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Author Topic: Joint Operations: Escalation is out! - first impressions  (Read 1535 times)
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jztemple
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« on: November 21, 2004, 06:32:57 AM »

25 new maps....

tanks!!!

Attack Helos!

motorbikes!

parachutes!

body armor!

bunch of other stuff!!

Cooooool  biggrin
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EngineNo9
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2004, 02:49:49 PM »

Well, I guess you did say "Coooool smile" so it wasn't devoid of opinion, but that was a pretty sad first impression.  

I'd love to pick this one up, but between Halo 2, Half-Life 2 and WoW, and don't see myself having much free time to play a multiplayer-only game.  Maybe after the holidays when things quiet down I'll get it on the cheap.
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jztemple
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2004, 05:02:47 PM »

Quote from: "EngineNo9"
Well, I guess you did say "Coooool smile" so it wasn't devoid of opinion, but that was a pretty sad first impression.  


It was two in the morning, you expecting Shakespeare?  :wink:

I've only played on two of the maps. One, with the waterfall, is very interesting, asymetrical with objectives in old temple buildings. Combination terrain of high cliffs, rivers and also no flat terrain. And a very long, straight road where you can really tool along on your motorbike  smile. There is a great rope bridge over the chasm just below the waterfall, the only direct route to the temple objective at the top of the waterfall, which makes for some epic rushes. And of course for fun you can cliff dive off the top of the waterfall and parachute down  :lol:

The other map is an open pit mine complex. Even with my 2.8 GHz, 1GB RAM and ATI 800X Pro the frame rate suffered due to the max visibility and open terrain on the rim of the mine. You get tanks in this one, and while they might be fun for awhile, it's hard to get three people to work together operating it. Also, it's impossible to shoot accurately on the move unless the road is dead flat. And the new Javelin AT missile is deadly against a tank, so if you stay still, you're dead. So like before, there's a balance.

Also discovered on the mine map that motorbikes prevent you from taking fall damage, no matter how high. Very unrealistic but makes for some cool jumps from cliffs and buildings. There are coal conveyor structures with associated catwalks that crisscross high over the pit and are a great place to run your bike across to get over an enemy objective and jump down. Overall, however, the frame rate problems really do hurt the fun of the map.

More later as I get to other maps, and of course when I'm not playing HL2, RCT2, COTN, GTASA, and damn, I have company in the house as well... <sigh>
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Raintitan
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« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2004, 01:49:59 AM »

I thought I would add some impressions to this as well. I've been playing the game for close to a year now (beta 0 and so on, and on).

First of all...EngineNo9....if you are out there.....you can finally control vehicles from the 3rd person view! (I know you really wanted this).

Here is are some thoughts on different bits:

Weapons:
The new guns fill in some of the gaps in the weapon lineup. The P90 and G36, for example, make for more variety in choosing a weapon based on the map type and fighting style. You can also select from several bullet types.  A Javelin anti-tank missile has been added and it must be fired from around 75meters or greater.  There are also anti-tank  mines that can be dropped. Finally, troops can elect to carry body armor (which adds some weight) instead of another item in their accessory slot.

Vehicles:

M1 / T72 Tanks: The tanks offer a heavy armor element to the game and while they are effective with several people, they can easily be used by one person. They just need to switch stations to shoot. So if you want to move and shoot, you will need someone else. A 3rd person adds an additional gunner to the top and a set of eyes that can see without contraint. That person can also look at something and press the spacebar to designate a target. This adds a directional pointer to the gunners view so that can pan to that area. It doesn't lock on or anything like that. About half the tanks I've seen have two people and some others were solo. Tanks are a nice addition and they are not overpowered. The terrain also limits them somewhat. They can also be killed with an antitank missile, mine, or helicopter. The biggest change the tanks add is the reduced effectiveness of the armored personel carriers. With tanks and infantry with heavier rockets....they can be destroyed easier.

AH-64/Havok: The new gunship helicopters are a nice touch as well. They offset the new armor and offer a more sturdy aerial platform. They also seem to fly better and smoother. They require a pilot AND gunner to attack with guns or missiles.

Motorcycles: The new dirtbikes offer 1 or 2 people the ability to cover some ground very quickly. They kick up a dust trail and they are loud. I'm  not sure how I like them except to say they make it easier to cover ground . Less walking and more fighting...so I think they help. It is fun to blow somebody away who is scooting along.

Parachutes: Also added, is the ability to throw a chute in the accessory slot for airdrops. Jumping out of an aircraft pulls the static line chute out and the canopy can be steered with the WASD keys. The only way to do a low altitude deployment is to jump out low. Like real life, dropping into a hot area will simply get you killed in a hurry. Chutes work well for dropping in nearby.  They also illustrate exactly how effective an LZ landing is in a helicopter because a large group can get down and going quicker.

