12/14/2012

Terrain - 7

When over stalling ground, even if the enemy tries to entice movement, it is better to stay in place, or retreat to entice the enemy to come out with part of his forces so that you can attack with advantage.

12/11/2012

Terrain - 6

When neither side can make a move over the terrain, it is called stalling ground.

11/13/2012

Terrain - 5

If the enemy is unprepared lacks proper defense, you may easily defeat him. But if the enemy has prepared for the attack, and you fail to destroy them, when returning to the fight is impossible or takes large amounts of time, infinite failure will continue.

Players: This is especially important in games were sieges take place. If an attacking group fails to have the proper tactics when attacking an objective or area, and there is no route with which to return to the fight when subsequently defeated, the advantage is clearly held by the defensive force.

11/11/2012

Terrain - 4

Ground or objectives that are easy to abandon, but hard to re-occupy is snaring.

11/08/2012

Terrain - 3

Advance and prepare to fight in open areas, guard supply lines, and have escape routes at the ready. This creates the advantage.

11/06/2012

Terrain - 2


Terrain that can be moved about freely upon by both friendly and enemy forces is called open ground.

11/04/2012

Terrain - 1

There are six major types of terrains: (1) open; (2) snaring; (3) stalling; (4) enclosed; (5) heights; (6) distant.

10/26/2012

The Guild on the March - 37

If guild and group leaders show confidence in their members but insist on orders being followed, the gain for all will be great.

10/24/2012

The Guild on the March - 36

If guild members are trained constantly, they will be a well-disciplined group in the game; if not, the game will lose its allure quickly.

10/22/2012

The Guild on the March - 35

Guild members must always be treated humanely and with respect, but rules of the guild must be enforced without question. This ensures discipline and victory.

10/19/2012

The Guild on the March - 34


Guild and group leaders must uphold the rules of the guild and do so in a manner that is just. When a guild becomes cohesive and punishment for infractions is not enforced, the members will become undisciplined. 

10/17/2012

The Guild on the March - 33

A group who jumps into battle thinking little of their opponent is sure to be defeated.

10/15/2012

The Guild on the March - 32

If the numbers on both sides of the engagement are equal, no direct attack can be made. Concentrate the force, watch the enemy, and call for reinforcements.

Players: While numbers are not necessarily the only component of a force’s strength in a game (level of players, and class composition of a group are often a more dominant factor), when two groups meet with equal numbers, direct attack is not usually the viable option. Overwhelming the enemy with opposing strength in numbers, levels, and classes is preferable to an equal fight to ensure victory.

10/12/2012

The Guild on the March - 31

If a large group of enemies marches towards you without fighting or retreating, the situation calls for vigilance and judgment.

Players: If the battle lines are not crossed by the enemy they may be enticing you to cross into their trap. Be careful when being taunted to cross into the enemy’s territory.

10/10/2012

The Guild on the March - 30

If an enemy force sends wishes with complements, they are looking for a truce.

Players: Be aware, if able to communicate with the opposing force, it is often better to say nothing at all versus communicating with them. Often emotions get the better of players and can lead to the defeat of a group more easily than if they focus purely on the objective. If the enemy is attempting to be nice, they may be also hiding strength to entice players into their plans.

10/08/2012

The Guild on the March - 29

In PVE or PVP to begin the battle by acting boastful, but then to retreat at the sight of the enemy’s numbers, shows a complete lack of intelligence and understanding.

10/05/2012

The Guild on the March - 28

When the enemy is at the end, they will reward rash behavior. When the enemy punishes themselves they show distress.

10/03/2012

The Guild on the March - 27

When a players or groups of players in a guild whisper to each other and speak in a manner that leaders will not hear, it may point to discontent.

10/01/2012

The Guild on the March - 26

When a group of players prepare without thought of their own welfare, they are fighting to the death.

9/28/2012

The Guild on the March - 25

If there is a disturbance within a group of players, the leader’s authority over the group is weak. If the group leaders of a large force are angry, it means their players are fatigued.

9/26/2012

The Guild on the March - 24

If in the course of a battle, if the enemy does not seize the advantage, they are weak.

9/24/2012

9/21/2012

The Guild on the March - 22


If some players advance while others retreat, they are luring their opponent to attack.

9/19/2012

The Guild on the March - 21

If players are moving toward their determined position, the battle is about to begin.

9/17/2012

The Guild on the March - 20

If a group of players propose a truce without weight, it indicates an evil plot.

9/14/2012

The Guild on the March - 19

When the classes of the enemy that are very mobile take up positions on the sides, it is a sign the enemy is forming up for battle.

