For an effect and its corresponding cost to be balanced, |Effect - F(X, Y)| < E, for some chosen tolerance interval E.

In FFT, you have X as MP and Y as Charge Time.

In this system, you have X as Delay and Y as Charge Time.

In both cases, F(X,Y) satisfies a sliding scale relationship in X and Y. In other words, if K > 0 is given, then there exists positive functions g(x) and h(y) such that K = g(x)*h(y).

Without a deeper analysis of game mechanics, nothing distinguishes these systems and in theory, both are equal. MP costs and a "cooldown" system are not contradictory. All you need is innate MP regen. The cooldown can be reduced as one levels up (as long as the MP Regen is a % of maxMP and maxMP increases through level ups). Nor are MP costs "restrictive" if you set initial MP to be sufficiently high.

However, since we are hacking FFT (not some game in the abstract), we'll see that these two proposals are different.

1) The basic unit of FFT is the CTR or clocktick. It would make sense to express all the costs in units of CTR.

2) FFT already uses a simplified version of this proposal; all actions cost 40 CT. Hence, if we were to assume a innate MP regeneration system based on % of caster maxMP, we would have these functions:

Vanilla (assuming 5% MP Regen): F(40 / CasSP, MP Cost * 2000 / (CasSP * CasMaxMP), CT)

Proposed System: F((40 + Dly) / CasSP, 0, CT)

The only real restriction to the vanilla-modded equation is that a class with high SP and high maxMP might be too effective at diluting the value of MP costs on spells, but most mods typically have low MP ninjas and low speed mages. However, compared to the second equation, the vanilla-modded equation not only one more variable to work with, it has three degrees of freedom whereas the latter only has two. Notice that the latter problem is only resolved if CasSP is (nearly) constant throughout the team. To ensure balance both late and early game, CasSP should be have little variance over the game. IN other words, both +SP gear and speed growth has to go to make the proposal equal with vanilla's balancing options. I admit that the latter system is easier to calculate (and thus, more intuitive), but the balance will be less complete.

(An analogy: a^2 + b^2 = 14 does not have a solution in integers, but a^2+b^2+c^2 = 14 does. This is the power of an additional variable.)

To answer a potential objection, it is true that the original FFT does not freeze CT while charging or performing. However, that does not mean the CT variable in the vanilla FFT's equation has no effect.

Midcharging:

In FFT, midcharging was lethal to mages because of the damage bonus, the lack of evasion, and the fact that their charged spell can be redirected to allies (or themselves) if they locked onto the target or totally miss if they targeted the affected panels. Thus, a crude estimate of the effect of CT on spells is given by Spell Effect * (1 - TarSP * CT / 100).

Notice that this penalty actually applies to both systems as long as 1HKOs are possible, which is why I was concerned in the previous post about an "added" penalty in the form of CT freeze. Although you can certainly delete the midcharge damage bonus (and reduce the danger of deflected AoE attacks by increasing the amount of elemental null / absorb gear) like Arena did, midcharging is still lethal (as any Arena player can attest). The alternative is ZTP's option of making everything a 2-3HKO at best, but I don't think many people want to sit longer in front of their computer or TV. Hence, the best way to equalize the proposal with vanilla FFT is to eliminate the CT variable by making TarSP * CT roughly constant and to set enemy SP and caster SP to be roughly equal (meaning limited speed growth or similar levels / growths between player and AI units). This is the essence of my second suggestion

here.

Without MP costs, there is nothing restricting a fast physical unit from wrecking the competition with status magic like petrify or death. One way to solve this is to make status magic more MA dependent for their hit chance. However, that creates an early game balance problem wherein no one can use status magic for beyond a 25% hit chance whereas late game, every mage is hitting for 100%. I think the formula needs to be something like (MA * X + Y - TarLVL)% to ensure balance.

In all honesty, I don't think this proposal is unworkable, but it definitely works better in games where not every unit has access to every job, when mix-and-matching isn't allowed, or when generic units don't exist (and everyone has a specialization simply based on their stats). It also works better in a game where additive damage mechanics predominate (i.e. defense, magic defense, and status defense scores). That's why it worked in FFX and FFXIII. I personally think these mechanics are too foreign to FFT and require too many changes just to be functional, only to end up with a system that is harder to balance.