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  • TF21 - Behind the scenes

    Hello TG!

    Many rumors and rumblings have been going around lately about a group of players you may have seen on your server, a group called TF21. Today, I would like to lay those rumors to rest by offering an inside look, a "behind the scenes" into one of the most mature, respectful, and teamwork-oriented groups I know, TF21. Task Force XXI.

    What is TF21?
    Similar to TG, TF21 isn't a clan.... we're a community. Like many of you, we're just a group of friends who met each other online and who enjoy playing games. We don't ask for donations or promote ourselves. We don't practice or participate in tournaments. All we want is to play the games we enjoy with people we enjoy. We're like family... except we all get along :)

    How did TF21 begin?
    It all started around 2001 with an old game called Battlefield 1942 and a group of players called the "201st". The 201st were a bunch of ex-military guys who ran their own website and game server. Some of you may remember the standard 90 second spawn time (to punish unrealistic, rambo-style play). Fond memories. As the years passed along, however, people began to move onto other games, other lives... and eventually the group kinda died.

    Upon the release of BF2, a few of the remaining members decided to create a new group and thus TF21 was born.. or reborn.. and under new management. Unfortunately, BF2 was a spammy, arcade-like disaster... not a good fit for those of us who preferred a hint of realism. So we all played WoW. LOL. Then quit. Then restarted. Then quit. Then... Project Reality began to rise. Finally! A realistic, first-person shooter. Well, sorta. And so here we are.

    What does TF21 mean?
    TF21 stands for Task Force XXI. It's a reference to the U.S. military's prototype project, called Force XXI. It was the first project to use newly-emergent, computer-driven virtual simulation to link ground forces together. Considering the scope of BF2, the name TF21 is a perfect fit.

    Why don't you have your own server?
    Actually, we did, but unfortunately it sat empty most of the time because most players were on other servers. Attracting players to our new server is much harder than it sounds; populated servers attract more population. Empty servers attract nobody. We had the choice to either "seed" our server by sitting in it.. waiting for players... but that process takes weeks.. months.. before players begin to have faith and add it to their favorites. Most of us just wanted to play, not sit around, so we eventually dumped it.

    Why do you lock your squads?
    There are two very simple reasons for this.

    First: Specialty squads / Voice comm chatter.
    When running a tank or apc squad, communication between the driver, gunner, and engineer is vital. When other people are in the squad (additional infantry, for example), the squad comms become too cluttered. It's too much. To to keep things simple, clean, and effective, we commonly run our armor squads with a maximum of 3 people (or a 4th if they know how to maintain radio discipline).

    Second: Unpredictable squadmates can disrupt squad cohesion.
    Typically, when running an infantry squad, we only invite players that we know are mature, will stay with the squad, and not run off in their own direction. Any squad leader who has run an unlocked squad knows the frustration of the revolving door of public players who can be disruptive to the group for various reasons. Just recently, I invited someone to our squad, only to have him swear and yell at me. Nobody wants that kind of game experience. So, to ensure that our squad operates at maximum efficiency, we keep it locked. But this doesn't mean that people can't join.

    How can I join a locked squad?
    Best way? Join our teamspeak and ask. Very rarely do we read in-game text chat; it's too distracting. Usually we're busy formulating our plan in comms and ts, so don't be offended if you ask for an invite using the text chat but don't receive a response. We probably didn't see it or have no clue who you are or what you'll do.

    Don't you think that locked squads hurts teamplay?
    On the contrary, I think it enhances it. Here's why: When people see an effective squad, they want to do the same. It helps to raise the bar of what's expected from a squad and the team. Play becomes more intense, requiring a higher level of cooperation to succeed. In the end, everyone benefits from a server that gains the reputation for having some of the best, most competitive players around. That's why we play on TG.. because we know we'll find a challenge every time.

    Are your members really ex-military?
    Some of them are, yes. God bless them. /salute

    Who the #&%@! is Patterson and what's up with the 20:1 kdr??
    Pattyhack.exe of course! LOL That's the long-time running joke. In reality, he's one of the best strategists and twitch players you'll ever see. A truly demoralizing combination to play against.. he knows where you're going before you do. Just listen to him on TS and you'll see what I mean... predicting events 10-20 minutes in advance. And having a 15 ping doesn't hurt either. He's the master.

