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Arma 3 Apex: Old Man Feedback

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Accidentally discovered an exploit for unlimited money, not sure if it was this merchant in particular or this gun in particular but although most guns immediately go down in resale value once you buy them from a merchant, this MK-1 EMR only went up in value, meaning I could continually buy and sell the weapon back and forth and make money each time. This was at the merchant on the small island West of Koumac

 

Price before purchase:

9ODH6xb.jpg

Price After Purchase:

AUU0N1G.jpg

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22 hours ago, Rydygier said:

One serious problem I see at this point is, what I kinda expected, this weird game design compulsion to enforce on player blocking free game saves - the button is gone from the menu. Whatever purpose lies behind, I strongly recommend to leave at least the option to enable free saving for the player's decision. There was whole games, I abandoned just because this flaw alone, it is highly frustrating, when player is forced to waste his time and nerves by repeating again and again a portion of gameplay because it's easy to die/fail and no option to save. In the case of Old Man, I feel motivated enough to continue, but since I don't want to spoil the fun by the lack of free saving, I intend to use/prepare a mod, that will give me free saving option, so I'll get at least single slot free save functionality equivalent. I hope, that will not break the mission design.

Same here. The save-anywhere system is disabled. On a PC. In a game where a 2-pixel size AI can and will one-shoot you from behind bushes. The rest of the scenario is irrelevant past the first 10 seconds when you realize that. So, feedback: the cost is just right for the quality of the design.

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The save-anywhere system is disabled. 

 

Here's my makeshift mod, that re-enables save button (probably not optimal, works in the 1 sec loop, I just wanted to put together something ASAP), if anyone wants to play this way. Requires CBA.

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First time arriving at my house and the laptop appears to be clipping with the table

- After waking up from the first sleep the laptop was back in the correct position

 

Similar here, but after waking up it is till half-sunk, just less, than before. 

 

BTW I like resting screen. 🙂

 

But these dogs! Constant barking. Don't get me wrong, it's realistic, I have same in the RL sometimes, and that's an issue of a kind, I would likely change the neighbourhood to quiter one - annoyed nearly just like in RL. Dogs should bark in reaction to a stranger coming close or noises like shooting, but make them stop sometimes at least... BTW again, there in fact was some rather close shooting just after I arrived to my home previous evening - nice immersion thing, although it was continued in the morning - some, prolonged, intense fights out there apparently. I'm tempted to go there in hope of any loot. 

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Well, I am afraid that Old man needs a bit better optimalisation. 
 

Spoiler

Miller did not called me at 6:30 as he promissed... 😕

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Well, I tried but I don't like much open world gameplay, so I'll just pass.

 

Thx for the effort anyway.

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I really like this game mode!

 

A few minor issues I've encountered so far:

 

1. There is a guerilla standing on the road at grid ref 109047, the only way to drive through the town is to run him over which causes the guerillas to shoot at you

2. Is it ever explained what sleeping bags do?

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4 hours ago, Bobrus said:

Well, I am afraid that Old man needs a bit better optimalisation. 
 

  Hide contents

Miller did not called me at 6:30 as he promissed... 😕

 

He'll call you a bit after 0630. I went off to start doing Dr Drabek's request and got the call halfway there.

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1 hour ago, okonkwo said:

2. Is it ever explained what sleeping bags do?

 

If you use the Waiting feature and have a sleeping bag in your inventory, it will save your progress, the sleeping bag will then be removed from your inventory. Unfolded sleeping bags allow you to rest, heal and lower your current threat.

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So far, I am loving it! It's clear that lots of work have gone into this. 

 

Bugs encountered so far:

 

Spoiler

At the police station in Vagalala, if you try and take the first aid kit in the van - it's instant death. Probably some physics issue. Same goes for picking up the medicine for Dr. Drábek in insurgent camp, in 50% of the cases.

