Join Date: May 2002
Location: Somewhere in the sands of time.
Already said but worth it again.... It's long.
I got this directly as a page quote from ArtifeX.
What Needs to Happen in 1.04
The Jedi Knight 2 community has been split in two by the 1.03 patch. On one side, there are those who like the 1.02 version, and on the other, supporters of the 1.03 patch. If you look at the server lists that All-Seeing Eye reports, you'll see that there are roughly 450 JK2 game servers running the 1.02 version, and there are just over 350 servers running the 1.03 version (this was 05/14/2002).
This divisiveness is very damaging to the popularity of the game, the ability to find a compatible server, to map makers, and to those involved in writing mods and total conversions. Since the patch was released, I have had conversations with players who had liked the game enough before 1.03 to compete in ladders and other organized games, yet now they say they haven't played the game more than a time or two in the past week. The problem they say is that after investing so much time and effort improving their 1.02 skills, they must now learn a radically different skillset for a patched version that they think has far shallower gameplay. "Why bother," they say, "They're just going to have to change it again in 1.04 so that people don't quit playing completely." So it seems their idea is to not invest hours of time learning this new combat system, but to wait for a newer version that will, they hope, have yet another set of tactics to get used to. Mod- and Map-makers have a worse dilemma: which version do they make their Mod for? The one that's more poplular on servers now (1.02), or the new version that fewer people like, but which has many bug fixes?
The assumption they are making is that there will be a 1.04 patch. I certainly hope that there will be. Most of you do as well, judging from the feedback on lucasforums.com and from the emails I have been receiving. I have heard rumors that Raven will not be making another patch to the game, but that is just rumor. I'd love for someone at Raven who is "in the know" about JK2 to post something to the forums to at least let us know one way or the other.
I'm going to join the optimists and assume that there is going to be a 1.04 update. I can't believe that one of the best PC game development houses in the world is simply going to start ignoring the customers who paid them to make JK2. Just the fact that they were willing to make such sweeping changes in 1.03 means that they were flexible. Let's just hope that hasn't changed.
I'll first list the most major problems that are associated with each version of the game, then I'll describe the list of changes that I believe will correct them.
Force Power Problems
Drain is too potent. This power turns on instantly, has a long, wide range, and can render your opponent completely helpless against many Force Powers in under a second, all while using only 30% of the user's Force Pool to do it. It can also fully heal the user from 1 health to 100 in a fraction of a second.
Kicking, Wall-Flipping and Wall-Walking all require level 2 Force Jump to execute, which makes them unusable in No-Force servers
Absorb is obvious when turned on, which makes it very easy for opponents to simply wait the Absorber out.
High-level Mind Tricks are expensive to buy, yet are easily countered by the ultra-inexpensive Level 1 Force Sight.
You can Saber Throw in protected FFA duel mode, but you can't Flipkick.
Lightsaber Combat Problems
The DFA can turn while being executed, can kill while the saber is buried in the floor, and does far too much 1-hit damage.
The downswing part of the Medium Finisher rarely hits, even when the target runs directly underneath you. It also does too much damage at the end of the animation.
The Light and Medium Stance swings are too fast to be able to choose both the swing you want and the direction you wish to travel in.
There is only one "acrobatic" attack for the Medium style, even though it is touted in the manual as "acrobatic".
The self-defeating spin attacks of Light and Medium style are slow and do the same damage as a non-spinning swing.
If close enough, head-on Strong swings will hit the target from behind, and so are unblockable.
Parries and Defense-Breaks never happen.
Rolls can only be used defensively, not offensively because of the inability to attack during the roll and for a brief time afterwards.
Light Style is far behind both Medium and Strong in combat effectiveness. Medium is far behind Strong.
After a blocked strike, both attacker and defender have the ability to perform a fast counter-attack.
Blocking is automatic, and is unpredictable.
Strong has no combos other than swing+DFA.
There is only one kind of Blocking.
Light Style can be blocked 100% by someone simply standing in a corner.
Light and Medium Style are extremely similar in speed and moves, but Light provides little or no benefit for its use.
The Light Style Backstab is both blockable and extremely weak when not blocked.
Strong style's 100 damage per hit rendered Force Heal completely useless.
Saber locks can be broken by hitting the taunt key.
A lightsaber can swing right through you in some positions.
Force Power Problems
Drain is now a very poor Power. It actually uses more Force Power than in Drains. This makes it only useful against an already depleted opponent, or as a utilitarian Healing power.
Force Heal, of dubious usefulness in v1.02, is now ludicrously expensive to use and Heals only minimal amounts of Health even at 3rd level.
Absorb has been overpowered. It has an effective duration of 27 seconds and is invisible to opponents until a power is used against it. It also has a minimal initial use cost that carries over from the previous version. All these factors combine to make it the most effective Power in the game--by far. Because of this, Light vs. Dark duels now begin with the Dark player running away for the first 20 seconds of the game.
Kicking and Wall moves still require Level 2 Jump, and so are not in No-Force matches.
Mind Trick is still pretty useless in duels.
FFA duels still allow Saber Throw, but not kicks.
Lightsaber Combat Problems
All saber damage has been lowered drastically, with the exception of the Medium Finisher and the Backstab/sweep moves, which actually do much more damage than before.
Light Style normal swings can be blocked 100% of the time while standing, crouching, moving or using a Force Power. This makes them useless against anyone who realizes this.
Medium Style normal swings can be blocked 100% of the time while standing, crouching or moving. This severely cripples this style.
Light Style swings are now nearly impossible to control due to the super-caffeinated swing speeds.
