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laggy

Love letter to BIS, please bear with me...

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Here we go...

The combat simulation games by BIS are the only PC/console games I really find worthy of playing. Games like IL2 Sturmovik are good too, but narrow since they only deal with flying and when it comes to immersion nothing beats the first person experience.

My gaming history started out with mindless and violent carnage FPSs like SOF2 and Resident Evil. Graphics and blood was everything. Atmosphere and story added of course but it was really all about the intense action. After trying Ghost Recon and its somewhat realistic approach I slowly started getting interested in those genres. As a player it was suddenly really difficult to survive (one hit=dead) and for the first time the AI actually reacted when their buddies got shot. In other games you could take out a guard with a sniper rifle and the guy right next to him didn't even care, he just waited until you moved into a trigger and then the scripted repetitive action could commence.

One day in 2003 a good friend of mine recommended OFP and said that it was even better than Ghost Recon, he said it was "the best game he had ever played". I was quite sceptical at first, but finally bought the game and started playing the cold war crisis campaign. Little did I know that I had just started a journey that probably will go on forever.

I found this "new game" very hard in the beginning, I felt like a mere useless grunt trying to keep up with my squad mates. I was confused, didn't know where to look, where to go, what to do, everything was chaos around me. Far gone was my invisible superhero status falsely given to me in the other games. "Man I suck! and this game feels too "open" and scary" was my first impression. Then I got it... This is probably how I would feel and react if this stuff really happened to me, this is what this game is all about. You are just a poor soul on the battlefield, trying to survive.

Coming from a long background of "paper, pencil and dice" RPGs (Warhammer, Call of Cthulhu and Pendragon) I'm surprised it took me a while to appreciate this element, guess I wasn't used to it in a PC game. When I finally did get it there was no turning back.

I was hooked for life.

Situations like: never even seeing the enemy sniper that just killed you, getting lost in the forest, a frightening bullet wizz by your ear before hearing the actual shot, fleeing from superior forces, crawling several miles in panic because you were shot in the leg, atmospheric logistical missions etc. Everything was very compelling and something I'd never experienced in a computer game before. You were not "playing" your character, you "became" your character and the experience felt so real and convincing. OFP was in retrospect quite simple, but for that time it was more open and varied than everything else around.

Discovering the mission editor was really what ruined my life. I could now create all those scenarios I always wanted to play AND include my own sounds, music, dialogue and camera work. Hundreds of well (and some poorly) designed missions later I'm still obsessed by creating an experience as magical as "Alone in the forest". What is so nice about the editing is that you never stop learning. Starting off in 2003 asking questions like "how can I place a unit in a window of a building?" and in the present working with .sqf is quite a journey and it is great fun.

The community addons and mods deserve at least a full post, but I'm not going into that now.

Armed Assault was a bit of a let down, the world was uninspired and the campaign was not very personal. Stability is also still an issue for me. If only those things had been better I think the game would have felt like a worthy sequel. Graphics were better, but graphics is not all that matters. Playability and variation is really what gives a game long life.

And now ArmAII... Well what can you say? The game has now become what I always dreamed of. Combining the strengths of the prequels and excluding their weaknesses. It is very clear that BIS listens to their community, since they have basically included most of the requested ingredients + added more stuff that increases gameplay drastically.

So what makes ArmAII so amazing?

-Hyper realistic graphics (not the most important aspect, but I had to mention it. Being a classical painter myself I dare say the "lighting of the landscape" in ArmAII is the best ever accomplished in a game, this is what reality looks like. This aspect has been really good even since OFP but is now perfected. The water effects are stunning as well.)

-Sound (A huge leap forward, everything is extremely convincing and adds to the illusion of you "being in the world". Just standing alone in the forest listening to the wind in the trees and the birds is magical. When you crawl through a bush you can actually hear the leaves and branches touching your body... amazing. The more action related sounds are also perfect.)

-Playability (BIS keeps adding more and more gameplay options that makes the variety and world experience outstanding. You can now talk to the AI, attach objects to each other -enabling endless possibilities-, create unpredictable missions with the SOM logic, carry your wounded, perform first aid etc. Some of this was done in community addons and mods before, BIS has obviously recognized that and this time they included it in the original game.)

