OK - I'm actually filing a complaint!

I really hate to do it. Usually there are good reasons why things are done the way they are - and I appreciate the work that goes into to keeping these servers running. But in the last few days it seems that something has changed. Basically I’m getting my butt kicked on every server I play on! And the reason is pretty simple: The numbers of AI opponents are simply overwhelming! They are heavily peppered all over the AO’s, and no matter where you spawn in you will quickly be overrun - much of the time before you can even get on the ground and into some cover. Even if I spawn well outside the AO the AI will suddenly appear - often even further out than I am, and I am quickly outgunned. Most of the time I don’t even get a chance to locate who is shooting before I am knocked out. Woe be it if you happen to be lucky enough to get in a couple of good blows. Every AI element on the ground and in the air will be on you in a very short time! Just today on Malden there were at least a dozen armor units visible in the main AO.

One one hand I appreciate the challenge. On the other, play now seems to feel like I have been dropped into some kind of fast-twitch overwhelming FPS fantasy shooter where I know I will quickly be wiped out - the game just seems to be about how many kills I can score before I’M gone! Sorry gentlemen…but all sense of realism I have come to associate with ARMA has been lost. Strategy and skill now seem to be irrelevant and - well…It just ain’t no fun no more! Perhaps this is a new strategy to persuade players to work as groups? (Though I doubt it would make a lot of difference against these odds). Maybe someone new is crafting the missions of late and doesn’t have a good sense of how to get balanced play. Whatever - ARMA quickly deteriorates into a fantasy shooter when certain parameters are exceeded. Hasn’t anyone noticed that most of the time there is just a handful of players on Malden and Tanoa? I am often just alone. I even suspect that some of the players have left the servers recently because it’s just too hard and frustrating. Kick me if I’m out of line here.

As far as Altis and Malden are concerned the code that runs the missions is basically the same, and the code really is not optimized for players to be playing by themselves. The servers are built to be co-op servers so the amount and difficulty of the AI are based on that fact. We are working on a new Tanoa version that will balance the AI to the number of players, this is not really practical for Altis and Malden (same code) as it will have an effect on FPS. the new server also heavily encourages players to play the role they have selected, and work together. Even with all these changes, the server is still designed to be co-op, playing by yourself is not what these missions are designed for.

You are welcome to try the new version of Tanoa (which I have seen that you have) but it looks like you might not have given the mission enough time to load. The new mission does not have a lobby (you select your role in-game and can change anytime at the arsenal), so you do not see the mission download. Make sure to give the mission 3 - 5 minutes to load the first time. I know that the mission is very different, but if you take the time to read the information on the map screen, you will be able to figure out how and what to do.

Thanks for the info Vile. Didn’t know about the new Tanoa server - thought I was still playing the older one! I would still swear that in the last few days the odds on the two servers had greatly increased against me. The sense of being completely overwhelmed was palpable. Maybe I have just been taking the brunt of the AI reaction because I have been the only player (or one 2-3 players) and they are all just coming for ME. It also seems like more AI assets are now spawning relatively far outside the designated AO’s. I don’t really understand how much of mission design is created by admins and how much might be “canned”

Player counts seem to always be low on Tanoa - and sometimes Malden. Much of the time I feel a little guilty - like you guys are just doing all the work for me!

The AI have not changed in the last couple days, a couple of weeks ago, we removed some of the Vipers and replaced then with less difficult AI.

Try the new server ‘[NAK]NAKSQUAD.NET | NAK#3 | Quicksilver APEX | Tanoa’ and let us know what you think. Remember to give it 3 - 5 min to load the first time.

Roger that!

OK - late last night (before the cat started insisting I come to bed) I was able to fully log on to the new Tanoa server - which, frankly, I had not even been aware of - for about 30 minutes. Didn’t accomplish much after waiting for the lengthy first log-in. Mostly I just ran around the area and perused the menus, while (unsuccessfully) looking for a way to HALO to what appeared to be the active AO. I discovered the whole shebang is set up for specific role playing and squad play. I chose the autorifleman role just for grins. I assumed my loadout would be pre-defined, but at the Arsenal I seemed to be able to alter it. I didn’t explore in detail since this was just a test.

Eventually I discovered the Zombie AI friendlies lined up and labeled with their respective roles - obviously waiting to be inhabited by some players. I couldn’t discover any way to inhabit any of them or to activate them to assist in any way. It seems obvious this server is set up completely for squad play! Now the problem seems to be to figure out how to get several players together to assemble a working squad - and as far as I can tell, one of them has to inhabit the pilot role to enable the rest of us to get anywhere on the map. Either that or we all pile into a vehicle and drive there!

