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So about last night…

1/06/2014

Well, here we are. After several hours of what I can only describe as suffering the first /broma3g/ Joint Ops are finally over, and now all members go back to their individual groups so we can resume wasting our lives with video games again. It’s safe to say that a lot of lessons were learned from this event: from immediately ArmA related shit to your own personal ethics, yesterday taught and showed me things I needed to see for myself in order to remind myself of the implications of an event of this size.

 

Being naïve

In case you were here for the stress test last week, I can assure you also wondered at some point what the fuck went wrong; after all although unorganized and a bit messy, that hastily scrambled get-together yield results that were palpable and exciting – contrary to what was thought, it seemed that these two otherwise inherently chaotic groups were able to achieve some sense of synergy – and the actual event, with proper missions and a pre-defined command structure working to make all things even better: what could possibly go wrong?

Well, turns out what a whole fucking lot can go wrong.

Let’s clear this out beforehand – this is a group dedicated to playing video games, something that you do on your spare time in-between your real life chores; the moment you start taking it too seriously, you become a faggot and you lose. But we also need to acknowledge that we are playing fucking ArmA, not Call of Duty or some other pick-up-and-play game where you can just jump in and enjoy yourself – this is a game where you have to earn your fun through some really boring shit; and if you can’t put up with said shit, you are better off moving on with your life.

This wasn’t news to anyone present during the event – the vast majority of us has been on this circuit for a while – but yet there was a switch flipped inside some peoples’ heads as soon as the realization that we had just reached 50+ players hit us. When this little switch was turned on, every ounce of responsibility or respect just goes straight out of the window: you are on the spotlight and this is your chance to show everyone how much of a hilarious and funny person you are, even though it means stepping over weeks of organization dedicated by several people: “I’m more important than anyone else here”. But the worst part is that these individuals have the power to flip other, otherwise well organized, people’s switch – and that’s where the chain reaction starts and abandon all hope ye who enters here.

 

Being cautious

It’s safe to say we’ve had our share of shitters and people very insidiously trying to wreak havoc for their little moment in the lime light, but can we blame the assumed failure of the event entirely on them?

This event was organized on the basis of “lets give it a shot”. That means none of us had done this properly before, and at least someone had to depend on someone else’s knowledge to get the ball rolling – and that’s something precious to me – working together with other admins to achieve what we did was a great experience and itself and I’m glad we’ve had the chance to meet each other. However we were still inexperienced, and in our ignorance several mistakes that arguably costed us this entire thing were made, even if our intentions were as positive as possible. I am not here to point fingers and blame specific people, because I’m not above that criticism myself – but it’s important to look back and understand what exactly went wrong, so that in the future we can avoid making these same mistakes all over again.

It all boils down to this: we need missions with strong foundations, we need leaders with responsible minds and above all else we need players with kind hearts.

Mission making is a tough art. Depending on the size of your mission, there is no room for failure – once the players slot in, you have to make sure everything falls into place flawlessly, or otherwise you will be screamed at by your very so-called friends who now rabidly denounce your lack of responsibility while you mumble excuses for your poor hind-sight – and even if nothing goes immediately wrong, you still have to worry about including essential features and balancing everything from player loadouts to whether or not to include AA support/CAS. For our individual communities, that’s already an issue; but when we combine it becomes the anchor for the event: the slightest mishap can trigger a chain reaction of sperging that will bring everything down.

But even a perfect mission isn’t safe from human error. Even though I can vouch for every squad leader in the first mission, we still couldn’t avoid a logistics clusterfuck thanks to miscommunication and technical problems, and needless to say that damages the very base of the mission, creating numerous openings for shitstorms. I’m assured everyone who stepped up to leadership had the best of intentions and wanted the game to happen, but sometimes we become lenient and in order not to become a stick in the mud we tolerate retarded behavior in part of our team members. For an event like this, leaders need to understand their role and act accordingly: only then will we be able to establish solid ground.

And this all boils down into the single biggest element of them all: the players. This event was organized especially for them, just so that they could have fun and enjoy their saturday night doing something a bit different and meeting new people; sadly, things aren’t that easy. I have known many of our players for a while now: some of them are evil pieces of shit that make me constantly wonder how are able to function within society; the majority of them however are great people who fuel my passion to work for this community and make sure we can all have a good time together – I’m sure this is the same for both communities. But it takes a single rotten apple to spoil the whole bunch, and these malignant individuals mess up the experience for everyone else in several different levels. It takes a lot of control and organization to deal with these people in a manner that avoids their attitude spreading out to others, and most often we fail at that.

Goddamn.

 

…But being hopeful

Now, let’s try not to panic too hard over all this, as I’ve said before this is all just VIDEO GAMES and none of this will have a bearing on anything that truly matters or affects our lives in any real, actual way. But I know for a fact a lot of us care deeply for both of our communities and put out a lot of work to tweak some stuff to provide others with the very best experience they can – and that’s an admirable thing.

None of us can say for sure if we will ever have these joint ops again – at least not right now. But after a brief talk with some remaining members after the game was over, we’ve managed to decide on a few pointers and directions where we could take possible future events and avoid a clusterfuck. Although these are just young ideas we can already tell for sure that a smaller player count, more carefully crafted missions and a tighter leadership were high on the list.

Where all this will go, only the future can tell – but here’s hoping it’s a good place.

Thank you everyone who participated and did their best.

Filed under: After Action Reports, Meta