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Final Fantasy Tactics A2: A Clan's Journey

Started by Zeke_Aileron, August 18, 2017, 03:58:48 am

Madeen

Sorry for necro'ing, and maybe you dont work on this mod anymore... but just in case, I have some constructive criticism to share.

I hadnt played in a while, so when I saw new classes recently I wanted to try them.  Astrologer comes to mind, and there was another, but that's beside the point.  What irks me is that astrologer abilities require cards to use, just like engineer abilities require knuckles to use, and that's no fun at all.  Why not remove these limitations and increase mp costs for example?

But actually there's another way to 'solve' this: fix stat growths!

If these classes with limitation had stat growth on par with the better classes (growth wise) then you could play them freely without having to worry about getting bad stats. And I do worry, why on earth would I want bad stat growths?

So I thought I'd go through all races and explain my point of view on their growths.


HUME: I dont have much issue with hume, except maybe you need fighter 3 in order to unlock the better gains for physical classes (duelist and ronin)

BANGAA: I like to have 3 bangaas in my party, excluding Cid.  One melee, one ranged and one mage.  No issue with melee, but canoneer could use better att growth to be playable as main class.  Also Bishop only has 8 mag growth, and some other physical classes have 8 too, I think bishop should have 9.

NU MOU: kinda weird the best growths are from the most basic classes (white and black mages). I love cannon mage, but again its mag growth prevents it to be used as main class. Likewise for astrologer as mentioned above.

VIERA: Same issue as bangaa, I like to have one melee, one ranged and one mage.  Again the ranged classes have worse growths than fencer.

MOOGLE: This time ranged classes have as much att growth as melee, which is great.  Even though Moogle knight has the better growths overall, so I guess I can live with that :P  As stated before, engineer could use better growths so they can be used as main class.

SEEQ: Berserker obviously has the best growth with an astounding 11 att.  However since ranger can use bow, it would be great to have them on par with berserker... maybe give them both 9 or 10 att?  Viking would make good mages, unfortunately there's barely any magic ability to make them worthwhile.

GRIA: Hammer knight is great, maybe even too great.  She has 9 mag growth?  That's as much as geomancer/alchemist.  I typically like to have 2 grias, one physical and one mage.  With Taoru having such great mag growth, I feel like I dont need to make another gria :/


That's about it, I'm aware you try to make the mod challenging, but it my book fun > difficulty.  And diversity is fun!


Thanks for reading :)


Zeke_Aileron

Quote from: Madeen on May 31, 2021, 04:33:50 pmAs stated before, engineer could use better growths so they can be used as main class.

I'm planning on making a completely new Job class that replaces Engineer, as a ETA on that is unknown with how awful my work schedule is and the amount of time i have during a day is pretty sad...


Quote from: Madeen on May 31, 2021, 04:33:50 pmHUME: I dont have much issue with hume, except maybe you need fighter 3 in order to unlock the better gains for physical classes (duelist and ronin)

I've been thinking of just making all the Hume Melee Jobs as all unlocked from the beginning to allow for a more varied playstyle which in this case would allow me to just make their Job stat growths equivalent to each other, so the player can play the jobs they want to use, and by doing this i would also have to update their Ability skill set to still feel unique from one another.

Duelist and Ronin just feel like great mid - late game jobs to use, but having them unlocked initially could mix things up alot in the early game.

Quote from: Madeen on May 31, 2021, 04:33:50 pmbut canoneer could use better att growth to be playable as main class.

I plan on changing Cannoneer to have it's basic attack ranged physical based, but it's abilities will be all Magick based similar to Nu Mou's Cannon Mage, Will have a slightly higher attack stat growth, and a magick stat growth of 9+

Quote from: Madeen on May 31, 2021, 04:33:50 pmAlso Bishop only has 8 mag growth, and some other physical classes have 8 too, I think bishop should have 9.

Bishop is most likely going to be changed completely to a new Job, the new job is still magick based, will have a Magick stat growth of 11+,, and will primarily focus on just Magick, and will have the lowest attack and defense growth as well.

Quote from: Madeen on May 31, 2021, 04:33:50 pmAstrologer comes to mind, and there was another, but that's beside the point.  What irks me is that astrologer abilities require cards to use

By the abilities needing the main weapon equipped as a card, then yes it's supposed to be that way, i know there's alot of synergies in Vanilla FFTA2 that kind of break the game and this mod focuses on keeping units tied to a job, yes it takes away alot of the previous synergies.

Quote from: Madeen on May 31, 2021, 04:33:50 pmIf these classes with limitation had stat growth on par with the better classes (growth wise) then you could play them freely without having to worry about getting bad stats. And I do worry, why on earth would I want bad stat growths?

I do still plan on relooking through job stat growths and ability stats to rework them a bit more to make each job viable to use and it's something that's been in my list.

Quote from: Madeen on May 31, 2021, 04:33:50 pmGRIA: Hammer knight is great, maybe even too great.  She has 9 mag growth?  That's as much as geomancer/alchemist.  I typically like to have 2 grias, one physical and one mage.  With Taoru having such great mag growth, I feel like I dont need to make another gria :/

In the private test mod that i played before her release, She originally had 11 Attack and 11 Magick stat growth, so she essentially was just good at both since her main job is Hammer Knight her ability set is a bit overloaded in terms of choices..., but i wanted her to feel unique similar to how Luso is with his unique job.

Oh and yes her stat growth was nerfed before the release of the mod version.

The only thing that's mainly holding me back from doing another mod release update is the Clan privileges', Quest Loot rewards, Quest EXP rewards, and Quest Gil rewards since i manually have to do each quest since there's no module or mod program to operate with...
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
  • Discord username: Zeke Aileron™#0606

Madeen

Sounds interesting, looking forward to updates :)

Kanon38

I love this mod and thank you for all the hard work, I particularly like the early Steal: Loot which fixes a major flaw of the original game, as well as the general difficulty of the game.

Unfortunately one detail bothers me a lot (besides the name of the Persona spells! Very confusing!)
 : a lot, a lot, a lot too much of QUICKEN. It adds a lot of randomness to fights, anybody can heal himself indefinitely with potions and can still attack after that (with lots of MP), I don't understand why this feature was added.
In a turn-based RPG, the very principle of the "turn" is a primary element, only a high rank skill or the time mage should be able to influence it.
But in this mod, almost all support actions (even a simple potion!) Give an extra turn.

It's very frustrating because it's my favorite mod so far, great fun classes, great leveled difficulty, successful balancing, really a great mod.

I saw that you were looking for a way to lower the QUICKEN activation rate below 25%, that's fine, but honestly, I think even 5% would already be too much.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown

Augoeides

I'm not sure if your still working on the mod, but I agree with the person above me. All the changes to the game were pretty interesting, but I strongly recommend you just flat out remove all the free Quicken buffs, and go a bit easier on giving enemies the "Critical: Quicken" Reaction for the same reason; maybe limit the Reaction to certain Bosses.

As already stated, the AI abuses their instant, free turns very heavily, to the point of infinitely healing themselves. Ignoring the fact that this is extremely frustrating, it's also very time consuming. Even with Frame Skip on to rush the game, enemy characters tend to take forever, because a lot of them end up getting 3 turns in a row. This can easily cause battles that should be 5 minutes or less to become 15 minutes or longer (and that's with the game sped up). This doesn't make the game more difficult or strategic, it just makes battles tedious.

For example, in the battle where you unlock "Support Mage" (originally the Green Mage unlock battle), you have to first fight 4 Support Mages. It's not a particularly difficult fight, even in this version of the game and Hard difficulty, but since all four can cast Media and spam Ethers on each other (combined with the ability to Sleep your entire team), the fight drags on way past the point of fun.

The point where I kind of lost interest in the mod, was after defeating the Yellow Wings, in the third Story battle. Their leader, Kidd, has "Critical: Quicken" Reaction, so every time he was about to die, he would instantly get his turn, then spam Potions to full health AND get to attack you for around 15 damage. He doesn't hit very hard, although even with the changes brought by the mod, at best your going to strike him for about 40 damage (assuming you have the MP to deal that damage), but then he just heals himself for 100 through Potions. Despite the battle ultimately being 7 vs. 1 in the end (although he managed to kill a couple of my guys, due to his superior recovery method), it took me over a half hour to kill him, because of Critical: Quicken, and the infinite amount of Potions he owned.

