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Invade & Annex 4 Alpha Test Feedback

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platoon commander slot can take mx 3gl but only single granades for it not 3gl one.

AI scared me many times what is good.

feels like there is not that much AA at AO maybe we need tigrises?

you can drive quadbike to spawn area.

tropical gear on altis default?

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Some thoughts on Friday's alpha test:

 

1. Players in the same squad are awarded 1/3 of the points their squad mates earn on kills, if they are within 300m of the squad mate. (this reflects the fact that squads work together and earn points together, also that drivers and commanders will earn points on gunner kills. 

 

2. What kind of frequency should higher end vehicles respawn? Could make it predefined for things like cas assets, could also keep track of all reward points earned by players and respawn assets based on the total amount earned by the team

 

Your thoughts? 

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18 hours ago, itsmemario said:

feels like there is not that much AA at AO maybe we need tigrises?

you can drive quadbike to spawn area.

tropical gear on altis default?

Ambient is there to spawn anti air stuff - I don't want to always have tigrises because they can massacre players. 

 

Tropical is not default, I chose NATO Pacific as the blufor faction for this test. 

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1 hour ago, Ryko said:

Some thoughts on Friday's alpha test:

 

1. Players in the same squad are awarded 1/3 of the points their squad mates earn on kills, if they are within 300m of the squad mate. (this reflects the fact that squads work together and earn points together, also that drivers and commanders will earn points on gunner kills. 

 

2. What kind of frequency should higher end vehicles respawn? Could make it predefined for things like cas assets, could also keep track of all reward points earned by players and respawn assets based on the total amount earned by the team

 

Your thoughts? 

I like 1 very very much!

 

We could start of with the 45 minute - 1 hour from I&A3. Maybe tweak it later if it seems too long? Andy made the point yesterday that UAV for example is near useless if a (competent) pilot is flying the wipeout and I can certainly see the point he is making.

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4 minutes ago, Lindi said:

We could start of with the 45 minute - 1 hour from EU1.

Currently for EU1:

Spoiler

CAS jet: 60 minutes

AA jet (guardian (random buzzard/gryphon (60/40))): 30 minutes

AA jet (carrier (stealth wasp)): 45 minutes

transport helis: 1-2 minutes

heavy CAS heli (kajman, blackfoot, ...) 60 minutes

light CAS heli (pawnee, hellcat, orca, ...) 15 minutes

 

Armed cars: 2 minutes

unarmed cars: 1 minute

AA vehicle: 30 minutes

marshall/gorgon: 15 minutes

MBT: 30 minutes

 

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I've been thinking a lot about how the hell the UAV role would be balanced in the context of I&A4, since it is a role which inherently has plenty of bugs to work around, here's my considerations / thoughts / suggestion as to how I could see it working

 

---- Considerations ----
Point 1: UAV must have a role when not running air missions, and should have something to do to support ground troops when ground troops aren't supporting them.
Point 2: UAV must have enough variety for its points accrual
Point 3: general UAV Gameplay concerns

 

---- Thoughts / suggestions ----
Point 1: UAV could be in the AO, shooting with rifle? (issue UAV guy dying locks any active UAVs to their corpse for anything up to 20 mins)

Point 1: UAV could be flying reconsaissance? Can the laser designator (and optionally thermals) be removed from the darter? If not would the AL-6 Pelican be a good alternative, with it's Laws of War DLC requirement to use? (assuming Greyhawk orbiting is out for 10mins whilst it's RTB to rearm, and also has a small skill requirement on accurately marking enemy positions on a map from a drone that's constantly orbiting shifting cardinal directions that you're looking, providing a barrier to entry for new players.)

Point 1: UAV can use AL-6 Pelican to perform minor resupply operations to AO (ambient spawning of tigris may cause this to be frustrating?)

Point 2: The inclusion of the Hammer mk45 on the Cruiser allows UAV to also run mortar missions, effectively dual roling, whilst fun there is no way to rearm the Hammer. Option - could there be a points cost to rearm cruiser to a few rounds of HE ammunition? (preferentially cheap enough that you could afford to do this every AO, and have some points to spare towards unlocking a UCAV or similar)  Option - could the cruiser be auto rearmed to 8 rounds of HE ammunition on completion of each AO? (I say 8, as that feels an appropriate amount to being able to provide support to a couple of requests, or to clear a designated compound, but not to reem an entire AO)

Point 2: How does UAV accrue points? Getting kills is very dependant on ground troops providing accurate designations, and Arma correctly accrediting the kills. Shooting things in the AO, whilst on foot, gives the UAV lockout issue on death.

