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CatsPaw
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Yeah, games (over all) used to be alot more unforgiving and unintuitive. You had to learn from your mistakes in a way you seldom se in todays games. Learn things trough extensive reading of ingame text to be able to find locations or solve puzzles, search trough the manual of gameplay mechanics, etc. I remember drawing my own maps by hand on a piece of paper next to me to be able to get trough dungeons in some old game.

A large portion of gamers today just want to sit down, relax and play the game.

Maybe JA3 need something along the lines of what some newer RPGs apply when it comes to difficulties. I am thinking of all the choices you have for instance in Pathfinder Kingmaker and Wrath of the Righteous.

A casual mode for those who just want to relax and play, whit the complex parts removed or toned down to "1".

A easy mode thats applys more of the complex features but is still forgiving.

A normal mode.

A JA3 Core/hard mode.

And JA3 "1.13" mode, where everything is cranked up to "11". 😁

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13 hours ago, GODSPEED said:

Blizzard themselves are not the ones who worked on Diablo II, they hired a small team to do the work

So isn't this a great example? The product was developed by a team without special features and funds. But the game is successful. Despite the mechanics and the 2000 interface. The publisher did not give her a price tag for the indie project. The publisher appreciated it more expensive than many new games: XCOM 2: Chimera Squad, Gears Tactics, Wasteland 3, Phoenix Point (I think because they understood that the main audience is 35-45, and they are ready to pay). The main reason for negative reviews to it is the servers not working for 3 weeks. The game began to be sold, and the servers were not available half the time. But this is a purely technical problem. Blizzard themselves have stated that the success of Diablo II: Resurrected will force them to intensify the development of Diablo III.

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19 hours ago, GODSPEED said:

When we look at gaming as a whole, the vast majority of games have become simplified over the time

This is a trend. Each trend has a period, i.e. beginning, development and end. Humanity cannot simplify everything indefinitely. The next step will then be the rejection of reading, writing and the simplest arithmetic operations. It's difficult...
In general, it's funny that we are discussing the very fact of the difficulty of the game "JA 2". She is primitive. Why simplify this game yet? The allocation of 20 or 100 action points is a daunting task for a modern person... Are you serious? I have already cited Starcraft 2 as an example, where even now people aged 14-18 calculate the opening of the game up to a second. When and on what will they spend each unit of minerals and gas. At what second will the required building be built when an improvement is ordered for your units. At a high level, this happens depending on the development of the opponent. People click 200 - 350 times a minute. There is complexity there. There really sometimes, after a tense fight, you get tired, which you feel physically. And the thought appears "in the next half hour, I'm not ready to repeat it."
And "JA2" is a game for those who just want to come home and relax. Deepening the JA2 mechanic won't make JA3 difficult. Will make it more variable and realistic. Why should this scare players away?
Let's take the Race genre as an example. At the dawn of their formation, they had primitive physics and mechanics. But gradually physics and mechanics became more realistic. There are many racing simulators now. Is it more difficult than before? Yes. Is the complexity of the players off-putting? No. Everything is exactly the opposite. People want more realism, they like it. It provides opportunities to experience emotions without endangering life. And the more realistic, the more emotions. Why is it wrong with JA 3?
Well, for those who want absolute relaxation, there is always Angry Birds.

 

20 hours ago, GODSPEED said:

We older gamers have played those and we are used to the type of "harder" gameplay, with sometimes clunky controls, very little help, almsot no direction to help

 

20 hours ago, GODSPEED said:

old DOS games that required extra work to make them function like using mem manager to free up virtual ram. We get used to a way of doing things and it is hard to look backwards

This is what modern games should get rid of. This is exactly what is required of the developers. This is, in fact, the concept of "unnecessary complexity".

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13 hours ago, CatsPaw said:

Humanity cannot simplify everything indefinitely. The next step will then be the rejection of reading, writing and the simplest arithmetic operations.

I do not know how the situation is were you live, but my own experience is: Do not underestimate this species instinctive laziness! 

13 hours ago, CatsPaw said:

where even now people aged 14-18 calculate the opening of the game up to a second. When and on what will they spend each unit of minerals and gas

Of courses they can, but that is to get a competetive edge to other players. Much like calculating the best DPS for a mp shooter. I do not really see that people will play JA in a competetive manner.

13 hours ago, CatsPaw said:

And "JA2" is a game for those who just want to come home and relax. Deepening the JA2 mechanic won't make JA3 difficult. Will make it more variable and realistic. Why should this scare players away?

Again I can only write out of my own experience. But out of those I know IRL who played JA2 and enjoyed it, those people have a bit of a "nerdy" characteristic. Enjoying solving problems or spending hours perfecting something related to a hobby of theirs.

I my self do not enjoy playing JA when I am tiered and want to relax, because then I make bad decisions in the game.

I simply belive the developer's have a hard task at hand making a game that is complex enough for us old fans of the series, yet accessible and intuitiv enough for those new to the series.

13 hours ago, CatsPaw said:

Let's take the Race genre as an example.

