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About nkenny

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    First Sergeant


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    I live here, Really.

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    Oslo, Norway
  1. AI Discussion (dev branch)

    @Strike_nor I will first give an outline of what it seems you are suggesting then some critique. It seems that what you are describing is actually a learning heuristic combined with a dynamic response mechanism on two levels. I. Recon A SIDE will develop information regarding combat strength (in your nomenclature: weight) by interacting with enemy forces. The side maps out an enemy frontline in relation to its own. Frontline is by this a measured in three categories: (1) location and (2) size/expanse of danger area and (3) abstract combat strength contained within danger area. II. Tactics In turn the AI will tailor low level response to information about dangerous, or potentially dangerous (as measured by abstract combat strength) along lines of (1) behaviour and (2) facing. (1) Combat behaviour. Stance and use of cover; more dangerous zones demanding greater attention to use of cover. (2) Combat facing. Group facing determined not by current waypoint, but by distance and combat strength of nearby combat foci. III. Strategy High level response would be handled by units linked to an administrative HQ (be it a module or actual unit or abstract SIDE) with the ability to consider a number of variables: - Enemy combat strength - Own combat strength - Ability to project combat strength - Sides rules of engagement High level response could include considerations of reconnaissance, resupply, reinforcement, and conservation of assets-- however I believe that this will vary greatly from mission to mission as to require a human level intelligence or else strict human defined limits to be effective. IV. Criticism First I will consider practical implementation a to b, then consider the internal tactical and strategic benefits of such a system c to e. Practical implementation a. If this system is applied on a general level it will break with many existing missions. High level command AI, such as enabled by the mod/script VCOM, does exactly that. Indeed the configuration, made by mission maker, necessary to establish sensible areas of operation may preclude it from being a time saving, drop-in mechanism. In your own example this is evident. A unit set to a GUARD waypoint is a very different in tasking from one set to HOLD. The reason why the AI is set to this waypoint may will also differ! A single solution will not give answer to the myriad of scenarios possible in Arma3. b. High level AI responses is not a quick fix. While the AI of Arma3 could do with a rough shaking, decrepitating the entire existing waypoint structure seems a project better suited for Arma4. At this level of development, Arma3 is in in need of fixes and enhancements, rather than rewrites. Internal tactical and strategic value c. It seems like you are describing a new game mode-- focusing on information gathering and weighing options rather than immediate AI response and actualisation of offensive and actions. This is interesting, but harder to make into a generic one-size-fits-all package. If unfamiliar with mission making and mods I recommend checking: HETMAN and VCOM. d. Introducing an expensive super structure to handle low level tactical choices is interesting. But what does it actually change? Already the AI will respond (in a directional) sense to known enemy forces. Units set to GUARD waypoints will move to support (in accordance to a combat strength evaluation) to enemy presence. The biggest benefit seems to alter behaviour of AI patrols moving into enemy frontlines or to units patrolling within a zone which suddenly is marked as enemy dominated frontline. Certainly limmersive, but how expensive is this compared to the minor benefits gained? e. The theory of modern military strategy has moved away from envisioning frontlines. Modern military forces are unable to muster the manpower necessary to populate them, and in any case revealing ones presence is to invite destruction by artillery or bomb. Even so handling the vast range of variables that must be considered by a high level commander are beyond what a AI could be expected to manage. If map specified Areas of Operations, or limited support weapons and QRF forces are linked to an AI module then this ties neatly to c. It sounds like a new game mode, rather than a unitary one-size-fits-all solution to our AI woes. V. Concluding While the idea is nice it seems that you are describing something different to basic enhancements to player-AI interaction in Arma3. A high level AI commander capable of smart development of information and responding to said high-level information is suitable for some, but not all scenarios played in Arma3. Therefore it makes more sense to focus the lower tactical level of execution of common infantry tasks. TL;DR: Sounds like a fun game mode, but beyond the scope of improvements to AI decision making and basic player to AI interaction. -k
  2. AI Discussion (dev branch)

