Wednesday, April 17, 2013

ArmA 3 (alpha) AI control

Arma 3 is a complicated game, and this is one of those things that's not explained very well in the game itself. Well, it's still in alpha, so that's no surprise. Nevertheless, this video could be a big help to any newbies out there (like me).

I included links to other videos in my first post about this game, and I'll probably continue to do so. But this particular video will explain how to order the AI soldiers around. That's pretty much critical if you want to play single-player missions in the game - or even co-op missions without enough people to fill every slot.

It's funny, but I'd intended to play just single-player missions in the game, since my limited experience with multiplayer games hasn't been particularly rewarding. But Arma 3 is changing my mind.

Oh, if you just try a public server at random, that's different. You're likely to end up in a heavily modded game (like the ubiquitous Wasteland games, which are very popular with some players) or just get a group of strangers who have no interest in working together.

And this is a military simulation. You need players who'll follow orders, who'll use teamwork, who'll understand that everyone has a particular part to play. If you don't have friends who play games like this, then join one of the many Arma 3 communities. They're all different, so you're almost certain to find some groups that want to play the way you do, too.

And I'm telling you, that makes a huge difference. I've been playing a little bit with a European group, Comrades in Arms. Their thing is that they don't allow respawning. When you're killed, you're out of the game. They think it makes players more cautious and that it makes the experience a bigger thrill. They might be right, though I'm not sure they've entirely convinced me.

Nevertheless, the few times I've played with them (just twice, so far), it's been a lot of fun. If you get the right group, co-op play is really something. I still play single-player missions, but that's mostly for training. (I really am bad at this stuff.) If I keep playing, it's almost certainly going to be because of the co-op multiplayer games.

Still, this video has been very useful to me. Frankly, it's hard to learn all this stuff, and it's even harder to remember it. And it's hardest of all - nearly impossible, in my case - to remember it in the heat of battle, when you're under fire and you need to give orders quickly, before you all end up dead!

Note at the end of the video where he demonstrates Voice Activated Commands. (Watch him use that in a mission here.) If I were going to play a lot of single-player Arma 3, I'd definitely look into getting that software! In fact, I can see where it would be useful in other games, too.

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