever do in the entire game.

                I mean, there is a reason that I have been deluged with friendly /tells and warm greetings in Proximity chat in the last several days playing, after returning from an 8 month or so absence. People still remember the glory days when NC were the dominant faction for a while on Mattherson, how good our coordination used to be, how fun it all was, and the small part that I had in making that happen. It's not witchcraft or magic, although you will need to be prepared to put in a little effort. As in all things, usually you will get out of it what you put into it. Allow me to share some of my thoughts on exactly what that entails.



                Making Friends, or, Becoming the Mayor of Emerald


                Ghostshooter is thinking along the right lines in this post:

                Originally posted by ghostshooter101 View Post
                The thing about command channel is that its a popularity thing. People only listen when certain ppl talk. Over the last year I've built relations with different outfits on all factions. Two days ago I ran into a VG who are TR platoon. They recognized me and said they will be playing NC Friday and that we should work together during prime time.
                Although I would modify it slightly to say that it is really about developing friendships, or at least mutual respect and a good working relationship. The one thing I noticed that any of the most successful coordination efforts I have been involved in was that the people involved got to know each other on at least some level, even if it was just working together in COMMAND or NCC. But the best and closest relationships became much more than that. The bottom line is, when some random person on the internet asks you to do something, you are probably not likely to do it. But the more you know and respect them, the more likely you are to follow what they say. So I would encourage anyone who is inclined to Platoon Leading, to spend some time in COMMAND and/or the various NC alliance forums, and start to get to know some people. You will find out that it is the same small handful of people and outfits working together, over and over, throughout the various alliances that have come and gone.

                Now you don't have to become the next Mayor of Emerald like I was the Mayor of Mattherson, lol. There are a lot of smaller things you can do that take less time. But before we even get into those things, there is one more consideration we need to keep in mind. Namely...



                We Are Not in Kansas (TG) Any More...


                Venturing out from the warm busom of TG and into the wild lands of the COMMAND channel has a couple implications you will need to keep in mind. First of all, there are all sorts of people in there, of all ages and all levels of maturity. There are certainly sociopaths and trolls, as well as people who just like to hear their own voice, but don't let them put you off. There are also a lot of good people in there who are interested in coordination and fun (a silent majority, I would like to hope), as well as some well intentioned people who just have poor comms discipline, and may be a bit verbose. You will need to put at least a small amount of effort into learning who is who, and who is worth listening to, and who is not. You will find out pretty quickly that there are really only a handful of people in there that everyone really listens to and who call most of the shots.

                The second implication of this is that no one will follow your orders. lol We are now well outside of TG, there is no COC, and so any influencing you can do is just that, influencing. Think of it like the United Nations, or NATO. It is a completely different paradigm than SLing or PLing, in fact you will need to become a bit of a politician. If you are new to the scene, I suggest you start small and follow others' lead and just offer support and reinforcement. By reinforcing others (especially where it is really needed by the faction) you will earn the respect of others, which can be called upon later once you have garnered enough of it (this is why I can usually always get support for us, it's because I have supported others, and the faction, many many times, and everyone knows that).

                Which leads to a related point. You will need to learn how to read the map, and understand the macro/strategic level game of how all 3 factions tend to move around it, what bases are more important and why, and you will need to understand the current redeployment meta and how that may affect your decisions as PL. Many people don't like it, I don't either, but it is the game we have right now until something is done about it. I have learned much of what I know about the tendencies of the other factions (and our own blueberries), as well as how to win alerts, by following along and listening to more experienced leaders in the various COMMAND and coalition channels. Eventually by doing that, you become one of those more experienced leaders. But listening in to COMMAND is a great way for new PLs to get your feet wet and start learning.

                Really, eventually you learn that you will get support if you are calling for it at the "right" base, which has more to do with map reading. Although, when it comes to two competing strategies, that is where the politics come in, and who knows who, and who will follow and support who, etc.



