FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Release Candidate Finishes, Tanoa Topographic Map, Revive Documentation PRECEDENCE: Flash
Both internal and public Release Candidate testing of the upcoming Update 1.64 are slowly coming to an end. After weeks of fixing and iterations, we're aiming to release the main branch update later this week. Along with that, a small Tools update is being prepared as well. Meanwhile, the development team is focusing on minor tweaks to the performance and gameplay improvements, which can be followed in the Dev-Branch Changelogs forums thread.
Arma 3 celebrated its third birthday since the original launch last week. Many community members joined with their wishes using the #HappyBirthdayArma3 hashtag on Twitter. A big thanks to each one of you for wishing Arma 3 all the best! The response was overwhelming; we've received countless congratulation posts. We obviously cannot link all of them here; you can easily access them by clicking on the hashtag link.
In Update 1.56, we introduced game analytics to Arma 3. Collecting a small amount of anonymous data (such as difficulty settings and performance) proved to be a good decision. Some direct results based on the data we've gained are already implemented to the game (e.g. Video Settings). After evaluating our options over the past few months, we've decided to switch to another partner for Arma 3 that scales better with the game's demands. Players should not notice any changes, because all required tweaks were made in the background. The analytics can still be toggled via Launcher's settings; more information about the feature is available on the Community Wiki.
Owners of the Digital Deluxe content of the game can expect a brand new Tanoa topographic map to land in their Bonus folders as part of Update 1.64. Being developed for more than two years, the Tanoa terrain represents a prime example of top-notch environment design and we're very pleased that players can now benefit from having a localized PDF version of the map.
The overhauled version of the Revive feature released along with the Apex expansion is now publicly documented. Head over to the Community Wiki page to see it in its full splendidness! Kudos to Senior Designer Jiří Wainar for putting it together!
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Arma 3 Anniversary, Apex Protocol OPREP PRECEDENCE: Flash
While the development team is still preparing the upcoming 1.64 update, Arma 3 passed a significant milestone. On September 12th 2013, it successfully left the Early Access program on Steam. With a solid platform underneath and years of support to come, all was set for Arma 3 to become the most successful Arma game thus far. We'll focus on the Armaversary later in this report.
A few weeks back we've described some changes made to the Apex Protocol campaign. The Apex Protocol Difficulty Overhaul, as we call it, brings more possibilities and opportunities to enrich the gameplay of the campaign and makes it more challenging for advanced players. Senior Designer Thomas 'Zipper5' Ryan went on and released an OPREP mapping some of the motivations and decisions made during its development. In an honest and open blog post, he not only digs into the reasoning and choices, but goes deeper by listing the takeaway from the feedback received after Apex' release. As a result, the community now has a unique opportunity to peek behind the scenes of the development process and iterations based on player feedback.
A montage video from Task Force Dingo reminds us why we love these community videos: splendidly edited footage from their operations, relaxing music and tense moments with a bit of fun make one want to join the action right away. Kudos to BecomingNut for creating it and sharing on the Arma subreddit.
This week we're celebrating the third anniversary of Arma 3's official release. We're incredibly proud of the game and its post-release support; both are possible thanks to you, the community. Creative Director Jay Crowe joins with his reflection and wishes: "The anniversary of Arma 3's launch always provides an opportunity to reflect upon our work. This time last year, there was no Eden Editor, no Tanoa, no audio-visual upgrade - and much, much more besides. It's a tribute to the team's hard work and creativity that - three years on - the game continues to make such splendid progress. And, of course, it's another chance for us to say a big thank you to our community, partners, and stakeholders, for enabling us to build this unique platform together. Happy birthday, Arma 3!"
To remind ourselves of Arma's uniqueness and strengths, let's jump into the '33 Things About Arma' video. While a little dated, it still provides the viewers with an outstanding overview of our celebrator.
To properly celebrate the Armaversary, there is a party on Twitter going on. Everybody is still welcome to share their favorite moments with a picture or a video. Don't forget to use the #HappyBirthdayArma3 hashtag, we'll show some of the pictures in next week's SITREP. Thanks to everyone who shared their wishes so far and of course for your outstanding support throughout the years!
The Release Candidate build for the 1.64 update has received another iteration for the weekend. Feel free to visit the forums to check it in detail. We are still in the process of testing it and addressing the remaining blocking issues to have it delivered smoothly as soon as possible.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Update 1.64 RC Continues, BattlEye Update PRECEDENCE: Flash
The development team continues to work hard on improving the Release Candidate for the 1.64 update. Last Friday, the build has received a bunch of major improvements (full list available on the forums). We now aim to polish it and to introduce more bug fixes. With that in mind, the potential release window opens next week, depending on the stability and functionality of the RC build. User feedback is of course appreciated; players are encouraged to visit the Feedback Tracker to report any issue they find.
Aside from the RC preparations, we now have a clearer view on the Arma 3 roadmap for the upcoming year. After it is approved and communicated internally, we plan to share the first details with our community.
Operating a weapon efficiently in Arma 3 is certainly quite a challenge. Muzzle velocity, material penetration, surface deflection, recoil and weapon inertia are just the tip of the fun iceberg which is easy to learn but hard to master. Firing Drills can really help here: the optimized shooting experience with dummy targets was designed to train players not only to control their weapons, but also their movement, stances, cover, and much more. Practice makes perfect, completing a drill with the gold medal is very unlikely on the first run. Don't give up, though, and maybe one day you can beat the time of daises, who did an amazing run on the Blue 1 Course of Fire and caught it on camera. Congratulations to him for that steady aim and the impressive skills, we're looking forward to seeing more splendid Challenge playthrough videos.
Make Arma Not War winner Arma 3 Resist created a stylish postcard from some well-known Altis resort, the Ghost Hotel. It might feel a little rusty nowadays, but that is no reason not to explore this detailed structure!. The award-winning campaign is available on Steam Workshop and is recommended to play for everyone who enjoys a narrative story telling in the Armaverse. The Ghost Hotel itself sits in the northeastern part of Altis with a beautiful view on the Petkas Bay and offers great possibilities for infantry focused types of scenarios.
