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World War II Online - News

News from the front line. WWII MMO FPS, Play For Free. www.wwiionline.com

Author: XOOM-CRS

Contributor: hyoslvr2

TOE Adjustments, Death Lag. ATG's Flipping

Posted by hyoslvr2 Friday July 20 2018 at 1:41PM
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XOOM


Today's update is going to cover the adjustments coming to the TOE's or "Tables of Equipment," Death lag that you may be encountering, and the guns (AA/AT) that have been acting up by flipping over when they shouldn't be and what we're doing to correct it. These are among a few things that CRS is currently working on.




 


TABLES OF EQUIPMENT (TOEs) ADJUSTMENTS


Currently the Game Manager is analyzing a proposal that the Production team has assembled. It's quite a big adjustment to how we have supply and we've started with baseline historical numbers on a per unit basis. The objective is to provide more accurate spawn lists in terms of the number of vehicles available. Naturally we have to weigh this against game play and having fun, as with all things there's only so far into the realm of 100% reality we can go towards. But this has turned in to a good discussion point and the team is representing both sides very well.


In terms of when this will be implemented, let me be sure to say it's not something that we want to "rush." But it is something the guys are actively working to achieve.


DEATH LAG


An acknowledgement here on this particular topic is important for you to know that we're listening and reading the .reports, .bugs and seeing your concerns in the forums. I've asked our team to dig into this a little bit more to see how are auto-despawn is working and make sure that the grace that we provide for lower end connections can be properly balanced with making sure that those with a quality connection are healthy.


The Game Manager has a set of tools and will be getting some more reports from our development team soon to paint a good picture about what's going on. We can tighten up this, but it will be a little less forgiving for folks with a bad connection. That is the most immediate thing we can do. Otherwise evaluating where code improvements can be made is also significant, however with our current work flow being placed on 64-bit and 1.36, resources are hard to spare.


I'd like to know more about what you think on this, particularly, would you like to see CRS tighten up the reigns here a little bit and be less forgiving for lower end connections?


GUNS FLIPPING


HATCH was able to determine what was going on with the guns acting up and we've assigned an artist to go inside of the FLT files to correct the issue. So far we've updated two guns and will be updating more that are being affected. As soon as these are ready we'll put them up for release and roll them into the game, and announce which guns are being fixed as soon as possible.


This was one of those "top game breaking bugs" that was announced and it's something we're happy to report good movement on. We'll keep you posted.


RESOURCE ALLOCATION


We know that there's a lot you'd guys like us to accomplish, and we also know that when we develop a Roadmap and set expectations for what we're going to accomplish that we need to do everything in our power to deliver on that. Right now we're pretty tapped in our development resources on their current objectives. It's a tough balance to maintain but we're compelled to do the best we can to meet your expectations and deliver results for WWII Online.


The goal of writing this part is just a reminder to be patient and understand that although time has gone on a bit, the same difficulties in staffing and timeline to implementation continues to exist. Your grace is appreciated and your desire to get results is warranted undoubtedly. 


Thanks for reading and I hope this was helpful for some points of acknowledgement and getting a short update on the other things we're working on that don't often get a lot of notice.

 


WWII Online 17th Anniversary

Posted by hyoslvr2 Friday June 8 2018 at 3:32PM
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WWII Online 17th Anniversary


June 6th, 2001, WWII Online was launched setting a Guinness World Record for the "First massively multiplayer online war game"! 


This past Wednesday, CRS hosted a special event in Anhee - where it all began! Special commentary highlighted the event from OHM, OLDZEKE, and XOOM. Several "Year 1 players" also shared their experiences and reminisced from years past. Festivities included




"The Purge", Kill A RAT, DD's falling from the sky, and XOOM sporting the "Skull". The event ended with a brutal battle in this historic town. Many RATS were harmed in this event! hehe

 

Dev Note April 27, 2018

Posted by hyoslvr2 Friday April 27 2018 at 1:04PM
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Dev Report - April 27th, 2018

The Friday Update is being taken over by QA Team this week. Currently the QA team is in the middle of a testing cycle for the next release of the game. The next update will include a couple new vehicles, the KE audit and several fixes. One of the new vehicles coming for the next release is a continuation of the C/S series tanks for the British forces. The Churchill V C/S is a dedicated Infantry support tank with a QF 95mm low velocity howitzer. We are also testing the KE Audit. This is one of the two audits we have been anticipating getting. The KE Audit deals with the Kinetic Energy of


ammunition, which includes armor penetration. It effects small arms and all the way up to larger caliber ammunition used in Tanks and ATGs. This audit includes around 100 different ammunition types. So far, everything is looking good. We hope to have the testing wrapped up in the next couple weeks and out to you.

 

Now we don't always just test new vehicles and game features. We also keep and eye on bug reports that come in from you, using the .bug command in game or from the Testing and Bug Reporting forum. One of our Alpha team members, mwhitman, put together a small primer on how the .bug process goes.

 

The .bug command.

The .bug command is a feature in the game that allows players to report bugs or strange things they find in-game. It is NOT for reporting suspected cheating or odd behaviour, as that is what the .report command is for. The difference being that and .bug reports are collated into a daily log and then sent to various members of the CRS team, whereas when you do a .report that is seen by any GM's that are currently in-game, and will be investigated at once.