I agree, but the racing genre is a big and very diverse one. Racing simulators are not for everyone. Some just want a "Need for Speed" experience.

Obviously the developers have a good enough idea of what game they want to make that THQ gave it the go ahead. And THQ belive that the game will be profitable enough to risk the money developing the game. We can hope. We can beg. Pray to whatever diety of our choosing. But until a real gameplay reveal we do not know what to expect.

Again CatsPaw, I hope you are right and we get the complexity we want. I am just very unsure that the market is large enough.

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2 hours ago, Hendrix said:

Again CatsPaw, I hope you are right and we get the complexity we want. I am just very unsure that the market is large enough.

 

23 hours ago, CatsPaw said:

 Diablo II

I was trying to find a way to answer your previous posts and wasn't sure how to without writting a book.

 

Hendrix pretty much summed up what I had in mind.

 

In Jagged Alliance, I can personally spend 1-2 hours in a game session just looking over equipment and giving a different kit of equipment to a large squad of mercs. I am like that.

Jagged Alliance has a nerdy side to it that sucks some of us right into it more than just doing batttles after battles after battles.

 

Diablo II is the opposite, that is one of the most played games of its generation by how many players? Almost anyone you talk to has played it, and in all my gamer friends, I've never even met a single person who even knows what Jagged Alliance is. In Diablo, it is fast and easy to get in with almost no learning curve and it is easy to pick up even if you didn't play for years.

Jagged Alliance 2 has a learning curve that required me to read through the manual the first time I tried playing it because I didn't know how to play it at all.

Most ppl hate reading.

I can almost take a guess that most real JA fans are probably the type who enjoyed going through game manuals as much as playing the game.

 

It is for the niche of gamers like those who like wargames (not Starcraft, I mean games like Hearts of Iron style games).

 

I want so much complexity, but such a game would not sell and could not even sell on a console.

 

 

Consoles.

This game will release on consoles as well, so they will be making many simplifications to adapt.

 

Like Hendrix said, it isn't what I want, it's an unfortunate reality of the generation we are in.

 

Your arguments are all good, and as much as I appreciate you sharing them, we also want what you want, it's not us you have to win over, it's the devs!! 🍻

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3 hours ago, Hendrix said:

I do not really see that people will play JA in a competetive manner

Yes, I agree. That's why I wrote "JA2 is a game for those who just want to come home and relax". It does not require finding optimal paths. Artificial intelligence forgives most mistakes. You can always load the game from the previous moment. This is not chess, where one move can decide the outcome of a duel that lasted several hours.

 

3 hours ago, Hendrix said:

I am just very unsure that the market is large enough

Agree. The genre as a whole doesn't have many fans. And by simplifying the mechanics, this audience will not grow. Yes, there will come a certain number of people who love simplification, but also a certain number of impatient simplifications will go away. I think that for this project, reaching the entire JA2 audience will be a success. There are not so few of them, they are devoted to the game, willing to pay for it a little more than it is worth. There are not many games to which there are so many discussion forums. And those who have the same number or more, as a rule, TOP projects with a huge budget.
Where are the millions of new players at Phoenix Point? They are not here.
The problem is that everyone no longer believes in the very fact of releasing a game similar to JA2. But that JA2 fan base is enough for JA3. Given the huge number of games coming out now.

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8 hours ago, GODSPEED said:

In Jagged Alliance, I can personally spend 1-2 hours in a game session just looking over equipment and giving a different kit of equipment to a large squad of mercs. I am like that.

Mod 1.13 is not complicated by its mechanics. Mod 1.13 is complex in that it is open and for the most part is available for independent modification by the user. If desired, most of these mechanics can be changed in any direction of complexity. Mod 1.13 is difficult in that it is difficult to stop yourself in terms of tuning and testing the result. But this is also part of the gameplay. And the people who are doing this are also the audience of this game. This cannot be neglected.

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  • 11 months later...
On 11/9/2021 at 4:33 PM, GODSPEED said:

In Phoenix Point, you can zoom out far like in the screenshots, but the maps are small and combat feels too close.

I hope in JA3 we can zoom out more than what's seen in the videos. even a over top bird's eye view would be good.

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Why are modern turn-based squad games going for smaller battlefields instead of the larger maps common to the genre 20-30 years ago? Is it the assumption of lack of patience, wanting larger than life character models or something else? I am hoping for maps with JA2's scale: one or more buildings with plenty of natural terrain surrounding them, looking like small settlements and towns, or a convincing looking military facility, etc. There were plenty of approaches and various ways to attack. Not only that but after the combat was over, you could look at the carnage and see just how it affected the whole map and where key firefights took place.

One of the reasons I quickly abandoned playing the XCOM reboot was that the maps were so small and narrow. And yet, every developer and publisher now seems to think that this is the way forward. I just want the scale of original X-COM (with the hyphen), JA2 and Silent Storm. PCs are more powerful than they used to be so they shouldn't have to make smaller scale environments.

