Home » MODDING HQ 1.13 » v1.13 Feature Requests » Skill/trait rework
Skill/trait rework[message #355694] Wed, 07 November 2018 06:39 Go to next message
Nejrael

 
Messages:17
Registered:October 2007
I'd like to see a new trait rework as I always found the hunter and the gunslinger to be slightly inferior to the others but still you invest the same amount of points.
When I'm playing most firefights is at rifle range. Which results in A: the shotgunner (or gunslinger) will be reduced to inferior "suppressionists" (already have a machinegunner for that job),
or B they need to cover a lot of ground to do damage and thus be out of range for support (not mention easily flanked by or exposed to enemies that have cover from the rest of the team in the back).
So it always ends up as having the shotgun as a secondary weapon (as it should be anyways, handguns are always secondary). But you have slugs you say. Well slugs are decent,
but changing shotgun ammo is a chore (unless you have a mags) and then it's just the equivalent of a slow firing rifle with less range.
In both short and medium range the rifles\assault rifles win with their steady damage, decent accuracy and if applicable burst and full auto fire. The only thing the shotgun has going for itself is skirmishing.
Out from full cover, BOOM, back into cover but this is not unique to the shotgun. SMG*s and assault rifles can do the same with burst fire.

But Enough ranting.

A little late night brainstorming came up with these suggestions:

Major Traits:
Assault\CQB Specialist
Bonus to Shotguns\SMG's\MP's (It may seem heavy loaded but remember this one needs to cover a lot of ground to benefit from it's bonuses)

Covert Ops\Black Ops
This can stay as it is

Rifleman\Designated Marksman
Assault Rifles and semi automatics (reduce AP's to fire semi auto's)

Sharpshooter\Sniper
Bolt action and semi automatics (bonus to accuracy with semi auto's)

Support\Heavy Support
Machine guns and heavy weapons

Medic(EMT)\Paramedic(EMT-P)
This can stay as it is

Technician\Engineer
This can stay as it is

Team Leader\Squad leader
This can stay as it is (although increase the range a bit by default)

Minor Traits:
Most of the ones we have but with a few additions:

Gunslinger (I would put into a minor trait so it could complement all of the different roles if the player chooses to)
Hunter (Basically the shotgun bonuses if you would scrap it from the Assault traits)
Hand to hand (It's so little used compared to the other traits so I can't justify this as a major trait that you have to specialize in)
Throwing (I would the grenade bonuses from Demolitions here)
Demolitions (I would remove grenade bonuses from this, but I would add more damage to explosives as he could tinker with the load)



*********************************************************************

Another idea is to just give bonuses to a certain weapon type instead of package deals and thus scrapping the major and minor trait categories:

Assault Rifles
Semi-auto rifles
SMG's(I would also put in machine pistols here)
Pistols (and revolvers)
etc..

technician, medic, hand to hand and covert ops would also be just 1 trait point.

This way you can cherry pick to your heart's content.

**********************************************************************

In any case that's my 2 cents, I do like how the skills\traits have progressed compared to the vanilla system but I also believe we can improve it. So I hope my tiny contributions of ideas can help.

Keep up the splendid work that you already do.

(And yes, I know that I suck when it comes to formatting posts)



Re: Skill/trait rework[message #355697 is a reply to message #355694] Wed, 07 November 2018 11:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2462
Registered:May 2009
I can't really complain about hunters or gunslingers. My hunter uses a SPAS-15 with full choke which grants her a range of 20 (buckshot) or 23 (Flechette) ammo. If she was a ranger the effective range would be 22 or 25 respectively. Not bad for area of effect damage. The gunslinger uses two PP-93 with a range of 20. In the same time an AR guy fires one unaimed shot she fires two fully aimed shots that hit/kill the target, sometimes even outside of range. From my experience there is not "much ground to cover" for them to get in weapon range in most engagements. Actually I never had to send any one of them ahead to engage the enemy.

For me those two traits are certainly not a reason to revamp the new trait system. Yes, the current weapon trait boundaries may seem a bit artificial in some cases but range isn't enough argument for me to change that. Otherwise we should also make ARs and MGs have longer range because sniper rifles beat them in that category.

Apart from that we already have many options to modify gun parameters for the different categories in Item_Settings.ini. If you feel that your shotguns should have more range the solution is just one number away.



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: Skill/trait rework[message #355699 is a reply to message #355697] Wed, 07 November 2018 17:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Nejrael

 
Messages:17
Registered:October 2007
I must admit when I am reading all this in an awake state I have based all my ranges on playing on AIMNAS BIG maps, where this is more of a problem than vanilla. So I am sorry for that.

So it would be up to the modder to create new skills that fit for their respective mods. Again, sorry for wasting your time.
Re: Skill/trait rework[message #355701 is a reply to message #355699] Wed, 07 November 2018 17:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2462
Registered:May 2009
No need to apologize. There are many ways things can be done and suggestions are always welcome. But we also have to consider if the result is worth the effort. Changing traits is a massive amount of work because all corresponding things in the code have to be modified and tested (e.g. texts, calculations, UI data).

I have never played on big maps so if they have more open ground without cover then yes, engagement distances will be greater than on the maps that I'm used to. In that case I would suggest to modify parameters in Item_Settings.ini or adjust the play style. In my game I have already changed the shotgun handling modifier to 0.8 instead of the default 1.0 because I believe that the handling values for shotguns in general are a bit too high.



