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Sakai

Naval War: Arctic Circle

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Hello CombatAce!!!! Some of you know me, some of you may not and for those people, I am Sakai07. I am an avid fan of all types of combat simulators, land, sea, air, and space. Through the years I have been coming to CA for downloads and good conversation, as some of the best folks I have met in the internet world hail from here in my experience. As I heard once a few years ago, "Welcome to CombatAce, come here for the downloads, stay for the eels" :D

 

Now I have a bit of an opportunity to give back to the community. Living in a small city (pop. 8000) that hosts one of only two places in the USA that builds Arleigh Burke class Guided Missile Destroyers (DDG), and before that Ticonderoga class Guided Missile Cruisers (CG), I have a good grasp of what is required to construct a multi-billion dollar warship. Having close family work there over the years has allowed me access to the process of construction and general layout. Of course, the lead men are more then happy to tell you why their division is so vital to the construction of the ship, what they do, and how it fits in. It may seem self serving, but when the sign at the entrance says, "Through these gates pass the best ship builders in the world!" An ego like that doesn't seem all that out of place. The new DDG-1000 Zumwalt class DDGs should be in the water by the end of this year, the cutting edge of American naval design.

 

All of this, plus my unwavering love of the game Harpoon, earned me a spot on the beta team for the up coming game, "Naval War: Arctic Circle". This is not a Harpoon killer, and it doesn't pretend to either. If you are looking for the most insanely detailed simulation of modern naval warfare to the degree that fun can sometimes be an accidental side effect of gaming, you should look else where then here. If you are the type of person who wants something akin to my favorite childhood game of battleship, you should look elsewhere too.

 

However, if you fall into the crown that finds "Jane's Fleet Command" to be a blast of a good time, or maybe you want a lower fidelity game similar to Harpoon to wind down with after a long day, this is the game you have been waiting for!!!!!

 

The premise, as any promo video search will find, is that with the ice caps melting and new seas being opened to exploration and exploitation, the competition over the untapped natural resources heats up to the point of a shooting war. Russia needs this to propel it's economic return from three decades of post soviet hardship. NATO, backed by the massive fleets of the USN and the two cutting edge CVs possessed by the UK, have decided to stop the Russians from taking over this important area. Not only will they push them back, but will then use these resources to fund the war and maybe put a few more people to work in the recession ravaged nations of Europe and the United States.

 

Granted, I have never been real keen on the title, but it works. This game is a blast to play. Difficulty can be scaled, and when turned all the way up you really feel like you're playing an honest naval simulation. The graphics are light years ahead of Harpoon, and make the graphics in Fleet Command look dated as they should. The theater is interesting to me in that, it does play on the old reliable GUIK Gap from just about every WWIII scenario out there, but the dynamics of the world have changed. The stakes aren't quite as high as the fate of free western Europe, and the release of nuclear weapons isn't imminent. This is plain old fashioned air/sea warfare at it's finest.

 

The really amazing part of this game, what IMHO really sets it apart from others in it's genre, is the ease and common sense used when building the User Interface. IMO, this can make or break a game. I have played games that had really good mechanics, but the UI sucked so bad I couldn't get into the game for anything. These are the ones that gather dust on the shelf/hard drive and barely see any play. The UI in NWAC is so very simple, yet extremely powerful at the same time. All of the information you need is one, maybe two clicks away. If you want the detailed version of the UI, you can make the two or three clicks to get there, or if you're in a hurry you can use the smaller buttons to get what weapon/sensor/jammer on line and functioning very quickly. Aircraft and ships that have special systems in board can have these systems used with no mess or fuss. For example, if the P-8 Poseidon is at your base, you can quickly tell if it's set up for Land Attack, Naval Attack, Anti-Submarine, Jamming, or Mine Warfare. Say you choose your ASW equipped P-8, ordering it to go to a location and start a search pattern dropping sonar buoys is really only two clicks away. Getting the radar turned on required two more. Now you have an aircraft with a mission and orders on how to execute it in all of 4 clicks. To order the Jammer or Mine Warfare versions of the P-8 to go to a waypoint and accomplish their mission is just as easy, 4 clicks. Launch and recovery of helicopters and fixed wing aircraft is handled seamlessly, with direct input from the player at a minimum so you can focus on the task at hand.

