Mission editor trick: have flight groups arrive at a random time

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Mission editor trick: have flight groups arrive at a random time

Safe-Keeper
Cadet 2nd Class
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Post by Safe-Keeper » Thu Sep 23, 2021 6:13 am

Disclaimer: embarrassingly, I don't actually have XWA installed at the moment, so I can't test this out for myself. If anyone wants to give it a shot and report your findings, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks in advance!

One of the headaches I've had with XWA is that the editor doesn't do randomness very well. I want to make a mission where ships arrive at a random time, for example to give the mission more replayability value since it can play out in different ways, or just to the player or keep the player on their toes, but I haven't been able to think of a way to actually implement this... until I had this thought a few days ago. Just thought I'd share it with you.

Let's say you're attacking a six-ship Imperial convoy. Make an FG containing a number of space freighters. Now have one of the convoy ships be the Special Craft of the FG, chosen at random. You may want to give them all the same cargo so the player can't identify the SC in-game. Now you can set the reinforcements FGs to arrive when the Special Craft of the convoy is destroyed. Since the SC is a different ship every sortie, you'll never know when the reinforcements will hyper in, even if you know the trigger for them to arrive -- they could arrive shortly after the first freighter is destroyed, or much later, and you have to plan around that uncertainty.

This method can be expanded upon in various ways, for example you can have a multi-FG dogfight where, say, the Special Craft of three flight groups need to be destroyed for some event or another to take place. Also, you can always use different triggers like Be Attacked, Be at 50% hull, etc. You can also experiment with several triggers, like FG X arriving when at least one Special Craft in a global group is destroyed, OR when 25% are at 0% shields, for example.

Also, adding some time between the trigger and the event will make it harder for the player to work out exactly what the trigger for the arrival is, especially in a chaotic mission.

Hope you find this useful.

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