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Gaignun [Posts: 528]
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  • [February 06, 2017, 11:36:12 AM]
【PROPOSAL】Evasion-piercing Summon Magic
« on: February 06, 2017, 11:36:12 AM »
I would like to propose a new design concept for Summon Magic: Evasion-piercing.  That's right. I'm going old school on your derriere and taking you back to vanilla FFT.

What's wrong with my current Summon Magicks?
Nothing, really. It has a job. It does its job. It works 9-to-5 with a co-worker called Black Magic. They do the same stuff.  Occasionally, Summon Magic steps in to take care of that touchy feely healing stuff, and other times it leaves the heavy lifting to Black Magic. There's nothing wrong with a bit of cooperation. But here's the problem: Nobody is working the night shift.

Night shift? What are you talking about?
A competitive game needs to spin like the Earth needs to spin.  Lock your planet in geosynchronous orbit and people on one half of the planet will freeze. Right now the world of magicks is in geosynchronous orbit. It is always sunny in the land of magic evasion.  Are the skies looking stormy with black magicks, summoned beasts, and feudal warriors walking around in funny armor that looks like it is made of papier-mâché? Put a shield in your hand and a mantle on your back to keep yourself dry.  Is the pollen of status magic blowing in the wind? Hold that shield in front of you and wrap your face in that mantle to filter the air.  Magic evasion is living in the sun, growing its hair long, and walking around barefoot while whistling John Lennon songs. Meanwhile, magic defense is freezing its pants off on the far side of the globe, burning coal in its log cabin, and nobody visits even for Christmas.

Nobody likes magic defense? You're being silly. I was playing Smash Bros at its log cabin just last week.
Yes I am silly. Magic defense is good. I would not hesitate to introduce magic defense to my parents if we were dating.  But magic evasion is even better. There's a reason why there were 28 pieces of evasion-boosting accessories used last tournament, but only 6 Setiemsons. Magic defense protects you from the odd Holy and Chirijiraden. Magic evasion does that and even more. When Time and Yin Yang Magic come to town, magic defense leaves you for a better mate.  But magic evasion? That girl (guy) stays with you to the end.

What does any of this have to do with my Summon Magicks?
Basically, it's time we rain on magic evasion's parade. One can listen to only so much John Lennon. Right now, the sister planet of physicks is spinning freely. The rotation of this planet has been initiated by a support skill called Concentrate. On this planet is a country of people who spread evasion on everything like mustard.  But then day falls to night and those from a neighbouring country with better Concentration come and steal all their mustard.  Back on our first planet of magicks, there is no equivalent "Concentrate" support skill. This means that its world of cuisine is inundated with the smell and taste of mustard.  The only ways of washing out the sour taste of this condiment is with the fashionably constricted Geomancy and the fashionably unfashionable Lore spells.  I say that we add Summon Magic to this list.  Think of it as the easily-boostable Geomancy you always wanted but couldn't have, or the Lore you always had but never wanted.

So what exactly are you proposing here?
In a sentence: Weak-to-mid damage magic AoE spells that ignore evasion, but have high MP and/or CT costs.  Summon Magic will essentially become Black Magic that trades offensive potential for reliability, or Geomancy that trades consistency for offensive potential. Auxiliary healing functionalities with Moogle, Carbuncle, and Fairy will be retained.  Rough categories would look something like the following (note that no number is final):


All summons pierce evasion and are smart-targeting, but cost around twice as much MP as competitive Black Magic. In this way, Summon and Black Magic work different jobs. Specifically, Summon Magic interacts with the crotchety high-evasion customers, and Black Magic interacts with the freewheeling low-evasion customers.

Any thoughts and suggestions about the foregoing are much appreciated.
Andrew [Posts: 211]
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  • [February 07, 2017, 05:34:54 PM]
Re: 【PROPOSAL】Evasion-piercing Summon Magic
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2017, 05:34:54 PM »
While the idea is intriguing, and your humour is always appreciated, I'm not a fan of the entire skillset becoming evasion-piercing.  With this form of Summon Magic, M-Ev would become a thing of the past, with every Faith-based team featuring a Summon Magic user for offensive means.  So, yes, you would see more Setiemson... a lot more Setiemson.  The game would be ushered into an evasion-piercing meta.  Lich would also go unused, since it's not evasion-piercing and has horrible accuracy, so there would be no point in using it when you have the revised summons at your disposal.

