Markus Ramikin

Dark Forces II: Single Player Rebalance

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DOWNLOAD: Currently hosted here because DeadlyStream doesn't seem to have a "Dark Forces II" option in its "Jedi Knight Series" section. Weird.

 

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 1.0 full readme:

 

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

version: 1.0

(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

==========================================================

I. CONCEPT

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
Modified to account for the change in mana regeneration.
- Uses at least 200 mana, up to 300 if available. (Unmodded: always 200.)
- Hitpoints healed per mana decreased to 1/6 of unmodded. For example, 300 mana will heal 20 HP.
With the increased mana regeneration, compared to the unmodded game heal-per-minute efficiency is unchanged at Journeyman (Jedi rank 4, when you first get Heal in mission 12), but 33% lower than unmodded at Jedi Lord. However, it is now more convenient to heal from small wounds.
    
* Persuasion
Modified. Now more of a brief advantage rather than an "Ai=off" cheat:
- The 250 mana cost lowered to 200, 175, 150, 125 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 increased to 200.
- Interrupts Sariss' Deadly Sight.
- Duration for bosses lowered to 40%, giving 2 seconds per star. (Affects Jerec and Boc. Sariss remains near-immune.)
- 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.
Now:
- Costs 300 mana, lasts 20 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 (gain: 2 HP per tick, ranks 3 and 4 only)
- Mana cost increased: 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.

===========================================================


V. Past version changes:


Beta 2 -> v.1.0

* Added cooldown icons.

After playing Mysteries of the Sith, my philosophy regarding balance shifted a bit. I now prefer higher mana regen in the long term, to being able to use a powerful spell like Destruction more than 1-2 times in a row:

* Force regeneration doubled from Beta 2.
- Most of the rest of the changes are to balance that.
- Status effects drastically reduce mana regeneration while they last.

* Speed, Jump
- mana cost increased 20 -> 50
- Speed's duration changed from 5 + rank*2.5 to 10 seconds flat.

* Pull:
- mana costs 20-120  ->  50-150

* Heal:
- Mana cost 150 -> 200 to 400.
- efficiency lowered from 1HP per 7.5 to 1 HP per 15 mana.

* Blind:
- mana cost vs bosses 100 -> 200.

* Absorb:
- duration back from 3*rank to 5*rank.

* Protection
Undid all this:
[- Uses all available mana, minimum = 200 ]
[- Lasts between 10 and 20 seconds (mana used / 20).]
[- All damage depletes this spell, including blasters.]
[- Absorbs 100 damage.]
Now does:
- Costs 200 mana, lasts 20 seconds.
- Absorbs 50% of all damage, including blasters and physical.
- Followed by a 10 second cooldown.
- When fully depleted, it turns off completely, without leaving misleading visuals.
- Lowered the sound volume. It's high-pitched (compared to others) and was kinda loud.
- Mana regeneration drastically reduced while active.

* Throw
- cost 30 -> 60

* Grip
- Mana cost: 50 -> 100

* Destruction
- Cost back from 50 to 200.

* Lightning
- Cost: 20, 16, 12, 8  ->  28, 23, 18, 13

* Yun
- adjusted to match the changes to mana regen and spells.

Beta 1.1 -> Beta 2:

* Force Heal:
- Mana cost 100 -> 150.

* Force Persuasion:
- Cooldown increased from 12, 9, 6, 3 to 20, 15, 10, 5 depending on rank.

* Force Blind:
- Mana cost 100 -> 50 for non-bosses only.
- Duration for bosses lowered to 40%, giving 2 instead of 5 seconds per star. (Since you get Blind late, affects only Jerec and Boc. Sariss remains near-immune.)
- 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.)

* Force Absorb:
Scratching my Beta 1 idea - making it a short free cooldown - because that ruined the gun approach, i.e. using Absorb to stop the enemy from Pulling your weapons.
- cost back from 0 to 200 mana.
- duration increased from 4 seconds flat to rank*3.
- Force damage absorption always 100%, because otherwise ranks 1-3 are totally useless.

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

* Jerec:
- 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 6, 7, 10 seconds to 4, 5, 7 (on Hard, Normal, Easy).

* Yun (mission 16):
- added Absorb and Heal to his spell repertoire. Absorbing Force attacks lets him heal more often.
- (No longer true: Will use Blind and Persuasion twice more often.)

* Sariss:
- No longer displays a spammy message during Deadly Sight.
- Delay between Deadly Sight casts increased by 50%.


Beta 1.0 GSX -> Beta 1.1:

- Fixed an error I made with Grip that gave it extremely short range.

- The mod can now be used without GlowsaberX.


===========================================================

TODO:
Deadly Sight for Jerec?
MotS version?

 

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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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