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dreamtrain [Posts: 6]
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  • [September 27, 2017, 09:15:54 PM]
Re: FFTA2 Redesigned (Rebalanced and Difficult Hack with new Jobs and Abilities)
« Reply #140 on: September 27, 2017, 09:15:54 PM »
I really liked this project, its the only FFTA2 rebalance that appeals to me, but the lack of dual wield was a dealbreaker to me, I would like to teach myself how to tweak with these kind of hacks, I'd be adding Dual Wield back.

Also it seems like past a point the game can't be played because of the issues with level cap, as well as the one shot cockatrice in that quest. Anyone having any other issues?
Physics student
Rfh [Posts: 286]
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  • [October 23, 2017, 08:17:14 AM]
I really liked this project, its the only FFTA2 rebalance that appeals to me, but the lack of dual wield was a dealbreaker to me, I would like to teach myself how to tweak with these kind of hacks, I'd be adding Dual Wield back.

Also it seems like past a point the game can't be played because of the issues with level cap, as well as the one shot cockatrice in that quest. Anyone having any other issues?

A intesting way to rebalance Dual Wield is to make that each attack do 0.75 of original damage.

I don't know what issue of level cap you mean. Can you explain it?
Tobbzn [Posts: 1]
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  • [November 04, 2017, 11:41:33 PM]
Re: FFTA2 Redesigned (Rebalanced and Difficult Hack with new Jobs and Abilities)
« Reply #142 on: November 04, 2017, 11:41:33 PM »
I've been sinking over a hundred hours into this addicting hack over the past month. I've done two half-playthroughs, one with Luso going down the Blue Mage caster path and one with Luso going down the Soldier path. Overall this hack is very good, but seeing as you're still around, I'd like to provide some feedback in case you feel like doing a minor update again or I ever find the time to learn how to edit it myself.

Level and monster scaling
In order to improve difficulty, you scale enemies to the party's average level. This generally works well, but there are some unfortunate consequences. For example, picking up new clan mates that you never level up will put you at an advantage in the late game by cheesing your average level.

The issue is that if you do this, enemy monsters will still vastly out-stat you to the point that they outspeed your ninjas and their "Targets all" abilities one/two-shot your low-HP jobs, even if you're level 50 and they're level 37. Meanwhile, enemy humanoids pose virtually no threat, which is also not that fun.

I feel like I have to cheese, though, because otherwise I would not stand a chance in certain quests. Some non-boss monsters are quite simply far more lethal than the bosses are.

Notable examples:
  • When you pick up the second ingredient for Hurdy: The fairy casting Ultima outspeeds me despite the level cheesing, and 2-shots my entire party. I had to save scum until I pulled off two Jumps, relying on Angel Ring and Aura to survive the rest of the fight because I had no Absorb Holy gear.
  • "Trappings of Failure": Ridiculous at any level, and I had to save scum Rend Speed, Steal Speed, Sleep and Aura to pull it off. Perhaps Vaan or a dispatched team of Rangers could do it in the late game, but geez.
  • "It's a Secret to Everybody": The two Great Turtles cast Gaia's Wrath, dealing 200 damage to everybody. It isn't even Earth damage so I can't gear against it. Had to save scum the right actions to make the AI not cast it repeatedly.
  • "The Cat's Meow": Despite having a Move of 6, enough Jump to leap up the cliffside, and the highest speed on the battlefield, I couldn't reach Roye to cast Cover before he died to the wolves, unless I again save scummed my actions so that he'd walk towards me.
  • "Popocho's Chocobos": As above, friendly NPCs often die before you have the chance to reach them, since monster offensive stats are ridiculous.
  • Blood Orbs with Unscarred: These love one-shotting anyone who looks at them funny, facing be damned. Practically a melee meteorite with Vampire ensuring it always gets Unscarred back if it gets a second turn.
I know you stated that the mod is intended for Hard Mode, but would playing on Normal mode level the playing field between monstrous and non-monstrous enemies so I wouldn't feel like I have to cheese my average level?

Suggestion:
If the levels were based on the average of only your 8 highest-level guys, non-monsters would be more threatening even if you have some low-level party members, since you'll be hiring Story characters that prevent cheesing.
Conversely, some monsters should have their abilities or offensive stats (Attack/Magick/Speed) slightly toned down (20%?), but it would be a fair tradeoff to increase their health so battles lasted longer and weren't all about alpha strike and hard CC. Alternatively, you could give all classes +1 or +2 HP growth, making enemy humanoids more of a nuisance while making monster alpha strike more survivable.

