OCB was started on 3 June 2009, and at the time I was playing Call of Duty 4. Within a week we had ten members, a full COD server and a lot of activity on our basic web site. I then discovered Arma, and we've never looked back. Our first Arma server was full every day after a month of operations.
Our early operations, although conducted tactically, usually were off the cuff but we managed to get members and pubs into playing tactically, using callsigns and working as an efficient machine. The majority of our early ops were Vanilla, and not ACE. Our first server was so popular that we had to institute a system of asking non members to leave the server to make room for members. There were very few times when the server was not stacked to capacity with a list of waiting players in TS. This caused the haters to make comments to try and bring us down. They failed.
My first online experience of Arma was less than pleasant to say the least. I spawned into the base area into the airfield in Chernarus, I had no idea what was going on. I saw a few planes sitting there, a chopper in the sky and some guys running around. I tried to enter an aircraft, but was kicked out of it, for what reason I was unsure. I asked, "What's the go with the planes, I can't fly them". I received the reply, "Fucking newb, if you don't know how to play, get out of the server". I persisted and asked what I needed to do to get involved in the mission, and I was kicked from the server. Because of this experience, I wanted to ensure that new players in our servers were made to feel welcome and we would provide them with the help they need to get into the game and enjoy the experience.
Bumps in the Road
We had other communities spreading falsehoods about OCB, some open aggression in TS and on forums because they felt as though their belief that they were "the best" was being threatened due to our early success. One of the more vocal groups in those matters folded about two years ago.
We have over the years had some problems with other groups, not as a result of what we were doing, but as a result of what they thought we should be doing. There was the player, who after spending time in our server decided that he'd tell us that we were not a "tactical" group. The members with real life operational and defence experience told that player in no uncertain terms to take a long walk off a short pier. There were attempts to capitalise on OCB's success by other groups through an attempt to bring us under their banner, and offers of free servers to enhance certain commercial interests. I guess it's true that success does bring those who want to drag us down to their level.
ACE came along and with it a clear distinction between the Vanilla and the ACE crowd. This eventually lead to a small section of members alienating themselves from the rest of the group, who eventually departed to form their own little group, where Vanilla Freezone is their primary focus.
Gradual Changes for the Better
A few key members came on board which moved us into new territory, with developments in mission making, web development and general technical expertise. This continues to grow with new features being added to enhance the OCB experience all the time, and our tactical missions are now without equal.
We now have a community that is not only active in Arma operations, but a group that enjoys a massive array of games together in a friendly environment where life long friendships have been formed. We now also have a significant number of members making new missions all the time, with various mods and play types which is something I think we can all be very proud of.
There have been a few real life meet ups of members, and I hope this will continue as we build ties with each other and the wider gaming community. The evidence of the brotherhood formed here is in the way people dug deep to help out a member who was gravely ill, to give his family some funds to assist them in a difficult time.
Initially our operations did not involve other Arma groups, and this was for good reason at the time. The hostility we faced from some groups told us it wasn't worth the effort, and whenever we did give it a go we were bitterly disappointed with the results. This has now changed with OCB conducting joint CO OP and TVT missions with a number of good groups out there, and we thank those groups for the opportunity to expand what we do for the enjoyment of all players regardless of loyalties or affiliations.
We have had some really interesting personalities pass through our ranks over the last four years. We had the aggressive jerks, the drunks, the druggies, the hackers, the lunatics and those who took online gaming way too seriously. We have had those who joined and were never seen again, those that applied to join numerous times without success who eventually got bored and vanished, those who got bent out of shape because they could not follow our simple rules and those who thought they could do things better so they started their own groups. We have also had those who have threatened physical violence and legal action because their own actions clearly demonstrated to everyone they were not fit to remain as members.
But now, on any night of the week, you'll see a healthy number of people on TS and in game, tac missions where sometimes there are insufficient slots for all that turn up, and a team of people very dedicated to making what we do better in every way.
Over the four years, from my records, we have had 605 applications to join OCB, which is an average of 2.9 per week over those years. That's pretty healthy especially considering the small size of the Arma community overall. About 107 members have either left OCB or been removed for breaches of our code of conduct. The statistic on successful applications remains an about 20% ot those submitted are accepted.
We currently have 109 official members, and many other non members who have made OCB servers their preferred option for Arma Operations.
Contributions of the HQ team, Tromac, Gelly, EightySix, Kev and CptDavo cannot be understated. There are scores of other members who have gone above and beyond giving their time, expertise and finances to ensure the survival of the group, and all members, from the newest recruit to the top of the tree are highly valued and appreciated.
Looking forward to the next four years and beyond.
- FEAR, Gelly, Xerxes and 18 others like this