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Use of ePSXe before 2.0 is highly discouraged. Mednafen/RetroArch is recommended for playing/testing, pSX is recommended for debugging.

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Messages - RavenOfRazgriz

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The palette swaps comment is a valid critique.  I'll draw up 4 or 5 templates for each tier and split them among the spells.  Here are some ideas.

Remember that non-standard AOEs - Tri-Direction, Linear, Self-AOE, etc. - when combined with CTs behave a bit unintuitively since they set themselves down on the panel you target even if you move away from it, unless you lock down units from being able to use Move after Charging an ability.  (There are some existing ASMs you can probably modify to create this effect, if you want it.)  Focusing on making abilities not be palette-swaps via different AOE shapes can easily lead you into going down an AOE-checklist that ends up making your skillsets being too similar.  Costs / Procs / Size of AOE (in contrast to shape) / constant value / evadability / targeting intelligence are all more than adequate to combine in different ways to keep abilities feeling distinct.  (They can also serve secondary roles, such as giving elements unique properties that bleed between skillsets and provide structural direction for teams that use Absorb to make those elements cornerstones of their party synergy, and to generally give them flavor.)
I might be able to double up a few item attributes on items that would never be found together.

There's nothing wrong with having utility effects that you give to multiple items in different slots, especially if they stack without redundancy, such as stat modifiers.  Some people put a weird stigma on the items being "simple", but some people don't enjoy sitting around tinkering with things like absorption setups, optimal anti-status, etc. in the pre-battle.  Those players are served well by having utility effects they can slap on that will generally be "good" even if they're not the "best" choice in any one fight, so they can focus on the parts of the game they actually enjoy and succeed by getting proficient at those to close the gap.

rading it in by adding a lesser debuff that cancels it - sleep for confusion, undead for blood suck, maybe don't move for don't act

The AI views adding debuffs as dealing a certain % HP damage and healing those debuffs as healing a certain % HP damage - with buffs obviously working the same but in reverse - so this method won't work well for the AI and will lead to them making poor decisions that result in them losing more games than they win.  The Poison + Haste Chemist ability from Celdia's' Complete Patch is an example of this - originally intended as an early-game Haste item with a drawback, due to how the AI views status, it will almost exclusively throw these at enemy units unless it can cure Slow by using it on an ally, which leads to hilarity as the player sweeps them.  What you're proposing isn't exactly the same but will ultimately have similar outcomes as they cure statuses by inflicting other statuses that are worse in that specific situation or just choose to never use those abilities despite wasting their JP on them.

While I'm not explicitly trying to make cycles, I am trying to make simple mechanics that produce emergent phenomena.

Building explicit cycles is really just a way to both simplify class design and help ensure the emergent phenomena come out in ways that are intuitive for the player.  Ultimately you don't want the player slapping three abilities in a row like they're managing their cooldowns on League of Legends, but having obvious ability combos (which can be emphasized by putting the skills next to each other in the skillset) gives the initial push that will make them look for more and eventually develop their own.  This is important if the player is someone who's found your mod after playing Vanilla and got through it by going LOLandu, since it ensures you have a built-in learning curve of sort that allows them to form better habits and understand the push-and-pull of a more involved battle without feeling punished or put against a difficulty brick wall.

I'd suggest that if you have an absorb on a non-unique piece of equipment, you should also give it at least one flaw.

I've never understood why people like to build flaws into their gear.  It just makes a player more likely to read it and go "I never want to use that" unless they've scouted the upcoming battle and know the weakness won't be relevant and the strength will be.  Obviously, this inclination can be overcome if the item is obviously very above-average, but a simple absorption item shouldn't be that if you've been following good design rules.  In fact, I'd argue the exact opposite of what you're saying here - built-in, obvious weaknesses should be reserved for rare items with cool, complex, and/or high-power effects where the weakness serves to further emphasize the item's flavor as well ensure it doesn't become completely brainless.  Eg, an item that gives +2 Speed, Always: Poison, Immune: Regen, Critical is easy to define as a high-power item in most mods, and in this way we've given it two drawbacks - Auto-Poison and an immunity to its mirror, Regen.  Not only does this have gameplay value in directly punishing the higher turn volume, but it has flavor value in that it implies the unit becomes reckless and that is the source of the Speed being gained, even without supplying a name or description for that item - and is even further enforced by that immunity to Critical, which otherwise only exists for the AI's sake.

