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  • Order and Chaos, Effectiveness and Efficiency

    Order and Chaos, Effectiveness and Efficiency, these are the words I want to talk about.

    PlanetSide 2 is dominated by an all-out fast paced chaotic*1 play style (the headless chicken phenomenon). The game rewards you for not being thoughtful and cautious in various ways. The cautious and thoughtful will be overwhelmed by the speed and the chaos around. The cautious earns generally less Certs and so on. Thus a chaotic play style is promoted compared to a thoughtful one. This certainly applies to the single individual, that is not playing in a coordinated team. But does it apply to said coordinated*2 teams as well? Or is there some synergistic effect when a larger groups of players acts in a coordinated manner that allows them emerge form the chaos, rather than get swallowed up by it? Can you control the chaos by “being order”? My observations are that even if people try hard to play in a disciplined and coordinated fashion, they cannot resist to the force of the chaos around, which urges them to play chaotic themselves. The chaos does not allow order to emerge, apparently. But is this so under all circumstances, or do players just need to try hard enough to act disciplined and coordinately? And if they did, could they withstand the chaos raging all around, or would a team like this collapse under the pressure of the chaos around? Whilst I don't know the answer to this question, I suspect, that the required amount of discipline, skill and will to play coordinately, to allow a team to actually emerge from the chaos and rule it, is tremendous. I am yet to see it. But the actual question is, does the game allow it at all? Or is the nature of the game so, that it favors more chaotic play so much more, that all efforts to create real coordination are in vain? This is where effectiveness and efficiency come into play. I think there is a certain relation between effective play and efficient play, that determines how efficient a team can play until it is no longer effective enough to further increase it's efficiency. I suppose in PS2 effectiveness crushes efficiency already at a very low level (of efficiency). That would mean, that playing really efficiently in PS2 is not possible due to the nature of the game and it's rules and mechanics. So there is a certain degree of efficiency that a team cannot pass, when it's opponent does not do so too, as the team loses effectiveness at a certain degree of efficiency, which causes it to be less effective than it’s opponent, even when it is more coordinated!

    I made a very crappy diagram, to illustrate wtf I am talking about...^^



    So, I would like to know what you think of my hypothesis. And if you agree, in what way you think we should adjust our approach on what will make for a fun and likewise effective play style.


    My general view on this is the following:

    Being crushed by the opponent is not fun, but neither is an only halfheartedly coordinated team....


    Maybe you find my thoughts just very queer and don't know what I was even talking about. Please tell me so too, so I can make my point more clear.


    MAJOR EDIT:


    I thought, I should maybe also add this:



    This illustrates, WHY a team gets less and less effective at a certain degree of efficiency. The reason is, the team invest more and more energy (effort) into being efficient, whilst the have already reached a point of maximum efficiency. So by investing still more energy in trying to be efficient whilst the team does not become more so and thus they waste energy that they could use to be more effective in the 'chaotic' way. So efficiency becomes an energy sink.

    __________________________________________________ ____________________

    *1 What I mean by “chaotic” is not headless or unthinking, but rather 'not minding efficiency', as what matters is effectiveness.

    Examples:

    -Zergs are quiet often very chaotic, hence inefficient but still quite effective.

    -Dozens of people swarming a just captured place seeking for leftover and hiding enemies is certainly not efficient, as they overlap each others 'searching perimeters' constantly and repeatedly, but effective. This is chaotic, as there is no order, but it is effective.


    *2 What I mean with coordinated is not simply sticking together as a squad, going for the same objectives and communicating those objectives + some contact reports and the like. I mean all-out tactical play. As coordinated as possible, form the comm-structure over coordinated movement to coordination of loadouts.
    Last edited by Evilhardt; 02-02-2013, 12:16 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Order and Chaos, Effectiveness and Efficiency

    Uhm... if you guys consider this nonsense at least tell me so... I honestly don't know myself if this really makes sense at all, it was just an idea which I made to an hypothesis.

    Silence is quite ambiguous:

    either you think it's bull**** what I wrote, or
    you don't care about that kind of stuff (which leads me to ask myself, where when not here can I find people to talk about things like that), or
    I didn’t express my idea clearly enough, so you didn't understand and don’t even know where to start asking, or
    you think I wrote this because I wanted to grow my epeen (which is not the case) and thus don't bother answering because that might grow it even bigger, or
    some combination of those options...

