by Murray Lewis
Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead ditches GameSpy for good
With GameSpy already out of the picture, and flagship release Arma 3 recently updated to use Steamworks multiplayer (and then patched again to fix everything that broke), Bohemia Interactive have finally turned their attention to grizzled veteran Arma 2: Operation Arrowhead.
The new 1.63 patch includes all of the fixes, optimisations, and features of a 2-year beta program which much of the community participated in, and replaces the GameSpy-powered server list with a Steamworks-powered facsimile. This means that any players with a non-Steam version of the game will need to activate their CD keys on Steam to continue playing.
A2:OA-powered mod DayZ has also been saved by the new patch, but the base Arma 2 game, as well as older releases Arma 1, Arma: Cold War Assault, and, bizarrely, the recent Take on Helicopters, will no longer support multiplayer in the usual fashion. Instead, Bohemia Interactive have set up a new master server on which players and server admins can find each other.
We have implemented a system to help host and connect to servers even without a functioning GameSpy - http://master.bistudio.com/. Here server owners may add their servers and players may use the listed IP addresses to connect to them. Also to help players overcome difficulties we have added a number of articles for each game to our FAQ and as always our technical support staff is ready to help via firstname.lastname@example.org.