A final suggestion?

I did not want to accept as truth, recent comments I saw that declared the end of the transport flying role, however, the last 3-4 attempts I made to play the role on Altis seemed to confirm it. I may have had a couple of successful in-files to the AO. All the rest of my attempts to reach the AO with passengers resulted in failure, as my passengers and I were taken out by enemy air or AA, or sometimes both! There have been a myriad of suggestions as to how to change the situation. Most are shot down by server limitations.

Imbalance in game play and assets seems to be at the core of it. Jets are too numerous and too powerful. Their weapons-free status allows them to roam the map at will, devastating anything that resembles a target. And we occasionally see requests by pilots to enable even more potent weapons loads and capabilities.

Most pilots are just eager to fly and shoot, and are not very willing to answer requests for escort, or for clearing prospective routes and LZ’s for transports. This is understandable on a public server, which, quite honestly, offers little realism. The overwhelming power of friendly air frequently upsets ground pounders, who have patiently worked their way across the map to engage known contacts, only to find that just as they get within range a fighter swoops in and wipes out the entire enemy force en-masse.

Unrestricted HALO jumping seems to be a big factor, but I have yet to see the admins demonstrate any willingness to alter that situation. I’m sure there are difficulties I am not aware of in implementing changes in this area.

The onus for keeping as many roles and slots open to as many players as possible on a busy public server is a daunting task for the admins. I feel grateful they even bother to entertain requests and suggestions for changes and improvements. After all - these are just labors of love.

I have spent a lot of time on the servers recently in infantry roles, and while I do enjoy that, as a real-world pilot, what really drew me to MP Arma was the opportunity to fly as a pilot around a truly amazing and realistic group of maps, in a variety of aircraft (primarily for the piloting challenge - and not to shoot at things) in aircraft which have quite good flight models (for heli’s anyway). The transport pilot role offered the chance to inhabit this role, with the reward being a sense of a job well done and the occasional appreciation expressed by the troops I delivered successfully to a destination. I have now reached the point where I am pretty much discouraged from even getting into the role - not that many players probably even care - it’s probably one of Arma’s least exciting activities for most.

That said, I would throw out one more query to the admins:
Assuming that imbalances do, in fact, create situations that diminish gameplay and/or the sense of realism and immersion for many, and that coding and scripting changes to the system are generally not plausible - for whatever reasons…how feasible would it be to simply change the rules of gameplay?

For example, by making pilots adhere to a system. Pilots might be free to roam-and-engage at will only outside of the active AO ( this would serve transport pilots by reducing enemy AA and free-roaming enemy air). All engagements inside the AO would require specific requests…perhaps only from qualified roles like JTAC, or even simply by having a ground player lase a target and request air support. (This might actually encourage more players to adopt TeamSpeak)

LOL! I can see the admins cringing now - as the responsibility for policing a system like this would be on their shoulders. Nonetheless, we all seem to play well according to an existing set of rules. Why couldn’t we be conditioned to play according to some changes to those rules. After a while, existing players would be able to step in and educate a Noob if necessary? And the rules could fairly easily be changed or modified if needed.

Hey Boss,

While I very much agree on your point of view, and do apologize for not being in game with you to prove my own view, there are players that love being a guardian for transport and support for the ground. I love flying CAS and being a guardian in many aspects. But i Myself have not been frequently called upon while in the air, which leaves me to wait and search for the enemy air assets to take out while on stand by. I usually do support transport until I myself get a missile lock then I take out that AA target and continue flying support.

Try linking up with more ground forces, join their individual groups that they form and let them know you are Heli-transport and if they need air support they need to relay that. That it can’t be provided easily without communication and teamwork.

It sucks when players need to reach out to players and encourage team work in a huge team based game but we need to in order to ensure the scenario flows smoothly and we aren’t pinned down at base unable to shoot down the Jets and Kajman attacking us.

If you are flying at a time of No Jet Support, which is encouraged last i recall to only Fire on Request, then swap to CAS and take out air assets that harrass you. Otherwise Halo in and Join the ground and push them towards the AA forces and that can also assist you in flying air support.

Regards,
Leshii

PS.

I have been made aware, through a concurrent post, that there are in fact separate CAP and CAS roles on the servers (which I was not aware of), dictated by aircraft types and load-outs. Perhaps the way to reduce the seemingly -overpowered ground attacks, and increase support for the air transport system might be to simply increase the number of available CAP aircraft and reduce the number of CAS aircraft. No scripting necessary, and the balance could easily be adjusted to fine tune things if necessary.

Just ask the pilots for escort more often than not we’re just waiting for someone wanting some help or just someone to fly with them.

Most players don’t want to wait for a transport helicopter only to be killed immediately as they enter the AO. This happens to me all the time. I think that limiting HALO jumps to every 10 minutes (c. 2017 NAK) would increase the reliance on transport. However while this may give incentive for infantry to wait for a chopper, it still doesn’t solve the problem of transport being a dead role.

Most people want to rush into the battle before CAS destroys everything.

Furthermore, teamkills frequently and embarrassingly occur in the chat logs whenever a transport pilot hits a rock or get ArmA’d (so to speak). For example, last night a highly respected player got >10 teamkills in the chat (and leaderboards) because they crashed a chopper when a game-breaking bug occurred during a heavy lift. After doing their best and helping the team, they were -12 points and at the very bottom of the scoreboard. Naturally everyone saw this incident and some people made fun of them, which is enough for some people to say never again to flying transport.

I have a few possible solutions:

  • Limit HALO jumps to once every 10 minutes or make a HALO jump cost $50 cash
  • Make dynamic loadouts in CAS/CAP vehicles cost $100 cash every time (bobcat reloading would be free)
  • STOP punishing transport pilots for “teamkills”, which discourages pilots from the risk of flying a full chopper.
  • Give transport pilots an XP/point bonus for safely delivering infantry to/from the AO.

So far the issue that I’ve seen with transport, is as mentioned previously the HALO jumps. People would rather respawn over and over again, jump to the same spot and eventually kill the targets there, instead of trying to actually either stage, or wait for reinforcements before moving in.

And it’s understandable, I feel terribly bad whenever I have to tell someone, “Transport en route, ETA 7 minutes.” No one wants to wait nearly that much for a single helicopter that might even fail at delivering you to the final destination, as enemy CAP units are very effective, and if not dealt with properly, will surely take you down.

So from one side, people just simply lack the patience (And its completely understandable) and from the other side the transport itself isn’t reliable enough (90% of the time, not due to the pilot skills, but rather due to effective enemy AA, or CAP.)

If we do implement a cool down on the HALO jump, first off the assets would be way more careful (Similar to how pilots try and save their planes to avoid waiting an hour) and aside of that, after getting killed, and waiting for a transport they would reconsider a proper strategy (Or at least try to) just to avoid that wait time.

I do think that transport pilots would also deserve a reward, as technically even according to the server (Which only relies on counting kills, deaths and so on) transport pilots are useless.

Aside of that, we also have to keep in mind, that transport pilots life fully relies on demand. If no one needs transport the transport pilot will have to be on standby, often flying, or just landed on the ground and doing other stuff while waiting for a request.

As an end to this post I can only say one only thing. We have to find a balance to make the experience enjoyable for everyone. And even though I fully believe that the transport role will not get massively popular (As people want to be in the front line, either by killing with a gun, or with a plane), the players who usually enjoy transport will also dedicate more time to it.