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JKII Joystick? The number of e-mails regarding Jedi Knight II supporting the Joystick have recently gone up. Ever since the announcement of Raven developing JKII, people have wondered whether or not the modified Quake3 engine will support Joysticks. JediKnightII.net is wondering what your take on the matter is. While many Dark Forces and Jedi Knight players used the Joystick as their means of control, it seems that Shooters today are geared towards the mouse. Here is an e-mail I received earlier this week regarding the issue:

"Please, please, please tell me that Raven is going to add proper joystick/controller support into the Q3 engine and not leave us players stranded like Id did. The one and only reason I have never bought Q3 after owning Q1, Q2, and every LucasArts Star Wars game is for the joystick/SpaceOrb support! I could not believe Id pulled joystick support from Q3 (I played the demos and itís true). If Raven does not add this back into the engine for JK2, it may very well kill the product."

Robert D. Petruska
-> If Raven were to implement a Joystick option, would you use it? Here are some of the responses from our viewers:

Dirk Tol writes: "NO!, I only use my Joystick for games like X-Wing and Tie-Fighter and other flightsimulators. I have tried it, playing first-person shooters, but my aim is way off or too late. And when you're too late with aiming most of the time your health drops to zero. I even tried a gamepad, but that did not work for me either. I use my gamepad for TPM or Rayman2. I choose the mouse when playing first-person shooters and keep my Joystick for the flightsims. "

Alex C writes: "Definatly not. When Jedi Knight originally came out i also played it with a joystick, i couldnt imagine using the mouse. It wasnt until more intense games came out that I started to use the mouse, and now i couldnt imagine using the joystick. With games like Quake III where the bots jump about and games like Soldier of Fortune where precision head shots count you need a quick free look. I felt that the joystick could not offer this quickly or efficiently enough."

Jeff R writes: "Why is it you guys are always talking about a mouse vs a joystick?? Is that to say a mouse is better than the keyboard? Obviously not, so why ponder the question as if it's one or the other?

The fact is that all three input devices need to be supported. Any way you play is fine for me. Some like the keyboard & mouse. Some may like the joystick alone. Me, I do what works best for me, and that's to use all three. I don't think anyone can argue that the mouse is best for aiming. Nobody will be very sucessful trying to aim with the joystick, but by using a properly configured stick with one hand and aiming with the mouse in the other, you have many more functions available at the same time. It may take a little while to master, but once you do, you'll find you can move around the maps better than ever before and you'll be able to use that keyboard in the center for typin' all kind of nasty jabs at the guy you just fragged."

Todd C. writes: "I use both. Joystick in one hand, mouse in the other. (Joystick for the leg/body movement, mouse for the eye/torso/targeting movement) I started using this system in about the last third of JK. I've used it for MOTS, Half-Life, Thief, System Shock 2, Deus Ex and Heavy Gear 2. It takes a little getting used to, but nothing else I've tried matches it for subtlety of control."

mikedudez writes: "dudes i just bought a game called red faction and it does not support a joystick, the game and the graphics and darn good. the only thing is that the game would be so much exciting and really better to aim with a joystick. i really use both the joystick to move and the mouse to aim. i do it the same way with voyager, elite force which is my favorite game to date (heres hoping jedi knight will become my next favorite) anyways thanks for listening to my rants and ravings."

Craig Erskine writes: "That would be great if they implemented Joystick Support. I would never use a Joystick in a 1st person shooter game but, the more people that use Joysticks = more frags for me :)"

Allan Hundeby writes: "Jedi Knight was WAY ahead of its time as far as fantastic joystick control! Great job! I am one person who NEEDS complete joystick support for ALL my games: FPS, flight sims, driving games.

For the original JediKnight, I used my Logitech Wingman Interceptor joystick AND my Logitech optical mouse AT THE SAME TIME. I don't EVER need to touch my keyboard (other than to chat in multiplayer) as ALL the controls I use are programmed into the three 8-way hats, and 5 handle buttons. This way, I get use of FOUR analog/graduated control axes rather than just two. At the same time, I can use my wrists/arms to govern movement and save my fingers for other controls. This makes for smooth strafing, looking, and front/back movement (not on/off: digital) I use this setup for Mechwarrior games, JediKnight, all Rainbow6 genre games, Thief, Battlezone, Tribes2, etc. etc..

PLEASE have FULL support for joystick buttons and axes in the new JK game (at LEAST as good as in the original JK). I'm very much looking forward to the sequel, but I WOULD NOT THINK ABOUT BUYING IT IF THIS BASIC SUPPORT WAS LEFT OUT."

K A writes: "I saw your question about people who would like to use a joystick in JKII and, although I am a mouse user, I'd like to add another detail to the issue. I have a Logitech iFeel mouse using Immersion technology (http://www.immersion.com/default.shtml) and it is amazing for first person shooters! Any idea if JKII will support this?"

Crazyy Ed writes: "Yes, I'd like to see joystick support in JediKnight II. I've been playing first person shooters with a joystick and rudder pedals for strafing since Doom. I never bought Quake 3 for the very reason that it doesn't support sticks, or does so poorly. I read in Carmack's update before it came out that he was "mapping the joystick axes to key presses because it's cleaner". Jeez, what a dork. Mouse and keyboard works for a lot of people but I find it extremely limiting.

