BoP Missions


  1. Mission Building Introduction
  2. Tips
  3. Adding Missions to a Campaign.

Mission Building Introduction

The missions are where your campaign succeeds or fails, if you have buggy or boring missions then people won't care how nice your cutscenes or medals look. The types of missions you create depends greatly on the plot of your campaign, and to a certain extent the plot of your campaign will be guided by the need to produce a variety of missions. You may like dogfighting missions, but some people may prefer making the big-ships go boom.

Creating campaign missions is much the same as building any other sort, but there are three differences.
For a campaign the mission description (and other pieces of text) will need to have large amounts of the plot included in them, rather than being solely concerned with the actual mission.
Also when you are making stand-alone missions every mission has a special little trick in it, some combination of orders and conditions that you have found and liked. Many of your campaign missions will have the same sort of thing, however sometimes the campaigns plot may only require a fairly simple mission.
And finally when you are doing a campaign if you have fewer than 5 player flight groups then you will not see the mission description as the game will use the screen with the unit-list and the briefing in one rather than the screen with the unit-list and description (with the buttons to switch between this and the briefing).

Also remember to keep backups as sometimes the mission file can get corrupted, or simply just not work. If it isn't working then by comparing the older working version and the newer one you can see what you have done to make it stop working (normally an invalid ship-type has been assigned).
A backup is also useful if you want to make some major changes to try something out.

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One of the most useful options is being able set flight groups to jump to their order 4 when a condition is met. The orders can be totally different or can simply have a slightly different emphasis. Care has to be taken though as the flight group won't return to what it had been doing (order 1,2 or 3) after it completes the order 4 (which is a shame as that would have made it even more useful).

Some ideas.
An Ambush. Have ships skip to an aggressive Order 4, from a placid Order 1, when 1 of them is attacked.
Disabling Escape ships. Have Ion cannon equipped ships switch from attacking the Capital ship to disabling the escape craft one at least one has arrived (though you would need to make sure that somebody finishes the Capship off, even if it is you).
Taking control of static defenses. Have them switch from attacking one team to attacking the other side(s) once the thing they were defending is captured.
Simple change of emphasis. A flight group has a certain type of enemy as its primary target and another sort as the secondary target. Once a certain percentage of the first type has been destroyed then the flight group skips to Order 4 where the emphasis is reversed.

One of the annoyances in mission building is the variable "braking distance" of the capital ships coming out of hyperspace. The distance towards their first waypoint they overshoot their start position seems to depend on the throttle setting of their first order (which is fair enough as a starship with its engines at full ahead would slow down slower). It is a consistent distance though and so can be compensated for. I normally try 1km and then work from there.

Although quite a lot of the time you can get by with using a simple Attack order XvTED does have the facility to make things a bit more complex. You will have noticed the check boxes but I would like to point out the following options.
"Craft with Orders...", could be fairly easy to define differently but helps reading the mission.
"Craft when...", useful as you can have things attacked when inspected, or make the non-special craft attacked and the special craft disabled.
"Ship Category", I use this a lot, mostly "Ship category : Starfighters" to tell fighters with weak (or no) shields to attack starfighters only (rather than getting wiped out by enemy capital ships).

Something else to look at using would be the ability to have ships only arrive on a certain difficulty level. This can be used to have more ships on a harder setting (by simply setting FGs to arrive only on the higher settings) or more subtly can be used so that more challenging opponents arrive instead (by setting (say) T/Fs to arrive on easy and medium only and T/Is to arrive on hard only). Either way it can provide some useful variation.

My final tip for now is to not be afraid to explain things away in the briefing or in messages. Sometimes you will have a plan for the mission and you will find that a part of it is either impossible to do, or that doing it would be a great deal of work and not add anything to the mission. In these cases you may find that by putting in an extra bit of explanatory text you can get the mission done.
An example would be a mission with an attack on a Passenger Liner where I didn't want to use a freighter or a custom OPT. I was wondering what else I could do when I remembered that Calamari Cruisers were originally converted Passenger liners, so I set a Calamari cruisers status to "No Lasers" and had a bit of text to explain that it was one of the few remaining Calamari Liners to have not been converted.
Another example was a mission with a ISD dropping off a strikeforce and then microjumping to the other side of the target, which I was having trouble getting set up as it was taking too long to jump and re-enter. Eventually I decided to just have a message that said "The ISD has just re-entered hyperspace, they should be dropping out again soon.", this took nothing away from the mission but enabled it to work better.

For additional information please see Datamasters tips for XvTED, though you probably read them when you got the program.

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Adding Missions to a Campaign

Note : Although the method I use works for stepping through the missions, and does add them to the exercise list as they are done it does have a slight problem. If you click on a campaign mission from the last campaign in the list file (whether it is a custom campaign or one of the standard ones) if you try to bring down the list again I have found that the game has scrolled the list down rather a long way so that it looks like it has blanked itself. It has been suggested that this is simply a bug in BoP rather than a flaw in this method.

The first thing you need is a list of the missions you are going to have for the campaign. This is located in the Campaign directory and can be called whatever you like (.lst). You should first put the number of missions in the campaign at the top, then a list (in order) of the missions, and then a short description of the campaign which will be displayed when the campaign is selected.
Now this list file is all well and good but you need to let the game know it exists so you need to modify mission.lst, rebel.lst (if it is a rebel campaign) and imperial.lst (if it is a imperial campaign). Add a line with the number you have chosen for your campaign (bearing in mind that it is probable that LucasArts will release a second expansion disc which will take numbers 3 and 4, and that it may be best to make a Rebel campaign odd numbered and a Imperial even to maintain the pattern), the name of the list file you have created, and a title for the campaign.
Finally you need to go into the train directory where the mission files are actually located. The procedure is the same as adding a custom mission (add a three line entry showing the missions number, the filename, and a title to be displayed when it is chosen) aside from a slight change in the format of the second line. Rather than simply putting the filename you will need to put an asterisk (which seems to denote a campaign mission), then the campaign number, then a 0 (which I am unsure of the significance of, but all the standard missions have a 0), and finally the filename.

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