Home > Gaming, WWIIOL > Battleground Europe 1.31 is live

Battleground Europe 1.31 is live

For a change, my lack of blog-posting is due to playing Battleground Europe excessively ;)

Man 1.31 really rocks. It’s kind of hard to explain the level of change. I mean, visually, when you go in, depending how long since you last played, you’re either going to say “HOLY S**T” or “yeah? it’s not alan wake is it?”. But the changes aren’t just cosmetic. So many little things that change the feel of the game in subtle ways…

For instance, a smattering of the old bush lines are replaced with old stone walls, giving open-country play just that little more oomph. Lots of improved effects that really add a sense of what’s going on around you. The turret accuracy stuff I mentioned really, really changes things up. People are finally spotting for each other, meaningfully. Tracers on LMGs… A little ahistorical and, when you’re the LMG a little annoying, until you “get” that it has a suppressing fire effect. It makes them far more useful as team weapons than as lone sniping weapons. And now that incoming rounds are so much more accurate, I’m seeing a lot more guys taking cover when fired at vs before when they died while they were still trying to figure out if that MG was being fired at them or not ;)

We haz glitches to iron out still :( But it wouldn’t be WWII Online if it didn’t have some glitches for us all to marvel at :)

The capture changes… People aren’t liking the 8 minute capture timer :) Well, and I say this affectionately… Screw you :) If it’s taking you 8 minutes to capture, you’re capsturbating. It takes 4 minutes for 2 people to cap, 3 minutes for 3, etc, down to 60s for 8 guys.

Last night I was in a whole bunch of 3-man caps. And where I originally thought these numbers were too high, I’ve changed my mind. These numbers are actually good.

Yes: 3 minutes is a bit long for an uncontested capture that previously 1 guy could have capped in 60s. Don’t care. Battleground.

When I was capping under fire, IMHO the timers actually make caps faster:

  • The timer doesn’t reset if you have to defend yourself,
  • You aren’t squatting in a fixed, well-known position (the table) so EI don’t walk into the building with their gun already aimed at you…,
  • Capture isn’t tied to just one of you, so you don’t lose your 95% capture to a single grenade,
  • Capture isn’t reset when the building is cleared, so if you’re spawning nearby, you get “rewarded” for returning to the scene of the crime with a good chunk of capture progress still under way,
  • Buddying up to speed up capture also increases survivability,
  • From a defenders perspective, knowing there’s more than one guy in there makes me a lot more likely to run back; fish in a barrel!
  • From an attackers perspective, the fact they’re likely to come back restores some of that “hiding behind the table” adrenaline, but it can haz flavor

The new “bunker” buildings are much, much, much better to fight in and defend. And the layout really puts a crimp on the old “one ei enters, 8 defenders die”. The removal of the table+radio means there’s no hot spot you have to defend either, which makes defending feel a lot less constricting.

A mass of changes and fixes to the network stack (teulKit) over the last year are really paying off. So far, the network connection status log is showing a 93% decrease in CTHLs (and I suspect many of those are guys on dialup trying to see if they can still get away with it, sorry guys). I found some really dumb bugs in the network API that just needed clear-headed time sitting looking at to figure out. Things like every 1000th connection to a given host being confused with a different connection in some parts of the stack, leading to pretty much guaranteed CTHLs for both players… Gone.

Firebug? Now you’re only likely to see a stuck trigger for a few seconds when a guy lags out or crashes. Other than that, even in really intense battles, it’s pretty much gone: I was looking at the trouble piece of code, and noticed – for the first time in 6 years – that directly below it was extremely similar code for handling turret updates. There was one line of difference. So I copied the one line. Poof! Specifically, I have not yet seen one person say “XYZ firebug” in my time playing since 1.31 release…

Lighting… I always felt our game was just way too dark, and night time was ridiculous. I don’t care if it’s realistic, playing a game where your night-time screen is essentially black on black is stupid. We’ve got a much better light balance going on, with a shift to alteration of the colors to simulate the effects of darkness etc. I’m far happier hearing people protest that night is too bright over “I can’t see a damn thing, guess I’ll log back on in an hour”. I’ve seen some “is this 4pm or 4am?” and “this is as bright as day time”, but none of them saying they were gonna log out because of it :)

  1. June 8, 2010 at 4:08 pm | #1

    So true about darkness. I used to hate it and stayed on map until night was over. I tried it offline and it’s just fine enough to make people harder to spot. So it’s a good balance until we get a night vision tier 21 upgrade…

    I would sooo much love trying out area capture but my crappy laptop has the last word (though I now manage to spawn offline while I couldn’t with the beta version). Furthermore since you removed bibit offline payments, I can’t reactivate to try it out. Will wait for a welcome back soldier.

