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IndeedPete

[SP Campaign] M.E.R.C.S. - mercenary expendable ruthless covert selfish

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Honestly I'm completely stuck on the Shintzeljagd mission... When I convert the binaries I come up with $1"....And that's the end of my brainpower....

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Ah, you probably tried to convert them all at once. This post a few pages back should provide an answer - also to the second calculation:

http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?177261-SP-Campaign-M-E-R-C-S-mercenary-expendable-ruthless-covert-selfish&p=2787842&viewfull=1#post2787842

Good luck!

Edited by IndeedPete

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Awesome work, man, this is a lot of fun!

I have ran into a problem, however...

I'm running ARMA 1.26, no Mods, and my first time playing was your .91 Beta Campaign.

With .91 when I had to choose to stay or leave ION, if I left I could continue playing.

If I stayed on with ION, once I went to the briefing, the game went to a permanent black screen.

Only way out was 'ESC' and it brought me back to the ARMA3 main screen.

Tried 'reverting' but it made no difference.

But, you just happened to release .92 Beta that next morning.

DL'ed that and tried 'reverting' again and it worked!

I was able to continue.

Another issue has come up, however.

When playing 'BadAss One', the CAS jet always crashes into the sea.

I tried lasing multiple targets, calling CAS and jet crashes.

Tried one lase and jet crashed.

Tried not lasing anything and jet crashed.

I've tried controlling the jet, but it always nose dives into the water.

I tried doing other missions beforehand, but it's made no difference.

Perhaps I'm not doing this mission incorrectly????

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Glad you liked it so far!

Hm, don't know what might have caused that 0.91 gamebreaker but I'm happy it's gone.

This stupid airplane bug drives me insane! Thing is, I cannot for the heck of it reproduce that issue. I had it before but it didn't show up every time, just like every third or fourth try. Problem is that the plane is spawned mid-air, set to "Flying" and the engine messes up with the given velocity. So I've applied a fix which calculates and adds the necessary velocity so the plain won't crash - it seemed to work for me as I never had that issue again. However, you are now the second guy to report exactly that problem. Does it happen every time? Maybe an update to a more recent game version could help? (However, people reported that there are a few nasty maths bugs in Arma 3 1.32, I fear it could also affect this velocity thing.) I might just need to redo that whole scene, I'll do some more testing.

If there's no way for you to pass that mission you can always execute this in the debug console:

[] call IP_fnc_cheatEndMission;

It will take you back to the hub with mission completed. Thanks for your feedback, keep it coming!

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Ah, thanks, I'll look into those.^^ Though I think at least some M8 versions were already part of another package.

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Hey man. I've spent the last days (literally) on playing your campaign and let me first off say that it is the best time I had in ArmA 3 since the official campaign. Its simply amazing. I always found the Arma 2 PMC campaign the best before A3 and now you are taking PMC stuff to the next level. It would have been even greater if you had included PG Services instead of mixing up guerilla and AAF gear to equip the mercs but nevertheless the feeling was there.

I'm not quite through with it, currently closing in on the end (I suppose) but I thought it was the right time to leave a comment here.

90% of the missions worked like a charm, only a few- were a little bit buggy. And I had to revert like 1000 time, most times due to wrecked tires... this BI vehicle-damage model is horrible. But thats what the save is for, isn't it.

One mission that was a little bit confusing was the "badass" mission. That is kind of a spoiler so here we go:

- The first time the mission started a greenback was spawned just to right of me on the bridge and shot me during the cutscene.

- After lasing the target, a cutscene showing the A-10s is starting. I noticed they have really weird textures with wheels on their bodys and stuff. Might be due to an error on my side, though I can't say what it could have been, the A-10s in the Editor are looking fine.

- After the cutscene I am the pilot of the plane. I was like "WTF", nobody warned me I'll be flyin this thing. After a few attempts that ended in merciless AA fire from APCs or a sidewinder that decided to ignore my flares I managed to complete all objectives, but the whole scene was running with like 10-15 fps (I have a high end computer) so it was kind of a pain to play.

- Once I failed the mission while flying because Raif died. I wasn't even controling him at this time.

The whole thing was not really explained, the area was crowded with CPU heavy AI and the actual task of BDA and lasing targets wasn't really a part of what I did. I think it would have been a lot better if you just stick to the FAC duty stuff instead of switching me to the pilot and letting me fly a low-fps attack run.

