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?
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.
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.
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.
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:
AoE damage management
For the cost of:
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
My input to the suggestion list uploaded by silentkaster on 1 September. There are a ton of suggestions in this list, so I will break up my comments with spoiler tags. Most comments of my own proposals are omitted.
1. Remove C-Ev: We will need to think carefully about the ramifications of this, as all physical damage (weapons and skills) have been balanced with C-Ev in mind up until now. The most apparent change to the meta is that all physical damage will become much more reliable. (E.g., Punch Art's Spin Fist will become at least as beastly as Chirijiraden.) Attempting to compensate for this by boosting HP, etc. will have additional ramifications on job balancing etc. In short, I believe this change can be done, but not frivolously.
I would also like to mention that this change will also reduce the randomized nature of matches. Very few jobs have access to shields, so these jobs will need to equip a mantle or use Equip Shield to add P-Ev. Assuming that the meta remains unchanged and few of these shieldless jobs do this, all physical attacks will hit these jobs with the reliability of guns. This means we will no longer see those miraculous 5~10% dodges that allow an ailing team to overturn the state of battle. If we're OK with this, then go right ahead.
2. Dancer +1 PA: No opinion for now, but Lord knows this class needs something.
3. Classes lose access to innate, obsolete Movement skills: I agree.
4. Monks lose access to bags: Cautious agreement. Monks loss of access to the +2 PA bag should be done in tandem with Punch Art balancing. I'd hate to nerf Monk's damage to oblivion.
5. Monks lose base HP: I think Monks' HP is fine where it is, personally.
6. Monks gain innate Martial Arts at the expense of losing base PA: I disagree. This would make balancing Punch Art across the jobs even more difficult. The innate Martial Arts modifier can be multiplied by the Attack UP modifier to boost PA by a factor of 2. No other job can compete with that.
7. Swap Summoners' and Time Mage's base HP: I am OK with this. I think shield-toting Time Mages are a little strong at the moment, after all. (More on Time Mages at the end of this post.)
Reduce Concentrate's JP: I think Concentrate is fine where it is. This will change if we remove C-Ev.
Make Ultima max(PA,MA)*9: OK.
Cheer Up (0 AoE MP healing): Sure, if the ASM hack is not too much trouble.
Recover (self-targeting HP healing): Don't we already have Nurse for this? Why not just move Nurse to Basic Skill?
Boost Dark Holy to MA*15 : I disagree. I think Dark Holy is already plenty strong for an Unbrave spell.
Poison gains Add Sap: Worth a shot I guess. (See my suggestions at the end of this post.)
Reduce Consecration JP cost to 200 and increase accuracy : I agree with both.
Increase accuracy of Lay on Hands by 5%: I am still in favour of making this UnFaith for optimum synergy with its host Paladin class, but this is compromise is easier to implement, I suppose.
Preservation: Sounds neat. I recommend a low JP cost, as a winning team never counts on staying dead.
Move Move-HP UP to Mediator: I am OK with this
Geomastery: Cool idea, but geomancy is in need of a nerf. To prepare for the introduction of this ability, I strongly recommend reducing geomancy damage across the board. (More on this at the end of this post.)
Antidote cures Sap: I am OK with this, and also strongly in favour of this if Black Magic Poison adds Sap.
Chrono's Tear cures Slow: Also OK. Can we also rename this item "Chronos Tear" while we're at it? This ain't Chrono Trigger.
Echo Grass cures Charm, no longer cures Sap: OK
Ether and Hi-Ether cure +10 MP: Absolutely in favour.
Maiden's Kiss cures Petrify, no longer cures Sleep: Kinda ruins the Sleeping Beauty mythos of the name, but no particular objections here.
Smelling Salts: I doubt the AI will heal 90 HP and 20 MP with Smelling Salts when it can heal 130 HP with X-Potion and 80 MP with Hi-Ether. Rather, this will be used to counter Mimic Daravon teams, where units who spend a turn applying Sleep will have their efforts, as well as 90 points of previously-applied damage, negated with Smelling Salts.
Phoenix Pinion: Nice idea for elevating Item as a support skill set. I suppose we can debate the exact healing amount later.
Volatile Flask: I am cautious about the utility of this skill. The AI will use it as it uses Wall, but it will have only half the efficacy 66% of the time, and none of the efficacy 33% of the time (i.e. when Transparent is added). Good idea, at least. Perhaps we can expand on it.
Equip Polearm gives Cloth access: Sure.
Rework mapwide Lore into random-fire AoE: Excellent idea. I had completely forgotten about this proposal of Dokurider's. Is Dokurider able to help with this hack?
Misogi also removes Faith and Undead: Good idea about Faith. Undead healing is also welcome, although if expanding Undead healing is what we're after, then it would be better to put Undead healing on a skill which can target other units. (See the end of this post.)
Shuriken changes: Among all suggestions, I am in favour of reverting Shuriken to its form in 1.39.
Adding Lightning elemental ton: Sure.
Linear Punch Art damage: To clarify, I originally suggested that only Spin Fist and Earth Slash have PA*10. Repeating Fist and present-day Aurablast would have PA*12. However, these multipliers will need to be adjusted in accordance with patch 1.41. For example, if we remove C-Ev or leave Monk's base PA at 13, then we will need to drop these multipliers by one or two points. I will renew this proposal once the final form of patch 1.41 starts to materialize.
Stigma Magic cures Berserk/Slow: If we add Berserk/Slow healing, then we ought to remove some other status healing to avoid turning Stigma Magic into a super Esuna. Petrify, Sleep, and/or Frog come to mind.
Equip Ranged gives Harp access: I'm fine with this. Pairs nicely with Equip Polearm giving Cloth access.
Hawk's Eye changes: No comments for now.
Monkey Grip: Cute idea, but I must reserve my judgment until I consider whether this skill would open up any potentially broken combinations or extinguish any currently viable combinations. (A 16 WP Gastrafitis with a shield triumphing over any other crossbow comes to mind.)
Ruins: I wonder if it is possible to change these to reducing a significant amount of PA, MA, and SP, but only temporarily as if they were status ailments.
Piracy: Nice idea for punishing speed freaks, although I'm not sure what the skill has to do with piracy. Double damage to Hasted units seems a little extreme, however. If there will be such a modifier, can we reduce it to 1.25~1.50?
Summon Magic The proposals to Bahamut and Cyclops are OK with me. Actually, I would like add my own summon magic proposals while we're at it. Please see the end of this post.
Short Charge moving to Time Magic: I respect Barren's argument, but nevertheless I find Short Charge just as useful on Summoners, as Summons have some of the highest CTs in the game (6 CT Odin? Yikes!). Ultimately, it's a tossup. However, I would rather have 1/3 of MP moved to Time Magick over Short Charge. While Short Charge works on both Time Mages and Summoners, 1/3 of MP is unquestionably better for Time Magic users because they do not have Carbuncle.
Caution: It would be nice if this reaction ability could also subsume Awareness, as both reactions are a little lackluster on their own.
Increase Short Charge's JP to 500: I need to disagree here. Both Short Charge and Magic Attack UP have a place. Among the damage magic, Magic Attack UP is a huge opportunity cost for Short Charge. Among the status magic, of course Short Charge is more useful. However, this doesn't mean Short Charge is superior to Magic Attack UP. Rather, Short Charge and Magic Attack UP fulfill different roles. For example, Magic Attack UP beats Short Charge when using 0-CT magic such as Draw Out, Elemental, Counter Flood, Cure 1, and Dia.
Drop Insult's JP cost to 200: Assuming we leave Blind Rage unchanged, this is justifiable.
Move Move-1 to Priests: OK
Increase Solution's JP cost to 200: OK.
Comet gains CM, CF flags: OK.
