Joris-Jan van 't Land has informed us about Arma 3 Alpha updates to version 0.58.
Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday 23rd May 2013
Bohemia Interactive has released a major new update for the Arma 3 Alpha. The most notable improvements in version 0.58 involve the new dedicated combat and stealth radio protocols, plus all-encompassing tweaks to lighting and audio. Also, Multiplayer Dedicated Server administrators now have access to a separated executable to host such servers more conveniently.
The complete changelog for 0.58 is provided together with the update and can also be found on the official Arma 3. The Arma 3 Alpha will update automatically via Steam.
To participate in the Arma 3 Alpha, people can choose from the Arma 3 Alpha (24.99 EUR/19.99 GBP/32.99 USD) or Arma 3 Digital Deluxe Edition (39.99 EUR/34.99 GBP/49.99 USD) on Steam or Store.bistudio.com. Prices will increase once the Arma 3 Beta and full game become available. For a complete overview of the separate editions, be sure to visit the Arma 3 website.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Alpha Users INFO: Hotfix release, audio changes, community PRECEDENCE: Flash
SITUATION Late last week we published an unscheduled hotfix (SPOTREP #00003) to default branch of both Alpha and Alpha Lite. Although the changes did not affect Lite, we want to keep them the same on the data-side. In no way do we feel this fully 'solved' the multiplayer security issues. The efforts described last week will surely continue.
The second big thing which dominated past week was the audio overhaul. Our audio team and audio programmer Frantisek Novak in support, made large changes to the sounds of most assets (and the tweaking will be in progress for the coming weeks). Ondrej Matejka took some time to explain the changes related to volume, sample normalization, distance versus loudness and the WSS file format. The current state on Development branch is known to have a number of errors, missing sounds and unfinished volume settings. In the end this will benefit the way the game sounds, which is of similar importance as how it looks.
INTELLIGENCE We're loving the newly added widget showing custom messages from those who purchased the Supporter Edition! It's energizing to take a few minutes during the day to read the supportive and funny messages that roll by. Currently only those people who opted in for the game credits are shown, but we are working on extending this for the rest (for the widget only).
Yet another rotation of community projects is being shown off in the Community Focus widget on the main website: flashpoint.ru, machinima, a UGL video guide, and camouflage samples for modders. The full archive is available here.
OPERATIONS We are now transitioning to put focus on our next big public release: the Beta. It's still weeks away, but we need to start preparing and finalizing the sandbox content, new playable content, features and all supporting assets, such as artwork. The plans are all in place, and we are scrambling to execute them well.
LOGISTICS The Steam Client has a new field in the application properties' "BETAS" tab. It allows you to enter access codes for restricted branches. This does not currently affect Arma 3 Alpha. We only have one branch (Development) and it's not password-protected.
Today Joris-Jan van 't Land has released a SPOTREP #00003 spotted on Arma3 site
FROM: Project Lead TO: Alpha Users UNIT: Arma 3 Alpha, Arma 3 Alpha Lite ACTIVITY: Game Update: 0.56 (multiplayer security) SIZE: ~38 MB
Added: Functions are now compiled using newly introduced compileFinal Added: Functions meta data are now secured against rewriting Removed use of vulnerable script commands in DynO functions Added: BIS_fnc_log enabled in public version when 'allowFunctionsLog = 1;' is set in description.ext Fixed: BIS_fnc_sideColor can now load non-number values Fixed: BIS_fnc_functionMeta was not working with scenario and campaign functions Added: Scenario / campaign functions now support 'forced' param, allowing them to be executed automatically upon mission start Added: BIS_fnc_spawn Added: Ability to execute BIS_fnc_execVM and BIS_fnc_execFSM without arguments Fixed: BIS_fnc_error was not working correctly Changed: Splendid Camera roll speed decreased, users should no longer be inclined to take screens with too extreme roll
Fog is now really enabled for this branch getFuelCargo, getAmmoCargo, getRepairCargo commands added Fixes to serialization of particle emitters Fixed: shoreline was not covered by fog properly Correct vonCodecQuality is set now Fixed: Animation source gear for PhysX vehicles Fixed: Ships are now using the correct Arma 3 gearbox Merge from OA: attack helicopter was unable to engage with rockets (PhysX-compatible) Fixed: canMove on a vehicle with dead driver would return false in some cases Improved synchronization of structure destruction in MP Hotfixed: http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=5928 (MP crash) Fixed: AI now uses optics better to detect enemies Fixed: Switching HDR settings could cause graphical corruption Added: Removing destroyed buildings from PhysX simulation Fixed: Crash opportunity related to PhysX Added: new events for inventory event handlers: "Take" and "Put" Fixed: improved path planning related to roads Tweaked