Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Comm Traffic/Covering

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Riyker
    started a topic Comm Traffic/Covering

    Comm Traffic/Covering

    I'd like to explore a better way to maximize comm traffic efficiency for the SLs.

    When SL'ing I frequently find it difficult to communicate with the element while channel commander (CA) traffic is heavy (as is during well structured play-nights) -- there's just too much covering going on.

    Outside of issuing orders, I like to inform my element members and take feedback -- those conversations were frequently interupted/covered w/ CA traffic.

    I haven't put much thought to it, but I think a direct Commander bind would be better than a full CA broadcast. This way SLs could communicate with the commanding officer (CO) with burdening other SLs with the ancillary traffic.

    I was thinking of placing the CO in the parent channel and have CA's whisper to the channel parent (instead of family). This way the other SLs wouldn't hear all the other SL <-> CO traffic.

    The trick would be figuring out how SL's could continue to communicate with other SLs so the CO doesn't have to relay traffic. Or have a CO and a radio operator in the parent channel, and the RO takes that load/responsibility of relaying messages to/from and between SLs.

    Anybody have thoughts on this?

    ---- UPDATED ----

    Regarding TS binds we can keep the existing TS configs as mentioned in the SOPs, but need to agree to adopt the following:

    1) CO always resides in the root Arma channel.
    2) Players must always join a sub-channel (so as to not interfere with CO business).
    3) SLs add a new bind for Channel PreDefs -> Parent Channel for SL<->CO comms.
    4) SLs use their existing CA bind for SL<->SL broadcast communications.
    5) CO broadcasts to all SL's using existing CA bind.
    6) CO communicates with SL's individually using Whisper To -> Channel List -> Channel Name binds or via Whisper To -> Player List -> Player Name (custom setup per game).

    I'm suggesting this setup because it seemed that most of the traffic I get coverage on is SL<->CO traffic -- as I remember there was very little SL<->SL traffic.

    Open for critique/suggestions.
    Last edited by Riyker; 07-14-2007, 02:03 PM.

  • tHa_KhAn
    replied
    Re: Comm Traffic/Covering

    The comm chatter to the SM's is really minimized with the direct whispers. This would even be true in Evo. The Procedure of asking "Command to Squad 2." then waiting for a response, that is an extremely minimal interruption. The Same for Air. "Air to squad 2" then wait. If something is being arranged with Air, generally it affects enough of the squad that it does not hurt to have them in on it.

    You would be amazed at how fast people can pick up on the procedure. Then how much chatter is cut down. If you weren't there at the session, it may not be a clear. For those that were, it is very clear how much less chatter there is.

    The exception being the Air Element Channel and Command element channel. As command I had to more than once, reply "Hold" to a specific squad that rang in while I was listening to another. The beauty of the whispers is that I can whisper to squad 3 while squad 2 is talking telling squad 3 to hold and for everyone that is minimal interruption and confirmation that their request will be processed. The Air squad will have to deal with the same issue as command. They will have more traffic, but then again if everyone keeps to procedure, then only 1 at a time will be speaking to air. I believe there are block whisper options available. If you want to just here your SL I think you can do that.

    Evo can follow the same model. On big organized Evo nights, if individuals are unwilling to attempt to adopt comm procedure then they are probably unwilling to follow other rules and can get the boot. I do agree CAS and Transport need to be separated. We'll need to work on how to do that though. I think CAS might need only to have a whisper to and from the Air Element coordinator. That way they do not hear any unnecessary comms. This also ensures they are following clear orders from the air coordinator. The SL to Air chatter will be greatly reduced by this procedure. I expect that on the big nights with organized air and ground there SL's and air coordinator will be aware of and following the simple comm procedure of Ask for clearance to speak and respect a hold. Obviously an emergency situation can be announced and should be given precedence, but this is just common sense.

