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June 16, 2021, 04:24:13 am

News:

Use of ePSXe before 2.0 is highly discouraged. Mednafen/RetroArch is recommended for playing/testing, pSX is recommended for debugging.


[PSX] FFT Cerabow's Mod

Started by Cerabow, April 28, 2020, 09:40:07 pm

Cerabow

April 28, 2020, 09:40:07 pm Last Edit: May 31, 2021, 01:09:56 pm by Cerabow Reason: 0.13.2668 adding glains bench hack and save after formations hack
The Link
Website: http://fft.cerabow.net
Download link is available at the above site and will change with new versions.

The Info
A rebalance patch for the PS1 FFT which buffs underpowered skills, nerfs overpowered skills, and aims to create a more balanced, interesting, and slightly more challenging experience. The mod takes inspiration from several other projects and weaves in a number of different core balancing concepts.

FFT Cerabow's Mod includes a rebalancing of the entire game, including buffing underpowered skills, nerfing overpowered skills, and many other changes. The mod is not designed to be a difficulty hack, but instead fixes numerous issues with the original and opens the door to a variety of new strategies. Overall, units have more HP, deal less damage, and it's uncommon for 1-hit kills to occur. The enemy AI has access to far more skills than they did in vanilla, so just because you petrified half their team doesn't mean they won't remove it and then hit you back with it. Various strategies which were overshadowed by broken skills in vanilla are now very viable in the game now. Bosses which previously had laughably low HP now challenge your ability to setup a party for an enduring fight. Healing and MP restoration are nearly a requirement now in some form, and status effects can easily swing the tide in anyone's favor. Grinding for skills is not nearly as necessary, as the JP cost of skills have been drastically reduced, with many basic skills only costing 20 JP, and the strongest abilities in the game costing a maximum of 500 JP. The in-game help text has also been updated drastically to provide the player with as much information as possible, including hinting at whether an ability is physical or magical, or if it uses Faith at all.

In general, there are WAY too many tiny changes across the entire game to specifically mention. Some big highlights are:
  • Reduced JP costs
  • +1 movement to all
  • Increased HP and MP values
  • Lowered damage values
  • Reduced the chance for one-hit KOs (still possible but very uncommon)
  • Removed Zodiac Compatibility
  • Standardized unit stat growth
  • War Trophies, Move-find Items, and Poaching items don't suck
  • Multiple Quality of Life hacks added courtesy of the amazing people on this site

Several "challenge" runs have been completed with the mod, including 4/5 magic class focus (only one unit using "physical" job classes), 100% physical classes only (and item), Squire and Chemist only plus Agrias, and more. Challenges like Archer Solo Single Class Challenge (SSCC) are likely impossible with the mod or are at the very least not fun.

This mod has been in development on and off since 2009. Between July 2018 and December 2019 it underwent extensive closed-beta testing. Closed beta testers had their names added to the FFT random name pool. They might show up in battles and try to kill you! It is currently in open-beta as of January 2020.

The Contributors (Whether they know it or not)
I did not make this mod by myself, but I compiled it alone. Below is a list of everyone who made something I used from the FFHacktics website and I want to do my best to give credit where it is due.

I want to specifically call out Xifanie, Elric, and Celdia for their help with some of my questions!

Thanks to Zozma for making the Beatrix sprite. (according to the FFhacktics website)
Thanks to Kuraudo Sutoraifu for making the Cloud Advent Children sprite. (according to the FFhacktics website)
Thanks to Wiz for digging out the WotL DK sprites and making the video I followed for adding unit palettes.

------------------------------------------

Thanks to everyone who made and/or documented ASM hacks including:
Xifanie
  Soldier Office Upgrade hack
  Smart Encounters
  Incremental Jump Range
  move-find is player only
  Cross Skip (super speed text)
  Set title screen default to Continue
  Remove permanent brave alteration
  Remove permanent faith alteration
  Elemental Fix (v3) OIL fix / float takes increased wind dmg
  Remove forced slowdown for Math Skill
Pokeytax
  Inherent RSM Limitation Hack (makes it so you can't equip supports which are innate i.e. chemist throw item)
  CT Save documentation
Razele
  Death Sentence - Ignore Cancel:Dead
  AI attacks transparent
  JP scroll glitch fix
  Special Characters can do propositions
  Soldier office can rename any units
  Secret Hunt ability isn't needed to enter Fur Shop
  Require sword - require weapons --- allow katana for sword skills
  Undead units ignore Phoenix Down
Glain
  Random Unit Gear based on story progression
  Random Unit Gear more selective
  Fix Reraise Graphic Width
  Disable paging on JP confirm menu
  Switch unit roster numbers in Formation (L1/R1)
  Equipment duplication glitch fixes
  Instant abilities flash red with insufficient MP
  Crits always deal bonus damage (even if just a tiny bit)
  Save between battles after formation screen
  Unit bench hack
Choto
  No Zodiac Compatibility
nates1984
  Weapon XA Rewrite (weapon formula rewrites)
Emmy
  Documentation for Auto-Protect/Auto-Shell/Auto-Haste
FFTMaster
  Abandon multiplier change
dw6561
  Abandon multiplier change

