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Finding the right ballance between realism and playability

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Whats wrong with realism?

Damn Yes I want planes to behave like the real thing, I want realistic equipment and game mechanics. Thats what makes Arma an outstanding game. Arma is out of competition because if that.

Cutting down Realism is the wrong way!

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What gameplay is sacrificed that you would like to see?

I used to think similar not so long ago, now i like arma just the way it is and would love to see more realism in some areas

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One of the things that bothers me on the Arma series is that it seems to sacrifice the gameplay in favour of realism. I'm sure many people who play these series play them because of the realism. But cratering only to these "hardcore" sim fans only limits the game appeal for a broader audience.

Don't missunderstand me, I do not want the series to turn into another "run-of-the-mill" Call of Duty type of game. That would be wrong. But what I'm implying is that by making it more accessible it would surely benefit and appeal to a broader audience.

After all, would it be fun if the aircraft in the game behaved like real ones? In my opinion no.

And before you say that cutting-down on the realism is a bad thing per-se, do not forget that neither OFP nor the Arma series are actual "war sims". They clearly fall somewhere in-between realism and arcade.

I understand your point, although I don't think you'll ever find a 'perfect' spot that pleases eveeryone.

Obviously though the whole idea of what is fun and what isn't is all down to personal opinion. Some people here might like the game to be extremely realistic and will do their best to play it as such. Others might just want to come on and and fire off a few rounds at some poor chaps face in a deathmatch.

I think it helps that the series of games have been easy to modifiy, allowing you to pretty much do anything you want. You sort of build your game up to what you want it to be. There's not really any games out there that have that somewhat flexability to do this in my opinion.

People seriously looking at simulators need to look at software like VBS. The OFP/ArmA series is still a game. I don't think it's extremely realistic and neither do I think it's arcade. Like you said a mix between the two.

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I think some people just havent experienced yet how much fun this "reality" can actually make.

I often find it much more joyful to prone for 10 minutes in cover and then finally taking the shot at my target than rushing through a room in slow-mo.

Could also be related to how willing someone is to get challenged and how his personal "rewarding system" works

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One of the things that bothers me on the Arma series is that it seems to sacrifice the gameplay in favour of realism.

Such as?

I'm sure many people who play these series play them because of the realism. But cratering only to these "hardcore" sim fans only limits the game appeal for a broader audience.

There are tons of wannabes realistic shooters on the market. But there is only one game that falls under the simulation category, and that is ArmA franchise (and its lego sdk). The "realism crowd" is bigger than one would expect.

Don't missunderstand me, I do not want the series to turn into another "run-of-the-mill" Call of Duty type of game. That would be wrong. But what I'm implying is that by making it more accessible it would surely benefit and appeal to a broader audience.

What do you mean by more accessible? Care to be more on the point?

I keep hearing that word, more and more often, unfortunately, my previous experience with titles going more accessible turned out to be games for the button pushers and brain dead ppl.

After all, would it be fun if the aircraft in the game behaved like real ones? In my opinion no.

We all have different opinions i guess. For me, making fixed winged vehicles behave more realistically without taking it all the way to DCS levels would be an improvement rather than a step back.

Surely, some might disagree on this one but i guess BIS is set to cater for the vast majority of their player base (which is one of a kind in today's gaming industry) rather than trying to earn more money buy toning done certain things, or making things more easier just so that the random Joe that buys a game each month and migrates between them to get to play it for a few weeks...

And before you say that cutting-down on the realism is a bad thing per-se, do not forget that neither OFP nor the Arma series are actual "war sims". They clearly fall somewhere in-between realism and arcade.

I guess no one says otherwise. But as i previously said, you post if very generic, and that realism term you used here that often is very vague and wide. Would be better if you start such a topic to actually be more precise about what parts of the "simulation/realism" you think might be better left out...

Edited by PuFu

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If you think making the game more accessible will dumb down the community then you truthfully never have played on public servers. Addon(s) quality and quantity have both been dying slowly as the franchise progresses.

How many major addons from ArmA have carried over? How many of them have just ported their content and ignored the difference in quality? It's become an army of porters and people whom make work but release it privately.

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If you think making the game more accessible will dumb down the community then you truthfully never have played on public servers. Addon(s) quality and quantity have both been dying slowly as the franchise progresses.

What does this have to do with the subject at hand in the first place?

How many major addons from ArmA have carried over? How many of them have just ported their content and ignored the difference in quality? It's become an army of porters and people whom make work but release it privately.

That is to be expected for a number of reasons:

Creating content is no longer as easy at it was back in the day for OFP. Most of the time it requires at least the basic knowledge in the 3d world, as well as profession software to make it happen. A good part of the addon developers around those very forums are part of the entertainment industry in one form or another. Since original and quality content creation takes more and more time to make as the vanilla shaders, textures and models improves, there are ppl who will either drop the idea of even trying, or just say it's not worth their free time any more. there are a lot of ppl i know who started with addons then moved up into the industry and now making a living out of making the same things they used to release here for free.

