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ARMA 3 simple, but necessary, Editor guide
By Lokai
In this guide I will be covering some basics for the ARMA 3 editor. Starting with only a few things and expanding as times goes on.
-Respawning
-Weather
-Sites
-Support modules (artillery etc.)
-Victory and Failure conditions
-Tasks
And more that I will update over time.

These are all for the ARMA 3 Editor in singleplayer or multiplayer. This guide is textually dense, so I suggest looking at it in a browser or just dragging out your Steam window so it isn't as jumbled. I'm currently working on adding a section on tasks. I saw this other ARMA 3 editor guide on here, ARMAidiot's ARMA 3 Map Editor Guide, and it covers a great many specific things. Check that out if you are looking for more assistance.
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Respawning
Respawning is one of the most frequently asked questions about the ARMA 3 editor, so here is the simple guide to setting up respawning in your game. Before any of that, I recommend using the traditional editor for now (an option in the top middle of the editor) since it is easier to see what tools are what.

First off and this is the most important step create Description.ext (let me explain)
1. Go to your main drive (usually C drive)
2. Find your "user" folder
3. Go to Documents/mydocuments/Arma3Alpha - Other Profles (or your main profile)/ "user name"/MPMissions/"mission name"

Once you are in that folder you need to open up Notepad and create a Description.Ext document. Windows likes to automatically save this file as a Txt document, which screws it up, but here is what you need to put it in for respawning.

Example:

respawn = "GROUP";
respawnDelay = 10;
respawnDialog = false;

This code will have you automatically respawning onto an AI squad member, if there is one alive. If none are alive you will become that mighty fine spectactor bird. The respawn delay is how long it takes to spawn once you are dead and the respawn dialog is normally left at false, unless you want a respawn countdown timer on and a scoreboard.

There are several options for respawning. You can do:

-None
-Bird (respawn as a seagull)
-Instant (respawn where you died)
-Base (respawns at a specially named marker placed in the editor)
-Group (explained above, but basically respawns you onto an AI squad member)
-Side (you will respawn to any AI on your side, OPFOR/BLUFOR etc., if there aren't any AI left then you once again return to the sky as a gorgeous bird)

All of these are pretty self explanatory except for Base. For base you will have to place a Marker, using the marker tool, wherever you want on the map. You will name it one of these very specific options:

-respawn_west
-respawn_east
-respawn_guerrila
-respawn_civilian

You can modify those names with 1,2,3 etc. after the end of the name to make multiple spawn points for the same faction, but it will also be attached to those factions. West is for BLUFOR, East is for OPFOR. I haven't tested to see if guerilla has translated to independent in ARMA 3.

All of these respawn codes are essentially the same as the ARMA 2 ones and so far they all seem to work in ARMA 3 Alpha so far.

To reiterate, make a Description Ext. in Notepad, place the three line code above in it ex.

respawn = "GROUP";
respawnDelay = 10;
respawnDialog = false;

Save as "all filetypes" not text document and make sure it is in whatever mission folder that you are trying to modify. You can check to see if the file is an Ext file or a Txt file by going into the the files properties in Windows Explorer and looking at the Type of File box. Let me know if there are any questions and I will test these more and add more notes.
Weather
Weather is pretty simple, but let's cover it all the same. To access weather options, while in the editor, go to Advanced Intel. Which is on the right in the traditional editor layout and on the top on the streamlined layout.




In Advanced Intel you will likely immediately notice many game wide weather options (seen above). Most of them start on auto, but to set them you may change them each to manual. You can affect:

-Overcast
-Fog
-Rain
-Lightning
-Waves
-Wind
-Gusts

Each of these options has a bar that you can slide. Each bar has a numeral value attached to it and that represents the strength of each type of weather. The left side, the left bars, represent what the weather will be immediately upon entering the level, while on the right you can forecast the weather and have it increase or decrease overtime.

This is all very simple, but you can also localize weather with Modules, which I will update later once I have thoroughly tested all capabilites of it.
Sites
Sites are a unique tool new to ARMA 3. There were some similar editing tools in ARMA 2, but none that worked as easily as this new tool. Sites are part of Modules, which contain a great many complicated, but useful tools.