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12 hours ago, Solaris_Wave said:

Why are modern turn-based squad games going for smaller battlefields instead of the larger maps common to the genre 20-30 years ago? Is it the assumption of lack of patience, wanting larger than life character models or something else?

I would assume it is so. I find alot of "tactical" games today are primarily centered around character builds, not actual tactics. You solve combat through the characters abilities and stats.

Ofcourse very large maps can easily feel very empty and void of fun places to explore. It is also hard to have very large maps and get a fun and immersive gameplay, since you probably have to zoom/pan the camera angle back and forth (either manually or automatic) to see what is happening and were. That can easily disconect you from the actual gameplay.

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Character build-driven games make more sense to me when it comes to a sci-fi or fantasy setting but not so much modern day. They will also reduce the number of soldiers/heroes you go into battle with. However, Silent Storm and to a lesser extent, JA2 (due to not having character classes as such), managed both character builds and squad based tactics. They never felt like they were too big and cumbersome to handle. In original X-COM, along with its two sequels, it made sense to have a squad of 10-15 soldiers, which you would use for most operations. The only real reason to recruit more was to defend additional bases and to get the rank promotions. The soldier's rank added to their attributes. Other than that, they were superfluous and a nuisance to train.

In contrast, the XCOM reboot had too few soldiers, in my view, even if they were more like specialised individuals. I didn't play it long enough to see if they were meant to be like superheroes. While I didn't lose more than soldier before I quit playing, I never felt like their numbers being small would correspond with their notion of soldiers above and beyond all others. They weren't exactly SPARTANs from Halo or Adeptus Astartes from Warhammer 40K.

To me, JA2 and possibly Silent Storm had the sweet spot in terms of available numbers, although Silent Storm's squad limit wasn't much more than new XCOM's default size. For JA2, I never felt like I didn't have enough soldiers (or a convincing number theme-wise). I never had too many either and only hired the numbers I needed, with additional mercs used to train militia. The game always felt manageable and I wonder why some in the game industry might feel it is too much in today's entertainment.

It seems everyone just follows trends, with one idea being great and everyone else jumping on the bandwagon. In the 90s you had adventure games, RPGs, simulators, beat 'em-ups and platformers. First-person shooters were largely fantastical until Rainbow Six and SWAT 3 appeared. By 2000, turn-based strategy dwindled (except for Civilisation) as real-time strategy continued in popularity. 10-15 years ago every FPS wanted to be like Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare with bombastic themes, perks and level ups. At the moment, it is card-battlers, MOBAs and Battle Royales that have influence. I might have missed out other genres here but the days of games with big fat manuals, in-depth gameplay that maybe takes time to get into and has lots of statistics aren't really around as much now, except for a few less mainstream titles. In the early 2000s consoles really took off and it altered what the publishers and developers wanted to make.

 

Finally, for map size, JA2 had it right again. There was plenty of detail in each sector and the use of real-time movement when there were no threats was an excellent way to make travelling through the map less of a nuisance. Even turn-based action didn't play out too slowly. This contrasts with a lesser known turn-based squad game from the early '90s called Sabre Team. That wasn't very good because maps were large and empty, buildings had very little inside them, all movement was turn-based and animated movement was slow. As you correctly pointed out, it can be easy to get the balance wrong. It will be interesting to see what scale JA3 has and how each character, friend or foe, interacts with it.

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On 10/25/2022 at 11:29 PM, Solaris_Wave said:

Character build-driven games make more sense to me when it comes to a sci-fi or fantasy setting but not so much modern day.

Agreed, these sorts of games often leans on the "group of heros saves the day" style of gameplay. Nothing wrong with it, but just as you stated, "special abilities" of any kind seldom fits a modern day-ish realistic approach for a game.

Sure the mercs in JA2 had traits, but those were minor buffs that made certain mercs just a little bit better at certain things, however you could not rely on these traits to get you through combat. 

I am curious to see how Haemimont approach this, it would be easy to end up whit a game were the "meta" is sniper rifles and rocket launchers for everyone.

 

On 10/25/2022 at 11:29 PM, Solaris_Wave said:

Sabre Team

Huh, never heard of that one. My decent into tactical games came from SEAL TEAM and Wages of War back in the mid 90s. Although ST was a tactical shooter simulator and not a turn based squad game. They were really cool games for their time though! A friend of mine had JA:DG but I preferred Wages actually.

Still got the CD for Wages and the floppys for ST 😁

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3 hours ago, Hendrix said:

I am curious to see how Haemimont approach this, it would be easy to end up whit a game were the "meta" is sniper rifles and rocket launchers for everyone.

That was something I pointed out in my thread on Weapon Characteristics and was one of the major changes I hope to see in JA3. Semi-auto and single shot fire pretty much dominated JA2, especially from mid to end game progress. Your mercs' skills and accuracy was high enough at this point to nail those shots, especially when using up the action points. The enemy soldiers were so well armoured at this point also. The amount of damage they could absorb was very high, so aimed shots to the head were the best way to bring them down. In fact, full auto fire wasn't that necessary or even useful, unless the enemy was up close and you could make sure that all the bullets would hit them at once. If so, it could kill in one turn and the enemy soldier would go flying back (or off a roof, if positioned near to the edge).