Point 3: Are there deadzones around the runway approaches where AA vehicles won't spawn?


---- How I would like to see it work ----
Armaments:
a Single Greyhawk - 2x GBUs, 5 min servicing pad time, 10 min respawn time on death ( equivalent of 5 min return to base flight time + 5 min servicing time)
Cruiser Mk45 Hammer - 8 HE rounds, fully rearmed on each AO completion
AL-6 Pelican - unlimited back packs from arsenal
Ar-2 Darter - (ONLY IF LASER CAN BE REMOVED) unlimited backpacks from arsenal

 

Purchaseables:
Additional Greyhawks - GBUs (Very cheap since these are very likely to be lost to ambient Tigris spawns - Should be very affordable on UAV's rate of points accrual)
UCAV sentinel - GBUs (Mediocre priced - less susceptible to Tigris due to stealth)
UGV Stomper - RCWS (Mediocre priced - potent, but also extremely vulnerable)
Greyhawk - Scalpels ***needs testing if effective with its passive only sensors for locking ATGMs onto things, or if Radar is a requirement to use those*** (expensive, likely to lose it, but very potent.)
UCAV sentinel - AGM-88C HARM (Extremely expensive - stealthy and very potent, but only against enemy with active radars)
Greyhawk - Falchion 22 / ASRAAM (prohibitively expensive - Likely to lose it, Anti-Air drone to protect other drones)

 

Additional Tweaks:
0x multiplier on passive points gain from being in the AO, to discourage UAV becoming useless for long periods from the operator dying issue locking out drones. 
Keep average points gain per AO very low, since there's only 1 UAV slot and it's normally contested, this would push people to play other roles for a while to gain the points to unlock the more advanced UAVs.

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4 minutes ago, Nibbs said:

5 min servicing pad time

Currently there isn't a service pad with a timer.  You drive up to a crate and use the actions on it and you're near instantly rearmed repaired and refuelled.  I don't think Ryko is planning on changing this?

 

5 minutes ago, Nibbs said:

Point 1: UAV could be in the AO, shooting with rifle? (issue UAV guy dying locks any active UAVs to their corpse for anything up to 20 mins)

Point 1: UAV could be flying reconsaissance? Can the laser designator (and optionally thermals) be removed from the darter? If not would the AL-6 Pelican be a good alternative, with it's Laws of War DLC requirement to use? (assuming Greyhawk orbiting is out for 10mins whilst it's RTB to rearm, and also has a small skill requirement on accurately marking enemy positions on a map from a drone that's constantly orbiting shifting cardinal directions that you're looking, providing a barrier to entry for new players.)

Point 1: UAV can use AL-6 Pelican to perform minor resupply operations to AO (ambient spawning of tigris may cause this to be frustrating?)

All of these are already options right now right?  Maybe some UAV backpacks aren't available in the arsenal yet but that's an easy fix.  For the UAV staying connected to the terminal of the corpse there is a solution for that.  (@Ryko: solution (last reply))  And I don't really see the need to remove the designator from the darter?  The reason it's not on the greyhawks is that randoms used to hop in and drop bombs left and right.  Not many randoms use the UAV to drop bombs left and right :)

 

10 minutes ago, Nibbs said:

Point 2: The inclusion of the Hammer mk45 on the Cruiser allows UAV to also run mortar missions, effectively dual roling, whilst fun there is no way to rearm the Hammer. Option - could there be a points cost to rearm cruiser to a few rounds of HE ammunition? (preferentially cheap enough that you could afford to do this every AO, and have some points to spare towards unlocking a UCAV or similar)  Option - could the cruiser be auto rearmed to 8 rounds of HE ammunition on completion of each AO? (I say 8, as that feels an appropriate amount to being able to provide support to a couple of requests, or to clear a designated compound, but not to reem an entire AO) 

Point 2: How does UAV accrue points? Getting kills is very dependant on ground troops providing accurate designations, and Arma correctly accrediting the kills. Shooting things in the AO, whilst on foot, gives the UAV lockout issue on death.

