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January 28, 2022, 06:48:46 am

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A new way to balance magic in FFTA2

Started by ThermobaricTank, January 07, 2022, 11:34:55 am

ThermobaricTank

January 07, 2022, 11:34:55 am Last Edit: January 07, 2022, 01:22:56 pm by ThermobaricTank
The damage scaling of magic in this game is very bad, mainly because the formula uses the power factor of a spell as an additive, which means that at higher levels when casters have high magick stats, the difference between spells like Thunder and Thundaga is laughable.

I found a partial fix to this issue: using damage multipliers on the spells! This is because the multiplier function affects final damage rather than just the inherent power of a skill. Of course, using anything higher than x2 results in way too much damage to ever be balanced, but in my experience adding a x2 multiplier to high end spells like Flare, Scathe or the -Ga ones along with them having less base power makes them actually worth it. This helps Nu Mous keep the pace in terms of damage, specially when pitted against the OP stuff other races have at their disposal.

The only issue I came across was with the "intermediate" spells, which in my opinion is the majority and includes stuff like Aqua and Aero. Sadly there's no x1.5 multiplier in the code so I just decided to stick with them relying on base damage just like the basic spells. In practice this is a bit wonky though, because the difference between Thunder and Thundara is considerable at lower levels but minimal at higher ones, and the opposite is true between Thundara (High BP, no multiplier) and Thundaga (Low BP, x2 multiplier). And adding a x0.5 multiplier to the very basic spells would make them practically useless at any level in my opinion... But maybe this setup could work:

Thunder  - 6  MP, 20 BP, x0.5 damage
Thundara - 12 MP, 20 BP, x1  damage
Thundaga - 24 MP, 20 BP, x2  damage

Edit: After testing I think the following layout yields the best results, even if it looks weird behind the scenes:

Thunder  - 6  MP, 60 BP, x0.5 damage
Thundara - 12 MP, 40 BP, x1  damage
Thundaga - 24 MP, 20 BP, x2  damage

Anyway I'm not sure if anyone is interested in this idea or even if someone already implemented it, but I wanted to share it nonetheless.
  • Modding version: PSX & WotL

matchet

it makes sense, specially in late game where MATK rises enough to overcome the 1/3 base damage the -ga spells he is proposing.
However, magic is controled not as much for its damage, but for two other factors.

The first is a global one called character speed. Nu Mous has inherent low speeds which result in less turns and therefore less dps per round. Only one nu mou job has somewhat decent speed iirc

The second is on most magic departments, and is MP. mana can become ignorable thou, via blood price or clan privileges, and other means like potions. Still, in a game in which characters starts at 0MP and gain 10 per turn, a spell that costs technically 2.4 turns in MP gain has to worth the waiting versus three times casting a basic spell.

As sidenote, aqua and aero are usually treated as tier 1.5. Their MP cost is closer than T2 than 1, so I'd stick with x1 multiplier for them, at the very least.

In any case, on first read, I like your approach
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown

ThermobaricTank

January 09, 2022, 05:19:01 am #2 Last Edit: January 09, 2022, 06:24:55 am by ThermobaricTank
Yes, I'm well aware there are some balancing issues regarding Nu Mous in general and the strange MP system, I'm just trying to address the damage department. And perhaps I worded it poorly but when I was talking about intermediate spells I also meant Aero and Water in addition to the -ra ones.

The way I see it only the weakest/cheapest of spells (basic black magic, ninjutsu...) would guarantee the x0.5 multiplier because the way it is now at higher levels they're always more efficient in terms of MP usage, without even factoring things like Doublecast. Ninjutsu veils already have the negative multiplier in vanilla, but I would increase their base damage to compensate.

There's also the issue with summons, which are sort of tier 2.5. I gave them the friend/foe targeting back and increased their base damage to 80 (sounds like a lot but it in practice it isn't if you take away Blood Price + Doublecast cheese) while avoiding giving them the x2 treatment. Really, in my mod I just gave it to Flare, Holy, Gigaflare, Scathe and (Proto)Meteor in addition to the -ga spells and some of the boss uberskills.

Regarding the MP cost... Well, perhaps the tier 3 spells could have a summon-size area of effect like the level 4/-ja spells from FFT to justify their cost. With those multipliers in my tests Thundaga deals about 50% more damage than Thundara on average even at lower levels (base damage differences are really that negligible!), which I guess doesn't warrant having to wait an additional turn just for the damage increase. Still, a 50% increase in damage is much better than the whopping ~20 flat points of difference there's in vanilla.
  • Modding version: PSX & WotL

Espri

There actually is a 1.5x multiplier. Add a second 0.5x damage hit and set it to perfect on hit.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown

ThermobaricTank

Ah I see, I thought that would just count as a second attack even without the "attack again" function, or otherwise tamper with standard damage calculations.
  • Modding version: PSX & WotL

Espri

It technically does in the sense that it deals two instances of damage, but it calculates exactly the same way as a 1.5x multiplier would.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown