Updated 31 December 2017

This page has not yet been fully updated to reflect changes in v1.06 or v1.07 or v1.08 or v1.09 or v1.10 in Arulco Vacations

I had not intended to make very many tweaks to the Items.XML file . . . in fact I originally intended not to make any changes to this file because of compatibility issues. However, one thing led to another and now I have made quite a few tweaks and have many more in mind.  So I have moved this section from the Miscellaneous page to its own page. Remember, Miscellaneous does not mean inconsequential.

The Items.XML file controls important characteristics of every item in the game, and also connects each item to other .XML files that control other important characteristics for that particular item. It is a major structure of the v1.13 Mod. This section describes the changes I made. In the beginning I tried to be very light-handed as I did not want to drastically change gameplay, only enhance it a tiny bit to increase realism and eradicate annoying glitches. However, as I went on I gained more confidence in being able to make gameplay more enjoyable by delving into the nuts and bolts of all things in the Items.XML. These changes below were all included in Arulco Vacations v1.03. We are at v1.10 now, and things have gotten so crazy that I have to re-write this entire page. Until I do -- what is written below is just for historical reference.

The first thing I did was that I changed the Coolness Factor of the Leather Jacket from "2" to "1". Not a big deal, right? I just figured leather jackets are a common civilian item just like other "Coolness 1" items like t-shirts, alcohol, and cigars (for example). There's no need to make it unavailable at any point or in any sector. I don't know why a leather jacket was not considered a commonly available item. As well, I increased it's protection factor to be equal to the Army Coat. It had been a "2" while the Army Coat is a "5" (raised to "7" for v1.04). It must have been a "2" because nowadays most of the leather jackets that are commonly available are thin as paper. In my day that was not the case at all. The leather jackets your Mercs will be using are good, thick, solid biker jackets designed to be some protection when you dump your hog after a hard night at the bar -- not a flimsy, hipster fashion statement. (see below for more on Leather Jackets . . .)

I have since found out through forum research that the Coolness Factor is generally being used to restrict the Player from getting certain items in an attempt to control the Player's ability to progress in the game, and to designate certain items as "treasure". That is what I term PacMan Philosophy -- y'know, a linear, level-dependent arcade game where each level gets progressively harder with better rewards. It is a very successful game philosophy but not one I like. "Call of Duty" and many popular modern titles use this design philosophy to control the Player. I prefer a free-roaming, non-linear, role-play type of game philosophy where the designer sets up the world and the Player decides where to go and how to do it. Yes, it's much harder to design that way -- but the rewards are immensely greater. Just my opinion in how I like to game, of course.

The second change was a reduction of the Coolness Factor of an item that I also changed the name and description -- but nothing else. That item is the Sleeping Bag -- it is now the more appropriate Sleeping Hammock.
Olive drab jungle hammock. Elevated shelter w/protection from outside elements. Nylon coated roof. Easy to set-up. Heavy canvas floor. Mesh netting. Attached ropes and clews. 220 lb Weight Limit.  Doubles as ground camping storage, badminton and volleyball net, fishnet, dunk bag, emergency stretcher and rope.
Now, ain't that better than a sleeping bag? Too bad it doesn't do all that stuff in-game. It functions in-game by giving the standard Sleeping Bag Rest Benefit of 20% bonus to Breath Point Regain while sleeping -- as long as you have it in the character's inventory.  As well, the Coolness Factor was reduced from 3 to 1, making it readily available. I could have added a Sleeping Hammock and kept the Sleeping Bag, but this being Arulco you don't have a need to stay warm -- which is the primary function of a bag.

I standardized the clothes line of Bobby Ray's, as well. All the shirts except the Arulcan Red and Arulcan Black are the same cost, and their Coolness Factor was reduced from 5 to an everyday 1. Yellow Shirts are no longer used by the Arulcan forces (in Arulco Vacations) so they are now available to purchase. White Shirts, however, are now classified and priced the same as the Army's Red & Black Shirts, and are not available through Bobby Ray's. Pants have also been standardized to Coolness 1, except for the Arulcan Black Army Trousers -- which only the Army can wear, and is used by Police, Regulars and Elites (in Arulco Vacations). The standard Green Army Trousers are now OK for everyone to wear because the Arulcan Army has switched over to Black as the Queen likes the look. Appropriate descriptions were added to the file to reflect the changes.

I also modified the descriptions of the two mortars that are available in-game -- the M224 and the Commando.  The term "Commando Mortar" actually indicates a class of mortars, and not one specific model. I changed the description to read:
The Commando Mortar is an infantry patrol mortar designed for maximum portability and rapid deployment.
For the M224 mortar I removed the misleading sentence "It was built to handle HE bombs." and the misleading phrase from Bobby Ray's description ". . . that was built to specifically accommodate HE shells". In-game both the Commando Mortar and the M224 Mortar can handle all the mortar bombs that are available to the Player. The only mortars in real-life I know of that were designed to fire only HE bombs are the ones smaller than 60mm, and none of them have been in use since 1950 or so. The 60mm HE bomb did not have a designation in-game but does now -- it is the M720.

