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  • [DISCUSSION] Bravo. What is it there for?

    This thread is not about the fact that there's multiple servers or whatever; but, is about the what is the true idea and reason for our Bravo Server. Currently, our Bravo server stands as our ACE/ACRE Server, which happens to feature our @TGMaps custom repository where we keep suggested mods as well as our non-Vanilla maps; however, this discussion I am starting is not to discuss mods or ACE or ACRE. I want to discuss why people here at TacticalGamer ArmA play on Bravo, what kind of gameplay we expect on the Bravo server compared to the Alpha server, and what kind of attitude a player should have when coming on to play on the Bravo server.

    My opinion is formed through my approximate time here with TG:ArmA. I have served here for about a year. I have been part of the Tactical Gamer community about twice that. I have seen the way some games evolve and collapse on themselves. My opinion on Bravo server when I first came to TG:ArmA was that it was just our server that housed the ACE mod and had a bunch of fancy toys to play with in comparison to the Alpha server. Over the past year, my opinion changed. I learned that it was where a player could get on and expect extraordinary teamwork and tactical gameplay. Where the objective was to complete the mission at hand as best and complete as possible, all while keep the eye on the realistic aspect of the mission. We used certain missions to seed the server and once it got so high, we pretty much dropped what we were doing and threw up a proper TG mission. Heck, we once even had a falling out of a LOT of players due to some of our players trying to keep the server on our seeder, despite there being over fifteen players online, and ten to fifteen more waiting for them to get off the seeder.

    Recently, I have noticed a similar thing happening. We'll have some of our Europeans on in the early hours of the day (for Eastern US at least), and they'll put it onto Domination (our current seeder), and play for a while in order to seed the server. Next thing you know, several hours have passed and its prime-time for US players (around 4-5PM) to start logging in. They'll get onto the server and it will surpass 12-15 players. By that time, the Domination mission has been on for so long that the mission had time to go from morning to evening. What happens next? More players look into joining and then once we reach over 20 odd players, people start to get fed up with Domination and try to call a vote to get off the mission and to a new one. Most of the time there will be a majority vote to get off to a proper TG Mission. Half of the time, only a few people will even respond to the vote, which is troublesome. What happens next is there are normally a few people, namely pubbies and people who rather to play domination than a mission, who leave the server whereas a majority stay.

    What I am trying to get to with this is, is Bravo Server meant to be on Domination for so long? I understand the appeal of Domination that people have: Its easy to jump into, doesn't require a lot of time to get some action, has a bunch of fancy toys that you get to play with, gives majority choice up to the player, and there's almost a guarantee that the mission will get completely mostly without a hitch. The issue I see in these appeals are that, do they really apply to the Bravo Server? While being easy to jump into is a plus of any mission, what about those hardcore No JIP mission that used to get played A LOT in the past. Those had no way to jump into, but we a lot of fun and had a challenge. From my personal opinion, the Bravo server isn't about the "pew-pew" action. The goal of playing on Bravo is to be able to plan and make complex maneuvers. The goal of it is to maintain a near full immersion environment. The reasoning behind having ACE and ACRE incorporated into game-play is to allow a near full immersion to the game. These mods, while providing extra guns, vehicles, "toy"'s to say simply, are not there to do just that. They are there to allow for a more realistic environment. While many a times they can be a hindrance to the players in getting that all sought after "action", they allow players to experience the hell a real military scenario can be like. To put it simply, they add challenge to the game. Challenge is one thing that seems to slip out of the grasps of may players. I have to agree that it is a great feel to complete a mission successfully and not have a lot go wrong, but, I have to stop and think sometimes, "What if the reason we got through it so easily was not due to my own decisions, but due to the shear simplicity and ease of the mission?". Recently, we played a mission by LowSpeed (a few actually) that were unbelievably hard, heck, we didn't even get past the first objective. The thing is, they were amazing! I haven't seen a mission like them for a long time, and the thing is, possibly a reasoning behind it is is that players just want to get that feeling of success brought to them simply. They want to get that hour or two of game-play filled with as much action and as much 'fun' as possible. I feel as if some players are not there to take on a challenge, to try to learn new skills or abilities, or to learn from mistakes so that they may better themselves.

