No no no! This is not another poll about the American choice of a rabid rooster (coincidentally during the year of the rooster) for president or anything related to Brexit! Those have been polled to death … and will continue to be polled until the heat death of the universe.
Spurred on my @ENO’s thread concerning last minute DCS wingmen and his firehouse server, what I am looking for is some way to maybe try to organize something that at least some subset of the Mudspike player base wants to take part in. That is not easy; and as the Venn diagram comes together in my head it gets down right messy. Games, modules, varying skill levels, schedules and levels of commitment all come into conflict.
So consider this another one of those threads where we try to pull together enough information to get something rolling on a regular basis. Maybe. If we are lucky and we all wish really hard.
First thing on that list is games and this is something I am going to make an almost wild assumption about: I am going to focus on DCS. I think that there is enough latent Arma3 urging among the Mudspike population that will allow that idea to germinate on it’s own, in parallel to DCS. That may become apparent in a moment.
So. Assuming DCS, there are a few modes of implementation that come to mind.
The obvious first thing is the more ‘casual’ flying. This is where we all get on the Mudspike teamspeak server, get in some sort of mission with things to kill and a random sample of DCS modules to choose from. Kind-of a pick up game of basketball depending on whoever shows up to the court on any given day/evening.
The second thing is based upon training. This is where a few people get together in a more structured mission to go over some aspect of one or two of the modules available in DCS. Be it ACM/BFM in the F-15, Mirage, F-5E or some other Flaming Cliffs air frame or strike, interdiction, what-have-you. This could also involve PvP if numbers and time allow for it.
The third thing, an idea that I (and others) have thought about for the past year, is something more along the lines of a smaller scale multiplayer mission event. This is something on a scale smaller than the almost quarterly/bi-annually official Mudspike Fly-in events that @near_blind has attempted; something manageable by around 4-8 players designed, maybe, around a specific air frame or a specific mission type with a small briefing and cooperative roles.
I think that you can start to see how Arma3, and for that matter any other game with enough of an interested audience, could follow a similar pattern: Casual nights, training nights, dedicated mission nights.
Now, hold on to your hats and try to stifle those groans.
Survey time! I know, I know. Try to hold back the groans!
Which ‘formats’ are you interested in for DCS?
These are the potential formats available to the community assuming that a few of us mission designers can fulfill the potential implied in these selections. This is somewhat along a spectrum from Casual nights up to full on, fairly serious Multiplayer Mission running. Casual missions can be complex but can live longer and be easier to pull from a pool. Multiplayer Missions require a larger investment in time and, yes, training, to properly run. So consider this in your selection. If you only have a limited amount of time keep this complexity in mind. Obviously, if you select Other? please provide a suggestion!
- Linked Mission Campaign
What kind of schedule are you most interested in or capable of attending?
Be honest here and select only the options that you feel you would like to strive to achieve (assuming that there was enough content). Note that items from the above poll that in the more casual end of the spectrum are easier to attend as you can while items in the more mission-based focus can be harder to attend. Take a look at the format you chose in the above poll that is farther from casual and use that as a guide when answering that question (ie: if you are interested in the Training and Causal formats, answer this question from the Training perspective and assume that Causal missions will be more readily available). This is about having a schedule night(s) that we can all agree are DCS nights (or whatever).
- Once a week;
- Twice a week;
- Once every two weeks;
- Once every three weeks;
- Once a month;
For Casual missions, what are you looking for?
- Sandbox with a nice selection of available DCS modules (ex: Sandbox with all/most modules available);
- Sandbox with a more focused sub-set of DCS modules (ex: Broad A2A moduels, A2G modules or Helicopter modules);
- A Mission focused on one (or more related) mission types (ex: ACM/BFM, SAM Hunting, Helicopter Transport);
For Training missions, what are you looking for?
- Module Sub-Set: Based around a specific era/mission (ex: ACM/BFM, Weapons employment, etc);
- Complimentary Set: A more ‘in depth’ focus on a single module or modules that compliment each other (ex: Not sure I have an example for this);
- Single Module/All Aspect: Training on all aspects of a single focused module for a period of time before moving on to another module (ex: Mirage and all of its available missions);
For Multiplayer missions and maybe Multiplayer Campaign missions, what are you looking for?
Please pick the highest level of involvement you are willing to tolerate and assume that options under that choice are still available to you; if a majority take the middle road, then mission designers can focus (maybe) on the middle road or easier choices (ex: if you select missions w/ briefings, then it is assumed that you would be willing to do the simple briefings or more simpler mission options below it).
- Hardcore: I want more complicated missions that I need to almost study and plan in advance for;
- Medium Core:I want them with briefings, strict radio comms, a spawn/launch time and no respawns or join-in-progress (ignoring restarting or replaying the mission);
- Middle Road:I want them with (short) briefings, semi-strict radio comms, a spawn/launch time and maybe a respawn mechanism/join-in-progress (not individual but group based);
- More Casual Friendly: I want them with limited briefings that you can join at any time along the life of the mission (respawns. join in progress)’
- Soft Core: I want them but I do not have any ideas about them;
Alright. That is enough.
I hope that this is not seen as repeating a previous poll or that it is not seen as another post that will, in the end, go nowhere. I hope that this will help generate discussion in our little community. I hope that it might provide, along with the Mudspike Fly-ins and work hard work done by @near_blind, @ENO, @WreckingCrew and others, a collection point to help get more involved with each other online.
I know that we are a diverse group and we all have some relatively heavy taxes on our time and commitments already, with family and work and whatnot, but I think that we are suffering from a Paradox of Choice (oddly enough given that a ‘some people’ will argue that we have very limited choices); we have a (relatively) large and diverse set of modules and nothing to help focus on learning more from each other or implementing those skills in a cooperative environment.
We have so much potential that we are, maybe, finding hard to get momentum?