Arma 3 launched without its campaign mode, meaning that soldiers who stepped onto the field of battle early would've been left kicking their heels and cleaning their rifles – would've been, were it not for an industrious army of Arma 3 modders. Even a quick reconnaissance run on Bohemia's military simulator's Steam marketplace turns up some impressively professional missions. Here ten of the best Arma 3 mods we've enjoyed so far.
There’s something of DayZ in sandbox mission Wasteland, both in terms of mechanics and cult popularity. It’s a multiplayer-only mode that drops players onto the island of Stratis, before asking them to select a team: BLUFOR, OPPFOR, or Independent. From there, players have to stay alive, scavenging money, food, and water from the island’s settlements, and spending their gotten gains on new weaponry. Occasionally the game spawns missions and AI enemies that reward teams that combine to complete them with hefty payouts. Because it’s a multiplayer mission, you don’t technically need to download or subscribe to anything before playing Wasteland - simply pick a server running the mode.
Arma 3 Rally - Skopos Course
You’ll find a few rally courses already available on the Steam Workshop, but none are as slick as m@gicpanda’s Skopos Course. It’s set on a country road with straights long enough to let you floor your hatchback’s accelerator, but it’s the visual touches that make the course memorable. Come round the first corner and a jet screeches overhead; round the second and you’re dodging burning armoured car wreckage. Try and avoid spectators if you can, but don’t worry too much: I ran seven of them over after misjudging one tricky corner, and the rally organisers didn’t seem to mind.
Antorugby’s chopper-centric mission is good practice for helicopter pilots. It starts off simple, asking you to cart a lazy squad a few hundred metres down the road, but gets hard fast. Your next landing zone is covered by enemy AA guns, meaning you’ll have to fly low, land quickly, and get out fast before your wings are clipped. Later, you’re able to redistribute some aerial justice with your copter’s own cannons, meaning that by the end of the job, you should be comfortable landing, hovering, and manoeuvering yourself around the sky.
This download is a surprisingly complex retelling of the Metal Gear Solid in the Arma III engine, complete with boss battle, codec, and audio cribbed from the Playstation game. Arma III’s AI - still a little suspect at the best of times - isn’t really built for this kind of difficult stealth workout, but it’s the little touches that make MGS1 worth playing. You’ll start near a minisub, correctly aping the real Metal Gear Solid’s aquatic infiltration, and regular checkpoints mean that being spotted won’t lead to too much frustration.
Survivor’s a simple mission that drops you into a town with a pistol and an electro-ed up version of a ‘50s boogie song, before asking you to survive against a roving gang of “bullies” who want you dead. There’s a time limit, so hiding on the top floor of a house - however much it might be my cowardly instinct - won’t work. Survivor’s a good mission for training your iron-sight aim, too, forcing you to be quick on the trigger but fairly conservative with your ammunition.
Dynamic Universal War System
One of Arma III’s most ambitious and impressive mods yet, Dynamic Universal War System will invent you a procedural war upon startup. You’re plonked onto the vast island of Altis, given a base, and asked to capture enemy territory. Squads and vehicles can be purchased with command points; command points are earned by capturing more territory. There’s an admirable amount of choice in how you approach DUWS’s war: use your own sniper rifle to clear enemy territory, or send a mechanised force to clear out an enemy outpost from the comfort of your own base.
One for PC Gamer art editor and Operation Flashpoint obsessive John Strike, Revenge! is a retread of the mission of the same name from 2001’s original OpFlash. You’re a team leader in one of two APCs converging on a large, terrorist-held settlement. Clearing the area is a matter of slow and deliberate progress, splitting your squad into fire teams and closing off firelanes. Or, in my case, ordering all your men to run toward the objective and hiding around at the back so you don’t get shot.
CH Assault from the Deep
Mateck’s Assault from the Deep uses Arma III’s newly introduced submersible well, asking players to pilot the craft up to a beach where they have to clear a small gang of foes before regrouping and pushing toward a larger force. It’s one of the easier missions available on Steam Workshop, but it’s well suited for small groups, making it another good training exercise. Just remember to shut the hatches on your mini-sub so your team doesn’t unceremoniously drown on the way in.
