Friendly ID tags when tanking

Not sure exactly what I would suggest, but more so would like to start a discussion that may lead to an understanding or alternatives.

In the last week or so, there have been several major incidents of FF on the Altis server involving tanks, with the Tanks being on both the giving and receiving ends of the TKs. I myself had an unfortunate incident where I engaged a friendly T-140 at just over 1km with no friendly marker. This person was driving inside a large group of enemy personnel, right next to a verified enemy technical.

This ended up with somewhat of a “shouting” match in the ingame chat about identifying your targets better (which I TOTALLY agree with), but in this circumstance despite the efforts of a full crew and two spotters working dismounted all communicating through a discord server to verify targets, we still ended up with a blue on blue situation resulting in the loss of the tank and a few friendlies getting killed.

I’m not sure on the limitations of the friendly identifier and the possibility of increasing its range, but to me that seems like the simplest solution. granted that may not be in line with the goals of NAK Command for the I&A servers, but it would definetly mitigate a lot of the armor involved blue on blue incidents which seem to happen between 1 and 1.5 km.

It just seems to me that its a common occurrence, and people get VERY heated about something and scream about doing things which are not always 100% feasible solutions depending on the situation on the ground. lots of Monday morning quarterbacking of FF incidents from people not involved.

This isn’t so much a solution to the issue, but my tip would be confirming the color of the tank you’re engaging. Typically players use the in game skin editor to set a color, and some tanks, such as the T-14 in this case, spawn as black variants to differentiate from the CSAT Hex. While some vehicles remain in CSAT colors, I feel it would be more rare. If anything I would suggest the following changes that may be realistically feasible.
1 Make all enemy faction vehicles (CSAT & AAF) spawn with blue-for, black, or any other camo variant that can differentiate it from an enemy.
2 Remove enemy colors from the skin editor
3 Increase, or make customizable, the range of the friendly ID hex.

Another fix could be simply identifying positions of friendly vehicles in the A.O via the maps Blue-for Tracking system (The markers displaying all friendly’s and positions and vehicle type) prior to engaging targets, this is typically what pilots use, as its difficult to wait to get within 1KM of a target before engaging when flying at 500+ KMH and is pretty much the easiest, and most accurate way to tell friend from foe when it comes to vehicles. Always double check your map and ID prior to engaging.

Hope this was useful.

Not all players know they can change the skin, not all players know enemy camo from the friendly ones, and like you said they can still choose enemy colors so I would not recommend using this method to identify enemy. Best way is to check the map and place a marker before engaging.

After reading through your post i have found a few issues that i will point out below.

First one is not checking your map, just solely going off of the green hexes around a player is not the best as they are only see-able up to 1 km from where you are within a 360 degree radius. I play the tank roles tons on the Altis server when i’m on and i’m sometimes triple checking my target because i don’t know if it is a friendly or enemy and if i can’t identify it i just won’t shoot at it because there is that small chance it could be a friendly and the majority of people that play on are servers don’t which is why there is a lot of friendly fire going on when the Altis server is full or almost full.

The second issue that i see is fixable is don’t always go off what other people say is friendly because they might be closer or farther away from that target than you are because at the end of the day if you are a tanker, pilot, or infantry you are the one pulling the trigger and firing on something that you may think might be enemy but in actuality is friendly which leads to a blue on blue incident, I myself will double check a target that has been called enemy as a couple of times i myself have been lazed as an enemy tank and have had to tell people i’m friendly and to double check the map.

The third one which is a sensitive topic so i won’t go much into it is using other chat service’s other than our Teamspeak server, we prefer people and want people to use our teamspeak server as you can find information their that is not on the server, talk to an admin if issue’s arise or you need assistance with an issue regarding the game on your side. It also makes it easier for players to communicate with each other as they are in one place and the pilots can communicate amongst each other so they don’t collide into each other at the main terminal which is why we require pilots to be in teamspeak.

Friendly fire is one of those areas as it will always be around no matter how hard you try to stop it, the key point is to minimize it as much as possible, The points listed above can help minimize it and make it a less reoccurring event on Altis.

I think you misunderstood my situation specifically, so I will clarify point by point

In the situation I was involved in, I was gunning while my vehicle commander was verifying targets both visually and through the map. This was backed up by spotters we had working with us on foot from alternate vantage points. We take great care to not engage friendly targets and this was a rare occurrence, which is why the disproportionate response berating the FF occurrence was heavy-handed IMO. I know that nobody likes to get team killed, but sometimes things happen. no need to escalate.

