For many servers and each person that is a Zeus there is a different interpretation to the nuance and mechanics that go into making a mission. I'm going to leave the in depth uses of unites, custom enemies and compositions to another thread and post. Right now I want to focus on what it means to be a Zeus in the Nak servers. It will be broken down into simple parts with a limited explanation for now.
1. What are you, as a player good at?
The first step to any mission is first understanding how you might go about tackling any idea you have in your head. If you are given an objective and a way to attack it, how might you as a solo player try to deal with the situation? You're players are going to think of these things too and try to find ways that are easy to complete the task. I try to make missions I can see myself completing solo or with a small group. When a larger group comes along things are different.
I try to tell squad leaders when they are having trouble that they have to adapt to the situation. As a Zeus you need to be aware that your players may go far beyond your expected range of engagement when you make a mission or that carefully placed AI may be made irrelevant by players careful or simply unwitting movement. In situations like this the Zeus has to adapt and make changes to the mission on the fly. If a group is tearing through a mission how can you get reinforcements in there that seems realistic. Or are they stuck at a wall and unable to take out a well placed turret, you may have to damage the turret or have the man get off. Did they manage to steal a tank that you don't want them using? There are ways to damage it through Achilles that can seem natural when timed with a GMG reinforcement. Find ways that work for you to make the mission ebb and flow with life of a real combat environment (excluding the magical respawn power).
Being a Zeus is great fun. It's awesome to scare players with armor that they weren't expecting. It's great to Remote Control a unit to give them a challenge at times. However... we have to be careful. I can't stress enough how many times I've thrown a warning grenade at a group of Players in a mission that were close together and killed way more than I should have. If that is happening all the time to players they aren't going to enjoy missions. As a Zeus we don't have to cater to every whim of the player but we do have to let them complete the missions. In some scenarios it is supposed to be hard, and punishing but a Player has to feel like the fight they are stuck in is justified or they will leave. Have fun with your players without making them feel powerless.
4. Dynamic Missions
Possibly the most fun that can be had on a mission is one that responds to what the players do and do not do. This gives their actions or inaction impact. Have they managed to save a civilian from an enemy occupation? If they radio in about it a medivac can come pick them up and extract them from the combat area. Ad in a fire team cresting a hill for players to deal with while the heli lands. Did they manage to destroy radio towers or not? Have messages be overheard and info transmitted from command down to them. Is the group they are fighting against speak in foreign language? Put your message into google translate and copy that into the info (not great but fun for emersion). Now they have intel that they can try to translate on their own or give to command to deal with. Both could have different outcomes. Sometimes what happens in this mission isn't what's dynamic but how it effects the next mission. Campaigns are fun but require a long time to play through and a dedicated group of players that enjoy your missions. Don't limit yourself to only running campaign missions with the same people, open them up to a new group who may be operating in tandem or sync with the group you started with. Create, explore, make your missions more than just something to play through.
5. Know your limits.
We all have different play-styles and experience with Arma 3, Zeus and the mods we like to use in server. Know when a mission is getting to hectic for you to manage and the stress it could be placing on server. It's real hard to keep track of every AI you place down and move as well as the players movement, needs and what they can realistically (or not) get. Ask for help on larger missions where you need to manage players interactions while someone else does menial tasks like placing AI and setting up other parts of the mission so that you can run a long mission without having to separate it. Having some one to help clean up and manage players is good to. If you need to focus on so much another Zeus's help is a great way to ensure that players have an uninterrupted experience that they can call enjoyable. Learn from watching and listening to others. Offer your ideas on what you want to do in their mission to them so they can grow too.
6. Have fun
Ultimately that is what we are all here for. To have a good time playing missions that might be a bit cookey or serious. Some require tactics while others emphasis flying tanks or submarines. If players are experiencing lag, frame drops or the like try to find the issue and remove it so they can play the mission. Certain towns are simply hard to run missions in for some players. Prygos is a great culprit of this. If a player is getting frustrated with a squad mate and needs and admin, you can help them. There are many tools you can use as zeus that are not punishment or abuse to deal with a rouge player, ai, or static object that has decided it want's to leave the lithosphere. Take the time to figure out what the game logic does in the editor and how you can use it to the best of your ability.
Veni, Vidi, Vici
This forum is for player created hints, tips,tricks and techniques that can help other Zeus make better missions.
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