There wasn't really a penalty for hitting a distant target, or more importantly, a moving target. Again, as I pointed out in my thread, there needs to be a greater use and need for full auto fire and I think there should be a calculation for whether the target is standing still or running. Also, bullets should do more damage, or body armour should be weaker to stop making headshots the simple 'go to' preference. Either that or, another suggestion I made, getting rid of aiming at specific body parts unless the enemy is within a short distance (so something like the old Mozambique Drill could be employed), or if at longer ranges, the weapon used is equipped with a telescopic sight and the merc has some kind of sniper perk they have gained. Anything else and body part aiming is disabled. You only get to shoot at a general target. Different body hit zones still exist, you just don't get to choose unless up close or an if farther out, a dedicated sniper.

I am hoping that the developers will make distances count in several ways, with guns not just having a maximum range but certain types of cartridge losing lethality the greater the distance, as they slow down. That will stop making handguns and sub-machine guns obsolete as the game progresses as their bullets are short ranged. In contrast, they are the quickest to aim. They are also the lightest to shoot recoil-wise, when comparing to rifles (with the exception of powerful handgun cartridges such as .357 Magnum and above). Rifle carbines will then be the middle ground between speed of aiming (action point cost) and damage per bullet, as their reduced range will affect accuracy and velocity when compared to a longer barrelled rifle. Recoil will be higher than the equivalent longer barrel rifle though, if firing the same cartridge.

I am also hoping that if there are multiple optics that can be attached, that red dots will only enhance accuracy and speed at shorter ranges, while magnified optics, especially high powered scopes will causes penalties to close range shots. ACOG sights and other similar sights will be middle ground.

Rocket launchers should be cumbersome to carry and slow to aim and fire. Again, by not having the enemies wearing overly resistant body armour, there is less of a temptation to load up on anti-tank weapons, take the weight penalty and just use them to blow away the first lot of armoured soldiers you encounter. I remember one moment in JA2 where I breached a wall with explosives, which stunned several enemies but I then had to hit them several times with 40mm grenades before they died. You would think they were wearing powered armour for me to stop them!

 

Sabre Team was an early '90s game that I played on the Commodore Amiga. I remember it being quite boring to play due to how slow it all felt. It was due to the way it was all animated, its pace of movement and the large distances. Having only a small team didn't help because there would be so many rooms or areas to clear (tempting you to split them up to cover ground quicker). Laser Squad before it and X-COM after it proved that turn-based gameplay could always be paced well enough. Sabre Team was designed by different people though and probably the only thing I clearly remember was that there was a terrorist in the game called 'C. Boddiker'. The developers were obviously fans of Robocop. Then again, X-COM: Apocalypse also had the name of someone from their favourite football team.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 10/25/2022 at 5:29 PM, Solaris_Wave said:

Character build-driven games make more sense to me when it comes to a sci-fi or fantasy setting but not so much modern day. They will also reduce the number of soldiers/heroes you go into battle with. However, Silent Storm and to a lesser extent, JA2 (due to not having character classes as such), managed both character builds and squad based tactics. They never felt like they were too big and cumbersome to handle. In original X-COM, along with its two sequels, it made sense to have a squad of 10-15 soldiers, which you would use for most operations. The only real reason to recruit more was to defend additional bases and to get the rank promotions. The soldier's rank added to their attributes. Other than that, they were superfluous and a nuisance to train.

In contrast, the XCOM reboot had too few soldiers, in my view, even if they were more like specialised individuals. I didn't play it long enough to see if they were meant to be like superheroes. While I didn't lose more than soldier before I quit playing, I never felt like their numbers being small would correspond with their notion of soldiers above and beyond all others. They weren't exactly SPARTANs from Halo or Adeptus Astartes from Warhammer 40K.

To me, JA2 and possibly Silent Storm had the sweet spot in terms of available numbers, although Silent Storm's squad limit wasn't much more than new XCOM's default size. For JA2, I never felt like I didn't have enough soldiers (or a convincing number theme-wise). I never had too many either and only hired the numbers I needed, with additional mercs used to train militia. The game always felt manageable and I wonder why some in the game industry might feel it is too much in today's entertainment.

It seems everyone just follows trends, with one idea being great and everyone else jumping on the bandwagon. In the 90s you had adventure games, RPGs, simulators, beat 'em-ups and platformers. First-person shooters were largely fantastical until Rainbow Six and SWAT 3 appeared. By 2000, turn-based strategy dwindled (except for Civilisation) as real-time strategy continued in popularity. 10-15 years ago every FPS wanted to be like Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare with bombastic themes, perks and level ups. At the moment, it is card-battlers, MOBAs and Battle Royales that have influence. I might have missed out other genres here but the days of games with big fat manuals, in-depth gameplay that maybe takes time to get into and has lots of statistics aren't really around as much now, except for a few less mainstream titles. In the early 2000s consoles really took off and it altered what the publishers and developers wanted to make.

