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Jagged Alliance Jagged Alliance 2, Temple of Elemental Evil & Silent Storm Retrospectives

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Lilura, Apr 12, 2017.

?

Which game has the best tactics?

  1. Jagged Alliance 2

  2. Silent Storm

  3. Temple of Elemental Evil

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    Think it's just the frogs at the start of the moathouse that can cause problems. I don't recall anything critical being as difficult to deal with.
     
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  2. The Avatar Pseudodragon Studios Developer

    The Avatar
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    Its the classic 1st level D&D difficulty. That one time in the beginning of the game when your Wizard has six hit points and has a good chance of getting one-shot. A lucky critical can one-shot anyone in your party.
     
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  3. garren Arcane Patron

    garren
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    The moathouse final battle was probably the hardest part of the game for me, though I played with the co8 mod so maybe that had something to do with it.
     
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  4. Lord_Potato Arcane

    Lord_Potato
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    Well, it's a surprise for me because Moathouse boss was one of the easy ones. I lured him and his goons into the narrow corridor and there my spellcasters made a short work of his gang. Lareth the Beautiful endured like one full turn of attacks from my 3 frontline fighters and then he started whining like a bitch he was. Unfortunately, I was not in a mood to be merciful.

    And it's not like there are no difficult encounters. The king frog, the guardians of the elemental planes, the goddess of the fungi - they all present a challenge. I was actually dissapointed, how easy this Lareth guy proved to be.
     
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  5. Roguey Codex Staff Sawyerite

    Roguey
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    Yeah, one of the later patches beefed up the AI there. It's pretty easy as Troika delivered (and the way Lilura insists it must be played :P).
     
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  6. Ol' Willy Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Zionist Agent

    Ol' Willy
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    Well, I want to replay Silent Storm and I'm really not good at this game. Gotta change that sooner or later, eh? So I want some good info on the game and while there is some on the internet, but why agree for less when there is "King Content Blog" with all its precious authoritative expertise?

    Sadly, there's only two articles on SS at Lilura's blog, and no build/leveling up one. One is retrospective, which I don't need (I know that SS is flawed, but still awesome game), and second one is ambitiously called "Best Weapons".

    Despite being called "Best Weapons" article doesn't list actual best weapons. For example, SVT-40 is definitely the best rifle in the game, combining mag size, range, damage and AP cost. Curiously, there are both scoped and regular versions of SVT-40, but Lilura list has only scoped one.

    Another one is AVS-36. Despite article saying "The only burst-capable rifle is the FG 42", it's not true, AVS-36 is capable of two round bursts and is very useful rifle considering its other stats.

    Considering SMGs, the best one is obviously STG-44, because of its being assault rifle and not an SMGs.

    MG list lacks MG-42, one of the best MGs in the game.

    Rocket launchers in SS are trash and I guess it deserves to be noted.
     
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  7. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    Do not think of them as weapons, think of them as interior redecoration devices.
    They do get better in the hands of an engineer.
     
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  8. Ol' Willy Dumbfuck! Dumbfuck Zionist Agent

    Ol' Willy
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    I find it more appealing to destroy environments with machine guns. And there's grenades as well.

    I remember encountering PK for the first time, getting owned, and restarting the mission with some rocket launchers. And I remember how disappointed I was with this shit. AT grenades did the job, though.
     
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  9. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

    Self-Ejected
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    The context, as I interpreted it, was not so much about "combat encounter design difficulty" as it was about "how easy ToEE is to pick up (and play)".

    In that context, I think ToEE is not as easy to pick up and play as JA2 and SS (which were the games mentioned in the original comparison).

    I didn't have ToEE's CED at the forefront of my mind (though it was factored in), but mainly its systems, ruleset and chargen; even its UI.

    As veterans of RPGs leading up to ToEE, we of course don't find it difficult to get into (or beat). Maybe just a bit quirky and imbalanced at times.

    Don't get me wrong, I don't think RPGs should be newbie-friendly or easy to pick up and play.
     
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  10. Strange Fellow Peculiar Patron Sad Loser

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    Even for that purpose they suck. They require a ton of AP to fire and reload, and what you'd think would be their main advantage over grenades, range, is rendered moot by their godawful accuracy. Their explosive power is also weak compared to anything but the shittiest nades. Ol' Willy is right.
     
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  11. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    That can be negated by engineer's fast reload perk. Not much, but it's there. I'll take your word for it though, seeing as I relied on knifing people more than anything else.
     
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  12. Lilura RPG Codex Dragon Lady

    Self-Ejected
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    Moreover, low initiative builds/parties (which are conceivable), may lose initiative badly and be TPK'd during opening hostile vignette, especially if player doesn't min-max. Could be a slap in the face to spend one hour in chargen only to get the game-over FMV before you even had a chance to do literally anything, in-game.
     
