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FFT mixed with a bit of FF10?

Started by thechancellor, October 13, 2013, 05:02:38 pm

thechancellor

Hey guys,

I wasn't sure where this would fit as a topic, so I decided to post it here. I'll understand if Admins feel it should be moved.

So beings that we're all pretty much FFT advocates, I wanted to see if I could get some input on a project I plan to execute. This will all be made with a game making engine called RPG Maker VX Ace.

What I plan to make is a game that is somewhat of a hybrid between FFT, and FF10. Movement will have no bearing on the game, and there will be no grid. There will also be a charge turn battle system, though the mechanics will vary slightly from the original.

Everything else can be replicated. From the hit percentage and damage formulas, all the way to reaction and support abilities. This means that Brave and Faith mechanics can also replicated.

What makes me excited about this project is that I'm not limited by ASM - at all... I can really think outside the box and start creating skills that changes the dynamic of the battles drastically. The thing is, I don't want to go overboard with having to balance things.

So... I'm reaching out to you guys for ideas. What would be the main thing you'd change about FFT if you were to get rid of movement altogether?

Movement Abilities and accessories would obviously be removed. Aoe attacks would have to change their scopes to all/single/random enemies. I'll also have to tinker the evasion and hit rates due to the lack of the front/side/rear attack mechanics. Any thoughts?
Don't really have anything witty or interesting to put here...

Angel

My single biggest complaint about any game that uses it: MP. Get rid of it. If you already have charge time penalties, or cool downs, or delayed next action, or any other such thing, MP better not exist. You already have all the penalty you need for balancing ability use, especially if you have more than one of the aforementioned mechanics in place. The only way I would ever excuse MP use is if it had auto-regen. FFTA flirted with this, but did it wrong by setting it to 5 MP per turn universally. A set percentage per turn would make it not bullshit, but I'd still vastly prefer MP never ever ever be used again in any game ever. EVER.

Also, given that positioning isn't a factor, wouldn't this really be FFX with no FFT whatsoever? Unless you mean that you're including jobs and sword skills and such, which would still be better described as FFX + FFV, but that's just me being pedantic. Either way, X had my favorite battle system of any game in the franchise, so I'm totally in support of the project.
  • Modding version: PSX
* Angel should quit being a lazy bitch
<@Elric> I agree to that as well

nyanyame nyanyajuu nyanyado no nyarabide nyakunyaku inyanyaku nyanyahan nyanyadai nyannyaku nyarabete nyaganyagame
At the end of the day, are we not all trapped inside lemons?

thechancellor

Quote from: Toshiko on October 13, 2013, 06:55:56 pm
My single biggest complaint about any game that uses it: MP. Get rid of it. If you already have charge time penalties, or cool downs, or delayed next action, or any other such thing, MP better not exist. You already have all the penalty you need for balancing ability use, especially if you have more than one of the aforementioned mechanics in place. The only way I would ever excuse MP use is if it had auto-regen. FFTA flirted with this, but did it wrong by setting it to 5 MP per turn universally. A set percentage per turn would make it not bullshit, but I'd still vastly prefer MP never ever ever be used again in any game ever. EVER.


You make a wonderful argument here, but I actually feel that FFT used MP in a great way. You can restore it in multiple ways, and using it up gives you access to powerful attacks and ranged AOE damage. I feel the benefit of the extra damage and capabilities justifies the MP cost. So how would I go about this within the confines of FFTs damage formulas and mechanics?

Do I keep MP and get rid of Charging? Do I lose MP and keep Charging? Do I lose MP and Charging while expanding on different lengths of Delayed Next Actions?

QuoteAlso, given that positioning isn't a factor, wouldn't this really be FFX with no FFT whatsoever? Unless you mean that you're including jobs and sword skills and such, which would still be better described as FFX + FFV, but that's just me being pedantic. Either way, X had my favorite battle system of any game in the franchise, so I'm totally in support of the project.


You're right. I forgot about FFV. However, the damage formulas, hit formulas, skill types, and job system will be very much like FFT. I'm not a fan of high damage numbers and the low stat numbers are easier to manage when it comes to balancing the game.
Don't really have anything witty or interesting to put here...

