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Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:10 pm     Super secret spam barrier
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A3 Mod Roadmap Discussion


Hi all,

We're making good progress in building up our mod set and keeping it stable.

It's nice to have a plan though, so here is a Mod Roadmap showing what we'd like to achieve, the basic priorities and current progress.

Whatever we do though, I think we're all agreed on one point - anything we add must not compromise game stability.

This can be measured in several ways, including:
- availability on PwS/Repo
- must be bikey'd
- no significant rpt spam
- does not cause significant fps loss
- does not cause client or server crashes

Using incremental and documented mod additions to the public server seems to be the way to continue going. It gives us long time-scale testing, often with high player counts.
Anything that doesn't work is quickly found and can be removed.


ROADMAP

Phase 1 - Game Mechanics 
- provides basic functionality 
- complete, except for testing ACRE 2
- most people seem happy with the BTC revive medical system; it's simple, works and does not slow down game flow

Phase 2 - Royal Marine Equipment
- give us the modern day RM look and feel
- critical to our identity, weapon & vehicle training 
- there have been a number of technical problems with some of these mods, but they are gradually getting solved
- we need to assist mod makers with fixes (or publish our own versions where the files are open-source)

Phase 3 - Maps
- bringing in the A2 maps through the AiA TP mod will increase game variety, but we can expect some issues while the mod is new

Phase 4 - Mission Design & Variety
- we need a regular change of mission on the public server to keep player numbers high
- Alive is probably the most powerful tool for achieving this
- others like DICE are also useful, but because of the total conversion nature of these mods stability testing is difficult

Phase 5 - Enemy Forces
- not on the critical path because AAF will do for now
- however, once we reach this stage with a still-stable modded game platform there is a lot of stuff to choose from

Phase 6 - Other Considerations
- largely not "must haves", but "would likes"
- lowest priority

PHASE 1 - GAME MECHANICS

Radios                             @task_force_radio                                    IN          keep eyes on ACRE2                  
Weapon Resting@agmIN
Medical System@agmIN
Spectator SystemVanilla A3INlook out for alternatives
Situational Awareness@sthud_a3, @st_nametags          IN


PHASE 2 - ROYAL MARINE EQUIPMENT

--- British Kit / Weapons --- 
Uniform                            @3cb_units                                              IN                                                         
Vest@3CB_EquipmentIN
Backpack@3CB_EquipmentIN
Green Beret@3CB_EquipmentIN
Section Weapons@3CB_WeaponsIN
Javelin@3CB_WeaponsIN

--- British Vehicles --- 
LandRover                       @psylandrover                                          IN                                                           
Jackal 2@3cb_vehiclesIN  
Coyote@3cb_vehiclesIN
Ridgeback PPV@blxIN
Mastiff PPV
Viking------none available
Warrior@grace_fv510IN
Challenger 2@burnes_challenger---removed, too OP

--- British Aircraft --- 
Apache                           @3cb_vehicles                                         IN                                
C-17 Globemaster@c17a3high error count, needs fixing
Chinook@chinookpackIN3CB version in development
Harrier@cha_av8bIN
Lynx------none available
Lynx Wildcat@3cb_vehiclesIN
Merlin@3cb_vehiclesIN
Tornado---
Typhoon Eurofighter---

--- British Ships --- 
Landing Craft Utility Mk10   @burnes_mk10                                                                                                     


PHASE 3 - MAPS

A2 Maps                           @allinarmaterrainpack                           IN                                                              
Bornholm@bornholm---poor fps
Imrali@imrali
Isola di Capraia@ngs_capraiaIN
Koplic@koplic
Namalsk@namalsk_liteIN
Panthera@panthera_a3IN
Podogorsk@fdf_podogorskIN


PHASE 4 - MISSION DESIGN & VARIETY

Alive                               @alive                                                 IN                       
ZeusA3IN