------------------------------------------

Thanks to everyone who made the easy-to-use tools to help mod FFT!
Xifanie
melonhead
Glain
Ganon
RavenOfRazgriz
Starbee
Paradox
TWoeMS
Mr 273
victoraldecoa

Thanks to all my testers for helping me polish the hack and fix issues!

Thanks to anyone else I may have missed!
  • Modding version: PSX
--
Robert'); DROP TABLE Students;--
  • Discord username: Cerabow

GarenBeoulve

Hello, Cerabow! How are you?
I thought about taking a look at the forum and I discovered another mod that I find very interesting, by the way. I'll try it out (I love new mods), even though I'm enjoying "Durai Records 2.1". Thank you!
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
Guns require no charge time. Simply aim and fire!

Bonesy

April 29, 2020, 12:10:45 am #2 Last Edit: April 29, 2020, 03:38:18 am by Bonesy
I am interested but it not working in Mednafen is kind of a pain for me right now. Anyone able to poke around and figure out why?

In the meantime if i get some free time in the next whenever, I will try to poke at XEBRA/ARBEX and PCSX-R-PGXP to see if those will run it as well.

EDIT: Works fine in PCSX-R-PGXP with mild plugin finagling!
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
  • Discord username: Bonesy#9386

Cerabow

Quote from: Bonesy on April 29, 2020, 12:10:45 amI am interested but it not working in Mednafen is kind of a pain for me right now. Anyone able to poke around and figure out why?

So I don't know definitively what causes it to not work with Mednafen. It's likely one of the ASM hacks I use, but I don't know for certain. I haven't had much time or a huge desire to delve into what might be causing it yet. But since there's so many emulation options out there, I wasn't worrying too much about it yet.
  • Modding version: PSX
--
Robert'); DROP TABLE Students;--
  • Discord username: Cerabow

Bonesy

Sadly I'm in the midst of getting a new computer so my time to check more of this out in PCSXR-PGP is kinda low right now. But what I was able to test out seems really neat!
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
  • Discord username: Bonesy#9386

Aiolon

Congratulations! I personally don't enjoy rebalance patches. i prefer mods with more complexity.
(Item rework, Job reworks, ENTD rework, Some crazy Xif's Hacks)
But it has been a while since i last played a vanilla run and i find this mod as a perfect excuse to run it again.
You seem to have put a lot of time and effort into this project, you even made a cool looking website for it.
I am downloading it and will be playing it right now!

QuoteIn general, there are WAY too many tiny changes across the entire game to specifically mention. Some big highlights are:
    • Reduced JP costs
    • +1 movement to all
    • Increased HP and MP values
    • Lowered damage values
    • Reduced the chance for one-hit KOs (still possible but very uncommon)
    • Removed Zodiac Compatibility
    • Standardized unit stat growth
    • War Trophies, Move-find Items, and Poaching items don't suck


This has caught my eye. I have tried making this work and i have failed everytime. there are NO defensive values in this game. Zodiac compatibility plays a very important role as a mechanic. So much that a large part of the game balance is affected by it.
I am really interested to see how you worked it out.
  • Modding version: PSX
Wizzard: I have returned once again.
Chocobo: Wark?
Wizzard: yes.

Cerabow

Quote from: Aiolon on May 01, 2020, 12:46:07 pmThis has caught my eye. I have tried making this work and i have failed every time. there are NO defensive values in this game. Zodiac compatibility plays a very important role as a mechanic. So much that a large part of the game balance is affected by it.
I am really interested to see how you worked it out.

Believe it or not, I found Zodiac compatibility to cause excess randomization of damage (and other things) on numerous occasions, allowing for unusually high damage output if min-maxed. Removing it gets rid of the artificial "randomizing" of buffs/damage/healing and allows you a stronger foundation in building a decent team and promotes changing up strategies rather than being locked into a particular setup because of your zodiac signs.

