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Posted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:52 am     Super secret spam barrier
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OP Spring Step Info and Feedback thread


Hi guys, this thread is to give a bit of explanation as to how the new Public server mission OP Spring Step works and some answers to the inevitable questions that will arise. This mission has taken a massive amount of work (I’ve probably spent 100+hrs on it easily) and I hope it will be enjoyable. This will be its first public release and I look forward to your feedback both positive and negative. Please do give feedback, if there’s something you don’t like then I can’t change it if I don’t know about it. Conceptually I’ve tried to make this mission different from the existing mission set to give an entirely different feel.

AI

The mission does not use ALIVE to populate the AO with AI. We’re trialling a new system called DAC (Dynamic AI Creator) which works slightly differently and brings its own features and challenges. AI groups will actively hunt down players they know about, and will call in reinforcements from nearby groups. They will aggressively suppress you and may use smoke to mask their own positions. Additionally, they will call upon friendly mortars for support fire when certain criteria are met. For example they will not call in mortars on fast moving vehicles because predicting where the target will be is too prone to error, nor will they call in mortars if there is only a junior rifleman left alive in the group. However, once you start taking mortar fire it’s usually a good time to get out of there! Groups who are eliminated will respawn at a camp site, so the enemy will move back into areas that have been cleared. You’ll need to destroy any enemy found there thereby deactivating the camp sites for the respawn to stop happening. 

Tasks

Although the entire map is populated with enemy and while technically you can go off and do what you like as a sandbox, the mission is designed to be played in a linear fashion, moving from one task to the next. These tasks cover a range of combat and non-combat objectives but will always be in enemy territory. The missions are randomly selected from a list and their location will be in or around an enemy held town generally near to the previously completed task in an ever expanding ring around the spawn base. As time allows we will be adding further task types to increase the variability and replayability of the mission, but I doubt you’ll get two identical experiences playing this mission. There are also a couple of what I’ll call “narrative” tasks, which run alongside the linear progression with the first being the location and return of the UAV black box and these should relate more closely to the story in time.  Be aware, some of the task icons are very general and simply point you to the town in question, and some are very specific to the task. Also, please note, that task completion may not happen instantaneously you think you’ve achieved the objective and there may be up to a 60 second delay. 

Admin/Zeus

NCO’s who log in as admin need to note, the majority of the AI that you will see are controlled by DAC. You won’t see waypoints for where they are moving to and you WILL NOT be able to get them to follow waypoints so don’t even try! If you want to remote, you can do so with no adverse effect, but if you want a group to move in a certain way, you’ll need to spawn a new one. BE CAREFUL, watch the group limits as the mission is already optimised to be extremely close to the 288 group limit. Should the current task be bugged, then you are able to force completion or failure by inputting the following code into the execute code module in Zeus and running it globally. rdg_ForceTaskSuccess=true or rdg_ForceTaskFail=true. I’m working on a dialog that will make this easier. 

Points to note when reporting issues and giving feedback 

If reporting low fps, please indicate how many players were on, where they were and whether they were all in the same area. Having lots of players spread out across the map will be bad for performance exactly like it is for ALIVE, potentially more so. If reporting bugged tasks, please try to give as much detail as possible, including screenshots of the problem, the map so I can identify what might be causing it etc. 

Known issues

the ACE interact with the objects in the crates is extremely frustrating. Dropping an object will result in it remaining in the air for a number of seconds and then instantly dropping to the ground.      

Occasionally AI will encroach within the Base “safe zone”, especially by helicopter.  

Some building types take an inordinate amount of explosives to completely destroy.


Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:47 pm     Super secret spam barrier
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Overall mission is very nice. I'll list pro's and con's we've found through today's lovely 5 hours experience.

Pro's
- AI numbers with a large amount of players ( Around a section or two ) are very balanced, however towards the end we did encounter a wave of APC's moving into a single location. ( Not sure if this was due to Zeus at the time )
- AI uses support elements very well, it's very nice to watch Helicopters fly by whilst trying to avoid their vision. ( Gunship's in particular )
- During down-time and pit-stops AI occasionally puts pressure on friendly forces very well EG occasional ambushes in narrow woodland. This then lead to further downtime meaning we'd have to hurry up.
- AI usage of smoke and UGL's are flawless, definitely making you plan movement across open areas.
- Generally a great experiance despite the downsides, normally keeping you on edge and encouraging constant movement.