 

Finally, for map size, JA2 had it right again. There was plenty of detail in each sector and the use of real-time movement when there were no threats was an excellent way to make travelling through the map less of a nuisance. Even turn-based action didn't play out too slowly. This contrasts with a lesser known turn-based squad game from the early '90s called Sabre Team. That wasn't very good because maps were large and empty, buildings had very little inside them, all movement was turn-based and animated movement was slow. As you correctly pointed out, it can be easy to get the balance wrong. It will be interesting to see what scale JA3 has and how each character, friend or foe, interacts with it.


In my mind, when I play the modern Xcom type games, I get the same feeling as a board game with squares on it. I get the same sense of scale, gameplay and style. And, wheil I really love board games, I don't want that style of game(size) for a tactics game like Jagged Alliance.

Games that I get a good sense of scale are like you and @Hendrix mention; JA1/2, Silent Storm, X-com (notice the - ), as well as some lesser known titles like Hired Guns the Jagged Edge, Brigade E5/7.62 high calibre... They have a sense of scale on the maps that give you a real sense of at least being able to reconsider where you might attack from without even entering combat.

Moving around in xcom (new style) feels like they are really pushing you towards planned combat areas. Something about it feels TOO planned. Like, they are telegraphed. You KNOW there will be a battle within a few squares. No suspense or wonder.

In games with large maps, the advantage is also about giving you a sense of suspense, "worry" and surprise. There are so many areas enemies could be hiding, it heightens your senses of being careful, but also often being caught your pants down.



In a way, I can compare this to styles of movies; you've got movies that are action packed and don't waste time getting into the action and thick of things. I am rarely attracted to those movies. I tend to appreciate movies with a very slow build up and slower more toned down action sequences. Somehow, in my mind, it feels more "normal" or natural. Realistic in a way. I enjoy the build up of suspense leading to a situation more than the situation itself sometimes.

This is something I have always felt in games like Jagged Alliance 2, that I've never felt in games like the new Xcoms (and friends).

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6 hours ago, GODSPEED said:


In my mind, when I play the modern Xcom type games, I get the same feeling as a board game with squares on it. I get the same sense of scale, gameplay and style. And, wheil I really love board games, I don't want that style of game(size) for a tactics game like Jagged Alliance.

Games that I get a good sense of scale are like you and @Hendrix mention; JA1/2, Silent Storm, X-com (notice the - ), as well as some lesser known titles like Hired Guns the Jagged Edge, Brigade E5/7.62 high calibre... They have a sense of scale on the maps that give you a real sense of at least being able to reconsider where you might attack from without even entering combat.

Moving around in xcom (new style) feels like they are really pushing you towards planned combat areas. Something about it feels TOO planned. Like, they are telegraphed. You KNOW there will be a battle within a few squares. No suspense or wonder.

In games with large maps, the advantage is also about giving you a sense of suspense, "worry" and surprise. There are so many areas enemies could be hiding, it heightens your senses of being careful, but also often being caught your pants down.



In a way, I can compare this to styles of movies; you've got movies that are action packed and don't waste time getting into the action and thick of things. I am rarely attracted to those movies. I tend to appreciate movies with a very slow build up and slower more toned down action sequences. Somehow, in my mind, it feels more "normal" or natural. Realistic in a way. I enjoy the build up of suspense leading to a situation more than the situation itself sometimes.

This is something I have always felt in games like Jagged Alliance 2, that I've never felt in games like the new Xcoms (and friends).

I have said it a few times now but I don't think it hurts to repeat it. I hope that JA3's developers don't follow the current trend of smaller environments because it is 'what modern gamers expect', or that there is the belief that everyone these days has a short attention span and needs quicker gratification, lest they apparently get bored and start using their phone to check InstaTok and TwitBook in the middle of PC gaming.

I saw so much praise for the XCOM reboot and only one person said to me that they didn't like it. They hadn't played the original and I assumed that turn-based squad games weren't their thing. I was late in getting round to buying the reboot and its revised expansion. As soon as I played it though, it immediately became apparent to me that it was a pale imitation of the original. Less soldiers to be deployed, smaller environments (even corridor-like at times), having cover clearly labelled with icons instead of it being natural observation due to decent map design. Then there is the truly stupid idea of being able to equip one kind of item but not another, different item (you can take a medkit or a grenade).

My time with it didn't last long and I quit near the beginning due to the whole thing feeling 'gamey', restrictive and too stripped down. Compare that to the original X-COM, where the maps were large (but due to movement and animations, were covered at a comfortable pace). You would deploy and immediately have to secure your landing site, check your surroundings and use covering fire while spreading out. The aliens could be anywhere so you had to be careful. Tactics were always important, full use of your squad was necessary but regardless of all of that, there was always suspense. You never knew what enemies you'd be facing, where they were and if it was a crashed UFO, where it was likely to be.

Equipping your soldiers felt like a purpose. Primary weapon, medkit, one or two anti-personnel grenades, smoke grenade, spare magazines, maybe a secondary weapon, motion tracker, deployable flare. That was just one soldier in a squad of at least 8. More like 10-15, depending on the scale of the mission.

