In ancient Greece, Zeus was a pretty powerful guy: dispensing justice, lightning bolts, and an army of offspring conceived under pretty perverse circumstances. In modern Greece—albeit the fictional modern Greece of Arma 3—Zeus also has some powers. Only in this instance they extend to tanks, soldiers and inconveniently placed bollards. The soldier sim's free Zeus multiplayer DLC is now available, giving would-be gods the chance to GM an Arma operation.
Nearly three years after it was first announced, Bohemia Interactive is shutting down the Arma 2 Free servers, the free-to-play version of the military simulation game. If you were one of its dedicated players, there's good news: Bohemia is trying to soften the blow with a sale on the Arma 2 franchise.
As we reported last week, online matchmaking client GameSpy will shutdown on May 31. The community at Reddit's /r/Games is compiling a list of games that will be affected, partially affected, or not affected at all. The list is not official by any means, as most publishers have yet to make official comments about the shutdown, and most games have yet to be confirmed one way or another. But it’s still a pretty terrifying list.
Online matchmaking client GameSpy is shutting down on May 31st, owners Glu Mobile have announced. On the upside, it means no more games trying to download the hideous GameSpy Comrade launcher. The downside is rather more significant: a lot of games' multiplayer segments are about to become non-functional. As with the upcoming Games for Windows Live shutdown, it's down to individual publishers as to whether they want to update their games with new server technology.
After two hours of tense waiting, the op was launched. The four of us, all policemen wearing night-vision goggles, slithered from our vehicles, spread out silently, and sprinted around the darkened buildings in the middle of the night. We converged on the civilian helicopter pilot who had landed nearby a moment ago, surrounding him, our weapons drawn and ready. Then we politely asked him to produce his pilot's license. He promptly did. We thanked him, dispersed, and met back at the vehicles. No illegal activity had transpired. Mission accomplished.
Altis Life, the police and civilian role-playing server mod for Arma 3, reminds me a bit of the time—the very little time—I spent on a few Garry's Mod role-playing servers. Rather than engage in multiplayer warfare, players engage in, well, virtual life. If you're playing a civilian, you buy a car, get a job, and collect a paycheck. If you're a cop, you police the civilians and enforce the law. The laws that include the requirement to have a proper license to operate vehicles such as helicopters, boats, and cars, hence the covert nighttime op.
Update: Bohemia have been in touch to provide the following clarification: they have acquired Cauldron's facilities, technology and staff for their new Slovakian studio, but not the Cauldron brand itself.
It looks like the DayZ Standalone will be getting a few new helping hands. Creator Dean "Rocket" Hall has announced the purchase of Slovakian game developer Cauldron by Bohemia Interactive, with 25 of that studio's staff set to work on the zombie survival sim, according to a report at Eurogamer.
Our companion to most things Arma 3 over the last year, Andrew "Dslyecxi" Gluck, is back with another patented community guide. This time, we're treated to tactics in the military sim that favor the off-beat, underdog approach of guerrilla warfare.
The majestic helicopter gets a bit of a raw deal in the following trailer for Win, Arma 3's third and final piece of campaign DLC. Also on Bohemia's hitlist: buildings, and people in a rival army to the one you're fighting in. Those guys are just the worst. Win continues the story of soldier Ben Kerry, asking players to "deploy all the skills and experience they've gathered to bring the flashpoint to a resolution". They could have almost called it 'Operation Flashpoint', but I have a feeling that name might be already taken. If you own the game on Steam it should have automagically been updated by now, bringing with it a bunch of sandbox content which I'll list after the break.
A post from Dean Hall reveals that the next DayZ update will add new towns and other content. One example, the fireplace seen above, is mostly there to accommodate the cooking system, which will allow you to cook certain items, or create new ones, like soup. Sounds delicious, or at least a lot better than being forced fed a rotten banana. Good thing DayZ already balanced players’ stomach capacity.
Uh-oh, it's a news about a military simulation. I'd better break out that list of military jargon, so I can at least appear to know what I'm talking about... Ah good, now I can cheesedick my way through this article.
Arma 3's final DLC campaign will be deploying next week, giving the game's buyers free access to the final third of its singleplayer story. Called "Win", it's probably no surprise how things are going to end, but - up until that inevitable conclusion - will give players a taste of the largest-scale combat yet seen in its episodes. It'll made available on March 20th.
Bohemia Interactive’s Take On Mars already lets you pilot various Rovers and Landers on the red planet in its Early Access form. It's next big content update, however, will go one step further, challenging you to put a person on Mars. Well, a videogame simulation person, at least.