Demi 2 damage increases to 66%: Hesitantly optimistic. This will turn Demi 2 into a ~200 damage AoE nuke with no MA-stacking required. Then again, it is less accurate than Black Magic and can never 1HKO. Maybe this is OK?
Remove Float from the game: I'm scratching my head over this one. Unless we're in need of memory space, Float is harmless on Time Magic. Float is nice; it lets me hard-counter Earth spam, gives me +1 Jump, and lets me glide over water. I like Float. (I just like Move-MP UP better.) If we need to free up memory for new Movement skills, kill something like Fly instead. Fly is a Teleport clone.
Remove Haste 2 and Slow 2: Noooo ;~; . I like these 2 AoE spells. If you think the AI spams Haste 2 and Slow 2, wait until you see them spam Haste 1 and Slow 1. With 1 AoE Haste/Slow, you often fail to target all relevant units in a single cast, so you waste the second turn casting the same spell again. Meanwhile, 1 AoE Slow is too terrible to be worth the turn that's spent casting it. If you're going for a 1 AoE Slow, you might as well go for a 1 AoE Stop instead. Why are these 2 AoE spells seen as so OP that we ought to remove them?
Sinkhole becomes unreflectable: OK.
Nerf Cure 4: I say we reduce the multiplier or revert the CT to 3.
Esuna cures Berserk: I would not like Esuna to heal Berserk if Stigma Magic does as well. One or the other, I say.
Esuna no longer heals Charm: Fine by me. White Magic could use some small nerfs.
Esuna cures Slow: We already have an AoE spell that cures Slow. It's called Haste.
Nerf Holy to MA*15: Is the general consensus that Holy is still too powerful? This spell has been getting nerfed and nerfed over the years. I personally think Holy's position on White Magic is its biggest strength. Put it on something like Black Magic or Lore and we'll see it used much less.
Buff Protect and Shell: Insightful analysis by Andrew. It was originally suggested that Protect and Shell heal some HP while applying their respective buffs, but this proposal was lost in the transition to 1.40. (Actually, I am not sure how dirty a hack is required to pull this off.) A much easier and straightforward solution would be to make Protect and Shell like Wall. (I think I'd still use Wall over Protect and Shell, though. And that's a shame, because I love the cast animations of Protect 2 and Shell 2)
Raise 2 heals 99% to make Cursed Ring more viable: Even if we reduce healing from 100% to 99% undead's best safeguard from the Raise 2 nuke is, and will likely continue to be, MP Switch. At any rate, this is such a small nerf to Raise 2 that I cannot object.
Regen changes: This skill has finally become useable (and is, in my opinion, the single greatest change of 1.40), so I'd hate to see it nerfed. Nevertheless, in the interest of weakening White Magic, I recommend moving Regen to Lore. (See the end of this post for a detailed argument.)
Yin Yang Magic
Blind Rage loses 10% accuracy: I respect Andrew's suggestion, but slashing Blind Rage's accuracy by 10% would likely consign it to oblivion. This is especially true if we also make Stigma Magic and/or Esuna cure Berserk, and also spread around Berserk immunity on caster equipment.
Interesting ideas on the whole. My initial impressions:
Aquatic (M), +2 Move in water:Limited usefulness. Not many maps have water.
Back attack (M), +25% physical damage from behind: No opinion at the moment.
Coated Weapon (S), Add Poison/Sap if target is in Critical after a (weapon?) attack: Sounds kind of weak. Rather than play with poison, I'd equip Attack UP and kill the target outright.
Mirror force (R), Add Reflect when taking HP damage: A hard counter to Black Magic and Yin Yang Magic users without Dispel Magic . Are we OK with this?
Elementalist (M), Reduce elemental damage by 12%: Sounds like a support ability to me. I bet you can make some super tanky units with Elementalist and Magic Defend UP/Unyielding.
Null: Reflect (M), support magic pierces reflect: Great idea for incorporating Reflect Ring on magic-based teams. My favourite RSM suggestion.
