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TacBF Needs Saving

General discussion of TacBF
hoeksema
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TacBF Needs Saving

Postby hoeksema » 29 Jan 2017, 16:36

I miss Tactical Battlefield. It was the most ArmA-feeling thing I had ever played when I started. The radios, the team play, the way the combat felt -- all of it stood out to me as exemplary. However, the burden of entry was extremely high, and the first time RHS got an update I didn't play the mod for weeks due to the gigabytes of downloads required.

I know it's a tired topic, and I know that talking about it while not being able to help a lot in building it due to me being not a good modder is selfish, but TacBF needs to be made simpler. It needs to ditch all of the mods required to start it, it needs to be able to have an audience that's not just the hardcore members of the community. Sure, it's on the workshop now, but if I turn on my computer and suddenly I have 5+ GB of mods updating, I'm gonna pause that s*** if I'm trying to do something in the meantime.

The Apex expansion added AKs and kinda screwy M4s, RPGs and M249 equivalents. There's still a lot missing from the vanilla asset library that makes TacBF good (armor values, how tanks work, etc), but sacrificing some of this in order to keep the mod actually going I feel is worth it. Having King of the Hill levels of simplicity isn't what I'm looking for, but having the simplicity of downloading ~1GB of files, clicking on a server, and getting playing IS what I feel will save the mod. I miss playing the mod and playing with all of you, but I can't keep spending 4 hours downloading mods just to find constantly empty servers.

I can try to learn the editor to help if that's what's needed, because I really do believe that this is a great modification, and more people need to experience what I've experienced playing with all of you, and that's not going to happen as the mod is now.

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Dr_Eyeball
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Re: TacBF Needs Saving

Postby Dr_Eyeball » 30 Jan 2017, 07:46

Yes, we are aiming for providing something like this. Clay suggested option 1 recently too.

The 2 main options are:
  1. Run a @TacBF server without any mods (except @CBA & @TFAR probably, for now)
    • This we can do almost immediately (I think).
    • This requires a set of non-mod dependent missions to be created or ported back to vanilla Arma.
    • Do we include Apex? Perhaps not initially.
  2. Develop a mission-only version of @TacBF mod (probably without @CBA)
    • This would allow those missions to be played on any server, anywhere, with any mods it likes.
    • This requires a large set of code changes to remove all mod dependencies, including @TacBF mod itself.
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hoeksema
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Re: TacBF Needs Saving

Postby hoeksema » 30 Jan 2017, 17:30

With option 1, the new default launcher tools would make it pretty easy to do the 'download and join' thing, especially since both CBA and TFAR are some of the smaller add-ons needed (as long as they are on the workshop). I'd personally say 'Yay' to having Apex as a requirement, chiefly because it'll kinda placate the dudes who need their AKs and M4s and RPGs, among other vanilla assets which could help replace what would be missing from RHS.

Is there anything I can do to help with any migration or things? Would mission-creation be the most community fueled change needed to get the server going if a vanilla port was created?

Harold
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Re: TacBF Needs Saving

Postby Harold » 30 Jan 2017, 18:28

I predict that we would lose more players than we would gain if we changed the modset. A lot of people seem to really like RHS, and it makes TacBF unique compared to other servers out there.

Without more analysis, Hoeksema is taking a wac-a-mole approach to improving the server population of TacBF. If you want to know why people aren't joining the server, ask them. I think that it's because there's not much tactical about TacBF. It currently favors the individual instead of the squad because individuals have too much survivability (too high of armor rating and too fast to bandage).

Also, the framerate is very low for all but the most powerful computers. A friend tried TacBF for the first time and ended up with 7 fps and less during firefights. It's possible to improve the framerate of TacBF if we focus more on optimization and reliability instead of new features in our development efforts. A code freeze would help with this because then it would not be a moving target for optimization improvements. And we should do testing with slow computers and high player count and establish a goal for the framerate (e.g. 30 fps minimum on a slow computer).

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Dr_Eyeball
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Re: TacBF Needs Saving

Postby Dr_Eyeball » 30 Jan 2017, 23:16

@hoeksema: yes, just start with 1 vanilla mission port and see how we go

@Harold: of course players like the mod set and RHS.
I doubt our regular players will play the vanilla server on our event nights.

Optimisation and the new processes list shows TacBF client is running very well, so the poor FPS seems to be due to something else.
#monitor server command shows TacBF server is running very well too.
The cause seems to be closely tied to the player count on the server.

I am looking into 2 main possible causes: Arma triggers might be the cause, or the mods themselves might be the cause.
So testing the mod with vanilla terrains, vehicles, factions and gear might even reveal a cause.

The other goal is to encourage players to try out the mod, but not require them to download 1+gb of data.
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Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy.
And if you don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.
” Warren Buffett

Adanteh
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Re: TacBF Needs Saving

Postby Adanteh » 31 Jan 2017, 00:44

A little heads up that the current Stable version of Task Force radio is not ideal for performance. The new version which Dedmen has been working on for quite some time should perform a lot better. It's still going to suddenly give everyone a solid 60FPS, but it will help a little at least. The normal TFAR version that's out has a lot of broadcasting going on, plus the main thread for figuring out positioning (For both max radio ranges and direct comms) takes a pretty long time to execute.

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Clay
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Re: TacBF Needs Saving

Postby Clay » 06 Feb 2017, 09:31

hoeksema wrote:I miss Tactical Battlefield. It was the most ArmA-feeling thing I had ever played when I started. The radios, the team play, the way the combat felt -- all of it stood out to me as exemplary. However, the burden of entry was extremely high, and the first time RHS got an update I didn't play the mod for weeks due to the gigabytes of downloads required.

I know it's a tired topic, and I know that talking about it while not being able to help a lot in building it due to me being not a good modder is selfish, but TacBF needs to be made simpler. It needs to ditch all of the mods required to start it, it needs to be able to have an audience that's not just the hardcore members of the community. Sure, it's on the workshop now, but if I turn on my computer and suddenly I have 5+ GB of mods updating, I'm gonna pause that s*** if I'm trying to do something in the meantime.

The Apex expansion added AKs and kinda screwy M4s, RPGs and M249 equivalents. There's still a lot missing from the vanilla asset library that makes TacBF good (armor values, how tanks work, etc), but sacrificing some of this in order to keep the mod actually going I feel is worth it. Having King of the Hill levels of simplicity isn't what I'm looking for, but having the simplicity of downloading ~1GB of files, clicking on a server, and getting playing IS what I feel will save the mod. I miss playing the mod and playing with all of you, but I can't keep spending 4 hours downloading mods just to find constantly empty servers.

I can try to learn the editor to help if that's what's needed, because I really do believe that this is a great modification, and more people need to experience what I've experienced playing with all of you, and that's not going to happen as the mod is now.


Do you know anyone familiar with weapon configs in Arma? We need a guy to take over and finish some very easy and not time consuming task with new items for TacBF
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Yomper
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Re: TacBF Needs Saving

Postby Yomper » 10 Feb 2017, 20:51

Damn I miss it too.

I say go back to basics. Small, infantry focussed, maps. Ditch the large, overly complicated, maps with tanks, jets, attack helis, etc. Use vanilla content; save RHS for events. Push what made Tacbf good when you first started playing it: a public PvP gamemode that promotes/allows teamwork and communication. And build from there. Teamwork > Milsim, fun > Logistics.

There are 73 first person only servers with 10+ players on them right now and that’s a lot of competition for a small number of players who would play TacBf (plus there’s PR and Squad), but nothing else is as good as TacBf when it works (I’ve tried everything else), if those players tried it and had a positive experience they would stay and older players would come back.

Make it fun again and people will play it. There is nothing else in Arma that even comes close to offering the real Arma experience that TacBf does and that's what a lot of players are looking for.
Quietly waiting for TacBF to come back to life.

Rick
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Re: TacBF Needs Saving

Postby Rick » 10 Feb 2017, 22:09

Harold wrote:I predict that we would lose more players than we would gain if we changed the modset. A lot of people seem to really like RHS, and it makes TacBF unique compared to other servers out there.

Without more analysis, Hoeksema is taking a wac-a-mole approach to improving the server population of TacBF. If you want to know why people aren't joining the server, ask them. I think that it's because there's not much tactical about TacBF. It currently favors the individual instead of the squad because individuals have too much survivability (too high of armor rating and too fast to bandage).

Also, the framerate is very low for all but the most powerful computers. A friend tried TacBF for the first time and ended up with 7 fps and less during firefights. It's possible to improve the framerate of TacBF if we focus more on optimization and reliability instead of new features in our development efforts. A code freeze would help with this because then it would not be a moving target for optimization improvements. And we should do testing with slow computers and high player count and establish a goal for the framerate (e.g. 30 fps minimum on a slow computer).


This.

I haven't played TacBF in a year even though it's right up my ally.
Why? Number one is performance. I can host an ALiVE mission with 400 AI and 10 players on my PC and play at the same time but TacBF doesn't run smooth enough to be playable. (Coming from someone who played Arma 2 on a laptop at 20 FPS for 2 years.
Number 2 is the people. The atmosphere was sour and miserable. Non-stop whining and complaining and telling people what to do all under the guise of 'teamwork'. No thanks, don't need that crap in my headphones.

If those 2 things changed then consider me back.

Other servers did the same thing with accessibility. What good is an accessible but crappy mod? Those servers are now even more empty.


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