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Messages - Gaignun

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FFT Arena / Re: ☢ ☢ ☢ FFT Arena AI Tournament Season 5 ☢ ☢ ☢
« on: October 17, 2016, 07:07:05 PM »

FFT Arena / Re: Arena Map Alterations and Suggestions
« on: October 12, 2016, 10:42:09 PM »
I feel that not only the distance between starting positions, but also the total number of traversible tiles determines map size.  For example, in Gate of Lesalia, teams have the ability to disperse into either moat; in Lenalia Plateau, teams tend to fight atop the hill, but retreat toward the water.  Heavy AoE teams will perform much worse in these wide maps than in confined ones like the Pub.

Arena could be a medium map if we start teams at opposite corners.

Concerning large maps, we should be careful not to relabel too many as medium.  The pool of large maps is small enough as it is. And considering that tournament map order is typically small->large->medium, the medium maps tend to be underplayed.  Not every large map can feel as big as Zeklaus Desert.

FFT Arena / Re: ☢ ☢ ☢ FFT Arena AI Tournament Season 5 ☢ ☢ ☢
« on: October 12, 2016, 09:52:31 AM »
For tiebreakers, I suggest to refer to the scores on the right of the table. For instance, someone who's 3-3 but constantly has been winning with 2-1 and losing 0-2 is, in my view, lower ranked than another 3-3 player who's won his matches 2-0 and lost 1-2.

I am in agreement here.  I haven't done any math, but I suspect that we will have deal with tied scores even with a larger elimination bracket.  Tiebreaking is what the Buchholz and Points Difference systems are used to resolve.

Nevertheless, a larger elimination is bracket is fine provided our hosts have the time and energy to conduct it.

FFT Arena / Re: FFT Arena Balance Discussion Thread
« on: October 12, 2016, 09:40:03 AM »
I am fully in agreement with elevating Basic Skill to the level of... every other skill set.

Adjusting female Squires' PA and MA: If we change the female Squire's PA/MA to 7/9, then I believe we would incidentally change the male Squire's PA/MA to 9/7.  This co-dependence is why we currently have so many (generally) useless jobs in Arena (e.g., male wizard, female monk).

Bullrush: Oddly enough, I myself have considered making Bullrush unevadable.  Both this and making it cancel Protect and Shell are good ideas to me.  If Protect and Shell inherit the Refresh status as a priority flag (so that the AI uses Protect and Shell at the start of battle as they ought to), then Bullrush will have a solid role in the metagame.

Heal: In addition to adding Cancel: Undead, I would also love to see this skill receive +1 Range to put it on par with Wish.

Yell: Absolutely in favour of a redesign.  Silentkaster's critical-only heal skill is a nice idea.

Wish: I agree that this skill is the worst method of revival.  Having it ignore the Undead status wouldn't change this, but at least it would give it a niche application on Undead teams.  Perhaps we could turn Wish into the proposed Phoenix Pinion skill as an alternative.

Ultima: I think the problem has more to do with Chiri being overpowered than Ultima being underpowered.  Chiri walks all over not only Ultima, but Muramasa, as well.  If I had it my way, I would drop Chiri's damage from MA*9 to MA*8 and its JP cost from 400 to 200~300.  Then, Muramasa would become the sole MA*9 Draw Out skill.  Comparison of Ultima and Muramasa is much more charitable towards Ultima.

FFT Arena / Re: FFT Arena Balance Discussion Thread
« on: October 04, 2016, 09:58:32 AM »
@ gatebuster:

I like those clothes suggestions.

@ silentkaster:

I like your suggestions, too.  I would like to make two comments:

Holy/Dark Holy damage: Would it not be more consistent to make Dark Holy one point weaker than Holy?  Dark Holy is Nether Holy in all but name, and all Nether spells on Black Magic are one point weaker than their variants.  This is done to balance the safety of low brave with the risks of high faith.

Holy/Dark strengthening robe: I don't find the MP boost of a Holy/Dark strengthening robe a problem, given that we've had Black Robe for ages without any trouble. Nevertheless, making it clothes is OK with me, too.  No strong opinions here.