Also, Protect/Shell/Regen and Defense Up / Magic Defend Up are defensive components that should not be ignored.
  • Modding version: PSX
--
Robert'); DROP TABLE Students;--
  • Discord username: Cerabow

nitwit

IIRC Zodiac compatibility modifies damage/hit-rate from 50% to 150%. That's so significant I remember building teams with the best compatibilities. A better variation is +-12.5% or +-6.25%; enough to influence the outcomes of individual actions, but not enough to change the outcome of a single battle.
  • Modding version: PSX

Bonesy

Before anyone tries: this doesn't work on Duckstation.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
  • Discord username: Bonesy#9386

Bonesy

DUCKSTATION UPDATE

if, like me, you are adamant about not using ePSXe or pSX

(i don't think there's anything like this settings-wise in Mednafen but I may be wrong!)

you will need to go to Console Settings and set the "CPU Emulation" to Recompiler (fastest)

if we have any ps1 emulator buffs around here feel free to tell me what a shitty idea this is and why lmao
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
  • Discord username: Bonesy#9386

Cerabow

New update available - 0.11.2600
(use link in OP)

Biggest highlight is adding in Xifanie's Soldier Office Upgrade hack, making the Soldier Office useful!
Also various bugfixes, balance adjustments, and tweaks.
  • Modding version: PSX
--
Robert'); DROP TABLE Students;--
  • Discord username: Cerabow

witchofdread

Random question that might have already been covered so sorry about that but as this is a PSX mod has the dark knight job been made available to everyone like in WOTL?
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown

Cerabow

Negative. The Dark Knight is not available to generics like in WotL (PSP) or TLW (PSX).
  • Modding version: PSX
--
Robert'); DROP TABLE Students;--
  • Discord username: Cerabow

Forgera

Random question. Do yo include new jobs?? Thanks.Sorry, my english is not very good
  • Modding version: PSX
  • Discord username: forgera

Cerabow

Quote from: Forgera on December 14, 2020, 01:22:40 amRandom question. Do yo include new jobs??

The game is mostly vanilla. However many jobs are changed and rebalanced. There are two jobs which have been completely replaced: Mediator and Calculator.
  • Modding version: PSX
--
Robert'); DROP TABLE Students;--
  • Discord username: Cerabow

Cerabow

New update available - 0.12.2643
(use link in OP)

Malak got a slight rework, Beowulf gained some utility, elemental weakness is not as potent, and end-chapter slow text image duration is faster to match the sped up text.
Also many various bugfixes, balance adjustments, and tweaks.

Full list of changes on the mod website in OP.
  • Modding version: PSX
--
Robert'); DROP TABLE Students;--
  • Discord username: Cerabow

Suco Quente

Hello Cerabow! I'd like to share my thoughts about your amazing mod, I played WOTL Valeria 2.0 mod this december (some weeks ago, mind you hahaha) previously, and after addressing some of my issues there, I thought that I should give your mod a try. For the last 10 days I've played Cerabows and, after Igros Castle showdown against Dycedarg (just like I did with Valerias mod), I thought I should share some of my impressions and complaints with both of you modders, because I really think that both mods could learn from each other while being distinct, unique.

Grind aspects, different approaches and different outcomes:
Firstly, I'd like to highlight that while Valeria required me some random battle grinds, during my Cerabows mod playthrough, I had one random battle during each chapter to poach some items. I really can't decide if its healthy to skip random battles, because in Valeria it was almost needed if I wanted some good abilities, while in Cerabow I got to chapter 4 with at one mastered job per character (my most used characters were the same on both: Ramza, Mustadio, Agrias, one female magic-oriented unit, one female melee-oriented unit), during my Valeria playthrough I had to grind in moderately, consequently raising enemies levels and items.

During my Cerabow playthrough I took Windows X recommendation in mind and fairly abused crystal abilities inheritance, this let me had better skills earlier than intended.

Now, what really gives Cerabow an edge is Propositions/Errands. Letting the player send unique units to Propositions/Errands surely sped up grind (addressing my complaint about characters that come way too late to prove useful), mitigating the need to engage in random battles. By introducing this matter, it is wise to discuss:

JP Cost issue:
I think that Cerabow approach to JP cost is healthier than Valeria, tuning down JP gain per action by removing JP Boost let the player focus on other Support abilities equally useful (Throw Item, Equipe Armor, Stat Boosts comes to mind). Lowering JP costs also gave slow yet steady sensation of progression within the current job, and let me choose which way to specialize my characters.

