We are excited to finally reveal the details of our latest upgrade to WWII Online: Battleground Europe which will leverage version 1.5 of our proprietary UNITY 3D game engine. Currently in closed Beta testing and expected to be available for public testing this fall, v1.31 will include many visual upgrades, hundreds of new objects and major new features such as variable weather, rag doll physics and a new capture mechanic.
Some of the features, upgrades and new content planned for v1.31 include;
• Game engine performance improvements with upgraded shaders, normals and specular mapping
• SpeedTree Upgrade
- 1,000,000+ trees updated with new models and colliders
- Normal mapping and self-shadowing
• New Capture Mechanics
- Removal of tables and radios with new timers and capture start/stop feature
• Upgraded infantry movement, animation & rag doll physics
- Updated animation blending for smoother third-person movement
- Rag doll physics applied to infantry death animations including force push from explosions
- New idle animations including combat-ready pose
• Upgraded special effects including variable weather
- Updated character and vehicle shadows
- New tree and object shadows
- Updated fire and explosions
- Updated muzzle flashes and effects such as blood splatter
- Updated hit effects on materials
- Dynamic clouds/fog/lighting settings
- Rain effects
• New clutter system
- New clutter system including persistent grass fields
- New radial clutter system with grass/scrub clutter
• New and updated objects
- Ground and object textures
- AA, AT, AP emplacements
- Buildings including urbans, barns, bunkers, docks, railroad stations, windmills and many more
- Tree/bush clumps/berms
- Updated vehicles; Char, Bf109 E4, Spitfire 1a and Spitfire Vb
Along with these features and updates, we are moving to Shader 3.0 support which will require some players to upgrade their video card/processor in order to run the game. We will also be publishing new recommended system requirements in order to give anyone with an older system time to plan an upgrade. Watch for a special article on our website which will feature a PC "budget build" for v1.31.
During the closed Beta process we will be posting new screenshots and publishing several articles on the many new features. These will contain more details and provide an opportunity for player review and feedback. Keep your eyes on the website or subscribe to our news feed.
1.31 Preview FAQ
Q. How will the rag doll work?
A. Whenever your client recieves an infantry death message from the host, it will activate an effect causing the character model to crumple and fall to the ground. In the event that the death is caused by an explosive effect, the model will be thrown up and back into the air before landing on the ground. It will then become a corpse.
Q. Will the weather be localized and how will it effect the air game?
A. Cloudy "game days" will be theater-wide with intermittent rain. Aircraft will not experience rain above a set altitude and will be able to climb above the added cloud layer to experience the same weather-free, blue sky fights they play now. Strafing ground targets will require aircraft to dip below the added clouds- becoming more vulnerable to attacks from above. Bombers will utilize breaks in the clouds to see their targets below.
Q. Do the new capture mechanics mean we now have "Area Capture"?
A. Not yet. We've removed the need to make contact with a table in favor of having to enter the capture building along with some new timer start/stop rules that should make it a little more exciting. By breaking through the "table humping" barrier we have opened the door for true "Area Capture" down the road. Read Senior Producer, Dana 'GOPHUR' Baldwin's 1.31 production update.
Q. Will I be able to turn off effects such as shadows and clutter for sake of performance?
A. Most effects, like radial clutter, water reflections and shadows will be able to scale up/down or turn on/off but others like clouds and rain will not be user-controlled to ensure fair play.
Q. Are there any new vehicles on the list or are these variants of existing vehicles?
A. We've remodeled and re-textured several of the oldest vehicles already in the game. This is the beginning of a long process that will be on-going.
Q. When will 1.31 be released?
A. We hope to make it publicly available in open test this fall.
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