Community member Dave EvilViking13 has shared a couple of screenshots from a custom scenario he has played with his friends. We always love to see the terrains we know being used so well in community creations. Keep the pictures coming
On Weekly Photo #49 you’ll see a small delegation from the Bohemia Interactive Amsterdam office (local Project Lead Joris-Jan van ‘t Land and Senior Designer Karel Mořický) and loyal community member Melle Keppel posing in front of a vehicle that may trigger a sense of familiarity. The Fennek armed reconnaissance car, in this case of the Royal Netherlands Army, served as the inspiration for the Strider vehicle in Arma 3. It is displayed in the Nationaal Militair Museum, which hosted a 100 years of tanks event that weekend. One of Edita’s T-72 siblings also put on a show in the mobility range arena!
Our partners at BattlEye have released a small update to their anti-cheat system. Feel free to visit their FAQ page should you encounter any issue.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: 1.64 RC Started, Tanoa Structures Improvements, Valve Anti-Cheat PRECEDENCE: Flash
Testing of the upcoming main branch update "1.64" has begun last week. Bringing several improvements to the Apex Protocol campaign and aiming to improve the stability of the game, it also brings a handful of small tweaks, which will benefit everyone (more on them later in this report). Everybody is encouraged to try the RC build on their own, and to visit the dedicated forums thread or the Arma subreddit thread for more information. Don't forget to provide feedback, and report issues to our Feedback Tracker, it is being monitored actively by our QA.
The SOF Tactical Realism group receives a shout out this week for some of their splendid pictures and screenshots posted on Twitter. This community focuses on milsim sessions and even organizes public training events. Players can register on their forums to get a complete picture of the group and to enlist for some of their operations. Players can also head over to the SOF profile on Arma 3 Units page to receive more unit Intel.
The Art Department in Team Mike has taken it upon themselves to improve the structures of Tanoa. Responding to community feedback on Tanoa, they're now working on a way to better communicate the accessibility of buildings. Creative Director Jay Croweexpands on the topic: "Of course, the terrain is already released and many splendid community scenarios are already built. With this in mind, the improvements focus on the addition of simple models, such as locks, barricades, etc., placed in the immediate proximity of doors. We hope these will be consistent and recognisable, without unduly affecting any existing community content; players should immediately know whether or not the building they're looking at can serve as a hide-out." As the work is still at its beginning, we don't expect to release it with the 1.64 update, though bits of the changes have recently started to appear on Dev-Branch.
As already mentioned in the Situation section, the upcoming update contains several minor but useful improvements to the game. Searching in the asset browser in Zeus was already mentioned in one of the previous SITREPs, but there is more to be seen in 1.64. Ballistic values of most weapons were tweaked to better correspond with their real-life counterparts. This ongoing effort of Sandbox Designer Radko Voda should bring more fun, yet keep the lethality of Arma's gameplay. With the arrival of a Senior Sound Designer Tomáš Bayer, we are introducing new dry sounds for various vehicle and static weapons as well as working on refactoring the footsteps technology. The third example is advanced fog in Eden Editor. While going through the Environment Attributes, players can now select multiple parameters and set the fog in the scenario to exactly match their expectations. With the setting being immediately preview-able, building a moody and immersive scenario has never been simpler. Kudos to Senior Designer Karel Mořický for the implementation!
Recently, we have partly introduced the Valve Anti-Cheat(Game Ban) system to Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead and Arma 3. Our partners at BattlEye have connected their anti-cheat program to its Steam counterpart. It essentially means only one thing. Players who receive a ban via BattlEye will now also be banned via VAC and will not be able to ask for a refund of the game. If you don't cheat, VAC will in no way interfere with your experience, VAC is only used to flag Steam accounts for hacking, it is still completely up to BattlEye to prevent hackers from joining protected servers. This measure is aimed strictly against hackers who would purchase the game, try out their hacks, get banned by BattlEye and ask for a refund via Steamonly to continue on a new Steam account minutes later. With VAC, such an exploit of the system will not be possible. Unlike BattlEye, which is global to all our games, the Valve Anti-Cheat ban is always game-specific; players will be able to play other games on Steam. In case a BattlEye ban is lifted, the VAC one is lifted as well. More about the Valve Anti-Cheat can be read on their FAQ page.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Update 1.64 RC, Gamescom, Apex Protocol Improvements PRECEDENCE: Flash
The development team is now making final preparations for the first post-Apex main branch update. Containing countless fixes and improvements, update 1.64 will aim to increase the stability and performance of the Arma 3 platform. Based on the feedback from players, we are also making changes to the Apex Protocol campaign (more about them below). We hope to have the build ready for internal testing in the middle of this week and enable it for public RC testing as soon as it passes the Quality Assurance evaluations. Follow the official Twitter account or subscribe to the dedicated forums thread to receive the information once it happens.
The most significant event of the previous week in the gaming world was without any doubt the Gamescom. While Bohemia Interactive had no official presentation or booth at the trade fair, ambassadors from the development teams were sent to attend, gain some experience and meet new people. Listening to lectures from colleagues from different companies at the GDC and then switching to Gamescom created the ultimate experience; something our attendees will not easily forget. Aside from the fun and entertainment, a number of crucial meetings with partners from various companies and industries took place. It was a lot of fun, until next time, Cologne!
Community creator Jester814 released a second part of his tutorial for scenario creation. Building a mission in Eden Editor on the newest version of Arma has never been simpler and Jester does a great job at showcasing some tips and tricks while taking a structured and organized approach towards the goal - fully garrisoned enemy base with patrols, guards and technicals. Be sure to check out the first part in case you have not seen it yet and or jump straight in with Part 2.
Launcher's Wizard and Senior Programmer Jiří Polášek shared some of the new improvements to the Launcher. It is now possible to search in all available startup parameters. Advanced users will surely appreciate the possibility of setting your favorite parameters; these will appear in the upper part of the Favorites tab and can be toggled swiftly. You can already try the changes on Dev-Branch, they should also appear in the 1.64 update.