If you have a bug to report just open the chat bar and type .bug Bugtext

When you type .bug and enter your description of the bug we would receive something like this:-

2018-04-19 23:45:10 oldmax77 3.9.4.2,US 82nd Infantry Brigade widowmkr1 mission cell#196sortie #1850279 near Berry-Au-Bac N49.23.59 E3.52.4,Platform=1,OSVer=10.0.102.40,ClientVer=1.35.12.1,uptime=6649min
"ai on w side of berry au back cp (north side of town) can't be repaired"

This gives us the time and date you did the report, your gamename, what mission you were in and your exact location in the game world. Plus of course the message you typed.

In the above example you can see oldmax77 has reported an issue with an AI. When we receive the .bug report we'd look at oldmax77's report, then go into the game starting at the location listed, and have a look for the offending AI and see if we can replicate his report, ie, you can't repair this AI.

If we confirm the bug, we would then look to see if this issue has already has a ticket created for it on our bug tracking system. If it doesn't we would then create one including all the relevant information from the .bug report, plus any addition information/pictures we might have to add.

This ticket would then eventually be assigned to one of the production/dev team to be fixed.

After the bug has been fixed it would be included in a future alpha or beta build and passed to the QA team to verify that the fix works. Once the QA teams signs off to say its working it will then be included in a future game update.

 

The QA Team is looking to grow. We have both the Alpha team and Beta team. We are looking for players that know the game well and understand basics of their operating system. Each team has different expectations when it comes to time. We are an all volunteer team and understand some only have limited time they can dedicate to volunteer. Our Alpha team, during a testing cycle, puts in roughly 10+ hours a week into testing. A Beta team member can expect 3-5 hours of testing during a testing cycle. If you think you would like to volunteer to be a part of the QA Team, you can email scking@corneredrats.com stating that you would like to joint he QA team and provide a little bit about yourself and experience with the game.

 

S!

 

SCKING (QA Team Lead)

Fundraiser Perks and Adjustments

Posted by hyoslvr2 Friday April 20 2018 at 2:39PM
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2018 Fundraiser and Perks


Special thanks to all that contributed to the 2018 Fundraiser primary goal! Stretch goal funding is still underway and is at 20%! The teams are working on fulfilling donation perks as we speak, so keep an eye on your email "inbox" for details.



 

Fundraiser stretch goals are just over 20% funded for content requested items:

  • High Command Officer uniforms and permission set
  • Mission Leader uniforms and permission set
  • Personal decals available on Infantry uniforms
  • Return of the Old Bunkers (City and Pentagon) with new and improved artwork
  • We'll introduce several new towns to the game and expand the map
  • We'll target advertising to help expand our reach and bring new players in


Visit the 2018 Fundraiser page for more details. Show your support and be prepared to "Pack the bunker!!!"

 


Campaign 152 Status

Today marks the 60th day of Campaign 152! The map seems to be pushing West, but with great resistance! This campaign is FAR from over, spawn in NOW and join the fight!

Server Adjustments

CRS constantly monitors the campaigns and servers. It was determined that the following changes were needed:

  1. Supply timers (the time equipment returns to the battlefield when you are "killed in action" from 12 hours, to 15 hours
  2. Capture timers (as of today) were increased by approx. 25% overall. Low population adjustments remained in tact.

Useful Links for WWII Online

For the WWII Online enthusiasts, here are a few links to keep you updated on WWII Online - in and out of the game. 

 

S! Cornered Rat Software

 

WWII Online 2018 Roadmap

Posted by XOOM-CRS Friday January 19 2018 at 4:41PM
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The big day is here and it's time to show you what's happening for 2018 at WWII Online and Cornered Rat Software! From completing some last remaining items in our 2017 roadmap, to several new vehicles, enhancing the software to a 64-bit version, redoing our user interface and getting the hybrid supply system in order, and the beginning stages of creating a new development Wing at CRS to move our graphics and assets to into the future. Okay everyone, get the popcorn ready, HERE WE GO!


2017 ROADMAP DELIVERY OVERVIEW

One of the most important things for our new team at Cornered Rat Software is to continuously deliver on the promises that we make to you. Internally we have something we like to go by, "Under promise - Over deliver." While sometimes we cannot always make the timelines we set (because we're a mostly volunteer team at this stage) we do our very best and take seriously following through. So the first part of this Roadmap is of course dedicated to showing you the things we did complete, and then how we'll be prioritizing the items that require completion from 2017.

2017 Completions

  1. We released on Steam September of 2017.
    1. This absorbed a substantial amount of time with all departments.
  2. UDP Packet Communication.
  3. Expanded Concurrent user capacity.
  4. Updated lots of old legacy art work.
  5. Squad tools released.
  6. Massive increase in bandwidth (factor of 10).
  7. Several new servers, components and wires added to colocation.
  8. Death lag removed.
  9. Anti-hack counter measures.
  10. Self-Propelled Anti-Aircraft vehicles.

Pending Deliveries (In Progress / Expected [EST] Deliveries)

  • Tank Busters: Stuka G2, Hurricane Mk II D and P39 Airacobra (Imminent / Q1-2018)
    • Currently in Quality Assurance testing
  • Ballistics Audit: High Explosive, Kinetic Energy, Small Arms (Q1-2018)
    • Next up in QA testing
    • Explosives will become substantially more powerful / lethal (air, land, sea)
    • Kinetic Energy (non-explosive munitions) will be to historical values
    • Small arms will fire more in accordance with their historical values
  • Italian Soldiers (Q1-2018)
    • Currently receiving polish prior to QA
  • Allied .30 Caliber (Q2-2018)
  • Allied M1A1 Carbine & Paratroopers (Q2-2018)
  • German STG44 (Q2-2018)
  • 1.36 Hybrid Supply (Q3/4-2018)
  • 64-bit game application (Q3/4-2018)
  • Integrated Voice Communications (Q4-2018)

2018 ROADMAP KEY ITEMS

With those 2017 items coming to a close pretty rapidly, we wanted to focus on a couple of very important priorities that have been in progress for a bit now.

