World War II Online: Battleground Europe is a combined arms MMOFPS set in, believe it or not, wartorn Europe during World War II; oh, and it's online. Unusually for an FPS it originally eschewed the later stages of the war, this however has changed slightly.
There are three factions. The British and French (and later the Americans) versus the Germans. The Western Allies are unified under one command system. The French have more brigades in total then the British, and the Americans having none outside some events.
Gameplay takes place in a single game world, which is a 1/2 scale map of Western Europe. It is the largest MMOG game world map, at over 350,000 km, with most play occurring in a 30,000 kmcentral area in which most capturable cities, airfields and ports have been placed. Two alternate servers are available for training events and beta testing the next version respectively. A campaign starts off in a vague interpretation of the Battle of France.
A unique feature of the game is the command system, which is entirely player run and implement their own rules, regulations and protocol. This is monitored by the developers and helps create two very differently run sides. A High Commander will typically move brigades, lead assaults/defences and monitor supply levels. You don't need to worry about this unless you plan to become a High Commander.
The first-person aspect of the game could be said to combine elements of Red Orchestra and Battlefield with a little focus on realism. Did I say little? I meant a LOT! There is no Regenerating Health or First Aid Kits or even a Medic class. One shot from anything will normally kill or severely wound you. The Collision models for vehicles are very well detailed and calculate velocity, drop, angle of impact and such.
- After-Action Report - Frequently in the forums. There is an ingame AAR as well which displays your mission type, kills, damages, time, place of spawn and the place of despawn.
- America Won World War II - Averted to an extent; there is an American faction, but it sits out the initial parts of the game. Instead, the focus is mainly on the French, who are aided by the British. That being said, American resources start popping up for the other Western Allies early on, and they keep playing a highly useful role. And according to plans, they will later become the dominant late-game Western Allied faction with Tier Three reached.
- Anti-Air: For ground-to-air use, the Germans have the 2cm Flak 30 and the 8.8cm Flak 36, while the French, British, and Americans share the 25mm Hotchkiss autocannon. In addition, all sides have access to the Bofors 40mm anti-aircraft gun.
- There are also self-propelled AA vehicles as well, all utilizing the Bofors platform. The Germans mount the weapon on the Sd.Kfz. 7 halftrack, the British on a modified A15 Crusader body, and the French on an Laffy S15 truck.
- Anti-Armor: Both sides have extensive counter-armor weaponry, ranging from the infantry-carried .55cal Boys Anti-Tank Rifle to the massive 8.8cm Flak 36 multirole field gun.
- In fact, there are three separate infantry classes which specialize in dealing with enemy armor: ATR, ATS, and Sapper. The ATR is equipped with an anti-tank rifle, useful against light and/or early-tier enemy vehicles, but quickly loses effectiveness the further into the campaign it is, due to better-armored opponents. The ATS filters in during later tiers to mostly replace the ATR class, armed with either the M-3A1 bazooka (for the Americans and French), the PIAT (for the British), or the Panzerschrek (for the Germans). Meanwhile, the Sapper is the only class equipped with anti-tank satchel charges, and whose main purpose is to sneak up to enemy tanks and place explosives on weak points.
- Ascended Extra: Originally, the Americans were only used for some special events and as Lend Lease. However, the plans seem to be for them to be added in as a full faction, and one that will take over as the dominant Allied faction in the late game at that!
- Authority Equals Asskicking: The High Command tends to be made up of very experienced players, some of whom have played the game for over a decade and are extremely potent fighters.
- Awesome Personnel Carrier: The Sd.Kfz.251 halftrack, which can carry as many infantry as you want, is almost impervious to all small arms fire, and has an MG-34 light machine gun mounted up top for protection and suppressive fire.
- Bomb Whistle - If dropped from far enough in the sky, the heavier bombs shriek as they plummet to the ground.
- Bottomless Magazines - Averted. Everything has a limited amount of ammunition but played straight with truck s which can still somehow hold enough supplies to resupply an entire army. The rifleman classes have ammo boxes to replenish other infantrymen.
- Cherry Tapping: All infantry classes have access to a knife, and getting offed by a quick stab to the chest in a world where almost every infantry weapon is a guaranteed one-hit kill at any range is quite humiliating, especially if you never saw the assailant coming.
- It's possible to kill all types of enemy tanks with any type of anti-tank weapon, which means a Tiger tank can technically be knocked out by the little French 25mm starter ATG or the British 2lb wheeled gun. However, the gunner has to be extremely close to the target, very accurate at aiming, have a clear shot at the target's weak points, and/or be very lucky to get the kill.
- Crew of One - Averted, a player can fill a position on a tank, plane, ship or even an anti-tank gun along with other players if they so wish. If you don't you can access all positions but are at a disadvantage.
- The Empire: Go on. Gueeesssss....
