One AO to pwn them all…

That’s right, we toned down the number of AOs going on. Why did we increase them in the first place? Because people wanted to do their own thing. They did it, they got bored, and they slowly drifted away anyway.

The rest of us were left asking “Hey, where’s the fight?”.

But one of the game’s selling points for many people has always been the sandbox element. With small numbers of AOs, we are catering to the broader audience of people who actually want to spend their time in combat with the enemy over the people who want to win through bigger-picture machinations. At least those who want to do it on a short term scale, which covers things like “soft caps” and “sneak attacks”.

I’ve been having a lot more fun playing (on my seekrit toon) during the concentrated AO times – the people playing are largely people who want to see action, and aren’t afraid to stick it out, so the less aggressive doling out of AOs is a real boon.

That leaves a group of people who are instead saying “but I don’t want to go there”.

1.29 Open Beta is out

Oh, it’s been a fun day. It turns out, for instance that 0 + 1 is not 0 (++counter; assert( counter == 0 ); no worky)

Anyway, with a little tweaking and figuring out of who had what checked in or not checked in and we finally got it stable. Gophur is uploading a client patch with the first wave of fixes as I type but Open Beta is available for download right now.

Open Beta Announcement (Battleground Europe subscription required, sorry)

Remembering the fallen

 We concluded our 7th anniversary celebration by remembering those who fought for us in World War II and the players who are no-longer with us in a 10 minute Cease Fire on the Dinant Bridge. The earlier, 2pm, ceremony was a little unruly. However, there was a touching degree of reverance shown at the 8pm ceremony. (People on both sides will no doubt feel the other side failed to behave, but remember, you only reserve 4 or 10 slots for friendly units when your vis list gets full)

Over 600 people were standing on the bridge at the peak of the 8pm ceremony.

Ah, next year, I need a slightly less drastic way to despawn everyone at the end of the ceremony…

System text from the ceremonies:

Roermond: Part 2

As requested, with voice narration – which might completely ruin it for you :)

I decided to run with the bulk of the remaining footage – runs at around 44 minutes. I had some footage of different vis levels and such but I mistook it for out-takes when I was freeing up some disk space for rendering :(

Roermond: Part 1

The first hour of the big Roermond fight from Monday. This is “buzzard footage” – not the static bunker watch of the last movie, but it’s still not Spielberg and its certainly not a promo movie. I wound up trimming the first hour down to 15 minutes but avid WWIIers – especially those who’ve fought in Roermond lately – especially Monday :)

1 hour 30 minutes of Roermond

Damn. That was pretty awesome. I missed the first 30-40 minutes of the 2 hour battle. Amazing how it surged to and fro. It’s mostly just buzzard footage – although this time I wasn’t stuck watching anything but players. I didn’t get cinematic but I got some “eye level” footage which makes the buzzard-view footage the more dramatic. Caught some awesome shots and action, caught the first foot hold, the smoke screen, storming the bridge, the sacrificial 251 runs, the lucky newbie. I was going to film the bunker capture but the Allies fell back.

There is tons of infantry fighting, there’s armor fighting going on all over the place, you can see the Axis Tier1 RDP cycle kick in as waves of Pak38s and tanks roll out, unfortunately the Allies hadn’t been daft enough to drain all of their ATGs/tanks and they managed to hold back the first wave of armor, but at the cost of pretty much all of theirs.

I switched icons on and off in a few places so you could see how dramatically different it can look when you are seeing the game thru “grunt” eyes – those are the ones that make you go “no way? but that place is crawling?!?” I also switched vis mode a couple of times so you can see how radically different dialup and broadband are…

There’s so much footage here that it’ll take me a couple of days to put it into film format, and probably a day to render the damn thing – but I’m going to.

Awesome battle! It’ll close with the huge flood of Allied troops surging from MSPs for the counter attack…

Update: Part 1 now available.