I was running some mods during the whole campaign like parts of AGM and the HLC guns and BWMod. I don't know if they caused an issue but they really shouldn't. I removed all the stuff of AGM that usually corrupts user missions.

Now some stuff I really loved:

- The shop system. Its simply amazing. Especially because you added loads of Mod-guns to it.

- The side mission "capture stratis". It creates variety, its fun and gets you loot to sell.

- The extended shop system! With base building and vehicles!

- The Tactical Glass system!

- The story, of course.

- The base camp. You did an awesome job in making it feel alive. Loving those board writings and the campfire storys and all of it really.

- Tons of other stuff I can't recall atm.

Some ideas for improvements:

- Combining forces with PG Services!

- I know it is a lot to ask, but the whole project would really profit from voice acting. If you have no access to proper voice actors or the tech why not try some text-to-speech programs like 'ivona'. I used it myself in the past. It might not sound as empathic like a real human but it certainly does its job good and it is easy and has tons of accents and languages.

- The "capture stratis" scenario gets a little repetetive with the time. How about stashing some "legendary" loot here and there?

- Raif gets injured a lot but can't completely heal himself (talking about exploring stratis and returning to the camp, leaving it again and so on). It would be cool if you could 100% heal him by resting in the camp. Or making him a medic. Which would not fit into the story, so I'd go with the first one.

- And last but not least the textures of the "knights" uniforms look strange. Those bright red crosses, patches on the leg pouches... one can really see those icons have been copied and pasted into the texture and they just don't seem to fit in there. I'd go with something more decent but thats dependend on your liking.

So, after all, thanks for that amazing campaign so far, I'm looking forward to the finale.

One more thing what really suprised me at one point was the German. Because I actually used to know a guy called 'Alexander Engel' very good. :P But he is not that evil. I suppose. Who knows. Its been a long time.

Edited by Dar

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Hey, really glad you like it and thank you so much for such a detailed feedback! Greatly appreciated!

Yes, Arma 2's PMC campaign was quite atmospheric and M.E.R.C.S.' "Riot Control" is actually a bit of a recreation of "Vocation" from the PMC DLC where you have to scare off civies as well.

The equipment is put together randomly of all sides' weapons, vests, gear etc. I know there are quite a few interesting looking PMC mods out there but unfortunately I can't use them (actively). For MANW restrictions I'd have to include them into the download (obviously only with the author's permission) and when I began developing most packs weren't published yet. However, I could do the same with PG that I did with some weapon packs - including the custom uniforms and weapons into the shop configs which would also affect the equipment of the mercs, so you'd have "de facto" PG units when the mod is running.

I tried to make the player as engineer in most missions where you really have to rely on a vehicle (like in "Sauerland Express"), so one could take repair kit with him. Totally forgot that in the first hub though.

I can see your confusion there and I'm not completely happy as well. In an ideal playthrough the player would move carefully to a secure position, make sure that the area is clear and then call in the airstrike. But players don't play by the books, only we creators do. :D Then again, as you wrote, I've never mentioned before that you could fly the plane. (Threre's actually a hint to tell you you can switch back - but in the heat of the moment it's too easy to miss I suppose.)

Patrols are spawned randomly but only on mission start. Strange, but a Greenback shooting you seems to be perfectly fine in a war zone. ;)

Weird textrures? They both have custom textures but they shouldn't look weird. Any errors on start up (like texture XY not found)? For example, the player controlled plane should look like this (more or less, the picture is edited):

m07a_overview_sourcexrkij.jpg

Don't know what might have caused the FPS drop. A big explosion at the HQ after a successful bombing run could have caused a temporary breakdown but I've never experienced constant effects. Playing both on a crappy laptop and a new gaming machine. Then again, Arma doesn't seem to care about what hardware you have, there are always (temporary) FPS drops. Sandbox comes with a price I guess. Will run this scene again nontheless. I might just turn that whole thing around and leave out the automatic switch to the pilot so players are not totally baffled when it happens.^^

Somebody actually listens to the camprife stories?! Did you also find the toilet guy?^^

Voice acting is still uncertain - it's a ton of dialogues and I'd need a wide variety of speakers. That's the problem if you're not just doing the typical US / NATO scenario - I can't "just hire" a handful random Americans and let them do the job. I plan to put together scripts for every character to see how much it actually is. Then I might decide to search for people to fill the roles but I'm really not sure if it's possible. (Without hiring professionals for real money that said.)