9/12/2012

The Guild on the March - 18


Players must be aware of the signs of an enemy preparing to advance. Feigning weakness is a sign of an enemy about to advance. Being loud and driving forward as if to attack is a sign they will retreat.

9/10/2012

The Guild on the March - 17

Players must be aware of signs of movement by the enemy. It is not enough to see the enemy when they are already visible.

Players: Look for signs both in areas where there are computer generated enemies and players who can attack. Resource points that are empty, enemies moving to attack something currently unseen and enemy corpses lying on the ground are visual cues to the enemy being near. Often game designers have special sounds for actions of players that can lead to audio cues to an enemy being near as well.

9/07/2012

The Guild on the March - 16

If an enemy is close but does not attack, they are relying on their strength of position. When he baits and tries to provoke attack, he is eager for the opposing force to attack.

Players: Position in this case can mean a difference of level, the power of gear or class, or that others may lie in wait to attack. Be wary of the player who taunts and baits others to come close and follow.

9/05/2012

The Guild on the March - 15

If a group is to pass through an area full of hills, and covered in natural hiding places such as thick brush or bushes, the route must be carefully selected and scouted before-hand. These places are where an ambush is most likely to happen.

9/03/2012

The Guild on the March - 14

While a group leader in PVP should keep their players away from such places, they should force the enemy to have them at their rear.

8/31/2012

The Guild on the March - 13

Terrain in which there are confined places should be passed through quickly, and used to force the enemy into.

Players: Terrain in this sense can be anywhere in the game that funnels players or enemies into a small area. By virtue of this, if being funneled, a group can be more easily destroyed one-by-one. Similarly, if using such an area to funnel the enemy into, it is easier to focus a large group on one enemy that cannot receive the aid of its allies. This is especially advantageous in PVP where the terrain can often be the entrance to a structure.

8/29/2012

The Guild on the March - 12

If the game terrain changes to where crossing becomes impossible at certain times, you should wait in safety until it is advantageous to cross.

8/27/2012

The Guild on the March - 11

When you come to rising terrain, occupy the side with the most light and with the slope to your right rear. This allows you to utilize the advantages of the ground.

8/25/2012

The Guild on the March - 10

If you are concerned about your players, and stop in easily defendable and solid positions, you will ensure victory if attacked.

8/24/2012

8/23/2012

The Guild on the March - 8

If in a level area, position yourself so that rising ground is to the rear so that a safe route lies behind and the danger is kept in front.

8/20/2012

The Guild on the March - 7

If forced to fight in a slow area, do so with your back to stable ground.

Players: The reason for this is to force the enemy to stay in the slow ground.

8/17/2012

The Guild on the March - 6

In any area that can slow the player, your only concern is to get over it quickly.

8/16/2012

The Guild on the March - 5

If you want to fight quickly, do not go to an area that is hard to cross.

8/13/2012

The Guild on the March - 4

If an opposing group of player is on the march across such an area, do not advance to meet them in the middle of the area. Allow half of them to cross, and then attack.

8/10/2012

The Guild on the March - 3

If you must cross an area that does not allow any retreat, move far from it after crossing.

8/07/2012

The Guild on the March - 1

While crossing terrain, look for signs of the enemy. Go quickly over high and rough terrain, while focusing on terrain that allows you to see the entire battlefield.

7/30/2012

Variation in Tactics - 13

When a group is defeated, the cause is most likely to be found among the five faults. Therefore they require careful thought.

7/28/2012

Variation in Tactics - 12

The five faults of a group leader are: (1) Recklessness, which leads to failure of the group;(2) cowardice, which leads to the loss of objectives; (3) a quick temper, which is easily flared by insults; (4) being oversensitive to situations, which leads to shame; (5) over-concern for their players.

7/26/2012

Variation in Tactics - 11

Groups should not rely on the enemy not coming, but on being ready for the enemy to attack, and making their own position impenetrable.

7/14/2012

Variations in Tactics - 10

In PVP, attack the opposing forces leaders and keep them constantly in battle. Bait them into disadvantages positions and force them to rush their players to any given point.

Players: This is especially important in PVP areas that are focused on capturing points to obtain a higher score. One must never feel rushed to a point; instead the enemy should be forced to continually be on the move.

7/12/2012

Variation in Tactics - 9

If in a difficult situation a group leader is always ready to take the advantage, then the group will be able to avoid unfortunate outcomes in both PVE and PVP.

7/11/2012

Variations in Tactics - 8

By having the expectation of gaining the advantage, the essential part of the plan can be accomplished.

Variations in Tactics - 7

An experienced group leader understands and takes into consideration both advantages and disadvantages in their plans.

