Zero To Hero: Free Arma 3 Zeus DLC Is Out

By Graham Smith on April 11th, 2014 at 9:00 am.

I guess sometimes Zeus spawns enormous attack butterflies?

On Tuesday I began my second pen-and-paper roleplaying experience, joining three friends for our first trip into Numenera. I’m amazed at how much time and energy the DMs I play with – my other game is D&D – are pouring into the worlds and stories they’re creating. I have that impetus, but not the follow-through.

Arma 3′s new Zeus DLC is tempting, though. It allows you to act as a GM on multiplayer servers, shaping military maneuvers around players in real-time. Less lore-building, more tank-spawning? A button that causes lightning to strike? My laziness could probably stretch that far. It’s out now, and there’s an old developer playthrough below.

The best part of any Arma game has always been its editor. I rarely play Arma 3 for its campaign, its organised multiplayer experiences, or even to build anything sensible. Like Craig, I simply enjoy popping down a vehicle and trundling around the pretty Greek islands, or crafting absurd combat scenarios just to watch the AI stumble and fight among itself.

Being able to create the bare bones of an experience for friends and then adapt to their actions on the fly sounds like it could be an excellent time for all involved, especially when some GMs start getting really adept at using the tools and anticipating their players. Especially when it’s free. Jim is already cooking up plans for how he might use it, and me, my expression looks like this:

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4 Comments »

  1. Eggman says:

    On a side note, Arma GMs have been doing this and more with community-made tools like MCC or VTS, you can see a GM at work here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YaoiT-u38hc

    Zeus does bring a good UI and has less client FPS impact than MCC&VTS.

    • Premium User Badge Harlander says:

      How does it compare in functionality to the community mods?

      • Eggman says:

        MCC & VTS have significantly more advanced functionality, but this comes with a complicated UI, and they can generate quite a bit of server lag when adding many units while players are playing a mission.

        Zeus is much smoother in doing that. It’s also supposed to be moddable, so someone in the community will probably add advanced functionality to it.

  2. Premium User Badge slerbal says:

    I ran a few Zeus sessions for my friends when it was on the development branch and it was a lot of fun with huuuuuge potential. This is the expansion that Arma 3 was made for and it is so easy to use. If you have Arma 3 I highly, highly recommend you give it a go.

    If you play as the Zeus I recommend treating it like a real GM and think about your mission, the goals and a few encounters ahead of time as it is good to have a skeleton of a mission planned which you can then build on in play..