 

I know that, being a tester, I sound like I am shamelessly plugging this game. The truth is that I just want to inform people so they can make good decisions concerning NWAC. I am dedicated to not letting this genre of game die out. In all of the years since Harpoon 3 was launched, we have had just one game that tried to pick up the torch and make it to the store shelves. Fleet Command was an amazing game for it's day, and I still play it today for the variety of units you can play with in a plausible environment. This genre doesn't have the sheer numbers that FPS and MMORPG type games can muster. Even a dud in those genres would make the amount of cash a smash hit would in ours. That gives smaller production groups the ability to put out quality product, something that we all benefit from. There just aren't that many of us out there today, so when something new comes around, we as a community really need to put our weight behind it. This was my motivation for joining the crew, since before all I could do to support the game was buy it. A small amount of that money reaches these folks, but that small amount of cash is dwarfed by only one good bug report that is fixed before launch, working to give people a working game on launch day, the way it should be.

 

All I am asking of the community at large is to talk about it. I want folks to come on here and ask me questions, give requests, beg for screen shots, whatever. As long as we are talking about the game, I just don't care. Critical comments are welcome as well, but we need to keep it mature in here. I am open to constructive criticism, but just flaming people for having a different opinion gets you no where fast. I am going to head over to the beta forums in a few and ask the devs if I can post a couple screens over here. Exclusive stuff, since they sure as heck wouldn't be anywhere else since I am the one who will be taking them ;)

 

 

Disclaimer - I do not represent Turbo Tape Games, nor Paradox Interactive. All opinions are mine and mine alone. My involvement with Turbo Tape Games is this, volunteer beta tester. I do not receive any kind of bonus or reward for getting out and talking about the game. This is on my own initiative since I do honestly believe in this project.

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I keep my tabs on the game, even met the Devs on a Forum meet. Looking forward to it immensely.

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It looks like a Battlestation, less beautiful, but so much more intense and exciting !!

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Interesting this is the first I have heard of this game... but I am interested as I found Fleet Command a real blast... in fact still do... :drinks:

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Heard about it a while back, and I gotta say I'm in. Fleet Command was and still is a blast to play, but it's getting kinda long in the tooth. While the premise is a little depressing, the size of the play area available is definitely attractive.

 

If it's moddable for new terrains and units, I'll be more excited, but right now it looks pretty good.

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Thanks for the feedback guys! This being a predominately flight sim sight, the response so far is outstanding!

 

@ JonathanRL - Glad to hear that you're excited and following the progress. When I first heard of this game, I was actually a little depressed since I knew it was a ways off and I wanted it NOW, lol. Fate had other plans, and I am a happier person for it. The Devs are a great bunch of folks. They listen to us whine, and admonish us properly each time with an appropriate number of lashes :D Seriously, they are very interested in what the testers have to say about the design of the game, and we can see that they implement the things they like from our minds. I think the team being mainly Norwegian helps with deciding which units make the game in the first release. It is an outstanding mix, and the European navies are well represented. The US is also well modeled, but you certainly don't get the sense that US kit is over powered, systems and weapons perform the way you would expect, with all their strengths and weaknesses laid out.

 

@ B52 - I have never played Battlestation personally as I always assumed things were too far on the arcade side. The customer reviews I've heard paint a slightly different picture then my mind had, and I may yet give this a whirl. I am certainly not expecting something like HPS Great Naval Battles: Guadalcanal, but a lighter and still plausible version with much improved graphics would appeal to me. I just got my new graphics card up and running as an upgrade from an integrated chip set, so I will finally be able to see NWAC for all it's glory. Intense and Exciting are certainly two words I can use to describe NWAC. It sometimes feels like minutes of calm punctuated by moments of absolute terror. Just the way modern naval battles should be! :D

 

@ Slarti - You sir, are the exact reason I posted this thread. You already have a love for the genre, but news of the game hadn't made it to you as of yet. I am also a fan of the genre, and I couldn't bear the thought of someone else like me missing out on this since word hadn't spread yet. If you head over to Sub Sim on the front page you will find several links to information about the game. The Official Site is here on the Paradox site. Some of the info has been there since the game was announced, but there are screens and videos to drool over. I highly suggest checking them both out. Sub Sim also has a good many mods for Fleet Command to expand the library and make game play a little more realistic.

