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Melody_Mike

CAS using drones

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Aim: 
To enable CAS using unmanned drones for players, without significant bugs, using mission scripting.
 

Issue: 
The default CAS module (SupportProvider_CAS_Bombing) is rather bugged when synced with a UAV (B_UAV_02_dynamicLoadout_F or O_UAV_02_dynamicLoadout_F). 

If for example, a bombing run is requested and that UAV is too close, then it will circle the target endlessly, with the player unable to request new runs. Similarly, if the player requests a laser-guided bomb or unguided bomb, but the UAV does not have the correct loadout, it will similarly loiter. See picture below:

CAS-loadout-error.jpg
So there are several easily triggered soft-locks that I wish to design around. 
 

Solution attempt #1: 
Create individual bombing runs (without a constant provider) using the zeus module. 

Looking at beno83_au 's script (https://forums.bohemia.net/forums/topic/219155-release-mil_cas/ )
I found a reference to the zeus CAS module. This is easily copied and set as a new function in description.ext . I modified the start position of the CAS runs to the start position of my regular CAS provider unit. It allows me to specify the type of run, and respawns the CAS unit, so there's no soft locking due to to loadout OR position. But-

It's completely missing the player UI. There's no communications menu, no notifications, no sound. The strike is called using script commands.


Solution attempt #2:
Recreate the support provider module, remove the "unguided bomb" command menu option, and script respawning modules and units after every CAS. 

I found that the module 'SupportProvider_CAS_Bombing' uses scripts within modules_f.pbo > supports . I unpacked those, thinking "if I just cut out that single line, then recompiled it all back into functions, this should replace the vanilla function without problems". But they also include a set of FSM 's and BikB dialog files. And I've gotten rather stuck on where to find my relevant line and remove it. 

This solution would restore the complete UI of the vanilla CAS request, sans loadout error. Deleting the vehicle and recreating the setup would be pretty straightforward. 

So this is me at the moment. I'm stuck with the user interface of the Close Air Support Modules. The BIKI article on comm menus seems helpful- 
https://community.bistudio.com/wiki/Arma_3:_Communication_Menu  
But I am having trouble locating the vanilla menus and editing them. 
 

Any thoughts on how I should proceed?


With thanks,

-MeM
 

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On 1/11/2022 at 2:27 PM, Melody_Mike said:

It's completely missing the player UI. There's no communications menu, no notifications, no sound. The strike is called using script commands.

 

You could just make your own system for calling support. I've never used the drones with the CAS module though, so I can't speak to that. But there's a number of different ways you could approach this. First off I guess would be adding it to the Communication Menu. Then from there you could do things like grabbing what weapons are loaded on the drone and populating the comms menu with those weapons, giving the option to use a designator or open the map to click for a position, etc. Then you could add in whatever radio comms you wanted, some notifications, whatever else... At least by the look of it you've got the main issue solved, which is reliably getting AI drones to do CAS.

 

I actually wouldn't mind seeing what you come up with, specifically what you've done to work around the drone issue, as that may or may not become something I need to be aware of in the near future (if I get enough time to get stuck back into mission building again).

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Thank you for responding @beno_83au. I've posted this twice in the Discord as well. You are the first person even to respond. People don't even tell me I'm going about it the wrong way.

It seems I may perhaps be breaking new ground here with the communication menu scripting. 

Of course I have taken a look at the default game scripting for CAS within "A3\modules_f\supports\...". It's about 16 script files and 8 FSM files. Before I reverse engineer the code to not make it an Eden module, remove the unnecessary features, then make it work again as a mission script (in multiplayer!), it'll be a while. But I do like a challenge.

Cheers,

- MeM

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