Multiplayer newbies: looking for tips, tricks, dos, don'ts

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Multiplayer newbies: looking for tips, tricks, dos, don'ts

Post by Thirith » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:35 am

Yesterday I played my second MP session ever of Arma 2. Great fun, very tense, but it made one thing clear to me: the single player campaigns and missions haven't done a particularly good job of preparing me for fighting against or alongside real people.

Now, I've checked out some of the resources (e.g. dslyecxi's guides and videos), but they mostly seem to be about the fundamental principles of Arma warfare. What I'd be interested in are the things you would've liked to know before playing MP, the mistakes that you see newbies making all the time, the simple dos and don'ts that might extend their lives or make them just a bit less of an obvious target. (If any of them involve balcony etiquette or tips about where best to position yourself while you're watching that road for approaching policemen, all the better!)

P.S.: Again, if my search prowess has failed me and there are already good threads on this, I apologise. Also, links to good resources (other than the ones I've mentioned) are always appreciated.
P.P.S.: Personally I'm convinced that the bee that was trolling me yesterday in the first mission was an enemy spy. What I've learnt from this: shoot all bees on sight.

Edit: I've changed the title so people don't expect that I'll be sharing my own vast experience of MP tips for beginners.
"Until now we scraped along the ground like rats, but from now on, we soar. Like eagles. Yeah. LIKE EAGLES... ON... POGO STICKS." - Grim Fandango

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Re: Multiplayer newbies: looking for tips, tricks, dos, don'

Post by Inverselaw » Wed Aug 28, 2013 4:22 pm

So i'm only slightly less newbie then you so here are the lessons ive learned since i started playing (Im at about 10 sessions).

Its the most important thing. Always have something between you and the bullets. Being prone in a field is an empty sense of security that will get you killed, in fact prone is kinda crap in general and tend to makes you blind in grassy maps. crouch with the lean keys is where its at. If you are getting shot at you can unlean and get out of the way of the bullets, prone people have to take it. The only person who should want to find places to be prone is the AR as those light machine guns are way more accurate prone. And for those people, a piece of cover they can roll into is what they want.

In open areas, semi automatic is best, dont forget to switch to automatic when clearing buildings. Ammo goes by way to quick when you are firing so be mostly conservative. In night fights look for muzzle flashes and tracer rounds and fire at those, though remember that you are making your own muzzle flashes so move after. Otherwise, arma is very much pro pixel hunter extreme, shift your view left and right with freelook and search for movement, and do ask team-mates for direction of fire. the AI is not bothered by vegetation as much as us fleshlings but is otherwise as blind as us.

You have a map and a compass, use em. You can draw stuff on the map that everyone can see with double clicks. Use that to mark out where enemies are. The compass allows you to tell where the hostiles are in a useful manner. As this game is way more about information the shooting this is super useful. Binoculars are gods gift to man, they let you see what is actually going on. Combined with the compass they let you direct your AR to kill things he cant see.

Get STHud, just get it. Its the most useful thing ever and the server setting practically assume that you have it. I also got a mod that is supposed to make the compass less glarery, I haven't noticed much of a difference.

Be proactive
If you are a medic, ask on team speak if anybody needs healing. Keep a running tally of who is alive and who is dead. You are usually the first to know if the commander is dead and since you kept a running tally of who is alive then you will know who is now in command and you can inform them.

AR: Look for places that have long fire lanes and good prone positions, pay attention to your ammo count. You are also second in command so act like it. Tell the FTL if you think there is a better place to be or to shoot from. Don't stay right next to the FTL, you and AAR should be at least a few meters away.

AAR: Your job is to keep everyone up ammoed. Loot corpses, inform people of what kind of bullets you have for them. When there is a lull ask them if they want your ammo, divest yourself of your extra ammo as soon as possible so you can loot more and also so that if you die the rest of the FT is still well equipped. Guard the AR, but do remember that he might engage targets you yourself cant hurt.

Rifleman\AT: Always think about useful moments to use your RPG. Find out what is the biggest target in the mission and save your rockets for those. If the biggest target is infantry then DO use rockets on them. Keep a count of your rockets, loot new rockets, if you dont have the room tell the AAR to pick em up for you. Actual firing of rockets is done with FTL approval so always try to find good spots for you to fire rockets from then tell FTL you have a shot and wait for his response. If you need to move to get a good shot then tell FTL and do it.

FTL: Use those binocs, use GPS, be where you are suppose to be. inform the chain of command about what you and your men spot. Pay attention to the direction your soldiers are guarding and orient them. Inform them of friendly movements and positions so they dont FF. Pay attention to your position in the chain, take command when you have to, dont worry at worst you will be as terrible as the rest of us.