There have been several reports from the community describing an issue with character hit points in relation to the distance to players. While the issue itself has been present for quite some time (even in previous titles), it is not something we can easily fix due to technical limitations. Petr Kolář, the Project Lead of Arma 3, adds more details: "Some of you might have noticed a strange behavior of soldiers sinking to the ground in the distance. This tech has been with us for ages, actually even in Arma 2, but it rose a discussion recently about the purpose. If we go literally deeper, the effect is used to simulate higher grass that is not rendered on distance and some sort of camouflage the grass provides to soldiers. How does it affect the character in game? The change is just a visual one from observer point of view, there is actually no part of the character in terrain, and that goes even for the geometries. As a result, there is a small difference between the actual hit points position and where it seems they are. Should we choose a different approach, there would be actually more issues - moving the geometries into terrain would drive the game physics crazy and rendering grass in high distances is something we were investigating without any reasonable outcome."
The difficulty and respawn settings in the Apex Protocol campaign have been overhauled. After a careful evaluation of the feedback we have received on the forums and social media, we have prepared a solution that responds to some of the most common notes. Players now have more control over the way their characters are respawned. By default, each scenario now allows for a limited number of respawns. Players can unlock additional respawn tickets by completing tasks. Also the Revive feature was tweaked. When reviving a teammate (with the default settings), a First Aid Kit is required and consumed upon the revive itself. Both respawn and revive settings can be easily adjusted in the Campaign Lobby to be completely forgiving (unlimited respawn, unlimited revive) to a really hardcore one (disabled respawn, disabled revive). Scenario fails if there are no players left alive. The balancing of the tickets is still under an iteration, players are encouraged to provide feedback to the dedicated forums thread.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Arsenal / Zeus Improvements, AI Diagnostics PRECEDENCE: Flash
It's a bit of a slow summer week here at Bohemia Interactive. Some of our developers are enjoying well-deserved holidays, and we have a delegation visiting Game Developer Conference Europe to absorb knowledge from peers. Arma 3 does not otherwise have a presence at the associated gamescom convention this year. Meanwhile we certainly do have a crew working as per usual, and keeping SOPs running, such as Dev-Branch updates. Next week we intend to start actual prep for the release of a 1.64 update, containing all tweaks, fixes and optimizations since the Apex release.
Have you ever wondered how to actually send a SITREP? Players of milsim sessions can now make use of a convenient guide made by a veteran of the VOLCBAT unit. It describes how they use Voice Procedure correctly during their scenarios. The guide shows examples of Procedure Words usage on real-world situations (both US and UK), explains how call signs are created, and even suggests what to avoid in radio communications. If you'd like to hear some of these comms in action, check out this multi-perspective video of a recent VOLCBAT raid with a UAV overhead and mortar and GMPG teams in support. Thanks friznit2!
Some more subtle yet powerful tweaks have arrived to existing systems and modes on Dev-Branch. In Virtual Arsenal you are now able to add any magazine to uniforms, vests and backpacks (not just those compatible with equipped weapons). Fear not however, this is handled via two tabs, so that by default you're not presented with massive lists in heavily modded games. Then there is a long-awaited addition to Zeus: search in the asset browser. This feature, developed for Eden Editor, has finally been back-ported to make the life of our Divine Curators a bit easier. Keep your sights trained on the Dev-Branch change log for more cool stuff coming to 1.64.
Tweaking and improving the Artificial Intelligence in the game continues via developers like Designer Ondřej Kužel and Senior Programmer Krzysztof Bielawski. Much can be said about the AI in Arma 3, but its complexity is also to be considered. There aren't many games that offer AI for such a broad range of activities at all, let alone also supporting said AI to use mod assets. Still, there is heaps that could be improved, and we'll continue to take steps forward. If you're interested in this topic, do follow the AI-specific change log and contribute to the discussion here. Recently there was an interesting addition to the special (SP-only) diagnostics executable found on Dev-Branch. We've exposed several AI diagnostics to allow for more accurate tuning of parameters as well as to debug issues. These can show in real-time things like where the AI is aiming, what information is stored in its brain, its skill levels, applied dynamic errors and suppression data.
Well a sudden surprise for all our loyal fans :) We have decided to release charlie version complete with new Apex Foliage on our islands and some really cool updated weapons for you to blast your way through the new jungle. There are a few new choppers to terrorize the Viet Cong with too namely the AH-1 Cobra Gunship and the CH47 " Guns a go go" and transport versions ... We have also updated a few of our aging weapon models and made a host of fixes to make the mod to make run a lot smoother than our bravo Build...
Changelog: v3.0c Apex - Maps require Apex DLC - Fixes Apex popups, added Apex foliage and assets to Doung and Da Krong maps
Added: - AH1g Cobra - 5 types - Mi8 Hip - 3 types - CH47a Chinook - 3 types - new SOG and SEAL units and kit - new high quality models for M16, XM177, MAS49/56, Thompson, BAR, AK47, K50m, Type50, and M2 mortar - Added 22mm rifle grenades (frag, HEAT, smoke, WP and lume) (WIP) - Added speargun (WIP)
Fixes: - Weapon accuracy fixes - Fixed skins of various grenades - Reduced grenade frag damage - Improved flare illumination for better night fighting - Fixed handheld ANPVS-2 scope - Fixed virtual arsenal base weapons - Fixed door-gunners on UH1 - chopper music overhaul
So Solider , you had a nice R&R break? ... Well grab your shit your going back in !!! "Good Luck out there...... you gonna need it"
IMPORTANT NOTES : THIS VERSION REQUIRES THE TANOA / APEX DLC TO GET 100% OUT OF THIS RELEASE. If you do not have this DLC Our Islands may Show little or no Foliage or objects. You also may not be able to connect to MP servers running Charlie Version.
Additional uniforms pack included : In the mod folder is the optional uniforms folder containing the PBO's. You will need to move those files into the @unsung_3.0_Charlie > addons folder to make them show in-game.
