War is coming…

The long awaited news about Storm of War server has arrived. Starting from Sunday 11th September the dastardly Blues will be back over the skies of Southern England trying to spread their strange sausages to our fair isles.

Below is the announcement from Reddog:

I’m pleased to announce that Storm of War 4.0 will be launching the weekend after next, on Sunday the 11th of September.Thank you all for your patience and ongoing support, it has been a great motivating factor knowing that many of you are waiting for this server to come back online.

As we’ve previously mentioned on the forums, Storm of War 4.0 is going to bring some changes to the campaign and the environment we’re building. We’ve tried to learn from our past mistakes, and take on board player feedback where possible but this is a return to OUR vision more than anything. Storm of War has always been aimed at recreating as best we can the large scale air operations of the Battle of Britain, while adding decision points and some immersion creating features for players to enjoy. We hope you like what we’ve done.

The main changes can be summed up here:
Points are back – recon points

Yes, points are back although slightly modified in mechanics. The LW can now score points by reconning new targets, and the cost of specifying a target for an upcoming mission is reduced significantly. Additionally, the points modifier for scoring points during ‘events’ ie the Monday, Thursday and Sunday events is back, meaning that any points scored in these periods will be tripled. We hope that by doing this, we will refocus the command teams and players on these events which provide so much more than just a set time to play.

AI Bomber modifier

One of the problems we have encountered all through the SoW journey is how to try to incentivise players to play the game the way we intend. This means that the Luftwaffe fighters are supposed to support and escort their bomber force, not just ignore them or use them purely as bait. Therefore, we have introduced a modifier for the resupply of LW fighter aircraft based on the recent proportion of LW AI bomber losses. Only AI bombers are counted, so as not to discourage players from flying bombers. Only aircraft that are destroyed on the RAF side of the front lines (as per the map) will be counted against this modifier. Additionally this single mechanic hopefully places equal incentive on both sides and therefore provides a focus for action around the AI raids.

Revised Resupply rates

One of the outputs from SoW 3.0 was that aircraft supply was probably too high for many of the common types. We acknowledge that during the BoB aircraft were never truly a problem for the RAF, but pilots were. However, short of preventing reflying, or other artificial measures to curtail player activity we cannot replicate this, and to be honest that is exactly what we DON’T want to do, we want to have a populated server and one that allows players to enjoy the environment we’ve built whenever they are free to play. Consequently the mechanism has stayed.

As I say, with resupply rates being too high, or a surplus of aircraft building up for both teams, we have tweaked all rates of resupply for common types down. We have also tweaked the rates for rare types UP, so E4N’s and E4B’s should be seen in the resupply pool’s from time to time.

Convoys

As previously announced, we think we have convoys working. They work as follows: A notice to Airmen will be posted on the Campaign Diary page if convoys are active during a phase. A convoy represents a target of opportunity and therefore does not need to be reconned to attack. However reconning it will allow the convoy to be tracked on the campaign interface and show its location. Once a convoy is destroyed then there is no need to recon it to gain points, they will be awarded automatically. 
* Please note, that due to CLODism’s, moving ships are notoriously stupid, and we may find that more convoys are sunk by inept waypointing, than by enemy action. Think of this as mine activity. :)

Command Team changes

On the subject of the Command Teams, I would like to ask you all to appreciate their volunteering for the roles and respect that they are “in charge”. I don’t expect them to be ordering you about in real life, or demanding you salute them when they come on Teamspeak but they are nominally in command of your team and I’d ask everyone to play along in the spirit of the game. Some may roleplay a little, some may not. Just go with it and remember to have fun. We are not playing for a row of houses or a lottery jackpot after all.
The command teams both have a restricted access forum at their disposal to discuss strategy and contentious issues. Phill and I do NOT have access to the LW forum, and Dietrich does NOT have access to the RAF forum. 
The command teams are as follows, and their members can be seen via the forum here in case of later change:
Luftwaffe Team – OKL http://stormofwar.org/phpBB3/memberlist … roup&g=121 – Dietrich, JG4 Hanseat, AKA Wiley, 1./St.G.129 Cassius Calhoun, 9./JG52 Meyer, =AD= B777R, 
RAF Team – 11 Group http://stormofwar.org/phpBB3/memberlist … roup&g=156 – Reddog, Philstyle, 71st_AH Rob, 19RAF MJDixon, No.85 Cam
NOTE: Admin are included as full members and will be taking an active role.

The command teams have control over the following functions (both sides except where noted)
The ability to select a target in exchange of points (LW Only)
The allocation of replacement aircraft at the respective resupply bases to squadrons which have assigned dispersals.
The allocation and deallocation of dispersals to squadrons who have declared for that side.
The use of repair teams to a specific friendly objective which has been damaged.

Repair Teams

The concept of repair teams is still being developed, but represents a single, one off use of manpower and materiel to aid the repair rate of a specific objective. Each team will have a set number of teams available at the start of the campaign. Repairs continue to be made only during a night phase. The allocation of a repair team is immediate regardless of the current phase and if the target is destroyed completely in the meantime the repair team is wasted. Because all targets repair at different rates I cannot give specific effects of the repair team. Do not expect them to repair a target from heavily damaged to undamaged in one night. Repairs will continue to be lengthy operations.

Active Targets

The system for picking the active targets has been modified for the LW. Each mission they will immediately have 3 active targets instead of the one, but those targets will be the only ones presented, they will not gain extra targets as they hit existing ones. RDF and convoys remain as targets of opportunity outside these 3 active targets.

Additionally, the next raid info should now tell you which target is to be hit and when and where that raid will spawn, hopefully making it easier to form up with the AI.

So, what do you need to do now? 
1) make sure your steam name is in your profile
2) make sure you have joined/set up your squadron
3) squadron Co’s should make sure they have declared for a side.
4) request from your command team a base and starting aircraft.

Team Fusion TF5.0 Update

Ok, so most of you will know by now that Team Fusion have been working on a really big update to IL2 Cliifs of Dover. You will also know that the patches they created previously saved the game from oblivion and have created what is, probably, the best World War Two flight simulator out there today.

So, naturally, people have been looking forward to the latest patch, which promises much. This weekend Team Fusion released a video:

As you can see they had everyone fooled and it will be located in Alaska. “Alaska” I hear you cry, “WTF happened in Alaska?” or is it? Oh wait, no, as predicted it is located in North Africa, centred on Tobruk. So, we get a back and forth series of battles with both sides going on the offensive and then a retreat, we get new aircraft, a new (hopefully) Storm of War Campaign – with Red able to go on the offensive just as much as Blue.

New aircraft that we are aware of (so far):

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Red:

  • Hawker Hurricane Mk IIb/c (above – finally a fighter-bomber!)
  • Bristol Beaufighter Mk I
  • Supermarine Spitfire Mk Vb/c
  • Gloster Gladiator
  • Vickers Wellington
  • Grumman Martlet (F4F-4 “Wildcat”, if you’re from the wrong side of the Atlantic!)

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Blue:

  • Bf109 F2
  • Fiat Cr.42
  • Bf108 Taifun
  • Dewotine D.520 – yes I know it is French, but in this instance it will be Vichy France…so Blue!

There may be others that I have not picked up on, for Blue at least, however, the main thing is the new map. We do not know if it contains Malta, but it probably does not. We know that there have been a lot of tweaks and a lot of additions. One of the biggest, for me, after the aircraft is Occulus Rift Support. No more Track IR, 3D cockpits, one to one head movement, I’m hoping it steals the crown back from DCS World as a result.

Anyway, really looking forward to this coming out, whenever it manages to arrive. I’m sure it will be worth it.