BEFORE READING: This letter is going to sound very critical. It is. I love Arma and BIS is a great dev team. Please just try to focus on what I'm trying to say here.
So this is something that I really feel strongly about. Arma 3 has become such a different game than it has in its roots. The feeling of immersion and scale has totally been taken away. I have compiled a list of things contributing to this.
Don't tell me to use mods. That's not the point. Before I start, I just want to say I appreciate all the hard work the BIS devs have gone through to make the new engine, improve performance, and everything. I just have suggestions on how they could improve some of the story, gameplay, and content elements in the next addition to the title.
- Altis isn't alive. There are no ambient modules, female citizens, etc. The military somehow affords top-notch equipment and remains a country with a population under 30,000. What happened to the feel from Arma 2? Chernarus was a similar sized nation and CDF equipment was enough to suffice, but was quite low-grade. I enjoyed this so much, having a national military for the US to work alongside but have a reason for presence. Heck, the AAF could easily defend the country without NATO. It has MRAPs, UAVs, SDVs and diver teams, etc. It would make more sense if it was part of Greece, but I understand why the devs don't want to go there. In the next DLC, let's see the national military with less high-grade equipment.
- The equipment is all fake. This is a big one. I just can't relate to a military with completely different equipment than today. If I am driving around in my M-ATV, I want it to be called that. If I am using an M1911 I want it to be called that, not some ACP bullshit (pardon my Czech haha). I want to have M4s, the M16 just fell out of standard issue status not too long ago and was developed in the 50's. The M4 would easily be in service in 2035. Again, DLC. God, it breaks immersion SO much. It's the same with Iran being represented as some call-of-duty like new world order organization. It's just not believable. I'm sorry, but the original uniforms shown in E3 with the Iran flag on them and everything were AMAZING! They were so cool and made me want to play the game so much more. The hexagons for CSAT are so overdone. They're on vehicles, camo, people's shoulder insignias, even replacing stars on officer uniforms. Again, it just breaks the immersion. Please come up with a more believable enemy next time or make some changes to the current one. I was looking forward to having Iran so much, and it turned out to be some superpower enemy that didn't even make sense. Russia in Arma 2 was a superpower but was at least believable. I know Iran banned A3 because of its inclusion in the game, but remember this: Battlefield 3 was a much more well-known game and they still included Iran, as Iran in the game. BF3 was banned in Iran too. Even set part of it takes place in its freaking capitol. The whole "Arma is a fantasy universe" theme just kills the fun, immersion, and relatability to the game. Again, I still respect the hard work of the developers, and the game is amazing. Just could be improved a lot.
- Change the sprint animation. Make it look more like running at high speed so I don't want to use it all the time. In A2 I refrained from using it for all movement because it was harder to use (in a good way), and the new one just feels too smooth. The animations feel too perfect in general, they seem like special forces animations. Look at real videos of soldiers. They aren't so perfect.
We also need a new walking animation, or replacement. PLEASE change this, I just can't stand how EVERY PERSON WITH A GUN has to use the sling and hold their rifle with one hand. It just breaks immersion like crazy. The grenade throwing is too fast. Don't assign it a hotkey, that's too much like the BF series or CoD. I, for one, enjoyed them being a separate weapon slot and not some go-to thing you press when you're just messing around. Grenades need to be recognized as their own weapon. :)
- If they're going to be in the game, the MX rifles need work. If they don't change, at least give us a lower-caliber carbine (like the M4) to use. They have too great of recoil, and just feel all around clunky. I like the new black ones though!
- Don't worry so much about making every single vehicle unique. We all loved having multiple variations of the UAZ, T-series tank, different offroads and technicals, random variations of weapons, and such. When the new AAF vehicles were released it just kind of broke the immersion, because somehow they're using US and BAF technology now and the US and BAF guys have no access to it whatsoever. Hmmm. Please think about this one.
- Why in the MF'ing heck don't the Altians speak Greek?? I appreciate you guys doing your own voice acting for some parts, but it creates one of the least believable factions out there. Maybe when working with blufor, the guerillas could, but definitely not the civilians and AAF. Can't stress this enough. Make the situation believable.
- Give us an insurgent faction (or two). You guys did so good in making A2's insurgents and guerrillas feel believable. They had variations of hunting camo, ski masks, old rusty trucks, old tanks, stolen military assets, the list goes on. BRING THAT BACK. I don't want my guerrilla faction using an advanced Tavor rifle for every soldier. Maybe a variant like the Dragon from the OA guerrillas, but let the FIA and whatever DLC faction arises use AKs. YES they still would be in use. YES YES YES. Not every item in use today will be outdated in 2035. We don't need every technology to be NEW. And the ones that aren't (again), rename them to be what they are in real life. It would make me love the game so much more and attract so many more people if they could feel like the world they were in was REAL.
