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Author Topic: [SP/A2CO] Balota Highway (Review complete)  (Read 4144 times)

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Offline SaOk

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[SP/A2CO] Balota Highway (Review complete)
« on: 21 Jun 2010, 14:55:15 »
Balota Highway



Author: SaOk
Version: 1.7
Game Version: Combined Operations 1.57 + BAF/PMC
Addons Needed: None

Download:
http://www.filefront.com/17765514/SPBalotaHighwayCOBAFPMCv1_7.7z

Mission Description:
Lieutenant Jim Smithers is leading a challenging midday operation in order to capture an old allied airstrip back from insurgents. With limited manpower  but good weaponry, will they manage to clear the coast for reinforcements in time or is it time to get beaten by insurgents endless counter-attacks and guerrilla tactics?

Basic Features:
  • Briefing/Overview/DeBriefing
  • Weapons Choose in Briefing
  • ACE2 compatible
  • Cutscenes
  • Hidden Tasks
  • More or Less High Commanding
  • Clear Guides/Hints for All New Custom Gameplay Features
Custom Gameplay Elements:
  • Create/Return High Command groups
  • Command AI to build custom minefields
  • Build fortifications/static weapons
  • Auto Rearm under 250m away from ammotruck, every 30 seconds
Custom Ambient Life:
  • Random civilian/hostile traffic
  • Random infantry patrols
  • Random civilians
  • Random animals
Performance Friendly:
  • Body removal
  • Ambient Life removal
  • Empty Group removal
Third Party Scripts:
  • UPSMON by Monsada (as part of PatrolCar-script)

Changel Log:
1.2:
-New long intro (featured song name can be found in readme)  ;)
-New Battleshouting (voices by SavedByGrace, Bardosy & Poacher)
-Added MedicPack-system
-Added British DLC units
-New custom gameplay elements
-Added Loadingscreen (pic by unknown author)
-Much other fixes/tweaks
1.4:
-New long Outro
-New setting dialog at mission start
-Tweaking in custom sounds
-Improved rearming system
-Medicpacks can be received from medictent
-Fixed tank waypoints
-Air support in final task
-More british units
-Other Fixes/Tweaks
1.5:
-An option to play as a night-mission
-More chooseable gear (including AA12) in briefing
-New 3d-hints over Ammo&Construction Trucks
-Minefield system now compatible with expert difficulty level
-Creating HCgroup bug fixed
-More ambient life (Rare airtraffic, dynamic crows, random flies over dead bodies)
-Added takecover system for some of the enemy soldiers
-PMC soldiers added
-Other Fixes/Tweaks/Additions
1.7:
-Added full voice-acting by SavedByGrace
-Added over 40 russian battleshouting lines for insurgents
-Improved conditions for tasks
-Many other tweaks/fixes and new stuff
« Last Edit: 23 Apr 2011, 20:14:52 by mathias_eichinger »

Offline zwobot

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Re: [SP] Balota Highway
« Reply #1 on: 26 Jun 2010, 11:04:17 »
Cool, a non-ACE2 mission  :)

Overview
Nice and simple, I like it. But it gives the impression that the player plays as CDF or something, a bit misleading but not a problem.

Briefing
Possible typos
"managed to spread all over Chernarus" (leave out "the")
"don't manage to capture..."
"and a few local hunters"
"ammotruck which has some..."
"on the coast road"
"To build minefields"
"will not be an easy task"
"need to capture roadblock Zebra..."

Full stops at the end of each section are misssing

The marker colours are misleading. It would be better to use consistent colours for each side (e.g. blue for friendly units / areas and red for enemy).

Intro
Short and simple like the overview. I'd prefer to have it as a "real" intro prior to the briefing instead of part of the actual mission.

The second text chat does not come in the blue channel. Like with the briefing markers it would be better to use consistent channels for text / radio chats (blue side channel preferred).

Mission
At the first go I sent my second squad to scout Komarovo and led my squad to recon the insurgent road block between the airfield and hill 93 in the south. I bumped into an enemy infantry patrol on the way (vicinity 045 123), laid a successfull ambush but got killed on the retreat north.

