Korneel van 't Land has informed us that Bohemia Interactive had announced today its development plans for Arma 3 in the upcoming year. Introduced via a new post on the Arma 3 developer’s blog, the 2016-17 roadmap reveals a variety of planned DLC content, as well as post-release support in the form of free platform updates.
Launching Arma 3 Apex was a big moment in our project; July’s expansion was the most significant milestone since our original release, in 2013. In the months that have followed, we've been thrilled to see our players exploring and expanding upon the new content, features, and - of course - splendid new terrain, Tanoa. Meanwhile, our team has been busy.
Focusing upon both post-release support and looking ahead to the next stage of development, there’s been much evaluation, discussion, and - ultimately - the formation of a high-level plan. Now, we’d like to share our goals, highlight key updates, and talk a bit about how we’ll continue to support a mature platform in the context of planning for the future.
Infantry gameplay has long been at the heart of our development. Although it remains the backbone of our sandbox, we also recognise that there are several other avenues to explore. By expanding upon combined-arms content and features, we aim to create fascinating new opportunities for our community, and attract new players looking for a gateway to a massive military experience.
We're also looking to make longer-term investments (significant free updates, for everyone) that, we hope, help Arma 3 to continue to serve as platform for our community for years to come. To balance this effort - plainly speaking: to fund our project - we've prepared a number of premium packages and free updates, which translate our vision into real development.
Next year, air superiority jets will fight for control over our simulated skies. More details are forthcoming but, for now, we can confirm this package will be supported by a free platform update, with radar / sensor improvements as its stand-out feature. By adding more depth to threat detection and tracking, we aim to improve gameplay across the entire sandbox.
This year, we opened a new studio in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. With the goal of gradually building up experience, work has started on a small project, codenamed 'Orange'. While the exact direction isn't final, we're very much interested in exploring an interesting and unique perspective on the battlefield. It’s shaping up to be a valuable, innovative addition to the platform!
MALDEN FREE DLC
June 22nd, 2017, will be Arma’s 16th anniversary. We plan to mark the occasion with a free DLC, featuring an island familiar to veterans of our series: Malden. Starting out as a small passion project, Malden 2035 re-uses many vanilla structures, vegetation, etc., to recreate this classic terrain. There’ll be an announcement related to this work in the coming weeks.
Later next year, we aim to present players with a package of playable content: 'tactical operations' that focus upon challenging, replayable and authentic military gameplay, which makes the best use of our sandbox. This development is an opportunity for us to learn how to continue to support the platform, fund our project, and offer valuable new experiences for our players.
We round off this roadmap with an ambitious goal: overhauling the experience of armoured combat in Arma 3. This package will follow our well-established model: a set of premium assets, which bring something new to the sandbox, supported by platform improvements and additions for everyone, for free. We encourage our community to share their own wishes on the topic, too!
Traditionally, instalments in the Arma series enjoy a long tail of support and, in turn, sustain an active player-base. Arma 3 stays true to this vision. Aside from the major releases outlined above, we're also assembling a robust tools roadmap to better serve our content creators. Furthermore, we've identified several new ‘platform’ improvements not yet associated with specific updates.
To provide a few examples: later this year, we'll publish 64-bit executables to Dev-Branch; work on a full singleplayer conversion of the 'Apex Protocol' co-op campaign starts soon; Tanoa structures will gradually receive additional ruins / interiors - and its splendid audio fidelity will be extended to all terrains. Naturally, we’ll discuss these things (and more!) in greater detail soon™.
Associated development is planned, too. We’ll continue to provide / expand public samples and documentation. The Arma 3 Units service will enjoy some modest UX improvements. Work with our partners on experimental ports is set to continue, too. Although this roadmap seeks only to provide a high-level outline for now, we hope you’ll agree, there’s much to look forward to!
This is now our third post-release roadmap. Along the way, we've gained a lot of experience about what works well, and what doesn't. For example, we know that developing across multiple studios is tough! In part, multiple packages help us to manage that risk, grow experience in autonomous teams, and, ultimately, add value to the platform in a sustainable way.
We’re also looking beyond Arma 3. Indeed, some of the team have already moved onto new projects in support of the development of our next engine, 'Enfusion'. We aim to find a way to both invest in the future, and serve the diverse needs and passions of our existing community. With this roadmap, we hope to strike that delicate balance.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Community Focus, Open Job Positions PRECEDENCE: Flash
The development team is polishing existing features, tackling some inconsistencies in the sandbox, and preparing for the future of Arma 3. We look forward to unveiling all of the platform improvements and content additions we have planned, and while our 2016-2017 roadmap blog is currently receiving its final touches, we intend on sharing this Intel with you in the upcoming week.
Fans of the first half of the 20th century and its military may appreciate the CSA38 mod made by a Czech duo Ondřej Branžovský (who has meanwhile joined our ranks as a Junior Environment Designer) and Petr Tlach. Their creation focuses on the Czechoslovak army from the year 1938 (up until the Munich Agreement). Unique uniforms, weapons, vehicles (tanks included) and a terrain based on a real location; a bundle of content a fan of modern history simply cannot refuse. While they are still adding new assets to the package and polishing the existing ones, it already makes a very solid impression and provides tons of gameplay opportunities. Keep up the good work!
We're sharing quite an extraordinary video today: Real American Gamernarrating his campaign playthrough of Arma 3. Playing through The East WindDeath Valley scenario accompanied by his commentary makes it quite a unique experience, even for seasoned Arma players. Watch at your own risk, as the footage contains major campaign story spoilers and some colorful language. You can find more videos of this variety on Real Gamer's YouTube
Last week, we asked our players to test an updated memory allocator, which we hoped would help solve sudden performance drops. Thanks to you, we already have some community test results. Sadly, the newly introduced memory allocator does not solve the issue for all players. We've collected reports of all sorts: some claiming that the FPS drop disappeared completely, and some stating that their game runs much slower than with the regular memory allocator. Thanks everyone for your reports! We'll of course keep investigating the issue.