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Order and Chaos, Effectiveness and Efficiency

      Don't feel bad about lack of response to your post Evil. This isn't the most trafficked area of the PS2 forums yet, as it is a pretty recent addition. I promise that I'll look this over in a bit more detail and see if I can't throw you some analysis this evening.




      * *

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      • #4
        Re: Order and Chaos, Effectiveness and Efficiency

        Evilhardt, I'm not sure where your perceived tone and attitude stems from but I would like to remind you that we have strict rules regarding language in forum posts. I'd encourage you to dial it back just a bit.

        I'm not sure what you're looking for out of this discourse. Any number of people could read it and simply say "I agree" or "I disagree". I think the lack of response comes from a lack of application. It's a nice conjecture, but doesn't appear to conclude with anything that translates into application.

        "Everytime I read your posts I do it with Morgan Freeman's voice in my head as if he is narrating your life" - Aimed

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        • #5
          Re: Order and Chaos, Effectiveness and Efficiency

          What did I do wrong? Because of the word that starts with 'B' and ends with 't'? Well, if that should be the case, I apologize for using that word. (Even if I don't quite see the point, as it referred to the stuff that I wrote myself...) Otherwise I don't see what could be wrong about what I said. Unless you should refer to the options I enlisted, then you might have misinterpreted my intention with those. Those options were the ones possible not the ones likely. Not with a single word I did imply any of those would apply specifically to some readers.

          On topic: First, there is a lot of potential to discuss rather then to simply agree or not. Second, I think it concludes with a lot of things that translate into application indeed. Because: What I have seen so far from TG-gameplay in PS2 was rather sobering to me. I could not notice a high level of coordination at all. So I pondered why that might be so. My conclusion was, that the game does not allow it. But I couldn't be completely certain about that. Maybe one simply needed to try harder, to establish order in a team in PS2 than in other games, as PS2 is so chaotic. Then I thought, maybe it isn’t even effective to try really hard to establish a highly coordinated team, as of what I described in detail above.
          So yes, there is a lot that translates into application. Mainly the question, should one even try to play the game in a more TGesque manner, as this might not work out at all. So there is a direct conetion to the primer, as you might see, and discussing about how TG should act in a certain game in hindsight to the primer, as the game apparently poses some rather hard problems to the execution of the primer, I suppose is worthwhile...
          Last edited by Evilhardt; 02-05-2013, 10:50 PM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Order and Chaos, Effectiveness and Efficiency

            Originally posted by Evilhardt View Post
            So there is a direct conetion to the primer, as you might see, and discussing about how TG should act in a certain game in hindsight to the primer, as the game apparently poses some rather hard problems to the execution of the primer, I suppose is worthwhile...
            I think you're looking at this backwards. TG is more focused on the gameplay than the outcome of the gameplay. The primer is the primer and the reason the community exists, it defines the goals and purpose of the community. So if you're suggesting that the goals of the community should be ignored to instead focus on the goals of the masses in game, I would strongly disagree. TG is here to get AWAY from that mentality, not run towards it.
            Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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            • #7
              Re: Order and Chaos, Effectiveness and Efficiency

              As a matter of fact, from what I have seen, PS2 isn't played 100% accordingly to the primer. Thus I tried to figure out why. The result of that process is the first post. Hence I am no way looking backwards at it. I am trying to find out why it is the case, that (again: from what I have seen (!)) PS2 isn’t played quite TGesque.
              Also: This is a game without dedicated servers. Therefore you need to play with people other than TG. If it should be the case that playing according to the primer isn’t fun, because you just get owned by all the non-TG people, that play more effective, you are basically forced to not play according to the primer to be able to play the game at all. I am not suggesting anything. I am thinking out loud, critically posing questions given the situation that prompted these in the first place.


              Edit: Not that anybody misunderstands this: I am not saying that the PS2 gameplay I have seen was intentionally not according to the primer. There rather was a general lack of high level coordination, that made it less TG-typical and more casual.