6/29/2012

Variations in Tactics - 6

A group leader who lacks knowledge in varying his plans and a variety of tactics will fail to make the best use of his party.

6/04/2012

Variations In Tactics - 5

Even if a player knows everything about the layout of the game and its various area, without knowledge of tactics they will have very little practical value to a group or guild.

Players: It is essential that every player learn the tactics of their class, the tactics of their guild, and the tactics of the game design. Without being knowledgeable in each of these areas, they are a failure at their class, in a guild, and in the game.

6/02/2012

Variations In Tactics - 4

The group leader who understands all the various tactics and each advantage is the one who knows how to handle groups of players.

Players: Knowing the plan and how to execute grand strategies, and multiple tactics with various complemented forces to gain the advantage is the epitome of game knowledge by a player.

6/01/2012

Variation In Tactics - 3

In PVE and PVP there are paths which should never be followed, groups of hostile enemies or players that should not be attacked, safe cities that should never infiltrated, positions that should not be contested, and times when the group or guild leader’s commands should not be obeyed.

Players: All players must spend time learning the safest routes of travel, but be ready to fight along any of these routes. Attacking a hostile city or position that leads to the ruin of the group is ill-advised and leads to broken morale. On the other hand, when a situation presents itself for victory, even if told unobtainable by a guild or group leader, smart players take the advantage and will be rewarded appropriately for their quick action.

5/31/2012

Variation In Tactics - 2

When in a hostile faction’s territory, do not stop. In game areas with a clear view, meet with allies. Never stop long in a position that allows you to be easily attacked. When you are enclosed, use your strategies. When the situation is desperate, you must fight.

Players: In many MMOs, the ability to fight is directly related to mechanics in the game allowing players to “flag” themselves for PVP, or by having specific PVP areas. In areas that are not flagged for PVP, a player can be confident there is no threat. In contested and hostile areas, players must always be ready to fight and accept that a battle will occur.

5/29/2012

Variation In Tactics - 1

In a guild, group leaders receive their direction from the guild leader, and are the key to the movement of players.

Players: Guild leaders should stress the importance in the training of tactics throughout the guild.

5/28/2012

Deviation - 24

Whenever you surround an enemy, leave an outlet. Do not push a desperate player too hard.

Players: An enemy player, by virtue of being under attack, will take the quickest route back to the safest place. Because they are weak they will go to where their allies are strong. If you push a desperate player too hard, they may also bring their allies to fight; this may be a disadvantageous position.

5/26/2012

Deviation - 23

Do not pursue the fleeing player, nor swallow bait offered by the enemy.

Players: If a single enemy fights while withdrawing, and continues to press a fight while alone, expect an ambush.

5/25/2012

Deviation - 22

Do not advance uphill toward the enemy, nor oppose them when they come downhill.

Players: While in an MMO this is not necessarily as important, line of sight issues as well as distance differences do come into play. Those who hold the high point have increased range in many cases and are a difficult force to conquer.

5/24/2012

Deviation - 21

Study the enemy carefully. Refrain from intercepting a group who is at the ready, who displays calm and is collected.

5/19/2012

Deviation - 20

Remaining calm is essential in PVP. Wait until the enemy is in disorder, and you are with perfect order.

5/18/2012

Deviation - 19

A clever leader in PVP avoids opponents when they are fresh, and attacks when their spirit is low.

Players: This can be used in conjunction with feigning maneuvers, by building an impenetrable defense that forces a long siege, or by continually pushing back and attacking until their resources or will are broken.

5/17/2012

Deviation - 18

A player is most engaged at the beginning of an engagement, wearied in the middle, and by the end, is only thinking of completing the objective and returning to relaxing play.

Players: This is very noticeable in PVE scenarios. Players are normally very fresh and eager during the beginning of a dungeon or engagement, by the middle they become worrisome over the amount of effort being spent, and as the engagements linger on they become frustrated. This becomes very apparent when progress is not being made, particularly in new content.

In PVP scenarios, this is also true. During the beginning, players are very eager to battle the opposition, but as the scenario lingers on they often revert to objectives that do not coincide with winning the battle, and may entirely give up to allow the scenario to end more rapidly and begin again. This is often true of a weaker team going up again an opponent who is viewed as impossible to beat.

5/12/2012

Deviation - 17

A group of players can be robbed of their spirit; their leader can be robbed of his presence of mind.

5/10/2012

Deviation - 16

When a group of players is united, it is impossible for brave players to advance alone or weaker players to retreat alone. This is the art of handling large groups of players.

5/06/2012

Deviation - 15

When engaged in battle, use game mechanics efficiently and effectively to make intended objectives known to allow players to focus their efforts.

