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Author Topic: [SP] Operation Stone Bell [Review Complete]  (Read 1413 times)

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Offline RangerX3X

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[SP] Operation Stone Bell [Review Complete]
« on: 14 Feb 2010, 09:10:56 »
Author: RangerX3X

Date: 02/16/2010

Version: 1.2 Final

Required Addons: None

Mission Description: American forces have advanced up the coast and taken the town of Berezino and appear to be holding for the evening. Russian and Resistance forces are poised to strike back and remove the Americans from Berezino before they have an opportunity to entrench their position.

Features: The player is part of a two platoon assault: One Resistance platoon and one Russian platoon, each supported by a platoon of armor (T72's & T90's) and organic mortar units. All three sides have their own mortar units which will engage known targets within the operations area (thanks to Mr. Murray for his arty script for Arma 1 which I modified to accomplish this).

Known Bugs: None at this time. As this is a beta, you most likely will play the mission differently than I and discover something amiss. Please report!

ChangeLog:

Version 1.0
Working intro
Working outro (placeholder only will be more fully developed once mission is fleshed out)
Working briefing

Version 1.1
Added task complete to end trigger
Modified the intro to show Russian presence (fadesound bug in Arma 2 not yet resolved)
Completely rewrote briefing using the A2B Editor
Added intel pic
Modified retreat waypoints to "careless"
Reduced retreat and seized triggers from 1000M to 500M
Enlarged player occupy trigger from 100M to 500M
Removed eject scrript from mission folder as it was not used in the mission
Changed the weather to poor/rain conditions to help the AI along
Added AH1Z support tied to condition WSQD1
Added two AA soldiers to each platoon replacing two snipers to deal with A10 threat

Version 1.2
Added initIntro.sqf to reduce chances of AI speaking to each other in the intro (thanks h- @ ofpec.com)
Adjust intro time stamp to 17:30 to logically coincide with the intelligence pic taken at 18:05 and the mission starting point of 18:35
Added initOutro.sqf
Completed simple outro sequence

Unless a major bug is found this will be the final update for this mission. Hopefully BI will fix the "automatic danger" that is paralyzing the AI in this game and at some point in the future this mission will be more immersive as a result. It is difficult to script around bad AI.


Edit: This mission has been reviewed and is available from the Missions Depot.
« Last Edit: 09 Oct 2010, 22:43:25 by Walter_E_Kurtz »
Ranger, out.

Offline Bahger

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Re: [SP]Operation Stone Bell
« Reply #1 on: 15 Feb 2010, 09:27:55 »
This is really impressive, graduate-level ArmA 2 mission design.  Great cinematics, great atmospherics, superb implementation of mortars and indirect fire.  You really feel part of a larger operation, which, with the Russian dialogue, feels like a mini-Stalingrad.

I played it through twice, resulting in high-scoring victories after some fierce encounters.  I have always found the "follow" task in ArmA to be a mixed blessing.  On the one hand, it's great not to have command responsibility, but on the other you have no initiative, you're a bit of a spectator and on both play-throughs I found myself twiddling my thumbs as the AI figured it out amongst themselves.  It's a tradeoff between the tedium of micromanaging a squad (and accepting the deficiencies of the AI under your command) and submitting to often inconsistent "follow" orders that allow you to enjoy the great atmospherics but do not give the player the ability to make tactical choices.

There are a couple of elementary grammatical errors in the brief:

"Your mission is to attack Berezino and eliminated (corr.: "eliminate") the enemy forces or cause them to retreat from the area."

"Supporting this assault is a platoon of NAPA guerillas attacking from the northwest who (corr.: "which") are (corr.: "is") also supported by an armored tank platoon (T-72's)."

In spite of my misgivings about "follow" as opposed to "lead" missions, I recommend this mission to anyone interested in the art of ArmA 2 scenario design.

