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Thread: The Fighting TTLGers present: Arma 3 (a TTLG Coop Saturdays spin-off)

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland

    The Fighting TTLGers present: Arma 3 (a TTLG Coop Saturdays spin-off)

    As we've now got a group of people playing Arma 3 semi-regularly, and since it's the game where we can easily add more players if anyone's interested, I thought I'd make a dedicated thread - for information on the game, details on how to set up the game, specifics on the upcoming session, tips, recaps, discussion and feedback.


    What's all this about Arma, and why should I care?

    First of all, for those who don't know Arma, here's some info, straight from Wikipedia:
    "ARMA ... is a series of first person tactical military shooters... It features large elements of realism and simulation; a blend of large-scale military conflict spread across large areas alongside the more close quartered battles."

    People's first impression of Arma tends to be that it's clunky and unforgiving, with a fiendishly steep learning curve. At the same time, few military shooters offer the scope and the range of gameplay and tactics that Arma does, from regular infantry warfare via search-and-rescue or Close Air Support to large-scale combined operations. It is rather clunky and it isn't as immediately approachable as most shooters, but especially in coop with friends it can be learnt pretty quickly. Also, there's an active community making missions, guides and videos. I can especially recommend Dslyecxi's video guides, all of which can be accessed here.

    The following two may be especially pertinent to the TTLG coop sessions:







    TTLG goes Arma!

    Now, to return to the TTLG coop sessions: for the last few months, we've been running Arma 3 coop sessions every 2-3 weeks on Saturday in the afternoon (UK time). You can find the overall information at our Steam group: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/ArmaTTLG

    Here's a video of some of our adventures, courtesy of henke:





    Who do I have to shoot to join?

    What do you actually need to play:
    • Arma 3. (You don't need any of the DLC, although you might have access to more equipment if you do own it.)
    • Teamspeak 3 (and a headset or speakers and a mic). We're using this to communicate during the sessions.
    • A small mod set, which you can download from Steam and which currently includes: CBA_A3, ShackTac User Interface and Task Force Radio (TFAR). (I recommend subscribing to the versions of the mods listed in my Steam Workshop collection. Some of the mods exist in various versions that aren't always updated or compatible with each other.)
    • Task Force Radio requires a bit of additional setting up; you can find the instructions here.

    Some additional notes:
    • If you are a newcomer and would like to join, why not post in this thread or drop me a PM? The gang is happy to help with questions, and I might be able to help people set things up and test their setup spontaneously.
    • Please note that there is no requirement to join the entire session; if you can just join for half an hour or an hour, you should still feel free to join. Best to let me know beforehand, though, so I can choose the missions accordingly.
    • If you'd like to invite friends from outside TTLG, please feel free to do so. The more the merrier. Ideally they shouldn't be too hung up on milsim realism, because we're not exactly the most coordinated bunch.

    Finally, when's the next session going to happen? Here's the relevant info - which I'll always try to keep updated:

    The next Arma 3 coop session:

    Date: Sat, 23 September 2017
    Time: 4-6pm UK time


    As always, I'll be online a bit before 4pm to set up the server and check who's on Steam. I'll try to launch the server with a lobby mission 15 minutes before the session starts, and I'll post the IP and password on the Steam group, under the Events tab.
    And that's it for now! I'll keep this post updated with the relevant info. Hoping to see you on Altis, Stratis or Malden!
    Last edited by Thirith; 9th Sep 2017 at 13:18.

  2. #2
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    And on this fine summer day (well, summer for some of us) we had a small but select group of warriors: Malf, Piglick, Sulphur (AKA James Mason) and myself. For some reason - AI updates, mods or the Gods of Arma being fickle bastards? - practically every mission today was a proper meatgrinder, with several of them offering nothing in the way of revive or respawn. Proper, hard-as-nails, old-school Arma. Oh yeah, and Malf hovering in mid-air and Sulphur suddenly finding himself in the middle of a mountain.