 

@ Swordsman - Glad to know we've got some fans out there ready for the lauch!!! The subject of modding the beta and of what tools will be available after launch was brought up just a couple days ago in the beta forums. AFAIK, while it's not a top priority of the devs, most aspects of the game will be moddable and instructions will be supplied, possibly even tools. This will not be the case at lauch, but the game itself will give you plenty to do in the mean time. The most common type of mods I use in games these days are UI mods, and NWAC has an outstanding UI, so I haven't felt the urge to change it. I would like to add the entire US Navy since the 60's, but this can wait ;) In fact, I don't know if I have played every unit available to me yet in the beta and there will be even more units in the retail copy.

 

There is already an apparatus in place to edit/create missions. It isn't the most user friendly, and won't be how missions are edited in the retail version, but it's what we testers have to work with at the moment. I have been jabbing at the beta liaison dev to let the testers designs some of the missions that will go in the retail version. I think the chances are pretty good, but I have my fingers crossed none the less. Fear not, as soon as the game launches, I will be pumping out some more missions for folks to d/l. If I can manage it, I would like to have a few put together before launch so a little extra content will be available from the get go, but there are no promises there. Just an an FYI, I am trying to get dev permission to post a couple screens for you guys. As part of that, I will also ask them to come take a look at the thread to make sure everything is squared away, so if you have any idea's or questions, post em and if I get the OK I will answer them to the best of my ability, or relay the devs answers to you.

 

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Here is a partial unit list, accurate as of 2/26/2012.

 

Ship classes:

-- Type 45

-- Type 23

-- Queen Elizabeth

-- Nimitz

-- Arleigh Burke

-- Wasp

-- Baden-Württemberg

-- Brandenburg

-- Visby

-- Gotland

-- Gawron

-- Admiral Kuznetsov

-- Admiral Gorshkov

-- Steregushchy

-- Kirov

-- Udaloy II

-- Matka

-- Iver Huitfeldt

-- Fridtjof Nansen

-- Hamina

-- Mistral

-- Halifax

-- More+ (?)

 

- Support ships may not be present in the game, since they "have little purpose in a game centered on combat"

 

Sub classes:

-- Ula

-- Virginia

-- Akula

-- Lada

-- Astute

-- Type 212

-- Yasen

-- Gotland

-- More+ (?)

 

Aircraft:

-- Euro-fighter Typhoon

-- EA-18G Growler

-- E-3 Sentry

-- E-2 Hawkeye

-- F-35C Lightning

-- F-22 Raptor

-- B-1B Lancer

-- P-8 Poseidon

-- P-3 Orion

-- Sukhoi FAK PA

-- Sukhoi Su-27

-- MiG-29K

-- F/A-18E Super Hornet

-- Tu-22 Backfire

-- Tu-160 Blackjack

-- Tu-95 Bear

-- Lynx Wildcat

-- Merlin HM1/2

-- Kamov Ka-27

-- A-50U Shmel

-- Boeing KC-767 (refuelling)

-- Ilyushin Il-78 (refuelling)

-- SH-60B Seahawk

-- More+ (?)

 

UAVs:

-- Schiebel Camcopter S-100

-- More+

Edited by Sakai

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Here are the promised screen shots. Dev's said no dice on making my own and posting them, marketing and all that, that paradox is a pretty large and intimidating company when it comes to asking them for something. Don't get me wrong, the people I have talked to are great. Seeing as it's my first time being involved with any part of the production of a PC game, all of this is kind of new, exciting, and scary all at the same time.

 

I figured you would like to see some of the close up shots of individual units. These are exactly how it looks in game. I am NOT making any comments on what hardware will run this game well, but my rig is running an nVidia 8400GS 512MB and my in game shots look just like this.

 

Virginia

 

nwacvirginia.th.jpg

Udaloy II

nwacudaloy2.th.jpg

Type 45

nwactype45.th.jpg

Vampire! Vampire!

nwacmissileaway.th.jpg

Halifax

nwachalifax.th.jpg

In game shot showing the UI.

nwacgameplayui.th.jpg

Astute

nwacastute.th.jpg

Air ops in NWAC

nwacairlaunchscreen.th.jpg

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A couple of questions.

 

Will it have MP? Adversarial and coop vs the AI?

 

Does being in beta now mean they hope for a 2012 release? If so, where will they be selling it? Stores, digital DL, Steam, Impulse, etc?

 

 

I've played some naval sims in the past, starting with Harpoon and Aces of the Deep and moving on to Seawolf and most recently SH3 and Dangerous Waters (spent quite a bit of time in DW, although the graphics could've used help), so a new one in that class is welcome.

