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  • Commander, VOIP and Teamspeak

    I just spent 43 minutes in the commander chair on one round. We won, but I cannot take much credit, as the other team did not have a CO. Not facing off against another commander feels like punching a baby. Not a fair fight. Not a satisfying win.

    After the round I hopped into one of my squad's TS channels. I learned that my VOIP comms with the SL where unintelligible due to the usual VOIP issues.

    I have long been interested in the CO role since the days of BF2 but have much to learn about commanding in BF4. One thing is clear to me, commanding without having functional comms with my SLs may work, but is not what I would want to do. I have no interest in merely interacting with a commander screen and issuing orders by simply clicking on a mouse. EA has a real problem on their hands if they fail to get VOIP working properly.

    My point here is not that the CO role is of no use without VOIP. My point is that for what I would call "expert" level of play, the type of intense teamwork we aspire to here at TG, voice is essential for all roles. We have seen a recent notice from EA to the effect that they are going to focus on the problems inherent in BF4 so hope remains, but it remains to be seen what will be done about VOIP.

    The purpose of this thread is not merely yet one more rant about BF4 or EA, but a reflection on what I consider to be an absolutely (for me) essential component of leadership and teamwork in virtual environments -- voice comms.

    I see a solution in the CO VOIP issue in TS. If we grow a culture of getting all SLs and TG squad mates in squad specific TS channels we will greatly enhance the game. A commander would be able to bounce between TS squad channels to compliment his role via direct voice comms (which I consider essential to realizing the full capabilities of tactical teamplay). Two monitors greatly facilitates this of course.

    I hope we reach the point of having SLs and SMs gathered in specific TS channels sooner than later. We have managed to do this in the past I and do not quite understand why it has not yet been more fully manifested in BF4.

    If we continue to not make full use of a very powerful tool, squad-specific TS channels, BF4 will fail to reach its full and very promising potential here at TG.

    If you are in-game you should be in a squad-specific TS channel.

    It is that simple.
    sigpic

  • #2
    Re: Commander, VOIP and Teamspeak

    Not to contradict anything you said. I agree that TS is the better solution, but I was leading a squad while you Commander'd tonight and I heard you loud and clear the entire round.

    In fact I can't recall an instance of comms breaking up in our squad tonight.

    Other nights it has been horrible and I couldn't understand the comm, but you were clear for me tonight.

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    • #3
      Re: Commander, VOIP and Teamspeak

      E-Male, on a scale of 1 to 10, I agree with you super much.
      BF4: Indiscrimin8

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      • #4
        Re: Commander, VOIP and Teamspeak

        Originally posted by Misnomer View Post
        Not to contradict anything you said. I agree that TS is the better solution, but I was leading a squad while you Commander'd tonight and I heard you loud and clear the entire round.

        In fact I can't recall an instance of comms breaking up in our squad tonight.

        Other nights it has been horrible and I couldn't understand the comm, but you were clear for me tonight.
        I'm beginning to think it's not a bandwidth issue, I'm leaning more towards individual hardware. I've been in squads where I've heard Rockford and he can hear me crystal clear, yet the other 3 squad mates say we're garbled
        "Everyone makes fun of us rednecks with our big trucks and all our guns........until the zombie apocalypse"

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        • #5
          Re: Commander, VOIP and Teamspeak

          I would have to disagree on using TS channels only for the Commander. Eight out of ten players are NOT in TS. Talking to just the dedicated TG players will not get the job done.

          I have come to the conclusion that many of the visitors don't even have VOIP turned on in options. And many are not even aware they can talk. Several times I've been a leading a squad and would ask a non responding player in chat if he had a mic. Then I would get the response "How do I talk?".

          Maybe it would be a good idea to reinforce the COs attack orders with a squad chat "Squad, attack B flag!" E-Male, have you investigated this yet? The yellow chat text usually gets my attention at least.

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          • #6
            Re: Commander, VOIP and Teamspeak

            Communicating clearly with some is better than none, or at least leaving it to chance whether they can hear you clearly or not, if at all. However, hopping TS channels is a pain in the rear.

