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KnightofCorelia
03-27-2002, 05:07 AM
My JK2 Initial Multiplayer Impressions **Possible Spoilers**:

Let me start off by saying that the below impressions are merely opinion, and they can very well differ from your own once you have had time to play the game. They are the opinion of a once very much hardcore player of Jedi Knight/MOTS multiplayer. JK1/MOTS was and still is my most favorite multiplayer FPS game to date. I am writing this personal initial impressions/review of the multiplayer half of the game mainly because i have not seen a very thorough review or posting praising/criticizing/debating the elegence/shortcomings of JK2 multiplayer. I am curious as to how other hardcore JK1/MOTS players feel about the new multiplayer, its changes and departures from its predecessor, good and bad, that in the end, at least to me, make the gameplay less compelling than the original. This reviewer has
mixed feelings, bordering on the negative, but maybe its only first impressions. Perhaps in time the genius of the multiplayer design will all of sudden become clear to me. Perhaps I was too excited about this game, and my expectations were just too high. I expected the feeling of JK1, but in the end discovered that the ability of the jedi has been reduced (perhaps for balancing issues), but nevertheless it just doesn't have the feel of JK1.


The Biggest Issue. The Loss of Combo Force/Weapon Attacks:
One of the greatest things about JK1 multiplayer was the sheer beauty of being able to perform multiple attacks at once. Force gripping an opponent while force jumping in the air, then firing your concussion rifle while simultaneously throwing a ball of force destruction down upon your foe... or in counter, force pulling and stealing your opponents weapon, while force absorbing his grip and destruction blast, then blinding him and giving him a taste of his own concussion rifle. Being able to do combo attacks, or a mixture of simulatenous weapons fire and force attacks was one the core game designs behind JK1 multiplayer. It was what seperated the true Jedi players from the beginners. It might have taken forever to find that optimal keyboard set up with that optimal set of hotkeys for each of your force powers, and mastering being able to press all those hotkeys simultaneously, but once you did, it was absolutely incredible. But this key ingredient of JK1 multiplayer is gone. In the design of JK2 multiplayer a player can only use a single force attack or a weapon at a time. Not both! If you use force lightning you cannot fire your weapon, nor can you call upon any other force attacks such as drain or grip. As a matter of fact if you are in FPS mode your gun is lowered while you are using drain/grip/lightning. Gone is the combo attack where you would grip an opponent and run up to him and slash him with your saber. When you grip an opponent now, you are unable to even swing your saber, much less blast him with a thermal grenade.
Why was this done? Was it for game balancing issues? When the game designers played JK1 online during the research phase, did they feel that the very good jedi players were just too powerful because of this? In my opinion the removal of this key concept lowers the dynamics of the gameplay. Perhaps this will go unnoticed to beginners who are using the "next force power" button to toggle between keys and then pressing the force use button to attack, but to those who played JK1 even fairly well, this limitation does not go unnoticed. Its like making a Street Fighter 2 clone, and after having played the original, the designers understood the basic concepts of 2 players hitting each other, and having special attacks, but they did not play the game enough to understand that what made Street Fighter 2 fun was the ability to make multiple hits connect, forming combos. The difference between a beginner and a master was that the beginner knew how to do each attack seperately, while a master was able to take these attacks and perform a combinations of hits that not only looked elegant when performed correctly, but also distinguished him as a person of skill. Jedi Knight 1 multiplayer was not simply a First Person Shooter with force powers thrown in. The beauty of Jedi Knight 1 was the ability to use force powers to enhance or replace enhance the normal gunplay mode common in most shooters. The most fun thing about JK1 was to learn how to control and simulateneously manage all your force powers and weapons, figuring out the greatest combinations of attacks that could be performed without buffer overflowing your keyboard and making your computer go BEEP. In the end the best Jedi's of the orginal JK will never be able to achieve the level of skill that they could in the past. Pros from the original JK will in many ways be limited by the
gameplay, for they can react quicker and faster than what the game design allows.


The integration of Force Targetting and Weapons Targeting:
Because offensive force powers and weapons can essentially only be used one at a time, the game now has only a single shared targetting reticle for both force powers and weapons. This is yet another simplification of the gameplay found in the original JK, where there was a seperate weapons targetting reticle and a force powers "lockon" targetting reticle. Offensive force powers aside, think back at something as simple as targetting an opponent with force pull, force pulling that players gun while simulultaneously firing your weapon. (Of course we already know from the above that this is impossible, and the player has to wait until he force pulls, before he can fire his weapon). This integration/simplification of targetting ties in with the former issue, but it also makes it very difficult to determine whether you are actually targetting your opponent for a force attack or not. I have found this especially the case with force grip. Finally, force attacks auto target within a certain radius, choosing the nearest opponent, while guns do not. This alone
should be reason enough to have 2 seperate targetting reticles for these 2 seperate elements of the game. Force powers and weapons should be seperate elements to control, not shared and intergrated into a single arsenal.


