Home » PLAYER'S HQ 1.13 » v1.13 General Gameplay Talk » Played through the game, some feedback (Version 8548)
Played through the game, some feedback[message #353139] Sat, 14 April 2018 20:57 Go to next message
Jolly_Reaper

 
Messages:47
Registered:August 2002
Location: The Netherlands

Well, I played through the game once more and enjoyed it a lot. I'll be having another go, with more enemies: They ran out way too fast.
I wanted to share my likes but also criticism. No idea if people will care for my wall of text, but hey, it's there regardless. happy

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- Entering Deidranna's bunker from the maze and stealing her rocket rifle should have unarmed her when finding her in the palace.
Apparently this has changed, but it should not have been.
It's basically your reward for sneaking in through the back door and cleaning up her bunker: She's unarmed and at your mercy.
A great reward in my opinion and it's how the original designers designed it.
I also feel Deidranna should have the ONLY A.R. Rifle in the game, like in the original. I found way too many of them on corpses that thankfully didn't get too close to me. One burst of one of those and your merc is gone. There's a reason why there's only one in the game.

- Changing Shadow's portrait (and Vicki's claustrophobia, although this is now thankfully fixed). What I fear the most is that too much freedom is being taken with what the original devs thought up. Take Shadow, it always felt to me that he's a guy who's ALWAYS camouflaged. It's what added to the game's humour. He made being undetected his quest for life.
I take it Shadow's outfit changed due to the camo mechanics changing (?), so I've got nothing to say about that.

I didn't find many other changes like these yet, but I hope I won't find any, since they kinda bum me out.
I hope you'll allow Jagged Alliance 2 to remain Jagged Alliance 2, where SirTech did things for a reason, like creating bordering-to-crazy characters!

- Enemy aggression: I found the game ridiculously easy once the first long range/sniper rifles started rolling in. Pick a point on the map, make sure all sides are covered, fire a shot and watch them all run towards you to get shot.
They do try to flank you (which is nice, sneaky bastards), but if you stick to the edge of a map you only need to watch several directions.
The palace is a good example of how silly enemy behaviour gets. All the enemies (except for the door guy) spawn inside the palace walls and run up to the gate once shots are fired.
I had a bunch of snipers lined up and after I was done there were dozens of dead bodies piled up at the gate. Easy target practice.
At some point enemies should get the idea to just hide.
It's been a few years, but I can recall them not being so blood-thirsty. At least not all of them. And I do recall there were a lot of soldiers still in the palace once I got inside. I had to check every corner of every room.
Now though the palace was completely empty, apart from Deidranna's throne room.
I don't know if this could be changed, coding limitations and whatnot, but I wanted to provide this feedback nonetheless.

- Some will consider it nitpicking I'm sure, but the new mercs (are they from wildfire or something?) don't fit in the game. The alumni, they bother me less but it's obvious they're of a different quality and their dialogue doesn't make sense when offering a contract. Not strange, since they never had that dialogue. In the end I think they should have remained alumni though. I never took any of them along, so I can't tell if there are more weird things going on with their dialogue.
But alumni aside, the wildfire ones have horrible voice acting and this voice acting has really poor volume levels to boot. Their lack of quality annoyed me so much that I modded them out of my game.
I do love how all the UB mercs are present! I doubt many people play UB since it feels more of a demo when compared to JA2, so it's nice to see the UB mercs having a new life.
It'd have been great if you could disable/enable wildfire mercs/alumni yourself, through the ini editor.

- Overall the new images, guns especially, look pretty good. There are a bunch of images that are of such an amount of lower quality that I feel they don't belong or need touching up.
Some examples: The, what was it again, 7.62x54mmR ammo box? Ugly, flat brown thing. And the 43mm grenades also look rather flat.
I totally get that artists aren't always lined up to create mod content, but I wanted to mention this regardless.

- Grammar and spelling errors are rampant. Even basic things, like 'then' and 'than' being mixed up, 'it's' versus 'its' and so on... it always breaks my immersion.

- The shop interface: I'm glad that 'cloud' filter is no longer used. Apart from the performance issues some seemed to have, they looked completely out of place.
Hoping that someday the original interface will return in full glory though!

