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RozekPoland

An open letter on basic ARMA:CWA support

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kZbjmha.png

the picture created by Serg Sapper

It has been over 13 years since OFP was published and over 3 years since ARMA:CWA release. CWA's release on Steam was a good start for something better that could be accomplished. Unfortunately, the creators did not have it in mind.

OFP, the legendary game with enormous modbase and fanbase, was simply abandoned for further editions. That is absolutely understandable and natural for every game and company behind it. However, releasing the game in 2011 without introducing the most basic fixes is not what many hardcore fans would expect. The new version itself introduced new problems/bugs and scattered already tiny community. Not to mention the mess with patches and hotfixes for non-steam edition. It is not clear which is which even now. Steam platform allows to introduce fixes way easier than it used to be. However, this possibility has not been used. The chance for a great revival of this game was lost.

What is more, the latest months showed that permanent things - like GameSpy - are not persistent. ARMA2 and 3 were saved by BIS' patches. OFP/CWA multiplayer community survived thanks to Poweruser's huge efforts and PFC support. BIS' solution - master.bistudio.com - is useless for CWA. It is just an example that the fanbase can provide better walkaround.

Since GameSpy shutdown many potential players have considered this game dead. They have no idea about community solutions and they seem not to care. Even if some of them try, downloading an external program does not encourage them to do so. Lack of CWA's support for such a basic thing like widescreen aspect ratio makes it even worse.


There are just two basic things which would at least save this game for some longer time. They have already been done by the fanbase. I strongly believe that introducing them in an official patch will provide positive hit for current die-hard fans and any other potential players.

 

1. Introduce a fix for a problem the game has with Windows 8/8.1/10.

1.1. Black bar at the top of the screen ---> here

2. Introduce an alternative masterserver into the in-game server browser.

2.1. Introduce a new masterserver that is managed by Bohemia Interactive (like master.bistudio.com); if not then 2.2

2.2. Introduce the community masterserver as default masterserver (if the license allows for that); if not then 2.3

2.3. Introduce a new entry for alternative masterserver address in the in-game server browser. ---> already possible thanks to FWATCH; a video is here

 

3. Introduce aspect ratio for modern resolutions (16:9 and 16:10). ---> already possible thanks to OFP Aspect Ratio; a video is here

Obviously, there are more issues that should be considered to be fixed. I picked these three as top-priority because of their critical impact on in-game experience and immersion. Other issues that should be looked at are in the spoiler.

 

4. Reorganize the non-steam CWA and its patches to one solid installation pack

5. Fix the corrupted texture "\o\misc\OFPRlogo01.paa"

http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?121125-CWA-1-99-Bug-reports&p=2048274&viewfull=1#post2048274

6. Provide documentation about the new commands introduced in 1.99

7. Linux version of CWA dedicated server (probably the most complicated and the least possible)


Do not consider me a dreamer. I am totally aware that supporting +/- 15 years old game is close to a nonsense. It has always been up to Bohemia Interactive. I could even post hundreds of posts like this with no effect. I just have a need to do so because I consider this game special. I have been with ARMA series since the very beginning back in 2001 and the memorable demo (see my Join Date? that's not a coincidence). I have been with this series when it had its ups and downs. It is because I consider Bohemia Interactive as a group of people who are passionate about what they do. It is not only a job. I believe it is something more for many of the employees. Otherwise, they would not provide next editions of the game, they would not support the community and they would not create this forum. This is why I am writing it here right now.

As in every open letter, I encourage everyone who feel passionate about this game as much as me to support this topic by any means they consider it appropriate. You can spread it to your friends who used to play it or still do. You can share it on your website, blog, forum, facebook, twitter and any other social network you use. The point is to make it visible to the creators of this game. To make them think: "Damn, there are some people who still play it?". Yes, there are :)

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Since I like OFP I would second that.

BTW: below a picture of receipt of my OFP purchase on 29th of december, 2001.

sBoXq47l.jpg

:)

Edited by Algrab

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Supproting this idea, especially since game is available on Steam and making those small changes seems to be easy.

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I don't think there will be any more patches or updates for the game, the 1.99 patch happened more because they had the 10 year anniversary and because they rebranded and re-released the game. What could happen by now, though, is a release of the RV1 source code so that modders could take a closer look at the base engine that runs the game and potentially change some hard coded things that would be either hard or impossible to overcome otherwise. There may be a certain challenge in making workarounds but the most efficient way to handle obstacles is to alter or rewrite the base code. With such, we could have community-made support for in-built or dynamic master server ip, JIP, support for more than 63 groups per side (turning the game into a MMO for example) and actual stand-alone games running on a highly modified RV1 engine where you couldn't even figure out it's running on OFP engine. As for reviving and re-popularizing the game for modern times, that's more a question if Bohemia wants to make a full remake of the game in newer tech. I'm sure such a remake could be popular but I don't really see it happening.

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I would like to add that a release of all ArmA:CWA / OFP unbinarized assets (MLODS) under the same license as the sample models would be a nice gesture from BIS towards us addon makers. TBH i already had an answer that "it wasn't planned", but still :)

Edited by ProfTournesol

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Like Zapper and Jgaz said, DITO !

I still run a server at the moment

http://www.nakedsquid.com/

I have tried to run the 1.99 version and than I had he CWA from steam and it didn't like it to much with the lose CWA, not sure others have the same problems I had or did.

