ArmA 2 is the third game in Bohemia Interactive's civilian military simulator "games". The original, Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis, was built off of the Real Virtuality 1 Engine. The Real Virtuality engine series was never originally meant to be used for massive online matches, it's primary purpose was to allow armies from around the world to train in a very realisitic simulator through means of a LAN connection.
Well now we are at Real Virtuality 3 (with improvements on the way from the standalone expansion pack for ArmA 2, Operation Arrowhead coming June 29th, 2010), and the engine has improved quite a bit.
Here is an image to show the engine differences:
Aside from graphics, many changes have been made to multiplayer as well. Back in the days of OFP, we didn't have the ability to join matches part way through the game. Since RV2 (ArmA, VBS2, OFP: Elite), we've recieved a new system called "JIP" (Join In Progress). This has been a godsend, but has also caused problems. Scripting a JIP compatible gamemode/mission is a lot different from the original way of doing it because of the fact that we have to account for players leaving and possibly reconnecting.
Anyways, that was a bit of background on ArmA 2 and a bit on the engine itself... back to the main discussion: Quality vs Quantity. Gossamer's Warfare is a CTI gamemode (Capture the Island), meaning that the whole map is the battlefield for players. There can be up to 1000+ AI on the battlefield at any which time, which can lead to amazingly fun battles with explosions and death everywhere, but that can also lead to problems.
It has been proven that any amount of AI eat up a sizeable amount of resources on both the Client and the Server (all depending on who the AI are local to. Resistance soldiers in warfare are local to the server, player's squads are local to x client). Since Gossamer's Warfare is a continuation of AWP Warfare (defunct), I've seen what happens when you include too many towns for capture and AI on the battlefield. We actually had so many AI and battles going on that the server box took a dump and restarted itself :). Then we tried a really low amount and it removed the epicness from Warfare right out of Warfare!
I believe that I have now reached a fine point that Gossamer's Warfare is running fairly well and can still provide epic battles.
So here's a question to those that read this article: Would you prefer a completely Lag free experience with smaller battles? Or would you prefer a version of warfare with a certain amount of lag that could be noticed, but the battles are large and beefy. I personally prefer the second option, but I'd like to hear your thoughts.
Leave a comment and discuss!