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AE-6507

Increased Lobby Time or Ready Up (Promoting Inter-Squad Planning)

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One of the first things you'll notice playing Squad is that regardless of hours played you will experience either one of several things at the few seconds before spawning in;

 

No Mic: Sound of crickets

New players: Tend to still be finding their SL (Squad Leader) Voice and maybe reluctant to speak up in the briefing, resulting in a deadly silence. Nobody is planning or talking.

Slightly more experienced players: Have their SL voice but sometimes may speak rather than listen and if you have a few of these types on Platoon Net (Inter-Squad Comms) it can become hugely cluttered and nothing gets organised. One person or many people shout "I'm grabbing a logi and building a fob here"

Experienced players, serious gamers and born naturals: This is when "it just works". You don't have to be a veteran at Squad but if you have mutual respect and convey your intentions and ideas right then it becomes a greater gaming experience. When you hear this, this is when you hear "This is why i bought this game" Players (SL's) working together and laying out tasks and objectives. Everyone takes their turn, puts their point across and comes together to form a perfect game plan that results in either a win or just fantastic gameplay. (Sadly this either has to happen in such a short space of time that it rarely happens or when it does its cut short by only a matter of 15 - 20 seconds)

 

Now while all of these are fine, different people are what make communities and understanding that well organised clans, groups or communities may simple dominate the briefing, this post is more about everyone else, the new guys and the people just here to enjoy squad, the pick up and play guys or the people that bought squad to be immersed in its structure Squad leadership and tactics and found themselves disappointed by lack of communication or teamwork through bad planning.

 

So I propose either extend the briefing time by 20 seconds to allow Squad leads who have not played together before, enough time to coordinate. 

 

or

 

A ready up system where Squad Leads ready up (not their squad members). Example; Once the squad leads are finished briefing they themselves ready up forcing the match to start, giving them the right amount of time to plan and strategize.

 

You could parallel the ready up system with a timer just to force the match to start in those situations where either an SL is AFK or the opposing team are taking too long.

 

 

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Lord able that having extra planing can/could be I don't think it would help. At present I always wait for the last 30sec. Most of the click on the first squad have gone so more chance of myself or friends making one. People on general public games quite often will find it hard enough to capture a neutral flag, no less formulate a cohesive battle plan.

 

Example: A  French non speaking SL, finally said something at the end of the round "We don't need to talk we only kill. (Squad with lowest score)"  And idea of having 2 mins of this is repugnant.

 

On the positive side. If there is going to be an extented phase I would like it spawned and held within the base, people would be able to get in the right vehicles while organising, so as not to feel as being held hostage. The Ultra prepared squads wouldn't have so much of a start from go.

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14 hours ago, Smee said:

Lord able that having extra planing can/could be I don't think it would help. At present I always wait for the last 30sec. Most of the click on the first squad have gone so more chance of myself or friends making one. People on general public games quite often will find it hard enough to capture a neutral flag, no less formulate a cohesive battle plan.

 

Example: A  French non speaking SL, finally said something at the end of the round "We don't need to talk we only kill. (Squad with lowest score)"  And idea of having 2 mins of this is repugnant.

 

On the positive side. If there is going to be an extented phase I would like it spawned and held within the base, people would be able to get in the right vehicles while organising, so as not to feel as being held hostage. The Ultra prepared squads wouldn't have so much of a start from go.

 

@Smee sadly we've suffered the same fate but twined with possibly a "Ready Up" system those that don't wish to talk can simply just ready up and wait?

 

Additionally, it's interesting to see it from the perspective of a Squad Member rather than an SL, i can image it would be frustrating waiting longer, it's a tough place to be in. 

 

Spawn Held is a perfect idea! having people line up by Vics would work and all the Squad members could feel like they were in game rather than a lobby and it wouldn't feel like wait times.

 

Being from the Arma community most of our briefings were down in game rather than the lobby and that worked fine.

 

I think as soon as people see themselves as members of a platoon/company then they may act as such, its easy to forget you are part of the bigger picture, same as most people tend not to split their squad in to fireteams as i do.

 

Even if we never get this feature the community will adapt and overcome, it's just something i've noticed as being a pain when trying to coordinated with randoms. :) 

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Additionally, it's interesting to see it from the perspective of a Squad Member rather than an SL, i can image it would be frustrating waiting longer, it's a tough place to be in.

 

lol, 1000hrs of SL'ing I'm not really a squad member. But I can see it from both. Pub gamers arn't hardcore milism players and can't be expected to wait for 2 -5 mins. 

