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Thread: The Fighting TTLGers present: Arma 3 (a TTLG Coop Saturdays spin-off)

  1. #276
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Tonight was a mixed bag, but it was still great to spend some time shooting, being shot at and having the game be all buggy'n'shit with henke, Jeshibu, Malf, Demagogue and Al_B.

    The Gods of Dynamic Generation weren't on our side today, when first we played Combat Den: Sahrani, which promptly generated an ambush for us. Our vehicles were shot to bits (though the machine guns still worked - more on that later) and then we came under mortar fire, so we headed towards the north, where the mortars seemed to be. About two hundred metres further, we were suddenly greeted by the sight of enemy units popping into existence right in front of our eyes... Thanks to generous respawns, we managed to get through two such waves of respawns, at which point Jesh took us back to the starting point, thinking that perhaps that's what the mission makers wanted us to do: hole up, defend ourselves and wait for rescue. (How fitting...) This meant that we no longer caught the enemy in the act of spawning, but they nonetheless pinned us down and whittled down our 16 respawns for the mission... In the end, only Dema was left, cowering in the grass and taking potshots at the enemy, until HQ gave him an exfiltration point... about one kilometre away. We the dead took pity on his poor legs and ended the mission before he ran those 1000+ metres. Huzzah!

    Mission 2 was another dynamically generated one, Dynamic Recon Ops (Takistan). We've had a couple of very good games using DRO, but today it began by spawning the helicopter right in the middle of a tent, where it began to burn (because of the mesh colliding with the tent) and then blew up. Since the targets were all several kilometres away, I had DRO serve us up another mission. We won that one, but not for lack of trying, let me tell you! The whole thing turned into something of a Benny Hill routine, with Malf driving a jeep with me in the gunner's position around an enemy encampment (and, incidentally, the one civvie that we were supposed to get some intel from) at high speed, while the others took out enough enemies until Jesh got the High-Value Target that was our main objective. Malf and I then got back into the (by this time three-wheeled) Humvee, while the others hopped into the shot-up but still functioning helicopter, and we got the hell out of dodge.

    We finally ended on Jump in the Fire (Altis), which had us do an early-morning parachute drop near a town where two friendly teams were pinned down. This was the mission that worked best, all in all, and gave us the least of an Arma headache. Henke led us into town, Jesh took out an MRAP, and we slowly made our way towards the friendlies. Dema and myself, we died on the way (I was in the process of being revived by henke when I bled out), but the others saved our allies and took out most of the remaining enemies, including a second MRAP. And then the long, drawn-out guerilla war began, as the surviving team went looking for remaining enemy units, of which there were a handful. Dema and I watched as henke went after an enemy medic, almost taking him down but finally getting shot and incapacitated - and then the medic went up to henke and riddled him with bullets. I've often seen Arma AI be weird, sometimes even smart, but never this cold. The mission continued for about ten minutes, probably because the heli exfil script was broken, but then we finally called it. Henke remained unavenged, since the medic in question just ran away. I hope he feels really bad about himself and what he's done.

    I expect to run another session in two weeks. Will confirm very soon. (It's not like I'm going anywhere...)

  2. #277
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    For what it's worth, the guy who makes the Combat Den missions is on it, so for another time we shouldn't get enemy troops transporting in from the USS Fuck Your Shit Up in front of your eyes:

    https://github.com/dpottavio/CombatDen/issues/74

  3. #278
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Okay, before I announce the next Arma date, I wanted to briefly say something about the frustrations we've had with the game. We had a very good one or two sessions with dynamically generated missions recently, but I let that fool me too much into thinking that they're the best way to go for our sessions - and the result was that the last two sessions were partly, if not largely, frustrating, because the missions generated for us weren't much fun for one reason or another. I don't want people to put aside the time to join the Arma games and then come away thinking that they've wasted their time.

    At the same time, we did have some great sessions with Dynamic Recon Ops and TRGM2 recently, so I don't want to drop them completely.

    So what I propose is this: I'll play around a bit more with these missions to see what works well and what doesn't. But I'll also make sure that we always have a list of non-dynamic missions that we can play that shouldn't have the same frustrations (though, this being Arma, they may have different frustrations on offer). Next time we're four, five or six people, we can return to the Sigma Quadrant series of missions that we've usually enjoyed a lot.

    Even when the game is being stroppy, I still very much enjoy hanging out on Altis, Stratis, Takistan, Chernarus etc. with you guys, and when a mission clicks, it's great. I'll see what I can do to increase the chances of us having a good time while getting shot to bits. And any feedback from the gang on how I could do this is much appreciated. Cheers!

    So, without further ado, here's the announcement for the next session:

    Date: Sat, 4 April 2020
    Time: 3-6pm UK time


    As always, I'll be online a bit before 3pm to set up the server and check who's online.

  4. #279
    Thing What Kicks
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: London
    Saying that though Thirith, I think my most memorable ARMA 3 games have been procedirally generated Sigma Quadrant ones. That always seem to work pretty well, and is very lenient with the respawns.

    I must admit though, more and more recently I've found myself wishing that Konami had just given us a co-op version of the normal MGS5 missions, as I think that game does a lot of what I enjoy in ARMA 3, but with more polish.
    I know, sounds weird, but they both tick a lot of the same boxes for me.

