Ota Vrtatko from Bohemia Interactive has informed us about Arma 2 Free retirement from active duty.
Prague, Czech Republic April 08th 2014
Bohemia Interactive, the award-winning independent Czech development studio, announces today the planned discontinuation of Arma 2 Free.
On Tuesday 22nd April 2014, nearly 3 years after its first announcement, Bohemia Interactive will be closing the Arma 2 Free servers and discontinuing its availability, Bohemia Interactive wish to thank the many thousands of gamers for their interest in Arma 2 Free and look forward to new projects in the future.
As a thank you to everyone for their interest and support Bohemia Interactive would like to announce that the complete Arma 2 franchise is available at a 75% discount on the Bohemia Interactive Store from April 8th to May 4th. Buy now to avoid disappointment!
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Zeus released, Zeus livestream PRECEDENCE: Flash SITUATION
To celebrate last week's release of Zeus, we hosted a launch livestream on Saturday. Game Master Lukáš Haládik (call signs Sunray & Unicorn) created a High Value Target extraction scenario from scratch. The highlight for many was the GM remote controlling a civilian who refused to share his knowledge of the HVT position with the AAF players, and what subsequently happened ... The various hosts also demonstrated the new features added since the Zeus reveal and tried to answer a bunch of questions from the chat. We'd like to thank the three community fire teams who participated and did a great job of showing how Arma MP can benefit from solid teamwork. Kudos to Comrades in Arms, VOLCBAT and Shack Tactical for joining us!
Bohemia Interactive has shared a page with clarifications on the making and sharing of screenshots, videos, gameplay footage and music created using our games. We are and always have been quite generous when it comes to these topics, and this page merely helps to explain the exact rules in an open and honest way. The Frequently Asked Questions and answers should help to remove any doubts.
There has been quite a lot of constructive feedback about the flight model of our fixed-wing aircraft. Programming Lead Vojtěch Hladík himself has added new parameters to adjust the behavior of said planes. It is now possible to adjust the curve of sensitivity for elevators, rudder and ailerons. Encoder Martin Gregor has set these new parameters for the new CAS planes and the overall feedback seems like it has been a step in right direction.
Owners of the (Digital) Deluxe Edition will find two new Zeus music tracks (MP3 + FLAC) in the Bonus folder of the game.
Check out the most-recent TECHREP for several minor updates to the tools in the suite.
Zeus designer Karel Mořický has published several Zeus scenarios to Steam Workshop that will offer the standard modes on old Arma terrains (e.g. Chernarus and Takistan). There exist several mods which add those terrains to Arma 3, but neither the mods nor these scenarios are officially supported. This may at least get you to enjoy Zeus in a different setting!
Korneel van 't Land has informed us about Arma 3 Zeus DLC release.
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday April 10th 2014
Bohemia Interactive today released the free Arma 3 Zeus DLC for Arma 3™. Announced two months ago, Arma 3 Zeus lets people assume the role of Game Master and curate the multiplayer experience of other players.
As a Game Master, you can view the battlefield from bird’s-eye perspective, and create, manipulate or expand a multiplayer scenario in real-time. An easy-to-use editor enables you to spawn units, set objectives, change the weather conditions, start music, and much more. The result is incredibly dynamic online combat - in which players have to rely on their ability to improvise and adapt.
• Become Zeus Assume the role of Game Master and curate the experience of other Arma 3 players. Wielding an intuitive real-time editor, you can manipulate or expand multiplayer scenarios on-the-fly, and create a surprising flow of challenges for the soldiers on the ground.
• Enroll As Players Form a squad, head into battle, and engage in truly dynamic combat. As one of Zeus' subjects, you need to react to varied objectives, and adapt to unscripted events on a constantly-evolving battlefield. Improvisation is your key to success.
• MP Modes Play Arma 3 Zeus across its distinctive 'Game Master' game type scenarios, where you start out with a blank canvas. Or visit familiar modes like 'Coop', 'Team Death Match', and 'Sector Control' in a completely new way. Zeus multiplayer also works with custom player-created scenarios.
The Arma 3 Zeus DLC has been added automatically to the Steam Library of all owners of Arma 3.
To celebrate its release, the Arma 3 development team will be hosting an official Arma 3 Zeus Launch Party Livestream this Saturday, April 12th. Starting at 17:00 UTC, they will present an hour-long Zeus MP session in which the developers take on the role of Game Master, while various members from the Arma community will fight as soldiers on the ground. The session will be streamed live from Bohemia Interactive’s HQ in Prague onto Arma 3’s Twitch.tv channel.
