Written by Al "RAFTER" Corey
Executive Producer, Cornered Rat Software
Today marks the 10th anniversary of continuous operation of WWII Online and we are excited and proud to announce the addition of U.S. Forces and a new scenario-based game play option called, "Rapid Action" (R.A.). U.S. Forces will first be featured in the "D-Day" Rapid Action scenario pack and as part of a campaign special event.
For the past several months we have been working on re-writing several of the key systems that make the game work behind the scenes. Many of you have read about this work in recent development updates. This work was required not only to improve the update (host/client) and scoring systems for campaign play but also expand our tools for running scenario/special events with unique rules.
In addition, we have been hard at work evolving our terrain system to create new, highly detailed play areas for R.A. scenarios. To kick-off these new systems and features we have produced the first of many unit and weapon sets that feature the U.S. forces from the WWII era.
* M1911 Colt Automatic Pistol
* M1 Garand Semiautomatic Rifle
* M1A1 Thompson SMG
* M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle
* M1903 Springfield Sniper Rifle
* GeW.43 Semiautomatic Rifle
Beginning with v1.34, a new game UI option will allow players to choose "Campaign" or "Rapid Action" (R.A.) game play. R.A. is our title for scenarios featuring new, custom terrain maps. These scenarios can be created any time using featured maps and can be joined at any time.
R.A. will offer games like Death Match, King of the Hill, single and two stage objectives and more. All will include the new scoring system with real-time events such as player/team points, streaks, objective points and more.
These custom scenarios, utilizing the same simulation-based play found in the campaign will provide instant and frantic action for players who want all the best of WWIIOL at a faster pace or as a break after those 4 hour siege battles found in the campaign.
Rapid Action- "D-Day Pack"
Our first R.A. scenario pack contains 3 unique maps designed around the Allied invasion in June 1944.
"Dog Green" - Relive the beach landing on June 6th in a huge terrain modeled from satellite data, Allied maps, German records and hundreds of photos. This map includes the actual landscape and every bunker, trench, minefield and beach obstacle found at "Dog Green". Will the Americans once again push the Germans back and capture the Vierville Draw? Now you can play either side as many times as you want to enjoy all the action.
"Le Pont du Mal" - In this scenario, an American infantry unit is trying to capture a vital bridge near a French town. The Germans make a hasty defense and are desperate to retain control. Can the Germans hold off the Americans until they are re-enforced?
"River Run" - With both the north and south bridges leading into the town destroyed, the Germans now must engage in a house to house fight with an American unit to see who will be victorious for control of the town. This map includes a special feature for the side that can keep someone alive in the church bell tower. This scenario will certainly earn the title, "Rapid Action".
Campaign Special Event- "The Battle for Aachen"
Our first campaign special event will be a recreation, "Battle for Aachen". The following is a synopsis;
The Allies have moved swiftly across France after their breakout from the Normandy beach head. The Germans, having been rolled back to the very borders of Germany itself, make their biggest stand to date at Aachen, the first major German city to come under Allied threat from the American forces readying themselves to invade Germany. The rapid advance of the Allied forces has stretched their supply lines to the maximum. The Germans have lost most of their equipment in the headlong retreat across France. Both sides will be depending on the upcoming attack at Aachen to influence their fortunes of war and their states of supply.
The schedule and details of this special event will become available in the coming weeks.
1.34 has been in extensive testing for several months and we will be providing a lot more information and updates on availability of this upgrade in the coming days.
We hope all players, past and present will join us in our excitement of this next milestone in the history of this wonderful project.
S! from all the Rats
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Q. Americans!!! I see them listed for "Rapid Action" and campaign scenarios, when do we get them in the actual campaign?
A. We are committed to our long-standing game design of providing balanced play throughout our timeline tiers. Work is underway to complete more of the dozens of new vehicles and weapons required to accurately represent the U.S. forces in Battleground Europe campaign play. Until that work is completed, expect to see large-scale special events and "mini-campaigns" that include U.S.
Q. Do these new R.A. scenarios mean you are no longer focused on improving the campaign game?
A. NO! Much of the core system work and new features we're developing and first deploying in RA scenarios are a test bed for additions to the campaign. For example, an all-new real time scoring system will be ported to the campaign game once the systems are battle tested in scenario play.
Q. When will we see new R.A. terrain in the campaign game?
A. The path is not yet clear on migrating our terrain systems to support hundreds of square miles of play with the detail offered in the new RA maps. The work done in this area for R.A. scenarios is another example of a test bed for the campaign game. Expect to see additional discussion with our community on this subject in the coming weeks.
Q. Will other R.A. scenarios be available after the D-Day pack?
A. Yes we plan to deliver additional scenario packs, weapons and units to support both R.A. and campaign play.
Q. Are R.A. scenarios going to be free?
A. All scenarios will be free for subscribers to play at launch. We expect to offer some content "unlocks" in the near future for even more variety in play.
Q. Is R.A. signaling the beginning of "dumbed-down" gameplay for WWIIOL?
A. Not at all. We are retaining all the attention to detail, historically-based design, advanced physics and damage models that has made WWIIOL the premiere, hard-core combat experience. We are simply lifting that play and packaging it into a fast action style that may appeal to existing players and hopefully as an introduction to many more new players.
Q. When? How soon?
A. As soon as we have a date to announce we will. As you can see from the screen shots and videos, we are in the late stages of testing.