I’m not listening to some rando do callouts. I’m communicating and verifying targets through a small closed loop of people I trust to be competent. While I am new to the NAK servers, and am just getting back into ARMA after a fairly long hiatus, me and the people I regularly play with are far from noobies, are very good at communicating with one another and are used to operations in similar environments so please don’t mistake me for the “This is hard, I can’t be bothered to check targets, wahhhhhhh” person. Blue on Blue is VERY rare for us to be the on the giving end of and on the very few occasions it has happened, even when being apologetic the response has been very very harsh. not necessarily from admins or NAK Command, but mostly from a select few people who are very vocal.

This I take particular issue with. Personally, I am frequently both on our personal discord server (which we use for squad level comms) AND the NAK teamspeak, so it’s a moot point against me anyways but I find it worth addressing. I FREQUENTLY sit in the teamspeak when I’m playing on NAK servers and apart from the communication that I have made with people while playing the Liberation server I have found it to be on the verge of pointless.

At best I can sit in the pilot’s’ channel and listen to 20 pilots talk in circles about nothing at all relevant to me or what I’m doing. even when trying to coordinate things like airstrikes through the teamspeak to pilots I frequently find myself talked over or ignored completely.

At worst, I try to work with people in the other squad level channels, but I find myself sitting in an empty channel for the duration of a play session.

Meanwhile I have a Discord setup for my buddies and I to use for squad level comms that can range from 3 up to a dozen plus people at any given time. I have even invited random players that were working with us to join us so as to coordinate better. The sound quality is better, the overlay is better, its more intuitive to use, and above all our chatter doesn’t override any other groups chatter.

I understand wanting to have players be in the teamspeak. it makes some things much easier to deal with, and when a competent ATC is on it does actually help coordinate aircraft. but if you aren’t in an airplane or playing something more tactically focused like liberation… its pretty much either a waste of time or just noise in my ear.

I agree that FF is something that is always going to happen and should try to be avoided at all costs by players through methods discussed. but it can still happen. I’m not trying to stop it from happening, but am more concerned with the sometimes overly zealous reactions that it generates, many times on the first occurance. I could understand people getting upset if a person is TK’ing on a fairly frequent basis, but to be dressed down in the public chat over my first TK of the night, and in fact one of only a handful that I’ve had on the Altis server was a bit heavy handed IMO.

This post was more meant to address how TK’s are handled and create an understanding of how, despite best efforts, they can and will still occur. If I didn’t make that clear with my initial posting then I apologize for that. sometimes it takes discussion for ideas to develop fully.

Zero, I don’t intend this to be disrespectful at all and would be more than happy to discuss further via voice chat. I’m no stranger to running large communities and dealing with similar things so I can understand your stance and the answers you’ve given. That being said, I think approaching every player that brings something up as if they have no understanding of the issues without knowing the full details of the incident itself or that person’s experience level or capabilities is a bit off-putting.

So I have a few comments about your issue. First, the regular difficulty level in Arma, which is what we base our server on, does not have any friendly markers. We added our own markers, that players can customize, to help limit FF, it was never intended to replace know best practices for identifying targets. When we implemented the friendly markers we tested various distances and found that 1k, provided the solution that we were looking for. Increasing the distance or marking all friendlies gave false indications, based on map rotation and position of actual friendlies. Information about the friendly markers, and much more, is available on the map screen. The information available indicates the distance at which the markers are visible, and what to due to help identify targets further than 1k out.

The next issue is players rely on thermals way too much. Players should always confirm targets and clear vision, and any target over 1k out you should tactical ping, then check the map for the location of the tactical ping, to make sure it is not on a friendly. According to your chat log,

9:39 PM(Side) Archer IXI: umm?? you showed red on my map
9:39 PM(Side) Archer IXI: my bad.

It is very unlikely that a friendly showed up as red on the map, but it is possible. If a player’s friendly kill count was greater than their enemy kill count, they could show as red.

Next in regards to your comment

It just seems to me that its a common occurrence, and people get VERY heated about something and scream about doing things which are not always 100% feasible solutions depending on the situation on the ground.

