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Author Topic: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)  (Read 480 times)

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Offline Gruntage

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #30 on: 06 Jul 2018, 20:51:32 »
So I haven't given up on this mission quite yet. Loaded my last save where I was about 100m to the rear of the Pulkovo shed. Figured that rather than staying in the open and getting slaughtered I may as well sprint to the shed where at least there's something solid between me and the Russians. Though I did get shot THROUGH the house a couple of times.

This strat actually worked and I was able to secure the town and complete the objective. Annoyingly though I had to drive back to my base to fetch a UAZ I stole earlier. I couldn't leave all of that ordinance there going to waste. I suppose a quality of life change would be to unlock the UAZ and/or truck.

I still maintain though that taking that farm, and just in general, is way harder than perhaps it should be. It just seems that the difficulty doesn't match what you're actually doing. Taking a farm house shouldn't be like trying to take a military headquarters. Maybe I'm just bad, but I wouldn't have thought I was that bad at the game to be honest. Anyway it felt good completing it.  :cool2:

I have to say there are a lot of weird bugs with this mod. One of the strangest is in the screenshot at the bottom of this post. For some strange reason the UAZ I was using was duplicating rucksacks full of ammo. Problem is, the inventory stays full which means I can't load what I take out. One of the things I loaded onto the UAZ was a DshKm...figured a weapon like that would be very useful. In fact I got chance to try it out on a patrolling squad but after I couldn't load it back onto the UAZ again. Quite frustrating really. But I think these bugs lie with the mod makers rather than you.

But at least I'm not being shredded anymore....yet. It does kinda feel like these are guys are robots rather than human beings. Another perspective would be handy because at least then I'd know whether I'm just bad at the game.

Anyway, I'll resume my playthrough at some point over the weekend.

https://imgur.com/a/LnTG7ug
Some of the most memorable missions made involve the player doing very little...

"But one thing I can tell you from not just OFP but life in general:  criticism is directly proportional to quality. The more criticism a mission receives, the better the outcome" - macguba

Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #31 on: 07 Jul 2018, 00:09:04 »
Quote
Another perspective would be handy because at least then I'd know whether I'm just bad at the game.

Haha, Gruntage :D I noticed that MANY Russians still are with their original skill (which IS hard as hell). Pulkovo farm too. I tuned them all down to minimum and it should feel a bit better now...

Will take note of your other feedback - as always, good job and thanks a lot!


Btw. I'm currently adding a small but interesting side-story to the mission as I feel it's still too empty. :P The player benefits from it too for the main task if he follows it. But it's not ready yet. Nevertheless I imagine you don't want to replay the whole mission.

These bugs are strange though. Never experienced something like you described. :(
Current project: Black Lands (Arma 3)

Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #32 on: 09 Jul 2018, 22:44:05 »
Ok, here we go with another update.

  • Took care of all (or almost all :D) things that you mentioned, Gruntage and Clayman (in the BIF)
  • Tuned down inumerous AI soldiers to minimun (should feel a lot more forgiving now)
  • Added another start for the first mission (Death came upon me). This adds some more tension to the mission. A small test would be appreciated here. Just start the mission and you'll see it.
  • Added a quite interesting small side-story to the fourth mission (Setting-up time). :scratch: A small test would be appreciated here too.
    To find it, keep your eyes open at this location (you can go there straight from the start, but you will need a weapon for this, a pistol is ok):




Current project: Black Lands (Arma 3)

Offline Gruntage

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #33 on: 09 Jul 2018, 22:47:49 »
Will give the campaign a fresh playthrough tomorrow and see what's changed  :D
Some of the most memorable missions made involve the player doing very little...

"But one thing I can tell you from not just OFP but life in general:  criticism is directly proportional to quality. The more criticism a mission receives, the better the outcome" - macguba

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #34 on: 10 Jul 2018, 08:20:47 »
Thanks, Gruntage!
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Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #35 on: 10 Jul 2018, 12:59:44 »
And another update: :D

  • Mission 1: Added armor and static weapons so that the player can't just take the repair truck and drive straight to the destination too easily
  • Mission 3: The player can't just kill Russians without consequences when wearing a Russian uniform
  • Other bug fixes in some missions
« Last Edit: 10 Jul 2018, 13:02:35 by Undeceived »
Current project: Black Lands (Arma 3)

Offline Gruntage

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #36 on: 10 Jul 2018, 21:58:44 »
Alrighty let's do this....

