- Acceptable Targets:
- Snipers, dear god snipers. In the adequate context, a competent sniper/spotter team can be a godsend, providing intel, taking out key enemies and walking you through a difficult area with top notch data, you know, what a sniper team actually does BESIDES killing people. In public servers, however, every inexperienced player under the belief that a sniper is the epitome of badassitude, locking down enemy forces in their hiding spots, will simply pick the biggest rifle and scope they can find, and try to start taking out random enemies from afar, caring only about racking up their kill-death ratio from a relative safety of the distance (that's assuming their actually competent enough to pull of the long range shots) ignoring whatever objectives the mission has or the needs of the team as a whole, thus earning them the scorn of almost every player in the server. This effectively cripples the fighting force in almost every game mode since no matter how many snipers there are killing enemies someone is gonna have to go there and actually accomplish the mission objectives. Most public servers fix this by restricting the larger rifles to the marksman roles or requiring permission from the admin, while private communities can enforce roles on their players. Public servers without oversight are usually full of these snipers until they learn on their own that an untrained sniper is not the invincible killing machine people usually picture.
- In-Universe and out, the AAF is no one's favorite army.
- Alternate Character Interpretation: Was Miller really intending to help the Aegis Taskforce survivors or was he just using them to further his own goals, sending them in increasingly dangerous missions, while he recovered information about the whereabouts of the device? It should be noted that after the failed Agia Marina attack he waits for the men to reach the evac point, but by that point barely anyone was left. In his ending, he taunts Kerry by promising him answers if he waits for him to return, while warning him of the incoming counter-attack. Night falls and he calls to say he won't return. Was he truly offering answers or he was just hoping that Kerry never make it back to NATO, keeping the secret of his involvement in the whole affair?
- Broken Base:
- In a rather divisive moment, when it was revealed that the official SP campaign for ARMA 3 would not be finished in time for the scheduled release and that said release date was immutable, meaning that the game would launch without an official campaign. The announcement that the campaign would be released over the course of a year as free DLC instead of being immediately available in full, didn't help, although some players enjoyed the episodic style of the story. The controversy was over once the campaign was fully published and it has been mostly forgotten since.
- The 20 Minutes into the Future setting of Arma 3 has been a point of contention through its entire lifetime. Some players dislike that the factions of Arma 3 are not based on real groups (Arguing that you can't simulate what doesn't exist), hate that the equipment, weapons and other gear are too "Futuristic" (Despite that all of them, except for the Y-32 Xi'an, are based on real gear or prototypes), that they don't make sense from a story and in-universe story perspective (apparently the US Army using Israeli-based tanks is absolutely impossible and immersion breaking) others argue that the gear and equipment is unimportant as there are hundreds of mods for that if the vanilla assets are not enough and that Bohemia Interactive is fully within their rights in trying to do something different from the earlier games.note .
- In Arma 3 DLCs are a great point of contention among players: in order not to fragment the multiplayer community, Bohemia takes a "features free, new content is paid for" approach, making players who own the DLC to have access to content other players in the same server don't have. To illustrate, the Helicopters DLC introduced game mechanics such as sling loading, advanced flight model (as in ''completely'' realistic), firing from vehicles, and a few more. These are available to ALL players, regardless if they pay for the DLC or not, and they apply to all helicopters, including the non-DLC ones. But the new helicopters added in the DLC, can only be piloted and gunned by players who paid for it, while other players in the server can still ride as passengers, whether they own the DLC or not. Some players think this is fair, others think it is not, others just complain about the existence of DLC at all. And let's leave it at that.
- The Apex expansion stoked fires anew, largely due to the sheer volume of content locked as DLC, including several new weapons, attachments, and pieces of gear (including combined night- and thermal-vision goggles) and the first additional map added to the game, essentially making it the third game's equivalent of the second's Operation Arrowhead.
- Also on the subject of DLC is the focus of Singleplayer or Multiplayer: the Apex, Marksmen, Malden and Helicopters packages introduced multiplayer missions and scenarios with great replayability, while the Laws of War and the Tac-Ops introduced (quite well made and extensive) single player campaigns. Naturally, both sides of the fanbase have felt ignored at some point.
