The full name for this discussion should be ArmA 2 Squad.xml, Squad.dtd and Squad.paa Tutorial + FREE Squad.xml hosting (.dtd and .paa also)
It took me a while to find some useful information and some chatter with friends before I could have finally created my own Squad settings and Badge in ArmA 2. There are few tutorials out there that already explain how-to basics but none of them explain some key features and parameters properly. So here comes my version.
In ArmA 2 you can create Squads, add member tags and even your own logo.
Download and edit the following files.
With contents (edit parameters as per your like): https://www.dropbox.com/s/mlxu5fqi97ua7nz/squad.xml
To add more members simply create more member fields in the squad.xml
Squad.xml needs a proper squad.dtd file as follows: https://www.dropbox.com/s/dr9klu8telkmp5j/squad.dtd
You don't have to edit squad.dtd file but it has to be present.
Squad logo aka .paa image.
This is the trickiest part in the entire Squad thingy. This tutorial should explain the simplest way to create a working logo for your squad.
If your squad's logo contains no alpha channels (transparency) you may simply create 128x128 or 256x256 image with jpg extension, example squad.jpg which you later simply put into squad.xml picture parameter as if you do for .paa image. And that's it.
If your squads logo does contain alpha channels, you have two options, TexView 1.1 or TexView 2. I recommend you get both from BIS website.
Install TexView 2, and get TexView 1.1 extracted and ready for use. After that, find a suitable logo image for your squad, make sure it's 128x128 or 256x256 and either .png .tiff .tif or .tga format. The TexView 1.1 supports only .tga for transparency but .tga can be hard to export with alpha channels. Open TexView 2, locate the prepared logo (I suggest .png file) and then in upper left drop down box select RGBA and in the drop down box bellow it select DXT1. You may now go to File>Save as and export your .paa image, example squad.paa
And that's it, your logo is a go! To test it, open TexView 1.1 and open the exported .paa image, if TexView 1.1 opens and displays the image successfully (Don't mind the non-transparent backdrop displayed in TexView 1.1) then your .paa file is ready for use.
Hosting squad.xml squad.dtd and squad.paa/squad.jpg:
There are few options available online, most are free but require a donation if you want to host a logo as well. You are free to use them if you wish as they will work fine. All you have to do is put all 3 above mentioned files in same folder online.
However, I found a better solution, at least for myself, and completely free of charge.
Go to Dropbox.com and if you don't have an account create one. Next up, loggin on the website, find Public folder, then find the 3 squad files on your system, select them and drag-drop them right in the Public folder on the website. Once you do that, the 3 squad files will be in your Dropbox Public folder. This folder is as its name says, a public one, which means everyone can access it if he/she has the link. Finally, to make your squad setup work with your ArmA 2 and your members ArmA 2 clients, you will need a link that is direct download for squad.xml. To do this, find the squad.xml file in your Public Dropbox folder and right click on it, then Select the 1st line in the drop down menu that should say "Get Link" a popup will appear showing you a link that leads to direct squad.xml download, click on the Copy to clipboard button or copy the link. Open up your ArmA 2 game and find Profile settings, place the above mentioned squad.xml link in Squad URL field, then click ok. Distribute the link with your members.
Remember, to add more members to your squad, simply add more squad.xml member fields with valid Player ID's for each player, and then loggin into your Dropbox and simply drag-drop squad.xml right into Public folder, by doing this your squad settings will be auto-updated and almost instantly.
You're good to go.
What are you still waiting for son? Cookies? No cookies, but here's a bonus, since you are willing to read more.
BONUS (Not for Rookies): Servers can kick and ban you, but have you ever thought about doing the same to servers? If you are a n00b who got flagged from too many servers for n00bish actions I bet the answer is yes. Anyway, most of the game server lists are cramped with lots and lots and lots of servers, if you are a good tactical player you will probably look out for the 5% of the ones hard to find, and spend loads of time refreshing the server list if the server filters are not sufficient.
Here's a pro tip to save your day. Ban servers you don't want listed, and this is how:
Get yourself a good firewall. Create a simple text file. Go to Gametracker and look out for some servers IP's,. Open up your text file and write down the unwanted servers IP's, then open your Firewall and under custom rules simply block the IP addresses of those servers you soooo don't want to see anymore in your server lists. Make sure your filter is made in a way that it wont be logged in main events (as to not clot up your logs with too many blocked attempts)
The unwanted servers will no longer appear in server lists, won't be pinged (Good thing if the server's DNS is broken) and will not appear in any of your games until you remove the ban from filters. Please note that while this may help speed up your server list loading times and remove unwanted servers from lists, if the IP address of the servers host is used for some other service which you may use, you will no longer be able to use this service, that's why the text file with IP's you ban should be created so you can search-through this list and find the conflicting IP, then lift the ban if needed.
This method is also useful for non-dedicated server hosts, by default anti-cheat apps create their own ban lists, but you can use firewall banning along the anti-cheat one so that the cheaty n00b is being banned while he/she is being banned. Achievement Unlocked: Double Ban Ninja.
P.S. Something not clear? Don't waste your time searching for an answer if there isn't any, ask in comments.
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