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Old 05-31-2002, 05:27 PM   #1
anal_ewok
 
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Overview of the patches, and what should be changed...

These ideas are mostly Artifex's because I agree with alot of what he has to say as it makes sense, and will hopefully restore the flow of the game and make a compromise that all the players (or the majority at least) can live with. Some editing has been done, and some adding as well.

This is based off of articles posted at the ASC website and is broken down into a point by point analysis for easier reading. I usually refrain from commenting on these forums, but I have read ALOT of the posting/ranting/whining and from my own experiences and also talking with others in game, this seems to be a good compromise between the 1.02/1.03 crowd. This combined with the poll on the front of this page suggest to me that there needs to be a change. Thoughts and intelligent discussion of ideas are welcome. Flames and whines are not.

Kudos to both Raven (for making such a great game) and Artifex (for having insight into alot of issues that should be addressed).


Overall Thoughts on the Patch:

When speaking about just the changes to saber combat in the v1.03 patch, I'd say that Raven failed (in part) to accomplish what they set out to do, which was (I hope) to make the game more fun by giving the players more winning tactical options to choose from.


Things That Were Good:

The addition of Strong Style combos. This simply means you can add more attack options to your repertoire while using Strong Style. That's never a bad thing.

Repairing (not Nerfing) the DFA. Now you can't get killed instantly by a saber buried so far in the ground that you can't see it. Yay!

Making the Light Backstab and the Medium Finisher more deadly. Both of these moves were hard to do and left you open forever. Now they have the damage to balance out the risk. Good job!

Adding more duel maps!


Things That Were Bad:

Previously the ratios of attack damage were 30 damage for Light, 60 damage for Medium and 100 damage for Strong (reduced, 3/6/10). Now, damage has been lowered for all three, but look at the new ratios: 20-30 for Light, 30 for Medium, 40-60 for Strong. If you look at the minimums, you come up with 20/30/40 (reduced, 2/3/4); certainly more balanced, but if you look at the maximums you get: 30/30/60 (reduced, 1/1/2). How does this expand on viable choices of Stance? Looking at solely damage, why would you use Light or Medium over Strong? You can do double damage with Strong! More importantly, why use Medium over Light? It does the exact same maximum damage! What has been done here is narrow the number of winning choices, not expand upon them.

One useful tactic (maybe too useful) has been heartily nerfed: the DFA. Many will cheer this change that had difficulty defending against it, or were just annoyed by its constant use, but ask yourself how many times you've used it successfully in the new version. Would you still say it's useful? Maybe, but you will have to agree it is much less useful than before. Again, a narrowing of options.

The addition of Saber Throwing to No-Force games is not needed. It will (and has) just turned into a blockable boomerang fight. Don't you think the addition of kicking into No-Force games would have been more interesting and fun?

Why keep the Light Crouch Lunge swing from turning during execution? Did anyone have a problem with it? I sure didn't. It makes sense the you should be able to change direction as both your feet are on the ground and you are making a concentrated effort to hit your opponent with a uppercut/lunge style attack. No improvisation means that fewer people will use anything but backstab in Light stance. That = Narrowing of options.

All swings do less damage except for the backswings, which actually do so much more than before that they're almost always 1-hit kills. I've heard people tell of servers where people run around backwards trying to land these swings. That's a pretty strong statement about how much more effective these attacks are than all the others.

Double-tap Kicking. The technical problems of using this with a laggy connection and the extreme difficulty of kicking someone who is crouched forces me to give this a big thumbs-down. Now those people with modem connections or who simply have difficulty hitting their key that fast won't be able to use this attack.

Read carefully: Don't empower a stance by nerfing the others! If you want to empower it, then make it do more damage, give it more range, give it Defense Breaking, or any other number of things!

