The Situation: Arma 3’s Beta Gets A SITREP

By Jim Rossignol on June 28th, 2013 at 8:00 am.


If, like me, you are a kind of cyborg, you might recall that one of Arma’s keenest community leaders, Andrew ‘Dslyecxi’ Gluck, has been overseeing some of the trailers for the alpha of Arma 3. That’s true now that the game has entered beta, too. His latest work is SITREP (pronounced as if you are giving orders over the noise of gunfire) which covers some ground we’ve already seen – the clever simulatory embellishments of Arma 3 – as well as explaining what that long alpha thing was all about. The idea of it all, I believe, is to entice you into the beta, via their store.

Yes.

Mods already! Well, that’s hardly all that surprising. Arma’s editor has always been like a self contained modding machine, with every damned map being the equivalent to what a full-blown mod would be to other games. Between this and Minecraft lies modding nirvana.

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38 Comments »

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  1. SuicideKing says:

    Hey if anyone’s interested in supporting/opposing the inclusion of female playable and non-playable characters in ArmA 3, please help express your support/opposition here.

    (I’m in support)

    • Alfius says:

      IIRC ARMA the first had a female journalist character model.

      Thing is while these days there are bags of women serving in the armed forces it remains military policy (in the British Armed Forces at least) that women not serve in roles where they would be expected to close with and kill the enemy. Games obviously focus primarily on this aspect of war. That said we do now have female pilots, sailors and apparently soon, submariners.

      A reasonably authentic way to incorporate women into a modern setting would be to randomly place females into non-infantry roles but to do this would attract all sorts of controversy. Bohemia would simultaneously be accused of misogyny for not portraying women serving in every role – as if they were under some sort of moral imperative to effect progressive demographic changes through the medium of gaming(!) – and of affirmative action for every role in which they inaccurately portrayed woman as serving (and there are bound to be some).

      No, far easier to simply say “sod the lot of you – play as a dude or naff off”.

      • Orija says:

        I’d say that BIS would be entirely justified in not adding female models if they find that unrealistic. And while it would be awesome to see more games featuring women, but unlike other games with fantastical themes, the Arma series have always been more about simulation. Those who wish for female models can always create mods for the purpose. But then again if you’re spending all these resources to add shoals of fish, maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to throw a bone to all the fans who want to play as women in the game. Not that I know anything about the related costs or the time required.

        • Rettaw says:

          The question of whether or not women would serve as combat troops in a near future does not seem to be part of the domain ARMA strives to simulate, but rather an essentially cosmetic detail that is largely comparable in significance to the choice of cammo pattern.

          Arma is a game built on realistic simulation of combat at the micro level, concerned with visibility ranges, bullet trajectories and recoil management. To leave the women out of the game in the name of “simulation” is a dishonest way to exclude them, because the gender of a soldier is plainly not part of the core simulation.

          In contrast, things that really are integral part of the core simulation, such as the weapons (specifically their capabilities), are discussed plainly and in honest terms: basically just a preference issue, even in cases where the weapon in question is entirely fictional (The horror, won’t somebody please think of the simulation?!).

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          darkChozo says:

          Quite frankly, the presence or lack thereof of women in the military doesn’t matter from a simulation aspect, as not all units in ARMA are military. No female civilians is far more unrealistic than the potential for female soldiers in frontline roles (ie. the former is absurd while the latter is plausible but not true to today’s reality).

          And ARMA 3’s modular clothing means that all you need to do is provide the base models, the issue of whether they’re soldiers or not is left up to the mission creators. It’d be reasonable for the stock scenarios to not have female frontline soldiers (after all, it’s US against Iran, neither of which would have women in frontline roles), but there’s no reason to keep them out of the mission editor aside from scope constraints.

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        Harlander says:

        The IDF and, I think, the New Zealand armed forces allow women into combat roles at the moment. A3 is set in a “near-future” setting, so one could assume that trend continued if one wanted more female warfighters.

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          amateurviking says:

          ^This^

          Women in frontline roles is an inevitability. The US are implementing this over the next couple of years. There’s really no reason not to. Especially if the excuse is ‘realism’ (which admittedly is more of an issue with Arma than say COD, which really has no excuse).

        • Orija says:

          http://hotair.com/archives/2013/01/27/some-advice-on-women-in-combat-from-a-female-veteran/

          It a link that I found posted on the Arma III discussion page. Make from it what you will. I think the writer points some legitimate problems regarding the inclusion of women in combat roles. Problems that have more to do with society in general rather than just women themselves.

