FROM: Project Lead
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Roadmap Blog, Nexus Feature Iterations
By now you'll have likely familiarized yourself with Creative Director Jay Crowe's blog concerning the roadmap. Its key bits of information were the names and themes of our two primary free platform updates: Nexus Update (1.54) and Eden Update. There will be more regular updates along the way, but these are the significant milestones on the road to the main Apex expansion. Just as we've done in the past with our Early Access packages, campaign episodes and DLC, this approach lets focus our work and bring the results to players sooner. One of the revelations that seemed to garner quite some interest, was the Arma 3 Units service (more on that next month). Another observation is the Visual Update package having been moved to Eden Update. This work needs a bit more time to tweak within the team, before we unleash it on Dev-Branch. We hope the roadmap gave you a good impression of our ambitions. Many more specifics will be shared as we continue our journey together.
REPregulars know we recently acquired a decommissioned T-72 and got to drive around in it during a team event. Last Friday Bohemia Interactive posted a blog containing some interesting trivia about our Edita, but especially a glorious video of her in action. Admittedly, we were holding our breath when the audio designers and camera operators were struggling to hold onto their equipment as the tank was racing through the muddy puddles!
The community also keeps generating plenty cool videos. Take a look at "Aerial Warfare - Operation Goldmine" by Ch11rcH. It's shot from the perspective of a Close Air Support pilot, and features some fancy editing effects. You'll see him flying Little Birds to escort Chinooks carrying infantry elements, but later he also jumps into an Apache for long-range gunnery support (mod aircraft). It shows a good example of dynamic events during player-based combined arms warfare, such as when they try to rescue a downed fellow pilot who is quickly swarmed by the enemy.
We were also impressed by a winner line-up screenshot taken after a community Team-versus-Team event: Arma Tactical Combat #6 Campaign 2015. Around 20 units (110 players) battled for control over Altis during the course of 12 weeks.
Having recently transitioned from being QA Lead to Sandbox Design Lead, Miloslav Cinko has published an OPREP to describe the core mechanic iterations for Nexus Update. Firstly, this means the improvements to Personal Protective Equipment we've mentioned several times. These relate also to slightly better hit reactions, by using (still optional) blood effects more prominently instead of the twitchy animations. Secondly, he explains our new approach to Fatigue and Stamina, which has already been heavily discussed on the forums among other places. We invite you to start by reading the report, in order to get a sense of our goals with these changes. Then you might follow up with a forum post by Jay, in which he offers a bit more context and insight into our motivations.
Stamina is live on Dev-Branch, and receiving quick iterations based on our own and your feedback. There certainly is room for discussion and tweaks. Our goal is to bring the interesting gameplay of having to consider your movement, load-out and their effects on your character's state to more Arma players (who frequently replace the vanilla system or disable it all-together now). One part of this is improved communication to the player via the optional Stamina Bar for example. We do not intend to make movement unrestricted, nor to have fully equipped soldiers sprinting everywhere. It's possible that even after the next weeks of iterations, you still feel the mechanic does not fit with your vision of Arma. To cater to this, we're creating a sample mod that demonstrates how to set up the game close to what it is in main branch now, but also enables you to tweak it further to your liking.
We've also done some small tweaks to character movement to make Close Quarter Combat movement a tiny bit smoother. Animation Encoder Martin Kašpar explains: "A new character collision model (slightly smaller) for turning around has been created to avoid problems when turning around in interiors, doorways, etc. In addition to that, the rotation axis of the rotation collision model has been set exactly to the center axis of the soldier to avoid unwanted movement when turning around. This only affects animation states for rifle, pistol and launcher with suffix _TurnX (where X stands for L and R)."
We are planning to update the experimental client port betas shortly after Nexus Update 1.54, so that players on Linux and Mac can benefit from all additions, fixes and tweaks as well. This will not be a simultaneous release, but we'll try to get it out reasonably soon after the Windows primary version.
Some time ago, Steam changed the way in which free applications are distributed. Such tools are no longer automatically assigned to every Steam user, but require you to 'subscribe' to them (still for free). We encountered this when we introduced our separated Arma 3 Samples app, and we also converted Arma 3 Tools. At the time we were not entirely sure how these changes would affect existing users, and that is why we didn't convert Arma 3 Server. We would however like to do so now, but are interested in your opinion, especially if you are a server operator. The apps would still be free, would still require any valid Steam account, would still allow use of SteamCMD, but would require a one-time manual action via the store page. It should also be said that while we're currently not forced by Steam to adopt the new method, we cannot guarantee that we'll eventually have to switch (or the old way becomes deprecated). Share your thoughts with Tools Commissar Julien Vida, who is on stand-by to answer any further questions!
Senior Designer Bořivoj Hlava has dropped by Community Wiki to document the current state of our Launcher's handling of mod dependencies. Inspect the relevant features, User Interface controls, status messages and more. The Launcher team can be reached for feedback in this forums thread.
Sometimes you just need to chill out and quietly do some introspection. Getting into the right mood could already be achieved by watching calming videos of fireplaces, rain forests and fish tanks, but a true Armaholic naturally prefers a parked Main Battle Tank. Having achieved complete Zen, you may find the focus required to spot all the little easter eggs.