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AbortedMan

Radio/VoIP communication simulation in ArmA 3...it fails.

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The ArmA series is one of my favorite game franchises of all time...but one thing about it just absolutely kills the game for me...The horrible communications implementation.

I'm not talking about sound quality/bit-rate and all that jargon. I'm talking about "why the eff is it so damn easy for everyone to access Global/Side/Group/Command channels without any realistic limitations on equipment and role?"

Communications should be a HUGE part of any military sim, and last time I checked, there was no "God voice" communication system in development by any company/contractor in the world that allows anyone to talk/hear anyone without the use of a radio, and does so without limitations or consideration for geographical locations and interference...barring certain satellite comms, but those aren't being used in the game by infantry in any of the ArmA games, I believe.

I'm extremely annoyed by hearing people spam side VoIP to talk to the guy right next to them. Our entire team doesn't need to hear your one-sided conversation about your sound card being better than an on-board controlled headset and other useless diatribe that plagues the interwebs, like a pleasant broadcasting of dubstep via global channel followed by replies of "stop it, faggot" over and over. The frustration is even stronger when this happens in global channel, and it kills the game for lots of people trying to use the communications system as it's intended.

For this reason, in ArmA2 I can only have an enjoyable experience in servers that were using ACRE.

The ACRE mod type of radio system for A2 should be standard for the ArmA games, save for the TS3 requirement. It allows segmented and organized communications through simulated radio equipment, preset (and custom) radio frequencies, geographic range limitations, and gives the ability to players to eliminate audio griefers from the equation. The same exact functionality should be the baseline for communications in the stock game to allow it to be accessible to everyone without the use of mods/TS3...I'm no modder, but it seems to be completely feasible given the open nature of ArmA's code/scripting and what the talented modding community can do.

At the very least, please BiS/modding community, implement a separate volume system for all VoIP channels so that players (or servers) may have the option to turn off/adjust volume for inappropriate and unrealistic channels (so I can still use direct or vehicle VoIP without hearing the inappropriate Side/Global chatter), or reserve them for certain admin or commander slots for admin/gaming purposes. I know there's something like this out now, but it's not common fare and rarely used...it needs more visibility.

TL;DR - ArmA 3 needs to simulate realistic and accurate radio and voice communication.

What are your thoughts, community?...and devs have any input?

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edit:

I agree.... Playing arma 3 without acre after using it for so long in arma 2 felt like a step back in time. It really does add a whole dimension to the game that should really be there from the start.

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agreed. at least give voice rights for the different channels depending on the position in the team.

e.g.

fireteam member: direct/vehicle

fireteam leader/squad medic: all of the above + group

squad leader: + side

platoon leader: + command

global should be text only unless admin enables it

Edited by SmallBlackSheep

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Something has to be done about the vanilla VOIP, i agree.

Global shouldn't even be there as VOIP.

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Actually I think it works fine. Group chat should be renamed to something else as a LOT of people think its just the squad channel, IE only squad can hear you. A LOT of people don't know its local and directional.

Shift P to mute players....Honestly, there are bigger problems than the VOIP

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Actually I think it works fine. Group chat should be renamed to something else as a LOT of people think its just the squad channel, IE only squad can hear you. A LOT of people don't know its local and directional.

Shift P to mute players....Honestly, there are bigger problems than the VOIP

Actually, anyone can hear you in directional chat on ANY channel that they aren't in. Enemy can hear you when you talk in side, vehicle, group, direct, and commander channels given they're close enough to you.

The current system works great when you are playing with a bunch of like-minded, mil-sim oriented players that use the system properly. Unfortunately, this is impossible in any public game as it only takes one person to ruin it for all...it may not even be because their intent is malicious, but that they just don't understand or know what they're actually doing.

ArmA does its best to adhere to a realistic simulation of military combat procedures in regards to weapons/gear/movement protocols/tactics, radio communications SoP should be no exception. To me, this is huge and it's the biggest problem ArmA 3 has right now. I can handle the occasional CTDs, the seemingly WIP ground textures, the inventory bugs, the limited content...but the current old and beaten VoIP system is a rotten sore on ArmA 3's beautiful face that I cannot excuse.

Edited by AbortedMan

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I hear ACRE is working with A3, but only the directional voice, no radios. I can't find any more information.

Anyone know anything?

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I'm sure changes to VOIP will happen during the alpha. (I think I recall reading somewhere about that, try the search function)

One thing I'd like to see is an easier way to mute players. If someone is talking I should be able to press a single key that brings shows a list of current people talking with a speaker image beside the name, clicking the speaker image mutes them. Something so I can mute and get back to the fight without fumbling through the player menu looking for a name that isnt in alphabetical order.

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I hear ACRE is working with A3, but only the directional voice, no radios. I can't find any more information.

Anyone know anything?