    Where I'm going with this is back to my earlier question. Why do we play on Bravo? I know that I play there to experience the thrill of a challenge, the awesomeness of taking on a leadership role and commanding a team to victory when everything seems grim. I don't go onto the Bravo server expecting a playground full of chaos. I go on there expecting things to go wrong, new lesson to be learned, and when things do become FUBAR. I have fun with it all. I'll take the beating from the bots and put a smile on my face, because I know that while things may be on downward spiral to rock-bottom, I'm still having fun. If I get taken down and I've got a ten minute wait just to respawn and another ten minutes till I'm back with the rest of the group, oh well, just means I can finally get up and go to the bathroom, maybe get a drink or something to eat. What we have to remember is that it takes a certain kind of person, a certain kind of attitude to have fun in this game. We have to remember, "Maybe I won't get a lot of action in the allotted time I have to play, but as long as we're doing things right, taking things seriously, and keeping a positive attiude, then maybe things won't seems so bad. Maybe, just maybe, I am having fun with this."

    [/WallOfText]
    Blackpython / ZephyrDark
    Former 31st RECCE Member


  • #2
    Re: [DISCUSSION] Bravo. What is it there for?

    Agreed, for the most part. But care also needs to be taken when switching to real missions - how much time people have left, how many people are likely to drop out etc. It's unfortunately common to see the server switch from Domi to a mission, then lose half the original players in the first 30 minutes. Then again, it often gets filled up with JIPs during this, too. Things start going really haywire when the mission goes FUBAR, and people continue throwing themselves at the objective - this can kill the enjoyment of a mission, and sometimes turn people off missions entirely. Then again, the way to solve this is to not run straight back into the fight the moment you respawn - wait at base, gather enough people to be able to go back into the fight in force, rather than peacemeal. Together we stand, divided we fall.

    I'm getting off topic. Now for "what I think Bravo is for"... It's there to be a challenge. Thrill, adrenaline rush. For working as a team - knowing that what you're doing is making a difference, helping some random people you've probably never seen half the world away. I don't mind a ten minute respawn and whatnot (then again, not actually died once in the last two events), or taking ages to get back into the fight - hell, I'm willing to wait an extra ten minutes just to make sure that things are organised so that when we do get back into the fight, it makes sense. Better to sit around waiting for some more respawns to move an entire fireteam or squad in at once, rather than people one by one. Walking for almost an hour to get somewhere doesn't bother me either - it makes the action all the sweeter when you do get there. I play to be a part of something, even if it is a small whining part at the back of a group.

    Pepper

    "If you find yourself in a fair fight, you didn't plan your mission properly." David Hackworth

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    • #3
      Re: [DISCUSSION] Bravo. What is it there for?

      @ Alpha server should be for all newcomers to the Arma2-CO game--good basic training for newbies in all areas. No mods, so one can grasp the game and how it was intended to be played.
      Develop a good set of basics in this server and it will serve you and others well.

      @ Bravo server should be for all players wanting more of a challenge and immersion after experiencing the vanilla version of the Arma2-CO. I don't recommend new players to the game to try to grasp all that is available with this modded server before learning the basics first on the Alpha server.

      @ Admins for the server-- reveiw this -- http://www.tacticalgamer.com/arma-so...rocedures.html

      Working together sometimes and most times is a give and take, if asked to vote cast you ballot, if not your silence is your reward.

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      • #4
        Re: [DISCUSSION] Bravo. What is it there for?

        Sarge, you took the words right out of my brain.

        Woof posed the question: "Do we really want newcomers to join our ranks through Bravo?"

        And I agree. Please do your best not to take what I am about to say as an elitest position.

        Bravo is not a mainstream place for any and all. It is a destination. A not too difficult hurdle to cross. An objective to reach and a mission to accomplish. If a player is willing to go the distance to get onto Bravo, then they are a welcome and needed part of our community. We all went through the same thing to get here and it is because of that,... that we consider it to be a sanctuary for serious and realistic gaming.

        Bravo is a haven, a place of competition, and a canvas upon which some of the most cunning and intensive battlescenes have been painted with our names as the acrylic.

        It really, Really is disheartening when someone comes on to our server, throws our primer into our face, spawns a AH64 using cheats, and then leaves with no remorse.

