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Jade Kan DeLarb
02-17-2005, 11:01 AM
Please help - I'm new.

I apolgise if this subjectr has been well covered in the past, but I can't see it elsewhere.

I can't seem to connect to server propely when choosing MP for JKA.

There is only one I can on, in Germany , called D$F or something.


All the others say "Waiting for connection" or something and nothing happens, the count up reaching hundreds quite happily. What am I doing wrong?

Secondly, I am totally getting my ass kicked on D$F, even though I am fairly good at practicing on BOTS, (eventually at Jedi MAster levels) - putting in some practice on the JKA demo for months before gettign the full game. Don't get wrong, n some of the players on D$F are pleasant enough people. (one tried to teach me a few moves). But have they got hold of cheats to give them more life or soemthing?

I did manage to beat one of them a coupe of times; but one guy was an absolute unbeatable demon. A real Jedi Hardass.

Grateful for any replies?

JKD

razorace
02-17-2005, 12:46 PM
What sort of ping are you getting from the servers?

Jade Kan DeLarb
02-18-2005, 04:55 AM
since my post, someone kindly talked me thru joining via GAMESPY, and I am now quite happily getting absolutely whipped by experienced gamers.

However - the servers that coem up on my IN GAME Join A GAme menu are all.. well, I think they're German - the pings range from 170 ish to 400 ish ?

And most of them just won't let me on.

Secondly; could you tell me - these more experienced player s- they seem to be able to take loads and loads of hits without dying, while I get put down in a couple of strokes.

I suspect that it is that STRONG saber JUMP/down slash that's doing al the damamge to me; but are gamers generally pretty fair - or do some have Cheat Mods?

Hope I don't sound like a bad loser.

P.

Kurgan
02-19-2005, 06:21 AM
Originally posted by Jade Kan DeLarb
since my post, someone kindly talked me thru joining via GAMESPY, and I am now quite happily getting absolutely whipped by experienced gamers.

However - the servers that coem up on my IN GAME Join A GAme menu are all.. well, I think they're German - the pings range from 170 ish to 400 ish ?

And most of them just won't let me on.

Secondly; could you tell me - these more experienced player s- they seem to be able to take loads and loads of hits without dying, while I get put down in a couple of strokes.

I suspect that it is that STRONG saber JUMP/down slash that's doing al the damamge to me; but are gamers generally pretty fair - or do some have Cheat Mods?

Hope I don't sound like a bad loser.

P.

Don't worry if you get beat, that's part of all games. Somebody has to lose, or else we'd always be getting draws and it wouldn't be any fun. Don't expect to master a game like this in such a short time. You'll need to play it for at least a month I'd say, and maybe longer to master everything (and I mean everything, not just the basic saber and neutral force powers that dueling usually entails).

First off, be sure you're using the official 1.01 patch, that will show you the most servers. You can also use programs like ASE (All Seeing Eye) and Qtracker to display lots of servers out of game and have a nice interface.

Make sure you're not filtering out "Full" or "Empty" games and it's set to "Internet." Filters hide certain games based on your preferences. Hit get new list and refresh and wait patiently until all are displayed. Keep in mind too that very high pings (like 600 or so IIRC) are not shown by default in the in-game browser.

Click on a server in your server browser and view the server settings (options). If you see the words "JA+" you know that they are running a mod that changes lots of gameplay. Be wary of this, because your skills you learned in the real game may not even apply here. This mod changes the moves, the damages, the animations, etc. so you basically have to re-learn the game and it is widely regarded as being very unbalanced.

Anyhow, as to playing the Demo (which is SP only), I'm sorry but any time you spent playing that will have zero effect on your MP skills. SP & MP are totally different animals. Likewise the default Bots that came with the game, while useful for practice are woefully inept compared to human players.

If you want more challenging bots there are some mods you can try at home for practice. DDS-Rerouted, DDS-IBots feature bots that are able to navigate the maps better (default bots get stuck in places and run into walls often) and give you bots that have better aim and aggressiveness.