I want to make status immunities common on equipment, which wouldn't work so well with tight coupling among skills in a skillset as you describe.

The answer to this is really the answer to the rest of your post: Skewed cycles.  How common or not common different protections are matters less than how many protections can be stacked at once.  Absorb (as well as Half and Null) can interfere with the DPS of a unit focused on elemental attacks, but you mitigate this by skewing how they're distributed so you can't Absorb/Null every element in the skillset at once.  That both stops the unit from being made irrelevant without needing to invest extra skills for non-elemental damage and makes players who want to build teams around Absorb mechanics have to make meaningful decisions on which abilities heal them - assuming those abilities actually have unique properties and aren't merely palette-swaps of each other.

Status works the same way, what I described only really has issues working if you can block the entire skillset at once.  This is why, if we assume an 8-skill skillset, it's best to have two different (but similar) core Skill Cycles that can function independently, alongside one or two supplementary abilities that compliment the core objectives of both.  Even if parts of both core Skill Cycles are blocked, the remaining skills should still be able to be cobbled together in such a way that they result in a cohesive strategy, following such an outline. 

Like everything, there's exceptions - eg, a Priest-type class may only have one core Skill Cycle and a few extra utility skills, a Monk-like class may forego strict Cycles for generalized offense that try to draw the opponent into a specific situation then choose the correct damage method based on the map layout of units around it, etc.  And, while my example focused on utilizing negative statuses for a specific gameplay objective, there's nothing stopping using the other tools available to produce similar results - destruction or boosting of PA / MA / SP / CT / Br / Fa, destruction of gear, applying ally buffs and removing enemy buffs, etc.  The point is to know where your unit is going and focus the core of their skillsets around that objective as the bedrock of their ability list, and let the complimentary widgets fall from that baseline.

Raven, what's your opinion on improving synergy between skillsets and equipment?

And, more specifically about this, there's plenty of simple things you can do with this based on how things are distributed.  Eg, if you have a mod where Ice Element is often paired with a status infliction - ie, Slow - your Ice Absorb also blocking Slow helps build synergy with the player building up Absorb-based teams.  There really isn't a detailed answer to this question without a more specific context, though, as equipment is ultimately beholden to the skills being used by the units that equip them, and how prevalent different aspects of the game are in those skills.  (In this regard, you can count viable mid-late game weapons as also being abilities in terms of Element and Status, as they change the properties of the Attack Command A-Ability.)

The one general advice I can give though is that, aside from finding what trends you've built into the game and trying to complement them via equipment effects in one way or another, don't be afraid to let the items be simple.  How simple they get away with being, again, depends on the specific context, but it's perfectly fine for an item to do exactly what it needs to do and nothing more.  A complex item can be cool sometimes (as a rare item, for example), but how complex items are in their defensive properties in particular should be proportional to how ubiquitous what they're defending is.  If most skillsets can drop liberal negative statuses, then yes, having status protection on gear be common is good to prevent the game devolving into constantly feeling the need to heal bad status off your units.  But if your statuses are distributed stringently, the defenses to them should be equally so, etc.

Yes I'll try to keep skillsets from being too linear and dull, and keeping them in specific, unique niches is just as important. Equipment choices and the effectiveness of those items, formulas, innates (which i don't plan on using for generics besides job-specific skills like dual wield) are important to keep in mind too. Of course I'm not looking at the big picture yet, just the pieces one at a time.
Designing classes with gameplay objectives in mind helps with doing things piecemeal.  You can outline the core of each class' identity without too much focus on the initial balance, then once you've drafted your classes you can go back to fix math, make adjustments based on what mechanics are under- or over- utilized, etc.  Objective-based design will also yield you small initial skillsets, so if a class is too linear, you can puff it up slightly with leftover mechanics you haven't used much, etc.