    I feel that the main problem is the incongruities between selected AI ROE/orders and expected behaviour. While an annoyance as a mission maker, this fatally undermines any attempt to squad lead or command, by high command or ZEUS, multiple teams of AI soldiers. It seems that small tweaks could be made for great effect. 1.0 More aggressive AI: 1.1 I wish the AI engaged more aggressively, but perhaps less accurately with certain weapon systems. Compare the way players will deploy weapons (sometimes indiscriminately) to how the AI will. Especially low grade AT weapons like RPG-7 should see the AI cheerfully fire at any target of opportunity. 1.1.1 Low flying helicopters and infantry specifically. Think Black Hawk Down like scenarios. 1.2 Vehicle crews targeting garrisoned buildings. 2.0 Stealthier AI: 2.1 The current Stealth ROE is anything but. The AI may whisper, but the mode of movement is by rushing leapfrog. A sensible mode of movement would be limited to walking pace and going prone on spotting a relevant threat. 2.2 Stealth ROE has few or no ways of limiting fire to AI equipped with suppressors. A simple way to set this up would be great. 2.3 Sympathetic ambush AI: If one member of a team is spotted and opens fire, it would be a sensible change to have the entire squad respond. 3.0 Cover/Suppressing AI: 3.1 The new suppressive fire mode is good. The lack of ability to easily define covering arcs not so much. A way to easily define covering arcs from both editor and mid-mission would be a wonderful change. 3.2 On similar note: Halting or going firm, setting up an allround 360 defense would be helpful. 4.0 Lack of visual and audible feedback of suppression states 4.1 Perhaps the most grievous is the lack of feedback to help determine a player that the enemy is suppressed (or in a cowering mode). This undermines any attempt at fire and manoeuvring. 4.2 Crew abandoning burning vehicles also tend towards being laser accurate. 5.0 Lack of interface for certain common infantry actions 5.1 Deploying Smoke or Frag grenades 5.2 Deploying mines or demolition charges 5.3 Assaulting or Garrisoning buildings. 5.4 Force fire of ready AT or HE weapons at point targets 5.5 Rushing/storming/blitzing to or away from a location 6.0 Infantry formations 6.1 Current infantry formations are poorly suited for fighting in Urban areas. 6.1.1 The AI will sprint at inappropriate times (to keep in formation) 6.1.2 The AI will flank unnecessarily (instead of squeezing in behind formation leader) 6.1.3 The AI is generally unable to keep up with formation leader in both speed and agility. 6.2 Current infantry formations are poorly suited to conduct rapid rushes both towards and away from enemy. Compare and contrast Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear The 1999 tactical shooter dealt with a much more limited environment. Even so the user interface and tactical options available to the commander was in many ways greater. By combining two ROE setting, Mode and Speed, the player could adapt tactical approach to a large number of scenarios. See attached picture from game manual. Not shown is the mid-mission Quick command where the player could set up (or adjust) ROE and specific actions on the fly: Including cover arcs, allround defense, ROEs and as I recall certain grenade usage. Compare and contrast Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon The much simplified 2001 tactical shooter is another interesting point of contrast. Again simpler in scope and expansion to any Arma game, but easily superior in user interface. ROE was again a section of two modes: Movement and Combat. Covering arcs were also easily defined mid mission. Movement had three options: Hold, Advance, and Advance at all costs. Hold, the team would hold and seek cover. Advance, default option, the team would advance until fired upon. When fired upon they would adopt the hold mode. Advance at all costs. Just what the name suggests. Combat had three options: Assault, Suppress, and Recon. Assault, the default option. Suppress, the team will lay down a great deal of fire, sacrificing accuracy for effect. Recon, the team will hold fire unless fired upon. Conclusion My point is not that Arma should adopt any Tom Clancy's control interface wholesale. Arma is much more advanced than either of the suggested titles. What I suggest is that Arma3s AI, in addition to the navigation and movement problems mentioned by other posters, fails along three lines: 1. Correspondence of expected behaviour to user interface 2. Ability to actualise common infantry tasks in user interface 3. Consistent and conventional visual and audio feedback of current state of both friend and enemy forces. -k
  3. While I usually run a rather heavily modded game, ACE and RHS, and it has been a while since I tested dev-branch-- has something severe happened to AI engagement ranges? I was playing one of my AI test missions-- simple squad on squad environment-- and where I would usually have been picked off by vanillas rather accurate AI, I kept being able to press forward. Did I miss something? -k
  4. Holding our breath in anticipation. ;) @wsxcgy : Nice work on the uniforms! Simple and effective.
  5. Favourite/Least Favourite Aspects of Warfare/CTI?

    Good - Large scale of tactical operations - Teamwork in a deadly PvP environment. Bad - Obfuscated strategic economy- --- Discrepancy of price of units as compared to capability --- Economic impact of damage (or gains) difficult to measure; games rarely won by superior economic positioning. - Everyone is a ninja (DMR + AT galore) - Poor AI control interface within Arma3 ------------------ Much of what @JojoTheSlayer notes are relevant. If players had an easier time switching between friendly AI units, many of the issues would clear up. (such as driving for 15 minutes then dying-- solution, simply take control of another AI). The greatest challenge is creating a sensible economic meta-game which permits reinforcement and resupplies within a technically simple interface that nonetheless permits informed strategic decisions to be made. The ability to create forward SPAWN points-- perhaps via avehicle-- where players can call in friendly AI (perhaps vehicles in some situations) would likewise create more obvious frontlines and ressuply points needing destruction. Loss of men and equipment, alongside gain of resource hubs, should have an immediate obvious impact on the flow of the game. All in all. Arma3 has seen improvements in AI behaviour and lethality of AI weapon systems-- so Arma3 as an RTS (save some notable lacks (the ability to force AI movement or disengagement for one)) remain rather more viable than before. Perhaps the Vanilla Zeus vs Zeus missions can provide valuable experience and input.
  6. Don't give them firstaid kits. edit: {if (side==EAST) then {_x removeitem "FirstAidKit"}} foreach allunits; -k
  7. MrSanchez' Headlamps

