Zeus, Players, and a serious lack of speed

For a long while now there has been a trend which has only been building as time goes on and its something that needs to be addressed.

People are too slow.

We are slow getting into Nakops on time.
We are slow mounting up into vehicles.
We are slow to give orders.
We are slow to follow them.
We are slow to disengage.
We are slow to resupply.
We are slow to call out contacts.
We are slow to make loadouts.

Ops run long when players go slow.
Decisions don’t get made when they need to due to a slow chain of command.
Zeuses need to adapt their mission to players instead players adapting to situations.
Babbling on with long winded coms slows down everything.

I don’t see any immediate solution to this issue but feel this is a subject that needs to be brought up.

I don’t disagree with any of this… but it is quite a challenge to overcome all of it…

Maybe breaking it down will help?

  1. Slow starts
    1a. We show up late.
  • (Sny) I believe this is mostly IRL issues (RL obligations, conflicting priorities, “it’s just a game”, etc.) We can’t change IRL parameters, but maybe we can lessen the impact to others.
  • Come up with new ways to let people know to be there early, forums and calendars aren’t read by many/most. Maybe discord would be a good way to expand annoucing op times and basic requirements? Link between discord and calendar?
  • Some “official procedures” around late shows, afks, disconnects and other IRL issues?
  • Late shows have to wait for the next reinforcement wave (put reinforcements on a timer?) discourages being late while easing the burden to zeus and others. I’ve always liked the idea of death having some meaning in ops, even if it’s just a minor time penalty. Have to wait until there’s 4 people who need transport or TP back? or maybe just every 10 minutes (on the clock) a TP or ride back to the front is arranged? downsides to each/all… discuss?
  • Late shows cannot customize their kit? All riflemen? soft/minor penalties like that to discourage?
    1b. We are slow to make loadouts.
  • (Sny) shift burden, share burden.
  • Zeus always provides base loadout. This has worked well in speeding up the process, but even so it can take time. Maybe we need some more fullly stocked loadouts to utilize? 3 mags is a silly default.
  • TL or delegate are exclusively the ones responsible for their team’s loadouts. shifts burden off primary zeus. This also means TL’s need to be there earlier than others and maybe some assumptions about who they will be?
  • Magic box that contains just the gear their loadout should have…
  • Script that gives the player the gear they should have triggered off an area… something that’s part of the mission, not added by zeus later? Eh… getting complicated, but custom mission start areas can go a long long way to making start go more smoothly.
  1. Training issues (assuming levels of experience, focus issues, comprehension issues)
    2a. We are slow to resupply.
  • (Sny) Interface sucks. Maybe better utilize the auto-resupply (no idea how it works)
  • I suspect this goes back to a training issue and easy access to what a standard loadout should be. If you have 4 mags, how many more do you need to be a full loadout?
    2b. We are slow to call out contacts.
  • (Sny) I think many people don’t know what contacts they should call out and what not to and to a lesser extent, how to properly call out a contact. Delays in callouts also come from too much chatter on radio.
    2c. We are slow to disengage.
    2d. We are slow mounting up into vehicles.
  • (Sny) These 2 are absolutely related to training and expectations. Many people do not know what “Break Contact” means and continue to fire, continue to try and support others etc. Break contact could be followed by some urgency. “Break contact NOW.” Now means now, no?
  1. Orders related (combination of training and communications)
    3a. We are slow to make decisions.
    3b. We are slow to give orders.
  • (Sny) a causes b. and a is lack of experience, knowledge or skill. Alternately, there’s a phrase used in business to describe this, “Everyone ends up one level higher than they can handle.” Thoughts?
  1. Communications issues: (did not communicate, hard to hear, conflicting comms, don’t understand request.)
    4a. We are slow to follow orders.
  • (Sny) Communications is a big part here. “Red, Head to Alapopskalius” often leads to a 3-minute search of the map for such a place. “Red, Head to Objective Shark, on map in blue” is going to shorten the search. Likewise, details about why will help. “Head to Objective Shark marked on map, I need you there ASAP and move in while Blue provides a base of fire from the North-West.” and then marking the map with blue’s SBF position and direction and Red’s approach direction. Now they don’t necessarily need to digest and remember all of it at once, they can recheck as they get closer to make sure they’re in the right spot and clear on the task. Maybe that’s a bit basic of an example, but when there’s 10 things going at once every bit helps.
  • Another idea is ask them to mark it on map, they’re more likely to remember it that way and you get confirmation that they understood what you wanted. Anyone receiving orders should likely be doing this anyhow, but it definitely takes time which may defeat the purpose.
  • More use of “say again” or “repeat your last”. “Repeat last for Blue” Some in-game comms training maybe?
  • I think novels could be written on this subject (and already have been) but the right people need to consume and practice it from both sides of the radio. Maybe all that’s needed is just… more.