REMEMBER TO REMOVE ALL PREVIOUS FILES OF THE MOD BEFORE YOU INSTALL CHARLIE VERSION
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Ports Update, Eden Editor Improvements, Mod Preset Sharing PRECEDENCE: Flash
While the maintenance, documentation and planning work continues for the primary Windows version of the game, the time is right to give some love to our experimental client ports for Linux and Mac. Having been in development and testing for a long time, we have today published the 1.58 version (including Eden Update) for the ports, made possible by our Virtual Programming partners.
Besides adding the Eden Editor and all other improvements, one major multiplayer limitation was overcome: BattlEyeanti-cheat is now supported for these ports. For a full and up-to-date overview of the remaining limitations, Frequently Asked Questions and other information, please visit our overview page. The next target for the port team, we hope, is Apex actual (update 1.62).
If you're new to Arma 3, the official singleplayer showcases can be a great entry point to experience the diversity of the game's military gameplay (Main Menu > SINGLEPLAYER > SHOWCASES). They are bite-sized scenarios that were first introduced to highlight particular features for the public Alpha and Beta releases several years ago. The collection kept growing with further platform updates and DLC. For your typical combined arms infantry gameplay, you should try: Infantry, Combined Arms and Armed Assault. It can also be refreshing to play from the CSAT perspective, so give Vehicles, Helicopters, Gunships and Marksmen a go. The most recent showcase introduces you to the End Game mode on Tanoa. Did you know there's a hidden cache in Ouméré? Or that flying very fast or very high in Fixed-Wings will trigger a vocal pilot reaction? Trying any 5 showcases will unlock the "Showtime" Steam Achievement, which 6.6% of players have done thus far.
The showcases are not only interesting to new recruits; veterans and those who've played them before may find replaying them very entertaining with all the usability and audio-visual improvements over the past years! Scenario designers who are interested in how to achieve the standardized presentation elements, should visit our Community Wiki for details on setting up the overview and loading screens, notifications, debriefings and more.
Eden Editor may have had its main release, but that has not stopped its developers from adding more improvements. Advanced designers may appreciate being able to search even by config class name in the Asset Browser. Do this by using a search query formatted like "class MyFirstClass". Several special entity attributes were also improved / added on Dev-Branch recently. The "Texture" attribute can make it easier to actually display media on the props with dynamic screens or other changeable surfaces, such as desktop monitors and ... water balloons! And for characters, "Stance" lets you pick the starting pose conveniently. By the way, did you know you can drag & drop the camera on the 2D map? Keep an eye on the change log for other useful tweaks and changes.
If you're new to Eden Editor, we recommend to take a look at Jester814's recent video tutorial episode. In it he shows some of the basics, compares differences to the old editor and shares tips. If you're looking to set up a simple PvE co-op scenario with Zeus and features like Arsenal and Revive, this is a good starting point. He also covers some of the extensive (multiplayer) scenario settings, such as those controlling the respawn system. The resulting 'template' is available on Steam Workshop.
A nifty new feature has arrived to Launcher on Dev-Branch: the ability to export and share mod presets with other people. You'll find a new option in your preset manager, which lets you share the preset by saving it to a HTML file. This file can then be dragged and dropped to anybody's Launcher. Preset sharing can be particularly useful for units who want to provide a quick way for members to set up the correct mod set. Initially this feature would only support Steam Workshop mods, but Senior Programmer Jiří Polášek has since added the ability to export also local mods. Please do note that while Workshop mods will be resolved automatically, local mods still require players to obtain and install them manually. Your feedback on the Launcher is still very welcome on our forums.
One of the on-going efforts is to further improve, clean up and document the script command set, while preserving backward-compatibility as much as possible. However, please be aware of a tweak to relatively new script commandshownScoreTable, as it will be made more consistent with other similar commands. It will also be complemented by a new visibleScoreTable command. These changes are to be part of the upcoming 1.64 update.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Lessons Learned, Units Administration, Arsenal Sorting PRECEDENCE: Flash
During the past week we've concluded our first round of post-release evaluations of the Apex project as a whole. The departments collected their notes on what has gone well and what hasn't, which were then discussed among the department leads. The next step was to convert the lessons into a concrete action plan for improvements. We try to be self-critical and to look at all aspects of development. Of course this includes the resulting game as a major component, but it goes beyond that. We also evaluate our team's organization, developer performance, IT infrastructure, data pipelines, auto-testing methods, project methodologies, back-office support and much more. Why is this relevant to you as a player? Striving for better results in all these areas should mean a more solid platform and game developed on top of it. We still are excited to carry on this great Arma 3 adventure with you!
Last week's #Armaception seems to have escalated a little further, not at all triggered by our latest weekly dev photo and its #PiPChallenge! Toying with the picture-in-picture theme, the social media challenge has been spreading through the Armaverse for a bit of silly fun. If you can use a smile on your face, follow the chain of Arma 3 developers, modders, streamers and others. You'll find plenty of worthwhile channels to follow as bonus!
Mudspike has published an incredibly extensive evaluation of the Apex VTOL aircraft: Y-32 Xi’an and V-44 X Blackfish. He covers all aspects, from their design to their functionality, and provides criticisms in a constructive manner. Thanks for the write-up Beach!
The 77th JSOC shared with us a cool trailer of their unit running the Invade & Annex custom game mode on Tanoa. This large-scale persistent mode provides endless PvE fun in several variants, with dynamic secondary objectives and Zeus support. It was designed to be modular and development has continued in various communities.
There is a vast collection of assets available for Arma 3, with many regular players reporting mod sets well upward of 50 GB. Combining official and user-generated assets in-game leads to massive lists in modes like Virtual Arsenal. While assets like weapons are already marked by a relevant DLC or mod icon, it's hard to get a clear overview of all that is available to try. Making this a bit easier, Senior Designer Karel Mořický has added the ability to sort by mod / DLC, in addition to alphabetically. Check it out on Dev-Branch!
Since the recent major update to Arma 3 Units, various developers have continued to work on improvements. As of yesterday, they have deployed one change based directly on your feedback. Unit admin rights are now decoupled from ranks / titles. Brand & PR Manager Korneel van 't Land has described the changes and future plans on the forums, where we also invite you to leave further feedback. Coming up is a change to recruitment status settings. We'll likely be removing the fully open insta-join setting and only make it possible to accept applications or be closed to new members. The motivations behind this are to reduce complexity and to stimulate that units are used as active member organizations rather than just promotion pages.
