Home » PLAYER'S HQ 1.13 » v1.13 General Gameplay Talk » Expert difficulty getting frustrating. Advice appreciated.
Expert difficulty getting frustrating. Advice appreciated.[message #365160] Sun, 12 February 2023 20:40 Go to next message
Malaconia is currently offline Malaconia

 
Messages:10
Registered:February 2023
I am a Jagged Alliance fan from way back. Made my own Deadly Games campaign when I was just fourteen and consider JA2 to be the best game ever made. Haven't played the game in ages and decided to finally test the 1.13. I am playing on expert. Loved the beginning. Intense, challenging and immersive. I appreciate the work put in to the game by the modders very much. Incredible detail, old mercs, literally tons of weapons, new features, everything!

And now for the problem at hand... my immersion and desire to play is dying. There is only one reason for that and it may be an inherent flaw in the game itself, unfixable and unavoidable and just made worse by the increased difficulty.

First of all I know how to play this game despite not having played it in years and never as difficult as 1.13 on expert. I just killed 90 enemies in the Desert SAM half of which were blackshirts without taking a single hit in return and without save scumming. Illumination grenades, four spotters, fifteen snipers and Mike is all it took. I have a half a million in the bank account (in the game) and 32 mercs. Shitty mercs trained to be decent to good. I am not going to lose this game, but I am losing my desire to play.

Reason is this: enemy camps on the worst maps of Arulco and refuses to fight on the good ones. There are on average 8-12 guys defending the city sectors while there are hundreds on the roads. I could have conquered Cambria on autoresolve. I consoled myself by reminding myself that a big counter-attack was coming and it would give me the proper fight inside the city that I had always wanted to have. It came, it conquered the mine as I was forced to retreat and then it sat on that mine map never moving anywhere again. I know that it is a strategically important location, but it is also, aside from Grumm mine, one of the most boring maps to fight on. I tried to force the large group to fight me in Cambria, but they never would. No matter what I did. I went so far to get a city fight that I unassigned all the militia that I had trained and moved my mercs away, essentially letting them take the city and all they did was send eight red shirts to occupy a sector that was handed to them on a platter. Later on I killed them all in the Desert SAM and another group and another group and another group after them.

Cars are useless because pretty much every road sector is occupied by a patrol at all times. I killed five patrols on my way from Estoni to buy the hummer. I drove back and killed another five groups. It's not like they are a challenge. I had only three snipers driving the car and killing them all. 10-12 guys per sector aren't a challenge, they are a constant road bumb and that's all, but damn if it isn't getting tedious. I have a 20 merc group moving the roads autoresolving fights at all times while five medics follow them just to get anywhere. I also have some mobile militia, but they never seem to kill anyone for some reason. Obviously the autoresolve is stacked against me and I have to take a lot of load games not a lose a single merc, but I refuse to fight on the same plains roads over and over again.

Now I am at a point where there's a hundred guys attacking the Desert SAM again. It would be a lovely fight in any other city sector, but not on that map. Last time I made a semi-realistic ambush to kill them all, but this time I'll probably just put dozens of explosives and mines on the map edge that they are coming from and a shooting squad made of twenty veteran militia and 32 mercs in front of them, it'll probably kill them but it'll also kill the rest of immersion that I have, and there would be so much immersion in this game without the endless repetition of what is essentially the same fight on the same map over and over again.

So there it is. The game is too easy and too frustrating at the same time. I'd love to fight a hundred blackshirts in a city sector instead of a handful of redshirts, and I am tired of slaughtering endless easy patrols on the roads and fending off the only proper counter-attack that ever comes on the same desert SAM site map.

Is there any way to fix this problem midgame? I am open to every suggestion at this point, even editing the .ini (though I don't know what I'd change there), because unfortunately I am getting bored even though I really, really, love this game otherwise. I don't want to abandon a campaign I've already put countless hours in, but I feel like the game is at this point actively forcing me to play it in ways that I don't want to play it.

Report message to a moderator

Private
Re: Expert difficulty getting frustrating. Advice appreciated.[message #365162 is a reply to message #365160] Mon, 13 February 2023 22:09 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Gopan is currently offline Gopan

 
Messages:379
Registered:June 2016
Location: Norway
I like helping people out but many times people don't like my way of thinking. Still, i'll give it a try. I have also felt that way too, not feeling like playing the game at times. There are many ways to tailor the game to your liking. You can edit the INI.Editor options, it will take an hour or 2. Lots of options to change in there.
I like long ranged combat so i don't use pistols, shotguns, amfidexterous and such. But 15 snipers ?? I use one sniper per squad and a couple of marksmen/something else. 4 squads of 8. I am also playing on INSANE mode.
Some players say that is not how the game is supposed to be played. In my opinion, everyone should be free to play the game as they like. Then there's the OCTH and the NCTH. I prefer to use the former. I do enjoy some challenge but not extra difficulty where it doesn't need to be. Such as having a brand new sniper rifle, at a 100% condition, in the hands of a marksman, getting jammed on it's very first shot, or hitting the enemy for 2 or 4 or 6, while the enemies always hit for 12 - 16 and above.

Your message is long and i like reading but i am not sure that i am addressing the correct issues. For me, changing in-game options, editing the INI.Editor and some other files, does the trick for me. I like to tailor the game to my liking and have a slight advantage when in comes to long range fighting. When the enemy soldiers get close, that's when the pain begins. Best to fight them from a long distance. If you want, you can tell me more and see if we can find a solution.



Nipson anomimata mi monan opsin

Report message to a moderator

Master Sergeant
Re: Expert difficulty getting frustrating. Advice appreciated.[message #365164 is a reply to message #365162] Tue, 14 February 2023 09:05 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Warp_2568 is currently offline Warp_2568

 
Messages:13
Registered:January 2022
For better auto resolve wins, give some of your mercs a ballistic shield, EOD gear and a good machine pistol like the MP7. Their auto-resolve strength is insanely high because they take no damage.

Sometimes the game is a chore because of the constant enemy attacks. Don't feel like you have to defend everything. You can do the initial takeover of a town and loot what you want, but it's not required to hold every single city. If you prefer not to deal with the upkeep, militia maintenance, constant training, then downsize some of it. Chitzena is pretty useless. Cambria is too big and always surrounded by enemies. I hate defending Cambria because of how many militia are needed, and the silver mine doesn't give that much...this is why Cambria is really one of the last cities I take

Report message to a moderator

Private
Re: Expert difficulty getting frustrating. Advice appreciated.[message #365167 is a reply to message #365164] Tue, 14 February 2023 16:30 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Malaconia is currently offline Malaconia

 
Messages:10
Registered:February 2023
I'll break down how I play and how the game is overall going for me before I list my gripes in clear order. I play for immersion first, challenge second. Last time I played the game it was vanilla on experienced and it was way too easy even though I hadn't played the game in nearly two decades (despite it being my all time favorite). I got to see plenty of nice story details like Larry falling off the wagon though, so it was worth it. This time I went for the challenge and I definitely got it at first, but my experience is essentially the same as the last time. After a couple of cities conquered the game gets too easy, though this time with it's unique frustrations.

I have a couple of IMP mercs. I vision them to be gulf war veterans, a military advisor and a drill sergeant. Their leadership is off the charts, both have over 90 LD now and the teaching trait. I don't have a problem holding the cities. I can train full militia in a sector in about 24 hours game time. I've even fed waves and waves of locals against the enemies, but without mercs around to command them they tend to lose autoresolve even on max size without making a dent in enemy forces.

My military advisor has the squadleader perk. She began at lvl 5 and is now soon at lvl 8. She has been a major help in both training low level mercs and guiding them on the battlefield. My so called "sniper team" is mostly, though not entirely, composed of cheap mercs like Turtle who have a dismal agility, but a decent marksmanship. Thus I gave them all sniper rifles, and was surprised to see how effective they were compared to my main team that is made of better mercs with assault rifles and lmg's. Even doctor Eli with his marksmanship of 50 at the beginnning (69 now) has a hit rate of 61%. It's all in choosing the right targets at the right time.

I have a spy who scouts the opposition beforehand. I plan accordingly. I have spotters and my tactic is to let the enemy come at me. I shoot more at interrupts than on my own turn. I retreat if I have to and attack again from a new map edge. This is immersive, and I love playing like it.


Now to the gripes:

1.) Enemy AI doesn't defend their cities properly. I would want to fight inside the cities, but all the fighting seems to concentrate on the roads.

2.) There are too many patrols on the roads that slow down the game instead of providing a decent challenge.

3.) When the real counter-attacks come, the ones with challenge, they always beeline towards the same map, the Desert SAM and the Cambria Mine. I'm tired of fighting on those maps. I did actually manage to kill the last counter-attack in piecemeal, fourty a time, on the desert maps before the desert SAM. But I had to resort to a save that was hours away. I've never done that before. I could've killed them even a hundred a time but then I'd had to have fought in desert SAM again. I would've probably resorted to cheese tactics that exploit the AI and that would kill the immersion.

4.) Last and the least. I use the OCTH but the damage distribution is all over the place. It takes 4-6 dragunov hits on the torso to down an enemy. Only headshots may kill them in realistic fashion. As I chip away the enemy HP they remain fully functional. After six hits they run around and shoot like no tomorrow. It takes about three grenades to keep them down even for a turn. My guys obviously take 30-70 dmg often enough despite full spectra armor and, even when they don't, a single hit drains away their AP to the point that they become sitting ducks.

I assume some of those aforementioned things could be fixed editing the .ini but I don't know how and I don't know if it can be done midgame. Hell, even if it couldn't be done midgame I'd be happy to do it the next time I play the game.


I don't want the game to become easier than it already is because I enjoy the challenge. Sometimes the patrols gather together in to big groups that give me a proper fight, but I'd prefer big groups at all times (especially inside the cities) that spawn a lot less frequently than the current patrol spawn time is.

I don't want the enemies to become pushovers, but I'd like more realism between them and my mercs. Right now my mercs act realistically, but enemies are bullet sponges that don't seem to lose AP's.

The way enemy AI acts on overland map makes them focus on a single held position. Last time I played every attack was directed at Grumm mine. Now it's the desert SAM. More variation would be better, though this one I don't know if it can be solved by editing the .ini.

Sorry for the wall of text again. I am a writer by profession and I can't seem to help myself. Also I want to be precise. Thanks for the replies. Glad to see that the forum is still alive.

[Updated on: Tue, 14 February 2023 17:34]

Report message to a moderator

Private
Re: Expert difficulty getting frustrating. Advice appreciated.[message #365168 is a reply to message #365167] Tue, 14 February 2023 17:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Gopan is currently offline Gopan

 
Messages:379
Registered:June 2016
Location: Norway
Gripe .4

That's why i don't bother carrying grenades around. Either they can see what i am carrying and they throw ONE stun grenade, for which some strange reason, it's causing all of the nearby mercs' explosives to explode, resulting in losing a full squad or at least a major part of one. Every squad has a Bombardeer, whois carrying a Milkor and a heavy mortar.

Concerning the damage, use .338 Lapua ammo weapons or even better a KSVK or a Barett M 107. One or 2 rounds to the torso and it's goodnight for enemy soldiers. Or shoot the legs, if they fall, they are much more vulnerable to bullet damage.



Nipson anomimata mi monan opsin

Report message to a moderator

Master Sergeant
Re: Expert difficulty getting frustrating. Advice appreciated.[message #365169 is a reply to message #365168] Tue, 14 February 2023 18:14 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Malaconia is currently offline Malaconia

 
Messages:10
Registered:February 2023
That's a good advice. With all the stuff in the game it's sometimes hard to decipher what works and what doesn't. I ordered pouches for large magazines from Bobby Ray's only to find out that a "large magazine" mentioned in the description wasn't quite what I had expected it be and they all went to waste. Many of the guides regarding the game are old and under broken links by now, so all of the info regarding various stuff isn't so easy to come by.

I just found Gepard M2 and gave it to Leech. He has barely enough strenght to carry it and a side arm around, but that thing kills. I was just thinking about ordering better sniper rifles for my squadleader and Bud. Didn't know what to buy. I think I'll give the KSVK a try. Too bad my squadleader is kind of weak. She has a hard time carrying around the heavier sniper rifles.