- I think the default installation of 1.13 should disable certain aspects by default. The reinforcements and invasions for example. While veterans love this stuff, I feel it might scare off people who want to give this a try, get their ass handed to them in the Drassen invasion and decide to uninstall the game instead.
Or the tanks in patrol encounters. I think they were also enabled by default? One word: Yikes.
I feel 1.13's default installation should go for an as much vanilla experience as possible.

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- New mission: I posted this elsewhere but wanted to include it here as well, for completion's sake.
I think this quest needs a good thinking over before it becomes part of the game. When I ran into it I found the whole ordeal rather frustrating.
It fully fits the story, so kudos for that, but...

Major issues:
- The quest is very vague. There's no indication to what you're supposed to do, other than to kill Maria and Angel. There's no hint to a possible other outcome.
I ended up googling for answers.
- The bounty hunters are all over the place. Finding them takes too much time. It severely distracts you from your mission and the time limit forces you to fix this quest right away. You spend days just traversing North Arulco looking for needles, all the while mercenaries' expensive contracts keep on ticking. (Time limits in games are never fun in my opinion, especially pressing ones.) I found the sectors through google and ended up saving the game, used the cheat mode, teleported around to see where they were, loaded my game and went there normally. Then, after killing the bounty hunters I saved again, enabled cheats, checked if they were truly all gone (with Alt+E), then loaded again. Because if you manage to overlook one, goodbye Maria. In one of the sectors the bounty hunters didn't become enemies either (after shooting them), so that made it easier to miss some of them.
I could have ignored the quest entirely of course, but I loathe red entries in my logbook. (I figured it would be a red entry if I would fail.)

Minor issues:
- Spelling/grammar error in Kingpin's mail. "Lately" should be "Late". (There are a lot of spelling errors in the game by the way. The use of then instead of than, it's instead of its and stuff like that. Kind of a pity. Is it desired that someone would fix these somehow?)
- Bug in history log, as MeganD also pointed out.

Recommendation:
- As many things are optional in your mod, make custom missions optional as well. I also believe the custom in-game websites and emails associated with them should be optional.
(Maybe some of them are, but I found no way to disable the militia one for example.)
- Keep quests short and make it clear to what is expected from the player if they're on a time limit.
Please don't get me wrong, I would love to see more quests in the game, but I feel any quest you add should be quick and to the point, without the risk of wasting the player's precious time, like the quests the original developers created. And if it's a long quest that makes you travel a lot (like the one Carmen gives), just remove the time limit.

---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

Criticism aside, you've all spent so much free time (many years for some of you?) and done a great job on this. 1.13 was already awesome back when I first played it and now it got so many more features.
I don't like some of these features, like requiring food, paying militia (guys, I'm fighting for YOUR freedom, you pay ME), the new various unnecessary websites, more micromanagement and so on, but the fact that you can tweak and disable so many things is what makes your mod so great. You don't force most of your new ideas and game mechanics onto us JA2 fans and I love you guys for it.

The changes in the combat system are generally very nice, the new inventory screens/gun info screens are all well-made, very polished. I like the LBE, although it frustrates me a little that so many pockets are darkened out (I understand why this was done of course); in a game with so many items it's simply nice to be able to transport lots of them! (I changed/added more pockets to my favourite LBE items, so another hooray for modability!)

Vehicles actually being able to move. Masterfully done.

Anyway, I think I probably had more to say but I'm a bit tired and can't think of anything right now. If you read all of this, you're nuts and I thank you!
Re: Played through the game, some feedback[message #353145 is a reply to message #353139] Sun, 15 April 2018 11:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2301
Registered:May 2009
You can always play vanilla setting which should preserve the original behaviour of the game and has the new features turned off. However, vanilla also has less items because it's "vanilla". ;-)

About the rocket rifles - they are only available in the SciFi setting. Turn that off and no more rocket rifles. This will also remove some other items from the game so better check Items.xml if you would like to keep them. Disable the <SciFi> tag for these items.

The change to Shadow is the result of the new trait system. There is no "camouflaged" trait available with new traits so Shadow can't have it. You can still switch to old traits if you want to retain the original behaviour.

Enemy behaviour is part of the soldier's setting on the map. Depending on the map you played on enemies may have different orders. I guess there could be some improvement done to enemy AI. For example it could make sense to switch aggressive enemies to defensive if there are too many losses and morale goes down. Sevenfm is working on such improvements in his experimental exe. Maybe some day he will migrate these improvements to the standard development trunk.
Btw. some players may not like those changes as they are making the game a lot more difficult.

