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Thread: Missions Rotation: A proposal for an experiment

  1. #1
    Ace SKG 210_Mölders's Avatar
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    Missions Rotation: A proposal for an experiment

    Missions Rotation: A proposal for an experiment


    As you have probably noticed, due to several factors, recently the ATAG main server is very often fully empty ( Especially during the week ) so I would like to propose to the ATAG server Admins a little experiment with the map rotation to possibly trying to improve the current situation.

    As said above there are many factors that could have brought to this situation but, IMHO, there are 3 of them that must be took in mind above the others.


    In detail they are:

    1- We have less players around in respect to the old good " CLoD Golden Times " when the server was almost always fully populated every day/evening

    2- Some of the maps that are included in the current map rotation are extremely well made for a full players environment but not so with the reduced number of players currently available around ( In brief: Some maps are very good when there a lot of pilots playing but too dispersive with the few we got currently around in average )

    3- It seems that, due to lower number of players available around in average, the " general trend " of the ones that, instead, continues to play the game with a certain constance is to prefer missions where the action is more quick and direct ( Flying a lot of time on a huge map to find a valid flying target at the end could result to be boring, especially for new players )


    Said this, please note, that what I'm about to propose below is referred ONLY to the " standard " weekly map rotation and not to events ( That instead are always well populated also nowadays ).


    Said this, my proposal, for a total test duration of 4 weeks, is a follows:

    Only these maps included in the weekly map rotation, possibly in this order:

    - Hellfire Corner ( Summer )

    - Operation Seelowe ( Summer )

    - Operation Relinquish ( Autumn )

    - Raiders ( Winter )


    Why I've chosen these maps?

    For the following motives:

    1- They cover all the seasons from summer to winter

    2- They are very popular ones and at the same time they provide a " quick action " also with few players around

    3- They last for about 3 hours each so they will cover about a 12 hours time period providing so a good basic map rotation and map variation during the test duration

    4- The action, more easy and quick to be found, could possibly stimulate players to join more often the main ATAG server


    Possible Outcomes of the Experiment

    Easy...

    1- If I'm right we will see the server being more populated during the week/weekends and players will join the server more frequently

    2- If I'm wrong returning to the current map rotation and setting the things as they are now should be quite easy and quick to be done


    As said this is just a proposal done only with good intentions in mind. I like the ATAG main server and seeing it empty is a pain for my old Luftwaffe eyes!
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    Re: Missions Rotation: A proposal for an experiment

    Great input, as always.

    I will present your thoughts above to my ATAG colleagues and see where we go.

    Thanks for your strong support, mate.

    Snapper


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    Re: Missions Rotation: A proposal for an experiment

    If I may add my 2 cents:

    Obviously a large number of players (majority?) doesn't need a specific mission at all.
    They just want to get into a dogfight quick and easy. That's why DangerDogz server with turned on map icons is so popular at the moment.

    It sounds obvious, but if you want to attract players who like to fight other human players, you need at least one human to join the server first. This first player will most probably NOT be someone who is most interested in fighting human players, because then he would not join an empty server.
    That's what's happening at ATAG right now. So usually you get the first player who wants to chase bombers or practice bombing and soon someone joins 'to spoil his fun', which in turn draws more players.


    Other players instead love to stalk their prey and don't mind a long chase, still others are interested in ground attack or sneaking into enemy territory at high altitude and get away with it. For them the highest achievement is to roll the map.

    Please don't forget about them either.

    If I see some maps are on, I just don't join the server. Mae West for example may be great for the dogfight guys, because they just have to fly to the ships to find the action (although its a long way for the reds). If you are a (red) bomber the map is unplayable, because all three possible tragets (ships, airfield and radar) are very far away from the home bases, but close together, so any enemy fighter knows exactly were you are going. And in case you still manage to reach the radar or the airfield, flak will get you most of the time before you drop your bombs. And if you drop your boms ... well, with a Blennie you need to fly there six or eight times to achieve a result ...

    If the 'Crépon' map is on all it needs ist two or three 109s high on the way to Théville and red is no longer able to use Spit IIa. So you can spawn with 10 or 15 Hurris or Ias and circle Crépon, waiting for the odd Blue to come there. Great for the furball fans, but if you aren't?
    Well, see above: all possible targets close together, intensive flak, almost no chance to survive, no chance to achieve any result.