HYBRID SUPPLY SYSTEM (1.36)

We engaged heavily with the community and even our people internally about our original plans for 1.36, and we've made some changes that we think are going to do better to meet the best of both worlds, that being town based supply and what we know today with TOE's / Brigades. We know that there are some issues with High Command officers and players have to do to keep the current system running, for those of you stepping up to HC and holding the line (we salute you big time!). But it's our duty to make some changes and do the very best we can so that we set you up for success. So here are some short notes about what 1.36 will be about (now) and why this will have a very big impact on game play. It should be noted that several of our goals as announced last year still remain, so while this may be a bit redundant (and obvious to some of you vets) we're going to be sure to list them out again so everyone knows what we're trying to do.

Primary Goals Include:

  1. Stabilizing the Campaign map during ALL time zones.
  2. Providing more supply for the players throughout the entire theatre of operations.
  3. Redeploying High Command's focus on cultivating great community relations and massive coordinated battles.
  4. Providing greater opportunity for organization via planned operations.
    1. We're looking to incorporate a newer version of web HC tools to connect with web Squad tools as well.
  5. Bring the value back to squads by incorporating them as part of the HC structure.
  6. Completely revitalize the approach with HC by enabling voting brigade leadership and upwards (minus central command).
  7. MASSIVE overhaul of the user interface so that it is easier to follow, with a better design to direct users into action and more user friendly.
  8. Restoring rear line re-supply and interdiction operations.
  9. Continuing to give HC a role that can lead the player base
  10. Reduce the pressure HC officers with workload, and reduce blowback from community
  11. Continue to have move-able supply to maintain diverse game play

This will be achieved by:

  1. Enabling garrison supply across the frontlines, and one town to its rear.
  2. Enabling the continuation of move-able flags that are supplemental (not the standard).
  3. Refactor how players spawn in to simplify the user interface.
  4. Make the movement of garrison supply based on automatic conditions according to map outcomes.
  5. There will always be a frontline with garrison supply, regardless of how the lines are presented on the map.
  6. There will always be a rear town with garrison supply behind and adjacent to the frontline town.
  7. Allied forces will be capable of changing ownership of their towns (US / FR / UK) via HC options commands

HAVE MORE QUESTIONS? We've gone into great detail by answering player related questions in the following forum thread: VITAL 1.36 QUESTIONS (Q&A)

64-BIT GAME APPLICATION

Moving the game to 64-bit has tremendous advantages for us to expand our technologies, but even now it's becoming ever more important. Effective September of 2018 Apple will be removing support for 32-bit applications (us) and we're expecting Microsoft to be not too far behind that. So this is definitely getting up onto the hot plate of things for us to take care of. We've already been looking at the dependencies involved here and planning accordingly.

One thing that we do need to look into is our "Granny" software which is everything to do with our infantry game. This will be something we talk more about in the not so distant future with you more.

INTEGRATED VOICE COMMUNICATIONS

Integrated VOIP Concept

We have determined what plugin we want to use and the basic design of how integrated voice comms will look inside of the game. It is understood that integrated voice communication will enhance game play for new users AND veterans. We think it's going to tie the entire in-game operation together much more efficiently and provide the most immersive World War II Online experience to date.

  • Users will be able to communicate directly in-game.
  • No additional download or client is planned.
  • Our goal is to have 3D positional audio for local communications.
  • A radio transmit function will exist (over the net).

Channels being considered include...

  • Local Chat: Proximity based, how close you are to friendly or foe forces.
  • Mission Chat: Be able to communicate to all participants on your mission.
  • Mission Leader Chat: If you are a mission leader assigned to a Target, this channel would act as an organization / command channel.
  • Squad Chat: Chat with your squad members globally throughout the Campaign.
  • High Command Chat: Talk with fellow HC officers in-game.

Disclaimer: This is according to our initial designs and is subject to change.

NEW VEHICLES & PRODUCTION GOALS

109 Jabo Fighter w/250KG Bomb

Our team has really come together working with the Creator software and overall they've learned a lot with having HATCH onboard. Let's take a look at some of the new vehicles that are being considered:

  • Plane Variants
    • Me 109 E-4 Jabo (as pictured from the war on the right)
    • Me 109 G-2/R-1 Jabo
    • US P39D-1
    • French Hurri IIb
    • FW 190 A3
    • US P40F
    • US P39N-5
  • Tank Variants
    • Close Support
      • Matilda MkII CS
      • Crusader MkII CS
      • Churchill MkIII CS
      • Crusader MkIII CS
      • Churchill MkVII CS
    • Mk VI 15mm Besa
    • Stug H 105
    • Firefly (as pictured from the war below)
    • Achilles
    • Pz III L

Delivering you new vehicles to play with is a core goal for us this year and we feel pretty good with the team we have to pull together and make this happen.

Here is a historical photo of the Sherman Firefly (second from the left) during Operation Market Garden. Coming to WWII Online 2018!

Sherman Firefly, part of our 2018 production roadmap.

Other Production goals and investigations include:

  • Smoke rounds for tanks.
  • White phosphorous for tanks.
  • Continuous flight model reviews and fixes.
  • Armor reviews and fixes.