The keyboard is not proportional, so fine movements are difficult, and this bozo makes sure that's what you have to use! The joystick has some disadvantages, but other 3D type controllers can overcome that, but if you don't use proportional movement in a game their usefullness is nullified! I have to edit my ini files in Unreal Tournament to get everything to work on my stick the way I want it. That's ridiculous. In Jedi Knight I could do everything inside the game, I didn't need to open Notepad and restart the game. Why do they think it's so much trouble to program proportional support in?

Please add my name or another number to the list. No joystick support (and I mean full proportional support), and I wont buy it. Thanks for keeping track of this guys, I'll visit your site regularly now that I've found it!"

Eirik Saether writes: "Point: You can NEVER have the same precition in aiming and movement using a joystick as when using the mouse/keyboard combo. However, the joystick is often more fun to use with its extended functions, and - for a growing number of enthusiasts - forced feedback. I use both tools, but to different games. In a game like MechWarrior4, where targeting is a little less demanding - because you can take a hit, and the target is fairly big - I much prefer the joystick because of the more realistic handling. But in all games where speed and aiming is of essence - like Quake, Half-Life, Unreal, Operation Flashpoint and most other FPS's - I just have to use the mouse/keyboard combo. Anything else makes me a looser.

So the answer to the question is another question: Will Raven make the game so that using a joystick won't give you a handicap? If the answer is 'yes', then: yes, I will try using the joystick. -And I have a Sidewinder force feedback 2... ;D"

Glen Graham writes: "To me, full joystick support is critical. I will not now, nor have in in the last 3 years, played a game that does not full support the joystick (ie, analog movement -- where your character has varied speed depending on how far the controller is pushed).

I am a devoted SpaceOrb fan. This "quirky" controller is so much more than a mere joystick -- you can move the equivalent of 6 axis of movement with one hand. I can lean back in my chair, kick my feet up, and relax and play comfortably for long periods. I was an avid fan of id Software since Wolfenstein. I loved Quake 1 and Quake 2 (where I moved up from just the keyboard to the SpaceOrb). I was so looking forwards to Quake 3 that I pre-paid for it 1/2 year in advance. I was soooooo disappointed that it has such horrible joystick support. On-Off only movement in any direction. Imagine trying to aim a railgun with on-off movement (ie, like using keys).

That was when I abandoned it (wasted $40), and moved to Unreal and Unreal Tournament. Jedi Knight II sounds very promising -- but if it does not have full joystick support, I will never purchase it. I would (strangely enough) rather give up gaming than play without my SpaceOrb. For what it is worth, I'm 32 and married (no kids)"

Seong Kim writes: "Hi. I'd really appreciate a full joystick support so we can use spaceorb with the upcoming jedi knight 2 game. This is really an amazing controller, I'm one of the few who converted from mouse+keyboarder into spaceorber. It took a while to get used to, but it's really worth it for playing fps games like jedi knight."

Mohammed Sheikh writes: "Actually, this whole issue with Joystick and mouse and JediKnight 2 could not be presented to me at a better time. Just a few days ago, getting impatient of waiting for JK2, I installed Jedi Knight, and MOTS. I had originally first played and completed both games with a simple Interac Joypad. And like most people, I eventually did learn how to use keyboard/mouse combo for shooters. And so I had setup JK to be played using my mouse. Before I knew it, I realized that the mouse simply didn't have enough buttons for the control I needed to properly enjoy the game, and I have 5 buttons including the wheel on my mouse. And so I plugged in my gamepad pro, you know, getting back to the old school. I soon found that my old strategy to aim up/down using buttons, were cumbersome. Also, with the added fact that strafing is so much harder, I realized that Jedi Knight is a shooter with too many things going on. So finally, I plugged in my Dual Strike, which in essence is a mouse, with a lot of buttons, and I have myself the perfect input for JK. Getting to my point, I think Raven DOES NOT need to add joystick support, because a mouse is DEFINITLY much more accurate and smoother. All they need to concentrate is to make the interface much more easier to use, and less keys to worry about. And for you joypad/joystick shooters, there's a reason you guys are always getting fragged. It's not that u suck, its just that a mouse can accuratly aim
between your eyes, much MUCH faster than any joypad. And if you like joypads THAT much, get a Dual Strike! :)

Marutz7 writes: "A few ideas i have are, to make the saber trail and the force auras optional, also to make sound effects such as force push etc. sound like the movie, a few good things to have would be a double saber mode for multiplayer,the ability to go from single to double would be pretty nice, also make fall damage an option, i found myself having fun in some levels with big drops if i didnt die from them rahter than if i did, regarding the demo, i think people would like a multiplayer demo a little more, personally ide like atleast 1 single player level and 1 or more multiplayerr ones, also the chat thing on msn that allows you to talk to the people joining the game before you start it would be great...also if u could talk to people that are already in the game from the chat room, the chat feature should be left out of the demo though so that it will be released earlier, but in the final version it should definately be in there."

As you can see, there were a variety of opinions sent in after we posted the mailbag question. So far, neither LucasArts or Raven have confirmed joystick support on the Official JKII FAQ. In a couple months, we will know for sure! -- zX

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