    Especially flying aircraft like the Hurricane fighter bomber or the Beaufighter doesn't make sense on most maps. There are just no targets you can destroy with these aircraft.
    I love 'Steamworks' because of the rescue mission which is great fun. But this morning we blew up several trains in France it was great fun, searching for them and even more to destroy them but we did not even get a message 'Red destroyed axis train near Boulogne' or something, let alone any points towads the rolling of the map. So at some point of time you ask yourself 'Hrm, why the heck do I fly through all this AAA?'

    Now if you would add a number of valid and managable targets for these type of aircraft, no matter which mission, I'm sure you would find the odd 'first player' trying to blow up things before the 'spoil sports' arrive.


    S!


    DerDa

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    Re: Missions Rotation: A proposal for an experiment

    If the suggestion is for experimentation would a beginners week/month be up for considering?

    Most of the players here are old hands and 'pros' and for a player who has bought Clod (especially in the £5 sale going on) to come into the Server is like throwing a schoolboy into a boxing match with Mike Tyson!

    Now as unpopular as it may be, Warthunder dominates the skies for player base and given the fact it is stacked in favour of pay to play, there is certainly no shortage of players willing to do so.

    Regarding the stalwarts, old hands and pros.... it's great that they remain but who will take over the mantle once they are gone?

    The way I see it, it really needs a push to open the server up to new blood, bring fresh eyes and interest in but currently the gamers are shut out by the huge complexity, learning curve and fact that they will be easy prey, get disenfranchised and go back to Warthunder, dejected and disillusioned.

    So in an effort to bring new players over have there been any thoughts of some small maps, fields, volcanic islands, etc, etc, air starts (choice of take off if player wants to), complex engine and overheats off, cockpit on but external views enabled, limited ammo, realistic gunnery and obviously damage on? Very much more arcade, but very much more open to casual players to get into and see just how beautiful the sim is.

    I appreciate the purists may cry but the sad fact is, the servers are dead, there are few new players coming in an yet when you look at Warthunder there is obviously a need or interest in the genre.

    To have a server like this that could capture new interest, allow players to get used to the environment, look, detail and interface of Clod, be a step into the forums and experience of the sim but then they may feel they want to try the next stage and move onto more challenging servers at which point the step into the lions den.


    I get it may not be the most popular suggestion but it currently must be very daunting for a new player coming from a game like Warthunder, to sit on the runway in a 109, take off and 20 seconds later the engine overhears, the aircraft shakes like crazy and he bails, walks away and tells all his friends not to buy Clod because it's shit!
    We know this isn't the case but that player will never know because they haven't had an enjoyable arcade experience like Warthunder in the Clod servers and word of mouth is a great seller?

    Just putting it out there as a way to build the player base rather than live on the dreams of the old days of Hyperlobby (which would be great if TFS could make something like that..... that would be a huge attr3for many if the old school too!)

    Cheers, Mysticpuma
    "The needs of the Flight Sim Community outweigh the needs of the one or the few"

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    Re: Missions Rotation: A proposal for an experiment

    As a relative novice and newcomer to CLOD, playing about two years. I remember well the frustration of being easy prey, of dying because i forgot to look behind me or left rads closed and I vented on these forums about the game being too hard. I remember well the response from some veterans that the difficulty and learning curve where major postives and differentiated the sim from others and were what attracted and kept the interest of dedicated players. In hindsight I agree, while I did not feel that way at the time. CLOD is a fantastic sim and has a great community of players. it is very rewarding to play and slowly improve your skills.

    CLOD will never be able to compete with Warthunder and should not try to, they are like chalk and cheese.

    As regard the ATAG server, the work of the mapmakers is not being done justice as on most occasions the map objectives are ignored and players engage in (best available) fighter on fighter battles, so I respectfully disagree with Molders and Mystic Puma and don't think that changing the mission rotation will help attract more players.