Requiem (R), inflict Bln/DM/Slw/Stp on attacker: Sounds sinister. Not yet sure whether this is OP.
Shed (M), remove one status ailment after moving: This is definitely OP. Unless you are getting hit by Kagesougi, you will likely be inflicted with at most one ailment per turn, so limiting the healed ailments to one per turn largely irrelevant. Why bother with Poison/Sap/Blind/DA/Berserk/Slow/Frog/Faith/Innocent protection when this skill will automatically remove them after moving? Oracles and Mediators will dump turns into casting status magic over and over on these units, while these units will charge right ahead and punch them in the face on every turn the status magic misses.
Vengeance (R), remove all buffs from the attacker when targeted by status magic: Cautiously optimistic about this one.
Increase Black Staff's proc rate to 33%: Welcome change. We can reduce its WP as well if needs be.
Bow Gun, 8 WP, 0 W-EV, 33% Cast: Death: At first I thought it was 33% Add: Dead and got excited, but then saw that I misread the spell "Death" and felt sad. This Bow Gun is pretty bad. Throwing Knife, another ranged accessory, outright kills its targets at 33% (although with a two-turn delay) and gives +15% W-EV and +1 Move as a bonus.
Chaos Blade removes Refresh: Good idea.
Ethereal Spear inflicts Sap: OK.
Reduce Gambler's Axe's proc rate or WP: Is this axe OP? I do not have enough experience with this axe to comment.
Gastrafitis becomes 12 WP, +2 PA, and one-handed: Nice idea. It's present form really doesn't fit with the other bows.
Healing Gun gains 2 range: How amusing. I was about to suggest the very same thing!
Ice Brand and Thunder Blade gain +1 MA: OK. I don't think these swords are admired for their procs, anyway.
Masamune 15 WP, +1 SP, 2 Range, Immune Slow, Forced 2H: So, basically a superior form of the current Masamune. The current Masamune has -1 SP, but gives back this SP through Always Haste. In addition, it turns the next point of added SP into +2 SP. For example, a Samurai with Masamune and Genji Helm has 10 SP. With this new version, the Samurai will also have 10 SP. However, the important difference is that with this new version the samurai can be hasted to achieve 12 SP. If we recognize and are OK with this, then I have no objections.
Meteor Rod procs 200 damage comet: I'm OK with this for now. Meteor Rod is certainly in need of a buff!
Night Killer, 33% Add Blind & Poison: Certainly better than its current form. I still think this weapon is weak, however.
Platinum Sword, Immune: Slow: Welcome change. Will help teams cope with Slow 2. (Fingers crossed that we do not kill Slow 2.)
Spellgun nerfs: I am personally in favour of dropping their WP by 1 or dropping their range by 1~2, but not both.
Dwarven Fan, 33% Cast Quake: Could be good on Scholars!
El Bow, Two-Swordable Crossbow: Fun idea for extending the range of melee weapons. However, I believe the only class that has access to both Crossbows and melee weapons is Squire. Still fine by me.
Swift Plate changes: My favourite suggestion is that the shield keeps +1 SP, but gains Haste immunity. This will curb its use on Time Mages. Also, I would suggest we also give the shield Slow immunity since Haste will not be able to remove this ailment.
Chivalry shields: Wouldn't it be easier to simply put the new skills on Chivalry and let these skills be used in spite of the shield?
Armor adding MP: Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer clothes and robes to be solely responsible for adding MP. Paladin, Lancers, and Samurai have access to robes for providing MP. As an alternative, there is 1/3 of MP.
Chakra Band losing -1 SP: Although I was initially hesitant, I do not mind -1 SP on Chakra Band after seeing teams still using it in the present tournament. If we remove -1 SP anyway, perhaps reducing its HP to 10~20 would be an appropriate trade.
Golden Hairpin halves Holy & Dark: I am OK with this provided we add Holy & Dark strengthening to a robe as Andrew suggests.
