Hello everyone! Thanks for being patient with these releases!
By the end of today, you will be able to download a whole heap of new mods to upgrade Operation Flashpoint Dragon Rising to its full "Revived" status!
Before I go into each mod and what it does, I will first cover the changes and fixes that have been implemented since the last update.
Health and Armor
Armor in OFDR never worked, unfortunately for whatever reason the code that exists has no effect on the game, and after trying every variation I could imagine, I gave up on the code.
Instead I took advantage of how the health system is divided into sections (head, chest, abdomen, legs, arms) and created a new section called Helmet.
I then modified how much "health" the chest and helmet had so that they appeared to give some protection from bullets. Units not wearing armor (AFV Crew, Pilots, Generals) were then given a custom chest configuration (and for the Generals, no helmet) to negate this, creating armor after a fashion.
Thanks to the 3 level damage reaction mechanic, shooting someone in an armored area requires significant damage to cause any long term effects (bleeding, aim loss, knockdown, incapacitation) while exposed areas cause immediate long-term effects from almost any amount of damage.
The head section, which includes the neck, now also includes both the left and right clavicle (just above the armor), and the Abdomen section is now solely the hip/pelvis area (also un-armored) with the chest armor covering the abdomen area.
Finally each stage of damage reaction has been reworked to give more expected outcomes. Getting shot in exposed areas causes bleeding and shock from just small scratches, and incapacitation or death on anything approaching a serious wound. Heavy firepower will dismember body parts entirely or cause serious visual wounds so you can tell if you killed or wounded someone from just the visual reaction.
All the explosives in the game have been fixed so that they don't bug-out the physics-ragdoll system and cause bodies to either freeze or just disappear. Now when a grenade/explosive goes off, the force applied to units in range is much more realistic (and gruesome).
Tweaks to the AI visual ranges has significantly improved how the AI approach a combat area. Pointed out by Phoenix19843, these simple changes make the AI more effectively use weapons at long ranges, and switch from assault to engage at a much better distance, helping to prevent the AI from getting on top of each other.
Weather and Time
The lighting upgrade has been completed and pushed across the 4 different weather types.
Clear - Starts with completely clear sky, to heavily fogged for the most variation
Cloudy - Partially cloudy to heavily fogged for smoother transitions
Stormy - Partially cloudy (using a different cloud set) to heavily fogged for more choices
Foggy - Cloudy to heavily fogged for smoother transitions
All ammo crates have been fixed to ensure they have the write ammo combinations and all work
Any working model/object has been added as a placeable from the Mission Editor.
$Fluff (all the unfinished/dev stuff) enabled to allow others to mess around
Re-Organised damage for easier editing/modding
Removed completely unusable items for a cleaner DB
Fixed a few typos and other issues done by CM.
Recoil and Sway has been heavily balanced through play-testing to get the weapons to feel heavy and react in a more realistic way. This effects the AI too, and you will notice they go prone more often to get stable with heavy machine guns and sniper rifles so watch out!
Many weapons have been tweaked in regards to how the AI use them, to help balance the gameplay and stop them being too effective to give you a chance!
Each of the mods below effect the core game itself, and are compatible with the original Campaign, Fire Team Engagements and Multiplayer Maps, as well as any Custom-Made mission. (Please Note, any Mission Editor can choose to over-ride Ultimate AI, see their Readme if unsure. This will not effect the other mods)
Ultimate AI 2017
UAI is a complete reconfiguration of the games built-in AI to get the absolute best from it. It covers the following main areas
Vision and Hearing
Central and Peripheral vision has been setup to mimic that of a human, giving the AI much better awareness of what is near them, and requiring "focus" to detect more distant targets. The net result is much more convincing stealth and search mechanics where Line of Sight feels realistic and fair
Object Filtering (how much the AI can see through something) has been adjusted so that they are much less accurate when firing at you through things like bushes, grass and smoke. Large thick bushes and trees will actually block Line of Sight if you stay completely behind them (hiding inside a bush does not work unfortunately, you must be behind it)
I spent a long time balancing the AI's hearing so that they react as realistically as I could get to sound.
See the stealth video for an example. They can no longer detect you immediately by sound, instead they must turn and visually ID you first. This opens up a level of stealth not possible before!
The AI's movement speed, as well as stance choices have been adjusted so that they are able to get into cover faster and protect themselves from fire better. When the AI will search for cover has also been adjusted to help ensure they rapidly follow critical orders (like shooting armor) while still giving them freedom for more generic orders (follow, move, defend) to find cover anywhere.
Every single weapon in the game now has its own unique customised "usage" configuration for the ai. This tells the ai how quickly to fire, the size of a burst and adjustments over different ranges. Along with these configs is individual accuracy configurations per stance to ensure the AI are not too accurate/inaccurate with any particular weapon keeping things fair, but feeling realistic.
Variations in the usage configuration between variation (Assault vs Marksman vs CQB etc) finally makes units act according to their role. A marksman stays back and takes slower, better aimed shots, while a CQB gets in close and opens up!
Each vehicle has been adjusted as best as possible to help make the AI not suck at driving. It is a shockingly flawed system and will never approach good, but at least they get stuck a little less.
Vehicle "reset" time has been reduced so you don't have to wait FOREVER for them to get unstuck.
AI are now aware and able to use all the weapon systems on a vehicle! It is really important you remember this if you are in a helicopter, as most PLA vehicles have anti-air systems!
