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Co-op Campaign: APEX PROTOCOL

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Most of that is speculation, nothing is ever really confirmed in the campaign.

 

But if his team did in fact do all that stuff, it adds a layer of moral complexity that goes beyond "bad guys do bad stuff". It's clear now that Miller's team was acting under orders of CTRG/NATO, which means that anything shady they did on Altis and Stratis was part of some larger strategy that required some ethical flexibility to achieve. To me, that's more interesting than if Miller's team was just some rogue element with their own agenda.

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I'm just gonna give my 2 cents on my problems with the campaign, lack of team AI aside

 

For starters, it never feels like the campaign never takes advantage of the fact that there's an open world. In Survive in the base game, part of what made that episode work so well is the openness of the world, it felt authentic, you could fly over camp maxwell in the beginning and be back there 2 missions later trying to stay alive, Apex Protocol has none of that, it's a campaign that would work just as well if it was a bunch of levels built individually instead of on an open map. In fact the openness takes away the story in some regards. With Syndikat I was expecting a small but powerful group hiding out in the jungle and a few small shacks in the woods or something, Not an entire  army that controls most of the islands! It feels ridiculous and takes away from immersion, which is supposed to be Arma's biggest strength!

 

As for the missions themselves it feels like there should have been more, especially since Eden is out now. I get that we're not going to get a full length campaign like the one in the base game, but for 30 dollars I expected more than this and a lot more variety. Give us missions where we interact with the locals or the police, show us actually going into a mission of a blackbird or parachuting in to a drop zone, just do something! This is especially annoying since the lack of civilian interaction is one of The East Wind was one of it's biggest problems to me, but instead of fixing it, they just keep us away from civilian areas altogether!

 

This campaign had a lot of promise, I thought it would be great to play as special ops guys, some nice variety compared to East Wind, but this is just disappointing.

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Hi chaps,

 

 

I'm finding this thread extremely interesting - especially when it comes to what we'd like to see and expect in an Arma campaign. To that end, I started this little thread here. Please contribute with your opinions and thoughts on Apex Protocol (as well as all the other Arma material, official and unofficial), so we can go onwards and upwards :P You never know, perhaps, collectively, we can work out what really makes Arma, 'Arma'!

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Most of that is speculation, nothing is ever really confirmed in the campaign.

 

But if his team did in fact do all that stuff, it adds a layer of moral complexity that goes beyond "bad guys do bad stuff". It's clear now that Miller's team was acting under orders of CTRG/NATO, which means that anything shady they did on Altis and Stratis was part of some larger strategy that required some ethical flexibility to achieve. To me, that's more interesting than if Miller's team was just some rogue element with their own agenda.

 

Yeah I think a weapon of that potential which could be used to destabilize entire regions of the world would be enough reason to play any dirty game This is why I never saw Miller as a bad guy, double agent or deserter doing his own thing.:)

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CAN YOU PLEASE put spoilers in spoiler tags ? Is that too much to ask ?

 

Thank you very much.

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Apex Protocol was first and foremost meant to be accessible.

<imho>

It is _not_ accessible at all for those without friends with Arma 3 APEX _and_ wishful, really wishful to play coop campaign. Without at least 2 of them, really.

And personally I will not recommend my friends buy it if they want a campaign experience. For new assets, yes, they are really good, I really like'em. For an awesome terrain, yep. But not for the campaign. If I'd want that sort of gameplay, I'd rather play KoTH, it is way more CoD and BF-like, has teamwork and so on.

It _may_ be fun, granted, if you are able to gather a team of 4 friends, not some unknowns, and play the campaign. But those teams are already set their mods, prepared their custom maps, ACE and stuff. For newcomers, hm. I bet that this campaign will be a hell. Please, newbie, you got a gun and a need to take the whole Island full of bad guys. In Arma. Not BF or CoD. If not for unlim respawns, it reminds me of Dark souls, but with them, it is a resp hell.

With a cautious approach of Arma vet, it is possible to not respawn at all, but you've heard Arma vets already.

 

Really, guys, if I want to play BF, I play BF. If I want to play ArmA BF-style, I play KoTH.

 

Hovewer, I missed some pros of this campaign. Environment is well-designed, decals are placed in lots and are very convenient, those screaming "where is all Tanoa garbage" are glad as hell, I think xD.

Cut-scenes are rather good.

The story itself is also a great piece -- I saw people complaining about CSAT being a bad guys, but I don't see it, really. They are the same as in East Wind, in my opinion.

 

Only a smallish portion of the Tanoa is used -- I hope that there will be some official use of the others parts of this terrain. We didn't get to the military island, for example.

Also, personally, I'd rather wanted to see more of a heavy military presence coupled with insurgents like Syndikat -- like it was in Arma 2 and East Wind. 

 

A point about the game setup -- some guys mentioned mil consultants, and I suspect they are good at their job, but still...

We are supposed to be a frigging specop team from the future, why we do have a thermal-masking camo, super-duper goggles, but do not have UAV terminals and UAV support? (quad one, specifically)

If we have such goggles, why do we have simple rangefinders? At least some of us should get laser designators, we're specop team that just may be used behind enemy lines to guide some strikes. And besides they have thermals too, with greater magnification that our goggles.