Offline Zipper5

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Re: [SP]Operation Stone Bell
« Reply #2 on: 15 Feb 2010, 11:51:56 »
Operation Stone Bell
By RangerX3X
v1.0

Played with:
  • ArmA II v1.05.63826
  • Regular difficulty modified to Veteran settings (allows more than one save game)

Package:
Interestingly enough you included the uncompressed format of your mission. Was that a mistake or is it so that people can load it in the editor and look at it for themselves? You may however want to move the readme for the mission out of said uncompressed folder and into the main archive, as I went looking for it after reading the briefing.

Overview:
Fine apart from the fact that there's an unneeded space between the text. The picture seems to be a little stretched making the Marines look a bit too tall and skinny, but that's minor and hard to notice.

Intro:
A standard affair showing American and NAPA forces. I don't recall seeing Russian ones, however, which is quite odd considering the mission actually has you playing as Russians. If it did show them, which could have been the one shot that tracked the tanks (didn't note the camo scheme), then my mistake. You may want to look in to stopping the soldiers from talking to themselves via the following command:
Code: [Select]
this setVariable ["BIS_noCoreConversations", true];
Briefing:
Upon getting to the briefing screen I run into the first error:
Code: [Select]
'...RESISTANCE:
{
};
case CIVILIAN:
{
};
};
|#|tal efficiency pushed onward to capture ...'
Error Undefined variable in expression: tal
File missions\_cur_sp.chernarus\briefing.sqf, line 29
It eventually goes away, however, and I am able to read the briefing. Might I suggest that you make sure in future that you have -showScriptErrors in your ArmA II shortcut so that you can see these errors? Nonetheless, the information in the briefing was solid and gave me what I needed to know.

Mission:
The first radio message has a typo. As it is written now, it should read "All units you are clear to advance and engage the enemy, over." So, I followed my leader as we moved closer to the gunfire and explosions. Eventually, I realized that it was only me and my leader in the same area, the squad was further behind us. So, I took cover and waited. Naturally, my leader got himself shot by a sniper. I couldn't see them, but the AI could, so I was waiting to see if they would take him. They didn't, and were getting mowed down quickly. So, I rushed forward, saw him on the top of a supermarket and took him down.

Now I was closer to the enemy, and rushing across that open field again would definitely get me killed. My squad mates were still far behind me moving at an incredibly slow pace. I decided I would slowly but carefully start clearing out the town myself. Eventually, I got presented with another error, that would alternate between the following:
Code: [Select]
'WEST CountSide |#|Units WSQD2 <5'
Error units: Type Bool, expected Object,Group
Code: [Select]
'WEST CountSide |#|Units WSQD3 <5'
Error units: Type Bool, expected Object,Group
And they did not go away for the rest of the mission.

My squadmates were dropping constantly like flies. Eventually, I got the message over the radio saying that we, Alpha, were taking heavy casualties and wanted Bravo to move out. I noticed above my head an A10 that was engaging units far away from where we were, and smoke was starting to rise in that direction. I had no idea how we were supposed to deal with an A10. I pressed through the town, taking down Marines left and right, and destroying 1 M1A2 TUSK tank. It eventually just became me and "7", and I was leading him.

I decided that since the fighting had died down I should check the direction that the A10 was firing. When I did, I came across a Marine squad near a farmhouse on the outskirts of the town. Upon killing them "Mission Accomplished" appeared on my screen and the mission ended.

Debriefing:
Nothing to change. I'll admit it was funny seeing that almost all of my squad were "Casualties".

Outro:
Under construction according to what I saw.

Overall:
A decent onslaught-esque mission that gives the player an extremely target-rich environment. There were some tense moments, especially with my encounter with the M1A2 TUSK, but it wasn't overly difficult. It has a few errors which I've mentioned, and the AI got very stupid and annoying at times (don't worry, I know what it's like since the v1.05 patch, believe me), but overall it was enjoyable. Looking forward to further updates for this mission, as well as other work from you.

Offline RangerX3X

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Re: [SP]Operation Stone Bell
« Reply #3 on: 15 Feb 2010, 22:35:42 »
Thank you for the review Zipper.

