FROM: Creative Director
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: 1.40 Release, Marksmen 'First Look' Livestream, Land 't Spam
After a few additional rounds of feedback / iteration, Update 1.40 was deployed yesterday. With it, our players can enjoy a whole host of tweaks, fixes, and new features. The gargantuan SPOTREP has the complete run-down, and we detailed some of highlights (including splendid new weapon sounds, 'telescopic turrets', and vehicle passenger inertia) in last week's royal correspondence. But wait, there's more! Arma 3 Tools, too, have received some love. Tweaks for Terrain Builder and new samples are just the tip of the love-berg; swing on by the TECHREP for Julien 'chef amant de l'outil' Vida's full love-letter.
Meanwhile, on the Dev-Branch Front, players may have heard the distant rumblings of an audio feature offensive. As planned, a distance-based attenuation filter was rolled out. This means that distant sounds (e.g., a firefight half a klick away) are much more characteristic. As, uh, slightly-less-than-planned, the first wave of our 'Weapon Tails' feature made contact with the community. This week, we should see a more careful (and intentional) deployment. This development is part of a bigger package of audio features planned for Marksmen DLC. Although we're happy with the splendid progress thus far, it remains subject to additional tweaks, fixes and - in the worst case - postponement.
Progress, too, was made in the 'community challenge', which wrapped up yesterday. With it, our 7 new weapons were revealed: a mix of marksmen rifles and 2 new machine guns. Thanks to everyone for getting to grips with the Firing Drills challenge! Turning our attention to the weapons themselves, let's straighten out a couple of dropped balls (todo: rephrase mixed metaphors; or don't, I'm just a note, not a cop). First off, the 'ASP-1 Kir' is, in fact, a CSAT weapon; similarly, the 'Mk14' is a new addition for the FIA only. In addition, the Cyrus uses 9.3x64 mm rounds (i.e., not the calibre specified under the round itself). A similar glitch is found with CTRG's MAR-10, too. Apologies for the inaccuracies!
Then there's the question of 'why no bolt-action rifles?'. In short, we ran into some roadblocks related to, fundamentally, how we simulate weapons. We determined that the resources needed to change this were vastly disproportionate to the potential benefits. Instead, we chose to focus upon other features, which we feel can improve infantry combat more broadly. To see exactly what we mean by that - and to get a first look at some of the new content in action - tune into our official Twitch livestream. You can join a bunch of our team members on Saturday March 7th, starting at 17:00 UTC (the dress code is smart casual, but exceptions may be made for those with more lumbersensual sensibilities).
The bulk of this week's 'operations' are courtesy of our project-lead-in-exile. Prepare yourselves for Joris-Jan van 't Spam! Although he's attending GDC this week - part of an expert panel exploring the relationship between the laws of war and games - before jetting off, Our Dear Leader found the time to star in an upcoming development diary. And, if you missed it, check out his interview with pcper.com, which provides answers to variety of Arma 3 questions. We expect to welcome Joris back next week, when (to the great relief of our French community, who translate these reports) SITREPs will return to normal service.
Not one to be easily outdone, Lead Programmer, Ondřej Martinák, took the time to complete a 'Report In'. Aside from some shocking revelations (apparently programmers are not machines that transform coffee into code), he explains what it means to be a programmer on Arma 3, talks about some of the most significant challenges (#optimisation), and hints at what the Arma 3 Programming department will be working on in the upcoming year. Splendid stuff indeed.
Some interesting progress has been made on the NAT traversal front. In short, UPNP support for servers was enabled, which automatically creates port forwarding to bypass Network Address Translation (NAT) issues. This should help those behind a router with NAT who've been unable to create public servers following the GameSpy service shutdown. Documentation was updated across on our Community Wiki.
Speaking of documentation, our unsung programming heroes have struck again, this time expanding the compatibility of weapon magazines. This allows weapons to share various groups of magazines, rather than just listing them. For example, if someone creates a weapon with 9mm FMJ ammo and sets up the magazine group correctly, someone else could easily add magazines (with, say, 9mm HP), define it the same group, and the weapon would accept the new magazine.