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      Operation Burning Skies   09/17/2019

      All pilots scramble!  Strap yourself in for this months Community event - Operation Burning Skies! This Sunday, September 22, 11 am – 5 pm server time. In honor of XOOM and friends showcasing WWII Online at the Oregon International  Air Show – our forces too will battle for superiority in Operation Burning Skies. High Commands are on high alert to rally their forces to victory! Lift off, and see a whole new world of WWII Online… Fearless bomber pilots make the skies rain down fire – our daring fighter pilots are in pursuit of their prey- as western Europe erupts in war on the ground below! Rally your squads, rally your buddies - Combined arms are back!  …Under Burning Skies! SALUTE!
ZEBBEEE

Future roadmaps: [1st step] survey draft

I put together a list of requests that made 99% of forums' topics for the past 6 months. Could I please ask you to make the poll and validate if something is missing on the list?   45 members have voted

  1. 1. What should be the primary investment priority to make the game more succesful as soon as possible?

    • Theater expansion
    • Gameplay overhaul (Production&supplies, AO, equipment access, spawning rules, attack/defense objectives, rank scoring, missions, squads, side balance, victory conditions…)
    • Increase the release speed of new ground equipment
    • Increase the release speed of new air equipment
      0
    • Increase the release speed of new naval equipment
      0
    • Game marketing strategy overhaul (incl. Pricing)
    • Continue back-office work to validate the project of WWII Online 2.0 on a modern engine such as UE4 (combined arms, numbers and scale are not currently guaranteed)
    • Terrain objects upgrade (vegetation, buildings, town layout, PPO…)
    • Upgrading v1.0 game engine with the latest technologies (lightning, textures, effects, animations)
    • Bug fixing
    • Other

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

47 posts in this topic

IMO, if the game engine is sound everything else can be fixed. The game engine is the foundation on which all gameplay is built. Are the human resources available to construct a new rendering engine coupled to the current physics engine?  It has been my understanding that the current physics and and the current rendering engines are not distinct and orthogonal.

Is separating the rendering functions from the physics engine a reasonable possibility? It would be a shame to lose the features provided by a continuous and immense gameworld by shoehorning the game into a set of discontinuous boxes required by something like the Unreal engine. 

Pretty graphics and a realistic audio environment come with a computing cost. An accurate physics engine also has a computational cost. Personally, I would favor a more accurate physics engine for both ballistics and environmental behavior than pretty graphics. I am willing play with wire figures if the physics engine provides accurate motion and damage models.

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13 minutes ago, jwilly said:

OK, we want one triad a week. Your choice whether it's air, air or air.  :mellow:

Fixed ;-)

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1 hour ago, xanthus said:

I fundamentally disagree on the 2.0 comments here.

The market has unequivocally demonstrated that games can succeed and be popular *despite* (and in some cases even *because of*) primitive graphics. Regardless of the hype and media coverage generated by titles that push the graphics envelope, at the end of the day, the most popular games are those that have the best, most engaging gameplay; this is especially true in the MMORPG market (where such gamers typically couldn't care less about fancy graphics).

The notion that "WWIIOL needs new graphics engine" is a miscalculation; it pigeon-holes future development into a field where WWIIOL cannot and will NEVER be able to compete successfully. WWIIOL will NEVER be able to compete in that area; WWIIOL will NEVER be able to compete on graphics, EVER. So why play that game? This represents a foolish gamble of dev resources into a space where WWIIOL will *always* look worse by comparison (no matter how much graphics are improved).

Instead, focus the existing engine on gameplay; and continued bug fixes, improvements, etc. Focus on the ONE thing that you can *differently*, the one thing you can offer that's unique to your game; ideally that would be gameplay on a huge, dynamic, realistic battlefield.

Focus on UNIQUE, compelling gameplay, *not* on creating something that looks like what the other guys are doing (they have a fundamental advantage over you to begin with; don't play their game. Win by not competing with them in the first place).

If anything, the best evidence for this is the sheer number of players who were willing to try WWIIOL when it released on Steam. They could see very well what the game looked like before they installed it. Again, they care about gameplay above all, period. If the game looked marginally better, it would have had zero impact on retention (or the number of downloads).

I'm not saying that all efforts to improve graphics should stop; by all means, continue to make the game look and feel better. But this should be (very) low on the priority list.

