Wings of Honor
Wings of Honor Title Wings of Honor

Red Baron II/3D - Tutorials




MMP Primer For Computer Dummies
(Like Me!)



THE LOBBY

The game's lobby (also called the "gold room" by many pilots) is broken up by four different boxes if you've selected a Team server, by three different boxes if you've selected a Melee or Get The Baron server.  On a Team server, you'll see the two "team" boxes, Allied or German, on the left-hand side with the names of all the participants on each team.  On a Melee or Get The Baron server, you'll see only one big box on the left-hand side listing the names of all the game participants.  If you move your mouse cursor over any of the participants' names, a little picture will pop up indicating the type of plane that player is flying.  This is useful if you want to try to match your aircraft selection with others already in the game.  If everybody else is flying Fokker DVIIs and Sopwith Snipes, for example, you probably want to steer clear of an old Halberstadt unless you happen to be a superior pilot!

In a Team game, you can switch back and forth between the teams by a simple click of the Change Teams button at the bottom of the screen.  The Status box at the top of the screen in the center gives you a basic rundown of the server's settings, i.e., the type of game being played, the level of difficulty, the map being used, the Flight Mode (FM) being used (Advanced or Normal), whether or not ammunition is unlimited, whether or not the use of rockets has been enabled, etc.  The last box on the screen towards the bottom is the lobby's Chat Display where you should be able to see the ongoing dialogue between players currently in the game.  NOTE:  You will only see "All" chat while in the lobby; you will not be able to see "Team," "Visual Team," or "Squad" chat.  More on this later.

At the bottom of the screen are five buttons: Change Teams, Change Aircraft, Change Airfield, Show Scores, and Fly Now.  Change Teams has already been discussed.  By clicking on Change Aircraft, you can select the type of plane you want to fly.  In Team games, your choice will be restricted to the side for whom you've chosen to fly.  However, you might find that some servers have restricted your choice of planes even further.  For example, you might pull up the list of German planes and only find the DrI, the Albatross DIII, and the Pfalz III from which to choose.  This is done by the server operator at his/her sole discretion.  At the bottom of the pop-up screen where you select your aircraft, you'll also notice a space where you can type in a "Squad I.D." number.  More on this later.

Change Airfields allows you to move your base of operations closer to where the action is.  If you've selected a Get The Baron or Melee game, it's appropriate to ask the current game participants via the "chat bar" in the lobby at what aerodrome they're flying; the lobby's chat bar is the little bar at the bottom of the Chat Display.  Left-click on it with your mouse and your cursor will begin to flash there; you can now type and send a short message to the game participants.  Watch the "chat scroll" in the Chat Display box for your answer which will be in the form of a map grid coordinate (e.g., "b2").  Then, when you open up the game's map via the Change Airfields button, you simply move your cursor to the designated aerodrome and left-click on it.  The selected aerodrome should now be outlined by a red square.  Click "Done" in the lower right-hand corner of the map, and you're ready to Fly Now.

If you've selected one of the Team games, you really shouldn't ask "what airfield?" from the lobby.  The appropriate procedure to follow is to first pick the side for whom you wish to fly, then hit the Fly Now button to enter the game.  Once you're in the game at whatever aerodrome you happened to choose, activate the chat bar and select "Team" chat.  Now you can ask "Where's the Hun (Allied) aerodrome?" and your teammates will gladly respond.  Since Team chat is unavailable in the lobby, sometimes the game participants are reluctant to divulge the location(s) of their aerodrome(s) since if the enemy takes it out via a bombing run, that aerodrome is no longer available for repair, refueling, or rearmament.  By using Team chat, the enemy pilots will not be able to see your question, so therefore you won't be giving your team's position away.


SOME PRELIMINARIES

The first thing you have to know about dogfighting on-line is that some of the keyboard controls for identifying and tracking your "targets" are a little different from SP.  Here are what I consider to be the essentials:


Keyboard Diagram
Figure 1- Only those commands described in the
text of this document are available.

E= Locks onto enemy target when in range.

F = Locks onto friendly target when in range.

Shift + D = By holding down the “Shift” key, followed by the "D" key, you lock your enemy target (or a teammate when you want to keep track of him/her as a "wingman") for subsequent tracking by the "D" key.

D = Locks onto your dogfight target.  However, this only works after you've selected your target via the "Shift + D" key.

T = This one’s different from SP.  By hitting "T" you lock onto the last enemy that put a bullet in your plane, NOT necessarily the closest threat.

