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Author Topic: [SP] Operation Aqua Lion v 1.2 (REVIEW COMPLETE)  (Read 3638 times)

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Offline mathias_eichinger

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[SP] Operation Aqua Lion v 1.2 (REVIEW COMPLETE)
« on: 13 Dec 2011, 18:59:58 »
Author: Mathias_Eichinger
Version: v 1.2
Required Addons: None
Mission Description: This mission is about a small Force Recon team with a huge task on it's shoulders. Bogged down in World War 3, NATO needs a second front on the south coast of Ukraine. And someone has to pave the way for that.

Features:
Hack into the Russian computer network
Custom healing script for the player available for very bleak situations
Guide in Harriers or do it the sneaky way

Known Bugs:
Potentially damaged archive. Please unzip and report.
Unable to add backpacks to the players or use them if provided in the weapons selection - please clarify if it's because I am using stock ArmA2 (pre-OA) Force Recon units
After finishing, the mission is not ticked off in the ArmA2 SP missions menu - need information how to do this
 
Credits:
BIS for a great game
Norrin for his AI respawn script
Beta testing and editing advice:
-froggyluv
-Inlesco
-savedbygrace
-Denz
-Undeceived
-SaOk
-Wiki

ChangeLog:
v.1.2
-Missing markers added
-Ammo boxes for satchels added
-Various bugfixes
-Optional addon (not inherited in mission.sqm) for backpacks selectable in briefing: GLT OPA Backpacks for All
http://www.armaholic.com/page.php?id=11496

v1.1
-AI respawn hint removed
-Tried another method of getting rid of the AI patrol markers in-game (works for me)

Final
-Got rid of black markers in the briefing
-Hacking device operation is explained in the briefing in greater detail.


Beta 4
Shortened Outro text
-Improved Intro
-Revised Briefing (hope it is clear now)
-All actions associated with typing into a hacking device are attached to the device now and only work in close proximity
-Marker provided for the hacking device in order to spot it easier once deployed
-AI patrol scripts changed: Now uses Norrin's AI respawn patrol script based on Kronzky's UPS
 (appears to be easier to bypass once you keep your approach stealthy)
-Guards are alerted if AA system is down


Beta 3:
-Fixed typos
-Bases and villages have a few guards
-Some patrols changed to vehicle patrols
-Hacking only possible close to the long range communications installation
-Said comminications installation has to be found first
-Harriers should not run out of fuel anymore
-Readme included in zip

Beta2:
-Added a few groups with "guarded by" triggers and an additional group using the script "cB Random TaskDefend" by Wolffy.au. To me, these units act like a tripwire and now all hell breaks loose pretty soon.
-Made my zip file with 7z file manager, hopefully it works now.
Please report bugs and have fun!

EDIT: I got rid of the black markers mentioned by SaOK, but I cannot replicate the error messages he is mentioning. However, they seem to occurr in the AI patrol scripts, which I do not want to mess with and break. If nothing ugly comes up, I just need a last beta test to confirm review readiness.
      
« Last Edit: 22 Mar 2013, 03:14:49 by savedbygrace »

Offline froggyluv

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Re: [SP] Operation Aqua Lion
« Reply #1 on: 13 Dec 2011, 22:53:19 »
 Hi, I tried downloading twice and both times I get the damaged/unknown archive message.

 Edit: Yes its still doing it for me  :blink: I just downloaded another mission and had no problems extracting (WinRar Zip) so Im not sure. If it's working for others then somehow it must be on my end.
« Last Edit: 13 Dec 2011, 23:17:11 by froggyluv »

Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP] Operation Aqua Lion
« Reply #2 on: 13 Dec 2011, 23:13:34 »
Strange, I tried to download and unpack it, and had no problem. I re-zipped my mission file and uploaded it again, please report if the problem persists.

