Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
TheCrimsonFist

Arma 3 Zombie Campaign: TROTP WIP Zeus Campaign: Rough Preliminary Details

4 posts in this topic

Part 1

Decided to write up this summary of the current progress of this campaign, rough outlines and details and generally what it would entail. Please note that this campaign is a while away from completion, both in terms of design (first mission is "finished" however; just need to add some minor background assets such as intel, scripts etc) and how progress will work, as well as the fact that we have a WWII Campaign due to start after Australia (for more details on that please ask Proverbs, though he'll likely post them in the runup to it).

Campaign Details:

Working Title is "Tanoa: Ravages of the Plague"

-Full background and "lore" will follow later. To summarise:

 -Takes place in an alternate universe, where the events of Arma 3 and Apex Protocol occurred but they happened in the 2020s (Campaign begins in 2028). Also events of Arma 2 and OA also happened.

 -After trying to rebuild their nation, since CSAT's attempts to destabilise them, Tanoa is struck down with virus known simply as La Peste Blanche or "The White Plague" in English.

-The virus is believed to have orginated on Tanoa and quickly spreads, with outbreaks next occurring in Chernarus, then Esseker, Bystrica before spreading into the rest of Eastern Europe and Turkey

-Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, hallucinations, partial breakdown of neural connections in the brain as well as severe and near total bleaching of infected's skin (Hence the Virus' namesake)

-Lots of conflict, world crisis, Tanoa eventually breaks down, Syndikat re-emerges and other Nations such as Esseker start to collapse.

-Campaign start with various characters (players) arriving on the South West island on Tanoa via various means (crashed plane, boat etc). They are scattered away each other and have different weaponry (and differing amounts). They need to make it to, what is believed to be, the last remaining safezone in the town of Katkoula. They will (hopefully) eventually meet up, undertake tasks necessary for survival and discover what happened on the island, nothing is what it seems, nothing is black and white and sinister conspiracies etc.

Will post part two, detailing features of the campaign (rpg elements, weapons, general gameplay etc) here soon.
Stroytov likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part 2

This page will cover gameplay and story elements, including weapon availability, survival and most importantly, RPG elements. I will be tweaking the pages and expanding them over the course of the next few months. Again please note, what is described below IS subject to change and won't reflect the final iteration of the campaign! We're still far off from actually doing this so please be patient.

Overview:

Tanoa: Ravages of the Plague (working title) is a zombie survival campaign which will at some point, evolve/reveal the main non-linear storyline (and side stories) largely through the actions of the players with some spurring from Zeus(es). It uses the Ravage Mod Framework, as a basis for the survival aspect of the campaign, which adds in the hunger/thirst system, bandits and of course the zombies. Originally I was going to use Ryan's Zombies and Demons mod but due to numerous bugs, bad AI coding, performance issues and the fact it hasn't been updated in nearly a year, Ravage will be used instead. If you wish to try it out now a grab a taster of what the campaign will entail, the link is here (be sure to credit Haleks the creator of the Ravage framework): https://forums.bistudio.com/forums/topic/183264-ravage-mod

Thanks to Ravage, many of the core elements have been added for us meaning there's more time to pay attention to the other aspects of gameplay.

Gameplay:

As above, the whole campaign takes place on a post apocalyptic Tanoa. This means that some of the towns and villages you'll visit (Not all of them, for the sake of performance), will be run-down, derelict or in ruins with wrecks and loot (either placed there by Zeus or randomly by the Ravage Mod) as well as being infested by zombies and the odd bandit or friendly survivor. As you explore you can find documents, letters, tapes and intel which will help you piece together what happened on the island, the fate of side characters and possibly find hidden treasure or dark secrets. What it also entails is the fact that you have to find loot, such as food, drink and weapons/tools to help you survive on Tanoa (at least for the majority of the campaign). Remember you're not NATO or Validus PMC (with the exception of three characters see RPG elements), so you won't spawn for the first time with military gear and the latest weapons and loadouts. When the players spawn for the first time, they are "given" some starting gear including a rifle or something similar to add a bit of balance in the beginning. After that they're on the their own. Oh yes. No night vision. At least not in the beginning.

