I had been running around a little bit, doing some sightseing and
getting fragged while doing so. Then I got a glimpse at hexe's screen,
she being still instructed by Plex, and I noticed her driving a vehicle.
I prayed for an F2-F1 ("request pickup!") and started to run around
searching for her. I found her in some form of jeep and I immediately entered it
- which was a little bit irritating that it was possible since it was
a deathmatch and I was the enemy. Nevertheless I was in there. Plex
noticed and told me to hit backspace: I got at the roof mounted machine
gun. Yeah boys, this was what I wanted! Let's spread some havoc! In
our best Halo style we raced around, hexe at the steering wheel with that
whicked smile in her face and me shoting till the barrels smoked. We drove some
open Halo buggy style vehicle, only the firing arc of the gun was smaller,
around 90 degrees towards front. Nevertheless I always screamed "over there!
enemy! there! left! left! right!" and fired my unhearable gattling gun.
I think we mowed down two of the other guys, probably based more on
bullets per second ratio of the gun than on skill - hexe doesn't like
WSAD steering even less than me, so we hit more walls than enemies.
The third one of them came right into our view and hexe did some
precision driveover as she always did with that big guys in Halo.
But unfortunately the other person appeared again right when we
drove away from his body. The question from us both "can't I drive
over people?!?" was cut down halfway by Plex stating that it
is not possible - yet.
After some pacing around I got shot in my gunners position and some
time later hexe was shot, too. In that time Plex got to me and
offered me to show some things, since I asked some (for me) very
important question about Conquest gametypes ala Battlefield and the
command mode. Ha, of course I wanted to see! He started with some
changes to the weather: after seing a dark night raining cats and
dogs I prefered the mild summer sunset (insider: like Senap's map Roros).
Did look very, very pretty everything. Then he started some single
player mission and did some one man destruction show, basically
all the things you can see in the videos: shooting some
walls, blowing things up with the bazooka, running around, a grenade
here and there and suddenly, BOOM, Plex did blew himself. I smiled. He dropped
a grenade right next to his feet and didn't notice. Too loud in the
booth?!? Didn't hear the infamous "click"? Didn't matter. The magical
"oh, yeah, please respawn me once again in this demo version since
I know all the tricky console commands" worked and he walked over
to some vehicle: the buggy, an Abrahams tank, two UH60 helicopters
and a Sowjet looking fighter plane. It stood right in the center
of the vehicles, next to some trees, on the potato acre of some
poor farmer. I guess he noticed my disbelieving look and told
me this is a vertical take off plane. Yes, so he did, right into
the air, no problem since none of the obstactles was right above.
When airborne he flew outside of the base, over some trees which
looked like a plantage since being pretty well ordered.
Out of a sudden he (the person Plex) turned over to answer some request of
Sven and put the hands away from the keyboard. This showed me that
there is no autohover for jets since it was nearing the surface
and it showed me that I was quite "connected" to the game since
I pulled my head in, started shivering and mumbling something like
"eeh, Plex, eeh, you, there...". Not that he even could here me with
all that noise around. But he came back right before the plane touched
the trees and went on as if nothing had happened.
After that flying around over some not-that-much-sculpted regions of
the map (only grass) he wanted to show me the physics engine:
he did a vertical landing at some slope of a hill and as soon as the
engine was off the vehicle started to roll down the slope. He
exited and we watched it going down. Boys and their toys. Two adult
men starring at some airplane rolling down a hill. Cheerio! Life
can be so simple. Death although: a short "!kill" put him back to
the respawn point and then he showed me the command mode
I had been
asking for some minutes ago and I was most excited about. Okeydokey,
there had been some bots running around, friendly as hostile ones and
the first try ended with Plex being headshot by some evil goon.
I tried to hide my chuckle. His second try was better since his AI comrades
already had been hunting down the poor guy who brought death to the
master. So he had the time to get to command mode - right after doing
some magical key strokes changing his kit several times until his
character had the right one. The command mode view is right from above,
probably the same graphic output than in "normal" mode but from straight
above. It was close to the ground and I hope there is a way to zoom
out more since if it stays like this you have to scroll around
incredibly long to navigate around all those huge parts of that
global map. Nevertheless it looks ok: if you select a person you
see an "linewired" cube around it (in green, of course) and
when you move the mouse afterwards you can see a line from the
unit you selected to the current position of the mouse coursor.
Plex told me that if you click on the ground somewhere the selected
unit "sees" another "linewired" cube in the landscape and knows by
this where to go. If you hover over a vehicle with the cursor while
having a unit selected the cursor changes and there appears a little
text "enter vehicle". So I guess you can give specific commands
like "go there" or "take the jeep" or "enter the helicopter".
