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zookeeper
26-01-2012, 08:08 PM
Ever since it went up on steam (http://store.steampowered.com/app/57740/) a few weeks ago I've been having strange feelings. I checked with my hepatologist and he says everything's fine (mostly - or at least a completely separate problem), so I'm assuming that it must be the simmering anticipation I'm feeling for a game that I never thought would actually be released.

Is anyone else as giddily excited about this as I am?

Yet, at the same time, quietly preparing themselves for the inevitable crushing disappointment they're sure to feel upon release when it's not actually all that (or even remotely close to that)?

Malawi Frontier Guard
26-01-2012, 09:37 PM
I would only buy it if my -33% off bitcomposer coupon worked on new releases.

But it doesn't, so I won't.

(Unless it turns out to be amazingly good, which is in doubt)

Kelron
26-01-2012, 09:39 PM
I'd like to see more pause-and-plan games, but this one looks like it's removing a load of tactical depth too. Will try it, but I'm no longer optimistic.

JimTheDog
26-01-2012, 09:40 PM
I am really worried, because Kalypso was involved with the absolute piece of shit that was Hired Guns: The Jagged Edge -- a really shitty attempt to remake JA2 from a few years ago with a similar premise of being all modern.

nsane
29-01-2012, 01:41 AM
I saw the trailer and was extremely disappointed. I won't even play this game pirated or demo.

El_MUERkO
09-02-2012, 11:20 AM
So this was released today, I haven't bought it yet out of concern for its quality, when can we expect a 'Wot I thunk!'?

simast
09-02-2012, 05:48 PM
Anyone tried the full thing yet? Don't suppose they added FoW back or improved the AI in the final build?

And what's up with the official forums (http://boards.jaggedalliance.com/) being down. Actually, looks like a good thing for a publisher. Release the game with a lot of splashing advertisement and make sure the forums are temporary unavailable so the negative feedback does not affect your day 1 sales.

Edit: Seems there is a bunch of day 1 DLC already on Steam?

Kelron
09-02-2012, 07:05 PM
The demo was disappointingly bad, and unless I'm missing something, everyone was super accurate and firefights are won by the person with more HP.

Sarlix
09-02-2012, 07:30 PM
I don't think the Devs really know/or care what JA fans want. Reading on their forums, one of the Dev-reps was saying that they took FoW out because it made the game pause on every turn i.e made it turn based (Doh!)

@Kelron: Love your Avatar ^^

coldvvvave
09-02-2012, 08:39 PM
I tried the demo and disliked pretty much everything, from new voices and portraits to gameplay itself.

FuriKuri!
09-02-2012, 11:32 PM
Bought it and been playing it. It's not bad but there's soooo much missing from JA2 it really feels like a step back in some ways. OTOH the interface is, y'know, useable by human beings. So that's good.

Initial 'grrr' moment: You can't create your own custom merc! I loved this initial bit of JA2, it really eased you into the game and made it feel personal. You're limited to AIM mercs at the start and even then some of the ones you can afford won't work with you because "you need a reputation" first. Lame!

Weapon selection is a bit weird, I don't know if there's millions of guns to [eventually] buy like JA2 but the initial selection is a lot more limited. At the same time it's also more advanced; you can buy a .50 sniper right off the bat as well as that silly sci-fi rocket rifle, both of which struck me as odd. I liked the overwhelming choice in JA2 but realistically it just meant I spent ages on Bobby Ray's picking the best weapons and never using like 99% of what was on offer.

Inventory has been extremely streamlined. I don't know how I feel about it. JA2 suffered from being waaayyyy too much micro after awhile with this stuff - topping up spent mags got really irritating after awhile and I'm glad to see that's gone. Medkits etc now have usage 'pips' with 1 pip = 1 use. That's all good. Attachments, however, have been disappointingly simplified. Backpacks, pouches and webbing are all gone and substituted with a basic grid and 3 special slots for weapons. There's no inventory tetris though. ;(

Combat isn't great. My mercs stop shooting sometimes and I don't know why (they may be 'pinned' but the feedback isn't clear). I think the camo system only works if you're prone which can make for slow progress if you're trying to stealth. I lost mercs quite fast to start off with due to some dick running at them from a mile away and smacking them in the face with an axe without them bothering to react. I don't like real time systems where units can be this dumb when it comes to self-preservation. Best to just stick everyone on guard mode right at the start of the level. Opening a door alerts people from miles away, combining that with the axe murderers can make going into buildings annoying. Selecting between head/torso/leg shots can be fiddly. The loss of Fog o' War is tragic. There's no tension and flanking becomes too easy. JA2 cheated sometimes with enemies being somewhat telepathic as toward your general location but in this you can have a war going on a stone's throw from a bunch of enemies and they don't give a crap.

