Update 1.58 is a splendid opportunity to introduce some important changes ahead of this summer's Arma 3 Apex launch. With a focus on improving usability - particularly in terms of controls and interactions - this update has an array of welcome improvements, additions, and a few sneaky bonuses, too! Let's take a look at 10 of our favorite things.
1. Tasks Overhaul
The visual representation of scenario objectives - a player's 'tasks' - has been improved. Alongside a more discernible style and new icons, it's now possible to show multiple tasks in 3D. Assignment, too, has improved with the ability to quickly select tasks directly from the Map.
2. Custom Tasks
Content creators can use the improved task framework to make their own custom tasks and add new functionality. For example, in some game modes (such as End Game multiplayer), tasks are extended with additional information, such as the number of other team mates currently assigned, helping players make better decisions about what objectives to pursue.
3. Weapon Switching on the Move
In the heat of battle, running out of ammo can prove deadly. Switching between your primary weapon and side-arm is faster than a reload and, now, players are free to do so even while on the move - the action no longer requires players to stop while cycling through weapon types.
4. Apex Controls Preset
A new Preset was added to the Controls menu, which aims to take advantage of various usability improvements. Now, for example, weapon selection is bound to to the number keys (1 for primary weapon, 2 for side-arm, etc.), which works for vehicles, too. We plan to make this the default control preset along with the release of Arma 3 Apex.
5. Command Menu Controls
We've extended our Command Menu functionality to let players choose when the menu opens and what keys activate it. Not only can the controls for issuing commands be rebound, but it's now even possible to use both weapon switching and the Command Menu on the number keys simultaneously, based on whether the menu is activated.
6. Action Menu Streamlining
Certain Action Menu items (eg the action for switching to your side-arm) can now be hidden when they're bound to a control. For now, this has been configured for weapon switching actions (which greatly helps to limit the number of redundant entries and reduces the risk of selecting the wrong action), but we aim to further streamline the Action Menu in future.
7. Eden Editor Compositions
The 3D Editor makes it easier than ever to create richly detailed scenes composed of a variety of objects. It's now possible to select a mix of entities of any type, and save the 'composition' as new kind of file (SQE), which can then be loaded in other projects. Eventually, we'll aim to make these shareable on Steam Workshop, too, but, for now at least, they can be shared manually.
8. Difficulty Presets
Our difficulty Presets have been reduced in number from 4 to 3. Each now has a set of predefined values, which, if changed, will switch the preset to 'Custom'. Our goal has been to make it simpler to understand and pick the right level, and make it easier to find and join servers that match your preferences.
9. Difficulty UI
To improve navigation, difficulty options have been divided into groups, and some renamed for better comprehensibility. In addition, now - instead of separate options for displaying UI elements permanently - drop-down menus with multiple values (eg Show, Hide, Fade Out) have been introduced.
10. Official Mod
To showcase just how easy it can be to discover, install, and maintain custom content - we're releasing our very own 'official mod': the 'ADR-97 Weapon Pack', which is available on the Arma 3 Official Steam Workshop for everyone to download for free.
All in all, 1.58 represents our first major update on the #RoadToApex. Be sure to check out the SPOTREP for a full list of changes, improvements, and additions, or jump in game now to try them out for yourself!
Looking ahead, there are many more significant changes inbound, which we're excited to share, gather community feedback, and iterate upon. The future's bright; the future's Splendid.