Playnet Inc and Cornered Rat Software's open Beta test of the long awaited 1.29 upgrade is nearing completion. The open Beta allows players to try out new features that will prepare for the release of WWIIOL:Battleground Europe into the Chinese gaming market next year.
In preparation for the launch of the award-winning MMOG “WWIIOL: Battleground Europe” into the Chinese gaming market in 2009, staff at Playnet Inc and Cornered Rat Software have poured thousands of development hours into version 1.29 and veriosn 1.30 to follow, which will add features and improvements that will benefit both current and future players.
"Today marks a big milestone in the testing of the latest version of WWIIOL", says Senior Producer Dana "Gophur" Baldwin. "We have shipped a server and client package to China to begin closed Alpha testing on the servers there. With that completed we can focus on the remaining tasks for version 1.29 and prepare to go live in the next couple of weeks or hopefully sooner. Our Open Test server has as always been agreat tool for our community. While they get a sneak peak at what’s new we in turn get the chance to get feedback and bug reports. MMO’s, as we all know, are huge and complex beasts and the simulation underpinnings of a massive virtual war simulator add to this complexity. As of today’s test release we will have closed all issues sent to test. We still have bug reports and some features left to complete but this is a very big milestone on the path to release. With the continued support of our testers we look to be on track for a release in the next week or two. Plenty of time for all of you from MMORPG.com who have been enjoying our unique MMO to see our next free content release."
One of the most anticipated features of 1.29 is the new tutorial zone and UI. For a beginner, the first foray into Battleground Europe can be a daunting experience. Currently, the game boasts an extensive core of volunteer trainers, and veteran players are always eager to help the "newbiw" stay alive as long as possible. The first phase in the new tutorial system will be “Basic Training”. This feature takes new players into the game through a series of guided tutorials that focus on everything from basic infantry movement and firing to using the map and chat tools for communication and planning. Further updates will expand to include advanced training, advanced combat training, and training on the extensive weapons list including everything from mortar practice ranges to pre flight instruction. The tutorials will also cover every screen of the UI with a new “Quick Help” system. New players should have a much improved experience finding a battle or joining a squad or chatting with others. Baldwin is excited about the future of the program: "Combat training will be next stage of training where players will get to compete in small directed battles so that they are prepared for WWIIOL-style combat before they even step foot into the game world."
Battleground Europe's air war has also seen some updates with 1.29, including two new planes, the Spitfire Mk 1b and the Bf 109 E1 and a flight model audit that has made a dramatic improvement. The yaw fix has made aerobatics and advanced combat maneuvers much easier to perform, an improvement that will make air combat even more exciting.
Also getting some attention is the terrain. Buildings, docks, streets and rural areas are being replaced or improved. "While these all look better in the current game", Baldwin states, "They will really begin to shine when we release the Unity upgrade. The upgraded Unity game engine is scheduled to go into testing in 2009 and will not only improve performance and content for players, it makes adding things like "rag doll" physics to the game alot easier.
A full readme on what 1.29 will bring to Battleground Europe can be found here on their official website.
MMORPG.com members are invited to sign up for an exclusive 14 day free trial of Battleground Europe. Anyone interested in taking part in the Open Beta of 1.29 will need a premium suscription, now available to MMORPG.com trial members at a special price. Full details here.