        As you may know, I don't do well with negativity among our ranks. We're not some CoD server where there is nothing but anonymity and juvenile pessimism and sarcasm. Bravo makes supporting one another worth it and provides a quality experience which we all can join in on. I like the fact that when I am on Bravo, I can TRUST the man/woman next to me. Beyond that, it's an emotional attachment.

        TG for life.

        Current ARMA Development Project: No Current Project

        "An infantryman needs a leader to be the standard against which he can judge all soldiers."

        Friend of |TG| Chief

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: [DISCUSSION] Bravo. What is it there for?

          (Disclaimer: I'm not sure if I am wording this right, or even how to correctly get my point across, and I'm struggling to make this coherent, but here goes)

          Personally, I feel that Bravo is the place for challenges, teamwork, and realism (though still having fun). I think that players on Bravo should already have at least a basic grasp of the game. If you're still new, that is fine, and we WILL help you with any questions you may have but you should at least know the basic controls (vanilla controls, ace/acre we'll help you out with) and how to at least follow basic commands from the FTL/SL/etc.

          I think both Sarge and Dimitrius hit it on the head. Bravo is not really for brand new to ARMA players. It's not for players who just want to rambo, kill everything, or just want to take the Apache and blow the hell out of everything then leave. I play on Bravo to get away from pub servers and to play in a realistic and team oriented environment. And like Athanasa, I don't mind a bit of a wait ingame to keep things organized. As I keep joking, ARMA is the only game I can play while reading a book. I want to reiterate that I don't expect everyone on Bravo to be the greatest ever, know every single formation, all the radio protocols, or never make mistakes, or be super duper serious or what not. I'm still learning, we're all still learning.

          Is this post coherent? I'm not sure. It's hard for me to get my point across here without sounding like I want Bravo to be locked down and players need a retinal scan to get in and act super serious. It's a fine line, and this definitely crosses over with the topics in the password thread. Just how open should Bravo be? Whats the balance between openness and a relaxing environment for the existing player base? I don't know myself, and I don't think there is a definite answer. Is there any statistical data on which server gets more new players to join TG? I would imagine that just do to the mod set it would be Alpha.


          "You have to go out, you don't have to come back."

          Dredgeisms: "NO! GoNooowwwBARRELROLL!" - "There WILL be NO desync!"

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: [DISCUSSION] Bravo. What is it there for?

            Dimitrius hit the nail right on the head but I have my own 2 cents to add.

            Bravo should never be a players first stop when jumping on to get some game time in. Years ago the creed was that you as a TG member should always be on Alpha to play, even if there are just a handful of players you have never seen before. The only way you are going to get new members is to play on the server they can just jump into and play. There were times when we were in the deep on the Bravo server and then quit to join Alpha because we saw new people playing. You have to show them who plays here at TG rather then assume that they will join Alpha and then automatically make their way to Bravo.

            I know Bravo to many players feels like a safe haven from the rookies, the noobs, and the AH64 spawners but it can't be controlled if there is no one there to make it better.

            To me Bravo should be a event server or a borrowed server for when people want to plan a mission in advance with TG folks.

            The other thing is that numbers do attract other players when they are looking to join a server. The most fun I can recall was on Alpha leading 30 players who don't know each other but are willing to work if there is leadership. If you can get 30 players working together you might be lucky to get 10 to come back and lucky to get half to visit the website. The lasting effect you create on Alpha encourages new players to come back. That encouragement gets them onto the forums and involved and soon you have more members on TG events and possible in your IHS or striving to be Pathfinders or just great community members.

            I personally don't like seeing more people on Bravo then on Alpha because to a new player seeing that and not being able to join defeats the purpose of having two servers.

            I like most of the regulars enjoy the fancy features of ACE and ACRE but I don't like to sacrifice new blood coming to TG just to use all the new toys.

            One thing that could be discussed is designating Alpha Nights and Bravo Nights here at TG so that all players know where each other are going to be. I know this sounds like someone is telling you what to do but it could be a nice experiment.
            FORMER 22ND RRR/FORMER 1ST JTOC/ ALWAYS A TACTICALGAMER


            Spartan 4

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            • #7
              Re: [DISCUSSION] Bravo. What is it there for?