OJP Basic mod is really coming along, and features "TAB Bots" which are even smarter and more powerful than the others. These bots can even play Siege mode, and you'll be surprised at how smart they can be. Alas, they still aren't quite as versatile as humans (and bots can only be so smart), so it's still best to face real human opponents in battle.


As for the pings, I would suggest joining servers located close geographically to you. Playing people overseas may be cool, but bear in mind that there's extra lag involved because of the long distances.

Anyhow, as to people "not dying" when you hit them, there's several possibilities:


1) Lag. With lag it may appear you hit somebody, but in reality you didn't. You are only hitting their "lag ghost." So you have to "lead" or hit "ahead" of their body to actually hit them. Typically you'll know if you really hit somebody because you'll see the shield flash and hear a pain sound (yell). If you just see sparks don't assume you nailed them unless they fall over dead.

Low framerate is another factor, which I won't go into in too much detail here. But suffice to say if your video card or processor is having trouble handling JA or if you have a lot of other programs running, the game may "hiccup" or "choke" and this may make the location of players be thrown off, similar to online lag.

As far as lag goes, I generally try to avoid playing a Quake3 engine game like JK2/JA when my ping is over 250. That's basically the breaking point for me, though some have learned to play with higher pings. At that point you're doing a lot more leading and if you're not used to the timing you can get really thrown off. Try to play on servers with the same general range of pings and you'll get used to that.

2) SaberDamageScale cvar adjustment. Most servers use saberdamagescale 1 (though many are upgrading to 2, or even 3). This default setting was "optimized" for dueling, and was a concession to the Dueling purists back in Jedi Outcast. With this setting (1) the sabers only do 1/2 the damage that you'd expect them to, and thus you have to hit a person 2x as often to kill them with a saber. With SaberDamageScale 2 (the original damage intended by Raven Software and used in the original version of Jedi Outcast Multiplayer) you can use the Saber alongside other weapons and have a reasonable chance of successfully killing someone, duels are shorter (theoretically, since you can take far fewer hits before dying), and it's generally more realistic. But you have to make your hits count.

There is also another lesser known setting called "SaberSPSTyleDamage" which makes it so an idle saber (not swinging, just touching) does damage to the enemy when you touch them. However this does only 1 hp damage per 1/5 second (so if they held their saber on you for 1 full second you'd only lose 5 health). This setting is NOT affected by SaberDamageScale and it has no effect on wall damage (in Siege) either (there's a seperate cvar for that called SaberWallDamageScale).


3) Locational Damage. The Vast majority of servers use the default Locational Damage (JA added this, Jedi Outcast didn't have it). Hitting somebody's "limbs" does the least amount of damage. Hitting the body (torso) does more damage. The most amount of damage (often an instant kill) is done to the head region. So if you're scratching their arms or legs, it's going to take more hits than if you nailed their head with a swing/throw.

4) Shields/Healing. In this game you can pickup up to 100 shields. A player normally starts with 100 health, and 25 shields. With full shields however, it's as if the player has 200 health. It makes a big difference. Likewise a person can grab more shields, and more health. Even if it's a duel where he can't pickup more shields or use bacta or have somebody heal him, he can still heal himself with Drain or Heal. Listen for the appropriate sound effects to see if he's healing. Note of course that laying on powerful hits will overwhelm his powers. Also, he doesn't have infinite mana, so he will eventually be unable to heal and die when you nail him hard. Sadly, a lot of servers change the ForceRegenTime (how fast your force mana recharges) from the skillful default of 200 to 0, basically meaning a person gets their mana back in 5 seconds, letting them spam the heal/drain functions and essentially have infinite health. In this case you HAVE to land a fatal blow to take them out.

Bear in mind also that in Siege Mode, different classes have different health/armor ratings. Some classes have like 200 health and can have up to 100 shields, whereas others are limited to a puny 50 hp and no shields. So some will seem easier to kill than others. Of course it's more complicated than that, but you get the idea. It's not a given that 1 saber hit should always kill a player.