LET'S TALK ABOUT TERRAIN

We've been spending quite a bit of time trying to unlock the ability to introduce terrain fixes and even expand the map. Thanks to one of our great volunteers Merlin51, we've learned so much about terrain building that we've invested some development time (pray for FRISBONE, he's been working on this one hard) to figure out how we can take Merlin's fixes within the TE (terrain editor) and place those into the game. We've still got a lot of work here but it's getting closer and we can feel it.

Here's what we'll be focusing on once this is solved:

  1. We've been taking your .reports and compiling known terrain issues around the map.
  2. Merlin has a backlog of things already fixed (if not most of them) waiting for deployment.
  3. We'll continue to evaluate and improve any new reports or fixes to the fixes (it happens sometimes).
  4. We'll then proceed to changing or adding the layouts of existing towns.
  5. And finally the end goal is to add more towns to the map and expand the theatre.

Now one of the cool experiments that I've asked Merlin to personally look into is see if we can take big towns (like Antwerp for example) and carve that into different sub-cities, so for example it'd be 3 towns instead of 1 big one. Let your mind go wild with that for a moment, he's looking into it and it might be doable which would make things awfully interesting.

All in all, terrain is one of the hardest (and oldest) things to work on in WWII Online. The code base in this regard is not pleasant, so we're going to need some grace here but we want you to know - we're on it, doing all that we can.

SECOND WING OF CRS BEING BUILT

It is my duty as President of Cornered Rat Software to consistently evaluate how we can move the "ball" forward (so to speak) as it relates to the health and betterment of World War II Online, our great community, and the organization that is CRS supporting this effort. So today I will be formally announcing that I am in the process of creating a second wing (Wing 2) at CRS which will be focused on creating newer assets and getting folks involved and engaged with the Unreal Engine 4, for an eventual plan for a WWIIOL 2.0, which is still quite some time away (no estimate available, pending development speed). At some point in the future these two Wing's will intersect. Both have the common goal of ensuring the longevity of WWII Online.

Wing 1 (our current team) will continue to be the backbone of the organization and will be 100% focused on the betterment and health of WWII Online as we know it. It is a key requirement of mine to ensure active development, both in terms of adding new features and fixes to the game. Under my leadership you can be assured that WWII Online will get the very best attention that it deserves.

That being said, we must proceed into the future. During the development of this 2018 Roadmap it will require an all-hands effort from Wing 1 of CRS. It is important to me to make sure we capitalize on this time the very best we can, and I have initiated a plan that will do so without taking the foot off of the proverbial accelerator as it relates to WWIIOL 1.0's current development. This means that we need to bring on some new resources to specifically work on new things in order to not take away from the ambitious roadmap that we're working towards for the current WWII Online development. We're really excited to be able to grow our team and look to the future, so this should be viewed as a win-win solution.

WING 2 FUTURE DEVELOPMENT - WORK(S) IN PROGRESS

The process has started to get in Unreal Engine 4 to become familiar with its capabilities and workflows. These images represent basic demonstrations that deal with manipulating lighting and shadow effects, advanced modern texturing techniques, substantially higher poly meshes and asset placement within a scene. You'll notice our continued pursuit to realism in our characters, equipment and weaponry.

Please remember that the following is a work in progress and does not represent the final outcome and delivery of the future. This is designed to show you the potential of how we can dramatically improve WWII Online's assets and advance ourselves into the future as mentioned above.

 

 

Pictured below is our first test scene. We tried to capture a British defensive position, expecting contact from the front (right). You can see a heavy influence of high resolution textures and unique lighting engine properties that bring out tremendous colors, shaders and other great effects. This is 100% the game engine.

 

Here is the soldiers point of view from test scene 1, guarding their position and scanning for enemy movement.

 

Pictured below is our second test scene. This was to test modifying lighting and placing a variety of different assets in the scene. We were aiming to create a defensive position around a significant building, likely a field HQ for officers and local planning. Once again the textures and definition are pretty incredible. You can see there's not much action for these soldiers as they're in a fairly relaxed position, manning their post.

 

YOUR SUPPORT, VIA SUBSCRIPTIONS IS VITAL

It cannot be understated enough, that this year requires the ultimate backing of the WWII Online fanbase in order for us to sustain all of the hard work that has gone into rebuilding this new CRS team. Your subscription is very literally the lifeblood that continues this operation and it is the single sign of support (beyond moral) that has actionable effects, allowing me to do my job better and keep the great folks we have. Being that this is a volunteer thing for most, our trajectory and ability to get things done in a more timely manner is single handedly slowed down as a result of not being able to compensate these fine people working with us at CRS in a way that enables them to provide for themselves and for the game.

Make no mistake, we are truly grateful for all of the support that is out there right now. However it cannot be understated enough that with the proper backing of the fanbase in its entirety would do extraordinary things for World War II Online. This can be achieved by upgrading your subscription to a Premium or even a Hero Builder tier. I hope my words are being read clearly and you'll do you part to join this incredible mission of bringing WWII Online to its future that we've been plotting for sometime.

We know we have lots of work to do and there's never going to be a moment of perfection. But you can count on our team at Cornered Rat Software to continue what it has demonstrated over the last year, and that is: DELIVER. So consider backing us up for an extended period of time and giving us the proper tools to do the job even better. Upgrade your subscription now by going to http://www.wwiionline.com/account, and if you need any help the support guys are waiting for you at http://support.wwiionline.com.

If you've made it this far, I want to thank you for all that you've done over the years. It has been a tremendous blessing for this team of die hard WWII Online fans, we do not take it for granted for even a moment. Let's have an awesome year and remember that we're in this together, Allied or Axis, CRS or Player, we are all part of the WWII Online family and we all have to do our part to push this wonderful dream forward.