          • Hahaha says:

            I couldnt give two fucks either way but could Harlander check the facts on the following quote from Orija link

            “The few integrated units in the IDF suffered three times the casualties of the all-male units because the Israeli men, just like almost every other group of men on the planet, try to protect the women even at the expense of the mission.”

      • AngoraFish says:

        The United States earlier this year changed its policy to allow women to serve in combat roles.

        Australia will allow women to serve in combat roles by 2016.

        The time has come to get with the program. Women in combat roles are the new normal.

        • wspray85 says:

          Can only speak up for the Australia, but in the entirety of the ADF, less than 2 dozen women have applied so far for the “frontline” corps of Infantry, Armour, or Artillery. While I believe that a female model should be included for the sake of choice, the simulation shouldn’t force an arbitrary 50/50 or even 80/20 male to female ratio of AI soldiers. All male companies are certainly still the norm, in the majority of militaries being represented in ARMA 3.

          • tigershuffle says:

            pahh …women in combat
            I mean who do they think they are…… Boudica, Joan of Arc or one of the 1000s of women that fought for the Soviets or VietCong etc

            who needs a multi-tasking soldier who tidies up the battlefield afterwards

            me …i love women …you just ask my wife

          • Orija says:

            wspray85, well, the thing is, Arma III has a near-future setting that is some decades into the future. I don’t think it would be considered too presumptive to work on the basis that female soldiers will be the norm by that time.

            Also, if don’t have any better arguments to give, please do move along, tigershuffle.

          • tigershuffle says:

            was only joking. I think we should have the option. I like the fact you can play as a female character in Dayz and the females in Warband kick ass too

          • AngoraFish says:

            Maybe fewer “than 2 dozen women have applied so far for the “frontline” corps” because the policy was only officially announced a few months ago, and applicants won’t actually be able to take up many of those positions for another three years?

      • godwin says:

        Boy, aren’t you insecure.

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          JamesTheNumberless says:

          No I think he’s right on the money. It isn’t necessary to have women in combat roles in a realistic army game either for accuracy or completeness. Furthermore, regardless of what laws have or haven’t been passed and what reforms are in place it is still a highly controversial topic and we have still to see the first modern conflict in which women are on the frontlines killing and dying in significant numbers. You can bet that there will be even more controversy over that! And rightly so, war is terrible and no place for a man, or woman. Arguments against women in combat all eventually boil down to arguments against war itself and I’m not sure the developers of a modern warfare game want that particular kind of controversy on their doorstep, whatever their views on female combatants.

    • dee says:

      thanks for linking to that depressing comment thread

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        All is Well says:

        Yeah, it’s remarkable how offended some people seemed to be about there even being a suggestion for playable females. But thanks to SuicideKing for linking!

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          JamesTheNumberless says:

          Doesn’t “near future” in military sim games just mean that the game is basically set in the present but they want to avoid seeming to make any political implications about current conflicts? So the “near future” aspect simply refers to the fictional future events that have led to the war in the game. Correct me if I’m wrong but I didn’t actually think a near future setting meant much speculation on how warfare will develop in the future. I’m sure that by the time women are serving on the frontlines in real conflicts, we will see women in the armies in “near future” military sims. If anything this just demonstrates that the “future” aspect of these games doesn’t really mean anything, save perhaps for some piece of hi-tech kit being made standard issue for gameplay purposes.

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            Harlander says:

            There’s a certain degree of speculation about future war tech in Arma3. The (somewhat odd-looking) Ifrit APC, for example, is apparently based off a Russian vehicle that was being prototyped within the past few years.

            The future in question can’t be more than a decade hence in any case.

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            All is Well says:

            I’m not sure you’re replying to the right person here, since my comment had nothing to do with the term “near future”, but I’ll bite anyway.

            You seem to be saying (and please do correct me if I’m misinterpreting anything) that female models should not be included in the game, at least not as frontline combatants, because women today do not serve in that capacity, and because the game is supposed to be realistic and set in the “near future”, which is, for all intents and purposes, a fictionalized present.

            First of all, women today do serve in many military organizations the world over. As I understand it, they are often restricted from combat service, at least in the ground forces, but are allowed to serve in supportive roles as well as some active roles in other branches (i.e. Air Force pilots). Depicting present-day warfare while totally omitting women is therefore unrealistic in its own capacity.
            Additionally, the trend in the (Western) armed forces seems to be to remove the restrictions on women’s roles, with the US just having allowed women access to combat roles.