 

Also, please consider enabling the save feature. Although I can understand the decision behind this, it's same like danger zones in Contact. Since this is Arma, players should be able to save their game at their own leisure. I had many rage quits after clearing up a base, moving van with unused cargo to be sold at merchant, only to die some stupid death. 😀

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Sure im in minority but i really like when the developers stand their ground, create a mission calibrated to be won only by their ruleset. For instance, I would never have had the original OFP (After montignac etc) seared into my memory had I had unlimited saves. Granted as long as the saves are actually properly (somewhat fairly) proportioned

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Is it designed to enable stealthy approach? if so, doesn't work apparently. Tried to enter some restricted area in sneaky manner (testing, if I can complete the scenario without direct violence), and seems, I'm inevitably detected by someone certainly not seeing me (there's a wall between us, healthy (as for potential detection by noise) distance and he is looking in opposite direction, still speaks to me). Like the only criteria used is the distance to the unit and the presence inside restricted area. So, question is, is there any sense in attempts of unarmed, non-violent gameplay style, or should I drop this as futile and grab the gun?

 

I'm assuming, there's no any roleplay-like "talk through the guard" possibilities. 

 

What could be useful in general - making clear, how internal scenario logic works, what player can try (talk, sneak, shoot...), and where are immersion/realism boundaries. It's... unobvious currently. 

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Coming back to the issue of respawning loot I mentioned earlier - I can confirm it happens for all items in that place (including guns/ammo). And since others mentioned respawning radios (I have four of them already under my table, and one on the table itself), I think both issues are connected and will probably happen to all the loot/interactive objects.

 

@Rydygier

Spoiler

I guess you're talking about Harcourt harbor? Yeah, I haven't had much luck with it too, but on the other hand I managed to sneak into Georgetown Gendarmerie depot, so maybe this issue is only present in that specific place.

 

2 hours ago, Rydygier said:

"talk through the guard" possibilities

Something like that (bribes?) would be very, very appreciated.

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3 hours ago, Rydygier said:

Is it designed to enable stealthy approach? if so, doesn't work apparently. Tried to enter some restricted area in sneaky manner (testing, if I can complete the scenario without direct violence), and seems, I'm inevitably detected by someone certainly not seeing me (there's a wall between us, healthy (as for potential detection by noise) distance and he is looking in opposite direction, still speaks to me). Like the only criteria used is the distance to the unit and the presence inside restricted area. So, question is, is there any sense in attempts of unarmed, non-violent gameplay style, or should I drop this as futile and grab the gun?

 

I'm assuming, there's no any roleplay-like "talk through the guard" possibilities. 

 

What could be useful in general - making clear, how internal scenario logic works, what player can try (talk, sneak, shoot...), and where are immersion/realism boundaries. It's... unobvious currently. 

 

I've heard of other people having the same issue.

 

Have you tried sneaking in at night?

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Have you tried sneaking in at night?

 

Not yet, but that was my last idea for the next time. 

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First off, I want to say that Old Man is really cool thus far, and mostly seems to work. I'm excited to see the full thing. Couple points of feedback/reporting:

 

It would be nice if the shields on the new HMG were separate hit points, or at least had more armor. It appears that they're just counted the same as the gun itself, and you can disable an HMG by shooting the shields with a rifle like 8 times. I guess it's good in that it could prevent the gunner from dying but it's a little silly.

 

I've had three or four times where I've spotted a CSAT foot patrol, gotten geared up and in position to fight them, only to find that they'd disappeared. I suspect that they're being hideObject'ed, since I get nametags when I look where they're supposed to be. Nothing wrong with that system in theory but in practice it seems pretty trigger-happy, and makes it look like CSAT have teleporting powers.

 

Some of the game systems don't seem entirely clear. As others are saying, it's mostly the saving and the not-appearing-suspicious aspects. I suspect that you're supposed to be pretty aggressive about sleeping/manual saving but that's not necessarily that clear. More tutorialization might help, guessing that's part of the polish phase anyway.

 

I'm not entirely sure yet but performance in the mission seems spotty. There were times where I was getting 20-ish FPS, similar to the Contact campaign, without that much going on. Mostly in towns where there's probably stuff spawned that I'm not seeing, I suspect.

 

One thing that wasn't totally clear to me was that fast travelling meant abandoning your current vehicle. I had been driving around in an offroad full of guns the first time I fast traveled, and while I had anticipated possibly losing it and had sorted my equipment accordingly, it still kind of sucked.

 

On that note, is the intention that transporting/storing spare equipment is hard, and that you're mostly supposed to rely on what you can carry? That's kind of the impression I get, since vehicle storage isn't all that reliable and because it's not that clear where you can safely store stuff for later.

 

One time I came across a guerrilla-gendarme firefight. I started helping by shooting some gendarmes, but after the fight was over the guerrillas started shooting at me. Not sure if this is a bug or not, I was still pretty early on so it honestly would have made sense for the guerrillas to not like me shooting around them, but I thought it was worth mentioning.