- The distant gunfire sounds still sound exactly like the normal ones, just quieter. This one really bugs me. It makes battles just sound like a bunch of people spamming the same sound effect over and over and over and over, till it just becomes meaningless noise. I love how the ambient gunfire sounds in the campaign. Make those noises appear in the game, not just as an ambient sound, but as the sound you hear when a gunshot goes off far away.
- Give us a light infantry vehicle. Whether it be something like a HMMWV or a military style Polaris Ranger UTV type vehicle. We need one. For special forces,for everything. RCWS just makes MRAPs feel like APCs or tanks. Let's get some real turrets.
- Give us some variations on mounted weapons, not all the same. Or else, why have variants for each faction if they are all exactly the same?
- Give us variants of grenades for each faction.
- Give us some cool "extra" unique weapons like in operation arrowhead. We had freaking gold AK's and revolvers and Sa-51's and it was so cool!!!
- Give us some extra gear options to work with in the editor. Make models for the sage and woodland US uniforms, bandanna masks, etc.
- Why not make CTRG(BAF) a faction in the game? Not just story units? The UK community would love this so much! The content is in the game, even in the config, just not in the units in the editor.
- Make glass break on vehicles
- I mentioned sounds earlier, but they need a complete overhaul. Pistols sound like pea shooters, many guns don't resonate through the hills, and soldiers don't scream at each other while fighting. Now that would be cool, replace some of the nonsense radio chatter with some recordings of thing like. "GET ON THE FUCKING MG" instead of "4, enter that static weapon." If they're taking fire and looking for the source, make the unit say "WHERE THE F*CK IS THAT COMING FROM?", or when someone is hit, say "AAH SH*T I AM F*CKING HIT!" (had to censor those) instead of "Injured." My god, that would make the game INTENSE! And amazing. Same with the Persians and the Altians (but make them Greek :D )
- Let us talk to people like in Arma 2, where we could ask people what had happened, the weather, etc. It would make the game a heck of a lot more immersive.
- The attachment system is so cool, but there should be an editor module to make it more realistic, or even restrict it. It would make missions less about "okay let's try on every little piece of gear and attachment we find" and more about what the mission is.
- If possible, the ragdoll system needs work. It seems like there's no variation in how a soldier falls down when shot, and it always looks unrealistic. They always drop their gun, head goes down, and they fall on their butt and then to their back, knees in the air. Arma 2 had some realistic death animations, maybe random ragdoll velocity could fix that.
- Overall, Arma has also, in a way, become too serious. In arma 2 there were these cool Musical scores that would play while in the armory (which no longer exists), there was a bunch of extra vehicles and content, and even if some wasn't all the way working, my friends and I all agree that it was so great to have so many things to play with and make missions with. It even made the developers feel closer when you could see the rusty parts, as long as they didn't infringe on the game.
- Please add the M1A1 and T-90. T-72 for guerillas with the UAZ and AK's. Add the Iranian clone of the AK as well. Add an aircraft carrier off the coast of Altis or Stratis. Add more vehicles, PLEASE. Even just retextures of current ones. Don't isolate them to one faction each.
- For the environment in A3's equivalent for Operation Arrowhead, please do either a desert or a forest type scenario like Chernarus was. Let us see weather effects. Seasonal snow depending on the date in the editor, even if it's just changing the tree, roof, and ground textures. That would be SOOOO amazing. Immersion again.
- I was so excited before beta came out to get the Greek Army. They look so cool and are one of the coolest militaries in the world (redundant?). Any way you could bring them back? It's just that the AAF is made up of these traitor jerks who speak English. ENGLISH. For some reason and it's not even their language. Even if it is just a faction that represents Greece's Army, please make it available. Or make the red berets work from the editor so I can at least pretend. Pretty please??
If you guys have more ideas PLEASE don't hesitate to give them. Again, great work Bohemia, but I think you're losing sight of some of the key aspects of Arma. I find it hard to play the game today because of these issues. Don't get me wrong, we love you, Bohemia. You have introduced an AMAZING series to us and are one of the coolest dev teams ever. Just please bring Arma back to its roots. Where it belongs. Let us feel immersed in this future conflict that is not so far off from today.