    I really love the offline clones as well. Pitty we don’t have the supertrooper. A quicky : http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/1228/aasquadzeb.jpg

  2. Drave
    June 8, 2010 at 6:45 pm | #2

    I’m sorry KFS1, but I just saw today a lmg with firebug.
    With the others things I absolutly agree with you.

    About the darkness: People should once go somewhere far away from civilization with no lights. The night is really bright with the stars and especially with the moon. In WWII most of the man-made lights were off. So the stars and the moon could light up the night.

  3. June 8, 2010 at 7:45 pm | #3

    Hrm – only way I can think that you might still see a firebug now is if you had, yourself, silently reconnected in the background. That’ll get fixed with my grid/update system redo.

  4. Nicco
    June 8, 2010 at 10:00 pm | #4

    Having a great time!

    Not sure I agree on the new bunker houses tough, I’ve been killed two times now at the top of the stairs by an invisible enemy.

    I dunno if they got a grenade into the windows or something, but there were no inf’s at the bottom of the stairs, then suddenly pow… dead.

    That being said, I don’t know if having a fortress bunker is always a good idea anyway, by the time EI starts rushing the bunker en masse its too late anyway so you might as well get it over with.

  5. silky
    June 9, 2010 at 3:28 am | #5

    I think there’ll be a bedding in period, re: capture timers

    I’ll admit my first experience the other night wasn’t 100% happy. I spawned in just as my Depot went Axis. I did what I would always do. Watch the entrances, wait for the capper to exit, kill him, go recap. As I was waiting for the recap to go through my first thoughts were ‘this isn’t as fun as it used to be – the impact of a long timer on defensive activity is huge. It was only then that I fully started to appreciate the impact of the changes. Everything has changed, and it’s a fundamental shift that rewards grouped play and ooordination over solo play. And as that shift works its way through the population, and those able to rally and lead groups start to evolve into momentum generators, everyone will be more comfortable with the game environment.

    My only concern is now territorial softcaps, where a side has grabbed a load of land and has to softcap unopposed. You used to be able to drop one guy into each town and clear it in 20 mins, now even a small town would take double that. So hopefully we’ll see some kind of change that allows a town to be flipped without physical capturing if the town doesn’t have a defence (eg no units within 5 towns or no AWS etc)

  6. Jizzyjaz
    June 9, 2010 at 8:11 am | #6

    IDK, the game is great and all, but my name is still censored. Whats up with that? :-)

    Really though, great work. Its been fun to play (The very limited amount I have been able to play)

  7. ahwulf
    June 9, 2010 at 9:26 am | #7

    I still think a clear night needs to be a little darker or more black and white or something. Maybe the sky just needs to be a darker shade, the ground seemed reasonably dark.

  8. Comstar
    June 9, 2010 at 9:40 am | #8

    The dead infantry all over the place is nicer now, it shows a 3rd person infantry redo is now in order.

    Also, coloured smoke to brighten up the place -seriously. Seeing all the white smoke from morter shells and the odd black column from a burning tank means trying to mark targets is impossible now, but it looks like white fluffy clouds are around every depot under attack and defence, which adds to the atmosphere. Though having a huge towering column of smoke going from destroyed oil tanks hanging over a town or airfield would also add “atmosphere”.

  9. Bren
    June 9, 2010 at 6:39 pm | #9

    Definately agree with the brighter night.

    I’m certainly in favour of a bighter ‘night palette’ rather than an actual dark mode that usually turns into a jacked-gamma mode (aka looks-like-crap mode) or a log-off mode.

    I used to be one of the latter.

  10. Sres
    June 10, 2010 at 4:34 am | #10

    Saw firebug yesterday from a British LMG.

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