For more information please visit zeus.arma3.com. Also be sure to keep track of the Arma 3 social channels (Facebook, Twitter) and stay up to date of all the latest developments.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Zeus release, Steam browser PRECEDENCE: Flash
Zeus is finally unleashed on everyone this Thursday! We're keen to see how you will use it, and are looking forward to cool streams and play-through videos to share. Our own testing sessions have been quite role-play heavy, with Game Masters guiding groups of players through a myriad of unique, unplanned and constantly changing scenarios. But there are many other ways of using the tech - surprise us! Zeus will be 'packaged' as a DLC inside the game, and also on Steam. However, there is no need for any manual installation. Just like other updates, the data is downloaded automatically via Steam and plugged into your game (version 1.16).
We're planning to do a Zeus 'Launch' livestream event this Saturday - more details to follow if it goes ahead. And for a bit more background on Zeus' abilities and controls, take a look at the exported Field Manual records. INTELLIGENCE
Programmer Krzysztof Bielawski shared with us his Steam Workshop recommendation: 'Operation Cold Rising' by OksmanTV. In his words: "It's a lengthy, story-driven, enjoyable scenario. I was impressed by the incredibly well-designed flow of tasks, the team communication, scripting, planning, and realization. A big thumbs up to everyone involved - playing this mission was a blast (and a fine opportunity to debug AI behaviours)."
Work on the Steam server browser progresses rapidly by the work of programmer Lukáš Gregor. Many of the initial limitations in the devbranch implementation were addressed.
Mod hashes: servers once again send a hash of each expansion / mod used, so clients can compare it to their own data and mark servers as incompatible (shown as an orange icon).
Mod filter: allows the browser to show only servers that use a subset of installed client mods. This was detected by the name of the mod before. Since we now know the hash of each mod, it's detected by that (so it can detect a different version of the mod or a mod with the same name but with different content).
Mod list: now shows up to 256 characters instead of 128 previously.
Signatures: servers send the list of data signatures that are required to play on the server. Similar to mod hashes, the browser shows incompatible signatures using the icon.
Keywords: we have filter options to show only servers using a specific string in the server or scenario name. With GameSpy we could pass that string and it would return only servers that match it. With Steam there isn't any technology like that, so the client had to download a list of all servers and drop those which didn't match the filter. This could take a while. Now the server creates a list of keywords (taken from the server and scenario names) and then the Steam query uses this so only servers that match the given words are returned. The issue is that it matches whole words only; you can't search for the "Headhunters" scenario by typing just "Head".
Steam is now configured as the default server browser on devbranch.
Multiplayer optimization attempts are looking optimistic. The server-side algorithm that determines what messages to resend and to which clients, has been optimized and rewritten to use additional CPU cores. Together with a client-side optimization of network message computations, these changes should provide a noticeable boost to framerates in multiplayer sessions. The changes have to be carefully tested but they should be ready for the update after Zeus (1.18). You can already try them out on devbranch.
Tools Commissar Petr Kolář released a small update to Arma 3 Tools just in time for the weekend. Mainly it corrected a few issues in Terrain Builder, notably to let it support binarized P3D model data. Terrain builders can now use objects from the game's add-ons for example. Programmer Jan Mareček is working on further fixes and improvements.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Zeus release date, GameSpy, Official Zeus Servers PRECEDENCE: Flash
Zeus launch prep continues with fixes and a few usability enhancements being deployed to devbranch. Zeus can now control unit stance for an entire group, and when lifting a Respawn Module into the air, it becomes a parachute respawn. We're also happy to reveal that we will be hosting 10 official Dedicated Servers with Zeus (maybe more later). They will be physically located in both the United States and Europe, and run a mix of Zeus game modes - from Game Master to Sector Control. The servers will use the main branch of the game once Zeus is launched (those up already are on devbranch"[OFFICIAL] Arma 3 Zeus #01 (EU-NL) by Bohemia Interactive". Besides setting up a virtual meeting ground with our devs, we also want to continue performance profiling there. By gathering more information, we are trying to optimize for larger amounts of players.
Oh, and welcome to the 50th SITuation REPort! In celebration of this milestone, here is the official release date for Arma 3 Zeus : Thursday April 10 (free).
GameSpy has announced it is fully shutting down its multiplayer technologies on May 31 2014. Why does this affect us and you? The simplest explanation is that they provided the licensed middleware we have used for the Arma series to handle the server indexing and browsing. For Arma 3 we will solve this by making the full switch to Steam for this functionality. If you're on devbranch, you can already toggle between GameSpy and Steam in the server browser (top-right button). Our other games (including previous Armas) are being investigated, and our company will announce more detailed approaches once they are confirmed. For a little bit more information, check this forum post.