FFT Arena / Re: FFT Arena Balance Discussion Thread
« on: October 02, 2016, 05:03:18 PM »
Might as well post what I believe are priorities as well.  I'll intentionally keep this short:

Other changes people think are essential are fine, too.

FFT Arena / Re: FFT Arena Balance Discussion Thread
« on: October 01, 2016, 04:58:51 AM »
Apologies for the double post.

How might we obtain consensus on changes for the next patch?  There are currently a ton of suggestions in the suggestions list as of 25 September. Many of these suggestions are incompatible.  (Shuriken alone has four separate suggestions.) Still many more are contingent on the implementation of others.  It would be infeasible to vote on each and every suggestion.

Might I suggest we isolate the skills, equipment, and jobs in most dire need of change and focus on only those in the next patch?  Smaller matters, as well as matters that might require extensive work (e.g., creating new active and RSM skills), could be relegated to a future patch.

FFT Arena / Re: FFT Arena Balance Discussion Thread
« on: September 23, 2016, 07:51:04 PM »
I can get behind that.  Something like

Bronze Shield: 15 PEv, 15 MEv, Immune: Blind

PEv is boosted by 5 to put the shield on par with the other options.  We can discuss the exact Ev values later.  Apart from Grand Cross, the shield can also be used to counter Blind Rage, etc.

FFT Arena / Re: FFT Arena Balance Discussion Thread
« on: September 23, 2016, 03:41:26 PM »
That's a good point.  I wanted Blind immuniy on a shield so Geomancers and Squires can use GC without depending on Blind immunity from an accessory, but it's true that many GC builds will get a +1 PA buff and some among them will reach 15 PA.  Would the shield be better if it (1) didn't have +1 PA, or (2) didn't have Blind immunity?

FFT Arena / Re: FFT Arena Balance Discussion Thread
« on: September 23, 2016, 09:31:48 AM »
@ gatebuster

Swift Plate
I was under the impression that Swift Plate is gaining Immune: Haste to penalize SP stacking, and Immune: Slow so that Slow is not incurable.

Robes & MP Switch
What about the robe wearers who don't use MP Switch?   I don't believe that MP Switch is so potent that we need to weaken an entire class of armor to accommodate it. The cost of using MP Switch is the opportunity cost of all other reaction abilities, as well as the real probability of losing turns restoring lost MP, which is far less efficient than restoring lost HP.

Elemental gear & self-absorption
I am of the opinion that element-themed teams trade offensive healing for (1) restricted equipment options, (2) inaccessibility of evasion gear (e.g., you can't absorb friendly Kotetsu well if your M-Ev is through the roof), and (3) vulnerability to elemental defense (e.g., White Robe, clothes, hats, and accessories).

There was a time when Brigandine's HP was only around 10 higher than the absorption clothes. At that time, many players chose the absorption clothes over Brigandine even if they didn't run self-absorption strategies because the security against possible enemy elemental damage was worth the cost of 10 HP. (E.g., In season 2 circa Summer 2013, 37 units equipped one of the 100 HP absorption clothes; meanwhile, only 8 equipped Brigandine).

To make Brigandine more attractive, it received a 20 HP buff.  This buff had the intended effect: In season 5, only 18 units equip one of the 100 HP absorption clothes, whereas 12 equip Brigandine.  The ratio of absorption clothes to Brigandine has swung from 4.6:1 in season 2 to 1.5:1 in season 5.  I would say that this is a nice balance.

Excalibur Grand Cross & Monkey Grip
Monkey Grip carries the opportunity cost of losing Attack UP. In this case, Excalibur can no longer compete with Phoenix Blade or Ice Brand paired with Attack UP.  A Holy absorption accessory would be viable were Holy absorption not on Magic Ring, which is a lackluster choice for PA-based units.

@ silentkaster

You're right about Slow immunity.  I didn't notice that Genji Helm and Diamond Armor gained Slow immunity!

Concerning Genji Shield, the buff is to put it on par with a weakened form of Aegis Shield. I think these two shields could lose even more PEv/MEv, though (e.g., down to 20/0 and 0/20 or somewhere in between).

