27 March 2018

Enduring Confrontation mode update

In one of the next updates, we will add many improvements to the "Enduring Confrontation” mode.

Front Line: the Old System

In this screenshot, you can see the front line in its current form. This is the way it’s been ever since the mechanic was introduced to the game.

The red squares mark the sectors of the map that represent the actual position of the front line. The reddish-blue line on the map is nothing more than a convenient visualisation of the actual state of affairs.

With the current implementation of the front line mechanic, the game doesn’t know anything about whether a given square on the map belongs to one side of the conflict or the other. It just keeps track of the “front line” squares – seven separate map sectors. As a result, ground vehicles can spawn in the enemy’s territory, especially in situations where the front line has advanced a long way forward or backward in a certain map sector. This is especially relevant for squares the front line is passing through.

Additionally, in its current implementation, the front line can only move in two directions: left or right (the principle is the same for maps where the front line moves horizontally – it can only move up or down). As we can observe in the attached screenshot, this state of affairs leads to horizontal breaks, and the front itself only shifts in one of the two possible dimensions, which makes it impossible to depict encircling maneuvers or other complex front line paradigms.

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Front Line: the New System

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The new system unambiguously determines the side of the conflict to which every map sector belongs. It also makes use of the “not used” state – in Sicily, this applies to ocean sectors which do not have any additional colour applied to them.

In this screenshot, the map sectors controlled by the German army are marked in blue (in this case we’re fighting on the German side), and the Allied sectors are in red. This division by colour has been added to the screenshot for the sake of clarity. It won’t be used in the game.

The new implementation of the front line solves several problems at once. One of these problems is unit placement: as you can see, although the outline of the front line in the screenshot is rather complex, both teams’ units are placed on the map correctly, each on their own side.

The reddish-blue visualisation line is now drawn along the exact front line, and the front line itself is now a barrier between two sectors belonging to the different sides.

 

In addition, the front line can now move in two dimensions – it can shift either horizontally or vertically in any mission:

 

In the above screenshot you can see Germany attacking Ally-controlled sector D-4 from Axis-controlled C-4. If Germany wins the land battle it will capture several adjacent sectors belonging to the Allied troops.

When a land battle is generated, in the case of a “vertical” attack like this, the units from both sides will still be placed as though the attack were being conducted horizontally, but in subsequent updates, additional zones will be added that will allow units to be placed more correctly. Since these zones will have to be added to all existing mission and all potential options for the positioning of ground battles within them, adding them is going to be a time-intensive process.

In future updates to this mode, we are planning to make it possible for encircling maneuvers to have a real impact on the course of the game and for missions to react accordingly. We are also planning to add new templates corresponding to this state (such as supplying the surrounded forces).

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Controlling Airspace

In this screenshot, you can see the letter A in sector E-4 next to the front line:

This is a new PvP template called "Air Supremacy." It is intended for fighters. Objective like this will appear in various areas near the front line from time to time. They represent an air zone the size of a map sector with an altitude of 6,000 meters. The team that captures this zone in an air battle will complete the objective. The teams will have 15 minutes to complete this objective, and it takes a single aircraft 450 seconds (from neutral state - grey) to capture the zone, with the speed of capturing the point being proportional to the number of aircraft attempting to capture it. A side can only capture the zone if there are no enemy aircraft at all (not counting AI planes) within it.

If the time for the objective runs out, the zone disappears, and both teams fail the objective. Right now, the time left to complete the objective is not displayed anywhere, but we are planning to create a timer showing the time left for a specific objective directly in the text of the objective in the log.

If one of the teams captures the zone, that team completes the objective and earns extra victory points. After a while, a land battle will also begin in this sector in which the team that captured the air zone will be the attacking side. If Germany (the blue side) captures the air zone in the example provided, after a while Germany’s ground forces will begin an attack from E-4 in one of three potential directions: D-4, E-5, or F-4. If the Allied players (the red team) capture the zone, an Allied attack will be conducted against E-4 from D-4, E-5, or F-4. Attack aircraft pilots will thus be able to predict likely areas in which a large number of ground troops will be stationed and prepare in advance.

Changes to Objectives for Bombers

When enemy airfields are found, objectives to destroy them will no longer be displayed in the log. We assume that bomber pilots are pretty used to the symbols on the map and understand that these symbols alone mean that the targets are available. Nevertheless, destroying airfields will still earn victory points for the team and rewards for the players. This change will allow bombers to focus less on airfields and free up space in the log (which, depending on graphical settings, frequently does not fit on many players’ HUDs) so that less obvious and repeating objectives can be shown there. Bombers will still be given objectives to destroy bases as before.

Aircraft Carriers

An Allied aircraft carrier that acts as a sort of fourth airfield has been added to the Sicily map. The aircraft carrier doesn’t stay idle, but sails along the coastline and around the destroyers. If the aircraft carrier is destroyed, it will respawn after a while at the edge of the map and gradually return to its original route. The aircraft carrier has three lives, after which it will not respawn.

The aircraft carrier can be discovered from 4,500 meters away (plus a bonus to discovery range for scout aircraft), after which the Axis team will receive an objective to destroy it. The Axis team earns victory points for discovering and destroying the aircraft carrier.

[Enduring Confrontation] Sector of Montmedy

A new confrontation that adds battles on the Franco-Belgian border, where German troops crossed the Maginot Line.

Wind has been added to this mission for testing purposes (northeasterly, 4-8 meters per second).

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