I dunno. It's not making me want to tear at my eyes or anything and I do want to play more. I haven't got that far into it yet (captured the airfield and Drassen) and can only afford 2 mercs and basic equipment. JA2 was a bit of a slow burner too so I'll be playing it some more tomorrow and get a more in depth feel for it.

Althea
09-02-2012, 11:36 PM
Edit: Seems there is a bunch of day 1 DLC already on Steam?
They're, almost blissfully, the pre-order bonuses. Seems a pretty clever choice on the part of the publisher to make them available from Day One.

Edit: Guys, what's the OST like? Big Dynamedion fan here, and I'm guessing it doesn't disappoint?

Sarlix
10-02-2012, 01:22 PM
Bought it and been playing it. -snip-

Thanks for that FuriKuri. Doesn't really sound like Jagged Alliance then, but maybe an OK game in its own right? Will look forward to reading any further thoughts you have.

FuriKuri!
11-02-2012, 11:04 AM
Althea; It's just kinda 'there' I suppose. It captures the feel of the game very well and is definately in the same vein as the JA2 soundtrack. I've heard it said that if you actually notice the soundtrack in a film/game too much it's most likely because it's poor or jarring too much with what's actually happening. Don't know if I entirely agree with that but the soundtrack definately carries itself. I couldn't imagine listening to it for the sake of it but I feel that way about 99% of game OSTs.

I've been playing it pretty solidly although it is still somewhat early days. It's a fun game, I'm enjoying it and when I stop playing I look forward to playing it some more. So it definately has its good bits, BUT it sure is pretty flawed. As a lazy sort of analogy, it is to JA2 what the UFO:After- series was to XCOM. It certainly moves a lot of the combat mechanics in a similar direction so if you played those games and enjoyed them, this is a solid buy.

I'll focus on the negatives a bit as there are some design decisions in this which just are not very good. This is likely all you vultures are interested in anyway. :)

My biggest complaint about the combat system is a mistake made in the first UFO:After- series, and that is your guys shoot only when you tell them, as much as you tell them. If you click once for a headshot, your guy will shoot once and only once. Since you have no real way of knowing whether 1 shot or 5 shots will kill or even hit your target this becomes a problem and you cannot reliably make a plan to say 'kill this guy, then this guy, then that one'. You end up clicking 20 times on some guys face to stack attack orders to ensure he's killed - stupid. You can alleviate this to an extent with using a guard mode. But that has a very limited range and observation angle and cannot be fully relied on especially in ranged engagements. It's that horrible videogame problem of misinterpreting the player's intent and it could've been so much better handled.

The camera is rubbish especially with buildings. Sometimes you can 'see' an enemy but a wall or door or something will physically block you from being able to order your merc to shoot them, even if your merc has perfect line of sight. Fortunately this doesn't happen too often.

I mentioned previously that a lot of the micro nonsense in JA2 that has been ditched, but this has been replaced by a bunch of other micro nonsense to annoy you an equal amount. Milita aren't 'trained' any more, once you capture an area (then re-enter it) there are unarmed guys hanging around which you must MANUALLY arm by getting your mercs to give them weapons. Each merc can only carry 3 spare guns and some mercs are on the weak side so this all becomes a tedious business of ferrying a severly limited amount of looted assault rifles around. Your limited numbers at the start of the game don't help. Fortunately you don't have to worry about supplying them with ammo, although they also need armour.

Selling weapons/spare junk is similar - there are now specific NPCs with limited money pools to sell crap to. So more ferrying. At least until they run out of cash.

Weapons and armour degrade similar to JA2 but now you can only repair weapons. There's no merc management on the map to set mercs to sleep/repair/train/etc. (you can only move your squads about now) so you must manually go to an area, get a merc with a toolkit and manually click to repair your squad's weapons. Unrepairable armour is the worst design decision I've encountered so far. Armour is bloody expensive, uncommon to find and degrades rapidly.

So that's that. To end on a positive note it does feel very 'JA' and overall it's enjoyable. If it's open to modding I'm sure a few tweaks here and there could get this to be a great game, it's just a shame to see some of these basic mistakes when they've been made and resolved in other games.

cairbre
11-02-2012, 01:23 PM
@FuriKuril thanks for taking the time to write your views on the game. I am going to go ahead and buy it now. I know its not perfect but its nice to see games like this being made again and I liked the demo even if I found it very hard. You have convinced me.

