Wings of Honor
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Red Baron II/3D - Tutorials

RB3D and MMP to the Uninitiated
(Red Baron MMP Primer)

By LWulffe Moooose!

For the newcomer to online gaming, getting started into the wonderful world of RB3D Multiplayer can be quite daunting and challenging. The following iteration describes my own entry, and the trials and tribulations thereof. In writing this, I'm not prescribing a guideline as my entry was quite frustrating at times and probably not the norm, but to show that persistence pays and once there, the experience is quite rewarding and more than worth the effort.

To set the tone and let you know that I'm no newcomer to the Flight experience, I've flown both Rotary Wing and Fixed Wing Aircraft for over 25 years. I've also been flying Flight Simulations for a couple of years on my home PC and was quite comfortable with Microsoft's Flight Simulator and Combat Flight Simulator, Empire Interactive's Flying Corps, and a multitude of earlier released Simulations, and thought that I was fairly proficient. So when a friend offered me a chance to purchase a copy of the newly released RB3D at a discount, I thought OK, another easily conquered Title and I at once purchased. LOL, (laughing out loud), hey, pay attention we're starting to learn!

If I only knew what was about to transpire! First off I loaded the CD and off I went into this games version of Quick Combat. I immediately noticed that this was gonna take a little more to get used to after selecting the Fokker DR1, (the principle characters Aircraft, gotta fly this first right!), and barely being able to control it much less fight with it! Hmmm I thought the modeling here is not like Flying Corps, let us go read the Book a little! Well after reading the manual, and by the way getting more enthused as the WW1 setting is pretty well narrated and laid out in such a way as to really get your blood flowing if you're a Historical Aviation Buff, I started off again. Suffice it to say after a bit of a learning curve I was getting it down and laying low those AI piloted aircraft. Hey, this isn't so hard, lets do a little Campaigning. Again after a few days practice, I figured I had it in the bag. I now also was perusing the RB forum and started reading more about this Simulation and the Multiplayer options. Wow I thought, lets get online and start flying and fighting with real live pilots!

Now the fun starts. I decided to wait for a week day and a late evening time so that I could get a good ISP connection, as my local in the woods telephone lines aren't that hot, and while reading the Forum there were repeated discussions of "the need for speed". I used the CD connection through and bingo here I was. OK, what game to select, Get the Baron, Melee, or Team Melee? Well as I didn't know squat about any, I selected Team Melee. Now here I was with more requirements. Lets see, OK need an aircraft, need an airfield, hmmm, which one, also look at all those names on the board, guess I need one? Ok, lets go make one, done deal, now which airfield? Ah just select anyone, and lets go flying. Select Fly now, loading up, bingo here I am sitting on a grass strip, wow it works! Hey what's that crackling popping noise? A quick scan around and I see what looks like beat up hangers with flames coming out and quickly realize that the enemy has undoubtedly been here. Cool! This is gonna be fun!

All right start my Engine, throttle up, start my takeoff run and Uh Oh, what's this message, "Your out of Sync with other Players". I press Ok and back to the start I go. After repeated attempts and still no flying I finally give up in frustration. Say to myself, we'll just go to the Forum and ask some questions. Well, because of other influences I didn't get to this for a couple of days and in the meantime got my weekly "The Mag" Newsletter from the Flight Sim site. Within is an interesting article and link about the Best Combat Web Site Award going to an RB3D Squadron - Lone Wulffe, and that they were recruiting. Well I think this might be a good way to start as these guys probably got all the answers (editor's note - HA!). On to the site and Wow, they are right, this is a classy Web page with music, graphics the works. I like this already! Well I joined up and received a great welcome letter and several welcome messages from the Squad members. Seems like a great bunch! OK lets ask some questions about hooking up. I received a lot of responses and suggestions, mostly centered on the need for good Internet hook up.