What do sites do? In short they allow you to populate buildings and areas automatically with AI soldiers and without a great deal of manual placement. In the future it looks like you are going to be able to do great things with this tool, since it creates areas that are automatically populated with soldiers and are capture-able, fast travel enabled and can possibly be quite complicated, but at the moment they are fairly simple since there aren't that many units or insert-able buildings yet. BUT, there are also a few other uses for sites, like Minefields.

Let's start with a basic example:
-You go into modules and place a module into a building, preferablly the center.
-You select what type of site you wish it be, which can be:
Opfor, Blufor, Civilian, Empty, Independents, Minefield and Random Patrol.
-For this example we will select Blufor and select from the the Type, on the right menu, Sector Base.
-Several of these options will spawn vehicles and infantry, but Sector Base seems to just spawn infantry which is great for placing units inside buildings
-Under this option you can select radius with Axis A and Axis B.
-Most importantly, select Buidling Occupation and change it to 1 for maximum effect.
-Done


(I haven't had much luck with the Building Occupation slider, but presumably make it 1, the maximum value, will make every soldier in the squad occupy every building in the radius.)

Doing this will place soldiers inside any type of buidling and they will take natural positions within that. They can fortify seemingly any building in this manner, or you can use this tool to place them outside, but outside they don't particularly do much at the moment that is different from just placing units manually. Ideally you place them in a base area and set the axis (the radius) to cover that whole area, so they will then occupy all buildings in that area and even send out patrols.

*Note of warning* Some types of Sites spawn with vehicles, this will can be problematic if you are placing the site in a building dense area. Observation Posts are confirmed to spawn vehicles, Sector bases are confirmed to just spawn soldiers.

I have included some screenshots to show these menus and examples of Sites ingame on the map. I will add more to this once I experiment with these more and see exactly what they are capable of.
Support (artillery, transport etc.)
Many of the current support modules do not work, seeing as how there are no planes to do bombing runs or air strikes and the only artillery that you can use are mortars, but there is still a little bit you can do. Here are a few easy ways to get it all setup.

Artillery
1. Create mortar units wherever, somewhere flat and safe (unless you want virtual ones)
2. Create a support requester module (the empty one that doesn't apply to anything specific)
3. Create a support provider: artillery module
4. With the group tool ungroup modules and mortars if they automatically did it
5. Using the sync tool link the support requester module to the player
6. Using the sync tool link the support requester module to the support provider: artillery module
7. Using the sync tool link the support provider: artillery module to the mortar squad (they should stay grouped if more than one mortar)
8. Profit

Example of the setup:



Helicopter Transport Taxi
1. Create a friendly AI controlled helicopter somewhere safe and flat.
2. Create a support requester module (the empty one again)
3. Create a Support Provider: Helicopter Transport module.
4. Once again, ungroup everything if it has become automatically grouped.
5. Using the sync tool link the support requester module to the player
6. Using the sync tool link the support requester module to the support provider: Helicopter Transport module.
7. Using the sync tool link the support provider: Helicopter Transport module to the actual AI controlled helicopter.
8. Free helicopter taxi at your beck and call.

With both of these you can sync to multiple units, not just one, incase you want them to work for multiple players, but make sure two players are not trying to use the same support at the same time (could cause issues).

To access support hit 10 and then 8 (communications). You can then select an area on your map or wherever you are pointing, but be careful with trying to call in support just from looking somewhere with your gun, it is very inprecise. I recommend using your map or binoculars, especially for artillery.

I will include some screenshots to provide guidance and add more once I see what you can do with the other support modules, if anything (so far I have been unsuccessful with any of the other ones).
Victory and Failure conditions
There are some masterfully fancy ways to do endings for your mission, but I'm not savvy enough to cover those just yet. Instead, let me show you some simple ways to end your missions and make it so the enemy can beat the players. Simple ways that only take a few moments to create.

Triggers are where you go to create your ending. It is hard to generalize creating an ending, but basically with a trigger you can setup an ending with a fairly large amount of options. Let's just do an example.

I have a convoy mission where you need to destroy an entire enemy convoy. To make this work as a win condition I placed a trigger with a Axis A at 2500 and Axis B at 2500, which makes the trigger cover the entire island. I then set the Trigger to "trigger" End #1 if no OPFOR are present. Take a look at this screenshot to see what I mean.

