The trouble with getting people into Arma in ARMA 3 - GENERAL Posted October 7, 2011 · Edited October 7, 2011 by oktane Dwarden shows up, drop a bomb and leave it ticking? Not fun. Â¬Â¬ Haw, he always does that. Always carrying satchels that only sometimes explode. :D Here is an old post from last year.. I really think that on the MP side, improvements with addon syncronization to help new/non technical players, as well as vast usability fixes (accessablity now a swear word too? :D) would really help. After all, while there are tons of single player users, I believe the vast majority play public or private MP with their mates. And that's just what people want these days, either story SP, or some sort of MP. The MP has always been great with the Arma series, when you see past the multitude of issues. A really big one that has always been missing is some sort of social features built into the game to find the server your buds are on, or at least keep tabs on players that you've had quality games with so you can play with them again. Right now, the game requires you to find a group to play with or a very well admin'd server to get any good public play on.. and the new users are all going to start out playing public for their first impressions and to find their style of play, favorite server, gaming group, etc. So that impression there matters, imo. I highlighted those parts below that I refer to above. Since then I've sort of taking a break from the hell that was being a public server admin, I just play an occasional 2 man coop on the LAN. :cool: Huge post behind spoiler.. clicky source: 200+ page thread, ugh.. http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?p=1625042#post1625042 Arma is a pretty hard to use, open ended simulator game, created at the dawn of the sandbox era. People are busy, especially in the US. This leads to impatience, frustration with an ever more complex life. Maybe we over here have a grass is greener work life kind of thing compared to say Europe. This could be totally wrong, it's based on a personal opinion. Most people have no insight to how game development works, or the very limited resources of an indie studio. They expect multi-million dollar budgets and the team, process, polish that comes with that. (as in manpower implied, not so much brains.. because we all know of many big budget turds) This is in contrast to the 'old days' of gaming, when the expectations were much lower and on a more human level, rather than the assembly line blockbuster machine we have now. They expect more and more, address our problems now, boycott this or that, selfish brat attitudes. It seems to get worse as life gets more complex. (or maybe I am just an old dude now? sigh) I try not to ask of things unless I have exhausted all possible resources I can think of. On the game developer side, the market is shrinking for PC games, and has been for quite a few years unfortunately. Dev's blame all kinds of things, piracy a big one, yadda, but I hope everyone can agree that the modern console is killing it. It just isn't profitable unless you already have a foothold with a brand or genre. People that used to maintain their gaming computers and game libraries have now settled on the reasonably high quality of console games and the luxuries that provides. (along with apparently settling with the negative aspects, such as 12yo's spamming racial slurs into your headset) I think it's bit of a cultural thing too, going with the whole complex life thing. People like simple, easy to use, even if the game being played isn't that simple itself. Consoles have a lot of 'social-integration' features and are based on a very well thought out and very well supported platform. (especially the XDK for the 360, PS3 sdk is a nightmare honestly) The delivery systems are superb. People want to connect, have fun, not learn complex systems(six updater, teamspeak, addons), deal with hardware and operating systems.. all of these things add up to kill the PC Gaming for other than a few niche footholds. (like MMO's, accessible + competitive + polished FPS's(TF2), and simulators-especially flight sims) Since Arma crosses a few genre boundaries, our possible target audience is decreased due to that modern console exodus. PC milsim market is niche for many reasons, and this seems to create a bit of pride and elitism, some for good, some for bad. Or maybe it's just the kind of person that this game attracts. Some people are put off by this. Others wonder what drives a person to be an evangelist of such things and discovers something wonderful. Dare I say OFP/Arma has always striven to be the very definition of 'feature-bloat' and 'scope creep', treating it in almost a non-negative way. (!) And even though those features are often buggy, some unfinished, and yet I still love them. They represent the imagination of the devs at BIS, and even the community of which they often give and take from. Aiming so high, their vision seemingly unfettered by milestones, scrum meetings and shareholder demands like most developers have to deal with. But certain things become a detriment to even the most patient of players... The addon system for example, we have people here saying it's easy, well it isn't for most folks. I don't know what you're smoking but give me some! I am a 'supporter', I help a lot of people with the problems that come with this game, often (much to my dismay) when I'm trying to play it.. but I can't help it. I don't want people to give up, to get fed up with it, because then they are gone from an already small pool... If you've been in the game industry, you are familiar with what is lovingly referred to as 'programmer art'. Arma seems to have what I'd call a 'programmer gui' (funny pic) You could go on and on about this but what it all boils down to is the end user experience. Specifically, I refer to a new player, unable to join servers with required addons, error boxes providing no meaningful info, barely usable yet commonly accessed interfaces (server list, mission select list (ffs, same as ofp's!)) Because of the indie nature however, the developers (and rightly so) instead devote their effort into more substantial gameplay improvements. But the problem is that all of these little things add up. And a new player doesn't care about improvements over the last version, because he didn't know about or have the last version. All he experiences if lucky are some awesome battles and a lot of usability issues. (even though he doesn't know anything about usability, ui design, etc.. he doesn't have to. He's a