Jagged Alliance 3, the well-received sequel to the classic mercenary tactics games, infiltrated enemy lines to extract a big new update this week. Going by the unusual alias "Larry", patch 1.5 added several new ways to explore and expand your adventures in the politically unstable nation of Grand Chien.
The biggest of these new features are the modding tools. These let players edit maps, create new quests, put together whole new campaigns, and more. Developer Haemimont games cites an example of what "more" looks like over on its Facebook page in its first Mod Spotlight post. This highlights a mod called UnpredictableBattle, which randomises enemy stats, perks, weapons, and armour. Further example mods are included in the update itself, so you can get an overview of what the tools can do.
Alongside mod support, Larry also adds 10 new "game rules" that let you adjust the game's parameters in different ways. "Hard Lessons", for example, decreases the speed mercs level up, while "Body Count" increases the number of enemies you'll face on missions. I personally like the sound of "Under the Weather", which makes adverse weather conditions more common. I love a big, dramatic weather effect in games (clouds notwithstanding). There's also a subset of new game rules that relate specifically to Merc hiring, which adjusts their availability, starting salaries, and more.
Finally, the patch squashes a few bugs crawling around your mercs' basecamp, such as an "issue where villagers would trigger alarms" and "issues where quests would break upon death of certain NPCs." My favourite line from the patch notes is "fixed issue where game would softlock when trying to cheese active pause after 'Combat start' sequence is initiated'", which I can't help but read as an implied dunk on cheap player tactics. That said, I understand acutely the pain of being softlocked due to too much cheese.
You can read the full patch notes here. It's great to see Jagged Alliance 3 getting such strong post-release support, though it's not enormously surprising given that it's Haemimont Games' most successful release. Dominic was rather taken with it in his Jagged Alliance 3 review, too, praising how it "modernizes and streamlines while still capturing the original's spirit. It's old-school at heart, and goofy as ever."