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New Mod: Final Fantasy TicTacs Advance (FFTTA)

Started by ScarletMagi, May 30, 2021, 09:42:08 am

ScarletMagi

May 30, 2021, 09:42:08 am Last Edit: June 12, 2021, 04:34:49 pm by ScarletMagi
Hi everyone, I'm new here, but I thought it would only be time to come out of my shell since I had something to show.
I've been working on and off on my mod for the last... maybe 8 years? I figured it might be time to show what I'm working on.

I decided to call the hack Final Fantasy TicTacs Advance mainly because I find it vaguely funny, but also to signify the hack kinda twists FFTA on its head, without fiddling with the aesthetics.

A vast number of things have been recalculated from scratch and follow a new logic for balance.
  • All strategy balancing is based on the fact that MP starts at 0 in battle and characters gain 10% of their MP every turn.
  • Abilities have been recalculated so that minor or unpredictable effects cost way less than skills with major effects. Almost every class (especially magic classes) has a few skills and spells that cost 0 MP, but do minor effects (often at good range or supporting allies), while the vast majority of abilities have an MP cost, and certain powerful effects have been relegated to high MP costs (regardless of whether the ability is in any way "magical").
  • Magic attack spells and magic classes are balanced to be played very differently from physical classes. While high physical attack classes can consistently do high damage every turn with normal attacks, magic attack classes will need to "load" for some turns by doing minor 0 MP abilities that don't do magic attack damage (or by waiting), then unleash very powerful magic damage spells on the enemy
  • Stats are based on the idea that the game should start somewhat easy but with fast "rocket-tag" battles(allies and enemies all die quite quickly), while slowly becoming more difficult with much more defensive characters and slower battles. Attack starts somewhat high but tends to grow very little with level ups, while HP starts somewhat low but tends to grow a lot with level ups.
  • Defenses and Speed have been bound to equipment rather than levels, Speed can be increased very little, while Defense can be increased by equipment quite a lot.
  • Characters have a selection of equipment and movement/evasion/jump that tends to match with their stat bases and growths.  For example high attack growth for classes with high attack equipment, high HP growth for classes with high defenses equipment and/or high evasion. MP, Speed and Movement have been lumped together as a "Utility" stat, so a class with high MP growth will have high Speed equipment and/or high Movement.
  • Various abilities have been banned or made much harder to use in order to ensure gameplay stays defensive but not endless. For example it is extremely difficult to bring units back to life if they are knocked out. Which means some battles can be tense due to leaving both parties down to very few characters.
  • AP costs are much lower. Most active abilities require 50 AP to learn, and R/S abilities tend to cost 100/200, with the exception of Learning which requires 999 AP (more sabers teach Learning than usual), and Mana Shield which requires 500 AP. Ultima abilities are just 100 AP.

The number of things I changed is massive, but what I have avoided is the creation of new classes. Gadgeteer and Morpher skills have been completely reworked, and skillsets for all classes are generally very different, but you can expect to see all the familiar names and have a general gist of what they do (with some surprises here and there).

I find it hard to explain the changes without showing the data directly and I have probably forgotten a few major things, so I have made this Google Sheet file to show all the changes in a hopefully somewhat understandable manner:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1rdG-_Nu-AbU3nIEjewtuvLwfgGWgh4HHUPxhisRnCHk/edit?usp=sharing
Skill explanations have NOT been edited at the moment, so please use the Skills sheet to know the actual effects of skills!

You can also find an absolutely incomprehensible and massive working file here:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/10p1xE9qXRNOOo4UZWaEoVQGvJ-GKHLO-2JAyMA30yxo/edit?usp=sharing
It's filled with weird balancing formulas and it lays bare some of the frankly bizarre logic I used in a number of places.

Please note that the current product is unfinished because I haven't really worked on enemy formations past Thesis Hunt yet. I'm not sure when I will have time for such a gargantuan task. All I've done so far is shoot up the levels in mid and late game using an exponential formula, but the game still gets too easy against non-monsters in the mid and late game, because they are still using vanilla equipment selections and their skill selection is pretty much random (vanilla skill selection, but since the skills have been moved around, they might have whatever). If you want a general idea of how I will handle enemy equipment and formations in the future, you can check out the battles until Thesis Hunt (keeping in mind I want the game to have a difficulty curve, so that's supposed to be the easy part), but after that, it's a bit of a toss up. On the other hand, some monster battles might be nigh impossible.

