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"Realism" vs freedom (Mission design)
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Mickd  



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#17368 Posted at 2008-02-22 13:49        
     
This is an article I began to write for the IC-ArmA Newspaper, The Sahrani Tribune. I only had about two paragraphs done when I read this thread. I quickly finished it off. Im sorry about the quality of the writing I did it very quickly and my head is sore from drinking too much red mine last night. Some of the comments I read I put into my article, I hope you dont mind. In addition to this, Im sorry if it sounds like shameless promotion for the tournament, afterall the article was written for its newspaper so forgive me. I have tried to be even handed and critical where it is deserving.

For me personally in general terms to this thread, I used to want things to be 'realistic' but now I am on the immersion front.

The roots of IC-ArmA can be traced back to late December 2006. At this time upon reading about the possibilities of this game in November 2006 my first impression was of the sheer depth of realism that could be achieved using this game engine. Having played at 21CW for over two and a half years at this point I was becoming disillusioned with the arcade nature and noob-toobyness of BF2. I yearned for something more real. In ArmA there was this possibility. The manager of where I work being a gamer too we spent hours talking about what was possible using this game. For me it the chance to finally be transported into a military simulator, to be as real a soldier as one can be using internet FPS. My boss being a more casual gamer looking for a quick fix when his wife allowed was not as enthusiastic as I was. As IC-ArmA has grown and gone from strength to strength over the past twelve months I have often wondered about the direction in which we have gone and whether the game and our style of play has lived up to my expectations.
Over the last year within the IC-ArmA community the wants and desires of the tournaments players have never been far from the forums. Indeed, lively debate is often sparked by a player wanting this or that. What usually happens is that another player will disagree. The main disagreements usually centre on aspects which will add more realism to the game and the tournament. For some, this game/tournament is the chance to live a life which they have chosen not to or could not do in their real life for whatever reasons. For others, its merely another game, one which is a lot less forgiving than say BF2. Where on the spectrum does or should this tournament fit?

Recently in the back stage area of the tournament we have moved in a direction which promotes immersion rather than hardcore realism or gameyness. Interestingly, a debate has arisen on the Armaholic forums discussing this very issue. One of the posters makes a valid point whereby immersion is more important than hardcore realism. I for one agree. Many factors contribute to the immersion factor. For example, the ambient sounds, the effects and the environment. At IC-ArmA one of the reasons we reintroduced the use of jets despite the imbalance between the SU and Harrier was to increase that sense of being in a war zone. Furthermore, recently civilians have been added and penalties arise for killing them, much like real life.

At the end of the day it boils down to personal preference and what you wish to gain from your playing experience. At IC-ArmA, many new players are blown away by the fact that noone steals vehicles, noone is tking and most importantly of all there are no