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Re: Multiplayer newbies: looking for tips, tricks, dos, don'

Post by Kefirz » Wed Aug 28, 2013 5:10 pm

I use hacks, they are super effective. :hist101:

Also what Inverselaw said, but try to go prone where you can, downslopes in Chernarus, for example or cities. And in day, look for smoke from the muzzle, sometimes it helps you spot that nasty dude when he is hiding in the bushes or something and don't forget that staying static in one place is a death sentence, try to maneuver when you can, but remain unseen, because as you know it's the number 1 giveaway and makes you vulnerable, because you are not putting any pressure on the enemy, so basically you are like a turkey in a field for him.

As for the roles, I just want to add some things..

FTL/SL/CO This isn't a job for one who just wants to kill as many baddies as possible. Think of it this way, would you rather have a quiet FTL who concentrates on shooting the baddies or have 3 guys putting their fire down and FTL correcting it, if it needs correcting.

AR I want to disagree with Inverse on this one, you are not a sniper... there is a reason you have 75-200 rounds with each mag and something like 5 mags on you. Suppress, suppress, suppress are the key words here, when you put the enemy under pressure he is more likely to make a stupid mistake and pay for it.
Besides when you will ask your AAR for more ammo then you should try conserving it, and there are always some poor blokes that just bit the dust also.
(Just a note from real life, when I was doing training as a machine gunner, the instructor asked if I was the mg or not, because you need to shoot like you are a machine gunner and put down a lot of bullets down the range and quickly, and there is a reason why everyone in your squad carries ammo for the mg, because it goes through it quickly, but don't get me wrong. Long, uncontrolled bursts will get you nowhere.)

And most importantly, take initiative, use your head and communicate.
If you see armor rolling towards you and basically a firefight will be imminent, then kill it if you can, because relaying it up the CoC will only take much valuable time and clutter all levels of comms.

And if you are leading then don't stick exactly on the marker your superior made, if he says ''go to that field'' and there is some nice cover somewhere near, then say ''CO,SL or even FTL.. can't go there, relocating to a better position where is cover.'' and that's it, after all you are the guy that has actual eyes on the terrain and all the specifics, your superior just has a map.

And I can't stress this one enough, short and clear communication is key, when you try to get someones attention, call him out and let him respond and after that give him the order. And if you are the one receiving orders, then say that you got it, because after that the FTL/SL/CO can concentrate on other things than trying to rely that specific command to you for 3-4 times.
Also, I usually keep effects audio very minimal, because then you can actually talk while in vehicles and in firefights you aren't deaf as a rock.

P.S I wanted to keep this short... but it turned out in a longer rant than expected :siiigh:
Last edited by Kefirz on Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Multiplayer newbies: looking for tips, tricks, dos, don'

Post by Bodge » Wed Aug 28, 2013 6:00 pm

A few points that even experienced players can struggle with.

First and most important is communication. It can't be stressed enough how important this is. It is a two way street, if you are an AAR then chances are you are going to be receiving more then you are sending, though quick acknowledgement helps your FTL know that what they asked is happening. New players tend to be massively quiet or the polar opposite, try to find a nice balance between the two. Things that probably should be mentioned;

"Got it" "yup" whatever it is, if your lead is met with silence the whole time they probably will be less likely to talk themselves. Keep them short and sweet.

If you are not sure no one is going to mind reiterating, just bare in mind there is likely to be other comms the leader is listening to so be a little patient. Again keep them short and to the point, if it is a suggestion remember that your leader has a lot more intel than you do but if you have a better position or movement then ask the level above but don't skip the guy above you. If you are a FT member ask your FTL, if you are an FTL (or attachment) ask your SL (or element lead). The comms structure is there for a reason. This is a pet hate of mine tbh.

Spotting & sitreps.
These depend massively on where stuff is and what position you are. If you have been given a movement order, let lead know when you are moving and when you get there, "A2 moving" followed by "A2 Set" or "A2 at <location>" will suffice and keep comms clear. If you lose something (a man, your AT, MG etc) let someone know and if you replace it pass that on too. Basically report if your situation changes. Spotting is something that is often done terribly and potentially with disastrous results. Try to consider three things when spotting something;

1) What it is. - Tank, Inf (force size helps), APC/IFV, Chopper or Plane will be enough. Don't assume that people know specific types of vehicles, though do assume that a vehicle would be painful (you can fill in with specific type when the important stuff is done).

