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ACRE - Impressions as of 1.0.3

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  • ACRE - Impressions as of 1.0.3

    Thanks to Inca Killa's help on TeamSpeak last night, I finally sorted out ACRE and ACE well enough to participate in a game. A huge thanks to him for the support. Setting aside concerns over stability momentarily -- and that's not an insignificant aside, as we had a number of crashes to desktop and other ACRE issues -- a few thoughts on the plugin itself as of 1.0.3:

    The basic concept is still great. As far as I can tell, ACRE is designed to provide two main things: realism and enforced communication standards (no talking while dead, no talking over the commander, etc.). It offers a relatively clean interface, and hooks into TeamSpeak in a really neat way. I like how dead players and people outside of range get muted automatically.

    Actual intra-squad comms are very difficult; Direct is too loud for briefings when you're near other squads (whereas it was too quiet in 1.0.0), and there's no easy way to relay contact reports to your squad if you're not standing near them. During the mission, our SL had to resort to Direct text, because we literally could not hear him over the radio, other players on direct, and general chatter despite being way off in a corner of the base by ourselves.

    I get the feeling that ACRE is designed to improve realism, and to some degree, it succeeds. However, it seems to make it much harder to plan, execute, and recap missions. We lack lots of the contextual things (hand signs, peripheral vision, etc.) that would make communication at medium distance between squad members easier. For example, I was running recon atop a hill, and noticed a sniper in a tower that I needed to inform my squad (waiting at the bottom of the hill) about. And I realized that I couldn't do it -- Direct wasn't loud enough, and the radio was for command use only. Unlike pre-ACRE, I couldn't "radio" the message via Group. I wasn't supposed to type it. Since this was ArmA, I couldn't run at my squad and wave my arms in a "Don't come up here!" pattern. So I had to run all the way back down the hill and say it in Direct.

    Having tried it out, I'm left wondering whether ACRE makes ArmA more enjoyable to play for the majority of people using it? No argument that it's a technically brilliant plugin, or that it will work within the next few weeks. I'm not convinced, though, that we are really making things better by adding complexity to something as fundamental as communications. Spending an extra 15-20 minutes trying to get through in-game briefings, struggling to hear the guy standing next to me, and not being able to relay basic information to my group weren't problems with VON/TS3. We had some issues with that system, but I feel like we're trading one set of annoyances for another.

  • #2
    Re: ACRE - Impressions as of 1.0.3

    I think one of the core issues that is being forgotten is that the in-game voice system is simply broken. In the past there have been many, many people who say we should simply use in-game VON. I agree... except I understand that certain players (usually on a different continent than the majority) cannot hear or transmit, so it really hasn't been an option.

    So if we start with that understanding, that the in-game voice is sadly unacceptable, then it's easy to see the reason for other comm systems. Once the in-game voice could not be relied upon, we had to resort to Teamspeak (originally version 2). TS2 was finally ironed out, but then TS3 came along and neglected to implement some critical features (and gained some new, annoying ones, such as whisper lists that require alt-tabbing and four hundred clicks to define). The ACRE team volunteered a huge amount of their time to make a plugin for the borderline unusable TS3, and I can't thank them enough.

    The core issue is that the built-in in-game VON does not work for all players, but these 3rd party solutions do (...or will). I'm optimistic that ACRE will be THE de facto comm system after we push through the initial phase with the ACRE team.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: ACRE - Impressions as of 1.0.3

      again guys im starting to sound like a broken record.....no one is forcing you to play one bravo, if the community cannot understand this then.....i do not know what to tell you. We all understand that this is a TEST except for some, but others cannot figure that out.

      IF YOU DONT LIKE THE ACRE MOD OR ARE HAVING TROUBLES DONT PLAY ON BRAVO, PLAIN AND SIMPLE






      "TG was created to cater to a VERY specific type of gamer rather than trying to appeal to the greater gaming population....Tactical Gamer is not mainstream. We are not trying to attract mainstream gamers" ~ Apophis

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: ACRE - Impressions as of 1.0.3

        I think one of the core issues that is being forgotten is that the in-game voice system is simply broken.
        Is that still the case as of OA?

        The ACRE team volunteered a huge amount of their time to make a plugin for the borderline unusable TS3, and I can't thank them enough.
        The effort is laudable, but the metric for using a plugin is not how hard it was to develop it. It's whether it improves gameplay. I think you're saying the same thing, but I've heard the "ACRE was really hard to build, so you should be grateful!" message a few times now, and it needs to be called out. I don't question the devotion or work put into it, but if it makes the game less enjoyable or playable, we need to judge its inclusion as objectively as possible.

        That said, we're not there yet. But every post about the value/utility of ACRE seems to be met with a tacit belief that it will be "THE" comms system, community feedback be damned, and that even by daring to wonder whether it's the right direction to take things we're somehow being rude to the devs.

        I stand by my point: ACRE, at this point, makes fundamental parts of gameplay (like being able to call out targets to my SL) very difficult/impossible. I'm not sure that's a good trade-off for hearing distortion when someone is behind a hill/out of range.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: ACRE - Impressions as of 1.0.3

          Originally posted by ellF View Post
          Is that still the case as of OA?



          The effort is laudable, but the metric for using a plugin is not how hard it was to develop it. It's whether it improves gameplay. I think you're saying the same thing, but I've heard the "ACRE was really hard to build, so you should be grateful!" message a few times now, and it needs to be called out. I don't question the devotion or work put into it, but if it makes the game less enjoyable or playable, we need to judge its inclusion as objectively as possible.

