This post is two things – the first is a video I created to show just how imperfect and finicky the Arma 3 action menu is (and by association, Arma 2, Arma 1, and OFP), while the second is some thoughts of mine on how it could be largely replaced by a better system.
First, the video. This is 30 minutes long – you’ll get the idea in the first ten, but the remaining twenty show off some specific aspects of how it pertains to vehicles and how interacting with doors could be improved.
As you can see, the action menu and attempt at a context-sensitive action menu system in Arma 3 are insufficient and heavily flawed. I believe that Arma needs a proper and modernized context-sensitive “Use” or “Interaction” key. The existing “action menu” is an imperfect solution and while it should probably remain in the game in some capacity for those special-case uses (particularly via mods), I believe that most interaction tasks can be better accomplished with such a “Use” key. The premise is that this key would have context-sensitive functionality, as well as offer different functionality based on whether it was just tapped once, or pressed and held down.
I have collected a series of examples of how this interaction could behave. I believe these are very compelling reasons for adding such functionality. In my examples “TapUse” means tapping the use key once. “HoldUse” means pressing and holding it.
This system would go a long way towards making interaction with the environment smoother and more logical. I believe it’s an interface tweak that would help a great deal to improve Arma’s accessibility as well as enjoyability.
Let’s look at vehicles first. Right now you walk up to a vehicle and must use the scroll wheel to select a position. This is slow, cumbersome, and finicky.
I propose that for vehicles, TapUse would cause you to mount the vehicle in the closest logical spot. Stand by the driver side door and press it and you’ll get into that spot, for example.
HoldUse, by comparison, would bring up an selection of options that you could scroll through to select, then release HoldUse to activate. This could be a simple centered position list on your screen, such as:
- (none) – Default, so that you can select this to have a ‘no action’ outcome.
This would be a much smoother system and would mean that players rarely would need to use the clumsy action menu to mount vehicles.
Some other examples follow.
- TapUse: If the person is facing you, such as a civilian, this would engage dialog with them. If they are not facing you, it would do a ‘tap shoulder’ style action, like in ACE2.
- HoldUse: If the person is facing you, this would inspect the unit/open their inventory/etc. If they are not facing you and have a backpack, this would open up their backpack.
- TapUse: Melee strike.
- HoldUse: If the person is not facing you, this will attempt a “silent takedown”.
“But Dslyecxi, when would you ever use melee in Arma?” someone asked, not having seen one of many videos in which I could easily have used melee in player-vs-player missions in an authentic fashion.
Dead or Incapacitated person
- TapUse: Open up their inventory (dead), apply basic first aid (alive).
- HoldUse: Open a small menu (while held) that offers up various options, including:
- More advanced first aid options like epi, morphine, etc. These would be things beyond what TapUse would permit, which would be more like bandaging.
- Begin dragging or carrying the person (two options, holdUse again to set them down)
- “Disarm”/”handcuff” or similar options, ala ACE2
- TapUse: Open or close the door you’re looking at.
- HoldUse: Engage ‘incremental open’ – while holding the key, the mousewheel would allow you to slowly close/open the door. This is a feature from Raven Shield, one which I have mocked up in the above video in Arma 3.
- TapUse: Get on/get off of ladder (‘get off’ disabled if it would result in a fatal fall)
- HoldUse: While on a ladder, allow you to ‘slide’ quickly down it (another Raven Shield feature).
- TapUse: If a friendly mine, give you interaction options (arm, tripwire, disable, etc). If an enemy mine, give you the option to disarm it.
- HoldUse: If a friendly mine, allow you to drag or move it to change the placement. If an enemy mine, nothing.
- TapUse: Open container/inventory
- HoldUse: Start dragging the box/container, if light enough
Static or crew-served weapons
- TapUse: Mount weapon
- HoldUse: CSW interaction menu (options for dragging, disassembling, reloading/unloading, turning, etc)
- TapUse: Ignite or extinguish
Gear/items on the ground
- TapUse: If able, move item into inventory. If unarmed, and the item is a weapon, pick up and equip it. This would allow for very intuitive implementation of a “drop weapon chance when shot in hands” feature that wouldn’t require you to play hunt-for-the-add-action to pick it back up.
- HoldUse: Carry item. While held, you can reposition it – when released, you set it down. For instance, you could use this to move a weapon away from a downed enemy, or carry an ammo can or spare missile to a weapon that needs it.
