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Everything posted by Varis

  1. 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.
  2. Hi, I have close to 800 hours in ARMA myself but here's the situation: We're having a little LAN at work and to my surprise ARMA3 is getting some votes in the game selection (#2 just after Overwatch). This raises the challenge how to run ARMA as a one-shot thing with people who likely are completely new to the game. The Bootcamp can be great in introducing the very basics but we're talking of quite busy people who might not have the time to go through anything like that on their own. They are more or less gamers and generally bright people so they might pick up things quick on the go - most of them I don't know that well however to assess their exact capability. Everybody being in the same room and focusing on the game can help too. Was thinking of writing a little info blurb with just a few pointers how this game is different from your regular shooter and pointing them to the Bootcamp so some at least can pick up things beforehand and educate the others. Also making it co-op removes much of the skill gap and can provide for a nice change of pace in the LAN. Keeping it simple is a must, then again multicrew vehicles is something where ARMA shines and just driving and fooling around in a ground vehicle is quite easy and fun to do. I would think Zeus mode, or can I find fun missions that are easy to set up and easy to play for total newbies? Zeus would provide the advantage of adapting on the fly and setting both the content+challenge level to group specifications. I do have experience with the editor but I'm new to Zeus myself, I've been glancing at it and thinking it's a great tool - I used to play it while I was new - but the time to prepare is very short now. We could make it a simple scenario in semi-open terrain + towns, most probably Altis as that's the map most familiar to me and it's commonly played, also very different locations available. Assuming 7-8 players I'd break it into 3 fire teams: motorized recon (1-3 experienced players), an armored component (eg. tigris, MBT, APC with 2 or 3 people), motorized rifle squad (everybody else, mostly newbies). There's probably around 2-3 hours we can spend on the whole experience. Running Zerty's Mod with the right settings could be an idea, as I'm familiar with the mode and it exposes much of the game. We'd be taking over one town after the other and building our force. The enemies mostly would be stupid bots with some vehicle support (they would have APC etc). This way everyone would get to play and there would be a challenge to rise to, the experienced players would pull more of the game though. The challenge wouldn't really scale up but it's a short exercise anyway and in just a couple of hours we could get to running around with various ground vehicles or even commanding bots (it gets tricky in this territory though). Zerty's has a couple of its own mechanisms like factories with build queues, town mechanics, economy and bases so some people involved could get bogged down by those (IMO you could mostly just ignore them and tail the rest of the group). In terms of training, I think we need to cover: The basics of handling the game (gear selection, context menu, what to expect) How to operate with infantry (using cover, stances, locating enemies or rather the difficulty of it) How to hit things with firearms (eg. holding shift, selecting your engagement range, weapon types, bullet drop/zeroing, short bursts) Any special roles people want to try out (sniper weapons, ATGM, vehicle gunners) I will need to have another look at the WarMachine mode as that might provide just what we need, but in a more simple format. Any other ideas, concerns or suggestions?
  3. Varis

    Multiplayer Questions in General

    4. I've bumped into spontaneous teams on European KotH servers. Actually the teamplay has even been above the bar in MP gaming. Just mute the brainless baboons that seem to clutter every game and you're fine. But TBH if you want organized voice then you join a group basically. 4a. Zerty's Mod/Jammy Warfare does mechanized infantry quite well. You can find my combined arms PvP thread from last year or so if you look around a bit. 6. Keep looking - the offering is VERY varied and you'll have a number of near-misses before you find just the right group/mode again. ARMA is something that grows on you over a long time.
  4. Varis

    What was your Gateway Arma?