Ekali Apocalypse - Sniper Mission
Casting you in the role of sniper in a sniper/spotter duo, Ekali Apocalypse is short, giving you only one target to eliminate before extracting. But it’s notable for letting you choose your vantage point and forcing you to scan around the area before making your shot with one of Arma III’s realistically unwieldy sniper rifles. Overcompensate for bullet drop, or else you’ll end up alerting the entire town to your presence.
Ground Attack II
Graduate to this after you’ve completed your GhostHawk Shift. The second of DICS’ Ground Attack missions has you attacking convoys at low altitude. You’re piloting, so you don’t need to worry about shooting - your gunner will do the killing for you. That is, unless, you’re feeling particularly ambitious and want to take manual control of your cannons. Knock out the convoys across Stratis, then it’s back home for a congratulatory hug and a sandwich.
Have any favourite Arma 3 mods and missions of your own? Share them in the comments!
Arma 3's first post-launch patch is live today, bringing with it a long list of improvements to the military sim's interface and game engine, according to developer Bohemia Interactive's official changelog. Among a host of tweaks in update 1.02 is a "potential" boost to optimization on the enormous Altis game map.
Changelogs for a game as complex as Arma 3 usually include a mix of obvious and not-so-obvious adjustments. Bohemia is attempting to tighten up game performance on the Altis map by streamlining the way certain models in the game make use of "class properties," which—when using a lot of AI units—could offer up a "potential Altis performance optimization," according to the changelog. The team has also made some small changes to the Altis terrain, and the way in which it positions objects.
Today's update also includes improvements to character animations so that there are "less pronounced character lip sync animations." Civilians are also more fragile now, in that "they will be fatally injured by one hit (5.56 mm and better caliber) to torso," according to the developer.
For more on Arma 3, be sure to check out our review as well as some of the various community guides that have surface over the last several months which give a good introduction to many of the game's features.
This week's podcast is all about Steam's three, big announcements. What do SteamOS, Steam Machines, and the Steam Controller mean to PC gaming? How does it all work? How much does it cost? Does Valve want to replace your main rig? Your living room entertainment center? All of the above? How would Nicholas Cage fare in the political landscape of the 15th Century?
Cory, Evan, and T.J. answer all of these questions to the best of their ability in PC Gamer Podcast 363 - Gabecube!
Have a question, comment, complaint, or observation? Send an MP3 to email@example.com or call us toll-free at 877-404-1337 x724.
Subscribe to the podcast RSS feed.
Follow us on Twitter: @ELahti (Evan Lahti) @demiurge (Cory Banks) @AsaTJ (T.J. Hafer) @belsaas (Erik Belsaas, podcast producer)
Potential Altis performance optimization (especially when using a lot of AI units): removed class properties from models in Structures_F that don't need it Many small Altis object positioning tweaks and other terrain fixes Fixed: Flipped moon texture The moon halo object can now be different from the sun halo object (new world config parameter moonHaloObject) The light reflected by the moon has been made more realistic Added: New runway parts for left and right airstrip on Altis Runway lights have new models and configuration Fixed: Darker runway at a distance and with overcast weather Fixed: Ladder on hospital building has been reversed (http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=13399) Fixed: Blinking resolution LODs on signs Configured power line wires to be destroyed along with power line towers Animals should be avoiding roads more now Fashionable LCD panels for MBT gunners instead of old-style optics, and new reticles displayed on them Player tank driver can turn out, while commander is turned in Civilian (and FIA) trucks have been revamped Added: Ability to mount Marshall driver position from right side Fixed: Slammer recoil Added: T-100 recoil animation for main gun T-100 commander optics features in line with OPFOR tracked vehicles T-100 back armor made thinner Improved handling of terminal ballistics on armored vehicles More realistic water fording ability for tracked armor Added compass and additional radars for copilot seats Removed magic disappearance of rotor blades for some helicopters AH-99 badly placed exhausts fixed (http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=9909) Adjusted