Mission Architect Tutorial 200 Series
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- 1 Overview
- 2 Create and Save the Sample Walkthrough Mission
- 3 Tutorial 201: Advanced Goal - Add an Ally
- 4 Tutorial 202: Advanced Goal - Add an Ambush
- 5 Tutorial 203: Advanced Goal - Add an Escort (and Betrayal)
- 6 Tutorial 204: Advanced Goal - Add a Patrol
- 7 Tutorial 205: Advanced Goal - Add a Battle
- 8 Tutorial 206: Advanced Goal - Add a Destructible Object
- 9 Tutorial 207: Advanced Goal - Add a Defendable Object
- Parent Article: Mission Architect Tutorial
All right. So now you're off and running. You can fight a boss, you've got a mission created, and now you want to stretch your creative muscles a bit. It's time to look into Advanced Mission Goals.
Each goal will be presented as a walkthrough. Some will be shorter than others, but they will all have their own walkthrough covering all options, required and optional. Optional goals will be listed as such, and are listed as such in the MA Story Editor window.
For now, let's start our basic mission we'll be using as the basis for all of these walkthroughs. For each walkthrough, you'll want to "Save as" a new copy, with some designator - such as "Tutorial 200" - in it. Ready? (Obviously I won't be explaining this, this is just a basic starting point for each tutorial to come.)
Create and Save the Sample Walkthrough Mission
Story Settings Window
- Story Title: Advanced Goals Tutorial
- Story Description: Walkthrough of Advanced Mission Goals
- Story Contact: For Contact Name, Type, and Category and Name, just pick something you like. You'll be looking at them quite a bit.
- Optional settings: We'll ignore both Parameters and Clue.
Click to advance to Mission 1 Settings.
Mission Settings Window (Page 1)
- Enemy Group: STANDARD tab > 5th Column.
- Map Type: We want something simple. WAREHOUSE STANDARD - CITY OF HEROES SET
- Map Length: We don't want it too small. WAREHOUSE STANDARD - CITY OF HEROES SET - 3. Why? If you look to the right, you'll see a few settings. This one isn't horrendously large, and has settings and room for things in the front, middle and back.
Ignore Mission Parameters and Mission Complete Clue, as well as Additional Text.
- Mission Introduction Dialog: This is tutorial series 200, number
- Mission Send Off Dialog: Good luck!
- Compass Active Task Text: Advanced Tutorial Series
- Still Busy Dialog: How's it going?
- Return Success Dialog: Grats!
Click on Save As (the check-mark-in-an-open-box icon under the ribbon at the top) and name it "Tutorial 200 Framework" or some such.
Tutorial 201: Advanced Goal - Add an Ally
Purpose and Setup
As mentioned in the 200 - Advanced Mission Goals topic, we'll be examining each advanced mission goal in a walkthrough on its own. This one covers "Adding an ally." You should have your basic framework (200 tutorial) mission available - open it up, save it as 201 - Ally. On page 1, Mission Introduction Dialog, add "201 - Add an Ally." Click on page 2 or "Mission 1 details," and click on Add an Ally.
While there are sections in the mission marked as "Optional" (and listed as such here,) we will be going through them.
What is an ally?
The typical example will be someone you rescue who fights by your side - think of Flower Knight or Jenkins from the hero and villain tutorials. You cannot have them betray you (that's an escort,) but you can set their behavior -- or just have them run away. You can use standard or custom critters.
"Fights by your side," of course, doesn't mean they have to fight. If you want a buffer following you, a la Amy's Ward, you can do that, too.
- Ally Name: This is the name of the NPC you'll be rescuing. Let's go rescue Tutti O'Reale.
- Ally Type: Again, you can pick Standard or Custom, depending on if you want a custom NPC or not. Since we don't have any created for this tutorial, we'll pick Standard.
- Ally Group: You can rescue a "traitor" and pick your ally from the same group. For the sake of having it visually different, we won't. We're going to scroll down a ways and pick Vanguard Sward (35-54).
Pay attention to those levels in the brackets! If you'll notice, up at the top, we no longer see Mission 1 (1-54) but Mission 1 (35-54). Critters chosen are what affect your arc's level range! Anyone can still run them -- a level 1 will be auto-SK'd up, for instance -- but that range can change with each minion through an arc... and affect what you have available to work with!