Dean Hall may eventually be leaving Chernarus for pastures new and hopefully less zombie-infested, but for the time being he's still committed to the game that finally allowed the internet to track down and kill PC Gamer like the dogs we are. His latest Weekly Report brings the news that DayZ's development team has been pretty much doubled, along with details of a new cooking system "heavily inspired by the outstanding [one]" in Project Zomboid. Hey, zombie survival games need to stick together - it's a grim world out there. Details after the break.
The DayZ team have recently revealed some more planned improvements from their development pipeline. As the early access survival game progresses over the next few months, post-apocalyptic survivors will find themselves helped (and hindered) by adjusted lighting, lootable fridges, increased zombies, and - most terrifyingly of all - a physics system. Through the implementation of a middle-ware physics engine, players will be able to throw items and ragdoll about. I look forward to seeing how the game's community will warp these systems in the name of trolling and torment.
DayZ creator Dean "Rocket" Hall plans to step down as lead designer of the massively popular multiplayer survival game. Talking to Eurogamer, Hall explained his desire to leave Bohemia Interactive by the end of the year, to set up a new studio in New Zealand.
"I have a specific use, Hall said. "I'm really good at risk-taking and making other people take risks, I've always been good at that in my life. Like you say, maybe I've got the gift of the gab, so I can talk, I can explain something, I can talk people up to the ledge and get them to jump off it.
"Eventually, that's the bad person to have. Eventually, you don't want the guy telling you to go over the top and get through. So at some point I'll be a disaster for the project, at least in a leadership role."
Arma 3's upcoming Zeus mode gifts one or more players god-like real-time control of multiplayer scenarios. From several miles above ground you can set objectives, place vehicles and plant enemy troops as your friends march through your deathtrap. You can even call down thunderstorms - hence the Zeus title - trigger ambient war noises, initiate grand musical cues and create battles between the AI to create the powerful sense that your players are part of a wider battle. Essentially you're the hardcore military sim equivalent of that guy from the Truman Show who lives in the Moon.
Get a sense of the power and user-friendliness of the Zeus interface in this lengthy Bohemia Interactive livestream, in which the developers drop interesting tidbits. There can be multiple 'Zeus' players, for example, and Zeus mode will work with mods if you set up a modded scenario beforehand. An exciting new idea for a shooter mode, and free for owners of Arma 3 once it's out of beta. Very nice.
What happens when you combine Arma with D&D? Goblins assaulting Greek islands with M4 Carbines? Possibly, but in this instance, it's a new multiplayer mode in which an Arma 3 player becomes dungeon master of an outfit's military manoeuvres. Zeus is an upcoming free DLC pack that lets an all-powerful player look down upon the others, like some god-like entity in control of a real-time scenario editor.
A video update for the in-progress Arma 3 mod 2017 shows Altis as a misty, decaying world with a dark history. And as a stage for a horror sim, where a player's own mental health has to be taken into account and cared for, the giant map has the potential to serve up some frightening encounters.
But one thing the free mod won't be delivering is a run-in with zombies. As lead artist Luke Hinds outlines in the mod team's latest devblog, the undead don't have a role in 2017's post-apocalyptic world.
DayZ has received a new stable patch, although, in the world of early access survival games, the term stable is somewhat relative. The update brings some minor features and bug fixes, but the most important change is the continued improvement of server performance. Thanks to "a significant change to the server variable processing," the game's servers should have received a major performance boost. According to the patch notes, this should result in a smoother game experience and, more significantly, is another step towards the goal of increased player and zombie numbers, as well as the enabling of loot and zombie respawning.
Every Tuesday, DayZ Diaries recounts Andy's adventures in post-apocalyptic survival sim DayZ, where beans and friends are frequently in short supply.
Last week I decided that, if I'm ever playing DayZ alone and I run into another player, I'll kill them on sight. Harsh, yes, but the only way to make sure I don't get punched in the head by a fresh spawn with nothing to lose. So there I am, running down the coast towards Kamyshovo, when I spot a survivor up ahead. Not taking any chances, I drop to my knees and shoot him with my Mosin. The way I see it, a bambi is just a bandit who hasn't found a gun yet.
The experimental beta branch of DayZ is enjoying a new raft of features and fixes, a continuation of Bohemia's battle to wrestle DayZ from wonky-as-balls-but-still-great to just 'great'. The team are patching on two fronts, adding long-planned features and coming up with adaptive fixes to alter the way alpha players are currently exploiting the game. It means that as well as machetes and better sawed-off shotguns, there will soon be time penalties for swapping servers too quickly.
That ought to deter players who hop onto an empty server to raid the loot-heavy airfield, and then hop back to a populated server to use their gear on hapless bambis. That sort of thing makes our resident DayZ fan, Andy, very angry indeed. He may take solace from the fact we'll soon be able to paint our crash helmets different colours, point, and clap, though the full hokey-cokey emote is sadly yet to materialise. Full notes below.