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[FEEDBACK] When is a mission.pbo too big? (i.e., a barrier to players downloading it)

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I'm not into big mission files, You can still wow without the 20+ Mb.


Also what happens to the players on the server when new people join - do they suffer with red chains for 1 to 10 minutes while new players join. 


Not everyone has fibre.


At the end of the day its the Mission Maker and the server admins Choice 

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I've never released any missions publicly but im sure some of you have played the 15thMEU ACE insurgency missions at some point back in arma 2. Back in arma 2 i always attempted to keep the MP mission under 5MB, but my missions were big sandbox missions for the 15thMEU recruiting servers (15thMEU ACE Takistan Insurgency and their Fallujah Insurgency variant). The mission file size was small because they needed to be for the recruiting server so JIP players wouldn't affect the current mission performance (Yes JIP players DL files do have an impact on mission in performance depending on server scale). In this scenario the number one priority should be mission performance. The only time i ever heard anything regarding mission file size was some of my experiments mashing MSO and Insurgency into one mission which made the pbo file almost 10MB. That complaint was from mission file size and had nothing to do with JIP performance. I dont know if player sin arma 3 are still touchy on file size anymore as mod packs for servers are getting to be around 20+ GB.


Personally, i say it depends on the what the mission is designed for and what are the goals of the mission maker. For big servers like a realism units recruiting server, the substance(story/reasons of why/fluff) of the mission is not a huge priority and the mission is often completely devoid of such things. Missions for servers like these need to be bullet proof against pubbers doing what pubbers do best, and thats breaking the server lol. Mission performance and game-play experience are the top priority as they need to bring players in and have engaging game-play that require teamwork. No amount of custom music or sounds is going to do that unless it is integral to the mission. The missions ambiance takes a backseat to almost everything else when it comes to big server missions like these. Most players don't even take the time read the briefing for the current task as they base their actions off of the task name.


IMHO for missions that are just pure co-op mission i dont think file size will have much impact on it when playing with a group of friends or ad-hoc groups of people in teamspeak but If the mission is so large that it take 5min to 10min to download then you might want to restructure it to an addon or put it on steam so people can pre-download it. You also have to take into account for JIP if it makes since for the mission. If your like me and dont do respawns then JIP is not something i want. Just make sure anything your adding actually has meaning and a reason for being their. If the mission is good then people will play it. Having to download mods to play the mission in the first place is the biggest deal breaker but if the mod is popular like CBA/CUP/ACE/ALIVE some of the various unit mods then it should not be a problem since most arma players will likely already have them. 


For my own arma 3 mission that i have been working on this past month it's projected to sit around the 10MB to 15MB mark when complete. It has a 3:30 min intro sequence(skip-able by mission parameter) but it has substance. Half of that opening is credit sequence like you see in many old movies as it will have many voice actors and people who will have helped me that id like to credit during the opening. Is the sequence needed? No, but neither is the opening credit sequence of James bond movies either. Does it serve a purpose? Yes, it helps set the tone and pacing for things to come in the mission which is the main purpose for intro sequences. Does this take up mission space? It's about 2.6MB mainly due to the song used and its actually cut in half with the 2nd half of the song being heavily edited with sound effects to give the illusion of being played inside the chopper PA system with layers of crew chatter over it. Is it needed? absolutely not, but arma players are not accustomed to seeing missions that strive to push beyond go here kill _x. Most of my mission size comes from the fully voiced and scripted Briefing that correspond with the Slide show of intel pictures that will be shown on the TV screen in the briefing room as well as piping in live UAV feeds of the Objective Area.


The briefing is a complete rundown of what you will be doing in the missions in a contextual way that players can understand. Is it required to sit through the 5 to 10 min briefing given by the NPC? Absolutely not. Will you benefit from sitting through the briefing? Tremendously. For those that replay or restart(No respawns) it they can just skip it all together by going to the mission quick start point. Now is all of this voice over filler? Damn right its filler but It's filler with a purpose and has a reason for being their. Other things like sound effects must be their or players wont locate generators to take out the towns power systems. Above all my main concern is client performance given the object heavy nature of some of the scenes. Does mission size have an impact for players downloading it, not really as it depends on the delivery system of the mission and the missions scope like what i described for my mission.

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