There are now over 6000 registered units in total, proudly displaying their unit logo in the game. This is another aspect we've been improving further. A few issues were resolved for future updates to the game, and you'll also be able to see your unit logo in the Main Menu and profile settings. If your unit's logo does not show in the game, try re-uploading it or tinkering with its dimensions.
After Apex release, even if we don't get an official requirements 'Splendid' update, I must recognize that the released "aggiornamento" is welcome. Even if no move has been made for minimum CPUs level and some inconsistencies persist it is a good new.
Here are the updated official requirements for Arma3 :
OS Windows 7 SP1 64-bit PROCESSOR Intel Dual-Core 2.4 GHz / AMD Dual-Core Athlon 2.5 GHz GRAPHICS NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT/ AMD Radeon HD 5670 / Intel HD Graphics 4000 with 512 MB VRAM DirectX® 10 RAM 4 GB HARD DRIVE 20 GB free space AUDIO DirectX® compatible on-board OTHER Internet connection and free Steam account to activate Dual Layer compatible when installing from DVD
OS Windows 7 / 8 / 10 64-bit PROCESSOR Intel Core i5-4460 / AMD FX 4300 GRAPHICS NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 / AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series with 2 GB VRAM DirectX® 11 RAM 6 GB HARD DRIVE 25 GB free space, SSD / Hybrid HDD / SSHD storage AUDIO DirectX® compatible soundcard OTHER Internet connection and free Steam account to activate
* Even if disabling the sexiest "Visual Update" parameters in order to gain some performances is possible, it's still NOT possible to play with a Core2 Duo E6600 or un Athlon II x2 250 based rig even if I must admit the game is running with such CPUs. * The "Intel Core i5-4460 / AMD FX 4300" part is the kind of inconsistency I am speaking of. The Intel Core i5-4460 is a rather good CPU, the kind "you must have" in order to play. The AMD FX 4300 is more or less on par with an i3 2120 for general purpose usage, it can be a rather good candidate for "playable minimum", but here Arma3 gaming wise, it's out of place.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Maintenance, Apex Blog, Launcher Mod Search, Feedback Tracker Guide PRECEDENCE: Flash
Our clean sweep of the game continues during these first few post-release weeks. Besides making improvements to Apex itself, we've also been addressing your reports on older content, and will continue to do so. Some documentation has already been published to the Bohemia Interactive Community Wiki, while more elaborate topics are in progress. This all goes hand-in-hand with mapping out our further roadmap for Arma 3 development and support. It will still be a little while before we have concrete details for you, but you're already in the right place once any news breaks!
Taking a look back at the #RoadToApex, our Creative Director Jay Crowe has highlighted a selection of Arma 3 accomplishments in a new development blog. He goes over the major releases before the expansion, Apex proper and the platform updates, before concluding with a brief glimpse of what's on the horizon. It also includes some love directed at the awesome community, so you're really best off just going forth and reading the blog!
Since the 1.62 update introduced 13 new Steam Achievements, we'll highlight a few of them over the coming weeks. They don't only serve as 'bragging rights', but can also point out interesting functionality or content you may have missed. Take a look at the full list here. The "Better with Friends" achievement had a global unlock percentage of 0.1% when we first highlighted it, but that has since been boosted to a modest 0.2%. But wait, let's take a step back and explain what you need to do first. This is one of the "Apex Protocol" co-op campaign achievements. It unlocks after you have completed all of its missions with at least 2 players, because as the title suggests, the campaign is best played together.
Working through the missions in a team can be very rewarding. There are a few tips we'd like to offer for maximum success. Did you know the Dynamic Groups feature also seen in End Game is partly available? You can't actually disband the team, because Raider 2 is simply needed for the narrative, but you can promote another team leader! Access the interface by pressing U by default. We also recommend you stick together when tactically possible as it will let you Revive each other more often (bleed-out timing has since been tweaked on Dev-Branch), avoiding the more lengthy respawn procedure. Try to select a good balance of specialty roles in the Respawn Screen (check DETAILS for a full inventory listing). Having a grenadier, autorifleman or marksman available can make all the difference. Communicate your plans by plotting a good tactical approach on the 2D map, for example by drawing lines (Ctrl + LMB) or inserting other markers. These are currently broadcast on the communications channel you have selected for text chat and Voice-Over-Network (type via /, speak via Caps Lock and change channel via < and > by default). Finally you can remind yourself of the mission objectives by pressing and holding J for 3D indicators of tasks, tapping J twice for a more elaborate overview, or by pressing M for the full 2D map briefing and task assignments.
Speaking of working through the campaign together: it was interesting to watch one particular play-through by Jester814 and his team. They approached the missions quite tactically, communicating a lot and planning approaches. They did use various cool gameplay mods at their own risk, though they mostly seem to have worked in conjunction! Before you dive into the videos, please know that they will spoil all events, including briefing scenes!
Since many of you meanwhile rock 50+ GB mod libraries, Senior Programmer Jiří Polášek has plugged in a much sought-after improvement for the Launcher on Dev-Branch: mod search. This should make finding and filtering mods quite a bit more manageable (shortcut combination Ctrl + F also works). As added bonus, the public documentation has been updated to reflect the current state and recent additions such as the DASHBOARD and SERVERS pages.
Sadly we're not really much closer to finding the cause of the potentially drastic performance degradation that some players experience at seemingly random play times. Clues do point to memory management, but it's not quite so straight forward as an identifiable 'memory leak' or a common factor among cases (e.g. little available RAM). The game appears to run out of available memory, and fails to negotiate for more from the OS for unknown reasons (a process which actually happens without problems quite often, via memory allocators). We're analyzing the very useful profiling data from helpful Feedback Tracker users, who use special profiling clients to send us captured performance snapshots. We're going to continue eliminating causes to hopefully hone in on the root cause.