Lowered Damage for normal swings. Why lower the damage on swings that almost never connect? Light and Medium both can be blocked 100%! What difference does it make if you lower the damage? This only made sense in the case of Strong style which now requires 3 hits to kill in a duel rather than the old 2-hit kill. Light and Medium both now require at least 5 hits to kill if there is no Healing. That's a moot point when you consider that those hits will never land!



What Should (hopefully) 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. 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?

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.



Problems: 1.02


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.

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.



Problems 1.03:


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.



Suggested 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 speed 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.

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.

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.

Medium should be right in between.

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.

Medium's special move should have a wider hit arc, with a tweak in damage (lowered to base 1.02 medium for the minimum damage, and taken up to 90 damage max). This tightens the damage range, making this move seem more defensive in nature and letting it not be overpowering. The hit arc will allow this move to be used more effectively.

Increased blocking as a default in CTF and CTY on saber only servers makes the game very difficult (much more so than it should be) for the defense. Maybe a change to make the 1.02 blocking standard for servers would rectify this.

The slowed movement speed for Heavy attacks makes heavy users much more vulnerable. The slowed speed of the swings should be sufficicent enough to leave a Heavy user open for counter attack. Now Heavy feels much more slow and ponderous and not at all like I'm using a lightsabre. This coupled with the reduced damage for startup and slowdown seem to make my weapon resemble a longsword, and not a beam of light. Reinstating the 1.02 movement speed for Heavy seems to be a step in the right direction.



In Conclusion:

Much thought and reflection has gone into this list as a player who has experienced all of the gameplay environments available. Again, these are merely suggestions that I can only see making the game better and sincerely hope that you guys see this (thanks Artifex). I hope that you guys take some or all of these ideas to heart and I hope this helps us all out by making JK II the game we all can play and love.

May the Force be with you,
Tony aka Kenshin aka n00tch!
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Old 05-31-2002, 05:30 PM   #2
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I understand your post, and know of the ASC site, but you could have very well put this under another thread...instead of creating yet *gasp* another patch suggestion thread.

Oh and just link to ArtifeX's site, instead of copy and pasting his long ass guide here. lol

Anyways, I'm on your side...but *new* posts on this topic are getting useless..it should be posted under another *suggestion for 1.04* thread.
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Old 05-31-2002, 05:32 PM   #3
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admin-wannabe

control freak

get a life

lamer
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Old 05-31-2002, 05:41 PM   #4
anal_ewok
 
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We're looking for constructive feedback. ;p

Dark Beggar: This is an amalgum of both articles on ASC. It also has things that have been removed, and others that have been added and changed. Thats why it was posted and not linked to. Read it and see. Admittedly it's only a few things, but thats the way that the story goes.

JediMasterBater: ?
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Old 05-31-2002, 05:45 PM   #5
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ok cool, but...I woulda just linked to asc and added under that your changes...it's an easier read..people usually lose attention after the 50th line.. lol oh and masterbater's comment was directed towards me..he just loves to flame random people, so just ignore him. LOL
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Old 05-31-2002, 05:48 PM   #6
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no just you and your closed-mindedness about this subject...

'side keep talking, the crap you're spewing forth is helping me rack up my post count...
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Old 05-31-2002, 05:50 PM   #7
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wow 10...lol I did that for a while..that's why I'm where I'm at..LOL....
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Old 05-31-2002, 05:51 PM   #8
Dark Begger
 
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and all I did was make suggestions on how to post this post? How is that closed minded? umm..ok whatever.
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Old 05-31-2002, 06:07 PM   #9
Agen
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You seem to be taking a bit too much caffeine today haven't u?
Also if you keep psoting stuff like that i think you mgiht be getting a pm from an admin soon
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Old 05-31-2002, 06:19 PM   #10
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? why? I'm only answering posts..
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Old 05-31-2002, 06:22 PM   #11
Agen
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I meant Master Bater.
not you. why would you get one?
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Old 05-31-2002, 06:36 PM   #12
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I don't know, thought it was illegal to post twice in a row or something..you know, flooding and stuff..lol..I know I should just edit my last one..but I'm used to just clicking reply..lol
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Old 05-31-2002, 06:39 PM   #13
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I seem to be having a problem with people thinknig i'm tlaknig to them when i'm not.
Don't worry i'm working on it.
And yes i'm talknig to you as*hole
j/k

