Perception and Clarification

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DOCThere has been a bit of a commotion among the player community as a result of some of the comments generated from an article posted about the possibility of changing the Bf109F-1 into a Bf109F-2 to improve game play for the game. A lot of the comments were a trifle sensationalized and might give other players the wrong idea, or concerns they really shouldn't be too worried about.

The first of these would be the "object memory" concern. This provoked comments and rumors like "so we'll never get anything new again?!?" and similar fears being expressed. This is not the case at all. What was meant by that disclosure was that object memory is limited, it is not infinite. We have so many objects in the game covering the total range of tanks, trucks, guns, planes, trees, grass, buildings, cultural objects like barrels and storage tanks and supply crates and tents, infantry types and berms and posts and tree stumps, bushes and bridges ... that at some point performance will begin to suffer badly or stop altogether if we go past a certain limit. We haven't "run out" but the amount of room remaining gets less with every new thing we add.

This means everything we add has to go through a much more stringent selection process than "wouldn't THAT be cool to model?" It has to satisfy a range of criteria and priorities that have less to do with the desire to have it and more to do with NEEDING it (and needs are relative not absolute) as well as all the usual resource management/time/manpower issues. We would love to add everything anyone could possibly ask for but that just isn't an option.

If we can improve the Bf109F-1 by making it a Bf109F-2 then because that doesn't require any extra object memory to do this that is a good choice. We get an improved vehicle set and no new object memory is used to get it. Changing the gun data of an existing vehicle does not add to object memory. Making a new vehicle does. In that context creating a new aircraft to replace the Bf109F-1 such as a different E model (7/N) is not suitable right now, so improving what we have becomes a very attractive prospect since no object memory is used to do this.  Making a different Bf109E like the 7/N would require a new model, changing the gun on the Bf109F-1 does not. The gun is data, the plane model is an object.

We can and will add new vehicles/weapons and other objects to the game. Some are already in the plan and were already chosen some time ago, but time to model them has not been found yet. Each and every one of them will have to satisfy a very strict process of selection because we don't want to run out of room for more stuff just because we kept adding to it without an eye on the consequences to come. That wouldn't be smart. As time goes by it's fair to say that these limits will increase but we also have to work with where they are now. That's just reality folks.

Another bunch of pilot orientated concerns were things like "the MGFF fires the same round as the MG151 why does the MG151 hit harder?" ... well for starters while the rounds are similar in terms of explosive their ballistics are not. The MG151 fires a faster round (muzzle velocity is higher) and that adds kinetic energy to the impact that the MGFF cannot match. In addition the MG151 is easier to aim having a flatter trajectory and thus it is more likely the average pilot will get more rounds on the target. Finally the gun fires more rounds per second so in a 1 second impact scenario more rounds will have hit the target. All these things are modeled and accounted for in the simulation.

We research the real vehicles and weapons from WWII to get all the performance data that we model into them. We don't just make them up and we don't want them to all be the same, we want real knowledge of WWII weapons to make a difference to how you use them. Otherwise we could make them all identical and just paint them in different colors, one color for this side and another color for that side. That wouldn't make for much of a WWII tactical game though. It wouldn't be simulating anything and we're still a simulation-games developer here.

This is why there is so much variation between all the weapons you could name, it's not a 75mm tank gun versus a 75mm tank gun it's a KwK.40L48 versus a 75mm-M3 or a Hispano 20mm Mle.404 versus an MGFF/M 20mm cannon, it's a 7.62mm SMG versus a .45 caliber SMG (.45 caliber = 11.43mm) ... with all the ballistic variations that each weapon and the ammunition it uses; brings to the table in how it is DIFFERENT and not how it is the same. This is what the military grade weapons simulation underneath and powering the game is all about. It's why you have one in the first place, and why we built it. We wanted in the very beginning to include these aspects of WWII combat, as unfair as they might seem to some, or we wouldn't be playing with WWII combat and we might as well build ray guns.

(actually that's not a bad idea, space sim anyone?)

So try to have some fun and remember there is a lot of research and work that goes into every decision we make. It's much more than a shooter game. We work really hard to give you the best and deepest most involving game we can but there are certain guidelines and limitations we have to work within. Nothing is unlimited and nothing is free. None of it happens by accident except the bugs!

Damn those bugs.