Communication (in Fortress)

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meriton
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Communication (in Fortress)

Post by meriton »

Note: I post this in its own topic in order to disentangle the various issues discussed in the Fortress thread. I do not post it in the Wiki because it appears to be down.

Intro
A team is much more than the sum of its parts. Cooperation (and thus communication) makes that difference. While this has been stated before, how to communicate effectively has been discussed only rudimentarily. This post tries to alleviate that lack.


use instant chats
While you're still alive you usually do not want to type messages, because you can not control the cycle while doing so.

distract your teammates as little as possible
Your team mates usually have their hands full, so keep messages short. Also, don't bother the entire team if bothering a single player works just as well (that's what private messages are for).

use accurate messages
Misunderstandings are bad. Also, while the recipient thinks about whether you really mean what you've written, time is wasted. (For instance, don't just say "defend!" because it is not clear who should defend.)

Avoid commands, give information (along with recommendations) instead
This is crucial for several reasons:
1) Team mates may feel bossed around and become uncooperative. This is especially true if they think the command is nuts. (IMHO, this is the main reason while getting people to grind fails).
2) Information can easily be validated, commands can not. Moreover, a team mate is less likely to make mistakes in perception than in tactical assessment. (I frequently receive teamcalls to attack when doing so would doom our fortress because the opposition can get there faster than I can get to theirs. Only once did a teammate count the number of opponents left wrong.)
3) Finally, recommendations (a recommendation is a proposed action along with an explanation why it is good) permit the teammates to learn, whereas commands do not.

Tell the team when you act on a team call ("Roger!")
This prevents 4 people from trying to replace the goalie as well as no one doing it.

When you need a team mate to do something, tell him. Whenever possible do it a few seconds in advance, because he may need to get close, accelerate or get rid of an opponent first. Wait for confirmation before you rely on him. If you do that, there is a good chance the holes you make will be of use and roaring laughter will be less often heard from the goalie.
Corollary: When someone does not call for help, no help is needed.

Appendix
A possible list of teamcalls

Code: Select all

/team roger
/team defense: needs help
/team defense: situation ok
/team making a hole, follow me
/team grinding the center player at start makes us faster and less vulnerable
Last edited by meriton on Fri Jan 13, 2006 1:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Lucifer
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Post by Lucifer »

I'd add that confirmation can be making your own call echoing the call made. For example, when the goalie calls for help, and I can't help him immediately, I echo his call for help. Now he knows that I know, and he knows that I didn't say I was responding.

And you're right, saying "Can you please grind center?" is more effective than "Grind center or be kicked!" :)
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Fonkay
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Post by Fonkay »

Have any tips for getting people to listen?
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Post by Lucifer »

Kill them if they don't listen. :) Then they either leave, or they ask why you killed them, and you say "You weren't listening, so you were a liability and the team is better off with you dead. Listen, and you can be an asset to the team." :)

Of course, if the regular players don't listen, you're kinda screwed. But they should all know better, right?
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Post by Fonkay »

What if 6 out of 9 are being stupid?
and at least 5 of those are regulars (not nesessarily the talented kind)

Screwed I suppose.
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Post by Lucifer »

Yeah, sometimes you're just screwed. :(
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Post by meriton »

Lucifer wrote:I'd add that confirmation can be making your own call echoing the call made. For example, when the goalie calls for help, and I can't help him immediately, I echo his call for help. Now he knows that I know, and he knows that I didn't say I was responding.
Unless there is a particular reason why you would be expected to defend, I'm in favor of silence, since all these repetitions might drown the confirmation all are looking for.

Also, this scheme is ambiguous when acknowledging "making a hole".
And you're right, saying "Can you please grind center?" is more effective than "Grind center or be kicked!" :)
Yes. I find it really amazing how many people try the latter and then start curse those "uncooperative bastards", issue a kick vote, upon which the newbie submits a vote to kick them and starts flaming ... until finally the team is united - in not paying attention to the game anymore.

@Fonkay:
Following the above should help with that, too. I have the impression that many teamcalls are not acted upon due to their ambiguity, obscurity of reasoning or lack of friendlyness.

Attitude-wise, I'd recommend to consider everyone cooperative and willing to learn (or to teach, for that matter) unless the opposite is proven. I do not recommend treating everyone like fools until they have shown their worth by interpreting your insults as suggestions and acted upon them. Though I hardly need to tell you that, since you are hardly the insulting type ...

If they really don't listen and that causes problems for the team, there is always the kick vote. Of course, every kick vote should be accompained by the reason to kick so the kicked guy knows why.

And yes, sometimes you're just screwed. But hopefully the above guidelines make this a rarer occurence. And now stop posting so I can finally submit my reply ;)

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2020
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listening...

Post by 2020 »

Fonkay wrote:Have any tips for getting people to listen?
now that's a biggie...

there are three obvious ways
which perhaps don't constitute
'tips'

1
players respect good players
play well
and people listen

2
a kind word
dropped here and there
makes people aware they are being paid attention to
and they tend to reciprocate

3
(
the hardest
and yet the most powerful
and
for my part
the most enjoyable
)
a result
.
nothing focusses people more than a good result

you know how it is?
people start to feel the tide turning...
the team begins to gell...
when people begin to take part in something
and it starts to work...

there is nothing more exciting that this
listening follow naturally
hold the line

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Lackadaisical
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Post by Lackadaisical »

4
also not forget
to keep most of
if not
the whole
message
in one line


this makes it easier to read

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Phytotron
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Post by Phytotron »

Eh,
he thinks
he's being
some kind of
postmodernistic
cyber-poetic

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2020
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you see...

Post by 2020 »

it seems to be catching...

: )
hold the line

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Lucifer
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Post by Lucifer »

Hm, forgot to add that echoing someone's call is only useful when your negate call is inappropriate. Like, if the goalie says "Need help in the zone!", and I respond with "Negative!", what does that mean? If he says "Attack!", and I say "Negative!", followed by "INCOMING", I've just given him lots of important information. :)

I'm in agreement that you don't want to drown out the confirmation. But there needs to be a confirmation to drown out. :) "I'll take goalie", or the old baseball "I've got it" are needed too.
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Post by ~*PsYkO*~ »

I don't have any of these, do you recommend I get them?

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Post by longballlasch »

As long as your mean and don't swear too much and don't TK everything works out fine. You should get mad at people without telling them what they did wrong. Like a kick for no reason.

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Post by KamP »

longballlasch wrote:You should get mad at people without telling them what they did wrong.
HAHA, awesome
that there is what we call a communications error

anyway, i have a surefire way to get people to listen to you, no questions asked. Never ever put people down unless their mistake was so brain-deadened obvious that they're probably hitting themselves for it
Oh, and don't even give reccommendations. Give long tirades and lectures on strategy. Usually works for me. When i'm stuck with a three player team and the two others are players 1 and 2 :) i tend to jsut sit around and tell them about defensive strategy
tell them a LOT of defensive strategy. Either gets me silenced or listened to, and i like my odds, so hey.

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