But the UAV support is my main concern. Is it just for difficulty? It goes against the grain.

I see why we are limited in artillery and air support, as well as armor *laugh*. But getting the team deployed without some recon assets as cheap as those UAVs is madness.

</imho>

 

 

Ok, so I played first 6 missions solo now.

  • In mission 6, I was unable to proceed even when I've captured all points and destroyed all technicals, that's only one bug I've got to report so far. It constantly assigned to me "Capture object washington" task, but it was already completed. 
  • (may be subjective) FPS goes down to 15-7 at some points, and nothing can change that. I set the lowest settings, I get 18 max. I set ultra, I get 13 max. At most situations, I can expect at least 30+-.

Anyway, I had no guys to play coop, since my friends are switched off the dev-branch. My opinion about single-player approach is the same -- no fun. Absolutely no fun. One man is no army, and when I can get some immersion, I prefer to play Signal Lost-style, stay undetected and low. Orders to clear outpost by myself are driving me mad. For one guy, this is not a campaign -- this is a set of coop-oriented missions played alone. I've played alone in user-made coop missions -- and even there was fun due to AI on your side.

For me, a maximum of one-person gameplay difficulty is a Marksman showcase -- it was really fun to get through it and not be shot.

 

After APEX release, I'll give it a try with a few guys, maybe it will change something, but I fear that it will not.

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Keystone mission didn't proceed one time while playing solo and had to be aborted when "Search New York" task didn't complete.  It occurred when NY outpost was at 046035 (positions of outposts vary).  There was no radio dialog with Watchtower after house was entered just before gendarme is released.  Playing RC build.

 

It's a little odd that there is no intro at very start.  You play Keystone not knowing at all what the situation is, why you are in Tanoa, and who/what Keystone even is.

 

I agree with kju that an option to have AI squadmates when playing solo is essential. Also essential is to maintain your gear and ammo at time of death when you respawn.

 

I am in the process of writing a long, anguished post about Apex Protocol, but haven't posted it.  Yet?  My Arma morale is dangerously low at this point.

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Another thing:

BIS said AP was meant to be more accessible to showcase the game to newcomers.

Ok.

But what happens when these newcomers decide, after playing it, to play East Wind or usermade content (which are totally different)?

How can AP prepare them to the core / real gameplay?

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The story itself is also a great piece -- I saw people complaining about CSAT being a bad guys, but I don't see it, really. They are the same as in East Wind, in my opinion.

 

Which is exactly the problem. NATO == Good, CSAT == Bad, AAF == Incompetent. How about some more black and white to that black and white story.

 

/Edit: If CSAT has to be what it is, then there are hints missing about NATO not being a super good guy either. Simply to balance the odds and make stuff interesting. I don't need to be the hero in every game.

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Following the orders is what agents or soldiers are meant to do, period.

OT but in democratic countries, soldiers are to obey only legal orders, which is not a free for all, and obviously not blindly. 

In any case, I think Miller just answers to the CTRG Command, like USSOCOM operators do, instead of the local regular NATO commander.

That's why in Eastwind the NATO TF commander may not know about the CTRG involvement at all in Altis / Stratis. 

I don't see any double agent trick, nor any shady stuff. Specially because in Apex Protocol he is still part of the CTRG and helps to achieve the common goal in the final mission.

(And yeah, I'm such a masochist that played AP till the end, at least it's better than physically injuring myself).

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OT but in democratic countries, soldiers are to obey only legal orders, which is not a free for all, and obviously not blindly.

 

That's for regular army.

 

That's why countries like France, UK, USA, Germany, Russia, Israel, etc... have secret agencies and SpecOps:

to be able to act beyond the legal and do the mission whatever it takes.

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That's for regular army.

 

That's why countries like France, UK, USA, Germany, Russia, Israel, etc... have secret agencies and SpecOps:

to be able to act beyond the legal and do the mission whatever it takes.

I wonder then way so many "secret agencies and specops" complain so much about legality and impossibility to take certain actions due to legal restrains... 

In my experience with special ops operators and intelligence agencies, they are really bind to legality too, their own, but they are; and if they act beyond they may face consequences. It's not like in Tom Clancy's books, it's all pretty much bureaucratic. I can't talk for Russia and Israel tho, as haven't had any experience with them. 

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I hope you can remove respawn system in singleplayer and bring back the old save system.

Yeah man it's awful playing SP like this. Unless I'm doing something wrong it looks like we're gonna have to deal with playing SP like this.

 

EDIT: 

 

Damn my fault. I thought it was already released. I haven't played the game in a long time so when I fired it up today and saw the Apex campaign I just figured it was the actual release and not just the dev branch I was playing. Whoops. So hopefully when the real release hits there will be an actual SP campaign mode not just playing it solo on a server.

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I wonder then way so many "secret agencies and specops" complain so much about legality and impossibility to take certain actions due to legal restrains... 