We're glad to have our Feedback Tracker platform open for your reports after its absence a few months ago. It's not the most user-friendly framework in all aspects however, and we're limited by what modifications we can make to it. What should really help beginning reporters though is a new user guide by QA Specialist Radek Pazdera. Go take a look for general guidelines and specific requests for reporting crashes or other issues. It will demonstrate where to find your exact game version, selected Steam branch, logs, system specifications and more. Providing all the relevant information in clear ways will make it easier for Radek, the QA teams and our developers to process and prioritize your feedback. Our thanks for your contributions to a better platform!
How about we end this week's report with a bit of casual fun? We'll put a challenge out there: can you go even deeper? #Armaception
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Profiling Branch, Recruiting, Wallpapers PRECEDENCE: Flash
The development locks that were in place during the last weeks of Apex development have now been lifted. This means our team members are free again to continue development under regular conditions. You may already notice this from the updates on Dev-Branch in recent days. We're also taking some time to reflect on the project together. This means we'll be looking back at both the journey and the destination, and creating action plans for a broad range of aspects to further improve upon. Besides our own thoughts, we also evaluate using your reviews, critiques, reports, stories, custom content releases and play-throughs ... and we're massively enjoying doing so. Keep sharing!
The newest dev photo shows a little supply drop we've sent out to a selection of gaming media outlets to promote Arma 3 Apex's release. Before you ask: there are no plans for delivering plants on a regular basis or to offer them for sale. It is quite difficult to manage the logistics, even though no casualties have been reported to us so far. We hope the recipients approach their new responsibilities with great care. And we'd love to hear how long their miniature jungles provide concealment to the plastic soldiers standing guard in the mud!
If you'd like to decorate your computer or mobile device desktop with the Apex artwork, you'll now find it available as wallpaper in a range of resolutions.
The youngest Bohemia Interactive studio, situated in Amsterdam (The Netherlands), has started recruiting for a few positions on its new development team. We're looking for talented and passionate developers to fill the roles of Senior Artist, Artist, Technical Artist and Audio Designer. Initially you'd be contributing to Arma 3's strong future, and then be on board for future projects on the horizon. Check out our careers page for all job offers in the company, and send us your application if you're interested. We look forward to hearing from you!
Ever since the 1.62 release, custom playable content designers have been releasing updates to their scenarios, modes and frameworks. A lot of them added variants on Tanoa, but they included many other cool new components, designs and approaches. Let us take a look at just a few of these projects that produce splendid content for the multiplayer community:
EUTW PVP Warfare version 2.06.00 with Apex content has been released on its development test server. Read all about this popular mode's features on its web page. This is actually one of the community modes we use in our internal update tests, to validate how custom content performs in future versions.
Domination is the return of an Arma classic, letting up to 50 players seize targets and complete side objectives. Its 3.48 version has been released alongside a Tanoa TT PvPvE version
ALiVE's massive persistent framework continues to dynamically define the front lines for many units. They too have been supporting the new Tanoan battle space since the public builds were first available.
F3 Mission Development Framework is the successor to F2. It offers an established library of tools and implementations to scenario designers who have the very basics under control. It's also compatible with Zeus and several popular mods. Definitely take a look if you're keen on being able to use standard solutions for common design work in order to build more complex scenarios!
With Apex we've also doubled down on our efforts to improve the localization of the game for the 10 available languages. This is a uniquely challenging field as it can be difficult to ensure nothing gets ... lost in translation. The process starts with the developers putting in the raw texts, but then goes through a whole pipeline to end up being proofread and translated by mostly external contractors. Dedicated testing of the game in the various languages also takes place. One tricky aspect is context. It can often be difficult for an external translator to know precisely how a phrase or single word fit into the game and how they should be translated. This is one of the things being coordinated by Associate Producer Vojtěch Schubert. He has opened a special thread on the forums to request your feedback for further improvements. It's focused on the Apex content, but any older texts can still be discussed as well. See a term that is out of place in Arma's military context? Encounter an unfortunate phrasing? Catch a string that's entirely missing translation? Let us know!
We are indeed working on adding livery and skin templates to Arma 3 Samples for Apex content. The sources are being gathered, and you'll likely find them first on the app's own development branch. We're also wanting to update our asset listing on the Community Wiki as a convenient look-up guide for class names and some characteristics. Meanwhile you can explore the in-editor Config Viewer. Something else still coming the way of certain players is the digital PDF topographic map for Tanoa in the Bonus folder of Digital Deluxe Edition owners (or owners of other editions containing the bonus content).
The new Main Menu has taken a more minimalist approach to the in-game news feed. Instead of directly showing a summary of recent Dev Hub reports, it links out to the relevant locations on the web. This will reduce our own upkeep of outdated systems, and we've always struggled with the limited formatting options for HTML content in the game's UI. As a result, after update 1.64 we'll no longer be maintaining these server-side news posts (at the moment the Legacy Branch still uses them). We don't have information of it being the case, but if any custom services were directly hooking into this legacy news feed, please consider alternatives. We use special URLs that always link to the most recent SITREP, SPOTREP or Dev-Branch change log for example.
Besides our more prominent Steam branches, there is one that contributes to a more stable game, but is really there just for advanced users (mostly server administrators in fact). This profiling branch is coordinated by Online Services Consultant David Foltýn, who is always there to liaise between server hosts and our programmers in order to pursue further (multiplayer) optimizations. The branch contains special performance executables with extended diagnostics, experimental technologies and upcoming crash fixes. These are often targeting just servers, but occasionally also require clients for compatibility. When there is a need, David also hosts special "CHIMERA"servers to facilitate testing. One feature being matured in this branch is an ability for servers to have automated control over clients who do not have an acceptable connection and who can have a negative impact on the entire session. This and other admin controls are discussed on our forums, while they are being tweaked and fine-tuned. We'd like to stress again that regular players should not use profiling branch, but we wanted to explain its purpose and to show one way in which a willing few are contributing to a better multiplayer environment. Thanks!