    The biggest thing I see missing is the use of TEXT in all of this. If you are hear reading this and writing responses, then in game this can be done as well. The only group that may have difficulty is the Air element, which is understandable. But as yesterday showed, during a hectic battle I found it much easier to be clear and concise in TEXT to my pilot Moore. I used Side chat when awaiting his arrival or giving specifics for him to deliver supplies or reinforcements. When in the helo, I switched to vehicle Channel and was able to provide all my requests for positioning in overwatch and what new pick up or delivery we needed. No response was usually needed. If I need to go to an LZ, that's all the pilot needs to know. Where he is going, what his load is, and when he can dust off. All of this can be EASILY accomplished via text. Very little is needed back from the pilot. The TS comms should be reduced to the Air Coordinator assigning a pilot to a SL. Once that happens the SL or SM should then use Text to the pilot. There is no reason why not to do this. The Pilot on the ground can use text to confirm, in the air, the pilot is in charge anyway. If there is a major change in orders it will come down from the Air Coordinator anyway. Or can be accomplished via Text in vehicle Channel. Do not underestimate the power of Text. Using TEXT in Sunday's event, reduced a tremendous amount of chatter from me to Air and back. Less Chatter = Goodness. As I have said before, cross channel TS comms only need to be for immediate impact situations or direct requests. Both of which should be short and quick.

    Leave a comment:


  • SloppyJoe
    replied
    Re: Comm Traffic/Covering

    Originally posted by Riyker View Post
    Further, the CO "asks" for communication. So a "Command to 2" is so short it's not affecting anyone, whether "in the sh__" or not. If the SL doesn't respond the CO is likely to let time pass assuming the SL is busy.
    That's a good point!

    Whiskey: I guess it also depends how much the PL yaps.

    I missed the co-op event (had a tabletop game day). So I dunno how effective it was. I tend to think of the "true test" for those large evolution games. A co-op event is likely to gather players, dunno what the roster was, that have a firm grasp on comm procedures.

    I would have to say though by your responses that the SL-> PL via parent CC whisper and the PL -> SL channel whisper has a positive effect in cutting down chatter, for other SLs.

    In evolution however (I've only seen one game so far that had a PL active), most of the comm traffic is SL <-> SL but mostly SL <-> Air (which right now is both transport, attack helis and jets) and on a big night this comm traffic can get -unbelievable-. SL's talking to transport pilots working on whos going in what chopper and to what LZ, SL's talking to jet pilots and vice versa, cobra gunners/pilots talking with SLs and vice versa, etc. I mean it gets more clogged than a 2 stall seedy bar bathroom. Maybe just because evo has a lot of support assets or something, but it just gets nasty.

    The PL/SL thing is a drop in the bucket and I'm sure it helps, but I don't think it applies well to the issues around a loaded evo night, especially with no PL.
    I think SleepDoc's 2 main ideas address these issues by compartmentalizing the newarrival/transport/respawn (while seperating out CAS), and introducing the realistic and immersive RO position.

    However, I too await SleepDoc's hybrid revision in eager anticipation.

    Leave a comment:


  • WhiskeySix
    replied
    Re: Comm Traffic/Covering

    Originally posted by SloppyJoe View Post
    Excellently written long winded opinion.
    Good points. Maybe I haven't seen the dark-side of PL->Squad communications... My experience and expectations is that PL->SL comms would be short and sweet:

    "PL to Squad 3"
    "Squad 3, go"
    "Move your guys to S3 ASA and then wait for the Tanks... you'll be following them into town"

    Then a few minutes later

    "PL to Squad 3"
    "Squad 3, go"
    "ok.. move into the city, and stick close to the armor - your objective is to clear south of the main road".

    Then the SL's job is to maneuver the squad around in order to complete the objectives. That's 44 words of "noise". Seems a small price to pay to understand the big picture... ok.. maybe the medium picture. I suppose the SL would then relay all that info anyway, so it may be an even more efficient use of comms.


    Anyway - to each their own. This is a style thing and I totally see why people would have differing opinions.:D

    Leave a comment:


  • Riyker
    replied
    Re: Comm Traffic/Covering

    I generally agree with you SloppyJoe, on all points, with one exception:

    Originally posted by SloppyJoe View Post
    When squad members are "in the sh__" as they say, lives are on the line and the last thing they need jamming up comms is a bunch of high level chatter about who's moving where and who gets the Abrams and all that.
    It just holds true that in the reality of playing the game, we found this is a non-issue. In the game, the SL very seldomly hears anything from the CO -- not enough to justify distruption. There's a complete reveral from the AMOUNT of chatter now. It's great!

    Further, the CO "asks" for communication. So a "Command to 2" is so short it's not affecting anyone, whether "in the sh__" or not. If the SL doesn't respond the CO is likely to let time pass assuming the SL is busy.

    I was curious about this just as much as anyone else. Today, during the Sunday COOP, things fell into place. A LOT of things were going on, but I was able to manage my squad AND interface w/ the CO without having frustrations -- which is why I started this thread in the first place -- to help reduce comm traffic in the SLs ears. :icon14:

    SleepDoc is going to produce a new "best of blend" graphic based on our conversation this evening. I think we found the sweet spot! :row__572:

    It may come down to having the CO of an event decide which mech is most appropriate for comms at that time: a) Channel Commander + Radio Operators when staffed adequetely or b) Direct Channel Binds like we had today.

    Leave a comment:


  • SloppyJoe
    replied
    Re: Comm Traffic/Covering

    Originally posted by WhiskeySix View Post
    Personally, I liked hearing the PL's orders to our squad today. Although I was just a grunt, it was nice having a "higher-altitude" view of our place in the battlefield. <shrug> :)
    Here's my long winded opinion:

    Definition: Strategic level operations: operations involving the bigger picture of the battle and movements thereof, the highest macro level planning and ordering. Usually involving platoon/squad general orders/intel and heavy asset allocations.

    Definition: Tactical level operations: operations involving the smaller squad level picture of the current and smaller battle environment that the squad is in and movements of squad members, micro level planning and ordering.

    The Commanding Officer/Platoon Leader should be focussed on strategic level operations. Squad Leaders should be involved in this only as so far as providing intel to the CO, possible suggestions, and execution of the CO's orders.

    Squad leaders should be focussed on tactical level operations, commanding squad members and the squad in the more micro and immediate vicinity in carrying out plans for such, and every now and then participating in strategic level operations as far as intel and suggestions and acknowledging orders from the CO.

    Squad members should -only- be focussed on tactical level operations. They should be concentrating on the immediate environment and executing the squad leaders tactical plan. They should be using comms to facilitate these operations and work as a team, to keep each other alive, to call for a buddy's help, to spot targets, to confirm target status, to communicate what direction they have covered, to confirm supply needs and requests, to confirm movements and overwatch maneuvers, etc etc etc.

    The problem I have with what you are saying is, is that sure, it's nice to hear what's going on from the bigwigs, but only if you're at a campfire sharing battle stories. When squad members are "in the sh__" as they say, lives are on the line and the last thing they need jamming up comms is a bunch of high level chatter about who's moving where and who gets the Abrams and all that. Your squadmates should be utilizing that priority in comms to work as a team, and to work as a team to a high effect, communication is not optional. You can't stop the fight, tell the opfor to hold because a PL's transmission is coming through. And you don't want a PL transmission to break the mechanism that the team must have in order to operate effectively. Furthermore, the grunts that hear the conversation are only hearing the PL's side of things, not what the SL is saying to the PL through parent commander chat, talk about schizo.

    Yeah it's nice to know what's going on in the bigger picture, but there is a time and place for it. When the squad gets out of the battle or is in transport or find a break in the storm, then is the appropriate time for squad members to ask the SL, hey man, how's the big picture? But that should be at the right time and convenience of the squad.

    That's the big problem I have with the whisper to all from PL -> SL's channel is all that. It's a solution that undermines the fundamental and efficient compartmentalization of comms seperated by strategic and tactical level operations being in their appropriate places.

    Why I like Sleepdoc's idea is for two big reasons
    1) Compartmentalizing the transport/respawn/newarrival/and 'learn TG' and squad member placement comms into it's own channel. Because these guys are very rarely, 'in the sh__', they can use comms at a different pace and priority than combat squads in the battlefield.
    2) The compromise is, while #1 up there will help alleviate A LOT of command channel chatter, there will still be a web involving SLs and PL in that when something is broadcast it will not be direct to channels but a blanket communication through command channel. Given that transport and new arrival chatter will be removed, it will still be a great relief on CC. SL's can focus on what they need to do on tactical level operations and participate in comms with the PL as needed. IF the CC traffic gets to be too much for him (each person has different thresholds), he can assign RO to handle CC comms so he can focus on Squad level comms. That's the biggest compromise right there, and I gotta say it's actually cool. The RO could be a squadmember that by design is a semi-combatant, like a medic, or hell, is the medic, or an AT specialist that is called up for AT operations and hangs back when not called upon, or a sniper in some nice quiet hills. It's also a new position that opens up the posibility of a new squad roll, an important one, that adds a sense of usefulness to the player and immersion in the game, and should even come with it's own ribbon awards. Some might say this is a 'compromise'. I say it's an opportunity.

    Leave a comment:


  • boudreux
    replied
    Re: Comm Traffic/Covering

    I think that the new binds worked perfect today, except for the SL's that didn't have them. I know I kept hearing channel commander messages from Air/Armor guys. If everyone gets the binds, for when SL's die, it will be a beautiful sight. I can't imagine having done that mission today with the old channel commander style. With all the coordination needed, I never would have been able to talk to my squad.

    Great work on the comms guys, looking forward to more great ideas!

    Leave a comment:


  • WhiskeySix
    replied
    Re: Comm Traffic/Covering

    Personally, I liked hearing the PL's orders to our squad today. Although I was just a grunt, it was nice having a "higher-altitude" view of our place in the battlefield. <shrug> :)

    Leave a comment:


  • Sleepdoc
    replied
    Re: Comm Traffic/Covering

    Originally posted by tHa_KhAn View Post
    Ryker instituted a good policy that once the squad heard the PL's voice, they immediately give radio silence. Remember that the PL should be asking for confirmation first, so if the squad is engaged the interruption would be extremely minimal. A quick "Hold, PL" from the SL will get the Pl to hold transmission. This works both ways and was tested with great success.
    right. I'm coming around.... : )

    think about this approach you have developed, in concert with a new arrival channels which also holds the dedi pilots.... like in my picture .....

    See where i am going?

    Leave a comment:


  • Sleepdoc
    replied
    Re: Comm Traffic/Covering

    After I made this post, I had a long talk with Riyker. I believe we had a break through. it is what appears to be the perfect mixing of both these systems...

    I now understand and accept the value of whispers. It too is a compromise just like the limitations of my design. I think we just came up wiht a combined thing that has all of your stuff and all of mine in a way that overlaps without confusion....

    Stand by. A new picture will be out soon.

    the picture will be accompanied by a suggested channel list and suggested binddings. the bindings will actually look just like what you guys had today....

    I think we just found a sweet spot ..... and it allows the current whisper system (which prefers a CO) and my system (which is CO independant) to co exist with one single keybind file and one simple channel layout (that looks very much like what we have now)

    Stand by...

    Leave a comment:


  • tHa_KhAn
    replied
    Re: Comm Traffic/Covering

    Sleepdoc, presents some valid concerns. I however feel there is no perfect solution. So let the ideas flow and debate go back and forth as we attempt to try new things.

    As for the issue of PL interrupting comms. This can be taken care of by procedure. In general, the PL won't attempt to contact a squad unless there is a need or it's been a while since last comms. The procedure for contact has been established as "State who you are taking to, then who is talking." wait for confirmation. Now this little blip would be about as big an interruption as a beep on a phone/radio. The PL must also respect the SL is busy and give appropriate time between attempts to get attention. This is a procedural fix that as of now is probably the best solution for stopping comm interrupting.

    Concern that SM's don't need to hear anything but their squadmates or SL. I agree that would be ideal, but I would rather have PL transmissions heard by the entire squad than by all SL's(channel commander option). Generally once the game has started the PL's transmission is relevant to all the SM's. We found this especially useful when coordinating air. Faster you response when asking if all aboard by whispering to the channel as opposed to Channel commander or direct whisper to SL. PL to SL traffic is heard by the entire squad. SL to PL is not. So the traffic is actually less. Ryker instituted a could policy that once the squad heard the PL's voice, they immediately give radio silence. Remember that the PL should be asking for confirmation first, so if the squad is engaged the interruption would be extremely minimal. A quick "Hold, PL" from the SL will get the Pl to hold transmission. This works both ways and was tested with great success.

    Ideally a PL should have whispers directly to all SL's/RO's. They only need the whisper to command channel back. Again the system is not perfect, but I don't think there will be one with the limitation of TS. Today's game successful tackled a past problem of SL's getting too much unnecessary chatter. This was accomplished via channel whispers and comm procedure. We can take what we learned and move forward towards some of the other issues.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sleepdoc
    replied
    Re: Comm Traffic/Covering

    Originally posted by Riyker View Post
    Since the PL whispers to squad channels when in conversaion, all element members would quiet down when PL chatter came in. In reality, this proved to work out well. I didn't get feedback from anyone about feeling like they were left out of part of a conversation.

    This isn't a competition. It's an academic debate. Please know that I recognize that and that I engage in it from that spirit. If my point fails to prevail, I will gladly function in the system of the majority.

    But I will take yet another stab at this concept as the self-assigned deviil's advocate. Please excuse my persistence .....

    Why should my entire squad have to listen to what a PL is saying?

    For that matter, what good can possibly come from a regular grunt hearing anything other than the voices of his immediate squad members and SL?

    What if we (as a squad) are in a firefight? I would not expect my squadmates to stop making rapid contact calls (heading distance etc) just becuase the PL starts talking (Whispering to my channel). In fact, in such an instance, the PL stands to step on the much more vital transmission. The contact call is immedaite and it can save lives. It deserves a gauranteed clear channel for as many grunts as possible.

    Every single person in the squad might not hear the contact call becuase someone "Whispered" to my entire squad. and the opportunity to rapidly concentrate fire is either lost or dangerously delayed if that communication is competeing with "Whispers".

    I am not making up this situation. I have been in it. More than a few times I have had non squad member comms directly in our squad channel prevent contact calls from being heard and saving peoples lives. They can cuase confusion and delayed self preservation.

    It is purely coincidence if a PL does not step on a firefight-ciritical transmsission during any particular session. In most cases, the PL cannot possibly know the instantaneous changes to the squad's environment. so he should not be set up to step on all member's ears .... IMHO.

    but i can see how in most cases, this might not happen. But it can .... why create a system that permits this occurence and does nothing to prevent it? It will never happen if you don't use whispers....

    Of course, my system has compromises too. All Squad leaders have to share a space with the PL. And this might require the PL to call "Hold comms". But PLs and SLS in the same channel represent the most disciplined people in the same channel. So teh problem is automatically limited.

    I can't say this enough .... I don't want anyone else in my Squad Members ears but their other SM's. unless they are the SL or the RO.

    They say the defnition of insanity is to keep trying the same thing over and over even though it doesn't work. Maybe I am insane. :) It seems I have failed to convince the majority.

    The bottom line? TG is awesome. I'm just trying to help this academic debate run its natural course.

    Leave a comment:


  • Riyker
    replied
    Re: Comm Traffic/Covering

    Our Sunday COOP event went well. We used the direct whisper binds and did not use Channel Commander. It worked well. I think everyone agreed -- it was a huge imporovement in helping reduce comm cover.

    Since the PL whispers to squad channels when in conversaion, all element members would quiet down when PL chatter came in. In reality, this proved to work out well. I didn't get feedback from anyone about feeling like they were left out of part of a conversation.

    The PL, "Kahn", did mention that the only issue he had was when multiple incoming calls from squads. But did say, that because in practice the SLs used short calls during initiation so as to not interfere with any conversations the PL might be in. For example, "Squad 2 for Command" is short and sweet enough to get the message out w/o interferance. Squad 2 would wait for a "Go" from the PL before further broadcasting.

    To adopt SleedDocs proposal would mean working with a couple new channels for new arrivals, etc. which would work fine. Wether that's a new channel name or any other addressable channels like the Channel Parent.

    I think we've found the best of blend here.

    Any other folks in Sunday's event have an opinion?

    Leave a comment:


  • Sleepdoc
    replied
    Re: Comm Traffic/Covering

    Originally posted by SloppyJoe View Post
    If the PL doesn't exist, players still should see it as a channel to check in on, and if they are told a PL doesn't exist, go directly to squads for assignment. Re-commence discussion.
    One minor addition to your review (which was a nearly perfect understanding of my intent)

    when a PL doesn't exist, it is my hope that new arrival and respawns **WILL NOT* go straight to the squad channel. Rather, it was my hope that Dedicated transport pilots would function to negotiate with SL's (or RO's) via the channel commander to determine who wants the new guy etc, where to drop him off etc.

    Note in the image that the dedicated Transport pilot has acccess to the channel commander.

    It was my hope that only once the new arrival was boots on the ground at the squads side (or at a minimum, the assigned LZ negotiated between Dedicated transport pilot nad the SL), would the new arrival then switch to squad channel, and announce his presence. In fact, it would be nice if Dedicated transport pilots got into the habit of telling their passengers to switch over to their squad channels just as they are landing at their LZs.

    I think Sleepdoc's idea is more teamwork oriented and 'elegant' without adding much more complexity.
    Thank you. It is a bit disconcerting to me at the moment that current solutions being bantied about are not noticing their own complexity. Simplicity **is** Elegance. (as you obviously already know)
    Last edited by Sleepdoc; 07-22-2007, 04:14 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • SloppyJoe
    replied
    Re: Comm Traffic/Covering

    I think SleepDocs idea is more teamwork oriented and 'elegant' without adding much more complexity. SL's can basically do the same thing as they do now, unless they want an RO. The only difference, really, is the new arrival/transport/PL channel, which IMO is brilliant; it allows the CO not only to be able to handle directing strategy, but player assignments and monitor (or even direct) traffic. it also allows a centralized place for guidance and 'learn TG' type acitivty in the most fundamental regards (basic SOPs, or direction to forums if needed). If the PL doesn't exist, players still should see it as a channel to check in on, and if they are told a PL doesn't exist, go directly to squads for assignment. And when you are dead or need transport, it's not too complicated to switch to the transport channel to work out the logistics, and switch to a squad channel to get back to the squad when you are transported to it. If the PL doesn't exist in this system, there is minimal impact as SLs/ROs operate as usual. The separation of transport and air combat support is much much needed and will reduce comms and compartmentalize them as needed. The combining of re-spawn, new players, transport, and 'learn TG' into one channel is appropriate as well.

    The other system proposed with the PL in a root channel does cut out some comms, one way, by the mechanism of SL's whispering to commander in 'parent' and then the PL can whisper to a (whole) squad channel in reply, cutting out all other squads by avoiding the command channel. This would cut down on some comm traffic, then adds more in the whisper to all in a channel. So it's like 3 steps forward and 1 back. Kind of simple, but still an added complexity to remember who's whispering to command channel and whos whispering to a whole channel. Elegant? Not so much, since the whole squad is going to hear one way comms coming back from the PL, it the least it will be annoying noise, at worst, confusing to hear one side of a conversation. Also bear in mind, much, if not most, of comms are generated by transport ops and squads talking with transport using CC. This system doesn't really reduce that traffic, unless SL's went through the PL (if there is one), and the PL relayed to transport, and vice versa (and introducing more comms, just in another way). Also, if the PL doesn't exist, this system wouldn't really make 1 iota of difference as far as I can tell.

    Regardless, I think a channel structure that could accommodate an exploration or use of either or both systems could be something like this.

    -Arma Evolution (root)
    --NewArrival(+respawn)/Transport/PL
    ---Squad 1
    ---Squad 2
    ---Squad 3
    ---Squad 4
    ---Squad 5
    ---Armor
    ---Air Cav (rotary wing)
    ---Air Cav (fixed wing)

    And yes, air cav should definately have their own channels like armor, there is a lot of comm traffic involved, especially between gunners/pilots/spotters in AH-6's and AH-1Z's, and comms between bomb jets and escort/air-to-air jets.

    The root channel is not a good place to have anything important, since it has no real description in the name, hence the first subchannel which does. The root channel makes a good lobby, place to talk about 'why can't I get such and such mod working', etc.

    Just something to throw out there, for either or both systems.

    Re-commence discussion.

    Leave a comment:

Connect

Collapse

TeamSpeak 3 Server

Collapse

Twitter Feed

Collapse

Working...
X