• FC Update 10.0

    Update 10.0

    What It Means To Be a Warsim

    Battle Results for this week were released earlier today, click here if you haven't seen them yet. After the battles concluded, we had a War Council Meeting to discuss the situation and possible things to do about it. Some ideas were long-term, others were short-term. This update will talk about those, as well as the state of the Beta War and some bits on things for the future.

    I'm also using this Update to rant. Lots of that. Fear my soapbox. Read and concede to my perspective. Muahaha.

    The Expectations To Be Met

    FC means a lot of different things to different people. It's one of the unique things about FC, how we draw together so many diverse groups of people with different interests and perspectives. People have varying opinions, and every single issue has multitudes of people supporting it, opposing it, and simultaneously not giving a shit about it.

    FC has always proclaimed to be an open community that tries to allow everyone to participate without any discrimination. We don't limit those allowed to join aside from a age/maturity aspect to try reducing drama. Numerous people have brought up possibilities about discriminating and limiting things in more ways as well, such as restricting things based on skill, or basing it on one's mindset toward how they play Halo, etc.

    Looking back to Halo 2, this Warsim community was founded without any of these complicated notions. It was rather straight-forward: two armies fight and one army wins. Those within the armies do their best to ensure it's their army which ends up victorious, and the cycle continues. Winning and losing is inherent in that. Those who lose try to improve, and those who win continue doing whatever they did right.

    It's been more than 9 years since then. A lot has changed. Organization, logistics, communication... all have improved to an insane degree to how things used to be. However, those are pretty much the only aspects that have seen major improvements. Everything else hasn't been able to see stable improvement and instead fluctuate wildly. These other aspects are overall activity, skill balance, and numbers balance, and are in constant flux, seemingly regardless of anything we've tried doing for the last 6 years that I've been a member.

    The goals we need to work to should be obvious. The path to get there is far from clear-cut, though.

    Edison's Route To Success
    Quote Originally Posted by Thomas Edison
    I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
    His most famous quote. It's been cited innumerable times and used in countless ways. I'm going to do that also.

    I joined almost exactly 6 years ago. December 14th, 2009, during the final war of Halo 3. From that day until now, we've gone through dozens of leaders, received an excessive amount of feedback, and argued for so many hours that it's scary to think about. The number of WC 'decisions' may be far fewer than 10,000, but we have certainly found some things have have worked, but an even larger number of things which didn't really work out.

    The Suggestions subforum has 8,000+ posts in it, though, and the War Council subforum has 12,000+, and these aren't even counting the discussions that raged before we moved to this website, or the hundreds of thousands of Skype messages, so I don't think we're all that far behind Edison.

    ...So, we've found a lot of ways that don't solve all of our problems. Now what?

    Unfortunately, I'm not here to give you a magical solution that came from an epiphany. While Edison eventually found a way that worked, we haven't quite gotten to that yet. We've got some theories, but nothing that everyone agrees on.

    Approximate attendance over the course of recent wars. You can see the massive peak near the start of Halo 4.
    Want to see the most successful war FC has ever had? Click here.
    The war was so great, this video was made about it.

    A lot of us have been banging our heads on walls trying to come up with one for the last few weeks, though. "What if we try this?" "No, that'll just fuck up this other thing." "What about this?" "Already tried that before." "Anyone have a magic wand?" "How about a draft?" "No, fuck you!" "..." "--Why am I talking to myself?"

    That's about how our meetings go. I usually try to make at least 3 sidelong mentions of a draft each time. Doing so in this Update also, btw.

    So anyway, we don't have a long-term plan right now. In the short term, though, for next week's battles...
    • VbD will play for REDD.
    • Renegade and/or Ghost will help BLUE with numbers. (moreso depending upon turnouts)
    • These aren't actual transfers or squad trades. At this point we just want to get through the Beta War and cross our fingers that more headbanging on walls will give us a solution before January.

    So that's it? Rather disappointed? I got plenty more paragraphs to write, though...

    The Rant, Part 3
    Quote Originally Posted by Mythonian View Post
    FC has been around for 9 years. That means we've done stuff right. Change for the sake of change does nothing but harm. However, the biggest threat to aging communities like us is stagnation. Failing to change and adapt to new circumstances will be our undoing, but likewise changing and adapting when there's no need for it will also hurt us. It's not a simple situation, but deciding when change is needed and when it's not needed is one of the most important aspects of leadership.
    Five months ago, I told this to the War Council in a topic about a possible draft. (See, another sidelong mention. I'm on a roll.).

    That last clause is the most important. "...deciding when change is needed and when it's not needed is one of the most important aspects of leadership."

    Just like how FC means different things to different people, everyone thinks differently about what the actual problems that we face are, and how to go about correcting them. I've got my own opinions and perspectives as well, and many of you reading this do also. To be blunt, 99% of those ideas won't work. These are problems that have been around since Halo 2, and aren't able to be fixed on a whim.

    Many veterans and older members relish in the "good old days" and "how things used to be." Unfortunately those are just fond memories. During the days of Halo 2 and Halo 3, there was still plenty of imbalance and drama, lots of complaining and people leaving for all kinds of reasons. However, there was also much worse organization, logistics, and communication back then. These other issues masked the imbalance and prevented the drama from rampaging like it does these days. I've seen those old threads on the old website.