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I don't think there's much need to make the lobby time longer. There are simply game mechanical issues that mean most of the time is wasted.

 

For instance, you have to inform squad members of your squad's first objective, what kits you need, what vehicles you'll be taking, and so on. And you have to repeat this several times as people leave and join your squad over the duration of the lobby timer. You generally only have 30 seconds or so to coordinate with other SLs, and that is often interrupted by your squad members talking, or their squad members talking, leading to an incomplete information transfer.

 

Then you spawn in, and your full squad spawns in instead of the three you told to spawn, so now you have more SMs spawned in than your vehicle can carry, requiring you to arrange transport for them somehow. But oops, another squad took the vehicle you wanted to take, so now you have no vehicles. Now you have to re-coordinate with all the SLs, and some of your SMs start leaving the squad and new players join, and you have to repeat everything over again, but some dude just took the Marksman and jumped into a Blueberry vehicle, so now you have to kick him because he's not listening to your instructions. So now you have Squad Leaders that are pissed off at each other, squads standing in Main without transport, players leaving and joining squads, requiring further repetition of information. Just shit. Shit everywhere. On a good day, you still have to deal with 70% of this stuff. On a bad day... Well, we all know what that looks like.

 

The solution to this is to offload a lot of this currently inefficient verbal communication to game mechanical systems.

 

First off, Squad Leaders need to have complete control over the structure of their squad.They need to be able to resize their squad to the amount of squad members they need to fulfill their task, they need to be able to set the kits and loadouts(When the inventory system comes) of their squad member slots, they need to be able to set the order in which squad members can take kit slots in their squad, and they need to be able to set objectives that are visible to non-SMs. See Kitless Loadout System for more details.

 

Secondly, the current vehicle spawning and claiming system needs to be dumped in favor of squad and individual-based vehicle spawning. Squads and individuals within squads need to "purchase" the assets they require with accumulated squad/individual resources, and they must have complete control over who they allow access to the asset to, within and without their squad, as operators or passengers. See Points-Based Asset Allocation System for more details.

 

These two things would drastically reduce the extremely pointless inter-squad communication that happens at the start, letting the SLs focus on the most important information. Squad Leaders would not have to coordinate asset use, and the resource accumulation required to get vehicles would mean X amount of downtime in-base before moving out, which would act as an opportunity for squads and teams to organize and coordinate more on the ground 

 

With these changes you could probably reduce the lobby timer a bit in favor of the spawned in organizational phase. Teams can exit the Main Base in an orderly manner, players don't have to stare at a timer counting down for even longer than they currently do, and the vehicle system would mean you start out with light assets and heavier assets come out later down the road when you have the points. That way you avoid the current issue of squads lol-rushing costly assets straight into the enemy before any kind of front line is even established.

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8 hours ago, Smee said:

 

 

lol, 1000hrs of SL'ing I'm not really a squad member. But I can see it from both. Pub gamers arn't hardcore milism players and can't be expected to wait for 2 -5 mins. 

 

@Smee I apologise i do hope you didn't think i was insulting you, i just meant your comment made me see it from a different perspective

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@Tartantyco

 

I will respectfully try an address all of your statements;

 

Firstly I have rarely come across Squad members "acting up" during briefing, i will usually say "break comms", "i'm speaking with the other SL's over Platoon Net" and that's it pretty much silence till I address them for their briefing. I will additionally Separate them in to two fire teams assign a TL and ATL and indicate what Vic they will be entering. I rely on brevity as my greatest tool in the SL comms toolkit :)

 

I am surprised you consider the communication as ineffective, personally when good communication is in abundance, this is a) a game changer in that it makes the title worth every penny, time and effort and b) is the biggest buzz for new players and old alike. I have yet to join a game (with the exception of free weekend) where communication wasn't a massive turn on for my squad members and the other SL's.

 

I took a look at your 

Kitless Loadout System
 
Though i personally disagree with the effectiveness of this system at SL level i applaud the diligence. This system should not fall in at squad level, it should come down to a platoon level like a company commander, if you wanted to get into a "micro management - squad tycoon - squad simulator type game) but as a SL you're tasks are more front line and intense and should rely on communication and not be tired up with such logistical matters as points, i could go into further debate regarding the actual number of shots fired by an SL and how the points system would be relative but this is already a TL:DR post :P 
 
In relation to the vehicle and a point system this to me seems convoluted, what is in place seems actual perfect, i have had nothing but praise for this system its new and unique an to be honest a breath of fresh air. i think a spawning and points system would again turn into a logistical nightmare unless you are thinking of creating an RTO roll to relive some of the stress on an SL which is now being place in the roll of an logistics officer, in the field in combat. I personally spend 80% of the game in the map, receiving intel, relaying intel and directing my fireteams, personally i would welcome more management level applications however, this is because i have ran a community of 300+ for nearly eleven years, but some others who barely comment? i think this could essentially kill the excitement.
 