As you quite rightly said, the reboot felt like it was a boardgame. I love boardgames myself but unless the computer game I am playing is specifically a boardgame adaptation, I want them to remain separate. I want my battlefields to feel like environments and not something that is smaller because your table won't be large enough for it. Computer games don't have that limitation.

If JA3 has the same battlefield scale as JA2, then the developers are to be congratulated. Yes, JA2 was over 20 years ago but fans of Jagged Alliance in general will be from its most highly regarded game in the series. Follow that trend, not the current bandwagon.

 

As for action movies, lots of those can be good but ones with plot and a tense build-up are more enjoyable for me too. It makes the action sequences stand out more. Think of the movie, Heat. Whenever there was an action scene, it felt tense, volatile and utterly lethal. That was because of the build-up and events that were going on around those action scenes (and I enjoyed all the scenes just as much). I can compare that with one or two action movies where it is non-stop carnage and bigger and bigger destruction. It gets to the point where I can get bored because it is just one explosion after another, often in slow motion with people flying through the air. Either that or they are shot 40 times out of a 30-round mag, only for them to remain standing until they are roundhouse kicked off a cliff.

 

Finally, you mentioned the game, Hired Guns. Do you mean the first one, with four independently controlled characters, in a first-person view that moved a tile at a time? If so, that was one of my all-time favourites on the Amiga. I never played the sequels though.

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On 11/10/2022 at 8:48 AM, Solaris_Wave said:

Finally, you mentioned the game, Hired Guns

I think @GODSPEED meant the game Hired Guns the Jagged Edge (released 2007).

I belive it started as one of the attempts for a JA3, but for some reason it was rebranded and the characters changed. I remember playing it but I never connected with it in the same way as JA2 and Silent Storm.

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I might have a vague recollection of Hired Guns: The Jagged Edge. I was more into console gaming at the time, having only recently bought the XBox 360, while my PC gaming stopped for the most part, due to the age of my system. I say vague because the game seemed to have been briefly mentioned in terms of magazine coverage and then forgotten about.

I checked out a review on GamesRadar (and will look at some others) and graphically, it looks fine. Their negatives were the weird and apparently erotic noises when you select female mercenaries (and I can only go by what they are saying, having not seen/heard it myself) and critically, how incredibly difficult the game is. They really emphasised on that part and I am guessing that it isn't so much as challenging as it is infuriating. I can visualise it being a case of having to quick save and load all the time, while the enemies have powerful weapons and accuracy that causes you to invent new swear words to shout.

What is everyone else's experience with that game? Hendrix, you said you never really connected with it, unlike the classics. Can you remember the reasons why?

How about you, GODSPEED, what is your opinion on that game?

Edited by Solaris_Wave
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4 hours ago, Solaris_Wave said:

I might have a vague recollection of Hired Guns: The Jagged Edge. I was more into console gaming at the time, having only recently bought the XBox 360, while my PC gaming stopped for the most part, due to the age of my system. I say vague because the game seemed to have been briefly mentioned in terms of magazine coverage and then forgotten about.

I checked out a review on GamesRadar (and will look at some others) and graphically, it looks fine. Their negatives were the weird and apparently erotic noises when you select female mercenaries (and I can only go by what they are saying, having not seen/heard it myself) and critically, how incredibly difficult the game is. They really emphasised on that part and I am guessing that it isn't so much as challenging as it is infuriating. I can visualise it being a case of having to quick save and load all the time, while the enemies have powerful weapons and accuracy that causes you to invent new swear words to shout.

What is everyone else's experience with that game? Hendrix, you said you never really connected with it, unlike the classics. Can you remember the reasons why?

How about you, GODSPEED, what is your opinion on that game?

Have it.

You can buy it on the Matrix Games or Slitherine store webpage. Yeah, it is a little clunky, but I did play through most of it, like back when it released. I did try getting back into it a few years ago, but just time and all, didn't. Hard? Yeah, VERY hard. Sometimes, you enter maps and the situation is just.. suicidal. Like getting ambushed while traveling and when you enter the map, surrounded by so many enemies that throw grenades at your squad on the first turn. You see where this is going, yes, you are right, a game that you always keep your finger on the quicksave button and the quickload button is broken because you used it too much.

It was okay. It's probably the closest game there is to a 3D version of Jagged Alliance 2. Down to the weapons, descriptions, Action points (25), stats, etc... but it feels maybe a little bit too clunky, and the resolution versus the U.I. and camera are what really made the game not the best. Often being able to zoom out far enough, shots easily going far offscreen, the camera not always following the action, etc... causes alot of confusion in battles at times.

It's less buggy than let's say the Russian games like Brigade E5 or 7,62 High Calibre, but still, not easy to get into.

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It doesn't sound as if that game was properly playtested, from your description of it. The difficulty, the saturation of grenades, the UI and the camera, they all sound as if the developers didn't have enough Q&A on it. Maybe that is why it didn't keep the Jagged Alliance name, even if it looks clearly inspired by it.