Capture Stratis is really rather generic and repetitive. I've made that thing up on one afternoon a week ago or so just to have something on the island. It's nice to farm some loot or test a new (mod) gun but apart from that there's nothing to see. I've planned to put in more stuff and sidequests (also for the second hub) but after eight months of development and finally completion of the story line my motivation suffers. At the moment I'm not really thrilled of Arma in general even if a I have tons of ideas on how to improve M.E.R.C.S.

The autoheal after returning to the hub is definitely something I'll put in, noticed that as well during my own palythroughs.

Yes, the Knight's textures are semi-optimal. That's partly my little knowledge with image editing (well, I've got some help on that side by now) but to make it look natural I'd also have to fiddle around with the lower maps (plastic stuff) and not only the textures. I'll see what I can do, I'm not happy with the rank emblems (crosses) as well.

Glad you liked it and I hope you will enjoy the ending you'll get as well. Depends on how you played. ;)

Yes, a German character can't hurt.^^ It's actually quite hard to find a modern German name combination which is not totally retarded and not already possessed by someone I know. xX

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Every time the first hub loads...

LXxMN73.png

is it normal??

---------- Post added at 10:37 ---------- Previous post was at 09:37 ----------

Very important pickup mission: frustrating mission, mines/ieds I'm not warned against nor I can see, it makes basically a trial & error mission where obligatory have to die in a few spots to know where you shouldn't drive the next try.

---------- Post added at 11:02 ---------- Previous post was at 10:37 ----------

Ransom demand: What are you supposed to do? The chopper starts reporting their positions, you are on foot stranded, and at one point the tatooed guy says "we lost them! we lost the money!" and mission is failed, even if while saying it, the chopper reports a new position of the car.

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[/color]Ransom demand: What are you supposed to do? The chopper starts reporting their positions, you are on foot stranded, and at one point the tatooed guy says "we lost them! we lost the money!" and mission is failed, even if while saying it, the chopper reports a new position of the car.

Steal one of the parked cars and chase them down, you can either try and stop them on the road by ramming them then shooting them or tail them to their base.

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Hey,

which version do you use? Campaign PBO or addon (steam or dropbox)?

There are a few minefields, mostly off the road. You can occasionally encounter a mine on a dirt road or so, that's true. When driving slow you might be able to see small black dots on the road which are mines in most cases. The most norhtern route between the Green Zone and the second facility is usually the safest in terms of mines.

There is a civil car "hidden" at the north-eastern part of the stadium which you could take to pursue the pirates. The broadcasted positions are rough points to follow (they're basically heading north, passing Kore and then turning left between Kore and Syrta). Fail distance is 1,5 or 2 clicks if I recall that right. There's also a task being created to get the ransom back.

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I use the campaign version in Steam.

I will try to search for the car, but I went up to the hill to observe them, I don't know if I will have time.

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Ah, the steam addon version, that has been one hell of a troublemaker lately, I'll look into it.

It should be possible, as said, you have like one or two kilometres buffering zone until it fails.

---------- Post added at 01:46 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:25 PM ----------

Just checked and it seems like there is another copypaste issue with the addon version. Looks like my windows "forgot" to copy the fnc subfolder... - this whole update process sh*t is driving me mad. I'm so close to just take it off of steam and say "f*ck it"! It's the second time I have to re-upload 170MB to various filehosters because of a stupid copypaste or find&replace error that can occur on every new update. New upload is pending, expect more troubles...

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Glad to give you feedback, man!

And yes, I found the toilet guy!

Anyway, I don't know what went wrong with the A10s, there was definitley no texture missing they were just painted with the wrong texture. You as a mission maker can probably imagine this: Its like applying the texture file of a car to a plane. Of course the new texture doesn't fit the model so parts of it like wheel textures appear on the body, shadow textures on the wings and so on. But again, I have no ideo what caused this. If it works for you, its probably something on my side. Doesn't matter now.

The crappy FPS is easily explained: tons of AI being aware, running around and fighting. If it runs fine for you on a laptop, I'm really starting to feel like Arma hates me. I'm having this perfomance problems with many AI and or dense vegetation since Arma 2 although I did every single possible tweak or trick to enhance the fps that the internet and I know of and bought the some really expensive hardware just for playing this game. Anyway, its Arma, like you said. Like a box of chocolates. You never know.