I don't think the UAV operator at this moment in time receives points for the kills from his UAVs.  It shouldn't be all that hard to make this happen though.  I don't know this for sure tho, haven't looked into it yet.

 

12 minutes ago, Nibbs said:

Point 3: Are there deadzones around the runway approaches where AA vehicles won't spawn? 

If any enemy unit gets in a certain area around base it'll despawn.  I don't know how big this area exactly is though.

 

13 minutes ago, Nibbs said:

Cruiser Mk45 Hammer - 8 HE rounds, fully rearmed on each AO completion

I'd personally go for a fixed rearm time.  After x amount of minutes the last round you fired gets readded.  Same for the VLS.

 

14 minutes ago, Nibbs said:

Greyhawk - Scalpels ***needs testing if effective with its passive only sensors for locking ATGMs onto things, or if Radar is a requirement to use those*** (expensive, likely to lose it, but very potent.)
UCAV sentinel - AGM-88C HARM (Extremely expensive - stealthy and very potent, but only against enemy with active radars)
Greyhawk - Falchion 22 / ASRAAM (prohibitively expensive - Likely to lose it, Anti-Air drone to protect other drones)

The problem with putting missiles on drones is that they will engage targets on their own.  I do know scalpels work on darters, scalpels have build in sensors.  They'll be less effective on a greyhawk than on say a kajman but they work.  There is a workaround for the random missile firing though, if I'm not mistaken it's already used for either the VLS or the hammer.

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4 minutes ago, Stanhope said:

All of these are already options right now right?  

Yes, UAV has absolutely everything accessible, which was why I was more considering how to bring the role into balance, in the contextr of how the other squads are shaping up in I&A4

 

6 minutes ago, Stanhope said:

If any enemy unit gets in a certain area around base it'll despawn.  I don't know how big this area exactly is though.

That I expected, I just wanted to point out that the Approach glide path to the runway should also probably be considered for this Despawn area

 

8 minutes ago, Stanhope said:

I don't really see the need to remove the designator from the darter?

I assumed this would be in the spirit of encouraging teamplay and pushing the UAV into a pure support role, counterbalanced on it's lack of independence by also giving it the Mortar role in the form of the Mk45 Hammer. On a side note, I'm pretty sure when I logged into EU7 I also didn't have a darter backpack, I can't recall if I checked the arsenal or not, but it should be on the default loadout to help new players, if it's accessible


 

10 minutes ago, Stanhope said:

I'd personally go for a fixed rearm time.  After x amount of minutes the last round you fired gets readded.  Same for the VLS.

That would work, but I would probably disable access to the VLS, it's just that tiny bit too excessively potent ;)

 

13 minutes ago, Stanhope said:

The problem with putting missiles on drones is that they will engage targets on their own. 

This is true, but UAV is about managing the assets you have in consideration for the time it will take to rearm, and the risks of flying them to/from base (especially with ambient Tigris'). Any good UAV op is going to set them to never fire, as they already do with the GBUs (since those will also auto fire by default if someone lases something near their orbits). Any average UAV op, is probably either not going to be able to afford those assets, or will lose them quickly enough for them to not be a concern

 

 

 - Andy

 

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2 minutes ago, Nibbs said:
19 minutes ago, Stanhope said:

I'd personally go for a fixed rearm time.  After x amount of minutes the last round you fired gets readded.  Same for the VLS.

That would work, but I would probably disable access to the VLS, it's just that tiny bit too excessively potent ;)

Although thinking about this. As a UAV op, "I've fired x shots already this AO, so I can accept Y more support requests" is easier than managing shots respawning on a timer that's invisible to you.

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I'd love to chime in more on this but I don't have the time; as a side note, enemy ground assets will despawn when entering the base zone (~1000m from the spawn area), but enemy air assets will not.  This is because enemy CAS was having a tendency to prefer juicy player base targets to their search and destroy area, and then the CAS would get eaten up by base protection.

 

What happens now is that any players or friendly AI, including UAVs, within the base zone (~300m from spawn area) are setCaptive true, so they are not targeted by enemy assets. Once they leave that zone, they are setCaptive false, and are targetted by enemies.  This aligns with the no-fire zone, so you can't take advantage of the setCaptive true status to engage the enemy with impunity.

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Version 037 of I&A4 is now online and staff are testing internally in anticipation for the next Alpha test on Thursday.