Known glitches and possible balance problems:
  • Skill explanations are completely wrong 90% of the time
  • Formations haven't been adjusted past Thesis Hunt
  • Some classes might show a star when all available abilities were learned, some won't. This is because not all skills are available but they are still in the list for that class in the background
  • Sometimes zombies freeze the game but I can't understand what's causing it
  • Oblivion and other amnesia inflicting abilities can bypass the ability Immunity (perhaps this is true in vanilla?)
  • The missions Sprohm Meet and Alba Cave are currently not doable because they apparently require the job "-". I haven't messed with dispatch mission data and only used FFTA AIO, so I can't understand how this happened. Perhaps something to do with the job requirement data for advanced jobs. There might be more dispatch missions with this problem.
  • Some abilities have minor graphical glitches that don't affect the gameplay and don't freeze the game. It's a bit annoying but not game breaking.
  • I am currently trying to decide if effects that deal 25% HP damage, 50% HP damage and poison are too cheap. With very high defenses in late game, these effects become crucial to use on most enemies that aren't immune to them, so I might need to make them more expensive.
  • Similarly I am also trying to decide whether effects to lower enemy defenses should be more expensive. At the moment having at least one character with one of the defense reducing abilities is almost mandatory to be able to deal any damage at all to certain monsters, but perhaps a better solution would be to lower defenses juuuust slightly and make defense reduction much more expensive. On the bright side, there are a lot more skills for defense reduction available through various races.
  • Sabers and Souls might need to be nerfed
  • It seems Rush can occasionally freeze the game, even though I haven't messed with the animation or the knockback effect at all. I'm starting to wonder whether this maybe happens in vanilla too.

Feel free to leave any comments and if you do play it, please let me know how it went!

Update 2021-06-11: New version with some minor corrections
Changed monster skills that morpher and blue mage can learn to not bypass silence.
Red Mage attack spells changed from -ra spells back to base spells (due to how MP work in this mod, this is not exactly a nerf)
Reduced Cura MP cost to 24 and power reduced to 53
Fixed molboro's bad breath (it was failing all the time due to an error)
Nerfed Llednar defense/resistances (design decision) and Battle Queen speed (due to an error she had 6 times the speed she was supposed to have)
Readjusted AI use of items (might need additional tinkering in the future)
Evil Gaze was set to range 5 by mistake, changed to 9 as by documents
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown

matchet

I agree with all the points explained at the beggining and that you are trying to achieve. Will follow your project with interest, looks promising.

Hope you find out the gamebreaking bugs. Perhaps another mod has encountered similar problems in the past and writes you back a possible solution (?).

Good luck and greetings with the formations. Is a gargantuan work indeed
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown

Reshki

Having fun so far. Love the ideas behind magic, almost feels like Cantrips in DnD.

I was just wondering, will the tooltips/spell descriptions and what not ever be editted to be accurate??
&&
Has Control been removed from the game?? I couldn't find it in your Speadsheet. How will someone go about getting skills for Blue Mage without monster controlling?

EDIT: I misremembered how this game worked in regards to beastmaster ignore the strikethrough comment lol
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown

ScarletMagi

Quote from: matchet on June 13, 2021, 04:54:31 pmI agree with all the points explained at the beggining and that you are trying to achieve. Will follow your project with interest, looks promising.
Hope you find out the gamebreaking bugs. Perhaps another mod has encountered similar problems in the past and writes you back a possible solution (?).
Good luck and greetings with the formations. Is a gargantuan work indeed
Thank you! I'm glad you are interested.
The game has been freezing a lot less and so far it seems to be mostly just Rush that has an issue. Aside for freezing, I wouldn't consider most issues game breaking, even the lack of those two dispatch missions seems to keep the game finishable so far. I'll probably need to ask in a separate thread about the dispatch mission issue.
Thanks again for the good luck, I'll need it :D

Quote from: Reshki on June 23, 2021, 01:25:37 pmHaving fun so far. Love the ideas behind magic, almost feels like Cantrips in DnD.
I was just wondering, will the tooltips/spell descriptions and what not ever be editted to be accurate??
&&
Has Control been removed from the game?? I couldn't find it in your Speadsheet. How will someone go about getting skills for Blue Mage without monster controlling?
EDIT: I misremembered how this game worked in regards to beastmaster ignore the strikethrough comment lol
Happy to hear you are giving it a go! I've played a lot of 3.5 and 5e dnd, so there's a non-zero chance that it was the inspiration for the 0mp spells while waiting to get back bigger spells to cast. I'm glad you are enjoying that aspect!
I will tackle the tooltips once I'm 100% sure of the skillsets, costs and effects of skills. To give you an example... at the moment skills are decently set, but I keep running some calculations around late game attackVSdefense, poison, quarter, demi and defense break, and I'm pretty sure I'll have to lower non-monster attack growth, keep attack base the same, lower monster defense, and then make all the skills with those effects a whole lot more expensive to use, which means I will need to reorder the skillsets. So as you can see skills are still a little floaty for me to be setting the descriptions in stone, and I find text manipulation in roms a bit flimsy, so I'd rather do it only once at the end.
Glad you sorted the beastmaster :D you might be interested to know that Dragon Force and Mighty Guard have been locked out of the blue mage skillset by being changed to be caster-only skills, and Guard-Off is annoying to learn because beastmaster can't control dragons anymore.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown