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Friday, February 19, 2010

MAG: What Isn't A Kickable Offense

MAG's large scale combat relies heavily on leaders communicating with each other, setting objectives, trying to move the game forward, etc. Without solid objectives, players lose out on experience and have a tendency to just wander off trying to kill things.

If you're not a squad leader, you chances of getting kicked off the squad are pretty slim. You'd need to gack the hell out of people repeatedly, and honestly people are pretty understanding of getting shot accidentally in the back (though if you can revive them shortly thereafter, it helps a lot).

If you are a squad leader - congratulations! You're chances of getting kicked off the squad just went up considerably. Well, not too considerably because it still takes a majority vote to kick you off and most players don't know where the kick vote button is hidden (start button, select player, vote to kick, btw). However - you're uniform just arrived with a bullseye on your back.

So far my track record as squad leader is fairly even and I can say we've won a few hard matches we probably would not have without the proper coordination. My collateral damage rate is pretty low, and I will admit that I really, really enjoy raining fiery death on the enemy.

What I don't enjoy is repeated attempts to be kicked. If I deserve it, fine. But here is a quick list of things that don't deserve it.

You don't like the sound of my voice
I haven't had this happen yet, although I nearly harassed a random squad leader last night who found the voice changer setting on the PS3 a bit too useful. In reading around the forums, though, this seem to be a common complaint. To which I can only say ... really? If you're that sensitive about online gaming - you might stay offline.

You don't like my FRAGO
Most experienced players have specific routes/order of objectives that they like to take down. Which is fine, but if you aren't squad leader then well, um, stuff it. Speak up by all means if you think there's a better objective, but if the squad leader disagrees - then well, um. Yeah, stuff it and get running. I've been in many matches with players yelling objectives which would have easily lost the match (usually retreating to the back flank too soon or ignoring key points like anti-air). This could also be summed up as:

You didn't get squad leader
You know what: boo freakin' hoo. Stop with the backseat general crap and fight. When kick votes occur as soon as the game starts, it's a pretty good sign that it isn't about job performance. Though that brings up...

We're losing
Guess what - we're not going to win every match. And sometimes there is only so much that the squad leader can do. Last night we had 11 minutes to get one letter on Domination, but we just couldn't through the defense. I was trying to bomb their back flank, get people to rush, etc. The opposing team just had a hardened group with a lot LMG's. Two clan members kept voting to kick. If you think about it, this is pretty stupid - because you're taking a squad already down and reducing the number. Oh, except they probably had a clan member waiting to join. Which brings me to:

I'm not in your clan
This is the biggest FU one on the list, I think, though it seems to usually go hand in hand with "You didn't get squad leader". If I'm squad leader and there are more than a couple people in the same clan who spend most of the time talking to each other, I know I'm trouble - no matter how well we're doing. There are plenty of posts on the forums about how a clan with a majority number in a squad will just eject the other players to get their clan members in - but most also take the leader role. It's pretty loathsome behavior, and makes players simply not want to be squad leaders so that they can avoid being targets.

I don't have a mic
This one, I'll admit, is a bit of a grey zone. If a squad leader can't communicate with the squad, they might get in trouble - and there are occasions (like when the CNI is jammed or calling out secondary goals) that the only way to coordinate is via a mic. But honestly, if a squad leader is setting FRAGOs and using their command abilities - the squad is often most of the way there. Plus, you can't be sure you're kicking one squad leader off to get one *with* a mic, or will even do any better. Short version - a mic-less leader might not be the best, but it doesn't mean they'll be bad.

I didn't bomb something when you wanted me to
Um, squad leaders can't bomb everything all the time. Sorry. If we could, we would never move. We'd just sit there bombing everything.

So what is a kickable offense? There are really two big ones: not using the CNI (setting goals, using command abilities) and bombing your own team. One match last night started with the squad leader bombing our own bunker ... and then doing nothing else for the rest of the game. That, my friends, is a squad leader you should kick.

The related note here is that the kick system doesn't really work so well. This is only a minor rant because I've never been successfully kicked (I suspect, though, that this is usually because there haven't been enough of the same clan on at one time). And I've actually not seen truly bad squad leaders kicked, including Mr. Bombs Our Bunker there. Zipper would do better to institute a grief/demotion system for squad leaders - some kind of automatic penalty/reward system based on performance, and not the whim of the mob.

On the flip side, I'd love it if squad leaders could see who was voting to kick them. Many of these are silent votes, and last night on the Domination match my requests to tell me what we should do different were ignored.

Like I said on the recent posts, if you don't like the squad leader - leave. Or at the very least be vocal in a constructive way. But just repeatedly trying to oust the leader is pointless and annoying.

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