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Is combined arms PvP possible?

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I guess ARMA3 wasn't that impressive when it first came out but 5+ years of patches, updates and DLCs has really made it into an amazing platform and sandbox. (Personally I joined a bit after the Jets DLC.) The game part is where there's a bit of trouble.

 

ARMA3 set out with a very open model where the actual experience is defined by mods and the community and not so much by the developer. It's a fascinating approach but it has its drawbacks. For starters, game modes can be developed by amateurs who are facing the design questions for the first time and may just go with their personal biases and preferences instead of considering the different segments of the player base. Secondly, there is little promotion for different game modes and the best ones may go unnoticed, while the community is highly fragmented due to the large selection of available mods and variants. The lack of really good game modes may lead to game mode tourism, where you say play Wasteland today and tomorrow it's a toss between CTI and KotH but then you maybe get bored and do something else...

 

To me, ARMA3 has always essentially been a refined infantry shooter with an elaborate vehicle and combined arms repertoaire. Additionally, I have a strong personal preference for PvP environments - human opponents bring greater challenge and variety than bots which do stupid things like run in the open, can't use vehicles properly, etc.

 

Is there a really good mode satisfying this agenda? Could one still be developed? It seems the current contenders are lacking in one or more respects: 

 

Infantry KotH: Basically where I had most of my early multiplayer experiences, this mode is an obvious fail because the vast majority of vehicles are banned. The interplay between helicopters and infantry was amazing though and this mode already let this aspect of the game shine out. However the mode is a very low threat environment for helicopters because jeep mounted machine guns have bad performance against, well, pretty much anything while the gunner is a really easy target. There is little actual action outside of the town areas.

 

Vehicle KotH: Seems to provide the most intense vehicle action in the game with pretty much all vehicle classes available. The game mode is overshadowed by the strongest vehicles, the best players and stacked teams; easily the focus is not on infantry but it's more of an afterthought - the most effective counter to vehicles is other vehicles and not infantry with different launchers and so. But infantry also needs to be concentrated on a fairly small area or a few routes to achieve its tasks - and vehicles often like to shell those places repeatedly, decreasing chances of infantry survival.

 

Thus V-KotH is the only mode which relies too much on vehicles and concentrates on just the interactions between vehicles. Possibly things could be improved if rewards for kills were reduced and vehicle players would have to rely more on the payout for area capture.

 

Despite many good things going for KotH, it doesn't offer a truly satisfying end game because the action is concentrated on a single, static area and consists of just collecting domination tickets.

 

CTI/EUTW: This mode offers a fairly large but faction locked selection of vehicles. Economy is escalating, meaning you have to mass resources before you can buy your first vehicles. Thus early on gameplay is dependent on infantry - vehicles also tend to be short lived and costly, meaning vehicle action is quite limited and mostly it's about infantry capturing zones and trying to hunt the mobile spawnpoint. The Lite layouts restrict vehicles even more and they are limited to jeeps and some helicopters. I have friends who refuse to play this mode because the access to jets is in practice very restricted. Loadouts are player configurable, but the selection of small arms is limited. What this mode has going for it is the end game which makes quite a bit of sense - there is a branching network of control areas in varied terrain which need to be captured to win.

 

BE/CTI: There is a dedicated commander in the team who builds bases for the team, but every player is actually a team leader who builds the vehicles and commands a small team of AI infantry - thus the PvP requirement is somewhat relaxed. While escalating by design, this game mode provides a really quick ascent into mechanized infantry with armored vehicles becoming available early on. Currently air vehicles seem to be rare, due to for example AA tanks which are modded to have powerful long range missiles. Vehicles are faction locked - vehicle loadouts depend on team upgrades. Control points don't form a strict network, however there seems to form a clear front line when air transport is limited.

 

A3 Wasteland: There is an escalating economy but it is persistent, thus vehicles in principle are available at the players' discretion; low end vehicles such as pawnees and jeeps seem to be affordably priced; in practice the mode seems infantry centric. Control points/bases are not connected - this provides for less structured gameplay, though some might cite "deep operations" for realism. Money mostly comes from doing missions against AI forces, thus there is an overly reduced focus on concentrated PvP military action.  

 

Before you milsim guys chip in and point out that this would be the route to go, for the reasons above and a few others, I have to note that the milsim community seems to be very coop-oriented, and also not so easily accessible to the new or casual ARMA player. However what I know there have been at least multiple succesful PvP events, perhaps not in strict milsim style, and any actual success stories from such events could be interesting to hear. 

 

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good write up mate :icon14:

 

the intention of your topic isnt really clear to me though. do you just want to provide that overview and impressions of yours or what should be add to it?

 

PS: did you try organized PvP events with Arma (3) yet?