Ditto on Gaian Shield looking a little strong.  Unless we are ready to welcome 170 damage Carve Models, I suggest we reconsider its PA/MA +1.

FFT Arena / Re: ☢ ☢ ☢ FFT Arena AI Tournament Season 5 ☢ ☢ ☢
« on: September 21, 2016, 07:42:20 PM »
Was that Butterfree holding a FS Bag?  He was only a schoolboy!  Barren how could you?

FFT Arena / Re: FFT Arena Balance Discussion Thread
« on: September 20, 2016, 12:59:08 PM »
In general I am in favour with shuffling around the elemental properties.  I can take or leave MP bonuses on armor.  (In my opinion, low mana pools ought to be a weakness among heavy armor classes; that's why they have robes.) However, I am noticing a trend among the HP and MP changes.  Let me elaborate:

Among the +XA gear:
  • Both +XA hats and clothes receive +5 HP with the exception of Secret Clothes, which is unchanged.
  • +XA helmets receive +15 MP
  • +XA armor receive +10 MP
Among absorption/strengthening gear:
  • Flash Hat and Golden Hairpin receive -10 MP
  • Absorption clothes receive -10 HP
  • Earth Clothes and Chameleon Robe bite the dust
So, in summary, elemental gear gets nerfed and +XA gear gets buffed?  Are elemental teams currently too strong in the meta?

I am not sure how I feel about the removal of Earth Clothes and Chameleon Robe.  Removing Chameleon Robe will effectively remove Excalibur Grand Cross Paladins from the meta and leave Excalibur stranded.  Removing Earth Clothes will definitely reduce the prevalence of Earth absorb teams.  I never saw a problem with either :/

Next, concerning robes, I notice that a higher premium is being placed on the MP bonuses.

+2 MA gear (Wizard Outfit and Wizard Robe)
1.40: +40 MP costs 15 HP
Proposal: +40 MP costs 25 HP

+1 XA gear (Heavy armor and Priest Cassock)
Proposal: +30 MP costs 40 HP  (The addition of 1 PA/MA is largely inconsequential to all but Geomancy)

+1 MA robes (Linen Robe changing to Priest Cassock)
Proposal: -15 HP (Straight nerf to all but Geomancy)

+0 XA gear (Brigandine and Silk Robe)
1.40: +30 MP costs 15 HP
Proposal: +40 MP costs 40 HP

MP is one of those stats you don't care how much you have as long as you have enough.  On the other hand, HP is a stat that can never be high enough.  Consequently, HP is more valuable than MP.

There was a time several years ago when we thought otherwise, and most robes had far less HP.  Robes back then sucked.  Only recently (patch 1.37? 1.38?) did we give these robes more HP and bring them out of obscurity.   By slashing robes' HP and leaving the likes of Brigandine and Black Hood unchanged, I fear we'll slip back into those dark days.

Last, I like the shield changes, but I wonder if giving Swift Plate both Slow and Stop resistance is a bit overkill.  I personally am fine with just Slow resistance.

FFT Arena / Re: FFT Arena Balance Discussion Thread
« on: September 11, 2016, 06:27:22 AM »
It's pretty tough for me to make definitive statements about that cost/benefit analysis, but I can scrap together a few statements about how much more potent I think White Magic is.

(1) Raise 2 is the most potent way of recovering from a defensive position.  You spend one turn reviving a fallen unit.  If your opponent then spends more than one turn knocking out that revived unit, you run a turn surplus which can be put toward offense or further defense. 

Phoenix Down cannot do this.  Not only will the revived unit require a second turn to be healed, but this unit will be killed in one hit before being healed, and possibly even after if your opponent has heavy hitters. At best you trade a turn with your opponent.  At worst the revived unit gets healed and still dies, dies in an AoE attack which incidentally harms/knocks out other teammates, or dies on its own turn to Poison.  In all cases you run turn-deficits.

Of course the unique downside of Raise 2 is its long CT.

(2) A Cure spell can heal multiple targets.  Heal two targets with a 130 HP Cure and you already run a one-turn surplus over X-Potion.  In addition, Cure, unlike X-Potion, can be used to manage AoE damage.

