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Make A3 engine backwards compatibility to A2/OA content a top priority post release.
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  1. People love to use A2/OA content, BI and community made, in the A3 engine.
  2. Adds a lot more content to A3.
  3. Makes porting A2/OA content to A3 a lot easier.
  4. A2/OA content should generally work out-of-the-box at a basic level as the author may no longer be in the community, unreasonable to see huge effort to happen to adjust stuff to new A3 tech, it is good design not to break backwards compatibility.
  5. Makes AiA really usable and enjoyable.
  6. Some people don't like the A3 futuristic setting or theme of Stratis/Altis.
  7. Marek and Joris gave their support in the past. See also:

Note: Content means missions, campaigns, addons and MODs.


  • This it NOT about bringing A2/OA BI content to A3 standards!!!
  • This is SOLELY about A3 engine fixes!!!
  • These engine fixes would have NO negative impact on A3 itself or A3 content!
  • Breaking compatibility is NOT required:
    • A3 already has new simulation classes for PhysX units.
    • In configs either new parameters can be introduced or additional values to arrays added.
    • In scripting either new commands introduced or additional parameters added.
  • It does NOT hamper progress - for many cases it is simply impossible to upgrade old content (no permission, no author, too much effort).
  • This is NOT about better ways to integrate or upgrade A2/OA content.
  • The work for BI would be limited to the few remaining issues list below:


Legacy ID
Additional Information

List of prios in #15587

Event Timeline

There are a very large number of changes, so older changes are hidden. Show Older Changes

Maybe it's a little too much to ask now. A lot of features are wished and the game will be released in a few time. Better to enhance A3 first!

I'm not against but the priority is A3 will lot of features wanted by the community. I didn't vote yet.

plutoto74 the idea of the ticket is to express the players interest to see this becoming a priority. Not more, not less.

Given the limited launch content and lack of modding tools, as well as all the other arguments mentioned in the ticket, it is fair to express this.

If you disagree, you simply don't vote for it.

I voted for it. Though personally I'd like to see a simpler way to add mods to the game. Not to say, making them, but USING them. Anyone remember umods from UT? Just plug in and you're good. As it is now, if you want to say, use an F16 (or in ArmA3 an A10.....sigh, stupid future crap), you have to make the mod folder, then decompress an existing map, edit some files to include the mod and the mods options (different weapon loadouts etc), then recompile it. I may not have that all right but it's how I understand it to work. To me this seems NOT to be intuitive and NOT user friendly. We're wanting new people in the game as well. Making it user friendly would help a lot IMO so that you could use a mod on any map? Maybe a way to include all the old favorites? I'm sure it'd be a daunting programing nightmare but it'd be great to have IMO.

I agree with you but I repeat I didn't vote yet. There's a lot of work for BIS to do it, RV3 vs RV4, and I prefer now that they spend more time on the features and content in A3. A3 is futuristic but I prefer OFP than A2 OA, not for the tech, but for the beast it was, but same thing too much ( and more; RV1 vs RV4 ) difficult ( I imagine how OFP can be good in RV4 ). There's PhysX now and it's not the same work, with the dynamic light same problem. I repeat that I'm not against, but A3 is the new game with a new engine so it's better that they do the work for it, so it's a low priority.

ceeeb added a comment.Aug 12 2013, 2:08 PM

Unfortunately, breaking compatibility with old art assets is part of making changes and improvements to the engine.

kju, how do you see full backwards compatibility being achieved?

Possible methods:

  • Provide a special A2OA "compatibility mode" within the A3 engine, duplicating parts of the engine code to provide support for pre and post A3 (BI always seem to be short of coders, performance may suffer, may not be able to mix content, no financial incentive)
  • BI release modifiable versions of A2OA content and licence allowing the community to upgrade and release it for free (large project, possible financial disincentive unless produced mod is reliant on original A2OA installation)
  • BI update A2OA art assets to work within the new engine, then sell a content DLC (hopefully cheaper to A2OA owners)

To me the last seems the most likely. While I would be very happy to pay for updated versions of the A2OA content, I think it would be seen as a financially risky project to try to resell content.

@ plutoto74
AllInArma already does provide A2/OA content integration already for the most part.
What is mostly missing is a few remaining engine issues listed above. That's all there is to it.

In regards to OFP - doing this would also make CWR2 available within A3.

@ ceeeb
Sorry to say but your first argument is generic and does not apply at all for A3.
As per comment to plutoto74, this ticket already listed all remaining important issues and the effort to solve them is very limited.