Like Rożek said, make a full package with all the fixed and documentation that would be nice and compatible.

That would make lots of peeps happy I think. :o

Edited by [LOL]clan Killer Bee

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I too support this idea. I may be a late bloomer, but I support this game and the hardcore vets who were there at the beginning. It really is a shame Gamespy shutdown. I think that's what really hit the last nail in the coffin. If we can at least get a new master server and the un-binarized assets, that would at the very least make my day. I still have a mod I'm working on and I really need most - if not all - of the assets un-binarized. The master server will be great because I played more OFP/CWA than I have ArmA 1/2. Mainly because my laptop isn't the greatest, but mostly because there's so many things that OFP has going for it versus the later titles. It's a game practically almost everyone here can go back to and reference. It means so much to so many, including me, even though I missed the best times to have actually played it online. Plus there are so many mods, scripts, missions, and campaigns still to play...most of them with high replay value. I admit I mainly go into the editor and plop units down and have big battles, just because I can. Or if I want to test drive some vehicles.

I myself am trying to help give life back into the game with my Command & Conquer theme mod (it'll get along faster if the assets were un-binarized). We do need a lot more sci-fi addons. :p My point is, the community is so devoted to this game that we make the game how we want it (and I also do play without mods sometimes, but I like playing with people as often as I can - modded or no). And if that's not loyalty, I don't know what is! So I agree with OP here and all sub sequential agreements. Peace.

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I support this notion. But what I think is also needed is more scripting commands. I think one of the reasons a lot of people wouldn't bother upgrading to CWA is because it really didn't add anything new. Most of the new scripting commands introduced in CWA were already possible with various workarounds and the rest don't really have much practical use. But something like setVariable & getVariable as introduced in ArmA would open all kinds of new possibilities. Those alone would make a tremendous difference in my opinion and wouldn't probably be too unrealistic of a request. I think many other modders would appreciate it aswell.

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Add my support to this request. Nice ideas all around. I particularly echo Rellilkki wishes for more scripting options. Personally, I'd be quite happy to have enableAI working on OFP. We always have had disableAI, but with no way to undo that. Hopefully BIS will read this and throw us a bone.

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WoW the LOL clan comes out of hiding to make a rare appearance..Zapperguy, KillerBee and JGaz :)

While I support this I am not holding my breath waiting for BIS to take any action. Thanks to poweruser and PFC the loss of Gamespy has been overcome, but only a small core of MP players is aware of OFPMonitor leaving a larger group of potential MP players thinking that MP functionality is dead.

If some kind of patch could be developed to fix the Gamespy screen that would make me happy.

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I don't play OFP or Arma2 anymore and don't intend to but I support this guy. He makes some good points.

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Well, I'm still playing it too, and even modding it. And there's quite a few people outside of the forums that still play OFP/CWA and who would benefit greatly from an official multiplayer solution and basic support.

  • Like 1

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Not holding my breath on this either, but i agree with what everyone has said on this thread.

OFP/CWA has a special place on my hard drive since so many years.

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It would be great if the MP problems were smoothed out so that there wouldn't be a divide between people sticking to OFP and those that have switched over to CWA (and some new players because of the game having been free on Steam) and some problems related to modern hardware were addressed like the aspect ratio and the amount of memory used in general and the sliders in the Perfomance tab especially.

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Good point Rożek.

I'll still around here, heck I spent waaay more time in Arma CWA than Arma 2 since it came out. But seriously, CWA could use a little more overhaul to iron out some discrepancies between Flashpoint and CWA, especially implementation of modern resolution aspects would do and other major points colleague Rożek mentioned.

It would be great if the MP problems were smoothed out so that there wouldn't be a divide between people sticking to OFP and those that have switched over to CWA (and some new players because of the game having been free on Steam) and some problems related to modern hardware were addressed like the aspect ratio and the amount of memory used in general and the sliders in the Perfomance tab especially.

Word.

In current situation as w CWA I simply can't play with anyone using retail OFP. I lost my boxed edition of ofp and simply don't want to pirate this grand game. Really Bohemia, please remove aforementioned discrepancies. The people are still around and play the game contribute to the community - they deserve it. Recently there is a trend of remastering classic games - I believe in good intentions of the author that will lead to final remaster and solidification between old OFP and CWA

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ArmA Coop Corps (ACC), a co-operative community of ARMA series, strongly supports this idea.

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Yes Breath holding not advised :mad:

Actually holding your breath shouldn't require that much effort to implement if they wanted *cough* hint :o

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And my axe!!!

Flashpoint is still the undefeated champ in my eyes, and I can't see any challengers on the horizon because it's all about the casual gamer these days. But it's all you guys that make such great mods and programs, etc. That makes the game truly great, and I am eternally grateful for this.

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Well, since I was asked to post here ;)

Release the source code, no matter how ugly it is (and I have heard that it is extremely ugly...)

I mean, there is no technology in this engine which a competitor might steal, and it won't take away players from Arma3. It's more probable it will bring in new players, modders and programmers into the BIS-eco system.

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Well, it's comforting to hear others, such as myself, still play ofp-resistance. In my case, at least once/week.

The doom engines were treated in this manner and had a longevity stretching into win vista, with further mods, into win7 & 8.

If the source code becomes available for ofp, then the Arma engines and I are parting company. If bis were far sighted enough, they would hopefully see a pool of talent available to them, outside their company, that they can draw on.

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