You're initial goal will be to reach the safezone in or around Katkoula. If and when that's achieved, subsequent missions or expeditions will start from there, unless you reach and decide to rest at a safehouse (see below). The safezone is also where a player will respawn when they die (see char death in RPG elements).

Supplies, Weapon and ammunition/equipment availability: To try and add a bit of "realism" to the mix as well as some fairness and reasonable campaign progression there will be differences of availability. For example, if and when the party reaches the safe zone, controlled by Tanoa Gendarmarie, they'll be given access to a select arsenal. Basic gendarmarie gear (barring uniforms and unlimited Tac vests) such as MP5s, 9mm pistols and chem lights/smoke grenades will always be available to use in infinite amounts whereas (at least initially) AKs, M4s, grenades and most military/heavy gendarmarie gear will be limited to what players can find/scavenge/loot in the world or from missions (one or two weapons are tied to the overall storyline and will always be limited see RPG elements). This to ensure players are not "OP" in the sense they have effectively infinite ammo but they won't go weaponless at the start of a mission. Note: Night vision will always be limited!
Similarly with vehicles, many with varying amounts of damage or fuel amount are present on the Horizon islands. They spawn anywhere, even in parts of the jungle but it's in the towns and city of Georgetown where most will be found (as well as in better condition). If you find a vehicle and successfully repair/refuel it, you can use it to travel or store equipment however you wish. Succeed in returning it to the safezone, you'll be able to use it the next time the campaign is played. However if it's destroyed or is parked somewhere and lost, then it's gone and won't respawn. In the latter case you can try and return to the spot where the vehicle was last parked/seen but if not there then tough luck. The way Ravage works is that it'll despawn objects within a certain radius and replace the area with new objects in order to save performance. There's little I can do about this and changing the despawn distance could have unintended effects so I can't risk it.

You'll notice, if and when you reach the safezone, that the Gendarmarie have a few vehicles. These are mostly used for defence as they cannot risk being overwhelmed by zombies or roaming bands of raiders and bandits (or even Syndikat). You can request the use of one of their vehicles but be prepared to face some hesitation or stiff resistance. And if you're lucky, make sure to return it in one piece!

Other than that, gameplay will play out relatively similarly to you average DayZ experience or Arma 3 Op with night and day events.


Persistence


There will be however, ways to "save" ammunition and firearms found in the world as well as acquire them by means other than scavenging or looting. By default, the Ravage framework includes a persistency module, meaning that when you log off, you'll respawn with your gear intact as well as stats when you log back in. This however, doesn't work currently with hard server restarts which can happen. To help mitigate damage, at the end of that day's playthrough, players will register their gear with Zeus so that the latter can create loadouts, which players can spawn with when they next log in, in case of failure. What this also means is that, if dying by glitch or sudden CTD, players can quickly regain the saved gear from last time (although weapons and items found since should still be available due to Ravage persistency. If not then you'll have to make do with your last saved gear because Zeus WILL not spawn any gear found since as it'll distract their attention from what's going on).

Alongside the Arsenal, the safezone (and other select safehouses on Tanoa) includes a storage area, where NPCs and players can store weapons and equipment obtained from scavenging, looting or from missions. Each player will also receive a personal storage box, where they can save weapons for future excursions into the ravaged islands of Tanoa. These will be saved as compositions and will carry over to the next time, the campaign is played.

NPCs that take up residence in the safezone, will carry out their own scavenging missions and store them away. Most will be for anyone to use. These will be available at the beginning of each campaign session.

As the campaign and storyline gradually moves along, aspects of the island will change as a result of days gone by, missions completed and of course players' actions (see RPG elements). For example types of ammo become more scarce or more widely available, camps and bases will come and go and the infection level/number of zombies will vary as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Part 3

What do you mean by "RPG Elements"?

I hear you ask. Well by "RPG Elements", I mean there'll be aspects to give the campaign a bit more realism, in the sense of character interaction, decision making and survival equipment and weapon availability, not to mention a couple pen and paper bits. Also there will be points of interest or pieces of intel/missions that can only be accessed/discovered if relevant conditions are met. For example, players break into a Syndikat safehouse in some village somewhere. They discover ammo and food but also come across a piece of intel or a recorded transmission, which would lead to a location, containing weapons, ammo, food, tools and access to other potential missions and locations to explore. Yet since many people on Tanoa speak a form of French, especially Syndikat, the transmission or intel would be in French. Therefore unless one of the chars knows French, they cannot access that mission (Though they could take it to a friendly Tanoan and have them translate but that could have consequences of its own).