In my experience with special ops operators and intelligence agencies, they are really bind to legality too, their own, but they are; and if they act beyond they may face consequences. It's not like in Tom Clancy's books, it's all pretty much bureaucratic. I can't talk for Russia and Israel tho, as haven't had any experience with them. 

Well, Tier 1 operators are, I think, free of "legal" restrictions, though when they get caught doing something shady, they're appropriately clobbered for that. CIA was doing some real conspiracy-level stuff (project MKULTRA, the Castro assassination tomfoolery...) and it's certainly still doing it. We just don't hear about it, because it is, you know, secret.

 

Not all specops are Tier 1, though, there are many special operations groups around, most of which do have to observe ROE and act within legal boundaries. They're the ones who complain. A good cue is whether a group is attached to the military or to an intelligence agency. The former are less secretive, more numerous and legally restricted, while the latter are less in number, but secret and completely unrestrained.

 

Israel and Russia are particularly heavy on the "intelligence" type of specops (Mossad and FSB affiliated forces, respectively), as well as being known to play fast and loose with legal regulations even as far as their military goes. European countries, on the other hand, probably don't have much in terms of "Tier 1" equivalents. The US does (for example, what was once called Seal Team Six, then DEVGRU), though, and I think the British have such agents as well.

 

 

CTRG does look like a Tier 1 (or equivalent) unit to me. Notably, it seems like its communication with NATO military is a bit loose, implying affiliation with an intelligence agency. They also conduct operations which are definitely not within international agreements. It's a bit odd that they wear British flags on their uniforms in The East Wind (such forces generally don't do that), but I suppose that's just an oversight on BI's part, as are CTRG emblems on the new uniforms. Such forces are supposed to be deniable assets.

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Israel and Russia are particularly heavy on the "intelligence" type of specops (Mossad and FSB affiliated forces, respectively), as well as being known to play fast and loose with legal regulations even as far as their military goes. European countries, on the other hand, probably don't have much in terms of "Tier 1" equivalents. The US does (for example, what was once called Seal Team Six, then DEVGRU), though, and I think the British have such agents as well.

 

Even Tier 1 are under heavy regulations, at least in the US case (the units under JSOC, that include among others DEVGRU and Delta). Heck JSOC has a big legal department itself. There have been even some cases of JSOC operators gone wild that made illegal stuff and punished for it.

The Israel and Russian cases are different, as they wouldn't fit my "democracy" definition, hence they have a broad approach, but at least in the Mossad case they have some legal limitations. 

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EDIT: 

 

So hopefully when the real release hits there will be an actual SP campaign mode not just playing it solo on a server.

 

There won't be, it's been designed as a co-op campaign with the option to play it solo.  Might be some minor changes, but nothing drastic in the next few hours.

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Even Tier 1 are under heavy regulations, at least in the US case (the units under JSOC, that include among others DEVGRU and Delta). Heck JSOC has a big legal department itself. There have been even some cases of JSOC operators gone wild that made illegal stuff and punished for it.

The Israel and Russian cases are different, as they wouldn't fit my "democracy" definition, hence they have a broad approach, but at least in the Mossad case they have some legal limitations.

The Obama administration acts just like I said:

Conducting the Neptune Spear raid, drone strikes on US citizen abroad, etc... or in France, for example, the Rainbow Warrior operation...

These are agents / sf forces obeying orders and doing their job beyond legality.

The Neptune Spear raid could have been considered as an act of war.

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The Obama administration acts just like I said:

Conducting the Neptune Spear raid, drone strikes on US citizen abroad, etc... or in France, for example, the Rainbow Warrior operation...

These are agents / sf forces obeying orders and doing their job beyond legality.

As far as all the information it has been disclosed as today, the POTUS order was perfectly legal, in fact the POTUS has the legal prerogative to send troops abroad for a limited time without the US Congress authorisation. 

Maybe you are confusing legalities? You meant that those actions were illegal in the "recipient" country? You got me a bit lost now.  :wacko:

In any case, just to avoid confusions, my point is that all soldiers in democratic countries obey only to legal orders (in their country legislation of course). For example the US invasion of Iraq was not legal according to the Saddam Hussein's legislation, but it was legal in the US legislation. 

Hence IMHO there's no information in the campaigns that say that the CTRG teams were going rogue (even if the local regular commanders didn't know about their presence). 

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Which is exactly the problem. NATO == Good, CSAT == Bad, AAF == Incompetent. How about some more black and white to that black and white story.

 

/Edit: If CSAT has to be what it is, then there are hints missing about NATO not being a super good guy either. Simply to balance the odds and make stuff interesting. I don't need to be the hero in every game.

 

I played the story and all i can think is NATO only wanted the Device so they could use it. Because lets face it, breaking down a government and installing your own is really not that crazy of a thing for such group and countries in general to do. Hell America has proudly destroyed democracies and brought tyranny to lands before, because we wanted something and the current route didn't look like it would give us what we wanted.

On that note i'd love to see a CSAT Campaign where NATO pulls the same s**t, just in a different format.

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