I need to get something to eat now and will continue this post afterwards in a few hours.
"Executing tactics in real combat is the hardest thing one can ever do...well I've never given birth but..well whatever."

Offline SaOk

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Re: [SP] Balota Highway
« Reply #2 on: 26 Jun 2010, 12:28:26 »

Offline zwobot

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Re: [SP] Balota Highway
« Reply #3 on: 26 Jun 2010, 13:27:06 »
In the second try I decide not to split up my platoon into seperate squads but move together instead. I want to recon the insurgent roadblock between hill 93 and the airstrip again, but this time I move around hill 93 in the north.
I get just to the east side of hill 93 with both squads and leave them back to do a leader reconnaissance of the roadblock. Suddenly my number 2 reports an enemy infantry patrol, they open fire. I order 2nd squad to flank them but after short time a big enemy squad appears in the back of 2nd squad and almost eliminates them and my squad suffers more and more casualties until I'm finally killed myself by an unseen enemy.

The mission appears to be quite hard or I'm unlucky or incompetent...
I'll give it another try later.
"Executing tactics in real combat is the hardest thing one can ever do...well I've never given birth but..well whatever."

Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP] Balota Highway
« Reply #4 on: 01 Sep 2010, 18:45:14 »
Hey SaOk, this is a challenging and interesting mission, but it does have it's share of issues.

Overview

Nice standard picture of a BMP2 in front of Balota airport. Fits the theme of the mission well.

Briefing

The briefing is very well done - it has multiple sections that explain everything, and the map markers are clearly laid out and not confusing. I cannot think of anything to improve here.

Intro

A very short intro showing the deployment of marines, but it leads nicely into the mission.

Mission

At the start of the mission I left the ammo truck where it was. I happen to loose such trucks to the enemy once I advance towards enemy positions.
I used the HC menu to advance towards the insurgent roadblock (NOT Position Zebra). There, I encountered almost no resistance, but on the way I had a few good firefights. The airport itself was also surprisingly easy, but there I spotted the first two Bugs:
-As per briefing, the truck parked on the airport should be the construction truck. However, no construction menu popped up as I went close to it.
-A solitary medic tent was listed as enemy (Insurgents) and I was not able to destroy it. Thus, the airport objective did not tick off and the mission consequently did not end.

I then proceeded towards Position Zebra, which proved to be a though nut to crack, but I was finally able to do that. When I routed out an insurgent position, I discovered some POW's and a secondary objective ticked off. Contrary to my expectations, the POWs did not join my squad.
Right after my execution of Point Zebra, I was re-tasked to take out a mapped insurgent AA position.

This firefight further dwindled my low squad numbers, especially in the aftermath, as I had to cover insertion of own reinforcements and several counterattacks.

Conclusion

Challenging and interesting mission, with 2 issues outlined above that prevent mission completion

Recommendations

* Fix the mentioned bugs.
* Add more healing possibilities (e.g. a medic tent at each objective) in case the medic dies.
* Reinforce the player squad, ideally with the POWs.

Cheers

Mathias
« Last Edit: 01 Sep 2010, 19:09:22 by mathias_eichinger »

Offline SaOk

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Re: [SP] Balota Highway
« Reply #5 on: 01 Sep 2010, 19:42:41 »


Edit2: Started working again on this. There will be features from "The Battle of Zargabad"  (including medicpacks and some better reinforcement system for player) and OA + BAF DLC will be required. I will try to improve the final tasks and add some better cutscenes, so the update can take quite much time. If the upcoming PCM DLC is good too, I probably will use it too.
« Last Edit: 25 Oct 2010, 21:48:51 by SaOk »

Offline SaOk

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Re: [SP] Balota Highway (Updated 6.11)
« Reply #6 on: 06 Nov 2010, 22:30:15 »
New version 1.2 is released with much new stuff and tweaks. I will work more on this mission, but I think it was time to give an update for this, before trying to improve the complex late mission. Be free to share thoughts of this new version.