So, with that I basically have it so that once every single unit in that convoy is destroyed (abandoned vehicles not counting) then the game will end. You can do some fancy things with the ending, but to make it simple I just added an effect that made a text pop up that said "good job" or some meaningless crap like that, while I also had it place one a track of a music.

You can access all of that in that trigger. If you can see the above screenshot really well, you might notice the Effects box that is sitting next to the OK box. That is where you can easily have it display text, play music, play sounds, or do numerous other things (all of which are pretty simple to do).

Let's create a simple list of how to do a Not present type of ending.
1. Find the trigger button and place a trigger on the map.
2. Under the type drag down by box, on the right, select End #1.
3. Under activation select OPFOR or whoever you are fighting against.
4. On the button below that select once, so it is a one time event.
5. The box below the contains not present, present, Detected by Blufor/Opfor/Independent/Civilians. Select not present.
6. On the top left you can modify the shape of this trigger's radius, but most importantly mess with Axis A and Axis B to make sure the enemies are inside that area.
7. To add text pop up, music or sounds once this ending triggers, go to Effects on the bottom right next to OK.
8. The game can now end successfully.

There are obviously a lot of variables that can be changed with this trigger and there are a great many ways you can end it. You can add an ending movie, an ending side mission and so much more, but for now let's just keep it simple.

How to make it so you, or the players, can lose
Once again, we turn to the wonderful triggers tool. You know how with the victory condition we made it so that if enemies are no longer present in the triggers radius then the players win? Well we do something very similiar to make the players lose in this case. Back to my example of a Convoy mission.

So, if you want the players to lose if vehicles get past them and get to an ending destination point then there are a few things you must do.

1. First off, make sure that you set up the enemy convoy with waypoints that will eventually lead them to a specific area that you want to be the end point.
2. On that end point throw down a small radius Trigger, probably about 200 for AXIS A and B.
3. In this marker go to the Type drag down box and select Lose.
4. Under activation put OPFOR or whichever team is driving the convoy and against the players.
5. Make sure to check once below that, not repeatedly.
6. Check the present box.
7. Add effects (next to the OK box) if you want, like text that says "you guys suck" or "you lose" or even fancy failure music or sounds.
8. Done

This will make it so that if the enemy convoy gets past the players and reaches that point then the players will lose, but you also have that other marker setup to allow for the players to win if they destroy the entirety of the convoy.

Personally I like to setup the map for the players so that they know where the convoy starts and where the convoy needs to go. You can do to this quite easily with simple markers. Example of one of my maps:



If it isn't obvious, there are a great many ways in which you can have your mission end in victory or failure. You can mess with the trigger button immensely to create many different types, but there are also advanced options that I will likely try to cover at some point. Any questions? Let me know.
Tasks
In this section of the guide I will be attempting to cover tasks, which are objectives for a mission that you see when you go to M and scroll through the list. Creating these is a bit more complicated than it should be and you have to generally use some trial error to get them working, especially with somewhat complciated or non-ordinary triggers, but let's get that later. First, we can look at how to basically set them up.

1. When you are in the editor you go into modules and do Create Task, under the Intel tab.

2. There are several spots for description in this module, but you skip the first bunch and go to the second part of where it has title/desc/task id. Whatever you fill out there is what it will show up as in the actual task tab during the mission. Example screenshot below.



3. In that Create Task module, yes we are still in that same module, change apply to: to whatever works for the situation, but usually you will want to change it to Groups of Synchronized Objects, which would make the task work with a whole squad as long as they are grouped.

4. Next you will create a module called Set Task State and the only thing you change in that is State and you change that to assigned, which makes it so that task is automatically assigned to your squad.

5. At this point, first make sure none of the task modules are grouped (like the editor automatically does when they are close to each other) and then synchronize the Create Task Module to whatever squad you are using (only to the group leader), and then synchronize the Create Task Module to the Set Task State.

6. Take a breather, there is still a lot to do.

7. Now that we have those basics set up you are gong to want to create another module called Set Task Destination, which you will synchronize to the Create Task Module and also synchronize to whatever object or area you want to make the task show up at on the map.
-Tip- You can use invisibile objects to create the destination, the easiest of which to use is the invisible helipad which is found in the units tool under empty and then signs. As always though, test it a lot because the invisible helipad doesn't always work.