- Cult Classic: The first game was quite short lived and not quite polished with a low player count coming mostly from Operation Flashpoint. And the second game before DayZ, while it had a not-so-low player count, flew mostly under the radar of most gamers and gaming journalism.
- Averted mostly for the third installment. By 2015 it was selling well enough and getting mainstream recognition. By 2016, and with the advent of the Apex expansion, it remained among the top ten of every Steam sale that year. 2017 saw the rise of many survival, deathmatch and battle-royale-style games based on Arma mods and gameplay, that raised the series' public profile and gaining widespread recognition. Though it is still acknowledged that it is not an easily approachable gameplay for many gamers.
- Demonic Spiders: Viper's special operatives in the Apex campaign. They have a way to counter every single one of those cool little gadgets that made your last missions so easy. Thermal googles? They have thermal masking clothes and vehicles. Night vision goggles? They attack only from foliage or fog, etc. If Viper shows up, chances are your day got a lot more complicated.
- "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: The 2014 invasion of Crimea and civil war-like situation in Eastern Ukraine is uncannily similar to the scenario and plot of II; A radical Russian minority with a Communist bent in a post-Soviet Central-Eastern Ruritania bordering on Russia wages war against weak government forces (after the latter declare to distance themselves from their Cold War sphere of influence) and occupy government buildings. Then Russia personally intervenes, marching over the border in a semi-black-op manner. Then the government forces team up with radical nationalist militants. The only part that has yet to happen is a US-European military intervention.
- Game-Breaker: Not really present in game mechanics in the traditional way, since its commitment to realism means that nothing grants an automatic advantage over everything, every weapon or vehicle has its advantages and disadvantages, making the game-breaker status more dependent on the situation rather than the weapon or vehicle itself. It is up to the mission designers to make sure that no element becomes all-powerful (e.g. if one team has access to attack helicopters of some kind, the other team should have Anti Air capabilities in some form).
- The Jets DLC has been taking heat for this as well, as most of the complaints go with the fact the new jets are too fast and nimble to be countered effectively by AA infantry (whose MANPADs were significantly nerfed) and AA artillery use has increased complexity which makes casual use quite difficult. The only surefire way to counter them is another plane with an AA specialized payload. But again, its game-breaker status depends on the mission design.
- Communication and teamwork. In any game mode, no matter the objective, no matter the terrain, and especially if they have a competent leader and disciplined players, a very small team can wreak havoc of biblical proportions. Even worse if they coordinate with tanks, artillery or close air support. As long as they have the capabilities to match the threat level (i.e. you need anti-tank to deal with enemy tanks) the effect a four- or five-man team can have is staggering and they can easily outmatch a larger but less coordinated force to a crippling degree. When in combat, you can lay traps for transports and ambush patrols, you can lock down entire blocks in urban warfare with clever positioning. In survival modes, the team can secure areas and build bases quicker while keeping a lookout, you can scavenge in safety and provide recon and intel while others stay at base and craft assets or maintain the armory. Truly, the only way to defeat a well coordinated group is another well coordinated group or simply throw a lot of Cannon Fodder their way until someone gets lucky, or they're overwhelmed by the sheer force of numbers.
- Homegrown Hero: Arma regularly casts you as an American soldier in NATO intervention and/or peacekeeping operations in fictional countries. Sometimes it's actually closely based on Real Life (like in II's Yugoslavia-esque Chernarus and Afghanistan-esque Takistan) and thus downplayed, but other times (as with Sahrani in I or Altis and Stratis in III) not so much. The creators themselves are Czech (and have once even made a Czech faction in-game), but the intended target market audience was obvious.
- Internet Backdraft: From mid to late 2016, Bohemia Interactive started taking a lot of heat from the modding community to the point that the developers of the better known mods such as dayZ and Exile, started to very publicly jump ship. Even Dyslexci from Shack Tactical who worked on the development of III and was one of the most public figures of the Arma community, has criticized Bohemia on what the modders perceive as being pushed aside in favor of Bohemia-made DLC. The truth is that almost every single update has presented bugs sneaking through quality control, that force the modders to work heavily on their projects the days following such updates, to make their mods functional once again, while players must wait patiently until they can play once again. The visual upgrade in particular was such a game changer in terms of modding (due to the new light system that meant most third party assets had to be remade) that forced the Dayz creator team to scrap over three years of work almost entirely. This, coupled with Bohemia allegedly being very nonchalant about it and very half-assed in its response, convinced them (and many others) to abandon Arma modding for good.