Backwards compatibility does NOT mean nor relate to upgrade A2/OA content to A3 standards! It is simply about being able to use it without (much adjustment) but have it basically working. Upgrading A2/OA BI content is a completely different topic.

Fixing the above mentioned issues does not bring negative performance impacts, nor do they require a lot of effort.


Love arma don't like future warfare designs and practice in game
This way I get to play and support arma and play the the game I want to play

I'm highly in favour of this task. A lot of community interest resides in current technology, and ArmA2/OA assets amount to a huge resource. It will bolster game sales to have previous content available, whether that be by community effort, official porting, or even a purchase DLC IMO.

Make a bugfree AiA and release it as a paid dlc, everyone will be happy.

It's neither a feature request nor a bug, but it's worthwhile.

Please note that keeping things backward compatible hampers progress. I'd say don't stop and put on the "legacy straight jacket" but move on and break compatibility as you see fit instead. Compensate for the "loss of content" by providing proper documentation, examples and tools.

While as a general principle that might be true, in our case it is not.

Of course it means some additional work for BI, yet that is the price for backwards compatibility.

I agree that it's a compatibility issue, A3 must advance and I prefer content and features for it, A3 has to break is compatibility for enhancement. Wait a little for a stable version of AiA, A3 is not finish yet or play at A2 OA. What do you want? That devs spend there time for this compatibility, there's better thing to do for A3. No one do that for the others games, it's a new version with a new engine.

Bohemia added a subscriber: Bohemia.May 7 2016, 3:58 PM

Yus, if we remain entrenched in the past then we cannot grow very much for the future, change must take place.

Well, to rebalance the discussion, ArmA2 assets represent a huge ready-made resource that can extend the interest and lifespan of ArmA3, at relatively little cost. It's not massive amounts of work, as it already is almost compatible. As BIS is a business it might come down to a pure business decision - hopefully from my PoV.

Sorry - again what you are saying NodUnit is general talk without anything behind it. What you are saying does not apply here.

Same for you plutoto74 - make specific references to the issues listed in the ticket that are required for A3 - in fact none.
Also I am the author of AiA as you still don't seem to have realized it. If BI does not fix those compatibility issues, AiA will remain as it is - aka dead.

If you don't care about the topic, or don't want BI to spend time on it, simply don't bother with this ticket.

Yet if you do comment, please make sure there you have valid and concrete arguments to back it up.

You're wrong, this topic is interesting but I don't vote, I just comment. OK I didn't know that you were the autor of AiA, good job! The feedback tracker is for everybody pros. or cons. the subjets. Again good job for AiA because I think it's one of the most better mod and a good idea. My point of view is just that A3 is a gap in the differents engines of Arma, AiA was working but with the updates it doesn't work now. The engine handle now PhysX, dynamics lights and others new things, I think the devs have too many things to do like features and content for A3. Again I'm not against compatibility if it doesn't affect the enhancement of A3. AiA needs work after the release, but it's not possible to have all the features of A3 for A2 OA content or to remake A2 OA content at the level of RV4, too much work! So I repeat IMO it's not a high priority, the priority is the new game A3 even if I'm for more content, OK A3 is futuristic but it's like that. Continue your good job after the release to make it possible, but we need more work for A3 than to spend the time ( with a little team ) for an old game. A2 OA is already done and ready to play.

It would be easier to have a tool to convert everything rather than work on the backwards compatibility. Still Upvote++

tyl3r99 added a subscriber: tyl3r99.May 7 2016, 3:58 PM

i hope they do this, would make AiA awesomeeee

Here is the compelling reason for doing this....

"It means all the Hundreds of thousands of hours put in to building ARMA, A2, A2 OA and all their vehicles and environments is not discarded. It will live on, continue to be used continue to be relevant, continue to be improved upon and refined. Community content is brought forward, many of the original authors will redo skins and models to make use of newer features."

Think of all those hundreds of thousands of hours of work just thrown away, because we wouldn't do a few hundred hours more work to resolve the issues that KJU highlighted above, it's frankly crazy not to do it. The Sandbox is huge, the Palette is huge, why throw a huge portion of it away to just re-invent the wheel?

Honour the Coders and Gamers who went before, keep it all, make this game the Ultimate in Military Sandbox games.