No wait i'm not i am talknig to you and everyone jsut to make it clear lol.
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Old 05-31-2002, 06:44 PM   #14
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jesus sh1t, do i have to write an essay on the importance of a visible absorb in keeping the balance between guns and darkside powers!?!
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Old 05-31-2002, 06:47 PM   #15
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yes Nathan, it's due Monday at the beginning of class. Make sure it's in standard MLA format. hahahah...
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Old 05-31-2002, 06:53 PM   #16
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OK, I'm mostly into NF saber only so I can't really comment on the force powers, but being a saber purist I still have a lot to say about my favorite glowing rod.

Quote:
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.
True, I still found it rather easy to get away from... You push, strafe, backpeddle, jump... When I played against DFA lamers in 1.02 I basicly didn't attack them untill they changed tactics. I would just dodge every DFA they did. I still prefer the 1.03 DFA. Makes more sense not being able to turn at the end, and if it connects it is just as lethal.
Quote:
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.
Also true, I thought it was farely useless in 1.02. It is better in 1.03, maybe a bit too good... The damage done at the end when you aren't even moving your saber is quite substantial.
Quote:
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.
What? Well then I guess I can just move my fingers quicker than you. I have never had this problem. Maybe I just don't understand what you mean...
Quote:
The self-defeating spin attacks of Light and Medium style are slow and do the same damage as a non-spinning swing.
I found them quite usefull, you could fake out your opponent with the first move then spin into another to hit him. Timed right the spin was just as good as normal attacks. They shouldn't have to do more damage. Maybe just a little.
Quote:
If close enough, head-on Strong swings will hit the target from behind, and so are unblockable.
Interesting, but then again, if you catch the biggest part of a heavy swing (up close) then it should break through, IMO. If someone is using red, you know he has range and damage on his side, but not speed and maneuverability. Dance ****ing circles around him while he tries to land his heavy hit.
Quote:
Parries and Defense-Breaks never happen.
Ah! Very good! This one of the best things about 1.03.
Quote:
Light Style is far behind both Medium and Strong in combat effectiveness. Medium is far behind Strong.
Light was a bit silly in 1.02. It was not very good, but it wasn't useless either. In a small room you could use it to overpower an opponent using a gun or to just lay down a ridiculous barrage of attacks to send got them on defense. Medium far behind strong? Nooooooooo! I used almost exclusively medium in 1.02 and I still did very well. People who used only red were just too slow for me. Only people who where very good at it usually got close to scraping me. People who played medium well gave me a much harder time than red players, because I saw less of them and had less practice against them I suppose. Red was very good in its own right, but was by far not "the experienced stance". It was good against people who attack too much and if you managed to corner someone it was perfect. Hypothetical situation: Someone who is very good at medium fights someone equally good at red. Who will win? Either could! Red is very slow and medium doesn't have the good range and stopping power. Whoever takes the most advantage of the others weakness wins. Red should take advantage of his range, medium should be timing his attacks to take advantage of how slow red is. I really think medium and red were equally effective, blue was naff.
Quote:
Blocking is automatic, and is unpredictable.
Very true, blocking was quite unpredictable. It was good as a last ditch effort to stop an attack, but moving away was always a better option. If you think about it, this is silly, clashing sabers was the neatest feature from SP, and you never saw Obi-Wan or Maul jumping away everytime the other person waved their saber. Blocking is "better" now in 1.03, it occurs more regularly. Now if they would only fix it's radius...

I'll sum this up because I don't feel like typing more. 1.02 needed a lot of work to be polished up. 1.03 needs a lot of work to make it work.
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Old 06-02-2002, 06:35 PM   #17
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anymore comments? last post was excellent
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