Greetings from Porto

Hello, I thought it might be interesting to share some information about Porto. Most of our game maps are really huge, but Porto is different - it's "only" 2 km long and about 700 meters wide (the area of main island is 1 square kilometer), which may seem small until you put on your tactical gear, flak vest, backpack, load yourself with ammo, grab your rifle and try to cross it. The motivation behind this rather small (small for ArmA) map is to create a compact multiplayer-friendly area which could be utilized in a multiplayer scenario as a whole. Porto can easily host middle-sized battle with plenty of manoeuvring involved, it loads fast and is not demanding on your hardware.

Porto is included in the official expansion pack ARMA: Queen's Gambit, available worldwide from the online store and from many other retailers.

Harbour of Porto

We wanted to include some "story" behind the landscape, to make you feel like you're in some real-life remote location somewhere in the ocean, but not far from Sahrani. Porto is territory of the Kingdom of Sahrani, and it's not far from South-Sahranese coast. During the conflict between the Kingdom of South Sahrani and the Democratic Republic of Sahrani, described in the ArmA campaign, a small SLA force conquered the island and were later vanquished by the joint RACS/US raid. In the past, Porto was an important harbour with a strong minority of Arabian merchants, but its modern history just smells of dead fish, smuggled booze and boredom. Today, Porto is far from any ship routes, and even though there are exquisite fishing and diving locations, the citizens of Porto are not interested in tourism after the debacle with "Dream Beach Village".

Dream Beach Village, scary place.

There are several key locations on Porto, all of them designed with attention to provide a balance of cover and accessibility. First and most important is the urban area of Porto, including its harbour area, city centre with market and minaret and its northern outskirts. The size of the city is comparable to Paraiso or Bagango, however, general detail is higher. For a long time, we used only content from the original Arma along with new roads and pavements, but we felt that the city lacks a dominant feature. In the end, we borrowed a minaret tower from VBS and put it straight into the middle of the city. It's a great icon for the city, and we made it fully accessible so you can climb all the 167 stairs to the top.

City with minaret tower from top.

If you take the road to the west, you soon arrive at an abandoned camp with a few bungalows and a cottage on the beach. Locals won't speak about it, so do not ask. There is a nice walk on the southern coast, either to a small rock to the east, or to the cape on the western end of the island. From the cape, you can see an abandoned military installation with radio mast on a small island. If you'd take a boat 1 kilometer to the north-west, you would have the opportunity to explore a shipwreck lying on the sandy shoal. Be careful when trying to enter it - old wrecks might be dangerous even if you don't believe local's scary stories about haunted ships.

Rotten wreck near the coast.

The eastern part of the island also has plenty of sightseeing to offer. There are a few more sycamore forests than on the western part. If you take a path north from the city, on the left side of the rocky hill next to the road to Largo, you can get to a small mooring. I wonder if you can also spot the wrecked car from the pier - it seems that the citizens of Porto don't care much about the environment. If you continue along the coast to the east, you soon reach the small fishing village of Largo. There is not much to say about it, except you should not drink Marauder's Mojito served in local sailor's pubs under any circumstances.

RACS troops marching during joint exercise

The local population's disregard of the environment is proved again once you follow the road back to Porto. The foul smell reveals the presence of a nasty dumping ground. Forget about going that way, head to the west instead. I strongly recommend visiting the hill on the southern coast close to the lighthouse. The rocks are a charming place with excellent defence capabilities. There was a gun emplacement in the 18th century, but its stones were exploited for local urban development. And be careful, this place is also a favourite gathering place of the local snake and scorpion population.

MH-6 landing

Terrain was extensively tested in multiplayer during the process of map development, which led to many changes in the layout of buildings and objects. Numerous developers found their fate in massive fights during the Battle of Porto, some of the designers went through hell on an Urban Raid and those most cunning and skilled veterans spilled blood onto Porto's soil in merciless gunfights with Detectors in their heads. Friendly warning to all: Minaret may seem a nice sniping position, but it only works the first time. :)

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