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A3 Mods - Community and Content

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  • [ANNOUNCEMENT] A3 Mods - Community and Content

    We are very excited to be able to now offer our mission makers and our players the terrains and assets that come with CUP Terrains and RHS (both the US and RU forces). We think that this is the start of some really fantastic content that now is easy for new players to join us with.

    Basically it is the updates and refinement of the A3 Launcher and integration with both server configurations and Steam Workshop content that has finally become something so very easy to use. We have noticed that even while running our recent test of a mod heavy mission, Hearts & Minds, that we were having no issues with new to ArmA players being able to join us through the launcher.

    Now they can click on the server or a friend who is on our server and with a few clicks have the mods downloading and configured for them to join. This is really great stuff. We really don't mind giving up a little version control for the sake of this kind of global compatibility with the greater community.

    One of the things we learned since last summer and the release of Apex was that isolating ourselves from the players who don't have Apex is not our best bet. We can all think of some great players who get kicked because they don't have Apex terrain objects when certain scenarios are started up. You can bet our mission makers are working on that. However, we still recommend Apex and will continue to support some missions for it.

    Your admin team decided that adopting new terrains through CUP Terrains would be the best start on terrains that are accessible to anyone without additional cost other than a download. There are some mods we are looking forward to that we are already planning for the future that are also dependent on CUP Terrains. But for now we have a lot of maps from previous versions of ArmA to explore in this set. All told with RHS Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and RHS United States Armed Forces we added almost 15 gigs of modded content to download.

    We had a simple concept in mind when we decided to add this content. While we love A3, most of us do kinda miss the more real time world weapons and the exploration of a world of more modern day conflicts. Honestly, the CSAT faction seems a little Buck Rogers to those of us old enough to catch the reference. So, we also wanted to add in the RHS assets to round out some new factions, vehicles and weapons. We are still looking around for a good insurgent faction for lets say Takistan and that might not be too far long in coming. Send us your suggestions!

    We want to give our mission makers incentive to get cracking on some new missions with these new assets. We are hoping that stage one will be a bunch of simple scenarios that help our existing players cope with a larger player count. We want some infantry missions that will allow new leaders to run a platoon sized force, in effect to sputter up from the squad sized missions we were playing last year and find their legs. Another set of missions would increase the pressure. These ones would succeed or fail brutally based on how well teams can communicate, adapt and recognize tactical advantage.

    Temporarily removing the element of combined arms could be useful to help new leaders gain solid skills and thus provide the TG teamwork experience to more of our guests. This would allow mission makers to remake the same objectives on vastly different terrain. One scenario on 5 different terrains = 5 missions this week! We could have 25 missions in two weeks if we did it right.

    After that, begin to introduce the motorized, mechanized, aerial and support elements back in as they are assimilated into our leaders tactical library. Everyone is, as they say, first and foremost a rifleman. Anywho, this is not a rule but just one of the ways we see getting more content quickly and doing so for the best effect for our community.

    Lets talk about our TG mission makers....our mission makers have put an enormous amount of time into creating a great variety of scenarios for us to choose from. We are committed to supporting all of that existing content and all of their hard work. Without all of the game time they give up to the task of mission making, we would not have the content that has provided the rich experiences and that have allowed us to grow in the last year.

    There is one mod that is unfortunately incompatible with that content. This is ACE and it breaks all of our existing missions if we were to put it on the server. We have tried in vain to find a way to disable the ACE medical system that would break all of our existing content. I'm not going to list the possibilities but they all fell short. To be honest, it would be nice if the vanilla medical system could provide more consequence to being injured.

    The vanilla revive has improved dramatically in the last six months. However, in regards to ACE, despite many wonderful features like Advanced Throwing, Advanced Ballistics and much more, there is the the problem that ACE medical breaks mission balance, adds many objects that are required and just would require a enormous effort for all mission makers to re-make their content instead of creating new.

