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Time for an intermediate, in-game-based Mini Update. Note that there will be more Mini Updates before the Third Mega Update (TMU).

Posted by Snake_RR on May 20th, 2009

The Art of War will feature a healthy array of maps and environments, and Middle Eastern maps are definitely included. One important aspect is that TAoW will also upgrade ZH's graphic aspect and lighting, the following images show some of the current lighting improvements.

Map and Scenery Changes

A new, "Alpha-based" test map - 'Desert Urban Simulation' - was used in order to test new units, vehicles, lighting and other assets in an urban, street and CQB / CQC (Close Quarters Battle / Combat) based scenario, as you'll see in the following images the map was based on a Middle Eastern town.

The US Base Camp, the starting point of the US Anti Insurgency Operation:

New, alternative grass (Type 2) has been added (some lighting issues on older grass patches were also fixed):

This image was taken with ZH's standard lighting (looking less "sunny"):

The following images are using the modified lighting in order to better simulate Middle Eastern sunny conditions:

New Units

Numerous "desert variants" of the main vehicles were prepared (coded) and are currently rolling in game, specially:

  • Desert Strykers (all Stryker versions);
  • Desert M1A2;
  • Desert Humvee (including brand new full firing animations and effects on the machine gun, this also applies for the M1A2's Commander's MG);
  • Insurgents (main opposition in this operation).

New / Modified Effects

New effects were created, just as it was previously mentioned, the M2 heavy machine gun (used on the Humvee, Abrams and Stryker) plus the coaxial machine guns now have a randomized tracer projectile, the tracer randomizer works based on a specific "formula":

- 2/3's of the time a tracer will appear;
- 1/3 of the time there won't be any visible projectile or tracer (this is made so tracers are fired on randomized intervals and not just "disappear").

  • New spark effects:

The old ones used to look like fireworks (since in Zero Hour a machine gun could destroy a tank, but that's not the case in TAoW), these effects appear every time an armored vehicle is hit by small arms fire.

  • New SABOT and HEAT round effects:

This is what happens when a Sabot tank shell hits a building (note that the round actually penetrated the building so it detonated inside it):

Firing a HEAT round:

  • New smoke and dirt effects:

The smoke / dirt effects are much larger on tank shells and it takes a longer time for the smoke to disperse.

The coaxial machine gun rounds "detonation" effects were also enhanced.

Important Changes

  • Machine guns were greatly enhanced in terms of sound, accuracy and range (to make'em more realistic and deadly).
  • Every soldier will have a magazine with a certain number of rounds (depending on the weapon), after the magazine is empty they will reload (reloading animations are included), in this particular case the insurgent had a 30 round magazine.
  • Please note that some of the previous buildings and map objects are receiving TAOW's "Cosmetic Treatment".

If a ZH building / map object is included in The Art of War then it will be eventually realistically resized and receive new skin and texture upgrades in order to look sharper and overall more realistic (such upgrades will occur in large scale after the main vehicles and units are complete, and the focus shifts to TAOW's Mapmaker).

  • Vehicles will move more realistically in urban environments.

In case a tank runs over a concrete wall then it's movement will be affected a bit (depending on the wall type, size and property). Walls are overall more "solid" and rounds will impact on them (depending on the round the wall can be damaged or destroyed).

  • All units (even infantry) will need a line of sight in order to engage an opponent (even when garrisoned), if they can't see they can't hit (this also means that players can sneak units without the fear of random attack of an enemy which hasn't even sighted the unit).
  • Weapons now collide with walls and structures:

Depending on the weapon's caliber a round may or may not damage or destroy a wall.

Let's suppose an insurgent is hiding behind a wall, in Zero Hour he could attack and hit anyone hiding on the other side but in The Art of War not only does he can't spot who's behind the wall but the weapons won't just "go through" it (or "over it"), soldiers equipped with explosives can "clear a path" in order to increase their mobility or to surprise/kill who is behind a wall.