With so many talented people in our community, we'd like to highlight two of our current job openings: Game Capture Artist and Technical Artist - Encoder. Let us provide a few more details regarding both positions:
As a Game Capture Artist, you'd be helping us with the creation of various audio-visual materials. This ranges from taking screenshots, to capturing game footage for trailers and other videos, and more. While this role is not only focused on Arma 3 but all Bohemia Interactive games, basic knowledge of our titles and how to set up in-game scenarios is definitely a major plus. So, if you're an Arma 3 in-game photographer or video creator, and you'd like to make your hobby a profession (or if you know someone who fits this description), be sure to check out the details on our Careers page.
Also, our new Amsterdam studio is still looking for an Encoder / Technical Artist to join its team of devs. You'd be working with our artists to bring their creations to life in our games, by configuring their properties, setting up technical model components, tuning animations, prototyping features, tweaking behaviors, and much more. Whether you're an artist with interest in the technical aspects of the work, an Arma modder with knowledge of our technologies, or a junior programmer with multi-disciplinary experience in the creation of full games in another engine for example - check our job listing for all the details and application form!
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Roadmap Incoming, Memory Allocator Changes, Visual Upgrade Documentation PRECEDENCE: Flash
We're approaching another important step in the post-release support of Arma 3 and the finalization of the roadmap for the upcoming year. The development team has been busy outlining the future products, starting the pre-production phases, and brainstorming within the departments. Aside from that, a hotfix to the game is in the works; we hope to release it very soon if things go well. While progress on Arma 3 might not always be visible to public eyes, plenty of new exciting things are happening behind the curtains. We can't wait to start sharing bits of Intel in the upcoming weeks.
Community contributor (and author of the Community Guide Videos) Dslyecxi shows off his video recording and editing skills in spectacular footage he shared over on Twitter. Observing an operation from the spectator's point of view, both organizational and fighting skills of the hardened ShackTac Unit members are tested. They proceed to withdraw from an Area of Operation on Tanoa swamped by enemy soldiers controlled by AI. A glorious firefight during a pitch-black night reminds us how atmospheric Arma can be. Good luck on the next deployment, soldiers!
We always love to see unexpected and original additions to Arma 3. Operation: Trebuchet, a modification to Arma 3 inspired by a famous game series, has its first public version available on the Steam Workshop. Focusing on the perspective of a human vs human clash (no aliens here!) and introducing several assets inspired by the original games, the mod developers explained their further motivations in a dedicated reddit thread. Furthermore, a splendid trailer video was released on YouTube. Congratulations on the release and keep up the good work!
The latest Weekly Photo captures the Council of Leads before a long and (as you can tell from the faces) very serious meeting. As we have the plans for the game's future narrowed down, the department and project leads gathered to incorporate some last minute iterations and adjusted the plan before presenting it to our community. Also, we've discussed our cooperation on a company level (e.g. timing with other projects), something which proved necessary in a fast-growing company like ours.
One of the recent Dev-Branch changelog entries informs the players about the removal of certain memory allocators. After a broader discussion within the programming team, we have decided to discontinue support of several memory allocators from the game distribution on Steam. These (TCMalloc_bi, NedMalloc_bi, JEMalloc_bi, tbb3malloc_bi) were not loaded to the game by default; players needed to use a special start-up parameter (-malloc=). The reason we decided for this approach is rather pragmatic: we simply could not support all of the allocators properly and guarantee Arma 3's stability on other than the default allocators (tbb4malloc_bi, JEMalloc_bi). While the game is still able to load any allocator it is commanded to via the start-up parameter, the clarity of what we officially support and what is an experimental (and potentially unstable) solution will hopefully prove beneficial both for player experience on the one side and issue solving by the developers on the other side.
One optimistic piece of news is the potential progress in our investigation of the infamous "3FPS Drop" issue. Some players who were experiencing drastic performance drops, and were forced to restart their game, are now reporting that the issue was resolved for them by using the newest memory allocator distributed in the Profiling Branch of the game. This is why we would like to ask you, the community, to help us confirm the fix is actually working and no side issues are present. Those experiencing the issue and willing to participate on the test, please visit the dedicated forums thread created by Yours Truly and follow the instructions given within the post. It's crucial for us to have the fix confirmed by more people, so we can decide to release it in the form of a hotfix afterwards.
After the Audio Engine and Revive public documentation iterations, it's time for us to deploy our next promised update to the documentation. The Visual Upgrade documentation on the Community Wiki consists of an explanation, samples and notes on how to set the proper lighting parameters after the shaders were overhauled in Update 1.60. Apologies and a big thank you to those who waited for what turned out to be quite a complicated effort. Several iterations, adjustments and overhauls were needed before we were happy with the documentation and decided to publish it on the Community Wiki. There certainly is more room for improvements and iterations from our side. We hope to document several aspects (such as the CAWorld or LightingNew classes) into more detail some time in future. As always, we're eager to hear your feedback; be sure to leave a comment on the forums.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Aspect Ratio Settings Removal, Security Feedback Tracker Project, Tools Hotfix PRECEDENCE: Flash
The development team is currently evaluating reports from players who have experienced issues after the release of Update 1.64. To address the most problematic issues, we're preparing a small hotfix to the game. However, since some of the planned changes require thorough multiplayer testing, we will not yet be able to release the hotfix this week.
Arma 3 Units celebrated an important milestone last week. One of its groups, Hostile Takeover, now has more than 1000 members! As it is the first Arma 3 Unit to reach such a high number, we send our congratulations and hope to see another thousand soon. There are plenty of Units already; be sure to check the page and search for a Unit suited just to you!
Gaming magazine PC Gamer shared an article mapping their most favorite game expansions. To our delight, Arma 3's recently released Apex expansion is listed as well (along with a short description). We're proud to be present among such PC game legends!
