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PR versus ARMA

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  • PR versus ARMA

    Well I took the time to write this long ass reply to the other topic here, only to see it got closed. Well I dont know where else to post this I didnt want to post this in the TG ArmA forums as its relating PR to ArmA coming from the perspective of a PR player, so most of the comparisons are based on the readers experiences with PR.

    I think its a worthwhile discussion topic and dont know where else you would put this. I think its not offtopic cause its talking about both communities and the good and bad of both. I just wanted to be informative about my experiences with both games and to open some discussion (from both groups of players).

    If you feel the need to close the thread then go ahead I just didnt want want to have written this large reply for no reason whatsoever. I hope someone finds it useful anyways :P


    Well until recently I would have said stay away from ArmA as it just didnt have enough positive things on public servers to warrant trying it, but with the new VON (voice over net) being added to ArmA I think both games are going to be great and the gameplay of each will compliment each other.

    Ill give you in a nutshell of what I think the perks of both games are. Obviously you guys play PR so I wont go too much into detail on that, Ill focus more on what I think is good and bad about ArmA:

    Project Reality Good:
    - well established community, most players are there to use teamwork or at least open to it
    - established game modes / gameplay, which focuses on teamwork to achieve objectives
    - developed with teamwork in mind and constantly updated with new ideas and ways to incorporate teamwork.
    - excellent BF2 squad system, VOIP is paramount
    - excellent BF2 commander system, augmented with new PR features

    Project Reality Bad:
    - map size limited to BF2 restrictions, things like draw distances on objects etc can be a pain
    - lots of things cannot be changed, such as player limit, squad size, VOIP structure, etc.
    - has the problem of BF2, where everyone is in a rush to get somewhere, players often not thinking of a plan and just moving blindly forward
    - BF2 engine has other limits like the whole kit system (not being able to select custom loadouts and pick up individual mags etc in the game world)
    - Player Movement in Bf2 has always been a big negative for me. Going prone so quickly, the player moving at light speeds, hit detection on moving players, etc.
    - Vehicles (jeeps especially) have cartoon like qualities, able to do ludicrous things that IRL would get you killed. Vehicle physics are fairly rudimentary (but for being released 2 years ago they were prety decent).

    ArmA Good:
    - The new VON (Voice Over Net)! Amazing! It currently is only working in the new 1.11 beta patch. First time ever in a LARGESCALE online game world players can communicate via localized voice, so you can hear enemies speak, and the direction a players head faces is the direction the voice will be projected. Also many other VON channels such as side, group, vehicle etc make it useful (Now for the love of god why didnt they include a LEADERSHIP channel?!?!?!? DOH! Thats something BF2 even did..)

    - Massive game world, really allows for true military tactics, and things like transport helicopters, APCs, Tanks, etc can finally have space to strech their legs. It really shows the tiny closet-like space that we have been fighting on in virtually all other games over the years (including PR).

    - Great realistic player movement speeds and player freedom. You can SPRINT, RUN, WALK, SLOW WALK, you can lean left and right, rotate your head freely of your gun to quickly check left and right, float your gun around the screen so your not always moving your screen around, there is so much more options of movement in ArmA than most games. This also does make setting up the controls much more difficult.

    - Little Details. Ive never seen a game contain as many little details before. Stuff like: Insects flying around where you lay, grass that is flattened when you go prone on it, fully rendered and realistic star constellations when you look at the night sky(!), seagulls that fly above (and you can become one when your dead), ocean waves/tides that react realistically to the moon cycle. Many other little details like this make the game much more immersive and fun to just run around.

    - Vehicle Physics are much more convincing than BF2 physics. Although there are times when vehicles will do some funky things, overall the vehicles are much more interesting. You can blow out tires, shoot out windshields, make fuel trucks cause HUGE explosions, damage specific parts of tanks, disabling turrets and tracks, disable vehicles not just blow them up. The best thing is vehicles dont only have a hitpoints system for the entire vehicles like in BF2, but they have hitpoints for all the subcomponents too. Driving a car feels much more like real life than driving a car in BF2. If you hit a telephone pole at 50mph, your car wont simply explode or bounce back like in PR/BF2. Your car will come to a complete stop and the engine will be destroyed, but the car will remain in perfect condition. However, you as the driver will be killed instantly, and your face will be all bloody, cause you hit a freakin telephone pole at 50mph :P

    ArmA Bad:

    - The Vanilla ArmA Gameplay / Game Modes. No one tells you this, but vanilla arma is actually just a shell of a game. It does not actually contain ANY compelling gameplay. It ships solely as an engine, with ZERO interesting multiplayer missions. The singleplayer IMO was buggy, dull and totally uninspired. So then why even bother with the game? Well the developers of ArmA basically relied completely on their modding community to make their game playable online. Which is probably why so few people play online. However, their modding community is VERY talented and have been hard at work developing missions like evolution, sahrani life, domination and beserk. However, there is still very little variety in missions and the biggest problem is lack of detailed, TEAMWORK ORIENTATED missions, leaving a big open hole which should be the bread and butter of this game. PR has this hole filled, and that IMO is the biggest difference in the 2 games, ArmA is still searching for that good game mode/ mission where teamwork really does make a difference, whereas PR has already found what works for it and has expanded on it greatly.

