Jagged Alliance 2 remake in 3D by bitComposer

Okay, the chicks had their first taste of battle today when the forces of tyranny decided to try to retake Cambria. I ran my all girl force to meet them in the desert and decided to try some Mongolian tactics.

The first thing I did was retreat in haste to a position with good cover. I was a bit surprised, but they didn't give chase. Instead, they bunched up in a tight little group. Once I recognized this, I crept my three machinegunners into a triangulated ambush and went prone. After that, I fired a coordinated head shot from my two snipers at the lead bad guy, resulting in a full on head explosion.

Unfortunately, since this killed him outright, the others did not activate. So I next tried shooting two separate ones in the leg. This actually did have the desired effect of having them run straight into the teeth of the ambush in what appeared to be a rugby scrum formation. Once they got within the kill zone, I opened up with two RPK's and a SAW while Spider sat safely behind a large rock.

The hail of gunfire lasted about 6 seconds and claimed 10 bad guys. Not a single one managed to get a shot off.

The loot they dropped was pretty mediocre. Lots of ammunition, a couple smgs, an FN-FAL, a lockpick kit, and some small medkits. I'm almost tempted to keep my squad parked out there in the desert just to dare them to keep coming at me.

In the meantime, the squad consisting of Igor, Ivan, Buns, Grunty, Nails, and Iggy have been tearing holy hell along the western coast. Buns seems to be having fun with the scoped Dragonov. Her girlish laugh upon whacking someone with a single head shot is a bit off-putting. Rushing rooms and bunkers almost seems unfair when you have Nails, Iggy, and Buns working in concert. I really ought to get Iggy a P90, but he seems to be doing just find with the Mac-10 and the ammo is a lot easier to find. And when he's working in concert with Nails and Buns, his job is just to keep the other guy from shooting back while Buns lines up the point blank head shot or Nails blows a hole the size of a melon through the bad guy's chest.

Meanwhile on the east side, the team consisting of Wolf, Red, MD, Malice, Steroid, and Blood has pretty much turned the corner and is working toward the center. Ira came through and armed the militia in a couple areas they blew through and is cleaning up some of the quest loose ends. Shank will do some gleaning behind them as well. Dynamo is sitting in Cambria waiting for Devin and Maddog to make their way there so he can lead the cleanup squad along with Bull, Hamous, and Grizzly.

I am practically at the gates of the final city, so I am pretty sure the game is mostly over. I can't decide if I want to blitz through and end it or if I want to finish all the open quests first.

More hints from Michael about the update but nothing really new. He already said in the first post he already has the schedual. All he said is that it's going according to plan .

BitComposer_Michael wrote:

I do know when we plan to release the first major update. It's not too far away anymore. I will share more details soon I think. Heading to Kalypso tomorrow to discuss a few things and then... well, let's see

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Paleocon wrote:

And when he's working in concert with Nails and Buns, his job is just to keep the other guy from shooting back while Buns lines up the point blank head shot or Nails blows a hole the size of a melon through the bad guy's chest.

I once had Buns kill someone 20 meter away with a headshot while in standing stance using and FN-57 . Buns really knows how to use pistols ;).

I've sort of put this game on hold (at 27 hours) waiting for the patch, hoping there will be sector inventory. I am looking forward to picking the game back up, though, as I was really enjoying it.

ebarstad wrote:

I've sort of put this game on hold (at 27 hours) waiting for the patch, hoping there will be sector inventory. I am looking forward to picking the game back up, though, as I was really enjoying it.

I haven't stop playing the game but I play less because it's hard to dodge a fun game ;). I play about an hour a day and on some days I don't play at all the game. It's true it's hard to equip your mercs with the current system where you have to keep those guys running back and forth . The inventory handling is so tedious my squad sometimes doesn't come well equipped to the battlefield .

I'm think that in my next play through I'll install the mod which let you recruit everyone from the very beginning which would add a lot to the game's replay value.

I find that the whole running around bit is marginally more manageable when you click on the character profiles instead of having to hunt down where the merc is on the map. Autoscrolling of the map would help a ton as well since even in the widest view, your screen is too small to take in enough of the map to get a feel for what is happening. It often feels like you're viewing the conflict through a letter slot.