Offline Inlesco

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Re: [SP] Operation Aqua Lion
« Reply #3 on: 14 Dec 2011, 18:34:54 »
Spontanously decided to give this a try for at least 20 mins and here are my notes:

Intro: Don't know if it's just my personal taste but I really do not see static camera angles to make the mission itself to look more quality, I love when they're moving, at least very slowly. Also, it would be much nicer to see instant angle changes while the text is shown at the bottom. In addition, you could think about improving firefights scenes, demonstration of some important figures involved in whole conflict. I must say I was expecting to hear custom music before watching intro, too bad I didn't.

Briefing: Everything looks fine and clear. It likely contains all the needed info to get proper pictures of what's ahead.

Mission: I liked an idea to drop SF squad into water and let them to choose the most comfortable route. However, I was surprised not to see any enemy infantry around, I'd have liked to see them sitting near a campfire or overlooking the place for suspiciously moving objects in the distance. Such shortage of additional objects kills immersion to me personally and you become not so "deeply-rooted" as you were before noticing those major flaws. Yes, it's mainly a question of design but there wasn't any mote of it. Probably just because I was playing a BETA release & expecting too much.

I was lurking around the area of Utes and revealing Tunguska's positions, then made a decision to blow up some stuff to begin the fun and see how whole airfield reacts to a single squad's invasion. Well, after a couple of explosions the worst happened - no alarm, no enemy units moving around and looking for inglorious bastards.

At that point I switched it off and relied on my patience to wait for a more detailed version.

Conclusion: It has potential to become an interesting and quite addicting mission for stealth lovers but, as everyone of us has said at least once in the past, more polishing is needed and of course recommended.

Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP] Operation Aqua Lion Beta 2
« Reply #4 on: 14 Dec 2011, 20:35:36 »
In reaction to Inlesco's spontaneous feedback, I immediately provide Beta 2. What I did was to add a few triggers guarded by OPFOR and an additional spawned patrol squad. Now this mission is almost too hard for myself, let's see what the general public thinks.  :D
The rather lame intro stays this way since this is my achilles heel and I hate camscripting.  :whistle:
Anyway, check the first post for the new download.

Offline froggyluv

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Re: [SP] Operation Aqua Lion Beta 2
« Reply #5 on: 15 Dec 2011, 00:01:54 »

 Sorry I can't give her a whirl -retried (4th copy now) and even tried repair feature but it crashes my game now  ???

Offline savedbygrace

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Re: [SP] Operation Aqua Lion Beta 2
« Reply #6 on: 15 Dec 2011, 06:46:34 »
Played with version 1.60 RC on regular
Overview
Image is cool but the last line of text is cut off at the bottom somewhat.

Intro
As always, sound makes things much better. But as it is, it does a good job of telling the story. The only fault I could see was that the text was going to fast and I had missed bits and pieces of it.

Briefing
A few spelling errors here and there(It's too late to specify right now).

Mission
I have a fondness for lone wolf style missions. Especially if the immersion sucks you right in.

Though the raft beneath an osprey would probably kill someone in reality(especially being only a meter away from those props), it was slightly comical and a creative way to do something different. I half expected to hit the water and be thrown from the raft as it plowed into the waves but was surprised to skip across the water without missing a beat.

I attempted to land among the rocks to preserve the immersion that was going but the darn AI either got stuck on the beach or went for a swim with the danger of losing gear.(Restart) I beached the raft on a flat portion of the shore, tucked my guys into an alcove using team switch and began the long interesting recon of Utes.

The patrols were nice and random. Just when I thought I had them figured out, a group would double back on me, walk 30 meters and double back again. It made for a slow and cautious infiltration. I had to restart or reload several times as patrols would walk up on me while I was focused on observing the landscape. The patrols certainly did not lack around the important areas. The shores were left to the wildlife and US operators but I didn't discover this until after I made my way stealthily across the midsection of the island, marking targets for destruction. I checked all towns, docks, bases, lighthouse's and dirt roads for hardware and finally made my way to an over watch position and setup the hacker thingy. I set it up accidentally while I was evading patrols and had to remove it. After that, it doubled the addaction. You'll want to look into that.