Introducing Even More Functionality
You could take this even further and introduce a double-tap-use functionality. For instance, a CSW could be changed such that:
- TapUse: Mount weapon
- Double-TapUse: Open interaction menu on CSW
- HoldUse: Drag CSW
Regardless of if it’s just a tapUse/holdUse distinction, or taken further with an additional 2x option, I think this is one of the most dramatic positive usability changes that could be made to Arma’s interface at this point.
If you support this idea, feel free to reference this page in discussions. There is an existing topic about fixing the action menu on the Arma 3 bug tracker – if you have an account (or are willing to create one), you can vote for it here. While my system and the system in that ticket differ, the basic theme is the same, and honestly any changes can only be for the better at this point. Feel free to reference this article in your feedback response if you agree with the ideas I’ve presented here.
Here’s hoping we’ll see something develop in the future regarding this!
I can’t help but agree. I’m not as seasoned a veteran as anybody in ShackTac, but I have played Arma 2 enough to know the problems you’re talking about. The number of times I want to open a backpack, door, vehicle, etc. and I instead switch to my pistol or launcher. It’s gotten me killed a few times. The fact that it’s still in Arma 3 is…terrible. As well having a slightly easier interaction system would probably help boost sales, albeit by a small margin. New guys to the series wouldn’t be as overwhelmed by the crappy interface and would be more likely to play it, support it, and share it. As well the lack of a melee is simply silly, and can we also have bayonets maybe?
Here are my wishes for ArmA 3.
1. An animation for every single action you can possibly do. If you open a door, have an animation for it. If you have to knock some sense into a comrade by slapping the hell out of him, make an animation.
2. (This idea might not work very well, so just bear with me) Ability to actually do the motion with your mouse. Like say you wanted to breach a house. Instead interacting with it and throwing the door wide open only to receive a fiesta of bullets, the possibility of using your mouse to crack the door open as much as you like, so instead of giving the enemy a pinata to celebrate their kill, you can open the door, bit by bit as you please, and easily peak inside. Yes, I know that is 1 fuck up excuse of a sentence, but an informative one non the less.
Oh, might i add, if the 2nd idea would somehow work, it would also need two ways of doing so. Pressing the interaction button would just open the door like it does now, but holding the button would allow you to open it up as much as you’d like.
I apologize for that post, I JUST saw the bit where you had opened the door just a sliver. Go ahead and delete all my messages. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Shows just how intuitive this is. If that isn’t enough to prove that it’s a good idea, nothing is.
I completely agree with everything you said. I even think that they have the toys to play with to make all that happen and ACTUALLY ANIMATIONS of getting in vehicles. Its about time!
I hope Bohemia can implement some if not all of this stuff. I think EVERYONE can agree that the system needs to be improved.
It’s good that you take time to point out this problem. And I agree with you with everything. And I maybe have a solution, if you looked back to Take On Helicopters there were Interactive fixed icons on things, on objects so you exactly know what are you pressing. In Arma 3 you have icon fixed next to crosshair and that is simply wrong.. here is an example of Take On Heli way http://youtu.be/c268lAalqSk?t=1m12s So this is acttualy something what Bis have done, so it would be more easy to them to do it in Arma 3. And I imagine it somehow that when you come close to the door, the fixed icon on the door will slowly fade in when you get closer and you exactly know that this is the right icon and it’s unique for these door. And it would work also work on everything else, fixed icon on the backpacks, on the helicopters and vehicles and even for the guns and objects on the ground and so on. Now when you pointing this out, I hope that Bis do something..
One thing: HoldUse would open up a menu perfectly serviceable by hotkeys.
ACE’s “Tap your interaction, E for Examine, D for Drag, G for Gear” works pretty damn neat, they could seriously look there with the menu pop-ups.
I agree.. this is pissing me off
Thanks for using your voice to direct attention to these broken systems. I hope a lot do as I and back it up.
100% agree. i had so many bad experiences with the action menu that i sincerely hope it will get fixed as fast as possible, especially with the ladder function which is completely retarded. we need a key on the keyboard that does all of those functions, of course the action menu should exist for other things but the function that it is fulfilling is done in a sloppy and ridiculously bad way. lets hope that the game developers will come to their senses and fix those things as it will make the game feel much better and much less irritating.