It looks like Apex is also quite popular among streamers and their viewers. TwitchCon has shared a tweet uncovering the top ten list of most streamed 2016 releases. Arma 3 Apex is present there on the sixth place. We're really happy to see Apex doing very well and we're highly motivated to continue improving the game and work on new content. Thanks for the splendid support!
In one of the recent Dev-Branch updates, we've removed the possibility to set the aspect ratio of the User Interface of the game. Senior Designer Bořivoj Hlava explains some motivations behind this decision: "The 'Aspect Ratio' setting helped users to run the game on non-standard resolution monitors in the past. These days, however, there is no need for this setting and it can even be misleading for some people. In fact, our Analytics data show that more than 10 % of our players have their aspect ratio set incorrectly which can significantly impact their experience of the game. Therefore, we decided to make things easier to understand by implementing a fully automatic aspect ratio detection into the game."
Users of the official Feedback Tracker may have noticed some recent additions to the bug reporting site. Our QA heroes have now added two new projects: Arma 3 Security and DayZ Security. Naturally, we'll cover the part related to our project. Arma 3 Security is a new space used to report security issues (such as hacks, exploits and vulnerabilities) by our players directly to the developers. We're keen to hear about any exploits, potential security issues, memory hacks and others. Having a dedicated place for such reports on the Feedback Tracker can serve this purpose well and speeds up the process of tackling game-breaking issues and exploits. Be sure to check the initial description before submitting a ticket. There are some cases we're not able to influence and those should be reported to our partners (such as bans issued by BattlEye) or the standard Feedback Tracker section. The members of the Quality Assurance department are looking forward to the reports!
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Update 1.64 Released, High-Res Contributions, Audio Engine Documentation PRECEDENCE: Flash
Last Thursday, along with Tools Update 1.02, Arma 3 received Update 1.64. While the development team is evaluating the feedback from all possible sources, we're also focusing on finishing a more robust and final roadmap, which outlines the future of Arma 3 in the upcoming year. We hope to share the roadmap with our community in the next few weeks.
Weekly Photo #50 shows Audio Lead Jan Dušek preparing to sow another batch of his beloved chili pepper seeds. The Audio office can turn a little heated from time to time. The secret Jan tells us is to keep a bottle of milk nearby in case things go hot (and they do with the North Carolina Reaper). We're looking forward to sharing the results of the chili season in one of the future Weekly Photos!
A splendid Arma machinima video was posted on YouTube by Hololand. Introducing a stunning video footage in 4K resolution, Hololand managed to capture extraordinary moments while avoiding any post processes or color corrections. Shots of Tanoa are accompanied by moving units and vehicles truly give away the scale and complexityArma 3 can offer.
For those who consider 4K resolution ordinary, we're showing the image which landed on the r/gaming subreddit earlier this week. Again, the essence of Arma is perfectly captured in this 5K picture. Kudos to the author and GamingPC.TUBE for bringing it out on Twitter!
The battle does not end here, though! Community member Greenfistreleased a picture with an insane 8K resolution. It captures Georgetown, the capital of the Horizon Islands. As Greenfist explains in the comments on the Arma subreddit, he actually compiled the picture out of multiple images. As a result, a splendid picture full of nice details and Easter Eggs and something to remember. Kudos to all three authors for their high-res contributions!
Last week, we've releasedUpdate 1.64 on Steam (along with the Tools update). Bringing several performance improvements as well as low-level changes to the AI driving, we hoped that the extended period of public Release Candidate testing would help us discover any major problems which would affect the release. Unfortunately, not everything turned out to be splendid. We've released a small hotfix the day after (changing the way Launcher checks for addon signatures) and are still evaluating further actions, which might graduate in another hotfix to the game.
The performance degradation bug (low FPS until a game restart) was unfortunately not fixed in 1.64. Even though a number of players reported not encountering the issue in the RC builds, it does not appear to have been solved for everyone. Our programmers are trying to tackle it and hope to have a solution soon. While we were unsuccessful with reproducing the issue in our studios at all and the special Performance Profiling builds have not revealed any relevant information, we are not abandoning the issue and still actively pursuing a fix. Everybody is of course encouraged to submit details to the Feedback Tracker, any information might help!
An overhaul to the audio engine, released along with the Eden Update, has received a public documentation on the Community Wiki. Being a significant step forward in terms of audio simulation and features, Audio Lead Jan Dušek in cooperation with the community member Megagoth have created a thorough list of the new improvements as well as a guide and examples of how to use them. Kudos to both of them! Next station: Visual Upgrade documentation!
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Release Candidate Finishes, Tanoa Topographic Map, Revive Documentation PRECEDENCE: Flash
Both internal and public Release Candidate testing of the upcoming Update 1.64 are slowly coming to an end. After weeks of fixing and iterations, we're aiming to release the main branch update later this week. Along with that, a small Tools update is being prepared as well. Meanwhile, the development team is focusing on minor tweaks to the performance and gameplay improvements, which can be followed in the Dev-Branch Changelogs forums thread.
Arma 3 celebrated its third birthday since the original launch last week. Many community members joined with their wishes using the #HappyBirthdayArma3 hashtag on Twitter. A big thanks to each one of you for wishing Arma 3 all the best! The response was overwhelming; we've received countless congratulation posts. We obviously cannot link all of them here; you can easily access them by clicking on the hashtag link.
In Update 1.56, we introduced game analytics to Arma 3. Collecting a small amount of anonymous data (such as difficulty settings and performance) proved to be a good decision. Some direct results based on the data we've gained are already implemented to the game (e.g. Video Settings). After evaluating our options over the past few months, we've decided to switch to another partner for Arma 3 that scales better with the game's demands. Players should not notice any changes, because all required tweaks were made in the background. The analytics can still be toggled via Launcher's settings; more information about the feature is available on the Community Wiki.
Owners of the Digital Deluxe content of the game can expect a brand new Tanoa topographic map to land in their Bonus folders as part of Update 1.64. Being developed for more than two years, the Tanoa terrain represents a prime example of top-notch environment design and we're very pleased that players can now benefit from having a localized PDF version of the map.