My opinions are mine and hold no weight of their own.

I think this thread is going to either go out of control really quick (too many subtopics) or get very little response at all (too much to deal with at once.)

Maybe we take just one part and beat it to death before moving to the next? I see 3 & 4 as well known problems that are going to have to be handled way differently than 1 and 2.

So we start with 1. Showing up late, slow with loadouts even with premade base loadouts. Thoughts?

TEXN here,

This, indeed, is a very large, complex as well as, nuanced situation. So, how does one eat an elephant? One bite at a time.

  1. Slow starts - start on time, let others wait for TP as those members who were on time, begin their mission. I cannot count the literal hours worth of time have I spent waiting for an op to begin. Let the Zeus tailor the op to suit the size of the force available, and START ON TIME. Pasted loadouts will be the order of the day if players cannot find a suitable loadout in the time before mission start.

  2. Training Issues -
    2a. We are slow to resupply - In my view, resup is not a training issue. Zeus may wish to implement a logistical component, for which I have no objection if it is simplified. No running back and forth to vehicles loading specific ammo. Provide an arsenal as appropriate for the op to sustain units during combat. Simple, drive that arsenal to the front, end of story.

2b. We are slow to call out contacts. - interesting. During debriefs, I have heard comments to the effect of; do not tie up comms on calls of unimportant contact. This is actually related to training, and as Sny pointed out, do players even know how to call out contacts?

2c. We are slow to disengage. - Agree. GTFO. NOW. Effective training needed.

  1. Orders related
    This one is very interesting, as the ones calling for more effective leadership from less experienced players are the very ones who recognize what needs to be accomplished and can envision an effective plan rapidly due to experience. You know, the guys who should have stepped up. :smiley:


We are slow getting into Nakops on time.
Start times need to be more rigid. In years past we started the briefing at the scheduled time and kicked off the mission within 10 minutes. Ideally a preliminary briefing would be provided, enough to facilitate loadout requirements with a short window of time directly after briefing for final checks. During that 10 minute window the leadership can draw up their plans with a hard limit on the start time so no overcomplicated micro-managing stalls the mission.

We are slow to make loadouts.
If a mission like nakops has already started then any late joiners should be set/offered a basic rifleman loadout. When a mission has 20+ players waiting on an individual it’s best just to start. Late joiners can always be inserting during the mission instead of stalling everyone else any longer than necessary.

We are slow mounting up into vehicles. We are slow to give orders. We are slow to follow them.
This is both a discipline and an orders thing. When clear direct orders are given, mounting goes quick and hopefully smooth. When less experienced leaders give orders those orders either sound more like a question or aren’t direct. Then they are treated more like a suggestion. This is something done by old and new players alike in that everyone makes their own independent judgement on if the squad leader made the right call before reacting. We need to put some more faith in our leaders and their choices. Their choices won’t always be perfect, even blatantly wrong but it’s better than doing two contradictory actions or doing nothing at all.
We are slow to give orders.
It’s because some players expect to receive specific and detailed orders that when they give them that they try to make them perfect or don’t give them at all. Countless times have I been on an op waiting for a decision from leadership for where to move or when to fire to, only loose whatever advantage we had or be forced into independent action to prevent wiping entirely. Sometimes seconds matter. Sometimes other people have better information about the current situation. If you can trust a player to have good judgement, then don’t stop to question every detail and every angle of approach when they have already made a workable decision for you. Do not get paralysed by uncertainty. Do not wait for perfection. There is no right answer for this test, just do your best before time runs out.

We are slow to disengage. We are slow to follow orders.
As before. We treat the order to disengage as a suggestion to move whenever we are done with whatever we please. This is something our veteran player base needs to help curtail by pushing our squad mates into becoming more responsive. Repeating commands and calling out by name any stragglers left behind or not following orders. Be the first to move, be vocal. Be ready to adapt to what comes next.

We are slow to call out contacts.
This one if fairly self explanatory in that around half the player base does not speak up when spotting or engaging an enemy contacts. Even just the most basic of information can be immensely helpful in an overwhelming situation. Just calling out “Contact rear!” or “Contact close!” is enough that it could sway the course of an entire battle given the right circumstances. There is a way to ‘properly’ call out targets but that’s less important than just getting the information out there and people talking. Zeus is not meant for any one player but a whole team. And when a team works together it works wonders.

Decisions don’t get made when they need to due to a slow chain of command.
And lastly I want to make a note on excessively redundant comms.If you spoke to your platoon leader 5 seconds ago you do not need to initiate a conversation a second time. Stop doing the ‘call and response’ thing every few seconds when you already know the other team is listening. Additionally if important information is going to become either irrelevant or known by the other teams by the time you finally get your words out then just skip the procedure and tell people. You don’t want to have a tank wake up in front of you only for leadership to dance around their words before contacting the AT specialist to engage the threat. By the time the AT rocket is ready half the team will have been butchered by the tank already. So please, stop the ritualistic chants on the radio to contact people and just talk.

