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Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344518] Sun, 13 March 2016 21:57 Go to next message
CVB

 
Messages:136
Registered:September 2014
Location: Berlin
The Facts
Arulco Revisited (AR) by Beka and JAsmine is a well regarded mod, judging from the feedback in this forum. However, the last update from
the original creators was released in January 2013.
Strohmann updated AR in November 2014 to work with the stable 2014 release (7609), but that update was mostly only for technical compatibility and didn't make use of many of the new features and items.
Basically, AR is stuck in the age of Release 4870.

Beka last visited here more than four years ago. In January 2013 JAsmine stated that he was all that was left of the AR team. He last
visited here in December 2014. Strohmann's last AR activity was in November 2014.
I tried to contact JAsmine several weeks ago via email and PM, but received no response. So at the moment, AR can be regarded as abandoned.

The Proposal
I think it's a shame that such a fine mod should become increasingly obsolete. To do something about that, I would like to take over care of AR for the time being. To prove that this is not just idle talk, I have uploaded a patch that fixes many bugs of AR1.4

What you can expect from me:


  • Update of AR to make full use of the current (81xx +) set of features
  • Consolidation of updates, bug-fixes etc. into a single installer
  • Updates of items used in maps, merc starting gear, army and IMP choices to the current item set
  • Map updates to better accommodate new features such as more water areas for SCUBA diving
  • More grass and undergrowth in wilderness maps
  • Some additional maps and underground sectors
  • stronger defenses at military bases
  • tile-set changes to adapt to new features such as creating fortifications and to enhance visual impressions
  • changes to the strategic map such as more varied travel times and modified SAM coverage
  • additional factions, some allied, some neutral, some hostile
  • less clear-cut decisions and more consequences to player actions
  • additional vehicles
  • much enhanced usage of facilities
  • additional NPCs, RPCs and merchants
  • tweaks to mercenary stats, traits and backgrounds
  • new items, mostly for immersion and role-playing purposes



What not to expect:

  • many new weapons. AR has always been a map mod, not a weapons mod
  • radical changes to game play and balance
  • enhancements that need code changes



The Question
I'm looking for feedback from the BP community if I should actually go for it.


  • Thief, how dare you steal the hard work of others!
  • I don't care either way, I won't play AR
  • Do it, such a great mod should be kept alive
  • Something else


If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

[Updated on: Sun, 13 March 2016 22:31]




Peace is a purely theoretical state of affairs whose existence we deduce because there have been intervals between wars.
J. Pournelle
Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344522 is a reply to message #344518] Mon, 14 March 2016 00:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
edmortimer

 
Messages:1046
Registered:January 2015
Location: Home Free
Go for it! Make it yours!




Arulco Vacations Blog

Arulco Vacations Bears Pit Forum


Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344526 is a reply to message #344518] Mon, 14 March 2016 08:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
sevenfm

 
Messages:1532
Registered:December 2012
Location: Under the Mountain
I think it's better to keep it a pure map mod (+ necessary XML tweaks like facilities etc) and to avoid changing items, mercs, gear kits etc. This will allow it to be compatible with item mods like SDO/IoV/AFS etc.
I personally prefer to always play AR+SDO, as it's the best item balance mod for 1.13.

My opinion:
+ Update of AR to make full use of the current (81xx +) set of features (always good to support for new features)
+ Updates of items used in maps, merc starting gear, army and IMP choices to the current item set
+ Some additional maps and underground sectors (more secret or underground sectors is good)
+ stronger defenses at military bases (maybe add snipers/machinegunners at roofs, add more complex minefields with tripwire etc that require high level sapper to disarm)
+ tile-set changes to adapt to new features such as creating fortifications and to enhance visual impressions (improvised fortifications like in Aimnas are great)
+ changes to the strategic map such as more varied travel times and modified SAM coverage
+ additional factions, some allied, some neutral, some hostile (more factions is always good)
+ less clear-cut decisions and more consequences to player actions
+ additional vehicles (why not?)
+ much enhanced usage of facilities (a good example is AV mod)
+ additional NPCs, RPCs and merchants (why not, especially since the BR is moved to later stage of the game)

- Map updates to better accommodate new features such as more water areas for SCUBA diving (I don't like water sectors, especially because AI cannot play with water well)
- More grass and undergrowth in wilderness maps (we have wildfire for that, AR maps have their style)
- tweaks to mercenary stats, traits and backgrounds (leave it to stock 1.13 or specialized mods)
- new items, mostly for immersion and role-playing purposes (avoid changing items, as this will break compatibility with item mods and you will have to support all changes in 1.13 later by hand)

In general, it would be good to add support for recent features, fix known problems (both tactial and strategic) and improve strategic balance and replayability without changing the original concept of the mod (pure map/strategic balance mod) and existing map style.