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: Skill/trait rework[message #355707 is a reply to message #355701] Wed, 07 November 2018 22:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ZedJA2

 
Messages:143
Registered:January 2018
I understand your frustration Nejrael, but I think it isn't as bad, in JA2 v1.13 with no mods currently. I'm going to apologize up front for my wall of text, but since I rarely got to post on any of these issues for years during my reading of much of the v1.13 development, I have to mention these things now. I thank you both for talking much about the Shotgun and Gunslinger Traits in this thread. So here goes my "rant".

First, the Shotgun has always had major issues in JA2 Vanilla (always seem to miss the first 3-4 times you fire a shotgun, seriously), or v1.13 as well. But things have changed. For example, if you base your feeling on shotguns simply on the early shotguns with low EXP LVL Mercs, they stink with it. But, as they increase LVL and get access to better shotguns they do improve. Most people trying the Shotgun traits out, notice EARLY ON, the bad comparison and so move on to other traits and a restart, so the early game impression holds. But the game's mechanics improve shotgunners especially as equipment and Merc LVL increase, same is partly true for pistols (with XET ammo, various sights, rods n springs and the like, XP LVL, all kicking in after the early game). None of my comments here discount your accurate description Nejrael of the Strategic or Tactical flaws of having shorter range Shotguns or Pistols, as well.

Second, and this should have been first, SMGs and ARs are better even in real life, that is why they are the mainstay today. Look at your own proposed solutions, you basically made hybrid traits that benefit both SMGs or ARs with Shotguns. End result, you are still better off using the SMGs and ARs, per your experience.

Third, most people get frustrated early on with the Shotguns, optimizing early and so only test with the first level Hunter. But remember, the Ranger (or whatever the 2nd level of Hunter is called) gets twice the AP reduction, twice the range bonus, twice the rechamber bonus, etc. That is some mean beast close.

The reason I mention all this, is because the same is true with Gunslinger. Yes, it is frustrating, like with Turtle. Turtle is an M.E.R.C. merc, with 75 Marksmanship, near 0 Agility, and with a S&W Revolver, 29 A.P, 13-14 Range, rare early .44 ammo, + 14 Accuracy. So why is he frustrating?

Well early Marksmanship is based a whole lot on Merc XP Level, he's only a 2 I think. NCTH combined with New Interrupt System means he sucks at opportunity fire at the ranges required, too late when he reacts. His gun fires slowly, fires precious bullets, the 2x scope on it ends up a malus at the pistol ranges (which harms the whole set-up amazingly, if he has the Laser Sight it helps a tad compared), even from Rooftop he misses all the time pre the new Skill Traits, and so on.

Gunslinger works best with fast firing, low AP, decent to high magazine sized, Ambidextrous, dual-pistol set-up, at Night, with Nite-Ops, good hearing, preferably with Extended Ears or some other hearing bonuses. Equipped with 2 Beretta 93R's now we are talking. Most 9 mm pistols will do, even amazingly proving the oddity of the current system, 2 Makarov PM or PMMs will do very nicely, just remember to close instead of throw everything on aiming to get more bang for your AP.

But either way, if they have fast semi-auto or AR rifles, you are in a world of hurt. If the enemies have high XP levels, likewise. Even if they have Shotguns, the enemy hit better than you do it seems.
Sidenote: However, the changes recently have supposedly boosted movement as evasive to fire, making you harder to hit, combined with Stealth, Athletics, etc, this does allow for a style of shotgunning or gunslinging that may work, but at risk, as you said Nejrael, to being without support (no reason you can't create a buddy with him, I'm starting to create flawed IMPs stat-wise, but allowing better traits or purchasing flawed buddies, for this very purpose to test out the fast assault shotgunner or gunslinger in this campaign actually)
-----

Ok, here's my biggest problem with the whole deal. It seems that the Sawed-Off Shotguns with 9 Range are more effective and easier to reload (do they even have a rechamber mechanism, I guess not since included in reloading), fire one barrel, then fire the next on the next fire, and they prove superior in almost every way to a regular Remington M870. You can fire 2 rounds with the Sawed-Off in the same time, you use way less AP, the rechamber costs are gone, and you can have two with no malus on an Ambidextrous Merc.

So here's the main problem:

-- Shotguns take way too long to RECHAMBER, reduce or remove that and bring the AP use down if needed as well, and then they become more viable.

-- For some reason hitting with Shot is incredibly hard. For something with a huge spread to still suck at close range to just even graze somebody, is unbelievable. This to me shows that we have a problem. True, Shotguns are hard to hit at the condensed ranges that the 6-10 range shots require, but that they still miss at 5 range so often on standing enemies is just wowzers. Obviously the problem is that are Mercs never use Shotguns in training because even though many are rednecks, even they know that SMGs and ARs are king. It is ridiculous.

-- Because of the missing, the rechamber costs, the large AP per fire costs as well, kill the Shotguns usefulness.

-- Luckily, once you have a Ranger (2x Shotgun expert) things change for much of that.

-- Luckily, that is why you buy almost immediately the various Chokes for the Shotguns. There are 3 types, one provides like a +2 range bonus for Shot (malus for Slug), one a +2 bonus for Slug (malus for Shot), and one is a +1 for either type (no Malus for either). No one even knows for sure what the Duckbill does in comparison -- it should be great for attacking a group that is adjacent to each other but ... who the heck knows.

