This is a continuation of the previous post I made about Meta Tips for Zeusing, I highly suggest looking at that list aswell as it covers things not covered here
Let players make mistakes, but don’t force them to
- Part of the beauty of Zeus as a player is the freedom it allows you. With most things, there is such a thing as a wrong choice. However, you shouldn’t force a bad decision to become a mistake. An example would be if the players choose to follow a road and get ambushed where some die that is just as OK as if they had decided to drive off the road and look ahead using mountains.
- If players blatantly fail an objective then let them fail. If they throw a grenade into a room of hostages and the hostages die, its the players’ fault. They should expect the mission to fail. This doesn’t mean end the mission there, it means to let the rest of the mission play out and just talk about it in debrief.
Plan up before you startup
- A lot of Zeuses like to plan out missions before starting them by writing the mission down on paper or on a google doc. This is a great way to keep track of your ideas and for long time storage, however, Zeus set up time should not be the time spent editing your notes. Make sure they are all ready BEFORE you enter the Zeus slot. As soon as you are in the slot you’re on the clock to finish the mission in under 90 minutes which can be tough if you spend 10 of them simply organizing your plan.
- Don’t force yourself to plan and run a mission you don’t have time for. If you know you only have an hour until you have to go or until the server restarts, then unless you have a very short mission its best to not run it. This enables both players and the Zeus to have a complete event that doesn’t get cut short by time constraints
Set a timer
- Sometimes a mission that feels like you’ve only spent 10 minutes building ahs really been 30 minutes of player waiting. So instead of randomly checking the clock set a timer. I like to set a timer for start-up and total mission time. I usually give myself 20-25 minutes to build a mission and then have another one going for 60-70 minutes to tell me to start wrapping the mission up. This stops you from going over time and easily allows you to identify if you have enough time left before the mission ends.
Build with the players
- Ever wonder how most video games can run these huge open worlds while not bringing your computer to a halt? Its because they only actively load what the player will be interacting with within their immediate area. At the same time it unloads things once the players go away from them. Your Zeus building should be the same way.
- Start by building things the players will interact with first before moving on to building later parts of a mission. This allows the players to begin the mission earlier thus more time to actually play the mission. You can use the time they are moving and attacking your first set of objects to build the next part of the AO.
- After the players have left a part of the AO to start deleting it. If they are still within eyesight delete just bodies and equipment (leaving vehicles recks around and structures. Once they have a fully left line of sight and won’t be able to get sight back on it delete everything that was there.
Sometimes take breaks in missions
- If running a longer mission [not recommended], or a multi-objective mission then think about setting up a point in the mission for a small break to happen. During this break, you can ask for morale checks along with giving yourself more time to finish setting up the next part of a mission
- Good places to have breaks are when people are getting resupplied, transitioning to a different objective, or when you need more time to set up the rest of the mission
Know when to stop
- Most people would prefer to have a shorter mission that’s really good than a longer one that stays around for too long. You have 90 minutes to run a mission, you don’t have to use them all. If players steamrolled through your mission and the timer is only at 60 minutes in with you not having a next part planned, then try not to force the continuation of said mission.
- Zeusing is a great way to have fun, but sometimes doing something you like too often can cause you to burn out. Maybe the last mission ended on a bad note or maybe you are just straight out of ideas, maybe you haven’t been sleeping well and feel super tired or stressed. If something like this happens take a breath and know when to stop and give someone else a shot. Take a break, be that playing someone else’s mission watching youtube, eating, or sleeping.
- If no one else wants to Zeus don’t feel pressured into doing it just because no one else wants to run one. The Zeus server will still exist and be there when you are not. It will be then when you re ready to return