Though healthier, Cerabow approach ease the overall difficulty, by chapter 4, Ramza, Mustadio and my female-melee oriented unit had 3 mastered jobs and some neat support abilities, virtually giving them a defined identity to the rest of the game. While not cheesing the game, surely it let me deviate a lot more from the given identity I choose for them and try wilder set-ups without losing their previous identities.

Specific jobs suggetions and observations:
[Ramza] exclusive jobs:
Excluding Valerias Chicken-inducing OP ability, both approaches are well placed: Valeria gives Ramza a Holy Knight vibe with Dawnblade and diverse buffs to the party. Cerabow give Ramza great Dark Knight abilities with Void Strike and Night Sword, but takes nothing from him, he feels almost overpowered when equiped with a Sword/Knightsword. I say: either approach is valid and give Ramza interesting roles to play. Cerabow should nerf him a bit by removing some of his party buffs and make them self buffs.

[Mustadio] Vanilla-archer skin versus Engineer:
Even though Valeria approach lacks variety, Mustadios Aim trully does what it proposes to do: raw, pure damage. It feels nice, it's rewarding and let him be whatever he want to be (archer locker, gunslinger/debuffer Orator, healing Chemist), without losing his character and damage.
On the other side, Cerabow's Mustadio is a respectable support unit, but overlaps with Chemist fantasy, it fails to give him freedom of choice and locks him to a status-inducing, support-oriented unit.

[Agrias] Paladin versus Inquisitor:
Generally in Vanilla Agrias is a weaker Cid, and is easily shadowed by her peer. Cerabow tries to mitigate that by giving her nice healing tools with Oblation Blade and Wish, fulfilling a Paladin fantasy that fits well with her character. MP Costs are lower than they should be, allowing player to abuse her area damage.
Valeria opt to keep her offensive tools and weigh the damage down. By taking off Cid access to Holy Knight's abilities, it garantees that Agrias remains useful through the campaign as a consistent damage dealer.
Just like Ramza, both approaches to Agrias are promising and are equally interesting, I tend to like the Paladin approach more, but it doesn't outshine off Valeria's Agrias usefulness.

[Bewoulf] Drain Bot:
I've always liked Bewoulf, I really don't know why, his brief story arc with Reis, his abilities, his galant-looking garb. I've used him since my first time playing vanilla FFT all those years ago, and he never failed me to deliver his fantasy.
How can I say it? In either mod, his status inducing moves and consistent damage really delivers. Nerfing him would put him in bad position if compared to Orator and other status inducing classes, and buffing him would surely make him far too OP. In many, many cases, a team without Bewoulf is inferior to a team with Beowulf.

[Rapha] prodige child:
Oh boy, Rapha is a weird girl to use, but feels rewarding to. I tried my best to fit her in my comp, I benched my mage-oriented unit in order to make the best of her, and had quite success in both mods! Valeria keeps her identity intact, and strongly suggests the player to turn her into an outstanding magic-based Dark Knight, while Cerabow takes her casting time and equalize it by giving her Mantras MP costs, in either way, she's an amazing unit and her backstory is awesome too.

[Orlandeau] aka Thunder FUCKING God Cid:
He's a beast. Period. I guess there's no way to tune him down, and I really don't want that to happen. Valeria gives Orlandeau some neat equally protecting and destructive spells, while Cerabow keeps his multi-knight aspect, while he doesn't have the best of each XXXX-Knight abilities, he's still useful and hits like a truck.

I didn't use Malak, Meliadoul, Reis, Cloud, Balthier(PSP) and Luso(PSP) (Balmafula(Valeria) and Zenthar(Cerabow)) enough to share my impressions of them, but I'll try my best through this month and will surely use them wisely. Well, let's talk about generic units.

[Squire]
A basic melee unit has basic needs. Valeria chooses to let player skip it fairly faster, while Cerabow gives Squires some Beastmaster vibes. Since I tend to not use monster units, I'll praise the new weapon choices given to Squires in Cerabows mod, crossbows, spears and shields give squires some variety in early game.

[Chemist]

Auto-Potion still is one of the best (if not the best) Reaction ability in the whole game, and Cerabows make it far too OP by buffing X-Potion healing and giving them an awesome healing option in Mega Potion. Having a gun-wielding chemist always prove to be a choice, even though I didn't like Cerabow's Chemical Cocktail and Lion's Mane because of the clear counterplay with Panacea/Remedy or any other easily obtainable healing tool, I really apreciate Valerias Protective Charm and Maiden's Blessing, this approach furthers amplifies the healing capabilities of the Chemist.

