I’ve been talking to my close friends and have heard a lot of input from our regular ARMA players about the future direction of our group. I wanted to give people an overview and update on what I’m thinking and what will be happening for the future.
As of this weekend I send about 12 invites out and we get consistently between 4-6 players every ARMA day. With each passing week the number of invites goes up 1-2. We had one event two weeks ago where we had 8 players. We’re growing to the point now where running around as one big group isn’t working out well because having 6-8 people on the same radio channel is too chaotic and we are often getting bogged down trying to locate incapacitated friendlies because it’s very hard to keep track of where everyone is as a big group. A few people have commented to me already that we ought to be forming teams when we play and splitting into separate radio channels.
This has the upside of making our comms much more manageable and keeping to small teams means it’s easier for us to keep track of our team members. It’s a necessary step we’re going to have to take eventually once we are consistently getting 8-10 people coming to play ARMA. This does present new issues and opportunities for me however.
One thing we do need as a result is team leaders. I’ve been being the defacto team leader when we play since I’ve been hosting the events. However I really don’t want to be the team leader as it keeps me very busy from being able to effectively DM missions when we play. Having to worry about everyone on the team being alive, having a fun time, worrying about where the enemy is, worrying about comms, worrying about DMing, etc becomes overwhelming really fast. And as we keep growing I’d much rather take the role of squad leader. That way I can stay behind the teams and no longer have to worry about people individually. I can keep inter-team comms going well. And I can DM without worrying about getting shot by an AI or having to quickly rescue someone.
However like with any group it’s rare someone wants to be a team leader. Having 2-3 people depend on you to lead them through missions can be stressful. But with the way things are going we are inevitably going to need them more as we grow. I talked to my group of friends and LegitThinSleazy aka Ethan is willing to be a team leader as he has experience doing so and I trust him to make sure everyone is playing well and having fun. That means though that we are going to need at least two more. Someone who feels they can regularly come out to play on a weekly or every other week and someone else as backup in case others don’t show.
Again, we would only ever need teams if we have 8+ people consistently which we haven’t quite gotten to yet. But I’d like people to have it on their minds. If you’re willing to be a team leader on occasion let me know here or on Discord. You wouldn’t be doing it alone and we’d all make sure you know how to ARMA as a group effectively. And manage TFAR radios. For everyone else they’d only have to listen to a frequency with their teammates. But team leaders need to have 2 radios, listening to two freqs, and knowing how to switch between communicating on the either on the fly. Plus team leading 2-3 people is a heck of a lot easier than my so-far team leading of 6-8 people. It would be a huge relief and let me focus on building/conducting missions more closely. If you’re interested please post or give me a shout privately if you’d prefer.
The other consideration going forward is going to be what missions we’re playing. So far I’ve always defaulted to one of the missions listed in the OP because I know they are good for small groups and consistently fun/easy to understand. Going forward though if we have 8+ people regularly we won’t be able to select those missions both because they’re usually capped at 10 players and they don’t have built-in teams for comms and such. This is a good problem because I wanted to transition into making my own missions and missions people wanted to play going forward. I got a suggestion for making a Halloween themed mission for next week, which would be pretty easy to do with zombies and raptors, flashlights, and walking through a forest. The problem though is making missions is time consuming and unless we can be sure we will have 8-10 players it usually isn’t worth playing those over an Escape/Insurgency/Recon Ops since we will probably have more fun with the latter if there are only 4-5 people.
So keep that in mind! The more people we got the more we can play custom missions that last an hour long with new mechanics/silly scenarios. Otherwise we will just keep on as we have been til we do grow big enough to do our own missions.
Also since it’s come up I thought I’d let people know that myself and two friends are fronting the bill for the server. It’s cheap and between us we got it covered for like a year so no worries about ARMA going away. If we do grow to be over 10 players the cost of increasing slots on the server is trivial. And Canuk volunteered his own server to act as a headless client so we will get even more performance out of our current setup. As long as people want to play I’ll make sure we’re covered to do so.