One thing to remember is that squad leading is a rather intense job, and sometimes you need to unwind a bit. Most people are unable to stay sharp for hours at a time, especially if there is sustained hectic fighting, which is the kind of situation that requires the most from SLs, in my experience. So reminding the SL that they need to re-focus on the fight is something that I have done on a number of occasions, and something that I encourage other people to do, if they feel the situation requires it. Just do it gently, please. :)
That's true, but I have two issues with that:
Originally Posted by Ksempac
Firstly, it's hard, sometimes, to get that "break, break" off. Perhaps I (and any other newbies) need to just be more assertive about it. I suppose if everyone in the squad started using "Break" before each combat-relevant transmission, rather than politely keying their mics and waiting for an opportunity to speak, it might well have worked better. But it can be hard to know when it's appropriate to interrupt, because to an extent it's a question of individual preference. Some people might prefer or simply be able to cope with a bit more banter, even in the midst of combat, and I feel like I'm being a bit un-excellent to those people if I have to interrupt them when they are clearly enjoying themselves. Maybe this is just me though.
Secondly, splitting comms doesn't necessarily help. In fact, when this happened I'm fairly certain comms were already split and the chatter was either platoon-wide via the whisper bind or we were doubling up squads in channels as we often do. I forget which, but the point is that splitting comms by itself doesn't necessarily address the problem.
My feeling is that we're simply too loose with our comms discipline during combat in general, and especially as the size of the group starts to get bigger. I don't think it should be a question of needing to use "break, break" to interrupt the chatter; if we're in combat, especially when there's a lot of us, people should just be keeping the chatter to a minimum. Splitting comms is a tool which can make this easier to do, but fundamentally you still have to keep the chatter during battle battle-relevant for it to work.
I have to say writing this makes me feel a bit like the Misery fairy, telling people they shouldn't be having fun.
Having extended conversations about another game over platoon-wide comms sounds absolutely mad. Hopefully it was the second one.
Originally Posted by Kal
Nah, it sounds spot on. Everyone likes banter, but being able to coordinate effectively has to take priority. Banter should give way to other comms usage at all times (if it's a case of two people trying to key up at the same time), you can always pick up the funny story again later on when things are less hectic.
Originally Posted by Kal
Its been a whole week since last Thursday!
Do we have anyone who can TACgir PL tonight? After all the discussion we had, I think we have some really positive action points to put into practise this week.
Just dropping in to say I stand by the ROs being isolated from the squads. A radio op's entire duty is to - figuratively speaking - sit in the corner with their headphones on, in a safe place. To be deaf to the squad so the SL doesn't have to be. My point is that the SLs are stressed out by both talking down to the squad during tactical nights, and up to the PL in the recipience and confirmation of orders/in providing sitreps and making requests for support.
When we run 'cohesive', per the commonly used word, with tight formation (i.e. everyone on alpha one let's go! Check your sectors and don't breach rooms alone!), the SL simply cannot be engaged in strategic discussion upward because he is the brain for a body comprised of ten other players, relying on him for direction, opportunity and safety. He is, or should be, entirely focused upon managing his squad to use them to best effect while providing them fun. When the SL is part of strategic discussion, rather than simply receiving clarified orders from the RO, the *entire squad* are alone, not knowing what to do or where the enemy are, and as seconds of this tick by they spread out more, more of them die, and they become harder to regroup for orders when the SL returns from the Higher Plane.
The radio operator takes care of the strategic discussion, relays orders and reports succinctly both from his own observations and reports from the SL. If he is subject to the 'GRENADE! MEDIC! OH GOD GAME OVER MAN GAME OVER!' wailing of his squad he is little better off than the SL would be in his place. Yes, an RO will get lonely - thus, as I said, we should be working on a rotation - each squad usually has at least two or three 'talkative' regulars who can be asked, nudged or begged to take RO for 25 minutes before the next person rotates in.
Not ideal, certainly - but is it worth a try? It's up to you.