7609+fix | 7609+AI (r688) | 7609 unofficial modpack | Win8+ fix | Experimental project | Youtube
Point out what it is you are interested in.


thumbs26.png  Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344530 is a reply to message #344526] Mon, 14 March 2016 11:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
yarco

 
Messages:29
Registered:October 2013
Great news!
Such a great mod should be kept alive.

Is it possible to update it for year 2016 first and then add new ideas please?
Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344531 is a reply to message #344530] Mon, 14 March 2016 13:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Flugente

 
Messages:3307
Registered:April 2009
Location: Germany
Way to many mods get gradually outdated, so this is very good news. As long as the original mod creators are okay with this (I'd just assume they are, seeing as you tried to contact them and still credit them and all), I see no problem with this.

I second sevenfm's opinion regarding items - the less changes from stock 1.13 you have in there, the less problems someone will have getting this to work with additional pure item mods (which seems to be one of your intentions).



Saren threw his head back and screamed in impotent fury, before falling to his throne, head in his claws, trembling in horrified disbelief.

Then he heard a faint chime as Sovereign subscribed to her ECHO channel.

If you want, you can donate to me. This will not affect how and what I code, and I will not code specific features in return. I will be thankful though.


Aw: Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344544 is a reply to message #344531] Mon, 14 March 2016 22:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ATigersClaw

 
Messages:160
Registered:October 2014
Location: Braunschweig, Germany
Imho AR is one of the best mods out there, very immersive and consistent throughout the whole time I've been playing it. I reached out to JAsmine myself, trying to get this project back to life but just as CVB without any results. So this is indeed very good news.

Same as sevenfm and Flugente I also think keeping it a pure map mod would be the best way to go.
This would mean less work for you CVB plus compatibility with other good item mods. Thinking of AR + AFS sounds very good!

For AR being my favourite mod so far, I'd also love to join in on some work for this project if needed.



“Discipline is choosing between what you want now and what you want most.” - Abraham Lincoln
Re: Aw: Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344545 is a reply to message #344544] Mon, 14 March 2016 23:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Slax

 
Messages:1439
Registered:July 2006
Location: People riding polar bears...
https://media.giphy.com/media/wi8Ez1mwRcKGI/giphy.gif



1.13: Install JA2, unpack latest, play.
AIMNAS: Complete 1.13 installation, Download ZIP and unpack, play.

Re: Aw: Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344547 is a reply to message #344545] Tue, 15 March 2016 07:26 Go to previous messageGo to next message
thebear05

 
Messages:14
Registered:January 2016
Location: Sydney, Australia
Arulco Revisted is by far the best JA2 map yet. The map is far better than even Wildfire, which was my all time favourite. I just started a second game and it plays different each time. It would be a shame to have all the modders work wasted.

[Updated on: Thu, 17 March 2016 18:08]

Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344703 is a reply to message #344518] Fri, 25 March 2016 20:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CVB

 
Messages:136
Registered:September 2014
Location: Berlin
First of all, thanks a lot to all who read my post and especially to those who took the time to write an answer. From almost 700 views of the thread there was not a single negative response, and some of the most active developers and modders gave me their encouragement.

Thank you all for your confidence. So I will take over responsibility for maintaining and updating AR from now on. Of course, should JAsmine and/or Beka return, I will gladly hand it back over to them.

Your input lead me to reassess my proposal a bit. Per your suggestions, AR will stay a pure map mod (loosely speaking, for this purpose I regard tilesets, facilities, item placement, NPC placement, civgroups, strategic travel times etc as part of map design).
I will probably still do some new items sooner or later, even if only for my own gratification, but this will be clearly separated as an optional add-on, a kind of showcase or proof of concept mod that will not bear the Arulco Revisited name to avoid any confusion.

For the changes I have in mind regarding Merc traits and backgrounds I will resort to lobbying for the inclusion into basic 1.13. For example, I think that there should be some more radio operators, and I am a big fan of edmortimer's crusade against The Teacher Syndrome. (Read about it here)

I would like to address some of your concerns and comments in detail.
@sevenfm:
water sectors: I'm not proposing to have battles in the water or sectors predominantly composed of water. What I have in mind can be best explained by looking at the D2 (Chitzena SAM) map from Wildfire. This sector can (and has been for years) obviously be tackled w/o any SCUBA gear, but such equipment offers an optional way to attack the fortress. Of course adapting sectors for new features works both ways, it's not only about giving the player new options, but also e.g. soldier placement, orders and patrol way points have to be set in such a way that the AI actually watches its backside. New features and equipment should have uses and give some benefits - otherwise, why should you lug around those oxygen bottles? - but not become magic wands that make any tactical problem disappear.

undergrowth and grass: I agree that each mod should retain its character, but I still feel that some AR maps could be improved by a slight dose of additional vegetation. For example let's compare forest sectors A15 from both Arulco Revisited and Wildfire. While in WF, about 50% of the open (non-tree) tiles are covered with tall grass, in AR there is not a single bush, not a single stand of tall grass and less than 5% of the open tiles with small grass. I think that adding 20-30 bushes and about twice as many tall grass tiles (of 25600 tiles overall!) will visually and tactically improve the AR map without compromising its character and becoming a WF clone.