WW2OL 2.0 would allow for the opportunity to rebuild everything, not just graphics. Gameplay changes would, of course, be part of this endeavour. In no way I am arguing for just a prettier game, I am arguing for a modern rebuild that will take it into the future in ways the old engine will be unable to in the long run. It doesn't need to be the in the top 1% of graphics, just up to the current standards. Make the gameplay/wargame unique plus the upgrades that come with a new engine, it does not have to be one or the other.

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53 minutes ago, raptor34 said:

WW2OL 2.0 would allow for the opportunity to rebuild everything, not just graphics. Gameplay changes would, of course, be part of this endeavour. In no way I am arguing for just a prettier game, I am arguing for a modern rebuild that will take it into the future in ways the old engine will be unable to in the long run. It doesn't need to be the in the top 1% of graphics, just up to the current standards. Make the gameplay/wargame unique plus the upgrades that come with a new engine, it does not have to be one or the other.

your assumption is - a 'modern engine' would deliver us to this nirvana. which one are you referring too? Unreal? That 'might' work or it may end up being more work than its worth.

 

why couldn't this engine, with some updates, be that engine? we know what this engine can do now and we know what ... we have a better idea of what needs updating to deliver a better/more realistic visual representation of our simulated world. either route requires a lot of work however updating our current engine may be the least tumultuous path forward.

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7 hours ago, madrebel said:

your assumption is - a 'modern engine' would deliver us to this nirvana. which one are you referring too? Unreal? That 'might' work or it may end up being more work than its worth.

 

why couldn't this engine, with some updates, be that engine? we know what this engine can do now and we know what ... we have a better idea of what needs updating to deliver a better/more realistic visual representation of our simulated world. either route requires a lot of work however updating our current engine may be the least tumultuous path forward.

You are correct, it is my assumption. I am not personally tied to any engine, though it is my understanding that Unreal might fit the bill. There are also a host of modern tools with these engines as well. I wonder if CRS could license the Virtual Battlespace Engine (ARMA) for WW2OL 2.0, there is a lot of proven potential there. If it is indeed possible to completely update our engine to have the higher fidelity features we are looking for then I would support that as well. My only position is that WW2OL 2.0, the rebuild of the game, should be the primary focus moving forward from 1.36.   

Edited by raptor34

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14 minutes ago, raptor34 said:

You are correct, it is my assumption. I am not personally tied to any engine, though it is my understanding that Unreal might fit the bill. There are also a host of modern tools with these engines as well. I wonder if CRS could license the Virtual Battlespace Engine (ARMA) for WW2OL 2.0, there is a lot of proven potential there. If it is indeed possible to completely update our engine to have the higher fidelity features we are looking for then I would support that as well. My only position is that WW2OL 2.0, the rebuilt of the game, should be the primary focus moving forward from 1.36.   

The biggest problem with the Battlespace Engine is that it is notoriously badly optimized and in a lot of ways a headache to work with. Code is also very messy and although it does deliver a decent base in which to build a massive, realistic experience it is an absolute headache to work with and play in due to the bugginess. 

Source: have been modding arma for 2 years now.

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I think we need to separate the notion of "better graphics" being synonymous with "the best." I agree that MMOs are based on gameplay and that graphics are secondary. But looking at games like Minecraft and Fortnite which have simpler graphics, but they also have an art style which makes gamers look over those flaws. It is the same that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is considered to have decent graphics, that players accept, because it has a very unique art style. WWIIOL doesn't have a unique art style; it has dated graphics. And unfortunately since this is a simulation we have to be on the side of realistic rather than stylized graphics (which requires more GPU power).

That said, WWIIOL doesn't need to have Battlefield level graphics with full Ray Tracing and the works. But it needs to be more in line with games released in the last ~5 years. So things like texture quality, lighting, shadows, and draw distance need to be improved. Whether that can be bolted on to the current game engine is a big question. That is why my vote is that we should invest into WWIIOL 2.0, with a custom game engine if necessary. IIRC, the original game started conceptual development in late-1998 with coding work beginning in mid/late-1999. and was released on June 2001. But correct me if I am wrong.

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I voted for work on a new game engine.

I am getting bored to death of the endless tweaking of gamepkay with the current engine.  