- Early Game Hell: The first time you play the game, you'll immediately be thrown into a battlefield with little instruction other than how to move, open your map, and fire your weapon. Many of the enemies you encounter have been playing the game for nearly two decades. All in all, it's a pretty brutal learning curve.
- Fackler Scale of FPS Realism - One bullet can pulverize your persona, a shell can explode your engine and a bomb can blow your boat up. You'll die a lot.
- The Federation: The combined Western Allied command plays this role.
- Gaming Clan - There are player-created squads in the game. Many have a structure separate from the High Command, and occasionally hold conventions.
- G-Rated Sex - In the 1.31 patch, Ragdoll Physics were introduced; before this, an infantry player could die in a somewhat compromising position with another player.
- Not to mention that you can hump the sheep.
- High-Altitude Battle: Though most air battles take place at relatively low level, a few engagements (particularly those involving long-range bombing raids) are fought high up in the clouds, at the typical altitude.
- Highly Conspicuous Uniform - The French Commander uniform. The cap isn't too bad but the trousers are bright white jodphurs.
- Hit-and-Run Tactics: The raison d'etre for anti-tank guns and light armored vehicles. A typical sortie goes like this: spawn in, maneuver quickly and silently to a suitable location, ambush the enemy, then displace to another location and repeat as needed. The M3 Stuart is particularly suited to this tactic, equipped with a high-velocity 37mm gun which can knock out even late-war tanks and with the best acceleration of any vehicle in the game, but its miserably thin armor means that you won't survive anything larger than a 20mm cannon shell.
- Hyperspace Arsenal - Averted mainly because you can only use the weapons you spawned with. Even then a soldier only carry his primary weapon, pistol, various grenades and a knife.
- Hold the Line - Quite literally, as well◊. On occasion, you'll have High Command screaming in side chat for players to defend a town or forward base at all costs. Due to supply and troop movement considerations, ownership of a single town can spell the difference between remaining competitive in a campaign or having entire divisions trapped in a pocket with a clock ticking down to their surrender.
- Instant Death Bullet - Death comes usually unexpectedly and quickly, with no idea where the lethal bullet came from.
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence - You can't jump over them or jump period, due to realism. Justified given the size of the map, you can walk around it.
- Military Academy - the Officer Candidate School for both sides. This is maintained by senior staff officers and you need to pass it to 'become' an officer.
- More Dakka - Taken to extremes◊.
- My Car Hates Me - Occasionally a bug causes the engine of a StuG assault gun to not work at all, even if it was working fine a few seconds ago. Of course Sods Law wishes it to happen just when you're facing an enemy armoured column.
- No Swastikas - So the game can be sold in Germany, no swastikas are allowed in the game or on the forum. However, the crossroads look suspiciously like swastikas on the game map.
- Obvious Beta - The game was forced into release on June 6, 2001 to coincide with D-Day. It was not even finished development let alone tested and debugged, resulting in one of the buggiest launches this side of Daggerfall.
- Only Six Faces: There are only nine different facial models, one each for the British, French, German, Italian, and American infantry, plus separate ones for the parachute forces of the first four nations. note
- Pink Mist: Nail an enemy infantryman with a headshot at range and you see a pleasing spray of red erupt from his skull.
- Pinned Down: Will happen plenty of times, with the cause ranging from a sniper in a house window to an enemy tank spraying down everything that moves. In fact, the game actually incentivizes camping, especially when used to cut the enemy off from their capture points or to stop an attack in its tracks by suppressing a mobile spawn.
- Ragdoll Physics - Introduced in 1.31.
- Redshirt Army - Played with as most players that choose to play as a paratrooper are new players that after seeing paratroopers in the media. Hilarity Ensues when they realize they aren't actually the cavalry.
- Space Compression - The game world isn't full size, cause that would just be ridiculous.
- Sticky Bomb: The high-explosive TNT satchels carried by the rifleman, engineer, and sapper classes. They'll adhere to every surface you can reach, from sheer walls to canvas tents, and even stick to tank armor.
- Stuka Scream: As found in, you guessed it, the JU-87 Stuka, though only if the pilot chooses to enable the "Jericho Trumpet".
- Tank Goodness - They aren't called armoured brigades for nothing, you know?
- Urban Warfare: The majority of combat is centered in and around urban areas, as control of the map depends on how many towns either side owns. The actual size of the towns can vary greatly, and the player can find themselves fighting over a tiny hamlet in the countryside one day and a major city such as Brussels, Antwerp, or Frankfurt the next.
- Videogame Caring Potential - See a squad of infantrymen pinned down by an enemy armored car, and you just so happen to be in a fighter with four 20mm autocannons?
- Videogame Cruelty Potential - See that paratroop transport plane loaded up to the brim with bright-eyed new recruits, and you just so happen to be in a fighter with four 20mm autocannons?