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testers requested for upcoming LAN map
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Old 06-30-2008, 04:38 PM
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testers requested for upcoming LAN map

Greetings Ghosts,

I've been working on a map that has features that currently don't work on a standalone server, and may never work on a standalone server. So my plan is to host it on my machine as a LAN server. I may not have the bandwidth to pull this off with 12 players, let alone 16. That's one thing that needs to be discovered - a reasonable player limit to set on my system. We'll eyeball that as we go.

Anyway, 'round about next weekend I think I'll be ready to bang on this thing with multiple players from afar. Ideal testers will have patience and will have time during the day next weekend, Saturday or Sunday, or at least some time before regular evening play time. I wouldn't want to detract from main server gameplay just for testing that might involve crashes. If we do have crashes and I can tell why, I might ask you to wait a few minutes while I fix something, we all reload the map, and try again. I'll do everything in my power to foresee that and avoid it, but no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy...

And BEFORE next weekend I'd like to work with someone, if possible, some evening (U.S.A. time) to verify that my networking hardware and software will even let someone from afar in. If you're up for that, please let me know when.

Interested? If so, please send me a PM through the forums and let me know about when you might have time for this. I'll try to arrange a suitable time that fits for everyone interested.

many thanks,
Rich a.k.a. CptHogue
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Re: testers requested for upcoming LAN map
  #2  
Old 07-03-2008, 08:31 AM
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Re: testers requested for upcoming LAN map

To: Cpt Mitchell, D CO. 1st BN. 5th SFG
RE: New Mission, code name "Tres Elements"

Briefing attached. Wheels up at 0400. Good luck, Mitchell.

General Bender B. Rodriguez


----------------- Begin Briefing -----------------

1) Your mission is to *quietly* terminate 3 junta leaders hidden in 5 possible safehouse locations within a supposedly abandoned shanty base near the hot zone. You will arrive at the base with low morning sun at your backs, so make sure your Night Vision equipment is fully functional. They are using jammers at the safehouses, which is how the eggheads found them in the first place.
[You're an "advanced warfighter"...no whining about NV management or static...]

Intel really scored this time. The base is not expecting you, and there are no major weapons placements that would give it away in aerial photographs. Furthermore, only key personnel in this base know about the safehouses hiding these junta leaders. Therefore, your presence, if detected, may NOT immediately trigger an extreme reaction. So maintain a low profile. Avoid drawing attention. Keep explosives in reserve.

You are required to confirm the identity of each terminated target, so DO NOT USE EXPLOSIVES in the safehouses. Plus, it would be detected and the other junta leaders in the area would go to ground, which would be an unacceptable consequence of this mission.
[Step completely into each occupied safehouse room to register target identity confirmation. Use of explosives in safehouses will be detected and will terminate the mission in failure.]


2) Extraction will NOT be an option until this important mission is accomplished. The surrounding battlefield is shifting around, so your extraction route is not yet known. Once the mission is accomplished, HQ will put a waypoint on your HUD to mark where you can safely extract.
[Extraction is disabled until the mission is completed. Once the mission is accomplished, your extraction zone is randomly selected from 4 possible Zulu zones in the corners of the map.]


3) Keep your cool and use restraint. Intel believes there are dozens of troops hiding inside shacks throughout this base, and they can be in your face at a moment's notice if the sentries think there's a situation. Plus, the rebels have a fully equipped active base just over the hill. We've got jammers in place, but there's no guarantee their landlines to that base are down. Both sides have been trying to limit primary infrastructure collateral damage.

So stay low and focus on your mission.
[Every time you kill a non-safehouse base troop you raise the alert status of the base and reinforcements come out, possibly out of doorways previously checked. Eventually they'll want to sound the general alarm. If they perceive further threat, they'll call in heavy reinforcements from the nearby active base. Even if you've hacked the j-boxes, continuing to kill non-safehouse tangos will eventually put the base on alert and eventually they'll call for heavy reinforcements. And at some point, the leaders will go to ground and the mission will end in failure.]

Select quiet, suppressed weapons, sneak in, terminate your primary targets, then extract with your team and assets.
[A pistol with silencer will come in very handy at the safehouses, and avoid that loud Barrett sniper rifle.]


4) There are 3 separate tasks, nominally "assigned" to Alpha, Bravo and Charlie squads.

First (Bravo):
Disable the "base alarm circuit" by hacking the junction box at the power station. Without the alarm circuit, the base relies on point to point communications, which slows their responses. Expect sentries in the vicinity of the Power Station.
[Power Station is marked "P" on the minimap. This requires 1 player to linger at the j-box for a continuous 30 second period. There will be visual confirmation. Also, don't crowd your j-box hacker by stuffing more than one person into the vicinity of the jbox - you might confuse the detection algorithm.]

