2014-02-01_00022It’s been a month since our split. Things are going strong, we have our own Teamspeak again and we are playing Arma, casually, near nightly. It’s been a few weeks since we’ve had a serious “Operation”, and we are wanting to change that.

The last Op we did saw us on Altis, running from OpFor, and establishing our new base. While I’ll get to the Mods we’ve adopted further down this post, one of them allows us access to the maps from Arma2. I look forward to this as a Storyteller as it allows us a chance to jump back into the role of NATO and tell “Flashback” stories. Missions from before the time we were defeated at Sofia, and disowned by NATO.

On a personal note, this time next week, I will have a new rig. This is pertinent as I’d like to see more of us recording our play-sessions. This is not a guilt trip; if you can’t do it, that’s fine. But, if have the hardware to handle it, we’d like for our clan to build up the footage. This would help create a sense of nostalgia as we look back on our events, as well as give outsiders a sense of who we are and how we play.

Which, in itself is a pertinent topic. I’ve been fairly active on the BIS forums as far as submitting bug features for things like MCC. I am considering putting up a want-ad there as well and beginning active recruitment. I know the concept makes folks nervous; and I empathize. Keep in mind, when we recruit we are looking for good, fun-loving, folks who can play the game and have a good time. Folks who have a sense of humor, but can be serious when they need to be. We aren’t looking for Bros who are “good” at Arma3. Hell, I’d wager many of us could stand to be “better” at the game; we want to increase our ranks, field more folks during each missions, and add them to our Gaming Family.

On Curriculum

2014-02-08_00005I also want to take a moment to talk about Curriculum. We have access to the Dslyecxi Guide, as well as veterans like Duff and McCraic. While we haven’t made it a priority, we want to make it a point to make our week-night sessions more focused. Not just about running a Mission and dying, but actually “practicing” a skill set, and measuring individual aptitude. In this way we can semi-officially offer Certifications for several different topics.

Let’s get on the same page with our terminology. When we speak of Missions, we’re talking about casual things we do during the week (things that are not SCIENCE). While there will be serious moments to these, the intended outcome is high-adrenaline, and fun with friends. Operations, which are the story-driven actives we do on the weekends, are scheduled events, and are meant to be much more serious. They will be a little harder, more challenging, and hopefully more memorable. These are patterned after Jester’s Ranger Op Videos, in that they are meant to be a challenge; and in such when we fall in for role assignment we want to consider a Player’s certs and aptitudes.

Keep in mind, that doesn’t mean you are pigeonholed into a role all the time. But as of right now, I have, in my head, folks who I know are good a certain jobs. They are going to get picked over others (during Operations) because I have a high-degree of faith that they can get those jobs done. If, in the week, someone wants to try their hand at something new, that’s the time to do it, and we can curtail a Mission, and training to the skill set they want to increase.

Mod And Scripts

2014-01-26_00002If you’re not part of our nightly play, you may not know that we use a Mission/Tool called MCC to dynamically create live Missions. We are active in testing MCC and reporting bugs and helping its creator (Shay_Gman) make it the best darn tool for mission creation there is. We want to see it succeed and become the gold-standard for Clan play.

That said, thanks to Joseph, we’ve forked it. With each build we unpack it and roll it back up with our own content. This means we get our own Squad/Team list in the lobby, Spawn points are now flags instead of invisible bubbles, and we’ve packed it with our own scripts as well.

Wounding Scripts

2014-02-08_00001We are still testing this system, but we have torn out the pre-packaged version of BTC-Revive, and are now using a wounding script known as Psycho Wounding. This is much more dynamic as you can take more hits, the hit locations matter, and when you become “severely wounded”, you fall to the ground. At that point you are out of the fight, but can writh around in pain, and even, slowly, crawl to safety. If you are bold or dumb enough you can even raise your gun and attempt to get a very-shaky revenge kill.