I have been killed countless times in game for this stupid action menu, and i fully agree with the idea to remove it.
Agreed completely as a Arma1,Arma2 and now Arma3 veteran I hate the action menu it is old and outdated, And should be updated to improve the game experience for both old and new player. Make it more Fluid and Intuitive with Key Presses or an Action key
This could have been fixed right off the bat with radial menus. I just can’t believe we’re still living in a world where scroll menus and that sort of garbage is the common way of getting stuff done.. I mean.. How have we not embraced radial menus? Hold down Alt while pointing at a chopper, SHAZAM, circle of options around your reticule, drag the mouse in the direction of the option you want and release Alt, done. NO! Evidently scrolling through a messed up menu that changes contents as you move.. that’s how we’re gonna roll..
Anyone who has ever spent any time working in Maya or similar will know the insane power of radial menus. You could easily make a voice command menu with dozens and dozens of macros that would take you literally a second to get to once you know where the different ones are.. Hold down X, menu pops up around cursor, up is assist, left is spotted, right is reply down is whatever. Drag it to the left, reply menu opens up around cursor giving you lots of different replies. That’s only one level deep. you could literally make as many layers as you’d need in a menu system like that. Spotted>Vehicle>Tank>T72 or spotted>infantry>Anti Tank team etc etc.
Sooooo need to kill the whole ArmA UI. Either that or make it moddable enough that people can fix it themselves. The UI and the net code are the two main reasons I’ve yet to get back into ArmA 3. Bought the alpha, played 30 mins, haven’t touched it since.. Bought OFP on launch day, every other game since. Feels like I’m done with the series now, though. They’ve had a decade to fix net code, AI and UI, and those three things have not changed at all. Nothing has been done there.. Blows my mind. Here’s to hoping they might spend some of that DayZ money on a network programmer and a UI designer. (Not happening.)
I am on board with this.
The number of times i have jump´t out of a helicopter…
Or getting ready to land, i select the get out option, only to have the menu change the order of things and i select go to gunner or something.
We need a fix, please look in to it Bohemia!
Agreed in every aspect, especially on the point: “If you let the modders build it, it will come.” If BI (for whatever bullshit reason) doesn’t have the time or money to implement this, WE WILL!
Can’t disagree with all of it. One can only get disappointed with all the propositions for a better solutions getting overlooked over and over. Yes! I prefer Action Key / Gear action key / Vehicle interaction key instead of an unavoidable and clunky scroll menu which goes against the urgency’s of armed combat in its whole.
I don’t think it’s a rant. I believe it’s more of a cry for help in the name of a morbidly pissed off community. How pissed?? Just go check any public server on a Saturday night…
I completely agree with dslyecxi if the claim they want to make this a better experience with smooth infantry tactic’s why are these old systems in here sadly i will be disappointed if this game comes out with no change to the action menu.
I believe this is what you would like for asset highlighting.
Feel free to use it and share it around to strengthen your case.
A short link if you need it
Wow, can i get this for testing. it looks great.
How did you do that?
Looking closely at the outlines, he seems to have used an image editor. Like Adobe Photoshop, or the GIMP. It’s a mockup of what Bohemia could do. Many games have done something similar.
I enjoy playing as a pilot in ArmA. I’ve always loved a good dogfight map, or acting as CAS. However if I need to lower my flaps a bit so I can get that little tiny bit of extra turning power out of my F/A-enemykiller I end up lowering my gear or turning off my engines. Or if I’m using a mod I end up killing my afterburners for that all too necessary speed.
There’s no reason anyone should ever have to suffer that, and while I’m aware you can set those keybindings, something like that should have a default. Not later on discover it because someone who’s a veteran player told you and was just trying to be a bro.
I cannot agree with you any more than I already do!!! Please seriously take this on-board BI please. It’s not just a simple little point of detail that we’re putting up, it’s how we interact with this wonderful environment you all have sculpted so well and you cannot comprehend the scale of the positive impact you’d have if you seriously took on board our man’s feedback.
Every review since OpFor has critisised the action menu, please sort!
Every suggestion and feature asked of here has my full support all the way, it would improve ARMA so much!
it´s simply a great Idea, and it would make the Gameplay much smoother.
I think, thats a “Must-Topic” for the ArmA 3 Team of Bohemia.
