Moving Out: Arma 3 Dev Roadmap Includes Expansion Plans

By Graham Smith on May 2nd, 2014 at 4:00 pm.

A roadmap, yesterday.

While the internet is all a-bustlin’ with news of the latest Call of Duty, another maker of military manshoots announced their future plans. Except we like these military manshoots. Arma 3’s three-part campaign is out and finished, but a development roadmap posted on the official Arma site makes clear that they’re not done yet. Things to come: Steam Workshop support, new DLC and a full expansion.

Bohemia split their plans into three categories: platform updates, which everyone who has bought the game will get; DLC, which they say won’t split the multiplayer community into haves and have-nots; and the expansion.

There are a few platform updates, including a new game launcher, but the Workshop support is most useful for such a heavily modded game.

As we announced earlier this year, a key goal is to extend Workshop support for addons. Essentially, this means handling the discovery, installation and maintenance of all kinds of mods – vehicles, mechanics, total conversions, etc. – akin to the way custom scenarios are currently accessed via Steam. In conjunction with some Make Arma Not War contest milestones, we aim to start rolling out its core functionality towards the end of May. Alongside this, we’ll publish a more technical overview of the feature, too.

Before discussing their downloadable content plans, the post stresses their desire not to split the game’s player-base. Part of this is that “features are free, content is paid,” which means any engine upgrade that comes to support the DLC will also benefit existing players. There’s two items of DLC detailed thus far, with more to come. The first, helicopters:

Together with the addition of distinctive new transport helicopters and a selective implementation of Take On Helicopter’s RotorLib Flight Dynamics Model (FDM), the basic goal of this DLC is to add appropriate depth and breadth to helicopter gameplay.

The second is an overhaul of the game’s shooting mechanics, which seems like a big deal in a game about shooting people and things:

In terms of content, new weapons that take most advantage of these planned features will be included; chiefly, this will involve ranged and high calibre weapons. We’re selecting armaments that offer genuine diversity; not just many of the same type of weapon with minor visual differences, but a true range that offers distinctive gameplay alongside some inherent advantages/disadvantages. Again, our objective is to improve the A3 platform more broadly; new features and mechanics are designed with existing assets in mind, enhancing the sandbox as a whole.

Lastly, as if to prove that they’re not just planning for the short- and medium-term, there’s a new expansion coming in “late 2015″.

We’re at a stage of development where we want to take some risks, experiment, and innovate! With that in mind, the exact scope of our work will, for now, stay dark and will remain so until we’re a bit more confident about what we can truly deliver. However, we do think it’s worthwhile mentioning that work on a more significant package of new sandbox content and features is under way; clearly, this parallel development frames the rest of our plans.

So far, we’ve selected a new terrain that offers a distinctive feeling and gameplay. Building on our experience with Zeus, we’re exploring ways to develop a more ‘fully featured’ 3D scenario editor. We’re looking carefully at making investments in civilian life and diversity.

Which is tantalizing. Bohemia’s work on the Arma series seems to have improved dramatically just in the past year, and it’s a relief that they’re not neglecting the series in light of DayZ’s ridiculous success. DayZ just reached 2 million sales, by the way; that’s 300,000 copies sold just in the last six weeks. Darn.

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20 Comments »

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  1. Samonite says:

    They should probably finish the actual game first..

    The AI can’t drive. Even a developer said he wasn’t able to order an AI to drive from the west to the east side of the island without crashing.
    http://youtu.be/VSeEbDLAGEA

    The AI moves very slow in combat situations. They seem to be working at fixing that though.
    http://youtu.be/qjKAGczhZtk

    It is a game with a lot of potential but it is currently mostly unplayable.

    • Synesthesia says:

      Also, for some reason lmgs are still useless. Even basic bipod implementation is not there. It is the most upvoted feature in the bug tracker by far, with no dev response. Even arma 2 had some bipod implementation on lmgs when you were prone.

    • Pulstar says:

      I don’t the AI will ever be fixed. They need to hire new guys for that. Choppers are atrocious. They’d drop down on lethal surfaces for an insertion, gunships are suicidal, tanks rush in like there’s no tomorrow. Forget about having any realistic battles with vehicular AI. With mods the foot mobiles become more believable however.

    • Comrade Roe says:

      To be fair, there are human beings who can’t drive from West to East across Altis without crashing, whether if they were in an actual car or in the game. Although, driving in itself could be better.

      Also, it’s worth noting that fixes on the roadmap for stability and such are placed before the DLC.

  2. secuda says:

    Is it just me that get confuse for a second and think its a “old school” robot that hold upp the board?

  3. sabasNL says:

    The ArmA 3 developers still have quite some stuff to fix (especially the vehicles, the handling (especially the cars) really sucks), but I have to say I am seeing progress. They pulled the “BETA” sticker too early IMO.

    • dfk0nNL says:

      I enjoy driving in arma especially cars, not so much tanks.
      It feels realistic only if your in first person view. it can feel sluggish in third person.

      I would argue that its one of the better things it does right. just need more variety like busses,etc

  4. P.Funk says:

    I am not really thinking that the steam workshop mod support will be particularly interesting to veterans of Arma and OFP. The community has a very well evolved system for sharing and installing mods. Between Six Updater, Play with Six (which I hate with a passion), Arma Launcher, and sites like Armaholic, there’s not much need for steam workshop, except for those lazy sods who actually think you will find more wisdom on the Steam forums than at a game’s proper dedicated forum.

    • DXN says:

      All those things exist, but they’re all super clunky and inscrutable and don’t really do anything to guide you to what you’re looking for. I think it’s ripe to be replaced by a smart, reliable system like the workshop – it’s great for scenarios, no reason it couldn’t work for addons as well. I’m all for it!

      • sabasNL says:

        Exactly, Steam Workshop is way more user-friendly. If the mod creators just migrate their mods to there, Steam will always auto-update your ArmA 3 mods and enabling/disabling/uninstalling mods can be done in the vanilla ArmA 3 launcher. No need for other programs anymore.

  5. Comrade Roe says:

    The most I can say about this is that it’s comforting to know they’re fixing the game, but worrysome that they might be overstreching themselves again between fixes and content and features. There’s still a lot of time to tell if they can really get all this done. On the bright side though, whatever new bugs come along with things like firing from vehicles will probably be very interesting.

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  7. SuicideKing says:

    What? I thought they have no time/money/man-power to make female characters? That’s an awful lot of work, that roadmap! Unless everything will be as unfinished as the core game…