Graphics aren't going to improve unless someone creates new ones which is unlikely to happen. The same applies to spelling mistakes. Most coders and modders aren't native English speakers so they tend to make mistakes. You can always help and provide updated files which will then be merged. You will be given credit of course.

[Updated on: Sun, 15 April 2018 11:19]




Wildfire Maps Mod 6.07 on SVN: https://ja2svn.mooo.com/source/ja2/branches/Wanne/JA2%201.13%20Wildfire%206.06%20-%20Maps%20MOD

Re: Played through the game, some feedback[message #353147 is a reply to message #353139] Sun, 15 April 2018 13:11 Go to previous messageGo to next message
townltu

 
Messages:200
Registered:December 2017
Location: here
Regarding Shadows "new" portrait, that is his non combat camo!
Regular makeup which covers the camo pattern that is tattoed all over his body. Or so;)

I.e. i also prefer him with camo portrait by default
and gladly accept paradoxon of tattoed pattern and no camo bonus in game
instead of having non camo portrait with correct relation to ingame camo value.
Not sure what the majority of players think or whether they even care.




Some ideas in which way the AI could be improved,
keep in mind i know nearly zero about coding and have no idea how much effort it would take or whether doable at all:

What makes the AI a weak opponent is imo mostly its predictability,
independant of whether player actively goes for related exploits
or playstyle slowly adapts to weakness with same result if weaknees is predictability,
so predictable behaviour is most likely less challenging than surprising tactics.


There appear to have been several approaches tweaking the AI into differnt behaviour,
guess ranging from defensive to rush with various greyscales and sidebranches in between,
and also guess they still exist somewhere e.g. in exes or storage devices of people who worked on them.

Now take these tactics and put them into seperated modules,
add a timed function with general tendancy incl random to switch from option A to B/C..,
i.e. we get [tactics A/B/C...] hour/day/week... intervals,
and to randomly switch during a single battle, erratically at small chance or by event.

Perhaps even better would be AI which adapts tactics+equipment selection to player behaviour but keeps unpredicatbility
e.g. take info available to queen from batttle reports, escaped survivers, spies
and store somewhere to use for AI decision on general tactical approach and/or for speific battle.
Add small chance (5-25 %?) to trigger tactics change each combat randomly, and/or higher chance on appropriate event.
Re: Played through the game, some feedback[message #353148 is a reply to message #353145] Sun, 15 April 2018 13:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Jolly_Reaper

 
Messages:47
Registered:August 2002
Location: The Netherlands

silversurfer wrote on Sun, 15 April 2018 10:17
You can always play vanilla setting which should preserve the original behaviour of the game and has the new features turned off. However, vanilla also has less items because it's "vanilla". ;-)

And thus I can't go back. From having a million toys to play with to having a toy box with a wooden block, a wonky old yoyo, a day-old apple and some cobwebs. Nope. cheeky

silversurfer wrote on Sun, 15 April 2018 10:17
About the rocket rifles - they are only available in the SciFi setting. Turn that off and no more rocket rifles. This will also remove some other items from the game so better check Items.xml if you would like to keep them. Disable the <SciFi> tag for these items.

I don't mind the rocket rifles, the enemy is supposed to have those. The auto rocket rifle is a different matter though.

silversurfer wrote on Sun, 15 April 2018 10:17
The change to Shadow is the result of the new trait system. There is no "camouflaged" trait available with new traits so Shadow can't have it. You can still switch to old traits if you want to retain the original behaviour.

I was talking about his portrait though. It could have been left as it was, even with the new system. It's part of his character. happy
(I also think the new portrait makes him look rather old. He should be a guy in his thirties.)
I don't mind the new camo mechanic. In fact, I love it.

silversurfer wrote on Sun, 15 April 2018 10:17
Enemy behaviour is part of the soldier's setting on the map. Depending on the map you played on enemies may have different orders. I guess there could be some improvement done to enemy AI. For example it could make sense to switch aggressive enemies to defensive if there are too many losses and morale goes down. Sevenfm is working on such improvements in his experimental exe. Maybe some day he will migrate these improvements to the standard development trunk.
Btw. some players may not like those changes as they are making the game a lot more difficult.

