WWIIOL is fought over an area of more than 300,000 square kilometers of 1940's Western Europe. This map is dotted with a network of towns and cities. Each town is a varied collection of facilities, but includes always at least one army base (which includes an infantry spawn point and a vehicle spawn point), one “town center,” and supply depots linking the town to adjacent towns by road, rail or water. The only exception for this is some cities located on islands that are inaccessible by roads or bridges will not support vehicle spawning so that defenders do not have an unfair advantage over attackers.
Game play at its most basic level is a matter of attacking forces spawning in and forming up then attacking a town with the object of capturing all the facilities and the army base. Defenders spawn their own vehicles, guns, and most infantry at the army base, with a limited ability to spawn infantry at the various supply depots around town. Capturing these depots is the first step towards strangling the defenders ability to defend their town or city. Eventually they will be pushed back to their army base and this is usually the climatic moment in the battle, and often the most intense.
Everything revolves around the infantryman. As the only unit that can capture anything, all of the weapons systems in the game – from long-range destroyers, to aircraft with tons of high-explosive bombs, to heavily armed and armored tanks – are ultimately only as good as their ability to deliver infantry safely to capturable facilities. There are of course many complexities involved, the greatest of which is the thousands of other human beings trying their best to prevent you doing exactly that.
Choke Points (CPs)
Further Information: Choke Point
Territory is controlled based on the ownership of “choke points”, more often called towns or cities, sometimes the focus will be an airfield attached to a town or city. These points sit at strategic locations in the network of road, rail, and river lines across the map. They can be small villages with a mere handful of buildings, or sprawling cities like Antwerp, or Brussels, etc..
Every town or city in on the map will be joined to a number of neighboring towns and cities by a supply depot for each link in the network. these are vital points of any attack to gain spawning advantages, as missions can be made by the owner of that depot to create wider and more difficult to defeat options for attackers and defenders, depending on who owns that depot. Attackers must capture them and defenders must prevent attackers from doing so.
Further Information: Capture
The basic mechanics of WWIIOL gameplay revolve around capturing the facilities and CPs to move the front lines. Just killing stuff is fine and fun, but you want to win the war and that means capturing territory. Facilities are captured when an infantryman initiates the capture timer within a capture facility (be it a Depot, Bunker, or Dock). The capture timer is 8 minutes for 1 infantryman to capture the flag. The timer moves faster if more friendly units are present within that same facility. This capture timer is variable so the baseline can vary depending on factors revolving around comparative population online at the time.
Capturing facilities is a brutal combat experience because the enemy will do everything in their power to prevent you doing it, and it is one of the most intense experiences in WWIIOL.
Further Information: AI Defense
Given the sheer size of the WWIIOL game map, even many thousands of players cannot cover all the cities. Integrated AI defenses are placed at every CP to act as a light deterrent to surprise attacks. They are easy to figure out and learn, with respect to the arc of their cover and how to destroy them, and this is something you should familiarize yourself with early on in your WWIIOL career.
While the AI defenses cover the obvious arcs or lanes of approach to a CP (town, city, or larger facility like an airfield) the coverage only extends to about a 70 degree arc along the line they are facing, so learning to flank the AI is the best way to approach an objective until you are close enough to destroy the AI, which can only be done with explosives, like a tossed grenade (you better learn to throw grenades accurately) or high explosive from a satchel charge. Tanks and heavy machine guns can also take out AI, although the machine gun option takes a LOT of ammunition.
Once you become familiar and experienced, you will know when the AI has you targeted from long range, where it is fairly inaccurate, as you approach and it begins firing ... bullets will whizz by and hit the cover you are approaching from within, landing all around you. If it was a player that spotted you, you'd probably be dead already. Once you know it's an AI shooting at you, work your way out of it's fixed arc of fire and flank it. It can kill you but generally only when you're being careless or trying to "charge at it."
Don't forget to tell your buddies so they don't get caught by surprise.
Player Placed Objects
There are many things that a suitably equipped player can place into the game world, from resupply points tank traps to above ground fortification trenches to firing berms and field positions (emulating a foxhole since you can't dig a hole in the terrain) and for those times when you have a large expanse of open terrain from a mobile spawn to the objective, it can be useful to place cover along the line of approach, about as far apart as the range an infantryman can sprint.