In an odd way it feels like a case of "why would BI bother with all that work when ACRE will just come along and scoop up anyone who would have wanted that change anyway?" Not least at this point because ACE and ACRE at this point are clearly 'more hardcore than what BI wants for vanilla'.

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In an odd way it feels like a case of "why would BI bother with all that work when ACRE will just come along and scoop up anyone who would have wanted that change anyway?" Not least at this point because ACE and ACRE at this point are clearly 'more hardcore than what BI wants for vanilla'.

ACRE is hobbled by the requirement of a TS3 server, which requires funds, an extra program running that players have to alt tab to or start before they play, and alienates a lot of the community as opposed to just having it in game. It could be a server enabled option, ideally, so the current system could still exist in not-so-milsim servers.

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Is it me, or is the Voice Chat Channel Changing broken within ARMA 3 broken?

In other words, while tuned to direct or vehicle channel, I can hear other people talking from the other side of the island?

Whereas I shouldn't be hearing or transmitting to the transmitter tower if I am switched to the vehicle/direct channel? However, text channel seem to adhear to this channel idea.

So is Voice channels currently broken, or not linked with channel changing? The only seemingly working voice channel are likely blue/read team mates.

A scenario with active channel changing over VOIP/Voice, when changing the channels while listening to an active voice conversation, one should hear the voice discussion from a transmitter tower quit when changing the channel to direct/vehicle. Instead, every time I change the channel, the discussions continue constantly. Even when I'm on the far side of the island. If I'm not mistaken, the circle around us on the maps likely indicate the range of our portable radios. Another more interesting note, taking-out a radio tower on the hilltops should likely cease radio communication.

Bug #4089 "The Radio of Arma 3 Multi Player"

Bug #4542 "Automatically spamming radio chats on multiplay"

Bug #4176 "Built-in Radio (Like in ACRE mod)"

Edited by rogerx
Initial post failed

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Is it me, or is the Voice Chat Channel Changing broken within ARMA 3 broken?

Think of the channel selection as the one you're Transmitting in.

You're always Receiving in all channels (as long as you're in the Side of people transmitting in Side, the Group of people transmitting in Group, near people transmitting in Direct, etc).

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I would just like to add that I don't think that the voip or chat in arma is simulating anything. It's just a way of communicating with your fellow players.

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I would just like to add that I don't think that the voip or chat in arma is simulating anything. It's just a way of communicating with your fellow players.

Perhaps previously this was true but it does not mean that it should remain this way. ACRE proved that realistic voice comms were possible so why should that not be implemented? The new stances followed a similar route; they were previously a mod known as SMK stances and animations and the developer of that mod (Smookie) went on to work for BIS and build us the new stances. I consider ACRE to be a defining feature of the Arma experience and I think it would add a lot of value as well as improvements over a mod if BIS natively developed the system into A3. Of course we could always leave an option of the simple/unrealistic comms for users who prefer that (just like we do with 3rd person) but at least this way realistic radios will become part of this game.

I'd be really amazing if they simulated an in-game microphone for the radio so if you press the radio transmit button you can send sounds of your surroundings to receivers. Imagine being able to hear background gunfire or other noises as someone is radio-ing in their status. That would bring so much immersion to the game.

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I believe what Max Power means is that the in-game VOIP isn't intended to be simulating anything either; presumably the lack of "real ACRE style" is a case of "dev priorities differ from yours", and as I iterated, "we know the mod will happen anyway so why bother from our end?" which to me sounds plausible considering some of the issues with development that have been mentioned by some devs (i.e. DnA alluding to issues with development that led to Maruk saying "do all that you can to get the game out by 2013" which led to going Steamworks)... if such issues existed, the idea of "Arma 3-integral ACRE" may have simply seemed like an unnecessary burden from a development POV... emphasis on burden.

You cite the hiring of Smookie but I would in turn cite BI not hiring the ACRE modders.

Edited by Chortles

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I believe what Max Power means is that the in-game VOIP isn't intended to be simulating anything either; presumably the lack of "real ACRE style" is a case of "dev priorities differ from yours", and as I iterated, "we know the mod will happen anyway so why bother from our end?" which to me sounds plausible considering some of the issues with development that have been mentioned by some devs (i.e. DnA alluding to issues with development that led to Maruk saying "do all that you can to get the game out by 2013" which led to going Steamworks)... if such issues existed, the idea of "Arma 3-integral ACRE" may have simply seemed like an unnecessary burden from a development POV... emphasis on burden.

You cite the hiring of Smookie but I would in turn cite BI not hiring the ACRE modders.

