Whilst Altis (Or at least what we've seen at it) looks stunning I can't help but wonder if it will be as 'lifeless' as previous Arma maps have been. That is to say that it can often feel that you are the sole living creature in the maps- most likely why Chernarus was seen as perfect for the DayZ mod.
Currently, Stratis is the same, barring the blaring of cicadas, the odd rabbit and the fish in the sea there is nothing to say that the map is 'alive'. Equally there are certain features that we lack, thus requiring a certain suspension of disbelief in order to be immersed in the game world.
Below is a list of ideas which would, if implemented, would add beautifully to the in-game world.
-Certain areas come with animals as standard, but with the ability to be removed. Essentially pre-placed modules in sensible places that can be enabled or disabled by map makers. Mainly sheep and goats, you know, because Greece. Key areas would be farms (Obviously) or open mountainsides, although small hamlets and villages would benefit from the same treatment.
-Herd animals reacting to players in a simple way. Walk near one, it walks away. Run at one or loud noises cause them to run as a flock in the other direction. Sheep herding minigame via helicopter is a top priority features BIS or I demand a refund! =p
-Dogs barking or howling at the approach of a character and perhaps even attack if the character stays too long. Scriptable to only respond to OPFOR/ BLURFOR or Independent to simulate some form of guard dog.
-More bird-life, or at least simulated via more birdsong and birds flying from trees when loud noises/running players come near. Can just be a visual effect that dissipates after 10-30 seconds.
-Evidence of recent human habitation. Some basic furniture inside buildings, beaches with loungers and rubbish left around from holidaymakers, small touches in the right places is all it takes.
-Waves lapping onto shorelines, because.. you know, waves do that. Doesn't have to be a major feature that has much effect, would just be cool to see.
-Slight interaction between players and water. Currently when at the surface of the water, there is nothing to say that your character has breached it, or that your arms are actually interacting with the water at all. Additionally, dripping water effects for those who have emerged from the water and more splashing effects for those running through shallow water.
-Related to the above I have 'drowned' at the waters surface more than once as the game still counted me as submerged for some reason. A 'surfacing' screen effect would help here.
-A couple more civilian vehicles. Busses, maybe a tourist pleasureboat, a small passenger plane. All of which would add to a richer environment if placed around, but also be good for hostage-taking missions and the like.
-Ambient civilian life that can be enabled/disabled by the mission maker. Obviously I can imagine this one to be difficult as it would have to be sensible enough to not drive cars towards the raging battles or tank convoys, but towns with actual people walking around and appearing to be doing things would make cities feel so much more dynamic and alive.
-More ambient sounds in general. More sounds are always pretty.
-More ambient sounds when in vehicles. I listened to the Speed of Sound mod on the WIP forums a few days ago and even said there that I was impressed by the changes. The car sounds added more things like hearing stones ping off of the side of a car as you drive along, or the suspension occasionally squeaking, and it makes the car seem so much more.. real.
I appreciate the read, and will update this post if required. I appreciate that all of these features would be low priority when compared to the implementation of things that actually affect gameplay, but as said above, they would add greatly to the feel of the maps and pull them out of the sterile feeling they can often gain.