#1: In comparison with other MOW games, how do you feel Totaler Krieg's Infantry combat compares to them? Do you think players will adjust to this playstyle well?
A: It will be a massive shock to the system upon first play through but I think players will adapt quickly because the damage of weapons, ranges and overall general firepower is just more logical to real world values so players who have a decent understanding of history and specifically WW2, will be the ones who are able to take it all in their stride. You can't really complain now that a 88mm is OP at anything under 1500m, because quite simply... It was!
#2: MOW has always been about the Infantryman and his rifle, at the base of the game they can change any situation in a player's favour. Has their role changed in Totaler Krieg, and are they more expendable or dangerous in your opinion?
A: I think fundamentally the Infantryman is of the most versatile and essential units on the battlefield to any player and this is no less the case in TK. The question is how the player uses his units. At the end of the day the survival of your boots on the ground is determined by the tactics utilised by the player. So in essence their role has not changed, although you have to come to terms with the idea that your standard Infantry unit is no more bullet resistant than your better trained and equipped Paratrooper or Mechanized Infantryman, so you cannot expect them to simply always come out on top in a head on confrontation, you have to use them to their strengths, and again that depends on whether they are German, Soviet, American, British or French as unit compositions vary wildly and because of this inter-squad tactics and deployment is different. Needless to say though, in TK the average infantryman is very potent and not one to underestimate.
#3: What role would you say vehicles now play with the changes in Totaler Krieg? Additionally, have any vehicle roles been improved such as planes and boats with any new features?
A: Vehicle roles remain quintessentially the same, in principle. However, it is no longer the case that the vehicle with the highest velocity gun or strongest armour will prevail. Now you must take into consideration, especially with tanks and tank destroyers, speed, turret traverse time, reloading times and accuracy based on whether the vehicle historically had stabilizers, and of course armour weak spots. Airplanes are in TK, although their implementation in MP is not final, what you can be sure of though is that Aeroplanes have been overhauled entirely, all authentic sounds have been used, speed, weapon RoF, load outs e.t.c. My favourite feature with Aeroplanes in TK is the added comms audio for when the pilot is hit, bailing out, on fire, or has successfully hit a target. I also like the feature that has been added to have the pilot parachute out of the plane when you disembark them, and also when they are hit in the air. This enables players to correctly simulate for example Airborne operations with paratroopers that parachute to their destination. Boats have also been overhauled, and will be added to specific MP maps, settings for usage. Triggers have been added to certain maps to initiate audio cues such as Coxswain telling troops they have '30 seconds to impact' and then of course to trigger the landing craft ramps to lower complete with sound FXs. This was all done due to the lacking immersion and general incompleteness of these features in the original MoW series, I felt it really took the player out of the engagement when you see your soldiers disembarking a landing craft running through the metal ramp.
#4: You mentioned how the weapons in Totaler Krieg have realistic ranges, in this sense, and going by MOW standards, how do you think players will utilize the direct-control mode when fighting at these ranges? When sometimes, like actual war, the player might not even know where they are being shot from.
A:Totaler Krieg utilizes as close to feasibly possible realistic ranges and accuracy modifiers in order to give weapons there true lethality. Direct control is therefore best used in order to ascertain precise hits on such targets as pillboxes, tank tracks and snipers hiding in foliage or up trees / in building windows. Direct control is also essential for directing artillery from radio FoBs as well as firing weapons from planes such as bombs, rockets, cannons, machine guns and dropping supply crates. Sometimes it actually serves the player better if they take direct control of a machine gunner, especially a German with an MG42 who can actually pin and disable more enemies through suppressive fire instead of instinctively trying to directly aim at each individual man.
#5: The inventory system, how has it been improved? What is different from vanilla MOW?
