ArmA III: Dynamic Recon Ops Has Been Improving

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Since I wrote about it in July, the ArmA III mod “Dynamic Recon Ops” continues to develop, adding features and squashing bugs. It was already really fun then, but now has become a far more functional and content-rich sandbox within ArmA’s existing sandbox.

If you haven’t tried it, DRO is pretty much a random mission generator focused on infantry combat with small groups. Last time I described how it randomizes mission objectives and locations in a way that’s surprisingly measured and, well, un-random, deliberately balancing scenarios to keep them unpredictable and interesting. What has changed is the amount of things you can do and how much control players have.

The most significant change for me has been the ability to choose where on a map a mission will take place. You can still do a random location, but picking one reveals that mod developer mbrdmn does indeed pre-select a few dozen locations of interest on each map, from which players can how choose. Now if there’s a place I really like such as a nice town, castle, or secluded mansion, I can keep trying missions in that location, or I can go down the list of my favorite locations in each map.

DRO is also compatible with more maps now. Last time I wrote about it you could choose between six maps — a combination of the official ArmA III maps and some maps ported from ArmA II. Now it’s up to 10, including maps from the original Operation Flashpoint and the original ArmA as well as some maps by famous ArmA modder IceBreakr. More are on the way.

Mission planning has gotten a huge upgrade too. At the beginning you could select the class of each of four team members, after which you would get your mission objectives. Now you get your objectives first and can then fully customize the gear of your team in preparation, which can include between one and eight members. That means if you know your mission is gonna require satchel charges or a rocket launcher, you can have that ready to go beforehand. You can also now choose between a random insertion point or your own. For example: If the mission involves an assassination and there’s a high observation point near the area of operation, I can at least make the preparations to perch a sniper up there.

There are a lot of small things mbrdmn seems to be adding and tightening up too, like the kinds of supports you can get (artillery, airstrikes, etc.), fixing bugs, and in general balancing the mod. I have no idea how long development of DRO is going to continue, but at this point it’s already shaping up into an extremely playable form of ArmA III with enough content to last a very long time.

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