My two main groups are racing toward Deidriana's capitol to the Southwest. I've taken all the SAM sites and am about to take out the other airport. The other group is further behind having stopped to transfer inventory to the cleanup crew to sell for cash. They are about to assault a supply depot further east.

It almost feels a bit like Konev and Zhukov racing for Berlin.

Hopefully, I can avoid the disaster at Seelow Heights.

ebarstad wrote:

I've sort of put this game on hold (at 27 hours) waiting for the patch, hoping there will be sector inventory. I am looking forward to picking the game back up, though, as I was really enjoying it.

I've done the same thing as well.

It looks like Diedriana has taken notice and has been sending troops all over the place. They caught me napping and managed to take the town to the southeast. Now i might need to turn wolfs squad around.

I. The meantime Igor's squad has managed to take the capitol. It looks like maze will be a gigantic pain in the ass. I might need to stock up on grenades and flashbangs. I might also rework my squads to boost my close assault capabilities.

Also, killing the child trafficker was pretty awesome. Spider went to talk with her, but she pulled a gun on her. Spider ran out the door and out of sight while the cavalry came in and took care of business. Scope and Raven covered the exists while Vicky rushed into the room and suppressed the hell out of her while Grizzly ran up and stabbed her in the neck a couple times.

That left Cambria only guarded by Ivan, Dynamo, and Shank when the bad guys arrived. Dynamo took at two guys with his sniper rifle before running up to the roof along with Ivan. The remaining 8 bad guys all piled into an alleyway and came out one by one. Ivan is a surgeon with an assault rifle and took out four of them on his own. The last four all came out at once, but by then Shank was in position with a P90. He and Ivan opened up in burst fire and took out the last four in a hail of gunfire.

Scope now has a .50 cal that I'm dying to try out. I am a little wary about it because of the scarcity of ammo. The Dragonov and PSG-1 seem to be far more practical since the bad guys seem to drop that stuff all the time. I just wish there was a 7.62x39 machinegun since it seems like every other bad guy is armed with a Chinese sub gun or SKS.

Okay, B-Team has made it to the bridge to Deidriana's palace and is parked there while the other teams complete the other quests. She sent a team out to try to retake the SAM site, but they have to go through B-Team to get to it. I've mined the hell out of this side of the bridge and have plenty of ammo stocked up for the siege. I have plenty of good ground and it looks like I should be able to hold her forces at bay for quite some time. I just hope she doesn't come with lots of tanks.

Oh, and when Deidriana's forces come at you with human wave attacks, you can never have too many machineguns.

Michael said there will be an announcement on Monday.

BitComposer_Michael wrote:

Alright. On monday there'll be probably the announcement of the first update with it's fixes and features. Also a hint, what will be in the second one. Just to let you guys know.

It was somewhat challenging to post this using my phone but Swype let me type fairly fast. The quoting was the hard part ;).

I think the chick team is probably the one best suited to park itself right outside Deidriana's Palace. Two dedicated snipers, three machinegunners, and the best medic in the game? I think I need to express ship a crateful of .50BMG so Scope can practice headshots with the Barrett.

More news from Michael :

BitComposer_Michael wrote:

By the way: we're finishing up the patchnotes. Don't know if they'll be released today (since there are also a lot of bugfixes and it's yet a question if we're going to post them too or not. Also it takes some time to create the patchnotes out of all the infos). So what I want to say: It could become tomorrow until you'll see the notes. The patch is (nearly) done. What follows now is an extensive testing-time.

I'm guessing we got at least 1.5 weeks till release. I'm guessing they don't want to rush this patch through the half bakery like 1.05 (heal/repair bug introduced and fixed a day later).

I haven't had much time to play this, but I feel like I'm playing vicariously through Paleo. Keep up the reports!

Both the A Team and the NPC team are batting clean up right now. I have identified four five final locations under Deidriana's control other than her palace. I don't know where the barracks bunker key is if there is one and my best mechanic doesn't seem to have the skill to either pick the locks or pry the doors open, so it remains in red control.