2) Where it is. - This is the one that is normally done poorly. Bearings are not of any use if you are at a different location to the person you are talking to. They also require someone to glance at a compass for too long. A general compass position from your element will help, clock positions are great for people in your FT with 12 being your direction of movement, Front right/left are superb ways of letting vehicle crew, FT members know of threats quickly. Perhaps the most important thing is to remember where the person you are talking to is and bear that in mind when providing info. If you don't know then let them know "west from my position" or "west of the town".

3) How soon is it going to be a problem. A distance helps, coupled with a speed. Doesn't need to be in metres, a simple far/medium/close/danger or similar will get the idea across. Far being out of engagement range, medium at edge of engage, close being a threat and danger being OH GOD MY FACE.

An example. Enemy infantry, Fireteam size, medium range, NE of my position. Gives a pretty good idea to anyone listening as to what is going on. Alternatively: "Hostile AT soldier, Front right, Close" will wake up the gunner on any vehicle.

One addition to this i guess is if you are airborne, it helps to give a altitude (High if it is above you, Low if it is below).
This reply also went on far too long. I will leave other bits and bobs for now.

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Re: Multiplayer newbies: looking for tips, tricks, dos, don'

Post by Thirith » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:35 am

Thanks for the tips, everyone! Quick question on STHUD: does that enhance single player too, or is it just useful for MP? (Which reminds me: I get the impression that a launcher/mod manager will be more practical than activating mods in OA and restarting all the time.)

Do you guys know any good place to practice informally outside the Folk ARPS sessions? I don't want to feel like the guy in the band who uses band practice to make up for the fact that he never touches the instrument in between sessions.
"Until now we scraped along the ground like rats, but from now on, we soar. Like eagles. Yeah. LIKE EAGLES... ON... POGO STICKS." - Grim Fandango

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Re: Multiplayer newbies: looking for tips, tricks, dos, don'

Post by Black Mamba » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:08 am

Are you afraid of incompetency, comrade? I'm not.
In case you did not know, Tigershark and Carson host a Workshop every sunday, one hour before the main session. You'll get a lot of tips regarding how to avoid failure there, plus it's a very good moment to ask questions as well.
Other than that, you can get on the Skype Permachat and monitor the informal sessions happening there (at the moment, those informal sessions are mostly A3, Payday, W:ALB, but you can probably ind a few peeps to practice something in A2 if needed).

To "practice" individual infantry skillz, I used to play on Insurgency pubbies servers (as an insurgent). It was a lot fun on some servers, sadly most servers started to disable the insurgent side, for some reason. I haven't done that in ages, so I have no idea what kind of servers you can find nowadays.

But all in all, the FA sessions can be your only Arma, and you'll find you'll adapt quickly. Nobody expect you not to die anyway.

Final words, as the subject has not been raised here yet, in my opinion the single most important thing we tend to lack when starting to play arma is a good situational awareness (as was said before, ST_Hud does help quite a bit. And yes, you can have it in SP, it helps as well, albeit not as much).
Situational awareness is not just being good at spotting pixels. It's basically always having a rough idea of what's around you:
- consider where your teammates are looking.
- consider where friendlies are.
- consider the main terrain features.
- then select an arc you need to cover.
- if somebody in your team reports contacts that do not need immediate attention (e.g far away), turn your head around, have a quick look as to know roughly where they are, then resume scanning around. Avoid tunnel vision.

It's also (I don't think you can consider this meta gaming) a good thing to consider whether you're playing against your comrades or AI. Players will usually act in a more "intelligent" manner, which somehow also makes them more predictable. Terrain features, good building positions should then give you a better idea as to where the enemy can be/will be, AI might be a tad more random.

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Re: Multiplayer newbies: looking for tips, tricks, dos, don'

Post by Thirith » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:25 am

@Black Mamba:
Thanks for reminding me of the workshops. As a matter of fact, it's probably easier for me to join the workshops than the session that follows them on Sundays - it's easier to get 'an evening off' on Tuesdays, but every now and then I'm likely to be able to fit in a workshop before Sunday dinner. :-)

I'll also check the Skype Permachat for people willing to do an impromptu A2 session, or I could join an A3 session - the principles are the same, after all.

What are the Insurgency public servers? Is that a gameplay type or a clan of sorts? Will gladly check them out.

And I'm plenty comfortable with incompetence - I just hope it won't get too many of the people by my side killed. ;-)
"Until now we scraped along the ground like rats, but from now on, we soar. Like eagles. Yeah. LIKE EAGLES... ON... POGO STICKS." - Grim Fandango

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Re: Multiplayer newbies: looking for tips, tricks, dos, don'

Post by Bodge » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:35 am

Oh mamba reminded me of something, when you get to a new location it is often helpful to work out the direction of a landmark so you have a good reference point.

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