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Incline Jagged Alliance 2, Victory and Thoughts

Discussion in 'General RPG Discussion' started by Deuce Traveler, May 28, 2017.

  1. wwsd Arcane

    wwsd
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    Re: wire cutters. There is always a set in one of the houses in Omerta, in the first sector, just south of the road to the eastern sector. Along with a crowbar. Failing that, I would really be surprised if neither the merchants nor Bobby Ray's have them throughout the game. Although apparently, having googled it, apparently it's random and not guaranteed anywhere.

    Of course, that's where mercs like Ira can actually hit things and up their marksmanship.
     
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  2. Ezeekiel Arbiter

    Ezeekiel
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    Right, that was the one I always got.
    Pretty much turns fences into nothing more than a speedbump, but I guess it's better than having some big quest to obtain fucking wirecutters :D
     
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  3. Morm Novice

    Morm
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    Hi everyone.
    I will start this game soon, but I wonder which version I should play.

    I would like an experience faithfull to the original but I wouldn't spit on some QoL improvements and HD support.
    Which version do you recommend ? Vanilla, stracciatella, 1.13 or another that i'm not aware about ?
     
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  4. Serus Arcane

    Serus
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    For your first encounter with JA2 the "1.13" might be a bit overwhelming so I would recommend to leave it for second and further playthroughs. Not sure what "straciatella" is?
     
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  5. Strange Fellow Criminal Lawn Forcement Patron

    Strange Fellow
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    Stracciatella is vanilla with a resolution mod and stability/bugfixes. It's definitely the way to go for a first playthrough.
     
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  6. Serus Arcane

    Serus
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    Then yes, I agree, that's the best way to play your fist JA2. Not only 1.13 can be a bit overwhelming, it also might be... not 100% stable so to speak. And it is never a bad thing to play a game at least once in it's unmodded form. Unless the unmodded is so bad that the mods are the only reason to play but that's not the case with vanilla JA2.

    Ah, and I strongly recommend playing vanilla with "tons of guns" options on. There aren't that many guns in vanilla and without this options you will use the same guns all the time (like literally, there is only 1 sniper rifle type in vanilla without "tons of guns" enabled iirc).
     
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  7. Master Arbiter

    Master
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    Stracciatella does higher resolution but in a window, as in the game is surrounded by black bars an all sides. You dont really need it higher anyway. It also enables enemies climbing rooftops, I'm not sure if that was in vanilla. Best thing about it is the "Dead is Dead" option, really the only way to play this game. One thing it adds thats not so great is jumping through windows that afaik enemies can't use so its a bit of a cheat. But you dont have to use it.
     
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  8. octavius Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    octavius
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    There's always 1.13 Vanilla, except it's a bit buggy.
    It looks better than Stracciatella, at least, and you'll have more than enough weapons to chose from.
     
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  9. Morm Novice

    Morm
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    I don't want to bother with bugs for my first playthrough, so I will go with straciatella. Thanks !
     
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  10. Covenant Learned

    Covenant
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    Speaking of this, does anyone know exactly what that option does in 1.13? I've heard everything from that it has no effect to that it just removes guns which are mechanically identical but just have different names/sprites (certain AK variants, for example), to that it removes about half the guns including cool things like glaser or tracer ammunition.

    I'm always a bit torn about whether to pick it or not; more variety is appreciated, but I don't really care about many of the guns that are worse in all areas to their earlier-found, much more common counterparts. I'm never going to use a HEZI SM-1 when I can find Ruger mini-14s earlier, cheaper and more frequently, and they've got nearly twice the range. There are a bunch of guns - particularly in the pistol/SMG categories - that I can just never ever see myself using and that only seem to exist for the purposes of gun porn. It'd be nice to lose those without losing things that may be rarely-used but still have their own niche.
     
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  11. bataille Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    bataille
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    What's the problem with 1.13? I played JA 2 for the first time to like 90% completion last year (burnt out before assaulting the deidranna's city), and it was pretty great, even considering that I turned ironman on (and the airport retaliation off :oops:); it was demanding but to the reasonable extent. Sure, the early game is painful, with everyone using pistols and all (I think I screwed up a bit by not getting the tougher and more well-equipped mercs, but that's beside the point), but other than that? I guess I'm just not aware of what exactly the mod does and went with it on the whim, thinking that it was the best way to play possible, heh.