    One night, around 3am, we had finished playing and were just sitting around and talking on TS. Somebody was doing one of those whack-a-mole hand-eye coordination tests over the internet and we started to see who could do it the fastest. Then we started playing it over TS so each of us could hear the other's "dings". Most of us performed the test at human speed... ding... ding.. ding ding... ding. Patty performed the test at super human speed... ding ding dingdingding dingdingdingding. Clearly, he's made a deal with the devil. It's insane :D

    Final comments
    People often fear what they don't understand and I hope this thread clears up some of the rumors and questions people have had. If I missed anything, or if you're just wondering why we do something the way we do, don't hesitate to ask and I'll respond the best I can. Until then, we'll see you on the battlefield!


    Sincerely,

    [TF21]Wolfe
    Executive Officer, Founding Member
    Task Force XXI
    Last edited by [TF21]Wolfe; 04-08-2008, 04:24 PM.

  • #2
    Re: TF21 - Behind the scenes

    Interesting reading Wolfe! I visited your website yesterday to get your TS info.. it's always a pleasure to see you guys on the server.


    "Though I Fly Through the Valley of Death, I Shall Fear No Evil. For I am at 80,000 Feet and Climbing."

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: TF21 - Behind the scenes

      I for one thank you for the insight. Yea pattyhack.exe is crazy. I've only played in a squad with you guys maybe twice now and I have been very impressed both times.
      .
      "Young gamers assault while Older gamers flank."
      "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: TF21 - Behind the scenes

        Originally posted by [TF21]Wolfe View Post
        Why do you lock your squads?
        There are two very simple reasons for this.

        First: Specialty squads / Voice comm chatter. When running a tank or apc squad, communication between the driver, gunner, and engineer is vital. When other people are in the squad (additional infantry, for example), the squad comms are split into two separate conversations as they often are looking at two different targets. Since we are also communicating between squads via teamspeak, there are now 3 conversations going: driver/gunner, infantry, and 2nd squad. It's too much. To to keep things simple, clean, and effective, we commonly run our armor squads with a maximum of 3 people (or a 4th if they know how to maintain radio discipline).

        Second: Unpredictable squadmates can disrupt squad cohesion. Typically, when running an infantry squad, we only invite players that we know are mature, will stay with the squad, and not run off in their own direction. Any squad leader who has run an unlocked squad knows the frustration of the revolving door of public players who can be disruptive to the group for various reasons. Just recently, I invited someone to our squad, only to have him swear and yell at me. Nobody wants that kind of game experience. So, to ensure that our squad operates at maximum efficiency, we keep it locked. But this doesn't mean that people can't join.
        Your first reason makes sense, a lot of people do this and a lot of specialty squads can only run properly if they are limited. A Huey squad does not need 6 pilots if there are only 2 Hueys available... so I completely agree.

        However I don't think your second reason is very TG minded and that 's probably the reason why there have been some rumors lately. Every sinlge SL on TG has been in the situation you describe and imo it 's everybody 's duty to deal with these players using the right channels. If a SM refuses to follow orders -> report him, if he swears -> report him, if he doesn't respond to VOIP -> report him, if he talks too much and keeps doing it after you tell him to shut it -> kick him from your squad or report him (it is an order). I think everyone on TG agrees with me when I say we are all responsible for keeping the server smacktard-free.

        I do am glad to hear that you guys have a TF21 TS channel (subchannel of TG PR??) and are open to invite requests.

        Just think about what would happen if everybody locks their squad -> new players would be left out and never get a chance to experience the great TG gameplay... and that 's what TG is all about right?

        Over and out.
        Xfire: Iaintyourm8 | Ingame: GhostDog | Steam: Zuigmijnballen

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: TF21 - Behind the scenes

          Well the locked squads are fine as long as the squad cap isnt maxed which I'm 100% confident the TF21 guys are respectful and aware of. Not to mention I've only seen the maximum amount of squads a maximum of 5 times for all the time I've been on the server.

          As far as the bad press on these guys goes it's really unwarranted. They're team players, they take orders from the commander even when the orders are ludicrous, and they don't hog assets. If we look inward at the |TG| tag wearers and regulars, the same really can't be said on more occasions than with the TF21 guys.

          I think I've posted this comment before but if you play your game right every time you join the server you'll get invites to locked squads anyways!