 

Change log:

 

1. Tweaks to vehicle locking.
2. Added Zeus dynamic group for admins to join (intended for running zeus missions).
3. Fixed script error in medical notification.
4. Fixes to capture / kill HVT mission.
5. Fixed IA4 dialog button sizes.
6. Tweaks to enemy reinforcements.
7. Buying a reward no longer automatically closes the reward menu.
8. Players are now rewarded on kills made by members of their group within 300m (you receive 1/3 of the points made by your group member making the kill).
9. Engineers and Drivers no longer have their Toolkits removed.
10. Added vehicle flip action. Action appears when vehicle is not destroyed and is pitched or banked at more than 50 degrees. The number of players requied to be within 10m of the vehicle increases proportionally to the vehicle mass: you will need 5 players nearby to flip a tank.
11. Enemy vehicle crews will now attempt to repair vehicles.
12. Removed most USS Freedom & Liberty UAV turrets from player control (except for the mk41 VLS and mk45 Hammer)
13. Respawn timers altered for player vehicles, up to 1 hr for CAS vehicles, as low as 5 minutes for basic ground vehicles.
14. Revision on how dead units are cleaned up.
15. Fixed weather report.

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2 hours ago, Colby said:

If the last testing session is on the 27th, what will happen between the last test and when I&A 4 will be on the servers?

 

I would suspect Ryko will do even more of hes magic to weed out any remaining bugs and then we will move on to tweak balancing issues like the reward points awarded / reward costs. Arsenal white / black-listing and all kinds of other tweaks.

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6 hours ago, Colby said:

If the last testing session is on the 27th, what will happen between the last test and when I&A 4 will be on the servers?

Beta testing in October i guess...

Is Beta gonna be launched periodically (weekly) or in ex. whole October ?

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Alpha testing was basically a chance to do limited internal testing to weed out bugs and balance features.

 

My loose goal is to launch I&A4 on Ahoyworld near the end of October.  Throughout October our plan is to push I&A4 on the EU1 server to see how it handles 64 players and to work mainly on balance (enemy counts, reward points, that sort of thing).  I&A3 will still be the main mission but we will probably assign Fridays and Saturdays as I&A4 days.

On 9/24/2018 at 4:30 PM, Stanhope said:

You drive up to a crate and use the actions on it and you're near instantly rearmed repaired and refuelled.  I don't think Ryko is planning on changing this?

The goal is to use as many vanilla functions as possible, so no.

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First post on the topic, general state of UAV.

UAV as it currently stands in the points system:
If I drop a GBU and switch to a darter to laser guide it in, I get no points.
If I drop a GBU and another player loses line of sight, or is just bad at lasing, whilst it's falling, I get no points.

If no players lase anything, I get no points.

If players actually lase targets often and well, I get a small trickle of points. (assuming perfect accuracy and utilisation immediately on availability, with 15 min turn around time, around 2 kills per 15 minutes, which I guess would be something like 240 points per hour)

If I enter the AO, I'm essentially a badly geared soldier without a squad, trying to get some points.

 

 

UAV as it currently stands in usefulness:
Since spotted enemy no longer show up on the map, spotting enemies from the UAV and pinning down their location is time consuming, and only really worth it for garrisoned troops (as they won't move invalidating your map markers near immediately) However the AI seems to very rarely garrison now, so I would consider this a lost activity.

As far as off-grid fire support goes, the base UAV loadout can realistically field 2 GBUs every 10-15 minutes, and no Cruiser ammunition without needing points (see points system section). If the single greyhawk gets shot down, you have nothing to do for 10 minutes, except for pretending to be a soldier with no squad in the AO.If the greyhawk is shotdown on takeoff after rearming, you essentially have 5 mins RTB flight from last ordinance drop, x mins rearming (instant?), 10 mins waiting for respawn after it gets shot down, and another 5 mins waiting for Greyhawk to reach altitude and get on grid with the AO... 20+ minutes with nothing to do.

If you want points (see points section) you're at the mercy of waiting for one of the ground troops to lase something. (example during the testing today, I blew up one thing, which I self lased thus no points - in probably an hour of being in slot)

 

The conclusion? The points system doesn't work for UAV, as it's so vastly different to the other roles.