Had I known that it was just add actions, I would have activated it anywhere. Maybe you should setposition the satellite phone in front of the player and attach the addaction for "Begin Hacking" and all other following actions to it? You could also make it to where the player must be within a certain range of the long range comms platform in order for the hack to work. So a task would be to locate the Long range platform and set up the hack thingy.

In any case, most of the work was done for me once the hack gained access and when I attempted to call in the airstrike, nothing happened. I lazed a jet, then activated the radio and waited for about 5 minutes. I ended up using the lost key to order a precision strike on the area.

I then tagged the radar with a satchel and engaged a patrol on the way to the comms platform. Set a satchel on it and pressed on to the exfil.

Outro

Short and sweet.

Overall
Your patrols kept me on my toes but they did not react to the destruction of hardware. Many stayed there course, walking right beside a blown ZSU without a care in the world. A switch trigger setting them to combat and having them move from one AA position to the other would work fine.

A MI8 was hovering off the northeastern coast throughout the duration of the mission.

Some of the other smaller towns could use a small squad with a vehicle, standing guard against the ghost.

Other than the airstrike not working, this was a solid mission. Not to difficult and not too easy.
« Last Edit: 15 Dec 2011, 06:48:48 by savedbygrace »

Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP] Operation Aqua Lion Beta 2
« Reply #7 on: 16 Dec 2011, 18:10:52 »
@froggyluv: I installed WinRAR myself and added a RAR'ed version just for you. Please try.  :)

@SBG: Thank you for your extensive test and helpful comments.
A few things I have to say:

Didn't you notice the Hacker thingy in the briefing or during the flight? I added a line of TitleText to remind the player. How should I make it more obvious?

The satphone is already positioned at the player... it should be a few meters around you.

Since you ordered the airstrike pretty late in the mission, I guess the Harrier's fuel just ran out. Thank you for pointing that out, I will need to do something against that as well.

The hovering helos are a Russian reinforcements team that will land at the airbase if you do not manage to take down the radar and communications site within 30 minutes of destroying the aircraft (as per radio message).

Offline Denz

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Re: [SP] Operation Aqua Lion Beta 2
« Reply #8 on: 16 Dec 2011, 20:55:58 »
Oh I didn't notice that you had updated the mission, this test is for the first version you uploaded.
No problems with the zip encountered.

Tested on CO v1.60; Veteran Difficulty with LostKey loaded (halfway through because I was feeling' lazy)

No readme in the folder

Intro
Very topical scenario.
Typo:
"announced planned" > plan

Briefing
The Execution segment is a little repetitive but otherwise it's a pretty comprehensive briefing.
"force Then" > missing full stop or period
Good selection of weapons only missing Thermal Scopes. I took a DMR and outfitted my guys with silenced and/or scoped weapons plus a Javelin for the team.

Mission
From Insertion I headed North then NE around the unnoccupied base where the first Tunguska was located (017;038). From this high ground I completed the recon of the fighter force. I then opted to move around to the West and cut round the airstrip.
Upon reaching the Radar Site I deployed the SIGINT Device. After moving closer to the airbase I left my team on overwatch while I crept down to plan charges on the enemy planes. I realised that I was gonna need quite a few satchel charges so I chose to cheat and restarted the guy with Lost Key loaded.
Using the Uber Weapons cheat I was able to crawl across the whole line of planes planting charges as I went.
Upon rejoining my team I noticed a Tunguska was located quite close to me so for good measure I put a satchel charge by it as well. Regrouped and blew the charges (got a script error - invalid number in expression - whether this was the extra charge because of the tunguska I don't know), where I then got the message to destroy the radar and the comms site, so instead of backtracking I reloaded the save where I was near the radar and used the opportunity to plant charges on the radar site and blew the whole lot in one go.
Making my way towards the comms site was when the enemy patrols started getting a little thick on the ground. Deployed my team so that they could watch my back while I rigged the comms site for demolition, retreated to a safe distance, blew them then had to go back and plant a couple more to finish the job.
Ended up cutting back towards the radar site on my way to the extraction so I could have blown that site in sequence. Had numerous encounters with OPFOR which basically turned into a running gun battle all the way to the first tunguska site. I could hear a helicopter but it didn't come anywhere near me. Although I had a hard enough time cutting back around to where I had left the rubber boat contact tapered off once I was near the coast.
Had to hunt around for where I had left the CRRC but loaded everyone in and had my No.2 drive(?) us to the extraction point. Job done!