Sounds awesome. I hope he'll succeed.
I don't know if the game would be necessarily harder. Right now the enemy often zerg-rushes you to the point where they might drown you in numbers. I've occasionally had mercs not interrupting enemies anymore and I'm guessing it was because there were so many of them.
If they would fall back after you take enough of them down then that would definitely give the player a breather.
But it really depends on the kind of player I guess.

silversurfer wrote on Sun, 15 April 2018 10:17
Graphics aren't going to improve unless someone creates new ones which is unlikely to happen. The same applies to spelling mistakes. Most coders and modders aren't native English speakers so they tend to make mistakes. You can always help and provide updated files which will then be merged. You will be given credit of course.

I wouldn't need credit, but I'm definitely interested in fixing things if people would like that. I think it'd be a lot of work though, so I'd love to know if there is a real interest. I'd hate to spend a week on it and later find out it was for nothing.
(Hey, don't sue me. I don't really know anyone here. cheeky)
And what road would I need to travel? Would one of the modders provide me with the latest files or can I just install the most recent version and modify that? Who would I send the files to?
Maybe someone can drop me a PM if there's an interest. happy
Re: Played through the game, some feedback[message #353149 is a reply to message #353148] Sun, 15 April 2018 14:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2301
Registered:May 2009
The normal rocket rifle and auto rocket rifle are both SciFi. An even better solution than to disable SciFi (after all you may want to play with bugs enabled...) could be to set ubCoolness to 0 for single items in Items.xml. This will remove them from item distribution so you will not find them anymore as random equipment on soldiers.

We can't leave Shadows face as it was because the picture is supposed to show what kind of camo a merc currently has applied. How are we supposed to tell if he always looks like a tree-hugger? ;-)

Regarding the text fixes it depends on what kind of text it is. It could be a description that is in one of the XML files, a merc's bio or maybe some text from the code itself.
Code related texts can be found here. For English the files "_EnglishText.cpp" and "_Ja25EnglishText.cpp" are relevant.
If you make changes to these files simply upload a zip file somewhere and post a link to it in this thread. We will pick it up and merge it with the current code.



Wildfire Maps Mod 6.07 on SVN: https://ja2svn.mooo.com/source/ja2/branches/Wanne/JA2%201.13%20Wildfire%206.06%20-%20Maps%20MOD

Re: Played through the game, some feedback[message #353152 is a reply to message #353149] Sun, 15 April 2018 16:48 Go to previous message
Jolly_Reaper

 
Messages:47
Registered:August 2002
Location: The Netherlands

silversurfer wrote on Sun, 15 April 2018 13:56
The normal rocket rifle and auto rocket rifle are both SciFi. An even better solution than to disable SciFi (after all you may want to play with bugs enabled...) could be to set ubCoolness to 0 for single items in Items.xml. This will remove them from item distribution so you will not find them anymore as random equipment on soldiers.

Hmm, I think you are overcomplicating things? I fixed it in my game by basically removing the A.R. Rifle from the enemies' equipment pool.
(GunChoices_Enemy_Elite.xml, GunChoices_Enemy_Regular.xml)
I just changed every 65 (Auto Rocket Rifle ID) to a 55 (Rocket Rifle ID). happy
I was near the end of the game when I made the change, but of the ~20 rocket rifles enemies left behind none of them was an automatic one. So I figured that change hit the spot.

silversurfer wrote on Sun, 15 April 2018 13:56
We can't leave Shadows face as it was because the picture is supposed to show what kind of camo a merc currently has applied. How are we supposed to tell if he always looks like a tree-hugger? ;-)

I kinda get it. Wouldn't have been my preference but you can't please everyone. ;) And it was easily changeable, so that's nice.

silversurfer wrote on Sun, 15 April 2018 13:56
Regarding the text fixes it depends on what kind of text it is. It could be a description that is in one of the XML files, a merc's bio or maybe some text from the code itself.
Code related texts can be found here. For English the files "_EnglishText.cpp" and "_Ja25EnglishText.cpp" are relevant.
If you make changes to these files simply upload a zip file somewhere and post a link to it in this thread. We will pick it up and merge it with the current code.

All right then. I've downloaded those two files and will also dive into the various xml files. happy
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