8. Almost there! Now we come to the trickiest part, which is your trigger. In the screenshot below, my example, I have a task to destroy a lighthouse, so I have a trigger (which is made with the trigger tool) that checks to see if the lighthouse is destroyed and when it is destroyed it completes the task.



-Triggers can be used for so many things and it depends on what you are trying to do, my lighthouse thing here is a bit complicated ,but the easiest way to test this and play with it is to create a trigger that detects when opfor is not present (meaning they are all dead or gone in an area) and when that detects their absence then it completes the task.

-So, you could have a task that called "capture this outpost" and then create a 30/30 (Axis A and B) "ellipse" shaped trigger with activision set to Opfor or Blufor, depending on your side. On the right side you would select not present and once. Then you would synchronize this with another Set Task State, which I will cover in the next step.

9. Depending on whatever trigger you use for whatever you want to happen, you are going to want to create another Set Task State module. In this one the only thing you will change is the state option and you would change it to completed. You then synchronize this to the trigger you created and you also sychronize is back to the Create Task Module.

10. So, in the simpliest fashion (disregarding the trigger), you do Create Task Module, Set Task State (Assigned), Set Task Destination, Set Task State (Completed) and then do the appropriate synchronizations. Once again, make sure nothing is grouped, only synced. Here is a screenshot of how the synchronizations should work. If it helps.

After all of that seemingly complicated instruction (it's not bad once you get used to it) there can still be things that randomly don't work and you will have to mess with. Some general tips with how to fix stuff inexplicably not working, specifically tasks.
-Check the synchronizations again.
-Watch out for tasks automatically grouping each other.
-Delete and redo the synchronizations, sometimes that magically fixes it.
-Test in-game constantly to see what and what doesn't work.

If this section of the guide fails you, feel free to ask me specific questions or you can likely find some help over on the official Bohemia Interactive forums for ARMA 3. Specifically this thread about creating tasks: http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?148179-Tutorial-How-to-use-the-Task-Modules/page3

-That thread can be very confusing, but I'm always here to help. Will add more later and possibly more screenshots.
78 Comments
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DanteAdams Apr 6 @ 2:49pm 
How to make trigger, that activates then many other triggers activated? And how to make trigger activates then enemy not present AND player reach the destination?
Flynn | Arm Rubbing Mar 28 @ 9:28pm 
Please make a Zeus Mode tutorial <3
Lokai  [author] Mar 28 @ 5:25pm 
Thanks and yeah I haven't updated in a long time. I worked on it a lot during the alpha and early beta, but I kind of ran out of time to keep experimenting and building elaborate stuff to just figure it out. I'm definitely a fan of using Zeus Mode now and they really need to make a Zeus Mode/Editor, because that let's you do real time placing of units and objects far better than the editor ever could.
Flynn | Arm Rubbing Mar 28 @ 3:06pm 
Ah thank you Lokai, I mean't the editor.

Good tutorial btw
Lokai  [author] Mar 26 @ 12:25pm 
In the editor Ackbar? or just in the game? Because if you are commanding him you can give him the "stop" command which is in the F1 (or F2 can't recall) movement list. In the editor they generally shouldn't move if you put them on careless for their combat stance and don't give them any waypoints or anything that will trigger a response from him (like combat nearby).
Flynn | Arm Rubbing Mar 26 @ 5:52am 
Sorry, first time, how do I make an NPC stay still. (so he won't run off with me when I leave the area)
murpNL Mar 19 @ 1:19pm 
i still cant respawn ;( Can you look at the mission for me?
Jaeger4532 Nov 21, 2013 @ 8:25pm 
Ok thanksI do remember in one showcase it cancels a task and add s a new one so that sis sorta what im asking
Lokai  [author] Nov 21, 2013 @ 3:42pm 
Last I checked that task marker wouldn't move appropriately for that Jaeger, like you could have multiple objectives but you had to have them all at once instead of in a row, but I have a feeling you can do that now. I'll try to check it out and get back to you.
Jaeger4532 Nov 21, 2013 @ 10:30am 
Could you add a part on multiple objectives and hw to get one obejectie to not assign till another objective has been done? Sorry if I missed that part if its already there.