Welcome to our next Dev Report! As you have noticed, there's been a prolonged pause since our last Dev Report. As we mentioned in our Year in 2022 Review, we are now focusing on fixing critical issues and releasing updates in chunks, both on our main and experimental applications, and we are set on continuing to do so. In this article, let's look at all the updates of the past months, Enfusion Blender tools upgrades, solutions to ghosts on our server browser, changes in logs savings, GUID crash reports, and more.
Starting with our first important communication of the year, let's look at the Year 2022 in Review. We walked you through the journey so far, our shortcomings, and the future of Arma. However, the most important message of this article being our commitment to everything on our Roadmap and that to minimize the risk of introducing new bugs, we are first focusing our efforts on testing. The foundation needs to be strong before adding new content. Milestone updates have become development stages. They are delivering new features, fixes, and content quite frequently – just in smaller parts.
As showcased in the video below, the 0.9.7.102 Update introduced VFX upgrades that significantly improve the look and authenticity of the game.
In the preceding month, two updates were released. The 0.9.7.91 Update introduced the Free Roam Building feature. This mechanic enables players to build support structures and field fortifications anywhere in the game world, as long as the site is close to a vehicle carrying the requisite amount of construction materials. This iteration of Conflict's building feature means players are no longer confined to predefined slots for support structures. There is now more freedom in composition placement. This affords new tactical opportunities, such as fortifying villages, bridges, or natural chokepoints in the terrain. Bunkers and checkpoints can be placed where they make the most sense. In terms of building bases, players can enjoy more flexibility in their overall layout. Although there are still limits to the construction supplies available and the range of compositions, there are no longer any parts of the map that cannot be exploited for strategic advantage!
The 0.9.7.95 Update has brought many multiplayer fixes such as the network not stalling anymore when encoding limits are hit. Another nice improvement is also the possibility to sprint while the weapon is raised.
We are happy that with the 0.9.7.85 Experimental update, the Experimental application is now available for Xbox players too! Xbox players can now enjoy an early look at upcoming content and provide valuable feedback to our team. Look at the Experimental article for installing instructions. The most recent one, 0.9.7.97, launched the VFX update later introduced in 0.9.7.102. You could try newly added 3D vehicle debris and explosions, the possibility to disable collision until a certain distance, and more.
Continuing with Enfusion upgrades, Blender Tools got some new innovations! The first new major addition to the 0.9.7 version of Enfusion Blender Tools is the introduction of a new approach to exporting TXA animation which requires the now-running version of the Workbench. This solution uses net API that Workbench provides to grab data from Blender and then Workbench is able to process it and produce both TXA and binary format of it - ANM files. This change also brings a necessity to update the configuration of the addon in the Blender itself so head out to the Community Wiki to find out how to do it exactly.
A new version of Enfusion Blender Tools also offers improvements to TXA exporter UI, which should help you with managing larger animation projects. This new UI no longer hacks into the file selection window which forced the user to expand the right panel of this window every time it was opened. All parameters and actions should be now easily accessible and furthermore, they are also stored in a more persistent and reliable way so you don't have to worry that TXA export settings stored in a blend file would be looking differently on another PC.
We know there have been some reports of ghosts on our server browser. Specifically that the number of players in servers seemed to be displayed inaccurately. Server owners and admins can now use a new property known as lobbyPlayerSynchronise to see the correct player count in the lobby. For more information, see the documentation here.
You also now have the possibility to send us crash GUID in your Crash reports. Read more here.
And lastly, if you are looking for a quick way to see Known Issues, you can find it in a new category in Dev Hub on our webpage. It will be updated regularly with future updates and important notices.
We're currently working on several new features particularly useful mainly for server admins and modders. You can expect changes in how logs are saved in the near future. Each new start of a game will create a new directory for logs which will in its name contain the date and time when the game was started instead of being saved and rewritten on each start in the profile directory. Logs will be also automatically removed so that only the 10 last logs are kept.
Another thing planned is that dedicatedServerId in the server config will become obsolete and instead it will be replaced by a new file which should be unique for each server. This file (ownerToken.bin) will be located in a server's profile directory and will be automatically generated on server start. It can also be generated from client when saving the server config which will generate ownerToken associated with the player identity so that the server or backend will recognize the player as the owner of that server. The way how it is generated is a temporary solution and will be improved in the future.
Lastly, the details in our grass look to be growing fairly well with our expected Terrain and Grass shader update. With this, you will soon be able to influence the appearance of the terrain and grass clutters via satellite map.
If you are interested in audio modding, check Audio Editor Tutorial and learn from our sound designer and modder, Leon Beilmann, who knows how to work sound magic.
For community modders, Arma Reforger Samples and modding resources for Github repositories were updated with minor fixes, new sample weapon animation files, and vanilla weapons animation reference files.