Markus Ramikin

Dark Forces II: Single Player Rebalance

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This mod rebalances Force Powers with the single player campaign in mind. Most importantly, Mana regen is increased.

Aside from that, 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 bit more fun, since you need 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.

I mostly wrote this for myself, but I'd be happy to know if anyone else is using this too.

A Mysteries of the Sith version exists too, also in this forum.

Version 2.0 readme:


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

version: 2.0
Developed together with the 2.0 version of this mod for Mysteries of the Sith.

Table of contents:

I. Concept
II. General changes
III. Force Powers
IV. Enemies
V. Known issues


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 much too fast, cheap, and convenient, making later Force Powers obsolete against anyone with a gun.
- Protection is practically godmode against people with blasters.
- Persuasion lasts too long and has no cooldown.
- Bosses are unnecessarily immune to Grip and Deadly Sight.
- Sound effects for Force Seeing and Force Protection are annoying.
- Darksiders lack any life-drain spell.

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 capacity and regeneration

Mana maximum and regeneration are constant, independent of your Jedi rank (somewhat like in Jedi Academy). This helps balance the cost of earlier abilities (especially Pull) against later ones.

Mana regeneration = 24 per second, 6x faster than maximum regeneration in the unmodified game.

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
Single-shot 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 changed from 20 -> 400/Jedi Rank (400 at Initiate, 50 at Jedi Lord).
- Duration set to 10 seconds regardless of rank in Speed.
Higher ranks still give you higher speed, of course.

* Jump
- Mana cost changed from 20 -> 400/Jedi Rank (400 at Initiate, 50 at Jedi Lord).

* Seeing
- Mana cost changed from 20 -> 400/Jedi Rank (400 at Initiate, 50 at Jedi Lord).
- Turned off the annoying channelled sound. Now you can listen for footsteps as you check the map for enemies!

* Pull
- Mana cost 30 -> 160.
- Cooldown increased from 0.2s to 2s.


2. Lightside powers:

* Heal
- Heals 5 * rank instead of 20 * rank, to partly offset the increased mana regeneration.
No longer a good panic button, but it's more convenient to heal small wounds.

* Persuasion
Modified. Now more of a brief advantage rather than an "Ai=off" cheat:
- Duration lowered from 10, 20, 30, 40 seconds to 4, 5, 6, 7 seconds, depending on rank in Persuasion.
- Added a cooldown after it ends: 20, 15, 10, 5 seconds, depending on rank in Persuasion.

* Blind
- 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.)
- Mana cost 100 -> 80.
- Against enemy Jedi: mana cost increased from 100 to 200, and duration lowered from up to 20 seconds to up to 8 seconds.
- Interrupts Sariss' Deadly Sight. Aside from that, she (and Yun) remain near-immune like in the unmodded game.

* 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.)
- Added a sound effect when the power is active, so you can still know when it stops and goes into cooldown.
- 10 seconds cooldown after it ends.
- Mana cost lowered from 200 to 100.
- Mana regeneration drastically lowered when this power is active. Absorb enemy Force attacks instead!

* 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.
            Blasters were deflected for free.
            Absorbed up to 200 damage.
- Reduces all damage by 50%, including blasters and physical.
- Lasts 8 seconds. Once it runs out, it turns off completely, without leaving misleading visuals.
- Costs 300 mana.
- Followed by a 10 second cooldown.
- Lowered the sound volume. It's high-pitched (compared to others) and was kinda loud.


3. Darkside powers:

* Throw
- Mana cost 30 -> 40.

* Grip
- Longer range, equal to Pull now.
- Crushes life out of the enemy and gives it to you. You gain 1-4 health per tick, depending on rank in Grip.
- Mana cost: 50 -> 80.
- Always lasts 4 seconds (and ticks 8 times) instead of depending on rank.
- Cooldown reduced from 4.5s at max rank to 2s (it's absurd to have a longer cooldown at higher ranks).
- Works on enemy Jedi, but costs 200 mana against them, does half damage and gives you half the healing.

* Lightning
- Mana cost of 40, 35, 30, 25 decreased to 25, 20, 15, 10, depending on rank in Lightning.
- can no longer be spammed; half a second cooldown after you release the key.

* Destruction
- Unchanged. Benefits from increased mana regeneration.

* Deadly Sight
- Drains life from all the enemies you see. You gain 2 health per tick per victim.
- Works on enemy Jedi.

IV. Enemies

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 (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 the player's. The duration and cooldown for Absorb, and mana cost for Heal, are unchanged.
- However, on Easy, Normal, Hard he gains, respectively, 1x, 3x, 5x health from Heal, and 1x, 3x, 5x 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.

V. Known issues

Upon reloading a savegame during one of the later boss fights, the PRINT() messages showing health status (e.g. "Jerec is close to death!") can become completely garbled. This never happens to me on a fresh playthrough, however, only upon reloading old saves. Anyone got any clue how this happens and if it can be fixed, let me know.


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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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Update to 2.0 - a fairly major revision. Link in the original post.

After a good deal of experimenting to find out what what works and is fun, and what doesn't and isn't, I think this should be the final version. Main changes from the 1.x versions:

  • Mana reworked. Your mana pool maximum (400) is now constant, like in Jedi Academy. Mana regeneration slightly increased and is also constant.
    This makes it a LOT easier to balance things, especially the cost of Force Pull vs later enemy-neutralising powers. It also allowed me to put some abilities back to their original cost (i.e. Persuasion = 250 mana, Deadly Sight = 300).
    Then what do Jedi ranks do, if not give more mana? Well, besides granting new Powers, they lower the cost of basic abilities: Speed, Jump, Sight (400 mana cost at Initiate, 50 at Jedi Master.)
  • Dropped: "Force regeneration drastically reduced during status effects" for all abilities that had this property (except Absorb). This feature felt mostly anti-fun, and a step back in a mod whose main purpose was to fix the long Force downtimes produced by the low mana regeneration of the original game.
  • Force Pull remains slow to use and fairly costly all game (2s CD, 160 mana cost, no longer scaling off enemy health). Best supplemented by cheap abilities like Grip or Blind.
  • Fixed a bug caused by a mission ending while a cooldown was in effect, sometimes resulting in a power getting "stuck" in the next mission.
  • A host of minor balance adjustments.

I've played through this version using both the Lightside and Darkside path, had much fun, and I'm happy with the result, so I guess this is it. (Unless someone helps me fix the PRINT bug, see readme.)

As Kreia would say...

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