As far as I know there is no country in the world that admits or is suspected (with any evidence) to having Mustard Gas ammunition for any weapon -- and if they did then not the 60mm mortars, any of the grenade launchers or hand grenades are platforms they would use. But this is sci-fi . . . please don't get it confused with reality as Donald Rumsfeld did. The types of real-world ammunition available for both the M224 and the infantry patrol ("Commando") mortars are HE and Smoke. The infantry patrol mortars also have an Illumination round (White Phosphorus), while the M224 has a Signal round (Red Phosphorus) and a Multi-Purpose Anti-Personnel Anti-Material (MPAPAM) round (which sadly, we don't have in-game). However, in real life, the Illumination & Signal ammo if fired directly at personnel in an extremely low trajectory will do damage similar to Mustard Gas, and cause much chaos - just so you know.

Neither mortar is useful against tanks in the real world, though you might get lucky and hit the commander if he is standing in the hatchway. Planning to use 60mm mortars against tanks in real-life is just outlandishly foolish in the extreme and will just piss off the tank crew. You will be dead shortly thereafter. Please use LAWs or RPGs to kill tanks. That is what they are for.

That's enough of that . . . on to other stuff

I also clarified something which annoyed me to no end during game play . . . the 3.11 Explosives Pouch description said: "The full width of the top can attach to any MOLLE system." But it doesn't. Not nearly. I tried to tweak it so it would but I'm missing an important bit of information that I haven't figured out yet so I couldn't get it to work. It should, but it doesn't. However, I now know which items it will attach to . . . and so changed the description to reflect that. The offending sentence now reads: "This pouch will attach to the Specter Thigh Rig and the Large Thigh Rig." That's a little bit different than "any MOLLE system".

The Triple Pouches (Pistol, SMG, Grenade, Flashbang) and the Russian Pistol Holster do not attach to anything I've tried except the Specter Thigh Rig, even though some of the descriptions say they will attach to "any MOLLE compatible system" (NOTE I have since found out that there are 'hidden' pocket slots on a variety of ILBE -- accessible in the description areas in the Enhanced Description Box. If you hover a pocket over certain spots a popup listing what can be attached appears, and that is where the 'hidden' attachment spot is). The others don't mention that they attach to anything. I have adjusted the descriptions to reflect this. The AI will sometimes attach them to other items in the starting gearkit of a character -- but if you remove them during play you will not be able to re-attach them. They also will attach to the Carabiner and the Carabiner slot, but then you have to unattach them to get whatever is in them. Since this is unwieldy in combat when you need the items, I chose not to include that in the descriptions.

Vests . . .. I made changes to the Coolness Factors of the vests and load bearing gear to allow me to outfit the Arulcan Army as a real army, thereby adding more role-play realism into the game. According to my forum research the factors assigned to all gear were simply to prevent the Player from acquiring certain items until the designers felt the Players should have them. However, since it is entirely reasonable to assume that all of the mercenaries you can hire, even Reuben, could easily (and less expensively) have bought these types of gear before coming to Arulco at any Army-Navy Surplus Store (or online) there really is no sense in restricting such a mundane class of items except to force the Player into a linear game mode. Indeed, with the new gearkits in Arulco Vacations this is a moot point anyway.

The Russian Utility & Combat Vests and Holster are now standardized at Coolness Factor 4. This reflects that the Queen is purchasing new gear for the Army from Russia & Eastern Europe and it is not as available to the Army at the moment. You will find such items with the Army everywhere except the backwaters of the country.

The Tactical Tailor Utility and Combat Vests, which come from the United States as surplus, would already have been part of the Arulcan Army for a long time. All Tactical Tailor Coolness Factors were reduced to 2. This basically means they are not strictly a civilian item, though some civilians would normally have access to them (or the civilian counterparts of these items which do not have representation in-game). These items are assigned to specific civilians through the MercStartingGear.XML (named civilians) and through the Map Editor (un-named civilians).

All the modular MOLLE & 3.11 Vests were standardized at Coolness Factor 3, being a newer style of gear for Arulco. The Special Forces and Assault Vests were standardized at Coolness Factor 5 to reflect that they are more expensive, less common, and generally not available to the ordinary soldier.

These same changes were made to all the LBE gear -- that is, U.S.A. surplus at Coolness Factor 2, MOLLE & 3.11 surplus at 3, Russian surplus at 4, Special Forces and Assault surplus at 5. The exceptions to the rule are the H2O Carrier, the 3.11 Med Pouch, the 3.11 Syringe Pouch, the 12G Pouch, the 3.11 Thigh Rig, the Document Drop Pouch, the Small & Medium Drop Pouches, the R-Holster, the SG Holster, the Equipment Pouch, the 12g S Rig, the Knife Holster, the Shotgun Bandolier, the Drop Leg Holster, the Knife Sheath, the TK Sheath, the Carabiner, and the new A.L.I.C.E. Pack (see below). These are are all Coolness Factor 1.

