We’ve had a long, long meeting today pounding on some of the problems with the current TOE implementation which, frankly, is not far off being amateur hour (this is my own work I’m talking about) It’s taken stepping back and saying “ok, this isn’t working” for me to see the forest for the trees, and today’s meeting was about filling in blanks in the design spec, eliminating redundancies, waffle and concreting the parts we know we really want.

Each step of this design sets out another series of steps we want to take. One of the big concerns for TOEs is, as I’ve mentioned before, support brigades: Right now you can join any army brigade and spawn troops at any air or naval brigade to “support them”. This is critical functionality, and there are several obvious options – but none of those options are practical without major coding ground work. And we already know we’re not in a position where players will accept more “ground work” patches. Especially not patches that are almost entirely “under the hood” with a hood you can’t yet see.

Other issues are related to movement, timers, relocation of spawn lists, fallback, hold at all costs.

With the things we’ve learned from TOEs across the last few months, a much cleaner design has emerged. Rather than throwing away fallback and hold at all costs, we recovered the reasons those features were added. HAAC is a great communication tool, and we want to retain that functionality; its also a great camp-counter function, we definitely want to keep that functionality for now. The addition of fallback was driven by several factors, all of which still apply, we just failed on the delivery: we still need a way for an OIC/commander to decide to surrender a town to allow him/her to open up the firebases to a battle.

We managed to move some of the features into postscripts – such as the “rearguard”/”vanguard” system that splits the movement of a supply list between towns into a two part thing. We also tabled [U.S. definition] the concept of supply list status tracking because it adds a complexity to the supply systems that I just can’t pull out of my ass; it needs a bunch of experimental/validation time for me to design how its going to work in a fashion that scales to the size of our world.

We’re meeting again Thursday to review my technical spec for proceeding and determine how long I have to deliver the resulting system.


*grabs popcorn, waits for rdmenace*


If you guys were doing something that had been done before, in another game or wherever, maybe it’d be justified for you to be so hard on yourselves. Or, if you were part of a two hundred person team and every step had its own five person coder group, plus supervision, plus QC, plus planning. But, you’re not and it’s not.

Doesn’t neccessarily change how the player-at-large is going to feel, and I do try to ask myself, “how would I like this”.

I haven’t achieved everything I set out to do when I left playerdom and became a Rat. Some of that stuff has died off from learning the realities of this side of the fence, some has been swept under the rug as being the one that has to implement a thing makes you realize its not actually possible.

Some of it has been stowed for consideration later, having being brutalized into learning what we players, as a general group, are really like – and that WWII Online isn’t a “friendly” team sport.

Bilton is Bilton

lol @ Krenn

I’m most likely in the minority.

But I can wait for under the hood patches with no goodies.

Patches I can’t wait for, are the fixes, such as stutters and frame rates. Those issues are the important ones. The Goodies are cool and all, but tend to loose there luster after a couple of weeks.

Got to admit, as impatient as I believe many within our community is I can say that with the huge impact ToEs is going to be its good to see the patience you are showing getting this ingame and done at a point that may surprise many on how it can enhance the game.

My biggest fear and some have expressed this the learning curve that some may feel is to high for the average player that may turn them away…. thats just a guess, and Man I hope I am wrong.

Some great person once said: “You say you don’t have time to do it right, but I guarantee you’ll have time to do it over.”

I am a rare player who can wait, as well….that being said:

CRS has been inconsistent in its message to players. That’s normal – you’re excited, spitballing at the Con ’06, and thinking you can pull it off in a year…and you couldn’t. That’s ok. But it allows your anti-fanbois to molest you at length.

You are changing directions. CRS needs to get that message out, identify you are going to do it right, and start working under the hood *consistently* with a well thought out vision.

Keep on message. Admit mistakes (as you did here), and show how you learned. Take the heat for a bit. Call off the beating after a fair chance for all to post. Only have them post what *can* be done.

This is a PR problem, not a coding problem. But its nice to see that final decisions have been made, and your tone on this blog has reflected your frustration, according to the tea leaves I can read.

You’ll sort it out. But let the players know you’re gonna dig. If you implement TOE’s simply becuase the players “won’t wait”…you’ll get it wrong and then the players will jump you harder.

Scylla vs. Charabdys and all that, but it is *never* too late to start doing right.

This is bone-crushing, chaotic, game-hurting stuff if not implemented right – tell the players KILLER was simply NOT going to do it wrong.

And…good luck coding it.

Runs across town…..

Nobody expects the… oh bugger.

The power is going to go out here in 5 min. So I’m not going to be able to write a damn thing. I’m glad to see that things are at this stage anyway.

I don’t think this “Vangarde” thing is nessicary from my limited understanding of it. I agree with fallback remaining to a certain extent. It should be something that one can do in order fall back a town and remain in the battle, rather than oh crap here goes the power.

More like “tell the players KILLER was simply NOT going to let some damn brit screw it up” ;)

Well, you could do a great big ToE survey with the playerbase and make them feel involved (questions about unit composition, movement speed, resupply speed, table timers, whatever).

This would buy you a few weeks after which you could just discard the survey results and roll out ToEs the way you wanted (nobody will notice, they will just be happy to have it!)


very reasonable, kfs. if you think the playerbase won’t be happy with it, better hold it back until you think it’s perfect.

there’s nothing worse than rushing out a bad feature, which cannot be rolled back (e.g. the so-called “weather”).