I like your Vids, stay on that way, how you do it 😉
Greetings from Germany
Thank you Dslyecxi for addressing this.
I really hope BI is going to improve the Action Menu. I have played so much ARMA now, that I just got the feel for the action menu, so I can use it … okayish. But especially for players who are new to ARMA, the action menu is crap.
Greetings from Germany … again 😀
My main gripe with the whole Arma series addressed in 30mins. Multi-Addaction must die.
I’d wait an extra month of A3 full release as long as I could do all that D pointed out.
Just too look at a injured comrade and get drag or heal. Not place mine, open Backpack, pick fkn flowers, etc
TopRant MrD was absolutely required.
What about a radial menu like this here:
or … gah just so many design examples …
(should be enough)
for such things described in here (and yes i know that it alrdy was mentioned but there were no examples)
While I think he was attempting to produce a slightly quicker form of interaction via a “smart” hot key, this would be an improvement. However, if they are going to go through the work to mark specific seats or interactive parts in a bag or body, the hotkey for each would be more beneficial and already be present being that the current markup would be pointing to those points already.
I like the idea of 2 radial menus separating interaction with external and internal world. So:
1. Radial menu for external world/objects (With a color palette resembling the color used for outlining the object you are interacting with)
2. Radial menu for internal decisions (With a different color palette so that there would be an intuitive distinction between the two.
Make Radial (1) so that when looking at e.g. bay of an APC you would be able to just tab the use key (Lets say tab “E”) and the default action would be activated (Default action should in this example be “Get in”) If you were to hold use key (Now holding “E”) you would get radial menu 1 with extra options for the particular object. Also there could be displayed a non-intrusive text to tell you what the default action would be (Maybe able to turn off in settings when you get used to the defaults?) This way you would always know what tabbing action key on an object would do.
You would only need to bind e.g. “E” as external interaction and “Shift+E” for internal.
You want a quick button tap to commit the most likely required action given your position and what you’re pointing at. This is entirely reasonable and really shouldn’t be a problem in 2013.
Just because Arma is a simulation doesn’t mean it has to be difficult to get simple things done. Getting killed because the game wouldn’t let you do what you should’ve been able to do is frustrating, and we don’t play games to get frustrated. (Well, most of us anyway.)
Also, I laughed out loud at the options in the video screenshot there. “Accidentally satchel UH-80 Ghost Hawk”, “Ignore UH-80 Ghost Hawk”.
Could not agree more! It has to go! Well not go, per say, but not be used for everything.
First off thank you for the RavenShield shoutout! One of the best CQC game ever made. When I talk about Arma to people now I refer to it as my new “RavenShield.” For the fact of it doing what it does so well.
With that said, yes, I agree with you completely. The scroll menu just doesn’t work! Until I watched your video I thought you could not access the gunner spot from outside the hunter. I always get in as the driver and switch to the gunner. As for the MH-9 I can’t get into the rear seats, only on the skids.
It’s infuriating to see that icon pop up with your trying to do something and then it’s gone and can’t be found again. Not even mentioning trying to doing it under duress.
Your ideas are really good and I’m glad you’re getting these issues noticed. I haven’t looked on the bug tracker yet about this issue, but I can’t help but feel if someone mentioned it, they would be downvoted. Hopefully proper support will really get this issue resolved.
Right now I can see a few things. This won’t be fixed for release. They’re so close that I doubt, they’ll risk creating bugs with it. Maybe they’ll make it a priority and make it the first big patch. Maybe they’re release it with an OA style upgrade. Or maybe do nothing at all.
My hope now is for modders to get access to it and fix the issue for ourselves.
Thanks for making a video about this so BI can see that it’s not some little annoyance a few people have, but a major issue holding adoption and enjoyment of the game back.
Back in 2001, the action menu in Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis was not as much of a pain in the anus since it A) didn’t force you to dick around with doors and B) the lack of control/gameplay complexity compared to the Arma-series made it slightly less convoluted. For its time, I certainly didn’t think it was a bad concept at all, but could it have benefited from an action-key? Absolutely! It wasn’t perfect even back then. Then again, how many military simulators existed for the home user market before 2001 with such level of depth as Cold War Crisis?