Angel

Charging is a justifiable mechanic, as is delaying next turn after a suitably strong ability. Use both, and you have every bit of penalty you would ever need. If you disagree, give the stronger abilities cool down periods as well. But MP is the single worst mechanic ever devised, due to never being used in a way that isn't horrible. Especially early game.

FFT gives you several methods of replenishing MP, but how many are available early on? Effectively zero. You can use a spell maybe twice, and then your mage is a worthless little mudskipper who cannot attack, nor survive any amount of damage. And it isn't as though they're glass cannons, either, since Fire doesn't do an appreciable amount of damage more than a physical attack, especially when you consider that the spells have charge times. What MP says to FFT is, "you won't be able to use this job effectively until better jobs are already available to you." The level one spells would have been quite acceptable with their existing CT cost and 0 MP cost, and having both a before (a la FFT) and after (a la FFX) action delay penalty is enough to balance any skill's use that isn't insanely overpowered to start with (which cool down would handle nicely). All of the abilities are balanced from start to finish, at any stat or EXP level. No job is ever useless.

If you're dead set on including MP, make it start at 0 and increment 15-20% or so per turn, with a Skies of Arcadia like Focus as an innate skill for all characters to spend your turn raising MP. Or start at 100% and regenerate 5-10% per turn. Not as preferable to abandoning it altogether, but far less grievous a mechanic than the standard method.
  • Modding version: PSX
* Angel should quit being a lazy bitch
<@Elric> I agree to that as well

nyanyame nyanyajuu nyanyado no nyarabide nyakunyaku inyanyaku nyanyahan nyanyadai nyannyaku nyarabete nyaganyagame
At the end of the day, are we not all trapped inside lemons?

Zotis

But... but... you can't have an RPG without MP... it--it's tradition!

What about MP that restores gradually during the battle and fully replenishes between battles?  And instead of your typical mana potion have a potion that gives you temporary MP in excess of your max MP?

edit: The Skies of Arcadia style could work too.

Angel

Quote from: Zotis on October 13, 2013, 09:36:52 pm
But... but... you can't have an RPG without MP... it--it's tradition!

FFVIII and FFXIII say hello. The first Final Fantasy didn't have MP, either. Though XIII is the only one that didn't replace MP with a worse system. Actually, XIII's battle mechanics are fun once you can choose your own party and paradigms.
  • Modding version: PSX
* Angel should quit being a lazy bitch
<@Elric> I agree to that as well

nyanyame nyanyajuu nyanyado no nyarabide nyakunyaku inyanyaku nyanyahan nyanyadai nyannyaku nyarabete nyaganyagame
At the end of the day, are we not all trapped inside lemons?

thechancellor

Quote from: Toshiko on October 13, 2013, 08:47:05 pm
Charging is a justifiable mechanic, as is delaying next turn after a suitably strong ability. Use both, and you have every bit of penalty you would ever need. If you disagree, give the stronger abilities cool down periods as well. But MP is the single worst mechanic ever devised, due to never being used in a way that isn't horrible. Especially early game.

FFT gives you several methods of replenishing MP, but how many are available early on? Effectively zero. You can use a spell maybe twice, and then your mage is a worthless little mudskipper who cannot attack, nor survive any amount of damage. And it isn't as though they're glass cannons, either, since Fire doesn't do an appreciable amount of damage more than a physical attack, especially when you consider that the spells have charge times. What MP says to FFT is, "you won't be able to use this job effectively until better jobs are already available to you." The level one spells would have been quite acceptable with their existing CT cost and 0 MP cost, and having both a before (a la FFT) and after (a la FFX) action delay penalty is enough to balance any skill's use that isn't insanely overpowered to start with (which cool down would handle nicely). All of the abilities are balanced from start to finish, at any stat or EXP level. No job is ever useless.

If you're dead set on including MP, make it start at 0 and increment 15-20% or so per turn, with a Skies of Arcadia like Focus as an innate skill for all characters to spend your turn raising MP. Or start at 100% and regenerate 5-10% per turn. Not as preferable to abandoning it altogether, but far less grievous a mechanic than the standard method.


Point taken. Three deciding factors for a skill so early in the game is simply too much.