[Knight]
Equipment break still are powerful abilities to use in order to criple enemies, and either approach is equally useful. Valeria focus on inflicting darkness/silence and Cerabow focus on lowering Atk/Mag power. Both are interesting on its own and are welcome changes to the job.

[Archer]
I'm not gonna lie, Valerias Archer is superior to Cerabows. Leg/Arm Aim are present in both interpretations, but in Valeria, Archer has better tools in Head Strike and Charged Strike than Poison Strike and Oily Strike.

[Thief]
I really like that in Cerabows mod, every job have ways to deal damage and inflict statuses. And Cerabows thief annoy even harder, while Valeria sticks to the vanilla formula.

[Monk]
Monk is... weak. Early game show its usefulness with ranged physical-based damage, but falls short in damage as soon as better equipment is made available, and never really catches back in damage department, at least his healing capabilities are good enough to keep them relevant up to midgame. Cerabows tries to fix Pole-wielding monks more movement and respectable evade rate, when equiped with shields they can bark loud, but bite softly.

[Lancer]
Well, Lancers and Ninjas are both speed-based classes in some way or another, so I'll try to review then I'll try to Lancers would benefit (A LOT, in fact) if Doublehand/Attack UP proc'ed with jump, well, it is what it is I guess. Jumping is a neat mechanic that requires well thought planning, and Cerabow alleviates by using the great Flux Armlet.

[Ninja]
Ninjas in Valeria are good reinterpretations of vanilla Ninjas, they hit hard with Ninja Blades (and hit twice, mind you), without losing options to throw some ninja stars here and there. While Cerabow ninjas, when equiped with Flux Armlet, transforms themselves in shuriken-throwing machines. Kinda dumb, but effective damage-wise. I tend to prefer Valerias approch, but well, it all comes to personal taste after all.

[Samurai]
Valerias Samurai wins this. By far the most interesting generic unit with good protection tools, fair magical damage and the best of all: costless casts. Not requiring me to bet a katana in order to use my abilities gives the player freedom to choose what will their Samurai do. He Protec but He Also Attac (and Attac HARD).

[White Mage]
Healing is a huge issue, and White mages as primary healers in the game have great impact in your composition. Valeria tries to mix healing potency and regen in one single spell, it has its uses, but fails to flat-heal when compared to Summoner healing tools. While that, Cerabow white magicks can easily be used by other classes with high MA, kinda rending White Mages useless. In both mods, I rely on potions to heal myself instead of using white magicks, I really don't know how to solve this issue, tho ): its either too powerful or too useless.

[Black Mage]
Cerabow gives Wizards nice elemental coverage with Aero and Water, Quake. they feel powerful, they feel fast enough to cast and don't fall short in damage when compared to Summoner. Valeria keeps their debuffing tools and gives them good range coverage while maintaining the high damage output. Well, just like Ninjas, it all comes to personal taste.

[Summoner]
Easily the best healers in Valeria, while kinda useless in Cerabow. Summons damage isn't a big showoff as their animations are. I guess that increasing cast time and increasing overall number outputs may be a good payoff to boost their potential.

Just like special characters, I didn't use all generic jobs, and will surely try to experiment with them in the near future. As soon as I play with them, I'll post here my impressions.

Well, I wrote quite a wall of words here hahahahahah but really, you modders work doesn't go unnoticed by me. I really appreciate every tweak and personal touch you guys give to this amazing game, and can't express enough gratitude to the AMAZING changes both mods do. It all comes to preference, really, but I thought that giving some feedback to both of you should really help improve next iterations of each mod.

Once again, thank you very very much, I tried to not take sides of neither mod, as both are outstading experiences to have. I'm just an average fan of Final Fantasy Tactics who don't have enough knowledge to put my thoughts in a mod by myself, but I am surely passionate about the story of this game-gem, the deep mechanics, the aesthetics, well, I really love FFT (:
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown

Cerabow

This update has been a longtime coming, but isn't a particularly flashy update, other than adding in Glain's unit bench hack.

New update available - 0.13.2668
(use link in OP)

Key highlights:
  • Memcard ID updated - Saves from previous versions ARE NOT COMPATIBLE. This will hopefully be the only time I need to do this
  • Minor bugfixes
  • Minor balance adjustments
  • Added Glain's unit bench hack
  • Added Glain's "Save between battles after formation screen" hack
  • Mednafen support!

For a full list of changes, check the website in the OP.
  • Modding version: PSX
--
Robert'); DROP TABLE Students;--
  • Discord username: Cerabow