position of Blackfoot pilot crosshair in HMD Added stabilization for UAV optics Fixed: Incorrect duplicate of get-in points for Speedboats Fixed: Zooms of armed offroad gunner set to standard naked eye level (http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=14213 and http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=14699) Added: Mortar/HMG/GMG/Bipod/Tripod bags for every faction Added missing backpacks for Mk6 weapon Capacity tweaking for mortars, GMGs and HMGs (inventory) Fixed: Animations of static weapons Tweaked: Bag weight for static weapons. It was too high for our maximum soldier load. Fixed bombs of CAS UAVs Re-balanced mine damage and overall mine usability Tweaked: Pistol weights to match maximum soldier load count Fixed: Negative friction of 120mm shells Reticle materials for 3D scopes now glow in the dark Fixed: Problem with 3D scope alpha sorting Added: BIS_fnc_unitPlay function severely optimized. Unit playback is now smooth even when applied on multiple vehicles at the same time. Backwards compatible - will improve already released missions without need to change anything. Tweaked: Action menu priorities Increased action priority for weapon assembly Fixed: Radio protocol is no longer played during story conversations triggered by BIS_fnc_kbTell Fixed: Some groups spawned by Sites module had their skill set too high Fixed: CAS bombing issues in Supports Module Fixed: Rare occurrence of undefined variable for civilian randomization scripts Fixed: Game sometimes got stuck in loading screen after respawn (http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=14474) Added: Warning about using BIS_fnc_addRespawnPosition - calling the function on client at the mission start will result in data not being broadcasted correctly Fixed: Modules were not executed in the right order on server Fixed: Sending multiple recipients to BIS_fnc_MP caused the function to be ignored in singleplayer Added: Recipient sent to BIS_fnc_MP can now be string - variable name of an object. The function will be executed where the object is local. Fixed: Incorrect returned value when task checked by BIS_fnc_taskCompleted didn't exist Fixed: "Vehicle Respawn" module didn't recognize airplanes, rendering them non-respawnable (http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=13078) Fixed: HQ entities created by Headquarters module (used for example in Defend and Seize missions) were all using European voice. Correct voices (English for NATO and Persian for CSAT) are assigned now. Fixed: "Set Task Destination" module is now optional, destination can now be configured in "Create Task" module. The same is true for task state (http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=4144) Fixed: Functions with tag without specific name (i.e., no 'tag' attribute) were incorrectly categorized in the functions viewer Fixed: BIS_fnc_sandStorm was using incorrect particle texture (http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=13773) Added: Delay before respawn menu is applied only when player is simulated Fixed: "EndMission" respawn template failed a mission even when some players were still alive after respawn tickets were exceeded Fixed: Module effects were applied to vehicle commanders, not to vehicles themselves Fixed: Debug console was not available for logged admins (http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=13764) Fixed: Respawn display sometimes didn't close once player respawned Fixed: Advanced hints save / load issue Added: BIS_fnc_countdown - allows setting and managing countdown Function BIS_fnc_findInPairs renamed to BIS_fnc_getFromPairs and now supports all variable types New function BIS_fnc_findInPairs returns index of an item from the associative array found under the key Fixed: Notifications are no longer displayed after player dies in singleplayer missions Fixed: Zone Restriction module would sometimes fire a warning event when a unit left a vehicle Fixed: Info about ability to sync "Respawn Position" module to a vehicle was missing BLUFOR soldiers are now able to switch textures via setObjectTexture CSAT soldiers have been trained to distinguish fixed-wing UAV of their side better when standing next to it Less pronounced character lip sync animations Fixed: Several inventory capacity issues Fixed: OPFOR pilots ammo load Fixed: Guerrilla Rifleman AT backpack load out Fixed: Guerrilla Engineer bag type Fixed: Khaki vest camo for OPFOR snipers and Olive vests for AAF Minor fix in BLUFOR repair specialist chest rig Added: New icon for BLUFOR chest rig Added: New icons for Guerrilla uniform types Added side-specific textures and pictures for mortar bags Introduced mass difference between normal and