Players: Many games allow a player to “ping” or draw on a miniature map of the current area. Some MMOs allow players to mark enemies through a system of symbols, or through the use of targeting windows. All of these types of mechanics allow a leader to efficiently maneuver and focus players in their group.

Deviation - 14

Ponder and deliberate extensively before a guild’s campaign.

Deviation - 13

When accomplishing a goal in PVP or PVE, divide the spoils among all members evenly.

5/03/2012

Deviation - 12

Guild plans should be dark and impenetrable, and when a guild moves, do so like lightning.

4/23/2012

Deviation - 11

When attacking, do so like fire. When defending, be like a mountain.

4/20/2012

Deviation - 10

When moving players quickly, do so like the wind, and when compacting players, do so like a thick forest.

4/15/2012

Deviation - 9

Whether concentrating or dividing players, let the circumstances decide.

4/12/2012

Deviation - 8

At all times one must hide the truth through their actions.

4/11/2012

Deviation - 7

Do not move a group across territory unless you are familiar with every aspect of the terrain and its inhabitants.

4/10/2012

Deviation - 6

Do not enter into an alliance with another guild until you are acquainted with the designs of their guild.

4/08/2012

Deviation - 5

Players who are in charge of carrying items or resources must never be allowed to be lost, as if they are lost, then the entire group is lost.

4/07/2012

Deviation - 4

In PVE, when accomplishing large-scale objectives, if no rest is given during the event, players will become tired and objectives will not be obtained.

Deviation - 3

Groups of players will tend to have the stronger defensive classes up front, and the weaker classes behind.

Players: Because of this tendency, especially in PVP, enemies will naturally wait until a group passes and attack the players who are defensively weaker first. It is better to ensure the strongest defense surrounds the weaker players at all times.

4/06/2012

Deviation - 2

When moving through hostile territory to gain an advantage, the chances are you will be too late. If you detach players ahead to secure territory, you sacrifice their ability to enhance the group.

4/05/2012

Principles and Tenets of MMO War

We are going to discuss 12 principles and 7 tenets of war as defined in Air Force Doctrine Document 1 (AFDD 1), and apply them to the MMO setting.

These principles are accepted truths which throughout history have proven to be effective. Due to the complexity on a battlefield or in a game, these are not a checklist for victory, they instead provide for a method to evaluate different courses of action. What we hope to review in this article is an approach to structuring guild efforts towards maintaining these principles and applying them on the MMO battlefield.

Note: All italic quotes come directly from AFDD 1.

Principles

Unity of Command
Unity of command ensures concentration of effort for every objective under one responsible commander.
What this principles does is simple; it ensures a single person with authority and the capability to direct players, does so to achieve the common objective. Most if not all of us have played a game where multiple people are try to direct people. It is most of all confusing and often times very frustrating.

Unity of command is essential in all guild operations (ops), no matter the guild structure. It allows for the most effective and efficient guild ops. One person should be at the top to make final decisions. It may seem this is diluted in some guild structures, but in the end if one person makes the final call when needed, this can be achieved.

In the game, player forces should be led with a clearly defined organization that ends with one leader at the top. Mid-level leaders should be able to lead their particular force with the same unity, receiving commands from the leader at the top.

Objective
The principle of objective is to direct military operations toward a defined and attainable objective that contributes to strategic, operational, and tactical aims.
This principle does a few things. First, it holds that unity of effort is essential in guild ops across their spectrum of purpose and time. Secondly it holds that the guild's and player's goals must be complementary and clearly stated. A clear guild strategy focuses guild and player objectives. The overall guild strategy determines its priorities as well, while attempting to avoid incorrectly used player forces and fragmenting player forces to unneeded objectives.

Offensive
The purpose of an offensive action is to seize, retain, and exploit the initiative.
We want to act rather than react. Guilds should always strive "to dictate the time, place, purpose, scope, intensity, and pace of operations." When a guild or player can seize the initiative they should grab at it immediately, retain it, and exploit it.

When able, players and gamers should take the offensive because it is an acting, not reacting stature.

Mass
The purpose of mass is to concentrate the effects of combat power at the most advantageous place and time to achieve decisive results.
The concentration of a guild's forces is fundamental in all guild ops. This is not based solely on the quantity of forces, it applies effectiveness as well. "Speed, range, and flexibility" along with superior information and character items allow a guild to achieve mass faster than an opposing force.