Offline SaOk

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Re: [SP] Balota Highway (Updated 13.11)
« Reply #7 on: 13 Nov 2010, 20:45:38 »
I made a new version 1.4. There was few really bad flaws in previous version including very unstable waypoints for tanks that worked only sometimes. The new chopper AI also caused crashed reinforcements at hostile AA-base. Those are now fixed, I made a new big outro and much other new stuff is also there.

btw. That enemy medictent is not a bug. The task isnt completed by trigger zone - it follows a timeout and an enemycount of spawned attackers.

Offline SaOk

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Re: [SP] Balota Highway
« Reply #8 on: 03 Dec 2010, 19:20:45 »
New version again. I fixed few bad flaws in custom gameplay features and added stuff from PMC DLC and made some other tweaks and fixes.

Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP/A2CO] Balota Highway
« Reply #9 on: 17 Dec 2010, 17:22:16 »
Hey SaOK, the version I just downloaded from the link in the first post says version 1.4 in the overview. Did you upload the wrong one or did you forget to update your overview?

Cheers

Mathias

Offline SaOk

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Re: [SP/A2CO] Balota Highway
« Reply #10 on: 17 Dec 2010, 17:40:52 »
Hi, you must have unintentionally mixed the files. I also downloaded the file to make sure. Its really the right file. ReadMe should say 1.5 and also the overview ingame. The new option in 1.5 is to wait to dark which should be given as an option in start dialog.

The right file should have 3th December as modified date.

Offline mathias_eichinger

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Re: [SP/A2CO] Balota Highway
« Reply #11 on: 17 Dec 2010, 17:56:29 »
Ah, thank you for checking, I will re-download it and try it out when I find more time.

Cheers

Mathias

Offline SaOk

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Re: [SP/A2CO] Balota Highway (Please Review)
« Reply #12 on: 08 Jan 2011, 14:51:45 »
A new version 1.7 is here with new voicefiles including excelent radio work from SavedByGrace. I think the mission is ready to be reviewed unless you still find something to fix/change. Be free to share any thoughts.

Offline savedbygrace

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Re: [SP/A2CO] Balota Highway (Please Review)
« Reply #13 on: 24 Jan 2011, 20:19:02 »
Gave 1.7 a go today.
OVERVIEW
Don't change a thing.
Intro
Fairly long and a little drawn out with not much action going on. But the music was a nice listen.

Briefing
Just seeing the information in this one made me want to flee. I hate managing the AI in my squad and to have to figure out the HC system to manage even more AI was causing me to dread the mission already. The briefing as it is written was clear and simple. Well done job of explaining things here. Markers and links worked as they should have. Not too excessive with the information but not bare either. However, I was overwhelmed with the amount of things I had to manage. Just thinking about setting up a minefield while having to babysit the stupids was giving me a headache.

I adjusted my squads loadout some and studied the map to conjure a game plan before clicking continue.
The short intro at mission start was obviously there to show where the other groups were, glad you gave unlimited saves to allow me to start from a save point after that cutscene.

I took several minutes to sort through the commands, not liking it more and more as time went on. It was convenient to order the groups around via the HC waypoint option but when the bullets started flying, it made me wish I had more control over the stupid AI that seem to give me ulcers with their decision making errors.

Aside from that, the damn enemy AI being able to shoot me from so far away through a squirrel hole pisses me off every time. And through cover at that. That's probably why I don't play Arma2 much, the AI ruins everything.

Anyways, I am able to slowly make my way toward the airport, using the brits and hunters as flank protection and my guys not too far behind me. I clear the roadblock and several patrols along the way before taking the strip. At this point, things get really out of control. I can't fight a skirmish and manage those damn AI at the same time because I can't depend upon them to make a wise decision without direction. On top of that, I have to order them to get healed, rearm and wipe their ass.

The airstrip is overwhelmed very quickly with the enemy counterattack and I simply didn't have enough time to get everyone set, let alone figure out the mine field option.

These types of missions are not my cup of tea but I'll try and gather up the motivation to test it again soon.

Sorry for the crap feedback.

Offline SaOk

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Re: [SP/A2CO] Balota Highway (Please Review)
« Reply #14 on: 24 Jan 2011, 20:54:54 »