As I posted before I feel UAV should be a consumer of points, not a generator, so people don't stay in the slot forever. It should have sufficient GBU and mk45 Hammer delivery capabilty to do it's minimum role for every AO, without costing points, but should be a consumer of points for all the additional toys (VLS, extra drones, etc)

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Second post UAV bugs
On the UAV terminal, friendly units aren't shown, so I no longer have the capability to set UAVs to follow a target. This is useful for scouting, I can have a darter set to follow a squad lead at 100m, which means the UAV is always near them, and following their direction of advance so I can guide them to the enemies easier. (although I guess this would have to be typed or tactical pinged now if I can't join their squad for voice comms.)

 

Purchased Mk45 Hammer ammunition, no ammunition delivered to the hammer... Delivery service is worse than the Royal Mail. I'm giving a 0 stars rating on Yelp.

 

 

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3rd post, suggestions on Vehicle crew role:


Suggestion 1:
Have 2 vehicles available for every crew, one for then to cherish, and one crappy one on fast respawn, for when they suck and get blown up, so they're not sat in base for 15-30 mins waiting for a vehicle. Ensure only Drivers can get in the driving seat, so there will only ever be 3 vehicles active at any time.
i.e. if there's 3 vehicle crews, there should be 3 marshals on say a 30 min respawn timer, and 3 IFVs on a 1 minute respawn timer. that way there's no squabbling between crews as to who gets the Kuma, and there's no standing around in base trying to decide if you should 3 man crew a hunter. 

 

Suggestion 2:

Points accrual penalty for having people in your squad, but not in your vehicle. (i.e. if someone joins your squad, your priority should be to disengage and organise a rendezvous with them.)

 

Suggestion 3:

Exceptionally visible notifications that someone has joined your squad, so that mid-combat you know you should be looking to pick them up.

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4th post: Miscellaneous topics

 

1. Terminal needs billboards pointing directions to the helipads from the arsenal.

2. Blackfish Infantry transport is probably a bad idea if it's full of people, and gets shot down, things could get interesting for the server load.

3. Because it will happen there should be some guideline for what happens when someone buys a DLC locked vehicle, for which one of their crew doesn't have the DLC, so can't use. I'm assuming the aswer is tough luck to the guy without the DLC and they should leave slot... but there should be a policy.... Also are all the purchaseable vehicles requiring a 3 man crew? I've got a vague recollection that one of the tanks DLC ones, only takes 2 people (I don't have that DLC though)

4. Vehicle crews and Team Killing... Ensure that when points gain is shared between crew, that doesn't also mean Team kill negatives get shared.

5. There's not nearly enough Vehicle targets to supply 3 vehicle crews, a UAV, the squad AT guys, and a CAS jet with targets

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Thanks for the thoughtful posts, Nibbs.

 

Some thoughts:

 

On the UAV

I'm wondering if it's worth it to have this as a player role at all in the public server scenario, given the coordination that's necessary to make this work, and the relatively paltry reward points that would result.  Rather, it could be a reward point purchase on the part of a squad leader, to deploy an armed or unarmed UAV that you could use for recon and/or attack.

 

On reconnaissance

It's conceivable I could generate a system which allows the player to spot targets, illuminating a reticle that surrounds the target in the world view, and a marker that presents their position on the map. This would allow players without a microphone to provide useful callouts to other players, and would also present another vector for accumulating reward points.

 

On vehicles

I'll start with your last point first - that there aren't enough vehicles to provide targets for UAV, CAS and Armor crews to engage. You're absolutely right - though that's where the next phase of testing comes in, which balancing. What we've been testing is format, and I'd like to bring the next sequence of testing to a sequential level, that is to say that the enemies generated to face the players scale in proportion to the assets they bring to the table. It's not enough to say that "there are 30 players on, thus there need to be at least X enemies", as it only takes one decent CAS operator to level an entire AO and render useless the rest of the team: you have to consider the vehicles the players are using at any given moment. However all it takes is for one or two of those vehicles to be knocked out, and now you have an unwinnable AO because the players don't have the resources to attack six tanks and four IFVs.

 

I see your point about having a fast-respawn Panther on offer for Armor crews, but I kind of see that as a license to waste Panthers while waiting for the Slammer to respawn. Armor should be valuable, it shouldn't go balls-in on the AO, and there should be a penalty for wasting it. I almost wonder if certain roles should be randomly assigned among a pool of volunteers, and if you die, you're temporarily removed from that pool.  That way everyone would be able to have a turn, and no one would hog a particular asset crew.