I understand if you want certain abilities like Focus to be more useful, or healing abilites to not limit a character's gameplay, but that's how these tactile games are designed. White Mages and healers in general are super important to the team composition in any RPG; their ability to recovery the team is well worth them sacrificing their turn, instead of attacking. If you want to make healer Jobs more viable, I suggest lowering the MP Cost on their Abilities, or just make their healing more potent. As for self buffing abilities like Focus, I would much rather the buff or Job using it were stronger, than the enemy getting to automatically act afterwards.

The game flows so much nicer without the constant Quicken spam; the vanilla game has already proven this. Otherwise, I like what I've seen of the mod so far. Having the extra Command Slot is really fun for designing builds (without the loss of Item use, which can be needed when playing on Hard), and I enjoyed reading what the new Classes can do (although, I haven't played many Shinmegami Tensei games in years, so keeping track of the new spell names is a bit difficult, compared to Final Fantasy's default).

I would love to see more of the mod, but it's difficult to enjoy, when all the enemies constantly fully heal themselves, and take several extra turns without the aid of Time Magick.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown

Augoeides

So, when I had originally posted, I stopped playing the Rom Hack at the third story mission, because I also had a vanilla save at the exact same location. While I have played FFT:A2 many times over the years, I can't remember ever finishing it, usually due to getting caught up with the near infinite amount of repeatable quests that bombards you after you've done several of the Rift Summon fights.

Knowing that I basically play the game the exact same way every time (and never really finish it), I decided to continue playing the Rom Hack, so I could at least have a unique experience this time. This time I got a ways into the second continent. I might go back and finish the rest of the game through his mod at some point, but right now I'm burned out from how slow the game generally progresses, for the reasons mentioned in the last post. Anyway, I figured I would give my opinion, after another couple dozen hours invested in the mod.

Firstly, battles do get quicker, but only after you've gotten enough Quicken abilities to abuse this mod's system in your favor. I'd say it happens once you've gotten proper Jobs down for your team, somewhere near the end of the first continent. This usually result in me having my entire team rush the opposing side, and kill at least one enemy, before they have gotten a turn. At this point in the game, every fight goes like this, and the difficulty (for the most part) significantly takes a dive. The enemy team will usually swarm you afterwards, but by now, your frontline team should have enough HP to tank all the damage, and the extra turns provided by your healers is more than enough to negate all statuses and heal.

Despite this, there are a few frustrating examples where the mod's combat flow absolutely tips in the enemy's favor though, and this is especially bad, because Speed was removed from character progression, allowing a lot of enemies to take multiple actions (usually acting 3 separate times, some back to back) in a single Turn without the aid of Quicken or Time Magic. During these kinds of battles, I often found myself silently screaming "When exactly do I get to do something in this fight?", while watching my team get destroyed.

At some point you have to fight 6 of the more advanced Marlboro's (I think their called Carrie's, or something like that), in order to help some shop owner craft ribbons. This fight is a strong summary of how the mod doesn't handle combat flow well. All of them already have area healing magic that restores for roughly 120 HP, area attacks that inflict Charm with other debuffs, and a melee attack that strikes for around 120 damage (250 on a back attack). This battle was utterly insane with this mod. Thanks to their high health/damage/healing and status attacks, just 3 of the marlboro would have been enough for a party wipe, but the mod kept enabling them additional Turns, making it feel like I was fighting 18+ marlboros. Even with abusing State Saves, this mission took me around three whopping hours to complete. Every time I would get one low, half their team would collectively spam an area heal, which also gave them Regen. Every time one was near death, they would Quicken and turn the fight back into their favor.

I've gained 20 levels and a ton of abilities since that fight, but I don't think my current team would have handled it much better. Charm made the fight extremely frustrating too, because I rarely got to participate in the fight, and when I would get to, that character would be AI controlled and against me. Status effects in general are especially powerful in this mod, worse when they grant Quicken 100%. I eventually decided to abuse this, by converting my Red/White Mage into Support/White Mage, then starting out my first Turn in every fight with Proect/Shell and debuffing all enemies with Oil/Blind/etc... with a single character (Support Mages always seem to act first). Sure, now I'm down one offensive caster, but now all my characters basically do +50% more fire damage and are safer, for at least a few Turns (which is greatly needed). I don't think I need to explain how unbalanced this is.