    So what's my point? Are we fucked to slowly die off?

    Damn, I'm even more pessimistic than I was at the WC meeting. Phoenix really should've done this update instead.

    Turning it around to be a bit more positive: no, I don't think we're fucked.

    But we will be soon if we continue to stagnate.

    "...deciding when change is needed and when it's not needed is one of the most important aspects of leadership."

    The Conclusion of Occlusion

    We've lost motivation. People have been disillusioned. The faults that have been here all along have become increasingly obvious over the years and have taken center stage. Nearly everything else works perfectly smooth, because we fixed those problems. We fixed what we could fix, and are now left with the things that are nigh impossible to fix.

    Nigh impossible without some bloodletting.

    We are a War Simulation Community. We simulate a war. We were founded to be a step above matchmaking, but a step below hyper-competitive things like MLG. We were designed in a way where people need to practice, learn the maps, and put forth effort in order to try bringing their armies to victory. Squad leaders ensure the team is improving. Flag Officers ensure the squad leaders aren't slacking off. The High Command organize the army and oversee operations. The War Council discusses the feedback we get from every level and tries to implement it.

    We are not a casual community. We've never been one and weren't founded to be one. We are not a hyper-competitive community either. We are a Warsim community. We've never been anything else.

    But that doesn't mean we can't improve.

    What does it mean to be a Warsim? It doesn't just mean we have ranks and a chain of command. It means we have winners and losers, and the distinction between those is the focus of Battles. It doesn't necessarily talk about how strict bootcamps need to be, it doesn't necessarily talk about "permission to speak" and "saluting" and "drink the water." Those are connotational aspects. The biggest and most inherent feature of a Warsim is that not everyone can win. Some people will lose, others will win. Don't confuse this statement as saying that skill imbalance is inherent in a Warsim, of course it's not. Imbalance is inherent from something else, which I'll get to in a few paragraphs.

    Comparing you all to my squadmates in Halo 3, to the armies I led in Reach, to Cyberdyne and Net of the Sky in Halo 4... what the fuck happened? FC hasn't changed all that much, it's been you guys. You've gotten lives and responsibilities now, have a new outlook on things and have grown more mature. And that's changed how you interact with FC. That's not a bad thing; it's not even an issue of good or bad. It's just the natural flow of life on the Internet.

    FC hasn't changed much, but it needs to. The members of FC have changed, but FC hasn't been keeping up. We're too stuck in things that have been here since Halo 2. We see the problems but are blind to the solutions, because they "aren't worth it" or would "change too much." I used to be like that too. Just like everyone else, I'm a lot different than how I used to be. Now, I say fuck those excuses. Excuses like those are why we've been stagnating.

    Things like the entire concept of a "squad." Like the organization of the armies. Like group logistics instead of individual logistics. You're probably looking at these sentences like they don't mean anything, just groups of fancy words that sound nice. However, these are the true roots of most problems we have: imbalance and activity. You probably don't understand them and almost certainly don't agree with them right now, but I'm optimistic that one day they will be more than fancy words.

    TL;DR: Draft. (this mention wasn't sidelong; sorry to disappoint)

    That's my perspective. Looking forward to having a nice debate in the replies about this.

    The State of the War

    Soapbox ended. Sorry to take advantage of the fact that I'm writing this update to unfairly subject the community to my perspectives. Usually I'm more subtle. There's a lot of mixed messages in the above sections. 90% of it you've already forgotten. Heck, the fact that I quoted Thomas Edison earlier was likely forgotten until I wrote this sentence to remind you.

    Does that mean I can control your mind? Spoopy.

    So anyway, the Beta War is more than halfway over. We want to do two more weeks of battles. We're trying to have VbD play for REDD to alleviate skill imbalance and have Renegade and/or Ghost potentially play for BLUE depending on how turnouts look. These are obviously not long-term solutions. I want to spread my perspective further within WC over the coming weeks, trying to form a solution that'll actually work long-term.

    WC had one other pseudo-decision during the meeting after battles. We need to remind everyone that we're a Warsim. I made plenty of mentions and sidelong comments about it in the previous sections, as you should recall (controlling your mind FTW), but just to reinforce it: we are a Warsim. Not everyone is suited to a Warsim community. We aren't a casual Customs community. We aren't a Gamebattles community. We're a Warsim community. Even that statement means a lot of different things to different people. I'd love to hear you guys actually take a few minutes and explain what it means to you. What does FC actually mean?

    Attack Plans should be up tomorrow (Wednesday) for this week. Forge isn't likely to be out until next week, which sucks, but that'll still give us one week to see how it works.

    2016, And Hopefully Beyond

    Plan is to survive until next month. We're hoping to start the first main Halo 5 war within the first three weeks of the new year. Not a whole lot has been thought out beyond January.


    That plan sucks.

    I want FC to survive and thrive for another decade. I hope you guys do too.

    Let me know your responses to my Wall-o'-Text that is this Update. What does FC actually mean to you? What would FC look like in 5 years? 10 years? Would we even still be around?

    That's all I've got.

    This article was originally published in forum thread: FC Update 10.0 started by Mythonian View original post
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