Author: Jedra
Author Website:

Requirements: Community Base Addons

Version: 1.7 beta
Signed: Yes, serverkey included

Short description: The Enhanced Skills Slider will allow you to change the skills of a whole side, a whole group or a single unit on the fly.

Date: 2012-03-06 08:57

Comments: (3)


Enhanced Skills Slider


With some of the changes to the way precision-enemy and precision-friendly work in the 1.6 patch, I started to look at how the AI works in Arma 2, paying particular attention to the Skills Array. In various bouts of testing I found that the skills array had a drastic effect on the way the AI behaved. I came to the conclusion that just having a slider for overall skill was not giving the player, or server admin the fine control they needed. Hence the Enhanced Skills Slider.

The Enhanced Skills Slider will allow you to change the skills of a whole side, a whole group or a single unit on the fly. It works in Single Player, Multiplayer (LAN) and Multiplayer (Dedicated).

The Enhanced Skills Slider is a Client and Server Side Addon and will only be available to the server admin when playing multiplayer. It is accessed via the Action menu.

This config replacement will override the standard BIS CfgAISkill.
It basically makes the skill values 1:1 with the values that are actually applied by the engine.
By default the cfgAISkill config values are applied against the skills in the skills array.
For example:
If the following is set in cfgAISkill;
aimingAccuracy[] = {0, 0.2, 1, 0.4};
An AI with aimingAccuracy 0 has an actual aimingAccuracy of 0.2
An AI with aimingAccuracy 1 has an actual aimingAccuracy 0.4
An AI with aimingAccuracy between 0 and 1 has respective (probably linear) actual aimingAccuracy applied.

By making the config:
aimingAccuracy[] = {0, 0, 1, 1};
There is now a 1:1 relationship between skills set in the skills array (via script) and the actual skill used by the engine.
(Thanks to HeinBloed for the explanation).

WARNING - using this config with other AI mods such as ASR_AI or Zeus may have unexpected effects as both of these mods also override cfgAISkill.

View skill values currently set for individual units
Change individual skill values on the fly for Sides, Groups and single units
Increase or decrease skills based on a percentage value
Apply random skills to units based on a supplied range
Apply a spread to Random Ranges so that each unit is slightly different
Client and Server Side Addon
Restricted to Server Admin in Multiplayer
V2 Key Signature included
Optional confid for CfgAISkills included see below)
Full (ish!) documentation included in the download
NEW - Any new units created by the clients or the server now inherit changes made with ESS - as long as these changes are made to All Units.
NEW - ESS now has a map and briefly shows the location of units and group leaders selected.
NEW - the details section now shows which elements will be inherited.

As we always recommend use modfolders to seperate the custom content from the official game content to prevent problems. For different ways to set up your modfolders and use them please visit our FAQ.

When you are using the Steam version you can find a Steam mod installation and activation FAQ here.

Included .pbo files:

There is no reason why this mod should not be compatible with any other mod or mission. However, if a mod (or more likely a mission) you use also applies skills using script, then they may override any skills set in the Enhanced Skills Slider. Unfortunately I have no control over that, but you can always re-set them again! See the note on ASR_AI above for further clarification on this.

If you you use the Optional Config, please read the warning in the readme (embedded below).

ASR_AI users - Both the Enhanced Skills Slider addon and ASR_AI make changes to the way units are initialised. They both change the skills for new units. I do not want to fight with ASR_AI (Robalo is probably bigger than me!), so I have put my stuff in the Init whereas ASR_AI puts it's stuff in post-init. This means that any changes that ASR_AI makes will overwrite the changes that ESS makes. I have done this on purpose as otherwise things would get into a right mess. I cannot guarantee that any other AI mods (such as ZeusAI) will not get tangled up with my changes. It is likely that at some stage, when ASR_AI gets a GUI, my own mod will become redundant anyway - you're just going to have to bear these warnings in mind if you use both mods.

I have tested this using the beta version 89223 - some of the security changes made in later betas may affect this mod. I have been too scared to try them, so for now using a more recent version is at your own risk. I would be interested in feedback of any bugs in later betas though.

Current version is 1.6.

I have made a huge amount of changes internally this time and added the ability for any new units to inherit values that have been set up in the slider. There is also a more information in the details panel that indicates which values will be inherited by any newly spawned units. To achieve this, the mod must now be installed on clients and server if you want the units to inherit values.

I have also added a map, which indicates the position of individual units (if a unit is selected) or the group leader (if a group is selected). The selected units are only shown briefly. If you are playing in 'rock hard' mode I did not want to reveal the whole battlefield and potentially spoil your game. If the unit doesn't appear for long enough, simply select it again.

Known issues:
Currently the addon cannot read the skills values of units that are attached to remote clients (although it CAN write to them). In this case, the values you see are what the server thinks they are. I am not sure if I will ever get around this, but I am looking into it. I don't see it as such a big issue though as mainly the focus will be on enemy AI which is generally on the server. If people have any suggestions regarding this issue then I will be happy to hear them.

There is no feedback from the Dialog when you apply - just assume it has applied the values.

There are occaisional script errors when the client or server tries to apply a skill value to a unit that has just been killed. I have tried my vary best to make sure this does not happen often, but sometimes the timing is such that by the time a message gets to the server, the unit has died. You may have to live with this but it only seems to happen when lots of units are engaged at the same time AND you try and change the skills.

I have made a lot of changes in this version, although I have tested it extensivley in the last few days, there may still be some issues.

A Word of Warning:
Changing skills wholesale can seriously affect the playability of a mission. Please take some time to read the included documentation and experiment with your favourite mission and see how things are affected. Please, don't use this for the first time on that Once A Year Clan Night!! I really don't want a squad of angry ex-military types at my door at 3am demanding why I ruined their evening (unless they bring beer)! The Red Arrows are based less than a mile away - any trouble and I will call them - they will come and blow red white and blue smoke up you're ass!

- Fixed a problem with detecting a LAN (hosted) mission.

- Fixed a problem with preinitialisation that stopped this mod from loading with certain other mods.

v 1.5
- Added ability for new units to inherit values set in the sliders.
- Details display shows which values will be inherited by new units.
- A number of bug fixes.
- Massive code cleanup.
- Restructured code to be more CBA-like to take advantage of CBA functions.
- Some visual changes.
- Documentation updated.
- Config hotfix now included.

v1.0 (not released)
- Added Map
- Changed where the addon appeared in the action menu.
- Tidied some code.

V.0.1 Beta.
- first release

Forum topic:
- BI forums

- Community Base Addons

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Tags: Precision,   Skill,   Slider