For the soldier, balancing comes into effect to make vehicle encounters survivable. Heavy cannons (and similar super-powerful systems), while technically perfectly eligible for taking on soldiers, are only used if the vehicle is under heavy fire. The AH6-J is a perfect example of this. It will strafe you with its mini-guns, which is bad enough, but if you all start shooting at it, expect a full salvo of rockets to be coming your way in response!
Each weapon also has a reconfigured target selection matrix, which takes into account distance, morale, pinning, cover, ammo and a host of other situations to rank a particular weapons effectiveness against all known targets in play. The AI then use this information to decide which weapon they are carrying should be used to fire at which target.
This results in a much more complete usage of the weapons available in game. Underslung Grenade Launchers, auxiliary vehicle weapons and modes of fire are now all used by the AI across all weapons and vehicles.
Further tweaks to the healing mechanic in an attempt to make the AI react faster (especially to the player being wounded). This is mostly successful, but a suppressed soldier will never heal unfortunately and this is what usually prevents them from saving you.
Mostly for Mission Editors (in the campaign, soldiers are "regular" and Spec Ops / SOF are "elite") each experience level has been opened up to give huge variation in how experience effects the ai.
Less experience brings faster morale loss, slower weapon aiming, and less precision. Higher experience negates some negative morale effects entirely and improves weapon usage greatly. Elite really are Elite!
For example a squad of "green" soldiers will fall back from a single well placed LMG soldier suppressing them, but just a small Echelon of Elite soldiers will continue the assault even under prolonged focused fire.
Morale and Doctrine
The entire system has been redone from the ground up to create long-term morale effects rather than the nothing-until-broken setup of the original game.
Building morale takes time, but losing it happens quickly. Just a single shot whizzing past an AI is enough to effect their morale.
Thanks to the morale sharing mechanic, the "momentum" of a battle is alot more pronounced now, with taking and dealing damage effecting the AI of all units in the combat area. This leads to moments where you can almost feel the "tide" of battle change for or against you as units start dying and their comrades react.
Doctrine controls how the AI react to a situation (They can be At Ease, Aware and Combat Ready) and previously it was configured so that each state lasted a long time before being down-graded. It turns out this was a mistake, and now that Doctrine's drop very quickly, the AI more realistically return to defensive/idle orders and movements in stealth scenarios. During combat they switch to searching much faster or back to their original order once enemies are dealt with / lost entirely.
Pathing and Object Avoidance
All the Trees and Rocks have been adjusted so that vehicles avoid forests, while troops find it much easier to get behind trees for cover (you will still see the odd idiot standing next to a tree)
Small Flat rocks which were previously ignored are now avoided which helps reduce them getting stuck (vehicles especially)
Vehicle pathing has been adjusted so that it relies more on the local object avoidance than the A* path finding (which ignores objects). This really helps vehicles avoid forests and heavily rocky areas, but its not perfect.
AI now take being shot at ALOT more seriously, and will take cover or hit-the-dirt much faster than before. This really ups their survivability!
New damage reaction mechanics has been unlocked which include :
Knockdown - Heavy damage will cause the AI to fall over. This is not them being blown back like in the movies, but gets them falling to the ground in pain. They will get back up once the shock wears off
DeathRattle - Enough damage will cause the AI to hold down the trigger on their gun, which can lead to wild sprays as they go down (looks awesome)
Concussion - Basically knocks them unconscious for a moment so they cannot react (always paired with knockdown so they don't stand around like idiots while stunned)
EGO Engine Upgrade
This set of mods pushes EGO as far as we can take it right now, giving better graphics, more stuff on-screen and all with better performance. This is done by removing the (now outdated) performance matrix and re-organising the different engine systems across the available CPU threads on your machine (strangely not utilised in the original config)
Additional Aspect Ratio options have been added (these must be manually added to your config file, see the article about it) to help combat the terrible Field of View in the game
Physics and Visual Effects Upgrade
Modifies the special effects used by the engine for impact and explosion effects of different ammunition versus different materials. Explosives churn up much more dirt, set things on fire and cause billowing smoke to fill the scene.
Each explosive ordnance type now has 8 individual material effects instead of just 1!
Each material type has also been adjusted to give more realistic vehicle wheel friction and better bullet penetration.
Weather, Lighting and HDR Upgrade
Improves the sun/moon transitions and changes sunset and sunrise to real-world times for much better day/night cycles.
Fog system reworked to give greater weather variation in the form of thicker, darker clouds, closer fog and darker night times.
Something unique to Island War is my custom eye adaptation simulation via the HDR system. What this does is adjust the way the image is rendered according to how much light is hitting your virtual eyes.
This allows you to see in the dark, but also means anything bright will blind you and ruin your night vision (lights, torches, explosions and muzzle flashes as well as using thermal/night vision for extended periods)
Looking into a building during the day will look very dark, while from the inside it will be nice and bright, with outside being blinding to the eye.
Mission Editor Update
The final mod set upgrades the Mission Editor with improved syntax highlighting, an extremely robust custom auto-help system to replace the Help file and of course the improved Entity Database.
There are too many changes to list one-by-one so instead I will just give the highlights :
All Weapons reconfigured to be more like their real world counter-parts. Each weapon now has a "parent" weapon and all variations are "children" of this base weapon. This makes adding new variations, or modifying existing ones much easier
All Vehicles have been reconfigured to make them handle fantastically and actually be fun to drive
All usable in-game models have been added giving extra weapons and props to use in missions
Ammo Crates expanded to include all weapons in better combinations
New Health and Damage system to give much more variation to damage dealt, and more realistic reactions to that damage
Junk removed from the Database to make it easier to manage
More Unit variations, with better weapon setups to give Mission Editors more choice