The mid-tier and high-tier summons would need to be tweaked a lot more to convince me that this would fit nicely into Arena.  60 MP Bahamut?  That's still not a big deal if you're a squishy, MA-stacking mage with reliable MP restoration (Carbunkle; Refresh; Move-MP Up; Chakra; Hi Ether; MP Restore; you name it).  All it would take is a Bahamut, followed by one of the less-expensive summons to bring down most enemy units, at 2+ AoE to boot (hell, even if you made Bahamut 99 MP, people would just use 1/3 of MP and stack MA to make up for the damage loss).  Being able to nullify M-Ev entirely (while also bringing incredible damage) is very scary, and more on that below.

As you've proven in the tournament, evasion-piercing skills that deal moderate-to-high damage (140a Geomancy) can be broken.  However, Geomancy requires a mix of both PA and MA to work, and isn't reliant upon Faith.  In the test patch, Counter Flood isn't a thing, nor are Bards, and non-elemental Geomancy had its bonus reverted to +2, with all of these being acceptable nerfs due to the nature of Geomancy.  New Summon Magic?  Slap a Faith Rod on and watch the enemy team run for the hills... unless they have Setiemson and/or Ragnarok.  Now, I know that Summon Magic costs MP and has a CT, but even 6 CT can be manageable with a mage going last and/or rocking Short Charge.

I think you would have to dip into the extremes some more (high MP, high CT, or a mix a both) in order to produce acceptable results, provided that you want damage to remain roughly the same for the mid-tier and high-tier summons.  However, if the CT is too high, then the skills would be useless due to midcharging/not getting them off in time; and, if MP is too high, then people would just avoid the skillset like the plague, or be forced into using 1/3 of MP if they're not a high MP squishy mage (then, what's the point if you can't make use of the support you want to?).

I know that you don't agree, but I'm still happy with our test patch Summon Magic; sure, some summons could be considered lackluster in comparison to what Black Magic can offer (especially on the test patch), but with Summon Magic having the superior utility, I don't have a problem with this.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2017, 06:41:58 PM by Andrew »
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  • Gaignun [Posts: 528]
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    • [February 08, 2017, 04:05:20 AM]
    Re: 【PROPOSAL】Evasion-piercing Summon Magic
    « Reply #2 on: February 08, 2017, 04:05:20 AM »
    Thank you for the input!

    Time and Yin Yang Magic would counterbalance Summon Magic.  If teams stack Magic Defend UP and/or Setiemson in fear of Summon Magic, then they would become vulnerable to status magic. Thus, magic evasion would still serve a role.

    I believe Geomancy was broken due to Counter Flood.  140 damage with 1 AoE isn't much, but with Counter Flood you can do 140 damage one or two extra times per turn (and, crucially, during the opponents turn, so they don't get a chance to heal the damage)

    Here are some reality-check calculations using the above parameters:
    Test unit: Wizard (F), 241 HP, 127 MP, 17 MA, Faith Rod, Magic Attack UP (a veritable glass cannon)

    Shiva: 155~218
    Salamander: 178~248
    Titan: 200~280
    Zodiac: 245~343 (!!)
    Bahamut: 267~374 (!!)

    You are right about the ridiculous Bahamut damage.  In retrospect, no summon that pierces MEv should have a multiplier higher than around 9, no matter what its MP and CT costs are.  So let's focus on the summons up to Titan. Mind you, this is an extreme case. The Wizard is made of paper. As soon as she dies and loses the Faith status, the damage becomes

    Shiva: 121~169
    Salamander: 138~194
    Titan: 155~218

    More sensible. I imagine a low-faith team of Mystic Knights or Samurai could handle the damage. Keep in mind that most of these summons have an element, so elemental absorption is another line of defense.  Furthermore, if we put Titan at around 50 MP, then the Wizard will be able to cast the spell only 2~3 times before she needs to take a break, during which time the enemy team can either recoup its losses if it fared miserably through the loincloth buttslams, or go on the offensive if it didn't.  If she replaces Magic Attack UP for 1/3 of MP, then the damage will drop even further:

    Shiva: 93~131
    Salamander: 107~149
    Titan: 120~168

    At that point you are probably better off spamming Geomancy.