Speaking of which. Does the weight limit affect anything when it's still under 100% or does it begin to slow you down only when it exceeds that threshold?

Also I have Mike with Milkor, Mortar and HK G11. He costs nearly as much as the rest of the 31 guys and gals combined, but damn if he isn't good. Had to take him in the group given the opportunity. He's 7000$ a day. I read somewhere that he was over 10 000$ for some. Don't know if he was cheaper because of my excessive leadership.

I probably don't dare to edit .ini this time, having already poured so many hours in to the game and being afraid of corrupting it. But next time I play the game I'd like to up the damage all across the board, enemies and mercs alike, to make the game more realistic. Do you know if there is a line in the .ini that would achieve this?

And lastly. Good to know about the explosives chainreaction. I had it happen once. Had no clue what the hell had happened. I am not even sure if the enemy threw anything at me. Things just began exploding for seemingly no reason at all. That time I did take a load game, though I do let bad things happen and mercs die usually.

Report message to a moderator

Private
Re: Expert difficulty getting frustrating. Advice appreciated.[message #365170 is a reply to message #365169] Tue, 14 February 2023 21:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Warp_2568 is currently offline Warp_2568

 
Messages:13
Registered:January 2022
I play Insane mode by the way, and I definitely agree, the anti material rifles like the Gepard, Barrett and KSV-K are incredibly effective for those mid to late game enemies that seem to be bullet sponges. It's not only because of the damage rating, it's also because those calibers have the best armor penetration rating of 0.50.

Unfortunately most snipers and auto weapons really fall off toward the late game, when the Queen AI offense becomes much more aggressive at a certain game progress (I believe the default number is 70%). Since we have this knowledge beforehand, we can plan to gear up our mercs and fortifications before the Queen AI is triggered to much more aggression.

At that point, auto weapons are only used for suppressive fire and wasting enemy AP. The armor penetration of these calibers are 0.75. this isn't enough to one-shot kill enemies with full plated armor. Anything less than Lapua isn't going to kill one shot. For night time operations, its all AET ammo or using the VSSK Vykchlop. HK SL9SD isn't bad for stealth either. I believe it's the most quiet gun in the game and the armor pen rating is 0.50

So a quick reference:

Early-game: 1.00 armor pen is ok against red shirts.
Early-Mid game: 0.75 armor pen rating
Mi-Late game: 0.50 armor pen rating

Then you can start narrowing down your gun choices based on the damage rating 👍

Report message to a moderator

Private
Re: Expert difficulty getting frustrating. Advice appreciated.[message #365181 is a reply to message #365169] Sun, 19 February 2023 21:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Gopan is currently offline Gopan

 
Messages:379
Registered:June 2016
Location: Norway
Glad that i could offer some useful advice. Along the same lines, i would like to say, do not get greedy or overwhelmed by the huge selection. Only certain parts of LBE, armor and weapons are always usefull, throughout the game. Of course, everyone plays the game the way they like and that's fine, that's as it should be.

My LBE choices are a vest that can be customised, depending on the mod, same applies to the leg slots. Backpack and combat pack, also depends on the mod. On some it's the TIMS set, on another mod it's the ALICE set, on another one it's the a combination of different combat pack and backpack, as long as they can fit together.

Armor, i use Dyneema, same toughness as the Spectra but slightly lighter. Ghillie suits, knee braces and ceramic plates are a must. Speaking of lighter, i believe that as long the weight limit is below 100%, it's fine, unless to overload mercs and have them running circles in a map, so they can raise life and/or strength points. If they run out of breath, go to strategy map, speed up time for a few minutes, then repeat the process.

