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  • "Serious" Coop mission player life management

    A somewhat complicated title for a very important game dynamic.

    I've been thinking it over, and I like the gameplay and half-realism of a revive system, but I like the brutality of a no respawn system. I am looking for a way to combine the "best of both worlds". This is my idea so far.

    These numbers are for a short platoon with 2 pilots (30 players total).

    You will start your mission with 40 'tickets' available for the entire team. When a player respawns, you subtract 2 'tickets' from the pool. When a player is "killed", they are put into an "unconscious" state (almost exactly like Norrin's revive script) and are set as captives to prevent the AI from "overshooting" every single player, rendering the rest of the system useless. An unconscious player has 3 minutes to live, if no one gets to them after 3 minutes, they respawn (subtract 2 tickets), if a non-medic player gets to the unconscious player, First Aid can be applied, giving the player 1 minute longer to live. If a medic reaches the unconscious player, Field Treatment can be applied, giving the player 10 minutes longer to live. If the player is transported back to the base to a specific area (Medical Helo-pad for example), the player is considered "saved" and the team gains 2 extra lives, HOWEVER, that player is not fighting in their condition, so they respawn, costing 2 tickets. If a player dies, you can transport the corpse back to the specific area to gain 1 ticket.

    Basically with this system I am looking to try and simulate the urgency of medical care, if you don't deal with a casualty quickly, you will have some serious problems down the road (if you have 0 tickets remaining for the team, the mission fails). However, &%@$ happens, so if you can manage to clean up the area and transport your bodies back to base, at least you will have lessened the blow to your tickets remaining.



    As for the technical side of things, I am fairly confident that I could modify Norrin's revive script to accomplish these things, the only hurdle would be the team ticket pool. My logic tells me that simply publicVariable'ing a value won't suffice .. what if 5 people die in an explosion? Would it only get 2 subtracted, or would all 10 be subtracted? I guess this is something to experiment with, but I don't have access to a dedicated server, so it is difficult.

    Norrin's revive script currently does everything I would like for this system save for a few "superficial" features, I would like to remove the "death cam" and replace it with a camera that is from the casualties eyes, except with an increased/decreased HDR effect, either making things extra bright or extra dark. I am thinking making things extra dark would be better, as making things really bright will just hurt the eyes. Some people may complain that it's boring to stare at a darkened screen for 3 minutes .. but this is meant for a more serious coop, it would be replacing a "certain death" system, where if you are shot twice in the calves, you mysterious fall over dead. It is NOT meant to be a replacement for a faster paced full-revive or respawn coop.



    I am looking to design some more coop missions with this more serious mindset as there has been some interest in it the last few weeks. I haven't really been satisfied with the player life management options so far, its either to harsh (the "certain death") or too lenient (the "I can always revive you").

    Thoughts?
    Last edited by beita; 07-22-2008, 12:25 AM. Reason: Clarification.

  • #2
    Re: "Serious" Coop mission player life management

    Jeez Beta I was just going to propose something VERY similar to this, although I sort of like your idea better in some ways.
    I was going to propose revives, as seen in the aforementioned script, you would have unlimited time to revive, but you could not just respawn. The catch is that only medics can revive players, not every single unit as it stands currently. Moreover when you were eventually revived you would have broken legs and arms, so you could neither aim nor move effectively. The catch is a medic CANNOT heal your wounds at all, their unique ability would only be reviving. So, if you did get critically wounded, or needed to be revived you would have to be evacuated to a single MASH located at the air base.

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    • #3
      Re: "Serious" Coop mission player life management

      After giving it some further thought, I have an interim "simple" solution that would give some of the desired effect of "casualty management" without the complicated scripting overhead.

      A simple system of tickets, each respawn costs 1 ticket, for a 30 player team, you have 10 tickets available. Each corpse you bring back to a designated spot (the "graveyard" if you will) adds 1 ticket to your pool. So, basically, your team can die up to 10 times in a single operation (if you go below 0 tickets, you lose), and if you don't clean up afterwards and just move on to the next op and take more casualties than 10, you will lose the mission.

