Category: ShackTac Join Process News

March 2013 Cycle – Nov-Feb Joins, testing something new

From November of 2012 to March 1st we had almost 1100 applicants for ShackTac. There were a lot of great ones, plenty of good ones, and in a perfect world, we’d be able to take on a whole hell of a lot of new people.

The world is not quite so perfect. We are still under the same limitations as before regarding Arma – the packetloss issues have not been fixed at large-playercount, and we’re still aiming to be a close-knit community based around a single server – and thus, the selection process has become extremely strict as a result.

Out of these 1100 applicants, roughly 100 made selection on the initial pass. From these, we’ll probably accept 40 or so of them into the group. This will be done in a split fashion – roughly twenty were sent e-mails just now, and they’ll participate in the March induction process. The other half will be determined at the end of this month, and they’ll receive information to allow them to participate in the April join batch. So, in short – if you didn’t receive an e-mail just now, it doesn’t mean that you won’t make it for the April batch, but don’t get your hopes too high yet.

After April’s batch of 20 or so, we will take May and June off, with the next cycle happening in July and consisting of applications received during March, April, May, and June.

I cannot say how many that may be – it’s hard to know what the future holds.

For those of you that applied and didn’t make it, best of luck in finding something that fits you going forward, and I’m sorry it couldn’t be with us. I must emphasize that not making it into ShackTac at this point is by no means a reflection on you as a person – we had to pass on many good applicants due to our current restrictions. If our join inquiries are any indication, there are plenty of quality people out there looking for a good Arma experience. Have a look around the Arma scene, see if there are any groups that you agree with. Make sure you keep in mind the guidelines I listed here regarding what to watch out for in groups. Some of you may have thought about starting new groups – while this isn’t a trivial thing to do, the time is ripe for it. There’s nothing stopping some motivated people with the right ideas, vision, and┬áperseverance, from creating something special.

Whatever you choose to do, I hope you find enjoyment with it.

February 2013 cycle

Due to current high-priority projects, there will not be a join cycle for February. I intend to do one for March, then likely every other month after that. If you have an application in with us, no need to re-send it – I’ll be picking from the November-onwards batch for the March joins.

Join process updates for the start of 2013

Minimum age

Starting this year, I’ve established the age of 18 as the minimum age at which one can apply to Shack Tactical. I’ve done this in response to the simple reality that, while I do not contest that <18yr old members can be successful, it is more time-efficient for us to recruit players at that age and above. If you’re under 18 and are interested in the group – simply wait until you hit the right age and send in an application then. We’ve been around for over seven years at this point, after all – hopefully another seven are in the books as well. Thanks for your understanding in this matter.

Other news

As to the general join process for 2013 – I anticipate doing a join batch every other month, likely starting in February. I will post again when I do the next cycle or have additional news on this front.

On growth, principles, and power

I’d like to take a few minutes to address something that has come up several times in recent months on tumblr, in Youtube comments, replies to posts on my site, and in various other e-spaces.

The topic is that of ShackTac’s growth, or more specifically, the limitations I have placed on such growth.

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November 2012 Cycle

I have just sent out e-mails to the selectees for the November join cycle. Note that it is very likely that I will not run a join cycle for December, and will pick up again mid-January or possibly in February. Everyone is welcome to apply in the mean time, I just won’t act on anything until we get to the new year.

To those of you that didn’t make selection this month – please check out my post on The State of Things Going Forward for more on our current join process as well as alternative communities to look at. We can only accept a small number of people each month, and there are lots of quality people applying. It’s a tough thing to sit down and look at 60-70 really qualified people, knowing that you’ll only be taking maybe half or fewer of them at best.

Sorry to those that didn’t make it. Better luck next time!

The state of things going forward


I’ve been meaning to write this for awhile, but it’s hard to know exactly what to say about the situation. The short version is that the demand for ShackTac membership right now is extremely high, and our ability to bring in new people is constrained by factors beyond our control. We have had several thousand join requests this year so far, and receive hundreds of them every month.

The group right now stands at ~400 members all told. We have pushed ArmA’s netcode hard to try to find the max number of people we can get into a session. As it turns out, this is somewhere in the realm of 120-130 players currently – beyond that you start to run into crippling issues where even small amounts of packetloss from individual players can have catastrophic repercussions, to include freezing the netcode/server until any players with packetloss can be kicked.

This has become a very real blocking issue for us now. Pulling in significantly more people means that we will more frequently run into the >130 player network bugs. There’s nothing we can do to avoid this right now aside from throttling the number of new joins we’ll accept any given month.

Future Actions

Now, as to the future? I intend to continue to press this issue and take us to the highest sustainable single-server playercount possible. Right now that’s ~130 players. In the future it could be 200. This is in Bohemia’s hands and the best we can do to try to realize that future is to continue to show them that we are interested in it.

The best way to do that right now is to up-vote this ticket on the DevHeaven community issue tracker:

Anyone can register on DevHeaven, go to that ticket, and click the green ‘thumb-up’ icon to give it a vote. BIS uses these votes to prioritize their community-related fixes, so your vote does and will make a difference. If you are looking to join ShackTac, and you happen to be one of the many people that get passed over simply because we can’t take many new joins on each month, you should definitely take a few minutes to register at DH, up-vote that, and try to influence BIS to make the change required to allow for higher-playercount ArmA.

More after the jump…
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