Author: wiper
Author Website:

Requirements: No addons required
Playable options:

Version: 1.41b

Date: 2009-11-17 07:15

Comments: (20)




'Cipher' is a Arma2 mission fully based on scripts.
The mission development was centered around three central themes:
    1.) Literally unlimited replayability providing unexpected encounters each time the mission is restarted.
    2.) Let the player experience how awesome the AI and micro AI actually is that BIS has created for us and what I think is the most sophisticated AI for home computer games to date !
    3.) Give the player the possibility to explore and enjoy the gorgeous beauty of the Chernaurus map while immersed in a living environment.
    4.) Embedding all of the above into a plausible "story line" keeping a most enjoyable balance.
As a result, on one hand the mission concept is based on a relatively advanced AI 'engine' as a core system that I originally started to develop in the beginning of the good (golden) old OFP times and provides a full dynamic driven persistent AI.

On the other hand the "AI engine" (ADPI) provides sort of an interface so that it can be relatively easy adopted into a different mission concept.

So essentially 'Cipher' can be seen as a base module with a minimum content story wise, that just needs to be expanded to be a fully story driven mission. However this means, the story part still needs drastic scripting efforts not to speak of all stuff that needs to be implemented to have multiple and dynamic story lines working perfectly even in MP mode.

* 'Cipher' is playable in SP mode as well as in MP coop mode (just copy the mission into your respective Arma2 folder).
* Each time you start the mission over, you start at a unique location anywhere on Chernarus.
* Each time you start the mission over, the primary objective is located somewhere else.
* You need to search for the main objective and after successfully completing the required tasks, call for extraction and leave Chernarus.
* While on mission, you will encounter 'living' AI, easily implemented thanks to the new BIS modules, as well as scripted civilian population roving around the whole map, mostly by car.
* Dynamically acting hostile forces, using choppers and armored vehicles, initially randomly patrolling around the target area, and dynamically reacting to encounters - eventually flanking your position and supporting each other.
* random time start (at daylight), selectable daytime emphasis per option.
* full dynamic weather
* no Addons needed
* Since version 1.22 the mission is also playable in a second play mode 'SpecOP', since 1.28 there is a 'SpecOp light' mode too.

Extract the pbo file to your ArmA2\Missions folder for SP.
Extract the pbo file to your ArmA2\MPMissions folder for MP.

Finally some hints from 'under the hood' - feel free to read on, as due to the mission concept 'spoiling' is not really possible, you'll never know what you will face :-)

* As briefing suggests, approach carefully. Often the mission can be easily failed by simply rushing towards the hostile area.
* The closer you move to the hot spot the more likely you may encounter ambushes. Every single hut or deer stand may be a hideout!
* In the first phase planning is crucial, always use terrain and cover to YOUR advantage!
* Consider taking out Air targets at first hand, then APC or armored forces before moving in further.
* Hostile air patrols periodically take place about every 5-30 minutes (you never know when they start), covering the hostile area for about 5-20 minutes.
* Enemy armor is focused around the primary target, but patrol movement may carry them far out for 1-2 km away,
* Same goes for some hostile infantry patrols.
* Always remember the persistence of the AI: each enemy AI unit is there right from the beginning of the mission and none is spawned randomly. So relax - no cheating AI, each one you've killed is out of question, but if you encounter one you didn't expect at that position, you just have overlooked it ;)
* Have fun !

