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Dynamic Aiming Level Restrictions

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Combating the exaggerated usefulness of long-range headshots in JA2 1.13 is one of HAM's most important goals. This feature nerfs down aimed shots by severely limiting the amount of "Aiming-Levels" you can achieve with different weapons and different attachments.


History Edit

The original JA2 allowed single-shots with up to 4 extra aiming levels, at a cost of 1 AP per aiming click. Each click would increase your Chance-to-Hit by +10 points, for a total of +40 when maximum-aiming is used. +40 is not a lot, and while it can help your chances substancially, it does not allow picking heads off reliably at anything more than a dozen tiles or so.

JA2 1.13 allows some weapons to reach 6 or even 8 aiming levels. This depends on the type of scope installed on the gun. A Battle Scope (7x) and PSO-3 (8x) allow up to 6 aiming levels. A Sniper Scope (10x) allows up to 8 aiming levels.

While you can still get no more than 10 CtH points per aiming click (up to +80 points with a sniper rifle and appropriate skills), this is already a vast advantage for all weapons that can fit such a scope. Combine this with beyond-sight-range fire and sniper rifles with a 150 tile range, and you've got a recipe for very repetitive games where lots of headshots from a distance are the sure-fire way to win a battle.


Dynamic Aiming Levels - Improving Game Balance Edit

A way to tackle the overwhelming superiority of aimed shots, compared to burst or automatic weapons fire, is to reduce the number of aiming levels that some weapons can achieve. After all, no matter how much time you spend on aiming a pistol, it will never be as accurate as a sniper rifle, and can never benefit from a scope in the same way that a sniper rifle does.

When HAM's Dynamic Aiming Levels system is activated, it will reduce the number of aiming levels that most weapons can achieve, based mainly on the type of weapon you're using. Pistols and other short weapons can only be aimed a couple of levels, while a properly-positioned long-barrel weapon with a good scope can be aimed much better.

A scope will increase the number of allowed aiming levels, but most scopes will only increase it by one or two points. Furthermore, no weapon can achieve its true aiming potential unless a bipod is used (and the character is lying prone).


List of Limits based on Weapon Type, Scope, and Bipod Edit

This is a table of the weapons and the number of aiming levels they can achieve:



Weapon Type Condition Levels
  • Pistols
  • Machine-Pistols
  • One-handed SMGs
  • All other one-handed weapons
Without a scope 1
Without using a bipod 2
Using both a bipod and a scope 2
  • Two-Handed SMGs
  • Shotguns
  • Machine-Guns
Without a scope 2
Without using a bipod 3
Using both a bipod and a scope 3
  • Assault Rifles with a range of no more than 50 tiles
  • Rifles with a range of no more than 50 tiles
Without a scope 2
Without using a bipod 3
Using both a bipod and a scope 4
  • Assault Rifles with a range of 50 tiles or more
  • Rifles with a range of 50 tiles or more
  • ------------------------------------------------------------
  • Sniper Rifles with a range of no more than 50 tiles
Without a scope 3
Without using a bipod 4
Using both a bipod and a scope 6
  • Sniper Rifles
  • with a range of 50 tiles or more
Without a scope 4
Without using a bipod 3
Using both a bipod and a scope 8


As you can see, without a scope you won't be able to aim most weapons very well, and the longer-ranged weapons cannot fully benefit from a scope if you aren't using a bipod.

Scopes and Aiming Levels: Edit


The type of scope you're using also has an important effect on the number of aiming levels.


  • Scope 2x or 4x
Adds one aiming level to the basic allowed levels.
  • Scope 7x or 8x
Adds 50% to the basic allowed levels (rounded up).
  • Scope 10x
Doubles the basic number of allowed levels.

Of course, long-range weapons will need a bipod to reach their highest aiming potential, even if you've installed a 7x or 10x scope.

Maximum Aiming Levels with different scopes, assuming Bipod installed, and lying prone
Type of weapon No Scope 2x Scope 4x Scope 7x Scope 10x Scope
Pistol, Machine Pistol, 1-Handed SMG 1 2 2 2 2
Shotgun, Light Machine Gun, 2-Handed SMG 2 3 3 3 3
Assault Rifle or Rifle with less than 50 tiles of Range 2 3 3 4 4
Assault Rifle or Rifle with more than 50 tiles of Range, or Sniper Rifle with less than 50 tiles of Range 3 4 5 6 6
Sniper Rifle with more than 50 tiles of Range 4 5 6 7 8


Maximum Aiming Levels with different scopes, and no Bipod installed, or not lying prone
Type of weapon No Scope 2x Scope 4x Scope 7x Scope 10x Scope
Pistol, Machine Pistol, 1-Handed SMG 1 2 2 2 2
Shotgun, Light Machine Gun, 2-Handed SMG 2 3 3 3 3
Assault Rifle or Rifle with less than 50 tiles of Range 2 3 3 3 3
Assault Rifle or Rifle with more than 50 tiles of Range, or Sniper Rifle with less than 50 tiles of Range 3 4 4 4 4
Sniper Rifle with more than 50 tiles of Range 3 3 3 3 3


Please note: The game doesn't really have a way to distinguish between scopes. Modders can add all sorts of scopes that are "in between" the above categories. I have chosen to use the scope's Minimum Range For Aiming Bonus property to tell which of the above categories a scope belongs to. Also, the formula uses the visible sight-range, so if that value is changed in JA2_Options.INI, the Dynamic Aiming Limits system may behave strangely.

INI Settings Edit

This feature can be turned on and off using an INI setting.

DYNAMIC_AIM_LIMITS Edit

Effect

Controls whether Extra-Aiming-Levels are limited by gun type and scope/bipod use.

Range TRUE/FALSE
JA2 Default Value FALSE

Extra Aiming Levels are only dictated by the type of scope attached to the weapon. Weapons with a 7x or 8x Scope can aim up to 6 levels. Weapons with a 10x Scope can aim up to 8 levels. Weapons with no scope can aim up to 4 levels only.

HAM Recommended Value TRUE The amount of possible aiming levels depends on the type of gun you're using. Generally, shorter, heavier guns can achieve much fewer aiming levels (pistols only 1 or 2!). Scopes increase the number of possible levels. Finally, using bipods in the prone position is absolutely required for achieving aiming levels beyond 4.
Notes The In-Game Preferences menu allows turning variable aim levels off entirely. If this is done, all weapons can aim at a maximum of 4 levels, completely ignoring any effects of this feature.


See Also Edit

Increased AP Costs for Aimed Shots

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