            Second, your definition of the term “near future” seems to be strangely narrow. You seem to be suggesting that it simply means “Just like now but with minor differences in geo-politics/history, as well as some technological”. I don’t think that is a plausible definition. I think the term “near future” refers to just that: a state of affairs just slightly removed in time from the present (about 22 years in this case, if I’m not misinformed). It does not imply that only some things are allowed to differ while others must necessarily stay the same: the only restrictions as to what can be different between then and now are the plausibility of those differences developing in the given timeframe. And, given the recent trends, wouldn’t you agree that it isn’t so far-fetched to imagine women serving in combat in the US Army, come 2035?

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            JamesTheNumberless says:

            Sorry I wasn’t really replying to you at all, may have misplaced the post. Really I was just asking questions and suggesting why, maybe, the devs didn’t see the need to do the extra work to include female soldiers. The way I see “near future” sims is that they’re sims of the current state of the art, but with some of the newer and cooler stuff amplified – the emphasis being on the technology and not really the nature or philosophy of warfare. The best reason I can see for not having female soldiers is that they aren’t really interested in the “near future” as much as they are interested in putting modern/current hardware into action, in a fictional setting. This is not MY definition of near future, but the definition I see being applied in most modern shooter games – at least from outward appearances, the closest I’ve got to a modern warfare type shooter is Crysis. Which is somewhat sci-fi, which is why I asked to be corrected if I’m wrong :)

            So, my main point is that I don’t think the devs have failed to include female soldiers because they don’t believe women can, or will, or should, be frontline soldiers, but simply because in the current state of the art, they are not. The acid test will be, if and when we have had women serving and dying in significant numbers on the frontlines, and a war game decides not to include female soldiers.

      • richard says:

        Depressing is definitely the word.

        It seems like a no-brainer to include female character models, incl. soldiers, and I would trust BI to create realistic ones instead of the ‘enhanced’ representations we usually see.

        Though I fear what the idiot and/or misogynistic commenters on that thread might do with the models given free reign in the editor. The price of freedom of speech I suppose.

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          JamesTheNumberless says:

          I disagree, for the developers it seems perfectly fine for them to include whatever they want. If there are no female soldiers in their scenario then there don’t have to be. If they don’t want to model a female soldier they don’t have to. It most definitely is not a no-brainer whether there would be any female frontline combatants in a conflict such as the one featured in the game, in the next few years. There are a lot of factors involved and It’s notoriously difficult to predict the future. There should be no uproar about there being no female soldiers in the game – just as there should be no uproar about the suggestion that there could have been. Both are fine.

      • SuicideKing says:

        Yeah it was very depressing. I thought a nice dose of RPS should add some cheer to that thread.

        Thankfully 60% of the Arma 3 community can see the light…i’m more surprised that the devs have been more or less silent about the whole issue.

    • Jediben says:

      I’ve signed, if only so it will allow me to carry out my misogynistic fantasies in a new game engine. Thanks Suicideking!

  2. BobbyDylan says:

    I’ve not tried any mods yetr, but I need to get some more user missions. I’ve burned through the showcase ones in one sitting. Need moar ARMA3!!!!

    • -Spooky- says:

      Capture the Island is already out for ArmA III. Give it a shoot.

    • fer says:

      … or make some new ones of your own? :) Brave comrades from Folk ARPS are, at this very moment (kind), improving the mission development framework, F3, which makes the task of creating MP missions easier and faster. The broader community is also publishing great tutorial videos, there’s the superb BI community wiki and all manner of great resources out there.

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    DarkLiberator says:

    Dslyecxi has some great videos of the ArmA 2 missions their community plays. Quite fascinating to watch.

    • Bork Titflopsen says:

      Other than doing the trailers, didn’t he get an actual job at Bohemia because of those community missions and running ShacTac?

      • Teh Geek says:

        No, Dslyecxi is working under Bohemia Interactive Simulations, which is a different company.

    • godwin says:

      Do check out CHKilroy’s and Beagle’s (Beaglerush on youtube) videos too if you appreciate more hilarity from Shacktac – what’s great too is that the three of them sometimes have different recordings of the same mission from their respective perspectives.

  4. mikmanner says:

    I’m waiting for the nude Lara Croft skin mod

    • 12inchPlasticToy says:

      So far, the silliest mods I’ve seen on Armaholic.com was lego blocks, the batmobile, and a macross variable fighter. And that’s only three amongst thousands of other mods, which are all in tone with reality or near-future prototypes. Or zombies.

  5. Dowr says:

    I wouldn’t be able to play ARMA to such a tactical and in depth level; I’d just plant C4 to a car and blow up my teammates. After which, I’d steal a chopper and play “trololol” through my microphone.

    Ah, the life of being a twat…

  6. Stinkfinger75 says:

    I know this is probably the absolute wrong game to ask this about, but is there controller support?