I found the hideouts and am gearing up to take them out. The gas station and final roadblock are next to go. In the meantime, I've run out of defuse kits pulling all the mines out of different locations to plant in front of Diedriana's palace. Can't have the children blowing themselves up and I might as well fortify the DMZ while I clean up the quests.

I've armed the living crap out of the militias in the areas I have held for a while, but I'm starting to think it is unnecessary. And I'm wondering if doing so presents a long term instability problem for the little island nation. I might have to begin a disarmament program once I'm convinced Diedriana's forces are fully defeated.

I am strongly considering sending an expendable merc to scout out Deidriana's palace so I can get the intel necessary to assault it. If it were me, I'd have the single map entrance fortified like the freaking North/South Korea DMZ, so I figure that anyone I send is going to have a one way ticket. Ira, right now, seems the most suitable candidate.

Redwing wrote:

I haven't had much time to play this, but I feel like I'm playing vicariously through Paleo. Keep up the reports!

Indeed. I haven't added this one to my pile yet, but I've been watching a let's play series on it on youtube. I've really been enjoying Paleocon's stories too. I kinda feel like I'm taking notes for when I actually do end up getting this.

It's funny what you find entertaining in this game.

I had Nails creep up to see if he could line up a shot on a group of bad guys, but it looked like there were too many trees in the way. Robear was watching over my shoulder so I asked him "should I plant a potato?" and he gave me a puzzled look. I then went to Nails' inventory, pulled out a mine, and planted it at the base of a tree.

Robear said "Oh, a potato. But no one is going to stumble on it over there.". I replied "Ye of little faith.".

After that, I set up my ambush, crept over to the right along the beach, and took a potshot at the most heavily armored guy in the group. The shot sailed wide and hit some crates behind him, but had the desired effect of activating his agro response. At that, Nails stood up and ran back to the ambush line.

The guy gave chase and was a good 3 yards wide of the mine. Robear had that look on his face that said "I told you so", but when he got to within activation range of my ambush line and started taking fire, he dove for cover .... right into the tree.

After the morbid laughter died down, I zoomed in to reveal that the guy's body was caught up in the tree. It was dangling there off of a branch like some kind of Christmas ornament. Robear was all like "That's sick. You should get him down.". I just replied "Pour l'encouragement d'les autres".

Some meaty patch notes for the next update:

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

ebarstad wrote:

Some meaty patch notes for the next update:

You are fast . I'll just post a link to the related thread on the official forum.

There is no sector inventory yet but there are some major improvement that would make the players happy. The devs might not officially support modding but Michael managed to push in some unofficial support ;).

What I liked is shoot until killed, no stamina reduction when moving in a controlled area(helps with inventory management) , the perk for explosive expert with grenades(Wolf = superman), and of course laser designator (Wolf ++) . The other UI changes would be nice too. We'll have to wait and see how it would affect the game when the patch comes out.

Michael also said this is not the complete list and that the devs are going to do some extensive testing before release.

Okay, I've cleared the map of all traces of red except the palace and the barracks. I would empty the barracks, but I can't seem to figure out how to breach either door. I don't know where the key is if one exists and even Vicki with her 95 mechanic skill doesn't have a high enough ability to even attempt to open the door with either the lockpick set or the crowbar.

I left a small containment force at the barracks just to keep the four or five folks locked in there. In the meantime, I sent just about everyone else down to the gates of the palace. I mined removed pretty much all the mines from the airport and Meduna city and mined the hell out of this side of the bridge in anticipation of waves of Deidriana's troops. So far, I have just over four full squads of troops lined up ready to blow the bejeebus out of anyone who makes it through the minefield and the armament ranges everywhere from an FN-FAL on the light side to automatic rocket rifles on the higher end with six machineguns and six sniper rifles in between.

Unfortunately, there seems to be some sort of bug, because when her troops ran across the bridge on the strategic map, they didn't appear at the Maze. Instead, about half of my troops ended up on the other side of the bridge and under fire. I don't know if that is because I mined the hell out of their deployment area and it bugged or what, but it wasn't what I was expecting.

