FROM: Project Lead
TO: Beta Users
INFO: Release week!
Welcome to Arma 3 release week! In two days we are transitioning from Beta to full release. For some of you Alpha and Beta veterans this is almost like any patch that has come before, albeit a huge one. For others this is going to be the starting point of their Arma 3 experience. For all of us, this is the first step on a hopefully long journey - as the platform grows and matures. This Thursday, 09:00 GMT+1 (Prague), is our target time for the switch from Beta to full version on Steam. Things are prepared and staged, so it should be feasible. We'll keep you posted via our (social) channels - including unveiling the splendid launch trailer!
We forgot to highlight the most recent Community Guide video last week, so here it is: an awesome look at snipers and launcher teams. The next episode is well on its way already, and very nicely showing how all elements in Arma 3 come together to form combined arms warfare.
Let's also not forget a Report In! with our Playable Content Lead, Jaroslav Kašný, who is now cracking the whip to get the first campaign episode finished with his team.
The Community Focus widget was updated on the main page - with some cool videos resulting from staging the release content. It also features a shout out to one of the local Czech communities at ARMAseries.cz. Naturally we will continue to update this widget after release; there is loads more to feature! On a related note: we've featured our second Workshop dev favorite scenario. Creative Director Jay Crowe selected the fresh approach of Wulfenstein by Pavelbier.
There is going to be a SPOTREP to detail the changes from the last Beta patch to the release version on Thursday.
As will often happen, in some regions the DVD retail version of Arma 3 has already ended up with people. Until the game is officially released on Thursday, installing it before that time will 'downpatch' the game to the Steam Beta. You are of course free to use it that way, but it means the update on Thursday will be larger for you. Keep this in mind if you are on low bandwidth Internet connections. Basically the DVD version is a Steam Product Code with a partial data snapshot on the disc. The snapshot will make the download smaller, but it still must activate and update at least once.
To confirm: we will continue our daily experimental builds on development branch as per usual. In fact, there is a rather huge backlog of updates queued up behind our project's release data lock. Once this lock is relaxed on the 12th, our team is free to publish to Steam devbranch and you'll likely see many, many tweaks and fixes immediately. We'd recommend those on low bandwidth connections to stay clear of devbranch for the first few days as the updates can easily reach gigabyte territory. Main branch patches will also resume. There is no exact timing for these, but we intend the cycle to be similar to the Alpha and Beta stages.
After release, owners of Digital Deluxe Editions (and selected retail Deluxe editions) will find their bonus content downloaded to their Steam installation directory for Arma 3. Browse to the Bonus sub-folder (example path \Steam\steamapps\common\Arma 3) to get your tactical guide, maps and soundtrack. Further tracks may be added to the soundtrack together with the campaign episodes.
We recommend most users to switch back to the main game branch on launch. Daily builds on development branch will continue, but we imagine a lot of you have been on this branch just to preview the release content.
Your system may benefit from updating drivers for e.g. graphics hardware. In some cases there are official beta drivers that help Arma 3 - but use these at your own risk.
To ensure your system is well-prepared for the full game, please do a file integrity check via the Steam client after all data has downloaded. If you are using non-SSD storage, please defragment your drives after downloading. This can significantly increase performance. You could consider doing a full re-installation, but it's not mandatory. Starting with clean user profiles can also help (resetting options and controls) - but be careful not to mistakenly delete your editor scenarios.