preparing this for posting in the BI forums. Feel free to add to it any thoughts about ArmA 2 you might have.

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I've given the game a go, the demo that is, and I do think it's worth a download (the demo that is). Some will want to purchase the game too, it does have a lot to offer, but there is a learning curve and the pace of action is not like COD series but much slower.... much slower.

In ArmA 2 you behave like a real soldier, which means you might have to wait around scouting before you make your attack, unlike most fps'ers we're used to where you're thrown into the game, here ArmA 2 is more about recreating actual battle conditions.

So let make a few suggestions on how I think the demo can help new potential ArmA 2 users buy into the state of mind of the game. In other words, there are some flaws regarding the demo and these need to be fixed or a potential customer won't have the patience to get to the good parts of the game.


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Training Mission:
The basics of the training mission are okay, they do teach the basics, but to finish all the missions is not easy and maybe impossible.

There should be a way to get a gun full of ammo to do the mission on the hill without doing the following: retrieve the gun from a crate, run to the firing range to retrieve ammo skipping this task and then running to get a jeep to drive to the next mission. If you've done that once, then allow new users to respawn where they need to fully loaded... what's the point of teaching, over and over, where to find the rifle?

The training mission needs the bugs removed... bugs at this stage are not a good sign for the rest of the game. The training mission might of been an after thought, but this is the first impression people get of the game.

The training mission could show more, like the medic part, how to point to get different commands, etc.

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First real Mission:
When just starting a new game there is always a bit to learn, but ArmA 2 has a steep learning curve, so the first mission should really walk and talk the new trainee through everything, and make it a real tutorial. It should have many little missions leading up to the airfield, to help the new trainee learn some of the basics of the game before going into the main demo mission.

This should include an overview of what the gamer can expect... maybe a briefing in a briefing room with a slide show, video or other media, or a soldier holding up a variety of weapons and explaining them, or someone just talking the gamer through all the aspects of the game, letting the gamer know that they will eventually have the ability to fly jets, drive tanks, etc. and, how one can acquire those things through purchases.

I'd suggest having someone escort the new gamer and basically talk them through it all as he/she moves towards their assignments.

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Mission Endings:
I wish games would stop ending missions in a blink of an eye. Why not let the new gamer take a look around? I mean, who's in control of the game, or perhaps I should say who should be? Offer the new gamer an option to end the mission immediately or allow them to walk around... why not? (what you hiding? )... let them practice their leans, rearming, chatting, etc. after these early missions.

Why? I find it odd to have the mission end, when I'm thinking, what happened? and then not get a chance to see where the enemy was hiding, what (in the case of the first mission) the airfield looked like, where my squad mates are, etc. It just ends too quick.

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MultiPlayer:
There are two problems with multiplayer and they are significant in turning people off to ArmA 2.

The first is there are essentially no servers to join. From my experience it looks like the couple that were listed are password protected, and from what I've read the rest are private open only to those in a clan or invited guests. So what's a new potential gamers supposed to do? Just trust that it'll be fun, this new game type and go ahead and purchase the game based on promises? Doubtful.

This leads me to the second point. Have open to the public multiplayer training servers where noobs can go in and learn the basics of working together, including learning commands better, spotting better and using their weapons better. There is a lot to learn, but if there are no servers open to the public you can forget about new gamers learning what it takes for private clans to accept them.

Maybe the maps on these 'multiplayer training servers' are a bit smaller so that noobs are more engaged in learning their new craft, that is, noobs like me.

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Conclusion:
While there may be other items a seasoned user might want, getting more people on the playing field is always an important factor. I think ArmA 2 is worth it if you're willing to spend the time it takes to get involved and learn everything you'll need to be successful. But increasing the ranks won't happen if potentially new gamers are put off right from the beginning. Get rid of the bugs in training and make it a smoother user friendly experience by allowing respawns fully loaded and in the right locations. Enhance the tutorial aspect, even perhaps having a soldier follow the new gamer to give them tips along the way, at least for the first mission. And finally, make some sort of server offering for noobs/demo people to get them engaged in the fun of the game. With this sort of helping step up the absorption into the ArmA culture will have a chance.