FROM: High Command
TO: Arma 3 Users
INFO: Eden Update Consolidation, Audio Fidelity, Weapon Switching
We now have a pretty good picture of the consolidated Eden Update package. It is shaping up to be an awesome free update to Arma 3, made possible by your support for the game. We have created our data snapshot and applied the usual development locks, so that we can begin to focus on testing and tweaking the update as a whole. This also means that we'll open the Steam Release Candidate testing branch this or next week.
We'll do our best to stress test the update ourselves and to ensure that no new issues are introduced. We do however really need your help, especially when it comes to custom mods and other variables we can't directly control. Please focus on truly new issues and report them to Feedback Tracker with a clear indication that they were tested in the RC build. If an issue looks like it may be in custom content, kindly forward the details to the authors of that content as well. There are a number of complex platform changes that may affect compatibility even though we've striven to guard back-compat throughout. The powerful new Eden Editor affects code in the engine that is shared by both editors, the low-level audio engine was overhauled, many scripted functions were optimized and replaced by script command calls, etc. All of these will bring the platform forward in huge ways, but there is an element of risk. Together we can minimize problems, and should they occur, we'll work hard to solve them as quickly as possible. Ultimately the game will be much better for it!
Audio Designer Kryštof Havel has taken on new duties, as witnessed on a recent dev photo. He can be seen applying a coat of anti-gloss make-up to Programmer Filip Sádovský, one of the stars of an upcoming new dev diary about the Eden Editor.
Take a look at how pretty Clocktacular makes our game and your mods look in his gallery of screenshots covering a year of operations! Another gallery worth sharing was uploaded by Btodan. Looking great folks, keep them coming!
The Arma 3 soundscape is in for a real treat in Eden Update. Parts of the audio engine foundation work was included with the previous update, but in 1.56 we're going to really make use of the new possibilities. Audio Lead Jan Dušek has more:
"As part of our effort to refactor the audio engine and our plan to unify sound configuration, we are introducing a new sound object architecture. This new configuration replaces the old inconsistent approach, which was the result of many years of adding specific features (like sample arrays) to specific sound categories. Now, you will be able to use all low-level sound features everywhere the new configuration is applied. Currently, this new system is only used for shooting and explosions but, in future, it will cover most significant sound categories.
So, on Dev-Branch you can already hear two of the most significant features: 'distant samples' and the 'multi-channel panner' (a smoother transition between ambient and positional sound, which is used mainly for reflection tails). The actual state is a work in progress, and we're still processing feedback and resolving issues / making optimizations. Apart from this, it's worth mentioning that there is also a new class CfgSoundGlobals, which contains default / global sound settings. More detailed information is coming soon!"
In the past, we've hinted at an overhaul of our approach to weapon switching, which we'd targeted for Eden Update. To make good on that, version 1.56 will introduce new control options to quickly switch weapon types in vehicles, like it is for infantry. For now, you will need to bind these manually and experiment with convenient buttons, but later we plan on integrating these actions into our presets, once potential conflicts have been resolved.
If you'd like to play around with this on Dev-Branch, go to the Configure > Controls > Weapons tab and map the switching controls you want. As a character, you can switch to your primary weapon, secondary weapon or sidearm via dedicated controls. Pressing the same control again will start cycling firing modes for that weapon, if more are available. In vehicles, we have divided the weapons over four abstract groups. Going from group 1 to 4, these typically are: cannons or machine guns, machine guns or rockets, guided missiles, bombs or laser designators - dependent on the vehicle (there is config control over this categorization). We look forward to the feedback on this new technology, and can't wait to roll it out fully on the road to Apex.
Programmer Krzysztof Bielawski has made several scenario designers unreasonably happy with increased control over AI entities. Using script commands disableAI and enableAI, you can now toggle two additional sections: "AUTOCOMBAT" and "COVER". The former controls the autonomous switching to combat behavior when the entity detects danger. Having this disabled lets you be the one who commands their behavior, but that also means you become responsible for those poor souls. The second section toggles the AI's usage of cover positions around them in the environment. Let us know how you feel about these options in this forums thread.