darkness detection and use of NVG by AI Minor optimizations to dynamic lights Added: difficulty command to return high-level selected difficulty mode Added: getArtilleryETA script command Input Array: [unit, targetX, targetY, targetZ, magazineType] Returns: ETA of the first available mode (the mode the AI will probably use) Fixed: Glitch in blending of 2 animations masks Added: compileFinal command Removed fully script commands: setVehicleInit, clearVehicleInit, processInitCommands Made all script commands final (no longer possible to reassign in most circumstances) Fixed: healing sound could play in an endless loop Attenuation of dynamic lights can now be influenced by a new parameter in asset configuration - maximum distance of light On steep surfaces, players now crouch instead of fully standing up -showScriptErrors enabled by default To allow better debugging (may or may not be changed for final release)
FROM: Project Lead TO: Alpha Users INFO: MP security, Dedicated Server files, audio and lighting tweaks PRECEDENCE: Flash
For most of our Alpha testers, last week has mostly been about the multiplayer service being interrupted by servers manipulated with scripting exploits. The situation was worse than single servers being hacked, since it easily spread to clients, who would then also bring it to the next server they connected to. In the Operations section I've detailed some of the steps we've taken so far, and those we'll take from now on to improve the situation. A lot can be said about the root of the problem we're facing here - perhaps a good topic for a blog at some point. It boils down to the concepts of freedom and security and how badly they often mix.
We pride ourselves on the open platform that Arma games are built on. Unfortunately this extremely flexible platform can both be used for creative modding and malicious purposes like MP griefing. Most solutions for improved security mean taking away freedom and putting restrictions in place (there are obviously many real world comparisons to draw here). For a very practical example of this you can see the response to deliberately removing three scripting commands: improved security, but broken community content.
I do not believe for a moment we can have both freedom and fully secure MP without serious restrictions. The only seemingly valid method would be an approach taken by the DayZ project via its MMO architecture. Keep in mind this concept does not gel with Arma 3 as it was designed - it means all client actions are validated on a server, and this makes client-side modding and scripting much more difficult. Acceptable for DayZ, not for Arma 3. We will however do our best to improve security, reduce vulnerabilities and walk the fine line between freedom and security based on your feedback.
A more extensive description of lighting tweaks was posted via lighting expert Pavel Guglava. It also serves as a feedback thread for the team. Data configuration is still rolling out in steps, but a large portion is available on Development branch now.
The Community Focus widget now has an archive (linked via the widget header), so you can see which community projects were put in the spotlights so far.
To repeat a point made previously: it is futile to argue we should not be working on e.g. lighting tweaks while security is compromised. Different people, different specialties, different roles. Even within the programming department it is simply not as easy as reassigning someone from rendering to netcode. That's not how it works and it never will.
We have deployed into Development branch a first set of measures to make this simplest form of security breach harder. Compiling scripted functions as 'final' is generally beneficial. Custom function designers will be able to re-compile for debugging using a description.ext parameter. The removal of certain script commands was deliberately done without transitional deprecation systems, to gauge effectively how widespread their use is. These specific commands were originally introduced to support never-supported functionality. We are looking into further methods of dealing with these and similarly vulnerable commands (also taking into account interesting proposals posted on the forums). One part of this is to better document alternative approaches to scripting methods. This has started on a page about the Functions Library.
It is planned to update the default branch with the current hotfix this week (target: Thursday). It should: reduce the ease with which this exploit spreads through all servers and it should stop this most simplest form of scripted exploit. It will definitely not: stop all hacks in Alpha MP.
Dedicated (third-party) anti-cheat solutions have not yet been added during the Alpha for which we have our reasons. As soon as we can, we will start rolling these out. This should help with some of the more advanced hacks.
Today we'll publish to Development branch, but then we will halt updates for two days. Publication should continue this Friday. The reason? We are making significant and extensive changes to the way audio and volume balancing are handled. These changes affect all assets with sound, and we want to make sure it all gets published in one go. There will also be a detailed description of the changes and what to test afterwards.
