Markus Ramikin

Dark Forces II: Single Player Rebalance

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On a whim I made a mod that rebalances the Force Powers with the single player campain in mind. Mana regen is increased, some abilities have cooldowns now, Pull and Protection are nerfed, Lightning, Destruction, Absorb are more viable, Persuasion still extremely useful but works much more briefly, Deadly Sight doubles as a lifedrain spell, Grip works on bosses but at much higher mana cost, etc., etc.

Bosses are more aggressive with their Force powers too. Sariss, for example, is a lot more fun, since you have to periodically interrupt her Deadly Sight! Fortunately you have enough tools for that even without LoS tricks. And Jerec's Lightning use attempts are, shall we say, less pitiful here.

Will be improving it further, and maybe adding a MotS version, but the 1.1 Beta is playable and fun (for me at least), so might as well see if I can get some feedback. I mostly wrote this for myself, but I'd be happy to know if anyone else is using this too.

EDIT: It's complete now. Version 1.02 Readme:



Markus Ramikin's Single Player Campaign Rebalance mod for Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight

version: 1.02

(General version, for use with and without the GlowsaberX mod.)

Table of contents:

I. Concept
II. General changes
III. Force Powers
IV. Bosses
V. Past version changes



This is meant purely for Single Player, as the balance in multiplayer is much different.

I'm addressing the following issues:

1. Force Powers

- Low mana regeneration. If you rely on offensive Force powers, you kill 1-3 enemies and then have to wait a long time.
- Force Pull is way too fast, cheap, and convenient, making later Force Powers obsolete against anyone with a gun.
- Force Protection is essentially godmode.
- Persuasion lasts too long and has no cooldown.
- Darksiders lack any life-drain spell.
- Bosses are somehow immune to Grip and Deadly Sight. You'd think Grip would be especially useful in single combat!
- Sound effects for Force Seeing and Force Protection are a bit annoying.

2. Bosses

I also make late game bosses more aggressive and dangerous, make them use their powers more, to balance the increased spammability of offensive powers, and to increase the usefulness of Absorb and Blind.

They also use Pull more readily.


II. General changes

1. Force regeneration

* Regeneration greatly increased.
Especially earlier in the game: 18x for Initiates (rank 1), up to a more modest 4x at Jedi Lord/Dark Lord (rank 8).
To be exact: regeneration formula changed from regen = Rank/2 to regen = 8+Rank.

* Force regeneration drastically reduced during status effects, to 1/16 of normal.
Affects Speed, Persuasion, Absorb, Protection.
Force Seeing is the exception.

* Some Force powers will cost more now, to compensate.

2. Cooldown icons

Several abilities have a cooldown, a period you have to wait before you can use the ability again.

Some of these cooldowns have their own icons. They are based on the enlarged icons from jkgui mod, so if you want all your icons to be the same size, get that mod too.

Channelled abilities with new cooldown icons:
- Persuasion
- Absorb
- Protection
Singleshot abilities with standard icons during the cooldown:
- Pull
- Destruction

Cooldown icons are high-resolution only (16-bit).


III. Force Powers

1. Neutral powers:

* Speed
- Mana cost 20 -> 50.
- Mana regeneration drastically reduced while active.
- Duration set to 10 seconds regardless of rank in Speed.
(That way you're not punished for being good at the spell with prolonged low mana regen. Higher ranks still give you higher speed, of course.)

* Jump
- Mana cost 20 -> 50.

* Seeing
- Mana cost 30 -> 50.
- Turned off the annoying channelled sound. Now you can listen for footsteps as you check the map for enemies!

* Pull
Nerfed, especially in later levels. Tough/Elite enemies hold on to their guns strongly in the face of a Jedi. They cost more Force to disarm, and your mental "fingers" need rest afterwards:
- New mana costs are from 2.5x to 7.5x of original (50-150 mana).
- Cooldown can be from 0.5 seconds for Imperial Officers, up to 3 seconds for Commandos and Trandoshans (original: 0.2 seconds).
- This difficulty is based off the enemy's current health, so it's more forgiving on Normal and Easy, and against already injured enemies.


2. Lightside powers:

* Heal
- Heals 5 * rank instead of 20 * rank, to account for the change in mana regeneration.     
No longer a good panic button, but it's more convenient to heal small wounds. Heal-per-minute efficiency is unchanged at Jedi Lord rank, better at lower ranks, compared to the unmodded game.

* Persuasion
Modified. Now more of a brief advantage rather than an "Ai=off" cheat:
- The 250 mana cost lowered to 240, 200, 160, 120 depending on rank in Persuasion.
- Duration lowered from 10, 20, 30, 40 seconds to 7 seconds, regardless of rank in Persuasion.
- Added a cooldown after it ends: 20, 15, 10, 5 seconds, depending on rank in Persuasion.
- Mana regeneration drastically reduced while active.

