FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Zeus release date, GameSpy, Official Zeus Servers
Zeus launch prep continues with fixes and a few usability enhancements being deployed to devbranch. Zeus can now control unit stance for an entire group, and when lifting a Respawn Module into the air, it becomes a parachute respawn. We're also happy to reveal that we will be hosting 10 official Dedicated Servers with Zeus (maybe more later). They will be physically located in both the United States and Europe, and run a mix of Zeus game modes - from Game Master to Sector Control. The servers will use the main branch of the game once Zeus is launched (those up already are on devbranch for testing). Look / filter for host names like "[OFFICIAL] Arma 3 Zeus #01 (EU-NL) by Bohemia Interactive". Besides setting up a virtual meeting ground with our devs, we also want to continue performance profiling there. By gathering more information, we are trying to optimize for larger amounts of players.
Oh, and welcome to the 50th SITuation REPort! In celebration of this milestone, here is the official release date for Arma 3 Zeus: Thursday April 10 (free).
GameSpy has announced it is fully shutting down its multiplayer technologies on May 31 2014. Why does this affect us and you? The simplest explanation is that they provided the licensed middleware we have used for the Arma series to handle the server indexing and browsing. For Arma 3 we will solve this by making the full switch to Steam for this functionality. If you're on devbranch, you can already toggle between GameSpy and Steam in the server browser (top-right button). Our other games (including previous Armas) are being investigated, and our company will announce more detailed approaches once they are confirmed. For a little bit more information, check this forum post.
There are some upsides and some downsides to the change for Arma 3. We can list more servers in the browser (as opposed to the limit of 500 before). There are also more features we can try to implement: listing servers with friends on them, showing a server history, etc. However, at the moment the Steam-implementation does not support the player list and there is a limited mod listing. This is caused by less space being available for custom meta-data in the API. We have some ideas for work-arounds, so that may only be temporarily. Steam also requires several ports to be forwarded properly (27016 and 2303 for Steam services and the game by default). Generally, this implementation might be less capable at punching through complex NAT situations (i.e. finding all servers).
Should you have somehow missed it, take a look at the most recent Community Guide episode - covering guerilla warfare!
QA specialist Ondřej Kužel was next in line to submit an OPREP titled "AI Configuration". The in-depth report outlines on-going work dealing with the configuration of Artificial Intelligence from both the player and scenario designer perspectives. An example is the recent introduction of three fixed AI difficulty levels (and one custom one for experimentation).
A forum post by programmer Šimon Kolčiter requests your feedback on the desired approach concerning an animation fix. It has to do with the timing of switching to a new weapon while reloading the current one.