 

Spoiler

I had some issues with the Harcourt investigate-the-dock mission. First, I tried sneaking in through the back, but a guard that I couldn't see somehow spotted me and told me to back off. So I decided to call in a guerrilla team, backed off and waited until their attack time, and came back to find the dock totally abandoned. All the CSAT soldiers had disappeared, and I don't think it was because of the guerrillas because I got a notification that they were about to attack as I was exploring the dock.

 

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I have played the scenario approximately 5 hours now. This is my feedback so far.

In generall i really like it.
But there is a lot that can be improved in my opinion.
Of course it might be that my view differs greatly from what the developer want to archieve with their mission.

1. Random encounters
This is one of my biggests criticisms. Random encounters happen way to often and they don't seem to serve any purpose.

-First Guerillias should not randomly patrol the roads. They don't hold any territory they must protect. So why patrol in the middle of the open? Also they sometimes patrol only 200m away from the next CSAT outpost without attacking it.
My Suggestion: Guerillias should attack checkpoints, police station, outposts, stuff like that. Actuall points of interrests. After an attack they should retreat immidiately. Of course they might ambush a patrol. But CSAT should not send them in the middle of nowhere where they can be sure they will get killed.
-Second: CSAT or police patrols should be way bether prepared. Give them armored Vehicles. Its very immersion breaking to witness several firefights every day, each time a small CSAT patrol getting stomped by several attackers. Why do they send guys out if they get killed anyway?
-Third the CSAT reinforcement are to few and to weak. From time to time they should actually send an APC or even a Tank. Of course not everytime.
-Fourth: If you stumble across a firefight CSAT should react different.
Every civillian could just be a disguised Guerillia. They should warn the player to back off and if he doesn't they should open fire. Its just weird how you currently can walk onto a battlefield, pick up a fallen soldiers weapon and nobody cares.

Currently because of all the firefights im sitting on an whole armory of CSAT weapons.

2. Checkpoints
-It would be nice to have a list of items that are forbidden. At the start you get a hint that tells you what is allowed and what not. But i can't figure out how to get that information again.
Im also not eager to try that out. Last savepoint might be a while back :D.
-It also should have consequences if you try to pass a checkpoint with a stolen vehicle.
-Being able to bribe a checkpoint would be cool too. Then there would be more stuff you need money for.

3. Some more stuff
- CSAT should be more aggresive when they see you having a weapon
- Minor spoiler: It should be possible to get explosives from the red spring mine by disuising as mine worker and stealing a ID card

- It would be nice if CSAT defenses where different during night times than during day time. At one mission i decided to wait for the night but had to realize that nothing changes.

Thats all for now. Of course from time to time it is noticable that this is only a beta
But it is a lot of fun already!
Keep up the good work please.

 

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Observations on a mission for Ensemble:

Spoiler

The "blow up fuel depot" mission.

 

The "briefing" done by strike team leader was read to me twice - first, when getting in the boat. Second - when we were waiting in the bushes for signal to attack. After successful operation, guerrillas just stayed in place, and were swiftly decimated by incoming CSAT QRF. I decided to return to the boat we used to get in AO - you should see my surprised face when I couldn't get in it, because it's apparently closed for player via scripts. I understand that the point of the Old Man is to give us a little bit of that "attack and disperse" guerrilla style warfare. However, in case of this attack, during the night, far from possible ways to retreat, the only feasible option is to run back to the boat. Otherwise you're wandering around forests, waiting fro CSAT to hunt you down. I still haven't left the island - on the southern shore there are only two boats - the one I came in (closed) and a non-usable rowboat prop.

 

Also, when Samjo called to me to congratulate, his last line was a repeat from initial briefing - "if you wanna take part, we're leaving Celebu at 8PM". I'm still not sure if it's bug, or is this information about his next day attack. However I've got separate notification about Ensemble attack on CSAT base... on 20:59. So around 20 minutes after we blew the fuel depot. I guess this notification is about random event, but I'm not sure if it's good idea to give player such notifications when he's running from CSAT.

 

Also, I've got to say that I like the saving system. It reminds me of the old GTAs (3, VC, SA) where you could save only at safehouse, and when you messed up, you got to replay whole mission. While in GTA it may be annoying (and newer GTAs have autosaves during missions), in OFP/Arma when you die it probably means you messed up something an hour ago. So it's good to start in a safehouse, instead of being beamed up right into action, and getting shot by that patrol you never noticed.

