Happy Friday everyone! Today we'll provide you with a comprehensive report about our development status on several items. This will cover Production, Operations and Development initiatives and status reports. We'll also let you have a look at the completed art work for the 5 new vehicles inbound to game. There will be some reading involved here so buckle up, let's go!
Many irons are in the fire right now as you'll see below. Our Community Development team is working to restore some post-colo trip items like the web map and wiretap / game monitor. Our Marketing team is preparing our store page on Steam and getting our branding in order (we will be going back to World War II Online / WWII Online), Battleground Europe will be something that continues to forward to us but we won't really refer to us as that as a primary.
All of these updates and progress shine a very top view perspective of all of the deep inner workings of what's happening here, and I am extraordinarily proud of what our team is accomplishing.
It is highly recommended you read through it all to fully appreciate what's happening.
Enjoy the read!
On March 16th-19th, PILOTMC, GADGET, HATCH and XOOM were on-site working on our servers in Dallas and accomplished many things. We'd like to send our thanks to all who were patient during this time, the benefits are astronomical and worth it. As we stated and definitely felt while on-site, this was a very necessary trip.
- 1GB Intranet communication between servers.
- New cabling and organization.
- Installed several new servers for variety of services.
- Improved security (intentionally vague).
- 1GB ISP is still enroute, but stage was set to accept / deploy it.
There is an ongoing plan to virtualize some of our older servers onto some of our newer boxes so we can consolidate our rack space and deploy more powerful servers while saving on power where capable.The really good news is most of the really old servers have been cleansed out and our plan is over the next year to finish that job.
Out of 37.5 hours from Saturday morning to Sunday, the team had 1 broken hour of sleep to try and get the game and its services back online as soon as we could.
Our production team is hard at work on providing new content and improvements to existing content. Here's a quick look at their overall tasks, then we'll break it down a bit with more detail.
Current Production Tasks:
- Deploy 5 new vehicles asap.
- Deploy Italian infantry with basic weapons.
- Improve infantry animations (run, jog, crouch run/jog to start).
- US Paratrooper being developed.
- New UI builder tool.
- Prepare deployment of STG.44, M1A1 Carbine and .30 Cal LMG.
For the first time in 10 years WWII Online is getting very close to deploying 5 new vehicles to the game, both S.P.A.A.'s (Self-Propelled Anti Aircraft) vehicles and Tank Busters.
At this time we're waiting on the completed DATA but the art work is ready. A major thanks to SADGUY for pounding out this work and getting his teeth sunk into the Creator program.
New Stuka G2 Inbound!
Stuka G2 Tail Gunner Position (all new tail gun with a continuous fire ammo belt, one thousand rounds per gun!)
Hurricane Mk II D Inbound!
Aircaobra inbound (for the USAF and French Air Force)
Allied SPAA inbound! A15 with mounted Bofors!
Axis SPAA inbound! Sdkfz 7 Halftrack with mounted Flak28!
New first person Hands inbound, and we're future proofing all new art for UE4!
Ballistics Audit Status (Scotsman)
Quarterly Status Report - Identified several issues with the current ballistics models and effected repairs. Specifically, (1) an incorrect variance in velocity that had an effect on point blank and short range shots. This is at least one reason why such shots were a bit flaky in the game. (2) Improper fragmentation allocation when the new geometric HE model is applied to a group of targets.
On the ammunition audit...completed new bomb and rocket warhead models for the entire war for all sides. These perform best when coupled with the new HE model - which allows for proper fragment mass distribution (a scalar fragment mass is no longer assumed). This improvement allows the proper generation of both large anti-material and smaller anti-personnel fragments, and larger bomb fragment fields.
Implementation requires the previously mentioned worked on HE fragment apportionment among targets. Auditing all ground ammunition, and have added the new tankbuster ammunition for the new aircraft variants. Grenades are in rework and three test methodologies are being looked at in the client.
The first based on lethal fragment mass, the second on wounding fragment mass, both of which require the new HE model. The third method assumes a one gram fragment mass spray for all grenades with their respective fillers and construction and uses the old HE model. The armor improvement road map and formula(s) are complete, but the addition of face hardened armor, overmatch, and other long desired armor effects will necessarily follow steam release.
The Devs have been rocking and rolling getting us prepared for Steam and all of the important tasks required that are outside of the Operations "infrastructure" concerns. Here's a quick list of what they're up to.
Current Dev Tasks:
- 1.36 - town based supply. (in progress / testing)
- Increased concurrent user capacity verification / testing. (testing)
- Netcode3 (previously UDP) for infantry. (testing)
- Managing billing requirements for Steam, includes sign ups, account management, etc. (in progress)
- Integrated voice communications (planning / concept phase).
- Steam SDK requirements. (in progress)
1.36 UPDATE STATUS
Most of the core logic has been completed and is being staged for internal testing. This includes how supply works, how the lines move, the basic changes to the user interface to provide easier more sensible navigation. Things here got a bit slowed down in terms of deploying it to the test server due to the colocation work we did a couple weekends ago but it's well on track for testing.
VICTARUS has not been letting up on this and the magnitude of this task cannot be understated.
Increased capacity (Multi-cell)
As mentioned we're doing everything we can to get as many players into a SINGLE campaign as possible. We're preparing to allow for up to 4,000 concurrent users in the game. To do this, we've had to rebuild the multi-cell host portion of our codebase, which allows for the smooth transition of users from one cell to another to improve efficiency in latency and communication.
With the added benefit of improved cabling and 1GB routing internally, we're really excited about the potential of this and ensuring our systems do not get bogged down. This is currently in development and testing, almost done.
Making sure that infantry render each other smoothly and rapidly is a large concern of ours, we want to provide the best experience possible in this respect and reduce any visual "bugginess" and rubber banding as best as we can. There's been some great work done here on Netcode3 and more to be smoothed out. Our testing team is highly focused on this one because we know the value in providing a streamlined experience.
Integrated Voice Communications (IVC)
Probably my favorite here on the list, it's the one thing World War II Online has desperately needed for years: the ability to take all of those great out of game voice communication experiences and apply that directly in the game for EVERY SINGLE USER to enjoy, whether they're an original release player, or this is Day-0 for the new guy.
IVC will be tailored around the mission system and game play itself to be highly inclusive without being overkill. Simplicity is key but as you become a leader (ML / HC) those extra channels / audios will increase to allow for greater communication.
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT REPORT
Other than re-establishing some of our statistics reporting services, the CommDev team is focusing their sights on developing a new "wwiionline.com" website that is consolidated and easier to use. The current forwarding we have in place is not ideal and was down out of necessity at a tougher time in our history that we have since long passed.
In addition, they'll be working with our Dev team to provide a new and improved sign up experience for users joining our game, particularly starting with the Steam group as that is the most urgent, then proceeding to everything else.
Pre-Steam marketing preparation is really essential. They're getting promotional materials ready and updating our Steam store page (not currently visible for you) to have the best information and lay out possible.
They've done a great job increasing traffic to our website through social media and other external outlets and have over the last several months become a very organized and efficient team doing a thankless but very necessary job to support the inflow of new (or returning) users to the game. Big salute!
INTERESTED IN HELPING AS A VOLUNTEER?
We're currently looking for volunteers for all of our teams. Things are only going to get busier as we prepare for Steam and if you desire to help out the game, we'd like to hear from you.
Thank you for reading, we'd love to hear your feedback and tremendously appreciate all of your support.