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  SITREP #00166 Official    

On July 27, 2016, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00166 on the official Arma3 site.

FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Maintenance, Apex Blog, Launcher Mod Search, Feedback Tracker Guide
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


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!

INTELLIGENCE


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!



OPERATIONS


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.

LOGISTICS


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




  July 28th, 2016 - 06:33 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00165 Official    

On July 19, 2016, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00165 on the official Arma3 site.

FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Profiling Branch, Recruiting, Wallpapers
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


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!

INTELLIGENCE


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!


Can't get enough of the many sights and sounds made possible by Tanoa and the Apex sandbox content? CallMehTOMMEH has published his very own fan-made launch trailer. Those are some solid flying skills on display - kudos!



OPERATIONS


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).

LOGISTICS


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!


  July 19th, 2016 - 17:55 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00164 - APEX release Official    

On July 12, 2016, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00164 on the official Arma3 site.

FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Apex Released, Apex Protocol
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


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.




INTELLIGENCE


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.



OPERATIONS


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.

LOGISTICS


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.

As per Standard Operating Procedure we've also updated Arma 3 Tools and Arma 3 Samples yesterday. Get the fresh details from the most recent TECHREP.




  July 12th, 2016 - 23:22 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  SITREP #00163 Official    

On July 5, 2016, Joris-Jan van 't Land has reported a SITREP #00163 on the official Arma3 site.

FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Imminent Apex Release, Squad Communications, Units Stage Two, Mobile Ops
PRECEDENCE: Flash

SITUATION


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.

INTELLIGENCE


We've recently said our goodbyes to a true champion in Bohemia Interactive's Publishing team: Executive Producer Jan 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.






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.




LOGISTICS


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.


  July 8th, 2016 - 06:13 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  

  Arma 3 Apex Live Stream Videos    

Arma 3 Apex Live Stream has been added on Arma3 YouTube channel.



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

  July 5th, 2016 - 18:02 By Old Bear   Comment (0)  



 
 
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