-----

SUMMARY:

-- Your own solutions Nejrael, still make the SMG and ARs the way to go as they are hybrid Traits benefitting those as well. So why choose the lesser base weapon, per your experience?
-- Rechamber costs are way too high. In real combat at anything beyond 5 tile range, with cover to hide behind, slide over to, or duck down with, rechambering would have nearly no malus on even a pump action. Since suppression already exists with Auto Fire, and the reaction to suppression is go into cover, why the heck to Shotgun or pistol users (who will have to use cover with the slow firing weapons) not have instant suppression resistance in the first place from using those type weapons?
-- AP costs on shotgun are too high (either revamp the rechamber costs lower, or the AP per fire, or both)
-- It is unclear how to fire all barrels vs single barrel on those double barrel shotguns, there was a way, but is it still there, users are uninformed, so there goes another Shotgun plus down the drain.
-- Gunslinger/Gunfighters really benefit from fast firing pistols at night. Ridiculously almost, NCTH requires you to close the distance rather than use more aiming clicks when you fire. Using Makarovs the lousy Mercs especially, will benefit from running up instead of aiming and firing multiple low AP shots into the target. Problem is, you have to survive the charge. But it makes a lousy low AP Makarov outclass, early on, most other pistols, and makes a joke of the .357 or .44 Revolvers even though they have large (for pistol) accuracy bonus.
-- Accuracy bonus does not stand for what it says really. It is an initial bonus that if exceeded is limited, per my memory, and it only applies something like the first shot each turn. I actually need a new explanation of this, as I forget, probably is on the old website for v1.13 .
-- Using two Shotgun Barrels simultaneously , is that still possible, what happened to it if not, how to do it if still exists?
-- The mechanics of the Sawed-Off Shotgun with no cost for rechamber, and ability to be dual wielded, shows up the disadvantage other Shotguns have in this system.
-- A huge problem is with the starting Merc Gear and with IMP Creation Gear -- you do not see any Chokes for Shotgunners, You do not see any Semi-Auto Shotguns (I think), 2x Scopes are a malus at short ranges sometimes -- which means why even offer them for pistol or shotgun users, and so on). There is need for Chokes to be offered for Shotgunners, and if it does exist, then it just shows how people give up on trying to fix Shotgunners with all the need to mix and match the gear right to make it possible, too many possibilities to try them all, or they are all stuck in the Ranger 2x Hunter level, which is wrong, as people need to know they exist via the first level of a trait, so that they can go ... OOOooh WOOOOw, maybe that will work. Gameplay ease -- make them discover it naturally -- sometimes v1.13 shoots itself in the foot with misunderstanding this).
-- In all fairness, however, the trade-off is supposedly, that the Shotguns pack a wallop when you hit.
-- I've never had the chance to use a Semi-Auto Shotgun, possibly once you get the Benelli Convertible, some SPAS shotguns, and better -- the Shotgun negatives reduce, if there is no rechamber cost.

I just think somebody when inventing the rechambering costs really lost sight of how big a hit they were producing. The action is a limit on AP use, that is fair, but why a simple action that anybody can do on the move, like a pump action, that is so natural you can even do it by habit when defecating in your pants especially when you life is on the line, do it while running basically, while dodging, all things you have to do anyway in real life each turn, is really discontinuous with both the gameplay, system, and the game. Yes versus an autofire weapon you will pay, but you will pay anyway with 3-10 times as many rounds coming your way with a more accurate, lower recoil weapon trading shots with you anyway, especially at shotgun ranges. No shotgunner is going to not have his gun rechambered when the initial time to fire comes, that's absurd, these are mercs. Rechambering can be done easily simultaneously with other actions. Reloading on top of that sometimes takes less long than the rechambering, which shows the skew rechambering is treated with. The whole mechanic needs review.


I'd say more but I've gone on too long. The longer I posted the more frustrated I got about the whole deal. Luckily, SilverSurfer is a good guy, very studious and a thinker, and will be able to weed thru most of my frustration, although he's maybe need a bottle of valium to get thru the whole post. I'm frustrated.

KEY ACCIDENTAL THOUGHT DUE TO ANGER MAKING ME COHERENT: OTHER SYSTEMS LIKE BURST FIRE AIMING HAVE MADE RECHAMBER COSTS COMPARED TO HIGH:

I love the CONCEPT of RECHAMBERING, but when they revamped Autofire to be easier, made is possible to AIM Burst Fire, put ARs in that have long-range, low AP costs, quick aiming -- they nuked rechambering as a concept. They needed to reduce the rechambering hit or remove it. I'd revamp it. Also with AIM costs, as SilverSurfer and SevenFM once recently talked about it in a great discussion, one of them said, you really have to understand that it depends on something like 4 different choices in the JA2options.INI, and those are not very clear in how it all works and interacts, probably because of terminology. So, the whole thing ends up a bear. It would be great if there was an included guide for crap like this in a Tips to Customizing Guide for v1.13 to assist with all this nonsense. It already took over 18 hours for me to customize my last game, I put that much effort into it, no joke. I had to hand fix all my custom files. Then in the end it all works, but I lost the descriptions for my Flugente Addition Mercs like Sara, Lara, Scott, Max, and Shepard -- so they may not work in the end otherwise, even though I swear the files look correct in content and format. Argh!

Again, my apologies for long post. If there is a great guide on customizing, please let me know, thanks.

[Updated on: Wed, 07 November 2018 22:49]

Re: Skill/trait rework[message #355710 is a reply to message #355707] Wed, 07 November 2018 23:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ZedJA2

 
Messages:143
Registered:January 2018
Argh!