Force Pull:
Force pull used to affect stationary weapons and items in the level. Pulling a weapon or health pack towards you was a simple but useful feature that i sorely miss. Now i actually have to run all the way to the weapons location to pick it up. Also confusing is there are times when i will force pull an opponent and other times when i will force pull his weapon. Perhaps I havent played this game enough but how do you (can you) distinguish whether you wish to pull the enemy towards you or simply disarm him? If there is a way then I apologize for my ignorance, there are still things to experiment with.


Force Speed:
Force speed will now consume as much as 50% of your force mana. 50%!!! Why does a neutral force power have such a huge penalty? The neutral force powers of JK1 were meant to enhance
the players basic movements and functions and thus consumed only a minimum amount of mana, while light/dark side specific attacks/defenses consumed the most. With force speed consuming so much mana the only real good this force power serves is for running away (whether in FFA or in CTF). I cannot understand the rational behind this.


Force Jump:
There are some really cool things about force jump. The ability to double jump, flip off walls, etc. But I do wish it were a seperate button from that of regular jump. Force jump also can consume a good deal of mana especially if you perform the max jump. I also miss that i can no longer just tap the force jump hotkey to hop from point to point. I used to practice this forever back in the day, and master quickly and elegantly jumping from one point to the next to quickly reach places that normally took forever to get too. I also miss the speed of force jump. The new force jump is much slower, (tho there is greater air control because of this), but it almost just feels like low gravity, than really a jedi enhanced jump. But those are just opinions. Maybe i just miss JK1 too much.


Force Absorb vs Force Drain:
I havent looked into this with too much detail, but it would appear that even with force absorb on, force drain will still drain force mana from the player. Though force drain does not inflict physical damage on the player, it would seem like force drain would be the ultimate counter against force absorb, which you know turn on and it remains on while slowly draining away force mana, and turning off only when the user turns it off or force
mana is completely drained. Because force absorb already drains force mana, inflicting force drain further speeds up the rate of depletion. Though I have not played enough to see how damaging this might be, it seems more logical to me if force absorb protected a light side player from force drain.


Sabers:
I have read mixed reviews about the lightsaber on this board. I have yet to play with the saber in extreme detail but the concept of having multiple saber modes alone is very impressive. Though some have already mentioned that the saber feels very much like hit and run hack and slash, I have to play with just sabers more before I can form an opinion on it. If anything it is indeed hard to hit an opponent with just a wild slash. I hope that indeed there is a secret behind mastering the saber and once you do you will become a formidable player.


Player Control:
The new roll, wall flips, are all very cool additions to the gameplay. Perhaps these control enhancements along with sabers no force is where the game will be at (at least for me).


These are my initial thoughts on JK2 multiplayer. I have the utmost respect for Raven for taking up this huge task of bringing a sequal to the beloved JK1. If anyone from the JK2 team reads any of this (which i doubt) please do not take offense. I'm not a game designer. You guys are. But as a once hardcore JK1 multiplayer fan, I just had to voice my initial opinions. For other players who have been playing multiplayer, what do you think? I'm especially curious about what old Jedi Knight 1/Mysteries of Sith players think. I'm extremely curious as to what designers of the original JK1 think. But the probability of hearing from them is probably really slim now isn't it :).

Thanks, and happy Gaming.

oldi1knoby
03-27-2002, 05:25 AM
I don't have the game yet so bare with me. Is using a force power almost like using a different weapon? Does it take time inbetween to switch from Sabre to Grip and back? If I force grip someone I can't slash them with my Sabre? WTF is the point of Force grip then? Thats the whole point of it!!

I agree totally that combos is what made JK1 Stand apart from the other FPS, and I hope the total lack of combos you say is untrue.....


Nice Review, I was hoping someone would do a MP review!

/bow

:elephant: :elephant: :elephant: :elephant: :elephant: :elephant: :elephant: :elephant: :elephant:

YubYub
03-27-2002, 05:58 AM
You can only use 1 force power at a time.... so essentially yes it is like using a siongle weapon and then changing between them

TigZy
03-27-2002, 06:52 AM
In regards to the force powers:

I personally think the new way is better, and more in-character with the jedi/sith types presented in the movies. It obviously takes a great deal of concentration to do these things (with the force mindset and all), and I think it kind of adds to the longetivity of matches if people can't run about and go overkill on force powers and blast everything in sight.