I may have to go with a draw/focus mechanics. It's not just about making the game mechanics work for those who play it, but it also needs to work with the lore of my world. That's the one thing I actually hate about MP. The mechanic doesn't tie into the world upon which the game is based. It's never explained. So for that reason, I think I'll deviate from the traditional MP method and jot down some key takeaways from Toshiko's input. Thank you Toshiko.

The next thing for me is the class system. I had a HUGE problem with unique characters being able to access all classes. For me, it took away from the individuality of the characters. If Agrias is a Holy Knight, I believe she should stay a Holy Knight, not change to a Mediator.

So what I'd like to do is have primary and secondary classes. Primary classes will be static, whereas secondary classes can be changed. Picture being able to accumulate job points for your second skillset instead of just the first. Thoughts?
Don't really have anything witty or interesting to put here...

Angel

I certainly wouldn't have any gripes about primary classes being static; it forces a strategic hand, and makes each character truly unique. I'd especially like this if the secondary jobs weren't universal, either. Would especially be a boon if FFX's mid-battle party change mechanics were incorporated.
  • Modding version: PSX
* Angel should quit being a lazy bitch
<@Elric> I agree to that as well

nyanyame nyanyajuu nyanyado no nyarabide nyakunyaku inyanyaku nyanyahan nyanyadai nyannyaku nyarabete nyaganyagame
At the end of the day, are we not all trapped inside lemons?

Zotis

Quote from: Toshiko on October 13, 2013, 09:44:58 pm
FFVIII and FFXIII say hello. The first Final Fantasy didn't have MP, either. Though XIII is the only one that didn't replace MP with a worse system. Actually, XIII's battle mechanics are fun once you can choose your own party and paradigms.
Oh yeah, how could I forget about the first FF when I still own it and play it now and then.  And I forgot about XIII too, it's been a long time since I played it and I didn't play it much.  Never played VIII, it didn't really look like my kind of RPG.  I'm not actually that big of an FF buff, my brother is though.  I'm just a huge FFT buff.

Anyway... kind of going off topic, sorry...

On topic though, thechancellor, do you plan on having any character customisation?  Hair style, face, etc... for example in FFT when you change class your character completely changes appearance, I'd rather the outfit changed but not the face/hairstyle.  And main characters didn't change appearance, but I think they should.

The problem with not allowing main characters to change job classes kinda seems like it arbitrarily limits what they are allowed to train in.  I don't see why Agrias wouldn't be able to pick up some Mediator skills.  At the same time though, it isn't very realistic for her to no longer be able to use the other skills she knows.  I know it's for the sake of balancing the gameplay, otherwise characters would be way more overpowered than they already could be.  So yeah, I don't know what you intend to do there, will characters only have access to the skills of the class they're currently in?

Also... characters should have noses.  :lol:

Philogosten

Well I would suggest more dark element skills and more variety with weapons for mage types as they tend to just get short changed with a staff. You could expand on that and put in spell books, scythes, wands, tattoos for free hand casting. A customizable main character would be nice too as well as some choices throughout the game to help immersion instead of the player feeling railroaded into stuff.  Kind of like what DAO did.
Now taking bets on which kills me first. lung cancer or liver failure

thechancellor

October 14, 2013, 07:48:47 am #10 Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 07:54:20 am by thechancellor
Quote from: Toshiko on October 13, 2013, 10:40:11 pm
I certainly wouldn't have any gripes about primary classes being static; it forces a strategic hand, and makes each character truly unique. I'd especially like this if the secondary jobs weren't universal, either. Would especially be a boon if FFX's mid-battle party change mechanics were incorporated.


Still thinking about party swapping or increasing the battle party size. Regarding the secondary classes... When you say you would like if the secondary jobs weren't universal, do you mean preventing a physical-based character from accessing magic-based classes? If so, I already had that in mind as well.

Quote from: Zotis on October 14, 2013, 12:17:40 am
On topic though, thechancellor, do you plan on having any character customisation?  Hair style, face, etc... for example in FFT when you change class your character completely changes appearance, I'd rather the outfit changed but not the face/hairstyle.  And main characters didn't change appearance, but I think they should.