MP notes:
The mission is JIP (Join In Progress) ready and should run fine on a dedicated server but you need to know some specifics:
    * 'Cipher' can be played by 1-10 human players as Blue in Coop against OPFOR AI.
    * At least one player needs to take the role of one Team leader!
    * If starting alone always choose the first slot/group leader to minimize JIP issues for connecting players.
    * The standard mission starts as one single team but the group leader can split up the group into several teams where each team has its own leader using the HTS menu (use the Command menu for this). Note that the split teams can’t rejoin after the original team leader (i.e. “High Commander” of the sub teams) is killed.
    * When playing the SpecOPs version no team splits can be performed and only one human player is group leader. Each connecting player will be assigned to the team leader and always starts with a bike at the insertion point. Also initially no AI players are allowed but you need to let the AI enabled (in the lobby options) as the AI exists as a poll for JIP'ing players and for semi-respawns.
    * Because the team occasionally can be split after mission initialization, JIP works limited, yet: when JIP'ing you maybe need to reconnect and choose one of the units of the originally 'group' leader in TaskForce mode or one of the free slots of the pool AI in SpecOp mode.
    * Performance: In MP mode the mission's visual distance and the grass rendering can be chosen vie the lobby parameters.
    * Respawn/revive: Currently the mission doesn't support respawns or reviving. The AI is tweaked to be challenging but not overly hard to fight. This should provide for a well balanced learning curve in mastering the game as well as the mission itself. Both aspects don’t match up with reviving elements very well I think. However if not all slots are taken by human players there’s still the possibility to switch over to a free slot using the team switch.
Known issues:
Well most of us Arma2 (and earlier versions of the game) users know that we need to live with some quirks the engine still has, mostly concerning AI behaviour.

* Right after the mission has started your MTVR truck (or ammo crate in SpecOp mode) maybe isn’t accessible right away. This is a game engine peculiarity of fresh spawned vehicles and not a bug. If this happens give it about 20 seconds at max. After that time it can be accessed as usual.
* When you find the Suitcase placed on elevated building positions (barns upper levels, deer stands,..) it may happen that it seems to vanish when you open it. Actually the “opened suitcase” might now be found at ground level. Also that action menus sometimes take some time to be active.
* Although since patch 1.03 most of the civil module glitches seem to be fixed, expect strange civilian behaviour in some regards, often cars placed at strange places or strange wording by some civilian guys.
* (Civilian) AI drivers seem to love to crash into other cars standing right in front of them on the road. Occasionally they often roll over other AI or player units, so always consider evasive behaviour with them.
* Air AI has trouble navigating around rough terrain eventually crashing sometimes, particularly when attacking.
* Performance: right at mission start up expect some lags and frame rate drops for some seconds on slower computer hardware, usually vanishing within 20-60 sec. After that time span the mission performance should be the same as for the official missions, most probably even better due to highly optimized scripts performance wise.
* JIP (Join In Progress): Sometimes the daytime is not synchronized for a JIP’ing player. This particularly seems to happen with a fresh hosted game and it seems to be very hard to reproduce. To sync the time, abort to the lobby and reconnect a second time. In ‘Task Force’ mode you need to chose the slot of group member of the High Commander (the originally group leader) if teams are split. In SpecOp mode you need to select a new slot that was not played in the current mission.

For the mission itself and its tasks refer to the briefing when started.

Change log:
- fixed: JIP broken in SpecOp mode
- tweaked: extraction chopper spawns closer to the players team/ leader

- added: options for auto revealing the suitcase
- improved: revealing algorithm
- improved: intro implementation
- fixed: black screen sometimes not terminated on clients

Credits & Thanks:
All credits go to

* Bohemia Interactive, :, and its whole staff, as well as to all people supporting BIS, mods, fanboys, ranters and others, in other words, further credits to
* the whole community , , mainly to the
* OFPEC team, for all of their hard work and help in supporting the community.

Further credits to

* Mr_Centipede for HCS (Hybride Commanding System) and
* Kremator for hints in, and implementation of, HCS.

Special credits to

* John Buford for the briefing Overview, his countless hours of testing online, edits of my English texts and his invaluable game play advices !
* Nightrat for testing too and for his never ending patience in my combat play styles ;)

Last but not least specific credits to all who have contributed by spending their precious time and energy in testing, suggesting and feeding back. Without the enthusiasm of these people this mission never would have become what it is:
* Hoz , Greg, keet, alpha-kilo, galzohar, DogTags, Alex72, Manzilla, MaXyM, Kremator, silent_op and plus all who I may have forgot to list here and all of you I unfortunately don’t even know :-)

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