Ramp’s tutorials, Kfs1’s instances.

A long time ago, Ramp put some hard time into building a tooltip system that we simply never had chance to get around to using. Ramp is an old CRS/IMOL hand, he’s far from a rookie, but he is the greentag around the client coding department – for which he takes plenty of flak but doesn’t so often get recognition. His new round of features probably warrant some…

Preparing for the PRC release, one thing our Chinese partner felt strongly about was the lack of any kind of newbie experience. We’ve wanted to spend time on tutorials/newbie experience for a long time now, but with the game so long in the tooth there’s never been a definite advantage to investing our time in it.

With a mandate to implement something for PRC, Ramp went at it with gusto.


These are just coder-art tutorials/tips, Bloo and Gophur are going to be working hard to create the actual tutorials. These will be single-user experiences that build up to a small, organized battle of a somewhat CS/BF’42 nature. There will also be some pre-combat training to get you used to what you might see.

This task now hands over to me – we want to eliminate the need for a training server and have everyone on the one cluster. Why? Because it increases the chances your buddies will be online which helps to foster better battles.

It’s also an excuse to do something we have wanted to do for a while: instancing. Let me get ahead of you again there and just come out and admit it’s the wrong term from a player’s perspective.

Ordinarily instancing is done in terms of zones – rather we are talking about instances of the same world. Players in the tutorials will be able to spawn in to a private, single-player environment which is just our game world sans the other players. If they are stuck, GMs or trainers will be able to port into that instance and interact with the player.

As they go thru the tutorials, we’ll be able to drop them into small, preset battles with strict rules for qualifying them through this basic bootcamp. We can roll up a new instance every few minutes to stop them becoming camped etc.

There’s plenty more we can do with this – training instances, match making instances, and my personal holy grail – squad instances aka the return of Area 51. Squads would be able to have their own Area 51 in which they can train/play/socialize; they would then be able to earn various add-on features in a themed setting like a mail room to allow them to communicate with each other from in-game, a railway station to allow them to communicate with other similarly equipped squads, a vehicle spawn to allow them to spawn armor, a hangar to allow them to spawn aircraft, etc.

There’d be all kinds of other stuff you could earn to put into your squad space, and ideally you’d have the ability to control the layout of the buildings; maybe even a barracks in which each of your squad get their own space in which they can display medals, trophies, etc.

(Note: This squad stuff isn’t even on the drawing board at the moment, just an idea that I’ve been sitting on for a long time)

I’d like it to build up to grander things like a way to invite other people into their space and even a way to have some kind of inter-squad competition where rounds take place in individual squad spaces.



Love the idea. It’s very exciting to see where the game is heading, especially with the PRC release. The training will be fantastic for all new players, and I love the squad idea! Eliminating the training server – would that create benefits like saved bandwidth, etc, in any large form?

I really think this is fantastic news! Terrific work!

I’m curious about how you are going to match up noobies with other noobies to fight in training exercises. What if there is only one new guy going through training at the time? AI enemies maybe?

Please set it in Norway. Combat pre-BoF is the one place that makes sense. It had everything, paratroops, Navy Destroyer vs Destroyer action (you can even fight the 1st battle of Navrik!), tier 1 aircraft on both sides and it gives the roleplaying excuse on why you’re learning vs other noobs before you get assigned to the western front.

Thanks – now I’ve got visions of a squad “area”…………

Damm you – I’m hooked for another 7 years

Instancing also opens an interesting new “market for customers”… if combinde properly with a nice set of tools to build “realism events” really fast.

I still remember the old HTML tree built as Order of Basttle for some events… it’s very hard and slow paced to build a “event” today… if you guys manage to build a tool integrated inside of our current UI to support “events”…

Lots of customers will be happy to pay $1 or $2 dollars for an instenced battle under “realism event” conditions… your $1 paypal only gives you one life for that instanced realistic battle… :)

Players that doesn’t consider monthli subscriptiosn, will be able to join to the arena in a very cheap fashion when they have free time to spend… holidays, etc…

Instancing a battle between two infantry Companys, with the historical proportion of weapons, and only one single life for the event… is much more than any WWII game will ever be able to offer…

the main drawnbacks of “realism events” where the big amount of time that you need to start the event in an organiced fashion… if the game provides the schema of the company automatically, and tunes the radio-chat, selects the correct weapons for each possition, and spawns the whole players group in a “deployed in the field” position for the whole company… it will be far more popular than in the past… and it will increase the value of our game adding something really new in gameplay for people with very few time in their lives but with a big passion for “historical realism events”.