-Atmosphere (In the prequels the mission designer had to spend a long time making the world "come alive". Endless hours of placing objects, units with waypoints and scripts. Usually those units and objects were never even needed in the mission, they just had to be placed there to add a convincing atmosphere. Now the simple placing of some game logics does that in a second... simply fantastic!)

-World (This is also better than ever, finally a world/map that feels very realistic, it makes sense in terms of geography and settlements. You feel that people could actually live there as opposed to the "boxes on the ground" urban areas in OFP and Armed Assault. The world is also very varied and has many inspiring places for a mission designer.)

-Editor (More and more useful commands. "IsOnRoad": The command senses if you are on the actual road and not driving in the landscape, adds a lot to a "get through the checkpoint" mission. "AttachTo": You can now put any object/unit on for example a truck and drive them around, adds variety and playability. Seems like soon only your imagination will be the limit in a BIS game. The editor this time has very useful objects as well, something that was missed in Armed Assault.)

-Overall the whole game experience is now so very close to reality with all the new details, complexities and options. If this game had been released when I was a teenager I wouldn't have a life today... Still true to some extent... but could be worse. Weirdly enough this fact should be taken as a huge compliment by BIS.

Simply put... ArmAII is a masterpiece. Maybe it will not be praised by teenagers that are into COD and other "timekillers", but for any serious gamer ArmAII is an entity that will definetely live forever. I really hope BIS will stick to their narrow path in the industry and that they will be rewarded for it. I get really tired reading all the negative input on this forum. The only explanation for all the silly complaints must be that some people simply don't understand what ArmAII is about and how complex this game's structure really is. I'm not very good with programming, I'm an OK scripter but that's it. However, what I do understand is the difference between a complex simulator and a heavily scripted action shooter. ArmAII is NOT Chrysis, it's about convincing and varied "non-scripted" simulation. Of course there are games that can render the image better than ArmAII, but they are basically "corridor FPSs" with little variety and very limited playability.

To all of you complainers I just have to say this: Why do you even compare ArmAII to other games? Don't you know what kind of program you are getting? If you only care about graphics and mindless action ArmAII is not the game for you... PERIOD!!!

As far as BIS future plans go, I hope they keep increasing playability rather than graphics from now on. I for sure don't need more detailed textures or more polygons. Instead: Imagine if all the different types of warfare (infantry, armor, navy, air etc) would become more and more detailed over the years and the worlds/maps larger and larger. What you would then have in 5-10 years is a super detailed total war simulator where the "whole planet" can be the battlefield. Imagine one player being a stealth bomber pilot flying over the Atlantic ocean, destination: some big city in Europe, mission: surgical bombing, mission time: several hours. On the other side you have a player stationed in that very city who is responsible for the air defenses, or maybe he's just just a working civilian. A third player is a SEAL member inserted off the coast by a submarine and starts moving across the country for days, mission: to recover something or someone. The submarine is suddenly sunk by an enemy destroyer and the SEAL team has to get out of the country, maybe with the aid of agents or civilians. The possibility of these huge scenarios spanning across the globe are endless and thrilling to think about.

- "During a Black Operation in Asia your plane has crashed in the Himalayas, the radio is wasted and you have to get back to the U.K... What do you do?" kind of missions.

Wouldn't that be something to strive for from now on?

Anyway... LOVE YOU BIS AND KEEP UP THE AMAZING WORK, YOU RUINED MY LIFE... BUT I'M LOVING IT.

sincerely,

Laggy

Edited by laggy

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Väl skrivet ARMA broder! :)

Well written and exactlly how it is. Best game in the universe - no competition.

Alex

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totally agree. this game and its community is totally unique!

can't wait for the first desert maps and other goodies modders will produce. together with the core game its going to rock our simulation hearts :yay:

so cheers to bis and all modders for making our game-expierience unmatched and top notch exciting!!!

Edited by Mike Miller

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After loving OFP and hating arma (but liking it a little after some patching, I wasnt gonna get arma, but I played it and loved it. I bought it and dont regret it like i did with arma1.

I was going to make a thread like this but...well..you saved me some typing

cheers!