- Character: With a name like Tutti... let's pick Vanguard Colonel (Boss 35-54.)
There's that level again. Yes, even if you have a 1-54 group, the individual critter can affect the mission levels!
- Required for mission completion: Since this is our only goal, this should remain selected. You can have non-required allies, of course.
- This mission goal is created when...: The only option you have is none.
This is where you set triggers. Create all of your events first. If you want the Ally to appear only after you find a clue on Computer 2, once Computer 2 is created, you'll pick it here. Setting it to "None" means it will always be there.
- Quantity: Set it to 1. Multiple ally rescues can be done, yes - just be sure, if you're not using generic NPCs, that they make sense (else you're rescuing 5 clones of Tutti, for instance.) They will inherit ALL settings!
- Surrounding Enemy group: None. We're just going to walk up and get Tutti, and kick butt with her throughout the mission. Yes, you can select a different enemy group from the main group if you want! If your story calls for your custom group to be using the Freaks for a smokescreen? Set the Freakshow as the main group -- and your custom group guarding the ally you're rescuing.
- Ally Placement: Consider this in your arcs. Do you want help throughout, or someone to run across and rescue? Since we want help throughout, select Front.
- Enemy group difficulty: Well, we don't have an enemy group. This, however, would affect the group around the ally -- default (easy,) with more of the higher ranked critters showing up around him or her as you go up.
Options are Easy, Medium, Hard, or Single. What is Single? You find only the ally.
- Ally behavior: This controls what the ally does when you rescue them. We'll set this to Follow.
- Follow: they follow you
- Run to nearest door: just what it says.
- Run Away: again, just what it says
- Wander: they stroll around regardless of what you do.
- Nothing: they just stay there.
This can lead to interesting combinations with the next option
- Combat Abilities: set to Aggressive. We want this ally to fight!
- Non Combat: They won't fight enemies, and they won't be attacked. Most hostages (and "Lead to X") are set this way in game.
- Pacifist: They won't fight enemies, but can be attacked.
- Fight Defensive: Your ally will fight enemies, but will try to stick by you.
- Fight Aggressive:: Your ally is a berserker! They'll run off to fight enemies, even being separated from you to do so!
For every option besides Non Combat, your ally CAN BE DEFEATED! If you use them, strongly consider putting in a Return Fail Message if they're important to your story!
Ally Text and Dialog (Optional)
While not required, this dialog can add some life to your ally encounter - especially if they're surrounded by enemies.
- Ally Description: This is their bio. By default, it will inherit the bio of whatever critter you use - in this case, a generic description of Vanguard. That's boring. Delete it. Notice the little button ("Default") that came up? If you screw up, or decide you really want that bio -- click that, and it will restore the default bio.
We don't want that. Delete what's in there. Type in Tutti fights empowered with Ice Cream and Bailey's! (or whatever else you want.)
- Navigation text (singular/plural): Use the appropriate one. If you're rescuing five Tuttis, or five allies of different types, use Plural. We'll use the singular - Meet Tutti.
- Ally Completed Text: This shows up in the chat window when you rescue your ally. Type in You found Tutti!
- Enemy Unaware dialog: If we had enemies around Tutti, this is where they'd be threatening her or some such before they see you. ("We'll make you talk!" or the like.) Leave blank.
- Enemy Attack Dialog: Again, leave blank. This is what they'll say when they aggro on you.
- Ally Inactive Dialog: What the ally says before seeing you. Use "Where are they?"
- Ally Active dialog: What the ally says when they see you. "Get me out of here!" for instance. Use "Hey, glad you could make it!"
- Ally Rescued dialog: What the ally says when you finish off their surrounding group. We'll put in "Let's go fight stuff already, I'm bored."
- Ally Stranded dialog: This is what the ally will say if you lose them. Put in "Where did you go?" Keep it short. This can get annoying.
- Ally Reacquired Dialog: And what they'll say when you pick them up again. "Welcome back."
Save your mission before continuing. (Get into the habit. Really.)
- Enemy starting group animation: All enemies in the group will be doing this animation, if they can. Not every enemy can do every animation. If it doesn't work, pick another one. Since we have no enemies, leave as "Default."
- Ally Starting Animation: By default, none. Often you'll want them cowering, or in an energy field or some such. We're going to use "Waiting."
- Ally Rescue Animation: "None," by default. This is what they do when you free them from the group or come into range. Select "Big Wave."
- Ally Stranded Animation: "None" by default. This is what they do when they get lost. We'll leave it at none.
Ally Rescued Clue (optional)
If you want to give more information to move a story along, and it's information that wouldn't make sense in a bio - use this.
- Clue name: The title of your clue. We'll call it Finding Ms. Tutti.
- Clue Description: The body of your clue. We'll just leave it at "She's a little bit odd."
Testing and Revising the Mission
Save your mission, and test it out.
What happened? Very likely, you saw some dialog and the mission completed right away. This is intentional -- go find your ally and play, then come back to your mission. Setting this to "Single" and "Front" doesn't necessarily mean they'll be waiting at the door! If you're in their detection range -- even if you don't see them -- they'll be "rescued" with that setting.
Let's give her some guards
- Surrounding group: 5th column
- Enemy group difficulty: Easy
- Enemy Attack Dialog: "Get them!"
- Enemy Inactive Dialog: "I told you before, we don't have any donuts!"
Save and test again.
Tutorial 202: Advanced Goal - Add an Ambush
Open up your 201 tutorial blank mission. Save as 202 - Ambush.
Ambushes are unique among the various mission goals. Unlike the other selections, they cannot be created on their own, and cannot be a required objective. Normally, we'll start with the 200 blank mission, but this is a special case.
Under Mission 1 Settings, change Write Text: Mission Introduction Dialog to read "tutorial 200 series, number 202 - add an ambush."
Select mission 2 Objectives. You should already see a starred "Ally: Tutti O'Reale." Click on "Advanced Mission Objectives," and click on "Add an Ambush."
- Ambush Name: We're just going to label this Ambush 1.
- Create Ambush When...: This is where you select the trigger for the ambush. By default, it says "No mission Goal Selected." Click on the drop down list. Unavailable triggers are in orange, available ones in blue. Select the only one available, Ally: Tutti O'Reale is Completed.
These are the only required settings. There are two other optional sections, Settings and Dialog. For this tutorial, we will fill them in.
- Ambush Enemy Group: We're going to stick with Standard. By default, it's set to Same as Mission, which means if we tested right now, we'd have 5th Column ambushing us. To make the ambush stand out, we're going to pick a different group - Nictus (1-54.)
Remember, any enemy group you pick at any point can affect your mission's levels!
- Ambush Alignment: Options Enemy, Rogue, and Ally. Yes, you can spawn reinforcements by picking Ally. Rogue will make them fight anyone - you or other NPCs -- they come across. And Enemy will make them fight you. For now, pick Enemy.
- Ambush Placement: Front, Middle, Back, Any. This controls where the ambush comes from. They will run toward you! For this, pick Front. We do want to see them. (Per its notes, Middle is more typical.)
- Ambush Difficulty: Leave at Easy. As with most spawn settings, this controls the rank and (somewhat) number of mobs in the ambush.
There is only one section here - Ambush Creation Dialog. This is the dialog that comes up when the ambush is spawned. Type in "Here we come!"
Save your mission and test.
Warning to Kheldian players
This may set you up with a bunch of Void Hunters, so be prepared. Or switch mobs. Personally, I find them fun, but a full ambush of them might be a bit much for some.
Tutorial 203: Advanced Goal - Add an Escort (and Betrayal)
Open up your tutorial 200 blank. We will be starting a new mission. Save it as 203 - Escort. Also under Mission Settings, Write Text, write "Number 203 - Escort" under Introduction Dialog.
Click on Mission 1 Details, "Advanced options," and select "Add an escort."
These are the ever popular "Find someone (or several someones) and lead them to the exit" missions. At launch, the only thing you can lead them to is the door -- other destination objectives may or may not come later. Also, if you want someone to betray you, this is where you do it.