user and experiences the design failures firsthand, the game fails him in that aspect.) For some of the issues, I've made some CIT tickets for. This brings up another issue, the communities inability to agree on anything. Some people would rather have no solution at all if they disagree with a single thing. Take the addon auto-downloading issue here. People entirely miss the point and think that a 3rd party solution is best. Sure best for them, because people forget about the big picture. And they, being Arma power-users so to say, perhaps it is better for them to use Yoma's. But that doesn't help that possible future player I mentioned, who has no knowledge of these 3rd party systems. His first impression. Not to mention, that again, this time because of Yoma's limited resources, his updating app has resembled a submarine control panel for most of it's existence. Same goes for Six-Updater! (and no offense intended to either, I greatly admire and respect the people that contribute tirelessly to this community with more than forum posts) Back to that player, we as admins cannot even tell them to go here or there to get so and so addon pack, all they get is a generic error box 'you cannot play this mission, depends on xyz_cryptic_classname', wtf does that mean to them? To them it means this game sucks, it's half assed, which to me is frustrating because they may miss out on the real fun experience in game on that server. But it's those small things that add up. As public server/newbie friendlyadmins, we are stuck in this tug of war, player count vs content. When add content to make our regulars happy, we unintentionally destroy any chance of getting that less-informed player in to have fun. Only when a huge all-in-one pack comes out like ACE are we able to add that content, since again it's *easier* to manage. (then again maybe not, since Six Updater keeps breaking for people frequently) This extends across many elements of MP, required addons making 3rd party tools necessary, kick messages for custom files, deficiencies in the voip system leading to using 3rd party apps, the list goes on. People that think that the game should be some kind of secret indie hit, we don't need new people, we don't like those people, we don't want to attract those people.. well those people were all US at one point. Get your heads out of your asses and realize that having a few thousand more players is not going to dent your ego. There will still be niches of players that like one style of play(see TF2), servers that enforce certain gameplay rules(see TF2), everything we have now and love. There will just be more people, more excitement in large battles, more serious players you'd like to play with. If you don't open the door, nobody can get in, whether you like them or not. It's a chicken-egg scenario. Compare this to this, and think of what an awesome difference just a few thousand players could do to the scene. I should mention that I am not a console gamer, I'm an A2 player. ;) If/when I play MP games, it's always been OFP/ArmA/A2 for the most part, cooping with a close friend since around 2002. But ironically I spend most of my time helping other people with their A2 problems or with my head in mission code. I own a console (360) only because I got one for free from work, my girlfriend likes to play it sometimes, but I could never get into it because I'm naturally a tinkerer. (code, wires, anything) I do not think A2 should be a console game, even if it's sales will forever suffer as a result. (I don't think it's plausable to consider the game scope working on a console and without community mods) I worked dev support inside the game industry for a measly 5 years (at a place that originally did PC games and transitioned to cross platform) but I learned a lot of interesting things about the trials those teams go through to make games. I defended PC gaming's merits to my similarly aged peers (I was a minority!) until I was faced with hard sales numbers and realized my misconceptions and narrow sightedness about the niche PC gaming market. I also felt there was a large disconnect between how BIS does things compared to the rest of the industry. As such, it almost feels as if A2 is not a game but something more worth while for me, a hobby? It's just a bit obscured under some oily rags and newspapers. Anyways this is long enough. I hope you'll all vote on any of the CIT issues (see sig + list below) with the core vision in mind, the same as this thread, to make it more popular so that we can all have a better time. Even if you do not agree with every tiny detail, the consequences are far worse, like not having enough players for a good ol game of blowing shit up. New players would benefit all parts of our community ecosystem, except possibly the patience of the forum mods. :D I'm not going to subscribe to this thread because it's kind of hopeless to me, sadly. Instead I want to enjoy the fun while it lasts. Cheers and much respect, oktane (really really sorry for wall-o-text) --------------------------------------------- Another: ...snip.. I think I know exactly what you want. I call them usability improvements. Like a friends list in game.. so you play with a dude, you can click a star next to his name in the player list and then you can see what server he's on or send him a chat. Basic tools to keep the community connected. Right now there are friends playing arma.. but they aren't necessarily playing together. And maybe you'll meet someone that you'd like to play coop with again.. but the game doesn't help you remember who that was. Have you used Steam at all? I'd say it's a bit like that. More channels of communication between players other than the standard join server + chat way... because you can't always GET ON the server.. (addons, locked, full, etc) New players don't know where forums are or what TS server to join. The BASIC, i say again BASIC features are required in the game itself, out of the box. The integration is already there.. it was in ArmA1.. for the canned 360 version. (hit esc, see 'Friends' list) Cheers and keep up the good discussion! I hope that it helps the devs.. when the thread grows to 200 pages I have to assume they simply don't have the time to keep up with all of those. PS: I have always tried to explain the depth of the AI in ArmA to people. It's just when they stand there and suck up bullets is when it falls apart. But at closer range, it's really fantastic. And then as mentioned, at 50m it sometimes falls apart again but it's passable. Good luck inside buildings though, sigh.