Of course, the Hunter and Sporting Clay Vests remained at Coolness Factor 1, while the Ghillie items remained at 7. The HK SL8, though a civilian rifle, remains at Coolness Factor 5 because it was not available in this time period, and therefore is sci-fi. All civilian revolvers and their basic ammo were standardized at 1. The U-94 UDAR and the CMMS 7.3 are not included in that class, in case you were wondering.

Uh, the Flashlight was reduced to Coolness Factor 1. I went through the entire Items.XML and made sure all common civilian items, like the Flashlight, are an appropriate Coolness Factor. I won't bore you writing about hedge trimmers and golf clubs. Note that Coolness Factor also determines the availability of an item from Bobby Ray's Guns & Things, as well as control the availability of items on the Enemy item and weapon picklists. It just doesn't make sense to me to have to plan a military assault to acquire an "aluminum curtain rod" "broken at both ends", or a "small, heavy-duty, metal coil spring" "common to many household appliances", both at Coolness Factor 6, for example (which is higher than the factor for SWAT armour!). Did anyone look in any of these bombed out houses?

Oh, an important note: if you want to modify your very expensive weapon with a five-penny piece of cheap aluminum and a 10-penny spring . . . if you do . . . then you had better have another weapon handy. Just saying . . . fair warning.

Now on to something completely different -- the changes I made to this file that actually add something to the game. First off were to add new drugs for Sammy "Charlie" Elgin to sell. These are his experimental drugs, and he really isn't interested in curing anybody with them . . . lucky for you he will sell them to you instead of slipping them into your beer as he does to others. I will note that he is also selling these drugs to make a little extra cash for himself.

Enlightenment Drug: Increases Wisdom, Perception and Sight Range with an Adrenaline boost, and as a side effect afterwards makes you Nervous, Claustrophobic, Heat Intolerant, Fearful of Insects, Forgetful, increases Tunnel Vision, and makes you go a little Psycho. Thank goodness you were enlightened enough beforehand not to take this drug while down in the mines . . .

Rambo Drug: Enhances Strength, Agility and Dexterity while giving an Adrenaline boost and a Regeneration effect. You'll also go a little Psycho, and when it's over you'll have a 'mild' heart attack. Have a medic buddy around, just in case it's not that mild.

Flash Drug: A milder form of the Rambo Drug, this one enhances Agility and Dexterity with an Adrenaline boost. You will still go a bit Psycho, and the side effects make you Nervous, Forgetful and increases your Tunnel Vision.

Hulk Drug: Another version of the Rambo Drug. This one is all body high but without the heart attack, and with a Regeneration effect! It will increase your Strength and Damage Resistance with an Adrenaline boost. On the down side, you'll go a bit Psycho and it leaves you disoriented -- Nervous, Forgetful, and with increased Tunnel Vision.

Stalker Drug: A hybrid drug that increases Agility, Dexterity, Perception, and Sight Range with an Adrenaline boost. Predictably, you also go Psycho and it will leave you Nervous, Forgetful and you'll experience Tunnel Vision increasing to Temporary Blindness.

Sammy also sells a couple drugs for pure recreational use.

Psycho Drug: A component of other drugs that is 'softened' for recreational use. Makes you a little wild-eyed, but you enjoy it! Has the effects of Alcohol, Adrenaline and Psycho Disability.

Fuggedaboutit Drug: Makes you feel Drunk, Forgetful, and experience Tunnel Vision through mild hallucinations with an Adrenaline Boost.

Didjaseedat Drug: Makes you feel drunk, with an Adrenaline boost and Tunnel Vision because of vivid hallucinations, before the onset of temporary Blindness.

A note on the drug side effects: all the bonuses also have side effects that are the opposite of the benefit -- but less intense. Fun stuff, eh? I'll make up more as time permits.

The Leather Knife Sheath and the Nylon Knife Sheath characteristics have been tweaked to allow sheathing most combat knives as their vanilla description states. Prior to this only the throwing knives and non-combat knives would fit in them.

In a similar vein, the Shotgun Holster will now accept the Sawed-Off Shotgun . . . I mean, yo, if it didn't fit at first I'd just take the hacksaw to it again, y'know what I mean? I reduced the Sawed-Off Shotgun's size in Items.XML from 5 to 4.

I wanted the A.L.I.C.E. pack to distribute to a few Mercs in their starting gear . . . I did not know that the A.L.I.C.E. pack in the Items.XML file was an item using a system of storage not used any more, and it had been intentionally disabled . . . I mean, why leave it in the file so some dummy like me could waste hours trying to get it to work? Why not put a note next to it in the .XML to not use it? Well, I got it to work, yo -- but with both the new and old systems at the same time. I had made a super-pack instead of an A.L.I.C.E. pack. Sigh. Once I figured out what was happening (the forum searches were absolutely no help) it only took a few minutes to create a regular A.L.I.C.E. combat pack . . . things that make you go hmm. Why make an A.L.I.C.E. pack when there's a MALICE3 (actually a MALICE2+) in-game? Because the A.L.I.C.E. is lighter & a combat pack and the MALICE is heavier & a backpack.