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The OP was intended as a bitter and satirical rant why ARMA fails to deliver really good combined arms gameplay because of the poor game modes. I realize the point didn't come accross well and much was lost into analyzing the details.

 

Actually your reply is a bit confusing, because I'm used to people coming to these threads with their strong opinions or personal agendas. ARMA3 doesn't need combined arms or nerf the tigris and things will be just fine or whatever it may be. But I guess it's not the way how the ARMA3 community here develops forum threads :f: To be honest, I'm not 100% clear what I actually want - in the way of being able to specify what would satisfy my needs if it was actually presented to me. I was hoping you guys could help, at least with suggestions, opinions or observations. Regarding well-designed game modes, there's the question whether I should focus on the core of intense, meaningful PvP teamplay & an extensive selection of vehicles integrated into the gameplay - or to expand into the million relevant things around those.

 

My comparison points are games like Eve Online, which puts 50 000+ players simultaneously on the same server and they will form massive teams with highly defined specialist roles to fight each other - in the background you have various levels of logistical, political, publicity, financial and strategic goals to pay attention to; to a lesser degree the failed Heroes & Generals brought similar aspects to gameplay but it was a rather sad ripoff so no more of that. Also you have the likes of Battlefield 2 and Planetside 2 with well designed game modes that bring non-stop infantry and vehicle action to the same control area with multi-way interactions.

 

No I did not try the events yet, I guess they could be very exciting esp. in terms of high-grade teamplay. The main reason is that there doesn't seem to be many events that would be promoted very actively - mostly it seems to be small groups hosting regular events on their home servers (and those are mostly co-op too I think).

 

Anyway, FWIW I created the following matrix to further analyze the contenders and to explain what I regard as good or bad things. Perhaps this at least adds detail if not clarity as well. I realized I should probably go to a 1 to 5 scale to bring out the nuances better, arguably there are more differences than what you can read from the table.

 

3 = good

2 = modest

1 = poor

 

cm0H95I.png

 

Matrix is in https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1w4k7LKNGwUXvORrr0d8s4-yqY4dM_grDwTztbs3-ooU/edit?usp=sharing in case you want to look at an updated future version.

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well you are coming very late to the game. PvP with Arma had harder and harder times after OFP for many reasons - mainly public play but organized and competitive play suffered from the limit influx of new players and teams over time too ofc.

also much discussion is happening now on the arma discord, or project/team specific discords

 

anyhow you want also want to try CTF, Frontline, RUSH and other events

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BECTI (Zerty's version on Jammy Warfare EU server) is not exactly what I was looking for, but once you have the patience to dig deeper you get to a whole new world in its own right. There is tons of combined arms action with tanks, IFV and infantry. The scale is quite large with the whole Altis island included and it feels like a strategy game that's been implemented with the ARMA3 engine to extreme detail.

 

Of all ARMA modes so far it offers the most consistent feeling of a true military operation. Like Wasteland, it probably shouldn't be on this list because the focus is quite different - there is lots of action against the AI. But there is a PvP side as well and sometimes it can be a cruel world. It's well suited to players with an independent mindset. However there is a long (but not too harsh, if you ask for help) learning curve - it can take lots of time and patience to understand and appreciate the many features and mechanics of this mode. Things like remote AI control, repair trucks, static defenses often aren't things the use of which is immediately obvious.

 

BECTI doesn't actually use a full faction lock, but an interesting upgrade system where blue and red factions are initially locked, but through upgrades they can access the whole pallette of green vehicles. Much of the strategy in the mode revolves around which areas the team is pushing, with which tactics/tools and what the chosen upgrade set looks like. 

 

On 8/27/2018 at 8:31 AM, .kju said:

well you are coming very late to the game. PvP with Arma had harder and harder times after OFP for many reasons - mainly public play but organized and competitive play suffered from the limit influx of new players and teams over time too ofc.

also much discussion is happening now on the arma discord, or project/team specific discords

 

anyhow you want also want to try CTF, Frontline, RUSH and other events

 

Lifecycles are an fascinating subject! OFP seems to have been published in 2001 and the franchise is now old enough for the first players to have started families that also play ARMA. I've seen similar developments in the WarGame franchise (6.5 years running) with different playstyles emerging, some fragmentation to mods and the initial competitive community splintering to small old groups doing their own things or moving on to different franchises. But ARMA has had a longer time and a stronger push to mods - seems there is a strong fragmentation to unique playstyles - looks like it's written all over the tactical/milsim community with a number of units having their in-house mission builders that cater just to the specific playstyle.