 

SALUTE - SEE YOU IN THE FIELD SOLDIERS!

XOOMMatt "Xoom" Callahan
President and CEO
Cornered Rat Software
xoom@corneredrats.com

Production: Fixes and Features incoming!

Posted by XOOM-CRS Friday October 6 2017 at 1:20PM
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Our Production team is very focused on content delivery, in the form of fixes and features. Today we'll be going over some specifics and then generalize a bit about our approach and process. Now that we have crested the big "Steam" goal there's much more for us to do that players have been asking for, we hope this helps inform you that we're listening and taking action to, "make it so." One quick note for our Steam users: The resolution issues some have you have had, is being worked on with great priority and we have a hopeful fix currently in testing - thanks for your feedback. Also don't forget, this Sunday is OPERATION PLUNDER at 12PM Server Time. Okay, on with the production team!


FIXING EXISTING CONTENT

First, making sure that we have bugs or bad data fixed as quickly as possible, with an emphasis on how they perform according to historical values with several resources supporting them. I am proud to say we have a sincerely dedicated to reality team working on ensuring the most genuine experience possible.

Here are some of the things coming in our plan...

  • Morris tractor braking (slide) issue
  • NEW: High Explosive mechanism
  • REVAMPED: New (and accurate) data for Kinetic Energy (non-explosive) projectiles
  • Small arms audit: Improving how all infantry weapons perform
  • Armor audit: Reviewing all armor thickness, armor types, etc
  • Secondary damage state on some city buildings need review / cleaning up, and are temporarily disabled
  • Replacing legacy artwork
    • Crewmen
    • Vehicles

INTRODUCING NEW CONTENT

Second we want to make sure that we're introducing new content. This is a vital component to improve quality of game play and community / subscriber health.

Here are some of the things coming in our plan...

  • Tank Busters
    • Junkers 87-G2
    • Hurricane Mk II D
    • P39-D Airacobra
  • Self-proppeled anti aircraft vehicles
    • Sdkfz 7/2 with Flak28
    • Crusader with Bofors
  • New infantry characters
    • US Airborne Paratrooper
      • All paratroopers will receive similar load outs as other paratroopers in-game
    • Italian soldier
      • Embedded with the German army persona
  • New infantry weapons'
    • STG44 (German)
    • M1A1 Carbine (Allied)
    • .30 Caliber LMG (Allied)
    • Carcano Rifle (Italy)
    • Beretta SMG (Italy)

MORE BATTLE PLANNING UNDERWAY

We're also collaborating to see what ways we can introduce new equipment and features to the game more rapidly. This list that you see above is our current and initial focus and by no means is it a simple list. 

We are evaluating what is most important to the customer by reviewing feedback from our game, forums, and other third party websites. Then we're determining what is most achievable based and considering the timeline to implementation factor.

Great things are happening here at Cornered Rat Software, our Steam release is purely amplifying that success further.

STEAM RESOLUTION FIX INBOUND

For our Steam users who have had a resolution issue, please note that we do have a fix on the way that is currently in testing. We're continuing to keep a close eye on things there to make sure you're being heard and having every reason to get into the game quickly.

SUBSCRIBING = FASTER DEVELOPMENT (SERIOUSLY!)

And finally it goes without saying that by subscribing to the game you will help us accomplish a lot more development work. Please consider doing that to help me bring more hands on more full time, that would be a huge boost to everything we're doing.

Organic users go to: http://www.wwiionline.com/account

Steam users, go to our store page at http://www.wwiionline.com/steam and select a DLC.

That's all for this week, plenty of good stuff happening!

Now on Steam! Updating art and weapon performance

Posted by XOOM-CRS Friday September 22 2017 at 4:33PM
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Well we're now 100% released on Steam and the team has done a pretty solid job at improving stability of the Campaign server. We're keeping a watchful eye on the feedback coming from new Steam users and how we can improve their onboarding experience to WWII Online. Today we're going to cover a bit of Production and things happening in the pipeline now that we've crested this major milestone of getting the game onto Steam. This includes us improving some legacy art, and today we'll unveil the new iconic 88mm model that is inbound to the game shortly.

NEW 88MM MODEL INBOUND

One of the oldest models we have in game at this stage is a real eye sore. A major thanks to SADGUY for focusing his energy on getting this iconic weapon to look tremendously better and brought into the modern era.

VEHICLE CREW MEMBER UPDATES

As you can witness with the 88mm crew members from the BEFORE & AFTER fixes the crew members are being updated. We are currently experimenting with bringing those crewmen up a notch even further using the latest character models we have. An investigation and test phase is underway to see how we can achieve that while maintaining performance for clients. It may seem like not a big deal but remember all of the things you're currently rendering, those large scale challenges are still relevant.

Meanwhile some really old crew members are being updated and are in the can for deployment, which include:

  • 251 Armored Carrier (Driver & Gunner)
  • Opel Driver
  • Morris Driver
  • Laffly Driver
  • Bedford Driver
  • Whacky Laffly Crew
  • Bofors Crew

We've been cleaning up several old crew members and we're going to continue to do so. This will include creating some new character art, particularly for pilots, naval crewman, tank commanders and everything in between.

HIGH EXPLOSIVE (HE) & KINETIC ENERGY (KE) AUDIT(S)

A quick mention and tip of the hat to Scotsman and HATCH for the insane amount of energy they're putting into getting you guys the most realistic / historically accurate data for how weapons [b]should[/b] be performing. Most of the data work is completed here and we're pushing to get this going and out for QA testing as quickly as we can. This will dramatically impact how bombs explode, including the type of fragmentation they throw and the affects it has on opposing vehicles. Kenetic Energy are non-explosive projectiles covering all round types, ranging from the Armored Piercing (AP) rounds from your tanks all the way down to the small arms weapons like rifles and hand guns.