Look, originally Pistols benefited from Handling or Raising the Weapon ease with super low AP costs of even ZERO for that (by the way I may be seeing a bug in that, more on that later in this post) . That was the key to pistols. Otherwise they would be useless. That's also why the game put in certain AET ammo, the designer for v1.13 at that time said he wanted to give pistols some late game chance for use, so invented that ammo, at the malus of it quickly reducing the durability of the pistol.

Therefore, Pistols have to be quick to draw, quick to aim, and mostly quick to fire. Otherwise you are doomed. You could argue that with a pistol, you should move faster, turn faster, find cover easier, all that, just to advance the play style. Possible same with Shotgun. I'll explain.

Shotgun is supposed to be a weapon that has a larger cone of fire, hits hard on unarmored targets, if using shot. It isn't supposed to be great at aiming, so not many aim clicks, but the early aim clicks should be relatively fast, since you aren't aiming at a point, but a blast area. I'm exaggerating the point, actually, but you get the point.

Rechamber costs, as I tried to explain above (but I'd just awoken), have been exaggerated as continually more and more mechanics strived for realism to enhance the bonus and features of automatic or select fire ARs. This is really why rechambering costs are now game-breaking. The reason I mentioned the Sawed-Off Shotgun above, available in the very early game, was to establish the point, the dichotomy, if you just try using that weapon. It should be an innaccurate large blast weapon, which it is. But the ability to fire it quickly, dual-wield it, and avoid rechambering costs totally, just illustrate everything compared to the Remington M870 also in the early game. The 870 you shoot with a prayer, and usually consider reloading a save. The Sawed-Off after 4 turns of using, begins to make you ask if this is a shotgun why does the game like this thing? I think Urban Chaos had an even more devastating Sawed-Off when it first came out nearly a decade ago or so(?), because it could be fired both barrels which meant adios to the target.

Another problem, unrelated perhaps, is that Shotguns and Pistols are going to be something most Mercs have used before they even got any combat training. So there should be an instinctive ease of use designed into these beyond reproducing the mechanics of realism. It accounts for human familiarity with introductory weapons that long-term gun aficionados have. At least it should be considered.

New Features added over time have a skew towards ARs. Why? Because the enemy load-outs and game mechanics require you to fight fire with fire, it SEEMS. Let's face it, in real life, the Assault Rifle is an incredibly flexible weapon with multiple features that help it. Unfortunately, in every game made it seems that ARs are more effective in game than even in real life, even though JA2 v1.13 has so many features attempting to combat this, and actually succeeds in many ways. To pick a highlight, hey with Covert Ops and a heavy calibre short ranged revolver with penetrating ammo, or just a garrote, can't I take down every single AR wielding enemy in the game? Of course I possibly can, but the problem is I have to learn and train as a human player in the deep mechanics of how to fool the A.I. as a Covert Ops Snub Pistoleer.

IMP Creation Gear should clearly allow a Shotgun Choke, if not already, as selectable in any Shotgun Trait specialist, Hunter or Ranger.

PROBABLY BUG OR MISUNDERSTANDING ON MY PART: L KEY ON LOOK-DOWN SIGHTS COSTING MORE AP THAN SHOULD:

SITUATION:

I want to aim down my Sights to gain the bonus for aiming on certain weapons. For example, the .45 Beretta Storm Rifle.

ISSUES:

First, you never really know for certain if you need to hit L once or twice. The first L if grey is for turning costs. These costs are huge. If standing it is better to simply AIM AND FIRE than pay these costs. If crouching or prone, well tough luck. (THIS VARIANCE SHOULD NOT EXIST, CHECK IT FOR YOURSELF)

Once the L shows red costs, like 0, 1, or 3 in this weapon's case, you are now aiming down sights. This will allow you to use the Accuracy bonuses built into the weapon. Accuracy may or may not otherwise be used on the weapon. My understanding is unclear on this. If you double L down it, you are getting it. If you Fire and Aim without using the L twice, I think you also end up using it, but the costs may be lower when Standing and shooting.

But that's not the bug I'm talking about, although it may be related.

Here's the bug. If you go ahead and use the L key enough to get the red costs showing on the cursor. I'm going to have to go back in game and do it again to fully remember, ARGH! But try it with a 0 or 1 cost L key with Red costs showing. Then check your AP costs before and after doing so. Also see what happens with ESCaping from the task. You'll find that you not only lost AP (1 more than the Red Costs say), but that you may have just gone from running mode to full stop, even exiting the L aim down sights choice.

In other words, L for aiming down sights ends up terrible to risk trying. You pay 1 more AP than it says, you pay AP sometimes on escaping the choice when you meant not to do it, and you are kicked out of continuing to run mode, and into full stop mode, meaning that now you need to pay the start running penalty on the next tile if you decide the aiming or shooting choice was not as good as running for cover.

By the way, this harms the gunslinger and the shotgunner the most again. This stupid L key for aiming down the sights and its stupid kicking you out of run mode just because you considered the action but didn't want to do it. We need a clean way to cancel out of this. ESC key doesn't always do it right, creating exit AP costs. You can't toggle L key again to get out of it. So what are we supposed to do? Dunno.

And Dunno is the death of this game. But the most terrible thing is that the DUNNO effect always hurts Pistoleers, Shotgunners, Melee Specialists, Martial Artists the most. Easy to suck it up with a versatile Automatic Rifle or even a Battle Rifle with fast semi-auto or selective fire, because what are a couple of APs when you can fire 3-4 times a round at huge ranges, no problemo.

