The scenario: you have the Arma 3 Alpha and you've exhausted the stock missions the game comes with. You're also rubbish with the editor, and you don't live with someone Arma Arm Armasson, who can show you what to do with it. Don't worry. There's no such person, so you're not missing out on his sage wisdom. And Arma 3 is pretty easy to have fun with. Here's what people have been up to
Dying a lot in Wasteland.
Preparation: All you need to do is look at the multiplayer browser and join a server
Stratis isn't quite big enough or ugly enough for that whole post-apocalyptic feel, but Wasteland is a tough, compelling, multiplayer mission that'll have you suspicious of all human contact. It's a game of survival across the whole island: you spawn with the choice BLUFOR, OPFOR, or Independent. The first two are extended teams, so joining them places you in their brotherhood. You're forbidden to kill team mates. Independents are a law into themselves. Supplies like weapons, ammo, and medical supplies are grabbed from vehicles or NPC traders. The game spawns missions for you to take part in, like getting to a chopper and repairing it, with the obvious boon being you now have a chopper. It's a bit like DayZ lite.
Playing in Chernarus
Preparation: You need to own previous Armas, and be able to cut and paste.
The best thing about a company that has a community relationship like Bohemia is they understand their legacy. Arma 3 is really just a name given to a codebase stretching back over a decade, and it shares so much with Arma 2 that it's possible to simply grab a bunch of content and drag it over. It won't work perfectly, but the fans are working on that.
Flying more choppers.
Preparation: You need to own Take On Helicopters and be able to cut and paste.
Much the same as Chernarus, if you own Take On Helicopters, you can easily import the choppers into the Arma 3.The softly spoken explanatory video below will lull you into such a relaxed state that you might do it without even realising. It will also make you want to buy rudder pedals and a TrackIR. It looks like they use the Arma 3 flight model, so you won't instantly crash.
Messing with the 3D mission editor.
Arma 3's editor is as complicated as you need it to be, but there are still people who struggle with mapping and not seeing what they've actually placed. There is a hacky solution that will enable the hidden 3D editor, so you can zoom around the live world map, placing objects and seeing how things line-up in the game world. In your "Documents\Arma 3 Alpha\YOURNAME\missions\" folder do the following.
- Create "3d.stratis" folder
- Create text file inside the new folder
- Rename text file "mission.biedi"
- Create shortcut of "arma3.exe"
- Go to the Target field of the new shortcut and insert the address of your mission.biedi file
- Launch via the new shortcut
Voila! There are more detailed instructions here if you want to go further down the rabbithole, but check out what you can do with a few tweaks.
Going for a walk.
Preparation: just own the game.
This doesn't even need any mods. Simply plop a civilian character down in the editor, hit the preview button and pretend to be a tourist. If you haven't added any army types, you won't be troubled by stray bullets or ugly warfaces. There's a good reason for this, though: when you're in a mission that's been prompted by the editor, if you press 'Esc' and then 'F1', you'll pop up a UI. Click camera and you're given numpad and mouse controlled camera to play with. Hit 'Q' and 'A' to ascend and descend, and 'L' to get rid of the cross hair and you can take lovely, uncluttered screenshots. The editor will also let you change the weather settings.
I didn't even touch on some of the custom SP or co-op missions, because I've not had a chance to play those much. If you have any suggestions, I obviously encourage you to share them below. Because I am nice.