            Originally posted by OldGunney View Post
            I have come to the conclusion that many of the visitors don't even have VOIP turned on in options. And many are not even aware they can talk. Several times I've been a leading a squad and would ask a non responding player in chat if he had a mic. Then I would get the response "How do I talk?".
            To address your other point about players not knowing how to use VOIP or not having it on, perhaps we need to run a campaign to inform players about VOIP. Perhaps we should add timed messages in chat to the effect of:
            • "We use VOIP. To speak with your squadmates, please use the left ALT key."
            • "This server values communication and teamwork, please make sure you have VOIP enabled in your settings."
            • "Please join us on our teamspeak server for clear communications. Our server IP is XX.XX.XX.XX:XXX"
            • etc, etc, etc


            Could work. We might already have some of these messages, but I honestly don't remember if we do or not. Perhaps this is part of the problem: the scrolling messages in the chat box are easily missed when you're busy getting shot at. :)

            sigpic

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            • #7
              Re: Commander, VOIP and Teamspeak

              Originally posted by OldGunney View Post

              Maybe it would be a good idea to reinforce the COs attack orders with a squad chat "Squad, attack B flag!" E-Male, have you investigated this yet? The yellow chat text usually gets my attention at least.
              Good suggestion. I did this a few times on public servers... without any results obviously. But our server is not some public server, so...

              Originally posted by d1sp0sabl3H3r0 View Post
              Communicating clearly with some is better than none, or at least leaving it to chance whether they can hear you clearly or not, if at all. However, hopping TS channels is a pain in the rear.
              )
              Whisper chanelles make it possible.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Commander, VOIP and Teamspeak

                "Whisper Channels" - yes.

                It would be a simple matter to bind a hotkey to set yourself as a Channel Commander if you're an SL or CO.
                Also bind a hotkey to whisper to "Channel Commanders in Channel Family", and now you have a whisper key that all your SLs and your CO can hear.
                No more hopping channels by the CO, and all SLs are in on the big picture.

                The downsides are:
                1) Players need to switch TS channels if they change squads (This is already an issue. Bind a hotkey to "Switch to next channel" and one to the "previous channel.")
                2) Not everyone is on TS (This is already an issue)
                3) Players need to bind the the above-stated keys.
                BF4: Indiscrimin8

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                • #9
                  Re: Commander, VOIP and Teamspeak

                  In fact, I'm just going to do those bindings for myself now, and if anyone else wants to join in, then great!
                  BF4: Indiscrimin8

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                  • #10
                    Re: Commander, VOIP and Teamspeak

                    Could the commander just hop channels in TS, moving from one squad TS channel to another?

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                    • #11
                      Re: Commander, VOIP and Teamspeak

                      Why would you want to do this if you got whisper channels? at least without a second monitor this is extremely tedious.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Commander, VOIP and Teamspeak

                        Originally posted by BleedingKnee View Post
                        Could the commander just hop channels in TS, moving from one squad TS channel to another?
                        Yeah, he could.
                        But as Evil pointed out, it's easier to use a whisper key.

                        Consider also that there are times the CO wants to tell ALL his SL's the same bit of info.
                        Also consider that there are times when one SL wants to talk to another SL. For instance, imagine 2 squads (Alpha, Bravo) on the Charlie flag at the main hotel on Hainan Resort:
                        "Alpha, Bravo"
                        "Send it, Bravo"
                        "We'll keep the roof clear if you'll hold the flag downstairs."
                        "Wilco, Bravo"
                        BF4: Indiscrimin8

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Commander, VOIP and Teamspeak

                          Originally posted by Indiscriminate View Post
                          The downsides are:
                          ... snipped ...
                          Actually, there's another downside:
                          4) Community learning and adhering to comms discipline and cooperation.

                          To elaborate:
                          With two lines of communication, players need to politely respect other's comms.
                          SMs need to remember that the SL could be getting comms from the CO or other SLs at any time, and therefore keep to tight "Battle Comms."
                          SLs and COs need to respect each other by making their comms concise, lest they stomp on squad comms.
                          BF4: Indiscrimin8

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                          • #14
                            Re: Commander, VOIP and Teamspeak

                            Originally posted by d1sp0sabl3H3r0 View Post
                            Perhaps we should add timed messages in chat to the effect of:
                            I tweaked the "spambot" a bit toward your idea and turned on a help directory(@help) I had been working on. Check it out - it will help in awareness and how to direct players to the right areas for info.
                            |TG-12th|mantis

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                            • #15
                              Re: Commander, VOIP and Teamspeak

                              Here (last night) I was using a combination of VOIP and TS to communicate with SLs.

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