This article is the third in a series of three regarding issues facing the military community, to find the others go to The Primary Issues Facing Modern Militaries, by Zearos D. S'ahlesius
For the past three years, there has been no problem that has had as much of a negative effect on any military guild as has that of training. There was once a time when trainings focused on making people better soldiers, helping them learn to fight better in multiple forms, whether it be on foot, on horseback, or in the sparring ring. The trainings helped the people of the community to work together as a team, rather than have everyman fight for themselves. The problem arose after as many do, on good intentions. At the time, do to problems I've described in other posts, the energy and patriotism of the people in the state were at an all-time low, and greed and power hunge were at a high. Auel created and introduced a number of formations, initially intended to provide some discipline to the soldiers, as well as a way to bring in more recruits, knowing that when used in public, it would look cool enough to attract new members.
Side Rant: To be fair, as far as recruiting goes, I have no problem with the use of formations, with the minor exception that I believe that the modern look on militaries should be ditched and the medieval look returned too, mainly because, in all honesty, we look absolutely retarded when we try to recruit standing in a line with the horizontal rifles, and in pretty much every case, armor, whether custom made or a buyable body as the original sentinels used, will nearly always look better than the uniforms that most state guilds use these days. Having a "king" or someone wear a more robe like uniform is one thing, but I believe that armor works and looks better for all officers and enlisted men.
The problem with formations is that they soon began to dominate all trainings. Initially, most members would have one training to learn them, then only be asked to remember them when recruitments were had. After every recruitment rally, all new recruits would be introduced to the State and given a formations training. The unfortunate matter arose that most wars in this time were settled not in fair combat, but massive blobs of players fighting somewhere in the over world, often lasting many hours, only truly ending when every member of one side got bored or tired and left. Often times one side would prematurely and falsely declare victory due simply to them outnumbering the enemy for more than 10 minutes. This caused for wars to be decided not on skill or strategy as was the case in the War of Paranoia, but simply based on numbers. Due to this, Auel moved to eliminate combat from trainings entirely. The majority of his focus went simply to gaining members rather than maintaining a functional and prosperous guild. This caused a downward slope in the quality of trainings to drastically decrease at a rapid rate.
Some of the current officers argue that formations are used to “encourage” or “motivate” new recruits, saying that it energizes them. The truth of the matter however is that new recruits would both prefer, and benefit more from being introduced with trainings that would improve their skills. I have seen some officers lately that have the drive to start doing more skill oriented training. Whether it be one of the early state era War Games, one of the many detailed trainings described in Xinke’s The State Training Guide, or something of their own design. The officers that are shown to do this should be rewarded, they show dedication and actual care for the military and the members in it. The officers that only host trainings because they are required to, and only bother to do formations or free spar are lazy, uninitiated, and clearly do not really give a crap about the military itself or it’s members. These people, in my personal opinion, should not hold positions of power within militaries until they can show themselves to consistently perform quality trainings.
Furthermore, I believe that any officer or NCO that seeks promotion needs to first show that they both are able to and consistently perform trainings that are focused on improving a player’s ability, rather than simply to pass time.
If any officer is looking for a place to start, I suggest reading the State Training Guide from a few years back. Once familiarized with these, it would be beneficial for officers to be innovative and attempt to create their own exercises or improve upon the existing ones.
Training is easily the largest thing weighing down all military guilds, especially, those under Auel. A vast training reform would lead to an extraordinary amount of success in military guilds, and that is a guarantee.