It is easy to set all A2 and OA content to the level of RV4? It is possible to do this without to limit A3 in lot of differents improvements? What I have seen that with lot of updates in A3 dev build, the version when you start a saved mission are not compatible. So it is so easy to do it without to brake the development of A3? I'm really for AiA, but it is possible without a real enhencement of A3 and to continue after the release? If it's possible without all the bad issues I'm OK, but if it's too complicated, it's reduced the content or improvements or features in A3 I really doubt! A3 has to move on without restrictions...

allowing correct retro-compatibility from A2 to A3 is a must. if not it would mean that BIS accept to throw his a2 work to the bin.

Well we have AiA so that's at least some kind of work-around. I just hope that the mod makers won't get discouraged. Because I really want to see the currently available media make it to the new game in some way shape or form. To me, it doesn't feel right to play arma and NOT be in an A10 LOL.

Well, in 2035 I'm not really sure that the A10 well be in the Army, too old!

One question; it A3 too be at the level of A2 or A2 to be at the level of A3? ( I'm just talking about the engine )

half of the a3 contents is fictive. most of them will not be in use even in 2035. (canceled, final version will have lot of differences with a3 version, BIS invention...etc)

the last real military simulation was arma 2, because it was made at 100% on real content, and content is in use for real.

Arma 3 would have been a much better game if all the arma 2 content was reused in A3, with a new level of detail. (completely new retexturisation, new animations, new features.....etc)

the perfect game is the A2 vehicles and weapons with the A3 engine.

AIA is a must. without it simulation and realism is half dead. it would also kill all the work done by the ACE mod team.

BIS must garantee retrocompatibility

I would LOVE the content of ArmA 2 in ArmA 3, maybe as an expansion of the game itself :)

I voted to support this. I'm not sure if everyone who are critical about this idea really understand how much time and effort has been put into projects. One can take a quick look at i44,cwr2 or just the sea of models that has been released.

It's not at all impossible to rearrange so that these great projects can live on. As someone mentioned before, it would be a waste to just throw away the TREMENDOUS amount of work the community has done so far.

How many of these great modifications will be lost? I personally, would love to play i44 in the new engine A3 has brought us, but I doubt a lot of modders has the "Free" time to rebuild it.

The best thing for BIS is to make automated process to convert A2 content into A3, fonctions library changed etc... But textures, models made into A2 will be more difficult to changed into A3, too much work, so the models will stay the same with need functions added, a backward compatibitity I'm not really sure; directX 9.0c to directX 11 or 10, it's like Windows XP to Windows 7/8, there's backward compatibility but you can't use all the functions of the new Win... So maybe an automated converter for all that content will be the best way. Only BIS can do that cause they know well their engines, functions well. The only thing is not to limit A3, and to have original content for it, BIS needs more ressources to do that. But please keep in mind that it's a new game and a new engine will lot of new features and that it's to A2 content to be a the level of A3 and not the opposite, A3 needs to be enhenced an to continue to be. Too much work to rebuild A3 for a backward compatibility so a converter, maybe PhysX is the more difficult...

Added several clarifications in the description at the top and improved the ticket naming to be more precise.

@ plutoto74
This is NOT about content.
There can NOT be an automated process.

Please read the description again - you make way too many wrong assumptions.

Ok +1. But I hope that BIS will continue effort for A3 content and maybe a DLC with new campaigns not futuristics, I can dream...

Icchan added a subscriber: Icchan.May 7 2016, 3:58 PM

I agree that seeing backwards compatibility with Arma 2 content would be nice, but it's not a priority. Get Arma 3 fixed first, then we'll see.

It hasn't even been released yet, Lets all have some patience, these guys are working their asses off already.

gagagu added a subscriber: gagagu.May 7 2016, 3:58 PM

It would be a really great feature!!
And it would be nice to get a statement from BI about it. Thx

mikero added a subscriber: mikero.May 7 2016, 3:58 PM

there's a huge difference between revising a2 models and islands up to the standards of a3 versus the very simple and desirable outcome of being able to use existing assets at all. Q is not suggesting the former. Simply an ability to use what's there already, should you wish to, as poor as it may be (visually), on a3.

fact: a3 comes with a paucity of models and it seems that will be a permanent intention.
fact: bis want to offer more content as dlc, OR, rely on the community to do so.
fact: there's ten squillion assets already available in the various combinations of RV3 (arrowhead)

so how much rocket science is needed here folks to utilise these assets

Taking pluto's comments on board that most energy should be spent in developing a3, that doesn't mean the engine will degrade on a2 assets. Properly constructed, the engine simply operates in 'smooth mode' for a3 items and can work at one frame per second for all I care if an a2 model is involved. the principle is, simply make it backward compatible.