@yarco
The plan is to first make any technical updates necessary to play with current releases, hardening AR a bit against further basic 1.13 changes in the process, to update item placement for items introduced since AR1.4 was released and to improve a couple of maps to fix balance issues.
The next step will be to implement tileset changes and fix any regressions that might introduce. Only then will new maps and substantial changes to existing maps follow.

@ATigersClaw
I would love to get help, especially regarding testing for bugs and balance. Details via PM



Peace is a purely theoretical state of affairs whose existence we deduce because there have been intervals between wars.
J. Pournelle
Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344722 is a reply to message #344703] Sat, 26 March 2016 17:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
edmortimer

 
Messages:1046
Registered:January 2015
Location: Home Free
Quote:
The plan is to first make any technical updates necessary to play with current releases, hardening AR a bit against further basic 1.13 changes in the process, to update item placement for items introduced since AR1.4 was released and to improve a couple of maps to fix balance issues.
The next step will be to implement tileset changes and fix any regressions that might introduce.


At that point you could release an AR update that will satisfy the purists, and then go on to add your changes that will make the mod (IMO) better, and release that under a slightly different name.




Arulco Vacations Blog

Arulco Vacations Bears Pit Forum


Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344825 is a reply to message #344722] Fri, 01 April 2016 08:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
thebear05

 
Messages:14
Registered:January 2016
Location: Sydney, Australia
CVB,
Please check with Ed and put the extra vehicles into AR as were placed in his AV map. Two available vehicles is not enough for the campaign. Also Dave who has the Hummer should be able to have black market fuel as well as Jake.
Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344826 is a reply to message #344825] Fri, 01 April 2016 08:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
edmortimer

 
Messages:1046
Registered:January 2015
Location: Home Free
Quote:
CVB,
Please check with Ed and put the extra vehicles into AR as were placed in his AV map. Two available vehicles is not enough for the campaign. Also Dave who has the Hummer should be able to have black market fuel as well as Jake.


No worries about that -- CVB knows how to put the vehicles in the game.

BTW, for v1.07 of Arulco Vacations there will be more vehicles available -- the full 6 . . .




Arulco Vacations Blog

Arulco Vacations Bears Pit Forum


Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344827 is a reply to message #344825] Fri, 01 April 2016 10:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CVB

 
Messages:136
Registered:September 2014
Location: Berlin
New vehicles will be introduced in the second update phase, tentatively scheduled for end of May. First priority is to get AR running stable with the new 1.13 features and items added after 2012.

Be warned, however. Acquiring some of the vehicles might have consequences angel

Good idea about Dave as a source of fuel. No promises, however, as messing with the scripts of quest characters can be tricky.



Peace is a purely theoretical state of affairs whose existence we deduce because there have been intervals between wars.
J. Pournelle
Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344831 is a reply to message #344827] Fri, 01 April 2016 16:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
thebear05

 
Messages:14
Registered:January 2016
Location: Sydney, Australia
CVB,
Keith in Alma could be a possible source of fuel as he already the buy and sell script.
Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344834 is a reply to message #344831] Fri, 01 April 2016 17:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CVB

 
Messages:136
Registered:September 2014
Location: Berlin
It's not that much of a problem to make an NPC a merchant (except for missing speech files), it's more about keeping their original behaviour (IIRC, Dave offers to top off the Hummer for free) intact. Keith might be a source, but I plan to redistribute some merchants/barkeepers anyway, so we'll have to wait and see who gets to be a member in the gas smuggling ring cheeky



Peace is a purely theoretical state of affairs whose existence we deduce because there have been intervals between wars.
J. Pournelle
Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344839 is a reply to message #344834] Sat, 02 April 2016 08:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
magri

 
Messages:7
Registered:February 2016
Location: iceland
go go johnny go
Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344925 is a reply to message #344518] Thu, 07 April 2016 15:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Peal

 
Messages:251
Registered:August 2007
Location: Germany
Please give some new love to this mod, much appreciated dude! heart
Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344939 is a reply to message #344518] Fri, 08 April 2016 16:04 Go to previous messageGo to next message
gmonk

 
Messages:647
Registered:April 2002
Location: Newfoundland, Canada
Please update the mod! It's one of the most interesting map mods, on par with Sierra Gordo and SOG'69.
Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #344941 is a reply to message #344939] Fri, 08 April 2016 16:25 Go to previous messageGo to next message
CVB

 
Messages:136
Registered:September 2014
Location: Berlin
I'm on it. I'll start a new threat to report current progress pro-actively



Peace is a purely theoretical state of affairs whose existence we deduce because there have been intervals between wars.
J. Pournelle
Re: Arulco Revisited Revived?[message #350045 is a reply to message #344941] Mon, 12 June 2017 21:32 Go to previous message
Vadim Dolvich

 
Messages:26
Registered:February 2009
Location: None
Go for it man.
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