After reading through everyone’s highlights, I see a couple major points that would not solve all of the highlighted points, but I believe would lead to solving the largest gripes. Personally I believe that the majority of the frustrations here stem from slow starts, and delays that result in frustrations that stand out far more during the actual op, as it just eats away at time. I personally have been to two nak ops as of recent memory, both of which started well past the initial start time, and resulted in me leaving early, because I planned for a 2 hour op and had made plans at 7pm such as dinner or whatever it may be. The key here is real life does happen, but having flexibility is a key aspect that we do not seem to embrace, we are community based player base, not a milsim group, with a vast majority of players being more casual. That being said, flexibility is something that we as a community can embrace, and agree to, if a zeus needs more time or RL happened, just say so, I believe everyone would rather the zeus have the proper time to create a fully fleshed out op, than be forced to run through as fast as they can while everyone waits. That being said, the zeus MUST be honest with the players, and say come back in 30, or at the very least, start time will not be for 30. Both ops that I was in attendance for started late, and we were just told over and over again its almost ready, but the delays were there regardless, I would much rather be told to come back in 30 and then jump in and get going within 10-15, than be told nothing at all, and just sit around for 30-45 minutes while we wait. The delays are only compounded in frustration when if I join and have been waiting for 30 minutes for an op to begin, and someone else joins at the 30 minute mark and we get to join in since we still have not started, that’s just a kick in the face to every player that has been patiently waiting. Granted if the op has not started, telling them no you may not join, is pointless, if its not started, then why bother saying no, but its still the concept that prevails here, being that players that show up right before the op actually starts, get a far greater experience than those who wait extended periods of time for the op.

This all combines into the frustrations that we have outlined in the above sections, where after waiting 30 minutes for an op to get underway, and seeing players showing up late, and wasting our own time waiting, we are now wanting to get into the action, but we have to wait for commands orders, or wait for the TL’s instructions, or wait for everyone else to respond to the TL, or whatever it may be, frustrations can compile very quickly into being a much bigger deal than they really are. If I just waited 30 minutes and am now waiting on everyone to get into the car, and then waiting for every squad to get situated around the AO, the frustration rises, as why could this not have all been done 15 minutes ago, if we are taking 5-10 minutes just to get setup in position, why could this not be done in the mean time.

I truly believe that if we remove the delays in start time of the actual op, the rest of the frustrations mentioned would still be present, but not be anywhere near as noticeable as they are now. This starts with a mandatory start time, lock the TS channel at 15 after, briefing begins and that’s it. Players that join after that point wait for a reasonable point in the op to be inserted within a waiting room channel. When that point is reached they can be inserted with a pasted loadout onto their body, and then they can be moved into the channel and quickly disbursed into the squads that need them. If an Op will not be ready at 15 after, the zeus needs to announce that, give an ETA, and players can choose from there whether they wait or join Altis in the meantime. Once that ETA is announced, that stands firm as the new start time, this should also be kept in mind that a player that joins 2 minutes before the briefing should be treated the exact same with a pasted loadout, and get in line. Any player that wants to edit their loadout, or have a choice, should make the effort to show up 15-20 prior, in order to secure their loadout and preferences.

If we can manage to do anything like what I mentioned in the above section, I personally think it would result in most of the frustrations being greatly reduced, as well as a much smoother op all around. While we are not a milsim group to any extent, having set rules in place around core events such as Nak Ops, can result in a much smoother run event, and greater experiences for the community itself.

Not to diminish or gloss over the other responses, but Alpha made one point I think that’s important to consider.

Public ops are… not full milsim ops. No matter what changes we consider here, we have to assume there will be players who have zero experience with NAK hosted public ops.

Ideas that take that into account will be more successful for these public events.

I think issue 1 is clearly an issue and the solutions mentioned are all ones that many of us can get behind.

I’m also a firm believer in bite sized chunks vs huge/multiple changes. The loadout changes that are becoming more normal have been working to improve things somewhat. Next would be a tie between the disruption of late joins, and the “wrong loadout” people.

Late joins we have some suggestions. Let’s see how these work?

Wrong loadouts seem to become less of an issue when the zeus (or anyone else in a position of authority) simply picks an experienced player and says “Can you go help them with this?” done. I’ve both been asked to and have asked people to help with loadouts and it has always turned out well. More of this please.

