Arma 3: Difficulty Overhaul

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Update 1.58 (#RoadToApex) comes with an overhaul of difficulty settings for Arma 3. Arma 3 Difficulty Menu describes previous state and should be kept for reference as all the previous setting is going to be available for sake of backwards compatibility. There should be multiple phases of overhaul.

Phase 1

  • Class CfgDifficulties will be left in config for backwards compatibility. Game will use class CfgDifficultyPresets from now on. Because of this and change of particular flags, it is recommended for both client and server to use the new exe, so the difficulty in MP works flawlessly (if the versions won't match, MP will work, but certain flags may not be enforced on clients).
  • Transform difficulty levels to presets (i. e. unlike the current state, each preset will have exactly defined values, if they don't match, preset will be changed to Custom).
  • Reduce number of presets to three plus Custom to simplify choosing of difficulty. Recruit and Regular will be mostly identical to what they were, Veteran will use the values of former Elite.
  • Vision Aid flag will be added. It shows "bubbles" which help to spot units. Before it was available only in config and enabled on Recruit difficulty.
  • Unlimited Saves flag will be set to Enabled on Regular difficulty.
  • VON ID will be set to Enabled on all difficulties, since by default we want to know who's speaking.
  • Clock Indicator flag will be removed. Clock Indicator was switched off long time ago, only the flag remained in code.
  • Game Options button and difficulty indicator in MP Create Game dialogue. The button will allow users to set difficulty flags without shutting down the server.

Phase 2

  • Difficulty options will be divided to groups and some of them renamed for better comprehensibility.
  • Extended HUD Info will be split to:
    • Weapon Info (weapon, magazine and round count in the top right corner of the screen).
    • Commands (command and informational icons displayed in the 3D space - heal, get in, injured in etc.).
  • Instead of separate options for displaying UI elements permanently, ComboBoxes with multiple values (Show, Hide, Fade out or Limited distance) will be introduced. Work on them is currently in progress and will be finished in Phase 3.
  • Indicator of required position in formation will become part of Group Indicators.
  • AI sliders will be visible on all of the AI Level presets.
  • UI helpers in the 3D space that fade out (commands, waypoints) will be able to be brought back by the J key, the same way as the new tasks do.
  • Auto Guide AT will be removed, since it has no impact on ammunition guidance. Moreover it influences target marker (square) and lock indicator (diamond) of various weapons, which should be part of the weapon itself not difficulty. From now on, the target marker and lock indicator will be dependent purely on canLock parameter of the weapon in a following way:
    • canLock == 0 - indicator is hidden
    • canLock == 1 - indicator is hidden (left only for backwards compatibility)
    • canLock == 2 - indicator is shown
  • Parameters in class Flags in CfgDifficultyPresets will be changed (names, their count, some of them will have int value instead of bool) according to the needs of the new system. Class Flags will be renamed to class Options to reflect the new state.
  • Script command difficultyEnabled connected to the former difficulty system will become obsolete and will always return false.
  • New script command difficultyOption will be added instead.

Phase 3

  • Added explanatory images and descriptions of the difficulty options. They can be found here as well.
  • Added Hide option to Weapon Info.
  • Added Limited distance option to Friendly and Enemy Name Tags, Detected Mines and Group Indicators.
  • Added new server config parameter forcedDifficulty. More details could be found in this post.
  • Tweaked UI in MP Create Game display to indicate more clearly which difficulty is selected, including indication of the forced difficulty.
  • Fixed unintentional disabling of the Difficulty tab in Game Options display when mission is not running.