                Some Specifics


                So now that I've discussed the broader issues in general, let me address some specifics, and give you a few things you can take away and apply in game right now (while still always keeping the above discussed broader concepts in mind). Most of these are things that anyone can do, any time, even if you just want to coordinate a little, and are not quite ready yet to become a full time politician / Platoon Leader / Company Commander / Shot Caller on the Continental Strategic level. :)

                * If you don't feel comfortable speaking in COMMAND channel yet, then don't. Keep listening in there for a while until you figure out who is who and what is going on, you understand how to read and interpret the map, and then when you are ready and feel comfortable, join in on the discussion. Or even better, just contribute in a small way at first, at minimum reporting your movements, so time and effort are not wasted with multiple groups heading to the same place you are.

                * Announce your presence in the channel, what you are doing, and where. Example (at the beginning of an alert): "TG has two squads, moving to Hossin to participate in the alert." You will be amazed how many people might start responding positively, just by you making this simple declaration.

                * Take everything E-Male has written on comms discipline, and read it 5x and apply it doubly. Read (or re-read) our Comms SOP and NATO phonetic alphabet (good for grid references). But the TL;DR is: think before you speak, and transmit as little as possible. Less is more. Remember that every person in the channel is at least SLing their own squad, if not PLing, or more. Always be professional in your comms. Represent TG well.

                * Begin your transmission (as you always should) by stating what channel you are in and who you are. Remember, most PLs have multiple channels going (sometimes simultaneously) in their ears, and/or they are looking at the map most of the time, and so they can't see who is talking, nor in what channel. Also preface with continent, because COMMAND spans all continents (unless it is obvious what continent you are on (i.e., everyone is on same continent for an alert)). Ex.: "Indar COMMAND, TG just left the warp gate with 4 squads airborne infantry, heading to Scarred Mesa."

                * Take everything Garthra has written on Leadership, read it 5x and apply it doubly. Particularly the stuff on tone and morale. Remember, high level leadership is mostly about politics and influence, because there is no COC. In other words, everything you learned in Kindergarten. You will catch a lot more flies with honey than vinegar, etc. Seriously.

                * In general, be a positive influence. Be warm, polite, and friendly. Don't allow others' negativity to make you negative. Instead, by being positive, you will influence others to be positive. Be a pleasant ray of sunshine in an otherwise dark place. You will stand out, and others will follow your lead.

                * DO NOT EVER initiate nor continue an argument. This can be very difficult if you have not mentally prepared yourself to go into it in the proper frame of mind. Violence and anger only ever beget more of the same, so don't contribute to it. Instead, let those negative things roll off of you like water off a duck's back. If someone is really, really bad, consider muting them.

                * The default hotkey for muting the current speaker is NumPad Enter. But I strongly advise against muting people. Even the worst trolls (think Wisdomcube and Admiral Snuggles) can, and have, contributed positively to the strategic discussion.

                * You can calm down a lot of flame wars by sending tells. This works better with someone you know a little, or have worked with. Instead of yelling "EVERYONE SHUT UP" in COMMAND, send an empathetic /tell to one of the arguing parties, ex. "yes I know Player X is an idiot, but he is trolling you right now and you are responding, this is not helping our COMMAND channel right now." Obviously this works better the more of a recognized voice you are, but as long as you are empathetic and calming in your wording, I don't see how it can hurt. In fact, by being empathetic, you may make a friend and a new political ally in COMMAND channel.

                * If you hear someone babbling on and on (poor comms discipline) but who seems like they are trying, they might just be young, inexperienced, or most likely they have never been exposed to any sort of proper comms training, consider sending them the following simple, concise, yet effective tell: "please reduce your COMMAND comms by 50%" (which, I believe, E-Male actually sent to me, once upon a time!).

                * There are some good uses for the text based leader chat options, and you should know which of them do what.

                * /Leader (brown text) goes to all leaders on all continents (SLs and PLs only) and is good for discussing strategy, and other things that shouldn't clog the primary VOIP channel. You can use /Leader as much as you like.

                * /Orders (bright yellow text) goes to every single person on the current continent only, and is useful (as SS mentioned) for herding unaffiliated blueberries, although you should allow AT LEAST 5 minutes for them to start to move (i.e., use this for long term blocking/defensive support, or at at big bases that take a long time to cap, or tell them 5 min ahead of your planned attack). You can only use /Orders once every so often.

