FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Zeus release, Steam browser
Zeus is finally unleashed on everyone this Thursday! We're keen to see how you will use it, and are looking forward to cool streams and play-through videos to share. Our own testing sessions have been quite role-play heavy, with Game Masters guiding groups of players through a myriad of unique, unplanned and constantly changing scenarios. But there are many other ways of using the tech - surprise us! Zeus will be 'packaged' as a DLC inside the game, and also on Steam. However, there is no need for any manual installation. Just like other updates, the data is downloaded automatically via Steam and plugged into your game (version 1.16).
We're planning to do a Zeus 'Launch' livestream event this Saturday - more details to follow if it goes ahead. And for a bit more background on Zeus' abilities and controls, take a look at the exported Field Manual records.
Programmer Krzysztof Bielawski shared with us his Steam Workshop recommendation: 'Operation Cold Rising' by OksmanTV. In his words: "It's a lengthy, story-driven, enjoyable scenario. I was impressed by the incredibly well-designed flow of tasks, the team communication, scripting, planning, and realization. A big thumbs up to everyone involved - playing this mission was a blast (and a fine opportunity to debug AI behaviours)."
Work on the Steam server browser progresses rapidly by the work of programmer Lukáš Gregor. Many of the initial limitations in the devbranch implementation were addressed.
- Mod hashes: servers once again send a hash of each expansion / mod used, so clients can compare it to their own data and mark servers as incompatible (shown as an orange icon).
- Mod filter: allows the browser to show only servers that use a subset of installed client mods. This was detected by the name of the mod before. Since we now know the hash of each mod, it's detected by that (so it can detect a different version of the mod or a mod with the same name but with different content).
- Mod list: now shows up to 256 characters instead of 128 previously.
- Signatures: servers send the list of data signatures that are required to play on the server. Similar to mod hashes, the browser shows incompatible signatures using the icon.
- Keywords: we have filter options to show only servers using a specific string in the server or scenario name. With GameSpy we could pass that string and it would return only servers that match it. With Steam there isn't any technology like that, so the client had to download a list of all servers and drop those which didn't match the filter. This could take a while. Now the server creates a list of keywords (taken from the server and scenario names) and then the Steam query uses this so only servers that match the given words are returned. The issue is that it matches whole words only; you can't search for the "Headhunters" scenario by typing just "Head".
- Steam is now configured as the default server browser on devbranch.
Multiplayer optimization attempts are looking optimistic. The server-side algorithm that determines what messages to resend and to which clients, has been optimized and rewritten to use additional CPU cores. Together with a client-side optimization of network message computations, these changes should provide a noticeable boost to framerates in multiplayer sessions. The changes have to be carefully tested but they should be ready for the update after Zeus (1.18). You can already try them out on devbranch.
Tools Commissar Petr Kolář released a small update to Arma 3 Tools just in time for the weekend. Mainly it corrected a few issues in Terrain Builder, notably to let it support binarized P3D model data. Terrain builders can now use objects from the game's add-ons for example. Programmer Jan Mareček is working on further fixes and improvements.