I've played some infuriatingly difficult games in my time and I don't just mean games like Ninja Gaiden, but turn-based strategy games and RPGs. It isn't fun to have to constantly quickload all the time just because the enemy keeps getting excellent hits, scoring lots of criticals or just raw damage, all the while your own efforts pale in comparison. I remember Fallout 1 and 2 having some annoying battles where you constantly needed to not only hit enemies every turn but also had to get a critical while they missed their shots. And that was just to break even. Fallout 1's finale with the super mutants was a difficult fight. I was not only trying to keep my character alive but also my dog. There were lots of super mutants, all with miniguns, rocket launchers and other heavy weapons. Fallout 2 had similar experiences and was not helped by one of your party often getting you and your other party members in his field of fire. He would only set his gun to automatic and not care who he hit.

Laser Squad on the Amstrad CPC 464 was nasty on some of the battles because you had no means of saving and loading. There was one of the missions where you had to defend a base from incoming robots. They were more accurate than you, had a lot more health and in the case of the enemy Battle Droid, had a stupidly powerful area effect weapon. The amount of times I would have my soldier lie in wait, looking for opportunity fire and a hit on the Droid's side armour, only for him to miss every shot and then see the Battle Droid turn and blow away my soldier in one hit.

Edited by Solaris_Wave
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On 11/12/2022 at 7:35 PM, Solaris_Wave said:

What is everyone else's experience with that game? Hendrix, you said you never really connected with it, unlike the classics. Can you remember the reasons why?

Good question, I had to look up a video of the game to get a less hazy recollection! 😂

Was thinking about buying it through Slitherine Store but it was way too expensive!

The characters were not as flushed out and well thought trough as JA2, might be because of the rebranding. Same goes for the voice acting, it is not bad just not good enough. It just falls flat.

And as @GODSPEED stated, to make the combat challenging the encounters put you in so much disadvantage that reloading became a "feature" of the game.

Please correct me if I am wrong @GODSPEED but as I remeber there was not a well displayed cover system neither?

Overall the quality of the game felt like playing a alpha.

I have much of the same problems with Brigade E5 and 7.62 High Calibre, which I have played alot more than Hired Guns (guesstimateing 100 hours for E5 and 200 for 7.62). The Mercs voice acting is much weaker than JA2 wich makes them very unmemorable. Cover is hard to predict accurately and while that might be realistic, for me it becomes frustrating. Also (for me) the RTwP becomes a very tedious (especially in the larger battles since you are constantly changing orders every 0,5 seconds AND THE GODDAMNED ENEMIES USES THEIR SUPERPOWER OF INSTANT-THROW-GRENADES! In my very humble opinion all of these games would have been very very good games if they had gotten 1 more year of development, playtesting, and polishing. The base is there for a really good game.

Edit: Spelling.

Edited by Hendrix
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The more I read about Hired Guns: The Jagged Edge, the more it really does sound like it was released too early, needing more time and playtesting. Maybe the publishers (or developers) decided it was 'good enough' or lacked funds to continue any tweaking and polishing.

The issue with grenades would definitely aggravate me. It sounds like playing an earlier Call Of Duty game on Veteran difficulty, where you get five grenades thrown at you every few seconds. I know artificial intelligence is hard to make in games but usually if I am getting angry at a game, it is invariably down to the AI being allowed to do things you can't. Things like rubber-banding in racing games, being spotted through tall grass while prone because it isn't programmed in (while you can't see a thing) in FPS games, input reading in beat 'em-ups so they can block you like Neo from The Matrix, the list is endless. I've often quit playing games due to god-like AI or if playing through to completion, have been glad to finish it and forget all about it. Some of those have been renowned games that are heralded as classics, leaving me to wonder how it only seemed to be me that quickly spotted blatant AI cheating.

Another negative comment made by the GamesRadar review, about Hired Guns: The Jagged Edge was its fatigue mechanic. It sounds like your mercs get tired too quick and end up collapsing as the battle nears the end. I made a comment about including fatigue in my Weapon Characteristics thread, thinking it would be a good inclusion. My idea was different. I can imagine exhaustion being a factor in the African climate so fatigue implementation is a good idea in some ways. My approach though was more focused on overall battle fatigue, where mercs can't just keep fighting battle after battle without rest, as their attributes would temporarily start going down.

Given by the comments in this thread and in reviews, I wouldn't be surprised if the fatigue mechanic in Hired Guns: The Jagged Edge would 'conveniently' only affect your mercs and never the enemy!

Edited by Solaris_Wave
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17 hours ago, Hendrix said:

Please correct me if I am wrong @GODSPEED but as I remeber there was not a well displayed cover system neither?

Overall the quality of the game felt like playing a alpha.

17 hours ago, Hendrix said:

The Mercs voice acting is much weaker than JA2 wich makes them very unmemorable. Cover is hard to predict accurately and while that might be realistic, for me it becomes frustrating. Also (for me) the RTwP becomes a very tedious (especially in the larger battles since you are constantly changing orders every 0,5 seconds AND THE GODDAMNED ENEMIES USES THEIR SUPERPOWER OF INSTANT-THROW-GRENADES!