For v1.04 I created a Shaman Bag for Wahan to use instead of the Medical Bag. I have to find a way to make it distinctly different from the Medical Bag -- perhaps by making it never run out, as he re-supplies from the herbs and animal parts encountered along the way. I also need to give it a new icon -- it uses the Medical Bag icon for now. It always nagged at me that Wahan was using the same medical gear the Western doctors also used . . . However . . . upon further review, unless I can find a different way for him to use and replenish his bag I will have to delete the item and let him continue on with regular medical kits.

On the same note it always irked me that there was no proper, non-armoured field uniform. Now there is the standard, United States issued, surplus Tropical Jungle Fatigues uniform that was first used in Vietnam and in anti-war protests.
 Jungle fatigues. This is the basic field uniform for any tropical region. It is surplus from the United States. Provides limited camouflage and very limited protection.

The Arulcan Regular Army uses the Army Coat (surplus Soviet Army Officers overcoat)(see below), the Tropical Jungle Fatigues and their own Arulcan Red & Black uniforms (the U.S.A. surplus OG-107 uniform dyed red or black) as standard. The Elites use the Tropical Jungle Fatigues plus the United States surplus Battle Dress Uniform and their own Arulcan Black Uniform (the U.S.A. surplus monochromatic OG-107 uniform dyed black).

I also noticed the M1 Garand has a price tag in Items.XML of $3630! The AK-47 has a tag of $1823. Looking up the real-world prices I find that both weapons, service grade, sell for about the same median price, between $550-$650 (the AK at the lower end, the M1 at the higher). There should not be such a disparity in-game on price between these two weapons. The Colt SMG has an in-game ticket price of $1293, while service grade real-world is about $500! I really hesitate to start looking at prices at all 1700+ items . . . but I had to trim that M1's price down to be in line with real availability and in-game performance. I always wondered why my scrounging Mercs always picked up the M1s instead of the modern assault rifles . . . now I know. True, a real-world sniper version of the M1 will go for $3000 in perfect condition . . . but that's not what we're talking about here. It looks like all old bolt-action rifles have hugely inflated prices. The game performance metrics do not warrant that, in my opinion. In comparison, the so-called "Porsche of assault rifles", the HK G11 is $3299 in-game -- less than a M1 Garand was! Considering only a thousand of the G11s, at the very most, were ever made, it never saw any duty outside of parades and less than a dozen were brought into this hemisphere . . . that is the definition of gun porn. I think somebody put their heavy-handed preferences into what should be an entirely analytical procedure. True, it's a B-Movie-type game, and there are worse offenders that barely made it to prototype stage (the Jackhammer, comes to mind), but at least they should be priced accordingly high while widely available WWII-era stuff should be priced accordingly low.

I also reduced to 1 the Coolness Factor of the three WWII bolt-action rifles & their ammo, the Winchester 94 Trapper & its Ball & HP ammo, the Remington, Ithaca & Sawed-Off shotguns, all 12g Slugs & Buckshot, and the Scope 2x. The Baikal shotguns were raised to Coolness Factor 4 as they are a new import item (actually not available in the real world at this time period, but . . . it's sci-fi, yo). While I was at it I standardized the civilian Winchester .300 & .308 ammo (except for Belt & Cold ammo). This will also fix the problem of all ammunition for some weapons having a higher Coolness Factor than the weapon itself -- at least for the above calibres you will have civilian ammo available.

For v1.04 I also lowered the price of the Baikal MP-133 to $980 from $1980. As mentioned on the forums, it is an inexpensive shotgun unlike the MP-233B, and so should not be higher priced than the MP-233B. At $980 it is still higher than real-world prices.

While I am on the subject I will quickly note that I have added the Armalon AR30C bolt-action carbine (otherwise known as a Gallery Rifle) -- the first 'new' weapon for Arulco Vacations. It is a civilian weapon used in Arulco for small and medium game hunting. It uses .30 Carbine ammunition. Obviously not gun porn, I added it for immersive role-playing depth. At the moment it will use the M1 Carbine graphic until I make one for it after the v1.04 release.

I have gone through the entire Items.XML and have applied a different reasoning for all the Coolness Factors. Instead of Coolness determining treasure and restricting the Player from basic civilian and military items, Coolness now represents general availability of items. Arulco Vacations is for Players who want to fight a war and are not interested in trudging through 3/4 of the game just to find all the basic gear they would have started out with if they had actually come to overthrow a despotic regime. Most of us have already played this game many, many times. There are only so many times you can get excited about finding a piece of equipment or a weapon that you would, in reality, have bought before boarding the helicopter to come to Arulco. Starting out well equipped also means the Arulcan Army doesn't have to be artificially dumbed down and weakened so you can survive with your piddling, little pistols. This vacation will be war from the start.