I agree that the devs probably didn't consider an ACRE like radio simulation to be important and hence their focus on other features but that doesn't mean that we should as a community should not be pushing for this to become a priority. Of course there are other key features they need to work on as well and understanding that, I don't expect them to release with radios simulated but I do wish that in the future they will try to build this into Arma. My example of hiring Smookie is to demonstrate how features provided though mods can be integrated into Arma to add value and shouldn't necessarily just be left to a mod. Your counter example of not hiring ACRE modders does not indicate that ACRE like features should not be built into Arma. There are many reasons for hiring or not hiring various devs and I would not presume that it was because of interest or lack of interest in a particular feature that drives their hiring process. Most jobs hire to fill roles, not for specific features (that is what contractors are for).

I'm going to close with the following:

It is very easy to come up with reasons for not adding new features. But if we maintain that mindset we are denying ourselves a better game and preventing Arma from reaching a better state. Of course there needs to be discretion as to the prioritization of new features but we should not take this to mean that these features do not need to be added. We as a community should support efforts to improve Arma even if it is ambitious and requires a lot of resources and leave the prioritization and development to BIS.

IMO an ACRE like system is very innovational and adds great value to Arma by providing more realism, authenticity and depth to the core game. The OP brings up many valid points regarding including an advanced radio simulation. Of course it will not be easy to implement and might not be necessary at this moment but it is a feature I think should be built into the game. I'd much rather debate the value or usefulness of a radio simulation rather than argue the priority (pointless argument for us to engage in and if we really want to discuss that there are so many other problems to be talked about before even getting to the adding of new features)

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I cannot believe that we have a fundamental and insurmountable disagreement about the nature and role of said in-game VOIP: I wasn't looking for it to simulate anything, but then again to me the very fact that "this is a game that you're playing with a mouse and keyboard" is enough to actually prevent any sense of immersion from sound, visuals or movement anyway. ;) I'll say though that my remarks re: hiring Smookie and not hiring ACRE modders was not indicative of should be, but rather to me that signals where the devs' priorities were and have been over the course of 2012 (what is) and thus what to expect as far as what would actually be implemented for the current game (what will be).

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Agree, but where is the feedback ticket that need to vote up?:)

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I'd be really amazing if they simulated an in-game microphone for the radio so if you press the radio transmit button you can send sounds of your surroundings to receivers. Imagine being able to hear background gunfire or other noises as someone is radio-ing in their status. That would bring so much immersion to the game.
Yeah, that'd be pretty awesome but would also make understanding other players (already can be difficult with all these Brits/Aussies around) a bit problematic. Still, I think immersion trumps it here.

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I'm extremely annoyed by hearing people spam side VoIP to talk to the guy right next to them. Our entire team doesn't need to hear your one-sided conversation about your sound card being better than an on-board controlled headset and other useless diatribe that plagues the interwebs, like a pleasant broadcasting of dubstep via global channel followed by replies of "stop it, faggot" over and over. The frustration is even stronger when this happens in global channel, and it kills the game for lots of people trying to use the communications system as it's intended.

This ^. We had an action man on the server the other night who was great atr communicating, not a bad player, but HAD to use the side channel when communicating with the small squad he was leading within 20 metres distance.

I hate to say it, but some limitation like what DayZ had would be good.

Edited by VIPER[CWW]

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That really has barely anything to do with the game though. If you use ACRE like a voip spamming moron it's not any better. I still think ACRE should be optional and the default communication system is sufficient, it would just be nice if the general etiquette in Arma was a bit better. Nothing to do about that besides educating people though. Like in Domination in Arma2 a ton of people still don't know that you can form your own groups and use group chat to talk there. I would hope Arma3 will be a bit more clear with that.

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Even if the range of radios in ACRE wasn't modelled or even images of them shown and A3 just included a basic SR and LR and allowed players to have one of each, with a way to change channel and volume, that would be great. You'd need Transmit on Radio 1 and Transmit on Radio 2 buttons as ACRE has, as well as assign to L/R/Centre for each radio.

It's very fiddly at the moment using TS3 and having to switch channels on the server for briefings and there often seems to be problems with TS3/ACRE which result in people losing connection or their voices being distorted and perhaps having it in-game would eliminate that. There's no way in A2 currently to use VOIP for briefings I don't think but in A3 it should be easy enough to make it so that once people have slotted into OPFOR or BLUFOR, there's a key to transmit only to people on that side (as well as a global key to transmit to everyone on the server). I think there's already bindings available for Side and Global transmit anyway but it might make it easier to just use the VON key (i.e. Capslock) as Transmit to Side in the briefing, so that players can have this bound to a mousebutton/keyboard hotkey and use the same key for briefing and Transmit once in-game.

I'd like to see the Direct distance made more realistic as well, because currently with ACRE I can often hear people quite clearly who are 20-30ft away from me (even if I'm in a vehicle), which makes it hard to understand what the person next to me is saying to me. The other players may well have their ACRE Vol set to Shout but I'd like to see this changed so that they have to hold a modifier button to shout, so the rest of the time they'd be talking at normal volume and only people nearby can hear them.

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Believe voices get distorted on purpose to model real-life interference of distance/terrain. It's a feature, not a bug, no?

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