Friends who come to revive you can patch you up, it’s not instant and requires they risk their own neck while they watch a progress bar. They can even drag and/or carry you to safety. If they can’t get to you in time you’ll “bleed out” and be dead; at which point you need to sit at base and wait for further orders.

Our Mod Pack

We have a pack of mods we have rolled together for clan consumption as Mods add to depth of what we can experience in Arma3. This pack is lightweight and mostly includes the thing you’ll need to play with us. A few of them are large enough that we don’t want to try and maintain them as part of our pack. We’ll mention those below, give you links, and also talk about the mods that are in the pack.

You can get our pack HERE.

Task Force Radio

2014-02-09_00003If we could have no other mod, this is the one we’d keep. This mod ties into Teamspeak (the tool we use on a daily basis to keep in touch with our clan even when we aren’t playing Arma).

When the plugin is activated and you’re in Arma, it adds radio functionality to the game, as well as proximity based voice chat. You can walk up on a fire team and hear them talking amongst themselves. If you have the same radio as them and know what channel they’re on you can hail them over a distance of 2 clicks. The mod also adds long-range radio packs. Like the smaller radios, these all share an encryption key (per military). The long range radios allow Fire-team leaders, to talk to each-other. Vehicles of the specific factions are automatically mounted with these long range radios as well.

Over all this one mod adds a layer of communications-discipline we simply didn’t have before, as well as making the game feel more authentic and immersive.

TMR

2014-02-01_00016You can check out TMR HERE, though, because if its size, we’ve rolled it into our pack. TMR adds lots of little features that make the game just a little more “real”. The most basic function we use constantly is the ability to rest your weapons on ledges or the ground to lock it down and make it more stable.


STHUD

2014-02-01_00019The ShackTacticalHud is the developed by the same experts that created the Tactical Guide we mentioned above. This allows you access to a compass on your hud that also shows you how close you are to those Players that are in your Fire-Team. It also allows for color-coordination of buddy-teams, and shows you if you are too bunched up. Lastly, it coincidentally works well with Task Force Radio, as the rings correspond to the different voice levels you can choose: whispering, normal, or yelling.

You can get it HERE, but it’s also part of our Mod Pack.

A3MP

This mod is required to play on our servers; and is largest mod we’ve adopted (clocking in at about 5gigs). This pack has a severely inclusive licence, granted by Bohemia, and allows us to play on the beautiful Arma2 maps in Arma3. You can check out more about it HERE. Because this mod is so large, we don’t include it in our pack. Here are a few screenshots we’ve taken during play on these maps.

F18

1We’ve tested this locally during some Missions and are really loving the F18. We are going to adopt this as it is a much better plane than the default the AAF start with, and gives NATO their own plane. The same mod-maker makes a slightly different plane for CSAT, and we may adopt it in time as well. If nothing else, even stripped of all weapons, it is a much more stable and versatile reconnaissance platform than the unsteady camera mounted on the vanilla UAV.

As of this writing, this mod is not currently in our pack, but we are going to be rolling it in soon. You can get it HERE.

NATO/Spetznas Weapon Pack

Were still on the fence on whether we’re going to keep this one, and it’s just large enough that we won’t be rolling it into our Modpack. It does, however, feature a metric butt-ton of new weapons based on their real-world counterparts. We find these weapons also have a slightly better damage output. While some of us think they might be cheating; others want us to have any edge was can against the terminators that are the AI. You can get this pack HERE.

Closing Thanks

2014-02-01_00017I want to extend a huge thanks to those of you who give use hours of your life to come and play with us. I also want to thank those of you who see a value in the fun we provide by hitting that gold button on this site and donating, your contributions allow us to keep the lights on and keep fighting month-to-month.

Joseph also deserves a public and personal thank you. He works hard to maintain our modpacks, our forked version of MCC, and rewrite other scripter’s sloppy code so we can have a stable platform to support our play. The past few days have been difficult on our play as some things just have not worked right. Rest assured when they work, it’ll be because Joseph took the time to make them work. Thank you.

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