That said, there are a lot of quality addon makers and studios still alive and kicking. The fact that you don't see them as often might be related to making a living :)

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So where are we now when influential members such as Opx leave due to Visitor never being updated? Where are we when the majority of the islands made are a joke compared to old standards? Same thing happened with the Source community, died slowly as the quality of mods decreased.

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So where are we now when influential members such as Opx leave due to Visitor never being updated? Where are we when the majority of the islands made are a joke compared to old standards? Same thing happened with the Source community, died slowly as the quality of mods decreased.

I still don't get what does it have with the subject entitled: finding the right balance between realism and playability.

What is the point you are trying to make here?

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You can argue as many points against it as for it.Realism is only good so far and then the game has to be desirable to play. and I think that is where playability comes in.

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One of the things that bothers me on the Arma series is that it seems to sacrifice the gameplay in favour of realism. ...But cratering only to these "hardcore" sim fans only limits the game appeal for a broader audience.

I have no problem with people talking about improving ArmA, but talk of making it more "accessible" to nit-wits like you really grates on my nerves. sorry.

there's nothing wrong with ArmA, the real problem is with you. go buy a Wii or something.

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But what I'm implying is that by making it more accessible it would surely benefit and appeal to a broader audience.

Can people saying "broader audience" say "me" instead? Not all games have to appeal to you, you already have a lot of arcade shooters. We have only one ArmA

Besides appealing to a broader audience is always a bad thing for a game itself.

After all, would it be fun if the aircraft in the game behaved like real ones? In my opinion no.

It would be immensely fun if aircraft in games behaved like real ones. People complained a lot about ArmA planes (and they are the most arcade stuff here). And thankfully in ArmA3 at least choppers will.

And before you say that cutting-down on the realism is a bad thing per-se, do not forget that neither OFP nor the Arma series are actual "war sims". They clearly fall somewhere in-between realism and arcade.

All simulations, even Falcon 4 have arcade stuff because some things can't just be simulated 100% on a computer.

But Bohemia should continue trying.

More realism certainly helps playability a lot in a game like ArmA. See ACE mod.

Pressing a button and waiting 10 secs until soldier heals a wounded guy

vs.

Checking the wounded soldier, if needed applying morphine/epinephrine/doing heart massage, bandaging wounds (all of it takes resources medics carry which they don't in vanilla)

What's more interesting for a guy playing as medic here?

Besides I always hear about how ArmA "sacrifices gameplay in favor of realism" but I never have as much fun with some BF or CoD as I do with ArmA so I can't understand what you are talking about. Does it mean I can't be a part of a "broader audience" club? :(

If you think making the game more accessible will dumb down the community then you truthfully never have played on public servers. Addon(s) quality and quantity have both been dying slowly as the franchise progresses.

Public servers are crap mostly because there's zero communication between people for various reasons (that incl. people themselves)

ArmA community itself is still far from going down to the same level as "broader audience", despite having monthly "why this gaem no play like BF" threads like this one.

But I completely agree about addon quality. Maybe one of the reasons is that Bohemia ruined its reputation with many OFP players with not so good ArmA1 and some good addon makers were among them.

OFP was even less "accessible" than ArmA2 - yet it sold 2 mln copies a decade ago when there were much less PCs. BIS should focus on getting those OFP people back.

There is quite a number of people on various gaming forums that love OFP but think that ArmA2 is crap thanks to ArmA1 if that's of any indication.

Edited by metalcraze

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Let BIS worry about "finding the right balance". I think they're doing a pretty decent job:

1) We get to create missions that are anything but realistic, which also seem to be among the popular ones.

2) We get simplified medic system which works okay in most (especially public) gaming scenarios. And we can choose a more complex one if we so want it.

3) We have engineers that can now repair near wrecked vehicles. I was engineer, I never did that stuff. And yet I find it to be good "gaming mechanics" even if it's nowhere near realistic.

4) As for flying realism, don't forget that even if our fixed wing flight model is very limited, broader and more realistic flight models such as used in FSX also have

where it fails just as bad as our ability to
:p

5) We have some realistic aspects that few others bother attempting even. Like moon cycles with corresponding tides and fairly realistic dark nights.

6) Not everything can be made realistic due engine limitations that may be too deep to address, have too much cost/time to implement, or is simply not desirable to implement from a gaming perspective, or even conflicts with already existing features.

With those in mind, it's clear that they:

1) Do implement new features for the sake of realism, with pretty deep structure changes (TAKOH flight model for helicopters, which I agree is far more important than fixed wing flight model wrt gameplay).

