You can support your team's offense more easily and more effectively if you communicate what and where you are doing your support and what your allies need to do. You can also tell them how to organize their attack. The only problem is, no one listens to you.

The truth is that most of your allies know how to use a dispenser, most know they should stand still when you're trying to give them armor, and so on. But they don't do these things because they aren't in the right mood and don't have the right goal. What you really want to do is to give your team morale and develop raport with your teammates.

First, the things to avoid. Don't use vague, stock, useless messages and repeat them five times in a row. If your messages are vague ("Incoming Enemy by LAND!!!"), people won't know what you are talking about and just think you're stupid. If your messages are stock (Assemble troops in central battlemes and attack main enemy fort.), people will just ignore them like they ignore junk mail. If you repeat the message and make tons of annoying beeps, then people will ignore what you're saying just out of spite and will like you less: only a schmuck would react to such an elicitation anyway. So, keep it short, use abbreviations, and make typos to add authenticity.

You team has morale when your teammates feel like they're rocking, feel like they belong to the team, and feel like behaving like a team to acheive the team's goals. When your team doesn't have morale, people run around basically playing deathmatch: all they care about is frags. Plus they think that getting "frags" from getting the flag is just a cheap way to get frags. When your team does have morale, you will see them making plans with each other and giving each other information. They will move in groups of two or three and try their damnest to get the enemy flag and stop the enemy from getting theirs.

If someone on your team makes a comment or a suggestion, and you can tell that no one is going to respond, you should give, at least, a minimal response. There's nothing worse that saying something to your team that could use a response and getting nothing back. By answering, you raise your ally's sense of teamness instead of letting it get lowered. Since you are the one who responded, your raport with that person will go up, and that person will be more likely to listen to you later on. Also, you establish yourself as the leader of the group because you just judged whether a suggestion was right or wrong, a comment good or bad.

Another psychological method or trick is to give little thanks for what people do for you. If someone upgrades your sentry for you, say "thx" or "ty". Don't say "thank you", it's too oppressive, and actually causes people to help less since they don't want things to get too chumy. Communicating at the right level of chumyness is important.

Thank any action that is teamlike. If you're fighting some guy and a sniper kills him for you, thank the sniper. The sniper probably just wanted a frag and could care less about you. But with the simple act of thanking him, he will beleive he actually did do it for you! And, he'll start to try to help other allies that are in trouble (cognitive dissonance and reenactment).

The one time to go buck wild is when your team scores. Not only should you congratulate the person who got the flag, but you should say things like "boya!" and "finally we got them", since that gives the impression that you are glad the team got the flag and not just the flag carrier. Every once in a while, echo the team score back to your team; say, "30-0, we're kickin ass" or "10-0, good now we're in the lead". Basically, just point out that the two teams have a score and we want our team to score higher at the end of the game. This reminds your teammates not to just look at the number next to their own name.

Giving Commands
If your team's defense is lacking, don't say "We need more defense!". One, it's vague. Two, people are used to ignoring that. Three, defense sounds boring to the people who do offense. So instead say, "we got enemies to kill in our gas area". That works great because it doesn't sound like sitting and waiting anymore. It sounds more like going and killing. Also, you are being passive, just giving information, rather than telling people what to do. People can then make their own conclusions about what is good to do. They'll even feel better about it if you let them decide on their own.

Giving Information
You will want to be specific when you tell people about things. Remember that your allies, unless they're in the same room you are, have zero context for what you just saw. If you brought the enemy flag partially out but then died, it probably won't help if you say "get the flag!". It won't even help if you say "enemy flag in the water!" on a map like Well, cuz guess what: the water extends through the entire map! (This is akin to a jerk who honks his horn to get someones attention within an appartment complex, and in doing so, forces about 150 people to go to the window to see if it was for them.) Instead, say things that are completely unambiguous like "en flag at mid en ramp, sg there". Which flag? The enemy flag. Which ramp? The enemy ramp. Where in the ramp? Middle. Is it safe? No, there's a sentry there, that's probably what killed the guy with the flag: better watch out for it. The more certain people are that you said what they think you said, the more likely they will react to it. The more specific you are, the more focused their action will be. Remember, people are lazy, you have to put the situation in their face and only then will the respond appropriately to it.

Here's another example: "fr disp at se enemy gas area". Another: "en sg at 9oclock in en yard". The "9oclock" is essential since there are almost always sentries in the enemy yard anyway. So, otherwise your comment would be basically useless.

John LeFlohic
August 3, 1999