STEAM PROGRESS THUS FAR

We've had more than 45,000 folks sign up for accounts in only 17 days on Steam. That is a pretty amazing achievement! Population levels remain substantially higher than we have seen in years, routinely around the clock. We're very happy to report this progress and these production items coming (more not listed here) are intended to help bolster that success even further.

Major thanks to all of the veterans investing the energy to support us, stand up to those who are quickly criticizing our awesome game and make sure the new users get the most welcoming and "arms wide open" experience I have personally witnessed. You are all doing FANTASTIC, keep it up and don't stop offering the help to the new guys that you're doing so well!

SUBSCRIBE AND HELP THE MISSION

The Steam users have asked us to make it more clear for folks what your subscription goes towards here at WWII Online, let me help give you an idea and why you should subscribe:

  • Developers: We're an understaffed small indie group, ranging from Programmers to Community Managers, Support and Marketing staff, Artists and much more.
  • Infrastructure: We operate and maintain our own servers, pay for our own bandwidth and hardware.
  • Opportunity: With your subscription, we can acquire more developers, get more of their time and product more results (code, fixes, features and new content).
  • Access more content: For helping us with all of those things, we'll reward you with everything we have.
  • Become apart of our success: When you subscribe, you're directly contributing to the continuation, upkeep and improvement of everything we do here.

For Steam users, go to our main store page and select a DLC, at: http://www.wwiionline.com/steam

For any help, contact us at http://support.wwiionline.com

New HE Model, New UI and Population Climbing!

Posted by XOOM-CRS Friday July 28 2017 at 4:51PM
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XOOMIn our continued pursuit to provide the highest level of realism, Scotsman will be sharing the new High Explosive model with a screen shot and documentation that helps outline the major impact this will have on the game. We'll also show you a first look at the new "Steam" user integrated account creation and server selection screen, and outline our new "Basic Training Required" UI flow. Finally, we're encouraging Squads again this week to prepare to bring on new users, as we're already seeing a noticeable increase in population. Buckle up, the development train is moving full steam ahead!


 

NEW HIGH EXPLOSIVE MODEL

Cornered Rat Software has prioritized increasing the realism of our game and with the amazing efforts from Scotsman we are getting more realistic and efficient. We've talked a bit about the New HE model but today, we wanted to show case what this looks like to add some more context of how powerful this advancement is for all of our realism fanatics here at WWII Online! - Great job Scotsman!

From Scotsman (WWII Online Military Advisor): The image you see below is of new HE data operating in the new HE model. The new data set correctly simulates every munition in the game for proper fragment size, mass, and velocity. Higher mass or higher velocity fragments reach further than smaller, lighter, or lower velocity fragments. There is variance in each and every explosion, no two explosions are alike, so you may be wounded in one instance and killed in another depending on the size and velocity of the fragments that hit you. All these distributions are built around the physical properties of the ammunition to include type of explosive fill, the amount of explosive, and the construction of the ammunition. Original factory production diagrams of all munitions were used to generate the data. Shell or bomb casing length, width, and wall thickness etc are all accounted for in the calculations.

Data generation is complete and this is going into Q&A testing. Expect it to go live shortly after steam along with many other changes. Updates in work include changes to the HEAT modeling, armor modeling, and a complete audit of small arms accuracy for all weapons. (prompted by forum user requests) This updates small arms performance to the like new factory acceptance standard firing standard WWII government issued ammunition.

You might also add that this means that bombs, mortars and HE will finally work as they should - same calculations as used in US Govt. weapons effects testing.

 

NEW STEAM USER LAUNCH SCREEN

As part of our plan to help simplify things for Steam users, we've taken into consideration the whole UI (user interface) flow for creating your account, and selecting your server. Below is our first iteration of how this will work, users will select "Join the Battle" which will be the Campaign server, of course there's the Training Server and Offline mode. Normally these things have been controlled outside of game but we figured it's time to start integrating it in, and we're quite pleased with how simple this has made things.

After Steam's release we'll begin examining how to do something similar for our organic (existing) user base as well.

New WWII Online arena screen for Steam

TRAINING REQUIRED - PERSONA SELECTION SCREEN

Here's a look at what new users will be presented with after they create their account and attempt to join either the Campaign or Training Server. Immediately new users will go into Basic Training so they can learn the basics of, 1) Movement, 2) Rifleman usage, 3) How to chat with other players, 4) How to navigate the map and icons, 5) HUD "Heads Up Display" overview. Once a player has completed these mandatory training requirements, they will then select their persona of choice, and be prompted to join a WWII Online Squad. Training will become mandatory for both organic and Steam users (all) in an effort to better prepare users for the steep learning curve ahead. CRS believes that these basic things are an absolute necessity to give them the proper tools to be successful.

JOINING A SQUAD PROMPT - NEW USERS ORGANICALLY & STEAM

Immediately after a new player has completed their basic training requirements, they will be able to select a persona. They will be prompted with an active list of Squad recruiters who are online and in a mission at that time. We highly encourage all new users coming through the door to join up with a Squad as it will greatly improve your game experience here. This is entirely a team based game, and while we do offer lonewolf's to do their thing, organized numbers will always win.

