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Technical Guide: Playing ArmA CO with Alpha Squad

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Technical Guide: Playing ArmA CO with Alpha Squad

Postby Buehgler_AS » Mon Dec 27, 2010 8:07 pm

This post is intended as a technical guide to help people new to the Alpha Squad community to get started playing ArmA2 Combined Operations (ArmA2:CO) with us. I will do my best to keep this post up to date and accurate, but please do not hesitate to send me a PM if you see a mistake or have a suggestion to improve this guide.

I assume that you already have ArmA2:CO installed and working (we currently run A2 v1.11 and OA v1.60).

We use SIX-Updater to simplify the process of downloading and configuring mods.
Please refer to this thread if you have any problems or questions about it.
Installing the Mods
  1. Download and install the Six Updater.
  2. Click on each of these links to download the profiles for our two server configurations
  3. If not already running, launch the Six Updater.
  4. Select the Alpha Squad profile for the server you want to join in the large pane on the left. You should see a collection of mostly blue boxes next to the mods we use (see below for color codes). If not, press the "sync" button on the top left of the Updater and wait for the tool to figure out the status of your mods.
  5. Confirm your SU settings. At the top of SU (just right of the "other actions" pane you will see three checkboxes labeled "Beta" "Server" and "ServerMods". Cofirm that you have a check mark in "Beta". That "Server" is empty. And you can check or not check "ServerMods" as you see fit -- although we suggest you check it.
  6. Update/install the mods by selecting "Install or Update" from the run updater drop down menu at the top left of the tool. This will very efficiently download the mods from a variety of servers.
  7. When your download is complete you can select "Join Server" from the run updater drop down menu to automatically join our server with the correct mods selected.

Configuring the Game and Mods
  1. Setup your initial userconfig folder. If this is the first time you are installing, Six Updater should automatically take care of things for you, so you are already done. If you already have userconfigs for things like ACE or TASM you can update them by selecting "Process Userconfigs" from the run updater drop down menu at the top left of the Six Updater.
  2. Setup JayArma2Lib. This will be done automatically by Six Updater for you. (Note: the version of JayArma2Lib we are using no longer needs a dsound.dll file).
  3. Setup the ACRE plugin for TS3. Six Updater should automatically copy this file for you. If it did not, copy the appropriate dll (32 or 64 bit depending on the version of TS3 you are running) from the @ACRE\ts3_plugin to the plugins folder of your TS3 install. The best way to find the correct plugin is to right-click on @ACRE in the left pane of Six Updater and select "Open @ACRE in Explorer". You should then enable the plugin by starting TS3, navigating to Settings->Plugins and checking the checkbox next to "ACRE Plugin."
  4. Configure the ACE mod. Run "ACEClippi" from the @ACE folder (this may well be under the "servermods" in your main OA folder), select "change manual options" and set your identity and preferences in the checkboxes, then save.
  5. Edit your userconfig settings. The only thing you really need to check/change is in userconfig\acre\acre_keys.hpp. Open that file using notepad, the look at line 20 you should change this to set the key you want to use to talk over the radios in game. Your normal TS3 push to talk key will produce "direct" communications in game (your voice will seem to come out of your actor in game and will only have a range of ~20-30m). The key you specify in this configuration file will cause ArmA/ACRE/TS3 to simulate your actor talking over the ingame radios.
  6. Select the "Game Profile" tab from the top of Six Updater, and adjust your game options as necessary. You MUST check the "skipIntro" box, and I recommend you check the "noSplash" box. When you are done return to the "Home" tab.
  7. Use the "Startgame" option from the top left drop down button in the Six Updater to launch the game locally so you can finish configuring ACE.
  8. Setup/look at ACE settings in game. Run "ACEClippi" from the @ACE folder and then start the game. Enter any single player mission and press ESC. Select the "ACE Settings" option and adjust as you see fit. When you are done press save and then exit the game. You should see some messages in the Clippi tool about it saving your preferences.