Suggestions:
# The bases could do with some kind of garrison especially on the gates. Even the airbase had no one guarding the gates which didn't seem right.
# Personally, I think the SIGINT Device should be implanted at a specific site like the radar site or a computer or even a telephone exchange box (improvised) in say, Strelka rather than being able to be deployed just anywhere.
# The addition of some vehicle based patrols would create more of an inhabited island feel. Also, until I had started blowing up stuff, the enemy were just a few patrols. More life required!
# Might be an idea to add a marker on the place where you left the CRRC.

Summary
I do really enjoy stealth missions and I think this is shaping up to be a great little mission with a little polish. The objectives are realistic apart from being able to use the hacking device just anywhere but the recon aspect is a nice addition and well handled.
I liked the ability to detonate the tunguska missiles - saved me a job :P
Didn't use the airstrike option though.
« Last Edit: 16 Dec 2011, 21:00:56 by Denz »
I've got 'em right where I want 'em - surrounded from the inside!
Jerry "Mad Dog" Shriver, SOG Recon One-Zero
24/09/41 - 24/04/69

Offline savedbygrace

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Re: [SP] Operation Aqua Lion Beta 2
« Reply #9 on: 16 Dec 2011, 23:44:29 »
Hmm, I crossed the center of that island slowly and spotted many patrols, most of which were on the insertion side of the island. But I noticed that some(if you waited long enough) would actually walk to the outskirts of the island and to other locations where the AA were positioned. So patrols were scattered nicely; anymore and they may tip the balance a bit too much.

I'm not sure what you mean about making it more obvious. The signit was obvious, but what I think was missing was how important it was to set it up before conducting a thorough recon of the island. I'd have to re read the intel before answering correctly but I'll wait for an update. I think Denz and I covered pretty well, what would improve the hack thing. I also did not see the satt case. I didn't look well enough because I honestly did not expect it to be there.

I created a script in one of my missions which sets the laptop in front of the player, facing the proper direction. You could use it for the satt case as well, with a few adjustments. The script is attached below.
« Last Edit: 19 Dec 2011, 23:39:34 by savedbygrace »

Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP] Operation Aqua Lion Beta 3
« Reply #10 on: 19 Dec 2011, 22:07:59 »
Hey, thanks to the very helpful feedback of savedbygrace and Denz, I am able to present Beta 3 to my fellow community members. Please check the first post for the download.

Offline savedbygrace

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Re: [SP] Operation Aqua Lion Beta 3
« Reply #11 on: 30 Dec 2011, 02:48:45 »
Played again on regular 1.60 official.
Overview
After seeing this again, the text has too long of an explanation to summarize the mission I feel. Something simple to explain the area and task would suffice without going into mission specifics in this area maybe?

Briefing
No magazines for the MK12 or M249 SAW.
I feel like the notes should coincide with the tasks much better.

Mission
Please remove that revive feature. It sucks getting grazed by a bullet and being put out of action until AI can get there. Aside from that, you give the player a savegame and morphine shot, which should allow the player to engage the enemy until he can get to cover to take the morphine.

The addaction "Begin hacking" reappeared after activating it once. It disappeared after a while but should still be looked into.

It would be great to change the SAM markers to X's and instead of the player notifying HQ that the AA is out of action (since he can't see them all), have HQ notify the player that the Tunguskas are no longer transmitting signal.You could then add the task for the player to confirm destruction of all AA vehicles before calling in CAS.

I would also not label SAM markers with numbers.(Kind of leaves me thinking...why do they need numbers? Is 1 more important than 5?)