We're going to make one escort, but we'll swap him in two missions -- one normal, and one betray. Head to Mission 1, page 2 (Objectives.) Click Advanced Mission Goals to expand the list, and click on Escort.
We'll split this into two missions down the line.
Escort Group: Arachnos (1-54)
Character: Arachnos Drone (1-54).
Required for mission Completion: Yes
This mission goal is created when: None. We have no dependancies for this, we want them right away.
Enemy Group: Standard. Surrounding: 5th Column.
Escort Placement: Any. Let it place them wherever it wants.
Enemy group Difficulty: Easy. As mentioned before, this affects enemy rank.
Enemy Group Alignment: Default. Your enemy, of course. This does actually affect your escort, as well - if you set it as a Betray to rogue, they will attack you as soon as they're rescued.
Combat Abilities: Set to Non Combat. This will keep the enemy from attacking them, as well. If you set this to Aggressive, Fight Defensive, or Pacifist, they can be defeated - remember to put in a Fail message then.
Arrival Behaviour: For the normal escort, Run to Nearest Door. This will take him off of the map.
Betrays on Arrival: - Obviously, one Does Not Betray, the other one Betrays on Arrival.
Escort Text and Dialog
Navigation Text (singular/Plural) Singular - Hostage to find.
Lead Escort to Objective Text (singular/plural) Singular - Hostage to lead out. This will appear when you rescue the hostages, before you actually lead them out. Escort Completed Text - This shows up in the chat window.Type in "You got the hostage out safely."
Way Point Text - If you have text enabled on your mini map, you'll see this. Just use "Exit."
The rest of the dialog options are similar to Ally missions with Unaware, Attack and Active dialog. You do want to know when the hostage loses you (if they do,) especially for characters with Stealth. We'll keep this simple. Fill in the following fields.
Enemy Unaware Dialog - "You're not going anywhere."
Enemy Attack Dialog - "Get $himher!"
Escort Inactive dialog - "Let me go!"
Escort Active Dialog - "Help me!"
Escort Rescued Dialog - "Let's get out of here!"
Escort Stranded Dialog - "Where did you go?"
Escort Recquired Dialog - "Whew. OK, let's go!"
Escort Arrived Dialog - "Finally! Thanks!'
These are similar to the Ally animations. Refer to 202. We'll leave these as Default except for the Escort Starting Animation. For your "real" rescue, use Captured (Hands Up) as the Escort Starting Animation. Of course, he doesn't have arms... but it's generally easy to see.
Escort Delivered Clue
Leave blank for this tutorial.
Save and test.
Open and save the arc as "Tutorial 203B Betray," altering the description to Betrayal.
Change the following fields:
Combat Abilities: Aggressive. If you leave this at "NOn combat," it won't do anything, and you won't be able to do anything to it.
Arrival Behaviour: Follow
Betrays on Arrival: Betrays on Arrival
You may, if doing this in a "real" mission, want to note that "X must survive." You may also want to add additional goals chained from the betrayal so the mission doesn't end, if the fight is important to the story.
Save and test.
Tutorial 204: Advanced Goal - Add a Patrol
Open up your tutorial 203 from the last walkthrough. Patrols cannot be required objectives, so they must be added to an existing mission. We will be starting a new mission. Save it as 204 - patrol. Also under Mission Settings, Write Text, write "Number 204 - Patrols" under Introduction Dialog.
We will be adding to this mission for the rest of the 200 series.
A side note, I know these ones aren't long, yet are under "Advanced." Just for clarity, "Advanced" is referring to the "Advanced mission options," not difficulty so much.
Patrols are nothing more than roving bands of enemies. They're meant to add a bit of life to a mission, and perhaps some extra difficulty if one comes up on you unexpectedly. You can add multiple patrols to a mission if you so choose, mixing groups of varying alignment or difficulty as your story or whim requires.
Patrols don't have many settings, so this will be a short tutorial.
Click on the second (details) page of Mission 1.
Select Advanced Mission Goals, then Add a Patrol.
- Patrol Name: like the others, this is a label. Just call it "patrol 1." You may want to use something more descriptive in your own missions if you have multiple patrols, so you can tell at a glance what they are.