    Wow. Simple and brilliant idea. -k
  8. 3CB BAF Weapons

    I would just like to offer praise for 3CB weapons, gear, units and vehicles. nopryl.no have been playing with these assets the last few weeks to great enjoyment. Keep up the good work. Your work is definitely being appreciated. -k
  9. LIMA Assault Force by nkenny Version 1.03 Date 28.07.16 Features - Four Missions suitable for six to 32 players. - Mini-Campaign with using Vanilla and Apex assets - Two to three hours playtime per mission - Headless Client support - Playtested on dedicated servers - None, or limited respawn. Addons: - ACE (optional) - ACRE (optional) - TFAR (optional) Blurb: Vanilla Flavour This mission package features commando styled operations utilizing vanilla assets. The last couple of weeks saw the release of Apex, which broke some mods and added many new assets. Being without a mission to play on Tuesday, I made this small four mission campaign. The mission framework will dynamically detect the presence of mods and DLCs and equip soldiers apropriately. Storyline A prototype V-44X Blackfish flying over Altis developed engine trouble and was forced to dump its cargo and make an emergency landing at an improvised airfield. Hostile terrorists captured the crew, seized the airplane and have collected much of the cargo. We follow Task Force LIMAs response. Replayability These missions have randomised elements and feature a tactically challenging environment. As always communities are encouraged to de-pbo and adapt equipment, mods and gear to suit their own play styles. Contains 4 missions: Basics, a warmup area to explore weapons, tactics, and equipment. Operation Assault on 419 Operation Burning Rubber Operation Taste of Cement Operation Ares Revoked Credits: Arma3 and Apex by Bohemia Interactive ACE, ACRE and TFAR by their teams House occupation script by Zenophon SHK Patrol script by Shuko Modified hostage rescue script by Sushi Acknowledgements: Nopryl.no for hosting, playtesting and being a great community Armaholic.com for hosting tons of wonderful missions and addons Alex2k for sound snippets, ideas and commentary The wonderful Arma3 editing and scripting community for countless script tips, tricks and whatnots. Enjoy! Ken Mikkelsen Download: > Link Pictures http://imgur.com/a/QELJt
  10. Is CSAT really that Over Powered?

    *Shrug* In my community we usually joke that CSAT seems to be getting all the best gear. I expect this is a concious choice by Bohemia to ensure that the baddies are a bit developed. The katiba is for reasons mentioned earlier in the thread superior on the most common engagement ranges, i.e., short-- but the real killers on the squad level is access to a proper 7.62 MMG. Cross ammunition compatability matters little when so much firepower is lost. Likewise I find the CSAT RPG superior for its flexibility. HE and AT rounds. Fast reloads. Reasonably effective accuracy. It is a great weapon to which bluefor has no or little response. The Marksman DLC again gave CSAT the Navid and NATO the SPMG. One of them is a furious beast, the other fires bullets at a glacial rate of fire. Also in the mechanized department the more traditional equipment available to CSAT is superior. A belted, autocannoned and TITAN bearing IFV with room for eight soldiers. This, alongside its smaller wheeled brother, provide exceptional firepower on the battlefield in a very fast and convenient package. More to the point, its spread of weapons can engage any type of target. The same which cannot be said for their bluefor counterpart. Pointing to differences in autocannon caliber, 20mm, 30mm and 40mm seems of little difference to me. An autocannon is an autocannon as far as most targets are concerned. In the case of hard targets, CSAT can deploy rockets. The NATO tank has a 105mm cannon. I need say little else. All in all, it seems to me that CSAT are better geared for a modern, industrialized, war. Whereas NATO forces seem caught with equipment better suited for Afghan/Iraq styled policing (or at best counter insurgency) style operations. It is no wonder that CSAT tears through the opposition. -k
  11. What Makes a Good Arma Campaign?

    It is possible to script around this. My recent missions have both vanilla, ACRE and TFAR support. (My gaming community recently moved back to ACRE). I've tended to make ACE optional, but by now, RHS and ACE are industry standards as far as I'm concerned. -k
  12. What Makes a Good Arma Campaign?