              I feel like I am double posting this but I will do so anyway....

              So I will talk from a not so experienced point of view on Bravo.

              I have played a lot on ALPHA and I like it there for a lot and various reasons, which I will not analyze here.

              I decided to get on and try ACE and ACRE again because I like something different, I like the challenge. I like that there are different missions and not just Domination. BUT, and emphasis on that, I do not like or appreciate super hard missions and super realistic ones either. This is first and foremost a game. What do I mean with that? I am all for having difficult objectives but missions that are impossible? what is the point? super realistic (walk and do nothing for an hour or more to go somewhere? ) what is the point again? It is a game and it is supposed to be fun (for the majority of people).

              A good option for the harder/more realistic/hard core missions are the events. They seem to be more often now, which is great, and people can sign up for them or just avoid them. Even if the two that are currently running end, I think there could be a little less formal, mission night on Charlie for people who enjoy just that.

              On the seeder/mission point, people join the server because they like what they see. They are seeder maps because they attract people. They attract people because people like them. So why do we always want to change that? Do not change the mission because there are 10-15 people, so what? they enjoy themselves, that is the objective. Yes suggest a map change. Do people not vote? it might be because they are afraid they will be booed down, or embarrassed to want to stay on the seeder map (yes I have done it too). So if that is the case leave it on a bit longer and suggest it later. You want to change the map? then have a mission in mind. Last thing people need is spending half an hour deciding what to play. Suggest a specific mission change. If noone is wanting to lead that mission, then be ready to take it over. I also suppose that a better question would be not who wants to change the map but who will stay and play if we change it to this or this? who will stay if we leave it on the current one.

              I am not sure if this is the intended answer you would like. So I will add this, Bravo is there for people to explore ACE/ACRE and have fun, challenge themselves and see different things.

              PS: None of the above are meant to insult anyone, I do not know how else to form the last bunch of questions so it is not intended to be towards Python or anyone in particular but in general to people who are at that spot (myself included) :)
              - - -

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              • #8
                Re: [DISCUSSION] Bravo. What is it there for?

                I have seen this very topic discussed hundreds of times and never has it ended politely so please everyone remember that we are all part of the same community and this is just a healthy discussion. No one is to be singled out or sat down infront of a lamp like an interrogation.

                This type of discussion is really digging down into why each of us plays here at TG and if anything should be a way finding out who it is that we play with and learning more about each other.
                FORMER 22ND RRR/FORMER 1ST JTOC/ ALWAYS A TACTICALGAMER


                Spartan 4

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                • #9
                  Re: [DISCUSSION] Bravo. What is it there for?

                  Originally posted by viper1986 View Post
                  I have seen this very topic discussed hundreds of times and never has it ended politely so please everyone remember that we are all part of the same community and this is just a healthy discussion. No one is to be singled out or sat down infront of a lamp like an interrogation.

                  This type of discussion is really digging down into why each of us plays here at TG and if anything should be a way finding out who it is that we play with and learning more about each other.

                  I totally agree with you which is why I tried to say that in my post. We all need to compromise a little as no one solution can please everyone completely.

                  My intention is not to single anyone out or go against people. But it is good to get to understand each others reasons and points of view so we can work on a solution, hopefully.
                  - - -

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: [DISCUSSION] Bravo. What is it there for?

                    Thank you WarFairy and Viper for stating that. I started this thread with the intent of some healthy discussion between the players here at TG. I want this to be a discussion that helps players understand each other's positions on the ideas of our servers. I have attempted to get similar discussions going in the past on TS to no real benefit as everything had to be from the tip of my tongue, and guessing, of other's as well. Here on the forums we can thoroughly discuss and understand one another.
                    I personally would love to hear from each and every player at TG: ArmA and their opinions. The better we can understand each other and our expectations and beliefs, the better we can make compromises and decisions in-game. For at the end of it all, we're less of a community, and more of a family if you think about it.
                    Blackpython / ZephyrDark
                    Former 31st RECCE Member

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                    • #11
                      Re: [DISCUSSION] Bravo. What is it there for?