Death Came Upon Me

So as I said I started the campaign again to see what's up, and straight away I was met by a new beginning to this mission. I was expecting a easy walk through the woods. What I got was quite different, but a welcome change honestly. It puts the player under pressure straight away and it took me a few tries to take out all the guys around the shed (they kept headshotting me).

But the change in difficulty was definitely noticeable and I think I ended up killing about 10 in that mission. I got a nice grenade triple kill on a group by a tent which was satisfying. Atmosphere was definitely better and it felt great. My only little criticism here is the UAZ that breaks down. Maybe I'm missing something but I don't really get its purpose. I went and dealt with the officer and driver but of course I couldn't use the UAZ, and the officer didn't drop anything of any real value. If I'm being honest I don't really know what incentive it gives the player to go and look. You don't really get anything out of it....that I know of. Like I said there might be something I'm missing there.

I might suggest giving the officer a pair of NV goggles that you can loot off his body and perhaps use in later missions. I just think the UAZ needs a bit more substance.

Death Came Upon Me - Cutscene

Even though I've already given comments on this on a previous test I just wanted to reiterate just how amazing the cinema is here. The music, the camera shots, the scene transitions....they're all fantastic. You get the sense of desperation; it reminds me of Gladiator actually. I like how he drops his weapon like it's no longer important.

Feels like you're watching a movie. One of the best if not the best piece of cinema I've seen. 10/10 here.

Awakening

Alright so this is probably where this post is gonna become a wall of text. This mission feels very different to the last time I played it. I know I said in my first post that I was expecting something a bit more challenging. But honestly now, this feels a bit over the top.

This mission is a weird one for me because I want to like it. I really do. I love the setting, the atmosphere (the music was a great addition). But the amount of Russians in the area now....it really does change the way I look at it. With the amount of enemies crawling around the town, you'd think that the alarm had already been raised. Honestly no matter which direction I took, there were Russians following me. They were crawling underneath fences and everything.

I don't really get why the Russians were running all over the place like it was a war zone and that they were hunting someone. I've gotta be honest it felt broken, like these guys were in combat mode when they should be in a safe mode or something. It felt overpowering is what I'm sayin'.

That's not to say that I was dying a lot. The Russians were certainly inaccurate but there were just so many of them it felt weird. I think I must have spent an hour on that mission and I think that's a lot more than should be spent really. In the end I just starting shooting my way through the town and said screw stealth because it just wasn't working.

So if I'm being honest I preferred the original iteration of this mission. I think it was alright before. By all means have the occasional campfire or a couple of guys on the odd street corner, but having squads of infantry running everywhere and tracking my every step doesn't look or feel right for the mission. I hope that's not too harsh. I don't know what other people are saying when they're testing; it might be you've got one guy saying a mission is too easy and another guy saying it's too hard. The hard part is trying to find a middle ground.

I just think the amount of enemies feels disproportionate to what is actually going on in the mission. I have to try and describe what I'm seeing and feeling when I play, and I prefer to be honest and not mince my words. I know how hard it can be to take on everyone's feedback because I've been there myself.

Anyway, I'll resume my testing tomorrow. Can't wait to see how Setting Up Time feels with the change in difficulty, or even the next mission for that matter.

« Last Edit: 10 Jul 2018, 22:03:03 by Gruntage »
Some of the most memorable missions made involve the player doing very little...

"But one thing I can tell you from not just OFP but life in general:  criticism is directly proportional to quality. The more criticism a mission receives, the better the outcome" - macguba

Offline Undeceived

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #37 on: 10 Jul 2018, 23:03:20 »
Quote
and the officer didn't drop anything of any real value. If I'm being honest I don't really know what incentive it gives the player to go and look. You don't really get anything out of it....that I know of. Like I said there might be something I'm missing there.

I might suggest giving the officer a pair of NV goggles that you can loot off his body and perhaps use in later missions. I just think the UAZ needs a bit more substance.

:D You have to search him completely, which means, also his uniform. Nothing of use to the player there, but something that adds to the story (a protocol of the activities of his platoon).
Apart from that wait until the repair team comes, they have a NGV with them in the truck.
You "heard" (read) him calling the repair team, didn't you? (you should have, if everything worked as intended)


Quote
So if I'm being honest I preferred the original iteration of this mission.
I didn't change anything in this mission. As I said earlier, the patrols have random waypoints.