There are some upsides and some downsides to the change for Arma 3. We can list more servers in the browser (as opposed to the limit of 500 before). There are also more features we can try to implement: listing servers with friends on them, showing a server history, etc. However, at the moment the Steam-implementation does not support the player list and there is a limited mod listing. This is caused by less space being available for custom meta-data in the API. We have some ideas for work-arounds, so that may only be temporarily. Steam also requires several ports to be forwarded properly (27016 and 2303 for Steam services and the game by default). Generally, this implementation might be less capable at punching through complex NAT situations (i.e. finding all servers).
A fresh round of http://www.arma3.com/community-focus presents several community videos and one new player community: Point Fire. Their motto: "Arma 3 - played harder. played right."
Should you have somehow missed it, take a look at the most recent Community Guide episode - covering guerilla warfare!
QA specialist Ondřej Kužel was next in line to submit an OPREP titled "AI Configuration". The in-depth report outlines on-going work dealing with the configuration of Artificial Intelligence from both the player and scenario designer perspectives. An example is the recent introduction of three fixed AI difficulty levels (and one custom one for experimentation).
A forum post by programmer Šimon Kolčiter requests your feedback on the desired approach concerning an animation fix. It has to do with the timing of switching to a new weapon while reloading the current one.
UNIT: Ondrej Kužel, QA Specialist, QA Dept. TO: Arma 3 Dev-Branch Users OPSUM: Taking on the whale: tweaking AI configuration options
To fight and move, command, flank and take cover; to aim and fire upon an enemy zigzagging across a fast-changing battlefield; to ultimately - on any terrain, without any predetermined paths or scripting - make independent decisions, the AI must take into account an immense number of variables. To achieve this, the AI has grown into an indeterministic beast living a life of its own. Semper AI. However, to strike that illusive (and subjective) balance between not being too lethal yet not too lenient also requires some measure of control. A well-defined set of default behaviors and access to ways of exacting influence upon these behaviors is, therefore, important for players and mission designers alike.
Taking both perspectives into account, we set out to improve the way we deal with these needs. So far, we've made some progress in terms of documenting and refining the basic values that affect our AI and in terms of giving players more meaningful control over setting up their game, making some tweaks and updates to the difficulty options. While our work isn't over yet, we wanted to share an update on the actions we've taken so far. We want to ensure we're on the right track, keep our community up to date with the latest changes, and gather any feedback that can help improve things further!
Our first step was updating documentation; Krzysztof Bielawski stripped the AI down to their parts and described how they work together with greater care. On an individual level, each AI unit is defined by its set of sub-skills. From a mission-making perspective - unless, of course, the designer didn't really care and the unit received a flat set of default values - explaining a little more accurately how these skills determine the ability of soldiers should enable a greater degree of control over them. It ain't much yet, but it ain't over either: you're always welcome to ask and learn more in our forums' dedicated AI configuration thread!
In fact, these 'raw' sub-skill values do not themselves alone drive AI behavior. Rather, the value of each sub-skill is adjusted on mission start by another value - one that comes from the difficulty settings - a 'global' AI Level (see how here, to check it in-game use skillFinal). This so called 'AI Skill Level' (or just 'AI Level') previously enabled adjustments from 0 to 1 on any difficulty preset; it was configurable separately for enemy and friendly, with three predefined but modifiable values (and ranges as well) in each difficulty preset. From a player's point of view, this appeared to be more of a subject of research than a clear 'option'.
For your convenience, (and because you've asked for it and have always been a great help to us), we've added a 'Custom' AI level. This will allow you to freely adjust the Precision and Skill values. Several values (skillFriendly; skillEnemy; precisionFriendly; precisionEnemy) in the Arma3Profile have been made obsolete; in their place, skillAI & precisionAI are used instead. Remember, they are taken into account only if the selected AI Level is "Custom". aiLevelPreset is used to define selected AI Level in current difficulty preset (0 - Low, 1 - Normal, 2 - High, 3 - Custom). But here goes another disclaimer: by using custom settings, while you may see that some values may give better results than any of the 3 fixed levels (don't forget to tell us!), you can also completely break the AI. Your AI, your call.