At this point you should be set to run. Just select "Join Server" from the top left drop down button and you will be loaded with the correct mods and connected to our server.

If you are ever concerned that your userconfig settings are "not right" you can use the "Process Userconfigs" menu item to backup your existing configs and copy the current defaults from the mod flders to your userconfig folder.

Many of the mods we use come from a "custom repository" this means that you will not find them in your top level OA directory, but that they will (by default) be in a folder named "servermods". This helps keep things that are custom to a specific server segregated from the more general publicly released mods. If you want to change the name of this folder, just ask in TS and we will help.

Things that can go wrong (and I am not sure about)... You may need to run ACEClippi as administrator under Win7/Vista... You may need to run TS3 as administrator for ACRE to work... JayArma2Lib may popup and ask you if it can update while the game is starting...
Six Updater color codes for mods:
  1. Green - Updated and ready to run
  2. Yellow - Out of date
  3. Blue - Not installed
  4. Red - Non Six Updater version (use convert)
  5. Grey/Black - disabled or incompatible with your game version

Advanced Features:
  1. Using Beta versions of the game: Just click the Beta checkbox near the top left of Six Updater. This will cause Six Updater to install the latest supported Beta and launch it automatically. Note: you will see "expansion/beta" at the bottom of your list of mods in the left pane, be sure it is green before you launch.
  2. Optional Mods: We currently support a number of optional mods (including @ACEX_SM, @SOA_ACE, @TASMX_SM, and @sthud). You can install and enable this directly from the Six Updater. For public mods just select the "Mods" tab from the top of the central pane, find the mod you want to add, select it and press the "add selected" button on the bottom of the pane. For private mods (like TASMX_SM) the procedure is the same, but you will find it under the "Custom Repos" tab. If you would like us to support additional optional mods (e.g sound mods, visual FX, etc.).
  3. Multiple Versions of Mods: You may want to play on our servers and some other grous server that uses a different version of some mod (e.g. ACE). To install the mods used when you play on one of our servers go to the servers tab in the main pane. Search down to find AlphaSquad (you can click on a server name and type "AlphaSquad" to find us quickly). Now scroll right to the "Server mods path" column and click on that field. This will open a path browser where you can specify a directory where mods used when you play on this server will be stored. By selecting different paths for different servers you can have custom versions of different mods for different servers.

27 Dec 2010 - Initial version
23 Mar 2011 - conversion to Six Updater
09 Apr 2011 - Noted that @ACE folder will be under "servermods" folder by default.
09 Apr 2011 - Changed JayArma2Lib instruction since SU now automatically copies dsound.dll.
05 May 2011 - Improved instruction on how to find mod folders. Added info about beta version of TS3.
12 May 2011 - No more "beta" version of TS
18 May 2011 - Add instruction for setting priority of RH mods. Never mind
27 Jun 2011 - Updated ACRE plugin configuration info
19 Jul 2011 - Added "-skipIntro" instructions
05 JAN 2012 - Updated for new JayArma2Lib w/o dsound.dll
21 JAN 2012 - Updated SU links
14 APR 2012 - Update SU download link
22 APR 2012 - Added step to confirm SU settings
08 AUG 2012 - Updated SU links to new repository
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So how do I use (fill in the blank) feature

Postby Buehgler_AS » Fri Dec 31, 2010 7:39 pm

There are lots and lots of features, gadgets and gizmos available in-game. To be honest, my personal suggestion is that 90% of the time we will be better off not to worry about most of them and to instead stay focused on using our primary and secondary weapons and providing good support for one another. However, many of the mods enhance basic squad function, so it is worth spending some spare time doing a bit of reading and research. These links are intended to provide a starting point for that research. Also, keep in mind that some features you see in game may be specific mission features and not part of the basic game or the mods we use.

For information about most non-ACE mods (e.g. MMA, DAC, etc.) we are using you should look in @TASCAC\docs under your ArmA2/OA directory. You will find a wealth of information there.

For ACRE documentation you should look at their dev-heaven pages.

For ACE Features, the best place to start is their web site (Wagn).