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Apex Released, Apex Protocol PRECEDENCE: Flash
After one hell of a ride, we've all arrived at the release of Arma 3 Apex and the corresponding free 1.62 platform update. Here's our official launch trailer to celebrate this major milestone! We hope you're already enjoying the vanilla expansion or one of the many custom mod(e)s that were updated in unison. More than ever before we witnessed an impressive pre-release effort by the various mod teams and server hosts to make the transition as smooth as possible. Our thanks go to everyone who has contributed to this release, not least of which our developers and Bohemia Interactive's supporting departments. Have fun running your jungle ops on Tanoa or however else you enjoy playing the game!
What does this mean for Arma 3 support going forward? We'll begin by keeping a very close eye on your reports to Feedback Tracker, the forums and various other channels. The team is already doing triage of issues and they are on top of fixes, tweaks and some of the recently postponed features. Based on the urgency of potential issues, we'll determine our update schedule. In any case, you can expect normal main branch maintenance updates to continue on their 4 to 6 week cycle. They should be rather less impactful than recent feature-rich updates, and rather focus on fixes, mod support, documentation and similar work. Daily Dev-Branch updates are also set to continue. Meanwhile, we're planning our further support for Arma 3. It's a little early now, but we hope to discuss the post-Apex road map over the coming months.
A few bits of Intel on yesterday's release may have slipped by you, so let's highlight them:
We've added a significant amount of additional official servers for various bits of playable content, including the Apex Protocol campaign of course! Find them via our web-listing, or the Launcher and in-game server browsers.
The "Arma 3 Apex" controls preset is now default (you may have seen the prompt in-game) - give it a go! The legacy "Arma 3" preset is still available as well.
If you own a Digital Deluxe Edition or another applicable special edition, you should have the Apex Official Sound Track in the Bonus\Soundtrack folder of your installation. It contains MP3 and FLAC mastered versions of the tracks that are also present in the game itself. One way of playing the tracks is by using Steam client's own music player (View > Music Player).
Bonus: the Japanese and Korean translations are now available in the standard international distribution!
The old 2D Editor is now indeed considered to be deprecated. It can still be accessed via Ctrl + O(ld) from terrain selection, but is unsupported from now onward.
You'll find the full change log in its usual SPOTREP form.
Have a look at this video interview by PC Gamer with Creative Brit Jay Crowe. It should give you another good bit of insight into the Arma 3 Apex expansion, its goals and what it brings to players.
Owners of Apex can now also try out the new 1-4 player co-op campaign: Apex Protocol. Since its staging ahead of release, we have been reading your feedback, positive and negative alike, and taken it to heart. Some aspects received useful tweaks ahead of release, while others may still be addressed post-release. We are for example wanting to adjust the Revive bleed-out timings, so you'll have a better chance of saving your team mates. There's been debate on whether the campaign is suitable for individuals. While you certainly can play it alone, this campaign was indeed designed with a co-op focus. Senior Designer Thomas Ryan has gone over some of the design processes on the forums. Do try playing the missions with friends or even random players via Quick Play. And take your time to explore Tanoa a little. This was the first official content build entirely in Eden Editor. Its power has resulted in some cool compositions and scenes to happen upon. Also try playing the missions multiple times; Arma's inherent sandbox nature may throw some unexpected differences your way. Oh, and there's a set of new Steam achievements to challenge yourselves with!
Going back to our goals for Apex, we made the decision early on to focus its playable content on multiplayer. Based on that we wanted to deliver a military PvE co-op experience for more Arma 3 players. We love seeing milsim units run operations, craft deep, advanced and dynamic scenarios, and conduct extensive After Action Reports. But there are many players out there who just cannot put in the kind of time this usually demands (nonetheless, we recommend them to try to hook up with a suitable unit for embedded operations). We hope this campaign is another type of multiplayer content that may interest more players in military Arma gameplay. Besides that, a focus on and investment in multiplayer indirectly benefits everyone, regardless of their play style. It has contributed to fixes, optimizations, new systems and more.
We've had to reset the Analytics settings for everyone, so please review your wishes in the Launcher options. This was needed because a glitch that was present only on various testing branches (e.g. Dev-Branch) caused them to be disabled for everyone temporarily. We had no means to accurately identify just the group of users whose analytics were disabled by this glitch as opposed to by their choice to opt-out. Since we felt it would be a shame to miss this useful data on an important group of our core users, we implemented this corrective solution. Launcher should alert you to this reset in most cases. We've also tried to make the system more robust by adding more fail-safes and information about when and how your settings were updated.
Some players have reported visual glitches on vegetation after the 1.62 update. They witnessed light blue coloration when model LODs were switching while moving across the terrains. It would appear that a GPU driver re-install or update has fixed this for the players we've been in contact with, so please try that if you are encountering similar glitches. We are also investigating reports from another group of users who are experiencing drastic framerate drops after the update. We don't yet have concrete Intel on this, but would like to hear from you with details. Meanwhile, please try doing Steam local file cache verifications, non-SSD defragmentations, tests without mods, custom memory allocators and checks on shared libraries.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Imminent Apex Release, Squad Communications, Units Stage Two, Mobile Ops PRECEDENCE: Flash
Welcome to the last SITuation REPort on the #RoadToApex. By this time next week, owners will have access to the Apex expansion on main branch, and everybody will be playing the free 1.62 update. That also means you have less than a week to make use of the 20% discounted pre-order. We hope you're as excited as we are for everyone to be able to enjoy Apex, Tanoa and all the platform improvements soon.
Getting your feedback and issue reports has been of great benefit to the release state of the expansion. Many things were fixed, and other aspects were tweaked or changed based directly on your comments. Some changes were not feasible in time for release, or even will not be during the game's lifetime. Speaking of which, we obviously will keep supporting the game after July 11! There will inevitably be issues in the wild, that we will do our best to solve as swiftly as possible. Please be patient while your favorite server admins update their farms, while modders release their compatibility updates, and while we all get used to this big step forward for the game. The Apex release will occur in the evening (CET) because we need to synchronize with our Steam partners. Considering the big data download and complexity of the update, it may take a brief while for things to settle. We have no doubt that in the end, Arma 3 will be a better game once again.