      It would create a reason to go back to base, albeit a bit of a gruesome one, "here to trade in some corpses for fresh recruits, sir". But that's OK :)

      I find that a lot of the coop missions lack a sense of continuity, you kind of just fight, fight, fight and never really consolidate what you have fought over. Missions like Evolution or Domination can be fun because after you have fought the battle, you can go through the battlefield and "loot" arms and vehicles and spend some time repairing vehicles to help in the next assault. Although driving around corpses in the back of a truck isn't the same thing, it will create an interesting mission dynamic as you will effectively have to worry about "logistics" more than ever. Do you have enough replacements to take the next objective? If you don't you could fail the mission.

      It might become a tedious or boring job to do, but I am just trying to think of some more innovative ways to control player defeat through force depletion, and this just seems more interesting than a simple ticket counter as in BF2, at least you have the OPTION to gather your dead and get new replacements.
      Last edited by beita; 07-22-2008, 01:48 AM. Reason: More clarification.

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      • #4
        Re: "Serious" Coop mission player life management

        Ow ow ow my head hurts................

        WHAT????????????????

        How about we keep it REAL simple, only a medic can revive and then you only have 5 revives in a mission otherwise you is a spectator!!

        Simple, clean and no more fuss. There is the possibility to make it more complicated than it needs to be!

        I like the principle, just slightly too complicated.
        BlackDog1




        "What we do in life... echoes in eternity!"

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        • #5
          Re: "Serious" Coop mission player life management

          I say try it.

          Then he will see how it goes "in game", and fine it until it's perfect (or quit the idea).

          Bravo6 made a mission with the medic only revive script, and he quitted because it made the medics to valuable. Often we did not take the medic into the action because of that.

          I would go to the "revive in a mash only" option, either in the base or made by the medics.

          As for the tickets for life, lets try it, build a mission with it.
          sigpic

          PR BF2 Alias: NewOrder_JoyDivision

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          • #6
            Re: "Serious" Coop mission player life management

            I love this idea!

            It's only complicated if you think about it as an equation or rule set. If you just think of it as reality, it makes total sense: If you get shot, you don't insta-die, but you will bleed out and die if you're not helped within a few minutes. But then after field triage, soldiers are taken to a hospital for treatment.

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            • #7
              Re: "Serious" Coop mission player life management

              Yeah, beta, this is a step in the right direction.

              We play with a similar system, and it can add a lot to a mission. I'd check out kevb0's wounding script which is already included with BAS-f (http://community.bistudio.com/wiki?t...&printable=yes). It does most of what you're proposing already.

              Bravo6 made a mission with the medic only revive script, and he quitted because it made the medics to valuable. Often we did not take the medic into the action because of that.
              If you don't bother with tickets/respawn, this shouldn't be a problem. You have to save your teammates in order to progress in the mission, so they need to be near the line of engagement. Squads should be protecting their assets, and people playing medics should realize they are not a rifleman.

              Personally, I would scrap the tickets and respawn, it's just not very compelling. Medic revives should be enough. People need to start playing this game not as "I need to complete the objective", but, "I need to minimize casualties while completing the objective" and make decisions accordingly. If you're squad gets mowed down in open ground because you were moving too fast and weren't paying attention, there is little sense in rewarding that with a respawn.

              As for using a mash, and/or evacuation, there is little sense in it. At the moment there are no game mechanics that allow dragging wounded off the field (well, there are addons, but let's just stick to scripts), and by the time you did medivac someone to base, and transported them back to the front, the mission would probably be finished.

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              • #8
                Re: "Serious" Coop mission player life management

                If you don't bother with tickets/respawn, this shouldn't be a problem. You have to save your teammates in order to progress in the mission, so they need to be near the line of engagement. Squads should be protecting their assets, and people playing medics should realize they are not a rifleman.
                I agree, the whole tickets/respawn system is basically to keep many types of missions playable, but it isn't necessary if you make some design changes in a mission. A flaw of the "always can be revived" system (with no respawn) is, if a chopper goes down FAR away, containing your only pilot, through enemy lines, there is no way that player is going to be revived any time soon, if it is on the other end of the mission area, it could be up to 1:30 (as was shown in a mission played last night, it took us AT least an hour to get to a downed chopper).

                I don't dislike this personally, to be honest, I think it is a GREAT thing, it discourages .. even punishes sloppy planning or rushed action. You flew your chopper over an area you knew nothing about and got shot down? Big surprise there.


