I often see the altis server packed with players, which is a great thing but along with that NAK3 and NAK4 dont see as many. I believe NAK has much more to offer than just the altis server and that players would benefit from exploring other NAK servers. I think there are a couple of things that could be done to make this easier. I do not have experience with making plugins, scripts or mods for arma and therefore do not know if this is possible but would love to hear what you have to say. These are my ideas:
More internal advertising of the servers in game.
by this I mean perhaps adding a description of the other servers to the player menu on altis or if possible make a way to join NAK3 in game.
Advertising zeus missions on NAK1
I think adding a notification system that tells players if there is a Zeus mission being built/ongoing on the Altis server would be beneficial. Often a zeus builds a mission hoping more players join, and they jump around TeamSpeak trying to get players but the NAK1 channel only reaches the pilots on Altis and not the ground players who I believe would be more likely to join. By telling players what mods to download and how to join ingame might make it more accessible.
I think seeing a notification in Altis I&A when a Zeus mission is starting or even when a Zeus goes online would bring more players to the other NAK servers.
It would also reduce the amount of time spent waiting for enough players to join your mission.
I agree that there are issues finding players in the TS as its difficult to find players to play ground forces in a TS channel full of pilots.
I am quite split on this topic, specifically on the zeus side of things. On one hand I completely understand that for the most part the only way people can get others to play their ops is by self promotion throughout teamspeak, but on the other it does get a bit irritating at times. There has been a couple times lately when I have been on Altis flying and several people are trying to communicate amongst each other when a zeus comes in, talking over everyone to talk about their zeus op. In addition hearing advertisements about the same zeus op several times by 2-3 people is also quite a disruption, especially when the 2-3 advertisements are all within 10 minutes of one another. I would definitely support this type of plugin being implemented with a notification of sort as an inaudible method of just a popup in chat advertising the other nak servers, I mean when I played Tanoa on Tuesday for the first time I was shocked and also very intrigued by what it had to offer. However the general understanding that a portion of the player base just wants to be able to jump in and play definitely needs to be kept, hence why I believe any pop ups or anything of the sort on NAK1 should never be brought in, as that could be a turn off to any players that are genuinely not interested. But if there was a way to implement it into the chat similarly to how the running message about how "some people qualified for nak elite but didnt get it because they dont have a website account " I think that would be the ideal method of spreading the information about the other servers.
To reflect back to the starting point that NAK1 is always more crowded than the rest, that really stems from the fact that all the servers have a much different playstyle. NAK1 is a arcade style gamemode, where you can just jump in and play, if you have a few buddies with you, you guys can just jump in over and over again, and do whatever AO you want whenever you guys want to. NAK3 implements to removal of Halo jumps, creating an inherent need for transport of some sort, but so long as either you know how to fly, or a buddy that knows how to, you can pretty much get anywhere, granted some level of coordination is necessary to do it efficiently. NAK4 throws everything out the window and says okay guys, your going to do exactly what I say, exactly when I say it. NAK4 implements fire teams, it implements squads, and organization that is the closest we get to MILSIM on NAK servers. Each step we take away from NAK1, the restrictions and realism increases, and some players just truly do not want that. It most certainly can be said that some players might not know about it, and that advertising could potentially get them to try something new, but to my knowledge we don’t even advertise NAK Ops or the newly reinstated Tactical Tuesdays, which is the biggest thing we could promote to get players to try out the other servers, as they guarantee a high population and high quality being run by NAK command. Reflecting back on what I said above, honestly I feel that advertising for these larger events would be the way to get players to try out these servers, and could lead to the potential of a continued return, rather than just simply advertising the servers nonstop, as that can result in players showing up at non peak hours or a sub optimal time where they have a bad experience and reject it.
I agree that advertising might be intrusive, my main point is trying to inform new players of the other options available on NAK. Personally, I like to hop on NAK1 to relax and try new things out, and when I can I hop on the other servers for some more realism. I understand not everyone plays like that, but still think it could be helpful. When I first joined the server I was unaware of other servers for a long time, I think that some more information could be helpful to players.
I propose an unofficial rule/ guideline stating that only the zeus or one designated individual by the zeus can make the mission announcement. That the announcement can only be made twice at the most and 20+ minutes apart. Zeus’s should be respectful to the player base and not force their mission out as a matter of higher importance, rather they should keep whatever they say brief and to let anyone curious about the mission to speak up. Harassing players only turns them away.
This is the crux of the issue. The majority of players only hear about other servers through other players. Nak does advertising through social media platforms but it doesn’t take advantage of its own platform.
I propose for any events such as NakOps that an admin or headless client etc, creates an objective marker for Altis once the event zeus starts building. This would only appear once or twice a week for an hour at a time and is relatively unintrusive. This could also be rolled into the next suggestion.
Another option is a headless client either reacts to commands by a reserved zeus such as !building, !start, !end. That then can change a map marker on Altis accordingly. This could also include a player count to entice more players.
We are already extensively advertising other NAK servers on NAK1 Altis, especially NAK4 Zeus server but i feel like it should be advertised twice as much along with NAKTAC and NAKOps as a means to let everyone know: Hey, NAK has much more to offer than just Invade & Annex NAK1