If Monsters' general stats being scaled down is off the table, at the very least I think "Target All" abilities and Meteorite ought to cost 20 MP so they aren't chained. Also, Gaia's Revenge and Meteorite could be made Earth Damage, so you could gear accordingly.

EDIT: As I've started getting the top tier gear, most level <40 monsters have started feeling fair, so apart from speed and the above unfair examples, it's possible the issue isn't with scaling but rather with the level cap being reached long before the gear cap.

I had the idea that since Dual Wield is unavailable to players, adding more bonuses to it so that it acts like Dual Wield, Shieldbearer, Monkey Grip, and all the stat-up abilities at once would allow you to make humanoids a threat even though their gear might be worse than the player's. This could also help friendly NPCs survive the beefed-up monsters.

Item availability
This is mostly an issue for the early game, and it's possibly made worse by me using the AP+ clan privilege. I've attempted to pick different jobs on my second playthrough, but it feels like some of the basic jobs really lack gear options because everything's locked behind the Bazaar - and you have no Steal Loot until the mid-game so loot is tight. It feels like the game really opens up upon reaching Fluorgis, even more so than in the vanilla game. Not only do you get access to new races and classes, but loot abruptly diversifies.
  • Humes feel encouraged to take the Soldier-Paladin path because those are the ability weapons you get early, and the abilities take a lot of AP so you stay a Soldier a lot while leveling. Hunters can unlock moderately early, but it took me forever to get any ability greatbows beyond "Hunting" - and since you're unlikely to get a fourth Thievery ability until Fluorgis, going the Thief-Ninja route leaves you with only Mug, Steal MP and Steal Gist for a long time, none of which are reliable.
  • Bangaa similarly get stuck as Warriors for quite a while since White Monk abilities are few and far between, but late-game the only job I can't see myself using is Bishop - unless I hire a brand new Bishop that doesn't have terrible Magick stat, of course.
  • I've been wanting to build a physical Viera, but the early game seems to only have caster weapons available. For my third playthrough I'll probably do the early game as a Green Mage since the Attack growth isn't as terrible as other casters, but I still wish I could put them on the Fencer or Archer-Sniper track immediately.
  • Nu Mou and Moogles both straight up run out of ability-granting gear in the early game. Since ability instruments and ability knives are in particularly short supply, the first advanced path you can take is when you unlock tier 2 elemental rods, heavily encouraging the Black Magick -> Time Magick route. While Nu Mou do become very useful with their advanced classes in the late game, I feel like I've never gotten the hang of Moogles - possibly because I spend the early game jumping between the jobs before running out of abilities to learn, so the stat distribution ends up a bit wonky.
Suggestion:
I think ideally a lot of Bazaar items that don't use level 4 loot could be unlocked from the start, since Steal Loot is unavailable until the midgame. A nice consequence is that a lot of the bazaar entries that you're likely to never actually bother to complete, like Bronze Armor or Colossal Sword, would be removed from the bazaar list so you wouldn't have to spend so much time scrolling. The easy way out: Grant most E-tier gear at the start.

If Thief can't have a 4th useful ability knife, Ninja could only require 3 Thief abilities to make that path more viable as a starting career.

Level cap
Unless I skip most of the side quests, I hit the level cap shortly after reaching Fluorgis. This is also where weapon choices open up, letting you spend some time getting important Thief abilities, and giving you access to advanced jobs such as the Master Monk. The Master Monk has a really good stat growth so I would like to level as it, but by that time there are no levels left so I'm more or less stuck with the Warrior stats for the rest of the game. This pattern holds true for most of the speedy jobs, which makes me feel like my entire team is sluggish when fighting monsters despite being 10 levels beyond them. One way to deal with it is to hire a brand new recruit of the class you want, I suppose, but I've grown attached to my guys.

Also, I believe there are missions with base level above 50. Some of them are doable, like Cinquleur, but based on other comments there are some that can't be resolved.

Suggestion:
Reduce XP gain across the board by 30%, increase level cap to 60. Rescale non-boss monsters so that their current level 50 stats are the new level 60 stats, and you'd be addressing the scaling issue as well.

Bugs:
Tonberries and Tonberry Kings can't act, making the AP+ clan trial and several missions trivial. Edit: They can act, but only when Charmed. It's like the AI is turned off unless charmed.
Sometimes Headless act as though they can't attack or use abilities - they just run around like headless chicken. I particularly remember one in "The Cat's Meow" acting this way.
At some point, Ignis Fatuus was randomly learned by all my Humes, despite not having unlocked Sorcerer.
Some of the Kings of Cinquleur have empty ability sets, presumably because they used to know skills you've removed.
Berserkers have the highest MP growth, for some reason.
Triple Edge (Sky Pirate) does not trigger Counter.
Sky Attack (Sniper) can be learned, but is not on your list.