I'd like to pause a moment and make it clear i am not disagreeing with you entirely i'm simply saying that communication is key, that SL's are not officers and either create a platoon level logistics role and don't put too much on the men on the ground.
 
You seem to be approaching this as squads are from different factions or military organisations where they need to independently achieve points rather than looking at this from a platoon level. this is the biggest and tbh the only failure of this game is that yes the game is geared up to not rambo or solo within a squad but not geared up to avoid squads running off and doing their own thing. Whenever the squads have been unified in both movement and comms the match becomes simple and 99.9% of the time its a guaranteed win.
 
within regards to light assets and heavy, you need heavy to support a sustainable frontline right of the back, Sun Tzu offers some great pointers about tactics and having a repeatable weak front line no matter how fast, become a war of attrition which is why the US lost Vietnam. Additionally each map has different vehicle requirements and should not be hindered by what you can and cannot use based on performance.
 
I have actually tried to find fault with this game and every time i struggle, the only thing is time to organise and placing more on the SL seems anarchic.
 
Please forgive me if i have misunderstood your point, and everything is said with the utmost respect.
Edited by AE-6507
too long

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The biggest failing I see with the current readyup time is that it all occurs in the lobby. If it was split, or another stage was added in a locked main to allow squads to load up and get organized, that alone would be a great help. It's accentuated by the fact that the gamemodes require rushing, so the team that fumbles the mad dash to claim and load into vehicles is often on the back foot for the entire match. 

 

Add the ability to lock squads, add the ability to lock vehicles and for the SL to kick anyone out of a vehicle. 

 

Yes, it can be a mess with randoms joining and leaving a squad in the current readyup time, and comms can get complex, those could be helped by other suggestions I've seen elsewhere, like a discreet icon that shows you when your SL is speaking on SL coms, so you can shut up and not ask him how many should spawn in at main. For the most part though, at least before the free weekend, I find most pub squads are pretty well behaved in the readyup. 

 

Tartantyco, while I have admiration for many of your ideas, I can't see your points based inventory system working in anything other than clan only matches. It places so much control and responsibility in the hands of the SL. It's often hard enough to get people to fill both medic roles and not take the marksman role, and that is pretty simple. If roles are only handed out by the SL, you'll have people bouncing around from squad to squad trying to find a SL that will give them the role they want, or, they'll just make their own squad to get it and be useless. 

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@AE-6507 I honestly cannot see that you have any basis for your statements here, am at a loss for how you could have drawn your conclusions, and am unable to respond to any of it because you do not provide references for any of your statements. I can only assume that you've severely misread the suggestions.

 

Also, calling Squad's vehicle system, which is literally the same as in Project Reality(And basically every other vehicle FPS) with a player-based restriction "perfect" and "a breath of fresh air" is a bit much.

 

33 minutes ago, LugNut said:

Tartantyco, while I have admiration for many of your ideas, I can't see your points based inventory system working in anything other than clan only matches. It places so much control and responsibility in the hands of the SL. It's often hard enough to get people to fill both medic roles and not take the marksman role, and that is pretty simple. If roles are only handed out by the SL, you'll have people bouncing around from squad to squad trying to find a SL that will give them the role they want, or, they'll just make their own squad to get it and be useless. 

 

Players already bounce from squad to squad trying to find an SL that gives them the kit they want. That is not a problem in any way related to this. I usually have to kick 2-3 players from my squad at the start of every match because they join, take the Marksman, and don't respond to my instructions to take another kit. The players that do this will always do this. The players that don't will still join. Players are already "handed out" kits, it's just done verbally right now.

The only difference here is that instead of the SL telling every joining squad member what kits he needs, potential squad members will see the slots available in the squad and then select from those.

Neither does the SL have to impose any restrictions. Squads can be set up exactly as they currently are, and players free to choose whatever they wish, if the SL wants that.

