Author: Dr_Eyeball
Author Website:

Requirements: Various Islands, depending on the mission you choose.
Island(s):
Playable options:

Version: 1.4

Date: 2009-05-13 13:30


Comments: (3)
Rating:



 

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Merlin - Training System
by
Dr Eyeball


Description:
In a nutshell, Merlin is a mission sandbox which allows up to 2 nominated coordinators to simultaneously dynamically create and position objects and units along with objectives for both sides (teams) in real time (or from saved data) for PvP, Coop or SP.

The purposes of Merlin are:
    # Provides a suitable controllable training environment for clans
    # It's primary feature is realtime MP multi-person scenario editing. It is not in any way a replacement for: complex missions, story-driven missions, published missions, plus all the other training missions and 3D editors out there already.
    # ability to save and load the mission at run-time to/from clipboard
    # Allows you to create quick scenarios for many of the new islands:
      * without requiring access to upload missions to a server
      * without the need to clog up a server with single-use missions
    # Provides the tested complex core system of game functionality without the need to know how to incorporate it into each of your missions. Things like: JIP, respawn systems, broadcasting, etc.
Installation:
Extract to your ArmA\MPMissions or ArmA\Missions folder.


Functionality:
Core:
    * allows for 2 admin's to simultaneously set up the scenarios. Usually one BluFor and one OpFor player.
    * ability to save/load mission using data from clipboard
Editing:
    * position objects and groups in real-time & in: map view, 2D & 3D.
    * create AI groups with various patrol abilities & auto building positioning.
    * create empty vehicles, fully crewed vehicles, plus several common vehicle groups.
    * create a variety of common crates, buildings, structures & static objects for use with objectives.
    * create objectives (via triggers) quickly based on common scenarios:
      o Kill/escort/rescue VIP/Captive, Destroy/Retrieve vehicle/object, Clear/Control area
    * VIP/Captive objectives also work with designated players.
    * IED's, VBIED's (both AI & player controlled)
    * Auto ladder creation in towns
    * triggered environmental sound effects
    * time, weather conditions
Functionality:
    * Objectives dialog showing description and status of each objective.
    * Civilian interaction for obtaining intel
    * collateral damage - WIP
    * supports JIP for most critical areas
    * supports any mod/addon. Allows any object from any addon to be used via the Advanced Class Creation option.
    * The Commander Mode dialog is still being developed, but already provides a good overview of the battlefield and provides group control.
    * All of ICE/Devastation's abilities: respawning, base deployment, weapons dialog, HMD Heli HUD, cargo airlifting, cargo air drops, laser marker HUD, artillery HUD, team comm's, waypoint HUD, deployable assets, field dressings, etc.
JIP:
    * JIP is mostly working now. Handles: objectives, respawn markers, objects, actions, etc. Some actions & custom markers are not synchronised yet.
    * SP/MP - fully supported.
Editing Instructions & Advice:
I cannot write a full manual for the functionality yet, since it's still in development and there are over 60 options to explain which would be a huge document.

Starting off:
Mode: You can perform editing in:
    * SP - prefered for designing missions for later loading for MP
    * MP - before the mission starts,
    * MP - during the mission you could dynamically add things
Login: First login to enable editing rights. To login, press T or select Options action to activate the popup menu, then select "Admin Game"->"BluFor Admin" to login.

Captive Mode: It is recommended that you also set yourself as captive during editing, which acts as a 'God-mode' to protect you from the opposition AI. To enable this, select "Admin Game"->"Enable Captive Status for me" from menu.

Special keys, mouse clicks & commands: Mouse options (from the map screen):
    - Alt+LeftClick will teleport you to that position.
    - Shift+LeftClick will open the Create Object dialog.
    - LeftClick will open the main popup menu.

"Create" action menu: Logging in will add a 'Create' action menu to open the Create Object dialog. This is the secondary method, when not using the map screen.

Popup Menu: The main popup menu contains some of the same create options as the Create Dialog, plus more advanced options like: Objectives, IED's, Environment, Advanced Classes, etc.

Saving/loading mission data: Since ArmA has no built-in file access, saving and loading is achieved through the clipboard by copying or pasting 1 long line of array data. This clipboard data can then be saved to or copied from a file.
The macro data looks similar to the following example:
[["Create",[["BMP2"],"Regular","Search Area",-910,250,0],[2366.5,3537,0]],
["Create",[["TeamLeaderW","SoldierWAR","SoldierWAT","SoldierWB"],"Regular","THAG",-910,150,0],[2325.2,3053.5,0]],
["Create",[["Land_vysilac_FM2"],"Regular","Empty",-910,0,0],[2373.6,3288.9,0]],
["Object Objective",[WEST,"VEHICLE","NOT PRESENT","destroy","destroyed","object",2],[2241.33,3144.73,-316.971]]]