    Maybe it's the sad developments after BF2 that pushed me towards ARMA. A2 was on my radar years ago but never felt the final urge to try it out, perhaps the genre's reputation is not quite as welcoming to the public as it should. Then they started hyping A3, and I was interested, but kind of never noticed a sale or something to pull me in. Until 2 years ago when they went for Humblebundle... soon I had all the DLCs and now even have a 2nd copy of Apex Edition just in case. ARMA is something which grows on you slowly - you do hit plateaus working through what the community and the sandbox model can offer you. I'm still to try out the custom mission/milsim side. Coming more from a mainstream PvP background, there's always been some jewels to be found at the bottom if you keep prospecting and digging long enough.
  5. I don't think tracked vehicles are challenging to maneuver in MP - some of them like the Nyx have considerable oversteer or sliding, which makes things worse, but it's not a big enough issue to affect balancing. Tracked vehicles are well countered by shoulder launched weapons in many scenarios. Once you have decent pedals, you start feeling sad there is no usable analog control for the tracked (and other?) vehicles. Would do wonders for immersion. My pedals + throttle work well enough for helicopters...
  6. Varis

    helicopter pilot

    Try KotH infantry servers to get a hang of flying transport tasks and surviving under small arms fire (7.62mm machine guns mostly).
  7. Varis

    Is combined arms PvP possible?

    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.
  8. Just some thoughts. With my 600+ hours in ARMA, I often wonder WTH is it that I am playing or developing. I get a strong impression that ARMA is unique, even with all the similarities to some other gaming software. Perhaps BI is decades ahead in its business model and in the future other companies will copy it and be much more successful. Not sure if I yet dare to ask the question what ARMA is really about. Many of you have probably long since abandoned the idea that ARMA is a game. It's not a platform either. Without further ado, here's ARMA as a gaming software stack: Some of you may notice a similarity to the ISO/OSI network model. Maybe fittingly, in the 80's we had maybe just 3 layers or so, and still in many cases some are omitted or fused together. Like BI here does several jobs at the moment.
  9. Varis

    Handicapped player

    To me it always felt that doorways are the strange thing. Then again, it could be that backpack and launcher too?
  10. Varis

    Handicapped player

    How well can you jump if you're carrying A combat helmet and night vision goggles A full ghillie suit and a combat/carrying vest A large backpack A light machine gun With 2 boxes of spare ammunition An anti-tank launcher with 2 missiles A couple of grenades Mechanic's tools for on the field repairs Three sets of bandages and some other medical supplies Would imagine there's some rations and drinks as well not modelled in the game Oh yes I remember the bunny hopping days from Battlefield 2 as well
  11. Do you have a mission file for that? If not and it's a public server, why not put something new and interesting like WarMachine or Advanced Fierce Combat System (!) on it?
  12. Varis

    WARMACHINE - Game mode - SP/Coop/PvP

    Is there a disadvantage to selecting a Missile specialist?
  13. ---Major General Anthony Crutchfield What is the tactical doctrine for rotary wing craft in the 2030's? Still utilize NAP of the earth flight capability to avoid detection and attention from advanced AA systems? Just hover high and spam missiles from maximum range? Deeply combined arms where helicopters deploy high-tier infantry teams, control UAV and direct artillery? Nothing of the above because anything in the air will be unmanned? In the U.S. the situation with the equipment is interesting: numerous new development programs have been underway over the decades to replace aging platforms, however results are variable. The Comanche program (->Blackfoot) cost $9 billion yet was cancelled despite some proven performance and stealth capability. Perhaps too expensive in a time when the sky might already belong to UAV (and of budget cuts, obviously). Looks like some transport helicopters will have a life cycle of 75 years! In the end the activity has boiled down to upgrading what is already in existence - although currently the plan seems to be to deliver 4-5 completely new platforms in various sizes up to strategic transport with combination helicopter platform. A few development initiatives have been unveiled since ARMA 3 went live... We've had some interesting yet brief discussions recently, but here's also some interesting links: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/us-army-reveals-details-of-joint-multi-role-fleet-vision-360794/
  14. Hilarious that the image worked (after much hair-pulling) just a couple of hours ago. Here's a backup in case it doesn't come back: https://imgur.com/LJzrYGd ARMA forum.
  15. Varis

    [SP/MP] BeCTI

    Updated the source code link above to a slightly more fixed version in case somebody actually wants to run it. Tested it for a short bit as blufor, fewer issues though the reward for town capture was broken so remember to set some extra funds All the interesting code is currently in Dropbox. GitHub now has a source tree + Kanban board + project which may be informative down the road (obviously not everything will be recorded in issues). At the moment the sources in GitHub are just the baseline from Zerty's mod. Code from the master branch is always supposed to be semi-stable and if you don't have deep software engineering skills is probably what you want. Development work would happen in the three other branches. https://github.com/VarisA3/BECTI-DYN
  16. Varis

    KOTH reset to level 1?