For example, if you are unsure about all of the features of your Vector rangefinder, a simple search for "rangefinder" at the top of the ACE Wagn will quickly lead you to Rangefinding Devices. Or maybe you want to switch over to use the quick weapon selection feature, either searching for "weapon+slection" or navigating down through the features pages will get you there.

If you fund yourself stuck at a low level page and you want to navigate "up", just move your mouse up to the grey bar and click on the "related" link. This will show you what links to the page you are looking at and let you find higher level information easily.
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Re: Technical Guide: Playing ArmA CO with Alpha Squad

Postby Robalo_AS » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:35 am

Thank you B, looks great !
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Re: Technical Guide: Playing ArmA CO with Alpha Squad

Postby Buehgler_AS » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:19 am

If you are having trouble with ACRE sound location, this little bit from our friends over at PXS may help.
Mr Book wrote:Hi,
a friend and I had the same problem with the [latest] ACRE versions (1.3.12 and up): radio worked all fine, but spatial sound didn't work at all.
Good thing is, we are running the same hard- and software (Windows 7 x64, M-Audio Revolution 5.1 soundcard), so we were able to do some troubleshooting.
To make a long story short, it turned out there was some trouble with Windows sound settings. If you should face that problem as well, try this:
Open Control panel/Hardware and sound/Sound
In "Playback", select "Loudspeaker"
Press button "Configure"
In "Audio channels", choose "Stereo" (in our case, "5.1 Surround" was selected)
Press "OK"
And that is it! Easy, eh?
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Re: Technical Guide: Playing ArmA CO with Alpha Squad

Postby Buehgler_AS » Mon Aug 13, 2012 1:08 pm

I have heard that a number of people have been experiencing difficulty getting the beta from the custom repository to run correctly. Let me start by saying that since the 1.62 patch release there is no requirement that people run the beta releases -- the server and clients since the 1.62 patch release are all compatible with each other. If you are interested in continuing to beta-test and want to run the same version of the beta that the server has, then please follow these instructions. If you are having trouble please post in the forums so that we know and can try to help resolve the issue, I have had good luck with the following sequence of actions to ensure I am running the correct beta:
  1. Select the AS-US1 profile in SU.
  2. Uncheck the "beta" box (completely white) at the top left of the SU "home" page.
  3. Select the "Custom Repo" tab in the top center of SU.
  4. Select the "Mods" tab in the lower pane of tabs. This will show all the custom mods that we provide.
  5. At the very bottom of this list is "Expansion/beta". Right-click this and select "add to preset".
  6. Re-check the "beta" box (check-mark) at the top left of the SU home page.
  7. Run "Install or Update Mods" from the main drop-down menu.
When you are all done, the bottom line under the AS-US1 preset in the left pane should read "Expansion/beta (C) rXX - Official ArmA 2 OA Beta Patch Vxxx". As of 13 Aug 2012 we are on r90 -- if you do not have the (C) and correct number after the r, you are probably running the beta from the SU network. This is really not a problem, but may explain some differences you may experience in game.

The best way to confirm what you are running is to look at your ArmA2OA.rpt file. Mine shows:
Code: Select all
== "D:\Games\Steam\steamapps\common\arma 2 operation arrowhead\AS\Expansion\beta\arma2oa.exe" -nosplash -skipintro -nopause "-maxmem=2047" "-name=Buehgler" "-mod=as\Expansion\beta;as\Expansion\beta\expansion;...

note that the executable running is from "D:\Games\Steam\steamapps\common\arma 2 operation arrowhead\AS" which is my servermods folder for our servers and that the first two mods loaded are "as\Expansion\beta;as\Expansion\beta\expansion;" which are also coming from my AS servermods folder. Your path will probably be different, but the pattern should be the same.

Good luck, and please post if you have any questions or problems.

UPDATE Sep 2012: We have removed the Beta releases from our custom repository, so the bulk of this post is moot. I am leaving it here (for now) as reference for how to diagnose problems with SU and the game version you are running.
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