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How much is too much?

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  • How much is too much?

    Currently on the ground in the mission I'm working on.

    300+ Russian Infantry

    20-30 light armor units, primarily vodniks with a handful of BTRs

    15-20 heavy MGs

    3 T-90s

    6 Hinds.

    4 Tunguskas

    Misc. utility vehicles.

    ~ 30 civillians

    ~ 5 civillian vehicles.

    I haven't gotten around to adding in Blufor.

    This is all spread out over a fairly big area, about 15 square kilometeres, but I'm worried that it's a bit too much for TG to ever actually deal with.

    The mission itself is fairly straightforward, simply a matter of going to a particular place and digging out an entrenched motor rifle company. The ridiculous number of troops came in when I started trying to make sure that all the obvious approaches to the base were properly covered, the roads are patrolled, checkpoints are active, and so forth and so on.

    Eitherway, I'm open to commentary. I'm going to shelf this one for the rest of the day and maybe work on something a little less insane.

  • #2
    Re: How much is too much?

    That's just WAY too much. Usually, I like to keep a 2:1 ratio between AIs and playable units. If you're gonna have that many units on the map, I suggest you make it so that every time an objective is completed, it spawns the other units for the next objective and so on. That way, it reduces the server load.

    Use the createUnit or createVehicle commands. Make sure those commands are executed server side or you will have the (# of playable units)*total AIs. So for example, if you had 20 players on the server playing and used the createUnit or createVehicle command client side then you will have 20 times the number of what you originally intended to create. So be careful with the locality when using those two commands!

    IN GAME ARMA: |TG-Irr| Lq.Snake


    • #3
      Re: How much is too much?

      Basically, there's just one objective. I was sort of hoping to give the players one clear goal, a bunch of secondary goals that would be helpful, but in no way necessary, and just let them go to. Which means, ultimately, I have no idea where they're going to go or how they're going to try to solve the mission.

      Plus I'd hate to start deleting things because my patrol paths are so nicely interconnected...

      Eitherway, does anyone know what kind of limit there is on the number of AI troops active at one time?

      This sort of gets into a design philosophy thing. Like, I don't neccesarily want to corral the players, and if they come up with something totally hare-brained, like swimming their LAVs down the coast and mounting a surprise beach assault, I want that to have at least a chance of working. On the other hand, there are limits on how much stuff you can have going at once. On the other hand, a lot of the missions feel very sparsely populated.

      So, If I was running an army I would have patrols all over and checkpoints on every road leading to my base. How can I not do that, in order to keep the unit count down, but still create a realistic and immersive mission?

      Hmm... How would I set up a script to make any blufor player that wanders into a defined area get relentlessly attacked by arty? Then again, I don't really want to railroad people like that... Hrm...
      Last edited by FrankManik; 08-14-2009, 02:51 PM.


      • #4
        Re: How much is too much?

        1 word


        for a mission this size it would be silly not to have respawn


        • #5
          Re: How much is too much?

          Best option is, unfortunately, to not cover too large areas in realistic numbers of soldiers, because the server probably can't handle it.

          Either confine the mission to a smaller area, giving the players less options of how to do, use different 'spawn zones' for AI that spawn when players get close enough, or give the AI respawning troops / spawning reinforcements or counterattack-forces.

          Anything to limit the amount of AI the server has to take care of at the same time.

          Your mission MIGHT work depending on amounts of scripts, but I'd recommend cutting at least 30% to be on the safe side.


          • #6
            Re: How much is too much?

            Way Way Waaaaayyy too much. Only way you could pull it off is to spawn objectives in one at a time, to lower enemy count on server. Using the 3d editor for generating spawning scripts is helpful for this.. get in touch with me, I can show you more on that.

            Basically if you want to see what the game is able to do... model your missions after BIS offical multiplayer missions.

            Lag generates when you got a ton of action generating in a small area.. say one city. If your making this a 30-40 player mission, you shouldn't have them engaging anymore than about 120% of their unit strength at a time (so like 50, 60 enemy). Depending on the area size and action.. even this can push it too much.

            For large missions if you INSIST on doing this.. u better spread the players way out across the whole map into smaller groups. Do this as well for the enemy. Try not to have anymore than about 30/40 enemy at an objective.

            Above all.. just remember most mission editors push this game engine way beyond what the developers intend it to handle in multiplayer. Don't be afraid to be over conservative or feel like your making things too easy.

            Just my thoughts. take it or leave it. Hope that helps.
            Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. - General George S. Patton.


            • #7
              Re: How much is too much?

              Hrm. Okay, I'm obviously going to have to re-think how I want to do this...

              Say, could I... Okay.

              I create one AI soldier. He is a stand in for my patrol. I set up a script that detects when the players are close to this soldier. When they get close, the script spawns the rest of that soldiers patrol. If they players move away, it despawns the patrol and the soldier continues on his merry way.

              Would something like that be possible? Most of the reason their are so many units isn't large concentrations in one place, but many small patrols spread over a largish area.


              • #8
                Re: How much is too much?

                That sounds like quite a nice resource-saver indeed :)

                Say the radius is 1500m or so and it should work quite well, since that is the maximum distance units are drawn at in ArmA2 afaik, assuming one has a hell of a view distance.


                • #9
                  Re: How much is too much?

                  First things first. Write a sentence that explains what you want to do in your mission, this is the one it looks like you have: "going to a particular place and digging out an entrenched motor rifle company"

                  Good starting point.

                  Take a look at some stuff for your average sizes and composition of a Motor Rifle Company. 300 infantry and 3 tanks is probably not in it ;)

                  For the AI patrolling areas and intelligently responding to "strange" player strategies, that is something that either needs a crap ton of AI (currently how you've done it) or some scripting to get the AI to react in a somewhat dynamic fashion.

                  Not sure on your confidence with the scripting engine, but if you want to try and get some more interesting AI, take a look at the v110 version of the WAC test mission, there is a fairly decent AI script in there that can take care of AI patrolling a large area and responding to enemy contact with whatever they have, artillery, tanks, infantry, etc.

                  It will take some work to get it going with your specific unit setups, but once you have done it, you can use the work again in future missions.




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