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Hello Jedi! How are things with you??? Nice to see the mods giving this thread some love ;)

 

As for MP, adversarial is currently functioning very well and will be in game and working at launch according to the boss.

 

And speaking of that launch, you should be able to buy the game THIS APRIL!!! I joined up several months ago, and things have been making steady progress towards a gold release candidate. I know the game will be available through Steam, but I am not sure if this will be the only method.

 

I own Harpoon 3 ANW 3.9.4, Dangerous Waters, and Fleet Command and have enjoyed all of these for years. NWAC is my new back scratch when I get that familiar itch.

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And speaking of that launch, you should be able to buy the game THIS APRIL!!! I joined up several months ago, and things have been making steady progress towards a gold release candidate. I know the game will be available through Steam, but I am not sure if this will be the only method.

 

Lets hope SF2: NA have been released just after I finished Mass Effect 3 then ;-)

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Heh, the prospect of having both SF2:NA and NWAC released close to each other means the virtual North Atlantic is going to be a very dangerous place. :D

 

I must say, my wet dream is NWAC set in the late 80's/early 90's. The GIUK Gap is already present in the NWAC play area, all we need are some Cold War era ships, subs, and aircraft to throw around. Don't get me wrong, I am more then grateful for what we are getting, but that would send me right to war gaming heaven!!! :) I am hoping that a talented modder or two will decide to make NWAC - Cold War edition their personal baby.

 

I have been really working over the idea of building a game of my own in my off time. A good buddy of mine is within 30 credits or so of a Bachelors in Game Design with a focus on modeling and art. I have floated the idea to him many times about starting a little indie game workshop. Neither one of us have anything better to do with out time, and a whole lot worse that we could use that time for. He bought all of his school books outright (got to love that GI Bill!!!) so I can use them to learn some of what he knows as well. The dev over at NWAC turned me on to the Unity 3D Engine when I told him I had aspirations of being a game designer myself in the future. This is a great looking engine, and there are a ton of tutorials on the page and on youtube to help along the way. The best part is that you can sell games created with Unity all you want without paying for use of the engine. The download is free, and in the end you could end up getting paid for the download if the game you design sells.

 

Sorry about the OT stuff but if any of you are entertaining ideas of designing your own game, that is a good place to start.

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No word on if coop will be in or not then? I must admit that's where I spent most of my time in DW as well as most other MP games.

 

Oh...one thing I thought DW sorely needed but never got. During long scenarios, the ability to save the mission and resume it later! Too many great ones we never played because we never had more than 2 hrs to play it and if you'd barely started to prosecute your contacts at that point it really sucked. Of course, that only applies to coop. :grin:

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NWAC Teaser

Here is the official teaser released a few days ago. Doesn't show as much as I would like, but it's exciting and you get the idea of how the game plays during the exciting parts. :D

Edited by Sakai

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I think that's a favorable comparison, as there are still a good many people playing Fleet Command today! I was until I started up with these guys. I am hoping that, with the addition of follow on titles like the South China Sea or Indian Ocean, the content will surpass FC. I feel that the quality is already there.

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Just seen this advertised on Steam so bought it had a quick play and it looks interesting like how you have ROE no just shooting everything down... makes a pain intercepting an Su-27 going after my P-8...

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Glad you folks are having fun with the game. I was surprised when I went to go buy a copy on Steam, the devs were kind enough to hook up the beta guys with a free copy. Mighty cool considering it's their first game and they're only charging $20 for it at that. Must be doing OK for them to not worry bout it. The largest gripes so far have been the lack of a save game feature (yeah, that's a big one) and the linear campaigns. Well, Jan announced that a mission builder is on the way and will be a free DLC for the game, happy days!!!

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Okay I have been playing this now for a couple of hours today and is it fun you bet watching missiles come out of nowhere and find its from a T-50K is interesting. Graphics aren't too bad but don't expect anything amazing playability is great as its point and click and away you go... :drinks:

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Okay now a few more thoughts...

 

I would like to play out the scenarios and sink destroy all my enemies... just ran the Keflavik one from both sides Your base must survive with no carriers involved and all I did was destroy the bases and that was it game over... be nice to have the option to finish the scenario or quit when victory is yours...

 

Tanking must remember to let my jets tank when they need to...

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