FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Helicopters DLC status, Firing from Vehicles Dev-Branch
Let's take a look at the status of Arma 3 Helicopters as a whole. The two new helicopters and their variants are Beta in our internal milestones. The artwork is complete, cockpit instruments configured, crew animations plugged in, and most recently, sound effects enabled. We're very happy with the results, and will keep tweaking them for a solid release. The supporting playable content (some of which is premium content, and other bits will be added to everyone for free), sits somewhere between Alpha and Beta. Our designers are play-testing daily to offer an introduction to beginning helicopter pilots and provide a new multiplayer experience based around aerial logistics. As of yesterday, Firing from Vehicles has been staged to Dev-Branch. This means all three major features complementing the helicopters are in Beta and in testing: RotorLib Flight Dynamics Modeling, Sling Loading and Firing from Vehicles. Your feedback has already helped us improve the first two, and we're tracking your reports on the latest addition. To iterate again, these features are part of a free platform update to Arma 3, not locked to owners of the DLC.
1.30 hotfix testing and iterating continues on the Steam Release Candidate and Profiling branches. The (slow) procedure is as follows:
- We place a RC version of the game on its Steam branch (access code Arma3Hotfix130).
- Online Services technician David Foltýn updates his special testing servers and enables extensive netcode logging.
- We ask a mix of internal testers and community players to connect and play on this server.
- After a period of at least several hours, the logs are collected and passed to our programmers.
- These logs are processed, and issues identified and fixed for a new iteration.
- The process starts again, until we arrive at an acceptable state and can release it to everyone.
It is simply not feasible for us to replicate all multiplayer conditions in-house, so we appreciate your help with our 'stress tests'! If you're interested in helping, please keep an eye on our Twitter channel for tests. Community member CiforDayZServer has written a quick guide on how to use the RC branch and connect to the test servers.
The Dev-Branch staging of Firing from Vehicles was quickly followed by an OPREP on the feature in question. Senior Programmer Krzysztof Bielawski and Encoding Lead Petr Kolář joined forces to shed some light on how the technology was implemented and what it means for modders / scenario designers. Getting this feature to work was not just about firing primary weapons. We also had to support other infantry features, such as sidearms, zeroing, reloading, optics and grenades. And to top it off, the Artificial Intelligence underwent training to be able to make it rain down lead. Your feedback is very welcome in this dedicated forums thread.
The Launcher team is happy to report they have found the primary culprit for those encountering an invisible launcher. There was an incompatibility with the third-party SweetFX Shader Suite. Upcoming versions of the launcher will be able to detect this situation and correct for it.
More splendid scripting language enhancements are under way via Dev-Branch. It is now possible to select a range in an array or string, as well as to delete a specific array element or range. Scripters will now be able to avoid the common deletion work-around (_array = _array - ["delete_me"]). There also is a new command getHit to retrieve hit point damage via selection name rather than config class.