The Development branch now contains the Dedicated Server binary and required files. It can be run without needing to run a Steam Client, but has a significant known limitation at the moment: it is able to run one instance per machine. The data organization may change later once we go for a separate package.
FROM: Project Lead TO: Alpha Users INFO: Splendid screenshots, localization, Dedicated Servers PRECEDENCE: Flash
Development is proceeding as planned: perhaps a little more focused on the internal milestone this week. There are a lot of big tasks which you may not immediately see in the game, but they are mandatory and time-consuming. One of these is localization for different regions. The development team has to constantly prepare data so that it can be translated towards the end of the project. Configuration files and scripts usually contain thousands of literal strings, which must be moved to a localization database. Translation agencies can then do their thing and deliver the resulting texts. Those still need to be re-tested and tweaked within the game for context and length. Among others, designer Jiří Zlatohlávek has been working hard on cleaning the database and finding unlocalized texts, while Vladimír Hynek has started to prepare the font for languages such as Russian and Japanese with their character sets.
The main page Community Focus widget was updated with new items, including the Diver Stats scripted system for SCUBA simulation.
Read about how designer Thomas Ryan takes on Arma 3 scenario design in this interview. Thomas is currently working on several important singleplayer scenarios, as well as supporting systems, like the one managing in-game tasks.
Was last week's description of the new fog tech too abstract for you? Dslyecxi helps us by visualizing it.
A reminder e-mail was sent to those of the first 2500 Supporter Edition owners who had not yet opted into the game's credits. Check your spam filters to be sure!
We did a small-scale test using a separate Dedicated Server (Windows) executable. It does not require a Steam Client to be running, making it convenient for admins. So far the test has gone well, so we expect to roll this out to everybody in Development branch early next week. Another side effect should be that custom multiplayer scenario makers can test more easily on a single PC.
The Development branch discussion thread has seen some active debate about ongoing lighting changes. The full changes are still not done nor deployed. Every single light source is in process of having its properties tweaked, so the results visible now are a mixed bag where things are over-bright, not bright enough, broken, badly colored, etc. The lighting technician in charge has been asked to provide details, motivations and what to look for as soon as he gets a moment.
Audio Lead Jan Dušek has finished his configuration of the full radio protocol this week. Compared to the one available in the Alpha, there are many tweaks, but also improved chatter during combat. The next step is getting our Creative Director Crowe to record the well-known Jayholder voice-overs. Then we're ready to start recording final voice actors.
In his free time, designer Karel Mořický wrote a very extensive and intense guide on how to make epic screenshots in Arma 3. He describes which tools and tricks help you to do that; some less well-known than others. Show him what you've learned by entering the '2013 World Arma Photo' competition!
FROM: Project Lead TO: Alpha Users INFO: 0.54 update, fog of war, Play withSIX PRECEDENCE: Flash
Yesterday we did another update of both Alpha versions: full and Lite via SPOTREP #00002. There are many changes to the animations: extending the adjustable stance system to sidearms, new sideways prone movements and a long list of fixes. Updates in the areas of optimization and AI are also included, such as better performance when using the Picture-in-Picture feature within vehicles. Stability was targeted by fixing crashes reported on Feedback Tracker, but also by finding and solving a problem related to the implementation of PhysX. With the aid of NVIDIA, our programmers were able to fix a collision crash that was widely reported, but hard to reproduce. At the same time we have closed our first iteration of the internal project milestone, and are working on the second iteration - keeping the scenario designers quite busy!
Programmer Lukáš Bábíček explains what the recent fog improvements are about: "Density of haze now decreases with altitude. This means that there can be denser fog in the valleys than on mountain tops. Also when the camera is above the haze layer, you can see further. This change does not affect visibility fog (fog forced by viewing distance)." Unfortunately due to a communications slip up, this technology did not actually make it into the 0.54 update. It is available on Development branch however, and will be included with the next update of course.
By now we have launched the special webpage where the first Supporter Edition owners can opt-in to the game credits. So far over 1400 of the first 2500 supporters have submitted their name and optional message (which we intend to display on the main page in tile "Service Members"). We'd like to remind the remaining people who'd like to opt in to check any spam filters for the invite. We'll also send out a reminder soon.