TACK INTO THE WIND
The work we're doing now isn't about making radical or 'headline' changes, but creating a better foundation. We listen to you carefully (even if the results can be far from immediate!). Looking to the horizon, we have some additional, modest-scope work to further improve basic things like configuring difficulties - giving us a more solid base to build on further. One idea is to take a similar 'fixed presets' (plus one custom) approach to the general difficulty settings. Would that help in MP, so next time you go to a 'Recruit' server you know what to expect or you throw yourself into deep unknown Custom? Should we take a look into how is it possible to adjust individual AI units? Make presets instead of one unmarked 0.2-1 slider in the Create Unit window? Or, even, touch the very AI sub-skills themselves?
Trying to get inside the AI's mind has never been an exact science. It is the indeterministic nature of any issue regarding the AI that makes it a challenge to isolate, identify, debug, fix and then test properly. You don't want to know whether AI with y skill kills x enemies in a given t and y+0.216 skilled AI kills x+1 enemies. Rather, listen to you heart. Were you expecting a conscript freshman and have you just been sniped by someone with skills no less than Jason Bourne's? What's wrong? Can we cast out the mission design or the AI use? Is it the AI superhuman or superbad? Are the difficulty settings too high even if they are set to Low or vice versa? Have you found some better values? Tell us! Please let us know on FT or discuss it across on our official forums (here if it relates to the AI behavior or here if it's more about the configuration and levels).
Korneel van 't Land has informed us about the new Arma 3 Guerrilla warfare video guide release.
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday 27th March 2014
Bohemia Interactive today released a brand new episode in their official Community Guide video series for Arma 3. In the latest episode, Andrew Gluck (better known as Dslyecxi) from ShackTactical explores the concept of guerrilla warfare - something which factors heavily into the Arma 3 singleplayer campaign.
Guerrilla warfare relates to an asymmetrical form of combat, where a smaller, less equipped force fights against a larger and more conventional military force. Approaching the concept from the perspective of guerrilla fighters, the new video explains how to deal with the equipment disparity, how to conduct successful hit-and-run attacks, how to safely withdraw from the area of operations, and more.
Bohemia Interactive’s Community Guide video series aims to explain some of the basics of Arma 3. Previous episodes focused on topics such as infantry combat, multiplayer teamwork, helicopters, sniper- and launcher teams, combined arms warfare, and air assault. The full Community Guide playlist is available on Arma 3’s official YouTube Channel.
People can already purchase the regular edition of Arma 3 (44.99 EUR/39.99 GBP/59.99 USD) or the Arma 3 Digital Deluxe Edition (49.99 EUR/42.99 GBP/64.99 USD) from Steam and Store.bistudio.com. A boxed version of the game is also available at many of the major retailers.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Campaign completed, Zeus development wrap PRECEDENCE: Flash
There were lots of releases last week: the conclusion to our campaign, CAS jets, new Altis locations (which in many other games could be considered a new 'level' by themselves), Terrain Builder and more. Get all the Intel from the SPOTREP and TECHREP. And because you can never have too many REPs, encoder Martin Gregor has posted an OPREP about fixed-wing configuration. He discusses what went into taking the static 3D models, and adding functionality to them. Encoders tackle the configuration and tweaking of weapons systems, flight models, cockpit instruments and component animations to name a few things. There are also some differentiating characteristics between both CAS jets. Finally, he mentions further tweaks (to the flight models), which are already coming up.
Arma 3 Zeus principal development has wrapped meanwhile. The last feature (for now) to be added was a Close Air Support module. Using it you can quickly summon gun runs and / or rocket strikes. The Zeus developers are now focusing on fixes and tweaks until it gets released. Zeus content will go on data lock soon, so we're in the final stages and very keen to get it into everyone's game.
The Make Arma Not War contest newsletter for March was just sent out. It mentions when submissions and registrations are likely to be opened. As previously revealed, this is related to our team's work on add-on support for the Steam Workshop. We're close to having the full arch implemented internally, meaning publication of an add-on and downloading it on the other end. Another topic in the newsletter covers voting and otherwise supporting contest entries.
There is a known issue related to Object Builder and connecting the Buldozer viewer. Running OB directly from Steam may prevent connection to this viewer. By using a custom shortcut or launching the executable directly, things should work.
Terrain Builder suffers another known issue. The tool cannot handle newly binarized data (version 59 is used in Arma 3). This means binarized A3 data cannot now be used, but new source data or licensed source data can. We're looking at a solution. Also, TB was released 'as is' and how we use it internally (which is source data, not binarized data). The next step is doing some feasible improvements and fixes.