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Thanks a lot, you jerk! As if the wait for the game to release on Steam tomorrow wasn't bad enough, now you have to write this? Aaaaaaagh!

:)

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Nice write-up, Adjoined my tea drinking break very well thanks.. and yes, superb epic game that nothing else really compares against in my useless opinion. Cheers.

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Very nice, and very true.

Anyway... LOVE YOU BIS AND KEEP UP THE AMAZING WORK, YOU RUINED MY LIFE... BUT I'M LOVING IT.

Haha =P

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I was telling my friend about this game yesterday and I said, "It's like Oblivion meets Ghost Recon.", and he just kind of blinked.

The average mind can not comprehend the full breadth of ArmA. >.>

Have been playing these since the original OpFlash demo. Good read.

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Man i completely stand by this original post.

This game is great and made me play till 06:00 in the morning last night.

I told myself several times; this is great :D

No other game answered all my wishes so closely as this series and it has been a superp bang for my bucks.

I hope for the developpers and every one else who made these series possible that this new release willbecome a great succes.

Thanks and Respect.

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couldn't agree more.

but my dream of BIS future simulation "game" (it is more than just a game) would be the ability of having thousands of players on multiplayer. where every player would be assigned to strict unit, strict roles and etc.

oh boy, just think about it, you join the multi thousand player server, load up, be assigned to unit, get a mission, while doing your mission with players from the unit, you meet other players from different regiments, platoons, they help you with intel, you help them with their task if it is close to your mission...

for completing a mission or performing well in combat, you get experience, medals or even be promoted to higher ranks, you then get the ability to choose different roles, like pilot, sf operative, comunication operator and so on...

and there should be strict military rules, no noobing around, etc...

yeah, that's my dream, virtual armys...

Oh, forgot, big Thank You to BIS just for beeing and for what they do :)

Edited by Gedis

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but my dream of BIS future simulation "game" (it is more than just a game) would be the ability of having thousands of players on multiplayer. where every player would be assigned to strict unit, strict roles and etc.

oh boy, just think about it, you join the multi thousand player server, load up, be assigned to unit, get a mission, while doing your mission with players from the unit, you meet other players from different regiments, platoons, they help you with intel, you help them with their task if it is close to your mission...

for completing a mission or performing well in combat, you get experience, medals or even be promoted to higher ranks, you then get the ability to choose different roles, like pilot, sf operative, comunication operator and so on...

and there should be strict military rules, no noobing around, etc...

yeah, that's my dream, virtual armys...

:)

Well put my friend and those ingredients fit perfectly into my "future vision". How many years before it is possible system wise? 5? 10? more?

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Unfortunately I think the biggest hindrance to that kind of play is that we, the ArmA community, are a minority. The mainstream gamer is only interested in a quick action fix and doesn't want a game as deep or complex as ArmA2, let alone what's being discussed here. They just don't have the attention span for it... they probably would be doing nothing more than 'noobing around.' With ArmA2 selling so well on Steam from the look of it, maybe that will change someday...

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Was a really nice read...Good job on the original post! This game has no competitor, and i don't foresee one in a near future.

I would like to add to your points:

* The community, or most of it :P, and that includes the developers as well, since they do reply, answer and ask questions on these forums. One of the only forums where i have seen it happen.

* The modding capability this game has, beeing able to mold it, based on an engine, to whatever you like - from very realistic mods *cough*, to RPG style mods and gameplay, SF scenarios, zombies, new islands etc etc etc. The list is basically infinite

OT:

@Gedis: there IS such a way of playing for A2 right now, unfortunatly is not thousands (due to harware limitations really), but 100+ per server (military ranked system TvT). Check www.cfarma2.com

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Seems like the complainers are fighting hard still. Anger leads to the dark side...

Better bump this thread up :don 14:

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Being able to embrace your own sentimentality is crucial for any good mission designer :o:

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If I was of a tree-hugging disposition I would doubtlessly say "Deeeeeeeeeep...." whilst smoking copious amounts of marijuana.

Edited by CW001

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Never hugged a tree or smoked pot myself, guess I'm pretty shallow after all :D

ArmAII just has the effect of making me feel like I'm ten years old again.

Cheers!!!

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