I totally missed the fact that this is an MANW entry. Of course that means you can't use PG Services. My Bad. But your mod-implementation would be great for it, too.

And I totally get your point with fading motivation. I have great respect for you even pulling this through such a long time. I did some once high rated stuff on the workshop myself but couldn't find the time at first and the motivtion at last to continue on it. Part of it is to blame on the fact that I returned to Arma 2 for several reasons, though.

Edited by Dar

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Ok, I finished the ransom demand. Still, it's a mission a bit clunky.

If you happen to search a car by the left side of the stadium, you will find it in time, but if you start by the bottom side (the closest one if you were on the hill), then right, then top, you will reach the game over screen before you mount on it. Again, that's just luck factor same as the mines: "if you drive by this featureless terrain, you are blown to smithereens, you drive by this other featureless terrain, you will live". "If you search starting by the left side, you will continue the mission, if you search starting by the right side, you will lose it and have to restart". Pure trial and error.

I would add a second car on the SE side, to increase the odds of the player finding a vehicle before the timer runs out. And that's of course supposing the player notices what's happening, a comment from tattoo guy saying "I think I saw a car on our way here!" would help some players so they can understand what they should be doing without putting a too explicit "get in a car and pursuit" goal.

And because the AI is slow in comparison with the player, you can lose the mission if you wait for him to mount in the char. You are going to want to drive the car without waiting for the AI to catch up with you, which isn't ideal. After, you can assault the pirates alone or wait until the AI catch up with you, and he needs a good amount of time to walk 2.5 kms...

Never mind that it's doesn't make a lot of sense that the chopper loses track of the enemy car depending of your proximity or not, I understand it from a gameplay standpoint, but it isn't exactly "realistic".

---------- Post added at 15:32 ---------- Previous post was at 15:01 ----------

Sauerland Express mission: increasing the detection radius of the trucks in the destination by another 10 mts wouldn't kill anybody. Stupid sergeant believed we hadn't delivered the trucks, just because one of them was a few meters away from the point.

Edited by Turin Turambar

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@Dar:

I see, really have no idea what it could be, data corruption maybe. Having problems with inconsistencies in some releases.

It's not like it's running completely smooth for me either. As you said, lots of AI in small areas (especially cities) are a real performance killer. It's sad but true CQB scenarios in Kavala or Pyrgos are just impossible to do. Either the cities are completely empty which destroys the immersion or you spend hours to fill the city with objects and details and the performance is so crappy it's virtually unplayable. Somehow a miscalculation by the devs I think. Altis is the biggest map ever, yet you can't really use some parts of it due to performance issues, it's just sad. Even on my gaming rig, missions like "Badass One" or "Close Quarters Battle" are causing serious FPS drops sometimes. Hell, even the hubs are pretty hungry for hardware and there's no combat going on, just AI standing around or patrolling. Of course, I could probably optimise especially the hubs by disabling AI where it's not needed or use smart caching methods. Actually, if you walk out of the Stratis hub to go freeroaming, the whole hub gets disabled and hidden. And the enemy units for the capture Stratis task are constantly spawned / despawned around the player to save performance and keep it smooth, more or less at least. "Riot Control" or "Very Important Pickup" are also part of these missions which really need to be optimised. A huge airport with no ambient stuff just looks awful but the performance impact is unbelievable.

Yeah, I see to it to implement the PG vests, uniforms and whatever the creator provides (haven't tried the mod yet). But that's where motivation strikes again. Implementing mod packs is an easy task but requires a lot of careful copypasting, ordering, googling and testing. It's so repetitive yet exhausting that I really have to force myself to do it. However, the results are great, I can really feel the difference when playing missions with all that mod content. It adds some variety and immersion to the project. Plus it's fully optional which seems to be something unique among the Arma 3 mission scene from what I can see. When I encounter an interesting looking mission and see a huge list of require mods I tend to turn it down or say "maybe later" and then forget about it. That really is a problem. Keeping as many mods as possible optional is a good approach, yet not always feasible. Maybe some modder in the future will have a brilliant idea on how to resolve this mod hassle...

