Help me understand Bohemia Interactive

If you were the BI lead designer, how would you prioritize your work? I have a feeling they are doing it all chaotic and wrong.

  1. communities use MCC and GAiA because there is no general AI command and control center. BI ignores that.
  2. communities use MCC to create GM controlled missions - BI creates a client side spawning system like Zeus. It works but again, fells short of being of real influence since it ruins mission performance.
  3. communities most of all play on dedicated server. BI mission editor doesn’t have debugging support for dedicated server. Instead, editor works best for SP missions who no one cares about.
  4. communities love to use custom loadouts. BI introduces arsenal but fells short of it being usable in multiplayer environment. Nice feature but again people need to develop their own scripting systems for arsenal to work.
  5. communities aim to use ACE and ACRE/TFAR for ages. BI ignores that. Instead a un-MilSim radio is builtin while realism features in ACE are nowhere to be seen in BI engine.
  6. most communities use CUP/RHS/whatnot. BI still focus on fictitious weapons in fictitious Island with fictitious and STILL MANAGE TO GET BANNED IN IRAN for using Iranian language for the "bad guys". I mean, come on, "weapons have to be licensed so that’s expensive" excuse? Most games, even startups haven’t got a problem with that, while BI sold one million copies and is unable to license them?

Instead, they "fix" stamina which was not broken, introduce a nice map and new fictitious weapons that no one will in the end use. Oh yes, I forgot, they also introduced new walk.


Is it possible that they simply… don’t care?

[justify]I recommend posting this on BIS forum, maybe you get some momentum going there from others who feel the same.[/justify]

How do you feel Clarke about it? Am I too hard on them?

[justify]Uff, for a complete answer I’d have to post an immense wall text as I do both love and hate BIS for some of their development choices. They are a shining beacon of hope within the shooter genre and no other company I know of dedicates this much time to involve the community and provide patches and entire free expansion to its player base for years to come. At times like these, where AAA studios are milking their customers for every dime and penny Bohemia has so far resisted to urge to employ the same shady tactics, even though they currently have a potential monopoly within the genre (quasi-realism shooter) which they could really abuse to no ends. On the other hand Arma 3 had some baffling design decisions so far, the worst being the inclusion of Iranian Bumblebees from outer space and the weird implementation of the 2035 setting (why not 2010-2013 period?) - even in the future a normal rifle squad wouldn’t be strapping MAT launchers on their backs, the LAT launcher class exists for good reason: front line mobility. Arrgh, I already feel a rant coming up.

I could talk about this topic for hours and maybe some day I should put it all down on paper and make a video of it. But for the sake of time I’ll sum this up as follows:

I’m with you on 1. (to a certain extent) on 3. (absolutely) on 4. (to a certain extent, but I haven’t checked what the EDEN update brought us in this regard) and on 6. (absolutely). Bulletin 5. I find highly debatable as there are a great many facets to this topic. On 2. I refrain from being too critical towards BI as they did provide Zeus free of charge to everyone and they did put a lot of work and time into its development - we may not think it’s perfect yet, but it was a damn fine start which cost us nill. EA would have sold us Zeus and EDEN piece-meal.[/justify]

I really don’t get what’s up with BI.

The decision making process there have some huge issues.
I totally agree with what have been said above, I don’t get why BI, when they do, tries to mimic what the modding community is doing (MCC/ZEUS), or are focusing on useless stuff (Who played the newest gamemod thingy ?)
About that can’t they just like hire these mod people for little while and put all the best content in the game just like they did for DayZ Std and the Epoch team (Even tho we haven’t seen any sign of the base building in DZS yet :D)?

Conserning BI, just look at DayZ Std, it’s been what 2 years out now ?
And yet the most recent A3 community mod (Exile+Z’s) is much more enjoyable and much more complete (Vehicules, Base buiding, persistant economy), has a better map (Esseker) and is IMHO the best ‘‘DayZ’ish’’ experience you can get.

And also we don’t have to forget that in every new/major patch A3 get out, it breaks our mods everytime :frowning:
Enven tho it’s french, I guess you can get the picture there, I guess that’s what happens at BI.

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity."
I think that sums up our culture quite well.

I am certain that BIS is fully aware of what you have written about Highway. I can only think that they haven’t dealt with these issues for two reasons.

The first is quite simply that it is too difficult and/or they don’t believe that the engine is capable of handling it to the standards they would like and so they won’t try. I think that the Eden 3D Editor is proof of this. The community has been crying out for one for 15 years and only now do we have one. I think they have done it as soon as they are able too, and I believe they will deal with the other issues in time.