Light Robe now adds Don't Act immunity instead of Always Regen: By removing Always Regen we are forsaking Paladins. Light Robe has always been a Paladin robe since Paladins (1) have high HP pools to leverage Regen and (2) need an MP pool to use Chivalry skills. Light Robe in its current form will be more relevant than ever if P Bag is changed to add Always Refresh and only Always Refresh (like Rune Blade).
Mythril Helmet provides +1 Move: Glad someone addressed my biggest concern with armored job: Their terrible Move stat. I am completely in favour of turning this helmet into a Green Beret for armored jobs.
Robe of Lords gains Sap immunity: Welcome suggestion.
Bronze Armor, Init: Innocent: OK.
Cursed Ring provides 100% revival: Disagree with this proposal. We had Cursed Ring like this before, and it was as OP as hell.
Reflect Ring turns into a PA-based ring: Don't agree with the provided arguments. Reflect Ring is right at home on casters to cover high Faith, and this strategy is punished by Summon Magic. The inability to cast support magic on units with Reflect Ring will be deftly solved if we implement DW's proposed Null: Reflect movement ability.
Killing Float: I personally like Float as an additional means of nullifying Earth damage. In exchange, we make (or at least try to make) Earth magic more powerful than average. This adds a bit of diversity between the elements. E.g.
Fire is wide AoE, but weak
Ice is average in power and affordable
Lightning is powerful, but expensive
Wind is fast but weak
Water is average in power, debuffs, and pierces reflect
Earth is average in speed, but hits like a truck
Owing to the potency of 1HKO strategies, players have additional options for countering Earth damage. I suppose this is really a matter of personal opinion.
Merge Poison and Sap: Not necessary in my opinion. We need some easy ailments to apply, and Poison is one of them. Merging Poison with Sap would make the ailment more powerful than it needs to be.
And finally, the most dreaded content of all
Undead healing: This ailment is powerful owing to the dearth of ways to heal it. (Currently, only Holy Water cures Undead). In the interest of turning Undead into a more manageable ailment, and also making Squires and their skill set more viable, I propose we buff Heal:
Scholars, Poison, and Regen: Persisting in my pursuit of the tank mage, I propose we give Scholars access to helmets as well as armor (and optionally also Shields at the expense of 1 or so base MA; Time Mages can lose shields while receiving something else, like +1 SP). Hat access would be removed in exchange. Next, we move Regen and Poison to Lore. The higher HP pool provided by full armor allows Scholars to leverage Regen. Poison tags along as the antithesis of Regen, and viola: Scholars become the masters of HoT DoTs.
Geomancy: I feel that Geomancy is too strong at present. Let's list its strengths:
Inflicts status ailments
Ignores Brave and Faith
Works with Counter Flood (This last one is a big strength)
In patch 1.40, on top of all of the above, we gave Geomancers +1 PA and MA and also boosted the constant of non-elemental geomancy by 2. Now we have Carve Models doing over 150 evasion-piercing, non-elemental damage on and between turns. At the very least, I suggest we drop non-elemental geomancy to pre-1.40 levels.
In the words of James Brown, "Good God!" This was a long post.