Further Information: Player_Placed_Objects (PPO) Player Placed Objects are field fortifications of different types that can be placed within the game world.
Further Information: Facility
Every CP is made up of a collection of facilities that all serve different purposes. Some are spawn points, some are supply depots, but all of them can be captured. A capture building will be present for every facility showing the flag of the country that currently controls that facility.
Forward Bases (“FBs”), a.k.a. Fire Base
Further Information: Forward Base
While some CPs are close together, most often the distance between Choke Points is large enough to require the establishment of a Forward Base of operations in order to conduct a successful attack. FBs are effectively Forward Staging Points (forward spawn points) in the field represented by two military revetments (a vehicle tent and an infantry tent) that provide vehicle and troop spawning just a few kilometers outside of the CP they are attacking. Instead of using a distant army base as your staging area, FBs allow you to reduce travel time and move your supply line as close as possible to an enemy-held CP. Attacking the enemy's FB and destroying it when you are defending a CP that has been AO'd (attack objective placed on your town or city) effectively kills their attack initiative and momentum will swing towards the defenders. This will also open YOUR FB to the town or city that supplied their attack so you can bet they will be sending units out to destroy your FB and get their own back to restart their attack. This is known as "flipping FB's" or "FB ping pong".
Main article: Capture
Main article: Spawning
High Command Tactical Orders
Main article: Tactical Orders
WWII ONLINE is a complex game, with enough scope to keep you busy for literally years. But much of that is hidden out of the way, and the game interface is formatted to allow you to get into combat quickly. This interface guide tells you all you need to play WWII ONLINE effectively and expose the paths to more intricate features as well.
When the game first starts, you will see a small window appears with some important information. This Start Up message shows you the Message of the Day, the approximate balance of forces (whether one side has an advantage in the number of players or if the two sides are balanced) and occasionally has a poll so that you can give CRS your opinion on a question.
Main article: Personas
Main article: Equipment Operation
The Theater Map
Main article: Theater Map
Further Information: Terrain
Even though it looks flat, and may be a similar color, they can be very different. From very smooth grass (Airfield), to open pasture, to a boggy ground that will make driving very slow.
Main article: Brigades
Main article: Missions
Main article: Chat
Main article: Text Commands
Heads Up Display (HUD)
Main article: Heads up Display
Brigade spawning (TOEs)
Main article: Brigade Spawning
Officer In Charge (OIC)
Main article: Officer in Charge
Further Information: Campaigns
Eventually a side will win the war and the game will reset to it's initial or starting state. This is called a Campaign. In further information, you can check who won campaigns in the past, there have been well over a hundred campaigns fought in the history of WWII ONLINE.
A campaign begins in the early period of the war, basically 1940. The phony war period of 1939 and the attack on Czechoslovakia is ignored, and the campaign begins with the invasion of France around May 10th 1940. Only equipment relative to that period in time is available to players, whatever persona (nationality and branch) they choose to play. As the days and weeks unfold, the timeline advances into 1941, 1942, 1943 and so on ... each period is referred to as a "tier" (tier 1, tier 2, tier 3, etc..) with respect to what equipment is available to be spawned. Older equipment from earlier tiers, while less effective in many instances (and infrequently not in other instances) to the later equipment you get in whatever current tier the campaign has reached, is still available in limited numbers, usually seen by players as a "last resort" when all the "good stuff" is no longer available because it has been lost in combat. Supply matters in WWIIOL.
With it's focus on historical precedent, this campaign approach will also see things like the American forces not being available until the later tiers since at the start of the real war, America was not involved. As a rule the Americans enter the battle in tier 3.
The exact rules to end the war are not 100% public, but this is known for a fact:
- It's based on percentage of game-world owned by winning side.
- The real number is close to 95%
- Sometimes this means the Allied side has been pushed back to England, and WWIIOL has in the past seen the German side invading England for the win. This is not a requirement however, for German victory, it depends on how the territory battle has played out on the mainland.
Main article: Links