    We see a con in ACE medical providing some role play elements for those playing medic but, for those that find the wrong side of a stair case, they find a time consuming casualty simulator. TG ArmA is not designed around mil-sim role play elements but tactics in action. ACE medical does not add significantly to the realism, which some of our real world experienced members have hilariously explained, but may not be suitable to share here :D.

    But we know this subject is one which divides the A3 community and most honestly it is conflicting for most all of us. When the admin team explored this subject with our active mission developer team, and weighed the pros and cons for our current purposes, it is largely not a question of a philosophy of gameplay that tips this scale. We in no way would abandon all of our existing missions anyway. So ACE will not be going into our mod set as it stands for now.

    We hope that one day there is the ability to make this mod compatible with existing scenarios that use other medical systems. We have been using Hearts & Minds as a content backdrop to test mods during the 64bit conversion and ACE was part and parcel of that. We are exploring if this mission can be converted to not require it. But this mission is just one component that uses our new terrains, additional vehicles, factions and weapons of RHS. Just wait while we get our mission dev team spooled up with RHS and CUP Terrains. It's already coming out fast...if you blink you may just miss a new mission today.

    Anyway, we appreciate that our players have undergone a veritable roller coaster ride in the last few months as we were testing new content, exploring the 64bit world and playing a greater variety of content without much of a schedule. We want to bring a stability back for our players and mission makers. We hope that we can rally around the task of reacquainting ourselves with scaling leadership during seeding and adapting to the comings and goings of players. It is a real challenge to a 30-40+ player mission and we need that kind of scalable leadership and teamwork far more than some other toys.

    The future is not written...but we are going to stabilize our content and get our community set for even larger operations. Event variety is still going to continue as before. The event schedule is about to be re-initiated and we will have a variety of larger and smaller scenarios to accommodate play styles.

    Smaller pass worded missions should really up the ante and be a must for anyone who wants a really tight unit of TG regulars to try some very challenging scenarios. Expect puzzles to solve, expect surprises but don't expect them to be easy.

    Larger scale event operations will now require more lead up time for sign ups - leader selection, and additional duties expected out of platoon leads. Platoon leaders will be responsible for creating a plan and using the forums to communicate that plan. This is not new but a renewed commitment to this organization is essential to a large operation going off with a tactical teamwork experience for everyone.

    That was a lot to throw at you. The floor is open to questions.

    Unkl
    Your TG ArmA 3 Game Officer
    |TG-189th| Unkl
    ArmA 3 Game Officer
    Dean of Tactical Gamer University
    189th Infantry Brigade Member

    SUBMIT A RIBBON NOMINATION OR CONTACT AN ARMA ADMIN

  • #2
    That was a LOT to read, but I did get through it.

    I applaud the decision to not add ACE to the standard Modset being offered at TG and I understand the reasoning considering it has a stranglehold on "player experience", which you touched on in the beginning of the post. There is a lot to be considered when balancing a community that welcomes newer players and strives to find that sweet, sugary middle ground of draw vs ease-of-use.

    Maybe I missed it in that wall of text, but unless I am mistaken, event missions can still use ACE? I have several missions built with ACE features as part of the technical challenges squads will face.

    Honestly I am open to anything other than the boring, broken, vanilla medical system, it pains me to force medics to exist only as rifles and the guy who can get me up because he holds space bar down a little bit quicker than I.

    That is a small gripe in the face of growing player counts however =)

    Regards,

    Current ARMA Development Project: No Current Project

    "An infantryman needs a leader to be the standard against which he can judge all soldiers."

    Friend of |TG| Chief

    Comment


    • #3
      There will be no reason to add ACE to event missions in the near future. We are looking to stabilize the content for the next while. I believe Dimitrius that ACE was added to your mission on your assumption that because we were testing Hearts & Minds to test the rest of the mods you thought that ACE was part of our future. We did a lot of work trying to find a way to move ahead with it and specifically without the medical system but it is just not possible.

      You have the one mission which we have been testing and attempting to schedule and that will be fine. We may run the Hearts & Minds a few times before we see if we can get ACE removed from it. But any other missions will go into the "future consideration bin".