              Edit2: Note, that i don't wanted to talk about the primer in specif in this thread, but rather about how one can find a good compromise between efficient coordinated and effective play for PS2 (always considering the primer in the background of course)
              Last edited by Evilhardt; 02-05-2013, 04:12 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Order and Chaos, Effectiveness and Efficiency

                Originally posted by Evilhardt View Post
                In a matter of fact, from what I have seen, PS2 isn't played 100% accordingly to the primer. Thus I tried to figure out why. The result of that process is the first post. Hence I am no way looking backwards at it. I am trying to find out why it is the case, that (again: from what I have seen (!)) PS2 isn’t played quite TGesque.
                Also: This is a game without dedicated servers. Therefore you need to play with people other than TG. If it should be the case that playing according to the primer isn’t fun, because you just get owned by all the non-TG people, that play more effective, you are basically forced to not play according to the primer to be able to play the game at all. I am not suggesting anything. I am thinking out loud, critically posing questions given the situation that prompted these in the first place.
                Your first point is something that is being worked on. Lots of stuff happening on that front to help define TG within PS2.

                As to the second point; I'm not sure how that is overly relevant. If you're off on your own doing stuff then we have no control/insight to that, but if you're playing as part of the Outfit and an organized TG structure, you should be comporting yourself in a manner conducive to upholding the ideals of the primer.

                The biggest problem with these types of discussions and PS2 is it is FAR too easy to construct straw men to "prove points" and/or justify ignoring the primer. If you CHOOSE to put yourself in a position where you have no hope of winning unless you're playing in a chaotic and haphazard manner then you're exercising a choice. Your choices seem to be based on win conditions vs. gameplay. Nothing in the TG primer (to my knowledge and I will correct it if I'm incorrect in this) discusses win conditions being the goal of Tactical Gamer.
                Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Order and Chaos, Effectiveness and Efficiency

                  If I understand that correctly you assume I would rather play the effective way than the TG way. Well, why would you think I wanted to talk about this, if this was so simple? I prefer to play the TG way, why would I be here for if not. But it simply is the case, that the game poses major problems if you want to do so. Because of that you need to adapt to a certain degree to the game to be of any use for your team (your faction) and yourself so to speak.
                  As I already said, I am suggesting nothing. But I personally don't like to get overwhelmed by an enemy that doesn’t know that we want to play in a more mature fashion, which in this game apparently causes you to be less effective. So, if you have a game, that makes it near impossible to play hardcore primer, then you need to adapt (again, I am nit suggesting this.), if you want to have some fun apart from just playing hardcore primer style, which apparently is already happening (as I stated above and which you confirmed, kind of).
                  So, I am saying "let's make the most of it!". This thread was supposed to be the place to figure out what would be the most to make of it. But apparently you don't want this discussion at all, as you are not interested in making the most of it. I am fine with that too, but I assume it might not be too much fun, as the PS2 simply is not the right environment for hardcore primer play (UNFORTUANETLY! I would have liked that a lot!). And I might not be alone on this one, as the TG people (from what I have seen........) simply don't play the primer 100%... So either you force the people to do so, or not and admit, that TGs at times adapt to the circumstances and play less primerly. As you see, I am not saying anything that isn't happening already anyways... I hope you now understand my intention.
                  Last edited by Evilhardt; 02-05-2013, 11:01 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Order and Chaos, Effectiveness and Efficiency

                    I think I should bow out of this conversation. This feels a little too confrontational for me. I'm not interested in developing gameplay with the primer "in the background" as the community is built around having it in the foreground.

                    If the question is "How can we better unify and organize our forces to deal with larger unorganized elements" then it's an entirely different conversation.

                    Cheers.
                    Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Order and Chaos, Effectiveness and Efficiency

                      Well, I don't see how this question is not the same I am posing. I say: "the unorganized enemy plays effective, because he plays the way the game rewards the most (high risk favoring, not punishing for inefficiency). How can we play to be able to counter that but still be efficient." In addition I say "I have the impression this might not be possible to do in the way we want, because the game might not allow it." What is the difference?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Order and Chaos, Effectiveness and Efficiency

                        I'm just having trouble reading solid blocks of text. You may want to consider to breaking up your thoughts into more readable paragraphs.

                        "Everytime I read your posts I do it with Morgan Freeman's voice in my head as if he is narrating your life" - Aimed

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Order and Chaos, Effectiveness and Efficiency

                          Cannot edit the first post any longer but did so in the other ones.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Order and Chaos, Effectiveness and Efficiency

                            I apologize for not getting to it quicker. I had read it once and was thinking about a response but never got to it. Personally I think such questions about player discipline is a very good one. The game is one where people's concept of CoC are what actually define the CoC, unlike real life where there is an official means to enforce and show the CoC. Combine this with the analogy that the game is effectively a 'Joint Operation' of MANY different squads and platoons of, on average, only a handful of people and you end up seeing the 'chaos' we see. Even if everyone is a team player to some degree the fact is that there is no direct unification between my self and a person in not in my platoon.