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  13. KeighnMcDeath RPG Codex Boomer

    KeighnMcDeath
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    Hmmmm.....



    You'd have to buy a physical copy, pirate or buy from Oldgames.com

    I really think I prefer the look to the JA series over SS. I should just pick up the gold edition of ss on gog and give it a whirl.
     
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  14. ERYFKRAD Barbarian Patron

    ERYFKRAD
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    Strap Yourselves In Serpent in the Staglands Shadorwun: Hong Kong Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire Pathfinder: Kingmaker
    What? Getting H&S working in win 10 ain't that hard.
     
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  15. KeighnMcDeath RPG Codex Boomer

    KeighnMcDeath
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    Someone told me that about Dungeon Siege as well but... my gog version is fucked.
     
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  16. The Red Knight Erudite

    The Red Knight
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    How to hex-edit save files in JA2 1.13 (since there's hardly any information to be found on it online), with focus on fixing bugged attributes in a save file if you don't want to go back to an earlier save, accept the new values or ditch the affected merc, and with an assumption that you don't have much experience in hex-editing:

    1. Google for a free hex editor if you don't have one (I used HxD). You should also grab some convenient hexadecimal-decimal converter, or use an online one, and convert to hex all the in-game attribute values of the merc you're focusing on.

    2. The save folder should be in \Profiles\UserProfile_MODVERSION\SavedGames (SaveGameXX are the nameable saves).

    3. Open with the hex editor the save you want to modify; you can find sections on each merc by searching for a "text-string" that is their name or nickname.

    4. Somewhere between their name and the next merc's name, there are 1-byte (two digits, e.g. 00 or FF) hex values of both the purely-cosmetic +X increase that you see in Personnel Manager laptop tab, and the actual attribute/stat values (at least in my version the stats appear to be roughly spread in the proximity of a chain of ten FF values, but supposedly the save structure keeps changing with different mod versions, at least according to the numerous answers as to why there are no updated save editors around); there's also stuff like xp values for attributes, but good luck knowing the exact numbers (for a rough estimate, they won't be higher than the levelup thresholds set in mod's config .ini file).

    5. You can copy-paste the whole segments of either two different mercs from the same save file, or the same merc from two different save files, into a text compare program to highlight changing values to make finding stuff easier (in my very brief search for hex editors, I haven't found any with a satisfying comparison feature).

    6. Updating the +X increase is merely changing that particular hex value, but modifying the stats results in a save that won't load, which reportedly is because of the game using an anti-cheat checksum somewhere in there. The checksum is 4-byte long and can also be found in merc's segment (I found mine roughly in the middle of it).

    7-a. If you can figure out how to update the checksum, likely basing it on the code of this save editor for the vanilla game, then you should be able to do whatever you want with the stats.

    7-b. Otherwise, you want a different save where the merc in question has the stat values you want (preferably you already used it for the difference comparison above). Find all the differences in stat values in the second save, fish out the checksum, then copy-paste them onto the stat and checksum values in the bugged save file. If you don't have such a save, I suppose you might try starting a new game and recreating merc as an IMP, or temporarily modifying non-IMP merc's starting stats in relevant mod files, saving, and extracting the hex values from that save.

    8. Save the changes to the save, launch JA2, attempt to load that save.

    9. If you did everything correctly, the game will let you load the modified save; you won't see any changes to stats (except for the increase modifier thing in the laptop), but that's just the stat display not getting updated and it'll fix itself on the next levelup (separately for each of the changed stats); the values for the display don't appear to be in the same area as the merc segments (the issue also occured when I copy-pasted the whole thing).

    10. If you want to make sure it worked, you can lower the xp thresholds for the changed skills in mod's settings (e.g. if one-third of the progress bar for a skill is filled, lower the subpoints_to_improve for it to below one-third of the value that's in the settings), load the save, go to tactical view, and after a short while you will get stat increases that will update the display values. Restore the threshold values, reload the save, the end.



    An example output of text comparison (using diffchecker.com):
    [​IMG]
    Red is from a bugged save, green is from an older save with correct attribute values. Additional yellow CTRL+F search for one of the bugged attributes (63, which we want to change back to 2E). 61 vs 5C a bit above it and to the right is another bugged stat. Further to the right, 3D vs 08 is the +X increase modifier for the first bugged attribute. The checksum is at the bottom.

    I haven't checked if the inventory is stored there too (the merc happened to have the same loadout in both saves), but in case it is and makes finding stat changes harder, you could temporarily drop everything the merc is carrying in both saves and re-save them. I also am not up to date with the recent 1.13 builds (or whether someone finally smuggled in an updated save editor in there or removed the checksum from the save structure) but it should nonetheless be applicable to any of the older and/or "stable" builds that are not compatible with the old save editors.

    Feel free to take it further.
     
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