I got a little taste of that. Since I couldn’t figure out any other way to travel to the AO for a fire test I jumped onto a quad and started to drive there (I tried to pilot a Hummingbird but it seems you can’t do that as an Autorifleman). It was a looooong drive. Maybe half way there I came upon a recoiless rifle team inhabiting a Jeep, motionless in the middle of the road. Was this a glitch, or were they waiting to be triggered by something? I tried to get aboard as a passenger thinking that might trigger them to do something, but the gunner and driver still remained motionless. Got back onto the quad and zipped away in front of them, and that’s when I found out they were, in fact, unfriendly! I dodged their rounds and tried to get out of range. As I pulled off the road an enemy Hellcat started assaulting me! I got off the quad and headed for cover. I noticed the MG sound coming from the Hellcat was distinctly different than on the other servers, and didn’t seem to be as overwhelmingly deadly. It made me wonder if the few simple mods I had loaded (JSRS Sound Mod being one) were active on this server. I hoped so, since I would really miss Vile Aim!

At this point, though I was only half way to the AO, I began to sense that my presence had triggered to AI to hunt me down and take me out. The Heli kept hunting for me and though I threw quite a few 6.5 mm rounds at it from cover there was no indication they had any effect (I was wishing for my Navid at that point!). I tried to remount my quad and continue racing towards the AO, but I quickly discovered it had taken some damage and no longer steered properly. I decided to do what any good soldier would do…I began to run on foot the remaining 3-4 kilometers to the AO. I just wanted to see what would happen when I got there. For about half the remaining distance that danged Heli kept searching for me. Along the way I was impressed by the terrain constructs and objects, even with low ground viz selected. Everything was tight and good-looking. I did become aware of the polygonal construction of some rocks I used for cover - where you can see underneath the rock polygons as you crawl around them. I don’t know if the map used for this Tanoa version has been cleaned up or modded.

Long-story-short: Everything came to a quick end as I neared the AO circle indicator. An Ifrit and several infantry started tagging me. I had no means of confronting the armor as I only had my rifle, and I was waaay too slow in trying to get my scope to zoom in enough to be able to return fire against the distant and almost invisible ground troops. Unfamiliarity with this particular weapon and scope kind of doomed me here. I was taken out pretty quickly and was made to realize that this was the point when you would want (and need) squad-mates to help. I did finally notice that on this server enemy are ID’d on the map with red squares, not dots or pictographs.

Was this experience any different than my normal play on the original Tanoa, Malden, and Altis? It’s hard to say with such a brief experience. The main thing I got from the experience was that there are a lot of subtle differences on this server, and it is clearly designed to facilitate squad play. Kinda like a NAKsquad template waiting for occupants to step into roles and head out together on a mission.

This begs the question - especially for a noob like myself - Where to begin? How do you get the necessary players to log on and implement an operation together? How many players are required to get everything to work as intended? Can you play solo? Can a player drop in and join an operation that’s already under way? What happens when you die? Can you respawn and get back into the current play? How does one do that without HALO available? Do you have to be transported back in? Lots of basic Noob questions like that. I Feel like a more detailed FAQ or instruction manual is required, But I see some real potential here.

It’s funny because my normal group that I play with, as well as myself, have all remarked at one point or another over the last couple weeks that it has seemed like the enemy AI on the I&A servers has gotten a little bit of a boost to their stat line… Engagements that we used to have no issue dealing with as a group of about 4-6 people now easily wipe us out and we’ve been getting pegged by shots are ranges that used to be considered relatively safe… but from Vile is saying it seems like they’ve reduced the difficulty of the units?

Not sure what the deal is but I’m inclined to agree with wmetcalf’s original post that the large numbers of very potent enemies is kind of a drag sometimes.

I agree on the difficulty being overwhelming, if you are playing on your own.

Once I get on, (usually around 1pm EST) come join me in the battlefield. I can assist you with my personal techniques that help me complete missions alone under 15 minutes without mods.

I really really recommend playing with a squad out there if you have not yet on Tanoa. I’m doing my best to advertise the Tanoa server as it’s simply the best released server so far.
The bigger player count I can achieve in there the better and simpler it will be for us to enjoy.
I want to be able to sit in the Commanders role
And guide units safely with strategic plans. But it’ll take time for it to happen anytime soon. Nonetheless I’m ALWAYS on Tanoa, I’m trying to gather as many players around me so we can play as a squad whilst having great talks and humorous moments. I’ll be waiting for you.

On the other hand, I have started a campaign on our Zeus servers. It’s supposedly based around making the game more action packed and immersive whilst having the targets easier to deal with. I presume it could help you grasp new tactical gameplay for the base public servers. It’ll be active every sunday, you will see it announced on the Zeus Mission Announcements section.