Addons Stagnation

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Addons Stagnation

Post by Vonhye »

Recently I didn't have much free time to play on Wednesdays and Saturdays, so when I could, joined guys from another community on their game night on Fridays and I realised one thing: Our addon set is stagnating. I played with them three times during two months so far and every time, their addon set (especially islands) was a bit different and which is also important, their total number of addons (especially islands, units-wise the biggest the biggest additon is CUP and 3CB British units) they are using is higher. I think it greatly increases fun for both players, who get to experience different things every game night, and mission makers, because it seems we have shortage of new missions (even my old missions are getting played again, which means something is wrong). I can't speak for rest of mission makers, but I feel that there is finite number of ideas you can put into existence on every map, and once you have done it, there is not much incentive to make new missions, because you don't want to repeat yourself over and over again. For example, I have been thinking about remaking ArmA1 campaign missions in Arma3, for what we need Sahrani island. There is also plenty of smaller interesting terrains, like Pulau (heavy jungle islands) or Summa (Karelia), which would let us experience something different. Also, there are some A2 maps (Which look bit dated, but nothing terrible) that would be nice, like Lingor/Dingor etc...I think we are also lacking different uniforms, and there is plenty of addons we could use, like DHI uniforms (I put will put this addon also into addons suggestion thread).

I realise that increasing size of our addon pack would bring us certain problems: People would need to download more data (don't know how much traffic our hosting allows), it might be problematic to configure addons to work together properly etc, however, I think that refreshing our addon pack (especially island-wise) is necessary. Because when was the last time we got our hands on new stuff? Two months?
Last edited by Eagle-Eye on Thu Jan 31, 2019 7:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Addons Stagnation

Post by Eagle-Eye »

Personally, I’m not a big fan of ever-changing mod sets. You’re right in saying that having something new to play with keeps things fresh, but 3 noticeable changes over the course of 2 months seems a bit much to me, especially if it’s not just a complete revision of the mod set.
Before I came here, I played in a community that did that, injecting nearly every last shiny new thing or player request, and their modded server died out completely because a majority of the players just couldn’t be bothered anymore with the constant updating, size of the mod pack, lack of content consistency, no missions using all the new stuff when it came out etc.

Why I like what we have right now... (my opinion, not an admin POV)
First of all, unless you want to have a mod pack of a ginormous size, adding mod X means you have to remove mod Y, and you destroy compatibility with all the missions that were made using mod Y. As you said yourself, your old missions are being played again these days, which wouldn’t be possible if we had (frequently) changed the mods since you created them.
As a mission maker, I’d probably feel less inclined to make missions if there is a chance that they may / will be obsolete and removed in just a few weeks, maybe even before some have been played, than when I know it will be available for several months or even years to come. New or inexperienced mission makers that need a bit of extra time and effort may even see the mod pack change before they had a chance to release the mission they’ve been working on for several weeks. Could have quite the demotivating effect, IMO.

Secondly, there’s also quite a logistical chain to consider. Initially, there’s the suggestion of mod X (which happens from time to time in the addon suggestion thread), then testing and approving it, setting up the server, making sure everyone knows there’s a new mod, preferably some time before the gamenight starts (so they can download and set it up, without causing delays), ...

Thirdly, you need to inform mission makers about upcoming changes long before the new mod pack is actually available, so they can make missions that are ready when mod X is uploaded. As I’m sure you know, thinking of a proper scenario and making the mission takes quite some time, so for that to work, I assume we’re probably looking at a similar timeline of our current special events, which takes weeks or months to prepare, and we would be doing that on a (bi-)weekly/monthly basis.

Long story short, personally, I’m on the opposite end of the balance, as I’m quite happy with the long-term consistency we have. There is an open space for suggestions and adjustments, which AFAIK is always considered fairly before a decision is made, and for those who want something entirely new for a change, we have the special events.
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Re: Addons Stagnation

Post by [Ben] »

I have many feelings on this subject, but i will try to keep my points brief.

Overall i don't completely disagree with you Vonhye, it's always been a tricky balance to try and strike even in the days before i took over addon management i know for Tom it wasn't easy.

- The idea of some kind of "Map Rotation" has been brought up before, and there are some for it, and some against it. As a mission maker, i would personally find it irritating, making a mission for Podagorsk for example, for it to maybe played once or twice in a three month period and then the map is gone, could be gone for 3 months, 6 months, a year? Not entirely predictable to say when it would come back in depending on how many maps there are in the "rotation queue". By the time it does come in, it is more than likely the mission will not be able to be played again straight away, either base game updates or addon changes will facilitate maintenance by a mission maker, for it to be maybe played once again before the map is rotated off again.

I myself am not entirely happy with the Terrains currently in the pack, and due to being a Terrain maker myself i do acknowledge that i have a tendency to set the bar for what is a "quality and acceptable" terrain a bit too high sometimes possible. In regards to suggestions of things like Pulau and Summa, smaller maps like this have been in the pack before, smaller maps that lend themselves to particular styles of gameplay as appose to a broad spectrum of mission types. Unfortunately the trend has been that they only get a small handful of missions made on them and are barely touched. Then i get complaints from people saying "why have we got these tiny maps that never get used instead of *insert X terrain here*".

In the interest of transparency, i usually look for maps every two months or so. I am obviously an author of a terrain that we have, and a member of the CUP team so i have a reasonable information network when it comes to the ArmA Mod scene, particularly in terrains. So more often then not when some new map gets announced or released seemingly out of nowhere and people start whispering about it excitedly, i usually already have an idea if it will be suitable or not.

An unfortunate reality of where ArmA modding is right now, is that the ratio of new modders to "completed" modders, is more and more heavily weighting towards the new modders, who come in here thinking it takes two minutes to make a map and then give up after about a week. Most of the notable maps to have been release within the last year usually come from the same list of reliable authors. As it stands there are not a huge amount of new terrains being finished.

- The size of the addons concerns me less than it used to, given that we are cruising steadily towards ArmA 3's EOL phase most of the ArmA community in general are expecting servers to be modded and know that the two most common RHS and CUP are not small mods. However that being said, i'm not a huge fan of adding something that takes up space that doesn't at least attempt to fill a purpose. There is however data restrictions to be considered due to our hosting at the co-lo but unless we run into an issue of things like CUP and RHS updating at the same time we rarely run into issues there.

- With regards to mission makers not putting forward content, there are some in the community that have the opinion that we are VERY spoiled when it comes to new missions. There are large communities that get a new mission to play once every few weeks, as appose to us whom usually get at least a new mission a week. Personally i think we have a lot of good missions in our "archive" so to speak. Within the last two months new missions have certainly been less frequent, and it has felt like we have been playing the same old missions to death but i think this is more an issue of inconsistent numbers on the server due to the holidays and such than it is with bored mission makers. We have a lot of missions that we have not replayed in many months due to not having the above 30 player mark regularly recently.

To conclude, i will endeavor to address the current terrain situation we are in. Possibly get something from Icebreaker in if i find it appropriate, (maybe lower my bar of expectations a little bit). Also try and look for content that allows us to do more flexible scenarios beyond US and Russian stuff, like the DHI kit you brought up. As Eagle said though, if something more radical is desired then a special event is probably the way to go with it, such as WW2 or Vietnam. Doesn't have to be anything super large either, if someone wants to run a minor event using the 3CB suite to see what it's like then something like that could work too.

You couldn't script your way out of a cardboard box.
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