UT2004 single player is very hard

I guess I’m not used to challenging games anymore, but the difficulty levels of UT2004 are very unbalanced. There are eight difficulty levels in the game, from “novice” to “godlike”, and since I just wanted to see the maps I chose to play the game on “average”, the second level. I’m not a UT-expert, I don’t play online and I hardly played UT2003 at all, but I did finish all the team maps in the original UT on godlike so I didn’t expect it to be difficult at all.

In the beginning it didn’t seem very difficult either, the deathmatch and team deathmatch matches were very simple but the other game types were a lot harder. I wasn’t in danger of losing very often, but scoring was often difficult because the allied bots weren’t very good at doing what they were told to do. This meant that I often reached the time limit and won because I had more points the opponents, and that the matches were quite frustrating. I even lost one badly designed double domination map when I ordered all bots to attack one of the points, they failed and we lost with 1-0.

It only got really difficult the end though, the final “boss” was extreme. The first four frags were as simple as you would expect, but then he turned godlike and completely destroyed me! I just tried playing the same map against a masterful (level 6) bot and won with 15/-1 and the final boss was a lot harder than masterful one. The second time I got the four “free” frags and realized he turned godlike again, so I camped on the outside of the ship with the shock rifle. I managed to win with 5-3 after a very boring match.

I just wonder if this is the way it is or if I did something that somehow increased the difficulty in the tournament.

People play the SP campaign in UT? ;)

The last boss in UT2003 (Malcolm) was the same way, because he had a dynamic difficulty level. If you got several frags up on him, he would turn into a total aimbot and destroy you. You had to play to 10 frags in a very small, very close range map (DM-Serpentine?), and he would operate beyond most people’s reaction time. On the other hand, if you let him get up 7-0 on you he would become a big pushover, and you could then come back and win by a couple of frags.

I sure do. UT has great bot AI, in general, and is one of the few multiplayer shooters that is equally fun to play solo. Quake III was always very good in this regard, too, though I never liked the bot AI as much. It was tougher than UT, but never quite as believable–the bots acted more like bots than real players, with superhuman aim and situational awareness. Also, QIII is getting a bit long in the tooth.

Same here. I’d go so far as to say there are times when I like it much better than playing online. Sometimes it’s a drag to join a game already in session on the losing side (I suppose the one thing I don’t like about UT 2004 are the long loading times before maps), whereas with the single-player, you’re guaranteed a match to your preferences and on your terms. And the bot AI really is impressive. I’m completely out of practice when it comes to online shooters (and frankly I’ve never been all that great at them), but I was happy to find that the default “experienced” difficulty setting was really well suited for someone like me, and it’s pretty amazing that the bots know the different tactics for each of the game types. It’s one thing to design a good DM bot, but it must be incredibly complex to create bots that can work as a team and all that stuff. Anyway, when I play the single-player, I feel like it’s really good practice for online.

Can’t agree more. I’ve been playing UT, and I am noticing the use of bots in online public servers - you can’t tell who’s a bot in general and that’s saying a lot. I remember one game which started out as humans vs humans. About an hour later, it was humans vs bots, and nobody noticed. About the only difference between humans and bots is that the bots aren’t as lame! =)

The bots are pretty smart - they repair equipment, are deft in dropping out of sight when missile-locked and take objectives fairly intelligently. Suffice to say, the bots are almost a match for the average online gamer, and are simply excellent for filling up servers.

I think people are missing my point. Sure, everyone loves playing botmatches through Instant Action, but I don’t think many people go through the actual single-player ladder. I’m guessing a very small percentage of players played all the way through to beat Malcolm in UT2003. I hardly ever see anyone talking about qualifying their team, which players to pick, tips for dealing with particularly tough matches, or any other issues that come up in that system. Many of the FAQs on Gamefaqs don’t even discuss it.

You’ll find a good number of threads on forums like beyondunreal.com about single player over time. Generally, a small percentage of people will start off with single player, while most go directly into online play, however eventually more from the latter group will get around to the single player matches once they get their fill of multiplayer mode.

Plus there’s the challenge of unlocking those extra skins, though just as many people simply cheat and change the config setting.

I loved the SP portion of UT2K4. I breezed through most of it before spending hours trying to beat the last CTF and Boimbing Run slots. Someone finally suggested getting some of the robot guy in Bloodrites and they greatly improved my team.

So you didn’t have any problem with the final boss? The final bombing run map was hard, I managed to win with 6-3, but I had a pretty good team. I wanted to play the tournament as a way of seeing most of the maps and just didn’t expect it to be difficult. No skins were unlocked though, there’s a bug that prevents them from being unlocked unless you edit some file.

If you think that the load times are to big you can disable preloading in the ut2004.ini file, it helps. Some also warn that the “reduce mouse lag” option kills your frame rate for some reason.

Anyone know how to check the what difficulty level you’re playing the single player game at once you start it? I thought I selected “Experienced” when I began, but the game seems way too damn hard to only be at “Experienced”.