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Mods and server.
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Description

Arma 3 is a game designed around the possibility of modding and include multiplayer, both are perfectly compatible, but actually with the way it work it is really bad for player side and optionsless for server side.

We don't find a lot of "playable" server, most of them are empty, have high ping and when we find one we can't play on it cause he get trouble with mods.

When someone create a server with a list of mods how many chance we have to have the same mods installed and activated ?
I was already get ejected from server just because i have a single mods more or less.
Some server don't accept any mods at all and other accept all mods but we have no way to find which one do.

Most of the mods DON'T influence the gameplay, some of them add new weapon, units and except if the server use VAS or any other mods that permit to give to the player an access to every object mods like this DON'T influence the server, fix issue like visible DFS crosshairs or readable interface, FA GPS, other add immersion and again don't change at all the gameplay like JTD Flies, Alpha Sound, VTS Gesture and other try to fix leak of feature from dev like VTS Resting weapon (a game like arma with recoil, weapon sway and recoil without bipod use and resting it is really stupid and unrealistic) CMFix, Mag Repack.

It mean that most of the time we are rejected of the server for NOTHING.
Example here : i have try to join a server "Stratis Life mission", we have NO access to custom weapon/units and almost every other mods don't change the gameplay and they can't be considerate like an advantage or a cheat, it make no sense to become rejected by the server cause of this and it don't fix the cheaters/hackers issue anyway.
Almost every time when a server refuse player with more mods than him when we get rejected it is only cause the server creator PERSONALLY don't like the mods, don't see the use for HIM, are too lazy to download it or don't know about and for some player, mods can be important depending the way we play.
Fight against server list is on of the worst thing we can get and if we want to play a single time we have to get rejected by maybe 10 server, and sometime we don't get more than 15 server with more than 2 people inside and ping under 150

What i propose here is a way to fix it and reduce hackers in the same time and give more possibility to server.

Online mods check
Server side mods interface
Player side mods matching

Online mods check :
Rather than be stuck with server creator mods preference (when it don't influence gameplay) check mods not from the server but from online official server, like a mods check from Armaholic or any other things like this.
It mean no more issue cause the server don't include a single mods that we have or don't need for the server creator to download every mods.

Server side mods interface :
First thing, divide mods into category
_Those who don't add units/weapon and who don't change the gameplay, like those who only touch the interface/color or things like this.
_Those who only add things, like weapon/accessory pack, units, uniform and all other that anyway can't be access until the server use VAS or other "all item available" script/mods
_Those who fix issue, leak of feature, give more immersion/realism but don't influence the gameplay like Resting Weapon or Gesture, Alpha Sound etc.
_And those who change the gameplay like object manipulation/spawn, player characteristic or change vanilla feature like recoil and other
The server creator have access to a list divided into sub tabs :

Minor modification
Units/weapon/object adding
Gameplay minor change/immersion improvement
Gameplay change/unbalance/cheat like.

For each category have subcategory that permit to have access to precise mods type like for example with :
Units/weapon/object adding -> Units / vehicle / Weapons / Gear&attachments / Object pack.
Example with Weapons -> Pistol / MG / AR / SMG / Sniper Riffle / launcher / explosive / other,specials.

And then when we go inside a precise category we can see one by one all mods like all Pistol for example with a picture and a description.

The server creator are able to enable or disable a any category or subcategory.
Like disabled all MG or sniper mods or simply disabled a single one like a too powerful cal 50 sniper riffle or anything like this.
This will permit for Armaholic for example to become the reference that can include every mods (better for find it) and i don't know if Armaholic is official from BIS or not but i know that BIS moderator also mastering Armaholic, anyway it can permit to give a more official check of mods and avoid a lot of cheated by redlisting every mods that was not approval.
Possibility for the server creator to save the approved mod list for each mission and load it like he want rather than recreate it everytime he create a new server.

Now the most important part :
Player side mods matching :
When we expecting to go inside a server that use less mods than us or disable several mods that we have, rather than need to restart the game, make TWO different mods loading system :
On for single player with a list that we only want to use for single player
Another for multiplayer that load all mods that we have listed but with no mods preloading or with reloading.

It mean if we try to go inside a server with several mods that we have disabled, we will get something like :

The following mods are disabled from this server :
Mods1, Mods2, Mods3 etc...
Do you want to continue on this server without this mods ?

If we select no, we go to check another server, if we select yes it will load every mods we have EXCEPT those disabled on this server, no need to restart and manually disabled every mods everytime we want to joins a different server to match him, even if it need to reload some part of the game and take more time while matching with server list, it is better than manually disabled all mods (which is the most boring thing i have ever see in any multiplayer game) and restart the game.

The advantage to link the mods online check with Armaholic can be the downloading matching/patching, download mods that we don't have and the server do from Armaholic, exactly like the mission file was download/
It will permit to match with the server and with a "multiplayer download modsfolder" folder to keep the mods itself, several game do it, when we want to play in a server who have more mods than us we download missing files and they are put in a temporary mods folder.
The same system with an option that permit to empty this folder when we leave the game (except if it crash, the exit button start the command, not the game closing itself) or keep all this, that mean keep mission file with script and save, keep mods folder/files that we can use again on server rather than download it again.

And this system can also fix a last issue : Invisible mods
When someone don't have a mods and other do, we see invisible weapon/gearless people, rather than this, including a small "low definition texture and a low polygon number 3D object, or simply a long range LOD version" file size version, of course even if it can be great i don't talk about live modding that permit us to use the weapon mods, just a system that permit to see something better than a invisible mods/
With options : ->
OFF (use the closest vanilla equivalent, definite by modder) ->
ON (download small polygon number and low definition texture version of the mods) ->
ON and no purge (Same than ON but keep the file in the famous "multiplayer download modsfolder" when we leave the game, nice for those who don't care about the small HDD consummation that it take and don't need to download it again for those who will comeback on this server where people use a lot of different mods.

