As the Jagged Alliance 2 campaign unfolds, the player gains "Progress Points" for completing certain goals. While JA2 1.13 allows us to control the importance of the different goals in the game, it required some fixing to work properly. HAM repairs two of these controls.
Progress Accumulation and Effect Edit
Progress is a pool of accumulated points that (hopefully) grow as we play the game. A campaign starts with about 0 points, and will usually end when the player has accumulated a large number of points, often close to 100. The main effect of progress points is to increase the availability of deadlier weaponry and more difficult enemies. It is directly related to the "Coolness" value of items.
Gaining progress points Edit
There are no less than four different ways to gather Progress Points in JA2 1.13.
- Killing enemies. Each X enemies killed during the campaign will yield a progress point. X varies depending on the campaign's difficulty level. These points cannot be lost.
- Liberating Cities and SAM Sites from enemy control. As long as those sectors are under player control, they are worth progress points. Lose the sectors, and you'll lose the progress points they gave you.
- Increasing income from Mines. The higher your income (compared to the total possible income from all mines on the map), the higher your progress. Lose mine income by losing control of a mine or losing loyalty in the local area, and you will lose Progress points accordingly.
- Exploring the map. You will gain progress points for exploring sectors in Arulco. These points cannot be lost.
The maximum number of points you can get from each field depends on your INI settings. You cannot have a total of no more than 100 Progress Points at any time.
Progress and Coolness Edit
The most important influence of progress is to make new (deadlier) weapons and equipment available. Enemies will be carrying better equipment, as will Militia, and you can buy better equipment at Bobby Ray's (unless you've selected the option that enables all items at Bobby Ray's from the start of the game...). Items found on maps are not affected. With recent builds of JA2 1.13, the merchants in Arulco may also have better equipment for sale as Progress goes up.
To determine whether an item is "allowed" at your current progress level, use the following formula:
Coolness Level Allowed = (Current Progress / 10, rounded down) + 1
This isn't an absolute limit. Elite enemies ("Blackshirts") may carry equipment that has a better Coolness level than the one normally allowed. Also, different settings for Bobby Ray's inventory, as well as different external INI settings, may also influence the above formula.
Controlling Progress Weight through INI Settings Edit
In your JA2_Options.INI you will find four different progress-related settings. These allow the player to decide what aspect of gameplay (from the four described above) will increase their progress level (if at all), and how important each aspect is in comparison to the three others.
Progress Options in JA2_Options.INI Edit
- Increase or decrease the importance of killing enemies.
- Increase or decrease the importance of liberating cities and SAM sites.
- Increase or decrease the importance of controlling the mines and maintaining high loyalty in cities that have mines.
- Increase or decrease the important of exploring all sectors on the map.
Each setting may be set to a different value between 0 and 100, and indicates the maximum number of points you can gain using a particular method of gameplay. The sum of all settings must equal to 100. If it is less than 100, you will not be able to reach "full progress", and therefore might not be able to acquire all items in the game. If the setting is above 100, it may be possible to reach the highest progress level much earlier than intended by the campaign.
If one setting is set higher than the others, then that particular method is more important (I.E. can yield you more points than other methods). Since the total usually equals 100, it means that avoiding a particular aspect of the game may prevent you from attaining full progress.
For instance, if you set GAME_PROGRESS_KILLS to 50, but avoid killing any enemies, you will not be able to reach the full progress level. In fact, you'll be limited to 50 progress points (gained from whatever other settings you've selected). Only by killing enemies and getting Progress Kill Points will you be able to go beyond 50.
HAM 1 - Fixed Progress Controls Edit
Unfortunately, the four progress controls were not originally set to behave the same way as one another. Because the INI offers very little information about how each setting works, using certain combinations of settings could prevent the player from ever reaching 100 progress points, especially if some progress controls were set much higher than the others.
HAM 1 repairs this situation by ensuring that all four controls work in the same way.
Fixed GAME_PROGRESS_CONTROL Setting Edit
The problem here was that if this value was set to more than 34, a progress level of 100 became unreachable.
This was because the program simply tallied up the number of "important" sectors we controlled (with SAMs counting as two points instead of one), and added that total to the progress level. It was impossible to acquire more than 34 points from liberating sectors, regardless of how high you set this INI setting.
HAM fixes this by making the program compare the amount of conquered "important" sectors to the TOTAL NUMBER of "important" sectors available in the game. The result is a percentage that is then applied to to the value of the GAME_PROGRESS_CONTROL setting.
Total Progress Points gained from Important Sector Control = ((Important Sectors Controlled / Important Sectors on the map) * GAME_PROGRESS_CONTROL) / 100
With the fix in place, the value of GAME_PROGRESS_CONTROL can now be raised above 34 safely. It can even be set to 100, meaning that controlling all SAM sites and city sectors on the map gives you 100 progress points.
Fixed GAME_PROGRESS_VISITED Setting Edit
This control was calculated rather well in the original JA2 1.13. The game compared the number of sectors you've visited to the total size of the map, using the result as a percentage applied to the value of GAME_PROGRESS_VISITED, and then added to the progress level.
However, the JA2 map has more than a few sectors that cannot be visited at all (like the ocean sectors). This means that the percentage could never reach 100, and thus you'd never be able to get the full number of points based on your selected INI setting.
With the HAM fix, the game now compares the number of visited sectors to the number of VISITABLE sectors only, instead of the total number of sectors on the map.
Total Progress Points gained from Exploration = ((Sectors Visited / Visitable Sectors on the map) * GAME_PROGRESS_VISITED) / 100
This allows setting GAME_PROGRESS_VISITED to any value you want and still be able to reach 100 progress.
INI Settings Edit
HAM does not add any new INI settings for this feature. It actually fixes existing JA2 1.13 settings.