But ok, you're right - they keep running through Cherno, as if alarm had been set already. Thanks for this observation - you're right, it should not be this way. Thanks!


EDIT:

Gruntage, thanks a lot for spending so much time for this! I really appreciate your feedback!
« Last Edit: 10 Jul 2018, 23:06:37 by Undeceived »
Current project: Black Lands (Arma 3)

Offline Gruntage

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #38 on: 10 Jul 2018, 23:18:25 »
Quote
You have to search him completely, which means, also his uniform. Nothing of use to the player there, but something that adds to the story (a protocol of the activities of his platoon).
Apart from that wait until the repair team comes, they have a NGV with them in the truck.
You "heard" (read) him calling the repair team, didn't you? (you should have, if everything worked as intended)

I thought I had searched his uniform but I guess I must have missed it. I don't think I heard the officer call for a repair team at all. But then, I did kill him so after that I think his calling days were over. I didn't stay at the UAZ long so it just seemed at a glance that there was nothing significant there.

Quote
I didn't change anything in this mission. As I said earlier, the patrols have random waypoints.

You know the funny thing is I just knew you'd say that. I suppose in that case then I got extremely lucky on the first playthrough because I took more or less the same route at the start, except that I was forced towards the NE because of patrols. I will go into a bit more detail on it.

The problem with adding lots of patrols in a situation like this is that the player will just end up going all the way around the outside of the city and along the coastline. In which case, all the hard work that went into setting up the city will just be a waste. Speaking from experience people will take the path of least resistance. If I hadn't completed that mission on the last try I would have just gone the long way around.

I suppose what was confusing about the mission was it wasn't clear whether it was supposed to be a stealth mission or not. There didn't seem to be any consequences for shooting enemies and giving my position away. Just what was already happening basically. Simply put, it didn't seem clear to me what approach you want the player to take; to go stealth or to go in Rambo style. Stealth makes the most sense given the objective, but when the opposition is so strong you wonder why you bother going stealth in the first place if the enemy seemingly know you're there already. If you had alarm bells ringing and tanks swarming everywhere then it would be a pretty clear message that stealth is best.

I hope that makes things clearer. I'm not rubbishing the mission at all (I'm not trying to). I basically just to have give an honest accounting of how the gameplay feels. I don't spare any details and I try to go in with an open mind and as if it's my first time playing and if I'm just the usual steam workshop guy.
« Last Edit: 10 Jul 2018, 23:21:34 by Gruntage »
Some of the most memorable missions made involve the player doing very little...

"But one thing I can tell you from not just OFP but life in general:  criticism is directly proportional to quality. The more criticism a mission receives, the better the outcome" - macguba

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #39 on: 11 Jul 2018, 09:31:39 »
Great post, Gruntage, thanks a lot.

 :D That sentence you predicted wasn't supposed to be a excuse, it became clear to me that the mission needs some refinement, but I was short on time yesterday to go more into detail. I just remembered having written that. :D

Your explanation was completely correct and useful. I'll try to improve the mission, I already have some ideas for it. :good: Thanks.


EDIT:

Would you mind to try out the start of the first mission again just to confirm that the officer didn't call in the rep team? You could (in the campaign menu) just go on Replay so you don't lose your campaign progress. Normally he should radio while the player is still quite far away (40 or 50 meters).

If you could, also check if you can find the note in the uniform - it should be there. And being there :) wait for the rep team etc...
« Last Edit: 11 Jul 2018, 09:46:32 by Undeceived »
Current project: Black Lands (Arma 3)

Offline Gruntage

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #40 on: 11 Jul 2018, 22:28:15 »
Alright so I went back and replayed the first mission to see what would happen with the UAZ. I'm afraid to say it doesn't seem to be working properly. I got the prompt that the UAZ had broken down as before, so I ran over towards it but nothing else happened. There was no text or sound, all I noticed was that the officer was sprinting to the NE leaving the UAZ behind.

I waited at the UAZ for about 10 minutes before moving on. I didn't do anything apart from just run towards the UAZ.

But anyway, so I was able to do both the 'Inflame Again' missions with no problems. Both missions play well and do exactly what they should do. No bugs detected.