Maneuver
Maneuver places the enemy in a position of disadvantage through the flexible application of combat power in a multidimensional combat space.
Maneuvering forces the enemy to react, which allows a guild to exploit both friendly forces and reduce their vulnerabilities, while exploiting the enemies vulnerabilities. This may mean strategically positioning specific guild forces inside the range of the enemy to deter the enemy from attacking, or positioning forces for quick strikes. Ensuring guild forces are versatile allows the guild to apply both mass and maneuver simultaneously.

Economy of Force
Economy of force is the judicious employment and distribution of forces.
A guild should apply minimal forces to "secondary efforts." To ensure overwhelming player power is available, maximal effort should be devoted to primary objectives. At no time should the secondary effort degrade the achievement of primary objectives. In this sense, players should continually maintain a broad perspective when they articulate their own objectives and priorities.

A leader on the MMO battlefield may need to establish a balance between "attack, defending, delaying, or conducting other operations...[d]epending on the importance of the area or the priority of the objective or objectives." Priorities shift rapidly in large scale gaming ops, and while overwhelming force is suggested, overkill is not. At times excessive force can diminish the legitimacy of the ops (e.g. an entire guild killing two players at a spawn point).

Security
The purpose of security is to never permit the enemy to acquire unexpected advantage.
Forces should be protected from enemy actions that would provide them an advantage. Security "embraces physical security, operations security, and security of the information environment."

Physical security is simple; ensure players are safe from harm by the enemy through armor, defense, and being beyond the enemy's reach. Operations security mainly means the entire force is secure during their operation. Information security can mean not allowing the enemy to be able to understand the plans, strategies, and communications of the force.

Surprise
Surprise leverages the security principle by attacking the enemy at a time, place, or in a manner for which they are not prepared.
Speed and range along with flexibility and versatility should be exploited to allow the force to achieve surprise. Often times certain classes or professions in an MMO allow for surprise more effectively than others and should be exploited. Surprise is often one of the most powerful advantages. Most if not all of the of the other principles are enhanced through surprise.

Simplicity
Simplicity calls for avoiding unnecessary complexity in organizing, preparing, planning, and conducting military operations.
AFDD 1 states, "Simplicity ensures that guidance, plans, and orders are as simple and direct as the objective allows. Simple guidance allows subordinate commanders the freedom to operate creatively within their portion of the operational environment, supporting the concept of decentralized execution." Guilds must allow their leaders the freedom to make decisions on the battlefield, while at the same time complying with the principle of unity of command. When giving an order in the game, the order should simply state the command to obtain the objective, which allows the player to make the decision on how to obtain it. During the course of battle is not the time to tell a player how to play their character.

"Straightforward plans and unambiguous organizational and command relationships are central to reducing complexity as well." A guild's plans must be objective-based, and it structure must be well defined. As stated, this will reduce complexity and confusion on the game's battlefield.

Unity of Effort
Unity of effort becomes critical during interagency operations and can best be achieved through consensus building.
In games a guild's players continually interact with other players from outside of the guild. To ensure these other players help the guild's forces obtain their own objectives, consensus building through outer-guild planning and political efforts (through "ambassadors" or written agreements) are essential. Through these processes a shared understanding of the objectives is obtained and allows all involved to "better understand how they can best apply their respective capabilities and measure success."

Restraint
Restraint is the disciplined application of military force appropriate to the situation.
All guild's leaders and players should use restraint. In some cases using more than the minimum could lead to an escalation of conflict, which may result in losing the advantage. Guild leaders should develop a structure in their guild that outlines the necessary capabilities they need to employ to meet objectives as well as developing clear rules on the use of force by guild members (i.e. when or when it is not appropriate). This includes conduct and communication with enemy forces. Restraint is often more easily justified than overwhelming force, but does not preclude its use to win.

Perseverance
The principle of perseverance encompasses the patient, resolute, and persistent pursuit of [group, guild, or server] goals and objectives, for as long as necessary to achieve them.
Guilds must be prepared to engage in their objectives for the long term. Guild leaders and members alike must understand that some complex objectives take time to obtain and to not get discouraged. Often times political guild aspirations take months if not years to obtain in and outside the game itself.

Legitimacy

Legitimacy of a guild is based upon the leadership, while from eyes outside of the guild, legitimacy is based upon the actions of the guild's members. The most prominent way of promoting legitimacy for a guild is a robust and thorough public affairs operation (e.g. website, interviews, etc) as well as robust political friendships with other guilds.

Tenets

Centralized Control and Decentralized Execution

Centralized control means that one person at the highest level controls the lower aspects of the guild. This person should have a broad focus on the objectives to "direct, integrate, prioritize, plan, coordinate, and assess the use" the capabilities of the guild across the full range of the game ops. This centralized control "empowers" the guild leader to "respond to changes in the operational environment and take advantage of fleeting opportunities."