5) Protection/Rage. These two powers allow a player to survive normally fatal hits. Protection is a "force shield" that can absorb up to 87.5% physical damage, with only a 25% force mana reduction (for up to 400 damage). So a Protection user with full shields will take a much longer time to kill than a "normal" player. Likewise a Rage user is actually unable to die. The power reduces his health rapidly, but until he reaches 1 health (or shuts it off himself) he can't die. Hitting him will decrease his health, but he'll be able to survive a normally fatal blow. Hit him after the power wears off when he's slow and weakened.

6) Newly Spawned Player. There is such a thing as "spawning invulnerability" in this game, to prevent "spawn camping" abuse (that is, waiting for a person to respawn ready to strike them the instant they appear in game and haven't gotten their bearings yet). When a player first spawns in a normal game, they have a big green bubble around them. During this time they are protected. The bubble doesn't last too long (unless the person is lagging) but even after that is gone, realize that the person spawns with "extra health" (125 health) which counts down slowly until they are the default 100. So once a player spawns, wait about 25 seconds and they will be easier to kill in theory. Of course this doesn't apply to Duel gametype.

7) Mods. This is the BIG ONE. Don't refer to them as "cheat mods." The game will tell you when you join if cheats are on (if in doubt, go into the console and type \god.... if it says "godmode on" then you know cheats are enabled). If the server is using JA+ Mod of course all bets are off. They can adjust how the force powers work, how the damage works and even make themselves invincible (green bubbles up all the time, even while they are fighting). Basically any assurance of a skillful game are destroyed by mods like this, sorry to say.

However the LAST THING you want to do when you are having difficulty killing somebody in a game, is to accuse them of cheating. This basically pegs you as a "sore loser" and whiner. So don't do it unless you have absolute proof or the person outright admits it. Simply seeming to be "unbeatable" does not automatically mean the person is cheating. "Hacking" in this game is extremely rare. Generally people mistake one of the above items for cheating, or simply whine when a more skilled player beats them. This game has been out for nearly 1 1/2 years, enough time for some folks to get extremely good at it.

Likewise many mods are used (especially JA+) that are somewhat "transparent" (they run server side so you don't have to download anything to join a server with it) but cause strange things to happen and throw off balance, making some players literally invincible. There's nothing you can do about it of course, except to find another server. If you complain to these admins they will most likely amslap/sleep/slay you and laugh (an abusive command built into some mods, but NOT in the base game of course, where only kick & ban are used).

It may seem like "cheating" (it's not really cheating if everyone has it), because some of these mods let the admin (or his friends) use special powers that nobody else can. However unless you know about the mod being used I wouldn't be too quick to accuse them of cheating. Still, the JA+ Mod admins and subadmins have a huge advantage over the other players, and there is nothing you can do about it except whine and/or leave. Sadly many of these admins are drunk with power and will actually enjoy it when you get upset. Just fair warning...

As a last resort you can ask "Admin, are you using any mods on this server?" and hopefully you'll get an answer. If the answer is no, then see the above possibilities (and you can test yourself if cheats are really on).

In the end, I would not accuse people of cheating until you've played the MP game for awhile and gotten to know the ropes.

Visit my strategy page (in my sig below) for particulars on the game. Inform yourself and you won't run into the embarrassment of looking like a whiner because you mistook part of the game for "cheating."

Good luck!

Jade Kan DeLarb
02-20-2005, 01:31 AM
Fist off, I was absolutely thrilled to read your fascinating and comprehensive reply. Maybe there should be a set of posts like this on online permanently for beginners?

I'm very grateful to you also for pointing out to me how mods work, and how you can tell if mods are beign used by others to give them an unfair advantage. When I used the term "Cheat Mods" I wasn't assuming that all Mods are their to enable cheating; I meant specifically Mods which woudl give some players an unfair advantage. However, in the context of what you have told me, i now see how ignorant that sounded! So, no, I won't be using that phrase again.

I did make one faux pas when talkign to another new player, and said out loud "be careful of the experienced players - some jhave MODS" which caused a succession of "LOL"'s to appear in the text window. I had totally forgotten that everybody could read what I typed - 'cos I was in a seperate room with the other new player!!!! Hah! Now THAT's getting gaming and reality mixed up.

Thanks so much again. am downloading 1.01 now.