Squad Spirit through Squad Briefing

The Loss Of Squad Spirit

All squads currently feel very culturally similar. They do the same things before drop and don’t stick together on the ground. Squad coherency is generally low.

The biggest cause is that squadmates don’t hang out together. They go immediately from general-pop cryo to a multi-squad chow and prep(briefly passing through the equipment vendors), then to a gen-pop req line, and finally general briefing.

The identity of each squad is diluted by combined prep time. How can Charlie RP if Delta is throwing knives at each other 2 tiles away? How can new players figure out the plan if briefing is a meme fest of bored experienced players?

Mixing all squads erases their squad spirit/identity, and players who enjoy similar features of the game (RP, engineering, teaching new players, unga dunga goofing off) can’t gravitate to each other as easily.

A Solution

Keep squads apart before drop. Squad bunk rooms, squad chows, squad prep, and even replacing briefing with SQUAD BRIEFING.

The latter could be done by having an early SL-only briefing in CIC - giving them plenty of time to confirm the plan and brainstorm tactics while the marines are prepping. Then, at normal briefing time, the SLs would brief their squad with what they discussed.

  • Delta briefing might just be “Drop LZ1 and head to hydro”, while marines have a pushup contest.
  • Meanwhile in the Alpha briefing room, the SL would have time to say that hydro is northwest, and they should stick to him if they don’t know where to go.
  • Bravo can plan their fob exquisitely, and Charlie can have a proper Charlie Breakfast.

Strategic Benefits

Currently marines tend to do the same thing every round because the XO/CO has about 2 minutes to explain his plan and spends it all flashing marines and explaining that there’s been a distress call on the colony; meanwhile marines are either stuck in req or high tossing each other into the command podium.

If SLs had an early, command-only briefing, the XO/CO could give a more complicated plan without LRP interruptions, and each squad SL would only have to impart 1/4 the words onto their mentally damaged charges. They would also have time to change the plan, for example if the XO seemed new and had a bad plan, it could be tweaked to be functional early on. Whereas currently, a particularly quirky XO plan means marines completely ignore him and follow the Standard Gameplan.

How can SLs be briefed early enough for this to work?

Put their quarters by the CIC. Give them more loadout points so they buy gear with them instead of spending them all on AP mags and waiting in the req line. Put a suite for them to be briefed in where the old briefing room was, so they don’t have to walk so far. There are many possibilities.

Squad Revival

Imagine Ungas and Roleplayers alike being able to enjoy their pre-drop as they like without annoying each other. Squads sticking together on the battlefield as a team. Genuine rivalries and competition between squads, tactics actually being used. It’s all possible with Squad Briefings.

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bonus picture: drop pods in cm?? (real)
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Even though i would like this alot. The chances of this actually going through are low.

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Gameplay wise it would take some getting used to, but code/mapping wise it doesn’t seem too intensive.

It could be mocked up just by splitting the current briefing room into 4 smaller squad briefing rooms. Plenty of room there if we got rid of the briefing food vendors, or moved them into the squad preps along with some cigarette machines. Maybe enlarge that one room behind the podium into the “SL briefing” room. I’m just spitballing here, I would love to see what a skilled mapper can do with it.

It’s only part of the idea, but it’s the part that would require people to change how they play. The rest is smaller mapping changes that could be trickled out over time, they aren’t integral to the idea.

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Yes, it’s mostly player’s way of thinking that this game turns more of a TDM game than a RP game, so i don’t think things will change with new designs of prep rooms.

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Giving the SL a more powerful skill something akin to the BE, but not really a BE.

I think a lot of this can be encouraged by command. If command takes the initiative and gives more time to the squads, telling them to discuss amongst themselves before briefing, then maybe they’ll do it. It’s certainly something I’m going to try

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Those who can rp will, those just want to shoot will say “boring” ober comms and break stuffs

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I like some of this stuff, but I think it missed that a lot of people just don’t go to brief at all. I myself am no doubt guilty of this, rushing gear, and then camping out on the Alamo and either checking on some messages, doing some IRL stuff, etc. No amount of map redesign will change the fact that a good deal of marines either need all the pre drop time to maximize gear, break down barrels, load the DS, or just would rather camp out there.

Still it does sound cool, although while SL quarters at CIC may be convenient, I dunno if I like them starting so far away. Its very important that they can hand out spare gear, as well as just not interacting with other squadmates during prep time.