Bottom line, if you are not sure if a target is a friendly or an enemy then don’t shoot. We understand that FF will happen most players apologize and the game moves on. I reviewed the chat log for the incident last night and to be 100% honest, it appeared, by your 2 responses in all caps, that you were the only one that got heated in regards to the FF. The second TK last night was by a new player that had less than 10 hours on Arma, and other players were trying to help them, not comment on Franks earlier TK. I can not review voice coms, but looking at the chat, everyone acted maturely regarding Franks TK.


I have even invited random players that were working with us to join us so as to coordinate better.

This is considered recruiting on our servers, please refer to the server rules. Your account has already been flagged for previously promoting your discord channel.

9:18 PM 08/29/2019 (Group) Archer IXI: Warden, do you use discord?
9:20 PM 08/29/2019 (Group) Archer IXI: DISCORD LINK REMOVED
9:21 PM 08/29/2019 (Group) Archer IXI: DISCORD LINK REMOVED

This was found a few days after you sent it and the admin decided to give you a chance. If it was found at the time of sending it would have been a 7-day ban minimum, but more likely a permanent ban. We go to great lengths to build a community. When we selected our communication platform it was not an arbitrary decision, we reviewed the features of the platforms available and selected to use TeamSpeak as our communities communication platform. Having players do things that, in effect split the community is counterproductive.

On the I&A servers I used to play on before i discovered NAK, what they did regarding FF on tanks was they added flags (with a small flagpole) to all friendly tanks. That would differentiate them no matter what color the tank was. There are several scripts out there that accomplish this. You could setup BlueFor flags (blue colored) to the friendly tanks. That way it would not be mistaken for an enemy vehicle. Maybe also then increase the minimum viewing distance and/or detail level to say…2km? That way there would be no excuse for someone saying he didn’t see any flag on the tank due to it not rendering unless you have better solutions regarding making sure that the flag does render on >1km. But the main idea here is not the settings, but the flag itself.

There have been issues regarding such scripts, but only if CUP was loaded. Without CUP, the flags on vehicles work like a charm and to be honest, they do even look kinda cool with a small flag on em.

Fun fact: I usually hit my targets as a sniper, but yesterday i missed the same target 7 times in a row, before my team mate yelled that it’s a friendly. That target got really lucky :smiley: since the target was over 2km away so there was no blue marker and he was wearing very similar gear to the enemies and was pretty much surrounded by enemy AI. I could have sworn it was an enemy soldier. So it’s not only tanks/vehicles that have such issues regarding the blue marker.

Back to the flags. There were dev discussions by the admins on that previous server regarding the flag script maybe being resource heavy. It turned out it wasn’t, so there is no negative issue regarding lag/resources for that solution. Mods also play no role here since that server did not allow “any” mods (except CBA).

This idea is by no means fool proof though, and gunners should still check the map at ALL times. But maybe it’s a start.

Just my 2 cents.

Totally get that. And when we play on the liberation server, for example, where there are no IFF markers we still very rarely have FF issues because they people I play with all communicate very well and the Liberation server is a totally different playstyle and much less chaotic. its rare to have friendlies downrange and danger close to enemies if you are working together properly. And I’m not advocating for people to skip the “best practices” of identifying targets.

In this specific situation, I had spotted enemies out past 1.2km. these were verified by my spotter who was working from a different vantage point. I then checked the approximate location on the map by pinging on top of them. the ping showed on the map in a large group of red infantry markers. to be sure I pinged again from the map side and the ping showed up right on top of the thermals I was looking at, which were starting to move out of sight so I fired a snapshot without coming off of thermal. I would very much argue that this cover “due diligence” as far as trying to identify targets. I’m not sure if I caught this while I was recording last night, as I didn’t start till we were up to our normal squad, but if I did I will gladly post the footage after I review it.

I wasn’t actually heated, the caps are a bit misleading. I use my capslock as a PTT for ingame chatter and frequently type without looking at what I’m actually typing. so that’s my bad and is misleading. I was frustrated with people not understanding that I had done what they were trying to tell me I should be doing. this all after I had apologized to frank for the TK, but was by no means "heated’ over the deal.

This particular incident was a one-time deal. The guy I invited had been working closely with us for several hours and we wanted him to be part of our regular group. Link was sent directly to him through the group chat, not the more open side, global, or command lines. I’m not recruiting for some clan or large entity, its literally a group of about 10 people that play together on a regular basis. But your server, your rules and I’ll keep that in mind in the future.