That brings me back to Setting Up Time, and it's definitely more manageable this time. Sadly however I've run out of time this evening but I'll probably go for the main camp the next time I play. Haven't had chance to test that new feature you implemented but I will have a look at it. Not gonna lie I'm kinda looking forward to moving past this mission  :D. I did miss the massive ammo crate at Pulkovo though; that thing gave me a shit tonne of RPD rounds last time I played.

Nothing much to report so far it seems. All seems fine so far apart from that UAZ thing.
Some of the most memorable missions made involve the player doing very little...

"But one thing I can tell you from not just OFP but life in general:  criticism is directly proportional to quality. The more criticism a mission receives, the better the outcome" - macguba

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #41 on: 11 Jul 2018, 23:37:10 »
Many thanks, Gruntage!

Very strange behaviour of the UAZ in mission 1. At the mission start, did you get involved in a fight? Or did you sneak away undetected? If there was a fight, maybe this had an effect on the UAZ part... Will have to take a closer look to it as I never experienced this (but I have to say that I never openend the mission guns blazing - I always went low profile).

Ah, one thing I wanted to ask you (regarding the new feature in mission 4): There's quite much to read. If you'd check grammar and expressions too, that would be cool.

I really hope that mission 4 doesn't have a showstopper or something else severe in store for you....... Good luck. :) And thanks again!
Current project: Black Lands (Arma 3)

Offline Gruntage

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #42 on: 11 Jul 2018, 23:43:42 »
At the start on both my playthroughs of the latest version I always took out the 3 guys with my pistol, grabbed a rifle and ran into the forest. To be honest I never considered just sneaking away I thought it was intended for me to make a stand.

But I can give the mission another look tomorrow with a different approach and see what happens.
Some of the most memorable missions made involve the player doing very little...

"But one thing I can tell you from not just OFP but life in general:  criticism is directly proportional to quality. The more criticism a mission receives, the better the outcome" - macguba

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #43 on: 12 Jul 2018, 10:10:08 »
You could also carry on with the other missions, I'd say, so that you don't need to replay the already known stuff over and over again. 😊 Looking at the campaign's current state it could well be that you'll be facing further problems regarding mission design or bugs. 😆 (even though I tried to polish it as much as possible before the release).


I'll check out that part in the first mission again, already have some ideas how to improve it.
« Last Edit: 12 Jul 2018, 10:15:48 by Undeceived »
Current project: Black Lands (Arma 3)

Offline Gruntage

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Re: [SP/CAMP] Black Lands (Arma 3)
« Reply #44 on: 13 Jul 2018, 00:07:49 »
Ok so I went back and finally finished Setting Up Time, so now I can give a review before moving on.

There's actually not much to say on this one that I haven't already said. It is a fun experience and it's nice to have a little bit of freedom. I know for a fact that I didn't explore every town and I'm pretty sure there were some objectives that I didn't discover. But on the whole it was a good mission and it felt good bringing weapons back to the camp.

However, there are a few things though that I'd change. But before I go into that, what's the deal with the guy in the barn with the blood everywhere? I assumed it was part of some story but despite following the blood trail and the footprints there was nothing happening. There was no text, no dialogue. I figured that a trigger or script wasn't firing, unless I've missed something. I did explore the whole surrounding area for about 10 minutes. The blood trail was a pretty cool thing to find though, never seen anything like that before.

I was expecting perhaps a note in the UAZ or on the soldier or even on the ground but there wasn't anything. So, not sure what was happening there.

I was actually expecting the mission to end after bringing the medical supplies back and the whole killing the agent thing was a nice surprise. However one thing I would do is put the dialogue between Tomas and Kamil within a cutscene. Reason being is what's stopping me from just running out of the house and potentially breaking the mission?

Whenever I've tried making missions in the past I always ask what can the player do to break the mission. Dialogue scenes therefore should be done without the player having control of his movements. It's just asking for trouble.

But anyway, I killed the agent whilst hiding in the latrine behind Kamil's house. Figured that may even have been what was intended. Although when Kamil walked past he did yell at me to get into the backyards as the agent was right behind him (which he wasn't). That whole part of the mission was a nice ending and unexpected as well. Good job here.

So I think that's all for now. Moving onto the next one  :)
Some of the most memorable missions made involve the player doing very little...

"But one thing I can tell you from not just OFP but life in general:  criticism is directly proportional to quality. The more criticism a mission receives, the better the outcome" - macguba