Camera Control Keys:
    * V/Esc = exit camera mode.
    * Q/Z = altitude.
    * A/D = turn left/right.
    * Shift = fast.
    * Keypad = look up/down/left/right.
    * +/- = zoom.
Advanced - Tracking:
    * F = Focus/track centre object/ground.
    * L = Toggle crosshair.
    * A/D = Rotate camera left/right around focused object/ground.
Advanced - Relative object positioning:
    * X/C = rotate object.
    * Ctrl+Q/Z = relative altitude (3D only).
    * Ctrl+W/S = relative distance.
Create dialog: TO DO: Explain the purpose of some of the vague list entries (especially "Actions")
Class Group:
Types:
Group:
Composition:
Image: Also shows the actual class type name.
Action: The list will be different for different object types: vehicles, infantry, buildings
Special Init: The list will be different for different object types: vehicles, infantry, buildings
Radius: When applicable, the selected radius will be drawn on the map.
Direction:
Map: Shows the create position marker, selected building marker & text, radius marker, etc as applicable.
Buttons: Resize, Create, Create 2D, Create 3D, Preview Obj, Patrol, Help

Objectives:
Person Based:
    * Escort VIP - (Bring VIP to safe location. Captive can be AI/player.)
    * Kill VIP - (VIP could be moving. VIP can be AI/player.)
    * Rescue Captive - (Bring captive back to safe location. Captive can be AI/player.)
    * WIP - Capture enemy VIP - (Bring VIP back to safe location. Captive must be AI.)
    * WIP - Recon/Survival mode - (Bring squad to safe location through enemy territory without any/all member being killed.)
Building Based:
    * Destroy Building/Object
Vehicle Based:
    * WIP - Destroy Convoy - (before it reaches destination)
    * Destroy Vehicle/Building/Object - (vehicle could be moving)
    * Retrieve Object - (bring object back to safe location)
Area Based:
    * Clear area - (100% clearance for up to 60 seconds)
    * Sieze control of (small) area - (you must be dominant force (both infantry & vehicle strength wise) for up to 60 seconds.
Addons Support:

Although addons are "supported", they will not be simple to use for those unfamiliar with the addon's structure.
A future version will remedy this by providing properly classified units in the Create Dialog.
    * First you need to activate any addon you want to use (Popup menu->File->Activate Addon...), otherwise a warning will still appear on each client for first use.
    * Then create the object (using Popup menu->Crates->Advanced Class Creation...).
    * Some addons were specifically supported and will be automatically detected and will then appear in the Create Dialog's Class Group listbox. (Eg: QG, WP Insurgents, RH Soldiers, HWM mod)
Hidden Functionality: (things you may not realise without explanation)
    * The bunker object also has a 'Deployment' action for spawn selection & 'Armaments (G)' action for weapons selection.
    * In create dialog, when creating a person using action 'occupy position in this building' using 2D/3D will utilise snapping to the 'building positions' instead.
    * Some others, which I cannot recall right now.
Known issues:
# In MP, when loading a large macro file (eg: 100 saved items), it can cause some clients to CTD.
This is remedied by simply rejoining. It seems to be caused by excessive data being networked usually when some players have slow/shaped connections (eg: 64k).
It might already be remedied in latest version. If not, I could reduce the loading speed.
# In MP, using 2D/3D positioning is now sending too much positioning data making it slow. Easy to fix later.
# Spawn issue: with multiple spawn points, you will randomly spawn at any one of them.
# Macro: Object->Set Pos on Map - should not be a new macro. Update 'create' macro position.
# Reset doesn't reset everything yet - mainly: sounds, instant dead body removal & VRS reset
# Creating an object from an addon without dynamically preloading it's addon may cause a warning message "Addon not loaded yet" as expected, but should still continue as normal.
# JIP Sync: The following are not synchronised yet or properly: Custom markers, loadAddons, IED actions, in-game time and weather changes (but MP start options are).
# Clean up SP - delete tracking markers if playing
# Force loading of macros in order rather than asynchronous processing. Potential out of sequence errors.
# JIP: When joining in a single person group and the base spawn location has moved, you will still spawn at the original editor position.
# Implement limited lives system (per player/group/team plus options for 'slow respawn' as 'light penalty' )
# Finish implementing collatoral damage system (tracking team/individual killing of civilians, unarmed people, captives and empty vehicles, resulting in player/team penalty or mission abort & failure)
# Several other required improvements, which I cannot recall right now. Most issues have a work-around.
# Fixed? - Cannot create unlevel structure on sloping ground yet, it's always upright (eg: bunker, fence, tent, etc should follow slope of ground)

Change log:

Forums Topic:
- BI forums


- Queens Gambit Expansion
- Isla Barbuda
- MAP 3DE (Dreide Island)
- Sakakah Al Jawf
- Schmalfelden - Extra Heavy Vegetation
- Schmalfelden - Heavy Vegetation
- Schmalfelden - no undergrowth
- La Samula & Sys Darain
- High Detail Texture Project
- Uhao Island
- Vietnam: The Experience
- Watkins Mountains




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