Shift + N = By holding down the "Shift" key, followed by the "N" key, you cause everybody's names to appear above the planes that they're flying.  This way you know who it is that you're killing (or who's killing you!)


Function Keys
Figure 2 – Function Keys in Red Baron 3D

F8 = This key gives you a view of whomever you've targeted via your E, F, D, or T keys.

F5 = This key gives you a view of your plane from behind, often called the "chase plane" view.  Some pilots like this view, others do not.

F7 = "Fly By" chase view (you will appear to be MUCH further behind your plane).

Alt + T = By holding down the “Alt” button, followed by the "T" button, you activate the transparent cockpit.  NOTE: The transparent cockpit is only available if you have a Glide-compatible 3D accelerator video card installed on your computer.

Alt + I = By holding down the "Alt" button, followed by the "I" button, you activate two little "instruments" in the upper right-hand corner of your computer screen that tell you what your horizontal and vertical positioning is relative to the horizon.  The instrument on the left is a straight line that pivots up or down on its left end; this indicates your degree of climb.  The instrument on your right is a triangle that pivots left or right around its center; this indicates your degree of bank as well as your vertical positioning (the triangle flips upside down during a loop).  This is a great little item for maintaining your bearings during those swirling "furballs!"


Number Key Pad
Figure 3 – Number Pad reference

Shift + A = Activates autopilot for flying straight and level.  Great for breaks while cruising at altitude on a Team server, or for typing lengthy "chat" dialogue.  Full autopilot (Ctrl + A) is unavailable in MMP.

Alt + A = Activates autopilot for flying around the nearest landmark (often referred to as "auto-circle" by many).

Alt + F = By holding down the "Alt" button, followed by the "F" button, you activate the FPS counter in the upper left-hand corner of your screen.  Great for monitoring your connection with the server.

I remember when I first started flying on-line.  I had a Thrustmaster "Top Gun" joystick with a "coolie" hat and three other buttons that defaulted to my rockets, bombs, and the external F4 view.  I loved that joystick and thought it was just the greatest.  However, it did not have any "programmable" buttons for different views, nor did it have any rudder control, which I soon discovered were MAJOR SHORTCOMINGS for on-line dogfighting!  In the beginning, I could not understand how these other pilots were able to lock onto me so quickly and track me so tightly; it was almost as if I'd never played the game at all before!  Also, I found the Fokker DRI and the Sopwith Camel almost impossible to fly.  Do yourself a favor and get a joystick with programmable buttons and a "twisty" rudder control.  If you can afford rudder pedals, even better.  You'll be glad you did!   Below is one possible setup for the popular Microsoft Sidewinder joystick:


Joystick Buttons
Figure 4 – Typical joystick set-up


DOGFIGHTING BASICS

I'm currently using Logitech's Wingman Extreme Digital 3D joystick that has a "coolie hat," throttle control, "twisty" rudder control, and six different programmable buttons (even more with a "Shift" option that I don't utilize).  How you ultimately choose to program your buttons will depend entirely on your personal preferences; however, here is how I have mine set up…

I use the "coolie hat" for my forward view.  My six buttons are programmed to: E, Shift+D, D, T, F8, and Salute!.  Here's how I use them in combat:

I use the "E" button to scroll through my enemy contacts to see where they're all at and to see which one affords me with the best dogfighting advantage.  Once I've settled on the target I want to pursue, I hit the "F8" key to give me a view of the target to let me know who it is I'll be chasing.  While in the "F8" view, I hit my "Shift+D" button to lock my target for dogfighting using the "D" button.  It's been my experience that, after selecting my target using the "E" button, I'm unable to lock the target using "Shift+D" unless I go to the "F8" view first.  Now, I can simply chase my target using my "D" button.

If, while chasing your target, you hear bullets "popping" your plane, that of course means that you're under attack by somebody else and had better break off your chase or you'll soon be dead.  On-line flying is the sure-fire cure for "target fixation!"  This is when I hit my "T" button followed by my "F8" button to see who it is that's on my tail.  Then, I hit my "Shift+D" button to lock onto this new threat and go after him (or her) instead.

I consider the transparent cockpit mode available in Glide to be absolutely indispensable for effective on-line combat.  While there are some pilots out there who scoff at the use of the transparent cockpit as being a "cheat," the vast majority of pilots do utilize it during combat.  The logic behind it not being a "cheat" is that it compensates for the artificial limitations imposed on us by our computer screens.

Probably the best way to learn the "ins-and-outs" of this game is to join one of the many on-line squadrons that are out there.  More on this later.  Also, check out the various RB3D forums for specific tips on strategy, tactics, or flying your favorite plane.