                      Firstly, Secondly, More Importantly, and Lastly - Bravo is a TG community. As any of us would expect, a TG community should be at the very least, non-hostile to the new player ::tongue in cheek::
                      What do i mean by that?
                      - Come one, Come all!
                      New guy, old guy, young guy, girl or guy... Come on over and someone will help you get your feet wet and show you how we do it here. I still love that part of TG, the people who go out of their way to help anyone, new or veteran. That's why I stayed when I found TG some years back. That's how this community has done so well (IMO), we WELCOME people. - Or at least give them a shot to play with us in our style of gameplay.

                      So getting back to 'why do we have Bravo', at the most basic I believe it is just another 'flavor' of TG for players to consume. It's not everyone's cup of tea, and that's fine, we can't be everything. What we can do is play a variety of missions reflective of the group's expressed interests. For example - so far we seem to be discussing "to stay with Domi or not to stay with Domi" Personally, I don't care as long as we are going about the side missions or main AO as we would a normal meeshun. That said, if someone throws up a request for comment for a new map, I'm gonna scream MARPAT!!!!!! And most of you already know that ;)
                      We all have our preferences, let's try and satisfy the appetites for the different flavors of ARMAII:BRAVO gameplay as we can. Do you really want to get tired of playing 'Lazy Sunday'? I really like that map, but if I keep playing it, that could change ;)
                      Just keep in mind that we don't play many missions each night or each session you happen to be on. You won't always find a map that suites your fancy. It happens, such is life. But try and take one for the team so the next guy can enjoy a sweet meeshun with tons of awesome TG players - I guarantee you will be that guy soon enough.

                      TL;DR - Bravo is what we want it to be, nothing more, nothing less - lets share interests and spice it up to try and include everyone as best we can. No need to define or label it.
                      Q: How many members of Congress does it take to change a light bulb?
                      A: None. There is nothing wrong with the light bulb; its conditions are improving every day. Any reports of its lack of incandescence are delusional spin from the liberal media. That light bulb has served honorably, and anything you say undermines the lighting effort. Why do you hate freedom?!?

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                      • #12
                        Re: [DISCUSSION] Bravo. What is it there for?

                        As stated plenty before, this is only my opinion:

                        BRAVO is not what it used to be. When ACE/ACRE were just coming out, BRAVO was elite. You wouldn't find a better server to use those tools in a MILSIM environment. Somewhere along the way, it became pretty much what it is now -- a public server... a playground with fancy toys. It's not about MILSIM anymore. It's not teamwork, it's not completing difficult and realistic missions. It's just another place for these new players that have no real intent to work as a team to meet up and play a map with cool sounds, skins, and toys. Now, I'm not saying that is a "problem" necessarily because we do need to appeal to the "randoms", but I'm saying that I feel it needs to get back to its roots. People that were AWOL, insubordinate, or uncooperative used to get the boot without exception. BRAVO was 30 players a night and everyone meant business.

                        As said, BRAVO is a destination, not the means to an end. BRAVO IS the end. BRAVO isn't the place to pick up people, it's the place to show people what we're about. The suggestion of a password night(s) is a good one insofar as it keeps the Rambos out for the most part, but as we've all discussed -- what is the cost of that? Are we alienating the public by passwording, or is that a way to tell them, "Hey, look, we're serious about MILSIM and if you're not then I'm sure there's another community that you can find"? We have to enforce the rules that we uphold during events ALL the time. Sure, you scare off some folks, but you also attract some. It's a gamble either way -- do we cater to the newbies, or do we frustrate the people looking for a teamwork-oriented MILSIM? BRAVO needs to be our pride and joy: the place we strut our stuff and tell people that they're either going to meet our expectations or find somewhere, or someone, that can help them meet those expectations.

                        There is no incentive to be a teamplayer because... oh, man, I died. Oh well, I respawn in 60 seconds and I'll just throw myself haphazardly at the objective again because I'm getting 5 kills a life, so the objective will be complete eventually, right? I remember in A1, the standard used to be "1 life to live" so you made the most of it every time and in my opinion, that's what made ArmA fun -- not dying and spectating for an hour, but knowing you needed to be careful because you didn't want to die. You wouldn't get in situations that would get you killed. Nowadays, it's "whole team rush in and kill them all -- consequences be damned".