Defensive ========= Auto Potion 19 The most popular reaction ability as usual Damage Split 10 MP Switch 03 HP Restore 08 MP Restore 01 Absorb MP 07 Distribute 02 Regenerator 05 Dragon Spirit 08 Projectile Guard 13 Finger Guard 07 Awareness 01 Caution 03 Abandon 09 Speed Save 01 Critical Quick 01 PA Save 09 6 (66%) are equipped by Monks MA Save 02 Brave UP 01 Faith UP 00 Piety 06 ---------------------- Total 116 (78%)
Offensive ========= Attack UP 10 Magic Attack UP 32 The most popular support ability by far Overwhelm 01 Concentrate 17 Two Hands 01 Two Swords 03 Martial Arts 14 Luck UP 02 Desperation 00 ----------------------- Total 80 (54%)
Defensive ========= Defense UP 03 Magic Defend UP 10 Unyielding 03 Throw Item 06 Short Charge 23 1/3 of MP 03 ----------------------- Total 50 (34%)
Equipment ========= Equip Heavy Blade 00 Equip Polearm 01 Equip Ranged 01 Equip Light Gear 02 Equip Magegear 00 Equip Shield 11 The most popular equipment support skill Equip Armor 05
Move-HP UP 26 Move-MP UP 33 The most popular movement ability Move +1 10 Move -1 00 Move=0 04 Jump +1 03 Ignore Height 04 Float 03 Teleport 12 Fly 02 Flee 00 Warpath 09 Pilgrimage 12 Maintenance 11 The biggest representation of Maintenance in FFTA tournament history
Type Equipped Total ================================ Knives 14 45 (31%) None are equipped by Wizards Ninjatou 08 19 (42%) Swords 15 41 (36%) Knight Swords 02 08 (25%) Katana 05 05 (100%) Axes 02 21 (10%) Least popular weapon type Rods 06 23 (26%) All but one are Prismatic Rods Staves 27 44 (61%) All but 4 are Healing or Wizard Rods Flails 04 35 (11%) Guns 16 33 (48%) Spellguns account for 10 (63%) of these Crossbows 04 20 (20%) Most popular weapon type for Squires (2 of 3 Squires use Crossbows) Longbows 06 22 (27%) None are equipped by Samurai Books 02 15 (13%) All are used by Priests Spears 09 09 (100%) All 8 Lancers and 1 Monk with Equip Polearm use Spears Poles 04 25 (16%) Harps 01 03 (33%) Cloth 00 00 (00%) Bags 27 148 (18%) Tied with staves as the most common weapon type
HOW TO READ: Equipped: Number equipped among the 148 units Total: Total number that can be equipped by the 148 units The percentage roughly represents the popularity of the weapon type E.g. Up to 45 knives can be equipped among the 148 units, but only 14 (31%) actually are.
Element/Status Boosters 77 (52%) ============================ Defense Armlet 08 Jade Armlet 06 Defense Ring 17 Most popular accessory Sandstorm Treks 01 Diamond Armlet 12 Second most popular accessory Feather Boots 03 Chantage 01 Magic Ring 09 N-Kai Armlet 03 Cursed Ring 04 Half (2) cover their fire weakness Reflect Ring 03 Angel Ring 00 108 Gems 10
Defense total percentages assume units do not have multiple pieces of equipment that block the same ailment. "Offense" is a weighted sum representing the number of units capable of inflicting the ailment.
How Offense is calculated: For each skill or weapon Offense = S*N where S = Success rate of skill or weapon (100% for status magic, e.g. Paralyze) N = Number of units that use this skill or weapon E.g. For Short Edge (50% Add: Oil) Offense = (0.5)*(4) = 2.0
Status Healing by Skill ============================ Heal 11 Yell 02 Antidote 13 Least popular status healing item Chronos Tear 23 Echo Grass 20 Maiden's Kiss 23 Soft 22 Holy Water 22 Bandage 26 All but two Item users (26/28) knows Bandage Nurse 05 Stigma Magic 19 All but one Punch Art user (19/20) knows Stigma Magic Regen 10 Esuna 36 All but four White Magic users (36/40) knows Esuna Quickening 04 Haste 08 Haste 2 10 Refute 01 Misogi 06 Masamune 22 Mad Science 02
Status Healing by Ailment ================================ Und 023 Least likely ailment to be healed Bln 086 Oil 034 Ptf 078 Bsk 032 Frg 062 Psn 128 Most likely ailment to be healed Sap 090 Slw 049 Stp 035 Fth 001 Ict 001 Chm 067 Slp 079 DM 088 DA 082
CAUTION: The above numbers represent the total number of SKILLS that heal the ailment, not the total number of UNIQUE UNITS that heal the ailment.