    As for tons of guns, I think there were 67 pages of guns to choose from at the last 'game level' or whatever. The sheer number of possibilities was very large if gradually introduced. Many of those had similar stats, though. The option has more to do with atmosphere than mechanics as far as I'm concerned. Seeing the obviously low-end guns being replaced by the military-grade ones was... encouraging.
     
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  12. Serus Arcane

    Serus
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    The biggest reason is stability. In 1.13 stability really depends on version. I remember playing 1.13 for the first time several years ago without any problems and having a blast. But then about ~2 years ago on another playthrough I've run into serious problems with bugs introduced by 1.13. With vanilla you simply don't risk anything. It would be a shame if someone was to dislike this great game because of bugs introduced by the mod. It doesn't mean that current latest is seriously bugged or unstable - but it potentially might be. I suppose you could use one of the older versions of 1.13 that are guaranteed to be stable as a precaution in which case, "an older stable version of 1.13" is a good option as well.

    And second reason, you answered already yourself:
    The point is to see the game as it was before it was mod-ed. JA2 is an excellent game even without mods but it also has - thanks 1.13 - good replay value. A first playthrough with vanilla isn't a bad idea and then if you like the game in further playthroughs you go with 1.13.

    Obviously you can play the first time with 1.13 and have a blast as well. It's not like one way is superior than the other in objective and absolute terms. There are pros and cons for both options but that's my reasoning for advising to play vanilla first to new players. Feel free to disagree.
     
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  13. Telengard Arcane

    Telengard
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    High powered scopes break the game. You can shoot people at such range that the AI can't handle it, and so the enemies just mill around instead of fighting back. Thus, maps like the hospital, which feature some of the most intense interior fighting in the game, can be rendered a walkover simply by moving three mercs into the edge of the map in a triangle, firing once to "alert" the enemy, and then plinking all the enemies from the edge of the map while they mill around unable to fight back. So, you kill them all while not only never being wounded, but without ever being even fired upon. Thus turning the game into a glorified shooting gallery.

    High damage guns/ammo break the game. JA2 as designed tries to have a more realistic implementation of combat, so there isn't a lot of hp bloat in the game. Because of that, adding in a bunch of weapons that do more damage and that you can get ahold of earlier in the game then allows you to hot-knife-through-butter even enemies that are supposed to be tough. The mod attempts to mitigate this issue by sending more tougher enemies onto the map and sending them in earlier -- which leads to the usual type of enemy "bloat" toughness seen in many another game while not really fixing the issue.

    High damage/ammo guns with attached high powered scopes thus turns the game into a cakewalk that you can solve with the pc + two high-end mercs + the aforementioned triangle formation. Never need to reload since you never even got shot at.

    Implementing the Airport Retaliation is tough (if fought plain and not immediately sending in elite militia from the neighboring territory), but implementing and surviving the retaliation breaks the weapon progression by giving you access to tons of drops. If you also have drop-all active, the combo wrecks the entire game by handing you more weapons/ammo/armor than you will ever need. Thus giving you either more money than God (if you sell it all) and so wrecking the economy, or giving you a bloated stash that means you never have to buy anything ever again, and so wrecking the economy.

    The additional HUD information the mod gives you puts a whole bunch of very useful info right at your fingertips, such as the chance of making a shot, thus meaning you rarely waste a shot. But this is a game where you, a human player, already have 60 billion advantages over the AI, so giving yourself even more info just allows you to pancake every enemy you face.

    There are more items I could list, but by this point you might be noticing a theme. Essentially, unless you already know what you need to turn down from the default of 11 by having a thorough understanding of the game, 1.13 essentially flips on Godmode. Now, a newcomer to the game might not end up activating all of the available Godmode items in their first run, so they won't likely enter Godmode Elite and complete a run without ever getting shot at, but at some point they are likely to trigger at least Godmode Light without ever even knowing they have done it. And the true fun in JA2 as designed is overcoming its challenges through strategic initiative, not giving yourself so many bloated advantages that you pancake every enemy you face as soon as you see them. (Of course, your average Codexer prefers pancaking games and having a hoard of weapons and armor so massive that they couldn't possibly use it all in one lifetime, so if that describes you too, then your mileage may vary.)
     