The overhauled version of the Revive feature released along with the Apex expansion is now publicly documented. Head over to the Community Wiki page to see it in its full splendidness! Kudos to Senior Designer Jiří Wainar for putting it together!
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Arma 3 Anniversary, Apex Protocol OPREP PRECEDENCE: Flash
While the development team is still preparing the upcoming 1.64 update, Arma 3 passed a significant milestone. On September 12th 2013, it successfully left the Early Access program on Steam. With a solid platform underneath and years of support to come, all was set for Arma 3 to become the most successful Arma game thus far. We'll focus on the Armaversary later in this report.
A few weeks back we've described some changes made to the Apex Protocol campaign. The Apex Protocol Difficulty Overhaul, as we call it, brings more possibilities and opportunities to enrich the gameplay of the campaign and makes it more challenging for advanced players. Senior Designer Thomas 'Zipper5' Ryan went on and released an OPREP mapping some of the motivations and decisions made during its development. In an honest and open blog post, he not only digs into the reasoning and choices, but goes deeper by listing the takeaway from the feedback received after Apex' release. As a result, the community now has a unique opportunity to peek behind the scenes of the development process and iterations based on player feedback.
A montage video from Task Force Dingo reminds us why we love these community videos: splendidly edited footage from their operations, relaxing music and tense moments with a bit of fun make one want to join the action right away. Kudos to BecomingNut for creating it and sharing on the Arma subreddit.
This week we're celebrating the third anniversary of Arma 3's official release. We're incredibly proud of the game and its post-release support; both are possible thanks to you, the community. Creative Director Jay Crowe joins with his reflection and wishes: "The anniversary of Arma 3's launch always provides an opportunity to reflect upon our work. This time last year, there was no Eden Editor, no Tanoa, no audio-visual upgrade - and much, much more besides. It's a tribute to the team's hard work and creativity that - three years on - the game continues to make such splendid progress. And, of course, it's another chance for us to say a big thank you to our community, partners, and stakeholders, for enabling us to build this unique platform together. Happy birthday, Arma 3!"
To remind ourselves of Arma's uniqueness and strengths, let's jump into the '33 Things About Arma' video. While a little dated, it still provides the viewers with an outstanding overview of our celebrator.
To properly celebrate the Armaversary, there is a party on Twitter going on. Everybody is still welcome to share their favorite moments with a picture or a video. Don't forget to use the #HappyBirthdayArma3 hashtag, we'll show some of the pictures in next week's SITREP. Thanks to everyone who shared their wishes so far and of course for your outstanding support throughout the years!
The Release Candidate build for the 1.64 update has received another iteration for the weekend. Feel free to visit the forums to check it in detail. We are still in the process of testing it and addressing the remaining blocking issues to have it delivered smoothly as soon as possible.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Update 1.64 RC Continues, BattlEye Update PRECEDENCE: Flash
The development team continues to work hard on improving the Release Candidate for the 1.64 update. Last Friday, the build has received a bunch of major improvements (full list available on the forums). We now aim to polish it and to introduce more bug fixes. With that in mind, the potential release window opens next week, depending on the stability and functionality of the RC build. User feedback is of course appreciated; players are encouraged to visit the Feedback Tracker to report any issue they find.
Aside from the RC preparations, we now have a clearer view on the Arma 3 roadmap for the upcoming year. After it is approved and communicated internally, we plan to share the first details with our community.
Operating a weapon efficiently in Arma 3 is certainly quite a challenge. Muzzle velocity, material penetration, surface deflection, recoil and weapon inertia are just the tip of the fun iceberg which is easy to learn but hard to master. Firing Drills can really help here: the optimized shooting experience with dummy targets was designed to train players not only to control their weapons, but also their movement, stances, cover, and much more. Practice makes perfect, completing a drill with the gold medal is very unlikely on the first run. Don't give up, though, and maybe one day you can beat the time of daises, who did an amazing run on the Blue 1 Course of Fire and caught it on camera. Congratulations to him for that steady aim and the impressive skills, we're looking forward to seeing more splendid Challenge playthrough videos.
Make Arma Not War winner Arma 3 Resist created a stylish postcard from some well-known Altis resort, the Ghost Hotel. It might feel a little rusty nowadays, but that is no reason not to explore this detailed structure!. The award-winning campaign is available on Steam Workshop and is recommended to play for everyone who enjoys a narrative story telling in the Armaverse. The Ghost Hotel itself sits in the northeastern part of Altis with a beautiful view on the Petkas Bay and offers great possibilities for infantry focused types of scenarios.
Community member Dave EvilViking13 has shared a couple of screenshots from a custom scenario he has played with his friends. We always love to see the terrains we know being used so well in community creations. Keep the pictures coming
On Weekly Photo #49 you’ll see a small delegation from the Bohemia Interactive Amsterdam office (local Project Lead Joris-Jan van ‘t Land and Senior Designer Karel Mořický) and loyal community member Melle Keppel posing in front of a vehicle that may trigger a sense of familiarity. The Fennek armed reconnaissance car, in this case of the Royal Netherlands Army, served as the inspiration for the Strider vehicle in Arma 3. It is displayed in the Nationaal Militair Museum, which hosted a 100 years of tanks event that weekend. One of Edita’s T-72 siblings also put on a show in the mobility range arena!
Our partners at BattlEye have released a small update to their anti-cheat system. Feel free to visit their FAQ page should you encounter any issue.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: 1.64 RC Started, Tanoa Structures Improvements, Valve Anti-Cheat PRECEDENCE: Flash
Testing of the upcoming main branch update "1.64" has begun last week. Bringing several improvements to the Apex Protocol campaign and aiming to improve the stability of the game, it also brings a handful of small tweaks, which will benefit everyone (more on them later in this report). Everybody is encouraged to try the RC build on their own, and to visit the dedicated forums thread or the Arma subreddit thread for more information. Don't forget to provide feedback, and report issues to our Feedback Tracker, it is being monitored actively by our QA.