          Wolfe, excellent way of dealing with the chatter going around and hopefully you've just changed some attitudes!

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: TF21 - Behind the scenes

            Originally posted by Ghost Dog View Post
            Your first reason makes sense, a lot of people do this and a lot of specialty squads can only run properly if they are limited. A Huey squad does not need 6 pilots if there are only 2 Hueys available... so I completely agree.

            However I don't think your second reason is very TG minded and that 's probably the reason why there have been some rumors lately. Every sinlge SL on TG has been in the situation you describe and imo it 's everybody 's duty to deal with these players using the right channels. If a SM refuses to follow orders -> report him, if he swears -> report him, if he doesn't respond to VOIP -> report him, if he talks too much and keeps doing it after you tell him to shut it -> kick him from your squad or report him (it is an order). I think everyone on TG agrees with me when I say we are all responsible for keeping the server smacktard-free.

            I do am glad to hear that you guys have a TF21 TS channel (subchannel of TG PR??) and are open to invite requests.

            Just think about what would happen if everybody locks their squad -> new players would be left out and never get a chance to experience the great TG gameplay... and that 's what TG is all about right?

            Over and out.
            There is nothing in the TG rules that says you cannot lock a squad as long as the maximum number of squads created hasn't been reached.

            And besides, playing "TG minded" can be summarized as playing in a team play oriented and mature fashion. We like to do that with people we know, people we hope will follow SL orders and stick with the squad.
            Players who want to experience unit cohesion and organized game play are more than welcome to squad with us, as Wolfe said. However, everyone knows the nature of an open "public squad." It's a revolving door, and we try to avoid that.

            Players that take the time to find our TS server and express an interest in working together with us are the types of players that we like to squad with.

            Take for example any professional sports team. The team knows everyone on it, and they all work together.
            If, say, the Chicago Cubs started letting random fans come down from the bleachers to play in the game it wouldn't end well. One guy would sub in for the pitcher, and during the wind up he checks his watch and sees it's time for dinner. He drops the baseball, runs off the field, and leaves the park.

            We like to be familiar with who we're playing with on a minimal level.
            [TF21] Halcyon

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: TF21 - Behind the scenes

              Wolfe thanks for posting.

              I have had the chance over the past month or so to squad up with you guys a bunch and it has always been a pleasant and fun experience on several different levels, win or lose. Plus you are very proficient in the tank arena and I will gladly be an enginner, gunner and driver for you guys any day!

              along with other TG members both in the forums and in the games that TG supports Its also nice to see some TF21 guys leading the pack and leading squads even if you are not all together at the same time. Thanks for giving me an insight to exactly what TF21 is about (personally i thought the tf21 had something to do with team fortress so it was a eye opener for me) and I hope to see you in game whether it be in your squad, or as your SL or fellow teammate.
              Randy = Ace ! - Warlab
              Level II Volunteer FireFighter
              Level I HazMat Technician
              NYS EMT-B
              Town of Mamaroneck Fire Dept.

              sigpic




              Bring On Project Reality 1.0!!!
              RSS Feeds:Bamboo | | 9/11 - Never Forget |
              Apophis - "TG was created to cater to a VERY specific type of gamer rather than trying to appeal to the greater gaming population.
              Tactical Gamer is not mainstream.
              We are not trying to attract mainstream gamers."

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: TF21 - Behind the scenes

                Nice and smart posts!

                I think it's totally cool to lock a squad once in a while, but you can also try to run some open squads. It's about letting newcomers get a feel for how the game can be played and evolve to into TG'ers or in your case TF21'ers. :D

                Make say two of them new-comers or something, that way you won't loose total control of the squad. Just a tip.



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                • #9
                  Re: TF21 - Behind the scenes

                  Now all you guys gotta do is get Tango to stop quoting himself! :D

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: TF21 - Behind the scenes

                    I have been in squads with some of the TF21 guys and I found them fun, really competent players.

                    Hopefully you can keep any eye on the teamchat from time to time for squad requests as some people (for example novices) dont necessarily use TS but would surely love to be in one of your squads.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: TF21 - Behind the scenes

                      Wolfe,

                      Thanks for the background. However, I suspect there will always be 'rumors' whenever any group external to TG comes in, locks squads exclusive to their own members, and otherwise has little interaction with the community at large.

