The Haze

The 100th Fighter Bomber Group



The Haze in WarBirds

The Haze in WWII Online


Squad Members

Squad Organization

Comms Hut

War College

Squad Iconography

Fearless Leader Speaks!

Marines on Bougainville, January 1944


What's Up with WWIIOL?
I dunno. We started the Squad in WWIIOL just to take a look at another "massively multiplayer" online war simulation.  For a while we had pretty good attendance, with most of our WarBirds members joining. One Saturday night we even had our Squad Night begin in WWIIOL.

And then, everyone quit. Or as they say in the vernacular, they "unsubbed".

Well, almost everyone. As of this writing, there are still three Haze members who play, but we have ceased to treat the game as an organized, Squad-based endeavor (not that we were ever that organized in WWIIOL).

It's not clear what caused everyone to lose interest, but it all happened about the time the developers implemented what they call "Brigade Spawning" (which goes by the unfortunate acronym of "BS"). I won't go into the details of what BS is (if you play, you know, if you don't, you don't care), but it's basically a way of organizing the online players under a "High Command" (HC) structure. It removed the reliance upon squads, and instead worked on the theory that hey, everyone was in a squad now, only it's called your brigade. And squad guys don't run the brigade, or have any say in what it does, or who is in it. The brigade doesn't officially recognize squads. Instead, the brigades are run by the HC guys - but even they don't have a say in who is "in" the brigade. Everyone is in a brigade.

BS was a pretty ambitious attempt by the guys who produce WWIIOL (Cornered Rat Software) to bring some organization to the game which was not run by or dependent upon traditional squads. I can't really say why they thought it necessary to replace squads in order to do this, but they did, and BS did exactly that. After BS, we saw a general disappearance of many squads, even some which had been there from the first and were quite large . . . and a marked decline in the number of players online.

It's their business, not mine, but I think there's a good argument that the social group we call "squads" are actually the heart of all these online games, and without the squad, you just have a bunch of strangers running around in the same general vicinity who will, in a short time, find some newer game to play because the social fabric of the squad does not exist.

I can't really blame BS for the loss of interest by our members. Frankly, we never had all that much organization in WWIIOL anyway, and we did a lot of what they call "lone wolfing" even when we had a lot of members in the game. The thing is, WWIIOL is more of a "first person strategy" game than a simulation. For example, in WarBirds, taking or losing bases is meaningless - air combat is the point, and the base capture game is just a way of putting us all in the same location so we can have that air combat. In WWIIOL, the point seems to be to take towns and move the map east or west, in whatever way you can. If there's a good fight, that's a bonus. But people are happy to take undefended towns too, because it advances their strategic position, which seems to be the focus of the whole thing.

So, that's the story of The Haze in WWIIOL. We came, we saw, we drifted away.