On the other hand . . . as far as that Porsche of assault rifles is concerned . . . let's listen to what the renegade General has to say about that . . .

Uh-huh! She's building new weapons like you've never seen, soldier! So, yeah, yo -- you just might encounter the G11, the Jackhammer & the M4 Shrike (for example) when you get to Meduna. Now ain't that a bit of sci-fi, B-Movie kick in the head?! Sci-fi ain't just about big bug creatures, zombies, robots and aliens! Sorry for the interruption, back to the matter at hand . . .

I cut the M1 Garand price in half from $3630 to $1815. The Mauser Kar 98k ($2280 vanilla) and the Mosin Nagant ($2190 vanilla) were also cut in price by half. The Mauser M-03 I increased in price as the real-world price is much heftier than the in-game price ($2700 in-game, $5029 real-world, new, basic) -- but then, it is a new model not a used 50-70year old weapon. It is now $3700, still way under real-world prices, but now more indicative of it's true cost. After all, it comes equipped with a 7x scope . . . I did, however, reduce its Coolness Factor in half, from 6 to 3. The only reason I did not reduce it further is because of the real-world price tag which is unaffordable to 99% of the civilians in Arulco -- and the fact that this model is not available through almost all of the imagined time periods that Arulco Vacations can be assumed to happen (1980-1999).

As well, until v1.03 of Arulco Vacations you could dress your Merc in all black but that did not equate to any night stealth bonus. In JA2 stealth incorporates night/shadow modifier, but no items gave a bonus -- see this thread on The Bear's Pit forum for details:

In Arulco Vacations a certain few black items will give the appropriate bonus to stealth. These items are the Black Cap, the Leather Jacket, the Kevlar & Leather Jacket (there's more than one in-game on this vacation -- but you can only buy one from Angel, you will have to take the others from their owners!) and the Black Shirt & Pants of the Arulcan Uniforms (ouch!). Now there's a real in-game reason to wear black and forgo the armour, vests and other cumbersome gear when you are doing night ops -- besides the fact that without all that gear you do indeed move a little quieter, quicker and further in-game (didn't know that, did you? It's true!).

I will note here that there is a bug in the stable version of the v1.13 Mod that Arulco Vacations uses as it's base that doesn't give the proper adjustment to stealth in shadows and at night. However, you do get some of the bonus you should and the modifications above will at least give you a little more even if not the full amount you should receive because of the bug. Something is better than nothing, eh?

In the same vein, and in the same thread noted above, laser sighting modules that are missing their stealth penalties have been modified appropriately in Arulco Vacations to have that stealth penalty -- because the enemy "has seen the light"! I have incorporated the same specifics as presented in this thread on The Bear's Pit forum

The Leather Jacket also has a description change because of the stealth bonus described above. In vanilla v1.13 the item is described as a Bomber Jacket. But bomber jackets have big leather pockets that can hold combat items without tearing -- though the jacket did not give you the pockets in-game. Therefore they are described in v1.03 of Arulco Vacations as Black Leather Jackets -- your typical, old-school, many-zippered, biker jacket which has cloth pockets that are not good for holding combat items -- and so that's now the reason you do not get any pockets to use in-game. However, it does have the above bonus for night stealth, and the previously mentioned adjustment to protection.

Onward to cosmetic changes that don't have in-game effects. One such is that I simply changed the U.S.A. & Russian Military Hats to Arulcan Army Military Hats -- a name and description change only. The same was done to the Russian Army Coat -- changed to Arulcan Army Coat. I did this because I have given out the hats and coat to the rank and file Arulcan Army. At some point I may do a new graphic for the coat. The hats can stay as they are. The coat does provide some very limited protection.

As well, I changed the description of the Field Uniform/Battle Dress Uniform to be U.S.A. surplus used by the Arulcan Army. The rag-tag units use the Army Coat (above). New is the Tropical Jungle Fatigues (above) which will replace everything else as the most common military uniform you will encounter. Body armours are available in limited quantity to the Arulcan Army. It will be rare to encounter soldiers in armor, and when you do it will be Kevlar or Twaron. The Arulcan Army has not upgraded to Dyneema or Spectra as of the time period of Arulco Vacations. The Battle Dress Uniform is better protection than Kevlar so the soldiers do not complain as much as the U.S.A. military did, and very few Arulcans are lucky enough to get Twaron.

Also, the USMC Backpack and USMC Assault Pack names were changed to be the "ILBE Backpack" and the "ILBE Assault Pack". ILBE = Improved Load Bearing Equipment. The description was appropriately changed, as well. I got nothing against the Marines, but this is Arulco . . . This change is cosmetic only.