Going to have to disagree on this one, I'm afraid. Speaking as someone who RO's whenever needed, if this became a standard setup (an isolated RO), I would cease to take the job.
Originally Posted by Jakkar
This isn't even a matter of hypotheticals, since as it happens, I've been such an RO. Platoon RO for a split-comms platoon during a CtA. I was in my own channel, capable of talking up to Command, and to my PL. It was the most isolated, dull, quiet night of PlanetSide 2 I've ever had. More importantly, it didn't increase efficiency at all. If anything, it decreased it. The flow of information was so disjointed, it made Command's job hell.
As an RO, filtering info honestly isn't that difficult 99% of the time. It's only those are occasions when you're busy, and the squad comms get cluttered, AND the RO comms clutter that things get tough. All you need is a little set-up discipline. If the PL announces "All squads, standby for an order" (or whatever you need), then the RO can clear his squad channel for a few seconds to keep it simple. Yes, you get some "Break break" moments in squad chatter, but it's a small price to pay for staying in the squad channel.
I find the claim that an RO in the squad channel is almost as hard as SL/RO pretty strange. Most of your time is spent as a grunt, operating a squad channel, with your SL running the tactical show. You give sitreps when arriving/leaving a location, copying an order, or updating the PL with important info. Squad-to-squad info can be dealt with by SLs without much hassle, since it's generally just a warning about armour, or notification of securing a certain objective.
An SL doing the RO's job is significantly harder, since it's not just cluttered comms that are your problem. It's just the simple mental gymnastics involved in maintaining contact with both the PL and the squad efficiently. Sitreps and confirmations and cross-squad comms begin stacking up, and will drive an SL to madness if he/she tries to do that and meet the tactical requirements of squad leading.
The only times an RO's job is particularly difficult is when emergency info is transferred up/down, or new orders are given and the comms aren't clear. Both of these problems can be solved by good ears, the PL giving a moment of warning before giving orders, and an RO unafraid of "Break break"-ing the squad.
Any other RO's agree with this? Using the overlay is pretty vital to the RO job, I grant you, but most of your time is spent as a grunt who gives sitreps, not someone doing constant strategic discussion with the PL.
Completely agree. I haven't done the isolated RO role but I have done RO a fair bit. Explain to your squad what "break break" is all about and they'll respect it. Think ahead when speaking and be concise. Being an RO in the traditional setup works well and isn't boring or unreasonably hard work.
Get the impression that some people cannot handle double conversations, but I enjoy ROing. Command chat does need to be kept as terse as possible tho.
Originally Posted by WallyTrooper
I agree with Carl. I like being the RO, and I particularly like SLing with an RO. Though, tonight's experiment with PL talks to all members of one squad at a time, was also a really nice experience for me as SL. I just got very tired after a while, felt I had to exert quite a lot of effort to get people to stick together and stuff. Went easier in the beginning, but got harder and harder as I progressively lost focus. :)
nyway, ROs are generally good and a role that is good fun to play. The major problem being having to find people to do it, really.
I used to RO until I took a break from PS2 a few months ago. It seemed that the main issue some people had was "too many voices". IMO that was nothing to do with the comms set-up and was entirely to do with getting squads to respect "Break Break", ROs to keep the reports short and to the point, and PLs to give clear simple orders.
Originally Posted by fish food carl
I've only been back playing for a week or so, but the main thing I've noticed no matter which recent comm set up is used, is that there is a lot of discussion about every order. I've heard PLs give an order to a squad, only for the SL to go "errrm, well, I reckon we should go over to XYZ instead" and then grunts or even other squad leaders (or even grunts in other squads!) pipe up with "or maybe ZYX, there's only 1-12 enemies there" etc etc and then there's confusion about whether the squad is following the PLs original order or not.
My tuppence on comms overall: The outfit seems to have tried several different set ups this year, and each one has had some problems. So we try to create another set up to fix those problems, and then yet another to fix different problems. I personally feel it would be better to stick to one set up and TRAIN PEOPLE UP to use it properly. 90% of the problems with any given set up are "User Errors". If the comms are too chatty, or orders are unclear, it's usually an issue with whoever was speaking rather than an issue with the channel they were in or the keybind they used...