    - The Player Base. Players in ArmA are typically the lone wolf type, and its missions are geared towards spec ops and snipers, which DOES NOT conduct well with teamwork orientated gameplay. If your idea of teamwork is flying a cobra and blowing **** up while a spec ops guy runs in and blows other things up, then a typical arma round may be right up your alley. But if you prefer a more infantry based teamwork where players use suppresive fire, fire and movement, flanking, formations, APC fire support, armor columns, etc. You will be gravely disappointed. That kind of stuff happens in PR, I have yet to see it happen in ArmA EXCEPT in well organised private groups such as Shack Tactical. The fact is, the PR community has come to know and love these style of gameplay, but the ArmA community is still struggling to find its feet and its still sadly all about the lone wolves at this point IMO. Until a mission/mod starts focusing purely on a teamwork orientated design and gameplay, I dont believe ArmA will ever evolve past the basic notions of teamwork it currently has. Step on a public PR server right now and you will see squads moving together, fighting together, communicating together. Step on a typical public ArmA server right now and you will RARELY see any of this. Although with the new patch VON will help tremendously with this, there are hardly any players playing the new patch regularly which really hurts.

    - Player numbers. Right now, Arma has less players than Project Reality nightly. That says alot considering PR is a niche mod on an aging platform. ArmA NEEDS more players in order to survive, and it needs players who can fill leadership roles, get player excited about the game and get people into organized online play. If this doesnt happen ArmA will never have the same level of organized play on PUBLIC servers like PR has.

    - The Little Details. For all their love of little realistic details, they did not do alot of things that most games consider mandatory. For example, all weapons use the same reload animation, which does not fit all that well. All weapons (yes, including sniper rifles) have TRACERS! For EVERY single round. Theres other little details like this that make you go "huh?" and really takes away from the immersion.

    - Sounds. Vanilla ArmA sounds are some of the worst sounds I have ever heard in a shooter released past the year 2000. Now the sound engine is amazing, capable of some awesome things like occlusion, echoes, etc. But the sounds that ship with vanilla arma are complete garbage. Especially weapon sounds, they sound NOTHING like their real life counterparts. Yes there are bullet snaps, but they are much worse than PR and dont give you any indication of where the rounds are coming from. You'd think they would have put more time into making the weapon sounds more interesting, but it seems almost tacked on at the last minute. Yes there are sound mods you can get, but lets face it most people buying this game are not going to heavily tweak it, and are going to base it on the default product. PR has awesome sounds, ArmA sounds suck, its that plain. Get FDF and there will still be problems but overall much better audio experience. Except that I can guarantee you that alot of your squad mates your playing with WILL NOT be hearing the same things as you because they dont have FDF, and that means you are not really hearing the same things, very bad when your trying to work together.

    - DESYNC: cant really blame ArmA because its such a huge world with tons of things going on and tons of networkable objects to keep track of, but servers desync players ALOT. This is something BF2 does not have a problem with, if you ever start to desync you will see "Connection Problems" in the middle of the screen and you cant move. In Armed Assault, you will get connection problems but you wont realize. Everyone else in the world will stop moving but you can still run around. So you could be running right into an enemy ambush but you wont have a clue. Desync is a huge problem in ArmA that massively takes away immersion. For example, youll see a hovering helicopter crash into the ocean, and in the next instant the helicopter will magically zap back into the hovering position, like it never happened. Or youll be driving with a friend, and suddenly your friend will drive off the road over a cliff. You will scream at your friend and he will think your crazy, and then suddenly youll zap back onto the road like nothing happened. That kind of stuff is immersion killers and it happens way too often in ArmA. Its not so bad is your just driving, but in the middle of a fire fight it can be extremely confusing and frustrating. I dont see this getting fixed any time soon either.

    - Animations: arma has excellent animations but the system is also flawed. Sometimes it feels clunky and fake, and the engine always has to run through your animation, even when getting shot at. So if an AT guy is slinging his rifle and taking out his AT, even if you shoot him in the face the whole animation has to play before he actually goes down. So you could put 30 or so bullets into the guy, and he will still play this long drawn out animation before he goes down. Not a gameplay killer but certainly buggy.

    - Laggy/warping players, especially at long range. In BF2, players are seen to be moving smoothly from one spot to another. Although this has the bad effect of hit detection (cause you actually have to aim infront or behind the player) its no where near as bad as long range players in Arma. they will warp around at long range, sometimes warping in 5 meter intervals or more. This makes long range targetting nearly impossible, and is a major problem I doubt will be fixed.