- Just Here for Godzilla: When the Day-Z mod came out, ARMA II sales spiked — even amongst people who admitted that they were NOT at all interested in the base game.
- Memetic Mutation: For some reason, Bohemia Interactive really seem to love the word "splendid", which has been lampshaded by both devs and players alike.
One example livestream chat room participant: Due to the Takistani militia bombing the net cables, the video is being recorded offline and will be uploaded in approx. 2 hours - Check the BI social media channels for updates"
- The modding community has a slogan "...and then ARMA updated". This is because every update usually forces modders to rework their scenarios/models/scripts in some capacity forcing them to redo something, or scrap assets or ideas due to the game updating. An egregious example is the DayZ modders abandoning their new project in Arma III due to three years of work being rendered completely useless after a graphical update.
- When the third planned livestream (pre-Gamescom 2013) was cancelled due to bandwidth problems in favor of recording the video offline and then uploading that, thereby implicitly canceling live Q&A, participants in their Twitch chat started mocking the official explanation of weather impeding BI's Internet connection with increasingly more ludicrous versions:
Broadcaster Arma3official throwing in: Due to the logistics failure, we moved our Arma 3 livestream recording to YouTube. Sit back, relax and enjoy! http://youtu.be/PqQewm7T3EM
- Narm: The Mad Libs Dialogue is particularly hard to take seriously in the first two games. It got better in the third game, although at times it can still be jarring. Also any time Kozlowski opens his mouth. Also again, Armstrong tends to indulge in Dull Surprise.
Kozlowski: (in a slightly high-pitched voice) Oh, fuck, those murderous pigs!
Armstrong: (badly wounded) Need! HELP!
- Most of the voice acting in the third game is REALLY bad, despite generally averting Dull Surprise (even on the procedurally generated voice commands) which makes most of the scenes extremely unimmersive. Kerry's actor is just lousy at emoting, so he usually conveys the wrong feeling or overacts. Miller's briefings are distracting due to his horrendously unidentifiable accent and weird speech patterns. But the worst BY FAR is Stavrou. It almost seems that the actor is not an English speaker and is just reading the script without actually understanding what he's saying. His briefing speeches are so robotic and monotonous that even the voice commands sound natural in comparison. The only scenes that are somewhat believable (within the context game, not to say that they're great) are Lt. James and Col. Armstrong. A shame, really, since generally, the writing is quite good and would make a very exciting narrative had the voice acting not been so laughable.
- Averted in the apex campaign, which is actually not only well written and scripted, but the actors do a very good job and (due to being co-op) the Mad Libs Dialogue is nowhere to be seen.
- Scrappy Mechanic: The anti-lag features in ARMA III are notoriously infamous for being too strict, even in situations when the players' internet connection starts to fluctuate for outside causes: You must have always a ping connection below 300 if you want to play the game online or keep playing the game on any moment. If your connection goes above 300 for a few seconds, you can forget about playing the game at all.
- The new scope sway, weapon resting and fatigue system added in a few updates has been mostly disliked by less realism fixated players. Weapon resting and bipods in particular were requested for a long time but most people now regret the addition, mostly because they worked as intended. To elaborate: while scope sway always existed, it was fairly reasonable and manageable, but with the addition of weapon resting (a passive stability bonus when a weapon is touching a surface such as a window frame), scope sway and recoil was notoriously increased in order to make the resting an actual advantage. Meaning shooting with a scope while standing with long range scopes and higher caliber is practically useless. Bipods and deployment were another addition long expected but bipods restrict heavily the angle you can aim and it deploys parallel to the ground. In other words, going prone on a hill and using the bipod will make you aim downhill. This makes the act of sniping (a major attractive of the game) even harder than it was before, since the hiding place you choose is much more influential in your aiming.
- In a similar way related with the above point, the game is notoriously unbalanced for players with low-spec PCs against players with high-spec PCs. A player with a very powerful rig being able to render the game at 60 fps will always be in a technical advantage against any player with a weak PC that could only render the game at 30 fps or less, since at the moment the player with the less powerful PC could be able to draw any weapon, the player with a more powerful and expensive rig already killed the player with a crappy PC and the other player are unable to do anything else afterwards forcing those kind of players to use other indirect methods to do combat, like using tanks, anti-air artillery, etc. While other FPSs have methods or systems to avoid this, on the other hand this is enforced in the game in an attempt to keep a seamless gameflow during all moments of online play.