So, to summarize, optimized White Magic provides:
  • Efficient resurrection
  • Higher healing
  • AoE damage management
For the cost of:
  • Slow resurrection
  • High faith, requiring Setiemson and/or MEv

I suppose the only way to prove if the benefits outweigh the costs is by running a big analysis on Item and White Magic teams to see which team wins more on average.  Luckily, we are blessed with selfless hosts and many teams with a good mix of Item and White Magic this season.  How about we observe how these teams do?

FFT Arena / Re: Dancer Skill Set Rework?
« on: September 09, 2016, 08:23:02 AM »
I would like to propose a slight change to Square Dance.

Square Dance: Turns every spellgunner into crystal. 255 AoE.

Edit: Now for something completely serious.  I like the idea behind the proposal in general, but I would like to offer a little critique.

Wiznaibus & Sword Dance
We should probably decide on one or the other.  Some might not realise this, but even the names of these two skills are similar.  Wiznaibus is a blind-idiot translation of With Knives in Japanese phonology.

Tap Dance
If this skill can be used to interrupt charging and performing, I propose we call it Slam Dance in honour of FFVI's human-loving, fast-talking, street-smart, SLAM-dancing moogle to highlight its disruptive properties.

Dance charging/performing & CT
Will these skills be performed with long CTs as before?  If so, I wonder how the AI will respond to this.  For example, if a Dancer winds up a 6 CT, 2 AoE Wiznaibus, will the AI treat the tiles around this Dancer as a dead zone?

FFT Arena / Re: FFT Arena Balance Discussion Thread
« on: September 08, 2016, 03:20:07 PM »
Some brief responses.

Since [Recover] does nothing except regain HP for a critical unit, it is a combination of a handicapped version of HP Restore and Nurse, but both working in tandem make a viable ability. One of the disadvantages of Nurse is that the AI will use it even on minor injuries (even when Move-HP up or existing Regen will put them back to full in some cases) or as set up even when more prioritized actions could be done.  This skill gives the AI an option where if in critical, it can restore its own HP some, but it must waste a turn in order to do so, (unlike HP Restore) and it won't be spammed.

I acknowledge the point against Nurse.

Could we at least combine this skill with Yell?  This would feel satisfactory in two ways: (1) It repurposes Yell, which is currently a turn sink. (Yell spends 100 CT to provide a single (sub 12 SP) unit with 96 CT over the following 48 clock ticks. This yields no net positive benefit unless it incidentally cures Slow.) (2) It helps differentiate the skill from Nurse.

Next, regarding Haste/Slow 2...

I'd rather be consistent here, especially if closing the gap on JP.

I would hate to nerf Haste 2 out of the meta purely because it and Slow 2 have similar names.  I think we have achieved a nice balance of the relative costs and benefits of Haste and Haste 2.  The even distribution of Haste and Haste 2 in the present tournament (8 units know Haste, 10 units know Haste 2) is evidence of this.


[White Magic spells] really don't [beat items hands down]. Cure on a Priest's base MA only restores, even with a faith boost, 77 HP. Yes, it's AOE but 77 HP is often counter productive and requires two turns on the AI's part if they live that long.

We need to consider optimized cases.  My 21 MA Bard in Season 5 heals himself for over 160 HP with Cure 1.  If Cure 1 heals for 77 HP, I wouldn't have bothered learning it.  This optimization comes at a cost.  In the case of my Bard, this cost was high Faith and an accessory slot to cover this high Faith.  Of course, it would have been cheaper to drop my Bard to 40 Faith and use X-Potion instead.  I decided that the cost of a more potent Cure was nevertheless worth it. 

It's like Chirijiraden: It hits for only 90 damage at 10 MA, but it would be foolish to balance it on the supposition that it is equal in strength to Cover Fire because you'll never see anyone with less than 15 MA using Chirijiraden.

FFT Arena / Re: FFT Arena Balance Discussion Thread
« on: September 07, 2016, 01:12:19 PM »
Could we change the formula from SP*X to something else, like (X*SP+Y) or (X*PA+Y)?  This is a cool formula because the Y is not reduced by Defense UP nor Protect.

FFT Arena / Re: FFT Arena Balance Discussion Thread
« on: September 07, 2016, 08:55:49 AM »
Glad to hear your input, silentkaster.