Hired Guns:

Yeah, actually Hired Guns makes me think of a less polished turn-based version of JA: Back in Action.

Cover was similar to JA:BIA as well; 3D terrain with a camera that is above, sometimes making it hard to know if you were in cover or not.

 

Brigade E5/7,62 High Calibre:

It is kind of a funny thing to talk about that game... 😂

Can be a REAL piece of crap that makes you furious at it...

But, I couldn't imagine not having played that game. The amount baried weapons and level of DETAIL is a gun nuts wet dream. Being able to load a magazine from loose rounds, while actually being able to load different types of rounds in the same mag. I remember having fun loading buckshot/slugs/buckshot/slugs in my shotguns 😅

The game would crash, I would have corrupted saves, files that would get erased... But, the tactical aspect just kept me coming back.

All weapons were nearly perfectly replicated, down to folding and collapsing stocks, to bipods that actually worked, to bayonets, to taping assault rifle mags together with red tape, to so many optics and lasers, might vision gear (that actually affected what YOU see on your monitor) to actual working flashlight, and grenades of all types; defensive, offensive, being able to set tripwire with them, mines, those front-facing explosives.. Battles in large outdoors, to enclosed multi-level buildings.

Holy crap, that game really was a tactical-lovers wet dream. Forget girls! [Just kidding on that one].

Can't imagine never having played it.

Yes, it was an unpolished bugs galore, and I never could finish the game, battles just became so hectic...

And omg, just loke you said.. Real-Time with pause in a game,with firearms that can litterally fire across HUGE maps, and pausing and slowing time so slow you SLOOOOOWLY see bullets coming towards you is and can be a real headache.

 

Now. That said, while I think I would recommend any true lover of tactics to at least try it, I understand not having the patience for it.. so I have a recommendation.

 

Look for a game called MARAUDER (aka MAN OF PREY) on Steam. It is an RPG using the exact same engine, also made by the same team. So yeah, it is hard, but WAY more manageable due to only controlling 1 guy. Managed to finish that game a couple years ago. Worth it if you have the patience for a clunky game. By Steam records, I played it for 20.4 Hours, and that is a complete game.

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Also need to add..

 

7,62 High Calibre, among the very few games to actually have a very good inventory management systems. When you start, you have pockets and a shoulder for your firearms and gear. So barely able to carry more than a pistol and a rifle.

 

Want to carry extra weapons and extra gear, you need vests, backpacks, pouches and eventually a vehicule. You can't just pick up hundreds of weapons and lug them around as if nothing was. Weight and having the means to carry stuff also became important.

 

That game is like JA2 on steroids (with all the downsides of also being addicted to drugs) 😂

Edited by GODSPEED
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56 minutes ago, GODSPEED said:

Also need to add..

 

7,62 High Calibre, among the very few games to actually have a very good inventory management systems. When you start, you have pockets and a shoulder for your firearms and gear. So barely able to carry more than a pistol and a rifle.

 

Want to carry extra weapons and extra gear, you need vests, backpacks, pouches and eventually a vehicule. You can't just pick up hundreds of weapons and lug them around as if nothing was. Weight and having the means to carry stuff also became important.

 

That game is like JA2 on steroids (with all the downsides of also being addicted to drugs) 😂

That sounds like what I am hoping JA3 has. It was something I mentioned in my Weapon Characteristics thread because, as you pointed out, you can't just carry a load of items. Having a load-bearing vest doesn't just have pouches to make things easier to grab, it also allows the weight of what you are carrying to be evenly distributed.

I checked out Marauder and had a look at the screenshots. I can certainly see a lot of weapons to choose from. It is a shame that from your description, it is a clunky game. Lack of funding, a larger team and available playtesters sound like they prevented it from being better. The problem is, if they had a bigger publisher with more resources, the publisher would probably encourage them to follow the trends that were big around the time of its release. As so often happens, you can have a great idea, only for some executive to say, "Nobody wants to play that kind of game anymore." And yet, you will read or hear people saying that they wish a certain kind of game existed but they aren't getting made. Sure, they've got the money and manpower, but the big publishers tend to have a close-minded view sometimes.

Publisher: "Hey, why not make another battle royale/MOBA/multiplayer deathmatch/FPS with killstreaks and unlockables, etc.!? All the others are doing it, let's cash in!"

Developer: "Why not make a tactical strategy shooter with the emphasis on realism and have lots of weapons for the gun nerds? We know people that would love that sort of thing!"

Publisher: "Nah, nobody wants to play those games anymore! Now go and make a game with a six-foot banana holding a triple rocket launcher!"

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On 11/15/2022 at 2:30 AM, GODSPEED said:

Brigade E5/7,62 High Calibre:

It is kind of a funny thing to talk about that game... 😂

Yeah I am totally with you. It falls into that category of: I really want to like the game but there is just so many things to struggle against. Especially in the later stages of the game.

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