FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Bootcamp finalization, Game laucher, Hotfixed 1.22
Development has just entered the typical release preparation stages for Bootcamp Update. We are on data lock, and so all of our developers focus on fixes rather than additions - until the 1.24 update goes live soon. Staging of the sandbox components got delayed from Friday, but was released onto Dev-Branch yesterday. We caution most players against switching to this branch, unless they are sure they want to deal with potential issues. The update is not far away, so you'll get to enjoy the complete and tested content soon enough. Of course any help with pre-release testing is appreciated! Today we also staged the first bit of playable content: VR Arsenal. This mode can be used to explore the many character equipment options, including community ones. Another valuable use is exporting and saving custom load-outs for deployment in other scenarios or Zeus multiplayer (as respawn load-out). There are two more additions that will be staged within days if things go according to plan: the game launcher (more info below) and the rest of the playable content (campaign and Virtual Reality training lessons).
With 1.24 we should finally get going with add-on support in Steam Workshop. Let's take a look at what will be supported and what won't yet be. This is to be the first public iteration. Its goal is to 'close the loop' for add-ons; modders should be able to publish them and players should be able to download / install them. That also means to get the architecture up and running (having a separate application - the launcher - start the game / Workshop communication between multiple applications).
- We're initially trying to make it easier for typical players to get access to add-ons. Power users have access to several brilliant community launchers that support many advanced features. Our launcher is a separate application and will not get in the way of their efforts.
- The 1.0 launcher is rather basic in terms of functionality. There are (advanced) start-up parameters and initial manipulation with Workshop add-ons (no non-Workshop add-ons yet).
- For 1.24 we will probably not set the launcher as default Steam action, but rather a third option. We need to test the architecture in the wider user-base (with virus scanners and similar software probing it) before we can confidently make it default in the update after that.
- Only single add-ons are supported in this iteration (so no mod folders). Of course many things can be packed into a single PBO add-on, but later we do intend to also support full mods.
- Modders will see the add-on publisher tool appear in Arma 3 Tools on the other end of the spectrum.
- More features are certainly planned. Think about the aforementioned mod support, as well as mod presets and more advanced use-cases such as handling connection to a server with Workshop add-ons.
Sandbox designer Radko Voda has described the two largest gameplay refinements for Bootcamp Update in his newest OPREP. First he analyses what we've done to enhance the fatigue system in the game; a system that is not new, but still could use some improvements. From a player's point of view, it can also be interesting to read exactly what affects fatigue in Arma 3 and how you can manage it. It's quite satisfying to master this and be able to travel the battlefield effectively while encumbered. The second part is all about weapon sway; work that you could say is a prelude to Marksmen DLC. Control your breathing, consider the size and weight of your weapon and again, mind your fatigue. We should point out that a third aspect, weapon inertia, is not likely going to make it into Bootcamp Update and will be enabled short thereafter.
On Monday we dropped a 1.22 hotfix on main branch (and the Arma 3 Server app). Its main change was to remove the ability to define custom Steam query ports on servers. Instead, said query ports are always +1 of the game network ports. So when you host a server via network port 3202, the query port will be 3203. This should make it more transparent to hosts and clients what ports need to be open / forwarded for multiplayer to work well (especially when you rent a server and have no advanced admin access). We've also presented the used ports in various places (the create host menu, the RPT log and the Dedicated Server command window). There are also still several things we know don't work well yet in the Steam browser, and which we'll continue to work on for 1.24 and beyond.