And finally weapons. I have everyone carrying a pistol, just in case the enemy gets into point blank range so they can beat you up. Standard weapon is a sniper rifle, something that's using 7.62x51 and a battle rifle as a backup, using the same type of ammo. Once you start making money, get some Lapua ammo rifles for your snipers. They are extremely accurate at extreme range and very damaging, the others keep their 7.62x51 rifles. I give my Bombardeers a KVSK or a Barett 107. The Vychlop is a beast day or night. With decent range and high damage it's THE ultimate silent kills rifle, usually does the job in one hit. Non marksmen/snipers aren't as good with sniper rifles but the 10x scope and a bipod help everyone hit something at medium to close range. Not really need but i like my soldiers to look uniform, same armor, weapons and LBE's, as identical as possible. I do the same in Ghost Recon Wildlands and Breakpoint, baseball cap and blue jeans doesn't do it for me, i like my soldiers to look like soldiers, not like punks with guns.

[Updated on: Sun, 19 February 2023 21:39]




Nipson anomimata mi monan opsin

Report message to a moderator

Master Sergeant
Re: Expert difficulty getting frustrating. Advice appreciated.[message #365201 is a reply to message #365181] Fri, 24 February 2023 19:02 Go to previous message
Malaconia is currently offline Malaconia

 
Messages:10
Registered:February 2023
Thank you both for the help. Game is quite easy right now on expert, but this seems to be an inherent problem of the Jagged Alliance 2, because once you get good weapons and a proper foothold on the island things start to turn in your favor very quickly. Next time I'll probably tweak the .ini to fit my preferences better. I'd probably add damage so that the assault rifles stay relevant even at the end (though that might make the game even easier), and I'd definitely raise the garrison size (H14 Alma was defended by only four guys and there weren't more than twelve enemies in any city sector at any given time which was a major disappointment.)

My team is as follows
IMP Merc #1, lvl 8 Squadleader, (OSV-96),
IMP Merc #2, radio operator, paramedic (DSR-1),
Bud (KSVK),
Leech (KSVK),
Red (KSVK),
Reverend (AI-AWM),
Speck (Gepard M2),
Reuban (Gepard M2),
Dr. Stella (Gepard M2),
Dr. Eli (Gepard M2),
Turtle (TRG 42),
Mouse (VSSK Vychlop),
Ears, spotter (VSS Vintorez),
Ira, spotter (VSS Vintorez),
Elroy, spy, (VSS Vintorez & grenade launcher),
Postie (Knight SR-25 & grenade launcher),
Dr. Bernie (Knight SR-25),
Dr. Vince (Knight SR-25),
Wally (Knight SR-25),
Dimitri (Zastava M76),
Razor (USAS-12 and Rambo Knife),
Elio (HK21E & grenade launcher),
Grizzly (HK21E & RPG-16)
Meltdown (Galil AR & RGM castet grenade launcher),
Doc (Galil AR & grenade launcher),
Skitz (Galil AR),
IMP Merc #3, Drill Sgt. (HK MG36 RAS & Mortar),
IMP Merc #4, (Galil AR & Mortar)
Mike (G11 & Mortar)

With a ragtag group like this I don't concern myself with uniformity too much, but they tend to be a bit alike by the end, if for no other reason then just because I give everyone the best guns that the enemy drops. By now everyone except poor Wally has over 70 MRK with almost everyone (even Reuban and Ears) having + 80 MRK. I'm doing just fine, too fine infact, with over a million on the bank account and only Meduna left. All the patrols in the countryside have dried up and I stopped the last major attack (over 300 hundred in all with only Mike and a five other guys picking them off 20 and 40 at a time in the deserts). Night fighting with illumination grenades, snipers and silencers is almost too powerful a combination.

Great game though, and I'm definitely not frustrated anymore. If Jagged Alliance 3 is even half of this game then it's going to be the best thing to come out in years. Though I must admit, if the merc models don't really show the gear on them then that is an unforgivable mistake and a great blow to immersion. Yes, in that way, I do want some uniformity too. I don't want to see fur hats instead of proper helmets. There are better ways to give mercs their personality, face, body type and a voice was enough to give them that and still is, even if they all wore the same clothes and gear.

Report message to a moderator

Private
Previous Topic: New JA2 1.13 Win 10 fix using CnCDDraw
Next Topic: Town loyalty drops for no reason and disease kills faster than it can be cured
Goto Forum:
  


Current Time: Fri Apr 19 05:34:16 GMT+3 2024

Total time taken to generate the page: 0.01023 seconds