4 hours ago, Nibbs said:

Points accrual penalty for having people in your squad, but not in your vehicle.

Yeah, not a huge fan of this, but I understand what you're getting at: I'd almost want a way for new crew members to be able to quickly get to their vehicle, like perhaps a complimentary paradrop on taking the role if your team mates are in the field.

 

4 hours ago, Nibbs said:

Exceptionally visible notifications that someone has joined your squad

I did have this for about two seconds before I realized how spammy that was going to get, especially in an infantry squad.

 

On your other points

4 hours ago, Nibbs said:

1. Terminal needs billboards pointing directions to the helipads from the arsenal.

Yeah, but no one reads signs. I'll try to find a better spot for helipads that's closer to player spawn but not super close. It's hard for some of the base designs.

4 hours ago, Nibbs said:

2. Blackfish Infantry transport is probably a bad idea if it's full of people, and gets shot down, things could get interesting for the server load.

For general pub server use I can't see a great usefulness for this vehicle. For game nights or a server with a higher form of communication it could be cool. Right now it's in the mission for the sake of testing balance, but frankly we're probably better off trading it off with another Hummingbird.

4 hours ago, Nibbs said:

3. Because it will happen there should be some guideline for what happens when someone buys a DLC locked vehicle, for which one of their crew doesn't have the DLC, so can't use. I'm assuming the aswer is tough luck to the guy without the DLC and they should leave slot... but there should be a policy.... Also are all the purchaseable vehicles requiring a 3 man crew? I've got a vague recollection that one of the tanks DLC ones, only takes 2 people (I don't have that DLC though)

Might be the AAF Nyx that only has the crew of two; I can't recall. It's gonna be impossible for me to balance the squad composition with the various vehicles. At least the Blufor tanks don't have loader positions.  As for DLC vehicles, the best I could do is try and figure out a way to exclude DLC assets (weapons and vehicles) from the reward menus so people that don't have the DLC won't spend their points on stuff they can't use. But as for someone purchasing a vehicle that someone can't crew because they don't have the DLC... there's not much we can do about.

4 hours ago, Nibbs said:

4. Vehicle crews and Team Killing... Ensure that when points gain is shared between crew, that doesn't also mean Team kill negatives get shared.

I've been thinking about this one: I think that perhaps the points should be shared both negatively and positively, because that will encourage players to work together. Right now team kills don't really result in points because shooting a player generally puts them into the incapacitated pre-revive state, and if a player bleeds out I think that separates the kill event (ie., to get the team kill penalty you have to outright kill the player in a single event). I think I'll be changing this so that if you incap a player, you get the teamkill penalty; at the same time I'd like to fix the revive system so it actually rewards you for reviving another player.

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Some requests for new rewards:

  • Allow players to paradrop with their vehicles.  At a significantly higher cost though.  Say paradropping a slammer costs 10 times what a quad would cost and a quad costs 10 times of what a normal infantry man would cost.  Or something along those lines.  Maybe also the further away from base you paradrop the more it costs.
  • Add a purchasable active protection system for armoured vehicles like the real life counterpart of the slammer has.  (I've already written a script for it a while back, if that code is wanted ask :) )
  • Add a purchasable more advanced RWR to anything that flies (except the hummingbird maybe), I've written some code that calls out the direction, the altitude and the distance of an incoming missile.  Ask if it's wanted :)
  • Add a purchasable active jammer script for jets.  One that jams incoming missiles that use active or passive radar for a limited amount of time but can't jam IR missiles.  I've already written a script for it a while back, mssg me if wanted.

Some feedback:

  • I was able to land in spawn with a hummingbird
  • Arty drove off from where it spawned
  • It's far too easy to fly over the AO

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3 hours ago, Stanhope said:

Allow players to paradrop with their vehicles.  At a significantly higher cost though.  Say paradropping a slammer costs 10 times what a quad would cost and a quad costs 10 times of what a normal infantry man would cost.  Or something along those lines.  Maybe also the further away from base you paradrop the more it costs.

Just a comment on this one from experience with using the blackfish a lot, Make sure the drop height is no more than around 50m, or people will be paying to lose their expensive vehicles

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