- That One Level: Several
- In Arma 3, Tipping Point. While the first part is a standard assault missions like you are used too, all of sudden you are suddenly faced with an overwhelming CSAT forces and you have to make a run through them to escape.
- Signal Lost, just right after Tipping Point, is a Sudden Gameplay Change for new players. This is a survival type mission unlike those you might be used to. You lose all your gear (which oddly includes your vest) and start with a handgun with no spare magazine so you have to grab a weapon from the dead guerillas or enemies you killed. You have no backup, and you have to sneak past a town full of enemies including occasional vehicle and helicopter patrols. While it is possible (and not that difficult if you know what you are doing) to wipe out the patrols and the AAF outpost if you so wish, trying to go in guns blazing like Rambo will just get you killed quickly. Unlike most example, many considered this mission well made, and it's actually one of the most exciting missions in the game once you know what to do.
- Bingo Fuel, a rather long and confusing mission. While it isn't exactly hard, the fact that you need to sneak past vehicle patrols can sometimes make things complicated. Near the end you will be given a Sadistic Choice between delivering the much needed fuel to the FIA, or giving it to the CTRG team to be used as a VBIED for assassinating a CSAT officer. However, you can choose to Take a Third Option which will make the mission even longer by assassinating the CSAT officer yourself with a roadside ambush and delivering the fuel truck to the FIA, but the actions must be in THAT order.
- They Changed It, Now It Sucks: The Bohemia Interactive boards flew into a nerd rage when it was found out that ARMA III's single-player campaign was a sandbox game set in 2035 with a "future warfare" aesthetic, crying and sobbing about how it was going to be more unrealistic — when much of the hardware displayed was already in military use in real life.
- Most of the changes made to gameplay are met with derision until players get used to them: the stamina system, weapons resting and deployment, advanced flight model, etc. All were met with Ruined Forever!!!! cries but they all died down eventually.
- It got worse when the official marketing buzz in 2012, particularly at the E3 2012 showcases, focused on wanting to make ARMA III accessible and "streamlined" (complete with the creative director joking "let's not be afraid of that word") and in particular to make infantry more fluid. When assault rifle recoil during the infantry showcase appeared to be lighter than in any previous ARMA game — and when previewers noted that the gunplay felt more like a conventional first-person shooter — outraged complaints flew about BI making the gunplay too "COD like"... and this was all before the announcement that Arma 3 was going Steamworks and thus would require a Steam account and the Steam client to play.
- To say nothing of all the complaints about the gameplay, ''especially' once a gameplay balance designer was hired, and after a dev said that an unrealistically slow rate of fire for an anti-material rifle (its real-life counterpart is semiautomatic) was working as intended for balance reasons... then at E3, the revelation that the Take On: Helicopters flight model would not be implemented by release, nor were requested-for-years features such as weapon resting (despite being acknowledged) and some systems such as the medical system simplified, with the acrimony on the devs' forums growing...
- Uncanny Valley:
Enemy. MAN. At. TWOHUNDREDMETERS.
- In Arma 2, all characters in-game show no emotions, which for some is quite creepy. See The Stoic on the main page.
- The way the in-game voices issue commands can also approach this, as each word the characters speak is used from pre-recorded fragments to form the commands, which thanks to the sometimes shoddy voice work can sound very different in tone and inflection between words. This leads to a very stilted, unnatural stop-start-stop speech pattern that can be both unnerving and unintentionally hysterical.
- Win Back the Crowd: Although Bohemia never really lost its fanbase or alienated them in any significant way, the Apex expansion made a lot of people feel left out due to the new map being exclusive to owners of the DLC. This was quickly forgotten in May and June 2017 when the the Jets DLC included a free for everyone aircraft carrier and a new showcase (VTOLs) and in June 22nd (Arma's 16th anniversary) all users recieved a free new map, Malden 2035 remade from the original Operation Flashpoint. And a new free-to-play game based on Arma 3's engine and assets called ARGO.