The use of our my discord for our squad level chat is no different then using the group chat function in the game, the only difference being that when someone disconnects from the game we can still talk and we have other people who chat with us that aren’t necessarily in the game. It also cuts chatter that isn’t game related from the teamspeak server which is one of the most annoying things i’ve found about using the teamspeak (which I was on for the duration of last night, and only had a couple of people come into the non-pilot channel and even then alls they did was talk about cars the whole time…)

I will reiterate that I do not intend this to bash admins/NAK Command for how they are doing this, and not even to talk about my incidents specifically. just to have a discussion about friendly fire, the frequency of its occurrence on the Altis I&A server (due to its large player counts and hectic gameplay style) and people expectations vs reality of some situations. that’s all.

I’ll just add on my two cents on here, without really replying to anything previously posted, and will just express my thoughts and ideas on the topic of friendly fire.
So, to start off, the ground troops:
Despite giving out pretty much endless warning, advising people to shoot without checking, explaining them the pings, so on and so forth you have to remember that this server despite being age restricted, doesn’t really have any barriers, you can get in, HALO jump in with the stock loadout, and get to the action.
This straight off the bat creates a massive issue, you get a mix of players who go all the way from 2 minutes, to 2 hours, and to 2 k hours, acting on the same AO on a daily basis.
So, as new players join they can make mistakes, and often learn quite quickly, but still it is unavoidable to get absolutelly everyone to know how to check their targets, or to even do it.

On the other hand, friendly armor is not a widely used resource, mainly restricted to either short ranges or availability of friendly transport, so seeing a friendly tank to someone who was around for a week might happen once, which means, people start getting quite reckless, and fire away instantly, without checking anything at all.

So, just as an early summary, we have a mix of players, with different experiences and different knowledge, with a drastically low chance of encountring friendly armor around them.

When it comes to air assets, new pilots as well as new players really rarelly tend to see friendly armor, luckly quite often friendly armor will get marked on the sensors, and friendly fire is often avoided, not the case when the driver gets out, all of a sudden all of the inexperienced pilots are using all of theirs ATGM’s, GBU’s, and SDB’s.

I do think that the colors tend to help, but a flag, previously mentioned sounds like a reasonable idea. Another alternative would be to somehow change the default skin of the armor to for example a Nak Squad badge, whenever you start seeing weird shapes, you’ll a 100% check what the hell that is.

As a TL;DR:
Drastically change the way that armor looks, then new players will be surprised enough to avoid hitting it, as something won’t feel right, (Not always, but often atleast)
It can be done by adding something like flags, or simply changing the default skin, but, friendly fire won’t be avoidable for a 100% no matter what you do, new players will still make mistakes, everyone does them, even experienced ones.

There are three items I want to add to this conversation.

  1. Intentional TK’s are different from Friendlies being dumb are waltzing into the AO and not communicating it. We both are more then openly willing to use the TS if more Infantry were on it and communicated their movements better.

  2. Tanks and Jets are always going to be the biggest producer of friendly casualties. As such maybe make all tank crews be in TS just like you do pilots. this will reduce some things but will not reduce all. This is something both me and archer has discussed several times. (All tank crews should be working together)

  3. Friendly vehicles with enemy paint schemes are a terrible idea. That’s why I always change the paint scheme on the Kuma to have netting and a dark green tiger paint. it provides something different for friendlies to look at and go “that’s not a normal Kuma” which provides an impulse (hopefully) to check. (though this has not always been foolproof)

On top of all of that, Harkening back to point 1, In a Tank, inside the AO, You don’t always get enough time to do proper checks. I can think of several instances where when checking the map for friendlies we got ran up on and blasted by dudes with AT. It comes with the game but I’m not willing to accept that every instance of FF is entirely the fault of the person committing the FF.

If nessecary we are willing to jump in TS and talk these things out, As the NAK servers are some of the best servers we’ve ever played on.

Well, I don’t think that Intentional Teamkilling should be mentioned here, Intentional Team Killing gets repressed quite quickly, and isn’t that much of an issue, as long as you’re online, trolls will be a thing all around you.

