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Goon Mission Guidelines

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If you have to deviate from any of these points, or the items of the checklist, that's fine if you have good reason for doing so. If this is about protecting friendly AWACS as mission goal, it might not be invulnerable. If you want to have navigation challenges, then waypoints might not be needed. However, you should always abide by them unless deviating from them serves a purpose.

Use Trigger Zones to Signal Mission Start

Enemy groups will happily run around and burn all of their fuel, move towards their objectives, or timed objectives will tick down, which can cause dumb things to happen before goons even manage to take off. To fix this, place Trigger Zones around starting airports and hold off on activating mission essential units and timers until a player has left the trigger zone.

AI CAP Sucks

The default AI cap behavior is "find target, then chase to the ends of the earth" which can bait the AI out of position or into dangerous situations. Instead, use Waypoint Actions to tell the AI to Search then Engage in Zone to actually get it to stay in the region you need it to patrol. And always, always, always delete the default “CAP” task that is added to any group that is given the CAP role.

Prespawn Late Entering Assets

Make sure at least one of every unit intended to participate in the mission is spawned and activated at the beginning somewhere. If the unit type is meant to show up late in the mission, place those units in a remote corner. This forces clients to load and cache models for the units at the start of the mission, instead of spiking lag mid-mission because everybody needed to load the asset.

Spread Out Activations

Lots of groups activating at once causes the game to chug. If you must activate lots of groups, do so far from players and teleport them to where they should "spawn" after their AI is started.

Use Trigger Zones to Reduce Processing

AIs, especially SAMs, do all kinds of complicated shit while their AI is active. Setting trigger zones such that the SAM is only active when a player is in the zone is a decent way to reduce resource usage.

Do Not Set the Date Prior to 1996

This breaks aircraft navigation systems, notably the Hornet. It is far better to just leave the date as default and use the power of ~~IMAGINATION~~ to reenact your Tom Clancy Alt-History 80's wars.

Do Not Limit Equipment

ED changes equipment identifiers with some frequency, which breaks missions that limit what equipment is available. Better leave it unlimited, and only add the limitations right before running your mission.

Make Sure Shit Makes Sense

Do you want your mission to have precision bombing runs with targeting pods? Then maybe make sure the target site doesn't have a thick wall of clouds covering it.

Make sure the AWACS isn't going to land mid-mission or fly into deadly circumstances.

Difficulty Settings in Options File

  • The Labels should be set to DOT ONLY. This has to be enforced within the mission settings in the editor, and ensured in the mission file itself. When a .miz is created, and scripts are added, another file called “options” will be placed inside the file. This “options” file will have it’s own list of settings. It will list the difficulty settings after ["difficulty"] =. These will have ["labels"] = 3. Number “3” means Dot Only labels. This is a copy of the mission maker’s client settings, and will force itself on the game. The mission’s difficulty is stored in the “mission” text file. You reduce work by simply setting your client’s options to be the correct ones.

An example how your settings should look in the text files.

 ["difficulty"] = 
   {
       ["geffect"] = "realistic",
       ["padlock"] = true,
       ["cockpitStatusBarAllowed"] = false,
       ["wakeTurbulence"] = false,
       ["map"] = true,
       ["easyRadar"] = false,
       ["fuel"] = false,
       ["miniHUD"] = false,
       ["controlsIndicator"] = true,
       ["birds"] = 0,
       ["optionsView"] = "optview_all",
       ["permitCrash"] = true,
       ["immortal"] = false,
       ["easyCommunication"] = false,
       ["cockpitVisualRM"] = false,
       ["easyFlight"] = false,
       ["reports"] = true,
       ["hideStick"] = false,
       ["radio"] = false,
       ["userMarks"] = true,
       ["unrestrictedSATNAV"] = true,
       ["units"] = "imperial",
       ["spectatorExternalViews"] = true,
       ["tips"] = true,
       ["userSnapView"] = true,
       ["RBDAI"] = true,
       ["externalViews"] = true,
       ["iconsTheme"] = "nato",
       ["avionicsLanguage"] = "native",
       ["weapons"] = false,
       ["setGlobal"] = true,
       ["labels"] = 3,
   }, -- end of ["difficulty"]

Checklist

The checklist that you should go through is as such.