Similar events would also pertain to incoming attacks and sudden events. A player could break into Syndikat comms and hear about an incoming attack but they don't speak French and so not understand a potential danger. Also of note, is whether or not players know of something. Barring coming across a location unexpectedly (which is allowed BTW), if players don't uncover info through whatever means, be it through documents or via NPCs, then some missions or events will not trigger. Even if suddenly encountering something, players may never know the full context so will only partially unlock a couple missions or new areas.

NPC interaction is another element to the campaign. Aside from the various risks of encountering shady people, possible turncoats or downright crazed murderers (of which there are a couple), NPCs can be useful with info on lost or abandoned villages or camps, old bunkers or snippets of intel on certain gangs, important individuals or organizations. Players will have to be diplomatic in some cases and/or approach each character with care, in order to achieve the maximum amount of info or aid possible.

Intel and keeping information will be key to manouvring in the Ravage campaign, as you've probably guessed by now. Whenever new info is communicated to the majority of the group, that info will appear in your intel or background section on your map, with a summary of what you've learnt. BE SURE TO SAVE A SCREENSHOT OR WRITE IT DOWN because being on a server, it won't stay forever.

Just to make it clear, the campaign won't be strict or extremely heavy with roleplaying like some LARPing group or enthusiastic dungeon/game master (putting it politely ;)). For example you don't have to be in character when talking to Zeus or each other, nor do you have be tightly in character all the time when talking to an NPC. This doesn't mean that you're allowed to act stupid or say/do something dumb or reckless (such as killing a "friendly" without you or them initiating/providing a valid reason) as that may have short or long-term consequences (as some of you found out during the Altis mission we did against CSAT) or get you kicked out of the campaign. It also does entail that the players realistically deciding the next course of action or what to do in a situation, with some regard to their character's agenda and the reason they're on Tanoa in the first place. Of course if something seems out of place, glitchy or is breaking gameplay Zeus will step in to correct it as best they can.

Also there won't be dice rolls or RNG of any kind in the campaign as it simply wouldn't really work in Arma.  

NPCs: There are quite a few and you'll encounter a great deal of them. Gendarmes, civilians, survivor camps, hostile bandits, criminals, raiders, Syndikat, the whole shebang!

Ravage possesses an AI module which, when placed down, spawns AI raiders/survivors/renegades at random distances (editable in Eden editor). Raiders will be either INDEP or OPFOR and will shoot at you and each other on sight. This does mean that INDEP raiders will not attack Syndikat but that'll be covered in the lore. Survivors are BLUFOR and thus friendly towards you. If met, you can recruit them into your squad via the action wheel. A few are traders and can be used to buy or sell equipment (you will require banknotes which are found in houses and general loot areas). Renegades are rogue. They owe no allegiance to anyone, not even civilians. They spawn as lone wolves and attack EVERYONE even each other on sight.

Then there are other NPCs such as the Gendarmarie or suvivor camps. Some are pivotal to the storyline and their deaths or aid can drastically change the course of the campaign, with varying consequences. Some not so much but can of major help or hinderance in their own way. Coming across friendly survivors holing up somewhere, for example, could be a blessing. If you succeed in convincing them to head to the safezone and take up residence, then they'll start carrying out tasks and excursions to collect food, water, weapons etc which they'll store in the storage area. Of course they may die in the attempt but could return bearing gifts (or keep one or two for themselves). Other NPCs may grant you passage through a safer route for a price of some kind. All kinds of people are on Tanoa, from the helpful to the greedy, the scared to the insane. Yet few are truly black and white.

Characters and deaths: As of now, there is room for up to eighteen people for the Ravage mission. This in no way implies there'll be eighteen people when the campaign starts, rather there are eighteen characters people can choose from. I haven't given them names, since players will be controlling them so its up to you to pick a name for you character or simply use your username.