Just remember, patience is a virtue. lol

The second reason they haven’t dealt with these issues is because the community have already done so. BIS only have so many resources at there disposal. Maybe they rely on the community to do what they can, creating things like MCC GAIA, ACRE/TFAR, ACE & ALIVE (at least in the short term).

I’m not saying that it is right that they would be doing that, but if it allows them to work on issues with the engine that they otherwise couldn’t then I can understand it. As Clarke said, they have given us much great content for free (Zeus, firing from vehicles, Eden etc) when other companies would be milking it for all they are worth.

I personally love the balance BIS have between DLCs and free platform updates. Some people moan about the lack of content in the DLCs, but they have already given us most of the great content for free, so the only real need to buy the DLCs is to show your support for BIS. I’m not sure how big their development team is but I think it is rather small when compared to other companies. If they charged us more the team would be bigger and we would be getting more of this stuff sooner.

Of course I am only guessing with this stuff. This game/simulation type of environment that is so open to modding must be hell to maintain and improve. Hopefully we will see many more improvements with the Apex expansion. I believe I read that the UI and the blasted Action Menu will be given an overhall at that time (like I said, patience) and hopefully more changes will come with Arma 4. Personally I would just be happy with it being a 64bit game so we can take full advantage of our rigs!

Well that’s my two cents worth on this topic. Unsurprisingly I have written more than I intended, but this is that kind of issue that requires many words.

I’m always hesitant to accept the "at least it’s being provided for free, unlike EA…" arguement.
EA are widely (and rightly) panned for their terrible money spinning business model, but that doesn’t make someone who does it less often a good developer. It makes them average. If BI want continued support from their playerbase they need to move away from hiding behind the "this content is free" arguement and actually provide what the community is asking for. It’s nice that EDEN is a thing but when, some years on, I still have to be careful where I drive a tank just in case I get catapulted through a building I have to wonder at their design focus.

Thank you guys for your honest responses. I understand that free content, small company can’t achieve every objective. What I have problems with mostly is deciding on priorities. If I were them, I would pick them completely different. And the weird thing is, they are really not disconnected from the community. They just pick stuff to do at seemingly random way.

You have to think like a manager; who do you risk losing more - OFP veterans or newbies over some change in the game logic (or a lack of change)? It’s a pretty safe bet that the veterans will stay no matter what as they have virtually nowhere else to go, so you focus on the "average" player, making them feel more welcome (read: more like CoD).

At the same time, though, don’t overdo it. Everyone knows there’s only a handful of capable programmers on this planet, so feel free to screw up often - not only you’ll have guaranteed work, but you can use the Microsoft technique* to gain positive popularity for free.

  • Praise for release X, which fixed incredibly broken release X-1, with X not necessarily being better than X-2.

Indeed, the stamina changes and now the new font make me wonder if there’s a particular intern or just a single incompetent developer. Or manager who pretends to be developer by "doing few bits here and few bobs there". Wouldn’t be the first time.

I don’t get why this old ass milsim has this feature but arma 3 doesn’t

[quote user_id=“1583435” avatar=“” name=“Goat”]I’m always hesitant to accept the "at least it’s being provided for free, unlike EA…" arguement.
EA are widely (and rightly) panned for their terrible money spinning business model, but that doesn’t make someone who does it less often a good developer. It makes them average.[/quote]
[justify]10 years ago I would have fully agreed with you, but in the current AAA game industry not being part of the rubbish machine is a true rarity. EA is one part, but then we start looking also at Ubisofts DRM’s and shoddy releases, Warner Brothers’ horrible PC ports, Konami just being Konami #FucKonami - the list will go on forever. Not acting in bad faith is nowadays no longer the norm (average) but unfortunately the exception. Releasing new content post-launch for free is to be applauded, even if the community has been asking for that content for a long time.[/justify]

[justify]If often feel the same way and get very frustrated about it. On the other hand if I’m being truly honest with myself I have to concede that the Arma community way of playing the game is, much to my dismay, a very fringe market with a lot of variation of needs within said market. The player base at large utilising Arma 3 is playing the game a lot more casually: Altis Life, DayZ mods, Assault & Annex etc. The casual market is overall a lot more profitable for the company when it comes to selling copies (especially during sales). Thus when deciding on what they would like to spend time on developing I imagine that they focus a lot more on the needs of the casual community (which can often be fulfilled with less effort) than the needs of die-hard weirdos such as us. :LOL: [/justify]

What is this free content though? There have been three "major" updates and they were all paid-DLC’s, content’s worth of which can be surmised into one thing - sling-loading.