An example of designing objective-based:

"I want to make a Knight with Heavy Armor and Shields.  It's a Knight with Heavy Armor and Shields because I want it to trade blows with opposing units and come out victorious over a series of turn due to higher HP, instead of killing enemy units in 1-2 hits.  Since it focuses on a slower-paced battle, skills focus on helping it out-trade units whose DPS overwhelm its HP.  Its core Skill Cycle is to inflict Blind and Don't Move to force high-DPS melee units into its zone, followed by a Power Break--like skill to de-fang the target over a series of turns."

That's a simple and intuitive strategy a player will be able to figure out on their own and provides direction for the class.  The abilities themselves are simple and in turn flexible enough to be applied to other situations so the player isn't forced to use the class this way, and from here, you can further flesh out a skillset.  Maybe this class' direction is to focus on breaking down powerful glass and boss units, and it'll receive Magic Break?  Maybe it'll want to focus on tanking, and will receive Regen and/or Poison to gain an edge in fights that last over a period of time?  Maybe it'll want to focus on baiting enemies in range with bad status and receive Berserk?  Maybe it'll also want it able to break down enemy tanks, so it'll get some Equipment Break-type skills?

Once your class has a basic core, you can diversify out from that core in ways like this that focus on how the abilities interact and what niches that class can fill.  Most likely, you're going to end up with two separate core Skill Cycles that extend from an initial skill, then a small spattering of related skills that let you explore a few variations on those core cycles and have some flexibility in battle.  Some classes will always be more flexible than others but a class without a meaningful toolbox isn't going to be strategically engaging.

I tend to veiw skillsets as halfs of a whole. Even if one is a bit situational or weak it can compliment a more rounded skillset. While this is true it's still best if each job can stand on their own as more than a secondary. I'm trying to keep roles in mind but i do feel some abilities are tacked on just to have that ability, it's reasoning ends there. I'll think more critically on some skillsets.
Well there are two things to remember with situational skillsets:
  • They're harder to give confidently to AI units because the more situational or linear a skillset is, the easier it'll be for a player to make them irrelevant in pre-battle by counter-picking certain equipment pieces or bringing certain passive abilities, etc.
  • They're harder for the player to use confidently because the more situational or linear a skillset is, the harder it is to feel like that skillset has value without knowing what's in a fight ahead of time.
Both of these promote "scouting" fights and basing your party based on countering the opposition instead of figuring out how to make creative use of skillsets and out-play the opposing party on the board itself.  There are some people who enjoy that sort of thing, but a lot don't.  You're always going to have some skillsets that do better than others in different situations, battles, etc., but ensuring each skillset has a certain amount of flexibility gives the player the ability to work around those situations they're disadvantaged in with the classes they enjoy instead of forcing them to counter-pick on a per-fight basis.

I don't see what's wrong with some skillsets being powerful but lacking flexibility (Wizard w/ nothing but elemental offensive magic) while others that have more flexibility come with additional costs (jack-of-all-mages Summoner with extremely expensive spells).  If every job is a mix of abilities that give them all a large degree of role flexibility then there isn't a pressing reason to ever use another job.
...And that's exactly the problem.  You didn't actually understand a word I just said.

Do you know where I said "give them all a large degree of role flexibility"?  I'll give you a hint: Nowhere.

There are ways to make skillsets not have narrow functionality without going down your Monk Skillset Checklist of Damage, Healing, Status, Revival, Anti-Status.  The first sentence of my post - designing with a gameplay objective in mind for each unit - is a guideline in how to do that.  That essentially means being able to look at a class, ask "Why does it have this skill?", and being able to answer it based on the other tools available to that class and without a meta-reason such as "The Oracle is the status class so it gets statuses."

Conflating "don't design too narrowly" with "make every class literally have Punch Art-tier or Summon-tier flexibility so the player never uses other classes" is a really foolish misunderstanding that betrays an under-utilization of many aspects of the game.

You guys seriously need to learn concepts like design simplicity and designing with an objective in mind for each character to achieve.  All this focus I've seen on narrow design (ie, classes that basically only do one thing) from my skimming of this thread isn't a good thing, unless your goal is for some skillsets to only be used in specific scenarios and others to be stapled to people's hips.

