This document aims to explain where TAS currently is as a Planetside 2 outfit as of October 2017 and what we hope to accomplish over the next 12 months regarding operations, training, recruitment, and community engagement.
Current State of TAS:
Total Members: 403
Active Last 30 Days: 168 (41.69%)
Active Last 7 Days: 96 (23.82%)
Average BR: 69
Average Time Played: 28d
BR 120s: 8
Directors: 3 (Claytinker, L3VIATH4N, MountainMacabre)
Officers: 8 (Flupalupagis, Koolivan, MrMon5611, PrincessHaruko, SilentfuryxNC, Tchazarnek, TheTick10, whitewolf246)
Operations: Wednesdays and Fridays, 2-2.5 hours, Typically 2-4 squads of infantry
Training: No dedicated training happening consistently
Recruitment and Membership:
General Membership: We want to focus on enlarging the active, engaged community as a first priority. We wish to expand the trained part of the community as a high secondary objective. Currently we have about 25% of our member base that has played the game in the last 7 days. Of the 96 players to log in during the last 7 days, 63 were players who consistently hop on team speak and engage in operations with the community. We would like to set a goal of taking those 63 members who are active and engaged in the community to 100-125 members by the summer.
Of the 168 members who were active in the last 30 days, 90 are members who are consistently engaged in the community by being on teamspeak and take active roles in squads. That means there were 27 members who are engaged but weren't active in the last week, but still have played the game somewhat recently. Ideally, we could motivate and entice those players to be online more frequently. Knowing that some players have periods of hot and cold with their activity, increasing our the engaged membership base from 90 members to 150-200 members within the last 30 days should be a goal
Leadership: Currently we have 12 active leaders. Given that a fully staffed operation would take a PL, 3-5 Squad Leaders, and 3-5 squad seconds, we currently are stretched to consistently run full platoons during operations. The risk of burnout is high with these #s. Training sessions have become non-existent to reduce the time burden we place on our leaders. To consistently run 2 tactical & strategic operations per week, add a training operation weekly, and potentially a special event operation weekly we would like to double the # of active leaders who are trained to lead TAS squads. In ideal world 1/6 of a platoon is leadership of the platoon. So for every 6 active members, one should be capable of some form of leadership. Our goal for leadership would be 24-25 members.
If we are successful in hitting leadership numbers, we would consider dividing responsibilities into divisions again such as Operations, Training, Communication, and Events.
Recruitment Policy: Given that our goal is to grow, recruitment is open. Any member can and should invite real life friends since they have high retention rates. At least 1 squad during any operation should be dubbed a recruitment squad and filled with 4-6 vocal TAS members who can make the environment desirable. Any player who demonstrates the use of a microphone and doesn’t appear to be a douche or a squeeker should be approached individually about joining the outfit. Any non-microphone player who is willing to get on teamspeak to listen in or types and consistent follows orders should be offered the ability to join.
Operations proceed best when members are trained in the basics of the game, have those concepts refreshed and practiced in non-combat situations semi-consistently, and get taught new concepts as the meta of the game adapts to new tactics. Training is a draw to recruit new members and it helps put a better product on the field come operation time.
Training will have a 3-pronged approach.
Training Operations: An in-game training operation to cover various topics (basics of game play, squad leading, vehicle play) will happen at least once a week. These sessions should at least spend half their time in live fire situations.
Training Videos: We will work to create three series of videos for our players consumption. The first series will cover the basics of improving your infantry / squad gameplay and will mostly be in line with the old CORE material. The second series will cover the usage of force multipliers and other vehicles (MAX teams, Battle Sunderers, Harassers, Tanks, Air Vehicles). The last series of videos will be designed to train new squad and platoon leaders. A forum discussion / post that gives a written version of relevant videos will also be created.
Mentors: A list of capable TAS members who can give players 1 on 1 instruction on a specific topic will be kept on the forums. Members can search those players out for additional training if desired.