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I’m guilty of SSDing on the alamo too, but I think it’s a completely circular problem.

People SSD on alamo because they know the plan is the same every round. The plan is the same every round because half the marines are SSD on the alamo. Command can’t make fun plans because monkeys aren’t paying attention, monkeys aren’t paying attention because command made a boring plan they all know, on the assumption half of them would ignore it. We all need to put a little more effort into things.

If we make briefings involve individuals more, like by splitting them into smaller groups like squads, I think people will start caring more.

My logic is that it’s easy to go missing in a big briefing. Nobody is checking for the entire marine playerbase to be in the briefing room. It feels like a public event. Sure, I recognize some people, but I can’t get to know every single marine. But if we had squad briefings, it would be more personal, if that’s the right word.

SL wants to know where FTL Jackson is. “Get to briefing Jackson, you’re leading the rappelling team!” “We will advance to here with Charlie, if we receive contact the rappellers will be dropped behind the enemy to encircle them”. “Can I be in the rappelling squad instead of that Steve? he’s bald”. Fist fight ensues. Maybe you don’t recognize everyone there, but you know a lot more since you stick together more on the ground. “CO is giving a speech to “raise morale” in the hanger, I guess we’d better get moving”. “What if we all hid in the PO’s cabin instead?” Bravo ended their briefing at the same time, and we’re all tangled up with them now. “Out of the way you stupid Bravos!” “I heard if you touch Bravos, you get a rash”. “I heard if you touch Jackson’s mom, you get a rash”. Squads march into hanger in coordination. CO gives a minute-long RP speech that people who don’t care can SSD through without having missed the actual strategy. Drop time.

Having the squads segregate at least a little by roleplay level and what not will let them build actual identities and since the squads’ll be more coherent, your game experience will actually differ by squad. LRPers with LRPers, HRPers with HRPers. If you want to double chungus you go with the double chungus squad, if you want someone to take your tags back to the Almayer or have a heroic last stand, you go with the RP squad. It’s better for everyone.

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explicitly segregating squads based on RP expectations sounds good, but everyone has to work together so much that all of that might just break apart once everyone gets stuffed onto a transport

Either way its better to design this game to be more RP/Story based than tdm based. I dont care about getting frags or anything like that but more of the moments were there is a story. While the game mechanics help make that story possible if the actual player attitude isnt made or guided to where sitting in a corridor with a m56d and your battle buddy waiting for something to come down that hallway wouldnt be as fun or interesting.

If i wanted to play a TDM game i would play a game designed for that. But to me atmosphere and story are more important so thats why I play CM and not TGMC

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Something I really do miss is when MPs would use the checkpoint shutters to block off access to the dropship roundstart. I can see the advantages of AFKing once you’re prepped… but people missing briefing ruins the roleplay for everyone else and should be discouraged, not encouraged. That first 30 minutes of every round is bogged out (and honestly made sort of useless) because the gameplay and culture of the server encourages you to avoid it.

Kenneth ordered those shutters closed during his speech, marines just use the maints and got arrested

It would be hilarious if SLs had an ability that allowed them to effectively force someone to drop and start doing pushups - or put them in a pushup style standing crit/freeze for a few seconds.

“STAND AT ATTENTION.” lol

On a way more serious note, I’d love to see the squads have their old ranking system or a variant of it again tbh. SLs being made Sgts was dumb when the squads routinely hit 10 to even 20.

Culture, like with MPs using checkpoint shutters, is something that actively needs to be fostered. Benefit? Prevents idling in the dropship, increases participation in briefing, encourages participation in their squad.

TLDR because I wrote a whole thing then realized I could dumb it down:

Issues with roleplay backslide, less briefing attendance and early game idling has always existed but there’s definitely been an attendance back slide and the checkpoints effectively don’t exist anymore in usage. I blame the Hanger briefs. They often devolve into shitshows or poorer in quality to a briefing in the proper room.

Roleplay improvement (especially early game Almayer) is tied to map design, mechanics, staff stance, player mentality, and CO behavior. You want to influence it for the better? You need multiple buttons pushed positively.

Dry/standard but necessary roleplay is more ignored, and bold, more fun roleplay has been neutered. Kind of sad.

Likewise: events by staff are more cautious and lack boldness they used to have. Events should strive to be fair, creative, interesting and fun. Nowhere in there is “balanced” or “normal” mentioned.

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god i would harass my bravo SL even more if i knew they could force me to do more pushups than Gramps already does

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