Rework Jet Packs

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  • April 2, 2020 - April 2, 2030

I’m not quite happy with how the Jet Packs mod turned out to be, and I’d like to rework and re-release the mod. I’ve already done some work in that direction:

And here are some other things I’d like to address in this rework:

The Rocket Punch ability is no longer relevant, now that a proper tool for rocket punching exists in the SPARK Arsenal mod: the Heavy Strike Module. So I would rather remove the Rocket Punch ability outright, or rework it function differently; perhaps it could interact with Heavy Strike Module somehow.

Same goes for the Rocket Pound and Crater abilities. Perhaps, Crater can be something that you get to use with primary/dual melee, instead of the Jet Shot.

While SPARKs and MEC Troopers already support Dynamic Deployment, I would like to create a separate Jet Pack version for them, and make some special Jet Pack-related abilities for them.

I’ve even considered doing something completely crazy, such as transforming the SPARK into an attack jet so it can perform strafing runs against enemy targets.

Perhaps I could also kitbash a new Jet Pack model or two, and I might also add a new functionality for the Highlander to make it easier to add support for various armor torsos.

The problem with the mod is that there are a lot of cool abilities that can be used with Jet Packs, but putting them all together on the one item leads to icon bloat, and arguably makes the item overpowered.

The current version of the mod tries to address this by making light/medium and heavy armor get different abilities from Booster Jets, but I don’t like this solution, and I’d like to get rid of this confusing mechanic.

For now the best solution I have come up with is splitting the abilities between different types of Booster Jets, and making them randomly craftable in Proving Grounds, similarly to Experimental Ammo and Grenades.

Update Nov 2021

Emergency Evac ability is probably getting removed entirely. On missions without an evac zone, it can be used to cheese the mission by allowing to evac when it’s not intended to be possible, and on missions with an evac zone, it’s redundant with Icarus Jump that you could use to just “teleport” to the evac zone.

For now my rough outline for the mod is:

I’m going to kitbash new Jet Pack models, and make them fit vanilla soldier armor. I may go the same route as heavy weapons, and make different Jet Pack models for Plated and Powered armor aesthetics.

The current Jet Pack models I have ported from all over the place don’t really do that. The new models will always be used by default with new jetpacks. Support for cosmetic armor with cosmetic jet packs on them is something the user will have to explicitly enable in Mod Config Menu, to simplify using the mod for the majority of people that don’t want to barbie every jet pack using soldier every time they equip one.

I intend to rework Jet Packs to be Vests. There will be several vest Jet Packs, randomly crafted in Proving Grounds. Each one will provide the Vault ability that allows to jump to high ground, and one additional active ability. They will also look different.

  • Icarus Vest -> grants Icarus Jump. One big jet engine.
  • Jump Jets -> grants Jet Jump, which works like an omni-directional grapple. Should be great for mobility. Small boosters behind the waist.
  • Archangel Vest -> Grants Jet Shot. Wings that fold while in use. Ideally, I want to rework Jet Shot so it works with all weapons without the need for additional firing animations using the new Additive Animations tech I learned recently. Something else I want to try is making it possible to hover in place for an extended period of time, and if we’re going really crazy – maybe even true flight, similar to Archangel Armor from Enemy Within. We’ll see.

If a Heavy Strike Module is equipped with any of these Jet Packs, an additional melee ability is granted. I’ll have to decide whether this ability depends on the armor equipped by the soldier (with EXO / WAR suits getting a more powerful ability), or based on the Jet Pack itself.

E.g. Icarus Vest could grant Crater, while Archangel Vest could grant Rocket Pound, and Jump Jets could grant some kind of Skirmisher Wrath style of ability, where you jump jet towards the target and hit them with Heavy Strike right after, though that seems kinda redundant, other than potentially better action economy.

Dynamic Deployment could get reworked a bit. Something I want to try is inserting a checkbox into Squad Select for each unit equipped with any of these Jet Pack Vests. The checkbox state will determine whether the unit will by dynamically deployed or not. If I can do that, I will remove the player’s ability to dynamically deploy soldiers over squad size limit, which exists only by popular request, not because I think it’s a good idea.

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