    Anyway, perhaps an agreeable solution at some future point in time is to meet halfway.  Devote the low- and mid-tier summons (i.e., from Shiva to Titan) into costly, low-damage, evasion-piercing magic, and leave the big fish (e.g., Bahamut and Zodiac) alone.
    Barren [Posts: 2547]
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    • [February 08, 2017, 08:30:58 AM]
    Re: 【PROPOSAL】Evasion-piercing Summon Magic
    « Reply #3 on: February 08, 2017, 08:30:58 AM »
    I actually said a similar suggestion to Andrew on Discord that we can at least allow Titan to pierce through magic evasion with either a decrease in CT or a decrease in damage to compensate (unless people are fine with keeping Titan as it is except just add the ignore evasion).

    And to be honest, Titan never gets used with Summon magic if not barely. Leviathan and Silf still gets use because of the large AoE and it also pierces evasion with a status chance to boot respectively. Bahamut if you're going for pure damage, other summons if its JP concerns, etc etc.

    So why not just let Titan shine again?

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    Andrew [Posts: 211]
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    • [February 08, 2017, 10:26:35 AM]
    Re: 【PROPOSAL】Evasion-piercing Summon Magic
    « Reply #4 on: February 08, 2017, 10:26:35 AM »
    I was mostly concerned about Bahamut and Zodiac damage-wise, yes, and Odin with its Dead proc would be equally scary, just in a different way; it's nice having the ability to evade Odin if you don't happen to have Dead protection.  Thanks for the numbers!  I have to admit, a bad habit of mine is estimating figures in my head and not doing actual calculated math and posting the numbers to support my argument.  Oh well.  :P

    Looking at it some more, no longer do I find the proposed Cyclops/Salamander/Titan repulsive!  What of Salamander's proc... has it been lost in the nether forever?  Leviathan would definitely need to become 2 AoE (with increased damage), but that would make me a sad panda, as its one of the few huge-AoE skills in the game.  I wouldn't mind seeing Cyclops and Titan become evasion-piercing, as I like current Salamander (the Berserk proc gives it a unique edge that the other summons lack).

    Counter Flood definitely makes Geomancy OP, with Counter Comet being a much more acceptable form.  A while back, us Discord folks considered the future possibility of revamping the terrain of each map in the game to make Geomancy a more reliable skillset to pickup, rather than just increasing its damage like before.  As such, removing smart-targeting would be a possibility.  I'll have more information on this if we decide to go ahead with it.

    Yeah, Barren, like mentioned above, I think I'd be okay with an evasion-piercing Titan!
    Gaignun [Posts: 528]
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    • [March 06, 2017, 02:40:52 AM]
    Re: 【PROPOSAL】Evasion-piercing Summon Magic
    « Reply #5 on: March 06, 2017, 02:40:52 AM »
    Small addenda:

    A safer damage formula for an evasion-piercing Titan would be MA*8, and not MA*9 as presented three posts ago.  If we go MA*9, then non-piercing Cyclops and even Zodiac will likely become the new unused summons. (For example, I personally would never trade a MA*9, evasion-piercing Titan for a MA*9, +1 AoE, non-piercing Zodiac unless I'm doing some sort of spray-and-pray Mime strategy.)

    A MA*8 Titan would be only slightly stronger than the IRS (Ifrit, Ramuh, Shiva), so in this case I would suggest we keep Titan affordable (e.g., 30~40 MP, 200~250 JP) and usable (e.g., 4 CT).

    I would suggest we also make Leviathan evasion-piercing, but drop its damage from MA*8 to MA*7, to keep Summon Magic internally balanced.  Then, moving up from the IRS, one can either spend a little extra MP, CT, and JP for +1 damage multiplier (Titan) or +1 AoE (Leviathan).

    These two changes ought to make Titan and Leviathan more popular choices, but also prevent the other choices from becoming redundant.

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