  • Any mission with more than 3 waypoints/points of interest should have all coordinates in ddmm.mm and ddmmss notation in the kneeboard. Alternatively, one of those programmed waypoints should be bulls and all other waypoints should be given as vectors from bullseye.
  • Confirm all target waypoints are at 0' AGL. Otherwise targeting pods and pre-planned weapons may aim in the air.
  • Ensure that all flights have any presets or extra waypoints assigned, such as radio preset frequencies, fix point/IP/surface target in the Tomcat, etc. Similarly, make sure flights start with sane loadouts (talk with the flight about this, ideally).
  • If AWACS or Tanker are present, they are to be set to invincible and invisible to the enemy. In addition, their “reaction to threat” set to “none”. This is moot if protection of the AWACS is the objective of the mission, but this is a delicate idea and you should probably not attempt it.
  • Tankers should be named for their tacan, speed, and their channel. Example name for unit: “Texaco 1-1, 72X, 253mhz, 220kn”
  • Any mission to include F-14s will make sure that they have Automatic Stored Heading alignment set in the mission editor. It is done for each plane separately within the flight. This cuts sitting at tarmac for 7 minutes.
  • If possible do this for any plane with an INS, like the Harrier, Mirage, etc.
  • Radio presets need to be entered into aircraft, especially planes that do not support direct channel entry (MiG-21, MiG:s etc).
    Note, the Viggen E, F, and G presets will disable the primary radio when used. Don't put anything on these that needs to be used at the same time as another channel. H can be used simultaneously with the fr 22 channels, but may require the client to reselect norm+guard for function. SRS adds another UHF radio, but it must be programmed in game.
  • Planes with additional srs radios:
  • Mission Bullseye should be set to a waypoint, ideally over a TACAN or prominent landmark.
    (In reality, BE avoids landmarks and beacons by design to be nondescript, but for our purposes, we ignore this)
    • Many modern aircraft have fancy navigation systems (F-16, 18) that can programmed to know and display where bulls is at all times. Modern aircraft (and a few classics) that do not support this can fall back on setting the bulls waypoint as their current steerpoint, effectively making the same information available behind a click or two. Aircraft with limited waypoints (F-14, Viggen) should have BE programmed in and have waypoints kneeboarded as vectors from bullseye.
    • Vietnam aircraft (such as the F-5) do not have waypoints, they can fall back on TACAN for bulls. They will also need kneeboards giving waypoints in relation to TACAN beacons or bulls.
    • If TACAN as bulls is unavailable, either due to lack of emitters or piloting an aircraft that lacks the functionality, bulls will need to be over a prominent landmark. Pilots of such aircraft will have to estimate distances and directions from bulls, so precise navigation is not an option.
  • For the older planes without gps corrected ins, please have a navigation update waypoint.
    • For the F-14, select the "NAVIGATION POINT" tab and type in "FP". Place this point on top of a fixed TACAN position that's near the flight path / target area
    • For the Viggen, put a waypoint on the flight path over an identifiable feature, call it out as a nav fix in the briefing/communicate to the flight lead.
    • For the KA-50, put an inu fix point on an identifiable feature, again, put it in the briefing or communicate to the flight lead.

Mission templates

The following templates can be used as a basis for most missions and contain ready-made and properly set up tankers, AWACS, GCI, and carrier groups for both coalitions. These just need to be move around (or deleted) as needed. In addition, the templates come pre-set with the proper mission difficulty settings and also include a labels file to ensure consistency across all clients. The files also contain empty knee-board jpg images that can be extracted, multiplied, edited, and re-inserted with just about any competent zip-management tool — just make sure the knee-board images are stored in the original \KNEEBOARD\IMAGES directory in the .miz file.

Note that the AWACS and tankers are set up on a 2–2½-hour rotation after which they will land, refuel, and take off again from their respective waypoint #4 before going back to their orbit position. If a different airport is desired, move that waypoint to a new one (as long as the LandingReArFu waypoint type is retained, it should automatically snap to nearby airfields) but make sure that the airfield is actually a valid landing and take-off spot for a tubeliner. This can be checked by placing a new tanker on top of the airfield and see if it snaps properly if set to “Take off from ramp”.

Finally, the template includes a crude but effective TACAN re-initialising trigger setup to work around a recurring issue where carriers and tanker aircraft will stop transmitting after a little while. If any of the pre-set tankers or carriers are removed, the accompanying trigger will be removed automatically, but if the mission maker wants to add new TACANs, it is advisable to study how the existing units use triggered waypoint actions to keep the transmissions going.

To use the template, simply open it in the mission editor, save it under a new and more useful name, and set up things like time and weather. Oh, and the actual mission itself, of course. It is advisable to wait until the last second to actually remove any of the default units — they might turn out to be useful due to late design changes and player wishes after all, and it's easier to clean up unused groups once everything is done than it is to try to squeeze them back in.