Great Avatar BTW. Thanks

TailSwallower
11-02-2012, 07:12 PM
Milita aren't 'trained' any more, once you capture an area (then re-enter it) there are unarmed guys hanging around which you must MANUALLY arm by getting your mercs to give them weapons. Each merc can only carry 3 spare guns and some mercs are on the weak side so this all becomes a tedious business of ferrying a severly limited amount of looted assault rifles around. Your limited numbers at the start of the game don't help. Fortunately you don't have to worry about supplying them with ammo, although they also need armour.

That's a dealbreaker, ladies.

Seriously, who thought that would be a good idea? Unless of course they've toned down counter-attacks so much that militia arming is completely irrelevant, but that in itself would be another travesty.

Anyway, I only bought JA2 last year from GOG and still have to finish it (might need to start a new game even, 'cause I don't know if I backed up my save), so there's plenty of game there for me to play.

Althea
11-02-2012, 07:37 PM
Althea; It's just kinda 'there' I suppose. It captures the feel of the game very well and is definately in the same vein as the JA2 soundtrack. I've heard it said that if you actually notice the soundtrack in a film/game too much it's most likely because it's poor or jarring too much with what's actually happening. Don't know if I entirely agree with that but the soundtrack definately carries itself. I couldn't imagine listening to it for the sake of it but I feel that way about 99% of game OSTs.
I don't know what JA2's soundtrack was like, but that sounds like Dynamedion did their job well, which is all I care about :D

Malawi Frontier Guard
11-02-2012, 10:52 PM
My biggest complaint about the combat system is a mistake made in the first UFO:After- series, and that is your guys shoot only when you tell them, as much as you tell them.

I don't remember how it worked in Aftermath, but in Aftershock and Afterlight, clicking only once without another order lets a unit shoot an enemy until he's out of sight. Maybe they made it like that?

FuriKuri!
12-02-2012, 09:17 AM
Sadly no - as you mention this was one of the major improvements of the sequels but, alas, the devs of BIA apparently didn't play those.

If you pump stats into your merc's perception their guard range increases to the point where they can be reliably left to defend themselves. Easier said than done of course, the game is entirely exp based and levels aren't that easy to gain, so deciding about where to spend your level up points isn't always easy.

I had my sniper slowly but surely pick apart a SAM site yesterday. That was a lot of fun. The 25min 'cleanup' process after - not so much. There's no sector inventory so again, you have to manually loot everything. Le sigh. It really is a good game buried under tedium.

agentorange
12-02-2012, 09:39 AM
I don't know what JA2's soundtrack was like, but that sounds like Dynamedion did their job well, which is all I care about :D

It matched the ambiance of the game quite perfectly, and was reminiscent of the Predator soundtrack enough so that you felt like a total badass while listening to it. The problem was that weren't too many tracks, and due to how drawn out fights could be you would often end up listening to the same song until it grew dull.

Favorite track. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkLj1B-rMn8)

TailSwallower
12-02-2012, 11:34 AM
Attachments, however, have been disappointingly simplified. Backpacks, pouches and webbing are all gone and substituted with a basic grid and 3 special slots for weapons. There's no inventory tetris though. ;(

I meant to mention this before, but weren't the backpacks, pouches, etc, just added in with 1.13? I remember starting a game and the inventory system was really basic, then restarting the game with 1.13 and having to figure out what the deal was with the inventory system.

Perhaps the devs of BIA only played vanilla JA2, and not 1.13.

Fumarole
12-02-2012, 04:11 PM
I played the demo and thought it was shite at first; playing some more just made me realize that it was just me. I can see myself buying this when the price drops to below $20.

Anyone know about how many missions there are?

Sarlix
12-02-2012, 04:22 PM
Anyone know about how many missions there are?

Not sure how many missions there are but it's claimed it will take 70hours to complete.

On a side note; They are supposed to be patching in Fog of War in the the next patch. They left it out because it makes the game too difficult apparently. Also, while they won't be offering any modding tools at this time, people over at the forum have already began to mod it. Only small things so far but hopefully some of the more tedious aspects of the game can be changed.

FuriKuri!
12-02-2012, 09:09 PM
Fumarole:

Well one of the nice/interesting things about JA2 and BIA is that you could go straight to the last bit of the game and try to beat it right off the bat. Of course you won't get far being hopelessly outgunned, but this theme has been maintained in BIA. There are cities and other various areas that you can choose to control which have the advantage of (sometimes) giving you daily income, revealing the nearby world map so you can see enemy troop movements and generally having goodies to loot. There are sidequests to do which can give you money or freebie mercs. The sidequests are much, much better handled than in JA2 and appear to be a lot more numerous.