You bring up many valid points that I will work on. I knew there was an issue with the briefing containing a fragment of another briefing (for another mission I am working on) but discovered after I posted the beta mission. This never came up as an issue in the game as you describe above though; I discovered when actually looking at the briefing file when considering adding more information.

I also cannot replicate the errors that you received with the switch triggers for WSQD2 & WSQD3. I added the - showScriptErrors to my shortcut and ran the mission several times, and I was unable to also replicate the soldiers talking to themselves in the intro.

I suspect this is because we are running different versions of the game. I am running 1.05.62017, and as you posted above you are running 1.05.63826, which from what I understand is a public beta patch. This is the only thing I can determine would show you these messages and not me or other reviewers.

Again, thank you for your many suggestions and I will take them into consideration as I further flesh this mission out.
Ranger, out.

Offline Zipper5

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Re: [SP]Operation Stone Bell
« Reply #4 on: 16 Feb 2010, 07:31:23 »
No, there hasn't been enough changed in the beta patches to cause those errors to only pop up when using it. I think it just happened to screw up on the playthrough I had. It's also random that the soldiers will end up talking to each other. You should see it if you watch the same scene enough, it will randomly happen. I'd still recommend using that command anyways, as I find it a rather useless and annoying feature the game has, heh.

Offline RangerX3X

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Re: [SP]Operation Stone Bell
« Reply #5 on: 17 Feb 2010, 00:17:00 »
Hey Zipper, I tried what you suggested with

Code: [Select]
this setVariable ["BIS_noCoreConversations", true];
I placed it in an empty unit in the intro and it didn't stop conversation that was coming up when I added a scene showing Russian infantry loading into trucks at the end of the intro.

Then I tried the following in my intro.sqs file (where it currently resides)

Code: [Select]
; Shut the idiot AI up
_setVariable ["BIS_noCoreConversations", true]

Which is the correct way to implement this?
« Last Edit: 17 Feb 2010, 03:11:38 by RangerX3X »
Ranger, out.

Offline h-

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Re: [SP]Operation Stone Bell
« Reply #6 on: 17 Feb 2010, 08:45:44 »
It's unit setVariable ["BIS_noCoreConversations", true].
For multiple units either name them and add that separately or use allUnits and forEach.

You have to create a file called initintro.sqf (or .sqs) and put it in there, that's the only way it works and even then it may "bug" out. Take a look at this thread about this exact problem, it seems it's bugging out a bit in intro setting.. :dunno:
Project MCAR   ---   FWW2 - Finland At War 1939-1945
INFORMATIVE THREAD TITLES PLEASE. "PLEASE HELP" IS NOT ONE..
Chuck Norris can divide by zero.

Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP]Operation Stone Bell
« Reply #7 on: 19 Feb 2010, 19:40:04 »
Hey Ranger,

I have just played your mission and I think I cannot improve on Zipper5's beta report by just writing the same stuff. I noted the same target rich environment, but I was unable to destroy the M1 tank myself. So I hid behind a house and waited for artillery or own tanks (I was not able to tell from my hiding spot) to kill it. I was with 2 other guys left when upon entering the main streets of Berezino, the mission was accomplished.
Fairly nice and classic assault mission.

Offline RangerX3X

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Re: [SP]Operation Stone Bell [Please Review]
« Reply #8 on: 21 Feb 2010, 06:54:50 »
Thanks for the review mathias. I have the mission set up so that it is not necessary to kill everything in order to win...at a certain point the American forces are set to flee in retreat.

Final updates made to version 1.2...please review  :D
Ranger, out.

Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP] Operation Stone Bell [Please Review]
« Reply #9 on: 10 May 2010, 21:38:16 »
I will review this one.

Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP] Operation Stone Bell [Review Complete]
« Reply #10 on: 21 May 2010, 20:59:05 »
The mission has been reviewed. You can access the review here:
http://www.ofpec.com/missions_depot/index.php?action=details&id=254.

Feel free to share your opinions on the mission.