Tweaking of UAVs continues as Borivoj Hlava reports: "there was a request from players about the possibility to create markers directly in the UAV Terminal. When we looked into this request, it seemed reasonable to make the controls of the UAV Terminal similar to the controls of the Map. So now you can create markers by double-clicking the Left Mouse Button, single waypoints by Shift + Left Mouse and multiple waypoints by Ctrl + Left Mouse." This change should be in devbranch tomorrow.
Just ahead of the 1.14 release, members of the community discovered issues (via devbranch) with the static object ID technology we intended to roll out. In short, the technology works in our tools and engine generally, but does not work for script commands using these IDs. Our team does not use such script commands, so these issues were unfortunately missed. A number of community mods and modes do however rely on them. We decided it would be better to revert the technology until an improved - but also more complex - solution is found. That means the current 1.14 game version, as well as Terrain Builder do not use static object IDs.
The 1.14 update initially introduced a multiplayer server crash that was swiftly hotfixed the next day. We can imagine the frustration this generates with those trying to get their daily fix of Arma 3. Having to hotfix is not something we're happy about ourselves either, and we are trying several methods to prevent them. This ranges from more elaborate automatic testing, to a way of public validation of release candidates (also allowing mods to prepare their mod ahead of release). It's not straight forward. Often the issues are not found on devbranch due to subtle differences to the main game. Or they are revealed in user-generated content. By that we mean such content is using the engine and scripting functionality in ways we do not focus on internally, not that the content is necessarily made in a less-than-ideal way. Another recent MP crash was actually caused by updates to the Steam back-end (Workshop) beyond our control. Long story short, we'll try to do better.
UNIT: Martin Gregor, Encoder, Encoding Dept. TO: Arma 3 Dev-Branch Users OPSUM: Expanding the Sandbox: introducing CAS planes to Arma 3.
Recently, Arma 3 received two new fixed-wing aircraft: the A-164 'Wipeout' and the To-199 'Neophron'. In this OPREP we'll take a look at these new assets, discuss their role, details and differences but also outline what's new for planes in general - improvements that benefit our own vehicles as well as future community creations!
Both of these single-seat aircraft perform Close Air Support (CAS) roles for their respective factions - the A-164 for NATO and To-199 for CSAT - meaning that they're armed with a wide array of weapons to neutralize most ground targets: air-to-surface tactical missiles against heavy armor, high explosive and armor piercing rockets to deal with infantry and vehicles, laser-guided bombs for static targets and 30mm cannons for wreaking havoc all-round. While they're not meant for dealing with airborne threats, they do carry a few AA missiles for self-defence.
While they perform the same role, the new planes are not just a mirror image of one another with a different model. The A-164 has larger armament and lower stall speed than its CSAT counterpart, whereas the To-199 is lighter and significantly faster. Both planes can take off and land from most Altis airstrips (though you may have a hard time on the shortest ones).
Concerning the exteriors, the A-164 uses decelerons (a combination of ailerons and airbrakes into a single control surface), while the To-199 has an airbrake on top of its fuselage and two sets of air intakes for its engines: frontal for normal flight and on top, which it switches to during low level flight (takeoff or landing).
DEVIL'S IN THE DETAIL
The differences are not limited to gameplay aspects only; we wanted both planes to have unique visual features. In the cockpit you can notice that each HUD has its own style, with differences in colour, font and graphical representation of scales for altitude and heading. In another modest refinement, the status of weapons can now be easily reviewed on cockpit displays. They show ammo depletion for each weapon and indicate which weapon is currently selected.
Naturally, the planes feature animated retractable gear and standard control surfaces (rudders, elevators and ailerons) as you would expect from previous Arma instalments. There are working landing lights on the gear as well as position and collision lights all around the planes. Some time back we broadened the options for the configuration of blinking lights. Where before we had simultaneous lights with a one second period, now the game enables any patterns you want, and collision lights on the planes make use of this.
The flight model has also experienced some refinement, too. Besides the sensitivity of control surfaces, it's now possible to tinker with forces that pull the plane towards its direction of orientation, with torques that try to line up nose of the plane towards the direction it's travelling in and finally with engine thrust that can be configured as dependence on speed, similarly how lift force is. These changes don't make Arma 3 a true 'flight simulator', but they do allow us to create more diversity in what each plane is like to fly.
In a near-future update, you should see controls of all the lights displayed on the pilot's HUD. We're also looking into adding even more parameters to the flight model to improve the behaviour of planes with consideration to your feedback. For now, we hope you will enjoy changing the tide of your battles with these new strong support assets and that they were worth the wait.
Korneel van 't Land has informed us about Arma 3 "Win" campaign third episode release.
