CRS is back to the planning table with making big changes to the state of Campaign game play, and the High Command system. In addition we are opening up some new doors relating to content development (production), and some planning for CRS and our future. We're going into some details today about all of these subjects.
GAME PLAY PLANNING
As you know not long ago we were talking about 1.36, which was discussed as the removal of the brigade system. Now that we've had sometime to muster more ideas and think on this subject, we're back to the planning boards considering exactly how we're going to approach this very important, game changing subject.
What we do know is, what we currently have is not working. The drain on High Command is substantial, the non-HC players do not really have control over where they want to attack, and the game's operation is at the mercy of volunteers actually being online and being knowledgeable to know how to respond to a variety of significant challenges. The consequences of not having those volunteers online negatively impact the entire state of the game both in the literal sense of major breakouts and cut offs, as well as the under the surface core of every individual: morale.
What we are discussing at this stage includes keeping a form of garrison supply at every town, both on the frontline and one town adjacent from the frontline as we had originally planned for, but instead of completely removing flags, we are now discussing leaving some flag movement capabilities in, with the intention of offering dynamically created game play (content) spear-headed by players, should they choose to.
The unique difference in what we originally proposed (which we still confidently believe will work to sustain the campaign which is why we want to keep it) versus this option, is to make sure that the map does not become something that people know exactly how to capture. In the past (with town based supply only), you could see High Command and players attacking a sequential pattern of towns, knowing that their demise would come with certainty due to the strategic value of neighboring towns. While this still exists to some degree, the flag system does help prevent the monotony that could come from this.
Therefore having moveable flags be an optional "spice-things-up," and not a game breaker (because these flags would not be nearly as stacked / powerful as they are according to today's standards) there's inherent value in doing this. In addition, it caters to a portion of our customer base that is concerned with the complete withdrawal of some moveable supply. We feel strongly that the player base as a whole will get behind this.
HIGH COMMAND WILL BE HERE TO STAY
Our mission of High Command remains the same, we want them to play an important part in the betterment of the community and the Campaign. The future of HC will have a bit less control on the player base because supply will be more readily available across the frontline, and we're also considering ways for organic leadership and followers to initiate Attack Objectives merely by their presence (via proximity from a town).
Shortly after these important game play changes go into effect, we'll then look to rebuild the HC system so it is a ground up organization, not a top down one. This means we'll be associating Squads once again with HC units and take a stroll back in time to learn from our lessons about what worked versus what has not. Today's HC system promotes too rapid growth of HC officers that are underdeveloped (mostly) and do not recall what it means to work your way up the chain of command and learn the new positions as you go along, eventually making you highly prepared.
Because of the demand HC has on their shoulders, including the consequences of their mistakes resulting into community backlash, HC is really considered more of a job than it is a force for the creation of fun (which was the original intent of creating HC). Facilitating in-game operations and out of game organization is really essential. If said leaders are promoted upwards from the bottom, people will follow those leaders more, and so the cycle of developing genuine leaders can be achieved.
CRS wants High Command to stay and we are committed to that happening. During our analysis of what the HC was supposed to be, what it became and now since the current brigade system has come, we found we had better outcomes and community engagement / player happiness / hc happiness in previous circumstances. While we do not consider today's HC a failure, it is undoubtedly not sustainable on this current trajectory, and it would be very unfair for us to not be upfront and identify the needed changes to remove these burdens from HC and the community they serve.
PRODUCTION IS OPENING NEW DOORS
With our recent call for volunteers we've had a few new folks come onboard, and if you are interested in helping CRS do more, please consider a volunteer role and go to http://www.wwiionline.com/volunteer
We are happy to report that we are now training two new artists on how to use the Creator program to give SADGUY a bit of relief and extra help. Scotsman has also been helping expedite development of new content while our guys are routinely following a production plan we have set to bring you new content.
We are also happy to report to you that while it will be a long road ahead of us, we now have a dedicated volunteer learning how to use our Terrain Editor system and we're trying to educate him with all that we have. We know there are some terrain fixes required and we are eager to bring forth improved terrain and perhaps some new play area changes to help spice the battlefield up. We'll keep you posted on progress here but it's going to be a little slow because the software is dated and clunky (hooray!). Regardless, the fact that CRS is now approaching this subject is very important to show our commitment in making sure we open up all available avenues to bring you fixes and new forms of content.
FUTURE PLANNING IS UNDERWAY FOR CRS
We're planning consistent development of WWII Online in all forms possible and we're going to continue down this road of improving our game bringing you fixes and content where possible.
It is my personal mission that we always succeed as best as we can and that means looking at the future. I am starting to put together a plan of what our future will look like and our pathway to modernizing the game. As I've mentioned in the past, it is my intention to put together a second development wing at Cornered Rat Software that focuses on newer tech to help drive our forward progress. This is beginning very soon and we will be getting a group together to start developing newer gen assets and learn how to use the Unreal Engine (4).
Our primary wing (1) will be dedicated to WWII Online as we know it today. We understand it is vital for us to make sure we're giving you the best service possible. The goal in bringing this information forward is to make clear our intentions to ensure that we have a strong future ahead of us. To do so we must move seriously in the modernization of things in all ways possible.
In terms of a WWII Online 2.0, we're putting together a plan to achieve that. This will include a multiple phase battle plan to make this a reality. Since we are still a bit understaffed and have very tight resources it makes going all out on a significant project of that nature (scope and size) incredibly difficult. So our first mission is to outline the path of least resistance to achieve said resources and develop something within the realm of our resources and capabilities. With the clear understanding that there is no outside investment to come and we're going to have to do this together, community and CRS.
I will share more details of the plans as they are refined but the primary objective in mentioning this today is to plant the seed and be transparent, as that is what you deserve and we strive to provide. CRS will remain a hardcore realistic company focusing on war games.
To be clear; WWII Online is our flagship product and dear to our heart, we are going to be continuing what we're doing. If we want to achieve a second version of it, we have a lot of work to do and must follow a very specific path to make it successful.
Please feel free to leave comments here, or you can send me an e-mail directly at email@example.com
and I'd be happy to talk with you about any of this further.
Thanks for reading, see you in the field. SALUTE!
Matt "Xoom" Callahan
President & CEO
Cornered Rat SoftwareXOOM@CorneredRats.com