We've recently said our goodbyes to a true champion in Bohemia Interactive's Publishing team: Executive ProducerJan Kunt. Operating outside of the core development teams, you'll maybe not have heard his name before, but he has been essential for our releases over the past 9 years. Jan was our liaison to Valve (Steam) and other third-party contacts, making sure everyone was in sync and problems got solved. He also coordinated ratings, licenses, ports and many more efforts surrounding principle game development. We would like to thank him for his tireless work and to wish him well on his next adventure!
Perhaps sneaking by you amid the Apex Sneak Preview fun, we recently hosted another #milsim live stream in cooperation with the RG Task Force. The event was nicely shoutcast by MicOne, RG's Andrews and our own Community Developer Greg Becksted. Taking place at varied locations on the brand new Tanoa terrain, we witnessed 3 Team-versus-Team matches using the official Spectator mode. You can now view the entire event in this recording!
Italian units (and everybody else) will have a lot of new goodies to play with thanks to the hard work of the PedagneMOD, who have upgraded their Arma 2 mod to Arma 3. This is merely their first release, as they plan to continue development of more types of infantry units. Take a look at this showcase video to see what's been included. Perhaps they can join forces with members of KSK 2035 (by IndeedPete) in future Pacific NATO operations.
Around the time of publishing this report, we're also planning to stage the Apex Playable Content to Dev-Branch, so you may already see it there when reading this. Note that some of the campaign videos and other narrative elements have not yet been fully finalized. We generally recommend most players await the full release to enjoy the complete story experience. And a quick reminder: please mark your discussions of the co-op campaign especially with spoiler warnings. This forums thread by Playable Content Lead Jaroslav Kašný introduces you to the campaign and is a good place for your feedback. The other branches will see the content later this week. Today and tomorrow are Czech national holidays, so even though many of our developers have come to work to prepare for the Apex release, we're not at full operating capacity. Let us know about major issues especially, so we can still hunt those down before release day. Thanks!
For a while we've wanted to make improvements to your ability to operate as a team effectively under the header Squad Communications. This has resulted in modest improvements to the vanilla Voice-Over-Network communications and Line Drawing on the 2D map. Two additional features in development are the so-called Squad Radar and Tactical Ping, which you may have already encountered on branches like Dev-Branch. Besides assisting units to play co-operatively, we view these as optional tools to compensate for a decreased spatial awareness when compared to real life conditions. Since we know not everyone appreciates these types of helpers, they are indeed optional and / or linked to difficulty settings for those who accept the I/O limitations of the PC and its peripherals for what they are. Before we expand on these two new features, we do need to let you know that after careful consideration, we have decided to delay them from 1.62. While they show great promise, the features need some additional time for testing and to resolve a few potential UI conflicts for example.
Squad Radar is a spatial awareness indicator that visualizes important entities in your immediate vicinity. Most importantly, these are your team mates, which can be tremendously helpful when trying to keep in formation during CQB for example. Users of the popular ShackTac Fire Team HUD mod will see many similarities. Our thanks go to zx64 and Andrew "Dslyecxi" Gluck, who allowed us to use this scripted feature as the primary inspiration for our hard-coded version. This UI element can be moved in the layout options, wholly disabled or controlled via scripting / description.ext. Tactical Ping (Shift + T by default) lets players point out anything in the environment to their unit members by drawing an alert icon on a certain position. For intricate details on how these features work and can be controlled, please read this splendid forums post by Designer Radko Voda.
The second stage of the Arma 3 Units service is now online! As Brand & PR Manager Korneel van 't Land describes on our forums, the well over 2500 community units can now manage members and organize themselves with ranks, roles and responsibilities. Users can use their Bohemia Account to apply for units, and even benefit from a first version of game integration. While it's unsure this connection to the Launcher and the game itself will make it to update 1.62, you will soon be able to show off your unit association to other players. For this you will need to connect your Steam account to your Bohemia Account in its settings. A new Launcher dashboard will be the prime place to select your active unit, although the in-game profile settings will offer this switch too (note that the existing squad.xml implementation remains in tact). Lead Web Developer Jervant Malakjan and his team will continue to work on Units as its planned third stage includes features like events.
R&D Lead Julien Vida has been mapping the status of documentation. This has resulted in a lot of internal tasking to fill the gaps and to publish missing documentation for recent changes and new features or technologies. A first fruit of this labor is the creation of Community Wiki pages for a number of undocumented script commands, with more on their way.
Bohemia Interactive's Mobile team has last week released its first title: Arma Mobile Ops. This free-to-play game for iOS and Android mobile devices is a spin on established popular mobile strategy games. You're a battlefield commander whose mission is to build and defend a base, fight through a singleplayer campaign and invade other players. Form alliances and challenge the tops of the leaderboards together. The game was geo-tested under a different name in a select few local territories, as is common in mobile development. This allowed the team to find issues, measure popularity, gather statistics to improve the game and generally to get it ready for a global release. Now, everyone with a compatible device can download the game and have a quick and fun on-the-go experience for moments like their daily commute. You can play it for free, and use optional in-app purchases to skip waiting times, though those are not necessary for the full range of gameplay opportunities.
Mobile Ops is a first project for us to set up a new team and explore the mobile market. We'll be experimenting with business models and game types. Meanwhile you need not worry that this has a negative impact on your primary Arma experience. The game was developed by a new group of developers who joined the company last year with a strong Unity engine background. They are led by Project Lead Jan Herodes and operate independently from the Arma 3 team, but within the BI family of course. Our main focus is still PC, but we do think we can experiment with mobile as well. Follow the game on its Twitter, Facebook and YouTube channels, learn more on its website, and discuss your thoughts on our forums.
Join us as MicOne, Andrews and BohemiaBeck ShoutCast live three large-scale player versus player matchups on the Tanoa Terrain. Watch as players from the Arma 3 unit Reality Gaming battle it out in objective focused missions, with first person perspective enforced and where players only have one life to complete their objectives.
*This is a recording of a live stream which took place on June 26th, 2016. The original recording can be found on https://www.twitch.tv/arma3official/profile