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday 20th March 2014
Supported by a brand new trailer, Bohemia Interactive today released the third and final episode for the Arma 3’s campaign. The episode, titled ‘Win’, brings a conclusion to the story of infantry man Ben Kerry – a soldier who finds himself caught in the middle of a Mediterranean flashpoint.
Arma 3's 'The East Wind' campaign consists of three episodes. The first episode - Survive - introduces players to soldier Ben Kerry, who has been stationed in the Republic of Altis & Stratis as part of a NATO peacekeeping operation. After a staged drawdown from the region fails, players have to fight for survival against a better equipped and more powerful enemy. The second episode - Adapt - picks up where the first episode ended, and follows Kerry as he links up with a group of guerrilla fighters, aiming to cripple AAF and CSAT forces. The campaign's final act - Win - continues as the situation escalates even further, and players must deploy all the skills and experience they've gathered to bring the flashpoint to a resolution.
Together with the latest campaign episode, Bohemia Interactive also deployed an expansion of Arma 3's sandbox content. Two new aircraft, the A-164 Wipeout and To-199 Neophron, deliver a whole range of tactical options to the NATO and CSAT factions. Moreover, the A-164 CAS jet, which is a successor to the legendary A-10, is also introduced via the brand new ‘Fixed-Wings’ showcase scenario. Another addition is the Tempest transport truck, which comes in multiple variants: cargo, refuel, medical, repair, and ammo re-supply. Last but not least, new points of interest have been added to the massive 270 km˛ Altis terrain, with the most notable locations being the athletics stadium and ghost hotel compound.
After downloading today's automatic update on Steam, people will be able to play the full Arma 3 singleplayer campaign. The exact changelog for the 'Win' update can be found here. Those who have not yet enlisted, can purchase the regular edition of Arma 3 (44.99 EUR/39.99 GBP/59.99 USD) or the Arma 3 Digital Deluxe Edition (49.99 EUR/42.99 GBP/64.99 USD) from Steam and Store.bistudio.com. A boxed version of the game is also available at many of the major retailers.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: 'Win' release, Terrain Builder, Object IDs PRECEDENCE: Flash SITUATION
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: 'Win' release, Terrain Builder, Object IDs PRECEDENCE: Flash
Thursday is the day we will finally deliver the complete "The East Wind" campaign. We made the commitment to bring you three episodes, and we're glad to now make good on that. Combined, we think the episodes produce for a worthy singleplayer experience. Don't forget to explore beyond the primary objectives. There are side objectives that expand on the goings-on, e.g. when patrolling away from your camps.
And there's lots more in the "Win" update:
To-199 Neophron CSAT CAS jet A-164 Wipeout NATO CAS jet Tempest CSAT heavy truck with variants(transport, fuel, repair, ammo, etc.) Altis Points Of Interest: Ghost Hotel compound and Stadium 13 new music tracks in the Soundtrack Bonus folder for (Digital) Deluxe Edition owners
We hope you'll enjoy experimenting with the sandbox content and playing through the full campaign! Our team is now turning its gaze back onto Arma 3 Zeus, prepping it for release in the coming weeks.
Terrain modders will be glad to hear we can finally release our terrain tool, which we've renamed Terrain Builder (formerly Visitor). This is the version we use internally for the most part. As it's not yet fully tested outside of our office environment, there may be issues with this initial release. It should however be a big step forward for creating custom terrains.
One significant change this version of TB brings with it is the introduction of static object IDs. Until now these IDs would often get regenerated when we updated Stratis and Altis. With this change, any placed object should retain its ID forever. We would still recommend not relying on these IDs in your scenarios or scripts, but realize some advanced applications cannot be handled differently. The environments included with the 1.14 update are using this technology already.
At the same time, we're renaming Oxygen to Object Builder, making the Arma 3 Tools suite more consistent. One more addition, based on popular demand, is the P-drive. This simple batch file should create a virtual drive with all necessary components for Buldozer viewer in Object Builder. Later we would like to make setting up the viewer more straightforward.
Achievement Unlocked! Yes, we've added 5 Steam Achievements to Arma 3. They are all campaign-related and basically give you bragging rights for completing the episodes. Don't worry about us adding a lot of typical shooter achievements. We don't think many of these fit the style of Arma (e.g. Kill 50 enemies using headshots!). There are other types of achievements which we do believe can work, such as those rewarding the use of the editor and Steam Workshop. We are also taking into account the results of a survey we ran about achievements and other online services a long time ago.
There are many more changes to Altis than the new keypoint locations! There is a set of new objects to enrich the immersion, as well as lots of fixed Feedback Tracker issues. Environment Lead Martin Pezlar gives us the run-down in a new OPREP.