As for Arma III… YES! OH YES, I completely agree that the action system needs some serious refinements! The ability to easily and smoothly interact with squad mates with the press of ONE key is PARAMOUNT in hectic situations when you just want to heal or drag someone away from harm’s way, but adopting an improved context-sensitive action key system for everything else as well would make the deal that much sweeter!
Please, Bohemia Interactive, consider implementing Dslyecxi’s idea into Arma III! It would seriously enhance the game experience and make A LOT of people happy..
cue the “IT’S HAPPENING”‘ .gif
The action menu is a catch-all. That’s the be all and end all of it. They’ve been heaping more and more code on top of the same basic game for years without refining, or rebuilding their API. I say “API” because that’s really what they’re building: an Application Programming Interface. The application just happens to be a game.
While many may feel that it’s really great to see how easy it was to port over all their old mods and scripts from Arma2 to Arma3: there are many others who are familiar with the series and who may be game developers, software engineers, webmasters, or mechanical engineers that can see this is in fact bad practice. In most circumstances: the various methods, properties, classes and objects built on a previous version of software are redacted because of redundancy, or re-engineered to be more efficient and/or effective. This has never been the case with Arma.
People have been able to all but copy and paste code from one version to the next. This leads me to believe that the core game functionality – the meat – has not really changed. There’s just been more and more assets and functions added to a system that feels at times like it’s ready to burst.
This results in a sloppy experience for gamers, an unnecessary use of processing power on user systems, and over-engineered implementations of core game-mechanics/functions that (no doubt in my mind) end up manifesting themselves to Bohemia development cycles as costly overhead.
Personally, I don’t think I need to offer a solution to them. I feel that the epic multitude of successful games in the genre doing it in a completely different way should be evidence enough that the current mechanic is a broken and lazy implementation. I also feel that as they are the professional game designers and developers (in that order) that a robust, useful, responsible, and API enabled solution could be engineered by them with relative ease.
I can offer an outline of system I use in my day to day operations to solve similar issues:
1) Establish the base desired functions in context – we’re talking low level here. Figure out what it is that the users/players are attempting to accomplish. At a base level, you must fulfil this need. If all goes to hell, and the project fails due to internal politics, or technical failures: you must be able to pull this portion off. This to me: is the current Action Menu System. It works – and that’s all it does. You should never aim to accomplish just this portion. This is called MVP – or “Minimum Viable Product”. Successful and legendary products are never MVP! Pick any of your favourite products or services in life and honestly identify if they simply met the base need. They exceed it everytime.
2) Identify the desired outcome. What is it that the user is trying to do, and how does he expect or desire it to occur/function? Dslyecxi’s video identifies most of these points. When the user identifies an object he wants to interact with by looking at it in relative proximity: he expected to be able to perform a standardized action against that object. If additional actions are available – they should be accessible. Never turn the table on the user by giving disparate methods to achieve the same result. eg: Door 1 is at the top when I open it, and now to Close it: Door 1 is at the bottom of the list.
3) Figure out what your users are accustomed to using to get the job done currently. Read that sentence again without thinking of Arma – and just think about F/TPS’s. It’s a no-brainer. They use context sensitive keys, or very explicit menu systems with limited, and intuitive navigation requirements and functions. If you wanted to think about it in terms of Arma itself: you need only watch Dslyecxi’s video to see what currently is used.
4) Address the issues with the current system. What about this process is cumbersome? What do you like? What don’t you like? What works and what doesn’t? The order of these becomes important in this step. If we had started out here: our users would have been continuing the rest of this discovery process with a bad taste in their mouth while simoultaneously keeping their minds firmly rooted in the current system and un-receptive to new ideas. By asking them what (not how) they do, and then how they want to do it – they are more receptive to new ideas, but at the same time will be able to clearly identify the goods and bads of the current system
5) Present a simple idea. A few key points with minimal moving parts is key to a good design. This is as true in games as it is in software design, auto manufacturing and space flight. Massage the idea a bit to get it into the shape you want – and then determine if it fills most of (if not all) of the issues from items 1-4. If it does, then and only then do you begin to do a deep dive to prove that it is indeed a viable solution. Here, and only here can you start getting in to the technical nitty-gritty. Commit to it! If the design is solid, and you believe in it: then you must adhere to it whenever possible. Those that are not on board need a re-adjustment, or restructuring may be required. No lone gunmen allowed.