                * I'm sure there are more that are not coming to me just this moment, but these should get you started, and this post is long enough as it is. lol



                PL as Communications Nexus


                One final thought. I would like to state that most of this applies to Platoon Leading. When you are single squad leading, you might want to keep an ear in COMMAND, but it might be too much for you along with managing the immediate, tactical needs of your squad. Therefore when I am Squad Leading, I am concentrating on that fully, and I mute COMMAND comms, leaving them to the PL. Conversely, when I am PL, I keep my primary ear in COMMAND and my own PLATOON level comms (as well as usually a couple other TS channels such as NCC, etc.) and almost never shoot at anyone, drive anything, or fly. I instead become a sort of communications nexus, often times spending the majority of my time dead, looking at the map, and in various comms channels, as if I were some sort of network based, non corporeal entity. lol

                But this is the trade off we make, when we step up and take the reigns as PL. And by spending more of our time as PL studying the map and liaising with (and maintaining the sanctity of, and making friends in) COMMAND channel, you gain an additional benefit. You reduce your own comms and micromanagement to your own platoon, allowing them the time and minimal platoon level comms to be able to execute your orders at the squad level.

                Good luck out there, and I really look forward to more TGers stepping up and becoming more influential voices within Emerald NC COMMAND! :)
                "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: RFC: Command Channel Noise

                  My thoughts are much the same as Randy's but I could in no way, be as eloquent or organized as he has. I very much agree with all his points and I would do well to re-read them every time I go to PL until they are concrete in my mind. I would highly recommended making a sticky note of the main points here and reading it ever time before you step into command channel. Because it will mess you up unless you are ready for the negative aspects of it. I know we can't change command chat just by steping in, But we will slowly change the additude of the good leaders in there and bring back the others who have left it. As long as we keep our head and keep showing them how it is done with examples and building relationships.

                  Thank you Randy for the best guild to dealing with Command Chat I have ever seen. +1 reputation if I new how. Amazing job and I think your reply should be made into a SOP or Guild.
                  Keep up the good work.
                  "When attacking a stronger opponent, Attack swiftly and with full force at their weakest point— take them out before the can react, or Fall back and engage in guerrilla actions,” Spartan 117.

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                  • #10
                    Re: RFC: Command Channel Noise

                    -agreed also thanks for letting me know about the mute feature, something that I couldn't figure out for forever. I think If I ever use it it will simply be for letting people know where the platoon is going and where backup is going to be received. I enjoy thinking tactically on the fly, and fighting alongside my squad and platoonmates too much for me to play a big game of "RISK" (In reference to the board game.) Although if it is possible to do both I will surely try.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: RFC: Command Channel Noise

                      I have muted command long ago, and only umuted it in the last few months but in keep it quiet as alerts don't factor into how I like to play.

                      However, it's usefulness is clear. This make me wonder if we are running a platoon of more than two squads while participating in an alert if we should dedicate one person for command comms who is NOT the platoon leader, but is instead the coordinator of the platoon. This way platoon leader can effectively respond to squad comms, direct the platoon more effectively, under the overall dirction of the command comm leader. (Who could be a squad member or just someone on teamspeak).

                      This would be more effective with larger platoons and busier alerts.
                      Communications, Cohesion, Confidence.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: RFC: Command Channel Noise

                        From what Ive seen when we are communicating through COMMAND we tend to just be bashing our head against the wall, in greater numbers. Feeling effective is whats fun and and head bashing is no fun. The value from command as a whole faction is massive. But from the few times Ive seen the TG squads using COMMAND, the fun has suffered greatly. Leading a platoon can be hard, and requires focus. Focus split between PL and COMMAND is too much. Perhaps it would have more value with FULL platoons, but since we only get that like once a week I feel its over used when we're 1-2 squads.

                        Recruitment to get the numbers for the big fights rather than other outfits through COMMAND, in my opinion. Last statement don't misread as no relations with other outfits. (The outfit on outfit skirmishes are very cool)

                        Just 2 cents from someone who doesn't lead TG squads.