The SOF Tactical Realism group receives a shout out this week for some of their splendid pictures and screenshots posted on Twitter. This community focuses on milsim sessions and even organizes public training events. Players can register on their forums to get a complete picture of the group and to enlist for some of their operations. Players can also head over to the SOF profile on Arma 3 Units page to receive more unit Intel.
The Art Department in Team Mike has taken it upon themselves to improve the structures of Tanoa. Responding to community feedback on Tanoa, they're now working on a way to better communicate the accessibility of buildings. Creative Director Jay Croweexpands on the topic: "Of course, the terrain is already released and many splendid community scenarios are already built. With this in mind, the improvements focus on the addition of simple models, such as locks, barricades, etc., placed in the immediate proximity of doors. We hope these will be consistent and recognisable, without unduly affecting any existing community content; players should immediately know whether or not the building they're looking at can serve as a hide-out." As the work is still at its beginning, we don't expect to release it with the 1.64 update, though bits of the changes have recently started to appear on Dev-Branch.
As already mentioned in the Situation section, the upcoming update contains several minor but useful improvements to the game. Searching in the asset browser in Zeus was already mentioned in one of the previous SITREPs, but there is more to be seen in 1.64. Ballistic values of most weapons were tweaked to better correspond with their real-life counterparts. This ongoing effort of Sandbox Designer Radko Voda should bring more fun, yet keep the lethality of Arma's gameplay. With the arrival of a Senior Sound Designer Tomáš Bayer, we are introducing new dry sounds for various vehicle and static weapons as well as working on refactoring the footsteps technology. The third example is advanced fog in Eden Editor. While going through the Environment Attributes, players can now select multiple parameters and set the fog in the scenario to exactly match their expectations. With the setting being immediately preview-able, building a moody and immersive scenario has never been simpler. Kudos to Senior Designer Karel Mořický for the implementation!
Recently, we have partly introduced the Valve Anti-Cheat(Game Ban) system to Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead and Arma 3. Our partners at BattlEye have connected their anti-cheat program to its Steam counterpart. It essentially means only one thing. Players who receive a ban via BattlEye will now also be banned via VAC and will not be able to ask for a refund of the game. If you don't cheat, VAC will in no way interfere with your experience, VAC is only used to flag Steam accounts for hacking, it is still completely up to BattlEye to prevent hackers from joining protected servers. This measure is aimed strictly against hackers who would purchase the game, try out their hacks, get banned by BattlEye and ask for a refund via Steamonly to continue on a new Steam account minutes later. With VAC, such an exploit of the system will not be possible. Unlike BattlEye, which is global to all our games, the Valve Anti-Cheat ban is always game-specific; players will be able to play other games on Steam. In case a BattlEye ban is lifted, the VAC one is lifted as well. More about the Valve Anti-Cheat can be read on their FAQ page.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Update 1.64 RC, Gamescom, Apex Protocol Improvements PRECEDENCE: Flash
The development team is now making final preparations for the first post-Apex main branch update. Containing countless fixes and improvements, update 1.64 will aim to increase the stability and performance of the Arma 3 platform. Based on the feedback from players, we are also making changes to the Apex Protocol campaign (more about them below). We hope to have the build ready for internal testing in the middle of this week and enable it for public RC testing as soon as it passes the Quality Assurance evaluations. Follow the official Twitter account or subscribe to the dedicated forums thread to receive the information once it happens.
The most significant event of the previous week in the gaming world was without any doubt the Gamescom. While Bohemia Interactive had no official presentation or booth at the trade fair, ambassadors from the development teams were sent to attend, gain some experience and meet new people. Listening to lectures from colleagues from different companies at the GDC and then switching to Gamescom created the ultimate experience; something our attendees will not easily forget. Aside from the fun and entertainment, a number of crucial meetings with partners from various companies and industries took place. It was a lot of fun, until next time, Cologne!
Community creator Jester814 released a second part of his tutorial for scenario creation. Building a mission in Eden Editor on the newest version of Arma has never been simpler and Jester does a great job at showcasing some tips and tricks while taking a structured and organized approach towards the goal - fully garrisoned enemy base with patrols, guards and technicals. Be sure to check out the first part in case you have not seen it yet and or jump straight in with Part 2.
Launcher's Wizard and Senior Programmer Jiří Polášek shared some of the new improvements to the Launcher. It is now possible to search in all available startup parameters. Advanced users will surely appreciate the possibility of setting your favorite parameters; these will appear in the upper part of the Favorites tab and can be toggled swiftly. You can already try the changes on Dev-Branch, they should also appear in the 1.64 update.
There have been several reports from the community describing an issue with character hit points in relation to the distance to players. While the issue itself has been present for quite some time (even in previous titles), it is not something we can easily fix due to technical limitations. Petr Kolář, the Project Lead of Arma 3, adds more details: "Some of you might have noticed a strange behavior of soldiers sinking to the ground in the distance. This tech has been with us for ages, actually even in Arma 2, but it rose a discussion recently about the purpose. If we go literally deeper, the effect is used to simulate higher grass that is not rendered on distance and some sort of camouflage the grass provides to soldiers. How does it affect the character in game? The change is just a visual one from observer point of view, there is actually no part of the character in terrain, and that goes even for the geometries. As a result, there is a small difference between the actual hit points position and where it seems they are. Should we choose a different approach, there would be actually more issues - moving the geometries into terrain would drive the game physics crazy and rendering grass in high distances is something we were investigating without any reasonable outcome."
