Arma3 mod Exile

For years now I have hosted private servers for the ARMA series of games by Bohemia Interactive Studio.

We as a group really loved the mod of Arma2 that was Dayz Epoch and had many hours of fun being hunted
and being the hunters. Base raiding and fairly large (about 26 of us) area denial / protection missions.

Some of our group are ex military and over the years have given their inside knowledge and tactics to the group.
WE DO NOT MIL SIM, we try to keep it light hearted, but it's always a dead serious affair when the bullets start flying.

As we have been playing on these maps for quite a while:- NAPF, Chernarus, Panthera, Isla Duala, Namalsk, Taviana
and due to the fact we tend to surround our objectives and attack from multiple directions simultaneously,
Even having the AI "turned all the way upto 11", SpinalTap reference :-), Unless we were total idiots, rushing into a
building with out first clearing and securing it, We tended to totally own the AI. Not to say that we always had our own way
Some of our most funniest and enjoyable missions have been trying to recover from a disaster and just stay alive.

We were all waiting with baited breath for the new Arma3 when it was announced. Oh boy did this deliver!.
The AI in this version are INSANE, head shots from over 1km. Instant death!

As in all ARMA games you get shot, it bloody hurts, 50cal to the right leg?, what right leg?, you only have a left one!,
If you weren't killed outright, your now in no condition to fight, nor even move. Unless you receive medical help real
soon, Depending on the rules we are playing for a particular mission, That could be you done for the evening, So it's
more like reality, Ok, we accept that morphine does not mend broken legs in real life, nor will it allow you to recover
from a critical wound in a few mins, But this is supposed to be a "fun" and "safe" way to get the "rush of war" without
risking your own neck or somebody else in real life. The only things that get hurt are digital constructs.

Personally speaking, I find it difficult to play other "shoot em ups" now, they lack..., something. You get shields, enough
ammo on your person to supply an entire battalion and in most cases, once you have played a level, You know where the
"monsters" / targets are going to be, So the first time you do it, there is a learning curve, Then, So long as you remember
to throw a frag round the next corner, or to set up a strong defensive line at a particular point, "cake walk" springs to mind.
Some games try to make it more difficult, by just upping the health of the enemies, or nerfing the amount of damage done
by player weapons on harder levels.

ARMA has never had this, not does it need it. This is not a game but a simulation of warfare. Guns were invented and
designed to kill, some were for "honest" hunting, deer, elk, lions, tigers, bears, elephants, etc... But most were made with
the only target in mind, being a human. Arma has always tried to give a realistic, even more so with mods(ACE),
representation of ballistics, So has always been more than just run around, point and shoot.

As in all the previous versions of this "game", The weapons, vehicles, clothing, buildings, even the terrains are beautifully
textured and animated, The control we now have over the movement of our character, how to lean, firing blind round
corners, has improved dramatically, Not to mention that, unlike in previous versions, water, was something that you
moved over, to get to somewhere else, Now this previously "unused" aspect of warfare, can be recreated too, There are
SCUBA suits and mini submarines. Weapons designed to be fired whilst submerged. Roll that in with "CAS", close air
support, provided by choppers and fixed wing aircraft.

You are now able to simulate, just about any environment and turn it into a war zone. Some maps use real world locations
and geo data, to create the terrain, though most do not have full scale towns, as the object requirements and memory
involved in recreating 250Km2 terrain with every building, sign and road, might be possible, but to then have other "game"
stuff running at the same time, would be far to much for even the most powerful of today's gaming rigs. Yet 250Km2 maps
are played on all the time. I host several private servers running Arma2 and Arma3 using some of these maps.

All that being said, Arma 3 is gorgeous as far as looks goes, I accept it is not for everyone, We do have two female members
of our group, one of whom is an ex squaddie and one who is most definitely not, But most of us are male and are between
early 20s and mid 50s. If you join the free public servers, you can meet all sorts of different people, from many countries,
Some of whom you would not have wanted to meet, but for the most part, Arma players are there for the banter and
challenge of hunting humans without all the nasty side affects, ie killing in real life, being arrested etc. Because even
though the AI is much better in the newest version, People most of the time will just amaze you, with their creative
thinking, It helps you to refine your tactics and mission planing.

When you add into this the ability to extend the base game with mods, to change how certain aspects behave, ACE,
the Advanced Combat Environment, for example that changes the ballistics model into something much closer to real life,
Wind and Weather are now much more accurately calculated in an external dedicated c++ lib, You can setup an amazing
challenge for you and your friends, or even open your server up to the outside world and let anyone join, it's upto you.

Put into that "laser" like precision from all but the most pathetic of AI and Real human controlled characters.
Being able to "customise" your weapon, switching the long range scope on your semi auto 7.62, 20rd rifle, for a short range
one and add a suppressor, so you can now also be effective in a house clearing role, swap it back out for a thermal or night
vision, range your weapon to say 900m, allow for the wind and knock the targets down. So you can now carry just the one
weapon and use it in many roles, Where as before before most people carried one long range weapon in their backpack
and a second CQB weapon and switched between them, or would "no scope" fire a long range weapon in close quarters.
You can now get something that is much closer to how real world military units are equipped and operate.

The mod we are currently enjoying is the exile mod for aram3, this is sort of close to the old Dayz Epoch games that we are
all used to, Survival in a fairly harsh environment, Where getting sick or injured by the hoards of infected "Zombies",
another mod, that infest the towns and cities, Keeping your food and drink at a level that stops you from starving to death,
just staying alive and fighting the environment, Is a constant battle in it's self. Setting up a place to call home, building
fortifications, perhaps a heli landing pad? or some kind of elevated overwatch position? All of this can be done inside Exile,
You can scavenge the landscape or hunt the AI and players to get "loot" to sell at the traders that some maps have, Others
are pure survival, no trading zones. All are based around the player surviving. So you could play as the worlds most
reclusive hermit, until you run out of food and water, then spawn a new life, and go off into the wilds again, till you starve,
Hey, people do do it, Or you can run around like your rambo and try to murder everything you see, you see this all the time,
So called "shoot on sight" players, then there will be the time, that you will be scared our of you skin, by a voice supposedly
coming out of no where, telling you to drop your weapons and not turn towards me. Most idiots at this point get one to the
dome from a large caliber weapon, cos they have seen one to many films where they think they can quick draw and shoot
the people holding them up. In my experience they never get a round off, they raise their weapon, either I kill them, or your
squad beat you to it and nail them for being a plum.

Overall I have spent many years of my life inside these digital worlds, Some, I still go back to after years of them being
neglected, but within a few mins, 10 to 20, I start to remember, what's coming next and quickly get bored, there's no
challenge. So i fire up good ole Arma, I know the terrain, almost like the back of my hand for some maps, I know i will
be getting shot at at some point and will have to deal with the zombies, seek out shelter and things to keep me alive,
Food will be in certain types of houses, guns in others, but not always, So it's different every time, yeah sure, your
boarding the chopper with 8 other guys / gals, who you may not even know and are going to scavenge for supplies at
one or the more remote military bases. Then the shit hits the fan, for me that's when things get interesting, you have
to think on your feet, adapt to the current situation and communicate effectively to coordinate your actions with the
rest of your group, Or your on a solo run and fear every noise you hear that wasn't you, cos it's could be 20 odd guys
ambushing you!

Exile is almost a total conversion of Arma, as it changes just about every aspect of the base game in some way,
This is a free mod, both the server code and client side code are available for download, So long as you own arma3,
your good to go. You can add extra mods on top of Exile too, to make your experience even harder / easier,
depending on what you install and how you configure it.

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