    After a combat patrol gone wrong in Malden, a stealthy hostage rescue mission that turned into a massacre at the Ghost Hotel (we were the ones being massacred) and us getting picked off one by one on an Altis mountainside, we ended up at the Stratis military airfield for some sheepkilling and PvP. My best moment: crashing a helicopter into Sulphur... who was already dead, killed by Malf or Piglick.

    It's been fun, gents, and I'm looking forward to the next session. I'll post an update here and on Steam as soon as I know when it'll be. Thanks for the game!

  3. #3
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    It was very enjoyable, I actually wouldnt mind trying that mountain mission again sometime.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Yeah, I thought that one was shaping up nicely. Perhaps a different approach next time.

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quick update: I started tweaking the missions I've got for our sessions to add a revive system, as it sucks if the only options are instadeath or instadeath + respawn. I very much prefer Arma when it finds a balance between realism and playability, and a wounding/revive system helps with this.

    The built-in revive system didn't seem to work; I added the required lines of code, but nothing happened. (Thanks to henke and Jeshibu for helping me test this!) However, the fan-made AIS script works and is pretty snazzy: when someone is wounded (I think this goes for all playable characters, whether they're currently being played or not), they go down but don't die. You first stabilise them so they don't bleed to death, then you can drag or carry them away from enemy fire and revive them. I'm curious to try this out in practice. In any case, only about 300 missions to unpack and check whether I need to add the revive system. It sounds like a hassle, and it is one, but it's not as bad as it could be: it's basically just a matter of copying and pasting a few lines of code and copying a directory, and voilą: revivability!

  6. #6
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Just finished a marathon session of Arma with henke, Malf, Jeshibu and Sulphur... and Price, the Almost But Not Entirely Useless AI who spent most of the mission sitting in the truck doing Sudokus. The mission, Sigma Quadrant 2, had us take out fuel trucks fleeing to the hills, command posts, and too many armoured vehicles with the wrong kind of rocket launchers and rockets. It's only on the very last tank that I realised a different launcher would not only do more damage but would also not require us to lock on.

    While some of the mission was somewhat frustrating - godlike AI aim and sadistic armoured vehicles taking us out every time we were revived will do that - as a whole it was great fun and suitably epic...

    ... and that's not even mentioning Malf swimming a shark-infested bay to get back to the final tank. And then almost being taken out by us.

    Edit: I should've mentioned our greatest enemy: DLC ad popups. I need to find out how to get around these, because it sucks for everyone who's suddenly got adds for Jets DLC plastered across their screens.

  7. #7
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Couple of P.S.es on yesterday's session:

    1) Launchers
    • I've tested the different launchers, and for situations where we face ground vehicles, the regular Titan launcher isn't good, as it's an anti-air weapon.
    • The Titan Compact launcher with AT missiles should work, either by using lock-on (but for that the vehicle in question has to be hot; you can switch to heat vision mode by pressing N) or by guiding the missile to where you're aiming at. The latter still does take some practice, though; I might cobble together a quick test scenario that we can launch into next time.
    • The PCML launcher also works reasonably well, either in dumb-fire mode (if the target isn't hot) or by locking on.

    Some parts of yesterday's epic mission would've been easier if we'd known this earlier on, I suspect.

    2) DLC pop-ups
    It seems that using any of the DLC items in the Virtual Arsenal will result in those who haven't got the DLC getting annoying pop-up ads. In the arsenal, those items should be recognisable, though. If you check out the screenshot at https://tinyurl.com/ycmouuh8, you'll see that some items have a symbol next to them; these symbols represent the different DLCs, e.g. the LIM-85 5.56 mm is part of the Apex DLC, while the various MAR-10 variants are from the Marksmen DLC. Note that if there's a Virtual Ammobox option in a mission, that one doesn't show the DLC icons, so it's best to do things from the Virtual Arsenal. I'm sorry, Jesh, it's likely that your favourite hat is one of the DLC items.

  8. #8
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Our latest adventure.