A: In TK the inventories have been expanded in order to allow correct accumulation of items which now are stored and spaced out separately as per item, no longer multiplied or added to each other. All magazines have the correct ammunition capacities and all vehicles have shells that are stored separately to better represent ammunition dispersion and ammo management. Human soldiers store unequipped items on their persons which are visible on their uniform, these include helmets, fieldcaps, grenades / extra ammunition magazines and pouches. In addition, a lot of human items and vehicle items such as entrenchment utensils and spades for example have multiple buildable items which are all located to the right hand side of the interface for players to choose and build. Furthermore, some vehicles have special useable items in their inventory such as fire extinguishers, smoke candles and booby traps to use when leaving a disabled vehicle with cosmetic additions including camouflage, tank ditches and netting for concealment. The same is true for cannons and artillery alike.
#6: Artillery, the master of the battlefield; how does it play in Totaler Krieg? Does it still retain it's lethality it had in MOW?
A: Artillery in TK is probably one of the deadliest weapons if used correctly, area saturation, creating potential infantry cover, disabling vehicles or flattening potential infantry cover i.e buildings are some of the many advantages of indirect artillery. You will most likely have to contend with alot of indirect fire as was the case in reality, even if this is just from infantry level artillery in the form of mortars which have increased lethality. Off-shore bombardments in the form of Naval batteries or German Krupp K18 cannons on the Normandy beachheads can potentially devastate built up units with massive blast and shrapnel damage radiuses throwing up huge impact shockwaves and terrain into the air. If you are not keeping the enemy pinned with a constant barrage of artillery you are only giving them an easier time to mobilize their forces, and as such by neglecting this important arm of your forces you would be incredibly limiting you scope of operations and ability to master the battlefield.
#7: Camouflage and smoke, are these things worth using in Totaler Krieg, unlike MOW? Does smoke actually impair AI aim and vision, and does camouflage work pretty well on vehicles? As Well as trenches, and how well do they work in protecting troops against the aforementioned artillery and infantry fire; are there more options for trench/base building?
A: Camouflage and smoke definitely do work as intended and do indeed obscure Ai vision but most importantly is its effect on the human players. For example, seeing the deployment of smoke often alerts the enemy to a possible assault under the cover of said deployed smoke, however this can be used as a decoy in certain situations, additionally it does obviously makes it incredibly hard to direct control a unit to fire into smoke thus increasing its advantages over simple Ai deception. Camouflage disguises units from player vision, but not the Ai, however due to the Ai system being tweaked, often the player can spot units before the Ai thus camouflage can have its benefit for usage. Bushes and foliage camo does actually hide the unit from the Ai as well so you must be even more vigilant to such ruses. Trenches on the other hand are incredibly useful and can turn the average 12-man infantry company into a very hard to dislodge unit, however, trenches take time to dig and thus you have to weigh up whether it is worth spending the time on the defensive to build and protect said assets or to push on and advance without the benefit of well entrenched cover. Speaking of which, for field cannons, turning them into static concealed units will give them first-shot advantages, just do not let them get spotted by advanced recon units because then they would be sitting ducks to forward artillery observers. There are also many varieties of trenches, from standard infantry foxholes to tank and artillery ditches, to FoBs to medical and mortar pits as well as different sandbag emplacements. For defending, there is no better than well dug in units and as such a trench will always trump a wall.
#8: Regarding sound effects, how does Totaler Krieg step up? How have the sounds been changed, and in what way? Is it possible for the player to be immersed by just sitting back, hands off the keyboard, and taking in the sounds of the battlefield?
A: To be perfectly honest, this is one of the features in TK I’am proudest of, and one that really makes TK stand out from the rest, not only mods, but games. The code for the ambient sound has not been utilized before and as such it’s almost like my secret sauce. The ambient reverb for example really adds soo much immersion, believability, and realism that you can literally just close your eyes and you almost feel like you are there, or at least that a genuine battle is being waged…And that is before anyone starts firing! Everything has an ambient sound, from weapon ring outs, to bullet impact reverb, to aeroplane drones in the distant to the classic rumble of a Tiger Tank as in clanks and creaks its way towards you (Saving Private Ryan anyone ;) Furthermore there are little tid-bit extras including record players that can play the classic ‘Edith Paif – Tu Es Partout’ and many more. Sound to me is second to none if you want people to be immersed in the experience you are trying to create and that is why I have spent in indefinable amount of time perfecting the audio in TK.
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