FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Helicopters release date, Multiplayer update
The release date for Arma 3 Helicopters has been announced as November 4th of this year. Initially estimated as late September, we've determined we need an extra month of tweaking before the package is splendid. Ahead of release, we will be staging the content on Dev-Branch (more details on how that will work in an upcoming report). Besides the release date, we also unveiled the second brand-new helicopter: Mi-290 Taru. This heavy coaxial utility helicopter fits the CSAT faction well, and brings some unique logistical options to the sandbox in a different way than the CH-67 Huron does. Taru variants make use of the modular design by joining various mission pods to its frame. Alternatively it can carry heavy Sling Loads when flying without pod at all. The mission pods available are: regular closed passenger transport, special-purpose passenger benches, fuel, ammunition, repairs, medevac and cargo. Its advantage over the Huron is the ability to quickly fly supplies as part of its aerodynamic shape, rather than needing to fly more carefully with an externally slung container. On the other hand it has no defensive weapons besides countermeasures. Oh, and since we didn't specifically mention it in the press release: owners of the Supporter Edition will of course get the DLC without extra charge.
Yesterday we've updated main branch of the game with the 1.30 hotfix that had been tested and iterated for a while. As the term 'hotfix' implies, this is not a full update; it targets multiplayer optimization only. With great help from various community groups and mods, we see improvements in this version. That's not to say we're done. As with many optimizations, they may only benefit specific mod(e)s, servers or players. For example, some types of multiplayer scenario do a lot of initial scripted setup or send a lot of data during a Join-In-Progress. Such cases should be helped by these changes. More optimizations will be pursued based on logs gathered from other test sessions.
Version 1.30 adds the extended netcode diagnostic options to main branch. Willing server admins may help us gather even more data to base future optimizations on. Command-line parameter -networkDiagInterval=X will poll the status of bandwidth, traffic and similar data every X seconds. We'd like admins experiencing desync or other netcode issues to try and enable these diagnostics and send us the results on Feedback Tracker. The parameter is disabled by default because it may reduce performance when used.
Yet another livestream was hosted last Friday. Matt Lightfoot invited Creative Director Jay Crowe and Encoding Lead Petr Kolář along for the bouncy ride. Together they risked a sneak peak on Dev-Branch to have some fun with the new features arriving for everyone alongside Arma 3 Helicopters. The mad ordeal involved Sling Loading rubber boats under helicopters and having people inside said boats engage each other mid-flight. Several issues were still observed, but that's why they are still being tested and fixed for several weeks. There's a lot of potential for both authentic and completely crazy concepts!
Our Encoding department has added a parameter to asset configurations which can assist modders in determining what features are supported by specific assets (livery randomization, camo selections, Sling Loading, Firing from Vehicles, etc.). Config parameter features is also used in the exported asset listing on the Community Wiki. The configuration and export process is still a work-in-progress, so other categories will be done over time.
What's new for scripters on Dev-Branch? There is a set of commands to deal with various types of vehicle lights: isLightOn, isCollisionLightOn, setPilotLight and setCollisionLight. Secondly, a series of commands for vehicle turrets and their weapons were added: addWeaponTurret, removeWeaponTurret and turretLocal.
Tools Commissar Julien Vida reports on a potential work-around for modders who are experiencing difficulties with their P-drive. It may be that your system's PATH enviornment variable is not configured correctly. Please take great care when trying to adjust it as is described here.