The same cosmetic change was done to the Dress Uniform -- it is now the Arulcan Army Dress Uniform. They copied the U.S.A. Marine Corps. uniform because it is so cool, yo -- and the Queen wants her officers looking nice before she executes them.

Note: you will find that the Arulcan Army and Kingpin's Mob in Arulco Vacations are not as well armoured as they are in the vanilla v1.13 Mod, or in probably all other versions of Jagged Alliance. This balances out other areas where the Arulcan Army is better than in the vanilla v1.13. As well, I imagine the environment and terrain are not conducive to wearing heavy armour -- and, more importantly, the Queen is spending her money on research and WMDs -- as well as the normal perks like a palace, servants, and the best of everything money can buy for her sole enjoyment. Up to this point the Arulcan Army was not engaged in any serious armed conflict so why waste her money on body armour? Soldiers are expendable to her. My advice: take advantage of that. You can purchase any body armour you want through Bobby Ray's.

I could tweak all the armours so that they fatigued the wearer more than they do now -- but the AI would not know to take them off, and the Arulcan Army would be forever fatigued. Besides, that's too much micro management. I may tweak their mobility penalty just a tiny bit, however, to make it more realistic for those few (like me) who prefer to play without armour. I've been thinking about it . . . but that won't happen yet (or maybe ever) so don't worry about it.

Ahem . . . for v1.05 all armours will include a small stealth penalty -- simulating it being a bit harder to sneak wearing armour. So, wearing black or just going un-armoured is now a bit more favourable for night ops missions.

The Arulcan Army is also not nearly as well equipped regarding Extended Ear and Night Vision equipment as in vanilla v1.13 or other mods. Count your blessings, and use that advantage. Of course, that means you won't find many on the battlefield . . .

While I don't design for end-of-level human treasure chests, you will find that there is a lot of 'treasure' everywhere you would expect it on the maps I have already modified. Almost all homes will have First Aid Kits, many will have Tool Kits, and there will be an abundance of normal civilian items in the homes and shops. If you have Mercs like Magic, Jimmy and Vinny then a little night burglary work is some good role-play that can get you some minor 'treasure' when you need it. Of course, you could just bust in any time of day and take the stuff right in front of most of the civilians (there are a few, like Kingpin's gangsters who will start a war with you if you steal from them) . . . but that's just gamey. Perhaps sometime in the future there will be a Loyalty penalty for doing things like that which would make having a good cat burglar on the squad a necessary component.

Also, as far as 'treasure' is concerned -- you will find a lot of high-order military 'treasure' in such places as you would expect to find it -- for example, Alma (military town), Grumm (military-industrial town), Meduna (the queen's last defence) . . .

In v1.05 I added several more items. Now the Tactical Tailor line of military vests is complete with the additions of the Medic vest, the Shotgun vest, and the Gasman vest (for 40mm buffs). A Double Smoke Grenade pouch has also been added. Bolt-action rifles get some new additions: the M1903A4 Springfield (.30-06) and the SMLE No.4 Mk1 (.303). there's even a new lever-action military rifle -- the Winchester M1915 Service Rifle (.30-06). A new automatic rifle/LMG -- the M1918A2 Browning Automatic Rifle (.30-06), and a new SMG -- the M3A1 Grease Gun. And my favorite, an addition to the shotguns: the Winchester Model 12 Trench Gun. More types of .30-06 ammunition are also included in v1.05 -- HP, Match, & Glaser. And, of course, .303 ammunition makes its debut in AP, HP, Glaser and Match varieties so you have something to load into those SMLEs.

A new knife was added also -- a Tactical Stiletto, especially for those stealthy spy types.

There were also a a few deletions for v1.05 . . . (gasp) . . . yes, weapons that never made it past prototype stage or were simply not available in the Americas have been deleted. Specifically: the G11, G11 PDW, Neostead, and Jackhammer are gone. This was done to make the environment more Arulco-specific -- more like Central America, which is why the Springfield, the SMLE, both Winchesters & the Browning were added, as all were exported to Central America in numbers large enough to be readily available.

In v1.06 I added an M2 Carbine, a RD706 Teledart Rifle, an SVT-40, a Bren Gun Mk.2, and ball ammunition for several common ammo types. I also re-chambered the Zastava M76 for it's original ammunition type: 7.92x57mm Mauser. Additionally, I added the Covert tag to a number of items -- those that are civilian-type or can be hidden easily. The full list of covert items follows: Garotte, Drop Holster, .38 Special (renamed Smith & Wesson Model 10 Snub-Nose in v1.07, it is a principle civilian weapon in Arulco Vacations), Utility Knife, HK P7M8 (a concealed carry weapon, as are the next 2), PSM, P239 SAS, Holster, Revolver Holster, Dart Gun, C1, C4, Stun Gun, Stiletto, and (added in v1.07) Pepper Spray, Scuba Mask, Scuba Fins, Diving Bottle, Flashlight (off), Letter Opener, Hedge Trimmer, Nylon Knife Holster, Leather Knife Sheath, Carabiner, Sleeping Hammock, A.L.I.C.E. Pack, Machete, Crowbar, Break Light, Black Leather Jacket, Black Cap, Arulco T-Shirt, Compact Binoculars, 1st Aid Kit, Tool Kit, Canteen, Wire Cutters, Bottle of Alcohol, Wine, Beer, Porno Magazine, Platinum Watch, Golf Clubs, Walkman, Portable TV, Cigars, Cuban Cigars, Keys, Fuck You T-Shirt, Retractable Baton, Utility Knife, Light Knife, Exacto Knife, Steak Knife, Silver Platter, Duct Tape, Aluminum Rod, Spring, Steel Tube, Quick Glue, String, Soda Can, Marbles, LameBoy Display, Copper Wire, FumblePak, Pack of Gum, Batteries, Rubber Band, Laptop, Rag, Emergency Flare, Pipe Wrench, Video Tapes, MERC Wirst Watch, Passport, Shovel, and MERC Umbrella.