  5. #280
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    The Sigma Quadrant missions aren't dynamically generated, though. They pretty much just plonk down units and send you there to kill them, which is why by and large they work better than other missions that are more ambitious with scripts and patrol paths etc., but where the risk that they were broken by one of the game's updates is considerable. That's really the main challenge here: finding missions that (still) work. I've also greatly enjoyed the Sigma Quadrant missions, but I think they suffer from two things: 1) the setups are really pretty static, i.e. you're going to run into enemy posts or camps that are exactly where they've always been and where they'll always be, and after a while you know how the guy who did the missions places his enemies, and 2) Too. Many. Damn. MRAPs. I definitely want to get back to them, though.

  6. #281
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Today we managed to win a couple of missions. There were some problems, especially with connectivity, but other than that we spent more time fighting enemy units than Arma itself.

    First up: TRGM2 (Takistan), generated on the basis of a couple of variables. Henke led us on a mission to a village to the far north of Takistan to take out two ammo trucks. A transport helicopter took us (henke, Malf, Jeshibu and myself) to a nearby hill from which we just about saw the village. Except there was a machine gun nest, and they definitely saw us and started shooting us to bits. In the meantime, dema had joined the server and was heading our way with an attack chopper he'd grabbed at base, but since there was an AA gun in the village, they took him down in a heroic blaze of death and burning kerosene. By that time, though, we'd managed to take out the machine gun nest and were now attacking a roadblock near the two ammo trucks that were our target. After a longish fight, though, and after getting a missile launcher off a dead soldier because the Javelin Malf had didn't really work, we managed to complete the objective. At that point, the enemy sent a helicopter with reinforcements our way, but we took those out and flew the badly damaged enemy chopper back to base. Henke's connection went on the fritz during that phase of the mission, but he managed to log back in again just in time for us to end the mission. Yay, victory!

    Mission two was Dynamic Recon Ops (Malden), which didn't really want to play ball. For some reason, only the first two units were put in the transport chopper while everyone else stayed back at base, so in the end we started in the base, spawned a helicopter and henke flew us there. Not the AI units, though, since they decided they weren't going to follow orders. Our mission was to clear a mine field, and since I was the guy with the mine detector I went and looked for the explosive party favours while the rest of the gang cleared out that part of the city. At some point while focusing on the area where the mines were supposed to be I was taken out by an armed villager in a red t-shirt - but then the AI that had stayed back at base miraculously appeared, killed the guy and revived me. Had they walked all the way from base? We'll never know, but after I finished taking out the mines we called in the escape chopper, everyone hopped in - well, everyone who wasn't controlled by the AI - and we flew back to base. Okay, we lost henke in mid-mission, since his computer crashed, but he was with us in spirit. (His body, mind you, is still stuck in enemy-occupied La Trinité...)

    We finished with a quick one: Firefight Alikampos (Altis), a good, old-fashioned "Clear the area" mission. There were some moments that were less than glorious, especially one of the AI riflemen grenading himself (I just looked up to see him get blown up by his own grenade with a blank expression on his face), and I kept going on about how there's always an MRAP or two, which Jesh would have had to take out with his trusty AT launcher - but in the end it turned out that there were no MRAPs, just a couple of oddly-placed enemy infantry units, and after we'd killed the last one that was the third victorious mission in a row.

    Anyway, thanks to henke, Jeshibu, Malf and demagogue for an enjoyable game. I'll run another session in two weeks:

    Date: Sat, 18 April 2020
    Time: 3-6pm UK time


    As always, I'll be online a bit before 3pm to set up the server and check who's online.

  7. #282
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: Netherlands
    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    At that point, the enemy sent a helicopter with reinforcements our way, but we took those out and flew the badly damaged enemy chopper back to base. Henke's connection went on the fritz during that phase of the mission, but he managed to log back in again just in time for us to end the mission. Yay, victory!
    Don't forget Henke getting a helicopter blade haircut by assuming control of an NPC in the copilot seat, which made him stand up straight.


    Quote Originally Posted by Thirith View Post
    We finished with a quick one: Firefight Alikampos (Altis), a good, old-fashioned "Clear the area" mission. There were some moments that were less than glorious, especially one of the AI riflemen grenading himself (I just looked up to see him get blown up by his own grenade with a blank expression on his face), and I kept going on about how there's always an MRAP or two, which Jesh would have had to take out with his trusty AT launcher - but in the end it turned out that there were no MRAPs, just a couple of oddly-placed enemy infantry units, and after we'd killed the last one that was the third victorious mission in a row.
    I actually managed to capture this glorious moment that shows us why we need not worry about AI taking over just yet:


    Fun session, thanks again for hosting these Thirith!

  8. #283
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Heh. That's roughly how I throw grenades at the best of times. :-p

    Next time, perhaps we can do a quick test of those Dynamic Recon Ops and whether the problems with AI and with half the team not being on the chopper are always there. I've deactivated a server-side AI mod that might have had something to do with it, and I'll try to test it myself too, but some things might only pop up with more than one real player. I did a quick check yesterday with myself and a squad of AI, and they all were on the transport chopper as they're supposed to be.

  9. #284
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    On a different note: I know now why Malf's Javelin thrower was useless. These things work with heat signatures only, and then they work pretty well, provided you've got a good vantage point from which to lock on and fire. (Being at roughly the same height and having trees and stuff between yourself and the target makes it very difficult to lock on.) The ammo trucks we were after weren't active, i.e. no heat signature. I'll try to keep that in mind for another time, so we can grab some other launchers that are less picky or that at least have a free-aim mode in addition.

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