3am: Joint Operations: Chute Monkeys

3am: Joint Operations: Chute Monkeys

Novalogic just announced an expansion pack for Joint Operations. That’s great news, isn’t it? After all, Joint Ops is easily one of the best multiplayer shooters of the year, with gameplay and technology in many ways better than the Battlefield titles or even Unreal Tournament 2004 with its superlative Onslaught mode. So an expansion is good news! Or is it?

Wait … you’re complaining about Novalogic making the use of APCs easier through the use of third person views?

In the same game where people don’t pilot helicopters, they drive them like jeeps, only with an altitude setting?

Imagine us humans could move the head up or down. Gosh. :wink:

Parachutes. No big deal. Many of us have been waiting for chutes to make an appearance in the game. People are already jumping out of choppers into the ocean anyway at strategic points on a map.

Parachutes. No big deal.

Sean, I am shocked and deeply disappointed in you. Please turn in your ‘hardcore gamer’ card and go purchase a Nintendo Gamecube and Pokemon Stadium.

Seriously, though, parachutes have a big effect on gameplay in the Battlefield series, specifically Vietnam. They make the fighting more porous (‘front lines’ are easier to circumvent and it’s easier to quickly move to any point on the map), they minimize how vulnerable helicopters can be (they don’t have to land to drop troops, which is one thing I really like about JO, where helicopters have to carefully pick their landing zone), and they open the maps to all kinds of goofy exploits (jumping down from impassible cliffs or tall buildings).

FWIW, I have a lot of confidence in Novalogic to balance all these additions for Joint Ops, but I’m worried they might be losing sight of some of things that make me prefer JO to Battlefield: Vietnam/1942.


Uh oh. I bought Pokemon Stadium and I’ve been really enjoying it :( I bought a GBA and Pokemon Ruby too. Leaf Green is calling to me . . .

Where do I turn in the card?

I’m absolutely with Tom on this one. Part of the joy of Joint Ops is going in with a full chopper and battling for a zone. With parachutes, we’ll just see more Rambo style playing and more cheesiness.
I’m not too fussed about the inclusion of heavy vehicles either. I hope they’ll include a macro for me to yell 'Stop tank camping and get in the zone FFS!" or similar.
Part of the good thing about Joint Ops was its emphasis on infantry fighting. APCs were pretty weak with two missiles taking them out pronto. I’m hoping that they balance tanks in a way that makes them just another choice and not the king of the battlefield.

I only played JO for a few weeks, because I got sick of the huge number of snipers, and (not coincidentally) always getting demolished by someone I couldn’t even see, unless I spent the whole game on my belly.

Even so, the three things I thought JO really nailed (gameplay-wise, I’m not talking about graphics) were: great vehicle balance, lethality, and front lines. I really liked that there were no jets, attack choppers, or tanks in the game. Even though I hated getting killed by distant snipers so often, I liked the fact that the assault rifles were so lethal. It made it so that getting the drop on your opponent was more important than having leet bunny-hopping skills–nothing frustrated me more than totally flanking some guy in BF1942 but getting killed anyway because he had better mouse skills than I did. And the lack of 'chutes and inability to capture rear spawns focused the game a lot more on front-line play, which I think is much better.

So it doesn’t make much difference to me since I play Planetside anyway, but I agree with Tom 100%. Or 150%, if that’s allowed.

Why do that when a Humvee out the back of a Chinook still makes an excellent parachute substitute for four? ;)

I respectfully disagree, but mainly because I’m looking for something different out of the game. The game still focuses far too much on allowing run-n-gun twitch-skilled players to dominate. The helicopters are a particular sore point with me because the developers have specifically favored twitch-skill players over those of us who can’t keep up with the twitch players and instead take a slower, more methodical approach to combat.

Flying a helicopter with a realistic control scheme and realistic physics is anti-twitch, despite what some might think. A helicopter pilot knows that he must be gentle and conservative in his control of an aircraft designed to trade stability for mobility. He also knows that he must be thinking five minutes ahead in what he’s going to do with the aircraft, so he must methodically set up attack runs, routes and manuevers far enough ahead to properly execute later. None of these are skills twitch gamers are particularly good at, but us slower players are.

So, changes like parachutes on helicopters that drive like jeeps or APCs with perfect situational awareness of the environment around them doesn’t really surprise me because they’re twitch-friendly. Even the often complained about ability for most of an enemy team to consist of snipers is twitch-friendly, because if you’re not going straight to a run-n-gun mode, you’re just a target rich environment.

I am sure Novalogic will balance it out. Coming down in a chute will make you a big fat target. As it stands the smart players in JOPS will always carry a rocket launcher ready to take out a chopper as it lands. It has become one of my favourite tactics. I’d hazard a guess that the addition of chutes was in direct response to this tactic.

If they are smart they will only allow certain classes of soldier to carry chutes - eg. light infantry.

As for losing my hardcore gamer badge ? LOL! I only play JOPS for fun. I leave all the hardcore stuff for IL2. I could poiht out 20 unrealistic aspects of Joing Ops right now. This is a Novalogic game after all ! :wink:

[size=6]Paging Beer ![/size] - can you give us any assurances about where Joint Ops is heading. Well at least assure Tom that you aren’t going to neuter the game. 8)

I totally agree about the helo controls, Derek. I was just talking about infantry combat.

While I cannot disclose details for the pack yet as I still have to get some coverage for it, I did put a call into Mr Chick to clear things up ‘off the record’. So I will leave it to Tom to tell you if his fears have been allayed…


I just had a nice chat with Marcus, and while I was always pretty confident that Novalogic could work it out, after hearing some of their plans – off the record, for now – I’m still pretty confident.

But I do look forward to them announcing the specifics so we can all talk about them!


Tom, I just don’t understand your dislike of the parachute.
Sure if BF:V was suppost to be a Sim, i might bitch, but it is a very small step above UT for realism. Just enjoy the game and the quirks that it comes with.

I bet you are one of those translocator haters too:)

I don’t believe Tom’s distaste for the BFV and BF42:DC parachutes comes from the lack of realism, but from how they change the gameplay.

Personally, I’d love it if chutes were removed from the helicopters if only to discourage them from being flown by the twitch players as one-man taxis, only to be jumped from over enemy flags. I’d much rather players be able to jump safely from the helicopters from anything lower than ten feet above the ground, as it would encourage the support of those of us who enjoy developing our pilot skills to be able to properly fly the thing into a standing hover.

Trevor’s still wrong about no one jumping from helicopters, though. Airborne soldiers have been using the Chinook as a jump platform for decades.