The Light Style lunge attack can no longer be turned. This was an unnecessary change.
Minimum Damage ratios for the styles are: (Light/Medium/Heavy) 2:3:4. Maximum Damage ratios are: 1:1:2. This makes Light Style damage almost exactly the same as Medium, while Strong can do double the damage of either.
Light Style which was supposed to have the best Defense capability, now has the worst because of the ease with which its Defenses can be Broken. Medium Style is little better. Strong Style, which was supposed to have the weakest Defense, now has the strongest.
The DFA has been nerfed to the point of uselessness. This move is now suicide in a high-level tournament match.
A lightsaber can swing right through you in some positions.
Lowered saber damage results in some gametypes being an excercise in futility. i.e.: Saber-only CTF, CTY.
Lowered saber damage has given guns a huge advantage. This was supposedly balanced by higher ammo requirements for blast-radius projectiles, but this just leads to one player camping the rocket launcher ammo and denying it to everyone else.
Isn't 300 damage a bit much for any attack? The Strong style backsweep can actually do this much. The 1.02 version was capable of this much as well, but it required that your opponent be prone and in a corner before you began the swing. I'm not one for wanting to nerf effective moves, but this is way over the top. 100 health and 200 shields should protect you from any one-hit kill.
Fixes for 1.04
Force Power Fixes
Drain-- Put it back the way it was in 1.02, with one caveat: shorten the range to 1/2 of what it is now. That will put a Drainer in position for retaliation, and will force him to be aggressive rather than passive. This will also allow an absorber to conserve more of his Force Power by making it easier to stay out of range. Dark vs. Dark battles will become much more interesting due to the close-quarters nature of this kind of Drain battle.
Heal-- Use the Healing amount from 1.02, but the Force Power cost from 1.03. This will make someone very careful about Healing, but also make it worthwhile when they do.
Absorb-- Put it back the way it was in 1.02, but keep the invisibile aura.
Jump-- Allow Kicking and Wall moves at level 1.
Saber Throw-- Remove Saber Throwing from FFA duels.
Mind Trick-- Make the range at which Mind Trick can be overcome by Force Sight dependent upon the difference in the number of Power Levels in each. A level 1 Force Sight should only be able to see someone with Level 3 Mind Trick within a few meters. A level 3 Force Sight should be able to see any level of Mind Trick at maximum range.
Lightsaber Combat Fixes
Change saber damage back to 1.02 levels, but make Strong swings do 90 damage instead of 100. That would make the damage ratios 1:2:3, which is much more linear, and would keep Heal from being useless against Strong Stance.
Make all saber styles have some short range and some long range strikes. In real life, damage and has no relationship with range. Some of the most powerful martial arts strikes can be done in just a few inches of movement (elbow strikes anyone?), while some long range strikes are quite weak (jabs, backfists, etc.). The same principles follow sword fighting.
Add more acrobatic moves to Medium style.
Make Light Style a one-handed style and allow the free hand to be used for specialized melee attacks like grappling and punches.
Lower the chances of a successful block by an amount commensurate with the distance of the attacker from the defender's crosshairs. This will actually lend some skill to defending yourself. Having them close to your crosshair should increase the chances of parrying as well.
Do NOT make blocking manual. We have enough keys to worry with already! The above crosshair solution is much more elegant.
Allow Light Style attacks to hit someone using a Force Power
Slow down Light Style so that thoughtful combos are possible.
Allow Light and Medium style to have crouch-roll attacks, but make sure the attacks themselves have very short range and a small recovery time after the swing. Make sure these are blockable when crouched, at least.
Light Style should block more often, but parry and defense-break less. Strong Style should block less often, but parry and defense-break more.
Double-tapping direction keys and attacking could open up a huge number of moves if necessary. This might be a good requirement for entering a spin-swing.
Make the slower spin-swings do more damage than a normal swing.
Make all Saber Styles cost the same number of points to buy in the Force Power Setup. Don't make any style a prerequisite of another.
Nerf all the backstab/sweep moves by about %25-%35. This would bring it more into line with 1.02, but the burning nature of the attack needs to stay so that the middle of the swing does more damage than the beginning or end.
Radical Lightsaber Combat Fix
If Raven truly wanted interest in Lightsaber Combat to explode, here's what they'd do:
Give Strong Style the Light Style Lunge and the Medium Finisher (the only two moves that it doesn't already have that are actually worthwhile).
Replace the Light Style with a two-saber style that has the properties I mentioned above (enhanced defense, roll attacks, varying range for attacks, etc.). This would allow you to attack rapidly with two swings, but would require only one push of a direction key and the attack button. That means you can now choose your attack and direction, just like you can with Strong Style, but with the added bonus of quick-fire attacking.
Replace the Medium Style with a double-bladed saber style (a la Darth Maul. And no, not the nasty hacked one that's in there already). Make this a real, double-handle-length saber. Add all of Darth Maul's acrobatic moves. This should be a balanced offense/defense style, just as Medium was supposed to be. The key to the defense of this style should be evasion, not blocking. D.M.'s cartwheels and flips should be the order of the day to avoid saber strikes.
I realize the "Radical" saber fix above isn't likely. More's the pity. But even if only the non-"radical" stuff was done in 1.04, then I think that JK2 would end up much better off in every gametype.Please feel free to email a link to this page directly to Raven! Remember, if you don't let them know what you want, then they won't know what to give you! I'll see if I can find an appropriate email address, and I'll post it here.
I may add things to this as things occur to me, or are suggested by others.
It's not that life is to short, it's that death is so long!