This is the Official thread of Patrol Operations 4 for Arma 3
I would firstly like to thank each member for contributing to OCB because without OCB, there would not be a Patrol Operations mission.
Some of you may have seen something in the calendar so here we go
Patrol Ops originally was a mix of BIS Secops Modules and Bon_Inf* TFOR mission reconfigured for co-operative gameplay. It was my first scalable mission and I was very humbled about how well it was received by OCB members.
This lead quickly to Patrol Ops 2 with a full rewrite based on parts TFOR however the Secops proved buggy and was removed leaving just the random tasks.
Despite this, it was well received by OCB and later other international players when it was released publicly.
5 updates later and PO2 in early-mid 2012 reached a peak being the third most played mission in Arma 2 behind Domination and Warfare BE.
With the release of Arma 3, This inspired me to rebuild it for Arma 3 as Patrol Ops 3. It incorporated a lot of new features from A3 and was a lot more stable but lacked some key features from PO2 that I think would have made it great.
Patrol Ops 3 was not what I would consider a success. It followed the deviation away from the fundamental aspect of "Patrolling" and missed key areas that I would have liked to spend time developing.
With this in mind, and the discovery of my original notes and scripts, Patrol Ops 4 has begun its full development and no feature will be left out. I look forward to seeing how it goes and what feedback you give.
The features of Patrol Ops 4 are quite long so I will discuss a couple of major features and leave the rest for you to discover.
Missions, Tasks & Patrolling:
Tasks are broken down into 3 types (Tiers). At first, there are no tasks "Assigned" to your side. You will have to form groups and conduct patrols in areas you chose around the map. This of course is "coached" so you are not left standing around wondering what to do.
Multiple groups can patrol one area or multiple areas simultaneously.
As you patrol, you will come across a variety of enemy activity (Tier 1). Typically enemy have setup camps in forest areas, occupied defensive positions and towns, defending a weapons cache or are conducting a patrol of their own. If your group manages to eliminate the enemy, the groups involved will be awarded a point. The more groups involved together, the more points are distributed between them.
These points can be redeemed to access/unlock specific "Tier 2" tasks (many of you might be familiar with these). These include capturing vehicles, eliminating objectives and escorting HVTs. While one group might be completing the task, others can continue earning points by clearing additional areas and unlocking more tasks.
Each task can be accepted by one or more groups depending on the task and if enough of these tasks are complete, a major task will unlock which will involve the whole side.
Note that some tasks will lead on to others based on the task outcome so what turned out to be a simple task may get more complex as you go
Patrol Ops 4 has a metadata engine to quickly create dynamic tasks faster than ever.
This is one of the more cooler aspects. As infantry are clearing sectors and completing tasks, Pilots and Crewmen are on standby to support troop mobility and fire support. Support roles do not receive tasks like Infantry do. Instead Infantry can request support at any time IF a player is occupying that current platform (AI platforms require points to unlock them). These tasks are purely at the direction of ground forces.
If support platforms are on station, the enemy may deploy countermeasures so be aware of that.
To explain this concept a bit more clearly,
e.g. A pilot jumps in a CAS capable aircraft, when they take off, Infantry are notified that CAS is now available and they can assign "Fire Mission" tasks to that pilot/co-pilot. This is also available for other mission types such as extraction, transport, supply drop etc... however the enemy may deploy AA infantry or Air to Air combat capable airframe to counter this threat.
Virtual Armoury (Unit Loadout Manager)
In the past VAS was used as the loadout management tool however with BI introducing us to the Virtual Arsenal, this has been a bit of a game changer for the community in terms of how it visualises gear management.
With this in mind, I created the Virtual Armoury. A derivative of the arsenal which not only enhances certain features for MP, it develops it into a simple, role based loadout manager that allows players to quickly adjust or replenish their loadouts whilst also allowing the mission maker to define/restrict loadout options and assign starting loadouts quickly and easily.
MP Compatible, Role Based, Unit Loadout Manager
To enable all of the above complexity, there is a host of features built around this. These include:
- New Task Management System
- New Respawn System including rally points (personal/team), Death limitations, Spectator
- IFF 3D hud and Tracking System
- In-game Visual Settings Adjustments
- Squad Management
- HALO with auto-open ( sponsored by Westy )
- New Injury System (optional if using AGM)
- AI Recruitment
- Vehicle Virtual Depot
- Advanced Logistics
- Headless Client and Load Balancing Management
- and of course ieds make a return...
- Alpha: Starting FEB - Testing of staged features
- Beta: TBD - Testing of gameplay and stability
- Release: TBD
Phase Alpha will be testing features as they are integrated into the mission
- Alpha0 : 25 Feb 2015 1900hrs AEST
- Alpha1 : TBD