This is actually the first longer project I conducted which has a proper ending to it. I've started like six campaigns (since Arma2) and numerous side missions. There are still two unfinished Arma 3 campaigns stuffing my missions folder. By now I don't see them as real projects any more. More like stuff I did to learn scripting and editing, experiments and tests. I'm somewhat glad I've never published them.

@Turin Turambar: Yes, "Ransom Demand" is really not the strongest mission. I might add some more cars to keep the trial and error low. The whole campaign is not really realistic and I've never tried to create a fully authentic gameplay for the A3 hardcore realism players. That said, I wouldn't even know how. I don't have any military experience whatsoever nor do I know people who have which I think is necessary to create proper realistic campaigns or missions. Thanks!

---------- Post added at 05:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:50 PM ----------

There's actually enough space for parking both trucks in front of the officer. Problem is that the AI buddy doesn't know how to drive, let alone park the truck. (He sometimes even runs over some Greenbacks...)

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Checkpoint charlie: one red truck instead of stopping in the checkpoint turned right and tried to skip it, so I shot the driver. But my buddy complained as I did something unneeded and now we had to hide the body. Is it a bug, is it intended?

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The driving AI is a constant trouble maker. The bargate was closed at the time? Because if it's left open the AI will just drive through. The fact that you need to "hide" the body, i.e. just get the car off the road is to counter an earlier bug. It should proceed after the car is off the road.

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The driving AI is a constant trouble maker. The bargate was closed at the time? Because if it's left open the AI will just drive through. The fact that you need to "hide" the body, i.e. just get the car off the road is to counter an earlier bug. It should proceed after the car is off the road.

Closed. I was doubting between that, the usual Arma AI ;), and an event of the mission where a driver try to cross the checkpoint by force.

Overall I'm liking the campaign, a very interesting one, combining good narrative and more free structure (choosing missions, buying and selling equipment, etc).

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Glad you like it so far. The AI is a major gamebreaker sometimes. With every other patch BI changes something but even if it is an improvement, the AI is reacts differently. Also the AI is somewhat unpredictable, be it driving or doing something else. A scenario turns out different every time which is kind of cool but can also be a pain in the ass for us creators.

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I imagine. Playing other user mission the other day, some AI soldiers just got... stuck, as in a logical closed loop, and they refused to move from their positions. Stuff like that still happens in Arma... (I'm a veteran of the series, started with the Ofp demo...).

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Oh boy, I mean, oh IndeedPete... I´ve finally managed to get to the end of the campaign, but I had two bummer bugs on the last missions...

On Smash and Grab, no matter how much explosives I´d put on the hologram generation, it never gave me task complete so the mission got stuck, and all those AI and smokes almost had my old machine melt... had to use the cheat mission end and got back to camp this way - I was going to stick with ION anyway... then I´ve chosen the "bromance" end and escaped the base leaving the "cunt" Miller and his nuts Knight who say Ni behind and carring my best mate Drazen the Serb along... so we got my ideal end mission: f@#* Nikos b%$# and escape the bloody island... so got to kill - in the best badass style - and Nikos goons and finish him off with a Moçambique grouping (double tap on torso and then one bullet to his freaking head)... got to the boat, set sail and then... nothing? No sarcastic dialog, no closure =( had to use cheat end mission again cus I was riding 8 km from Altis and the mission wasn´t complete! That was kinda of a major bummer =P

Of course, I was playing v0.92 beta campaign pbo....

Despite the bugs, great and the funniest campaign I´ve ever played! Loved till the end and hope you got at least a memorable mention on MANW contest =D

cheers!

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Glad you made it, congrats! I'm really sorry you ran into troubles. :/

Not sure what's the reason that the explosion detector fails sometimes. It's basically just a firedNear eventhandler.

Also not sure what went wrong with Nikos. I can't play right now so I just did a "dry" code review - nothing's wrong. After killing Nikos, you should pick up money from his body and then being ported into a near by boat. Then there should be a small dialogue about beer and future and stuff, then it should fade out to the credits. What was the last thing you saw?

So, in order to to nail down what's causing this weird behavior could you be a lamb and provide me some data?

- Arma 3 DevBranch or Stable?

- A list of mods you're using.

- What kind of explosives did you use to take down the generator and where did you place them?

Thank you for your kind words! Doesn't matter how the contest turns out this project is a huge success for me! ;)

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