Now there’s a free 3D editor which purpose is mainly going to be preparing pre-mission stuff like building bases and since it’s just a fancy 2D editor mixed with Zeus, you can’t even use it to properly handle a mission, in-mission, because of later addressed AI issues…

Then we have another paid update which fixes none of the major issues, mainly the AI, which is the primary reason why you can’t use the 3D editor for anything more than pre-mission shit and delivers us a whole new, huge map, which will again have to be played on minute 4x4km areas because the engine can’t handle anything more than that (understandable) or rather - there’s no servers that can run it properly.

Bringing me to a different point, which is community fragmentation, mainly caused by the fact that people have to mod the shit out of the game for it not to be a future-tech-turd. And then you have 100,000 communities each with 10-20 active players instead of having live servers with live hybrid pvp/coop campaigns where people join whenever they want without the aggro of a few guys being stressed out to cater the few active players that can be bothered to download THAT PARTICULAR modset that WE are using (this is not criticism towards CNTO, just a general description).

I mean, the recipe has been tried and tested numerous times before in MMO’s, and I’d be the first to pay a subscription in order to get decent high-player-count gameplay. But…wait…BI doesn’t allow charging for services based on their engine, so even if you were willing to support something like that and be the tech-support, sys admin, programmer, content writer and whatever else is needed - you’re prevented from finding ways to finance it legitemately.

In short, I’ve dubbed this entire update including the 3D editor complete shit from a PoV of the general state of the game and I can’t wait to be rebutted. I sincerely doubt I’ll continue playing Arma for much longer.

For every "licences cost", there’s an Insurgency or Squad somewhere around the corner.


LOL! I thought I was angry but Chypsa made Walt Kowalski look like happy go lucky.

/rant open

And don’t get me going on the "they’re not your typical AAA". Freghar tells me he lives/works? close to their offices and they have like 20 guys working there. Their site suggests they have 200+ employees. If that’s true, that means there’s maybe 20-30 content creators and the others are marketing, sales, check-the-spreadsheet suits who look at the charts and think "Well, it’s to late NOW to charge for licenced weapons" then look at each other and go "…is it?"

"Oh well, we can always make another terrain, 2-3 factions, 50 vehicles, call it an EXPANSION and charge 50€ for THAT".

Yea…not at all like AAA…

Not like anyone else created any terrains, factions and vehicles lately…giving them out for free.

/rant 2…more probably incoming…

Ok, calm down. That’s why I am not going to open a similar thread on BI forums, it will probably come down to this.

[justify]I’d sign this in an instant. Arma 3 has the largest community fragmentation in the series so far. Compare Arma 2’s state three years in with Arma 3. To me this is the biggest blunder of the game and it’s development - one that really makes me miss Arma 2 quite often, even with all the new features introduced by A3.[/justify]

Oh yea, I just realized something. Yesterday I was playing Portal 1 and there was a line there:

"Thank you for helping us help you help us."

I think that about describes it best.

I have a different Walt in mind. Walter Sobchak :slight_smile:

I guess they’re trying to amend that with mod dependencies and sets & integration with Steam - the idea would presumably be to "just click this button to subscribe & enable all mods used by the server", as the server browser will be integrated into the launcher now. Steam itself would take care of the mod hosting, so even smaller communities could have their own modset without a dedicated FTP for arma3sync or some other mod manager.

The downside is, of course, Steam’s EULA and that not all mods are on Steam.

The other thing is I guess the launch of Units, that community aggregation system.

They’re trying - it may not seem like enough, but they are. I don’t know how they work internally, but if they have as braindead management as most companies, pushing for anything sensible is very, very hard. Especially from the inside. That’s why dwarden (one of the few capable BI developers) always asks for feedback tracker votes, so he has some justification (for the management) to work on that.

They heard I was sick and were hoping to sneak this by…I feel a bitch-storm coming from inside of me already.

OH BIS, WE ALL WANT TO LOVE YOU SO HARD, but you’re like that brother who keeps getting back on drugs…we still care for you, we still love you, but we’re getting less keen on loaning you 100 bucks "because your rent is due and you don’t want to get kicked out of your motel room"…because we know you’re just going to blow it on crank (or, in this case, VTOL aircraft we’re not going to use).

I think its time guys, we need to call up the other communities and get an intervention going. Let’s get BI in rehab.