The difficulty and respawn settings in the Apex Protocol campaign have been overhauled. After a careful evaluation of the feedback we have received on the forums and social media, we have prepared a solution that responds to some of the most common notes. Players now have more control over the way their characters are respawned. By default, each scenario now allows for a limited number of respawns. Players can unlock additional respawn tickets by completing tasks. Also the Revive feature was tweaked. When reviving a teammate (with the default settings), a First Aid Kit is required and consumed upon the revive itself. Both respawn and revive settings can be easily adjusted in the Campaign Lobby to be completely forgiving (unlimited respawn, unlimited revive) to a really hardcore one (disabled respawn, disabled revive). Scenario fails if there are no players left alive. The balancing of the tickets is still under an iteration, players are encouraged to provide feedback to the dedicated forums thread.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Arsenal / Zeus Improvements, AI Diagnostics PRECEDENCE: Flash
It's a bit of a slow summer week here at Bohemia Interactive. Some of our developers are enjoying well-deserved holidays, and we have a delegation visiting Game Developer Conference Europe to absorb knowledge from peers. Arma 3 does not otherwise have a presence at the associated gamescom convention this year. Meanwhile we certainly do have a crew working as per usual, and keeping SOPs running, such as Dev-Branch updates. Next week we intend to start actual prep for the release of a 1.64 update, containing all tweaks, fixes and optimizations since the Apex release.
Have you ever wondered how to actually send a SITREP? Players of milsim sessions can now make use of a convenient guide made by a veteran of the VOLCBAT unit. It describes how they use Voice Procedure correctly during their scenarios. The guide shows examples of Procedure Words usage on real-world situations (both US and UK), explains how call signs are created, and even suggests what to avoid in radio communications. If you'd like to hear some of these comms in action, check out this multi-perspective video of a recent VOLCBAT raid with a UAV overhead and mortar and GMPG teams in support. Thanks friznit2!
Some more subtle yet powerful tweaks have arrived to existing systems and modes on Dev-Branch. In Virtual Arsenal you are now able to add any magazine to uniforms, vests and backpacks (not just those compatible with equipped weapons). Fear not however, this is handled via two tabs, so that by default you're not presented with massive lists in heavily modded games. Then there is a long-awaited addition to Zeus: search in the asset browser. This feature, developed for Eden Editor, has finally been back-ported to make the life of our Divine Curators a bit easier. Keep your sights trained on the Dev-Branch change log for more cool stuff coming to 1.64.
Tweaking and improving the Artificial Intelligence in the game continues via developers like Designer Ondřej Kužel and Senior Programmer Krzysztof Bielawski. Much can be said about the AI in Arma 3, but its complexity is also to be considered. There aren't many games that offer AI for such a broad range of activities at all, let alone also supporting said AI to use mod assets. Still, there is heaps that could be improved, and we'll continue to take steps forward. If you're interested in this topic, do follow the AI-specific change log and contribute to the discussion here. Recently there was an interesting addition to the special (SP-only) diagnostics executable found on Dev-Branch. We've exposed several AI diagnostics to allow for more accurate tuning of parameters as well as to debug issues. These can show in real-time things like where the AI is aiming, what information is stored in its brain, its skill levels, applied dynamic errors and suppression data.
Well a sudden surprise for all our loyal fans :) We have decided to release charlie version complete with new Apex Foliage on our islands and some really cool updated weapons for you to blast your way through the new jungle. There are a few new choppers to terrorize the Viet Cong with too namely the AH-1 Cobra Gunship and the CH47 " Guns a go go" and transport versions ... We have also updated a few of our aging weapon models and made a host of fixes to make the mod to make run a lot smoother than our bravo Build...
Changelog: v3.0c Apex - Maps require Apex DLC - Fixes Apex popups, added Apex foliage and assets to Doung and Da Krong maps
Added: - AH1g Cobra - 5 types - Mi8 Hip - 3 types - CH47a Chinook - 3 types - new SOG and SEAL units and kit - new high quality models for M16, XM177, MAS49/56, Thompson, BAR, AK47, K50m, Type50, and M2 mortar - Added 22mm rifle grenades (frag, HEAT, smoke, WP and lume) (WIP) - Added speargun (WIP)
Fixes: - Weapon accuracy fixes - Fixed skins of various grenades - Reduced grenade frag damage - Improved flare illumination for better night fighting - Fixed handheld ANPVS-2 scope - Fixed virtual arsenal base weapons - Fixed door-gunners on UH1 - chopper music overhaul
So Solider , you had a nice R&R break? ... Well grab your shit your going back in !!! "Good Luck out there...... you gonna need it"
IMPORTANT NOTES : THIS VERSION REQUIRES THE TANOA / APEX DLC TO GET 100% OUT OF THIS RELEASE. If you do not have this DLC Our Islands may Show little or no Foliage or objects. You also may not be able to connect to MP servers running Charlie Version.
Additional uniforms pack included : In the mod folder is the optional uniforms folder containing the PBO's. You will need to move those files into the @unsung_3.0_Charlie > addons folder to make them show in-game.
REMEMBER TO REMOVE ALL PREVIOUS FILES OF THE MOD BEFORE YOU INSTALL CHARLIE VERSION
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Ports Update, Eden Editor Improvements, Mod Preset Sharing PRECEDENCE: Flash
While the maintenance, documentation and planning work continues for the primary Windows version of the game, the time is right to give some love to our experimental client ports for Linux and Mac. Having been in development and testing for a long time, we have today published the 1.58 version (including Eden Update) for the ports, made possible by our Virtual Programming partners.
Besides adding the Eden Editor and all other improvements, one major multiplayer limitation was overcome: BattlEyeanti-cheat is now supported for these ports. For a full and up-to-date overview of the remaining limitations, Frequently Asked Questions and other information, please visit our overview page. The next target for the port team, we hope, is Apex actual (update 1.62).