    You'll be back to lvl30 before you know it. Good to really learn some of those old guns too :-P Go play CTI / EUTW or BECTI/Zerty's mod if you don't like resets...
  17. Varis

    [SP/MP] BeCTI

    Air research is worked into a 4-step branch instead of just 1 step. This allows rocket helicopters early into the game, also UAV comes more in the mid-game, while the heavier stuff requires more time and money than in the mainline version. I have a pretty solid vision WRT helicopters but jets and UAV will probably get reworked a bit. I initially thought level 2 would be "light jets + UAV" but we don't seem to have much in the way of light jets - most jets in the game are actually pretty powerful. With UAV the Zertymod community has seen quite a bit of breakage in the meta so they may require additional thought as well. As always this is a Work In Progress and isn't even implemented for OPFOR yet because it will change based on feedback etc. But this could be a straightforward improvement even in the Zertymod mainline as it allows low-tier air units into the game. There is some work in air unit pricing but more essential in my mind are changes on the AA side. AA threats need to be reduced - one idea is that teams would need to maintain stratified Air Defense Networks (ie. various tiers of AA units active to counter various tiers of threats that are operational or coming with the enemy's next step of research) - so this would take more money and effort than currently. However I would like to provide a larger selection of AA units and technology - there would be a cannon-only AA tank and the AA nyx has been made available in the main heavy factory tree - its powerful AA missiles are required to counter UAV/jet threats in Zertymod. It's very difficult to add new vehicles without requiring players to install any mods. More effective air can make the game balance volatile because the better team could leverage their economic advantage with aggressive use of air. Also I'd like a faster escalation into the mid game as it's where BECTI/Zertymod seems to shine. There are some tweaks currently - eg. a less dramatic effect from town occupation while denying income in enemy towns remains a possible strategy even in the late game - but some of the issues can probably be addressed by just changing the server parameters that are already available in the mainline code. A number of defaults and options are changed just to better facilitate testing (ATM want to get attack helicopters in the air quickly etc). There is a new marker for the priority town/priority zone (also one for town activation zone). There is a +10% bonus on all rewards (kills and captures) when the player is in this zone. The mainline just implemented what they call dynamic tasks which could offer better functionality - I haven't yet had the time to check out what they do in practice. Also this functionality created much of the breakage I think, so I might remove the priority zone from my codebase but add the bonus mechanisms later if needed. In the current dev version some vehicles such as marid and qi-lin are added to the flag shops in towns. This allows more intense frontline action but could be also used to bring less used vehicles into the meta. Another idea is creating different player teams - ones with a high AI cap like currently and ones with a much lower cap (eg. 2 or 4 AI units) but which would have various bonuses. This would allow marketing the mode to players currently outside of the CTI playerbase as the gameplay would be slightly closer to what they have currently and the learning curve would be a bit reduced. Probably they are not so interested in AI commanding or the strategic aspect - but a BECTI environment provides plenty of accessible combined arms action as well, possibly more than any other mode I've seen in ARMA3. If the project gets really serious this could be a necessary approach since it allows creating of a new meaningful playerbase. However there are several different options in implementing this feature and probably we already have some CTI modes which have taken this approach? There is a good bunch of other experimentation, in quality of life things, AI, documentation updates etc. These are fairly minor in the large picture and often just of a temporary nature. The ~full changelog is included in the files (and ingame), together with some of the main known bugs. I'm currently reorganizing and it might take a couple of weeks before I have something sensible up in GitHub for curious souls to actually try out. Would be happy to read your thoughts in the meanwhile
  18. The tool can create broken configurations with eg. negative values. Under Performance, changing units from kbps to mbps confuses the user and I tried entering something manly like close to 100 Gbps for max b/w. Configuration with negative max b/w was created and was quite nasty to figure out what was wrong (tip: read all config files very carefully in case of problems). Great software otherwise, creating the config is a breeze!
  19. Trying to set up a dedicated server for the first time, there are "a few" hurdles. I'm creating the configuration with TADST, then copying it and the .pbo files manually to the server, if needed adjusting manually and starting it with edited command line. No mods are used. Problems: 1) Stuck in infinite loading screen before lobby or anything. Can hear the wind/wave sound. No help if I wait for a few minutes, disconnect, and reconnect again. 2) Admin login is not succesful. Ie. I try to type in group chat eg. "# login", "#login", "#login <password>" - no entries in the log This run with a standard mission file but none of a bunch of different user created missions work either. Server log: https://pastebin.com/4FuwKiS2 Configuration file: What we tried so far: -the "Loading Screen Fix" using endLoadingScreen; -mission file, configuration in lower case
  20. Found something odd in configuration: MaxBandwidth = -100663296; Fixing that helped and at least vanilla missions work nicely now! TADST is great software but could use better protection against user idiocy
  21. It may take a while to find the most descriptive dimensions - some may turn out not to be separate but usually go hand in hand etc. Could be best to get a social scientist involved, as it is the ARMA community has already been studied by athropology students and could be an interesting research target. It's best to view every dimension more as a slider between two idealized extremes than a binary opposite with no room to wiggle. On usual Meyers-Briggs you can be 85% introverted, and so, obviously. Any good model would still need years of promotion before people are familiar and it starts feeling intuitive. The 16x personality type sorting has been promoted for what, 30 years and many people are still new to it.
  22. Get the feeling it is some strange ARMA bug or something very basic which however isn't evident from reading the dedicated server instructions. Have tried "everything" including hitting §, treema and tilde 3x. Any other ideas how to troubleshoot it? There should be a wiki about this... Should connecting always work on the first time? Tried it with almost all mods in -mod and also without -mod altogether.
  23. Varis