                        BRAVO is not a playground and as it was once stated -- TacticalGamer is not mainstream gaming. It is niche gaming, and it needs to be treated like it. You can put lipstick on a pig and it's still a pig. If you allow the server to become a playground, you're really just playing BF2 COOP, aren't you?

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                        • #13
                          Re: [DISCUSSION] Bravo. What is it there for?

                          Thank you for using lipstick, pigs, and BF2 COOP all within two sentences of one another. You are welcome here.

                          Current ARMA Development Project: No Current Project

                          "An infantryman needs a leader to be the standard against which he can judge all soldiers."

                          Friend of |TG| Chief

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: [DISCUSSION] Bravo. What is it there for?

                            I play ArmA because I like realism. I like ACE/ACRE. I like a challenging map that brings out high-level teamwork. So in theory I should like Bravo. I do, some of the time. But it gets tough when you have players who have no interest in ACRE, no interest in squadding up or playing with the team. That is one of the things that breaks Bravo. Ideally this would be solved by a greater admin presence or better use of the voted admin position, but this is why I was interested in the suggestion that Bravo be passworded (again) during certain times of the week, with the password easily accessible on TS3.

                            How can you have teamwork if you can't communicate with the people on your team who aren't on comms because they don't have ACRE? This isn't a question of people needing to help them, I have repeatedly run into players that do no want to join the TS3 server because they are on their own Vent/TS3/Mumble server or don't want to deal with it. So if you have Bravo there with the intent of being the "hardcore" TG ArmA server that demands exceptional teamwork, how does that work with the above problem?

                            Bravo mission/map changes: There needs to be a smooth and quick transition. The delay from a vote to sitting around trying to figure out what to play and then getting it set up always causes an exponential loss in players. JB is a player who understands this, and pushes to get things switched over and going quickly, avoiding that dreaded down time of waiting at the screen, where players began to drop off as things stall out. I think the suggestion that you need to have a map picked out ahead of time when presenting a vote for map change is excellent. Once the vote goes through, quickly switch over, get things briefed, and get into the map. That said, if you have 20 people on, and only 4 vote, that shouldn't count as a "yes" to change the map. That is what I have seen several times, and it usually causes an even greater number of players to leave by the time the new map is up.

                            Map Selection: Picking a mission that takes 4-5 hours to complete during a weekday night is great if you are a student; not so great if you have work and family responsibilities. Picking a map shouldn't just be about what the voted admin wants, but what would be good for the group of players that are on the server. If you have a steady loss of players (and JIPs), it is going to break down the teamwork and the pace of the mission as things grind to a halt to replace people who had to leave or just joined. Selecting missions during the week that are JIP-friendly is appreciated (unlike a certain zombie mission that makes people wait around for 2-3 hours to play). For this to work we need a list of the missions that are on the server, with info like type (CO/TvT), min/max players, map/island name, JIP/Respawn friendly or not and a description of what the mission is. This needs to be kept current. Since there is a forum that requires similar information to be posted when the maps are requested to be uploaded to the servers, can't we ask a bit more detail then, and have it cross-posted to a "current map list sticky"? Reporting and removal of broken missions is an important component of this also (use that CAA thread!).

                            Alternate Seeder Maps: Domi fatigue. It is real. If we had options like playing it as East, it wouldn't be as bad. Can we find a working ACE/ACRE friendly Insurgency (I thought there were some on the server, but have been told they are broken in different ways) or other effective seeder maps? There are a couple of good alternate seeder maps on Alpha (Waldo, Scorpion Killer, Barbarossa), it would be excellent if we can use something like that on Bravo occasionally.

                            I don't mean to de-rail the thread. I like Bravo, but I would like it a lot more if we can get it more organized and running more smoothly.
                            sigpic
                            [squadl][conduct]



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                            • #15
                              Re: [DISCUSSION] Bravo. What is it there for?

                              Re: mission lengths. One advantage of "one life to live" missions i that they end a lot quicker than respawn missions. So if things to go hell and everyone dies, mission over. Rather than endless respawns and throwing yourself back in to try again.

                              Pepper

                              "If you find yourself in a fair fight, you didn't plan your mission properly." David Hackworth

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