RO.ru Interview with Alan Wilson from Tripwire
Guys, here's the repost of a small Q&A session Alan did for redorchestra.ru website:
Q: Red Orchestra 2: Heroes of Stalingrad has attracted a lot of attention during the past several months. Numerous interviews, previews and presentations. All that makes our task rather challenging. Especially since the Russian Red Orchestra community has always been one of the largest/impatient and is now buzzing about the new game. Tons of questions, ideas, suggestions, speculations… We have attempted to generalize the most often-asked questions and include them in this interview. And since we all know who you are and what you do at Tripwire Interactive -- I guess we should get down to business?
AW: That’s a question ?
Q: One of the big things about RO:HoS is the whole “Heroes” system. How would a regular “Hero” look like in Heroes of Stalingrad? Better, faster, stronger James Coburn? J Would they differ in ANY way from “non-Heroes”, in their abilities like: faster reloading, longer stamina, better weapons, etc.?
AW: A YOUNGER Corporal Steiner. Ok, being less facetious, the look of your character will be the most obvious thing you see changing as you progress. But there is a progression system in there that will affect your abilities – but VERY subtly! This isn’t meant to be a “Killing Floor” style of perk system where your abilities are hugely enhanced. For instance, a Hero will be able to affect the morale of those around him – which will be helpful when capping an Objective. It will also help in the single player, if your squad is taking casualties – your Hero status will help hold the squad together longer than if you were a raw recruit. There will be a number of other changes as you progress – but we’ll keep some of them secret for now!
A: So players progress in rank to become a Hero. Would those be real military ranks of the time, or a more generalized system? Would players get medals/decorations visible in the game to show off their achievements to other players?
AW: It will be a mix – and there will certainly be a few items players can show off with. As we said above, the big thing is the look. Players will start out looking like a nice, clean raw recruit with freshly-issued weapons. As you progress, as your character becomes more battle-hardened, so the look will change – until you start to looked like the grizzled hero type. There will also be a few medals and awards lurking. The Germans went into battle wearing their Iron Cross ribbons, the Russians always liked to wear their actual medals. Rank insignia will be used in the class system, so you can get a better idea of who is a squad or platoon leader.
Q: From what we have seen all the firearms in Heroes of Stalingrad look incredibly detailed and realistic. So how big is the arsenal this time? Any hints on future additions?
AW: Well, Rob (our weapons guy) has excelled himself this time. We’ve also got our hands on even more of the weapons. I think we will have had hands on to ALL the weapons in game, by the time we are done. The general range of weaponry will be familiar – but one or two “new faces” in there. Apart from all the basics – Mosin, Mauser, PPSh, MP40 and so on, I think people have spotted one or two of the “hero” weapons – AVT-40 and Mkb(h)-42. There is always the debate about how many of these existed, but, especially for these weapons that have to be earned, we are happy to work to the old rule of “if some COULD have been there, that will work”. But the obvious core weapons need to be very much historically accurate for us. Total number of weapons, including grenades, demo, anti-tank, variants, something like 30 all-up.
Q: The melee combat system is Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 was very advanced for its time (actually still is), do you plan to expand it in Heroes?
AW: Yes. The old game allowed for a basic “bash and slash” – bash someone with the butt of your weapon, or stick them with a bayonet. We’re trialling out some more sophisticated ideas this time around.
Q: You have mentioned several AT (Anti-Tank) weapons available in Heroes of Stalingrad, mind to tell us more? Molotov anyone?
AW: Well, the “man-portable” AT weapons of the time period were fairly basic. They certainly weren’t subtle. Which makes them fun, too! Anti-tank grenades and AT rifles were used by both sides – the Soviets manufactured huge numbers of the PTRD and PTRS. Flame is a different problem to handle and to model. We’ll see where we get to with that!
Q: The new artillery system is a huge step up, especially the variety of artillery types available to commanders. Katusha rockets is defiantly what everyone is excited about over here. Do you have something up in your sleeves for the Wehrmacht as well?
AW: The Wehrmacht’s nearest equivalent is the Nebelwerfer. Different design, but similar concept – a battery of 4 Nebelwerfer is going to drop 24 rockets in pretty rapid succession.
Q: Considering the 64 player limit the new squad system might be quite important for gameplay. Could you tell us more about it and how it operates?
AW: We haven’t revealed a lot about it yet. But it is designed to give a relatively simple chain of command in game. As you may have seen in the videos from GamesCom and PAX, you’ll have roles for both the Squad Leaders and the overall Commander (kom vzvoda). Both can set objectives and pass orders to their subordinates. Squad Leaders can designate possible artillery targets and request strikes – the Commander gets to decide where to use rare assets. The interface is a very simple point-and-click one, so you aren’t fiddling around with a dozen keys on the keyboard to issue an order!
Q: When I think of Stalingrad I think of snow, lots of it. Should we start preparing our telogreikas/ushankas/winter camouflage already?
AW: Of course – Stalingrad has to have snow! And there will be a variety of uniforms. Some of that will be map-dependent, some of it will be related to the class you are playing (equipment and rank, for example) and finally, some of the look will be related to your player progression.
Q: Weapon sounds in Red Orchestra: Ostfront 41-45 were great but not perfect, as well as the sound system itself. Now with UE3 technology backing up the development, are we getting anything new in the sound department?
AW: All-new sounds, all recorded from the actual weapons. Lots of new clever tech We’ve been out to the desert, with a bunch of (professional) guys who have an unbelievable weapons collection. Add in a professional sound crew (including an Emmy-award-winning sound recordist) and you will have some of the best – and most authentic – weapon sounds to date.
Q: We have received many questions about dedicated servers and server settings/options in Heroes of Stalingrad. Could you tell us more about the most important improvements made, comparing to the original game?
AW: Well, we’ve always been “dedicated” to dedicated servers and working with the clan players, so you can expect us to expand on what we have delivered before. This time, apart from “realism” settings for servers, there will also be the ability to restrict people by “honor” (gained in combat as part of the progression system). If you have very low “honor”, you are either very new – or some form of griefer who enjoys TK’ing a lot. But this is aimed so that people can find games online that suit their abilities – and servers can restrict to the level of players they want.
Q: Finally, one of the most commonly asked question that I cannot omit: “would you be able to kill two people with one AT rifle shot if one stands behind the other?”
AW: Well, I wouldn’t try hiding behind a wooden door from a guy with an AT Rifle, but I don’t think we’ve actually tried out the bullet penetration on humans. Once we get to the Beta, I’ll come looking for you – you can be my test-bed !
Q: Sure thing! Thanks for your time and see you at Igromir!
AW: Spaseeba, tovarisch… but I won’t be making it to Igromir, sadly. John (Gibson) will be there – we’re ridiculously busy right now, so we can’t spare both of us.