I prefer to just play with what we got now and let CRS develop WW2 Online 2.0.

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7 hours ago, bicklezick said:

The biggest problem with the Battlespace Engine is that it is notoriously badly optimized and in a lot of ways a headache to work with. Code is also very messy and although it does deliver a decent base in which to build a massive, realistic experience it is an absolute headache to work with and play in due to the bugginess. 

Source: have been modding arma for 2 years now.

I will not attempt to disagree with your experience in Arma modding but I still think VBS is a great engine for the kind of simulation-combined arms game that WW2OL is. Iron Front 1944 impressed me at least. That being said, I'm impressed with what is being done in Unreal 4 so that's great as well. 

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I'm going to go a different direction, if I may.  I would like to see some "quality of life" (QoL) features, which might capture the imagination of new players.  Ever wonder why a LOT of MMOs have things such as dance emotes or minigames, when they do absolutely nothing for gameplay?  I would love to see features such as that, which might get new players more involved in the game.  Perhaps we could have a training ground "mission" which is an obstacle course, where the player has to move through and around terrain, buildings, and such, taking out targets such as infantry, tanks, guard towers, and the like.  Completing the course in a certain time could get the players access to a certain weapon, ingame.  Since this is a military game, perhaps we could have military emotes such as standing at attention, saluting, and such.  These would be things outside of just spawn in, kill enemies, lather, rinse, repeat.

 

Of course, I would LOVE QoL things such as being able to climb over small obstacles.  Being unable to get out of a defensive fortification or building because of a knee-high wall or window frame is absurd.  I would also love for our avatars to be able to move around on, and fire from, the back of trucks and the outside of tanks.  Having a truck full of infantry totally defenseless against one EI standing in the middle of a road just seems wrong.  I want to be able to aim over the top of the truck cab and pick him off with my rifle.

 

Just my thoughts...

 

 

 

-Irish

 

 

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56 minutes ago, odonovan1 said:

Ever wonder why a LOT of MMOs have things such as dance emotes

So you want this?
wownightelfdancea374q1M16474gh.gif

Entires AOs will cease while everyone tries to hump the avatar LOL

 

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2 hours ago, Merlin51 said:

So you want this?

 

Nah, I don't want that.  But, what I do think would be nice is emotes appropriate to the game.  Imagine you and one other guy killing about a half dozen EI in the process of taking a CP, then turning to the guy and giving him an "/em thumbsup" emote, or something similar.  Just a little icing on the cake, as they say.

 

 

 

-Irish

 

 

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Seems in the past the player base has always stepped up when there were fund drives with specific purposes laid out. I have NO DOUBT at all that the same would be true if a fund drive were to go towards a full 2.0 version. More so then any fund drive in the past. 

All the rats need to do is come up with a bottom line price of what it would take. 

Speaking of which, what's the most that's ever been raised in a single fund drive? Anyone remember?

 

 

Edited by Baer
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Voted improved gameplay / UI.

As discussed elsewhere unreal engine 4 is no guarantee of retaining the large single map.  Also other unknowns which could damage the uniqueness of the current game.

Once the game has a larger playerbase then traction to a new game engine could be discussed at that point in time.

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The question is are we going to get a significantly larger player base without a new engine/overhaul? That is a serious question. 

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and perhaps a silly one? this engine HAS had a larger playerbase. with few exceptions, graphics were far down the list of reasons folks left. the one exception that comes to mind is the grey haze soup bowl that drastically altered how the air game plays and the quality of life of the pilots.

 

point is, if people didn't leave primarily because of graphics then other factors lead the way here. if we remove or change those factors, in theory a certain percentage of those former players come back. yes? no?

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10 hours ago, odonovan1 said:

Nah, I don't want that.

Dangit!
I was all excited too

8 minutes ago, madrebel said:

and perhaps a silly one? this engine HAS had a larger playerbase. with few exceptions, graphics were far down the list of reasons folks left.

Valid point, if anyone has seen screen shots from the 2001 - 2002 period, the graphics were more sparse than the game panzer commander running in 3DFX Glide mode.
And we would have 2000+ people logged in, and there could be battles so populated that you waged a 2nd war with the vizlist as it tried to decide which of the 800 things you were looking at was the most fatal to you. (back then IIRC our max viztable size was 64 players)
Every building was paper, there was very little ground cover, very simplistic textures, it was visually underwhelming even for 2001.