Con's
- AI with any number of players below 3-4 become very scarce and it eventually becomes a task of attempting to find them. However they appear to then only spawn when we're in vehicles. ( This immediately fixes itself once 4+ players have joined where the AI spawn rates become fairly balanced. )
- AI support elements, specifically mortars do get used very often, more so than expected, normally forcing us to ditch vehicles. ( This also seems to happen no matter what, as long as friendlies stay still in a 100m zone for about 3 minutes. ) You'd also receive a constant barrage of shells falling until you have moved. This normally becomes a problem when no enemies are close by and we've concealed our-self very well.
- AI ambushes can become tedious at times, they start of fine, normally giving us a challenge however it does become a issue when we eventually have to call in a constant supply of tires to be able to continue movement. 
- FPS with low amounts of players EG 1-5. However this appears to only happen to a select few and does not vary on PC specs.
- DAC appears to have a bunch of grammar mistakes.
-Various buildings have random objects spawn inside ( This may just be the map itself, however it does feel rather silly after spotting objects in ridiculous places.


Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:54 pm     Super secret spam barrier
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Thanks Forizen.

Just to clarify a couple of things here.

AI spawn rates - there's no such thing. The mission spawns all AI at the start, with the exception of groups specific to a task. If you found them sparse then you were just in an area that had either been cleared, or that the AI weren't interested in right then.

The objects in buildings is map I'm afraid. It's annoying as hell that one of the best maps in ARMA has such weirdness. You will also find trees in the middle of the road in some places too. I hope the author will revisit but I doubt it.

Some of the mortars were me as Zeus, putting some atmosphere in. The smoke rounds were all me. 

I don't know what you mean by DAC grammar? Would like to know more on that.


Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2018 10:15 pm     Super secret spam barrier
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One thing I noticed im pretty sure at one point we had paratroopers jumping out of a hind ...

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Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:24 am     Super secret spam barrier
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Ah ok, as we were moving around before the restart we had troubles finding AI at all. ( We checked about a quarter of the map ) also when I referred to DAY I was mentioning the new AI system which I assume was creating the missions too.


Posted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:42 am     Super secret spam barrier
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Sergeant
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Posts: 716
Location: Stamford, Lincs
Ribbons:
Service Medal (1) Donator (1) Frag of the match (1)
Zeus Operations (1) Mission Designer (2) Operation Medal (2)
Ah. Ok. You mean the tasks had poor grammar? That's all on me, can't blame DAC. Will have to check. DAC just handles most of the AI 


Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 8:52 am     Super secret spam barrier
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I also agree with the comments of Forizen.  I did remark that the AI seemed a bit sparse though we cleared three towns.  This was even with 2 CAS choppers and a mortar .  However as usual the section was small due to number of support units.

Today I noticed that the choppers were not respawning nor clearing from the map.  There was only one mission left so not sure if its a bug or just that the server needed restaring.

Ney88


Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 10:24 am     Super secret spam barrier
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One thing we noticed last night and this might be deliberate but the logistics menu now has cold war supply's but doesn't have Milan rockets.


Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:55 pm     Super secret spam barrier
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Second time on the map today and it was a really good session.  Having established a FOB we remained under constant attack by small groups as well as lorger ones from different directions.  We were consitently hit and suppressed by a single but accurate mortar which we could not find and when we eventually after over an hour sent a fireteam to locate it, they got creamed and had to fall back.  Used lots of meds and bandages amd was KIA at least theree times.  Ai pretty good at close range shooting prone from defilade and the only target you have is the helmet and a bit of the face.  For once no CAS and the main reinforcement mode was TP, which given the size of the map was needed.  We had only one chopper supply run  throughout and still managed to survive.  We had acouple of long vehicle runs which were in themselves an adventure with broken vehicles dsync etc.  Impressed with the Op overall.  Really enjoyed it.

Cheers

Ney88


Posted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:11 pm     Super secret spam barrier
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Sergeant
Sergeant
Other duties:
Operations Design Team
Modder
Main-Op Coordinator
Operations Coordinator
Public Mission Admin

Posts: 716
Location: Stamford, Lincs
Ribbons:
Service Medal (1) Donator (1) Frag of the match (1)
Zeus Operations (1) Mission Designer (2) Operation Medal (2)
Thanks for the feedback guys. It really does help. I'm midway through rewriting the code behind the task system to make it a bit more robust. However I'm pleased you guys have been able to have some fun in the meanwhile. Really pleased you experimented with the FOB kit. It's worth mentioning that if you use the crate in that fashion if you have a subsequent task to make a FOB then you will be a bit screwed. ;)


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