October 2015 Join Set

I’ve just sent out e-mails to the 35 people selected for the October 2015 join set, and I’d like to take a moment to catch everyone up on what the situation is regarding ShackTac and applicants these days.

ShackTac has fully transitioned over to Arma 3 at this point. Our long-term goal is to see how high we can take our playercounts while still maintaining an enjoyably playable experience. The hope, of course, is to be able to recreate the situations we had at the peak of Arma 2 – namely, 100+ player coops and ~130-player adversarials. Arma 3 complicated this and has made the past two years a challenging experience for me as it relates to bringing on new members. Fortunately there has been much done since A3’s release to help performance and playability, both from Bohemia as well as the community’s standpoint, and the future looks bright.

The big “gotcha” in all of this is that no matter how nicely Arma 3 performs, the fundamental fact remains that our community cannot accept everyone who applies and seems to be qualified. To put it in perspective, out of the 800 or so people in this latest batch of applicants, there were roughly 180 who were placed into the selection category. Out of those, 35 of them were selected as new joins – roughly 4% of those who applied, or 19% of those filtered into the selection category.

So what of those 145-ish who seemed potentially interesting, yet didn’t make the cut? What of the ones we have from the past join cycles that didn’t make that final cut? I call these ‘overflow’ applicants, and I’ve been sorting them into their own folder after each batch since late 2012. I’ve never had a plan to do anything special with these applicants, but there they are – a bit under a thousand people who’d almost certainly make for solid group members if they had an opportunity. I’m sure many of them have found places in other groups by now, and I’d like to think that they’re having a great time wherever they’ve landed. There are all sorts of flavors of Arma out there – ShackTac is one of a multitude of ways to experience the series.

It’s always bittersweet to do a join cycle. I’m enthusiastic to welcome our newest applicants and excited to add new faces to our community, but at the same time I can’t help but be a bit disappointed that so many have to be turned away in the process. Our group history is written through events like these – a new cast of characters brought in that will, over time, shape our culture and direction – and I’ve heard countless times how becoming a part of our community has fed back positively into people’s off-screen worlds. I’m disappointed that that can’t be shared with more people, but there’s nothing to be done about it on my end that isn’t already being done.

If you didn’t make final selection this time, or in the past, my apologies. I wish we could support the level of interest there is in joining our community, but it’s just not how things are. I appreciate that interest greatly and I hope that wherever you end up in your journey, you enjoy what you find. Don’t settle for less than that!

Those of you who almost made it, but didn’t – maybe some day we’ll cross paths again. Maybe you’ll go on to help another community grow and flourish – Arma’s a big scene, and there will always be room for more people contributing positively to some collective endeavor! Maybe you’ll start communities of your own? Whatever the case may be, I wish all of you – everyone who’s applied – success on your journeys!

If you’re still looking for a community, I wrote some thoughts on what you should consider when joining one, and I’d recommend checking out reddit’s r/findaunit/ for some possibilities.

Take care, and good luck!


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