Keep in mind, "Discipline demands that senior leaders resist the temptation to get involved with execution decisions that are normally best left to subordinate commanders and forward decision makers." If a guild leader gives a command to a group's leader - take a building, the group's leader should have the ability to decide how to take the building.
Decentralized execution is the delegation of authority to designated lower-level commanders and other tactical-level decision makers to achieve effective span of control and to foster disciplined initiative and tactical flexibility.
The group leader who is taking the building in the previous example must be empowered by the overall leader, as well as allowing all subordinates to exploit situations and opportunities as they arise. This benefit is only maximized when the guild leader gives clear intent.

Both centralized control and decentralized execution allow game-wide focus while allowing flexibility to meet the overall objective. They "assure concentration of effort while maintaining economy of force."
Execution should be decentralized within a command and control architecture that exploits the ability of front-line decision makers...[t]o make on-scene decisions during complex, rapidly unfolding operations.
There may be a valid reason for a guild leader to step in and take control, but these instances should be rare. As long as a subordinate leaders decision supports the guild leaders intent, they should be allowed to take the initiative during execution.

Flexibility and Versatility

Flexibility allows a guild to "exploit mass and maneuver simultaneously." This allows guild forces to move from one objective and another in a quick and decisive manner.

Versatility is the ability of a guild to employ their forces effectively at any level, and provide a "wide variety of tasks" with other forces (e.g. another guild or group of guilds).

Synergistic Effects
The proper application of a coordinated force across multiple domains can produce effects that exceed the contributions of forces employed individually.
A guild should have as their objective the "precise, coordinated application of various elements" of their force to bring "disproportionate pressure on enemy leaders" to comply with the guild's will. A guild should always attempt to dictate the tempo and direction of the entire effort, regardless of scale.

Persistence

Guild ops may be conducted against a broad spectrum of targets. A guild should strive to be able to visit and revisit any target at will. This could mean a guild is consistently visiting player versus player and player versus environment objectives. When a guild is persistent they deny the enemy the ability to seize the initiative and disable them from completing their objectives.

Concentration

Guilds must be able to concentrate their power overwhelmingly at the right and decisive time and place. Guilds must defend against the inadvertent dilution of their forces resulting from high demand.

Priority

Guild leaders should establish clear priorities for the use of the guild's forces. Demand may exceed available resources. If a guild leader does not establish priorities, they may become ineffective. Guild leaders must assess the possible uses of the force and their strengths and capabilities to support the overall objectives. Mass, offensive, economy of force, and the tenet of concentration all apply to prioritization.

Balance

Balance is the essential guideline for leaders.
Much of the skill of [a guild leader] is reflected in the dynamic and correct balancing of the principles of war and the tenets of airpower to bring [guild] capabilities together to produce a synergistic effect.
A guild leader should balance "opportunity, necessity, effectiveness, efficiency, and the impact on accomplishing assigned objectives against the associated risk to friendly forces."

Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed this post on how we can take military principles from AFDD 1 and apply them to the MMO setting. Perhaps this will broaden and inspire guild leaders at all levels to review their current guild structure and objectives to ones that can have game-wide impact and increase the enjoyment of the players in their guilds, and the guilds they associate with.

Deviation - 1

Moving disciplined players is advantageous; moving undisciplined players presents the most dangerous situation of all.

4/04/2012

Maneuvering - 4

Often the longer route, that entices the enemy to follow from a safe position, or starting towards the goal and having them give chase, shows knowledge in not only maneuvering a group, but using it to gain the advantage in the art of MMO war.

4/03/2012

Maneuvering - 3

Nothing is more difficult in an MMO than the tactical maneuvering of players in a group.

Players: In PVP especially, the difficulty pertains to feinting maneuvers and changing group misfortune of the moment, to gain in the long term. In PVE this requires all players to work in harmony to defeat the enemies, which often comes in phases and requires deliberate well-timed action on the part of many players in the group.

4/02/2012

Maneuvering - 2

When a group leader collects and concentrates their forces, they must blend and harmonize all elements together before beginning their campaign. The variety required of classes and resources must be decided before the group moves.

3/28/2012

Maneuvering - 1


In an MMO, group leaders receive their commands and authority from the guild leader.

Players: This chain of command must be written out for the entire guild for reference, and both in and out of game, the ability to see who is in charge is important. Ranks are often used to distinguish what position and function players hold and accomplish within the guild. These should be clear and understandable.

An Apology and Restart!

Due to the fun of being a guild leader, as well as working full-time and having a family, I had this down for a bit. Well, I'm back, and will begin posting again tonight, hopefully back to one every other night as I have done in the past.