Well, I completed all the suggestions I could and I'm now ready to go. I started one late evening with the DR1 and off I go motoring down the runway. I lift off, make a right turn out, and what's this? - the aircraft buffets and stalls right into the turf! OK now, lets try again! I must not have gotten enough take-off speed, and turned too early - watch your airspeed this time dummy. All right keep an eye on the gauges, throttle up, start accelerating, little forward stick, tail off, more speed, rotate. OK good lift off and climbing. Lets get some altitude and a bit more speed this time. I start some easy left and right aileron turns, hey this thing is sluggish! Oh wait, what did I read about DR1 responding more to rudder than aileron? Oh well don't have rudder pedals so will have to just get along with the stick and use the keyboard for rudder when I really need it. After a bit of flying around and getting used to the aircraft, I realize that flying in multiplayer mode is quite a bit different than in Single Player. I was just starting to think I'd get this mastered when a chat message appears across the screen - "S! ……., ( short for "Salute" - a chivalrous gesture used when shot down and for greetings) , Ya want to meet me and scrap a little?" OK I say, how do I find ya? After a quick run down on the KneeBoard Map (hit "0" on your keypad) and how to locate the enemy, (use the "e" key), we proceed to go head to head for almost 4 hours and I get shot down hundreds of times! My first lesson in humility, :-( , guess I'll just have to practice to get that good!

From that first night, I quickly learned that I can't fly without a better form of rudder control, so my first RB3D expense is a set of rudder pedals. A little more practice, and then my squad announces that there's a mini war on Sunday - so I signed up! Man I can't wait. We all meet on ICQ, (free downloadable chat program highly recommended for communications). OK in we all go and meet up at the designated Drome and are ready for take-off. I throttle up, get airborne, and @!%*!, "You are out of Sync with other Players". What? Its been working OK!? Well too make a long story short I watched and listened on RW, (Roger Wilco, a voice communication program that is a free download and works great), to my team mates fly off and engage the enemy in battle. Oh the frustration! I repeatedly tried and never made it, same message over and over. Before I gave up for the evening though, one of my comrades said he'd email me some suggestions in the morning. Well, all that can be done for now.

The first suggestion on the list, was to purchase a Voodoo 2 or 3 card. I checked with local shop and on Internet, and found that I could purchase one at a reasonable price. Next I need to get my FPS, (frames per second), up so I can get a better, lower PING, (transmit/receive time of packets in Milisecs), so the second suggestion was to get a new sound card. I purchased a new one to replace my two year old card, and it did indeed help as the game port was a big improvement over what I had. All right, next suggestion, increase RAM. Dang, this is starting to add up, lets go check out purchasing all at once, and maybe get some discount. Off to the 'puter store and the next thing I know I've got (2) Voodoo 2 cards SLI'd together, a new sound card, RAM increased to 128 MB, and a new P3 450 processor. Gosh this simulation is getting expensive! LOL

All right, it's all together now and wow, look at the speed! Darn if it don't feel like the Aircraft response is better too, guess this was all worth it! I get back online, and jump right into the biggest furball around! Well I didn't time out, but got shot up by everyone out there!. Lots more learning curve to go I guess. Bottom line though I'm in RB online and having a ball! It's well worth the learning experience and the possible hardware costs.

In conclusion, since going through this evolution and learning the ropes, I've become quite addicted to this game, as there's so much involvement by the player community, and it's also just downright fun! There's folks in this community that have built fantastic add on scenery patches, new sounds, graphics, aircraft, and on and on, all for free and just for the joy of enhancing the game. Without getting into the politics of it, the original company refused do this, but no matter, the wonderful people in this community have taken the reins and are constantly making this one of the best Sims online or off. You won't find this kind of commitment to one Sim anywhere else to my knowledge. A hearty S! To all these fine people, and I wish I could list them all and their sites but don't want to miss anyone, so best you come on in, join a squadron, get in the forum, and start having fun. You'll find all the names and sites mentioned in the links page on this site, and if ya need help remember, just ask, this bunch will help in any way they can.

S! LWulffe_Moooose!