|Red Baron 3D "Massive-Multi-Player"
by Major JG2 "FireCat!" Adjutant zu der Kommodore, Jagdgeschwader II, HQ
A long dogfight against a worthy opponent can be very exhausting. Particularly so, if you are the victor and then have to fly your crippled plane back to your base. It is very hard to describe in words the feeling when you finally glimpse your aerodrome as you crest the last hill, wings creaking, oil pressure and air speed low, engine temperature high, fuel gauge on empty and engine smoking, knowing fire can break out at any moment.
One of the exceptional features of Red Baron 3D that contributes to the feeling of actually being there is the quality of the sound. Wings creaking when you stress them too hard, wheels turning and squeaking during your landing or take-off roll, the constant air-raid sirens, the tolling bells of the villages, machine gun fire, everything. But when those big flak guns that protect the aerodromes and other vital ground installations fire, I jump, then duck into my cockpit as I'm listening to their echo in the valleys and try to determine from with direction they are.
Invisible Cockpit Feature
The Furball Experience
Dogfighting at night is quite an experience. Spotting your enemy and being aware of your position relative to the desolate, dark battlefield over 'No Mans Land' is quite a challenge. The beauty of the moonlight reflecting off your wings as you fly through the star filled skies is magical.
In flight sims that take place in more modern times, battles usually take place high above the ground in clear skies. Not so in Red Baron. Here dogfights that may have started higher up quickly wind down to ground level. Using hills, valleys and ground structures as tactical advantages is all part of a WWI pilots means of survival. Flying between hangars or weaving under the support arches of a railroad bridge may prove to shake or destroy your enemy.
This is where playing alongside and against real humans takes simulation to its highest level and results in total immersion. When playing Single Player against AI and your wingman gets shot down, it doesn't matter too much. Your wingman was not a real person, just a drone placed there to make you feel you're in a squadron. And if you get shot down, so what? Just restart.
But when your wingman is a real person, and you make a mistake causing either him or you to get killed, and possibly also the bombers you were escorting, you're gonna hear about it later!
In Organized War you and your skill are important assets, and your performance makes a difference, just like in real life. When playing with real humans, you do your best because there are consequences when you don't.
The new enhanced MMP was designed to be an arena for cyberwars, serious battle. In MMP there are Allied squads against German with approximately 30 players per side. This battlefield rages 5 nights a week, 4 or 5 hours each night on rogue servers.
Everything of a real war is there: Commanders, Squadron Leaders, Flight Leaders, recon missions, bombing missions, diversion missions, defensive and offensive patrols, strategy, tactics, try this, try that, maybe we can sneak by them this way.
Sectors have first to be reconned before the bombers and their escorts are dispatched to the objectives. Pilots are in assigned squadrons operating from assigned aerodromes. Communications during the war are secret, neither side knowing what the other is doing or where you'll run into each other next.
In the midst of this fog of war, palms and forehead sweat, straining eyes hope to pierce the haze. You know something's out there and something's gonna happen, if only you could know from which direction. Eventually a sharp-eyed observer from a ground battery spots your approach and the sound of the big gun sends you jumping right out of your chair. Great, you say to yourself, now they know we're here!
The last war raged on for 12 weeks. Each night, around 60 brave pilots from both sides took to the skies in organized fashion to fight and serve their squad and teammates to the best of their ability. Honor and integrity was of utmost importance and maintained throughout.
You don't necessarily have to belong to a squad to be included in an organized war. Sierra\Dynamix\WON is currently working on a campaign style MMP war where non-squad members can simply choose a side and join in the battle. It's all designed for maximum participation, and you are invited to the party.
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Last Updated April 6th, 1999