It mean that Armaholic will have 3 files per mods : Standard mods, Unzip / in game installation instructions / size limited version of the object like medium/long range LOD version.

Of course keeping a log file that list the mods downloaded from the server or the small LOD version of other user mods.
Useful for check what happen/ what is done or find a mods that we can like rather than see it as invisible and have no chance to know what it is.

Details

Legacy ID
62922349
Severity
None
Resolution
Fixed
Reproducibility
Always
Category
Modding
Steps To Reproduce

Join a server with different mods installed than you.
Join a server that don't accept mods while having mods installed.
Join a server that have more mods than you.
Join a server where people don't have same mods than you and look at their custom equipment.
Join a server while having mods that you only expect to use for simpleplayer.

Additional Information

The idea i have described here fix the multiplayer mods compatibility issue by :

_Give more control from server side user to which mods he want or not in the server.

_More strict but without restriction for player side check for mods that can permit to having more control over cheater/illegal game modification.

_"Reloading" before server possibility permit to disabled/enable mods and by the same way to work after a download get new mods for match with server without need to restart and deal with long and boring disabled of mods and game full restart, probably one of the major factor that make a lot of server to be empty, people launch a game for play it and not for deal/fight against mods management for EACH server, consume more time before connection cause of the reloading when mods don't match.

_Different mods for multiplayer and singleplayer that permit to customize the singleplayer how we want without have to load it for multiplayer, useful for some huge gameplay modification that was mainly/only created for singleplayer or multiplayer.

_Mods website/server that permit to have a lot of information for each mods for server creator and permit to download mods before entering in the server or download the small size object version without influencing server band switch/connection stability/latency.

_No issue with constant needed internet connection, it only need it for download mods/small lod variant or for the server creator to access to live mods list/information for allowing it or not, anyway for player in multiplayer we need internet connection.

Event Timeline

Demongornot edited Additional Information. (Show Details)
Demongornot set Category to Modding.
Demongornot set Reproducibility to Always.
Demongornot set Severity to None.
Demongornot set Resolution to Fixed.
Demongornot set Legacy ID to 62922349.May 7 2016, 3:17 PM
Bohemia added a subscriber: Dwarden.Jul 4 2013, 1:08 PM

When people downvote please explain why.
This is an important issue that can only give better experience with everyone, i don't see any reason to downvote it, so explain why.

AD2001 added a subscriber: AD2001.May 7 2016, 3:17 PM

TL;DR

But, from what I did read, I think this is a duplicate of 0006428.

If, not could you please sum it up? The ticket is huge.

I talk away way more things and way more possibility than 0006428 who only talk about 15% of what i have described here, i talk about different mods system, mods interface for server and client side, smart use of Armaholic and more.
Related to maybe, duplicate i don't think it is a good idea, i'm not sure that dev read things set as duplicate...
What TL;DR mean ?
Also what you mean by sum it up ?

TL;DR means "too long;didn't read".

NOTE: Armaholic is not made by BIS.

First thing you're talking about: Dividing mods into categories. This is a good idea, but it'll require a lot of work by the Armaholic moderators (look at the number of A2 mods). You could make the mod-makers pick the category, but there are some mods in the wrong categories on Armaholic so it's a bad idea.

Second thing: Disabling mods when joining servers. Okay, this also a good idea, but there could be a problem of the game not recognizing it as a mod if not using Steam launch parameters, but putting the .pbo into the "Addons" folder. I'm not sure bout this so, please correct me if I'm wrong.

Last thing: "Lite" versions of the mod. So, if someone doesn't have a mod, he can download a "lite" version with the model and low res textures (and sounds, which you didn't mention). Okay, this one is actually a good idea, but it's almost the the same thing as 0006428, only the way you want it would be less time consuming.

/upvoted

TS;DU

Maybe, i don't know, it still a simple example, BIS can have their own on work in partnership.

The only work it will require will be to class actual mods, its the moderator that post mods on Armaholic page, they can easily and REALLY FAST choose the category while posting it.

Mods are recognized directly by .key for authentication and .pbo for the mods itself, when you have a non signed mods (no .key) and you join a server that don't accept mods or don't have them you get an error message that told you that you the require key and you need to restart the game and manually disabled mods one by one and try again, and i have say TRY, not able to join it.
I actually have a lot of mods on a @Mods folder (not a good idea to put them inside addons folder) and they are perfectly recognized buy the server.
And i think it will work the same way inside Addons folder for avoid illegal game modification, and anyway in my idea i talk about a solution to improve security.

And the difference between 0006428 and mine is huge, i also talk about mods downloading but not only, i talk about mods management, server side and client side, difference between SP and MP mods, possibility to DISABLED mods when server don't accept them and a lot of things.

And thanks.

Gekon added a subscriber: Gekon.May 7 2016, 3:17 PM
Gekon added a comment.Oct 18 2013, 4:48 PM

Hi Demongornot,

I have read through your description. Let me first thank you for the ideas. It is clear that you have put a lot of work and thoughts into this. Kudos.
Now, the hard part. The things you are describing are reasonable, but might be beyond our reach as a whole-package. Especially the categorization and evaluating the impact of each mod, but even without it, it would take a long long time (years?).

Right now, we have started looking into publishing addons on Steam Workshop. The Workshop does not (at this time) offer the depth of other systems, but what it can do, it does reliably. This might not look like much, but it is a huge thing.
If (!not when!) we succeed, some of the problems you described might disappear. It might not be as complex and control-boosting solution as you envisioned, but it will be something. And we could build on that.

Thank you and see you on Altis

there IS already a list explaining mods the server has.