We're closer to a separate Dedicated Server (Windows) binary, which does not require an additional license. It's being tested internally today and tomorrow, after which we'll do some quick small-scale testing with server administrators. If that goes well, the binary will be included into Development branch and get updated daily from then on. The fully separate data package is further away, but also being looked at.
Some shock was suffered after reading our update message about sprint movement speeds. Tweaking movement speeds in general is in-progress and we have published a few tweaks to Development branch today - for evaluation. Animation guru Pawel Smolewski will explain the changes and what to look for when providing feedback on the forums.
SIX Networks has released an updated version of their handy unofficial tool Play withSIX. This separate launcher utility can be very useful to manage modifications for example, allowing quick installations and automatic updating. It also has functionality for server browsing and keeping in touch with friends playing the game. Next to supporting Arma 2 and Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead, it also works with Arma 3 Alpha. Their team is continuously improving the software and they are eager to hear your feedback!
Today Joris-Jan van 't Land has released a SPOTREP #0002 spotted on Arma3 site
FROM: Project Lead TO: Alpha Users UNIT: Arma 3 Alpha, Arma 3 Alpha Lite ACTIVITY: Game Update: 0.54 (new fog technology, adjustable sidearm stances, crash fixes) SIZE: ~380 MB CHANGELOG DATA
Added: improved public debug console New light rendering added for bushes More detailed middle distance terrain texture added Adjustable stances for sidearms added Sprint speed decreased Tweaked transitions from ragdoll Fixed transition from free fall into swimming and onto land New animations for swimming with rifles Rifle kneel sprinting fix Rifle raised idling for AI fix Pistol prone movement improvements Rifle & pistol evasive move fixes (disabled optics) Removed sway in prone adjust low Pistol self healing Improved pistol kneel sprint animation Improved connection prone to sprint Player could shoot a sidearm during the healing animation Transition from prone to upright sprint while unarmed caused visual sliding Priority of actions in action menu adjusted Stratis terrain and object placement tweaks New post-process effects for injuries added Fixed fuel gauges for MH-9 helicopter family MH-9 can now carry more soldiers Duplicate target icon in Ka60 Helmet-Mounted Display removed Ifrit cargo pose added Compass visualization changed New secondary shadow LODs (glasses, bandoleer, belt, rebreather) Camouflage selection tweaks Fixed: Sites are no longer placing patrol waypoints on water Civilian Sites were disabled Logo and tagline splash screens merged Main menu game and version indicator could overlap Added: Any mission with description.ext has now loading mission box with "Unknown" text Added: Unknown author is now displayed also for maps Fixed: Mission restart now resets reload counter Added: Loading "continue" save will no longer raise the reload counter Fixed: Mission failed had two debriefing screens Fixed: "Lose" ending no longer shows "Mission Completed" title Fixed: Error icon is no longer shown for logics Fixed incorrect topic selection after closing and reopening Field Manual Fixed: "Respawn" button is no longer enabled in missions with respawn "NONE", "BIRD" or with missing respawn settings Added: "respawnButton" parameter can now enable the button in respawn types which would normally disable it Geometry fixing (AI collisions with buildings tweaked) Config classes for weapons cleaned Fixed: http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=4189 (fish no longer only swim North) Fixed: http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=6333 (EBR sight alignment) Fixed: http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=6719 (spelling error) Fixed:http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=3087 (fire geometry - wall) Fixed: http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=1903 Fixed: http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=3837 Fixed: http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=5511 Fixed: http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=5709 Fixed: http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=5619 Fixed: http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=6664
New fog technology implemented Picture-in-Picture optimization implemented Terrain shadows tweaked Fixed: AI no longer fires on targets it does not see (but which are reported by other group members) Fixed: http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=5210 (MP rotation synchronization fixed) Fixed: http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=1126 (Speed of sound delays tweaked) Changes and fixes merged from Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead beta patches MP pose synchronization fixed Improved performance related to object instancing Fixed - AI disembarking when moving to another vehicle position incorrectly Game loading with "addAction" crash fixed PhysX collisions related crashes fixed Fixed: http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=6881 (out of memory crash) Fixed: Crash while taking RPG Alamut from ground Larger string buffer for the 'format' script command Fixed: Reloading different magazine type could do nothing but remove the magazine Destruction of vehicle while manipulating with objects in its inventory fixed Ambient