- Enemy Group: Again, you can pick from standard or custom. We're going to stick with 5th Column for this. Since the patrol is the only moving group, you'll be able to tell where they are.
Again, there's no "Required for mission complete" selection here - a Patrol can't be a mission goal.
- The Mission Goal is created when... Use None. "None" refers to what it's dependant on to spawn - set to none, it will exist when the mission starts. If you look at the dropdown list, you'll see options for when your hostage is rescued, and when the rescue is complete. Use those options in your own missions if you want to simulate increased activity from "security breaches" or the like.
- Quantity: Set to 3. That should ensure you run across at least one. There's nothing wrong with having just one.
- Patrol Alignment: Set to Enemy (the default.) Yes, you can have an Ally or a Rogue patrol, as well.
- Patrol Placement: use Any (default.) This controls where the patrol starts.
- Patrol Difficulty: Leave at Easy. Again, this affects the rank of what's in the patrol.
Patrol Dialog (Optional)
There's not much here. Just the initial dialog for each patroller (Patroller 1 and 2.) You can use this to indicate (as mentioned above) a heightened sense of alarm for any new patrol triggers. Since we're not getting fancy, I just used "Man, I'm beat" for patroller 1, and "Me too, I could use a donut" for patroller 2.
Save and test. You should now have a patrol wandering through your mission.
Tutorial 205: Advanced Goal - Add a Battle
Open up your tutorial 204 - Patrol or 203 - Escort. Battles are another item that cannot be used as an objective on their own. Save it as 205 - Battle. Also under Mission Settings, Write Text, write "Number 205 - Battles" under Introduction Dialog.
Another way to add "life" to the NPCs is to have battles. These, when triggered, will result in two groups of NPCs -- with one as an ally to you if you choose, or both hostile -- fighting it out. Yes, they can (and will) defeat each other. A prime example of this is the three-AV fight (no, we can't do three like that right now) at the end of Agent G's Faultline arc.
All right, let's fill one in. Go to mission 1's objectives, select Advanced Mission Goals and Add a battle.
- Battle name: Your players won't see this label, so use something reasonably descriptive or meaningful to you. We'll call it simply The Brawls.
Next we pick our groups. We'll make them somewhat distinct, so if they smack each other down before you get to them, you can see where they were.
- Enemy Group One Type: use Arachnos (1-54.)
- Enemy Group Two Type: use Hydra (1-54.) I'm not sure this is a fair fight.
- This Mission Goal is Created When...: again lets you set a trigger for when this will appear. Pick "None."
- Quantity: Let's make this 2. If we miss one, we can catch the other.
- Battle Placement: pick Front. Again, we want to catch this before it ends.
- Battle Difficulty: Affects the rank of the critters. We'll pick Easy
- Battle Alignment: if you want one group or the other to be your ally, set it here. The default is Both Groups are Enemy.
Battle Dialog (optional)
This is similar to what we've seen in other Dialog choices - Inactive and Active dialog. The main thing to pay attention to here is getting the right dialog to the right group - you don't want the group you have "invading" another group to say something about protecting the leader they're hunting or whatnot.
- Enemy Group One Inactive Dialog: "You call that a punch? OOF!"
- Enemy Group One Active Dialog: "Not the face, not the - Hey, a hero!"
- Enemy Group Two Inactive Dialog: "Yes, I do. Try another one."
- Enemy Group Two Active Dialog: "Good, a real fight!"
Save and test.
Tutorial 206: Advanced Goal - Add a Destructible Object
Open up your 203 - Escort mission (or one of the later ones we've based this off of) for editing. I suggest going back to 203 solely so this doesn't get too cluttered. Save it as 205 - Destructible. (Yes, we'll hit naming limits here.)
Open up advanced goals, and select "Add a Destructible Object."
A Destructible Object
These are objects you send your players to destroy. (Objects they keep from being destroyed will be the next lesson.) Whether it's machinery, spy gear, drugs or schoolbooks, if you want them to break something, this is where you go.
Destructible Object - This label WILL be seen by the players, so keep that in mind. We'll call ours "The Thingy."