    - Servers running different versions. Currently there is a HUGE divide in the player populations/servers right now because there is a new beta patch (which runs amazing) but because its a 'beta' many servers arent running it. The new patch has working VON and fixes major bugs, while the old patch still has many bugs. Just think if BF2 was ONLY NOW getting a patch that enabled VOIP. I dont think PR would have ever grown to the size it is now without VOIP. In fact I think the solid VOIP in BF2 is one of the main reasons for the success of PR. Without VOIP, I think PR would have never made it past its infancy. Thats why Im strongly looking forward to seeing the ArmA community grow with the inclusion (finally) of its amazing VON. Finally, players can begin organizing themselves in the servers, without the added need of going into teamspeak each time they enter a new server. I hope this will help give the ArmA community the incentive to start using teamwork oritentated missions and tactics.

    Theres many other points for both games Id like to bring up, maybe Ill add to this post when I think of more stuff.

    Overall I think both games are awesome, and they both have their good and bad points. I know I will personally be playing both for some time. It depends how much time I have to play and what kind of game play Im up for at that given time. I dont think the games are competing with each other as they are different enough to co-exist healthily together.
    Last edited by fuzzhead; 04-02-2008, 01:05 PM.

  • #2
    Re: PR versus ARMA

    Good Post, + Rep. I haven't experienced a lot of the lag related issues you speak of, but then I am decently close to the server geographically. I also think both games can co-exist but I frequently mention ArmA in the PR forum because I know there are players who are frustrated with PR and want more realism. Also, I would say the lone-wolf players and the team players are about half and half. The ArmA server appears to be experiencing a growth spurt similar to the last PR patch and it has brought some players in that don't think the TG way. I generally play with guys from the 10th or the 4th, so we generally stick together. One exception I have seen is when running Evolution with only about 4 people, they tend to just jump in the fight themselves.


    • #3
      Re: PR versus ARMA

      about von is that a mod for arma?

      If so does it required gambit the expension to play it?

      Would i be compatible if I would get ?

      does this thing work on vista 64 bits ?


      • #4
        Re: PR versus ARMA

        The VON is part of the normal game, but only works correctly with the 1.11 Beta patch. Don't let the "beta" scare you, all the new patches for ArmA say that, lol. Also, you would only need the basic vanilla game, not the "Gold" edition. The downloadable game from Steam and Direct2Drive both seem to work fine. I myself have the one from D2D.


        • #5
          Re: PR versus ARMA

          I've got ARMA here but I've only played it for about 10 mins. Way too klunky for me, and ran like **** on my PC.
          When I read your post I get the impression you have a beast of a PC, the only reason I keep the game is to try if I upgrade my PC in the future.
          Good to read through though as it seems like it's worth hanging on to for a bit, and not only that, it gave me the ins and outs of the game without me having to play the damn thing.


          • #6
            Re: PR versus ARMA

            The VON was supposed to be functional upon the original release a year back... they're now getting it patched and working properly. Even with the 1.11 there are still some issues, but it is more than less functional now.

            I disagree with your commentary about ARMA favoring lone wolf players... Certain game types favor that, but if you get a group together and plan in advance to play a complete mission you will get heavy team work. The limiting factor is that the game is relatively unstable when playing large multiplayer (due to desynch and crashing) so you don't often see the large scale battles that are expected when you check out the box. Also, running a server for anyone to join means people will be joining throughout the play period -- team work missions are not suited to having people randomly show up since transport and logistics is a real consideration in many missions and you cannot accommodate a new person showing up out of nowhere if your squad is already deployed.

            Several groups have organized large scale TvT tourneys, but the instability of the game has caused issues when you start to exceed 30 on 30 -- rather disappointing when the promotional materials tout 100 player games. Should this game ever become consistently stable then large scale will be AWESOME.

            Better known as:
            That noob who crashed the chopper.
            That noob who ran over the mine.
            That noob who TK'd me with a sniper rifle.
            That noob who hit that APC at 300m with light AT! Our APC...


            • #7
              Re: PR versus ARMA

              Dont you dare compare those two games do you hear me young man!!! :)


              • #8
                Re: PR versus ARMA

                Switch - I agree that ArmA has the ability to favor teamwork, but in its current public form, this is simply not the case. If your new to ArmA, prety much EVERY server you join will be a lone wolf affair. Majority of servers are running evolution, which definitely favor lone wolf types as opposed to organised real life tactics types.

                Whereas if your new to PR, your much more likely to see more teamwork as soon as you join ANY server, and if you join some of the popular servers (T&T, TG, Tcombat, etc) the level of teamwork you will see will be much greater...