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  14. Krivol Liturgist

    Krivol
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    But... but 1.13 is gun porn and you can use all toys you allways wanted to use!

    But yes, sitting in a corner with good guns (esp. sniper rifles) is effective strategy for later parts 1.13. I also used to abuse "move to the enemy, turn around, end turn base , turn around, start turn base, move to enemy, turn back" feature to stealth-knife whole sectors. Still it was fun with Razor :P.
     
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  15. Ezeekiel Arbiter

    Ezeekiel
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    Haven't played in ages, has the a.i. not been improved by the 1.13 people to counter the usual stuff yet?
     
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  16. zool Cipher

    zool
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    Yes, a guy named sevenfm has been working steadily on an AI-improvement mod based on stable version 7609 (released in 2014). You can find his mod on Bear's Pit. However, he still recommends to edit 1.13 XMLs to remove vision ranges bonuses from scopes and binoculars as even with his AI improvements, the AI still has a hard time using them to its advantage.
     
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  17. Covenant Learned

    Covenant
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    Somebody posted a video of that guy demonstrating his mod a while back (here's the post). It was only a twenty minute or so battle, but in all honesty after watching it from start to finish I couldn't see any improvements in the AI being displayed. The enemies were only administrators, which may have made a difference.

    Also as far as Telengard's 1.13 criticism goes it doesn't really reflect my own experience. That said, I mostly fight at night, where vision range is obviously less of a thing. Even in the daytime though, my own long-range fire is typically inaccurate enough (and I've been hit with enough enemy mortars) that I was often quickly overwhelmed by large numbers of enemy forces, particularly ones with elites. The most exploitative case I can think of is probably in night missions where enemies have to pass through a pool of light to reach you (I'm thinking of Drassen airport and the Alma map with the two long bunkers, for example). The AI about avoiding light could definitely stand to be improved.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2018
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  18. zool Cipher

    zool
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    I thought the AI had been taught to avoid light during nighttime for years in 1.13 - isn't that the case? Haven't played JA in a few years...
     
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  19. Covenant Learned

    Covenant
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    In my own games (I forget the version number, but it's that stable 2014 build), it's spotty. I don't notice it happen too often with elites, but regular soldiers at least will semi-frequently run barely into and then out of a pool of light without actually doing anything, and they'll just repeat this behaviour over and over. You can really see this at Drassen airport where the two guard booths are. Maybe it's working as intended, but I think it could definitely be improved.

    Plus the enemy could stand to be a bit more proactive about lighting up your guys. Even though it's harrowing when an enemy breaklight lands right on top of Ira and suddenly I'm getting ripped apart by machinegun fire from all sides, I still kind of want it to happen more often.
     
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  20. zool Cipher

    zool
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    With regards to the sentinels at Drassen airport, that behavior might be due to the fact that the two of them are supposed to have fixed positions and that conflicts with the new AI telling them to get the hell out of lighted areas. Just a wild guess.
     
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  21. Covenant Learned

    Covenant
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    Possible, but I'm sure I've seen it in other areas as well with non-fixed position enemies. I'll keep an eye out next playthrough I do and try to document it a little better.

    Speaking of fixed-positions, I thought of another AI-related thing that I can't decide whether I think it's annoying or clever - those enemies that are pre-programmed to wait in a certain position until you walk into their LOS and they get a chance to pop you. The bottom floor of Tixa (not the caverns) has a couple of examples of this I believe. On the one hand it's effective and engenders caution in the player, but it feels like a real 'fuck you'. It's not a fun way to lose a merc.
     
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  22. Average Manatee Prestigious Gentleman Arcane

    Average Manatee
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    Does 1.13 have a "stable" branch or something of the sort? I've never played it without something going wrong or weird and all you can find is bleeding-edge updates compiled right from the latest source update.
     
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  23. Strange Fellow Criminal Lawn Forcement Patron

    Strange Fellow
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    Sort of. It has "unstable" and "more unstable."
     
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  24. PorkyThePaladin Arcane

    PorkyThePaladin
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    Is this broken now? Installed Gog version, tried to launch, crashed with error message: "number of tilesets in code does not match data file".
     
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  25. Maggot Magister Patron

    Maggot
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    Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire
    Just use Stracciatella https://ja2-stracciatella.github.io/download/
     
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