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#1 Posted at 2010-07-10 22:57        
     
Limited Assets - Isla Duala (LAID)
A CoOp Multiplayer Campaign MegaMap
3 versions: A2OA Combined Ops, Arma2 only (13 player slots, JIP supported), A2OA CO + ACE2/ACRE (34 slots, special pilots slots)
by Stick- (aka Stick_Hogue)

This map is for hosted server only. It is a player-driven, theater scale map, about as nonlinear as possible.
Also, despite the optimizations in use, the host computer must be powerful (fast quad core, 64-bit, 6 GB recommended), and client computers should be pretty fast, too.

If you can handle those criteria, then welcome to Isla Duala. Kiss your ass goodbye, check your gear, and move out!

See the ACE2/ACRE version here (34 player slots, with special pilot slots):
http://www.armaholic.com/page.php?id=14373

With over a year of nearly continuous development and testing, starting in Arma, moving to Arma2 (with CAA1 mod for Sahrani) and now ported to Isla Duala in A2 and A2OA Combined Ops, this map has matured greatly since the original version. This is a non-linear campaign map for patient adults who enjoy immersion, coordination, planning, recon, resource management, and some measure of realism (e.g. the only teleporting is via revive script respawning). Many different simwar experiences are available here: everything on the Direct Action / Stealth Ops continuum, ground pounding, helicopter and fixed wing combat (both air-to-air and air-to-ground) and airlift ops, car ops, armor ops, boat ops, capture, assassination, and special operations involving working with civilian members of the Molatian underground. Several custom scripting features provide added variety and enjoyment.

Replay value is very high. But it's not a series of repetitive battles, it's a war, with specific, different objectives and persistent effects. You (and sometimes the enemy) are changing the battle theater. Patience is required because you have limited assets and should not waste them, you must pay attention to the briefing and messages, and you must plan your own missions. Although enemy skills are not "Terminator" level, they're dangerous enough and you have limited respawns (parameterized at startup: 2 to 12, default of 8 because dying in a vehicle somehow tallies 2 deaths), none of your vehicles respawn. And the entire map is your theater of operations. If you're impatient or uncoordinated or don't think your plans through you will die and you will taste failure. Enemy forces do not respawn, with some exceptions to keep enemy territory dangerous. Stealing certain enemy assets is possible and can be very helpful. On this map you'll feel like you've been deployed to Isla Duala and must live with the consequences of everything that happens while you're there.

Multiday sessions are not uncommon, but nothing is forcing you to play this map to completion. It's your choice. You can play this map for a few of the many game experiences it offers and then move on to another map, or, because JIP is supported, you can keep it running for days and try to complete every task over several sessions with reality breaks in between.

Cinematic ambience activities (NO cut scenes) keep this world feeling alive. Random weather is server-client synchronized and on 30 minute transition cycles. Enemies patrol, but not all of them in predictable paths. Tower guards scan arcs, their floodlights turning on at night. Regular patrols are not respawned, but "roving" patrols do respawn, so operations behind enemy lines are always suspenseful. The world feels alive in that helicopter shuttles are constantly flying a circuit between your main bases, and enemy choppers are almost always a dangerous presence over enemy territory. Some missions require you to bring results to the command staff (the Colonel, the Major, or the Doctor) at Kinsella Base, so protect them! Enemy forces react to specific events. For example, when you attack the convoy a response chopper comes to that location (wherever the attack happened) from its base at Swonto Pinley Airfield (unless you've already taken the response chopper out of commission, in which case a replacement will eventually arrive from off island, bringing infantry reinforcements with it, unless the foreign rogue General who's been supplying and training the Molatian Army has been assassinated...). If you take out an enemy patrol chopper, a roving ground patrol will move to that site to investigate. And more.

There is a key RoE to not cross the internationally recognized border, in order to maintain the moral high ground and not be seen as counter-invading Molatia. You must GO AROUND THE MARKED RED ZONE, otherwise you permanently fail the Ursana Hot Zone task and trigger a heavy enemy response. Therefore if you expect to operate *armor* in enemy territory, it will have to be stolen enemy armor. Be creative with hitch transport ops. Get in the mindset of using enemy assets, such as satchel charges found on saboteurs...

The *extensive* briefing provides you with enough information to get started - read it!


OPTIMIZATION

-- proximity triggered spawning of units
-- automatic corpse hiding on 30 minute delay (enough time to maybe retrieve important gear from corpses, but not too fast)
-- many patrols use a single 'smart waypoint' that moves itself based on initially loaded and then deleted path markers, on server only


SCALE

-- 8 official tasks/objectives - the extensive briefing provides good soldiers with the critical information
-- 2 unofficial, discovered campaign tasks (including a "spy campaign" consisting of four Molatian Underground missions randomly selected from a pool of seven, in random order for variety)
-- a whole battle theater full of things to try; get creative


POPULAR FEATURES

-- Norrin's Revive (Columdrum's on ACE version), Cargo and Door scripts are in use (Norrin's Revive is customized to allow respawn into moving Evac chopper); Cargo scripts allow paradrops of cargo, e.g. ammo crates or a vehicle of appropriate size and weight for the transport; table provided in briefing)
-- in A2OA Combined Ops version the native backpack is used; in A2 Xeno's Backpack is used (customized to remember contents for a unit through player disconnect and reconnect, because connectivity is never guaranteed); in A2OA ACE the ACE rucksacks are used
-- in ACE the ACE sling feature is used; in other versions Mando Hitch (customized with mostly realistic limits on lifting capacity - don't expect a Knighthawk to carry armor; table provided in briefing)
-- JIP (join-in-progress)