I feel like the mission is currently confusing information.
The tasks read Recon airfield
               Destroy planes
               Exfil
The notes read different under Mission tasks which are Recon, deploy device, destroy AA.
Under Mission execution it reads, recon, report, deploy, destroy AA if possible, destroy planes at all costs.
Support fails to mention NSA hackers on stand by, ready to open the AA network for you and bypass security stops, to allow you access to the self destruct sequences of all AA.

There are no satchels in the crrc.

It's sort of unreal to place the sat case and be able to move away from it and then be able to begin hacking...or initiate self destruct mode, etc. I would attach all but the initial action to the case. The deploy signit action could remain on the player and be replaced with remove after deployed.

I would request the addition of a backpack to store additional satchels, or smaws, or ammo, etc.

After playing with this for several days from different angles, I began to notice that the AI would go exactly where I was. It didn't matter that I had hidden my guys next to the water, on the shore below a steep embankment crested and flanked with rocks. It didn't matter that I had striven to stay in stealth without engaging anything. They seemed to eventually move exactly where I was. That's when I decided to not pursue this further.

You could probably balance the mission more if you reduced the size of those patrols and kept larger groups inside the bases or villas. You also only need one vehicle per patrol, preferably that one with the gunners on top so the player has a chance to take out the gunners.

Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP] Operation Aqua Lion Beta 3
« Reply #12 on: 30 Dec 2011, 22:35:00 »
Hey SBG, thank you for your extensive feedback, looks like that there is more left to do than I thought.

One question: What exactly do you mean with "revive feature"? I only use the standard BIS first aid system, whereby any injured squadmembers get a red star and then one to patch you up (any member possible, not just the medic) gets a blue star before coming to you and heal you. Part of that is a "rolling on the ground in pain" simulation. Should this part be eliminated?

From your comments I should look for a different enemy patrol script where I have control over group size and composition. Any pointers?

Thanx again


Offline savedbygrace

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Re: [SP] Operation Aqua Lion Beta 3
« Reply #13 on: 31 Dec 2011, 03:13:08 »
Yeah, you already provide the morphine and if you provided unlimited save games, it would eliminate the need for it. I think that feature is primarily for multiplayer when you have human players who can drag you to safety while the others provide covering fire(it helps everyone to weigh the outcome of being put out of commission against acting like rambo.) The implementation of team switch helps balance it some but it still leaves me without certain weapons if I have to switch to another person. It's a personal preference on my part. Ignore it if you wish.

The patrols are okay except that when they are alerted, they begin to move to the player or groups position. I understand if I fire a rocket, anyone within sight of that trail of fire will see where it originated from but when I make strenuous efforts to evade and put some distance between that last know position and my current position in stealth mode, and the AI still home in on my position, it totally ruins the game play balance and makes me want to use the Lost key to smash everything. Grrrr  :D

In any case, you could always use a game logic as the placeholder for the players last know position. So when the player is detected, that game logic is placed in his position and updated every 5 or 10 seconds using the knows about command. This way, all responders go to the game logic and if the player is able to successfully evade, he is able to pick the responders apart with flanking and ambush tactics.

Or simply reduce the numbers and make it only one patrol vehicle. The second seems to hang up and slow the first down. But then you risk having an empty island when all units rush to the player.

Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP] Operation Aqua Lion Beta 3
« Reply #14 on: 09 Jan 2012, 12:16:08 »
Hi mathias, I tested your mission and here is some feedback:



OVERVIEW:

- All looks right and nice

- After finishing it, the mission wasn't checked (abgehakt):





INTRO:

- The subtitles were too fast for me to read. Maybe you should set them to stay a bit longer.

- The intro stopped very apruptly. Fading out the music and blacking out the screen would help a lot. I saw that you did that in the outro.

- At that camera angle that shows a tank from above: The tank first didn't move for approximately 4 seconds which made me ask myself what would happen now. You should improve this part a bit more (maybe tell the tank group to move already before you change the camera perspective on them).