                      While the enhanced teamwork offered by using your own TS server surely benefits your individual squad, you are at the same time excluding the rest of the community with such actions. As you also are a community, and therefore understand what it means to be a community, you can appreciate that a large part of 'community-ness' is the sharing and interaction amongst the community members.

                      Why not use the in-game VoIP and begin opening your squad up a bit more, so that you can really be a part of the community that offers you "a challenge every time"?

                      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.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: TF21 - Behind the scenes

                        Originally posted by Halcyon View Post
                        There is nothing in the TG rules that says you cannot lock a squad as long as the maximum number of squads created hasn't been reached.

                        And besides, playing "TG minded" can be summarized as playing in a team play oriented and mature fashion. We like to do that with people we know, people we hope will follow SL orders and stick with the squad.
                        Players who want to experience unit cohesion and organized game play are more than welcome to squad with us, as Wolfe said. However, everyone knows the nature of an open "public squad." It's a revolving door, and we try to avoid that.

                        Players that take the time to find our TS server and express an interest in working together with us are the types of players that we like to squad with.

                        Take for example any professional sports team. The team knows everyone on it, and they all work together.
                        If, say, the Chicago Cubs started letting random fans come down from the bleachers to play in the game it wouldn't end well. One guy would sub in for the pitcher, and during the wind up he checks his watch and sees it's time for dinner. He drops the baseball, runs off the field, and leaves the park.

                        We like to be familiar with who we're playing with on a minimal level.
                        You are correct and I quote from the SOP 's:

                        Originally posted by SOP
                        Locking
                        Squad Leaders are capable of locking their squad and restricting general access. This comes with a good deal of responsibility and should only be used for special circumstances. These circumstances may include those specialty squads that require a smaller number (i.e. 2-4) of squad members and regular forming squads (i.e. 42nd).

                        Locking a squad should be used sparingly and with extreme caution so as not to use up all nine squad positions, effectively restricting players from joining a squad.

                        Having too many small squads or too many specialty squads can make it more confusing and difficult for the CO to manage the team. These specialty squads may also not fall into the overall strategy of the CO. It is the COs responsibility to order a squad to split up, reform, or merge with another squad.
                        I 'm just saying it 's nice to give public players a chance to get to know tactical gaming... afterall that 's how most of us got here.
                        Xfire: Iaintyourm8 | Ingame: GhostDog | Steam: Zuigmijnballen

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: TF21 - Behind the scenes

                          edited, didn't mean to razz you like that ghost.
                          Last edited by Delta*RandyShugart*; 04-08-2008, 01:16 PM.
                          Randy = Ace ! - Warlab
                          Level II Volunteer FireFighter
                          Level I HazMat Technician
                          NYS EMT-B
                          Town of Mamaroneck Fire Dept.

                          sigpic




                          Bring On Project Reality 1.0!!!
                          RSS Feeds:Bamboo | | 9/11 - Never Forget |
                          Apophis - "TG was created to cater to a VERY specific type of gamer rather than trying to appeal to the greater gaming population.
                          Tactical Gamer is not mainstream.
                          We are not trying to attract mainstream gamers."

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: TF21 - Behind the scenes

                            Originally posted by Halcyon View Post
                            If, say, the Chicago Cubs started letting random fans come down from the bleachers to play in the game it wouldn't end well. One guy would sub in for the pitcher, and during the wind up he checks his watch and sees it's time for dinner. He drops the baseball, runs off the field, and leaves the park.
                            You mean like this?




                            Just so everyone knows where I stand:







                            [EDIT] I forgot this: GO SOX! [/EDIT]
                            Last edited by disposableHero; 04-08-2008, 03:01 PM. Reason: well, the White Sox are the only professional baseball team in Chicago

                            "You milsim guys are ruining the game."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: TF21 - Behind the scenes

                              Originally posted by Delta*RandyShugart* View Post
                              ghost, can you drop this topic, i also lock my squad sometimes, don't single out tf21 members.. this is the negativity that also starts rumors.
                              I don't think Ghostdog's intent was to single out TF21, we all lock our squads now and again. I think the point he is making is that it is good if we were all a bit more inclusive every once in a while :). Thanks for posting Wolfe, you guys are a pleasure to play with (and against!)

                              I didn't join a squad once and this guy named Nardini took me into the back room and beat me with a sock of oranges.

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