I guess I'll have to play the end then.

Okay. I finally pulled the trigger on the last stage last night as I was getting tired of hunting down the drug stash in the desert and interviewing random civilians for the final two side quests. Those two side quests will just have to go unresolved.

I spent about a half hour restocking all of my mercs with brand new armor. I had plenty of ammo, grenades, and equipment from all the stuff Deidriana's troops were dropping every time they got gunned down at the maze. Three full squads armed with machineguns and sniper rifles will do that.

I lined up my squads at the edge of the bridge and then took my lead squad across. This resulted in all three squads crossing over into the Palace tile.

Immediately, they came under fire, so I ran the chicks to the left flank, went prone and put down a curtain of machinegun fire in an attempt to suppress. The A Team ran up center and to the right under fire to secure a flanking position. The Russians took the rocky ground in the center and put down more fire. I lit up the front of the firs tower bunker with a crapload of fire and got the five guys inside to go to ground. After that, I ran Igor up and tossed two frag grenades into the opening and the position was mine.

I then put the machinegunners in ambush to cover the two likely approaches for human wave attacks. After that, I positioned the snipers to the roof of the tower. Six snipers in all. I took coordinated shots at folks on Tower #2 killing three mercs instantly. This had the desired effect of triggering a human wave across the footbridge and into my machinegun ambush. 8 machineguns made short work of those brave enough to rush across.

Next, the snipers took extreme range shots at folks on balconies. Again, human waves came into the jaws of my machineguns. The carnage was impressive. By the time it had ended, my snipers had no one else to provoke.

There was one stubborn defender left at Tower 2. He kept popping his head up and dropping back down so I couldn't hit him with the sniper rifle. At one point, he headed into one of those concrete phone booths. I couldn't get a decent firing solution on him, so I said screw it, and brought Nails up to the top of Tower 1 with his rocket rifle. I manually targeted the opening of the booth and left fly with a single rocket. Direct hit. The bad guy's body bounced off the inner wall and out into the street.

After looting the 40 or so bodies for replacement ammo, I set up another ambush in front of the palace proper. I ran Wolf up to the door to recon and it looked like there were 20 mercs inside in ambush. They were too far away to hit with a grenade and the angles were all wrong to light up the front of the building. I might need to bring Scope up to hunt for a place to thread a needle to take out one or two, but in the meantime, I think I might also run the A-Team around to the side entrance to see if I can get a flanking position.

That's where I saved and ended for the day.

The chicks and the A-Team worked through the kitchen and rained down overwhelming firepower from the balcony. I took some lead getting into position, but the blitzkrieg tactics worked. I assaulted from the top down whilst cutting off retreat from the bottom. Classic Marine tactics.

I crept up to the large carpeted room from two sides. The marble walkways left me pretty exposed, but I made sure to keep low. The chicks worked to the right while the A-team worked to the left. Raven tossed a grenade into the room and ran back to the bottom of the stairs. Two guys ran out and were cut down by machinegun fire from Buzz, Meltdown, and Vicki.

Simultaneous to that, Wolf, Blood, and MD ran in through the other door and blew the two remaining guys away at point blank range while they were pointed in the opposite direction. Two others came in from the connected room, but were cut down by fire pretty quickly.

The final room was well defended. It had over 15 extremely well armed mercs in it and the angles made it impossible to snipe them at range. I tried threading in rockets or sniper shots, but to no avail.

I then decided to see if I could flank from the other side. I walked past the pool and noticed that a single bad guy was holed up in the bathroom with an RPK. On closer examination, it was female. I posited that it was probably my target.

I brought three machinegunners into position to cover the door and then got my assault team in place. I figured that she would have a hard time targeting me before I cut the distance to knife range, so I got my stabbers (Malice, Blood, and MD) in breach formation. Just for good measure, I tossed three flashbangs into the room and waited for the room to erupt in overpressure. She was hidden behind the door, but still got hit hard by the effect.

After that, I ran into the room and stabbed the hell out of her from three different angles. MD, violating his oath to do no harm, struck the final blow.

