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Welcome to Storm of War - The Long War. This is a 'persistent’ campaign-environment, where your actions have a direct consequence on every mission that follows. This page is designed to give you some idea of how some of the mechanics work, and what to expect.
What does 'Persistent' mean?
Although the server runs a rolling cycle of mission, within The Long War campaign, many things retain their state from one mission to another. Damage done to an airfield for example will 'persist' into future missions until repaired. Aircraft which are destroyed will actually reduce the overall number of air-frames which that team has, until replacements are built at the factories. There are a number of elements to which persistency applies, in both the short and medium term. Some repairs and replacements take hours, others might take days.
Why is it always a different time of day when I join the server?
The Long War runs on a 3-Phase cycle per campaign day. Morning, Midday, Afternoon. Each phase is currently a 5 hour block in both real and campaign time. Because this 15-hour cycle does not sync with the 24 hour real day, you will not get left playing the same time slot every time you join the server.
I tried to spawn at 'x' airfield and it de-spawned my aircraft and gave me a message about it being restricted to a specific squadron. What's that all about?
Storm of War has always been aimed at providing an organised and squadron-based game play. Non-Squadron affiliated players (known on SoW as “public players”) are of course welcome on the server, but being part of a squadron gives certain privileges and also some restrictions. Public players are free to spawn at any base that says “OPEN” when you hover your mouse over them on the spawn-map. Virtual Squadrons can request an assigned airfield that serves as their home base and store for their fleet of aircraft. Squad-based players can only spawn at their home airfield or the Resupply base for their chosen side.
Resupply? What's that all about?
In The Long War, aircraft are not an infinite resource. Airframes are limited by type and replenished using two systems. Open Airfields (for public players) are given an inherent resupply capacity and take care of themselves. Squadron allocated airfields work differently. The only replacement aircraft they receive, are those flown in by players from the resupply base. The exact number of replacement aircraft is governed by other factors of the campaign, such as the number of operational factories and shifting war priorities.
So does it matter what I do with my aircraft once I've finished with it?
Short answer is YES! Returning aircraft to a friendly airfield, even badly damaged ones, is encouraged through the supply system. Landing at any friendly airfield is permitted, even if it not the one you took off from. If you land an aircraft at someone else's field, you have a small (2 minute) window in which to respawn there and take off again, otherwise that aircraft is placed into the pool of available aircraft for the 'home' squadron. If the aircraft was damaged, you will not be able to respawn in it immediately, as it will go into the workshop for repairs. If you've landed damaged at someone else's field then the aircraft will be repaired there, and then returned to your base at the cost of an additional delay.
Tell me more about the waiting times for aircraft damage?
At the moment, the system is still in development and we don't want to get to the stage where people are attempting to game the system. That said, the current longest delay is 24hrs (real time) for an aircraft with engine damage. The system takes the single LONGEST delay from all the damage inflicted, and applies that, rather than aggregating all the damage.
So as a bomber pilot, I can bomb anything right?
You can bomb anything, but you can only do damage to the “active target”. If you bomb something other than the active target, your efforts will essentially be wasted. With the system we have, we have over 200 targets and more are being developed. If we just let everyone lone-wolf where they wanted, the server would either be empty or appear empty all the time. Storm of War has always been about trying to encourage the Battle of Britain experience, and one of the ways we do this is via the concept of 'Active targets'. This is done to funnel the air-activity into narrower geographic areas. However, unlike previously (when SoW had standard missions on rotation) the enemy does not know what your “active targets” are from mission to mission, so he won’t just stack the target area with defenders knowing exactly what your objectives are.
OK. What's an Active Target?
In order to bomb something and have that damage register, the target must be set as “Active” (see also the next Q&A). This happens in one of two ways, firstly the commanders on each side have the ability to set a specific target to be the active target for the next mission run. This is used for specific events and operations. The second way is that the system randomly assigns a target from the pool of eligible targets. To be eligible, the target must have been reconnoitred first. Once that target has been attacked, then a secondary (or tertiary, etc) target is ADDED to the list of active targets for that phase. Only damage done to Active targets is registered by the campaign system. The Stats will show objects destroyed and bombs dropped on airfields but they will not have any bearing on the persistent campaign. Part of the beauty of this system is that no two missions will ever be the same on SoW. Targets are generated dynamically. There is no longer the need for “mission builders” to be constantly working on new content – the server does this for us! Additionally, the pilots on each side can “discover” new targets by reconnaissance, thus providing an evolving and unique target environment.
But how do I know what's active and what's not?
By using the Mission Menu in-game. Hit TAB-4-4 and you will get a list of the currently active targets for your side. This displays in the in-game chat window, so you must have Chat enabled to see it.