Patrol Missions

This is a simple guide to creating a simple patrol mission. These type of missions can be quite challenging to make considering that the server is public, people can join in at any time. And the wide variety of people that may join with different skill levels and how many people you may get.

What is a Patrol mission?
A patrol mission simply consists of players patrolling a network of roads on foot and in vehicles and clearing out any hostile contacts to (in a sense) clear the road network and deem it safe for friendly use in the future. This is a great mission to have if you want multi-phased or multi-part missions.

How I make a patrol mission:

STEP 1: Basic things to look at:
I will pick one of the 3 vanilla maps (Altis, Stratis or Malden). Then I will scour the roads to find a network of roads (hard and/or dirt) that provide a challenge driving on due to elevation, terrain, visibility etc. Usually I will pick a road from a city to a city, but you can build a base from where you can start the patrol and a base at where you may end the patrol. Or you can pick routes where the the patrol goes full circle and ends back where it originally started. I will also use the arrow markers and place them along the route so the players are able to see exactly the route they need to take. Along that route, I will hide enemies. I try to place the minimal amount of units to produce the maximum amount of stopping power. Your goal as Zeus on patrol missions, is to keep the players on edge. Make them check 360 degrees. I will often hide enemies behind a house or a wall, and have them pass by to get stopped by an armed pick-up truck further up, and then run the hidden units onto them to flank them. If they are paying attention they can fight off the threat, if not, they will suffer heavy casualties. Now, based on how many people are joining in, you can easily add or subtract units. You can increase the length of the route or decrease as you see fit. Moreover, your goal is to make sure they have all types of encounters, long range, CQB, heavy, light, with pauses of no conflict. Keep it immersive and do not over-power the friendlies. Place them in a way, where if they are paying attention and working as a team they will do perfectly okay, if they are not, then they suffer the casualties.

STEP 2: How the mission works and what to expect:
I have noticed that if I give the friendlies anything stronger than a hunter HMG or GMG the AI will not shoot at the vehicles and simply run away. The problem, is that in order to stop the vehicles, only AI with launchers or enemy APC’s etc will shoot back; which ruins the whole point of the patrol OP’s mission. I like to give the players 2 Quilin’s (Armed). Super light weight vehicles that the AI is happy to shoot at with standard weapons. I also like using Independent forces, mostly bandits as they have light body armor and simple weapons which make the mission more fun. And since they dress up casual, placing civilians nearby create an interesting challenge for the players as they have to double check their fire. To create better immersion I will often have the mission take place at dusk or dawn with a light fog and sometimes light rain to mask footstep sounds. I also prohibit the use of Thermal NVG’s or thermal sights on weapons as they ruin the mission but I will allow night vision. I also tip the guys off to bring plenty of chem-lights, flares, flashlights, laser pointers and smokes to use at their discretion. Since the patrol has to move together, I will keep a player re-spawn approximately 100 meters behind the convoy, however i will only allow 1 extra Quilin in case one gets destroyed. With this type of mission I most often see a few players struggle as they are not used to being so constricted on what they can bring and the set of rules (see Step 3) that they must confine to through-out the mission. However, if the players are willing to cooperate as a team, they will have an absolute blast. I have received many compliments on my patrol missions and people have said that they will be happy to play another one.

STEP 3: The rules of the mission:
To have the mission run smoothly, you need a set of hard rules that must be followed. From my past experiences if these rules are not added, the mission will soon turn into I&A with people running all over the place and chasing the kills. It is quite easy to lose sight of what the goal of the mission is. Here is the list of rules (more or less) that I write in my “Custom Objective” for the players to read, understand and follow.
1). No thermal NVG’s or thermal sights for any of the weapons but you are free to use night-vision.
2). You must follow the outlined path (outlined by the arrow markers) and not divert off path to gain any sort of advantage.
3).You must have a squad lead that command (Zeus) can talk to, and the person who will lead the squad through-out the mission.
4). You must use both the Quilin’s and have at least 2 people in each vehicle at all times.
5). You may not exceed the speed limit of 15km/h (so they do not blow past everything I have carefully placed down).
6). The patrol must stay within 25 meters of each other (so that the players do not wander off, and must stick to the road and with the patrol).
7). No use of any kind of launchers. However under-barrel attachments of weapons that can fire 40mm HE Grenades is permitted. (This rule exists because I will not place any sort of armor down that the friendlies can not take care of with their standard weapons and grenades).
8.) Stick to the road at all times, take cover behind near-by buildings (if passing through a city) or behind your vehicles (if in open areas). Travel no further than 25 meters from the patrol.
If any of the rules are broken, I can talk to the squad lead on team speak and remind him to keep his squad in check.

Good luck to the new Zeus’s to try out this mission type. It may take a few attempts before you find that perfect balance, but when this type of mission goes well, the players will crave to come back and play another. Good luck and have fun zeus-ing

Zeus Expert - 3 points

I wish there was a middle ground. Seems like the enemies are either to op for vehicles or they run away.

After running more than half a dozen patrol op missions, this guide squeezes everything I have learned to make the most balanced Zeus patrol ops mission. When the server becomes compatible with Ace and the many mods we as Zeus get to play with, these missions will only become easier to build because of the wide variety of enemy forces and newer vehicles we can test out. But I do agree with you Reaper, I wish the AI would shoot at stronger vehicles regardless of whether the bullets would actually do damage or not. To help create a more immersive experience for the players.

To prevent the enemy vehicles from running away, you can set the group behavior to “SAFE” and if that is not enough with Achilles you can change AI Behavior > Change Abilities and set allow fleeing to “0”. Setting group speed to limited can also help.

Thank you Vile, I tested that today and it works!