    Now the hard bit, possible solutions,

    happening now,
    encourage new players to get on teamspeak.
    veteran players mentoring and encouraging,

    Not happening,
    All squadrons need to be quicker in inviting new players to join (as probationers perhaps). elite squadrons need to examine the effect they have on game, positive or negative.
    set icon/flag on server for new players(<3/6mths experience), maybe vets may cut them some slack.
    if possible increase damage hit points needed to down for newplayers and improve damage caused by newplayers.

    and.... and improve spotting to make sim more playable at higher resolutions


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    Re: Missions Rotation: A proposal for an experiment

    The last few days and what could be seen on ATAG server gave me some new thoughts about the whole thing.

    As we have seen during the last year, a server does not need any mission to be popular.

    As I previously wrote, and as was demonstrated during the last week on ATAG, all you need is to attract the first or the first few players and others will follow.

    The question now is:
    Could it be that some missions even put of players?
    From the red perspective I'm sorry to say that the answer is 'yes' (I'm sure the blue side knows similar examples).
    The reason for this is not that the missions are 'bad' in anyway, but rather that meanwhile their objectives and possibilities are very well known to the 'enemy'.

    I already mentioned the example of Mae West, where all targets are close together so that a single 109 can sucessfully intercept any attempt to bomb.
    The Crépon Map is another example, all targets concentrated in one small region with such an an amount of flak that makes sure you never return from a bombing raid even if you don't meet an enemy fighter. Spitfire IIa is only available at one well-known spawn point, some 109s camping high there make it impossible to use this aircraft.
    The flak over the Isle of Wight on New Dawn Fades makes every bombing run 100% suicidal. If there is just one single enemy fighter around, usally you don't even reach a target.

    Some days ago we had Sea Lion. The goal for red obviously is to sink the invasion ships. Again (two groups of) targets close together.
    To sink ships you need either Blennies (sigh) or Hurrican FBs (SIGH), because Beaus can't sink freighters (SIGH). Blennies are only available at Hornchurch, Hurri FBs only at Eastchurch. Two or three 109s camping between those two airfields are enough to effectifely deny red all attempts to bomb anything.
    We were three 'reds' against nine 'blues' and after two attempts we just gave up, because we could not think of any reasonable thing to do.

    By the way: TAB 7-1 is behaving rather strange. On some maps (New Dawn Fades) it just keeps telling you about enemies 15 miles away, while the bullets already buzz around your ears. And on others it seems that it detects all aircraft, even those on the ground. Flying tree top level to sneak in thus makes no sense anymore.


    A positive example is 'London Ruft'. Targets like Eastchurch and Littlestone are rather far away from each other, so you stand a chance not to be intercepted if there are not too many enemy fighters (never found those bridges, though). Flak is heavy, but if you go in with two Blennies, at least one stands a chance to return.
    And you only need to drop successfully about eight Blennie loads to take out one of these targets .

    Just providing a quick possibility to join a furball unluckily seems to be successfull.
    But if ATAG wants to attract players with complex missions I think those missions, meanwhile need to offer a better diversity of home bases where you can spawn and a better diversity of managable targets, even when you are flying alone or with few others.
    I'm not asking for the possibility to win the map single handed within half an hour. But just some targets you can take out with a fighter-bomber or a Beau that at least give some points as a reward and offer some chance to survive.


    S!


    DerDa

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    Re: Missions Rotation: A proposal for an experiment

    It is obvious that something needs to be done, or ATAG will fade away to nothing, and Molder's rotation plan is an easy place to start, and as far as I can see there is no down side. Also, it address one of the concerns that I have heard expressed.

    For me the joy of ATAG is that for the most part you are flying with and against other humans, in something that models a real aircraft that you have to take care of, does not have the arcade feel that comes from exterior views etc, and where you can cooperate and visit with other players. That is why I almost never fly Danger Dogs or other servers.

    So lets try Molder's experiment, and start a conversation about how to make other improvements that take programming and may be controversial.

    At the same time I have 3 suggestions for things that each of us can do to help the issue. First is for each of us to just jump in and be the first to enter the map. Second is for us to be willing to fly for either red or blue to keep sides somewhat even, when faced with a 10 to 3 odds who wants to be jumped as soon as they spawn in, or to be waiting around to find one of the 3 opposing players. And last is to always use Teamspeak.

    See you on ATAG later today.

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