TANOA 2016

Nexus and Eden are laying the groundwork for the really big deal: Apex. The new south Pacific landmass, Tanoa, will launch as paid content, along with a co-op campaign, new weapons, and new vehicles. The main menu will be redesigned. New vehicle classes like vertical take-off and landing jets and Light Strike Vehicles (basically: open-air dune buggies full of men with guns) will bring new ways to attack any mission.

Bohemia says it’s continuing the features are free, content is premium doctrine that we saw in previous expansions like Helicopters and Marksmen. I m a big fan of that system, as I ve written here before, but in this case I don t think it quite applies.

Making new gun physics a free update—while making sexy new guns only for paying customers—works because two players can play together with different guns. The developer earns money without breaking up the player base. In Apex, however, the landmass of Tanoa itself will be only for customers who pay for the Apex expansion, and there s no way for paid and non-paid players to play together on that island. Despite the policy, Tanoa is the first paid update that will break up the Arma player population. I wouldn’t expect an entire landmass to be free, but that worries me.

Assuming the player population keeps growing and new content keeps flowing, though, Arma 3 should get much more user-friendly and much more versatile. With the freedom to mod anything and everything still in place, even unpopular changes should still be part of a more welcoming, exciting version of the best military sandbox around.

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