The Lounge / Re: Can we skip the politics with 1.3 already?
« on: August 06, 2017, 05:33:11 PM »
I see you your pony, and I will raise you a smoli.

The Lounge / Re: Can we skip the politics with 1.3 already?
« on: August 06, 2017, 04:59:31 PM »

"In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake." By way of corollary, it adds: "That is why academic politics are so bitter."

Maybe I'm getting old but I can't care about internet slap fights anymore.

Semi-related: The best way to prevent infighting is to periodically troll your users.  It relieves tension and sets things in perspective.

For the 1.3/Voldemort issue, I would first back everything up.  Then I would create a board hidden even from moderators, and get ready to move a lot of boards there, and I would create and stage an new board there.  I'd make a new account named you-know-who and give it administrative privileges, and then when the moment is right "ban" the accounts of all the admins and move all their contributions to the hidden board.  I would move the previously staged Voldemort adulation board out of the hidden board.  Then I would make a post in News where I type a bunch of tl;dr about drama and modding, and how anyone who has previously disagreed with me will see all their contributions deleted forever.

And then I would wait for the other admins, mods, and users to wake up and log into FFH.  Let it play out over a few days, try to wrangle Voldemort himself into it, and let the butthurt flow freely.  Then, after the drama is starting to down I'd move the hidden stuff back to their previous locations, make a post telling the truth, and unban everyone.

This is me, harvesting salt:

I'll put up the raven signal

I'm trying to sleep, what do you want, you son of a-
it'd be almost impossible to remove all exploits anyway.

There's a number of... suspect things, asserted in this thread, which I've got no intent to reply to at 5 a.m., but I can at least assure you of pic related.

The Lounge / Re: Can we skip the politics with 1.3 already?
« on: July 31, 2017, 11:46:19 PM »
tired: where is FFT 1.3
wired: where is FFT pi
inspired: we are in FFT

I can't remember if the AI will ever make use of Equip Change.
They don't.  This is why there are no means of destroying Weapons in Journey of the Five aside from an obscure monster ability with no Vertical Tolerance.  Removing those abilities allows you avoid the need to give Maintenance to your bosses and prevent the player from being able to use any of those skills against bosses because of a single ability.

Event Editing / Re: Need help with making an event.
« on: July 24, 2017, 06:41:27 PM »
That's not how the Event Script works.  The Event Script is not a duplicate of the index for your Event.

The Event Script is the index which sequence of battle conditionals (script commands) are loaded from ATTACK.OUT to determine the criteria to play the different events in the block.  You can edit these with the relevant ATTACK.OUT Battle Conditionals spreadsheet, which was made by Xifanie, of which both her and I have several versions floating around.  At least one of these has the Event Scripts labeled by their index.  If not, simply add your new content to the spreadseet after the Reis scene (the final entry in the Conditionals list) and start your Event Scripts at the Reis conditionals Event Script +1.

Help! / Re: Weapon behavior
« on: July 20, 2017, 01:54:02 AM »
Are you trying to turn Flails into Swords, or Flails into a new weapon type that uses Sword animations?

If you just want to turn them into more Swords, just make all the appropriate changes in my workbooks, followed by setting their Weapon Type to Sword in FFTPatcher.

If you want them to be an entirely different weapon category that just operates as a Sword duplicate, you're out of luck because the Weapon Type controls the set of attacking animations that are loaded.  As far as I know, no one's documented where the game loads attacking animation based on weapon type.  This means that Flails and Axes can be intermixed because they reference the same part of the SPR but Flails and Swords cannot be.  If you want a "duplicate" sword class in this sense, you'll have to make it work via changing the existing Sword-animating archetypes, aka Sword / Knightsword / Ninjasword / Katana / Rod / Staff.

Help! / Re: Formula 37 on multiple targets.
« on: June 09, 2017, 09:42:40 AM »
Not all Ability Animations are compatible with hitting multiple targets without editing them.  The damage will still compute but nothing will display.  Additionally, certain ability flags are not compatible with Area of Effect, such as Stop at Obstacle (Direct on older FFTP releases) and Weapon Range.