By joining a Squad you will immediately get help with all of your questions and learn how to play the game. One of the biggest draw's of WWII Online is its scale and when your Squad is working together, on voice comms and heading towards a target, it's quite exhilarating and you can dominate otherwise unorganized forces.

We shared this screen shot last week but wanted to display it again to have context to what we're saying above. 

NOTICEABLE POPULATION UP-TICK IN GAME

We have seen that we're seeing returning and new users join back up with the game in preparation for the upcoming Steam release. Folks are looking to build rank and gain a competitive edge and the Rats are more than welcoming it! We're also receiving confirmation that through this climb in numbers just how important the game population alone can dramatically improve battles in World War II Online. We have seen some AMAZING fights over the last couple of week's and I have personally been in-game with fellow Rats along side Squads on both the Allied and Axis side, it's been seriously awesome and is an encouraging factor of what's to come.

That's all for now this week, much more activity behind the scenes in progress.

- Cornered Rat Software

 

Squads prep for Steam and Free Play Account info

Posted by XOOM-CRS Friday July 21 2017 at 12:38PM
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On the first month of our release we're expecting to get absolutely pounded by new users trying us out. Squads should be preparing right away for the on boarding of new users. We'll also cover understanding that WWII Online is a subscription based game and not micro-transactions or the standard Free to Play type game. And finally, our development cycle to deploy on Steam is getting close to completion. Friday Update audio recording from "Xoom" (click here).


SQUADS AND RECRUITMENT

We're encouraging all squads to get together as soon as possible to rally up and organize themselves as we prepare for Steam. Squads being strong and ready to bring on and train new users will result into your squads growing much larger and increasing the size of battles overall. This is a massively important thing for squads to do and it is directly related to the success of the Steam release initiative.

BADGER is leading an effort to consider new ways to increase squad visibility outside of the game via our web pages as well. Stay tuned for more details here.

ENABLE YOUR RECRUITER FLAGS - ASAP!

Already there are lots of new users coming in to get a head start and try out the game. By enabling your recruiter flag (check your Squads tab) you will be visible on our Squad Recruitment interface immediately after someone selects their persona (pictured below):

STEAM RELEASE CANDIDATE

At our current rate we'll be able to have our Steam release candidate ready for intense testing this coming week. This includes all of the changes that have been tested and fixed, wrapped up and ready to go for final approval. Which sets us to be on target as we have estimated for Summer of 2017 release on Steam.

Please note: This does not mean we will be releasing next week. We will keep you informed of our release date and give you as much advance notice as possible.

FREE PLAY ACCOUNT / SUBSCRIPTION

World War II Online is and always has been a subscription based game. Our new players coming through Steam need to know that there's a fundamental difference in what we're offering as compared to today's typical "Free to Play (F2P)" type model. 

To get right to it, we do not offer micro-transactions; in-game currency system, and you won't be nickel or dime'd to death just to select your weapon and play.

What we do offer is fair game play with no item buys that gives you an advantage over another player; massive game play battle zones with hundreds of players interacting on the land / air / sea together in a single battle, advanced historically accurate damage modeling, a mature and helpful community, a pathway to try the game absolutely risk / money free and a whole lot more.

For your first two weeks you can play the game like a premium subscriber and be introduced to the entire game in the best possible way, for no commitment or money down. And if you decide you never want to subscribe, there's an option for you to play an integral part in the capturing of territory, and movement of supplies or equipment. You will still be able to join squads and participate in missions, communicate on the forums and in-game chat, we'll track your statistics and you'll continue to be able to play the game endlessly with the equipment set we've provided.

WWII Online is a massively multiplayer online game, with a lot of supporting infrastructure / services, and our staff is from all across the world that we have to take care of. As we are the definition of an indie studio we've made very careful considerations about how we're deploying on Steam, and we're consistently evaluating feedback to make sure we're still on par.

We hope that you'll enlist and see why WWII Online has been around for over 16 years, and hopefully fall in love with the game as we have.

We welcome questions or feedback, please be as constructive as you can and we'll take all matters into consideration.

Salute!

- Cornered Rat Software

Realism, Equipment Balancing, Steam launch coming soon!

Posted by XOOM-CRS Sunday July 16 2017 at 11:03AM
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Today we'll talk about the things we're doing to make our game more realistic; our equipment balancing strategy, and Steam's deployment status. Within Steam we'll cover how subscriptions for those users will be handled, cell hosts (what they are and why they're important), training tutorials now being a requirement and other preparations underway as launch day approaches. (19 Minute Audio Update from Xoom about this article)


 

REALISM IS OUR PRIORITY

We've been having some awfully long internal discussions about the current state of the game and the things that we are working on. Particularly with the inclusion of some upcoming content that we have on the shelf and getting their deployment plan all sorted out. One of the major topics that has come up as a very important reminder for us, is the requirement to have our game be as realistic as possible.

You can see our Production team already employing a higher sense of realism through their High-Explosive audit which is not far away from being employed into the game (first content release after Steam). Next up on the list is all other projectiles (kinetic energy, non-explosive). And following that will be a complete review of all armor plating types and their thickness. As a reminder, we can model armor thickness down to the millimeter (and to even greater fractions, but that's a bit overkill ~ still cool though).

EQUIPMENT BALANCING STRATEGY

A discussion to reaffirm our position as being as realistic as possible and finding ways to balance our content standing by was very important to have. In the real war, there was not a 1 to 1 match for equipment. Two weapons standing out spurring that discussion currently includes the M1A1 Carbine and the STG44. There is a well known fact that the STG44 is a pretty amazing weapon, but we also know it was available later in the war with limited numbers, where as the M1A1 was pretty well mass produced. So how do we balance that? 