Traps:
I wish I could just remove invisible traps from all missions that have no Rangers or Hunters on the enemy team. If they were visible you could plan around them, but this romhack is sufficiently unforgiving that a single trap can make your house of cards fall apart. I was thinking about doing an LP series for this hack, but I realized I'd be save scumming traps, which would make it feel cheap. Unfortunately Libra is locked behind Adaptability II, which is a late-game clan trial.

Suggestion:
Make the Dream Claws (Chroma Gem skill) available in the store as a baseline, so you could aim for a way to reveal traps early, at the cost of having a Tinker skillset on your team.

I know this post is long, but I hope it doesn't come across as aggressive. I do thoroughly enjoy this hack, which puts me in the mind of the Long War mod for XCOM. The issues I've mentioned are comparatively minor but would would apply a nice layer of polish.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 06:49:57 PM by Tobbzn »
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    Rfh [Posts: 286]
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    • [December 20, 2017, 01:58:59 AM]
    Re: FFTA2 Redesigned (Rebalanced and Difficult Hack with new Jobs and Abilities)
    « Reply #143 on: December 20, 2017, 01:58:59 AM »

    Level and monster scaling
    In order to improve difficulty, you scale enemies to the party's average level. This generally works well, but there are some unfortunate consequences. For example, picking up new clan mates that you never level up will put you at an advantage in the late game by cheesing your average level.

    The issue is that if you do this, enemy monsters will still vastly out-stat you to the point that they outspeed your ninjas and their "Targets all" abilities one/two-shot your low-HP jobs, even if you're level 50 and they're level 37. Meanwhile, enemy humanoids pose virtually no threat, which is also not that fun.

    Suggestion:
    If the levels were based on the average of only your 8 highest-level guys, non-monsters would be more threatening even if you have some low-level party members, since you'll be hiring Story characters that prevent cheesing.
    Conversely, some monsters should have their abilities or offensive stats (Attack/Magick/Speed) slightly toned down (20%?), but it would be a fair tradeoff to increase their health so battles lasted longer and weren't all about alpha strike and hard CC. Alternatively, you could give all classes +1 or +2 HP growth, making enemy humanoids more of a nuisance while making monster alpha strike more survivable.



    I have always been aware of it, I usually get rid of the units with low level to keep the game challenging. What you say would be the best, but to make the assembly hack it's neccesary a further exploration of the rom map. I get motivated to do this mod because the work of rom exploration made by Lennart. I would love to do this, but I don't have the time needsly. I acually have priorities in my life. I'm still thinking in modding, but I prefer modding PSX FFT because it offers me much more posibilities because all hacking stuff already made for this game. This last year I writted more than 24 pages of ideas of what I want in a possible mod. I'm goint to use a lot the ideas that I used in my FFTA2 mod but with limitless posibilities. Surely the mod isn't going to be released in the next 5 years. I already done some of heavy ASM hacks, but basically everything is on paper. Don't think that the mod is unrealizable, if I work on it at the same rhythm that I worked for FFTA2 redesigned I will finish it around just 4 months. I know the time because I know how to make everything that I want on it.




    I had the idea that since Dual Wield is unavailable to players, adding more bonuses to it so that it acts like Dual Wield, Shieldbearer, Monkey Grip, and all the stat-up abilities at once would allow you to make humanoids a threat even though their gear might be worse than the player's. This could also help friendly NPCs survive the beefed-up monsters.