Merging Dancerbards: I don't mind merging the two jobs, nor allowing them to equip each other's weapons.  However, unless the algorithm which determines the stats of each sex has been unraveled, I don't believe we will be able to maintain 12 PA on female dancerbards, 8 PA on male dancerbards, etc.

Recover on Squires: I understand the need to keep units out of critical.  I only wish we can create something that isn't a handicapped version of Nurse.  Otherwise, what is stopping us from giving a recover skill to every job?

Shuriken: If it isn't any trouble, why don't we have the skill throw a series of 4 shurikens?  This way we keep the damage of 1.39 Shuriken, but prevent targeting through walls.

Haste/Slow: How about swapping the accuracies of only Slow and Slow 2?  The accuracy of Haste 2 isn't really a problem.

Bow Gun: Yeah, 20% Add: Dead is fine.  25% Add: Dead is even better.

10 SP Time Mages: 10 SP allows a Time Mage to cast 2 CT spells before 8 SP units get their first turn.  This is great for applying Haste before the 8 SP units disperse from their starting positions.  As for Sinkhole, it isn't much better on 9 SP Time Mages either.  Sinkhole works truly best on 8 SP units against other 8 SP units.
Scholar equipment: In the event that scholars get shields, I would prefer they lose hat access in order to prevent stacking the MA of Aegis Shield and Holy Miter.

Item and White Magic: I can't speak for others, but I don't think White Magic is unequivocally better than Item.  As you mentioned, Item can restore Berserk, Undead, and Stop.  However, aside from those ailments, White Magic is unequivocally more potent than Item.  For the significant cost of running a high-faith team, Cure 1 beats X-Potion and Raise 2 beats Phoenix Down hands down.

New skills on Item: Given the versatility of White Magic, which consists of a mixture of offensive and defensive skills, I am reluctant to the idea of putting offensive skills (damage or status) on Item.  A damage skill in particular will likely be overlooked by the AI, as Item users typically have other, more effective means of dealing single-target damage.  I think reducing the JP cost of status healing, and perhaps introducing an improved form of Phoenix Down, will be enough.

Cursed Ring: Cursed Ring was OP in 1.38 precisely because of its SP boost, which has never been nerfed.  Players would make 10~12 SP units with Cursed Ring, so while you attempt to finish off the rest of the team, the Cursed Ring units chew through the countdown clock, auto-revive, and get a free turn.  For this reason, giving Cursed Ring an extra point of SP and/or increasing the revival chance is a step backward in my opinion.  Removing its Fire weakness is OK, though.

Making Raise 2 evadeable: I believe this would also make friendly units evade their own Raise 2.

Edit: Cursed Ring Suggestion: Remove Weak: Fire and Always: Undead. Add Always: Poison and Immune: Regen.  We might as well remove Hyper Wrist from the game at the same time, since this form of Cursed Ring will be superior.  Not sure how popular this suggestion will be.

FFT Arena / Re: ☢ ☢ ☢ FFT Arena AI Tournament Season 5 ☢ ☢ ☢
« on: September 07, 2016, 06:39:13 AM »
Great work on finishing Round 1, everybody.  There are still five rounds ahead of us, so make sure you don't burn yourselves out.

FFT Arena / Re: FFT Arena Balance Discussion Thread
« on: September 05, 2016, 11:10:27 AM »
I'm looking forward to it, gatebuster.

But people also forget that since [Float is] immune to earth, not even Oil can override it

That is a good point.

Well, Golden Hairpin didn't change... it's that we added a crucial new option each for Dark and Holy. People are well aware how devastating max MA Holy, Dia, Shadow Shade, and Kotetsu can be. Dark Holy and new Bizen Boat gave excellent tools to Dark (high single-target damage) and Holy (high AoE damage) that they didn't have before.

I agree.  In fact, I was a bit surprised to see MA*8 in the new formula for Bizen Boat.

