FROM: Project Lead
TO: Alpha Users
INFO: Livestreams, Beta reveals, final Alpha patch
Our last week before E3 2013 and the build is pretty much ready to go. Then there are a few mad weeks of tweaks, fixes and polish before the Beta release. We're feeling good about the package. There will be no Altis just yet, but you're getting a load of new firepower and logistical assets: 4 helicopters, 2 wheeled armored units, trucks, a whole bunch of new weapons and the first part of the Green faction. Next to that 4 showcases and more playable content to be shown at E3.
Last weekend we hosted our very first Arma 3 livestreaming event on Twitch.tv. It was rather improvised and casual, but fun to do and we hope you've seen and heard things you liked. Understandably the 'tutorial' aspect was not necessary for seasoned players, but keep in mind there are a lot of players who did not yet tinker with the editor. The ability to quickly set up a scenario is one of the things we find key to Arma and so we want to show it off when we can. This was also a trial run before we play through a Beta showcase featuring more content this coming Saturday. Some members of the previous cast will be flying to LA that day, and some new faces join the fray live.
Lord Master Petr Kolář configures the spotlight onto himself and his role as Encoding Lead in another episode of the 'Report In!' developer interviews. The article also contains a look at the Marid Beta vehicle and some fancy behind-the-scenes diagnostics (numbers everywhere!).
After revealing work on BattlEye anti-cheat last week, some people asked why we are not using Valve Anti-Cheat (VAC). The thing is: we are not saying we will not include VAC at some point. Our first priority is getting BE running; also because of experiences gained with Arma 2. Then we still consider VAC as another (optional) layer of security for admins. It cannot be confirmed now.
- The Beta will enhance certain weapon optics with a much nicer-looking 3D version. We are aware of a few known issues with this technique, but feel the benefits outweigh these massively. Your reaction to seeing them proves this!
- Not long after Beta release we intend to enable scenario publication to Workshop. This is a huge step forward in sharing and discovering user content. We are integrating this in stages and starting with scenarios makes sense. Add-ons are trickier and we are not sure when we can support this yet (unlikely before the initial release).
Two primary concerns have been voiced so far: how it affects existing content providers and the license terms. We can try to address this in a blog later, but briefly: we honestly do believe there will always be an important place for websites sharing content. There are many ways to differentiate, evolve and offer things Workshop itself does not. Secondly, we are discussing options with Valve regarding the license terms for Arma 3, but to manage expectations: if that does not go through - you will need to accept the existing ones to use this functionality. In any case, we'd like to point out again that we are not stripping away the old methods of saving and loading scenarios. Workshop is an optional enhancement which we do believe massively benefits the user experience.
- Altis will not be part of the Beta. We want to finish it more first and it will be worth the wait! There is a chance we will stage it on Development branch ahead of main release for testing.
The actual plan for Alpha is to release the final Alpha patch (0.60) tomorrow. This includes the Sniper Package and even the stance indicator. With regards to the latter, you may need to reset your profile to see it properly. Alternatively, wait for an interface positioning option coming with the Beta. After this patch we start 're-skinning' the Alpha to become the Beta over the next few weeks. This means changing the default interface color to Beta blue, updating logos and icons, and of course sneaking in the content.
Two reminders: the Arma 3 Alpha Lite ends June 18th and access codes become unusable then. Going to Beta, we will change the user profile paths and file names. If you really want to you can rename manually. We prefer you to test default settings again however.