Help! / Re: FFT Vanilla NO DIALOG/ NO Cutscene patch?
« on: May 29, 2017, 04:40:08 AM »
There was an (unfinished) attempt at this done by VincentCraven early on in FFHacktic's lifespan.  Note that this is a pair of files you add to your game file and not a .ppf you apply, and they would only be compatible with an unmodified copy of the vanilla game.

Hacks like Xifanie's Cross Skip (that Emmy posted) and a few others like the frame-skipper ASM are what you want to use if you're playing a modded copy of the game, however.  As I said, this is only compatible with an unmodified copy of the game.

Help! / Re: Counter Learne by hit
« on: May 27, 2017, 07:37:48 AM »
Learn on Hit abilities are only learned Chance to Learn % of the time.  So if your move has a Chance to Learn % of under 100%, you (obviously) won't learn it 100% of the time.  So, if your Reaction's Chance to Learn isn't 100%, that's step one.  You must also be in the specified Job whose skillset contains that Reaction command.  ie, if this is Vanilla and you're trying to learn Counter Tackle on hit, you must be in the Squire job.  That's step two.  If you're following those two main steps, you "should" be able to learn your desired skill on-hit.

However, I'm not entirely sure you can learn Reaction commands via Learn on Hit.  A number of Reaction commands (Counter, Counter Tackle, Hamedo, Meatbone Slash, Counter Flood, Auto-Potion) are actually countering you by casting the specified skill (and Counter Magic mirrors back whatever skill was used), so it wouldn't surprise me if even for the purposes of Learn on Hit you're treated as having cast the skill being used and not the Reaction itself.  The only Reaction I can think of that "attacks" another unit and isn't actually casting a separate ability on them is Damage Split.

That's the best advice I can give you though, as to my knowledge no one has bothered trying to make Reactions be Learn on Hit before now.

New Project Ideas / Re: FFT - The Lion War
« on: May 17, 2017, 06:30:42 AM »
If are not both patches about adding the PSP game content to the PSX game, what are the differences?

From the FFT: Complete board description:

The PSP translation in the PSX version of the game, with many glitch fixes. This is meant to be the definitive version of FFT and a new starting point for new projects.

From the FFT: The Lion War opening post:

Final Fantasy Tactics - The Lion War is a mod that attempts to add content from War of the Lions to the PSX version of Final Fantasy Tactics while keeping the original translation intact. This will also feature a few of the newer console friendly ASMs to increase fun factor and add more re-playability to the game we all know and love.

One adds the PSP translation to the PSX.  It does not add new content.  This patch adds PSP Content (such as insert scenes, new characters, basically anything that's not the new items or multiplayer functionality), but utilizes the PSX script / has the insert scenes re-written to be compatible with the PSX writing style.

He's saying he doesn't think you read both thread descriptions because they state rather straightforwardly what their objectives are.  One is for people who want the PSP script on the PSX, while the other is for people who want the PSX script but with the added PSP content.

The Lounge / Re: Back?
« on: May 12, 2017, 10:08:18 PM »
Hey, friend.

Most of the day-to-day activity for the website these days happens on either IRC (in the top bar) or on the FFT Arena Discord server, which a lot of people use simply because FFH doesn't have a main Discord server itself.

Recommend joining one/both if you're looking to see who's still around and what's being worked on beyond the finished stuff that gets pushed onto the website.

Journey of the Five Ch.1 / Re: Chapter 2 Progress Log
« on: May 12, 2017, 05:34:56 AM »
Excellent.... Excellent.
You won't be saying that when you're on the receiving ends of various things in store for you, let me tell you.

PSX FFT Hacking / Re: Pride's ASM Thread
« on: May 09, 2017, 05:22:33 PM »

PSX FFT Hacking / Re: Pride's ASM Thread
« on: May 05, 2017, 06:23:03 PM »
Question: What does "Normal Attack (Hamedo)" do?
This is the incorrectly documented "Normal Attack?" flag in FFTPatcher.  What this flag is actually for is (among other things) flagging the ability as being counterable by Hamedo.

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