Elemental Resistance (Rs) ============================= Fr Ic Lt Wn Wt Er Hy Dk Ab 20 09 26 04 09 22 12 20 Nu 00 00 00 02 06 03 05 00 Hv 11 11 11 12 12 12 00 00 ----------------------------- Rs(%) 17 10 21 08 14 21 11 14
Explanation: Resistance represents the average resistance toward an element. It is given by Rs = [(Ab+Nu)+0.5(Hv)] / n where Rs: resistance of a given element Ab: number of units that absorb the element Nu: number of units that null the element Hv: number of units that halve the element n: number of units in total (here 148)
Rs ranges between 0% and 100%. A value of 0% means no unit resists the element, so the element is always effective for offense. A value of 100% means every unit completely resists (absorbs or nulls) the element, so the element is completely ineffective for offense.
Elemental Offense ============================= Fr Ic Lt Wn Wt Er Hy Dk Units 12 11 17 05 10 18 30 17 ----------------------------- Of(%) 08 07 11 03 07 12 20 11 Rs(%) 17 10 21 08 14 21 11 14
Of(%) represents the percentage of units wielding at least one skill or weapon of the indicated element. Elemental resistance (%) from above is reproduced for ease of comparison. If Re(%) > Of(%), then resistance of that element is overrepresented. If Re(%) < Of(%), then resistance of that element is underrepresented. E.g. Holy resistance is underrepresented. (20% of units use the Holy element for offense, but Holy is resisted only 11% of the time.)
1st 2nd Black 09 04 Blue 05 10 Red 06 04 Green 05 03 White 05 03 Yellow 03 07 Purple 00 02 Skiploom and Vigilanti Brown 04 04
The War of the Magi
Magic is the most represented type of offense. 53% of units use magic-based skills.
Only 24% of units have 40 Fa, whereas 46% of units have 70 Fa. Of these 70 Fa units, 78% have 40 Br.
37% of units equip either Magic Attack UP or Short Charge as a support ability.
The Era of the Monk
Monks comprise the lion's share of physical offense; 30% of physical damage dealers are Monks.
The Era of the Time Mage
Catapulted from one of the least popular jobs to one of the most popular (e.g., only 3% of units were Time Mages in Season 2, but 8% of units are Time Mages here in Season 5.)
Weapons, armor, and accessories that add PA, MA, and SP are the most popular choices in their respective categories. This is especially obvious among Staves: Of the 27 staves in use, 23 are either Healing Staff (+1 SP) or Wizard Staff (+2 MA).
What Ails You?
The most represented status ailments are Slow (18.6), Don't Act (17.9), Stop (15.5), and Charm (15.0)
The least represented status ailments are Sap (0.8), Frog (1.0), and Berserk (1.4).
The most represented status protections are Berserk (26%), Poison (24%), Sleep (24%), and Slow (22%).
Berserk is by far the most overrepresented status protection: 39 units (26%) are immune to Berserk, but only 3 units inflict Berserk, two of which do so inefficiently using Salamander (20% Add: Berserk).
Stop is the most underrepresented status protection: 19 units inflict Stop, but only 17 units (11%) are immune to Stop.
Elements of Surprise
Holy is by far the most represented element. 30 units (20%) are capable of Holy elemental offense.
Wind is by far the least represented element. Only 5 units (3%) are capable of Wind elemental offense.
Lightning and Earth are the two most resisted elements. 17% of units either absorb or nullify at least one of these two elements. An additional 8% of units halve at least one of these two elements.
We could also apportion matches to each of the hosts at the beggining of each round, wait for the hosts to upload their videos, perform matchmaking for the next round, then repeat the process. This would lighten the burden on any one host, but add some delay between rounds as we wait for every host to finish his or her matches.
In addition, do we have a matchmaking algorithm prepared? We have more than 32 contestants, so we will need a method for efficiently and fairly pairing players with similar win/loss ratios.