I hope you have enjoyed what you have read so far.

Here is to our continued journey.

3/06/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 24

The greatest of leaders are those who can change tactics for any situation in relation to the enemy.

3/04/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 23

Conditions of battle change and have no constant. 

Players: This is especially true in PVP where human opponents are limited to the constraints of gameplay like computer-generated opponents are. What may work once against a human opponent may never work again.

3/01/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 22

Attacks should be like water; their course should follow the natural flow of events and change to meet each demand. As terrain changes, so do foes, and the flow of the tactics should be like water. 

Players: Battle in an MMO is a constant process of change, from one tactic to another. Players, groups, and leaders must be able to change from tactic to tactic without stopping. When they have stopped, they have lost their ability to change victory. In this way, battle in an MMO is never done until victory is obtained, therefore, never stop.

2/29/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 21

Avoid striking the enemy where he is strong, and relentlessly strike at what is weak.

2/26/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 20

When one tactic gains you victory, switch to another. Let the method in which you defeat the enemy be guided by an infinite number of possibilities.

2/25/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 19

The wise leader allows the enemy to defeat themselves with their own tactics.

Players: Whenever possible, allow the enemy to use their tactic, and counter it most viciously.

2/23/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 18

Conceal your plan, conceal your strong and weak points; let no glimpse into your force’s disposition.

2/21/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 17

Force the enemy to show their plan and compare it to your own; their strong and weak points will become apparent. 

Players: By forcing the opponent to fight, you reveal their intentions. Allowing your opponent to do nothing reveals nothing.

2/19/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 16

An enemy may be stronger in numbers, but can be prevented from fighting. When one knows the enemy’s plans, their ability to succeed is also known.

2/18/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 15

The numerical difference between the strong and weak defense comes when having to prepare. The enemy who must defend against a multitude of attacks is weaker than the enemy who need only prepare against one tactic.

Players: Too often, players fall into the trap of using only one tactic continuously, which upon its discovery are unable to obtain victory through other means. Those who have only one tactic are weaker than those who have planned for all possibilities before the battle has even begun.

2/17/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 14

When the enemy moves to strengthen a point, he weakens another. If he must send reinforcements to every point, he will be weak at every point. 

Players: If possible, attack from many directions in battle. Use misdirection to force the opponent to move to disadvantageous positions.

2/16/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 13

The point where the battle will occur should not be made known; this allows the enemy to prepare in advance for all contingencies. If the enemy must plan for attack from any direction, their forces will be spread out and smaller in number at each place.

2/14/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 12

The whole force must be used to split up the enemy into parts. In this way the entire force of many attacks smaller forces of few. 

Players: This methodology is fairly consistent throughout MMOs. Instead of killing all the enemies at once, most players will choose which player or computer enemy to strike at first to make the opposing force weakest. By concentrating action or by disrupting the ability of the opposing force to work in synergy, the greatest amount of damage can be done in the easiest way possible.

2/13/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 11

When the enemy’s plans are realized, keep your own secret; concentrate your force and divide the enemy’s.

2/11/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 10

Continually bombard the enemy with chaotic attacks when defending to prevent full engagement. 

Players: A defending force should penalize an attacking force by constantly breaking up their tactics, and always defending with such viciousness the attackers are deterred from continuing to attack. If the attacking force is content to stand without advancing, punish them for doing so. Draw them into snares, never revealing your intent, destroy them piece by piece.

2/09/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 9

If an enemy shelters himself in an impenetrable place, attack where he must move out to defend.

2/08/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 8

When you attack a weak point, your advance ensures the enemy cannot resist; movements must be more rapid than those of the enemy’s to ensure protection.

2/06/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 7

Attack that which cannot be defended, and defend that which cannot be attacked. 

Players: The goal is to attack the enemy’s weak points relentlessly and defend strong points with the utmost of resiliency. If one can move between these two actions, they can impose their plans upon the enemy at will.

2/04/2012

2/03/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 5

Attacks should be made at points where the enemy is least expecting, and must defend with a large response. In this way, the attack can be always moved to force the enemy to move.

2/02/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 4

Attack the opponent who is standing still and force them to move. 

Players: In many MMOs different classes or professions will naturally seek to defend themselves by the use of terrain and buildings to allow them to support the stronger members of their force while keeping themselves safe. Nothing is weaker than a player who is forced to move rather than be able to use a skill or ability that would help their force. Players who must concentrate solely on keeping themselves alive or moving have weakened their overall force.