If you're new to Arma 3, the official singleplayer showcases can be a great entry point to experience the diversity of the game's military gameplay (Main Menu > SINGLEPLAYER > SHOWCASES). They are bite-sized scenarios that were first introduced to highlight particular features for the public Alpha and Beta releases several years ago. The collection kept growing with further platform updates and DLC. For your typical combined arms infantry gameplay, you should try: Infantry, Combined Arms and Armed Assault. It can also be refreshing to play from the CSAT perspective, so give Vehicles, Helicopters, Gunships and Marksmen a go. The most recent showcase introduces you to the End Game mode on Tanoa. Did you know there's a hidden cache in Ouméré? Or that flying very fast or very high in Fixed-Wings will trigger a vocal pilot reaction? Trying any 5 showcases will unlock the "Showtime" Steam Achievement, which 6.6% of players have done thus far.
The showcases are not only interesting to new recruits; veterans and those who've played them before may find replaying them very entertaining with all the usability and audio-visual improvements over the past years! Scenario designers who are interested in how to achieve the standardized presentation elements, should visit our Community Wiki for details on setting up the overview and loading screens, notifications, debriefings and more.
Eden Editor may have had its main release, but that has not stopped its developers from adding more improvements. Advanced designers may appreciate being able to search even by config class name in the Asset Browser. Do this by using a search query formatted like "class MyFirstClass". Several special entity attributes were also improved / added on Dev-Branch recently. The "Texture" attribute can make it easier to actually display media on the props with dynamic screens or other changeable surfaces, such as desktop monitors and ... water balloons! And for characters, "Stance" lets you pick the starting pose conveniently. By the way, did you know you can drag & drop the camera on the 2D map? Keep an eye on the change log for other useful tweaks and changes.
If you're new to Eden Editor, we recommend to take a look at Jester814's recent video tutorial episode. In it he shows some of the basics, compares differences to the old editor and shares tips. If you're looking to set up a simple PvE co-op scenario with Zeus and features like Arsenal and Revive, this is a good starting point. He also covers some of the extensive (multiplayer) scenario settings, such as those controlling the respawn system. The resulting 'template' is available on Steam Workshop.
A nifty new feature has arrived to Launcher on Dev-Branch: the ability to export and share mod presets with other people. You'll find a new option in your preset manager, which lets you share the preset by saving it to a HTML file. This file can then be dragged and dropped to anybody's Launcher. Preset sharing can be particularly useful for units who want to provide a quick way for members to set up the correct mod set. Initially this feature would only support Steam Workshop mods, but Senior Programmer Jiří Polášek has since added the ability to export also local mods. Please do note that while Workshop mods will be resolved automatically, local mods still require players to obtain and install them manually. Your feedback on the Launcher is still very welcome on our forums.
One of the on-going efforts is to further improve, clean up and document the script command set, while preserving backward-compatibility as much as possible. However, please be aware of a tweak to relatively new script commandshownScoreTable, as it will be made more consistent with other similar commands. It will also be complemented by a new visibleScoreTable command. These changes are to be part of the upcoming 1.64 update.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Lessons Learned, Units Administration, Arsenal Sorting PRECEDENCE: Flash
During the past week we've concluded our first round of post-release evaluations of the Apex project as a whole. The departments collected their notes on what has gone well and what hasn't, which were then discussed among the department leads. The next step was to convert the lessons into a concrete action plan for improvements. We try to be self-critical and to look at all aspects of development. Of course this includes the resulting game as a major component, but it goes beyond that. We also evaluate our team's organization, developer performance, IT infrastructure, data pipelines, auto-testing methods, project methodologies, back-office support and much more. Why is this relevant to you as a player? Striving for better results in all these areas should mean a more solid platform and game developed on top of it. We still are excited to carry on this great Arma 3 adventure with you!
Last week's #Armaception seems to have escalated a little further, not at all triggered by our latest weekly dev photo and its #PiPChallenge! Toying with the picture-in-picture theme, the social media challenge has been spreading through the Armaverse for a bit of silly fun. If you can use a smile on your face, follow the chain of Arma 3 developers, modders, streamers and others. You'll find plenty of worthwhile channels to follow as bonus!
Mudspike has published an incredibly extensive evaluation of the Apex VTOL aircraft: Y-32 Xi’an and V-44 X Blackfish. He covers all aspects, from their design to their functionality, and provides criticisms in a constructive manner. Thanks for the write-up Beach!
The 77th JSOC shared with us a cool trailer of their unit running the Invade & Annex custom game mode on Tanoa. This large-scale persistent mode provides endless PvE fun in several variants, with dynamic secondary objectives and Zeus support. It was designed to be modular and development has continued in various communities.
There is a vast collection of assets available for Arma 3, with many regular players reporting mod sets well upward of 50 GB. Combining official and user-generated assets in-game leads to massive lists in modes like Virtual Arsenal. While assets like weapons are already marked by a relevant DLC or mod icon, it's hard to get a clear overview of all that is available to try. Making this a bit easier, Senior Designer Karel Mořický has added the ability to sort by mod / DLC, in addition to alphabetically. Check it out on Dev-Branch!
Since the recent major update to Arma 3 Units, various developers have continued to work on improvements. As of yesterday, they have deployed one change based directly on your feedback. Unit admin rights are now decoupled from ranks / titles. Brand & PR Manager Korneel van 't Land has described the changes and future plans on the forums, where we also invite you to leave further feedback. Coming up is a change to recruitment status settings. We'll likely be removing the fully open insta-join setting and only make it possible to accept applications or be closed to new members. The motivations behind this are to reduce complexity and to stimulate that units are used as active member organizations rather than just promotion pages.
There are now over 6000 registered units in total, proudly displaying their unit logo in the game. This is another aspect we've been improving further. A few issues were resolved for future updates to the game, and you'll also be able to see your unit logo in the Main Menu and profile settings. If your unit's logo does not show in the game, try re-uploading it or tinkering with its dimensions.
After Apex release, even if we don't get an official requirements 'Splendid' update, I must recognize that the released "aggiornamento" is welcome. Even if no move has been made for minimum CPUs level and some inconsistencies persist it is a good new.