MISSION:

- Good assortment of weapons in the briefing. Since I knew that this would be a recon mission at night, I switched all of the soldiers to silenced rifles - only Nr. 5 became the DMR. I don't know if it's only me that prefers to go silenced in such missions or if many players would go this way. You could think about giving more of them silenced rifles so that the players don't need to change it by themselfes (in case the majority of the players likes to go silenced - no idea).

- In the radio menu there is the possibility to save the game (0-0-0). But I think it would be good for the player to know, how many saves are left. I thought that I had unlimited saves and used this in the beginning phase of the mission. Something like Save game (1 left) would make it clear.

- The hacking part was a cool thing to use, even though destroying all AA tanks with it made it all pretty easy. I have no idea though how you could improve this part - maybe with a problem with the connection so that not all Tunguskas could be destroyed... No idea. :)

- Certainly I made use of the self destruction of the AA tanks. :D But there I noticed that you waited until all of them were destroyed and only then removed the action "Destroy Tunguskas". That means that it was available more than once and I (in the fear that it didn't work) used it three times. Correspondingly the radio messages came three times too. You could remove the action right at the beginning of the destruction script and not wait until them Tunguskas are history.

- One thing that you should improve at all costs is the behaviour of the guards near the targets (Tunguskas, radar, etc.). When I used the "Destroy Tunguskas" action I was near the western end of the airfield and saw a group of infantry standing not far from the vehicle. The AA blew up but the infantry would not switch its behaviour. After playing I opened the mission in the editor and saw that you just have put the group but didn't use anything to change the behaviour, etc. You could set a trigger with the condition (not alive Tunguska) and then change the behaviour of the guards that patrol this area. If you want them to go to a certain location after the explosion (which would be a must, in my opinion), you can add waypoints to them via addwaypoint.

- Other than that you could build in some more reaction when hell brakes lose. For example an alarm sound or maybe a hind which paradrops special forces in the area of the player.

- The friendly Harriers were absolutely useless for me. One of them dropped its bomb way too far from the SUs and the other one only circled around and even when I told him to target the laser target (selecting the plane and pressing 2 (Target)) nothing happened. But I had taken some satchels and blew up the SUs.

- I noticed that the AI shoots further than the view distance (fog), which is very annoying but is not your fault (it's BI's one). My sniper kept shooting enemies that I could not see and consequentially was killed by the enemies, which were shooting back.

- When I blew up the SUs, there came a script error (which I don't know what it means) (link to screenshot)

- And after blowing up the SUs I made something that might not have been your intention for the player: :D Since I was out of satchels but still had to blow up the radar, I just embarked one of the choppers and used it to bring death and fire over the whole island (radar, communications HQ, remaining patrols and Vodniks). :) Of course this is the freedom that BI games give us, but if it's not intended by you, you could lock the choppers.

- After completing all objectives, I continued using the MI-17 to extract. I took the group and flew to the pick up point (link to screenshot :) ). Obviously the outro with the Osprey carrying the boat didn't fit to the way I finished the mission (with the chopper). :) Maybe that's another reason to lock the MI-17s.



OUTRO:

- I really loved the camera angle of the outro with the carrier in the background and the Osprey flying to it and getting smaller and smaller. It just looked cool with my viewdistance set to 4000 meters in my settings. But I had this thought: What if another player just has a viewdistance of 800 meters? I don't know how far the carrier is from the camera's position, but you could set the view distance in the outro script so that the carrier definitely is visible to all players. Not seeing it would just be half as good for this scene.




All in all I enjoyed this mission a lot. It had its frustrating moments (AI shooting further than the fog, Harriers being useless and my own n00bility which often caused my death) but these factors are not your fault. The mission is already pretty advanced in development and if you manage to fill it a bit more with "reaction" of the Russians when things blow up and especially improve the behaviour of guards, it will become a pretty good stealth, recon and destroy mission.
As I said - the hacking part was one of the aspects which I liked very much and also makes the mission particular, and the frame of the mission (intro, outro, overview, loading screen) already are doing their part immersing the the player.