This is just some basic process analysis that is geared towards interfaces/user experiences. It’s nothing new, and businesses have been doing this for the better part of 50 years.
I apologise for the long-winded response, but it’s something that I’m passionate about. I’ve worked very hard to become successful at what I do using this process in every project.
Bohemia, you got this.
It is clear that the control of your character is fundamental to enjoyable gameplay – more so in multiplayer as you have the added potential ‘cognitive overload’ of comms from other players to react to. I agree with the concept of an action key but add the observation that it too can be annoying. Splintercell/Hitman style where the action key required is given to the player is still cumbersome as it requires that split second in order to react – I still have Sam opening or closing a door instead of doing a deadly takedown – it looks so stupid as clearly the character would not do this action! Hitman makes use of the ‘onscreen action key’ in a clever way when your character ends up brawling with a target – you have to predict which key to hit to fell your opponent. I think this could be incorporated into ARMA3 where melee attacks may be possible. I love stealth/infiltration style gameplay and I think this should be available in ARMA3. You want the excitement of unpredictability in these situations – where a single mistake jeapordises the mission (thinking back to taking of the fuel depot in Dragon Rising for example). I know there are games out there that cover this style of gameplay but I would like to see it as an option in ARMA multiplayer games too.
Re. action key – I agree that muscle memory is difficult to cultivate with the current keyboard setup (I never play consoles) and the demands of numerous options for control of vehicles and troops as commander is a big ask. However, adding the complexities to infantry incremental stance for example, which I appreciate having, but not at the expense of losing standard key controls – why is ‘V’ step over, all of a sudden when it was effectively used for bringing sights up to eye level in previous games, for example? (And of course ‘G’ now used for grenade!!) I read/watched Dslyecxi’s recent comments about poor user interaction with objects and totally agree that this should have been the number-one priority fix before adding to game complexity. I hope it is not too late to make these changes as the new game looks great but must be user (keyboard) friendly above all else, or no one will be willing to buy into it in the future once it is released. There needs to be a gradient of complexity to allow younger players to become accustomed to effective play but also be willing to add the necessary skills to play in a more expert fashion as they develop. Otherwise, we could potentially lose new recruits because of ‘too many rules’. Playing the new ‘tutorials’ only goes to demonstrate how messed up the keyboard settings are – as a seasoned CWC player, I am puzzled by the lack of attention to this key area of gameplay. Nevertheless, I don’t agree with the ‘radial’ ‘rose’ options menu display either – it works in some games very effectively (I like it in Assassins Creed) but I found it clumsy in Blacklist…I think this is more about what you want to appear on your screen during gameplay. I wouldn’t expect my HUD on the battlefield to contain this information so I feel it would look out of place for this game genre. A shopping list would be more appropriate (‘Did I pack the C4 in my kitbag?’) ;0)
I am glad ARMA 3 is massive, and that the guys have been working so hard to make it a realistic and enjoyable experience – keep up the good work but fix these bugs!
I showed Arma 3 to my brother, trying to get him to be a new player and teammate. The first thing he said, action menu is to clunky for him!
DO BIS devs actually play the game?
I wholehearted agree with you, good sir. I was killed twice today, during play, as a direct result of the inaction menu.
Once, while under heavy fire, a comrade was taken out. I was close enough to drag him behind the cover I was sheltering behind. I managed to find the DRAG option and proceeded to drag the unfortunate fellow to safety. Unfortunately, the enemy who had fired upon my colleague decided that, since there was no longer any suppressing fire coming from my location, that it was safe to come around the corner of my building. He turned the corner and there, right before him, about six metres away… Me. Dragging my buddy. Unable to find the DROP option, I was also incapacitated. Much to the chagrin of my associates, who were relying on me to save them.
Later, I was serving in the role of Marksman, and providing a successful, withering fire suppression from the roof of a building. Once the area was cleared, the town became clear, the next AO was announced and the Helis were coming in to exfil all the ground troops, I went to the edge of the roof to climb back down the ladder….. I kept moving, shifting, trying to find the ladder that was right in front of me. I mis-stepped, and fell from the roof. Fell to my death. Fortunately, one of my colleauges dragged me back to the heli and threw my sorry ass in for return to base.
This simply MUST stop. Context sensitive Action Key is the ONLY way forward. Tell me where I sign, there MUST be a petition, right?