  9. #9
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Nice! By the way, it seems that it may have been my own edits (i.e. adding the wounding/revive system) that killed the option to respawn at the truck. Oops... However, I've since found out how I can add that back in again in a fairly simple way. Plenty more Sigma Quadrants, so I will have a few more chances to repair or add something to the mission and break something else in the process.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered: Aug 2004
    One little bug in the code,
    One little bug!
    Code a fix, patch it in,
    Two little bugs in the code.

  11. #11
    Moderator
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    If you're going to quote it...
    99 little bugs in the code. 99 little bugs in the code. Take one down, patch it around, 117 little bugs in the code.
    Well I guess you gave the Cliff's Notes version.

    I had bought and installed Arma3 last month just to do this with you guys, and less than a week later my gaming laptop fries. Really frustrating. Might be months until I can get it repaired. Knock on wood I'll join in eventually.

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Oh man, that sucks! Fingers crossed you'll manage to get it repaired sooner. Arma is definitely one of those games that improves in many ways when there are more players. You can counter some of its jankiness with strategy (flanking manoeuvres greatly benefit from having enough people), and you get missions that offer hugely different roles (e.g. fireteam on the ground, two people in a helicopter providing Close Air Support).

  13. #13
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Quick reminder for those likely to join the Saturday session: there have been updates since the last Arma session, so if you're planning to join, make sure that your game is up to date!

  14. #14
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Thanks to PigLick, Sulphur, Malf and Jeshibu for joining today's session.

    We got started with a small-scale adversarial: 3v3 (with one of the slots taken up by AI). The mission (which I put together) could use some work, e.g. a minefield around the village where each team was trying to kill the other, but it was still fun, with a tense stand-off between Malf and Jesh at the end. Malf won, aided by the force ghosts of Sulphur and PigLick.

    The second mission turned out to be a bit broken; we were tasked with blowing up some tanks and jet prototypes, but even three explosive charges didn't make a dent in either tank. Also, anyone who died respawned a couple of kilometres away. Some good moments, especially once we got to the airfield (Jesh did a great stealth kill on a guard), but too broken to play again.

    After sadly losing PigLick to the borked mission, we ended with one that had the four of us attacking a hotel and trying to rescue a hostage. After a false start, we did get to the hostage after a tense nighttime firefight, but he was already dead. Luckily, though, we found an APC in the hotel's backyard and drove to freedom. Okay, more accurately, we drove into the nearest wall, but the game still counted that as a win. Success!

    Anyway, currently the plan is to return to Arma in two weeks' time:

    The next Arma 3 coop session:

    Date: Sat, 23 September 2017
    Time: 4-6pm UK time


    As always, I'll be online a bit before 4pm to set up the server and check who's on Steam. I'll try to launch the server with a lobby mission 15 minutes before the session starts, and I'll post the IP and password on the Steam group, under the Events tab.

  15. #15
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Sorry about last night, my internet connection dropped out, as it does on occasion.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2004
    Location: Netherlands
    Here's some footage of us discovering we'd failed our mission.

  17. #17
    I may pick this up the next time it's on sale. Watching that video, I gotta teach y'all a few things.

  18. #18
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    Please do, you may get a lot of flack here for your posts and general opinions, but playing Arma with you could be kinda cool.

  19. #19
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    If stealing the caps of dead hostages is wrong, I don't want to be right.

    On a different note: I've got a couple of missions that allow one or two players to hop in a Hummingbird helicopter and provide Close Air Support and/or transport. I'm always happy to pilot a chopper in Arma (though I've not yet done it in MP) myself, but are any of the regulars confident enough when it comes to Arma heliscapades? (In other words: if you enjoy the helicopters in the game but aren't entirely confident piloting them, some practice may be advisable. )

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2001
    Location: Somewhere
    arma helicopters are death traps

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    Nah, that's wildly exaggerated. They're fun!

    ... though I recently played in a session where a chopper blew up because an infantry unit ran into it...

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