Whether players like it or not, Auto-Resolve happens in Jagged Alliance 2. And unfortunately, the outcome of an Auto-Resolve battle is always unpredictable and rarely as we would've wanted it to go. There isn't much to be done that can help to make it work better. but Headrock has externalized a specific value that controls how much Autoresolve depends on pure luck, rather than the skills of all participants.
- Main article: Auto-Resolve in JA2 1.13
Auto-Resolve combat has existed since the original Jagged Alliance 2. Auto-Resolve combat takes into consideration each participant's skills and runs through an abstract representation of the battle. There's no distance or movement, just participants on both sides taking pot-shots at each other and hoping to hit. Worst of all, since the player has no way to interact with the battle (hence, auto-resolve), there is no way he can help the survival or well-being of any mercenaries who happen to be present. The result is that the outcome of the battle is rarely favorable, and may even get a merc seriously injured or killed, even in ridiculously easy situations like 20 mercs vs. 2 enemies which would probably end very differently in regular tactical combat.
Unfortunately, as explained above, there are plenty of situations where Auto-Resolve simply can't be avoided. Sometimes this even happens when mercs ARE in the sector and yet you get no choice about whether or not to authorize Auto-Resolve combat at all (this is an unfortunate, though rare glitch). In this case, you would at least want the game to be fair and not give either party an undue advantage. If it's going to be a randomally-decided battle, at the very least there should be more emphasis on letting the more skilled combatants survive.
HAM 1 - Auto-Resolve Skill vs. Luck Edit
During analysis of the Auto-Resolve system, Headrock discovered that Auto-Resolve was not as stupid and random as it appears to be. In fact, it turns out that combat was being intentionally made more randomal and based on chance using a single variable that controls the participation of luck in the result of combat.
This value was duly externalized. Any player can now set the ratio between luck and skill, when determining whether a shot in auto-resolve combat will hit its target. If the ratio is reduced sufficiently, it should make Auto-Resolve combat far less unpredictable.
This value doesn't solve the entire problem with auto-resolve, because (lacking an actual battlefield and player interaction) it still has to rely on some degree of luck while ignoring some things that may further tip the odds in the player's favour. However, reducing the involvement of luck can certainly reduce the number of situations where auto-resolve combat ends in a completely unpredictable loss to either side. And yes, enemies will also benefit from more reasonable Auto-Resolve mechanics occasionally, because they tend to arrive in large groups of skilled operatives that would require a lot of player skill to survive even in manual tactical battle. Still, the number of battles where the overwhelming force loses out to an inferior force would certainly be diminished, and it is now less likely for the more skilled combatants to get killed during combat.
Conversely, the luck factor can also be increased beyond its current limit, making Auto-Resolve LESS predictable. This can add spice and flavor to the strategy game, making it more likely that you will suddenly lose a crucial patrol or city garrison to a smaller group of enemies. Of course, if Mercs are ever involved in such battles, expect unrealistic losses every now and then.
INI Settings Edit
All versions of HAM have one INI setting to control the Auto-Resolve Luck Factor.
Controls the importance of Luck in Auto-Resolve Combat.
|Range||1.0 - 255.0|
|JA2 Default Value||2.0||
A value of 2.0 places equal emphasis on Luck and Skill in Auto-Resolve. This has the effect of increasing the chance of survival for more experienced mercs, militia and enemies in Auto-Resolve Combat, and reduces the number of battles that end in a completely unexpected manner.
|HAM Recommended Value||1.0||This is the lowest possible Luck setting. While luck still plays an important part in Auto-Resolve, it is far less pronounced than in the original JA2 system, and battle outcome is far more predictable and does not often result in the death of mercs present on the battlefield.|