Many more (hundreds) prices were corrected -- and at some point the entire price structure needs to be addressed.

For v1.07 I have corrected prices for many ordinary items and gear -- clothes, uniforms, packs, tactical gear, etc., and grenades as well. The original prices were wildly inflated to the point of ridiculousness, and served no practical reason that I could imagine except hamstringing the Player economically. Regarding the economic sub-system of the game; I have also devised a very complex formula for Mercenary salaries based on ability attributes, skills, traits, disabilities, social attributes, and more. Now all Mercenaries you can hire from A.I.M. and M.E.R.C. are equally evaluated through their salaries as to their worth -- of course, it is up to you, as Player, to utilize these Mercenaries correctly so as to actually benefit from their positive attributes, and lessen the effect of their negative attributes. The basic result of this salary revision is the lowering of the most expensive Mercenary salaries, the raising of the least expensive Mercenary salaries, and the elimination of salaries that did not reflect the mercenary at all. In-country recruitable characters are not affected by this salary revision -- and hence remain your best economic bargain in the game regardless of their talents or lack thereof. M.E.R.C. daily salaries and gear kit prices are lower than they would be if the Merc was working for A.I.M., but as in the original game . . . the question as to whether or not the More Economic Recruiting Company is more economical than A.I.M. in the long run is still a valid question. As Jagged Alliance 2 is a game where many factors influence every aspect of the game, the Evolution of characters has also been revised. Now the only character that regresses is Drunk Larry Roachburn, no character has the No Evolution penalty, and other characters have been rated now for varying degrees of lesser evolution (3/4, 1/2, & 1/4). The Table of Evolution follows:


Drunk Larry Roachburn

(3/4 evolution)
Col. Leo Kelly
Gus Tarballs
Kirk "Static" Stevenson
Fred Morris
Frank "Hitman" Hennessey

(1/2 evolution)
Spike (Kingpin Gangster)
Col. Frederick Biggins
Henning von Branitz
Dr. Eli Summers
Corp. Len Anderson
Samuel Garver
Maria DaSilva
Carl Tercel
Salvatore Lappos
Eldin Fiddes
Father John Walker

(1/4 evolution)
John Kulba
Mary Kulba
Dr. Bernie Gloveless
Murray "Pops" McGillicutty
Howard "Carp" Melfield
Col. Leon Roachburn
Murray "Moses" Ebstern
Calvin Barkmore
Billy Goonball
Alish Perkopoulos
Yanni Nomigatta
Manny Santos
Brewster Woltz

You will notice that some characters on this list are NPCs, and therefore don't progress anyway. However, plans are in the works for many of these NPCs to become recruitable, and so the groundwork is laid here now.


  1. is keeping the drugs kinda vague a deliberate decision? i mean, love the guy but can't imagine charlie synthesizing much more than a bathtub of crank without losing his eyebrows. having lucked into running a bar in a country with broken down law enforcement, he could no doubt get stuff to sell on the side and using that to help fight our just little war is already an interesting can of worms, with all the withdrawal and side effects already in.

    1. Oh, i just noticed i didn't mention it in the text above, but he also sells the regular medical drugs -- which i imagine Players will be more interested in. He does not have large quantities, but the quality is as good as anywhere else.

  2. It is a good question of why he would 'help' -- but the way I figured it was that as long as you hadn't killed the other Terrorists, and had not attacked him, he would carry on with business as usual. Considering also that the Terrorists are not very different from some of the guys we can hire, and in fact may even be 'nicer' than some of the guys we can hire (Reuben & Skitz come to mind), he would not be averse to helping us out -- as he has no specific loyalty to the Queen or Kingpin, and only to the other Terrorists out of mutual aid.

    His supply, I imagine, is being financed by his profits from the bar, and what he sells as recreational drugs. But you're right -- I just wanted to play a bit with creating drugs, and he was the most likely candidate, i thought, in the game to be the 'druglord' without interrupting other storylines.