For the sake of argument, is anyone comfortable with the idea of turning 1/3 of MP into Three Stars, a support ability (named after its appearance in Final Fantasies VI and X) which reduces the MP cost of all spells to 1?  Even with 1/3 of MP, units with low MP pools (e.g., Archer, Paladin, Thief) still expend their entire base MP bar after three or four casts of reasonably expensive magic (e.g., Raise 2, Demi 2, Paralyze).  Consequently, these classes must nevertheless equip at least one piece of MP equipment, usually Golden Hairpin or a robe, for sustained spellcasting.  How much better would this support ability be if its application allows one to eschew MP equipment entirely?

Perhaps a little. Think of it like this: Attack UP usually boosts PA by 3~4.  This allows players to equip their units with armor other than Twist Headband and Power Sleeve while maintaining the same effective PA.  By the same token, Three Stars will allow players to equip their low-MP units with armor other than Golden Hairpin/robes.  Thus, Three Stars and Attack UP become more comparable in potency at the design stage.

Nevertheless, Three Stars has its downside in battle, and thus is yet less potent than Attack UP.  By eschewing MP equipment with Three Stars, one becomes extremely vulnerable to MP damage; for example, a single tap of a Mage Masher by a feeble Wizard will nearly burn the entire MP bar of a 19 MP Thief.  And since Three Stars does not completely remove MP cost, such MP damage can still disrupt spell casting.  This downside also applies to those scheming to pair MP Switch and Three Stars together: Block a big hit with MP Switch and you'll still lose a turn recovering lost MP, Three Stars be damned.

FFT Arena / Re: FFT Arena Balance Discussion Thread
« on: September 04, 2016, 06:23:41 PM »
Merging Poison/Regen: Roger. I did not realise we would merge Regen and Refresh as well.  I have one concern: Hawk Eye and Scorpion Tail do big damage while incidentally applying Poison at a high rate.  If Poison turns into a mage killer, then something about these things might be in need of an adjustment.

Concerning Scorpion Tail, if this weapon remains unchanged, can we remove Flail access from Ninja?. When patch 1.40 reverted Scorpion Tail to 12 WP, Scorpion Tail's damage was boosted by 25% on Ninja with Attack Up.  These Ninja are hitting 40 Br units for over 300 damage without stacking a single point of PA.  Keep an eye on True Light's Ninja in the present tournament to see what I mean.

Since the Refresh flag has turned out to be an excellent method for coaxing the AI to use spells proactively, why not add it to Protect and Shell?  That way the AI will open battles with these spells as they ought to.  Wall can remain as a reactionary spell for the sake of variation.

Haste/Slow 2: Why not remove smart targeting and let the spells ocassionally backfire?  To use Slow 2, one's frontline units will require Slow immunity to avoid friendly fire.

Mages and shields: To clarify, I am suggesting we give Scholars shields in place of Time Mages.  Time Mages would receive 10 SP and become the Thieves of the magic world. Scholars would lose base MA so that they do not become Wizards with free EV.

Aegis Shield is a problem of its own.  It has been the most powerful all-purpose shield for mages ever since Venetian Shield became Swift Plate years ago.  I actually wanted to propose changes to Aegis Shield as well as Genji Shield in my previous post, but ran out of energy before writing them down.  Here they are:

Aegis Shield: 0 PEv, 25 MEv, +1 MA, Innocent immunity (partially subsumes Secular Shield)
Genji Shield: 25 PEv, 0 MEv, +1 PA, Darkness immunity

The Genji Shield change incidentally opens up the accessory slot for light armoured Grand Cross users (i.e. Squire and Geomancer).

Float: I cannot say anything at the moment about killing Float and shuffling around elemental absorptions because I am struggling to comprehend the arguments.  However, I can say that Earth elemental weapons do indeed ignore Float.  I recall seeing Earth elemental Grand Crosses hitting floating Time Mages while preparing for the present tournament.

Geomancy: Non-elemental Geomancy still pushes 150 according to its formula.  That's comparable to Draw Out.  It is mainly this non-elemental damage that I am concerned about, as there is no way to protect oneself from it other than with Shell.  Would it be agreeable if we gave all non-elemental geomancy an element and dropped their formula constants to 2?  That way geomancy fans can still deal high damage, while victims can protect themselves better with clothes, the above-proposed Elementalist movement ability, etc.

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