Well we can't very well hand off the STG44 to the Allied forces, or the M1A1 to the German forces. But we can reflect the total supply availability for equipment in their spawn lists as a means to provide a balance.

We think it's really important to employ this strategy as we move forward so our content pipeline doesn't get bottlenecked and we get stuck into a position with equipment sitting on the shelf for awhile, as in the case of these two weapons.

Fortunately, you will be seeing these two weapons in the near future. All content is being prepared for post-Steam deployment, as a means to maintain focus on the deployment of Steam itself, as well as provide some new content to maintain the interest and continued growth of those users, as well as our organic customer base.

STEAM DEPLOYMENT STATUS

SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE DLC'S ON STEAM

Things are looking very good here at the moment. Our Starter and Premium subscriptions are being setup as DLC's per how Steam's platform actually works, but they will be pretty visible for folks to see. Every Steam user will start out as a FREE PLAYER with a 2 week trial followed by a perpetually free (but limited) account (Rifleman, Trucks and Haulers only). As always they'll be able to subscribe right away at any time.

CELL HOSTS - HOW MANY USERS CAN BE ONLINE

We have successfully tested two cell hosts (which manage players in the campaign) and per cell host we have been able to push 1200 bots on them, so effectively at this moment we can run 2400 concurrent players. As we have been saying we are expanding that limitation and theoretically with multi-cell repaired (the process that allows multiple cell hosts to be used) should work by default for cell host 3 & 4. The development and operations team are working closely on this particular item right now. Our mission is to deploy 4 cell hosts by Steam's release to hold the maximum number of users as possible.

TRAINING TUTORIALS - NOW REQUIRED

Training Tutorials will not be able to be bypassed anymore for our new incoming users. This is an incredibly important period of time for the new users to be successful. With the complexity of WWII Online, if a user does not go through the basic tutorials they will have a much lesser percentage of knowing what to do or how to interact with other users / get into the game world.

Users will launch the game, and before proceeding beyond the persona selection screen they will be prompted to take a non-optional (mandatory) training session of the first 5 basic training tutorials, which include:

  1. Movement
  2. Rifle / weapons usage
  3. Chat
  4. Map / using map tools
  5. HUD (Heads up Display)

Once these tutorials are completed, which will take up to 15 minutes roughly depending on the speed of the user, they will be entered into the regular Campaign and officially start their career in WWII Online. Our team has invested some important time into making sure the tutorials were functioning and there were no road blocks that would cause an issue with users being stuck / unable to proceed. 

We think this is such an important development to ensure the highest levels of success not just for the user but for the game. This will get users into battle faster with more understanding, it is something that really should never be bypassed.

GAME MANAGEMENT PREPARATIONS

Our new Game Manager "OHM" is preparing for the influx of users and is deep in understanding his new toolset and responsibilities. There will need to be an increase in supply and he'll be at the ready to carefully push numbers upwards as needed. He's also trying to get a new maintenance cycle established, with the hope of making it a bit less frequent and intrusive on Campaign operations. One thing is for sure: the Campaign server must continued to be reset, at a minimum of once per week. With the Campaign coming to new hardware shortly, there may be some changes that are unforeseen, so we'll keep you guys posted as this develops.

OHM is also considering how we can improve the landscape of intermissions and making them a bit more vibrant and interesting. If special events are something you are interested in, you should really connect with him, you can do so by sending him a forum PM.

COMMUNITY MANAGEMENT PREPARATIONS

KMS has been getting his mind blown with all of the stuff required for the Community Manager to do but he's a quick learner and embracing the responsibility. He's also processing a new Assistant Community Manager that will help him with the Axis High Command / Community, filling his recently held position. We'll be announcing who that is in the near future but we think he'll do a great job and the Axis community will be getting an awesome rep.

Keeping the community healthy is paramount for our CM team, so they are strategizing together about expectations and what to prepare for as Steam comes.

HIGH COMMAND OFFICERS - ARE NEEDED (BIG TIME)

We're going to need an influx of High Command officers to support game operations around the clock for both AHC and GHC. If you can devote a minimum of 3 months service right before Steam's release the Rats would be very grateful. As you know we are deploying on Steam with the brigade system and need as many capable hands in there to help things out and make sure the game stays healthy. Please see the community management team or your HC office for greater details.

OVERALL PROGRESS - STRONG

Thousands of new players are learning about our game everyday, and that's really exciting for us. Steam is continuing to show its power in terms of traffic as it is generating an impressive number of impressions, clicks, Steam group joins and folks adding the game to their Steam wishlist. 

The Rats are equally working hard to make sure that this gets done right. We're getting our Staff prepared to be all-hands-on-deck for Steam's release for a period of 48 hours. On the first day of Steam we suspect the technical team will be busy correcting things that come up suddenly (it always happens in the software development world). On the second day we suspect the dust will settle and it will be all about supporting the users and making sure everything is firing accordingly.

Our primary focus for the first few weeks upon Steam's deployment is to iron out any kinks that may have been unforeseen. That does not however, affect the timeline of development of new content via the Production team.

All in all, we're ready to get onto Steam mentally (chomping at the bit if you will) but the new server configuration and getting that all firing right, and doing some final testing are some of the last bits remaining. WE ARE ALMOST READY. We'll keep you apprised of our progress as always and ask you to get folks engaged and involved on this matter. Bring back your friends and get them ready, LAUNCH DAY IS COMING SOON. (Seriously)

That's all for now, thanks for reading, and all of us RATS thank you for your support!