CUSTOM ACTIONS/CONTROLS

-- "Take Charge of" and "Dismiss" actions allow you to change your grouping, among players and AI subs (some reinforcement units available at Kinsella base)
-- Designated Engineer units can construct (and deconstruct) several useful objects (camo blinds, sandbag fences, low trenches, plus a flagpole flying the U.N. flag), and can jerry-rig heavily damaged (but not destroyed) vehicles
-- "Unfreeze" action allows you to unstick stuck AI subs, or, for example, to precisely place a designated engineer unit for object construction (e.g. to put a camo blind over your MH-6)
-- Actions to control your AI pilots: Altitude+1000m, Altitude Hold, Standard Flight (resets speed and altitude to standard, cancels disembark - they'll still land but won't disembark and will continue on to reasserted destinations)
-- Evac Little Bird: call sign "Dung Beetle" is a player commanded (via radio) AI piloted Evac/transport chopper. It accepts new destinations in flight, descends over water for rescues, and is generally better at landing where you tell it to land. In ACE version it's a mobile ambulance, carrying a stretcher and other supplies.
-- LHD with 3 SuperHueys on deck which can be requisitioned through the Aircraft Handling Officer (yellow vest). LHD has triggers to allow boarding from a boat at the side doors and disembarking into a nearby boat without swimming, and Evac chopper can land there (script-forced, set destination to the red helo pad on deck)
-- In ACE version the MC-5 chute is used for HALO; in other versions a HALO chute can be requisitioned from The Major as many times as needed (after use your parachute reverts to the normal one, which is safer for regular flight ops)
-- "Eject subs from helo shuttle x" and "Eject subs from Evac helo" actions overcome the game's "pilot on another client" AI control bug
-- A warning is provided if your subs enter water (AI units are stupid about entering water and losing their gear - a warning helps)
-- Other "backup" radio commands available to overcome occasional game issues (fix actions, lead group, eject unled AIs)
-- "Retrieve Submerged Weapons" option for those rare but annoying times when the game (or AIs walking into water) causes gear to be unnecessarily lost just out of reach offshore (20m range).


IMMERSIVE ENVIRONMENT

-- NO cut scenes, just an immersive, open and nonlinear simwar environment
-- You represent an International Special Ops Force, so units of different nationalities are available for players: Czech Special Forces, German KSK, US Delta Operators, US Delta Assault, and Afrenian Army "Vipers". Some CDF units are also providing support.
-- internally consistent "story" has Chernarussian Insurgent forces supplying, training and in some cases operating alongside Molatian forces
-- friendly AI choppers in the air provide transport, enemy AI choppers provide danger, both provide a sense of life (as do the OPFOR roving patrols)
-- tower guards scan their sectors, some with floodlights that turn on at night - they take a knee when endangered instead of going prone
-- certain enemy forces respond to events, sometimes in a big way
-- so much going on, with just enough randomness, that you give up trying to memorize and just feel immersed - high replay value
-- escape danger and repair your vehicles enough times and you begin to name them

This map is built for HOSTED SERVER. I don't know how to dumb it down for dedicated server, but it's not really appropriate for dedicated servers anyway. Mostly you'll want to run it in closed sessions with friends, because this map is especially susceptible to permanent setbacks caused by players who exhibit, shall we say, bad behavior. Hosts and clients should use optimized game startup parameters and use task manager to disable virtualization and set priority to high. Everyone should use the FLUSH function occasionally to help avoid memory overload. Over this year of development the code contains a mix of brilliant programming and ugly newbie code (I admit it!); don't complain, just do better yourself. :)

enjoy,
Stick

"MPBR" nailed it:
Arma 2 is never going to be "mainstream" and its not because of bugs.... Lack of instant-gratification + Having an Actual learning curve * ADD generation.


This post was edited by Stick_Hogue (2011-06-05 15:22, ago)

-Stick

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#2 Posted at 2010-08-03 04:11        
     
Had a chance to play this mission tonight and loved it! With the right players, this can be a fantastic experience. The chance to do small missions here and there while trying to coordinate your activities with upcoming attack plans is really fun. A lot of objectives tie in with others, but not in an obvious way.

This is definitely a great mission for a squad looking for a wonderfully challenging and exciting change of pace!


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#3 Posted at 2011-10-07 13:41        
     
any chance of this mission being updated to support duala 1.95?

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#4 Posted at 2012-01-29 19:48        
     
# Noraf : any chance of this mission being updated to support duala 1.95?

I updated the ACE/ACRE version of this campaign map for duala 1.95+ as of a few versions ago, but have had to split it into two pieces, because with the new details on duala 1.95 and all the latest updates and additional overhead of ACE and ACRE it's unplayably laggy as one big map. Very soon there will be two versions, Pushback and Smackdown, with duala 1.95.
(There will be no further updates of the non-ACE/ACRE versions of this map.)

This post was edited by Stick_Hogue (2012-01-29 20:04, ago)

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#5 Posted at 2012-01-31 00:37        
     
The latest version of LAID_OA_ACE/ACRE splits the map into two parts for framerate purposes. The missions that are on Afrenian territory are in the PUSHBACK version, and the missions that are on Molatian territory are in the SMACKDOWN version. The overhead from Isla Duala 1.95 plus all the latest ACE and ACRE updates just got way too heavy on top of my already very heavy campaign map. You'll find the PUSHBACK and SMACKDOWN versions run much faster and more smoothly in terms of frame rate, and that means AIs are sharper and the whole experience is that much better.

-Stick