                Of course when joining with a group of friends you will get a good teamwork going, no matter what game your joining, just because you are with your group, you play together and already come in with some organization. Im talking about the players who are joining for their first time or do not have an established group of friends in the ArmA community. These players will see the ArmA community face value, which will definitely disappoint them if they are coming from PR.

                About the missions not accomodating new players joining: I think this is a big mistake on the part of most ArmA missions and is definitely not helping things out. In PR, you can join in at any time and you can join a squad and immediately begin working as a team and helping to complete objectives. I think of it as reinforcements being brought to the front, when they join your squad you will of course have to breif them of whats going on and what role they are stepping into, but the point is its relatively easy to get going in PR.

                In ArmA there currently isnt a team-work orientated enviornment like that. Most missions dont have appropriate considerations for new reinforcements joining into the fight, and it means either alot of waiting around or dis-organised reinforcements that dont have proper situational awareness. As far as Ive seen there is no mission makers attempting something like that, which is disappointing :( I think it will be a crucial barrier to overcome in order for ArmA to become a more open community and to encourage more use of teamwork and military tactics.


                • #9
                  Re: PR versus ARMA

                  Nice writeup! I hope you didn't have to write it twice.. :)

                  3) Support game play in a near-simulation environment. Where the focus of play would not be solely on doing what it takes to win, but doing so utilizing real-world combat strategy and tactics rather than leveraging exploits provided to players by the design of the game engine.


                  • #10
                    Re: PR versus ARMA

                    Originally posted by fuzzhead View Post
                    It does not actually contain ANY compelling gameplay. It ships solely as an engine, with ZERO interesting multiplayer missions.
                    Saw this mission the other day, looks like a new map to me but I suppose it must be using the same island

                    If you find yourself in a fair fight, then you have obviously failed to plan properly.


                    • #11
                      Re: PR versus ARMA

                      Very nice.

                      It shares many of the 6th Devil's thoughts on Arma.

                      Many of the Devils already own Arma and have played it a few times with the 4th.

                      I am actually going to be trying it this weekend I hope. But don't worry, it'll never topple PR in my heart.


                      • #12
                        Re: PR versus ARMA

                        The benifits of ArmA over that I see are first the VON.. It is so cool to be able to talk to only the Vehicle, or Group, or use the Local Voice..

                        The Map Size is amazing, and the View Distance..

                        On the downside.. the controls are just down right retarded..
                        I cant bind anything to the Number keys, Its like they tried to Reinvent the Wheel with the control system, and this is something I dont think I can get over.. ive tried to change the keybinds around but it seems every key on the keyboard allready is bound to some obscure feature.. comepletely annoying. Im not a fan of the movements either. something CLUNKY about it. You cant jump! You can sit down cross legged, and salute someone, but you cant jump? and yes, the animations are annoying.
                        The whole Bot thing.. because of the lack of players, I guess its necessary, but there is something intrinsicly rewarding about outwitting another Human, and not so for AI.

                        I could play ArmA, and probably would if there were no such thing as PR.


                        • #13
                          Re: PR versus ARMA

                          I hope that with the growing popularity of ArmA caused by the beta patch that we can get some TvT play going. I like fighting the AI, but also enjoy the competition against other players. One thing though, at least the AI doesn't complain, or cheat, or break the rules.

                          As for the clunky-ness, set your graphics options lower. The default on my system was "High" but after going back to "Normal" it runs as smooth as PR. I do wish you could jump, but I guess you can't have everything. At least it prevents people from bunny-hopping.

                          On the controls, I started first by deleting the redundant controls. I cleared everything that the numpad used since it was all covered by some other control. Other controls I set more like PR and other FPS controls.


                          • #14
                            Re: PR versus ARMA

                            My limited experience in ARMA is about 16 total hours of attempting to play. I took time in single player to experience the vehicles, learn to use them, screw around with the host of kits and commands, sending my squad places and the such. Basically attempting to feel the game out. When I first got online and started to recognize what needed to be done I expected that I would be able to join a squad of players online and mesh together in some way to a common goal. No such thing happened. Much like fuzzhead pointed out I experienced nothing but lonewolf players going about doing their own thing. Once in a while I got someone who wanted to team up with me and go after something in common but often it was me attempting to take points by myself. I would sometimes go almost half an hour before even seeing another player on the terrain with me.

                            I thought to myself that ARMA has so much potential and yet falls so flat that I could never bring myself to attempt again. It is a very powerful engines with some very fatal flaws. Given a very driven modding community and about 2 years it may be at a point where it will be enjoyable for me again. First impressions are hard to ignore and my first was awful. And that's my bottom line.
                            "Young gamers assault while Older gamers flank."
                            "When fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis


                            • #15
                              Re: PR versus ARMA

                              You guys who have had lone-wolfing experiences should hook up with the 4th and try to get in on their game nights or the matches they run on Sundays.




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