Second (Charlie):
Disable off-site wired communications by hacking the Comm Shack junction box. Expect sentries in the vicinity of the Comm Shack.
[Comm Shack is marked "C" on the minimap. This requires 1 player to linger at the j-box for a continuous 30 second period. There will be visual confirmation. Also, don't crowd your j-box hacker by stuffing more than one person into the vicinity of the jbox - you might confuse the detection algorithm.]

Third (Alpha, Primary Mission):
Sneak past checkpoint sentries to search the 5 possible safehouse locations for the 3 leaders. You'll want the base alarm circuit and the main comm hardline disabled before you make contact at the safehouses. Expect sentries at main access checkpoints around the base.
[Safehouses are marked 1 to 5 on the minimap for reference, but search order doesn't matter.]

----------------- End Briefing -----------------
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Re: testers requested for upcoming LAN map
  #3  
Old 07-03-2008, 08:33 AM
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Re: testers requested for upcoming LAN map

README for "Silent Ops - Tres Elements (not for dedicated server)":

In this mission:

-- This is a silent ops mission, and the more tangos you kill aside from your assigned targets the greater the alert response of the base. Those who play GRAW to get into firefights will not enjoy playing this mission as it's meant to be played. You *could* charge in firing and cause the whole base to spawn and have firefights galore, but at some point the mission will consider it a failure and will tell you so. That's the deal. Mission is everything.

-- There is a defined way to win - you can win even if you don't survive.

-- There is a defined way to lose (using explosives in the safehouses, or generally dicking around as mentioned above), as distinct from failing (dying before accomplishing the mission).

-- Where you can extract is entirely dependent on the above. There is no active extraction zone at mission start.

-- Not only that but extraction is fundamentally different: ALL PLAYERS must be in the extraction zone before the game will end -- leave no one behind.

-- Enemies spawn as a result of your actions, not your location, with a random selections of who spawns. Prepare for the possibility of spawns happening at doorways you've already cleared; this will not be caused by your location but by tango kills driving the alert status of the base up, plus a random element. The *intent* is a somewhat more "realistic" enemy spawn response, which is different and will take some getting used to. (That said, I did not code the vast amount of logic required to make the spawns truly "realistic" in terms of where they go and what they do - that would've required a ton more work beyond what I hope is "good enough".)

-- Tactics

Get used to using very quick peeks around key corners, because these guards aren't expecting you and often won't see you if you don't linger in their field of view. And if they do see you, just disappear and reappear elsewhere - chances are good they've stopped in place, on their guard, which you may be able to use to your advantage.

Also, it has to be possible to use single, non-lethal shots to knock an enemy down while he poses a serious threat, and then run past to safety. We never use that tactic, but on this map it's a skill we might need to develop.


-- It's intended that the team split up into 3 squads for this mission. You'll see why. I strongly recommend getting accustomed to starting all of your communications with the name of your squad, or the squad you want to communicate with, e.g. - "Alpha, hold, sentry around West", "Charlie, back up, inbound helo", "Bravo, panhard, let's back around that shack", and so on.

-- There is a special kind of activity that I personally have never seen in a GRAW map. There are two spots where you stand right in front of an object for 30 seconds straight and as a result you have "hacked the electronics" of that box, which changes the behavior of the map. The box will then disappear for visual confirmation and a jammer/scramble sound will mark that spot for audible confirmation. On my local machine I'm able to make the box flash while you're standing there for instant, real-time feedback, but a remote connection won't see that flashing so there's no feedback. Just stand directly in front of the box and wait for 30 seconds, but DON'T CROWD the person hacking the box, because I had to have adjacent detection zones to find out if you left the area after starting the 30 second count. If you get too close to the box hacker, you'll shut off the cycle. Consider each box hacking a one-person job, but that doesn't mean you can't walk across that area if you need to, you can.

-- One other key item to mentally prepare yourself for is SENSORY CONFUSION. There are occasional mortars, F15 strikes, helicopters, dark areas requiring quick on/off Night Vision action (set a mouse button), and, most annoying of all, RADIO INTERFERENCE near the Safehouses. At first the static will drive you mad. Just try to think of it as a real war situation - dirty, messy, and not easy at all. [The truth is that I needed to use jammers to detect use of explosives in the safehouses, but I don't mind adding this kind stress to the mission as a result.]

-- This map does not work on dedicated/standalone servers. It relies on mortars and F-15 strikes (among other things) for ambience, and on coding magic to allow the j-box hacking feature. (I'm not sure I can make the j-box hacking detection feature work on a dedicated/standalone server, but eventually I'll try.)

I realize this is different than what we're used to, but it seems worth a try. At the least it might provide some "spice of life" variety/diversion for a while.

This is a difficult map to test and balance, so apologies in advance if it crashes or behaves poorly. I'll do what I can!