      We just don't want to bounce our players back and forth. It is a painful transition for players to learn and relearn ACE and during that time we are not achieving the game play we want but having players learn entirely new mechanics at the cost of good teamwork and so on.

      A medic in the vanilla system still has to be protected and in cover. The fire fight still needs to be won to achieve this. What you don't get is players that get hurt by the ACE bad grenade throws, the buggy stairs, and the vehicle hitting a rock you can't see because you can't look around like in a real vehicle...they all now require 5 minutes of "fun menu time" for a medic while the entire team now is bogged down. This is just not helpful. But again, this is beside the points that we will not throw out all the missions we have and we need to focus on the bigger task on learning to scale leadership...just as you and I discussed on Saturday. You articulated that point very well and you might have noticed it got my attention ;)

      Thanks for that Dimitrius!
      |TG-189th| Unkl
      ArmA 3 Game Officer
      Dean of Tactical Gamer University
      189th Infantry Brigade Member

      SUBMIT A RIBBON NOMINATION OR CONTACT AN ARMA ADMIN

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Unkl View Post
        ...we need to focus on the bigger task on learning to scale leadership...just as you and I discussed on Saturday. You articulated that point very well and you might have noticed it got my attention ;)

        Thanks for that Dimitrius!
        I find leadership discussions to be more exciting, alluring and satisfying than what you humorously call "fun menu time". =)

        My future missions will not include ACE unless we see it back in our standard MOD set, that is no problem.

        Exciting times for Commanders here at T!. I'll leave that discussion for a more appropriately themed thread and not this mod thread!

        Current ARMA Development Project: No Current Project

        "An infantryman needs a leader to be the standard against which he can judge all soldiers."

        Friend of |TG| Chief

        Comment


        • #5
          I've been hearing third parties mentioning that there is indeed plenty of discussion going on regarding this topic. I would like to invite anyone to find an admin or myself regarding any questions about the reasoning, motivation or really anything related to this update to our configuration from 100% vanilla compatibility to using much more modded content going forward.

          I especially would be happier to have any discussions with anyone instead of hearing that the motivation is being clearly misunderstood, speculated on and sometimes outright misrepresented elsewhere. Come and find an admin or myself directly and lets chat in TS. I will make time for you all anytime I can.
          |TG-189th| Unkl
          ArmA 3 Game Officer
          Dean of Tactical Gamer University
          189th Infantry Brigade Member

          SUBMIT A RIBBON NOMINATION OR CONTACT AN ARMA ADMIN

          Comment


          • #6
            I just learned that Advanced Rappelling (and most likely Advanced Urban Rappelling and Advanced Towing) by Seth Duda are server side mods only and do not require clients to have the mod installed. Having the mod on the client only provides a sound effect when rappelling. Since these used to be in your posted mods list for joiners for certain missions, I get the impression this *might* be news to you, too. He's using the fancy new remote operations capabilities of A3. You could stealth these onto your server and never require users to even think about it. FYI, just in case...

            Comment


            • #7
              We have been aware the repelling mods don't require client side. But as There are certain features that worked better with the mod installed client side it was an "allowed mod", not required. : )

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes with regards to the Rappelling, we had removed that when the 64 bit client came out. We have not tested any updates to it yet but we should give that a go this weekend.

                From the way I understood it, you could also shoot while rappelling if you run the mod client side. However, this is exactly one of the reasons we decided this was a good mod for us is because you could allow all players the same capability when you run it only server side. That way a public player who might have not run the mod could still stay with the team when then rappel over the edge of a rock face.

                That is very different from lets say a sound mod where some players are running it and some are not. This means that some players hear the approaching vehicle at a different time than others. This has the effect of putting different players really into altered environments which we prefer to avoid.

                I'll update the rappelling and we give it a go again.
                |TG-189th| Unkl
                ArmA 3 Game Officer
                Dean of Tactical Gamer University
                189th Infantry Brigade Member

                SUBMIT A RIBBON NOMINATION OR CONTACT AN ARMA ADMIN

                Comment

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