Yeah it seems to me, from a largely outsider perspective (not on at peak times most nights), that the system just gone was working fine for a couple of weeks, then one bad night happened and everyone flipped and switched nigh instantly. I didn't see any problems with it, the multiple nights that it was in use when I was there.
Originally Posted by AlfieV
ROs need to tell the PL how things are with their squad.
I can;t see how they can do that without listening in to squad comms.
I'd kind of agree with phatchance. The issue wasn't the system it was the fact comms discipline was missing. It seems to me we're blaming the system rather than the poor usage and trying to find something suitably restrictive.
For what it's worth I also didn't find the comms last night lonely. It was good and quiet.
Last night was pretty much perfect. The experimental comms set up let SLs who wanted to maintain contact with the PL do so themselves, or delegate it to an effective RO if they preferred that, and also allowed any Grunt to pipe up as needed. From the point of view of this grunt, the amount of chatter was spot on.
Never could find those whisper bindings cmaster talked about at the start, but I guess it didn't matter since I only talked to my squad anyway?
Yeah, isolated ROs are not something I like the sound of.
One, it's going to mean that SLs have to go back to dealing with 2 streams of chat.
Two, they won't really understand what is going on with the squad
Three, they'll weaken the squad as a fighting force, not being a true part of it.
Equally, the "just be more disciplined" thing really isn't that easy.
When the PL is not at the same location as the squad they are talking to, then sometimes there needs to be a conversation. Some back and forth on what is happening, what the problems are, what can be done to solve them. But if this is going all over the place, then it disrupts a lot of other people, and causes the "too many voices in head" syndrome.
Equally, if ROs are calling "break" every time something comes through from PL, than we are barley any better off than with the current "casual" system.
Originally Posted by mrpier
I thought the comms setup worked well last night, but it seemed to put more pressure on CMaster. On top of leading he had to act as an intermediary for all the squads.
Other than that, it seemed to work quite well, Delta lead (LaKroy) was having problems with his binds so we had dedicated ROs anyway. And the squad could hear the RO/SL > PL communication which meant that we didn't have multiple voice syndrome, and people felt more engaged with the decision making process.
Although for last night, you were meant to uncheck "to subchannels" for the "Parent" bind.
Originally Posted by Giraffiest
I liked last night's comms because it eliminated chatter between squads, I also disliked last night's comms because it eliminated chatter between squads. In essence, I would have been helped by being able to talk to other SLs from time to time, telling them not to move their Sunderers out into the open until we had a chance to clear out some armour and AV turrets. Small stuff like that.
If we added the ability for SLs to talk to each other, I would be very happy with this system. There is a distinct advantage with having SL in contact with PL directly; it speeds up the response and it also allows SL to directly feed back any considerations they might have regarding the current tactical situation or any short term plans of their own. Could we extend this system to do what Dewi's diagram showed:
1: PL talks to all members of each squad individually or broadcast to all squads at once (sparingly!)
2: SL (anyone in SL channel) can whisper back to PL (other squad members can't)
3: SL can whisper to other squads and (my addition) all members of that squad will hear it.
That will allow:
a) private channels between PL and separate squads
b) SLs to coordinate, while not risking having to conversations at once (PL comms excepted)
It will also require some comms discipline, but as we've noticed, so does any system.
We've got a couple of options for restoring inter-squad communications, and I'm not sure which would be best.
We can restore the SL channel, and have it so all the SL channels can talk to each other (a la the existing system)
Or, we can give squads access to the same "direct comms" that the PL has. IE, using the same keybinds as the PL does, any squad can contact any other specific squad.
I'd rather avoid the situation where only SL can send sitreps though. Last night, I spoke with SLs for A and C consistently, never to the SL for D, but a nominated person, and for B it varied between SL and one other.