Taking configs as an example: it's not rocket science to ensure in the new engine that old a2 configs lacking new variables, are pre-set to default states.

so, this get's my vote for a very simple and god-help-me, obvious, need.

ChrisB added a subscriber: ChrisB.May 7 2016, 3:58 PM

Great for the series.

RN_Max added a subscriber: RN_Max.May 7 2016, 3:58 PM
RN_Max added a comment.Oct 2 2013, 7:11 PM

Whilst not disagreeing with backwards compatibility for ArmA 2 series content, BIS have what they believe to be priorities and reasons best suited to their ArmA 3 roadmap.

Release of the ArmA 2 content library to the community has been announced, so in part at least, perhaps it is more a matter of patience than voting for stopgap fixes in the hope of bumping it up the priority list.

In particular, as marvellous an achievement that AiA has been, I for one really don't want to keep the ArmA 2 series installed indefinitely and have to load it all up every time a certain mod calls for ArmA 2 content.

I'd prefer to pay for an expansion with all ArmA 2 content, rather than have to load the old one with AiA.

seany added a subscriber: seany.May 7 2016, 3:58 PM
seany added a comment.Oct 3 2013, 6:48 PM

No need to be priority, I want to see the existing arma3 content improved as a priority. I have played Arma2's content to death.

Would it be nice? Yes, when Arma3's content is finished.

seany this is about engine issues, not about content.

BadVideogame said "I'd prefer to pay for an expansion with all ArmA 2 content, rather than have to load the old one with AiA."

why people already owning a2 should pay again for the exact same content ? that's a non sense.

personnaly i think the A3 contents has very poor interest i had much more fun with a2 contents, using real stuffs.

May I ask, if this happens, what will happen with the people who don't own Arma 2/OA?

Will they have to buy it to play Arma 3?

CO lite for A3 is my proposal. You can read more here:

B00tsy added a comment.Oct 4 2013, 9:23 PM

"why people already owning a2 should pay again for the exact same content ? that's a non sense."

It is hardly the same, it will be upgraded A2 content. It is probably a lot of work to port everything over to A3 without any bugs and glitches. I would be happy to pay some money to have properly working A2 content in A3.

I am very much for integrating ArmA 2 into ArmA 3. Instead of having seperate versions it should be one big ArmA universe with all content on the latest A3 engine. I would be happy to pay for that.

hladas added a subscriber: hladas.May 7 2016, 3:58 PM

Backwards compatibility with Arma 2 content in not possible.
We need to change/improve data and how engine handles them. Keeping several branches of code how to work with different version of data is impossible to maintain.

AJAX added a subscriber: AJAX.May 7 2016, 3:58 PM
AJAX added a comment.Oct 22 2013, 10:05 PM

You're awesome kju! Vote up! I love what your doing and give you a big thanks for all you have done for the Arma community. I've been playing with your stuff for years.... hehe, that sounded dirty... Hopefully BIS will come around and see the light. Cheers to you and all the other talented, giving, folks who put there free time in for so many to enjoy.

@hladas Couldn't you have some community members modify the Arma 2 content for Arma 3 under the direction of a single developer or have a developer reviewed the content before releasing it?

You guys could easily have many slaves/community members that would do things for you and/or help you. This is practically unheard of in other games, but then again Arma is not like other games. It is a unique gem with unique problems and unique solutions.

Well, they will release the Arma 2 MLODs which will be ported to Arma 3 by the community.

@ hladas

This is NOT about content as mentioned very clearly in the first post..

Marek decided to release the A2/OA source models to the community, so that they will handle the needed content updates.
BI needs to fix the few remaining engine issues and provide the necessary documentation. That's all there is to it.

Honzyfr added a subscriber: Honzyfr.May 7 2016, 3:58 PM

I think BI should take a model of a weapon without any attachments and make it compatilble with A3 weapon system.And Hi-res textures and model improvements,of course.

But: If A3 is situated on year 2035, the A2 weapons will be outdated. Then more weapons for AAF.

Again these comments seem to revolve around whether or not A2 content is important or if you rather want to buy the existing assets as an DLC.

What Kju is talking about concerning AiA is so much more than simple assets and he is fighting for this ticket because he can see how relatively little is keeping it from being realized.