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                        • #13
                          Re: RFC: Command Channel Noise

                          A few years ago I worked out a method of handing the Command channel. At that time Randy was heavily involved in the NCC coalition and was using the NCC TS in conjunction with TG teamspeak and the Command channel.

                          I would run one or two TG platoons with Randy assigned to the role of liaise officer. In this role Randy would feed me only the vital information -- where we were needed or where the NCC coalition was active/headed. Randy would then relay my platoon objectives to the coalition and (I think) the command channel.

                          Randy will have more to say on this.
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            Re: RFC: Command Channel Noise

                            I, personally, am really against the idea of being a dedicated radio man or COMMAND liaison, for a couple of reasons. For someone else to take that role in partnership with (E-Male, Zombie, or others for instance) it might work out, but not so much for me. And here's why.

                            First of all, a lot of what I do in COMMAND is direct the strategic discussion. And lead by example. Which often means committing troops. Which I have no authority to do if I am not leading our platoon.

                            And some times, you have to lobby the group for a while to get them to accept your strategy. Now imagine how foolish I look to NC COMMAND when I convince them to do x strategy, or go to y base, and then our Platoon Leader decides he doesn't want to do that. So then sometimes, after convincing NC COMMAND of the validity of taking a certain action, I then have to convince my own PL of exactly the same thing, before he commits our troops. Which he could have heard all the arguments in favor of the strategy I am promoting if he was himself in COMMAND in the first place! So it puts me in quite an untenable position.

                            And if the PL is just doing exactly what I am telling him to do, then I might as well just be PLing myself, as what's the difference at that point.

                            With the current redeployment meta, timing is also a factor. Very often there is simply not time to relay information from COMMAND to PL and then back in time to get our troops moving to where they need to be. And decisions need to be made quickly, in order to allow time for movement to the objective in time to re-secure / defend / or whatever.

                            Most all of this applies to COMMAND channel during alerts. In fact, I rarely hear it used other than during alert times. It is my considered opinion that, during alerts at least, the PL should be keeping track of what is going on in there, and working directly with COMMAND themselves, personally. This is a slightly different style than some PLs may be used to, and requires you to delegate the tactics on the ground to one or more actual Squad Leader(s) (other than yourself) to run each squad; this way you can focus on the larger strategic picture and COMMAND comms, which really is a full time job during an alert.

                            The elephant in the room of course is, do you really want to be playing an alert in the first place? As Zombie has stated in this thread, and others have stated to me before, some people just do not enjoy playing alerts, because the often hectic pace of playing the Redeployside meta is not an enjoyable way to spend their gaming time. I completely understand that perspective, and honestly I don't like it either. It is unfortunate that the redeploy meta is what it is right now, but until they fix it, that is the game we have to play (at times, anyway), if we want to contribute on the faction level to winning alerts.

                            OTOH, there are a lot of people in our outfit who do want to be competitive, participate in alerts, and do our part to assist the faction. Teamwork is an important principle here at TG, and just as being a good Medic to your squad is good teamwork, and being a good SL to your PL is good teamwork, IMO contributing to your faction during an alert is the ultimate teamwork within the game of PS2.

                            Having said all of that, I am not even up to the task myself some times lol (too tired or whatever), so I get it. Sometimes I don't even play the alert, especially if it is looking really bad for us. Because that's simply not going to be a good time for anyone in our platoon. And when I do play the alert, I try to be sensitive to those among us who do not appreciate Redeployside by trying to keep it to a minimum, as much as possible.

                            But there again, OTOH, some of those really close alerts where all the NC are coordinating really well in COMMAND, and we pull off a hard fought come from behind or under-popped victory, have been pretty universally held up by everyone as some of the best moments ever had in Planetside 2.
                            "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw



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                            • #15
                              Re: RFC: Command Channel Noise

                              Thanks for the update on the Command channel issue.

                              As far as I can see, there is no hot key for turning COMMAND comm channel on/off. Pity. I'll just continue doing what I have been doing the VAST majority of time when I PL. Turn the COMMAND channel off. Occasionally turn it on. And leave again.

                              Thanks for all the feedback.
                              sigpic

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