Designer Karel Morický and programmer Filip Sádovský continue to wrap up their work on the initial Zeus release. Recently, they have changed the (mouse) control scheme to follow the industry standard for Real-Time Strategy. This was also needed to allow for context-sensitive waypoint placement on objects for example. Some of the controls can be mapped in the options, and you may need to reset or remap them if you've tried Zeus previously. Their most-recent work is less visible: it was time to prepare the content for translation.
On Monday 17th March 2014 , Martin Pezlar has reported an ALTIS UPDATES on the official Arma 3 web site. This OPREP has been released for Arma 3 Dev-Branch Users but seems to apply to the upcoming newly improved Altis terrain along with the final campaign episode.
UNIT: Martin Pezlar, Environment Lead, Environment Design Dept. TO: Arma 3 Dev-Branch Users OPSUM: Environmental enhancements: locations, details & updates. EVALUATION
We're excited to finally present our newly improved Altis terrain. As we mentioned previously, this update includes two significant location additions alongside a variety of other modest improvements. Although we've only increased the total number of objects by 0.5% - bringing the total count to 1779883 - we feel that these additions make a real difference, offering new gameplay opportunities and adding new diversity to urban areas.
These are no crazy last-minute additions to the existing terrain; rather, they were part of our wish-list from quite early on. However, with development time running short ahead of Arma 3's launch, we faced a question of priorities. In the end, we decided not to include these locations and, rather, update them later in proper quality. Now they're out in the wild, we hope that when you see them for yourself, you'll agree it was worth the wait!
The big locations - 'Ghost Hotel' and 'Stadium' - are great new points of interest. In other more linear shooter games, areas of such scale could themselves be stand-alone maps. Here in Arma 3, though, it's just another tasty piece of an already rich Altis pie. These unique areas offer up new possibilities for single and multiplayer scenarios. Off the top of my head, you might fortify the Stadium and create some kind of siege mission. Want to be more playful and fool around? No problem: organize a multiplayer athletics event!
The Ghost Hotel is a different cup of tea. It's quite a large and atmospheric location, featuring several unique structures. There's the main hotel building - a multi-storey structure that's ideal for multiplayer CQC - nestled alongside swimming pools and apartments. The whole compound has been deserted for several years, so the overall look and feel is quite creepy; the place has a distinctive atmosphere, particularly at night. We're looking forward to seeing what scenarios you come up with.
Aside from these new locations there are plenty of authentic extras to be found all across Altis. We've added kiosks, ATMs, phone booths, playgrounds and other details to streets, beaches and ports. These improve the overall visual impression and offer up more gameplay options for custom scenarios and existing mods. These new objects can also be placed via the in-game editor. Besides these additions, another 80 signposts were added to crossroads all over the Altis to improve navigation, and some flat, boring fields in the eastern part of Altis were improved by terrain sculpting and vegetation tweaking.
Stratis and Altis also use a newly introduced static ID technology. This should guarantee that the IDs of objects placed in a terrain's WRP will remain the same no matter what we add/remove/patch in the source map project. In other words, for scenarios that use specific IDs, this should be the last time a massive change of IDs will occur.
The new version of Altis also includes a batch of fixes that were previously reported in the Feedback Tracker by you, the Arma 3 community. Thank you very much for each one of them! However - although we've tried our best to avoid major disruption - please keep in mind that newly placed objects may affect your existing scenarios. We advise you to check your scenarios after the map update to ensure their functionality and, if necessary, to reposition your mission around newly placed entities.
Although we've increased the complexity of certain locations, our testing indicates that there's no noticeable stability or performance impact associated with the new additions. However, in case you encounter any map-related problems (e.g. floating/misplaced map objects) feel free to report it on our feedback tracker, using the category 'Visual-Environment'. We hope that you enjoy the enhanced version of our terrain as much as we do. See you all on Altis!
Korneel van 't Land has informed us about the Arma 3’s final campaign episode ‘Win’ release on March 20.
Prague, Czech Republic, Tuesday 11th March 2014
Bohemia Interactive has set a release date for the third and final campaign episode of their tactical military shooter and combined arms game, Arma 3™. Available on Thursday March 20th, players will be able to conclude the story of infantryman Ben Kerry - a soldier who’s been stationed in the Republic of Altis & Stratis as part of a NATO-peacekeeping mission.