creatures' position after game load fixed Fixed: remote destroyed wheels have now the right distance detection to the ground Fixed: healing sound effects were endlessly looped Ships are no longer automatically deleted after destruction (consistent with other vehicle types) Free fall inventory access fixed Magazine manipulation while discarding weapons tweaked Items' behavior while moving from dead body to container tweaked Helicopter behavior improved (rotor simulation now does not allow helicopter to fly up-side down) AI running up and down hill tweaked Command 'stance' now returns more consistent values: "PRONE", "CROUCH" and "STAND" Fixed: RMB to equip did not work for binoculars Fixed: Vehicle commander stepped optics zoom did not function correctly Fixed: artifacts on water near shore when looking from high distance Solved issues related to flickering optics
FROM: Project Lead TO: Alpha Users INFO: Pending Alpha update, Supporter Editions PRECEDENCE: Flash
This is a busy week for the team. We are pushing hard for the internal milestone mentioned last week, but we have also begun preparing another Alpha and Alpha Lite update (default branch). The exact release timing by means of the second SPOTREP depends on whether we find major showstoppers or not. Meanwhile there have been some cool fixes in the Development branch, which will make it into this update. There are fixes to the simulation of speed of sound and delays for weapons and explosions, as well as the synchronization of character rotations in multiplayer. There has also been a fix in the combat AI, which means groups (who do share target info) will no longer have all members fire on targets which cannot be seen at all. Do note that certain other AI technologies can confuse you as to who knows about what: sight, hearing, 'guessing' and suppression are all factored in.
When we launched the Alpha, we said the first 500 people to purchase the Supporter Edition would get into the full game's credits. Since there were some issues with Store.bistudio.com on launch day, we are extending this to the first 2500 people. We feel this should cover all people who were affected.
Many of you are obviously eager to see more content in the Alpha. We do have several possible additions in our plans, but we will not detail them, nor say when we intend to release them until we are sure we can. The big update to look forward to is the start of Beta in Q2, which will have more vehicles, weapons and characters. What we can and want to release before that depends on many factors: testing focus (currently still infantry and general stability), fixing important new issues, priorities on full game content, etc. Don't count on much, so any additions during Alpha become a pleasant surprise. If we do release new content, it would appear in Development branch first.
Preparing the Alpha update means that an internal data snapshot is being made tomorrow, which we then put through quick testing and evaluation. The goal is to catch major issues such as crashes on start-up, but not to fix every bug (it's still an Alpha). We then stage the snapshot on Development branch for one or two days. Finally, the thing is green lighted and released via SPOTREP.
The first 2500 Supporter Edition owners will soon receive an e-mail with a link to a special webpage. On this page they will be able to opt into having their name displayed in the game credits. You will also likely be able to format how your name is to be shown, but we will need to moderate entries for the usual things. Stick to just using your name if you don't want to risk your entry not being used. We also plan to highlight opted-in supporters on our main Arma 3 website.
SITUATION As maintenance on the Alpha proceeds (see the Development branch changelog), we are also pushing towards an internal project milestone. It deals with having all the content for our Q3 full game release available in the game (not in the public Alpha!) so we can measure project progress. Primarily this means a lot of work for our campaign designers and the Altis environment team. Recently seeing some of the vistas shown in the campaign scenarios blew us away: stunning and varied locations aplenty! The team also enjoyed a modest Alpha release celebration after work last Thursday. This involved teams in two cities drinking beer 'competitively' with the establishment providing real-time rankings. No casualties were reported and we're all back to work refreshed and rested.
INTELLIGENCE Reminder: be aware of various scams supposedly offering free Steam codes! These are malware and trojan viruses designed to steal your account data.
The Community Focus widget on the main page was updated to put the spotlight on various different community projects (right side under the header - five tabs).
Community modder Kiory has released the results of making a custom SA80 rifle from scratch. Especially interesting was following his livestream to be part of the entire process from high-poly render to in-game and functional weapon. He also released all sources for others to learn from, making this an exemplary approach to modding.
OPERATIONS The Feedback Tracker's changelog and roadmap have started to be used in a more useful way since last week. This allows the team and reporters to indicate when a fix may appear in the public builds, and what was resolved so far.
We are deploying updates to the Development branch on Steam every day (changelog). One operation that is ongoing is cleaning our text database. This may cause various texts to be missing until we're done.
LOGISTICS Quite a few batches of Alpha Lite codes were released so far, and we'll continue to do so. If you have missed out until now: keep checking our Facebook and Twitter channels. There are also very many websites running competitions and giveaways.
SITUATION Yesterday we deployed the first update on the default branch of both the Alpha and the Alpha Lite (same changes). Next to a set of miscellaneous fixes, tweaks and additions, it also included some work-in-progress shadow improvements. The main idea was to make them look more soft, hide artifacts and also optimize the shaders powering them a little. We've also learned new lessons from this first 'patch', which we'll incorporate into our processes for the next one. We do have to keep stressing that we are in Alpha, meaning even pre-Beta. This means some updates will be a step forward in various areas, and potentially a step back in certain others (temporarily we hope). It also causes a lot of maintenance for creators of custom content and server administrators. Please remain patient as updates propagate into everyone's game, their servers and the mods.
INTELLIGENCE The 0.52 version unfortunately contained a particularly nasty crash in multiplayer, for which we have published a default branch hotfix.
Not all issues you may encounter are caused by the vanilla Alpha. Our own work is far from done, but please do take into account the potential downside of mods. If they become incompatible due to a game update, they may even cause the game not to start. First try to disable or remove mods and test again. Next, look for updates to such mods, or check with their creators about their status. This is a pitfall of being an open platform and having modding even during Alpha, but we firmly stand behind leaving it enabled throughout.
We've started to highlight cool community content via several channels. The main website has a Community Focus widget with several tabs that will be updated regularly. And on our social channels we'll occasionally link to useful websites, cool content, nice machinima and exciting mods. Let us know about nice content by Tweeting our official channel, using #Arma3, or promoting it in the forums.
It's almost time to let you know the specifics of the Supporter Edition and who made it into the credits for example. We feel we have a solution that is fair, given some of the troubles on release day. A special page with details and the opt-in functionality for those people will be made available soon. We again wish to thank everybody who is supporting us and Arma 3 development!
OPERATIONS Your Player ID (visible in the profile settings) may have changed to be longer. This is not a bug. Please update your Squad's XML indexing if you use it for multiplayer.
Performance optimizations, anti-cheat solutions, Dedicated Server packages and tool releases are all in progress. They are big tasks and once we have specific deployment dates, we will share those.
LOGISTICS The 0.52 update and all other updates are automatically downloaded via Steam if you did not manually disable that option. Sometimes restarting the Steam client helps to trigger the update, if it did not do so automatically.
Today Joris-Jan van 't Land has released a SPOTREP #00001 spotted on Arma3 site
FROM: Project Lead TO: Alpha Users UNIT: Arma 3 Alpha, Arma 3 Alpha Lite ACTIVITY: Game Update: 0.52 (shadow improvements, crash fixes, destructible windows) SIZE: ~310 MB CHANGELOG DATA
- Showcase SCUBA: *More forgiving alarm threshold *Added more hints *Improved scenario endings *More rockets for the launcher added - Showcase Helicopters: *Performance optimizations *Few minor tweaks - Showcase Vehicles: *More forgiving alarm threshold *Few minor tweaks - MP: Escape from Stratis *Fixed: Mission success after resuming game *'Combat Get In' module added *Respawn time is now 30 seconds (was 120) *Improved mission endings *New task appears when both choppers on the airfield are destroyed *New mission ending "all boats and helicopters destroyed" *Warning hint pops up when the group leader is AI controlled *Patrolling Ka-60 Black now unloads troops when under fire *More enemies at the airfield *Some new map locations populated - MP: Headhunters *"Exfiltrate" task is now set as current after all targets are eliminated *The mission will now end when either all players are near the exfil marker or in a boat *'Combat Get In' module added *Possible respawn desync in multiplayer fixed New scenario ending screen added Task notification visuals improved Seagull in "BIRD", "GROUP" and "SIDE" respawn replaced by a basic spectator camera Scenarios-button now always available, even when there's no content Added more entries into Field Manual Compass and watch re-sized Ka-60 minigun now rotates Ka-60 doors and glass made correctly penetrable MH-9 passengers can now see the tail Helicopter weapons tweaked Class names for Ifrits changed to be the correct ones Alamut and MX SW now have correct icons in command menu Countermeasures now stored in one magazine per vehicle Correct Alpha Lite logo in splash screens added Most windows in houses are now destructable Static weapons should be more durable, shouldn't be targetable by guided missiles and shouldn't be flippable by user action when destroyed Added more camoflage selections for vests and helmets Red faction uniforms have proper class names Changed priorities in action menu TRG iron-sights remodeled after feedback Collimator sights are now default primary on combined optics (Ctrl + RMB is the default switch) Camera shake on 6.5mm ammunition removed Server browser UI overlapping fixed in some places Squad URL is no longer automatically upper-cased (and thus broken) Editor loading took long when using MX rifles - fixed Added freelook in vehicles via default option Correct tracer colors have been distributed among factions Fish should be less inclined to travel on land
Shadow improvements implemented Improved network performance (vehicles are no longer lagging as much) Fixed several game crashes Fixed synchronization of cargo poses in MP Fixed various inventory-related bugs and crashes Improved vehicle collisions Grenades can no longer be thrown under water Fixed airplane / helicopter camera shaking Default and Development versions have different numbering to prevent incompatibilities in multiplayer
SITUATION Last week was busy with a more hidden release: Arma 3 Alpha Lite. There should already be plenty of codes available for it via people who purchased the Alpha earlier, via social channels and via many organized giveaways. The team is now working on two major parallel paths of development: Alpha maintenance and internal work on content such as the full game's campaign and the Altis environment. It's quite a different approach to how we are used to working, so we're still ironing out the kinks.
INTELLIGENCE If you purchased any of the Alpha editions, your Alpha Lite codes should be available as gifts in your Steam Inventory. Cross-joining multiplayer between default and Development branch was disabled on request of 124th Seagull Aviation Squadron. The Feedback Tracker now has a most-voted issue overview. Supporter Edition medals are being awarded on the forums. Not sure you want to use default or Development branch? Have a look at this brief summary.
OPERATIONS Quality Assurance have begun evaluating a new default branch update (could be released later this week). Our programmers are experimenting with improved shadows in the Development branch (smoother, minor optimizations). We are trying to maintain a manually compiled Development branch changelog, while we set up automation for this process.
LOGISTICS Head over to the forums to read up on switching between default and Development branches for the Alpha (not available for Lite). When you see us doing or releasing something you feel does not have priority (because it's not optimization or anti-cheat): keep in mind different tasks have different experts working on them. Campaign designers do not work on anti-cheat and vehicle artists do not optimize the engine code. Both tasks are also massive undertakings that will not be done quickly.
Today Korneel van 't Land from Bohemia Interactive has informed us about the Arma 3 Alpha Lite free invite-only variant release.
While the Arma 3™ Alpha leads Steam’s Top Sellers chart since launch, Bohemia Interactive today also made a free invite-only variant available. The Arma 3 Alpha Lite is a limited version of the Arma 3 Alpha – providing people with the opportunity to try out the singleplayer showcase missions, a selection of weapons and vehicles, and the scenario editor. Unlike the regular Arma 3 Alpha, the Arma 3 Alpha Lite does not feature a multiplayer component or modding support, and does not include access to the Arma 3 Beta and complete game later on. To participate in the Alpha Lite, people need to be invited by those who have purchased the regular Arma 3 Alpha. The Arma 3 Alpha Lite will be discontinued on June 18th, 2013.
Upgrading to the complete Arma 3 Alpha can be done by purchasing the Arma 3 Alpha (24.99 EUR/19.99 GBP/32.99 USD) or Arma 3 Digital Deluxe Edition (39.99 EUR/34.99 GBP/49.99 USD) on Steam. Extras in the Digital Deluxe Edition include a digital soundtrack*, digital maps*, digital tactical guide*, and a Steam Gift of Arma: Cold War Assault (formerly known as Operation Flashpoint™: Cold War Crisis). Both versions provide access to the Arma 3 Beta plus a digital version of the complete game upon release. The price of each edition will increase once the Arma 3 Beta and final game become available.
Those who would like to sponsor development further also have the option to purchase the Arma 3 Supporter Edition (69.99 EUR/59.99 GBP/91.99 USD) from Store.bistudio.com. Besides the additional Arma development support, this edition ships with all the extras from the digital deluxe edition, plus Supporter-exclusive rewards like a Steam Gift of Arma X, all future Arma 3 DLCs and a special forums medal. The full overview of editions, and their conditions, can be found on the official Arma 3 website.
For more information on Arma 3 and the Arma 3 Alpha, be sure to visit the official website at www.arma3.com
SITUATION Our entire team has received a big morale boost from the positive reception of the Alpha! Many of us have been collecting feedback from all channels and are making sure it ends up with the appropriate developers. We realize there is a long road ahead towards Beta and full release, but we are confident we are on the right track.
INTELLIGENCE "G is for Grenade" We are aware of requests for a more stream-safe GUI. Our designers are looking into the possibilities. MP hacking is another topic we are trying to tackle from several angles. The Alpha Lite is starting this Thursday (14 March), which is when the codes will start to be distributed. Modders, please have a look at our official stance on forward-porting Arma 1 / 2 content. There are several scams running that promise free and working Steam Codes. Note that these are often malware designed to hijack accounts for example. We thank all of you who have shown their support by buying the Alpha on Steam and via Store.bistudio.com!
OPERATIONS The programming team's priority is stability: targeting the most common crashes first. Another priority fix being worked is the synchronization of MP cargo positions (everybody seeming dead). Showcase and COOP fixes are also coming up, along with an assortment of things reported via the Feedback Tracker.
LOGISTICS We've pushed the first updates to the Development branch on Steam (including the first fixes for crash opportunities). See this guide on how to opt into that branch if you accept the risks of a less stable version. Some of our developers have immediately started to publish useful scripting and modding documentation: e.g. scripting, characters and weapons. The collection of documentation will be evolving and growing continuously.
BIS has released the first Alpha Report and the first video of their new series "Community Guide" on the offical ArmA 3 website
Community Guide: Introduction
Joining forces with ShackTac's Dslyecxi, the first video in the Community Guide series illustrates the authentic, diverse and open nature of Arma 3.
SITUATION The Arma 3 Alpha was released, and our team is actively monitoring all feedback flooding in. We’re prioritizing and starting work on fixes deployed onto the Steam Development branch.
INTELLIGENCE There were unfortunate issues with Store.bistudio.com during the release, and getting access codes to people took far too long. Our apologies! We are very happy on the other side to read the many positive reports regarding performance and the fluidity of movement, and the Alpha in general.
OPERATIONS Store support is still working through remaining requests and will focus on solving the issues for everyone. Read the updated statement on that here. We are evaluating how to best handle the ‘first 500’ situation, but will not ignore many of you were not able to get to the Store due to no fault of your own.
LOGISTICS Store.bistudio.com is up and running again, and all editions are available there. The Alpha and Digital Deluxe Edition are also available from Steam. Your feedback is most welcome in the Feedback Tracker. Check out the Known Issues page for some workarounds.
Korneel van 't Land has sent us a ‘2013 Sneak Preview’ Trailer to accompany the Arma 3 Alpha launch.
Marking today’s release of the Arma 3 Alpha, Bohemia Interactive has deployed a brand new ‘2013 Sneak Preview’ trailer for its upcoming military tactical shooter game, Arma 3™. The video explores the playable and sandbox content in the Alpha and scans the horizon for what is to come later this year.
The Arma 3 Alpha, which was officially announced one week ago, provides players with the opportunity to try out and provide feedback on the game’s military sandbox gameplay. The content in the Arma 3 Alpha is limited, and includes four showcase missions (Infantry, Vehicles, SCUBA and Helicopter), a subset of weapons and vehicles, two multiplayer scenarios, the scenario editor and modding support. Whereas the final game will also feature the 270 km˛ Mediterrean island of Altis, the Alpha is positioned on Stratis – which hosts 20 km˛ of rugged terrain, expansive forests and a man-made airbase.
The Arma 3 Alpha is now available for purchase on Steam and Store.bistudio.com.
For more information, be sure to take a look at the Alpha Briefing on the Arma 3 website. Here, you can also find an overview of the various Arma 3 bundle editions that give people access to the Arma 3 Alpha. Each of these editions include beta-access and a Steam version of the final game later on.
Last but not least, Bohemia Interactive also plans to release a free, limited version of the Arma 3 Alpha on March 14th, 2013. This version, named Arma 3 Alpha Lite, does not include multiplayer or modding - and requires an invite from people who have purchased the regular Arma 3 Alpha.