                I also would like to have a medic revive only system, but for some types of missions it can slow down the progression a lot, again, not something I dislike, but others may not agree. There is also the more obvious problem of what to do when your medic(s) are killed .. is it game over? Can they be revived somehow? I think that if BOTH medics are null (not playing) or dead, you fail the mission, just to keep it from being a spectator match, 15 people watching one guy trying to finish the mission. If it is designed into the mission, there is less admin intervention required which is a good thing in my opinion.


                As for using a mash, and/or evacuation, there is little sense in it. At the moment there are no game mechanics that allow dragging wounded off the field
                There IS a script for dragging wounded players included in the more recent releases of norrin's revive script, and it is quite nifty. And to be honest, that is what gave me the inspiration to think of a system based on caring for the wounded.


                and by the time you did medivac someone to base, and transported them back to the front, the mission would probably be finished.
                This is still a valid concern though. However, if you look at it like you said earlier .. the mission cannot advance until you have treated your wounded. Adding the need to send them back to base to get healed at a MASH simply extends the process, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. Depends on how long the process already is.

                I tend to agree, that if you are going to have medics be the only ones who can revive AND if the medics are killed, the mission ends, THEN there isn't much need for a medevac. If you are doing things right (and safely), your medics won't be on the frontline with your infantry squads, they will be somewhere safe, and flown/drove/walked in when they are needed, basically simulating a medevac, just without the time intensive process of taking them back to base for further treatment (most likely, they would be out of the mission).



                A good discussion so far!

                JAMerica makes some good arguments and now I am more inclined to make a system based not on tickets, but simply getting the other players back into the fight. I like having medics being the only ones to revive. I wanted it like that in the first place ... but I thought it might be too "hardcore". Since someone else suggested it .. I have no excuses now :) !
                Last edited by beita; 07-22-2008, 01:15 PM. Reason: Fixed a broken quote.

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                • #9
                  Re: "Serious" Coop mission player life management

                  IRL, are 'regular' soldiers trained to perform field triage... like applying pressure and field dressings?

                  Maybe everyone could 'stabilize' the wounded (i.e. they wont bleed-out as long as you're with them), but only medics could get them back in fighting shape (although not 100%)

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                  • #10
                    Re: "Serious" Coop mission player life management

                    Originally posted by WhiskeySix View Post
                    IRL, are 'regular' soldiers trained to perform field triage... like applying pressure and field dressings?

                    Maybe everyone could 'stabilize' the wounded (i.e. they wont bleed-out as long as you're with them), but only medics could get them back in fighting shape (although not 100%)
                    I am pretty sure they are ...


                    That is a good idea, something as simple as if you are within 3 meters of a wounded player, their "time to live" stops counting down. But if you leave them, their "time to live" resumes its countdown.

                    Might be a little bit complicated to implement, but it would be worth it.
                    Last edited by beita; 07-22-2008, 01:24 PM. Reason: More bad grammar.

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                    • #11
                      Re: "Serious" Coop mission player life management

                      Yes soldiers go through first aid - a little like civvy first aid but covers injuries likely to be out in the field (i.e. your squad mates chest cavity is completely open so use your jacket to provide a cover over the exposed wound to minimize infection (?)). However it is basic first aid only and nowhere near what proper field medics know (RMC over here).
                      Jex.

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                      • #12
                        Re: "Serious" Coop mission player life management

                        Originally posted by beita View Post
                        That is a good idea, something as simple as if you are within 3 meters of a wounded player, their "time to live" stops counting down. But if you leave them, their "time to live" resumes its countdown.

                        Might be a little bit complicated to implement, but it would be worth it.
                        I was thinking it'd be a middle-mouse-button menu item, where you'd have to be "pointing at" the wounded guy and then hold down the 'apply pressure to wound' button or whatever... i.e. you wouldn't be lying beside him shooting...

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                        • #13
                          Re: "Serious" Coop mission player life management

                          This is still a valid concern though. However, if you look at it like you said earlier .. the mission cannot advance until you have treated your wounded. Adding the need to send them back to base to get healed at a MASH simply extends the process, which can be a good thing or a bad thing. Depends on how long the process already is.
                          Well true, you probably can't advance until you've treated your wounded, and you can control the pace of your movement/resupply, but...