Here are the updated official requirements for Arma3 :
OS Windows 7 SP1 64-bit PROCESSOR Intel Dual-Core 2.4 GHz / AMD Dual-Core Athlon 2.5 GHz GRAPHICS NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GT/ AMD Radeon HD 5670 / Intel HD Graphics 4000 with 512 MB VRAM DirectX® 10 RAM 4 GB HARD DRIVE 20 GB free space AUDIO DirectX® compatible on-board OTHER Internet connection and free Steam account to activate Dual Layer compatible when installing from DVD
OS Windows 7 / 8 / 10 64-bit PROCESSOR Intel Core i5-4460 / AMD FX 4300 GRAPHICS NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 / AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series with 2 GB VRAM DirectX® 11 RAM 6 GB HARD DRIVE 25 GB free space, SSD / Hybrid HDD / SSHD storage AUDIO DirectX® compatible soundcard OTHER Internet connection and free Steam account to activate
* Even if disabling the sexiest "Visual Update" parameters in order to gain some performances is possible, it's still NOT possible to play with a Core2 Duo E6600 or un Athlon II x2 250 based rig even if I must admit the game is running with such CPUs. * The "Intel Core i5-4460 / AMD FX 4300" part is the kind of inconsistency I am speaking of. The Intel Core i5-4460 is a rather good CPU, the kind "you must have" in order to play. The AMD FX 4300 is more or less on par with an i3 2120 for general purpose usage, it can be a rather good candidate for "playable minimum", but here Arma3 gaming wise, it's out of place.
FROM: High Command TO: Arma 3 Users INFO: Maintenance, Apex Blog, Launcher Mod Search, Feedback Tracker Guide PRECEDENCE: Flash
Our clean sweep of the game continues during these first few post-release weeks. Besides making improvements to Apex itself, we've also been addressing your reports on older content, and will continue to do so. Some documentation has already been published to the Bohemia Interactive Community Wiki, while more elaborate topics are in progress. This all goes hand-in-hand with mapping out our further roadmap for Arma 3 development and support. It will still be a little while before we have concrete details for you, but you're already in the right place once any news breaks!
Taking a look back at the #RoadToApex, our Creative Director Jay Crowe has highlighted a selection of Arma 3 accomplishments in a new development blog. He goes over the major releases before the expansion, Apex proper and the platform updates, before concluding with a brief glimpse of what's on the horizon. It also includes some love directed at the awesome community, so you're really best off just going forth and reading the blog!
Since the 1.62 update introduced 13 new Steam Achievements, we'll highlight a few of them over the coming weeks. They don't only serve as 'bragging rights', but can also point out interesting functionality or content you may have missed. Take a look at the full list here. The "Better with Friends" achievement had a global unlock percentage of 0.1% when we first highlighted it, but that has since been boosted to a modest 0.2%. But wait, let's take a step back and explain what you need to do first. This is one of the "Apex Protocol" co-op campaign achievements. It unlocks after you have completed all of its missions with at least 2 players, because as the title suggests, the campaign is best played together.
Working through the missions in a team can be very rewarding. There are a few tips we'd like to offer for maximum success. Did you know the Dynamic Groups feature also seen in End Game is partly available? You can't actually disband the team, because Raider 2 is simply needed for the narrative, but you can promote another team leader! Access the interface by pressing U by default. We also recommend you stick together when tactically possible as it will let you Revive each other more often (bleed-out timing has since been tweaked on Dev-Branch), avoiding the more lengthy respawn procedure. Try to select a good balance of specialty roles in the Respawn Screen (check DETAILS for a full inventory listing). Having a grenadier, autorifleman or marksman available can make all the difference. Communicate your plans by plotting a good tactical approach on the 2D map, for example by drawing lines (Ctrl + LMB) or inserting other markers. These are currently broadcast on the communications channel you have selected for text chat and Voice-Over-Network (type via /, speak via Caps Lock and change channel via < and > by default). Finally you can remind yourself of the mission objectives by pressing and holding J for 3D indicators of tasks, tapping J twice for a more elaborate overview, or by pressing M for the full 2D map briefing and task assignments.
Speaking of working through the campaign together: it was interesting to watch one particular play-through by Jester814 and his team. They approached the missions quite tactically, communicating a lot and planning approaches. They did use various cool gameplay mods at their own risk, though they mostly seem to have worked in conjunction! Before you dive into the videos, please know that they will spoil all events, including briefing scenes!
Since many of you meanwhile rock 50+ GB mod libraries, Senior Programmer Jiří Polášek has plugged in a much sought-after improvement for the Launcher on Dev-Branch: mod search. This should make finding and filtering mods quite a bit more manageable (shortcut combination Ctrl + F also works). As added bonus, the public documentation has been updated to reflect the current state and recent additions such as the DASHBOARD and SERVERS pages.
Sadly we're not really much closer to finding the cause of the potentially drastic performance degradation that some players experience at seemingly random play times. Clues do point to memory management, but it's not quite so straight forward as an identifiable 'memory leak' or a common factor among cases (e.g. little available RAM). The game appears to run out of available memory, and fails to negotiate for more from the OS for unknown reasons (a process which actually happens without problems quite often, via memory allocators). We're analyzing the very useful profiling data from helpful Feedback Tracker users, who use special profiling clients to send us captured performance snapshots. We're going to continue eliminating causes to hopefully hone in on the root cause.
We're glad to have our Feedback Tracker platform open for your reports after its absence a few months ago. It's not the most user-friendly framework in all aspects however, and we're limited by what modifications we can make to it. What should really help beginning reporters though is a new user guide by QA Specialist Radek Pazdera. Go take a look for general guidelines and specific requests for reporting crashes or other issues. It will demonstrate where to find your exact game version, selected Steam branch, logs, system specifications and more. Providing all the relevant information in clear ways will make it easier for Radek, the QA teams and our developers to process and prioritize your feedback. Our thanks for your contributions to a better platform!
How about we end this week's report with a bit of casual fun? We'll put a challenge out there: can you go even deeper? #Armaception