Another bad example of lowered character Speed, is pretty much any fight against the floating eyes that have the Roulette ability. They end up using it roughly twice per Turn, which is a frustrating auto-kill, that you have to waste a turn raising your teammate (if you even can). There's a mission in the caverns on the first continent where you have to fight a couple of these floating eyes, where you I think you have to gather ore fragments, but the floating eyes are backed up by zombies. The fight overall is tough enough, but with how Turns flow, the zombies get to act often enough, that you barely have time to cleanse their graves after they die. Luckily, none of these enemies had Quicken effects, but the fight still took an unpleasant hour.

Another thing I want to mention, is the alterations to the MP System. I didn't register during my playtime with my last post, but now that I'm much further into the game, my characters have roughly 100+ MP, and so do the enemies. Early on, its interesting to be able to use your abilities so often in battle and helps move things along, but having all your MP at once, all the time, makes it obvious why vanilla didn't do this. Problems like with the aforementioned marlboro fight happen all the time, with enemies spamming status effects and buffs that give them additional Turns, etc.

Obviously, battles should be difficult, and a lot of times I lost, it was due to poor planning on my part (rushing in with one character or wasting all my MP early, etc). Vanilla could certainly be mind numbingly easy, especially if you decided to invest into Illusionists for easy wins. Although, altering the Speed mechanics to be in the favor of enemies kind of makes the game more stressful, than fun. Ideally, every character should get one action per Turn, assuming they aren't aided by Time Magic or a Reaction, but enemies in this mod frequently get way more actions than they should.

Anyway, I'm not trying to throw shade on the mod, I really like what it attempts. The reason I came back to it (and may at some point continue it) is due to how unique the Bazaar is, and how some Jobs are. Although for Mission reasons, I'm still confused about what certain Jobs function at for completion (like, I don't know what Sage or Time Mage were converted to, for unlocking abilities and completing Dispatches). However, it's really fun to steal and hunt for 5 or so missions, then hit the Bazaar and see what potentially interesting gear I might dig up. It's a bit of a gamble, but always fun, although this also does drag on some fights, as to maximize your gear, you want to steal from every monster and only finish them off with Hunting, and somewhat early on, you have to really commit to this, or your characters could go hours wasting AP without an ability to invest into. Earning advanced Magick early (roughly halfway into the first continent) was pretty fun.

One thing I will admit about the new Quicken System, is that it made certain time sensitive missions far less stressful. For example, the quests where you clean airships can be completely with relative ease, assuming your characters have lots of abilities like Precision or Protect to give them immediate extra actions. These were also especially helpful on the missions where you have to "gather X things" or disabling certain traps (walking onto a trap normally ends your turn, unless you've preloaded a Quicken triggering action). Although I still don't think it should be apart of normal gameplay, or at least, not on the grand scale that the mod presents it.

On a final note, one of my favorite things about FFT:A2, over the other Tactics games, is progression. I never really liked FFT, because of how easy (and boring it is) to just sit in one fight, mastering every ability in the game, constantly spamming the same thing over and over, and I barely remember FFT:A1. In FFT:A2, the game encourages you to advance the story and to other fights, because that's how you earn AP, and gil, which in turn provides you with gear to spend the AP on.

However, my least liked thing about the game, is the Job-based Attribute progression. I'm fine with Speed being removed/nerfed, but it needs to be balanced so fights are at least fair. The thing I always hated this system, is obviously, your going to want to switch Jobs often, to learn new abilities and unlock other Jobs, but since you level after every 2 fights, your constantly progressing in Attributes that your unaware of (without heavy research), which can ultimately ruin the fun of swapping Jobs at will, when you know your attributes will be gimped for it.

One of my favorite classes in all of Final Fantasy, will always be Red Mage, but in A2, Black Mage will always be overwhelmingly stronger, due to an increased Magick Attack AND access to High Magick. I have yet to unlock Doublecast (which was the counterbalance for making Red Mage equal to Black Mage), so I assume in this mod it got removed? Either way, I really wish someone would make a Rom Hack that adjusted character attributes to the Job they newly switch to, rather than punish someone by making character permanently set into a specific role, when the game clearly doesn't give you all the options at the beginning.

Thanks for the mod though. All complaints and criticism aside, it's been an interesting experience, both good and bad. I'm relatively new to using Rom Hacks, which outside of Randomizers, I thought were restricted to Super Metroid. I was pleased to see that I could apply mods to other Roms, too.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown