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Standard Operating Procedures on TG ArmA Server (1 and 2)

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  • Standard Operating Procedures on TG ArmA Server (1 and 2)

    Heres a topic Im bringing up because I feel its relevant with new comers and veteran players alike.

    Just wanted to start an open discussion on the various SOP's that TG has adopted and maybe some new ones too...

    TG has some SOP's which are virtually ignored most of the times during regular server hours.... why they are ignored, I think is because most of the time they are not needed, but as the server gets more and more population, the need for such SOP's becomes more and more apparent, and not following these can make playing on the server considerably more frustrating, especially for leaders.


    Communication SOP's
    My primary topic about SOP's comes at comms use. There is a prety straightforward SOP sticky thread here:
    http://www.tacticalgamer.com/armed-a...comms-sop.html
    This thread has all the standard information, that should be prety common sense, but sadly is rarely used during most missions unless specifically and repeatedly brought up by the platoon leader. Not sure why this is, but I know for myself that I it really brings the overall play experience down when all you hear on comms is 10 different people all trying to talk at the same time, not knowing who is talking to who, and often saying things on the radio that just dont need to be said, its just chaos.... and when there is comms 24/7 you cant actually hear your surroundings at all...

    To alleviate this I think a new SOP should include all platoon leaders notifying squad members to use group or direct chat before the start of a mission. This way even people who dont read stickies on hard to find threads will be in the know as far as TG's SOP's.

    Also mentioning the SOP of giving your callsign out, then naming the callsign you wish to speak to, ie: "This is Alpha squad to platoon leader, bla bla bla". I dont think the SOP should be exactly military terms, but it should be put in place so that there is no confusion about who is talking to whom.

    Another thing is doing comms checks with all leaders BEFORE a mission starts, this should be another SOP that should always be enforced by the admin on duty. A leader without comms is useless and detrimental to the team, taking up the valuable slot when someone with working comms could be in that position.

    Failure to comply with these extremely basic comms SOP's should bring warnings and then direct action from admins if the players arent complying. I dont think Ive ever seen an admin take action against players abusing the comms, and I think that is the #1 reason comms problems keep coming up, because players are not realizing the problem or just too lazy to try to a different way of speaking. I know blackdog is prety good with keeping all comms on the ball, Id like to see the same level of professionalism from the other admins (Bamboo, Gogeta, Jeepo, Grunt) to keep the servers gameplay quality standards high, regardless of who is the admin on at the time.

    Squad Assignment SOP
    Ive mentioned this in game to jeepo and a few others, but would like to mention it here for open discussion. I really think TG should adopt the shacktac way of starting new missions. What shacktac does at the start of every new mission, is clear off ALL players from all slots. The players do this themselves as well as the admin can help out too. This takes only 10-15 seconds but is well worth it. I believe there is a #reassign command too but I heard it was prety buggy?

    Anyways how Shacktac does their mission assignment is first get the leadership roles filled. They always ask for leadership to fill the places. This is a no brainer - without leadership a mission is completely pointless to play out. Im prety confident TG has learned this over the past year or so, but often times we see players (and admins too) grabbing their favorite AT/Sniper/Flying Machines, while the leader roles sit vacant, then when everyone is content in their super-awesome-kill roles, they all ask, "oh btw who is leading?".

    Leadership roles should be the FIRST thing that is decided, as everything in the mission is riding on those roles. You cant do an organised mission without leadership - leading by committee is a doomed path, plagued with the comms diarrhea that I mentioned above.

    Once leadership is filled, the next thing shacktac usually does is get all vital roles filled, such as pilots, APC crew, recon, logistics, etc. Anything that is vitally needed in the mission is filled out.

    Then finally, once all the important roles are filled that are NECESSARY in order for the mission to be remotely successful, the word is given for the rest of the players to slot up.

    I think adapting this system to TG will go a looooong way to making role assignment and the initial mission rollout MUCH MUCH smoother and not such a long, frustrating process that it currently seems to be.


    Realistic Gameplay versus "Do Whatever I Want Gameplay"
    Well, this is more of a matter of opinion, but I see some particular players in the server that seem to do whatever the hell they want, orders be damned. They dont follow comms SOP's, they dont obey orders, and they are prety much trying to get the most kills in the shortest order. Maybe TG wants to keep a certain degree of freedom for its players, but after reading the TG primer it seems prety clear that these players are prety unwelcome (if the primer is still true of ArmA at TG)
    Tactical Gamer Primer
    Tactical Gamer was founded with a few very simple principles:

    1) Create an environment conducive for mature gamers to enjoy the games they play without the everyday interference from the less-than-mature gamers.

    2) Create an environment where there was mutual respect for your fellow gamers and where all members would be working together to advance the enjoyment of their hobby.

    3) Support game play in a near-simulation environment. Where the focus of play would not be solely on doing what it takes to win, but doing so utilizing real-world combat strategy and tactics rather than leveraging exploits provided to players by the design of the game engine, regardless of the level of advantage, if any, it gives over the opposing team.
    The last one is especially what I think makes these rogue element players unwanted. I play ArmA not for frags or kill counts, but to get as close to simulated war games as possible on a computer game. Dunno if others feel the same, but some of these players its very clear they dont give a crap about realistic combat manuvers, and they want to do whatever they know works, using all exploits,bugs and cheap shots that they can, especially when the sometimes dumb-as-bricks AI is involved. Flying around blowing up everything on the ground in an attack helicopter is hella fun, but kinda pointless in an online server emphasizing on teamwork. Fostering the attitude of "if it outsmarts the ArmA AI, then its good enough for me", is NOT what I would call a good philosophy to game by, but it seems to be the trend on TG ArmA for quite some time. The TG primer writes "utilizing real-world combat strategy and tactics", which I think alot of times does not go through players heads when entering the TG server..

    Well I think most can agree that after playing some Human vs Human, using the same ridiculous tactics that one would use against AI, does not fair so good against thinking human opponents. The skill level of TG ArmA human versus human opponents in my opinion is abysmally low. SIMPLE things like USING COVER AND CONCEALMENT, moving in basic formations, using smoke to cover advances and retreats, using SUPPRESIVE FIRE to pin down and then flank an enemy, communicating to friendlies about your movement and enemy troop locations, all of these basic things are completely unheard of for a majority of regular ArmA players it seems. The kinds of missions TG is used to running (domination, evolution, etc) seems to have not increased the need for these basic things to be used all that often, so its not surprising that the level of competence in human versus human missions is so low.

    I'd love to see some more TvT missions being played on a regular basis, as personally thats what really gets my adrenaline going and seeing those kind of firefights play out is definitely the thing I love most about ArmA online. At this time, players are still very raw to the TvT experience and the trend seems to be try a TvT, then come crawling back to coop when their ass gets torn a new one. Its all a matter of opinion, but I think as community members create more and more playable, enjoyable TvT missions that they get played on an increasingly regular basis, and along with help from TG leadership and admins, maybe the skill level of the players will begin to increase from its very low standing point that its at right now.

    Another way to help increase the skill level of TG players, is on coop missions. Instead of treating the AI as the dumb as bricks opponents that they sometimes can be, why not play against the AI like they are a more cunning opponent and use more military tactics, as that is why I assume the majority of players are here, to simulate using as realistic as possible military tactics to close with and destroy an enemy. Communicate to your buddies around you, practice standard drills and procedures, practice formations, practice withdraws, practice fire and manuever tactics. All of this is not really necesary to use against vanilla ArmA AI, but it will help LOADS when fighting a more cunning opponent, and will help with overall situational awareness and skill level of the average TG player. By playing in this manner, your getting better at said tactics as well as preparing yourself for more dynamic human opponents when TvT missions are played. Who knows, maybe one day TG can have a largescale battle against a truly skilled opponent such as shack tactical or another large ArmA gaming community. As sad as it is to say, right now if TG was to battle one of these other groups, they would get ripped to shreds so quickly I think most of you would sell the game and never play it again out of sheer embarrassment lol By no means am I trying to say Im a "good" ArmA player, I suck just as much as the rest of you, but I realize there is definitely room for improvement and that improvement I believe can be made if there is a conscious effort put fourth by admins and player alike.


    Anyways, that was a lot of words, just wanted to start this open discussion about SOP's, there is alot more that can be discussed, just wanted to get the ball rolling on these topics that I think are long overdue for discussion.
    Last edited by fuzzhead; 09-11-2008, 07:07 AM.

  • #2
    Re: Standard Operating Procedures on TG ArmA Server (1 and 2)

    I agree. TG sop's are rarely enforced, almost to the point of not having them and this laxness has a noticable effect on the server. Notably yesterday we had 1 player come on the server when 2 or 3 of us were taking the main objective. Said player then decided to do the side mission alone instead of hooking up with us. That player was then joined with another player whom both then decided to utilise sidechat, over talking our team on group.
    We then got a request asking if one of us would help them drive captured tanks back to base all the way from everon! - err let me think about that for a moment?

    There are fundemental problems though in utilising tactics - not many people are practiced at them. The army practice battle drills, etc over and over so they become second nature. Without practice you cannot achieve the desired results and as a team leader myself on many occasions, it's really not worth the hassle asking people to form a staggered column or go all round defence because most don't understand what these entail. Crossing a street ala Dyslexci's animated gif in his guide is beyond most players. This is no-one's fault, it's just not practiced and therefore not utilised.

    I know that there are people at TG who would love to practice this stuff and enjoy the teamwork side of things but there are also those people who want to do their own thing and aren't interested in this. Perhaps the way to start this is to find those people who are on the same page and go from there?
    Jex.

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    • #3
      Re: Standard Operating Procedures on TG ArmA Server (1 and 2)

      True enough, most players I guess are completely devoid of realistic tactics. I would assume reading at least dyslexi's guide to ArmA would be prety standard affair for most players getting into ArmA... I guess I assume wrong.

      All I know is that if Im playing a random round on the PR TG server on any givenday, and Im squad leader, and I ask my squad to form staggered column as we move down this road, 10 meter intervals, 9 times out of 10 the squad will move into proper formation and I wont need to say anything further. Sometimes a new guy will need to be directed to his proper position, but its sorted very fast. This is on a public, non passworded 64 player server.

      As squad leader on TG ArmA server, I ask my squad to form staggered column 10 meters spacing as we move down this road, my squad stares at me like lost puppies, or even worse just begin moving in random directions.... why is it so different from each community?

      Im not talking TG regulars in PR either, Im talking general joe public.... I dont think basic military tactics are a hard concept to grasp, especially considering that is what ArmA (in my mind anyways) is all about. Brushing up on the most basic of military tactics I would assume would be a pre-requisite for playing on the server? I think squad leaders need to use these tactics on a more regular basis, then we would see the grunts using these tactics more regularly and without mass confusion.

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      • #4
        Re: Standard Operating Procedures on TG ArmA Server (1 and 2)

        Kudos for the thread fuzzy.

        We lacked this sort of thread down here. Should be stickied.

        With all the new player we are having since a month or so, its important to show them our guidelines and make sure they turn out correctly.



        -- I always wanted TG to be different than anyone else out there. We need to be unique in what we offer and how we play, if not we are simply competing with everyone else. --
        The BigC

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        • #5
          Re: Standard Operating Procedures on TG ArmA Server (1 and 2)

          If TG SOPs are not being followed, by all means contact one of the Admins or myself immediately. I have zero patience for people that do not want to follow the rules laid forth by TG. Especially when I spent time writing them! I also have no qualms about shutting down a server that has gotten out of control, as some of you already know. Sometimes drastic measure must be taken to make people understand that we hold ourselves to a certian level of standards for game play.

          If the issue is a lack of tactics, well as a community we have to find a way of introducing them to the concept. We have held classes in the past to help educate, but unless there is some type of practical application it is difficult to translate into the game.
          "The chief foundations of all states, new as well as old or composite, are good laws and good arms; and as there cannot be good laws where the state is not well armed, it follows that where they are well armed they have good laws." -Machiavelli

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          • #6
            Re: Standard Operating Procedures on TG ArmA Server (1 and 2)

            Some good points that have been made here.

            I think that we are seeing an increase in newer (to TG at least) ArmA players. They may know how to play ArmA well but have never really worked within an environment like TG. Most people I find will follow along if asked to do so and have things explained to them. Simply reading the SOP's isn't always engough. Sometimes it takes a SL to remind the group about some basics to keep it fresh in peoples minds or to clarify points. Second to that we use allot of direct chat and group channel so these newer players in their own squads don't even realise the level of comms happening and assume we are just off rambo'ing the mission.

            Allot of times I think these players are really interested in helping in ways that they think benefit the team. They assume that getting lots of kills or being at the front line to fire is paramount to success. We obviously value a succesfull mission at TG but we like to approach, as Fuzz pointed out, in a tactical and real world way. They need to realise that sometimes the crucial roles require you to stay back, or that not everyone needs to be at the front of the line.

            Good post and hopefully the newer players here can gain something from it? :row__572:

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Standard Operating Procedures on TG ArmA Server (1 and 2)

              Double Edge Sword here... and why I rarely play at TG anymore, but yet still want too...

              All these damn post and rules and SOP's, and this and that, training, and practice and so on and so on... rules and administration make this almost an impossible game to enjoy and play here... IMO

              then when you get on, none of this BS is really in effect...unless it's a scheduled and locked event.

              You need a balance between gaming and basic training... one thread with simple rules and instructions, standards... then play the damn game...with tactics and teamwork.

              KISS... Keep it simply stupid, should be the rule... we all know what TG is, do we need 20 threads in the forum, most with links to other threads, to other rules and SOP's just to play a game we know is a "tactical simulation"...

              Servers change, passwords change... and funny, most of the posters (even in this thread) aren't even supporting members...why the hell do we have SM's if the only thing you get here anymore for it, is more space and supposedly better game access... Why are these non-SM's bringing up our SOP's, rules and standards... or even playing on BOTH servers.

              Oh I know this is going to piss some of you off, it always does, I get some bad rep, a TG officer messages me about my attitude...etc etc... oh well... I'm a SM... I have rights too you know.

              but this game, unless a scheduled and locked event, sucks here at TG (not always, 90% maybe... I have had some great games, and why I keep hoping for a change...why, because it does NOT follow the KISS standard.
              Magnum |TG-18th|


              We stand between chaos and order, evil and good, despair and hope - we are the Thin Blue Line, and we will never be broken.

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              • #8
                Re: Standard Operating Procedures on TG ArmA Server (1 and 2)

                Originally posted by Magnum50 View Post
                Double Edge Sword here... and why I rarely play at TG anymore, but yet still want too...

                All these damn post and rules and SOP's, ...
                There aren't that many rules or SOP's - they are the same ones that TG has had for the last 8 years +. The difference here is that 8 years ago they actually meant something to the members and we weren't in need of a TG primer either (I bet you're welling up right now reminiscing, aren't you ;))

                Today though things are different and if you play on the server, you'll find that most people, if asked, couldn't tell you what the fire condition means. If something as simple as that cannot be acheived...

                I agree we need to keep things simple but if you look at the SOP's, they aren't that much and certainly not complicated for people who are actually interested in playing tactically. Those that aren't won't eat the SOP's, they'll just blandly chew on them.

                As for SM's, I do agree with you that SM's should get something as they fund the servers here. However I disagree that none SM's cannot have a say in things. We all play here and we should all be supporting the TG primer and ethics. For instance, had not fuzzhead posted this (as a non SM), who do you think would have? The fact that he did(as a none SM) has led you to provide input here also :)
                Jex.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Standard Operating Procedures on TG ArmA Server (1 and 2)

                  Originally posted by jex View Post
                  Crossing a street ala Dyslexci's animated gif in his guide is beyond most players. This is no-one's fault, it's just not practiced and therefore not utilised.
                  I've seen the animation in Dyslexci's guide and it is very complicated to automatically implement. It's one of 2 extremes, either people act on their own, in which case crossing a street as a squad is impossible or they are following the rules and not acting alone. This means that things that should be done automatically aren't because they are expecting precise instructions from leaders.

                  However, this isn't such a problem. A few times now in urban engagements where we've formed into squads, everyone will stack up at an intersection, following the leader's example (if he's stopped short of a street then obviously you should too) and then the leader will say: "ok, Davies, cross the street and we'll cover you". It's then obvious that I need to cover the street on the other side while the next person crosses.

                  In my experience this way of proceding has not hampered gameplay, although it may put a bit more pressure on the leaders to stay on top of things but hey, a bit of pressure from time to time is good no? Keeps the mind sharp. lol

                  In fact the best example of a leader excersing this method i have seen is Jex. I've been in his squad a couple of times, though not for a while now.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Standard Operating Procedures on TG ArmA Server (1 and 2)

                    It doesn't take much time to go over a few simple rules with the new guys. Many I think have trouble translating the primer and SOP's into gameplay. Dslyecxi's kind can be used simply it just takes a vocal commander I think.

                    The main issue I see, is that to get to the level where you would simply know what to do as a group without much communication, like irl, takes many hours of practice. To augment that discrepancy, voice communication can simply be used.

                    Davies' post is a great example of that. The ftl can issue simple orders to cover the discrepancy.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Standard Operating Procedures on TG ArmA Server (1 and 2)

                      Originally posted by jex View Post

                      As for SM's, I do agree with you that SM's should get something as they fund the servers here. However I disagree that none SM's cannot have a say in things. We all play here and we should all be supporting the TG primer and ethics. For instance, had not fuzzhead posted this (as a non SM), who do you think would have? The fact that he did(as a none SM) has led you to provide input here also :)
                      SMs all have the ability to reserve a private server and schedule their own events as they see fit. We have always made special accommodations for them in that aspect.

                      Everyone has the ability to make recommendations that are best for TG, not just SMs. When anyone here offers ideas we weigh them against the advancement of ArmA here at TG. Some are accepted, some cannot be simply due to practicality. Everyone here has a vote and after all this time most of you have all figured out that we are trying to listen to every concern and see what we can do to make better.



                      As for the SOPs, there are not that many that people cannot comprehend fairly quickly. I am also much more lenient on server #1 with people passing by that do not catch on as quickly. That server is a introduction to TG and what we are all about. If we made it a by the book server, it would scare the hell out of new players and never give them a chance. As I have stated in the past, I hold server # 2 and the Events to a much higher standard. Those are all passworded and you better be on your A-Game if you want to get serious about TG and gameplay. Almost all of you here played a game on server #1 prior to getting into the more in depth game play on server #2 so you know what I am talking about...
                      "The chief foundations of all states, new as well as old or composite, are good laws and good arms; and as there cannot be good laws where the state is not well armed, it follows that where they are well armed they have good laws." -Machiavelli

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Standard Operating Procedures on TG ArmA Server (1 and 2)

                        Some people blame SOP's and enforcement, but I think most problems are centered around the game of ArmA itself. It is a terrible pub game. Especially in an open environment. It's easy to take 5 people load a coop mission and organize it and play that mission in a tactical manner. However, if you have an open mission on an open server(like domination on server 2) it is very difficult to accomplish the same thing. People suggest SOP's etc, but it is impractical to keep a mission going then have to stop and drill every person that joins on SOP's before continuing.

                        The closest thing we had to an ideal open situation is when we established a clear chain of command on the Evo server. We had TS setup that all newcomers needed to check in with the Platoon Leader for their assignment. It was easy to manage, but only worked when someone stepped up to platoon leader and when an admin was on to enforce. I think adopting a similar strategy with a designated leader and he calls the shots will work. But it requires an admin to get enforced realtime and players taking time to get UID and PMing or posting in the contact admin forum when admins are not on.

                        The only real way to get the kind of play being described is to load a mission that is not open. Make sure there are no open spots for join in progress and no respawns. Establish roles and play the mission. 30 pages of SOP's will not stop someone from joining that has not read or understood them. The people that would take the time to read, probably don't need to.