          That said, we're not there yet. But every post about the value/utility of ACRE seems to be met with a tacit belief that it will be "THE" comms system, community feedback be damned, and that even by daring to wonder whether it's the right direction to take things we're somehow being rude to the devs.

          I stand by my point: ACRE, at this point, makes fundamental parts of gameplay (like being able to call out targets to my SL) very difficult/impossible. I'm not sure that's a good trade-off for hearing distortion when someone is behind a hill/out of range.

          Ill be a little more blunt.....if you dont want to help test then dont.....no one is forcing you too....and go play on alpha






          "TG was created to cater to a VERY specific type of gamer rather than trying to appeal to the greater gaming population....Tactical Gamer is not mainstream. We are not trying to attract mainstream gamers" ~ Apophis

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: ACRE - Impressions as of 1.0.3

            IF YOU DONT LIKE THE ACRE MOD OR ARE HAVING TROUBLES DONT PLAY ON BRAVO, PLAIN AND SIMPLE
            Wait, what? If we don't like ACRE, or have problems getting it running, we shouldn't use it or talk about it? Seems like that's going to lead to a pretty skewed set of results for this "test", because the only people providing feedback will be people who have already made up their minds that ACRE is the "way of the future".

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            • #7
              Re: ACRE - Impressions as of 1.0.3

              Originally posted by Jack Bauer View Post
              Ill be a little more blunt.....if you dont want to help test then dont.....no one is forcing you too....and go play on alpha
              Not sure we're hearing each other, Jack. I've spent hours getting the plugin working, written posts to help other Steam users do the same, and after doing so I've opened a thread to discuss my impressions on the gameplay impact ACRE has. That's not a case of not "wanting to help test".

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: ACRE - Impressions as of 1.0.3

                ya, but complaining that it to difficult to use should be understood, Ive read everwhere that its a test. and testing comes with this type of stuff, if you dont want to test then you dont have to, OR you could talk to J about it, but saying

                I'm not convinced, though, that we are really making things better by adding complexity to something as fundamental as communications. Spending an extra 15-20 minutes trying to get through in-game briefings, struggling to hear the guy standing next to me, and not being able to relay basic information to my group weren't problems with VON/TS3.
                is not bug hunting nor trouble shooting, its in my book, complaining and your acting like were forcing the community to play on bravo....that is the issue i am having not just with your types of posts but everyone else's....






                "TG was created to cater to a VERY specific type of gamer rather than trying to appeal to the greater gaming population....Tactical Gamer is not mainstream. We are not trying to attract mainstream gamers" ~ Apophis

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: ACRE - Impressions as of 1.0.3

                  So we're allowed to talk about bugs, but if we do so we'll be told that it's our fault, or our computers. We're allowed to "test", but we're not allowed to think ACRE is anything but great. Any objections based on the way it changes the game will be met with "GO PLAY ON ALPHA".

                  I've tried to be calm and fair, but this sucks.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: ACRE - Impressions as of 1.0.3

                    Sandi's helped people, just like you have.....im not going to continue this childish back and forth crap..... Ive stated my opinions, as have you, but this is not feedback to help the Acre mod..here is a link to put the bug reports thats all......






                    "TG was created to cater to a VERY specific type of gamer rather than trying to appeal to the greater gaming population....Tactical Gamer is not mainstream. We are not trying to attract mainstream gamers" ~ Apophis

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: ACRE - Impressions as of 1.0.3

                      Hmm... I understand where you're coming from ellF, but I guess my biggest influence is that the plugin works for me... and it works well. The only issues I have had are when OTHER players have installation issues.

                      I'm not dismissing those problems as trivial, but I would like to see more bug reports and fix suggestions rather than a total evaluation of the tool's usefulness at this early stage.

                      The fact that there really is no viable alternative... well, that doesn't help either.

                      Originally posted by ellF View Post
                      Is that still the case as of OA?
                      I'm not sure, but I haven't seen any indication to the contrary... the VON issue seems to be an problem inherent to the peer-to-peer architecture that BIS uses, rather than a dedicated server such as TS, Ventrilo, or Mumble. I haven't seen anything about the netcode being altered or fixed. It's worth a try on Alpha however... get a game with players from EU, Australia, US, South America and I would expect the same dropouts we have experienced since... well, forever.

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                      • #12
                        Re: ACRE - Impressions as of 1.0.3

                        Fair enough, guys. I suggest a mod close this thread. Good luck with ACRE.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: ACRE - Impressions as of 1.0.3

                          Hang on... I'm not an admin, and I'm not representing anyone but myself... I'm just having a conversation here, and my goal isn't to dismiss your opinion. However, I hope you aren't bailing on ACRE, it seems premature.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: ACRE - Impressions as of 1.0.3

                            im not saying we cannot have CONSTRUCTIVE feedback, thus this thread is staying open until it goes off course..






                            "TG was created to cater to a VERY specific type of gamer rather than trying to appeal to the greater gaming population....Tactical Gamer is not mainstream. We are not trying to attract mainstream gamers" ~ Apophis

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: ACRE - Impressions as of 1.0.3

                              1longtime is correct.

                              Ignore the mechanics of how or why or what happens in game because all of that can change.

                              The simple fact of the matter is TS codecs are far far far more effective than whatever the hell BI uses for in game VON, therefore the "sweet spot" for me is obvious.

                              TS3 Codecs + Arma 2 Command System = Job Done.

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