Consequently there isn't really an answer to "how many missions" as this depends on how thorough you're inclined to be. There seems to be at least 10 major areas for you to capture and a whole bunch of smaller bits such as farms and hideouts. Whether you go for total conquest or doing the bare minimum to get to the end you'll have a long game ahead of you. However, as I previously mentioned, a good chunk of that time WILL be spent doing mind-numbing micro repetition.

Fumarole
07-03-2012, 01:13 AM
I eventually broke down and bought it. I've put around fifty hours into it and am enjoying it. If one takes it on its own merits without constant comparison to the former game (hard to do I know) it's a decent game. Not without problems, sure, but the upcoming patch (http://boards.jaggedalliance.com/index.php?/topic/1487-new-informations-on-the-first-major-update/) should go a way towards relieving that.


General Bugfixes
- Fixed some enemy using wrong combination of pants and shoe meshes
- Fixed Sightcones not being cleared properly when leaving a level
- Fixed Sightcones displayed in wrong direction when moving in command mode
- Shader bug fixed that caused incorrectly colored objects
- Fixed bug where tank had impact on performance
- Fixed smoke grenade (blocking sight and its visual effect duration were slightly different)
- Fixed bug where recruitable PCs like Ira became not recruitable after leaving the map
- Fixed bug where AI coud become unalterted again after saving & loading

Modding
- Added additional Weapon and Ammo IDs- Sight distances tweaked and made more easy to modify
- Noise values tweaked and made more easy to modify

Achievements
- Fixed bug where "She's dead, Enrico" achievement would not unlock correctly
- Collect achievements are not anymore received when game has been modified

Visuals and Graphics Options added
- Launcher does not anymore check for vertex shader texture fetch, prohibiting older cards to start the game although they feature SM 3.0
- Added Distance based culling for small objects
- Added "Very High" terrain quality option in ingame menu
- Added View Distance as option in ingame menu (determines distance fog position)

Gameplay Fixes and Changes
- Civilians and potential militia recruits do not trigger mines anymore
- Children will try to maintain a minimum distance from player characters to ensure they do not clog doors or passages when following the player around the map
- Noise perception influenced by objects that cover the origin of the sound
- Enemy sight cones in 2D display in addition to 3D cones to make more clear what an enemy can see and to make lag of 3d cone calculation on slower machines more bearable
- Durability of clothing or items worn is only reduced when they actually prevented damage
- Armor is reduced only by 10% for each time it can fully prevent its protection value (e.g. if armor can potentially prevent 30 damage and only prevents 15 damage since it is hit in an already existing weak spot its durability is only reduced by 5%)
- Stamina is not reduced anymore when the whole map belongs to the player (all enemies are killed)
- Bobby Ray‘s Inventory only restocks after 3 days
- Bobby Ray’s express delivery now takes 24 hours, standard delivery takes 48 hours
- Laserpointer attachments reduce time to aim
- Targeting has several points of origin to become more flexible, further reduced chance of a small objects preventing a shot
- Picking improved, should be easier to select body zones when targeting
- Militia is always on the map even if the map still belongs to the enemy and can be recruited directly after liberating a map
- Reloading always reduces the smallest stack of ammo in the inventory to ensure that inventory space is cleared more quickly
- World Map: Travel speed is reduced when stamina is low
- World Map: Squads are forced to rest when stamina is close to 0 stamina to prevent squads reaching their target location with 0 stamina
- Explosives Skill also influences time for grenades to detonate after being thrown (e.g. a merc with higher explosive skill will “cook” grenades longer before throwing them so they explode more closely to their impact on the ground)

UI
- SHIFT+ LEFT CLICK on target orders merc to repeat the attack until the target is dead
- Merc names are displayed on mouse over
- Time to shoot is displayed as a countdown on each merc when attacking to make it more transparent that a merc is actually trying to shoot and how long it will take the merc to fire his shot
- Closing the inventory when a merc has been selected who is currently selectable in game will not reset selection to previous merc
- Added „Loot All“ Button in loot UI
- Added “Select Whole Squad” Button to Squad name
- Minimap: Left Click jumps camera to cursor position
- Minimap: Right Click orders selected merc(s) to move to cursor position
- Worldmap: Added „Enter Map“ Button to Squad UI to allow “fast travel” via the world map to be more flexible (e.g. player can also enter a map outside a combat zone)
- Worldmap: Clicking enemy squad displays level of squad members to allow the player to make a more educated guess on wheter or not he should intercept the squad or leave the defense to militia
- Worldmap: Squad UI displays slowdown or resting via status icon

Sound
- Sound played after last enemy on map has been killed

The patch after this one should include the fog of war option many people missed from the previous games.