What about making a video, Kju? To explain it all. Hell if Dslyecxi could make one it would help gaining momentum, if not just creating overview.

Ltluis added a subscriber: Ltluis.May 7 2016, 3:58 PM
Ltluis added a comment.Nov 7 2013, 5:47 PM

I like It and i created one you can see
ID: 0013714


Viper added a subscriber: Viper.May 7 2016, 3:58 PM
Viper added a comment.Dec 4 2013, 1:56 AM

I like A2 content and missions rather than futuristic and not believable content of A3. I would prefer to fly Mi-28 and Ka-50 instead of mix of those two helicopters in A3. Developers have already brought KAMAZ truck with renaming it to ZAMAK. I don't care if they bring T-90 with renaming it to T-900.

AD2001 added a comment.Dec 4 2013, 1:24 PM

Yeah, the Merkavas, M-ATVs, HEMTTs, Ka-60s, etc. are so unrealistic and aren't used at all today...

Gday All

Just posted on the steam forums hope it helps

Can't wait until AiA is 100% I miss the good old stuff.

I also prefer the timesetting from arma II I dont mind the new content but it just dont feel right. I would love to have the old content in the game. Even if that would mean to buy an DLC

Krycek added a subscriber: Krycek.May 7 2016, 3:58 PM

Fully agree with this,I also hope ToH content will get attention too.There is some neat content in there that most won't use it in that game.The flight model will probably be introduced in A3 but I'm talking about quite a nice selection of vehicles that are in that game like firetruck,ambulance,cop car,more diverse civ vehicles(pickups,Suvs etc) and even some nice units like the Swat ones and civvies.

mikero added a comment.Jul 2 2014, 9:16 AM

well everytime we diy, bis come along and move their own goalposts, breaking half their stuff and destroying ours. After a decade there should be a library of one squillion assets to this game, and a billion playable missions Instead, all the assets/missions of ofp are gone, all the assets/missions of arma2 are gone. So we end up in the same old cycle of 'upgrading' what we can in order to use them.

It doesn't matter that these early assets are of poorer quality, they are assets. Which, by choice, not force, can be improved if wanted. Otherwise a soccerball is a soccerball is a soccerball. And that asset is a storyline used in many missions, so it's visual quality isn't anywhere near it's value as an asset to a gold plated mission.

Abandoned Armies for ofp was so good, people would have paid $30 for the CD simply to have it. Ditto snakeman's astonishing 250+ pmc fury campaign. Weeks of playtime in either one, which, could have brought in the money for bis on every engine revision. no matter what, because people would have paid to simply play those missions on an 'improved' engine. Bis have never heard of either of them, and have never had the slightest interest in their users. Kegetys who?.

And the authors of those missions would have upgraded them accordingly instead of throwing their hands in the air in despair that all their months of work were for nothing.

Ask any author of any island who has spent six months developing it what (s)he thinks of 'new' engines. And the 100 + missions developed for it that are now no longer playable.

Instead we get this company inventing 'play on mars' and arma3 in the desperate hope that new is the magic formula, wiping out it's current player base in doing so, and never ever realising the magic formula was there from the beginning.

By great good fortune, Bis didn't touch Resistance for five years, and in not doing so developed a fan base and army of mission makers and developers to the game. Contrast that, with now, and their persistent errors and ignorance of their own engine.

Koala added a subscriber: Koala.May 7 2016, 3:58 PM

Duplicate of #0027022

I would say try out CUP its kind of what this ticket represents. Weapons Units and even a further improved AiA Terrai pack. Isnt that what you want?

AJAX added a comment.Dec 15 2015, 5:48 PM

"I would say try out CUP its kind of what this ticket represents. Weapons Units and even a further improved AiA Terrai pack. Isnt that what you want?"
I don't think you realize the author of this issue is also one of the authors and creators of the cups mod that you speak of. I think he has heard of it... He's trying to make it better... all he needs is a little more support from us community to show B.I. how important some of these simple tasks are that they can do to make all of the content from our previous games be playable in the new engine with little to no effort and constant fixing of broken pieces

dedmen added a subscriber: dedmen.Sep 13 2017, 3:05 PM

post release phase has long passed. This should be closed.

dedmen closed this task as Resolved.Sep 17 2020, 12:51 AM
dedmen claimed this task.

non PX simulations are still broken

This comment was removed by Dwarden.
This comment was removed by Dwarden.