    Like many others have expressed, I too believe that Bohemia has not produced any better campaigns than Flashpoint's CWC. There were many elements that combined to make this the case: The setting, the gameplay, the characters and the authenticity of the scenario, and finally the novelty, i.e., context which CWC was released. I think that the elements of a good campaign can be narrowed to two key points: (1) Leverage the strengths of the Arma engine. (2) Storytelling. Authenticity rather than accuracy. (1) The strengths of the Arma engine has two further sub- components. (i) Arma is a beautiful game which offers unrivalled freedom of movement. It is a great walk-about simulator, and from a tactical stand point, no other first person shooter game I know of offers tactical combat manoeuvres that span kilometers. A good campaign can showcase both the size and quality of the world all while offering challenging game play that employ the vicissitudes of terrain, time of day, and equipment available. ( ii) Along similar lines. To make the gamer involved the world must look lived in. This was the strength of CWC and to a certain extent Arma2. The civilian populace and (especially in CWC) the day to day lives of the soldiers offered charming insight into their situation and provided a very effective settting backdrop for the events of the story. Indeed, getting this right seems more important than having the fog look perfect. Though personal standards for what is acceptable diverge considerably, there are unfortunately no excuses for poor voice acting. Campaigns which fail to leverage the technology of Arma alongside the immersive social/cultural terrain Arma can display are doomed to fail. Attempts to recreate CoD high-energy cutscenes likewise break with the pacing Arma excels at delivering. (2) Trying to capture what good storytelling is, is difficult. I think storytellers should aim to achieve authenticity rather than real world accuracy. By this I mean that trying perfectly simulate real life is not a useful aspect of storytelling-- indeed it may be a mistake(!). Instead, stories with robust internal structures and sensible logic capture our imagination. Look to the plethora of superhero movies and fantasy series to see this in effect. The viewer immerses him- or herself in the rich setting material. In the case of military themed scenarios what accounts for an immersive (authentic) experience may again differ wildly-- but these are challenges every storyteller faces. In other words, tell an internally consistent story with interesting immersive qualities to achieve authenticity. Another aspect of this is telling an effective story. Ones efforts will go to waste when the setting elements become too enigmatic or obscured from the viewers attention. I argue not for against weaving rich story tapestries, I argue in favour of using well known tropes to communicate effectively. Effective stories are also affective-- they capture, alter, hold hostage the mood of the viewer. Finally, once held, the attention must permitted time (and pacing) to develop and reach fruition. Campaigns need not be realistic, but they must tell effective stories with a high degree of internal consistency. Where realism is sought, it is in order to leverage familar tropes and elements both as inspiration and to reinforce the immersive environment within which the story is told. It must be frustrating as a developer to always have your first developments held as the gold standard. While I have a suspicion, though not investigated, that key persons involved in the CWC campaign are no longer with Bohemia-- the differing quality of their early work as compared to the latter is considerable. In short, I have found Bohemias recent attempts at campaign storytelling to be shit. Which is not to say that they are bereft of good designers-- as in particular some of their one-shot scenarios give excellent proof of their abilities! Indeed, some of my favourite examples of good mission design (with the context of the Arma engine) are found in Bohemias own work. The scenario "02 Eye for an eye", in Arma2 is well and truly excellent, capturing perfectly some of the ideas I have presented above. It is a shame that this excellence does not applied to their campaign making. Which leaves us with the current state of Arma campaign and mission design. I do find Arma to be a wonderful COOP game, but is it necessarily the best platform to tell stories along the very popular "four heroes attack the world"-- genre? I believe not. I believe these kinds of stories fail to capture the strengths of the Arma engine and experience. Arma is not cinematic in an action sense, it is cinematic in vistas. Arma gameplay is not high-speed twitch shooting, it is paced-- drawn out-- and tactical. Arma is at its best when it paints an authentic picture within a believable and compelling setting. After discussing the past and present, it is only natural that we look to the future. In fact, Arma has the potential to tell stories of a different size and magnitude than other games. We need not four player hero-coops. We could have 10, 20, 30, platoon level, player campaigns. Campaigns which explore, through a lense of authenticity the visual and cultural (societal) terrain that the Arma engine can give us. One could argue that each new expansion does give the community the tools to make these things-- it is true-- but this is also something Bohemia is uniquely positioned to grasp, enhance and master. Now that would have been a sight to see. I will now start Arma2 to play "Eye for an eye" again. -k
  13. I too would like to use the Arsenal more extensively in my missions. In particular your first note deserves emphasis. I would love an arsenal that permitted white listing with counted limits. Ie,. the ability to add X units of equipment Y to the arsenal. Once removed, they become unavailable. Will check out that mod ImperialAlex, looks interesting. -k