And yet people played in mass.

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8 minutes ago, Merlin51 said:

Dangit!
I was all excited too

Valid point, if anyone has seen screen shots from the 2001 - 2002 period, the graphics were more sparse than the game panzer commander running in 3DFX Glide mode.
And we would have 2000+ people logged in, and there could be battles so populated that you waged a 2nd war with the vizlist as it tried to decide which of the 800 things you were looking at was the most fatal to you. (back then IIRC our max viztable size was 64 players)
Every building was paper, there was very little ground cover, very simplistic textures, it was visually underwhelming even for 2001.

And yet people played in mass.

This too needs tempering - right? Some of that population was there for the OMG wow factor as back then, nothing even remotely close existed. We shouldn't presume we can re-catch the exact same lightning in the exact same bottle.

 

However I think the point stands. We've had more. Many left for many reasons but graphics or lack there of, IMO, has bled fewer people than for example, TOEs. HC. Flags. Etc.

 

1.36 is already taking a big step to potentially address much of that one pain point - IMO.

 

Are there other low hanging fruit along the same lines? Low hanging fruit as in obvious "before X we had more" issues not necessarily low hanging from a work required stand point.

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I agree with Madrebel's assessment in that it is a question of how much of the original June 2001-era lightning in a bottle we can capture. Remember back in 2001 massively multiplayer online games were the new "thing." Ultima Online, the first true MMORPG had just been released in 1997 and Everquest was release in 1999. First-person shooter games were a thing (Counter-Strike, believe it or not was release 2 years before WWIIOL in 1999 as a mod), and Day of Defeat the WWII-themed Half-Life mod we all played was released in 2000.

There was simply no such thing as a MMO that was a first-person shooter, not to mention a combined arms MMO where you could fly a bomber, over a guy in a boat who was shooting at a tank, who himself was trying to kill infantry. Add to that a gigantic zoneless map which provided true tactical depth versus the linear multiplayer maps of online shoebox shooters at the time (and don't forget that 16 player limit on most online multiplayer games), and there was a ton of things that WWIIOL pioneered that we now take for granted.

I still think the one ace that CRS has up its sleeve is the huge zoneless map. Maps are getting larger every year, but they are still relatively small and you end up doing the same old attack routes and some routine. Except for the frontline towns at map starts, there are still places where I log into today, in 2018, having played this game from Day 1 where I don't really know where the hell I am going. That type of replayability is veritable gold for any developer and something that I think has kept so many people playing this game long after DoD, Red Orchestra, Battlefield, ARMA mods, Heroes and Generals, PS, etc have bitten the dust.

I also agree with the low hanging fruit. We should grab as much of it as possible. But I think that we firmly should be looking to the future with a WWIIOL 2.0

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OTHER

Infantry code including animation and netcode. 

Play ANY modern fps then come back to our game and tell me ours is adequate.  Viewports of weapons including armor and issues with colliders of buildings and terrain. 

I for one think that they would spend their money more wisely by cutting their losses and start with a new engine and cut costs of playing. I have introduced so many people to the game over the years but very few have subbed. We all know why.

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1 hour ago, dropbear said:

OTHER

Infantry code including animation and netcode. 

Play ANY modern fps then come back to our game and tell me ours is adequate.  Viewports of weapons including armor and issues with colliders of buildings and terrain. 

I for one think that they would spend their money more wisely by cutting their losses and start with a new engine and cut costs of playing. I have introduced so many people to the game over the years but very few have subbed. We all know why.

This has been my experience as well. I really feel that 2.0 would generate a lot of new activity vs returning vets, as well as vets. 

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2 hours ago, dropbear said:

OTHER

Infantry code including animation and netcode. 

Play ANY modern fps then come back to our game and tell me ours is adequate.  Viewports of weapons including armor and issues with colliders of buildings and terrain. 

I for one think that they would spend their money more wisely by cutting their losses and start with a new engine and cut costs of playing. I have introduced so many people to the game over the years but very few have subbed. We all know why.

How would a new engine cut costs? Just curious as the servers and the internet connection are some of the constants in expense and I can say they don't care what we run.

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