2) Have already more things simulated than we may care to acknowledge. Maybe it's there but we don't use them much? Like the three medical modules.

3) They do keep in mind gameplay and accessibility. Engineer capability is evidence of it, and they have also said so themselves.

They don't want to be too anal about realism (no, realism isn't always a good thing in a game), because they know it would hurt sales. Besides, looking at what goes on on public servers; what the hell is the point of having a realistic game when 90% of the players there have no intentions of playing it realistic?

Btw, it wasn't realism that got me into the game. In fact it near scared me away for being too damned difficult (OFP, one save! :p). That part had to grow on me for some time, and even if I no longer play other games for gameplay being valued too much over realism (kills my ability to have fun), I'm also no completely anal about it and have no objections to respawn based missions (even if I do enjoy the occasional hardcore ones).

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A good thread to show if people are dump or do some thinking before press the post button.

A lot can and needs to be improved in the series. Much can be found in the CIT or

in one of the dozen discussions in this very forum.

My advice to you is to make specific suggestions and provide specific feedback.

Here and in the CIT. And yes the game needs to become more accessible. And yes

only meaningful realism makes sense.

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A good thread to show if people are dump or do some thinking before press the post button.

Dump? :nerner:

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One of the things that bothers me on the Arma series is that it seems to sacrifice the gameplay in favour of realism. I'm sure many people who play these series play them because of the realism. But cratering only to these "hardcore" sim fans only limits the game appeal for a broader audience.

Don't missunderstand me, I do not want the series to turn into another "run-of-the-mill" Call of Duty type of game. That would be wrong. But what I'm implying is that by making it more accessible it would surely benefit and appeal to a broader audience.

Translation:

One of the things that bothers me on the ArmA series is that its realistic gameplay is different to how i feel it should be. I'm sure many people who play these series see it exactly the way i do. But the way it is now i feel like i'm being left out.

Don't misunderstand me, i do not want it to turn into a totally different kind of rush action game that has absolutely no use for kilometers of free open world. To say it like this would make me look stupid. But what i'm implying is that by making the game i bit more like i'd like it to be i would surely benefit from saving the time to do all the little mods and tweaks myself.

:D nice try

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I'm confident BIS recognise the majority of ARMA's fanbase are interested in realistic battlefield simulation. OFP Dragon Rising was more accessible compared to its predecessor, and we all know how terrible that game was.

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Yeah OP should try OFP:DR

It's perfectly what he wants. An accessible ArmA for a broader audience.

But not a good game.

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Someone in one of my threads kindly pointed out to me the difference between ACCESSABILLITY and USEABILLITY.

FORMER means taking out parts that are "too difficult" to cater to a broader audience.

LATTER means adding tools so everybody can use every part of the game mechanics, without taking anything out.

We should not talk about accessabillity. It means, quite literally, dumbing the game down until it fits a broader audience. DR and RR tried that, and fell flat on their noses.

What BIS should go for is useabillity. Improved tutorials, improved controls setup, better information design troughout, and ease of entry with no unsurmountable difficulty curve.

The gameplay is fine. Leave it be. Work on the problematic fringes, which hinder people from actually getting to the fun part of the gameplay!

My two cents.

Also, to the person who pointed this out to me, thanks again. This slight but important change in vocabulary needs to take hold in the community, also so BI becomes aware of it. If we want Arma to remain as good as it was, and get better, we should try to bring the point to them that we don´t want a watered down game, but an improved game.

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Someone in one of my threads kindly pointed out to me the difference between ACCESSABILLITY and USEABILLITY.

FORMER means taking out parts that are "too difficult" to cater to a broader audience.

LATTER means adding tools so everybody can use every part of the game mechanics, without taking anything out.

We should not talk about accessabillity. It means, quite literally, dumbing the game down until it fits a broader audience. DR and RR tried that, and fell flat on their noses.

What BIS should go for is useabillity. Improved tutorials, improved controls setup, better information design troughout, and ease of entry with no unsurmountable difficulty curve.

The gameplay is fine. Leave it be. Work on the problematic fringes, which hinder people from actually getting to the fun part of the gameplay!

My two cents.

Also, to the person who pointed this out to me, thanks again. This slight but important change in vocabulary needs to take hold in the community, also so BI becomes aware of it. If we want Arma to remain as good as it was, and get better, we should try to bring the point to them that we don´t want a watered down game, but an improved game.

This!

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Definitely agree with InstaGoat, although I believe the given definitions of "accessability" and "usability" aren't quite so clear cut. Making a game more "accessable" doesn't in any way imply dumbing it down, at least not in my book. But for the sake of discussion, sure, let's go with that. ;)

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Yes, good distinction InstaGoat. From what we know about Arma3 so far, it sounds like BI already have this in mind :)

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