                            The game has two things that make it work on a 'team' level;

                            1) Individual players own desire to help and 'win'
                            2) In Game methods of leadership and cooperation

                            Today, and many many others, I've run a platoon with only a handful of TG players and a vast majority of Non-Outfit Members want to know what happened?

                            Success. Perfect following of orders!

                            Seriously! It was, and always is, bloody brilliant to see 24+ colored dots actually following orders without question through thick and thin. We have ORDER... we really do! I can not tell you how many people LOVE to work with other people. I mean the whole reason they got this game was for that... but still its amazing.

                            This situation implies a 'top-down' form of organization in PS2. I bring this up because this is the glue that ties our individual actions into something grand.

                            Now there is another layer to be aware of and that is battlefield tactical organization. This is hard or nearly impossible to enact on any level with 'none-outfit members' as you need to practice and understand the people of your squads to work to such a level. Certainly generic tactics and common sense feats should be expected but high level tactics on the level of your dream 'spec-ops' mission well no. That is not a reasonable assumption to experience. Even then when you do experience it its impact is little as 'numbers' trump skill in a exponential way; more numbers drastically minimize skill.

                            So then this tells us a couple things;

                            a) Top-Down Organization exists
                            b) Small Scale organization exists but not on a level meaningful

                            I then come to observe your concepts of Efficiency and Effectiveness and how the game influences these. The way I interpret your graph is that by trying to be 'Efficient' an organizations spends too many resources at the point of failure to impede effectiveness. I agree.

                            Adding layers of complexity only serves to turn off 'Non Outfit Members', people who otherwise want to work with you to win. The old adage of 'Point me in a direction and tell me to shoot' fits here perfectly. This is why the large 'zergs' aren't demanding; they would rather spend resources on gaining numbers, and the efficiency with them, than putting layers of CoC and battle order that would most likely impede their desire to play.

                            This is the nature of the game and the perfect analogy is the thought of 'cannon fodder' or 'peasants' in Rome Total War. Simple cheap troops capable of overwhelming lines or at the least pitching a fight in a certain direction. I am perfectly fine with this... it actually reflects life in my opinion and rewards those who think outside of the box.

                            Now where does that leave us? The people who want to be as effective as possible and willing to have the battle order and CoC and even feed off of things like this? Special operations! Specific Operations! I imagine a future game where we have two types of groups; the 'fodder' group that unites willing Non-Outfit Members with the more specific professional Special Operation. Imagine a pitched battle with platoons fighting platoons and the general chaos surrounded by a Tech Plant battle and suddenly both H-Gen and V-Gen are flashing and locked down by a squad each. BOOM! they go and the battle, one of easily 200 players hits its plateau as the SCU goes next and 6/6 are on [A].

                            What a blast that'd be.

                            TG needs to get working for that ^^.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Order and Chaos, Effectiveness and Efficiency

                              Thank you for your detailed answer – I am glad you understand my intention and concur with me. Also, please don’t apologize, for I guess I am the one who needs to do so, as apparently I was just too impatient. (Side note: From now on I will tell other people that don't get answers to their stuff, if I have read it and just need time to think about an adequate answer, that I may post one soon.)

                              I was precisely thinking of what you call 'battlefield tactical organization'. Your solution to the problem – to do special operations – seems sensible. Away from the chaos this narrow environment might suit TG play style very well. Remains the question what is possible within the boundaries of such special operations. Certainly a single squad could perform reasonably well (for example all twelve players dropping from a Galaxy as CQC-Infiltrators on an AMP station, spreading out and hack every turret and terminal the come across, SL plants a spawn beacon, then the squad regroups and attacks the defenders from behind, sweeping a tower and a wall section, probably dies in the process and respawns as a more heterogeneous combination of classes to now go for the gens etc. …). But can also a whole platoon or even several platoons act in a special operations manner, isolating themselves form the chaos to be able to play “THEIR way” (which on top of that would at times be very effective for the progress to victory of their team (the faction))? One needs to explore the limits. What does the game allow you to do before you cannot isolate yourself form the chaotic masses any longer, which render that kind of tactics impossible to realize.

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