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Played a bit more, I can now say that saving by sleeping is honestly pretty powerful. Safehouses are everywhere, they're cheap ($99 sounds like a lot, but it's less than what you get for turning in a gun or NVG at an Ensemble stash), and sleeping doesn't have to take any time. Sleeping bags can be used as a sort of quicksave before base assaults or whatever. If you're not sleeping whenever you're near a safehouse you should be.

 

Anyway, more miscellaneous feedback:

 

I ran into a FIA patrol by an Ensemble camp (the first one that you're likely to run into). I guess they could be intentional but they felt out of place.

 

Spoiler

The "fetch a truck for the doctor" mission is a little annoying. Not only is it tough to get the truck there, you end up stranded about a kilometer from anything useful without a vehicle. I guess it got me to explore the infected area near it, but it'd be nice if the civie camp was a fast travel zone.

 

The way you can just kind of take any vehicle you want without any repercussions feels weird. Like, I'm glad that I'm not gonna get stranded without a vehicle in most places, but does Tanoa just not have a concept of vehicle ownership?

 

It looks like infected civs have been implemented by replacing the blood texture with a pox-y one, which seems suboptimal. It's not a super obvious way to do it, and it means that you can cure them with a first aid kit or sicken them with a rifle.

 

Checkpoints feel like more of an annoyance than a threat since they're so easy to bypass. I'm almost never not carrying contraband, but it doesn't matter because I can kind of just drive around them. I don't know exactly how you'd fix this, or if it's even worth fixing, but still. Also, semi-related, but I have intel on a CSAT checkpoint at [0,0] (aka the bottom left corner of the map). Either they're guarding a shipping route or something is failing to give a valid position somewhere.

 

Something is wrong with the radio news segments - I pretty frequently hear the lead-in and lead-out music without an actual news report. Might just be unfinished though, the radio in general seems pretty sketchy.

 

Spoiler

I've run into a situation where it seems like fast travel has been disabled. I *think* it's an intentional mechanic, since Miller said something about CSAT locking down the island, but it's not terribly clear. If it is an intentional mechanic, it'd be nice to get a notification or something when you walk into a fast travel zone ("CSAT Lockdown, fast travel disabled").

 

Last thing, but I get the feeling that the Ensemble discount on safehouses isn't working properly. I've never seen a safehouse not be $99, even after the Ensemble leader called me his right hand man and told me he'd get me anything.

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The way you can just kind of take any vehicle you want without any repercussions feels weird. Like, I'm glad that I'm not gonna get stranded without a vehicle in most places, but does Tanoa just not have a concept of vehicle ownership?

 

 This. When things are given away freely -it devalues them. When actors dont react, it breaks immersion. Rather than just locking them all (tho generally thats the case IRL) let the players reputation as "Thief" grow. When player shoots up property, increase his "Violent Vandal". If he points gun at civilians recklessly,  have them mistrust him.

 

Stakes are needed and they rapidly increase immersion, whether the caravan of dogs bark or not 😉

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I assume they let you take other cars because you only get 10 kilometers per tank of fuel.

 

I guess vehicles in 2038 only have a 1 liter fuel tank. 

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Honestly, I'd be happy with bystander comments and some sort of lockpicking/hotwiring action. Just anything to suggest that Tanoan restaurants don't hand out a couple of free cars with dinner.

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I'm having difficulty with the Destroy Radars quest. I've blown up both the main large dome radar station and the tower at the entrance of Comms Alpha on Mont Tanoa but the task does not mark as complete. I also destroy the mobile radar at Comms Bravo along with the mobile SAM and the Destroy Mobile Radar subtask does not complete either. I think this whole task is bugged.

Edited by R0adki11
added spoiler tags

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Found a couple of minor issues that I took screenshots of, has not seriously impacted gameplay though which is nice.


1: While driving back to the House of the PC, I ran over a couple of CSAT soldiers patrolling in the middle of the road and this error popped up. (this is just to the north of the House)

Spoiler


klv7fnw.jpg

 


2: Just a minor clipping issue with the 50. cal gunner deciding to hang out inside a bundle of ammo boxes.

Spoiler


I3YuABx.jpg

 

 

 

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