    Item availability
    This is mostly an issue for the early game, and it's possibly made worse by me using the AP+ clan privilege. I've attempted to pick different jobs on my second playthrough, but it feels like some of the basic jobs really lack gear options because everything's locked behind the Bazaar - and you have no Steal Loot until the mid-game so loot is tight. It feels like the game really opens up upon reaching Fluorgis, even more so than in the vanilla game. Not only do you get access to new races and classes, but loot abruptly diversifies.
    • Humes feel encouraged to take the Soldier-Paladin path because those are the ability weapons you get early, and the abilities take a lot of AP so you stay a Soldier a lot while leveling. Hunters can unlock moderately early, but it took me forever to get any ability greatbows beyond "Hunting" - and since you're unlikely to get a fourth Thievery ability until Fluorgis, going the Thief-Ninja route leaves you with only Mug, Steal MP and Steal Gist for a long time, none of which are reliable.
    • Bangaa similarly get stuck as Warriors for quite a while since White Monk abilities are few and far between, but late-game the only job I can't see myself using is Bishop - unless I hire a brand new Bishop that doesn't have terrible Magick stat, of course.
    • I've been wanting to build a physical Viera, but the early game seems to only have caster weapons available. For my third playthrough I'll probably do the early game as a Green Mage since the Attack growth isn't as terrible as other casters, but I still wish I could put them on the Fencer or Archer-Sniper track immediately.
    • Nu Mou and Moogles both straight up run out of ability-granting gear in the early game. Since ability instruments and ability knives are in particularly short supply, the first advanced path you can take is when you unlock tier 2 elemental rods, heavily encouraging the Black Magick -> Time Magick route. While Nu Mou do become very useful with their advanced classes in the late game, I feel like I've never gotten the hang of Moogles - possibly because I spend the early game jumping between the jobs before running out of abilities to learn, so the stat distribution ends up a bit wonky.
    Suggestion:
    I think ideally a lot of Bazaar items that don't use level 4 loot could be unlocked from the start, since Steal Loot is unavailable until the midgame. A nice consequence is that a lot of the bazaar entries that you're likely to never actually bother to complete, like Bronze Armor or Colossal Sword, would be removed from the bazaar list so you wouldn't have to spend so much time scrolling. The easy way out: Grant most E-tier gear at the start.

    If Thief can't have a 4th useful ability knife, Ninja could only require 3 Thief abilities to make that path more viable as a starting career.

    Bugs:
    Tonberries and Tonberry Kings can't act, making the AP+ clan trial and several missions trivial. Edit: They can act, but only when Charmed. It's like the AI is turned off unless charmed.
    Sometimes Headless act as though they can't attack or use abilities - they just run around like headless chicken. I particularly remember one in "The Cat's Meow" acting this way.
    At some point, Ignis Fatuus was randomly learned by all my Humes, despite not having unlocked Sorcerer.
    Some of the Kings of Cinquleur have empty ability sets, presumably because they used to know skills you've removed.
    Berserkers have the highest MP growth, for some reason.
    Triple Edge (Sky Pirate) does not trigger Counter.
    Sky Attack (Sniper) can be learned, but is not on your list.

    Traps:
    I wish I could just remove invisible traps from all missions that have no Rangers or Hunters on the enemy team. If they were visible you could plan around them, but this romhack is sufficiently unforgiving that a single trap can make your house of cards fall apart. I was thinking about doing an LP series for this hack, but I realized I'd be save scumming traps, which would make it feel cheap. Unfortunately Libra is locked behind Adaptability II, which is a late-game clan trial.

    Suggestion:
    Make the Dream Claws (Chroma Gem skill) available in the store as a baseline, so you could aim for a way to reveal traps early, at the cost of having a Tinker skillset on your team.


    I think that the level cap is good at 50. I finished the game at this level, but can reach it before if you do a lot sidequests.

    I agree with the rest of the things you say. The item availability is the same of vainilla, and the most of battles are untouched. Lennart made a exploration of every battle of the game, but there isn't a editor for it, so actually it should be done manually with a hex editor. (very tedius) Making a battle editor for this game require a huge amount of time, because the +300 fights and because you need to manage a lot of names and data. Iniatilly I want to do it, but quickly I found myself with lack of time. I would love to improve no monters fights, giving the unit better equipment and abilities.

    Because my lack the time and my interest in PSX FFT, i'm not think that I will release a new patch for it (At most one that corrects some serious errors if they are found). So everyone is welcome to take my work of this mod, and continue improving it with everything that he wants.

    Thank you very much for your remarks
    coffeepotato [Posts: 1]
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    • [December 26, 2017, 07:47:15 PM]
    Re: FFTA2 Redesigned (Rebalanced and Difficult Hack with new Jobs and Abilities)
    « Reply #144 on: December 26, 2017, 07:47:15 PM »
    So just looking around briefly, this looks like an incredible mod for what is one of my favorite games ever. Actually the bit about TOKoL is what ultimately made be decide to fully jump into this one first, that's another one of my all-time favorites.

    That being said, upon trying to compare the two versions, I found myself being mercilessly crushed into a pulp by the intro. Aside from the side/back damage stuff, were there other immediate mechanics to keep in mind?

    Also, I like to do video series on various srpg mods, as well as gimmick/challenge runs, do You mind if I do one on Yours too?

    Much appreciated, it's great to see that this game's got possible mod support! (No idea how I missed this for years)
    « Last Edit: December 27, 2017, 10:13:42 PM by coffeepotato »
    • Modding version: Other/Unknown
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