I don’t agree with this point at all, you’d be surprised with how many people are able to hit down friendly air, and armor with some AT / AA launchers, without even thinking about what they’ve done. Trust me, as a transport pilot, I can assure you that at least once a week I get shot down by a friendly ground to air rocket.
When it comes to the armor, it’s almost impossible to see a friendly tank producing any sort of friendly casualties if it’s not just stupidity. (Players getting in the way, or even under the tracks, seeking cover)
About jets, as stated earlier:

This would be the main idea behind my suggestion, earlier:

Using cover is a smart idea, both for armor and infantry, and though your idea does make sense, then, take more time, keep a longer distance, but make your shots count, check your targets carefuly and don’t get too close, with that, it should be enough to find a balance between safe fire, and efficient support.

When it comes to topics like these, the forums are more appropiate, as more people have more time to reply, and both argument and defend their ideas, positions and so on.
The issue with a discussion like this on TS3 is that the ideas mentioned there stay there and are only valid for the ones present there, though, the rest who would want to have an impact on the decision and weren’t able to make it to TS3 won’t have the right to vote, so a topic is more appropiate, at least, that’s my point of view.

The guy I invited had been working closely with us for several hours and we wanted him to be part of our regular group. Link was sent directly to him through the group chat, not the more open side, global, or command lines. I’m not recruiting for some clan or large entity, its literally a group of about 10 people that play together on a regular basis. But your server, your rules and I’ll keep that in mind in the future.

Just to be clear so there is no misunderstanding in the future - any links to any other server in any channel is recruiting. It does not matter the size of your group, or even what your intended purpose is. You are dividing our user base and using our server to build your own group. “we wanted him to be part of our regular group”

Recruiting is not allowed on the server. Using any NAK resources including, but not limited to, game servers, TeamSpeak or website, to recruit or entice players away from NAK resources is not allowed. This includes but is not limited to links or references to other groups, games, or servers which includes Discord links. Use resources not provided by NAK Squad to send such information.

If I see you send your Discord channel over any of our servers, no matter the channel, I will ban you.

Like I said in my previous post, your server your rules. I’ll keep it in mind regardless of my feelings on the matter.

As such maybe make all tank crews be in TS just like you do pilots.

This was discussed amongst the admins and turned down.

In a Tank, inside the AO, You don’t always get enough time to do proper checks.

You must take the time to do the proper checks. If you have put yourself into a position were you are inter city fighting then the responsibility is on you.

Tanks and Jets are always going to be the biggest producer of friendly casualties

If this is the case, then maybe we need to be harsher in the punishment of these players. Players in vehicles should have more time, not less, to check for friendlies. I think the biggest issue is everyone is trying to get kills as fast as they can. If everyone slowed down just a little, the number of TK would reduce greatly.

The Flags on tanks (NAK flag or hello kitty flag lol) suggested by lokii. I like it, but how would it affect machines and fps?

I really disagree with that, it is not even close to the reality, and if your mindset is the following, then you’re just careless in those roles.
As I stated earlier:

It is true that most of the snipers are below 1.5, but well, I don’t think it’ll help out greatly.

No! Please, no! I’ve had enough of the Hello Kitty “Plow” (Traktor with a Hello Kitty Skin)
On a serious note, I do think that the Flags would be interesting…

My whole problem with the friendly markers and even flags, is it tends to make the game more arcade-like. I play this type of game for the realism. Flags are acceptable, as I can justify, at least to myself, that they might do it IRL. I’m not so sure it will help that much as most people are using thermals or are to far away to clearly see the flags.

I will write up some code and add a few flag options. It will not add any lag or FPS. We can use the flags that are already in the mission for the flag poles and the default Arma flags so it will keep the mission size small as well, not hello kitty flags.

Well, in that case, is it possible to make it default, but being able to disable it if you want? At your own risk?

Allow me to add, when it comes to the flag’s idea the issue is NOT what will be on the flag, but the existence of the flag itself, since only friendly vehicles will be having a flag and not the enemy ones.

To take it one step further, you can even via the skin menu maybe select what flag you want from a preset selection. In the end it really doesn’t matter what is on the flag. If the VIC has a flagpole and any flag, its friendly. Simple really :wink:

No, yeah, that’s the idea which I had in mind, though, considering that we might see @Wave rocking his hello kitty flag on everything he drives… Gives me nightmares!