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Feedback Mission 14 - Not bugs but QOL


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Mission 14 was incredibly frustrating and I spent maybe 4-5 hours reflying it from what I think is really avoidable things that could have went in the designer notes. I shouldn't fail the mission because I followed instructions explicitly, or at least why I think I failed. 


I got the thunderstorm call 3x in a row and couldn't figure it out, I thought maybe it was because I went to the radar SMS page, maybe because I turned my FLIR on, DL on etc. I never touched the radar during startup even to put it in standby (after 1st run) just to be safe. What I think the problem was is that, as briefed I'd get into formation over land between WP1 and 2 ahead of and to the left of Tron 52 mirroring Sledge 21 on the other side. However if you stay in formation you will fail based on altitude (I assume) when hitting WP 3. Looking at the Tacview those flights are well above 1000ft when feet wet (Tron 2kft Sledge 2.8kft AGL). 


So basically after 3 tries I just aggressively dove after clearing the mountains to be at 900ft AGL when I hit wp 3, Obviously this puts you way out of position regarding the formation. That seemed to do it as I really did nothing different other than that the other few times. If the mission is scripted in such a way that you fail if you above 1000ft AGL when hitting WP 3, it should be noted in the designers notes that the AI will not meet this criteria and flying in formation as briefed with Tron will also cause you to not hit the mark. I get that making you fly the entire ~70+ mile leg without telling you failed is part of the immersion and staying true to the book, but I think something should be done to account for the 'simism' of the AI not meeting the outlined criteria and respecting people's time. Adding a note would be bare minimum, moving the waypoint a bit further out would be another thing, or a debug style message that at least alerts you what happened, i.e. busted altitude. 


For reference I'm citing this part from the briefing:


"After the push, we will get in formation over the land, flying NOE. Once we clear the
mountains and enter the Persian Gulf, we will descend below 1000 feet AGL. Again, let me
stress how important it is that we are not detected - therefore each flight is required to stay
below 5000 MSL over land and 1000 feet above water at all times on the way to waypoint
Once we pass waypoint 3 we can energise our radars. I will give you a sign by dumping
some fuel - the streak should be clearly visible in your NVGs. With the help of ground
radars, we will avoid any maritime traffic along our way."


Same thing in the kneeboard notes, it says "follow Tron 51: full EMCON" & "Stay below 1000ft between wp3 and 4," you can't do both, not to mention in the briefing it says to stay AHEAD of and to the left of Tron. Hopefully this isn't overly nitpicky, but I feel like these details are very important given the requirements of the mission. It should be made clear to the player where they may need to diverge from what is being said for gameplay purposes. 


Other things that are minor annoyances but could be cleared up in a patch

  • Make NVGs default loadout, the briefing references NVGs and they are certainly a good thing to have, a first time player (of the mission) may not know he has to switch those out w/ Ground crew when typically in this campaign your jet is pre-configured rather nicely
  • Swap default A2G pod to ATFLIR, the brief references ATFLIR but the base loadout is LITENING


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Listen, that little hiccup aside I think for what you've done it's truly a master class in DCS mission/campaign making and what is possible. I can say that it's the first campaign I've ever actually finished and I've bought 90% of them. I either move on because they are too boring or are broken. When I wrote that post I was just fresh off a successful run and maybe a little extra agitated when I realized what it was causing me to fail 🙂 


I only experienced two other times a mission 'broke' and one was really on me for not following directions (killing the right ground targets without clearance from the seal team) and the other time was the CAP mission w/ the strike from Iran. For whatever reason, the two escorts fired and immediately RTB'd (in the Tacview) and as a result we never actually killed them so I think the mission got hung. I just reset CAP and ultimately RTB'd once fuel required. I watched Redkite's playthrough to see what was supposed to happen and ya, all events after that initial onslaught never happened. 


That all being said, it as really an incredible experience, I loved how challenging it was and how you really had to know the Hornet to get the job done. I assume the other two breakages I mentioned above to be very one off (one really being user error), but if you'd like any more detail I'm happy to provide Tacviews (I have tracks turned off). 

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Had the same issue here. 


In think once we are spotted by the radar (say triggering by flying above some certain level), the radio should transmit "THUNDERSTORM" instead of "HOUSEBOAT" when we reach waypoint 5, otherwise, it's just a waste of time continuing the mission. 

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