    As for keeping the drugs kind of vague -- yes, all through this blog I struggle with how much to exactly detail without removing too much of the game-playing suspense and the finding out for yourself by playing aspect. What is detailed is what you would know, i think. You would know that the Elightenment Drug, for example, quickens your thinking (Wisdom), extends your sight range and allows more interrupts (Perception). How much exactly you wouldn't know. But this much you know -- it's a game and all the effects are the exact same effects you will find used elsewhere in the game. These drugs just bring them together in one place in new combinations.

  3. its not looting its foraging, and you'll happily refer them to the new government for reimbursement once the current crisis is resolved.


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    1. Thanks! I am glad you enjoy Arulco Vacations. Thank you for the info!

  5. Not entirely sure how much or if even at all this will be an issue, but if the army has less (or even none at all) armour, then the player can easily wipe the floor with it using Glaser ammo, as its damage against unprotected humans is ludicrous (one-shot kills with a 9mm from afar etc.). Might be worth keeping in mind ;-)

    1. Yes, HP & Glaser are more important in AV because of the armour situation. As you say, Glaser is extremely effective against unarmoured troops (i.e. Regulars). I have made some things easier, and some things harder -- and hopefully all the tweaks merge into something that is enjoyable. While I weakened the Regulars by taking away their armour, I also strengthened them by giving them all Traits, making sure none of them are below Average Abilities (through the map editor), re-deployed them into some semblance of military formations (instead of having them scattered individually about the map), adjusted their strategies to mostly aid one another, recommend Players use Sevenfm's AI-Tweaked executable . . . to name some of the balancing I've done to make sure the Army is a capable opponent even without armour.

  6. There is constant Crash when I buy anything from thath guy in bar middle sector in SanMona. I can choose to buy but when it comes to open buy menu I have this screen with yellow caps error description.

    1. Are you using v1.05 or v1.06? In v1.05 there was a problem with the merchants that caused crashes. I fixed it in v1.06. For v1.07 (not out yet) Sevenfm fixed the bug that caused the crash. You can try his fixed executable -- it is available on The Bear's Pit:

  7. Replies
    1. Bummer. It works here, so I am at a loss to figure it out. Try the new executable.


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  9. Hi Ed,

    Found a possible bug with the Fiber Optic Day Sights. No matter what handgun I try and attach them to, they are always grayed out. This includes every handgun that indicates it can take the sight in the paper doll screen and in the main inventory screen when you hover over the sight.

    1. Fred, it works here -- which pistols are you trying (just give me a couple examples), and do you have the Update installed?

  10. Hi Ed,

    I am using version 1.08 of AV. The Item # is 1883, Fiber Optic Sight. Its description when you right click on it calls it a Fiber Optic Day Sight. The guns which show in their paper doll view that they take a Fiber Optic Sight are, for example, Baretta 92F, HP 35, Glock 17, and the HK USP 40. There are many more, but you get the idea. In other words, not a single handgun showing that they will take the Fiber Optic Sight will actually allow it to be installed.

    1. I'm sorry, things are a bit hectic in rl right now. I don't remember if I fixed it in the end-of-November Update available on the Downloads page, or fixed it for the end-of-December Update soon to be released. I'm fairly sure I fixed it in the Update available on the Downloads page.

    2. Hi Ed,

      I was pretty sure that I had installed the update, but to be perfectly sure I installed it again. Sorry, it still doesn't work for the Fiber Optic Sight. Same as before, not a single handgun showing that it will take the FOS will actually allow it to be installed. BTW, the Tritium Night Sight, the Red Dot Sight, and the Match Sight DO work.

    3. OK, I must have fixed it for the coming end-of-month Update. My apologies.

    4. No problem. Thank you for this excellent mod. It's like a whole new game.

  11. Hi Ed,

    A new problem with attachments with the 12/31/16 update: On the Garand and the M1 Carbine, the scopes disappear on installation. This occurs with the 7x scope on the Garand and the 2x scope on the Garand and the M1. You hear the sound of the scope clicking into place, but no scope shows up in the paper doll view, nor do the stats change.

    1. I'll check into it. Thank you. Did you Update a game in progress (which may cause this because I worked on the attachments) or is this a new game (what version)?

    2. Brand new game, version 1.08, with all updates, incl 12/31/16, with installation exactly as per your instructions in the Downloads section.

  12. Hi Ed,

    I installed the March 5 patch to 1.08, and now the grenades no longer explode on impact. They now explode after the opposition's turn, essentially rendering them useless.

    1. Well, not useless, but definitely a different game there. Sorry, it's a new option in the EXE -- grenades that do not explode on impact will explode the next turn.

      You can turn that off and have all grenades explode on impact like before by changing DELAYED_GRENADE_EXPLOSION = FALSE, to TRUE, in JA2_Options.INI

    2. Uh, make that change DELAYED_GRENADE_EXPLOSION = TRUE, to FALSE.

    3. Thanks Ed for the quick reply. Made the change and all is good.


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