PHASE 5 - ENEMY FORCES

The Iraqi Warfare Mod                  @iraqi_warfare                         IN          
Northern Ireland Insurgents@irish_insurgents
East v West@evwINStable, but with lots of rpt errors
Middle East Conflict@mecBig problems on first test
African Conflict@african_conflictIN
Russian Naval Infantry@cha_rus
South Zagorian Army@kae_sz
CAF Aggressors@caf_agProblems with sounds, wait for next release
Russian Forces@rhs_afrf3IN


PHASE 6 - OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

--- NATO Equipment ---                                                                                                                                          
M4 / M16@rh_m4_a3 + rh_accINNew bug: CTD when selecting scope
--- AI Behaviour ---                                                                            
Suppression@bcombatINAlternatives: @VComAI, @TPWCAS
Tactical@bcombatINAlternatives: @VComAI, @ASR_AI
--- Miscellaneous ---
Sounds@dynasoundIN
Particle Effects@blastcore_a3---not mp friendly
Mag Repack@ace3IN
AutoReport Voice Stop@ace3IN?
Idle Animations@ace3IN
Gestures@ace3IN
UAV's@rq-11_raven_ab_a3---rpt spam notified (Apollo)
UI@tao_foldmap_a3IN


Discussion points:
- thoughts on the general roadmap; going the right way?
- phase 1; anything big that we've missed or should be considering? (@agm and @cse have obviously been in before, consensus seems to be we are happier without their medical systems and stability is improved)
- phase 2; alternative or additional mods that are critical to the British RM Infantry? (SJ tested @mtp_pack, no good).


Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:51 pm     Super secret spam barrier
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I think the roadmap is going the right way and in the right order but it may be worth while making a thread with all current Arma 3 issues that come up in rpt files so that when people are bug testing we can rule out mod issues over vanilla game issues.

As far as phase 1 goes, i don't think anything really game changing is missing as we have to balance out the need for realism vs keeping things fluid on the battlefield which in turn keeps people more interested in turning up and doing ops.

For phase 2 i have not really looked into additional mods at the moment as i have been looking into fixing the ones we have, but i will keep an eye out for anything that may be nice to have.

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

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Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:10 pm     Super secret spam barrier
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Nemiuk wrote:
 it may be worth while making a thread with all current Arma 3 issues that come up in rpt files so that when people are bug testing we can rule out mod issues over vanilla game issues.

This thread is what you're looking for: 
http://www.3commandobrigade.com/viewtopic.php?f=57&t=2849


Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:15 pm     Super secret spam barrier
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I forgot about that post (even though i posted on it) blame it on my age :P

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.

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Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:15 pm     Super secret spam barrier
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Phase one has been a tremendous success thanks due to the hard work of the mod/server team and general bug-hunting awesomeness, but also due to the fact that we deliberately chose mods that are well written, well tested and generally considered "stable".
With the beginning of phase two, we are now moving into a more "niche" area of modding and as the testing has shown, we've seen a significant drop in mod "quality" (rpt spam, bad cfgs, unfinished assets, etc). 
Serjames, Apollo and others have done their best to motivate and help the mod authors to push their work to a higher quality and I think we should, going forward, make this (and in-house patches/cfgs/mods) an important part of the "modding strategy".

Concerning the mod choices so far, I'm genuinely surprised how awesome ArmA3 can be with just the "minimal" phase one modset and am therefore now very much in opposition of "full conversion" mods.
I'm sure everyone has at least one feature from agm/cse/etc that they really, really, really miss (I know I have some) but so far it seems like we're far better of with using simple, small mods that change or add one specific thing.
Other than in ArmA2, the differences between "vanilla" and "full conversion" have not been that mind-blowing. Maybe it's because all the "full conversion" mods out right now are bad, or maybe it's because ArmA3 already incorporates many of the things that ACE did for ArmA2/OA. The cost of adding a "full conversion" just doesn't seem to be worth the trouble that they invariably cause (both by design, as well as through complexity-induced bugs).