* Blind
- Mana cost reduced from 100 to 50 for normal enemies.
- Against bosses cost increased to 200, and duration lowered from up to 20 seconds to up to 8 seconds.
- Interrupts Sariss' Deadly Sight. Aside from that, she remains near-immune like in the unmodded game.
- Can't Blind the same enemy until the first Blind wears off. (Solves a bug with re-blinding bosses that existed in the unmodded game too.)

* Absorb
Necessary to get any shooting done against later bosses, because otherwise they Pull your weapons quickly.
- Always absorbs 100% Force damage, otherwise having less than 4 stars would be useless. (Stars still affect duration.)
- 10 seconds cooldown after it ends.
- Added a sound effect when the power is active, so you can still know when it stops and goes into cooldown.
- Mana regeneration drastically reduced while active.
* Protection
Heavily reworked, nerfed from its godmode status. Now a bit similar to its equivalent in Jedi Academy.
Originally: Used all mana up to 300, but had no minimum, so you could always use it!
            Lasted up to 53 seconds, depending on Jedi rank.
            Blasters were deflected for free.
            Absorbed up to 200 damage depending on Jedi rank.
- Costs 300 mana, lasts 24 seconds.
- Reduces all damage by 50%, including blasters and physical.
- When fully depleted, it turns off completely, without leaving misleading visuals.
- Followed by a 10 second cooldown.
- Lowered the sound volume. It's high-pitched (compared to others) and was kinda loud.
- Mana regeneration drastically reduced while active.


3. Darkside powers:

* Throw
- Mana cost 30 -> 60

* Grip
- longer range, equal to Pull now.
- Crushes life out of the enemy and gives it to you. You gain rank/2 health per tick.
- Mana cost: 50 -> 100.
- Works on bosses, but costs 250 mana against them!

* Lightning
- Mana cost of 40, 35, 30, 25 decreased to 28, 23, 18, 13 (depending on rank in Lightning)
- can no longer be spammed; half a second cooldown after you release the key.

* Deadly Sight
- Mana cost decreased 300 -> 200
- Drains life from all the enemies you see (gain: 2 health per tick per victim)
- Works on bosses

IV. Bosses

1. Maw
- Will perform his special charge attack twice more often (if outside minimum range).

2. Boc
- Will use Destruction twice more often (if outside minimum range).

3. Yun (only in mission 16)
Now also uses Absorb and Heal, in addition to Blind and Persuasion.
- Naturally, Absorbing spells will increase his mana and let him heal more often.
- Mostly it's the same spells as for the player. His Heal uses a mana resource which regenerates just like a player at Disciple rank. The duration and cooldown for Absorb, and mana cost for Heal, are unchanged. He also gets reduced regen during Absorb.
- However, on Easy, Normal, Hard he gains, respectively, 1x, 3x, 5x health from Heal, 1x, 2, 3x mana regeneration, and 1x, 2x, 3x mana from Absorb. So be careful with those Force Powers!
- Messages hinting at his health status will let you know if you're making progress despite the healing.

4. Sariss
- Her sword hits 50% harder.
- Will use Deadly Sight from any range! But a little less frequently (15 instead of 12 seconds on Hard).
- Force Blind works well to interrupt her Deadly Sight (but she shakes a Blind off quickly like in the unmodded game).

5. Jerec
- Will use Destruction twice more often (if outside minimum range).
- No longer unlikely to use Destruction near minimum range (Lightning's range adjusted and no longer overlaps). You have to stay a bit closer to be safe.
- Time between possible Lightning casts shortened, from (on Hard, Normal, Easy) 6, 7, 10 seconds to 4, 5, 7.
- Chance to cast Lightning doubled, from 35% to 70%.
- Casts series of 2-6 Lightning!

6. Jerec, Boc, Sariss, Yun (mission 16)
- Will Pull non-saber weapons away from the player much more reliably, unless you turn on Absorb.
- Will display messages related to health status.



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Very interesting, I never played the original Dark Forces games, but it looks, from the readme, like a decent mod.

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After a good deal more work, version 1.0 is up. I think I'm done, at least for a good while. Anyone tries it out, please let me know your thoughts.


Maybe I'll make a MotS version some time. MotS I'm starting to think is actually the better game - but it still has some weak bosses (Kyle is never more threatening than a Vonskr or Noghri!) and some seriously useless spells... Deadly Sight only becomes available when there's no point to it any more, Push does I'm not sure what that's useful... Protection becomes available when everything and its dog deals physical damage that it doesn't block... yeah, there's room for thought there.

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I have a properly working copy of JKII, but it is heavily modded with JKE and runs off of DgVoodoo (it allows me to use a Reshade preset I'm making)


Does your mod have advanced installation instructions for modded or injector setups?

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