 

Thanks I'll check out your suggestions in time as well! TBH ARMA looks like a scene where game mode tourism has a place and is more of a solution than a problem - there are so many interesting and fruitful aspects to the game, many veteran players seem to switch between modes as well. But occasionally you find a mode that offers something new and interesting, and you're locked into action for hours, or to discussions on discord about the mode, ARMA, life and everything.

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On 27.08.2018 at 10:31 AM, .kju said:

 

also much discussion is happening now on the arma discord, or project/team specific discords

 

anyhow you want also want to try CTF, Frontline, RUSH and other events

 

typical discussion in TBF's discord

Spoiler

1336C2781CE2201BF6EFB6FFCB2371DE880AEC9D

 

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12 minutes ago, .kju said:

@Sanya  Frontline is basically to the successor to TacBF

learn more here: https://www.frontline.frl/

It's boring. It does not have the logistics and vehicles that was in the TBF. And old players want to capture points, rather than chase each other in a large circle.

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1 hour ago, .kju said:

what about FT-2?

This is the mission where, instead of spending time on the gameplay with a gun, you spend time making money for the gun.

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It is possible, german OPT Community plays it since BF2, OFP, Arma2, Arma3. We make relatively fast paced events with respawn, budget and logistics and everything every ~10 days, bundled together in campaigns of about half an year each. we have fixed Teams (Armies), so there can be development of teamplay, there is Strategy and Training from both sides for every Event, and a lot around. We are no clan, but a community, also clanmembers or clans can participate.
 

At moment OPT is only viable to join if you speak german, or if you are willing to work with google translator in our forum, and want to deal with a mission in german. But we plan to internationalise the Event in 2019.

For all german speakers and all others, you can join our forum anytime at https://opt4.net/dashboard If you want to join an army, leave a short Hello Post in the dedicated thread. (First obstacle for non german speakers^^ we gonna fix that)

all we want is that members, which join an army press the buttons in calendar, if you come to events, or maybe, or not, so that the Leaders have an easier time for planning the tactics for the next event.

 

Then there is a russian community Tushino or something like that... its the same there, if you dont understand russian, you gonna have a hard time.

I dont know about other similar Team vs Team Communities.

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Arma Tactical Combat (ATC) is a large scale combined arms Team vs Team or better Company Vs Company (it simulates a war between two armies indeed).

ATC is a campaign, a series of battles between two organized factions. Each campaign simulates operations between two opposite forces consisting of infantry squads, armored, recon, logistic sections and air support, reflecting nearly real combat balance, leaded by the respective faction commanders. The goal of each side/faction is to control the majority of the areas in which the map is divided  at the end of the campaign. Each side is formed by alliances between different Units, each Unit will provide combat forces to the alliance according to the Unit specialization. Since 2008 there have been nine editions, to date, almost one edition per year. It involves teamplay, planning and strategy, preparation and training. It is not fast paced, we want to emphasize careful tactics, respawn is very limited and penalizing and there's none for vehicles.
If you want to learn more please visit the website http://www.arma-tactical-combat.com or see the post below in this section!

So my answer to the question: is combined arms pvp possible is yes, it's very possible in a large variety depending on your personal taste, and it's fun! I think it's the best way to enjoy Arma!

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The EUTW server may also have improved somewhat thanks to a retuning of the economics. While the previous Lite layouts were devoid of almost any kind of heavy vehicle, I recently played in a match that apparently had been going on for a while - and vehicle support was almost constant on both sides, ranging from APCs to even some tanks and helicopters.

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On 9/21/2018 at 7:22 AM, Sanya said:

It's boring. It does not have the logistics and vehicles that was in the TBF. And old players want to capture points, rather than chase each other in a large circle.

Frontline has logistics now and fortifications. Additionally, they have pretty beefy statics for both WW2 and RHS versions. Also, there is the 'dynamic frontline' mode which doesn't require any points at all.. rather a large AO to fight over. Also have S&D if you want to build a nice fortification as defenders 😛

 

The only thing is, they are starting to build the population up again and they only play on Sundays at 1800GMT. But it is def worth a check out again! 

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Combined arms game play really depends on players.  I could script and edit in a coy sized objective, but the scenario would be too limiting and uninteresting for most players.  conversely a mission gen with recon, infantry, armor, artillery, air and jtac for example is possible if there is an interest.  if you have enough people who want something i can make it, and I've done enough combined arms work to know what it all means.  The two projects on my website, warkin.info include systems not normally available, and include rapid battle procedure within the ai.  I could even add dynamic smesc orders if you wanted.  To accomplish all arms you would need ai like i develop to undertake most roles while players swap in, and a system for coordination and planing.  The KOTI gamemode I developed may suit this niche, but I need people playing to host it on my server.

 

Without any coding, just plop down an objective, get some players for the roles you want and communicate like you're on a radio.  frag o's shouldn't take you more than 45 min.

 

 

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