1/31/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 3

Showing the illusion of weakness, the skilled player draws the opponent in; through fierce attack he forces the opponent to be weary of advance. 

Players: Feinting maneuvers can be highly effective to draw in an opposing force and destroy them. When given the choice, feign weakness.

1/30/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 2

Skilled players impose their will upon their opponent, and never let the opponent’s will be imposed upon them.

1/28/2012

Weak Points and Strong - 1

Getting to the battlefield first and waiting for the enemy is superior to being caught off guard by hurrying to the battle. 

Players: “Getting to the battlefield” could also be referred to as knowing the battlefield. When one knows where the best points of attack and defense are before the battle commences, they are at ease. Those thrown into a battlefield without previous knowledge are not only unprepared, but must make their decisions with haste.

1/27/2012

Energy - 20

The leader in an MMO who utilizes the energy of other players with the utmost effectiveness creates momentum that cannot be stopped and ensures victory.

Players: Much like a team is built upon different types of classes or professions in a game, a leader provides focus and motivation which should in turn amplify the energy of each player they lead. All energy spent is focused via the abilities of the leader.

1/25/2012

Energy - 19

The effective leader looks to be deceitful with the utmost efficiency; in an MMO the best player must be utilized to combine this tactic with others for efficiency of energy.

Players: Leaders must choose players who are masters of illusion and deceit. An entire strategy can rest upon the shoulders of such players; the leader’s decision can ensure victory or defeat based on choosing these players.

1/23/2012

Energy - 18

Keeping the enemy baited, the adept player controls the movement of the enemy.

Players: When the enemy is controlled, victory is ensured.

1/21/2012

Energy - 17

The player or leader who is adept at being deceitful creates a situation in which the enemy is sure to act. He is as a fisherman with fresh bait; the fish is sure to strike.

Players: Creating a situation that ensures the enemy will act must be done in such a way that is convincing. The wise enemy will sense a ruse that is done without the utmost of sincerity. Just as overuse of a tactic will ensure the enemy changes their strategy, overuse of a ruse will enlighten the enemy. At times, no deceit can create the illusion of deceit and ensure the enemy’s mind is trapped. One must always keep the enemy guessing.

1/19/2012

Energy - 16

The ability to create the illusion of disorder is a matter of tactics.

Players: Leaders and groups who are well versed in the ability to create the illusion of disorder can continually play to the weaknesses of the game design or the poor decision making of the enemy player. Feigning weakness is an example of such tactics.

1/17/2012

Energy - 15

The greatest measure of discipline in a group is the ability to create the illusion of disorder which creates a false sense of courage for the enemy; illusion of weakness that creates a false sense of strength.

1/13/2012

Energy - 14

When fighting in an MMO, there may seem to be complete disorder; but in this disorder may be found evidence of victory.

1/11/2012

Energy - 13

The energy of a player is potential and kinetic. All thought prior to the point of decision is potential; once the decision is made, all energy is from that point on is kinetic and cannot be returned.

Players: The ultimate power a player possesses is in the decisions made that lead to victory. Victory’s foundation is made up of proper decisions; failure’s foundation is made up of faulty decisions. Decisions are the cornerstone of the energy released during battle.

1/09/2012

Energy - 12

A good player destroys their opponent quickly, and makes decisions without delay.

Players: When a course of action is decided upon, the outcome is already determined once the action is decided upon. The player who can see the outcomes of each decision is the player who can destroy their opponent quickly. Those who have studied every outcome of a situation presented in an MMO based on the classes or professions involved in the decision point will be able to make informed decisions that will always lead to victory. This is an essential difference between a mediocre and a great player.

1/07/2012

Energy - 11

Decisions made by players in battle must be done with correct timing if they are to destroy their opponent.

Players: Decisions lead to actions. If one decides too quickly, the action will be incorrect. If one decides too late, their delay can lead to their downfall. One must decide at the correct moment.

1/05/2012

Energy - 10

A well-built party is a force that can crush anything in its path.

Players: When building a party, one must consider balance and essentials above all things. A party must balance what is needed to complete the objective along with essential qualities that each class chose brings to the party. The same applies to any size of group.

1/03/2012

Energy - 9

In an MMO a force can only attack directly and indirectly, but the possibilities in which they do so is endless.

Players: Direct and indirect attacks lead to each other, and each class has an endless possibility of both, combined with other classes leads to an infinite number of possibilities for attacking an enemy.

1/01/2012

Energy - 8

There are set number of traits or specializations for classes in a MMO, but the combinations of these specializations with other classes and their specializations are endless.

Players: A wise leader is one who can find value in every class specialization, and uses each to their utmost potential, thus ensuring victory along with morale for the players.