Also, last thing, since I'm becoming a pest when I mean to be constructive. We had better be sure that Shotgun blasts are being given their due in Suppression Effects. One Shotgun Blast from close range ought to scare you more than one single round of Select Fire from a rifle. If nothing else, the sound from a close ranged shotgun ought to scare the bejeezus out of you. Maybe the equivalent of a burst of AR fire or even Machinegun fire, but I suppose we should take a poll of actual combat vets or law enforcement personnel on how they feel about all that. I'm not a combat vet, I'm not even a gun aficionado.

Since all of Suppression is based on Morale Effects and all this is subjective, we really need to review how Shotguns are being handled for Suppression. I assume it is mostly already in there, but I wonder. So many new features over the years, from revamped tracer rounds, to the attachments that help long-ranged weapons, to Aimed Burst Fire, to scopes that only work at long range even though they are named as 2x, and on and on. It is true that in Planetside 2 which is the best game I got for simulating scope use and gun mechanics in FPS, you can see that 1.25 is much better scope for close range, and that 2x gets already a bit problematic for keeping situational awareness. But, we DON'T HAVE A 1.25X OR 1.5X SCOPE IN THE GAME, maybe because in real life there is no point to them. But that suggests that 2x should work better, so maybe we should remove the malus for 2x at short range, or reduce it.

In the end, I did find 2x scope worthless at Night vision ranges. Mostly useless on any pistol at least on early XP LVL Mercs. Yes the NCTH says 2x all the time, and it seems maybe to work during the day on the .45 Beretta Storm, just don't use it at night. Please forgive this comment but, this is another example of the game complicating a key basic feature. We have Scope switches via the . or period key. Nice and good, but what moronic Merc would not automatically know to not look thru the scope at short ranges on a 2x scope using a pistol or .45 Beretta Storm Rifle at night ranges? Worse, switching the scope MAY cause AP costs as you switch Scope Modes perhaps by entering or exiting you out of the various L key aim modes, which is even more problematic for the gameplay of short range users like gunslingers or shotgunners or cheap Mercs (I have no idea just read some discussions on it where they mentioned it).

I guess I'm saying that it seems that the balance that used to be there for using low level Cheap Mercs or choosing various weapon styles (Gunslinger or Shotgunners for example) don't receive adequate review when new features are instituted because of a bias caused by Optimal Play. The Optimal Playstyle is using AR. The old optimal playstyle was Night Ops. Both were biased. Both were not intended to be so, but were caused by lots of focus on making the optimal playstyle work well and gathering the attention of development. Just need to always revisit older playstyles to make sure they aren't nuked by new features trumping the old features and balance.

KEY POINT:

Firing from a CROUCHED position and having to L key AIM or L key turn, with a precious need to fire right with slow firing weapons like a Shotgunner or Pistoleer have, arm harmed by the mechanics of the current L key usage, the AP costs being wrong or not as displayed, the inability to exit without unforeseen costs upon deciding that Aiming Down Sights is not the desired action, and by hire than expected turn costs. In some cases it costs more to turn than to move in the same direction. Turning costs do not seem to consider Athletics or any other movement bonuses.

SilverSurfer may have already noticed or worked on this in part already during his revamp of moving costs done for 8635. I just mention all this to highlight the frustrations that will be amplified when playing Shotgunner or Gunslinger type Mercs (really is worse for Shotgunners, and only illustrates how difficult it is to start playing them, and why most people just move on to another class of Merc).

[Updated on: Wed, 07 November 2018 23:51]

Re: Skill/trait rework[message #355711 is a reply to message #355707] Wed, 07 November 2018 23:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2462
Registered:May 2009
ZedJA2 wrote on Wed, 07 November 2018 21:35

-- Shotguns take way too long to RECHAMBER, reduce or remove that and bring the AP use down if needed as well, and then they become more viable.

You can modify this in Item_Settings.ini.

ZedJA2 wrote on Wed, 07 November 2018 21:35

-- Luckily, that is why you buy almost immediately the various Chokes for the Shotguns. There are 3 types, one provides like a +2 range bonus for Shot (malus for Slug), one a +2 bonus for Slug (malus for Shot), and one is a +1 for either type (no Malus for either). No one even knows for sure what the Duckbill does in comparison -- it should be great for attacking a group that is adjacent to each other but ... who the heck knows.

In default 1.13 the bonuses are as follows:

Imp. Mod. Choke +3 range (useful for both slug and buckshot, medium spread with buckshot)
Full Choke +4 range (very useful for buckshot, tight spread with buckshot)
Rifled Choke +6 range (only useful for slugs, +20% CtH bonus in OCTH, extreme spread with buckshot)

I prefer the Full Choke because I only use buckshot or flechette.

Also you should be aware that all shotguns have default spread patterns. The sawed-off shotgun for example has a very wide spread pattern whereas the Remington M870 has an "Imp. Mod. Choke" pattern which groups the pellets tighter together.

ZedJA2 wrote on Wed, 07 November 2018 21:35

-- It is unclear how to fire all barrels vs single barrel on those double barrel shotguns, there was a way, but is it still there, users are uninformed, so there goes another Shotgun plus down the drain.

Just press "b" to switch between single and dual shot on the sawed-off shotgun.



