One of my friends recently invited me to a place and group in Second Life aimed at those with an interest in history and combat gaming, the World War Two Roleplay aka WW2 RP. With several groups participating, the 400th member having recently signed up, it is an active RP with scheduled exercises and impromptu battles with sudden invasions marked by calls for help and reinforcements rushing in. Players fight using tanks, planes, ships, and of course rifles and guns.
Players interested should head to “The Channel” sim at (120, 20, 3479), where they should appear at a sky platform high in the air. Players can find information to read up on the two sides, Axis and Allied, as well as find an American and a German uniform available for free, each with a couple weapons, bazooka, M1 Garand rifle, and BAR for the Allies, and an MP 40 submachine gun, Mauser rifle, and Panzershreck for the Germans. The uniforms also come with a tag, which is to be worm in combat.
A notecard states the administrators prefer you contact one of them. Once a player choses a side, there are teleports down to the three sim battlefield below: The Channel for the Allies, and New Bastogne for the Germans.
There are a few rules for players. Among them, only weapons compatible with the VICE combat system can be used, except on certain days in which an alternative system is agreed on (more on that later). Players are also obligated to use the respawn balls (click and select respawn). Hospitals are considered safe zones, and shooting/ bombing there is prohibited. Harassment (aside from getting shot at by the opposition) and drama are also prohibited, as are discussions about politics. For the Germans, displays of the Nazi flag and plainly visible swastikas are “verboten.”
The landscape between the German and Allied starting areas have a number of flagposts. A soldier going up to one can trigger his side’s flag going up if it isn’t already, a white star on a green field for the Allied and a black cross on a red field for the Germans. While this “capture the flag” gives some idea what areas are held by who, the real objective is to clear the area of the opposition.
Besides the weapons given to beginning players, players can purchase VICE weapons for fighting, if they are of the WW2 time period, such as light machine guns. If a tank is brought onto the field, it must be used by at least two people.
Besides the main WW2 RP group, players can also commit themselves to a side and join one of the military groups. In my case, I was invited to the game area by a friend in the Luftwaffe group: JG 2 aka the Richthofen wing. The main German group is the Armee Heer Wehrmacht. I was sent an invite to join up with them before I tried applying to anyone after the main WW2RP group, which was a surprise to both my friend and a couple officers I talked to later. Those joining the group are given some extra equipment, but are expected to be respectful and listen to officers and NCOs.
I requested to join my freind's group, JG 2. Those wanting to join the Richthofens need to have had some experience in SL flying aircraft. You'll also be asked to attend a lesson on air combat tactics. For those getting in, there’s an Me109 fighter on the ground they can sit in and a temporary plane will rezz. It will vanish when shot down or the player lands. After a while, the pilot will get their own Me109 fighters, one with light machine guns, one with heavy. Heavy machine guns overheat faster, but do more damage. One experienced pilot preferred the heavy guns for the psychological edge, “If he sees you have heavy machine guns, he realizes he can be shot down in just a few hits and may panic.”
Besides their usual three sim region, the Richthofens sometimes spar with the Flying Tiger group. The Tigers are in a place with the following sims: WW2 Pacific, WW2 Battlefield, WW2 Battlefield, WW2 Green Hell. The group meets up at a Japanese carrier in the area, the Shinano, and flies off from there. The JG 2 group also meets up there on occasion for practice flights and training.
For players whom prefer furry avatars, different RP combat groups have different policies citing “historical realism.” On the German side for example, the Waffen SS won’t take them. The Wehrmacht will take furs, but has a policy of not promoting them to higher rank. And the Richthofens don’t care if you have pointed ears and a tail or not (which brings new meaning to the term “flying fox”). Naturally this steers these players to such groups, such as one lady whom became a bomber ace.
It’s notable that the German groups have a variety of player nationalities, French, Portuguese, American, etc, but I have yet to see a German speaking player there (funny to see someone in a Wehrmacht uniform swearing in French).
On weekends, the rules in the air get bent a little with “Freaky Friday.” Aircraft from any era can now be flown in the sim, or even space fighters. Lately on Fridays and weekends, there have been some drills and battles with the new “Blitz” combat systems, which allows for medics to heal wounded players. So far, it is available only to ground units. There are also non-combat events, such as a fencing championship held by the Germans.
As for how the two sides get along, roughly about as well as two opposing sides on a sports match. There’s a small amount of “trash talk,” but not much. And although players look for a slight edge, there is a strong sense of staying within the rules. I’ve even seen a small amount of funning around, an opposing officer RPing being drunk and taken prisoner.
A first class RP that both history and combat buffs will enjoy.
The rules and basic equipment can be found at The Channel (120, 20, 3479). The administrators are: Bradyn Halcali, Albrecht Firanelli, Sephiroth Reiner, Jerrod Mai, Duarte Koray, Neckrr Swords,Hideaki Komachi, Michale Dumont, Centric Koskinen, Reinhard Hiereichter, Octavian Drezetan, and Striker Arabello.
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UPDATE: The JG 2 group just today came out with their own webpage: Jagdgeschwader 2. This includes some of the history of the WW2 RP.