Arma 3’s ‘The East Wind’ campaign consists of three episodes: ‘Survive’, ‘Adapt’, and ‘Win’. The final act follows the situation as it escalates further, with NATO forces in the Mediterranean on the brink of all-out war with the AAF and their strategic partners, CSAT. Given greater responsibility – and facing a more formidable enemy – players must deploy all the skills and experience they've gathered to bring the flashpoint to a resolution.
“The final installment of our campaign gives players the chance to experience combat on a larger scale than we've seen so far”, said Arma 3’s Creative Director Jay Crowe. “Tactical freedom - together with big, combined arms engagements - is at the heart of Episode 3’s gameplay, as we follow Ben Kerry’s story to its conclusion.”
The episode’s content package also includes three brand new vehicles. The first new vehicle making its way into Arma 3’s sandbox is the A-164 Wipeout single-seat aircraft. The A-164 Wipeout, successor to the legendary A-10, features improved performance and armaments, adding some real punch and some great new gameplay opportunities to the NATO faction. The other new aircraft is the To-199 Neophron, which serves as a great addition to the CSAT forces due to its agility. The To-199 Neophron is perfect for Close Air Support and taking off from rough terrain. The third new vehicle is a 6x6 mine resistant standard transport truck, named Tempest. Its primary role is to carry troops and cargo, and its modular design allows for several transport variants of the Tempest truck: cargo, refuel, medical, repair and ammo re-supply.
Last but not least, the Win campaign episode delivers a separate ‘Fixed-Wing’ Showcase mission, which introduces players to the new aircraft via a thrilling new scenario. The massive 270 km˛ Altis terrain has also not been left untouched. New points of interests have been added, with the highlights being an athletics stadium and ghost hotel compound.
The ‘Win’ campaign episode, including the new vehicles and other content, will be made available to all Arma 3 owners as an automatic update on Steam. To play through the first two campaign episodes, and experience the rest of Arma 3’s diverse offering, people can already purchase the regular edition of Arma 3 (44.99 EUR/39.99 GBP/59.99 USD) or the Arma 3 Digital Deluxe Edition (49.99 EUR/42.99 GBP/64.99 USD) from Steam and Store.bistudio.com. A boxed version of the game is also available at many of the major retailers.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: 'Win' devbranch & release, Weather for everyone, Zeus intel PRECEDENCE: Flash
Internally we have just applied the 'data lock' for the 'Win' campaign episode and associated content (jets, truck, Altis locations!). We are no longer adding new things to this milestone, but focusing on getting it ready for release. The first public release moment is staging on devbranch, hopefully later this week. Then, on March 20th, we open it up to everyone - packaged as the 1.14 update.
As with the devbranch release of previous episodes, we would like to ask you to avoid spoilers for those waiting for the full release. We're appreciative of your feedback, but if you want to minimize risk to your experience and savegames - consider not yet trying the episode at this stage. It's only another week away.
Zeus is to be released as a game update not very long after 'Win'. Feature and technology development for that initial version is wrapping up with some pretty cool features. Zeus will have control over moving characters in and out of vehicles, fire support modules and context-sensitive waypoints. Beyond that, we will see how successful Zeus is once it's out there for everyone. We're seeing a good bit of excitement and a lot of us really enjoy playing it - so we hope to be able to support it more.
New audio configuration options make it finally possible to handle high rate-of-fire weapons fire better. Basically it's possible to have a sample with an intro, looping mid-section and outro. This was specifically needed for one of the new CAS airplanes, but it can be used in other places as well.
Inspired by similar work done in DayZ, our programmers have worked on weather and time synchronization in multiplayer (their state being distributed automatically across clients). A first version of this is available on devbranch.
Continued work on autonomous vehicle technology has brought access to a real-time video feed from connected drones. It's still a work-in-progress, but should be available underConfigure > Controls > Keyboard > Common > AV Camera.
Devbranch will soon be receiving an option in the multiplayer server browser to switch between master servers. The default will be GameSpy's for the time being, but you will now also be able to list servers via Steam. We are exploring further integration of Steamworks, and the enhanced functionality it brings to MP. The primary difference may be that Steam's implementation will find fewer servers through complex NAT. We are keen to find out precisely how many servers are affected by NAT issues, and whether these issues can be resolved via network configuration.
Check out last week's TECHREP and SPOTREP for info on the 1.12 update, servers and tools. Unfortunately we had to follow-up on Friday with a multiplayer stability hotfix. While that resolved the primary instability, we are still looking at other problems for 1.14. Apologies for the inconvenience; we are exploring better ways to handle large-scale MP testing ahead of game updates. Many of these issues do not show up in devbranch due to the slight differences in game / engine configuration.