I'll be doing a seperate character sheet for the starting players, along with the full premise of the campaign, in a seperate post. To summarise there are:
-Three members of a PMC, two that spawn in a crashed plane and must find gear around the crashsite,  and one that spawns alone in the wilderness with full gear.
-Two people who spawn by a nearly wrecked boat on the coast by Tuvanaka.
-Two members of the Gendarmarie Tactique, who were cut off from their group and have travelled to the island by boat.
-Two sailors who operate a fishing and scavenger trawler. Their boat was hit during  a sudden storm and and earthquake. It ran aground and broke in two, with the survivors washed up on shore, not far from a Syndikat controlled village.
-Two people who arrive at an abandoned ferry station, via a hijacked gendarmarie boat.
-A journalist accompanied by his friend and bodyguard from Altis. They have come to Tanoa to investigate the truth behind the outbreak and seek confirmation of rumours concerning conspiracies on the islands.
-One player starts in the Syndikat controlled village, after being captured during a raid on his camp on a small island not far from the village.
-Four people who spawn together on an island, with various weapons. They recently drove off a raid by Syndikat but lost one of their party (whom they buried) and another was captured and taken to a village.

For the first mission characters won't die but will respawn with the gear they had before death, so any weapons/ammo/medical equipment will still be on their person. There are checkpoints that can be reached, meaning players will respawn there on death.

However, once the safezone is reached things begin to change. Whilst checkpoints/respawn will exist for some missions, mostly tied to the main storyline, for the majority what will happen will be one of two events in case of death:

A) For most of the missions, nobody dies but if a party undertaking whatever, happens to be wiped, then the mission is failed and they spawn back at the safezone. During these missions, when a member of the party is 'killed' (beyond all hope of recovery) they are considered incapacitated and are returned to the safezone for emergency aid (i.e they respawn back at base). Once they respawn they are out for the rest of the mission.

B ) At critical junctures, such as in the main storyline or encountering new factions/groups/individuals or major matters of life or death, character permadeath occurs. It's pretty straightforward; if your char is beyond hope of recovery and dies then you are dead. End of story for you. Well for your character at least. Depending on player numbers throughout the campaign, Zeus will "reincarnate" you as one of the empty slots or as a random new character (if the latter occurs you'll have to come up new background which should be interesting ;)).

At this point in time, Ravage does not have an infection feature. Should one be added in either via the mod or by script, I'll add it in but for now while NPCs can be 'infected' and there maybe a cure, the characters are considered immune (as in not immune to the infection but rather to that aspect of the narrative. Plot armour for the win!)


Character development: There are no level ups, bonuses or stats (aside from the knowledge garnered from reading intel, discovering documents, meeting people etc. See above). There will however at the end of each playthrough, be a summary and post play discussion similar to debriefings. This when you can breathe easy and speak to the Zeus saying what you enjoyed/didn't enjoy, give feedback, make suggestions etc. It'll also be where we summarize what happened in that playthrough to refresh people's memories and ensure they have screenshots saved or they've written key points of interest down. It's also an oppurtunity to show which character knows what because for whatever reason, a player may choose not to share a tidbit of useful info...

At the beginning of the next session, Zeus will remind everyone what occurred the last time and then fill in the players of what went down while they were away. This is to give something of a moving world as while the players have a massive influence on Tanoa, it's not solely centred around them.

It's also an excuse to put new and fresh items in storage (see above).

Finally a word on consequences: This last paragraphs is where almost everything of the above, come together and that is the progression of the campaign, with regards to the consequences of the players' actions (and to a much lesser extent key NPCs). Virtually everything you do, decision making, choosing who to live/die, siding with a group or another, heck even giving a drink of water to someone, could entail major repercussions and alterations to the campaign storyline (not the overall skeleton narrative but how players arrive at the end).
Consequences also extend to weapon availability, supplies and even zombie numbers. You could come across or be told by a group to go take out a Syndikat outpost in the jungle. You succeed and get rewarded. However that Syndikat base may have been containing the zombie threat in that part of the jungle, meaning the next time you head back there, zombies will appear in increased numbers.

These are just some the consequences, you may or may not face on the Ravaged Horizon Islands. The key is to decide and make your choices with quite a bit of care. Once that choice is made there's no going back, even when Zeus tells you what may have been at the end of the session.

That's about it for the campaign details. I will be expanding/cutting/changing things around as the plans become fully fleshed out and set more in stone.

Cheers

CrimsonTemplar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0