Weather is a ‘feature’ that Infantry players enjoy…just like the real-life infantry did on either side of WW II, when they were subject to bombing by the enemy. /hijack

right, power is back on.

I don’t know how this vangaurd thing works. But I want to get this across as much as I can. In order for these to work right you MUST make Forward bases become active between towns that have brigades and towns that have no brigades REGARDLESS of ownership status. That means FB’s should open to towns that are friendly, but have no brigade.

For TOE to avoid becoming campathons, and to encourage maneuver warfare. The fights will need to be over the towns between the brigades. They should no longer be fights with one brigade defending and the other attacking for the most part. You need to change the spawning paradigm, so that each force can spawn from the depots that it’s side has supply to in a town that has no brigade. Each brigade should be outside the town, sending troops in from the FB, and spawning out of it’s respective depots and/or mobile spawns.

If you do that, I am not sure that you will need this vangaurd hoobajoo. The first thing a town that is directly attacked should do is fall back and start spawning out of it’s fb’ or depots that it still has supply to. But more importantly, brigades will want to avoid even being in that situation, because the risk to the equipment will be to high. Contact with the enemy will be much more fluid, with BOTH sides attacking in most situations (instead of one side circling the wagons) in order gain positioning instead of ground. They will be attempting flanking maneuvers, breakthroughs, and encirclements, on both the micro and macro scale.

To summarize, the most important thing for TOE is to make the FB’s open between brigade-less towns, and brigaded towns REGARDLESS of the town ownership. But some of the spawning paradigm will need to be changed in order to remove the some of the offense/defense orientation of the current one.

We had to table (us defn.) the whole firebase thing for now, because FBs have to be flippable. Instead, we’re going to go with a version of /fallback (aka /surrender) which will allow a side to pull out – but with none of the resupply advantages that the current /fallback has (i.e. no gaminess, just the ability to surrender a contested town and open up firebases for you to fight from).

Really we need to get rid of FBs or find an alternative paradigm. We’ve looked at a ton of options for it but none of them are really satisfactory.

Camping is best dealt with by area capture – if you are where the enemy could spawn, the enemy cannot spawn there. But again, that means a lot more work.

However – when weighed up – none of these issues feel so pressing that we have to delay TOEs before releasing them. We’ve cleared the hurdles, there are a bunch of issues that come close to needing doing first. But our conclusion from last year that we were ready to get the actual TOE part of TOEs done now still stands, we’ve just been able to cut some more of it out – items that were, really, part of the baggage of solving what TOEs solve. Stuff that may still need adding, but there’s an equal chance that adding TOEs will make them uneccessary or even encumberance.

Whats wrong with the FB’s needing to be flippable? So make em flippable. Just make sure they “draw” between all empty towns and towns with brigades as well as between enemy towns. If you do that you can get rid of “fallback,” really. If you don’t do it then the gameplay isn’t going to be nearly as good, and people may wonder what the point was.

take this for example: The enemy starts attacking a town you own adjacent to a town you have a brigade in. How do you defend that town if you have no fb?

You can:

-Use paratroopers in a completely ahistorical role

-Wait till the enemy takes the town (and they won’t take it until they are good and ready to defend it) then spawn from your FB.

-Try and move your brigade in, then watch as you lose all your supply in the the attack because it trickles in and you can’t pull it.

If you DO start with an FB’ open to that town you can:

-Counterattack in order to block the enemies maneuver, without risking your supply.

This would make for much more desirable fights. With BOTH Fb’s open to the empty town, the entire surrounding terrain of the town would be utilized for combat with flanking maneuvers going for the enemy FB and all that. For the most part, no tanks would be spawning next to the enemy.

Now if you aren’t going to do what I say here, you should at least make sure that OIC can execute fall backs in towns where there are no brigades, and in towns where the enemy has not taken a facility (instead of gaining equipment it would be used to gain an fb). This would accomplish the same gameplay to a certain extent.

“Whats wrong with the FB’s needing to be flippable?”

Take a few more minutes to think about that; I didn’t say there was anything wrong with it, I said it was an issue.

The only thing I can think of is that you can’t blow up your own FB’s. Also, if you allow people to blow up their own fb’s then people will just spawn as enemy in their second account, run over and blow the thing up.

You can solve this by only making FB’s that have no supply link damageable by friendly fire.

This would be a good stop gap measure until you make FB’s capture-able facilities or implement mobile FB’s

We’d already discarded similar solutions because they’re very inelegant – you’re talking about an entire system right there, another “before we do TOEs” in and of itself. We spent almost a day going over options for Firebases and in the end we had to conclude that, in order to do TOEs and not pre-TOE firebases, we would have to go with a variation on /fallback and leave FBs as they are for now. TOE-Firebases will make for a good, non-critical, primary task to be working on in the TOE aftermath.

Ok, just make sure that you can execute a fallback (give the AB to the enemy) before the enemy have taken anything in a town that has no brigade. Otherwise the enemy will always “simucap” for “Soft caps”

If the OIC can do a fall back in towns with no brigades, then we can turn “Soft caps” into “hard caps.”

I like the staging going on for this kfs1

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