-- CptHogue's first map, July 2008, with Fishmonger's help and his "Left Behind" map as a starting point.
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Re: testers requested for upcoming LAN map
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:26 AM
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Re: testers requested for upcoming LAN map

Sounds awesome. Wish I didn't have a shot motherboard on my hands.
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Re: testers requested for upcoming LAN map
  #5  
Old 07-03-2008, 10:44 AM
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Re: testers requested for upcoming LAN map

During the day testing is out for me but later at night I'd be willing.
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Re: testers requested for upcoming LAN map
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:23 PM
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Re: testers requested for upcoming LAN map

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsieur View Post
Exactly what kind of missions GRAW is made for in my opinion.

Never 4-8-12 soldiers squad is sent to strike hundreds of opfor or clear a all town, but to clear specific objectives in stealth action.

Your idea to create such stealth and realist mission is welcome CptHogue !

I will do my best to help you for some tests of course.
I live in time zone GMT+1, so when you are talking of "during the day" what is it GMT ?


totally agree 100%
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Re: testers requested for upcoming LAN map
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Old 07-03-2008, 02:58 PM
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Re: testers requested for upcoming LAN map

let me know when and where. i'm not sure how you doo the LANthing so you'll have to point me in the right dir.
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Re: testers requested for upcoming LAN map
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Old 07-03-2008, 03:40 PM
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Re: testers requested for upcoming LAN map

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monsieur View Post
Exactly what kind of missions GRAW is made for in my opinion.

Never 4-8-12 soldiers squad is sent to strike hundreds of opfor or clear a all town, but to clear specific objectives in stealth action.

Your idea to create such stealth and realist mission is welcome CptHogue !

I will do my best to help you for some tests of course.
I live in time zone GMT+1, so when you are talking of "during the day" what is it GMT ?
Thanks a million, Monsieur and everyone, for your support. Monsieur, I did say "U.S.A. time" as a way to define a several hour period. But this means that if you're available in the evening in France, that aligns with some daytime testing at my location (GMT-7h).

The first thing we need to do is ensure that distant players can actually get into my server. I will send you (Mr.) a PM later with details, since your time zone actually helps us (again, assuming you are available in the evening, France time - merci!).

After we make sure that's doable, I'll let everyone know when I'll have my server running and we can all drop in over a several hour period as available. Tighter coordination than that probably isn't necessary. After initial testing to discover if I need to rebalance the map a bit or to fix bugs, I'll just go live on Monday(s) as a MOD Monday option.

thanks again,
CptHogue
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Re: testers requested for upcoming LAN map
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Old 07-03-2008, 06:08 PM
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Re: testers requested for upcoming LAN map

By the way, the first time you sneak up on sentries, see them before they see you, and discover that they haven't instantly whipped around and put a bullet in your forehead, you'll understand why I wanted to try this out. I used the lowest level enemies, and I did my testing on the "Easy" setting, which I think is wrongly named - it's the realistic setting, with Normal and Hardcore existing solely so insecure people don't feel emasculated by using the lowest difficulty setting. I intend to run my server on that same setting, because it's still plenty challenging under these conditions. It's nice to actually have some firefights instead of "desperately snapshotting to avoid getting instakilled". My guess is that if I set it to Normal, this map won't work because the sentries will instakill us and then sneaking around may become impossible. We can experiment and see how it ends up looking.

more later,
thanks,
CptHogue
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RE: HAMACHI peer-to-peer
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Old 07-03-2008, 10:34 PM
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RE: HAMACHI peer-to-peer

Hamachi is a program that allows computers on the internet to behave as if they are part of a LAN.

It's incredibly easy to install, and the free version will do what we need.

The map I just made has a number of features that do NOT work in "online server" mode or "standalone server" mode, only in LAN mode (which won't show up in the GameSpy list, of course). If you want maps with mortar fire, waypoints/objectives, and other advanced script coding features (like control over zulu -- don't underestimate how cool that is, as it allows you to have random zulu zones and to turn extraction on and off based on mission objectives), LAN mode is the only option.

If someone can help me configure my machine to allow it to be seen by other players via Favorites -> Add Favorites -> type in my IP address, then I'd be happy to try that, but there's a real possibility that it won't work for LAN mode. Hamachi might be the only way to get LAN mode games going. And that would require all players to have Hamachi running on their machine. Plus, that would be more secure than opening up ports, so I'd prefer it, myself. Everyone would then log into my VPN (virtual private network) and we could play LAN mode maps.

Since this would be occasional, like once a week, maybe, my intention would be to run the MOD, so we could play my "Silent Ops" map(s) (or other LAN maps with advanced features) using the mod, and not just on Mondays.

Anyone interested in installing Hamachi in order to gain this capability? (This would also allow others to host LAN maps if my machine goes down or I'm out of town or whatever.)

- CptHogue
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