Unfortunately the command mode wasn't implemented completely yet,
neither for the commander nor for his soldiers, and unfortunately he
didn't play around very long with it. But it has potential. I guess
the role of the commander in Sölder will be very, very important
and I am really looking forward to it since it brings a completely
new level of gameplay to "massive online ego shooters" like
Battlefield. And I can not wait to play it with my Battlefield
friends from the WOLFgaming community...
I was allowed to play some more multiplayer afterwards. I did found
a troup transport looking like a big, modern truck (you know the
Charlie's Angles 2 trailer? Exactly like this "we drive it off the bridge"
thing) and drove some rounds around the little camp. Went like
"fence? DANG, BLANG, RUMBLE - where?!". Gosh, I love this: I drove
right through it and it left some flattened parts of the steel fence.
No more "why is my tank stuck at this damn little pebble?!?" known
Two other anecdotes about fences: 1) still you can look through
them but not shoot through them and all those bullet holes on them
look somewhat absurd and 2) it is possible to climb over the fence
and I have to admit that this action looks 100% correct: the guy puts
the gun on the back, grapples the fence, does a nice swing ofter it
partly lying on top of the fence, leg after leg, slides down the
other side and gets back his weapon. OMG! Some developer felt in love
with some details programming this. But back to the truck: it
was a troup transport capable of holding nine people, Plex told me.
I stated that troup transports must be pretty important on such
huge maps and he simply nodded several times.
Then I noticed hexe flying around with a helicopter, an UH60 I presume,
while I was driving around with my truck outside of the base.
Unfortunately her client crashed at this point and I wondered why
the helicopter still floated in the air while I was trying to get away
in panic with my truck. Plex stated that the server still assumed hexe
to be inside of it and as long as someone is inside of a helicopter
it has the autohover capability switched on. As I figured out myself later
this makes it very, very simple even for beginners to fly. Of course
only when outside a firefight where time and hectic is no matter.
Anyway. The server noticed hexe's absense somewhen and the heli came
down. I was far away at this moment, having found another UH60.
So into the helicopter. Another guy noticed that and -praise- did
not shot me but entered, too. We both flew around a little bit
looking at the scenery and testing steering: forward and backwards
is clear, strafing is possible for a helicopter, too. The mouse
let me look around, only that the helicopter tilted to the front
when I looked down and turned to the left when I looked left (only
with a short delay, can't describe this exactly). There had
been two other keys for up and down dealing with the flying height.
When I did not press them the heli simply stayed at its current height.
Very easy to fly. The HUD for the heli had been a little bit more
complex of course, so I didn't care not too much about it in the short time
and just did some circles over the base. Suddenly my passenger jumped
out of my heli, probably because he got bored since I didn't find
a target for him. According to Plex the pilot of a UH60 has no weapons
but there are two machine guns mounted at the side usable by passengers.
After some whining around by me being unable to fire some rockets
I found the solution myself: I noticed an Apache on the ground.
I flew there, had some logical brainstorms, canceled them, asked
Plex and finally was able to lower my height due to the newly found
keybind. Out of heli one, right into heli two. Guns, I had guns! MUAHAHA!
I noticed them some to work several seconds later since the graphical effect
for the rockets (like the bazookas in Battlefield just better) was only
visible when being in 3rd person view. Since I didn't get it myself
I had to go through some
instructions like "you can not shoot while the text says 'reloading'" (D'OH!)
but then I was armed and dangerous. As if it was destiny hexe appeared
somewhere in the base and look what she had: a tank! I had
some emotional conflict then: let my girl finally drive around in
the newly discovered tank or try out my missiles and blow her away?
Gosh, difficult. While I was still hesitating Plex showed me how
to look-on the missiles which had been of the heatseaking type.
That little square on the tank with the word "Locked" below it
is that comforting. Then I made my decision: shoot only one and see
what happens. ZOOOSH, off it went, circling down towards her,
KABOOM, but she still there. So I had all what I wanted:
missile fired, all effects seen, hexe still in a tank. I wanted
to remove the lock-on then but Plex told me that is not possible
yet. Ooookey. So I just flew away. But I thought to myself
"man, Plex showed only us both where the vehicles are, it is
improbable that the other two guys are sitting in some
nice, phat targets for me, too". So I wanted to test another thing:
getting height, somewhat above 200 meters, then pressing 'E'
for Enter/Exit and outside I was. Player model in standing position
first, then the server noticed this being somewhat stupid and
so my character switched to skydive mode, gun still righthanded.
I could feel the breeze! Being used from Battlefield I hammered
the 'E' key several times in the hope the parachute would open - what a silly action.
No clue whether it was a reaction to my action or just the
auto-open-due-to-height but the parachute opened and I sailed
to earth again (at this time I already had forgotten about my
helicopter falling down somewhere).
The landing was 50/50: player model looked very nice while
landing, but the parachute looked like some textured triangle
strip reducing its Z axis over time till it was completely sunken in the ground.
Well, not perfect but
at least more than Battlefield's "ZIPP, there" and "ZAPP, gone".
So much about my experiences with vehicles.