light helmets Various characters models and textures tweaks, most notably the US flag being removed from AS and SMDI maps Civilians are more prone to be fatally wounded by anything (damage tolerance and armor) Tweaked hitpoints of civilians. Now they will be fatally injured by one hit (5.56 mm and better caliber) to torso. Configured destruction of wreck_heli_attack_01 (Blackfoot wreck) Added Korean and Japanese characters from other fonts to EtelkaMonospacePro (fixes missing texts in e.g. establishing shots in those languages) Font: EtelkaMonospaceProBold added for backwards compatibility (inherits everything from EtelkaMonospacePro) Rolling credits now end after finishing and a short timeout Fixed: Class name in title bar can't be edited any more in Insert Unit and Insert module in mission editor Fixed: Positions of location labels (e.g., town names) in Splendid Camera were offset Fixed: Respawn position selection list was blinking Fixed: Tile effects were interactive, stealing mouse focus Fixed: Error message for "Viper Green in trouble" conversation in Showcase Vehicles Removed: Showcase Night radio at the enemy camp Tweaked: Showcase Night player is now sitting on the front of the boat during insertion Tweaked: Showcase Night boat driver now has a beanie hat Tweaked: Showcase Night when player is detected near a site, enemies should now better hunt him Tweaked: Showcase Night enemy patrols on sites are now on in safe behavior Tweaked: Showcase Night enemies now play ambient animations Tweaked: Showcase Night when player is detected on an enemy site, the nearest, not yet cleared, enemy site will become combat aware Fixed: Showcase Night random patrols had skill of 1, now it's 0.4 Fixed: Showcase Night soldier leaning on the lighthouse was going through it Fixed: Showcase Night enemies don't have NVGoggles any more (they wrongly had them because of class name changes) New: Showcase Night enemy vehicle will now come and investigate the south after half the chaos threshold has been reached Fixed: In Combined Arms single player you could kill insertion choppers crew without triggering friendly fire Fixed: Defend Syrta character classes had wrong backpack Fixed: Defend Syrta CSAT AA class had wrong backpack Fixed: Seize and Defend missions were sometimes not executed properly on Dedicated Server Tweaked: Civilian vehicles are now unlocked in MP scenarios Tweaked: Lowered cost of enemy vehicles by 0.5 in MP scenarios Tweaked: Tanks should now only spawn on last zone (MP) New: Added Spotter and Sniper load outs on the last objective (MP) Changed: Defend Syrta now has disabled AI by default Firing Drills: CoF Green - removed manual hiding of barriers now they were removed from Stratis globally Firing Drills: CoF Red 3 - disabled detecting statue as no-shoot until new solution is found (old one removed due to map optimizations) Music has been reorganized to new class names, old ones are kept for compatibility Main menu music track fix (different version of same track) British Radio Protocol voices added (1 x Jay Crowe + 3 x Jayholder as data placeholder for future recordings) Removed occasional animation glitch after Team Switch Digital Deluxe Edition: Tactical Guide updated with various tweaks Digital Deluxe Edition: Map updated with higher resolution
Many AI tweaks and fixes Enabled blood when Korean language is selected Improved: Tank collisions / flipping epeImpulseDamageCoef parameter can now be changed for any vehicle AI drivers are now better able to navigate out of obstacle and unstuck themselves New possibility to turn off adaptive crosshair in options Fixed: Favorite sessions in LAN view Increased the limit of shown servers in the server browser from 500 to 10000 Fixed: Broken location detection of MP clients - people should be finally able to see servers close to them Fixed: Country detection in MP Crouch (toggle) now works correctly for launchers Fixed: Aiming while holding 'sprint' key and not moving Removed zoom warp (by using sprint while in optics) Fixed: More strange zoom while sprinting with fatigue removed NRemoved strange zoom when aiming while trying to sprint with high fatigue Improved: Helicopter dropping like a stone when AA hits them Fixed: Crash when player engages in conversation and has no topic Added: Random angular velocity for dropped weapons in ragdoll Fixed: DnD with container on soldier's container tab caused wrong behavior Fixed: DnD with container on soldier's linked backpack caused wrong behavior Fixed: Replacing linked weapon from weapon stored in backpack caused wrong behavior Fixed: Bag disappearance and duplication Fixed: Gear shows no magazines except handguns removeWeapon can also unlink assigned items now Fixed: Command removeBackpack Fixed: removeAllContainers leaves unit with uniform model even though their uniform is removed (http://feedback.arma3.com/view.php?id=7879) Fixed: Action Drop Backpack was not working The Men category is now properly sorted in the unit dialog in editor Fixed: saveStatus and loadStatus commands did not work Fixed: CheckCursorActionTarget performance Skybox lighting is now done per-pixel New scripting commands for getting and setting identity parameters New scripting command for getting fog parameters (fogParams) Added parameter turretCanSee config parameter to distinguish usability of compass for copilots