Wrong loadouts also happen with… how should I put this… the “less communicative” players. No mic, won’t talk, barely listening… all of these pose problems, especially the last. We should identify these early and act accordingly. I’ve played with several good players who simply don’t verbalize, yet communicate via text chat or even animated responses in a fairly effective way for getting their loadout ready. However it’s hard to have them call out “Contact rear, EI squad, 200 meters” and have it be relevant in text or gun waving motions… so maybe mic mandatory for certain large events where we fill the server anyhow? Not sure on this one.

I’m going to stick to #1, #2 for now… I love some of the things said about orders and such but too many of these at once and it’s a mad scramble.

I know we have a bigger peanut gallery, more comments!

True, as a Zeus i have been scratching my head a bit.
Sure some of these issues CAN be fixed in a way or another but other issues come from players themselves and that is a whole different story.

I don’t have any immediate fix for the overall slowness of operations overall myself but +1 for the good point regardless.

“dust off in 15, next reinsert in 45 minutes” is the solution I think would work best with both nak regulars and new players. It gives a sense of urgency in an immersive way and it doesn’t overburden the zeus with a slow trickle of “late joins”

and premade loadouts. I’d love to see the mission edited so that there’s a variety of base loadouts of the 3 or so most common uniforms standing as mannequins with a self-service script to copy their loadout to you. Yes I know, zeus can’t script… but there’s a certain command staff that could stuff a quick AddAction to put on the default uniform, vest, helmet, backpack and primary weapon. Probably take an hour to set up 4 base roles x 3 uniforms brute force style.

Something like:
this addAction[“Foil Hat”, {player addHeadgear “classname”;}];times 5 per base loadout. Stops all the “what helmet should I wear” questions at least. (guilty!)

Watcha think Moon?

I see Foil Hat, I like it!

Hello, all, I’m working on a project right now, but after that is complete, hopefully in the next few weeks, I"ll work on addressing these concerns.

Hey Michael, it’s been about a month and I was just wondering if any new changes are underway just yet. No worries if not I can imagine that you are busy I figured I’d bring it back up in the forum to keep the topic alive since there was a lot of good talk here.

AlphaEvolution, yes, work is being done. We have some ideas and things we’re discussing internally.

Thank you for the update!

Two things I’m working on this week:

  1. First iteration of a new dialog (GUI) system that’ll have preset loadouts. Just click a button to paste a preset loadout onto you, separated by faction then by minimal, medium, and full. Minimal will have some FAKs, a few (5) mags, no backpack, nades, smoke nades, basic rifle, and so on. Medium will have a small pack, a medkit instead of FAKs, more mags, and so on. Full will have toolkit, medkit, big pack, plenty of mags, nades, smoke nades, and so on.

  2. NAK Ops will be built in the Editor and either loaded onto the server via restart, or loaded via Achilles (a temporary solution until I get our own module up and running). This way no set-up time will be needed for the mission.

Both of these will hopefully help cut down set-up. Something I notice quite often, and feel free to pass this advice on, is when a Zeus sets up a mission and waits for players to get their loadout together. Under normal circumstances the mission should begin no later than 5 minutes after you finish creating it. After you create the mission you should something to the tune of:

“Okay, mission is built and will begin in 5 minutes, I need a squad lead and two team leads. If you’re still working on your loadout I’ll TP you to the mission when you’re done.”

Be insistent and persistent. If players are talking over you and being disruptive, please tell us.

That all sounds amazing Michael! I think I speak for everyone when I say we really appreciate you, and all of commands support towards this topic. Creating meaningful change based on community feedback is something I always love to see from you guys, it feels great to know you all are listening!

I for one am very excited to try out the new system and see how it turns out.

So it turns out i found a solution for most of it.

  1. Gearing up and managing players coming in late - The usual: Players must look on the map, Zeus should make sure they are up to speed, with ZEI and ZEC being required on the server Zeus can actually use teleport poles and should be able to attach them to a vehicle or put them down in a designated “respawn area”. This minimizes micro-management of individual players from the Zeus side and allows them to focus on running the Op while players can simply focus on getting their gear and go to the area of operation when ready.

  2. ANY way a Zeus Op can be made in advance and loaded into Zeus is going to shorten the time a Zeus mission requires to be built by up 90% (up to 100% theorically) making it almost instantly ready if not instantly ready

  3. Sny’s idea is spot-on.

  4. The rest of the stuff: it’s all about leadership first, we need people in the leadership to make sure their team is always up in terms of performance at all time which is unfortunately a very tall order in a community where people often don’t feel like leading. Zeus also has a responsibility to plan things such as logistics and routes in advance in order to help make things easier for players in my opinion.

Other than that i don’t see any other way to cut down on time to do things which really is a major issue that plagued us for a very long time. o7

TEXN here,

In most instances I am ready in <5 mintes. What makes it slow for me is the isssue of requiring obscure uniforms or uniforms that are not normally used. I think it affects almost everyone to some degree.