    [SP/MP] BeCTI

    The first version under the project label "BECTI-DYN" is provided in the hopes that curious souls can provide some early feedback on key concepts and approach. This is a development version of the code and actually running it is probably not much fun. Treat it as a prototype. There may be some bugs. You have been warned. There have been some technical hurdles in the last few days and the planned playtesting sessions have not taken place, sorry for that guys. Code changes have been mushrooming and I notice the project should take a more rigorous software engineering approach from now on. I need to eliminate some technical debt and talk with various project stakeholders before I can press forward with the roadmap. While the long term aspiration of BECTI-DYN is to search for and to provide value to potential CTI enthusiasts, there are a lot of changes marked EXPERIMENTAL, which are either used to facilitate testing the software or are a form of taking experimental liberties, without the intention that anything similar would actually be pushed into production versions of the software. Special note: The 10x price reduction on attack helicopters (kajman and blackfoot) is there to facilitate the adoption of these platforms for junior pilots and to focus testing on these units and their impact on the meta. Expect this to be changed into something more sensible in the near future. Source download: https://www.dropbox.com/s/3aqpwxgfr6d0v31/pre5-breakage-okish-varis-becti-0.97.altis.7z?dl=0
  24. Varis

    Arma 3 Flight Servers

    I doubt any exist, because even in helicopter racing there is seemingly little interest - that scene is pretty much handled by the single player time trials. The game can provide much richer interactions for helicopter pilots than just chatting, so I guess that is why pilots go to other game modes. Maybe try Altis Life and see if there is a civilian context for pilots? Or maybe you can smuggle drugs or something You could always have a private mission + private server if you can find some like minded buddies. I actually created a mission just for flying/practice the other day, but my modus operandi is pretty combat oriented otherwise.
  25. Varis

    What do you like to see in a mission ?

    Might get repetitive if there are too many tanks. Just a couple could be possible to provide a different pace of action. If the tanks' response time/skill level is fast, it may be difficult and take a long time to take them out. Do the players have enough ammunition? Using supports to take the tanks out is probably not possible because houses provide too much cover. At least get it playtested I would say.