<b>FROM</b>: Project Lead
<b>TO</b>: Arma 3 Users
<b>INFO</b>: First patch, Firstlook 2013
We are in the final stages of preparing for the first post-release patch / main branch update. This does not yet contain the first campaign episode. There are a couple of fixes and improvements that will benefit the larger playerbase and would be good to get out. Recent optimizations benefit the performance of Altis, especially in scenarios with lots of AI units moving about. There are also a few fixes for Japanese and Korean versions - such as re-enabling blood and correcting broken font issues for some texts. The goal is to release later this week, but as per usual, this depends on testing.
It's a testament to Arma 3's depth as a military simulation that it gives players so many vehicle options when staging battles. But it can also be tricky to figure out the most effective way to use vehicles and infantry together, given that complexity. Thankfully Arma 3's latest official community guide has our backs.
The combined arms tutorial above is the latest in an ongoing series from Andrew Gluck aka Dslyecxi, an Arma player in the ShackTactical community. In his usual low-key style, Gluck goes over many of the various possibilities for role-based warfare and tactics.
"Armored support is best employed to defeat comparable enemy threats, or when infantry needs significant overmatch capabilities to accomplish their mission," Gluck says in the video. "In short, it's better to bring heavier guns than the enemy whenever possible. Armor must be carefully considered against the capabilities of the enemy. If the enemy has numerous anti-tank guided missiles, it might be better to hold back friendly armor until those missiles can be neutralized by friendly infantry."
As we noted in our review, the most spectacular and defining aspect of Arma 3 is its massive scale. Finding the best way to come to terms with gigantic maps like Altis—through the smartest use of infantry and vehicles together—must surely be one of the keys to victory.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Oj1q_r1dwU As part of the official Community Guide video series for Arma 3, Bohemia Interactive released a brand new episode on combined arms warfare. Focusing on transportation and support, Andrew Gluck (better known as Dslyexci) from ShackTactical narrates the video to explore the synergetic relationship between infantry, vehicles, aircraft and artillery.
Bohemia's mobile turn-based strategy game, Arma Tactics, is coming to a more stationary platform on October 1st with a $9/£6 Steam release. It's like Arma 3 (read our review) in that there are soldiers, but unlike Arma 3 in pretty much every other way. Tactics is a game of XCOM-style (at least on the surface) turn-based close-combat with story missions and randomly generated scenarios.
It's already out on iOS and Tegra3 devices (that's stuff like the Nexus 7, Acer Iconia tablets, and Nvidia Shield), but the PC version will feature mouse and keyboard controls and enhanced graphics, but should run on just about any system you're using to play games. Unless you're really attached to your Pentium Pro, maybe.
Pre-purchasing for 15 percent off also awards you immediate beta access, though the press release warns that not all enhanced PC features will be present in the beta. We'll give Arma Tactics a good look-over when the complete version releases October 1st. Check out the mobile version trailer below.
<b>FROM</b>: Project Lead
<b>TO</b>: Arma 3 Users
<b>INFO</b>: Release, Post-release work
Last Thursday's release was a big moment for the team. It was a relief to get the game out there. Of course we realize that for most people reading this obscure development blog, it had less of an impact than to someone buying / installing the game for the first time. For those wanting a changelog from the last Beta patch, check out <a href="http://dev.arma3.com/spotrep-00010">SPOTREP #00010</a>. We're focusing on reading and watching all the constructive feedback and criticisms, while solidifying our short-term and long-term plans.