                        Another side note, the private server is always available. However, what often happens is people rather play with a higher population. We have seen this time and time again. When we had an SM only server it reduced population, but increased gameplay quality. We do have SM's who like different styles of play and this does lead to some issue with one group or another left out. Again, this isn't an SOP issue it's just a fact and part of playing ArmA. There are many many options for gameplay and not everyone is going to agree. To accommodate most of these suggestions we would need to move away from our core as an open community and become much more rigid and exclusive.
                        |TG-12th| tHa_KhAn

                        XBL GT: Khan58

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Standard Operating Procedures on TG ArmA Server (1 and 2)

                          While I'm a really casual player and many of the regulars might not even know me, I'd like to drop my 2 cents on some of the issues discussed.

                          I've been lucky enough to play with ShackTac quite a while ago and I must agree with fuzzhead on the unassign rule, it helped organizing a mission and getting people in the game-mode tremendously. In fact, here are some tried-and-proven concepts I miss tremendously from those days and I'm very sad each time Dslyecxi reminds them and they do get overlooked:
                          - platoon organization (now a standard in BAS-F mission and somewhat adopted also in SimHQ missions)
                          - comms separation, it's a tested concept that just works. The current separation we have on TG can only work on a squad level and with a hack for multiple squads (i.e. virtual fireteams, using only direct chat).
                          - squad/fireteam markers. Somewhere in between the "show me where everyone is" green triangles and veteran mode, gives you enough situational awareness sans making it overly difficult to find out what's the current battlefield state. On TG, there's either the full map with friendly and enemy positions on casual or the unnecessarily disorienting veteran mode.
                          - no magnifying optics. Due to the way they're implemented, they're making the game a simple snipe-fest with bullet drop and I've seen quite a couple TG regulars advocating iron sights instead
                          - no respawn missions. I'm feeling the persistent missions currently on vogue on TG are really dumbing down the game and I usually just quit when Dom pops up. I'd rather have a short/medium length mission with no respawns or limited revives where everyone has to work towards the same objective and not care about logistics or half an hour boat/truck rides. In fact, TG server seemed to be the most popular back when it was running almost exclusively no-respawn coops and TvTs (along with Urban Engagements, which I also dislike). The short-length missions also have the benefit of (at least slightly) renewing leadership and roles on each reassign and resetting current battle status & objectives for everyone.

                          P.S. I've reinstalled PR after quite a while (haven't played since the launch of 0.5 or so) and I've been surprised to find out that even on random pubs people seem to be less confused and much more cooperant and tactical than the usual ArmA pubbies. Seems I should give more credit to enforcing rules for every little detail, at least for public servers, the jump in quality in the PR pub crowd is huge for me.
                          The most dangerous thing on a battlefield is an officer with a map.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Standard Operating Procedures on TG ArmA Server (1 and 2)

                            Am I right in thinking that SMs can start sessions on the private server and invite non SMs to join them? That way they could get quality games with decent populations. I guess what the SMs are missing is the ability to have more spontainious quality games.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Standard Operating Procedures on TG ArmA Server (1 and 2)

                              Originally posted by Vic View Post
                              P.S. I've reinstalled PR after quite a while (haven't played since the launch of 0.5 or so) and I've been surprised to find out that even on random pubs people seem to be less confused and much more cooperant and tactical than the usual ArmA pubbies. Seems I should give more credit to enforcing rules for every little detail, at least for public servers, the jump in quality in the PR pub crowd is huge for me.
                              Again most of this is centered on playing missions with a group of people at the start. It is easily accomplished and happens all the time. However, the real issue is the join in progress missions and people not stepping up and taking a leadership roles. Organized events and pub times with a clear leader solve the issues.

                              As to the PR pub crowd being less confused, the reason for this is simple. The game is still battlefield. You have two teams with clear objectives. The objectives(for the most part) always stay the same. it is a much more static game, I would hope people are less confused.
                              |TG-12th| tHa_KhAn

                              XBL GT: Khan58

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