*proceeds to read rest of review*

jamescha
03-28-2002, 06:03 AM
very nice thesis you have there. too bad it didn't live up to your standards.

SaberPro
03-28-2002, 06:15 AM
One thing i noticed in the game....

When you open the door there are like 4 stormies waiting...if you aim at them and shoot them while moving...sometimes they won't die BUT I KNOW I hit them...even when we are 2 inches away...

*multi shots didn't kill the stormy*
*STOP*
*Crouch*
*Aim at the head*
*1 shot*
*Dead*

....ooookay

Desslock
03-28-2002, 08:32 AM
So basically the biggest issue has to do with you not being able to pull off BS moves... That seems logical all right :p

You also seem to be suffering from a 'Superman' syndrome I see more and more now. Since you cant own everyone easily, you just drop it and say this is bullcrap. Victims to this syndrome usually do not enjoy even the slightest of losing. I agree a lot of losing is annoying, and you lose motivation for playing that game when you get no enjoyment out of it (because no one enjoys losing), but when you whine and moan about losing, say one match, to a drip of luck by a random blaster shot, you just blow up and melt your keyboard and mouse.

As for dealing in the past about the pros never being good again.. different engine, different designers, different netcode. Its all different. Most people will be new starting out. Thats just how things are. If you want to stay in the JK era, thats your choice, and thats just one less person I need to kill.

About the saber... if there was some secret to mastering it, everyone would be a 'master' at the lightsaber. It will probably take practice, patience, and time. Its no fun if some random player can read this 'secret' in a guide and then hop online and win a first match with a 20 point spread between him and [clan]JoeBob[2ndclan][Otherclan]. Yes it should be intuitive, and a bit easy for beginners, but it should also be difficult. All those spiffy flashy Street Fighter 2 combos didnt happen over night. Someone actually sat down, and played, and played, and played, until sometimes literally they fell asleep. They had drive to sit down and practice, learn, and experiment. Thats a dedicated gamer (and a geek none the less, but since your in the realm of gaming, that really doesnt matter if he's kicking your ass does it? :p ).

Scrobes
03-28-2002, 09:06 AM
Originally posted by TigZy
In regards to the force powers:

I personally think the new way is better, and more in-character with the jedi/sith types presented in the movies. It obviously takes a great deal of concentration to do these things (with the force mindset and all), and I think it kind of adds to the longetivity of matches if people can't run about and go overkill on force powers and blast everything in sight.

*proceeds to read rest of review*

A well written post KnightofCorelia. Quite a detailed analysis of the MP side of the game. Even if I haven't played JO yet and my JK1 experiences are slim, I quite clearly understood what you were saying about the multiple Force moves.

I've quoted TigZy because this is basically what I was going to write as my own answer. :) I agree by and large with what TigZy is saying. Essentially now, the fights will assume a more realistic feeling, proportional to what we appreciate in the films. The fights might not be so quick now, but despite the lack of opportunity to display your skill at multiple forceskill/action use, the dueling aspect will become more singular. In a way I think it will have more of a strategical approach to it; simplified yes, maybe, but now you are only presented with a move and counter moves, making it more like chess. It's dispensing with the flashiness of JK1, and adopting a truer style that will bring the game into focus. Again, I haven't played it, but I can speculate enough to understand what impacts this might have. :)

Anyway, great post, and thankyou for sharing. I think, personally, that in time, you will come to appreciate this newer style, and it is that you're only so used to the JK1/MotS old school that you are having trouble coming to terms with something that contrasts quite strongly with what you take for granted. :)

Think of it as a metaphor like this perhaps: it's a scissors/paper/rock game. In JK1, you have different types of paper, different types of scissors (big/small), and different varieties of rock. Now, in JO, you just have one type of each. Less is more? Well, guess we'll all have to wait and see.

Miracleasd
03-28-2002, 10:05 AM
Good initial review.

my additional first impressions are that

force grip is rather poorly done. having to hold down the force button to apply it is a bad idea. i do agree with their toning it down tho. it really was easily abused

force jump. i prefer the combined jump key but the movement speed could do with being a tad faster.

saber. heavy stance seems to be so slow as to be pointless. wont comment on it further until i have had a good chance to learn it.

disruptor. i can see that this will be abused. find a nice dark corner ans disintergrate away.

hit detection alert. it seems in the single player that either the shots go right through me or it doesnt see fit to let me know.

single player. first gripe, on the first level you have to go though a dark section with no way of lighting the area, i would of hoped that the weapons gave off some kind of muzzel flash, tracing light or hit light but they dont seem to.

other than those few everything else is positive

in the first patch i would definately like to see lighting effects from the other weapons (unless they already have them and i have some sort of problem)