Yeah, I’ve wondered about how the noobs will be matched. Obviously in PRC, this won’t be much of an issue if the game is successful over there, there will be plenty of noobs to fight in the “boot camp battles.” But for the rest of the people playing on this server, there isn’t exactly a gigantic daily influx of noobs. It would be nice if there eventually was, but there is not right now.

I watch the number of recruits signing on and then signing off without playing much.

I believe the UI and or keyboard interface is too much for anyone not willing to study.

The first and best instance is seen in EVE (that I’ve seen) – and that allows you to move and understand the environment.

I know you have played EVE KFS, and know whereof I speak – if you don’t like that lead through, I would enjoy knowing why not. To be clear – I am not talking about anything so long as EVE, just that concept.

The primary issue new players have is finding a fight someplace and then finding the enemy. I don’t understand snoop’s “this server” reference. However the multi-player combat tutorial will follow some simple, single-player combat training intended to help new players understand the longer range combat they should anticipate, where the average distance for engaging the enemy is longer than the max draw distance in most other games they’ve experienced.

Eve’s tutorial system is … Eve’s. I disliked Eve’s tutorials because when I went thru them it was buggy and annoying. I have absolutely no idea what element of it you are isolating as a “concept”, or how you imagine Eve’s tutorial system could be translated to WWIIOL since their UI operates from within the game rather than without.

Besides, I’m not involved in the tutorial system or tutorials, so I’m really not in a position to answer questions about it.

So, i get the impression the Training server will become a thing of the past when this is implemented… where does that leave the Trainers?

In the training instances, either ones they create for “sessions” or with the ability to join a player in a private instance. That’s kind of the point of not just having them logged in but playing offline.

“Offline”, of course, now having a second meaning, i.e. not in the live game universe, but nonetheless with the live game universe’s human and code resources able to “look over the player’s shoulder” through the network.

Instancing of course also could have potential usefulness for designed micro-gameplay contexts that would benefit from a degree of separation from the live game, perhaps in order to manage the players and weapons present or to implement a specific time of day or weather context, but for which it’s nonetheless desirable to integrate the gameplay results.


“The primary issue new players have is finding a fight someplace and then finding the enemy.”

I believe this may be the most longest-standing criticisim of the game. Its the one comment you can bet will be made whenever the game is reviewed, or you talk to people about why they left, or never signed up.

Do you happen to know if the new tutorials will also train recruits on how to use the UI to find what they are looking for?

I’m absolutely amazed that your Chinese partner has not asked you to design a conceptually clearer UI which is battle centric rather than brigade centric.

You see, when a newb does not know how to drive a tank, he KNOWS that he doesnt know. But when he does not know how to find the kind of battle experience he is looking for, he may assume that the game does not provide it.

I’ve always assumed that 24/7 there is somthing fun happening SOMEWHERE on the map, to suit anyone’s taste.
Being able to find it – thats where the game really falls down.


By this server I meant the server outside of China, the one we’re all using.

I actually asked Gophur about this yesterday, about what would happen in the multiplayer boot camp battles when there is only one new player on for the battle.

He said something along the lines of the people running the server in China were going to hire people to be dummies and run around town shooting, lol.

“…we are talking about instances of the same world. Players (…) will be able to spawn in to a private, single-player environment which is just our game world sans the other players.”

Will it be possible to parametrically control the time-of-day and related lighting/visibility conditions within an instance separately from the status of the primary server?

Yep, it’s a reversal of the “asian gold farmer” syndrome. We have to go through a series of legal hoops but the end result is that a bunch of people play the WWIIOL China game as targets. They get paid for getting shot.

Err…. we will not have human-dummies to shoot at?


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