I would love to tell you that I have my finger on the pulse of what’s hot in gaming. Don’t get me wrong, I know quite a bit about what’s coming out and what’s popular. I read all the websites and I’m on most Alpha and Beta lists so I generally get early access to games. I always buy the season passes so I see what’s new in games early. However, knowing what’s new and hot doesn’t often translate to interest in those things for me. They have to strike a chord. I like what I like. Sometimes I’m a late-bloomer in terms of interest.
I’m about 4 years late with this review. I played this game around it’s release time (2013) but didn’t get hooked on it. There were other things out at that time and I was still pretty addicted to BF4. My interest was based on my experience playing Arma 2 mods, Takistan Life and various other mods. All that being said, let me do an introduction to the game just in case you don’t know about it…
Arma 3 is a massive “military sandbox” game released in September 2013. It was developed and published by Bohemia Interactive.
The storyline takes place in the mid-2030s during the fictional Operation Magnitude, a military operation launched by NATO forces fighting in Europe against “Eastern armies” referred to as Canton-Protocol Strategic Alliance Treaty (CSAT), led by a resurgent Iranian military with a coalition of other Middle Eastern and Asian nations. (All that is rather boring to me. I never know the storylines or “lore” of any game I play. This is just for you if you care at all.)
Like it’s predecessor, Arma 3 is a great modding platform and the DLCs are pretty amazing (although the FPS becomes an issue the more mods that are loaded in-game). There are many, many mods available on Steam. Only a small portion of them are used on most servers. I could go on and one about technical aspects of the game, and there are a lot. Here’s the meat of what you really need to know to be an effective warfighter in Arma 3:
As I stated previously, there are a ton of player created mods, I can’t list them all but here are some links to some sites I frequent for info about mods:
There is so much to learn about Arma3, it’s a bit daunting to casual players but if you decide to take the time and are a big fan of role play and tactics, you will become addicted. It’s not hard to just jump in if you have played simulators in the past but knowing the basics has value. At the very least you should know the controls, they are not intuitive. There are folks I play with that are really into the technical aspects of the game. They know all the weapons, muzzle velocities for each rifle, the loadout limits, scopes etc. I know what I use. I prefer Anti-Tank and Medic roles. There are other roles and they all compliment each other. Read more about that here:
Arma 3 allows you to pilot vehicles as well. You can jump into a helicopter and transport your friends to the fight or support your squad with Armor and aircraft. There is something for everyone.
My jam is COOP play with combined squad ops.
For a long time, I struggled to find servers to play on. I prefer COOP play and I love real squad tactics. The problem is, I don’t have a ton of friends that share that love. I play mostly with close friends and they love the kill. They want to play action oriented games like BF1 and GTA5.
Don’t get me wrong, I love action games but I prefer to take slow deliberate actions to complete common missions. This is why I got so excited about this game when it came out. I joined servers and had a hard time even knowing what was going on. Let’s face it, most gamers don’t stop to try and help the new guy.
The modded servers like Altis Life and Grand Theft Arma are great RP mods and seemed really fun to me until I tried a few servers.
The issue is usually these modded servers are dominated by people that don’t RP, don’t follow rules and in general, act like asshats. There are great players as well but sifting through trying to find the good ones caused a lot of heartburn for me. Nothing like reading the rules carefully before joining, walking into the town square, carefully getting setup, buying a car only to get robbed and shot with no RP whatsoever (I’m more discussing Altis life. This is to be expected in the GTA mods. It’s GTA after all). I just got annoyed after a couple of weeks. I walked away and just never came back.
A few months ago I decided to come back to Arma 3. I caught a few streams that got me interested again. I started to read and explore and I finally found the DLC that fit my game style.
Being a Dungeons & Dragons player and fan, Zeus is the perfect DLC. It’s inspired by tabletop games like Dungeons & Dragons. Players can assume the role of Game Master, and influence the Server and challenge players. Watching the battlefield from a bird’s eye view, with a real-time editor, Zeus can create, manipulate or expand mission content to generate new stories and a flow of challenges by dropping enemy infantry, tanks, and air assets anywhere, anytime. Zeus can also build and alter structures, drop all types of items to make the missions amazing a realistic. The result is incredibly dynamic, unscripted combat gameplay – and multiplayer sessions which are filled with unexpected, challenging, and creative events. Add choice mods, different types of vehicles and infantry and you have an incredible experience that makes this games a complete blast.
On the server, I frequent (77th JSOC) Zeus missions take anywhere from 1-4 hours to complete. There is usually a main AO (area of operations) requiring you capture a town or HQ and some kind of supporting side mission. The side missions can be taking out an anti-air battery or ammo dump, securing intel or you may have to capture an officer. These side missions have specific requirements. Unlike the HQ missions, with side missions, you can’t often just run in and kill everything. It adds a level of complexity that takes some thought. Once the HQ is captured a mission to defend the area you just fought to take puts you on the defensive. Again, this adds another type of tactic requirements that changes the dynamic of the mission. To me, this is much more fun than simply capturing some flag over and over and killing as many people you can.
This type of gameplay is not for everyone. For the thinking player, it’s a blast. You have coordinate your actions with a large group of other players to complete a common objective. 60-70 players all working together can be chaotic but when it works, there is no greater reward. I wouldn’t say I’m a tactical nerd but the end result is much more rewarding to me.
I played Zeus servers for several weeks before I found the server I play regularly.
The 77th is a very organized server group consisting of two public servers and one private “members only” server. It’s highly organized and has a ton of rules but the rules really enhance gameplay.
Come join or you can watch my stream and recorded video on:
See you on the server!!