FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Report In Tanoa, Holstered Sidearms, Release Candidate 1.48
The public testing phase of the next main branch update (1.48) has kicked off. It will last the entirety of this week. The result should be a more solid release next week, depending on the test outcomes. The Release Candidate Steam branch has been opened under access code Arma3Update148RC. With that comes the usual caution that you'll not be able to join 1.46 multiplayer servers, and that this branch may receive (daily) updates until release. Besides regular play-testing, several bigger multiplayer stress tests are being organised. Our internal Publishing QA team will invade David "Dwarden" Foltýn's CHIMERA servers this Thursday, and you can join too. We'll share further details via Twitter.
It may be a little cruel to tease you with more Tanoa info before you can visit it yourself, but representatives of the environment department have done a lovely Report In interview. Both Petr Sedláček and Radim Vítek answer questions about how their team is structured, what their roles are, and how our virtual worlds are created. They then discuss what it's like creating a Pacific terrain like Tanoa and how far along it is in development. Particularly interesting are their accounts of a recent field trip to research the setting more closely. The guys have a lot of work in front of them over the coming months. We have absolute confidence in them delivering a fantastic "green hell" to explore, and the rest of the team will support them along the way!
That's not it either! Last Thursday, we filmed a new Tanoa-themed episode of our dev diaries in the sunny backyard of the Mníšek pod Brdy office. The next day was spent on-location in the Brno office, where the bulk of environment work is done.
Ladies and gentlemen, "Start Your Engines"! A flat 5.0% of worldwide players have tried and finished any official Time Trial since this achievement was introduced. Part of the PLAY > CHALLENGES game mode, these were always meant to just be fun distractions from the main game. They can however train up your skills in certain areas useful in combat, such as vehicle handling and split-second decision making. Basically, you are racing your vehicle through a series of Check Points until you reach the finish. You can try to beat the bronze, silver and gold trophies and improve upon your personal best record. Don't expect to beat gold on your first attempt, unless you're a natural pro of course! Keep replaying the trials, memorize the course, find shortcuts and get better. There are 10 official trials in total, though quite a few require DLC ownership. Without that, TT1: Circuit Training and TT6: Runway Lap can be played by anyone.
What can you do to improve your times?
- Don't always move from one Check Point directly to another. Plan a clever path that factors in your inertia and anticipates your orientation towards the next Check Point.
- By default, use Left Shift for a small speed boost and try cornering using your handbrake (X).
- Don't always fly at maximum speed in the case of helicopters. You may need to burn off speed for some turns.
- You'll also want to consider the Advanced Flight Model as it lets you be more maneuverable in the hands of a skilled pilot.
- Missing a Check Point will incur a 10 second penalty. There are rare cases where the benefit of skipping outweigh this penalty.
- Check out these play-through videos by Bassly for some tips and tricks.
Various mod teams are making great progress. Let's take a look at just two of last week's highlights. Shelestov has been working on his geo-typical Ukraine terrain, Orshanets, and it's looking amazingly detailed and rich. A version of the terrain is available to try, with a limited region brought up to target standards.
Meanwhile in a galaxy much further away, Blue Harvest Int is creating a playable fan homage to one of the most iconic science fiction universes out there. Subscribe to their first release package on Workshop, and then go to the Editor or Arsenal to play around with some cool toys.
When you try version 1.48 for the first time, take a look at your holster. It will finally contain a visualized sidearm; a popular request for a long time. It obviously looks much better than an empty holster, and it allows you to identify the sidearm on other people (dead or alive). However, this is really only about the visualization of the sidearm and some tricks were used to achieve it. The weapons dynamically scale slightly to fit in the universal holsters. Attachments are also not shown because the clipping issues are too hard to solve. Visit the updated weapon configuration guidelines to see how you can prepare your mods. More changes in this area are not ruled out, but also not expected in the near future.
Encoding Lead Petr Kolář briefs us on one further set of 1.48 tweaks: "There is one more interesting change in the upcoming patch, this time on the vehicle side of the game. We have tweaked the collision durability of most vehicles to make the gameplay smoother, yet still believable. Gone should be the infamous flat wheels after riding through a wobbly fence at low speeds, but hitting something hard should still cause some real damage to the car. Our precious Offroads may now even wander off the road without fears of being disabled when driven with some caution."
With the bulk of the team focused on the game, Tools Commissar Julien Vida is already preparing the next update of the Arma 3 Tools suite. A significantly iterated FSM Editor has been submitted for testing by programmer Marcel Marciš. It contains some very welcome usability enhancements, like the ability to search throughout states and code! There will also be a new tool, DSUtils, which provides an easy-to-use visual interface to all addon signature tools (formerly command-line based only).
Finally, we had already mentioned some of the script commands added on Dev-Branch recently, many of them based on community requests. Scripters will also get to enjoy arrayIntersect, serverName, allPlayers, and more!