Destructible Object List - Unlike placing a glowie, you don't have to select "Wall" or "Floor" for this. This goes right into a (shorter) list of objects, typically the "Floor" objects. We'll pick Energy Probe (1-54) for ours.
- Required for Mission Completion: Select this. This CAN be set as a required mission goal, unlike battles, patrols, or ambushes.
- This mission goal is created when..: Your trigger, again. Select None.
- Quantity: Just one.
- Guarding enemy group: Leave as None Selected. This should leave our Thingy standing by itself.
- Object Placement: Any.
- Enemy Group Difficulty: Easy
- Enemy Group Starting Animation: Default.
Text and Dialog (optional)
This can be an... interesting section. Yes, you can give an object dialog - whether it's possessed ("Free me from this soul crystal!" "You're almost there!") or some sort of status ("Internal damage... summoning allies!") you have the option. Just be aware of how odd it may look.
We have no guards, so most of this will remain blank. Make only the following changes:
- Destructible object description* - "This is a Thingy. Not a Whatsit."
- Navigation Text: (Singular) - Destroy the Thingy!
- Object 1/2 destroyed: Yes, we'll give it something to say. "Status: Damaged. Ow. Please stop that."
Object destroyed clue (optional)
We won't fill this in. Just the standard title and body text for any clue you want to have drop when the item is destroyed.
Save and test.
Tutorial 207: Advanced Goal - Add a Defendable Object
Load up an earlier mission - I suggest the Escort mission, 203. Save it as 207 - Defend. Go to Mission 1 Details, click on Advanced Mission Goals, and Add a Defendable Object. Delete the Escort objective.
Defend an Object
Two words. Crey Desks.
There aren't many of these missions in the COH world - I can think of the Crey desks and War Wall Defender missions off the top of my head. Simply enough - you keep an object from being destroyed. So let's get to it!
This is a failable objective, so be sure to add fail messages in.
Let's begin the walkthrough. This is going to be almost exactly the same as the Destructable Object. You may want to read that first.
A Defendable Object
Defend Object List - What you want to defend. In the spirit of the Crey mission, pick Desk (1-54.)
Defend Object Name - What you want the object called. Players WILL see this! Call it An Old Desk.
- Required for Mission Completion: Leave this selected. (If you're using any other "required" objectives, such as the Escort, deselect or delete them.)
- The Mission Goal Is Created When...: Select None here. We want these in place right away.
- Quantity: How many copies you want. Pick 3.
- Attacking Enemy Group: Select 5th Column. Yeah, they're everywhere.
- Mission Goal Alignment: OK. This can be odd. You still have your Ally, Enemy, and Rogue groups. This affects the guards and attackers... as well as the object. Ally means it can't be destroyed by the enemy (It is, strangely enough, targetable by you until sucessfully defended.) Enemy and Rogue means it can, so the mission can be failed. Set it to Enemy. (the default.)
- Object placement: Any.
- Enemy group difficulty: Easy
- Enemy Group starting animation - Default.
Text and Dialog (optioanl)
This will be a mix of attacker and object dialog. As mentioned in the last walkthrough, the object dialog will appear to be spoken by the object, so use it only if it seems to make sense. (A status report, a possessed widget, that sort of thing.)
- Defend Object Description: The "bio" of the object. "This desk holds many secrets," for instance. Most objects should have something there by default. We'll leave this as is.
- Navigation Text (Singular/Plural): Plural. This appears in the nav bar. Use "Desks to defend."
- Object Defended Text: This shows up in the chat window when the object is successfully defended. (It shows up for each.) Use "You have saved the desk." You
- Attacker 1 Dialog: for those smashing the object. "Hit it harder!"
- Attacker 2 Dialog: "Smash it!"
- Attacker Alerted Dialog: When they "see" you. "Break this up before they break us up!"
- Object 1/2 Destroyed: for illustration only. Fill in "Ow! Ow! Ow!"
All other dialog leave blank.
Save and test.
Making it an ally
The one change for this is that it cannot be a required objective if the object is set to Ally - since it can't be destroyed by the enemy. Be sure to have multiple objectives (a rescue, a boss fight, etc.) if you choose to have an Ally object. It can, as mentioned, be destroyed by you until defended, so be careful.