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: Skill/trait rework[message #355712 is a reply to message #355711] Wed, 07 November 2018 23:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ZedJA2

 
Messages:143
Registered:January 2018
@ SilverSurfer

I've been editing as I go and we are likely cross-posting. I will read your reply more thoroughly in a moment. But as you say, it is customizable, and there are ways around some of it. If you could, if necessary review my above posts for any changes -- if you don't mind (you can call me names afterwards I accept that LOL).

Whoa, so different Shotguns have different spread patterns? Is there a way to know beforehand?
Re: Skill/trait rework[message #355713 is a reply to message #355712] Wed, 07 November 2018 23:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ZedJA2

 
Messages:143
Registered:January 2018
@ SilverSurfer

Very interesting, so the Chokes are even better than I remember then. That's good.

I'll have to consider reducing the Rechamber costs then in the Item_Settings.ini . Do you recommend that or have you been happy with Shotgunner play once you use the chokes? I thought at one time maybe a year or three ago, they were less, but that was after they had been more before that.

B key to switch single and double barrel fire, okay great. It will give me some feedback on the cursor then, I'll have to check that out when I get back in.

You said:

<<
I prefer the Full Choke because I only use buckshot or flechette.
>>

Interesting. I've begun to want to change to using more Buckshot for the spread, just to try it more, since at least you have higher grazing chances. I did not consider Flechette, hmm. I'll have to see what Flechette does as well. But I always order all the chokes as soon as Bobby Ray's is available. Just lately I have not had a chance to play a campaign long enough, with all the changes. I have 8633 currently and am en Route to Drassen. I aim to update to 8635 and keep the same campaign save, as we are doing okayish so far, and I toned down a tad the Aggressive A.I. I have already an Athletics Shotgunner Leader IMP, so this will be a good test for this approach. I purposefully chose a bit less capable STATS on the Mercs to try different approaches, and bumped my starting cash up $5000 to allow this.

-----
QUESTION:

I've asked this before, but I never got, I thought, a good answer. How does one convert the Benelli Convertible to semi-auto and does that remove the rechambering costs? I tried it once long ago, years ago, and I found it still had a rechambering cost -- but that was first try after the conversion which may have been my mistake since it may have had a rechamber still waiting from previous fire and thus got tricked into rechambering costs.
-----

(I tried again to download your 8635 on your site, but I think my anti-virus or anti-malware must be removing a key file from the packed file and so it isn't going to work, even when I put an exception, the real-time one is probably taking it out, so in this case I'm going to wait a bit until the next SCI Depri Build. I mostly mention this so that you know I am not able to currently test it, but I will once the new Depri build comes out and give you feedback on the changes)

[Updated on: Thu, 08 November 2018 00:14]

Re: Skill/trait rework[message #355714 is a reply to message #355712] Thu, 08 November 2018 00:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2462
Registered:May 2009
I really don't understand what you are talking about regarding the "L" key. It is used to turn your merc to a certain direction or raise your gun if you use "L" in the direction the merc is already facing. The cost in red is the cost to raise the gun. Raising a gun doesn't apply any aim bonuses. It applies sight bonuses/penalties of the sight mode that is currently active, a scope for example. Aim bonuses are applied anyway no matter if you raise the gun before shooting or not.

Regarding the incorrect costs for raising the weapon - I will take a look at that. I never payed attention to that but my gunslinger uses 3 AP instead of the 1 AP that is displayed.

ZedJA2 wrote on Wed, 07 November 2018 22:58

I'll have to consider reducing the Rechamber costs then in the INI. Do you recommend that or have you been happy with Shotgunner play once you use the chokes? I thought at one time maybe a year or three ago, they were less, but that was after they had been more before that.

I have those costs at the default but I prefer to switch to semi auto shotguns anyway as soon as they become available. The more important reason is that they use magazines and therefore can be reloaded faster.
The only pump-action shotgun that I really like for beginners is the Neostead. It is quick to raise and fire. The only downside is that it can't use chokes.

Btw. the Duckbill adds +2 range and provides a horizontal spread pattern. It's not bad if you don't have access to a proper choke yet.

ZedJA2 wrote on Wed, 07 November 2018 22:58

I've asked this before, but I never got, I thought, a good answer. How does one convert the Benelli Convertible to semi-auto and does that remove the rechambering costs?

I don't think the Benelli can be converted at all. At least I don't see entries for that in Item_Transformations.xml.



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Re: Skill/trait rework[message #355716 is a reply to message #355714] Thu, 08 November 2018 01:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ZedJA2

 
Messages:143
Registered:January 2018
@ SilverSurfer

Thanks for the additional information.

I guess that is part of my problem then, not being absolutely certain what the L key, once red costs show, does. Or more accurately how to phrase it, remember I don't tend to use these bonus terms as accurately as others, unfortunately.

<<
The cost in red is the cost to raise the gun. Raising a gun doesn't apply any aim bonuses. It applies sight bonuses/penalties of the sight mode that is currently active, a scope for example. Aim bonuses are applied anyway no matter if you raise the gun before shooting or not.

Regarding the incorrect costs for raising the weapon - I will take a look at that. I never payed attention to that but my gunslinger uses 3 AP instead of the 1 AP that is displayed.
>>

That's basically what I meant, but I am using the wrong term then. Whatever attachments already on the gun that benefit once the weapon is raised, which often some and I call Aiming, even though it isn't Aim via additional click, is the bonus you get. Clearly, as you say, it would depend on the Scope Mode chosen, good reminder by you.

Thanks for noting to make a check on the costs. I notice it commonly on Pistols with L raise costs in red of 1 AP, sometimes with 0, and have not checked higher L red AP raise weapon costs.

Interesting on the Benelli not being transformable. It was from a long time ago, might have been the Super Benelli or something similar, had Benelli in its name and/or Convertible in its name.

Thanks for explaining that some Shotguns have Magazines, that would make a big difference. I'll use all this information as the campaign goes forward. Going to go play now.

You add significantly to my enjoyment of the game, SilverSurfer, via suffering thru reading and replying to our posts. You are very much appreciated.

[Updated on: Thu, 08 November 2018 01:54]

Re: Skill/trait rework[message #355718 is a reply to message #355716] Thu, 08 November 2018 03:38 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ZedJA2

 
Messages:143
Registered:January 2018
@ SilverSurfer

UPDATE:

-- Using .45 Beretta Storm on a Marksman/Hunter/Athletics IMP
-- Raise Weapon costs from Crouch Position with L key show in RED as 3 AP cost, but SUBTRACTS 5 AP COST from total APs leftover.
-- I did not see any modifier in the Advanced Description's Various Tabs indicating an increased cost for raising weapon.
-- There were no attachments on the weapon, so those could have no influence.

-- I would expect, at worse, that some of those traits might aid in Raising a Weapon, not add to it.

I'll try canceling it next and see if get the same thing. The Raised Weapon Costs were correctly subtracted from the Aimed Fire I then placed on the target, I had checked the cost before raising the weapon, and it correctly showed 3 more AP to Fire at the target if I showed to shoot at it.

So seems the problem is the value subtracted from the actual Merc's total AP.

[Updated on: Thu, 08 November 2018 03:39]

Re: Skill/trait rework[message #355719 is a reply to message #355718] Thu, 08 November 2018 03:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ZedJA2

 
Messages:143
Registered:January 2018
UPDATE #2:

-- Using .45 Beretta Storm Rifle on same merc as above
-- Shooting on same target while not but not using the L key to Raise the Weapon first, saves 2 AP overall from AP cost deducted from Merc's total AP.

This confirms the above and suggests that the calculations currently in-game are off.

-- Trying to cancel out the L with Red AP costs up, did not change the stance (she was crouched), and did not cost anything. The cost in APs from exiting probably then comes from Running Stance and exiting L raised weapon choice then kicking it also into non-continued run mode or standing still mode. This is unhelpful, if so, since you are just considering the L Raised Weapon and not actually doing it. But I have to test more.

-----

Dang, it is really worrisome but fun going up against these early Walther MPL, Sterling L2A2, and Stechkin Orange Shirt Recruits and Privates. But so far so good. Also is amazing how much better this .45 Beretta Storm is in daylight and with no 2x scope. Even though both the older IMP and the newer one were Marksmen with same Marksmanship 80 STAT, this IMP using it at daylight is clearly about 3 times as accurate (in Hit vs Miss ratio), even at XP LVL 2. So clearly scopes are useless if the light causes vision range to drop.

[Updated on: Thu, 08 November 2018 07:04]

Re: Skill/trait rework[message #355721 is a reply to message #355719] Thu, 08 November 2018 07:46 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Mai Ti Miao

 
Messages:20
Registered:November 2018
ZedJA2 wrote on Thu, 08 November 2018 02:55

Also is amazing how much better this .45 Beretta Storm is in daylight and with no 2x scope. Even though both the older IMP and the newer one were Marksmen with same Marksmanship 80 STAT, this IMP using it at daylight is clearly about 3 times as accurate (in Hit vs Miss ratio), even at XP LVL 2. So clearly scopes are useless if the light causes vision range to drop.

I don't remember the weight, but: Dexterity, Marksmanship, Wisdom and XP-lvl play a role in determining chance to hit.
Re: Skill/trait rework[message #355728 is a reply to message #355721] Thu, 08 November 2018 13:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
townltu

 
Messages:306
Registered:December 2017
Location: here
2 cents on the shotguns AP cost, although even if widely accepted the effort to program this may be unjustifiably high.

Pump action shotguns is easy to rechamber weapon because you hold it perfect for that while you are moving,
(i know its not safe handling to do that;)
so if a distinct value of AP are spent for moving, e.g. 2x to 4x of whats required to pump the gun,
pump action shotguns may be pumped for free.

Similar for cocking the hammer of a revolver.

Btw loading weapon mechanics, iirc dual wielders keep the still loaded weapon on target when they reload the empty one,
i wonder how they do that even with revolvers?
Let me guess: merc juggles revolver into ascending triple overturn while relasing the drum that flaps out in 1st rotation,
meanwhile grabs the quickloader from the belt and charges with a slight force that locks the drum, hammer is cocked during last rotation.
Fumble chance for each step depends on dx, ag .., failure to catch the loaded and cocked gun = n% chance it goes off on landing
:D


@ZedJA2 Place the cursor exactly on the targets tile before you hit [L] to bring up the weapon,
then check whether you still loose 2(?) AP if you fire at the target.

If so, that was already present in vanilla, you had to pay an additional AP
for shooting at the next target in the 90deg cone that does not require to adjust mercs direction in game.
With octh think I also noticed a tiny increase in cth on cursor
if you pay the additional 2 AP for [L]ooking at the correct spot (which btw is pretty realistic)
and i still do that out of habit although it may be completely obsolete with ncth.
Re: Skill/trait rework[message #355731 is a reply to message #355728] Thu, 08 November 2018 14:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
ZedJA2

 
Messages:143
Registered:January 2018
@ townltu, also known as TownLTU.

