View Full Version : Single Saber vs. Dual Sabers or Saber Staff

10-02-2003, 04:06 PM
This topic has grown so huge I felt it better to start fresh - and skip past all the bickering.

To begin, I'd like to use the same quote that Kurgan put on his JK2/A strategy site: "You must UNLEARN what you have LEARNED." - Yoda

Jedi Academy is not Jedi Outcast, which by the same token is not Dark Forces II - Jedi Knight. Each game is rather different from its predecessor, and the changes have been made in an attempt to improve gameplay and all-around fairness. Therefore - if you feel that you are having a hard time adjusting to Jedi Academy, I recommend spending some time using each of the different saber styles offline to get a better feel for how each work, and discover some new techniques to help you play better with your preferred style. Practice makes all the difference in multi-player.

The complaint I see over and over again is that the single light-saber is not as powerful as it used to be in Jedi Outcast. This is true - but there is a reason for it - in Jedi Outcast everyone was limited to the single light-saber (unless playing in a mod or using a cheat) - and therefore everyone had the opportunity of using the same techniques.

Personally I stopped playing Jedi Outcast multiplayer until the 1.04 patch, because I kept seeing players using the force-pull/rotate/backstab attack to get instant kills over and over again - which was allowed by two gameplay bugs (force pull was unblockeable by someone who had at least as many force pull points as your force push points, and you could rotate while performing the backstab attack), and I was very happy to see them go. The fix in this patch was necessary because the rest of the gameplay was ruined. There was no point in using any other style of combat because you were guaranteed to lose against someone using this technique. It came down to a contest to see who could successfully do it first, or who could successfully avoid the attack and then retaliate in the same way.

It seems to me that those who are upset that the single lightsaber is not as powerful as it was in Jedi Outcast are probably the same people who were taking advantage of the bug in Jedi Outcast to ensure their victory. I understand a comment like that is sure to upset many people, but please read on so I can explain myself better. Yes - this is a game - and one of the main points of any game is to win, by any means necessary short of cheating. Before the 1.04 patch was released, it was not cheating to use the force-pull/rotate/backstab technique, because that was how the game was designed, and it was also a technique that could be used by anyone. For me it made the game not worth playing, because it wasn't fun anymore to do the same thing over and over and over and over...

These games are meant to be fun for everyone. To ensure that Jedi Academy remains fun for everyone, the Raven team spent a lot of time working out a fair balance system for the three styles of saber combat. I'll try to break it down to a system of strengths and weaknesses so people can see what I'm talking about. Please bear in mind this is based on the limited amount of gameplay I've spent - and this is also based on fighting in the single-player missions over and over again at the same points, each time using different saber styles - either against one or two saber-wielding bots, and against bots wielding one or two sabers. or the saberstaff.

Excellent weapon for striking an opponent several times in a quick burst. This requires you to aim at your opponent, and also requires a wind-up which can leave you open. You also have the option for multiple kicks which can be aimed in different directions, or can be split to strike two or more opponents simultaneously. Kicks are excellent for knocking down opponents without using the force. Again, these require practice to aim properly. Attack Kata is also excellent, but can be rather easily dodged if not timed properly. Lastly you have the option of switching to single-saber medium stance at any time.

Weaknesses include a smaller amount of damage per strike, greater difficulty with deflecting blaster shots, and difficulty controlling where the multiple strikes will land as the weapon is spun about. You also cannot choose any saber stance other than medium, even when switching to single-saber mode. You also cannot throw the saber staff until you have switched to single-saber mode.

Dual Sabers
Two sabers mean two simultaneous strikes, meaning more damage. You also may throw one saber and continue fighting with the other, making it unlikely that you will ever be without a saber, even if one manages to get stuck somewhere on the map. Saber defense is very effective at seriously injuring or killing an opponent who is not fast or smart enough to get out of the way.

Weaknesses include a smaller amount of damage per strike, requiring you to aim carefully while attacking to ensure that each saber connects with your opponent. You cannot choose any saber stance other than medium, and when switching to single-saber mode you cannot throw your saber, making it almost pointless to use the single-saber mode. Saber defense forces you to remain stationary until it finishes, making you an easy target for anyone using projectile weapons or throwing their saber from above you.

Single Saber
You may choose fast, medium or strong stances for combat, depending on the circumstances of play. Fast is recommended for attackers using projectile weapons, medium is recommended for all-around play and defending against saber-wielding opponents, and strong is recommended for taking on one saber-wielding opponent. Attack kata can be controlled in a greater degree than when wielding the saber staff, and does a large amount of damage. When taking on multiple opponents you are likely to finish one opponent off faster, rather than being forced to divvy up weaker attacks among each of the attacker. For example: If you are taking on two opponents, with the single saber you will have a better chance of taking one attacker out quickly, being left facing only one attacker. It is always easier to kill one opponent than multiple opponents.

Weaknesses - you must choose a stance appropriate to the combat situation you are facing - which can be difficult in free-for-all or team situations. I tend to recommend remaining in medium mode most of the time. You only get one strike at a time, therefore you must make sure you aim it correctly - if you miss the strike is wasted. If you throw your saber, you are practically defenseless until it returns to you. Lastly - you may feel intimidated fighting an opponent with dual sabers or the saberstaff - which is a sure way to lose.

To sum it all up:

1) Calling people lame for using dual sabers or the saber-staff is unfair, because it does require some finesse and practice to be good with either style. The reason why many people are choosing to use these styles is because they are different - especially for people who have been playing Jedi Outcast for a long time. The differences with these weapons also make the adjustment from Outcast to Academy easier - there is nothing to "unlearn" because you are starting from scratch. This is why it seems like players using the dual sabers or saberstaff have an unfair advantage - they simply are adapting to the new game faster than those who have continued using single sabers, and are now attempting to use them the same way they did in Outcast.

2) If you wish to continue using single sabers, you don't need to ask Raven to patch the game and make them more powerfull. You just need to practice offline as much as possible, and get as accurate as you can with your saber. If you feel intimidated by someone wielding the dual sabers or saberstaff, take on a computer opponent for a while. We Americans have a common flaw in assuming that more equals better. There are many situations where that assumption is false, especially in Jedi Academy. And if you lose your saber, don't forget about your Force powers - they'll help you out of many pinches until your saber is retrieved. Practice - strategize - and remain calm and collected as much as you can as you play, and you'll start noticing the single saber is very effective. If you don't believe me, start looking at all the posts from others who have found this to be true here in LucasForums.