                          Based on how AI work in this game, you can't really count on them disengaging you and regrouping somewhere, giving you the time you need to resupply/reinforce. It would be different if you could retreat and the AI held their defensive positions, at which point you could patch everyone up, but the AI tend to be fairly relentless (nothing some scripting couldn't probably fix though). Even if this did occur, why have everyone wait around for someone to be flown to base and back. I think as long as you can simulate the effect of: relying on someone else to find you -> avoid getting killed themselves -> and reviving you, it makes it likely that you can't instantly rejoin the current firefight, but gives you another chance, which is what you're aiming for. I don't think there is a need to set up logistic elements in the mission for smaller co-ops. Get 80+ people on a server, then maybe it starts to make more sense to simulate field hospitals etc.

                          I was thinking it'd be a middle-mouse-button menu item, where you'd have to be "pointing at" the wounded guy and then hold down the 'apply pressure to wound' button or whatever... i.e. you wouldn't be lying beside him shooting...
                          That would be cool.

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                          • #14
                            Re: "Serious" Coop mission player life management

                            Originally posted by JAMerica View Post
                            If you don't bother with tickets/respawn, this shouldn't be a problem. You have to save your teammates in order to progress in the mission, so they need to be near the line of engagement. Squads should be protecting their assets, and people playing medics should realize they are not a rifleman.

                            Personally, I would scrap the tickets and respawn, it's just not very compelling. Medic revives should be enough. People need to start playing this game not as "I need to complete the objective", but, "I need to minimize casualties while completing the objective" and make decisions accordingly. If you're squad gets mowed down in open ground because you were moving too fast and weren't paying attention, there is little sense in rewarding that with a respawn.
                            I think you missed understand me. (Sorry for my bad english.)

                            I never said i like respawn in the missions (i personally asked for a revive script to beta, in another mission he made), about the tickets if he wants to try it, go ahead, lets try and see how it goes (as i said earlier).

                            About the way that people play the missions, you can't force them to play a organized way when you make a mission (unless you have a corridor shooter), and i think that's what beta is trying to achieve with this post, a way to minimize this.

                            Touching the medics situation, there i just exposed my experience with 1 mission build that i played with the builder. What happens is you, as a medic, become to valuable to all fire teams, and hardly you will find a person willing to be the entire mission just waiting that someone gets shot down.

                            Originally posted by JAMerica View Post
                            As for using a mash, and/or evacuation, there is little sense in it. At the moment there are no game mechanics that allow dragging wounded off the field (well, there are addons, but let's just stick to scripts), and by the time you did medivac someone to base, and transported them back to the front, the mission would probably be finished.
                            There you confuse me, you don't think that the mash, and/or evacuations, makes sense? It does all the sense.

                            In my opinion is the best way to make all players less dependent of the medics, and put more realism to the mission.

                            As for the scripts beta already answered that, the norris revive script as the drag option and it's really good in my opinion.
                            sigpic

                            PR BF2 Alias: NewOrder_JoyDivision

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                            • #15
                              Re: "Serious" Coop mission player life management

                              What happens is you, as a medic, become to valuable to all fire teams, and hardly you will find a person willing to be the entire mission just waiting that someone gets shot down.
                              This is very true. I personally wouldn't want to spend 1 hour sitting around at some bush, listening to a giant firefight, all the comms, and doing nothing until it is "secure" and you run out and revive people. Yes, it is much more realistic that way, and it would make for a more "serious" mission, but people usually play ArmA to shoot at stuff, and being a medic, you won't really shoot at stuff. Since you will NEED medics, SOMEONE is going to have to have a crappy time in order for everyone else to play.

                              I think a solution to this problem can be found in another module that norrin built into his revive script.

                              It works like this. Once you have been revived, you are at 80% "damage", you can die easily again. PLUS you CANNOT stand up and run after you have been revived, you NEED to be healed by a medic or at a MASH tent/vehicle. So, you still NEED medics, but they will not "break" the mission if they all happen to get shot (let's face it, it can happen EASILY).

                              Now if you use that system, you can have everyone capable of reviving, but after being revived, you will need to seek medical treatment to become combat effective again. This can be done either at a medic, or a field hospital.

                              Before you ask, I don't think it is possible (at least without a lot of work) to have medics only able to "kind of" heal you. It's either all or nothing.

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