The one "high complexity" mod that we're currently using (ALiVE) should be closely monitored. The code quality of ALiVE has been beyond expectations and they seem to be a professional and experienced team that has a well-planned roadmap for themselves and is capable of fixing bugs quickly and effectively. Version 0.7 introduced some new optional features that aren't quite ready yet, but I'm sure that as of 0.8/0.9 those will be at the usual quality levels, too.
While I dislike their "our way or the highway" approach and the closed-sourced nature of their mod, ALiVE seems to be one of the best managed modding projects for ArmA3, so I'm hoping that their roadmap continues to be aligned with our idea of immersive gameplay.

Going forward, it seems like things are looking good for phase two (british equipemnt), as long as we show the necessary patience (and maybe do some patching ourselves) to get the mods up to the level that we need them to be at.
With the newest "A2 map mod" looking promising, it seems like phase three will be a success, too. I'm skipping phase four here to say that I'm personally not too concerned about phase five. Between AAF and Opfor-FIA, we have a good selection of enemies.
For phase six, I'm obviously looking forward to sound/visual mods, but fully understand that those only make sense once we have a stable modset to use them with.

Coming back to phase 4, I'd like to point out that this roadmap is missing one major "capability" and that's dynamic in-game mission creation. We've all had some epic times with MCC/Zeus made missions but we've also all had some epic crashes during them ;)
I personally feel like MCC has become mostly obsolete (at least for what we were using it for) with the introduction of Zeus, so I'm wondering whether there will be a new mod (or mabye a future ALiVE feature or even a future update/DLC) that jumps in to fill the gaps that Zeus currently has.


Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:48 pm     Super secret spam barrier
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Alexander wrote:
Coming back to phase 4, I'd like to point out that this roadmap is missing one major "capability" and that's dynamic in-game mission creation. We've all had some epic times with MCC/Zeus made missions but we've also all had some epic crashes during them
I personally feel like MCC has become mostly obsolete (at least for what we were using it for) with the introduction of Zeus, so I'm wondering whether there will be a new mod (or mabye a future ALiVE feature or even a future update/DLC) that jumps in to fill the gaps that Zeus currently has.

You're correct. I was considering Zeus as integral to ArmA, but have now added it to Phase 4 for completeness.

We've had a limited Zeus on since the beginning of testing, and it's been on 'full' for the last couple of weeks, but not being utilised. So, at some point we need to start stressing the server and current modset by going full out on dynamic Zeus'ing.


Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:49 pm     Super secret spam barrier
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I understand why magrepack is currently in phase six of the process but I do feel that it should be brought in sooner rather that later.  I personally feel that is is an important part of game play that if it was their would change how we fight in game.  Unlike the rest of the phase six mods which just make Arma better and look and sound more amazing magrepack does change your capability and increase your chance of surviving.

Apart from that I totally agree with the way forward and am looking forward to the next couple of months ahead.


Posted: Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:46 pm     Super secret spam barrier
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Andy I concur on MagRP - I miss it badly when it's not on... Can we get that one bumped up the tree big A ?


Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:01 am     Super secret spam barrier
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Serjames wrote:
Andy I concur on MagRP - I miss it badly when it's not on... Can we get that one bumped up the tree big A ?

Several people have asked for this so...
...I tested it and only get one rpt error message and the bikey works fine.

http://forums.bistudio.com/showthread.php?151402-Mag-Repack/page13

I propose we add this for Thursday as our mid-week addition if we're happy with stability over the next two days.
I hope you don't get me into trouble with the big cheese.


Posted: Tue Aug 26, 2014 9:12 am     Super secret spam barrier
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You Are a big cheese... Jamie's more of a frothy milkshake with sprinkles..... He's not even reading the forums... Too busy doing sunset boulevard looking for trouble! :-)

SJ


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