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New: Alternative IMP Backgrounds Selection[message #365973] Wed, 20 March 2024 00:20 Go to next message

Registered:October 2017
Location: Germany
Two new options, ALTERNATIVE_IMP_CREATION and REDUCED_IMP_CREATION, are available in ja2options.ini, can be found under the (new) category "Backgrounds".

If the options ALTERNATIVE_IMP_CREATION and REDUCED_IMP_CREATION are enabled in ja2_options.ini, choices made for skills, character traits and disablities, will have an impact on which IMP backgrounds are available during selection.
That's based on tags in backgrounds (in backgrounds.xml) which would contradict with content of skills, character traits and disablities (and a few reasonable exceptions where it's based on something else, i.e. (my) common sense would indicate it)
Not all skills, character traits and disablities are part of this, some simply had no background tags that would interfere with their content (i.e. snitch).
Also not all possible contradictions have been considered, mostly only one or two (with a few expceptions) where picked, typically some with larger impact.


Sociable grants a bonus to being spotter, so if background has a tag with negative value for spotter, this background won't be shown
Loner is the opposite, it hands out a penalty to being spotter, so this time, if background has tag with positive value for spotter, it won't be shown
Heat Intolerant hands out a penalty while in desert or tropical sectors, so if background has tag which would instead add a bonus, it won't be shown
Squadleader grants a bonus to suppression ressistance to nearby others, so no background with negative value for surpression resistance will be shown
Bodybuilding adds a bonus to carrying weight capacity, so if there's a negative value in tag <carrystrength> in background, it won't be shown


What's considered contradicting is currently hardcoded, if I find a way how I can externalize this, I'll probably do. Till then, see the overview below.
If there is more than one tag mentioned, it's enough for one of them to be in background to result in a no show
For major traits, relevant tags can differ between single and dual (expert), if so, the single is less restrictive than the dual (different tags or values)
(i.e.: doctor dual   - if speedbandaging and/or medical is negative, don't show background -> two potentialy restricting tags
      doctor single - if speedbandaging is negative, don't show background -> one potentialy restricting tag
      h.weapons dual - if AP-needed-artillery is positive (which would be a penalty), don't show background -> no penalty tolerated
      h.weapons single - if AP-needed-artillery is above 5 (which would be penalty), don't show background -> a small penalty tolerated for non-expert)

click to see overview:

The < and > signs are meant to show if it's about negative or positve value in tag, if there's just a 1, that's for tags that only have on/off properties

Overview hardcoded restricting factors

Depending on choices made, this should result in a nice shuffle and can result in largely different outcomes.
With current default backgrounds, based on chosen combinations, the amount of no-show backgrounds can range from no impact up to a third or more.
To make up for this possible loss, additional backgrounds will be added when using ALTERNATIVE_IMP_CREATION and those are exclusive to these ini-options, they won't be shown without them.
Same rules will apply to those exclusive backgrounds as well, but the pool of available backgrounds will be larger and since they are unique to this option, they can also add to overall variety.

Using REDUCED_IMP_CREATION will be the opposite approach. It will result in only showing those aformentioned exclusive backgrounds, which at default will result in a smaller pool. Again, the rules will still be applied, but they still should cover a range of essentials


Backgrounds.xml does have a new tag, <alt_impcreation>, for ALTERNATIVE_IMP_CREATION and REDUCED_IMP_CREATION
If a background in Backgrounds.xml contains <alt_impcreation>1</alt_impcreation>

- the background will be exclusivly used for ALTERNATIVE_IMP_CREATION and REDUCED_IMP_CREATION
- a background with this tag won't be shown without those options being TRUE in ja2_options.ini
- it's only effective with IMP-backgrounds

For the ease of editing, the above list of relevant tags has also been included directly into Backgrounds.xml

Currently I've added 25 backgrounds for this (23 available for female, 22 for male).

Developers Note:

If editing backgrounds, I'd like to encourage you to not paying too much mind to those possible restrictions. It would of course be possible to nerf out any restrictions with choice of tags, but that would be kinda against the purpose. Just edit them the way you would for default IMP creation, don't let down the players which would prefer to use the default way of IMP creation by holding back on anything.
That said, maybe if editing the additional backgrounds, be a little considerate to avoid a complete no show with REDUCED_IMP_CREATION
Anyway, up to anyone to do what they like, just my thoughts on the matter - have fun.

Pictures of current background pools and an example using ALT IMP CREATION

picture 01:  default backgrounds

That is the default pool without the new options


picture 02:  only the additional backgrounds

that is the pool when using REDUCED IMP CREATION


picture 03: an example of using ALTERNATIVE IMP CREATION

the pool consists of default backgrounds plus the additional ones
choices made for skills/character/disabilities effected all in pool
therefore not all backgrounds in pool are shown, only those that won't contradict with a chosen skills/character traits/disablities content


picture 04: which backgrounds will not be shown with example from picture 03

same choices as in picture 3 - results


some details about example (pictures 03 and 04)

details on why which background isn't shown at the selection with choices used in that example

click to see details

details for explanation Picture 03 and 04

Good to know:

In SkillSettings.ini we can increase the number of available skill traits for IMP



Increasing those obviously will allow more skills to be chosen during IMP creation
And the more skills are chosen, the more possible restrictions can kick in
This will add up, keep in mind

I've tested the options with up to:


and it still worked fine, there are still enough backgrounds to chose from even with more skills selected

but, keep in mind that any higher values in SkillSettings.ini may can cause a real significant loss of available backgrounds,
or would result in having to be real cautious about combinations

All of this is optional. The new options are off by default. Unless setting them deliberatly to true in ja2options.ini, the IMP backgrounds during IMP creation will be unchanged.

Added in version JA2_113-v1-134-gfad3a27-G276cL0144 (2024-03-19)

Hazapuza fixed typos, reworded some parts of the new backgrounds (thanks!)

added in version JA2_113-v1-134-gfad3a27-G72e5L0144 (2024-03-20)


[Updated on: Thu, 21 March 2024 19:34]

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I need more details. (Didi Hallervorden)

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Master Sergeant
youtube15.png  Re: New: Alternative IMP Backgrounds Selection[message #365980 is a reply to message #365973] Fri, 22 March 2024 00:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message

Registered:October 2017
Location: Germany

anyway, the link is to a video about the Alternative IMP Creation

[Updated on: Fri, 22 March 2024 11:42] by Moderator

How to get: latest 1.13, 7609 and more | 7609 SCI (eng) | Compiling+SVN

I need more details. (Didi Hallervorden)

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Master Sergeant
Re: New: Alternative IMP Backgrounds Selection[message #365981 is a reply to message #365980] Fri, 22 March 2024 11:45 Go to previous message
Shanga is currently offline Shanga

Registered:January 2000
Location: Danubia
The plugin was turned off since the recent forum error spree, sorry. I turned it back on.

The plugin recognizes [YOUTUBE] bb tags but doesn't recognize the new style of URL youtube uses (youtu.be shit). So if you want it to work, just use old regular youtube.com links (it will auto-embed it) just put the video ID (dWIg7zZbAHQ) inside the tags.

[Updated on: Fri, 22 March 2024 11:46]

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