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The Omega Concern's O.C.S: Realistic Vehicular and Infantry Combat Simulation in Second Life.


Fisk Zinnemann
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The variety of content in Second Life often follows a very specific trend. The seasoned user knows that in any given category, there are a great number products of a quality that is mediocre, at best. Do a little searching, and one is likely to find a few developers with great potential, businesses worth keeping tabs on for the quality of the products they create.

And if one is very, very lucky, one discovers a true gem: A developer that makes products of a quality so high, they don't seem to belong in Second Life at all, products so surreal that they stand out and draw every eye wherever they are used. Such content creators are few and far between, but are always worth remembering when found.

I'd like to make known one such developer today: The Omega Concern.

April Heaney founded T.O.C. in 2005, and the business at first created useful gadgets and modular combat aids, such as the Eye of Horus and the Omicron, one of the first multitools in Second Life.

As she explored Second Life, she found herself disappointed with the popular combat systems on the grid for their limitations, sloppy execution, and run-and-gun style of gameplay.

In 2007, she created the Omega Combat System, and perfected it over time to become the premier tactics-based combat system in Second Life. 

 

The Omega Combat System (O.C.S.):

 

OCS encourages tactical gameplay by imposing real-world limits on players, such as fatigue, stance and movement-relevant weapon accuracy, and persistent usage-based mastery of various classes of weapons. It is one of the only combat systems on Second Life to limit jumping height and impose velocity based 'fall' damage on vehicles and infantry. It ensures that players can not spy on each other using an altcam by limiting visibility if the camera is moved too far from an avatar. Every OCS-certified weapon in Second Life features ammunition that is subject to wind deflection and ballistic drop.

While infantry gameplay with the Omega Combat System is highly engaging, TOC's military vehicles are its most successful products. Painstakingly crafted with enormous attention to detail, they stand head and shoulders above the competition as Second Life's most feature-rich and realistic vehicles. All of them feature localized component damage/failure as a result of combat, which affects their operation. For example, damage to a tank's left track will make the vehicle turn to the left as it moves, and a helicopter with a broken tail rotor will spin out of control until the pilot cuts the turbine and begins an autorotation.

Below are short descriptions and pictures of my personal favorites from the OCS collection:

 

M1A2 Abrams with TUSK:

Released in 2009, the OCS M1A2 Abrams MBT with Tank Urban Survival Kit allows full operation by a single driver, or with a crew of two, and comes with both  NATO woodland and desert tan camouflage patterns. Its armaments, aimed and fired in mouselook, consist of a 120mm smoothbore main gun, a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, and a mounted .50 heavy machine gun. The main gun utilizes a toggleable fire control computer that tracks the range to, elevation and heading of its target, then automatically calculates a ballistic firing solution, all in less than a second. The operator can choose from three different shell types: SABOT for use against armor, HEAT, which can be set to explode on impact or at a custom range, and a canister shell, turning the tank into a very nasty, heavily armored, 120mm shotgun. Its countermeasures are a smokescreen filled with radar-reflective particles that can cause guided OCS air-to-ground missiles to lose their lock.

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Apache AH Mk1:

Taking full advantage of Second Life's new mesh capability, the OCS WAH-64 Apache was released in late 2011. Featuring an exceptionally detailed visual model and operation by a single pilot or crew of two, the aircraft is one of the only helicopters in Second Life to have a true physics-based flight model - The Apache is essentially a physical object in freefall, subject to the same Newtonian forces a true helicopter would be. Flight, which is keyboard controlled, features realistic two-stage, dual turbine and rotor simulation allowing real-world maneuvers such as autorotations and spins. The nose-mounted TADS and PNVS systems are animated to track the aim of the gunner or pilot. Its armaments consist of a fully articulated and animated M230 30mm chain gun, eight AGM-114 Hellfire missiles, and two rocket pods carrying a total of 38 70mm CRV-7 unguided rockets. Hellfire missiles can lock on to any point on a structure, terrain, or a moving vehicle. The missile feature three selectable flight profiles in LOAL (Lock On After Launch) mode, as well as radar lock simulation in LOBL mode, which includes a ripple-fire command. All weapons are aimed, targeted and fired in mouselook, and are meticulously scripted to function as closely to their real-world counterparts as is possible. The AH Mk1 also features a simulation of HIDAS (Helicopter Integrated Defensive Aids Suite) which automatically detects OCS SAM and AAM launches, playing an audible warning tone and deploying flares as a countermeasure.

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M2A3 Bradley ERA:

Heralding 2012, the extremely detailed OCS Bradley Infantry Fighting vehicle can be operated by a single driver, or a crew of two, and comes with both NATO woodland and desert tan camouflage patterns. It can carry six additional troops in its (fully modelled and textured) troop bay. Its armaments, which are all aimed and fired in mouselook, consist of a 25mm bushmaster cannon, a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, and a reloadable launcher carrying two wire-guided anti-armor TOW missiles - These will follow an operator's aim to ensure unerring accuracy. The Bushmaster cannon features two ammunition types: Saboted kinetic shells for use against armored targets, and high-explosive shells for use against personnel and structures. Its smoke countermeasures, like those on the M1A2, can cause air-to-ground guided missiles to lose their lock, and provide a visual screen from hostiles - Which is very useful when deploying infantry in a hotzone.

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All of the above screenshots were taken in Second Life, using viewer 3's rendering features.

 

If you like what you see, visit us at SLURL: The Omega Concern

 

Fulda Gap:

Fashioned after the region of the same name in Eastern Germany, Fulda Gap is the official OCS combat sim. While the Omega Combat System can be used anywhere in Second Life, this region is especially popular because it features destructible environments and both urban and forested terrain. Automated drones patrol the area and put up a fight - They can be toggled off to make way for player-versus player combat.

Regular combat events are scheduled by our friendly staff. Timings can be found in the Fulda Gap RP group notices, and are posted on noticeboards in our main sim.

 

 

Visit us today, gear up, and join the fight.

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