On the second play through I'm being a lot more methodical. I've picked through locations pretty clean and am arming the hell out or militias. The Royal Cambrian Constabulary with its 19 armed officers successfully repelled two strikes from Deidriana forces without assistance.

Possibly the single most frustrating thing about this game is the scads of impossibly immovable street waifs that block every doorway you want to get through.

You're being chased by an axe murdering psychotic lumberjack and need to get through a door? Too bad. A 40 pound Third World 8 year old is blocking it and has suddenly accumulated the mass of an Amana side by side refrigerator full of concrete and rebar and you're f*ed. Nothing to do but load your last save and redo the entire level.

Seriously. If I'm a, um, MERCENARY and some emaciated rugrat is standing between me and my narrow escape from an ugly, painful death, the kid is getting a flying knee right in the chin and will slow me down by exactly .0001 second as I hit him in stride.

manually shooting around them usually gets them running.

Hopefully the flying knee gets put into the next update.

The behavior of all the noncombatants has been deeply frustrating. I tried to set up an ambush where I had Nails plant a mine in the middle of the road. The idea was that he would set it up, retreat back to my fire base, and Scope would take a potshot at one of the bad guys and stir up the nest.

Unfortunately, a group of kids decided to swarm him as he was planting the mine, triggered the mine and killed him. The kids were injured as well, but since they are freaking immortal, they simply limped off.

I get the whole civilians as flavor thing, but is it really necessary for them to be the single biggest health hazard to my mercenaries?

For illustration:

Tiger Kick!

Okay. This time around, I'm fine toothed combing areas to make sure I haven't missed out on anything important.

I noticed on my trip through Drassen that there is a shack that is only accessible via demolition charge. I didn't have one at the time and didn't have a demo guy good enough to use one if I did, so I skipped it. Is there anything worthwhile in it?

Also, I've been keeping a cash reserve to take advantage of offers local vendors have. I'm also keeping a keen eye to individual mercenary morale. I'm not sure how it makes a difference, but I figured it can't hurt.

It's early in the game (4 days have passed), but I've taken the Airport, Drassen, the water pump, the roadblock, the university, the hospital, the mine, Cambria, the hideout, SAM station, the second roadblock, the overturned truck, the barracks, and the docks. At the docks, I managed to scrape together enough from the reserve fund to purchase a .50 cal sniper rifle, a .30 cal machinegun, a CAWS shotty and enough ammo to get through doomsday.

My current team looks like this:

Wolf: CAWS shotty, TAR21
Fox: Mac 10, TAR21
Nails: FN shotty, AK47
Raider: TAR21, HK .30 cal machinegun
Raven: .50 cal, HK USP 45

I picked up Ira, but she doesn't play well with others, so I left her in Cambria to shore up the Royal Cambrian Constabulary (with its now 21 sworn officers). So far, they have managed to repel 3 attempts to retake Cambria. I've also had to repel one attempt to retake the SAM station and that is still pretty exposed. I'll need to get a second team together to provide mobile defense before I get too terribly overextended.

I have Bull and Grizzly en route to the airport currently and have enough in both the Cambrian and Dockside arsenal to arm them rather well when they get in. They'll have to do for now. The plan is to get enough scratch together to get Vicki so I can have her man the .30 cal. Plus there was a particularly stubborn door in Balime that I think could use her safecracker's touch.

I wish there was a way to move folks from one squad to another easily.

Paleocon wrote:

Okay. This time around, I'm fine toothed combing areas to make sure I haven't missed out on anything important.

I noticed on my trip through Drassen that there is a shack that is only accessible via demolition charge. I didn't have one at the time and didn't have a demo guy good enough to use one if I did, so I skipped it. Is there anything worthwhile in it?

Nothing that equals cost of the C4 IIRC.

Okay. The whole fine toothed comb approach has been paying dividends. I discovered the alma prison basement and the arsenal there that I missed the last time.

I also picked up a unique item that I think I'll run back to my cambrian stronghold just in case it proves useful. In the meantime my force is pressing on down the east coast.