Circus gunslinger tricks, that made me laugh. Of course, you had to add the fumble chance in there, clearly we must demand that in the code, agreed LOL.

What I've been doing with the L key is making sure that it is over the feet and so that tile underneath them. It often wants to be one tile off, I have noticed that, I think that is what you are getting at.

But, I have not found that it makes a difference normally once you have the Red APs up. I am currently using NCTH by the way.

Anyway, my main problem is that the feedback is missing something. If the Red AP cost showing for the final L key use when you mouse over, and it says 1 ap, and then you click, and it costs 3 ap, then I need to know that. In addition, although it subtracts 2 more AP from the total AP shown on the Merc's total leftover, it does not subtract 2 more AP if you just Raise the Weapon with the exact same L key usage and Red APs showing and then don't fire the weapon. It is upon firing that you lose 2 AP. At least i think it is, whatever I described in the earlier post should be right.

Again, I can't say if that happened before in JA2 v1.12 or earlier (especially since I mostly played old JA2 using 1.04, 1.06, and the often forgotten 1.07 which was the final patch before Matrix Games took it over and went with the Gold series with those 1.1x numbers. I never truly played Gold, I have Gold now as the base for this v1.13, though.

I also did not have a current target in that cone at the time. This was the first target after raising the weapon with the L key in that cone (first L may turn if you are out of cone, it costs me usually 4 ap to do that with the 100 AP system). There was no other target adjacent or in the same tile. I was already turned, if needed, so the L key to face the right cone is not causing the cost issue.

Also oddly enough, it seems that right click after checking if I want L key use of any type is now correctly not taking me out of the correct stance, although I may have only tested this crouched, as most aimed shots seem to be best in crouch with my current mercs, current early game stage, and current gear. Usually prone in old days was best, but prone usually means you lose the target in any undulation of terrain or vegetation lately. Standing is best if close enough like 3-5 tiles but you could die standing up.

----- (unfortunately the rest will likely seem to be the tone of a rant, so read only at risk) -----

Anyway I don't want to rant again, but I have been up almost all night trying to have fun and then end up having to post on things I notice instead, which is annoying. This game often gets on my nerves lately, because I see the game has changed oddly from other versions of v1.13, and everybody acts like I'm crazy, seemingly, at first. My guess is that the seeming changes I feel are chiefly a combination of NCTH instead of my usual OCTH, Backgrounds changed over the last 2 years a lot (as there may not have been Backgrounds at all when I used to play v1.13 a lot, and my having gotten used to using lesser and lesser quality mercs, but now I've upped Easy to a customized Expert sort of difficulty). So it can get hard to tell.

But the AP costs of firing a Raised Weapon sure aren't forecast correctly by the red numbers. Why show the red numbers if they don't tell the truth to the player, traditional or not. I'm not sure there even was a raised weapon stance in JA2 1.07 for example. There was a turn cost in APs if out of cone though, but that always showed as grey if a number showed at all, that I can recall.

This is one I'm going to let SilverSurfer just examine when he has time, provided he decides to do it, and gets the time. To me, unless otherwise convinced, this was another one of those examples of why I thought the NCTH and the last year or two's worth of changes were off. It clearly is worthless to me to even look down the raised weapon sights, that is raise the weapon. First, per SilverSurfer I get the same effect just using any aim clicks if I have the right scope mode. Second, the Red APs are inaccurate so I often lose APs and end up 1-2 short, which is totally worthless when trying to maxi-min my AP usage.

This was likewise my problem with the Diagonal movement costs, which SilverSurfer believes he has fixed for SCI 8635.

This crazy game, JA2 v1.13 is all about maxi-min. We all try our damnest to actually get maximum performance out of our mercs and like to believe the game has some realistic simulation in it. Yet this game has ridiculous diagonal costs in 8633 and before, and it has ridiculous raise weapon calculations. None of this makes me believe that much if any of the current calculations are necessarily correctly made.

If they aren't correct. Why trust NCTH either? Why believe that gear costs are working right (by the way, one post suggests recently that is wrong on M.E.R.C. mercs when you say yes to their gear, so I have to check that now) and we already know that using the Name in the field for the IMP site, instead of the number, brings up a custom IMP with gear that initially created cost more than $3000, as if it cost nothing but the $3000 initial cost. Such oversights make you wonder what else is wrong. The last one is minor because you can workaround it in various ways. But when people actually say, honestly, that for example it isn't NCTH vs OCTH, how do they even know? They didn't even notice this other stuff that is blatantly obvious because they just lived with it all this time?

Okay, anyway. When you love a game, it gets frustrating. I'm starting to think that the XCOM EU/EW and XCOM 2 simplifications to 2 phases make a whole lot of sense now. Because you aren't likely to get any annoying calculations wrong, even if you may lose some chance of realism/simulation.

[Updated on: Thu, 08 November 2018 15:00]

Re: Skill/trait rework[message #355735 is a reply to message #355731] Thu, 08 November 2018 15:38 Go to previous message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2462
Registered:May 2009
In r8637 the problem with spending too many AP for raising a weapon is fixed. The game always deducted AP_CHANGE_TARGET if there was a target on the cursor tile. Because of that we were charged AP_CHANGE_TARGET twice - once when raising the weapon and again when firing the first shot at the target. Now we only spend raise AP when raising the weapon no matter if there is a target on the tile or not. AP_CHANGE_TARGET are spend for the first shot on this target.



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