A system will be created to easily track and log those who attend training sessions and review training videos so they can receive in game recognition. Those who complete training will receive the “operative” rank as recognition that they have been trained in game.
Operations are big part of why we play. It is when the outfit is trying to have fun putting their best foot forward in playing the game. Currently operation #s are down and we only host 2 weekly operations.
Frequency: Over the course of this year we would like to continue with 2 tactical / strategic operations dedicated to hardcore infantry / combined arms play that moves the map. In addition, we would like to add another weekly operation or event dedicated to other forms of game play (base building / destruction, vehicle play, shenanigans, alternative faction). It is proposed that Friday night operations continue as a tactical night. It is proposed we create a tactical / strategic operation on the weekend as well (either Saturday or Sunday) to engage are weekend warrior members. We would use the Wednesday night operation for our alternative game play night. Monday night would be utilized for training operations. If server smash becomes active again, we would use Tuesday nights for server smash training.
Pre-op: The platoon leader will volunteer and squad leaders assigned 15 minutes prior to operation start time. The squads should open up and members be allowed to join. Channel commander should be set. The PL should announce any specific objectives he has for the night (if any) he has so the SLs can make relevant suggestions towards that end and the platoon has some form of objective to motivate them (capture a specific base for example).
Warm Up: A new feature called the warm-up should be added. The first 5-10 minutes of operation should be used for a quick warm up at a "cupcake" fight lead by the squad leader for each squad. During the warm up the following checklist should be run through:
- Microphone check – Go through each member of the squad and make sure in game squad communication is working
- Squad Composition – Fire teams created, class roles assigned, reminder of equipment the various classes should be geared out with (Hawks, Type of Engineer Turret / Wall, Shield vs. Area heal, Implants)
- Galaxy Practice – Hop in, drop on specified waypoint
- Breach – Practice of a breach drill with an assigned heavy assault or two to provide concussion grenades. The squad should be able to replicate this drill consistently throughout the night.
- Move to platoon staging area – Rally for the first platoon objective of the night.
Combined Arms: The meta is changing as infantry players have all advanced in skill level at this point in the games existence. The platoon should bring force multipliers to EVERY fight in which they are involved. Two potential models can exist to achieve this. In the first model, a two-three man fire team is setup to run a dedicated force multiplication unit for the squad. They could be a MAX fire team, battle sunderer, harasser team, tank unit, AA Reavers, liberator flight crew, etc. The squad leader would know what kind of fire team would be most useful to support their individual team and have the multiplier change based on the needs of the squad at each objective and ability to get the multiplier to the fight in a timely manner. This would still leave 9-10 players available for infantry play. The second model is to have a separate squad dedicated to force multipliers with the SL of that squad organizing the needed multipliers to the needs of the platoon. When possible the former model is preferred over the latter.
Joint Operations / Battles: The game is more fun when played with friends. Efforts to run a joint operation with a sister NC outfit at least once a month should be made by leadership. Special event operations may include a face off or mini-lane smash, against friendly opposing faction outfits such as R7 or 1TR.
Command Channel: During tactical operations, the platoon leader should try and engage command channel in a constructive manner whenever to the advantage of the NC. This can be achieved simply by 1. Announcing the platoon’s movement to command. 2. Responding to feasible help requests from other NC outfits. 3. Setting up coordinated attacks on hard to take bases (3-4 point captures, major facilities such as tech plants, biolabs, amp stations, etc.). A civil tongue should be kept and a refusal to engage in hostile dialogue maintained.
TAS will try to increase its own member’s engagement in the greater Ascended gaming community and the Planetside 2 division will attempt to increase the presence of TAS in the Planetside 2 community.
The Officers will maintain a reddit recruitment post in the Emerald Subforum and Planetside 2 game forum. We will send a representative to the weekly Wednesday Planetside 2 community TS meeting. We will attempt to do one joint operation monthly with a sister NC outfit or opposition night against a sister VS / TR outfit.
We will continue to hold weekly Thursday community meetings to announce special events, remind everyone of the other games they can become involved in, and bring up any concerns to leadership.