There are two sides: Axis vs. Allied. The Axis consists of the German forces and the Allies are the combined British (UK) and French forces. Other forces, such as those from the rest of Europe, the rest of the British Commonwealth, the United States, Soviet Union, China or Japan have not been introduced into the campaign yet. Players can play which ever side they want and may even switch sides after waiting a mandatory period of a few hours that begins when they resign from their current enlistment.
Play occurs on a 1/2 scale map of Western Europe. It is one of the largest MMOG maps, at over 350,000 km², with most play occurring in a 30,000 km² central area in which capturable cities, airfields and ports have been placed.
The general organization of the forces is historical. The exception is that the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (Nazi Party), the Schutzstaffel (SS), the Geheime Staatspolizei (Gestapo) and the swastika are not part of the game and any innuendo concerning these elements is against the terms of service for obvious reasons.
WWIIOL is team-oriented. Players are various troops, pilots, gunners, tank commanders, naval destroyer captains, mission leaders, high commanders and are organized into brigades. Everyone plays in the brigade of their choice. Smaller military units of heavily-themed squads are independently managed by players and can use their own tactics but must the follow the brigade and strategic rules set by the high command players and cooperate with other squads and non-squad players. Being a squad member is optional but encouraged. Some squads have vigorous membership rites. Anyone can, however, form their own squad, solicit members and register the squad with the high command for brigade assignment.
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