 

What this system does is ensure that the SL doesn't have to constantly police his own squad to make sure they maintain their kits and the capabilities of the squad. What it does is completely eliminate all the friction caused as a consequence of SLs having to verbally deny SMs access to kits they want. Probably the #1 reason for players being banned is because they get kicked from a squad and then decide to TK their former squad leader and squad members. Players will be able to see exactly what kits are available before joining the squad, so there' no ambiguity about what they'll be doing and what kit they will have. What it does is provide squads and teams the tools for complex organization.

 

These are the kinds of systems we need to see in place if we want to see complex team organization in public play. It is precisely the lack of such systems that undermine that potential. The only place you see complex organization is in clan matches because SLs don't have the power to enforce in public play what players in clan matches voluntarily accept. The Vehicle claiming system directly stops dedicated logistics, transport, and fire support from existing in Squad. All things that exist in PR.

 

The only reason why we have any kind of teamwork in Squad is because SLs have authority. You need to be in a squad to access kits, the SL can kick you for any reason, and you can in no way kick him. If no squad system existed and players could just freely choose any kit they'd like, we'd just see BF2-style gameplay. The SL's control over his squad is paramount, and the more detailed that control is, the better the resulting gameplay is.

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Agree the pre-match could be re-defined. If yer on a roll as a Squad Leader it can be hard to get a piss break in :)

 

Suggested this format here: http://forums.joinsquad.com/topic/25631-suggestions-from-an-sl-point-of-view/

 

---8<---

 

A change to the start round session to give time for Squads to form up, SLs to organize:
~2 minutes for squads to form up, not spawned in game
- if you are SLing a 2 minute break after a match is nice
- this 2 minute period would include designating a 2iC and arranging kits in the squad
- would still have Squad and Command vox available

 

An "O Group" session at the beginning of the game, after Squad form up
- a pre-game session where SLs and 2iCs can talk to each other
- lasts about 2 minutes
- all players can hear the "o group" chat amongst Squad Leaders on the Command Channel
- all players can see the "o group" map drawing
- SLs share markings on the map, one SL mark set is differentiated from other SL markers
- include vehicle claiming in the O group session

 

A Squad briefing session after the O group session:
- lasts about 1 minute
- SL briefs the squad on the plan, makes any squad kit adjustments required

 

So the "pre-game" would be a 5 minute break between matches:
- 2 minutes to form up squads
- 2 minutes for SLs to plan
- 1 minute to SLs to brief squads on the plan
- game starts
- a benefit of this is it avoids the games starting like CoD rushes where the SL farts out a plan with 3 seconds before spawning starts; it forces some "commanders intent" thinking into the start of the match which, hopefully, helps eliminate the issue where the best early-game rushing side has a high probability of winning the match

- these timers could have configuration options for the server admin, say minimum half the recommended / default settings (so 1 min, 1 min, 30s).

 

--->8---

 

 

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So when joining the game 1 min before the start, they would have missed. 4mins :(. There

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Just now, Smee said:

So when joining the game 1 min before the start, they would have missed. 4mins :(. There

 

Can only know if that is an issue by looking at data to determine what % of people stay from round to round versus new people joining the round. Assuming it's 40% to 70% of people joining partway in between rounds - having 30% to 60% of a Squad understand what is going on (and therefore 30% to 60% of a team knowing what is going on) may be a significant improvement in team play coordination.

 

egg

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Maybe if it could come up "Ready room " or alike in browser might have more people join at start, for knowing at the start of a round can make a major difference.

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@Smee

@eggman

 

It's a tough one (in my opinion) i agree with both of you, they're great ideas.

 

I think the "Ready room " is pretty awesome, could really lend it's self to the right type of players in , even like an red R on the server browser...

 

then again a Ready up button means that you could effectively shorten briefing time depending on what type of players you have on. Last night i played 4 round 2 of those round planning and communication was amazing and we needed more briefing time, the other 2 nobody gave a fluff and a ready up system would have piled us in to the match to meet the cluster funk that was the next two rounds.

 

I like the idea of breaks and the pre-game, i never want to leave my squad or let them down so not being there for briefing is a big deal, so i tend to sit there till i really can leave, (end of match) and then dash before restart.

 

again though, i can see people might get a bit pee'd off with waiting. :(

 

I think, increasing the time incrementally and letting the community decided might be the way forward, of have it set in the server.cfg so each community can set it, they want a run and gun no chat server, set it to 15 seconds or if they want a solid briefing then set it to 120 seconds etc.

 

I also read you post you linked, i really like those ideas 

 

Penalty for shitty FOBs

Logi Status Indication

The ability for a Fireteam Leader to set a limited rally point:
The ability for the SL to split a squad into 2 fireteams 
 

just to name a few.. :)

 

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