Balance:
The tanks and gunship helicopters don't impact the balance of the game as much as I expected. They take additional resources (people!) to use as well. It is common to see gunships or tanks idle at the spawns and nobody seems to camp for them. In the rock, scissors, paper approach of the game...they are effective only at the right times.

Maps:
I haven't had enough time with the new maps to give a detailed review, but I will say that the new stuff might have knocked a few frames off the speed. Its really hard to tell. Weather has been added and some maps have rainfall. Overall, the maps have more of a theme to them and they have more stuff. I'll have to get back on the maps.  They do offer more action than the other maps by placing control points closer and closer together.

Overall, I think it's a good expansion if you like the game. If you are lukewarm or very, very tired of it...I'm not sure this will reignite the flame. If you like and enjoy it, it is a must-have.

Not edited for typos....
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EngineNo9
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« Reply #4 on: November 22, 2004, 08:26:09 AM »

Haha!  All of my bitching finally pays off with 3rd person vehicle cams!   biggrin   That alone might make me fire this one up.
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morlac
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« Reply #5 on: November 22, 2004, 03:42:48 PM »

They still haven fixed the no drop damage when in a vechicle?  Didnt they fix this for the zodiaks and other rafts?  Sigh, that kinda sucks.  Load up that chinook its gonna be raining motorcycles!
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Raintitan
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« Reply #6 on: November 22, 2004, 06:05:14 PM »

Morlac,

I'm not really clear on what the parameters are....but you can mess up a motorcycle with collisions and drops.  

But, I'm not sure exactly what the limits are and the cycles can be used for some pretty big jumps and stuff.

It might be unrealistic, but in-game is doesn't stand out as much as it sounds like it would.

Maybe they will release a demo.
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morlac
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« Reply #7 on: November 22, 2004, 06:24:46 PM »

Rain, Im just remebring the plethora of falling rafts loaded with bad guys dropping form the sky landing at my base smile.  I know they fixed that and it seems odd that they would let motorcycles do  the same thing.  It was kinda funny at first when 3 rafts landed at our base though smile.  I was like what the hell?  Then one even "drove off" into the woods.
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morlac00 on PSN
Raintitan
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« Reply #8 on: November 22, 2004, 06:50:33 PM »

Morlac,

Yeah...I can remember laughing my ass off when a friend and I went zipping across some hills and into a completely landlock base while mowing people down in our zodiak during the beta.
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jztemple
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« Reply #9 on: November 23, 2004, 01:00:25 PM »

Played on three more maps last night on the AdultGamersElite.com server. Best new map so far is "Valley of the Four Mists". The seven obectives are in an H pattern so there are multiple routes to advance. The terrain is folded ground but pretty treeless so the armor can really hunt each other over a distance. The objective points with their associated armories are mostly inside buildings including a large multistory temple. Tanks can be very effective on this map, but roving infantry with Javelin ATMG (http://www.army-technology.com/projects/javelin/) are a real threat with a one-shot-one-kill effectivity.

For about twenty minutes a few of us defended one small temple complex against multiple groups of attackers. I hid inside the objective building, sneaking looks outside to watch for infiltrators while "MaryKate Olson" (probably not the real one  :wink:) sat up the hill in a tank giving me overwatch long range fire. With a couple of other guys we fought an epic defense, just the kind of action that make Joint Ops so appealing to me.

So far I've played on five of the supposed 25 maps. I'm having no problem maintaining decent frame rate at 1280x960 with most details at "normal" or "high". I did take someone's suggestion to turn off shadows and "frame effects" and while I can't measure the impact, I don't seem to be missing anything by not having those on.  I've only found one map, Klaatu Mine, to have serious frame rate problems, but the next time I'm there I'm hoping those new changes will fix my problems.
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Raintitan
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« Reply #10 on: November 23, 2004, 02:11:10 PM »

http://www.gamerswithjobs.com/index.php?module=News&func=display&sid=1081

Great review that covers most everything.


What is your tag on the -AGE- server? I play as RainTitan -AGE-. I was on last night as well for a few hours. Great fun.

The small maps are are a blast.
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jztemple
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« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2004, 05:16:03 PM »

Quote from: "Raintitan"
What is your tag on the -AGE- server?


jztemple  :wink:
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jztemple
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« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2004, 01:29:58 AM »

Played some more JOE this afternoon on the AGE server. A couple of time they ran the older JO maps and I'm very happy to find that the new changes to load outs also applies to the older maps. So now you have even more places to parachute to  smile
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