For the latest updates and information about the The Art of War Project check our Forums:

Post comment Comments
GunShip05 May 20 2009 says:

Now why couldn't EA make the game look this good?

+6 votes     reply to comment
maaster_yoda May 20 2009 replied:

In fairness, the original game was released in 2003 so it's not suprising it doesn't have up to date graphics! :P
Although, it does look very pretty :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
NyangenRound May 20 2009 says:

that's mad guys. as if this isnt the TMU!!! :P
really good effects and gameplay enhancements. and the new grass looks sweet! again, you've amazed us all with further use of the randomizer logic and have massivley out done EA.

P.S. sorry about not being around the forums recently, school work's killin me :(

+4 votes     reply to comment
James100 May 20 2009 replied:

Yo! Pyro! Now I Know Why The Forums Are So Quiet Lately :P

+1 vote     reply to comment
NyangenRound May 20 2009 says:

but dont think that means i'm goin anywhere. i've still been watchin the forums just haven't found the time to post. TAOW still is and always will be my absolute favorite mod. keep up the great work snake, say hi to marc, james, tusker and all the crew for me. TAOW 4EVER

(sorry for double post. edit thing screwed up on my first one, must have run out of the 5 minute limit while i was editing or something)

+3 votes     reply to comment
Snake_RR Author
Snake_RR May 20 2009 says:

Quote:but dont think that means i'm goin anywhere. i've still been watchin the forums just haven't found the time to post. TAOW still is and always will be my absolute favorite mod. keep up the great work snake, say hi to marc, james, tusker and all the crew for me. TAOW 4EVER

Many thanks mate! Will do :)

Quote:that's mad guys. as if this isnt the TMU!!! :P

Lol, to tell you the truth this Mini Update itself is not the one which I've been specifically mentioning in the forums lately (we currently have two independent Mini Updates practically ready to be released at any time when their last components are ready).

Then comes the TMU, I suspect the Third Mega Update will be the biggest one so far, in fact, with the latest achievements we even decided to extend the "Mega Update Line" (we'll continue with the large Mega Updates and with the intermittent Mini Updates such as this one).

+1 vote   reply to comment
freredarme May 20 2009 says:

Very good job !

+3 votes     reply to comment
Lamarovsky May 20 2009 says:

Very good job ! Fantastic !!!!
Good luck ^-^

+3 votes     reply to comment
...::::-M-E-::::... May 20 2009 says:

voooooooooovvvvvv, when is it comig out, very good job!

+3 votes     reply to comment
NFScarbonn May 20 2009 says:


+3 votes     reply to comment
PathfinderGI May 20 2009 says:

I do hope you guys dont have those weird fake looking weapons sticking out of the buildings in ZH.

+3 votes     reply to comment
flamingvipir May 20 2009 says:

This mod makes me wet my pants, it's so good! Lol keep up the amazing work, guys!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Snake_RR Author
Snake_RR May 21 2009 says:

Many thanks for the great support y'all!

PathfinderGI wrote:I do hope you guys dont have those weird fake looking weapons sticking out of the buildings in ZH.

Definitely not, hopefully we'll be able to watch the soldiers themselves (currently experimental).

+1 vote   reply to comment
awesome_muffin Jun 24 2009 replied:

do u have a release date for the mod yet

+1 vote     reply to comment
Snake_RR Author
Snake_RR Jun 29 2009 replied:

Nope, not at the moment.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Flotsam150 Jun 8 2009 says:

Nice job.
The Detail sure is Epic.
Great job.


+1 vote     reply to comment
phlanax Feb 16 2010 says:

when is a beta/demo going to be relesed?

+1 vote     reply to comment
ShogunAssassin50 Oct 22 2010 says:

Yo the M1A1 abrams is WAY TOO SMALL!!! i mean look at it compared to the buildings!!! and the humvee and people are also WAY TOO SMALL MAN YOU SERIOUSLY GOT TO FIX THAT!!!

+1 vote     reply to comment
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