The problem with not allowing main characters to change job classes kinda seems like it arbitrarily limits what they are allowed to train in.  I don't see why Agrias wouldn't be able to pick up some Mediator skills.  At the same time though, it isn't very realistic for her to no longer be able to use the other skills she knows.  I know it's for the sake of balancing the gameplay, otherwise characters would be way more overpowered than they already could be.  So yeah, I don't know what you intend to do there, will characters only have access to the skills of the class they're currently in?

Also... characters should have noses.  :lol:


Changing appearances is a good idea and makes sense in the case of FFT, because primary classes could be changed. But where I plan to have static primary classes, I don't see the point. The class system will be mimicked in how it works, but it won't be an actual "class" system. More like the characters will be "studying/practicing" an art or fighting style. Hard to justify any change in appearance.

Regarding the classes... What I plan to do is make primary classes static, while secondary classes are changeable. It won't be like FFT where you can only earn spillover JP for your secondary class. In my game, JP can be earned for both skillsets you put on the character. So if Ramza is a squire and equips a Knight skillset, his actions will directly influence an increase in total JP for that particular skillset.

So you'll still have some customization and flexibility to create unique setups. I just don't want to see a unique character spend a bunch of time in a class that isn't their own. Takes away from the consistency of character development. Gaffy as a Black Mage? No thank you.

Quote from: Philogosten on October 14, 2013, 06:16:54 am
Well I would suggest more dark element skills and more variety with weapons for mage types as they tend to just get short changed with a staff. You could expand on that and put in spell books, scythes, wands, tattoos for free hand casting. A customizable main character would be nice too as well as some choices throughout the game to help immersion instead of the player feeling railroaded into stuff.  Kind of like what DAO did.


Ditto on the weapon availability. Definitely going to work with that. I was thinking of making the bonuses consistent through each weapon type. Sort of like 1.3 where daggers all increase speed by 1. Books could increase MA, Runes/Tattoos could increase elemental affinities, and Rods may get an increase in PA across the board so Mage-types aren't completely useless in Melee combat. Just a thought.

As far as character involvement goes... I'm totally running away with that and making it my own. I absolutely hated the fact that unique characters would eventually fall out of the story and become just as relevant as generic characters. Granted, it was to account for characters that crystallize, so I get it. But that won't happen in my game. I'm not going to be having characters crystallize. Character deaths will be more controlled to take out the random factor.

EDIT: Guys, thank you so much for the input. This project isn't something I've just started. I've been at this for a while and a lot of ground-work has been laid. This discussion alone helps in more ways than you can imagine. Seeing even the slight bit of interest from others helps keep my motivation at a high level. I need to keep development going. Very easy to hit a wall at this stage.
Don't really have anything witty or interesting to put here...

Zotis

What about affecting character appearance based on their gear?  You change your armor and you see the new armor on your character.  That would be something that really appeals to me and just makes sense.  If I give my priest equip armor and a carabini mail, why is she still wearing just a robe?  And a character's weapon(s) and shield actually being in their hands the whole time instead of appearing out of thin air when they use them.

One thing that I think would have really improved the aesthetics of FFT would have been the random generic characters you recruit having unique hairstyles/faces.  So you keep shuffling the characters until you get one you like, and while their equipment changes and is visually represented their head stays the same no matter what class/equipment they have.  Well, except for their helmet obviously, but if they have long hair it would trickle out.

thechancellor

Quote from: Zotis on October 14, 2013, 09:37:25 am
What about affecting character appearance based on their gear?  You change your armor and you see the new armor on your character.  That would be something that really appeals to me and just makes sense.  If I give my priest equip armor and a carabini mail, why is she still wearing just a robe?  And a character's weapon(s) and shield actually being in their hands the whole time instead of appearing out of thin air when they use them.

One thing that I think would have really improved the aesthetics of FFT would have been the random generic characters you recruit having unique hairstyles/faces.  So you keep shuffling the characters until you get one you like, and while their equipment changes and is visually represented their head stays the same no matter what class/equipment they have.  Well, except for their helmet obviously, but if they have long hair it would trickle out.


All great ideas that I would love to incorporate. However, this is a one man project. To have every piece of equipment in the game change the overall look of the sprites is a LOT of work. It isn't a wise way to spend my time. I'd like to hold off on those kind of features until I'm sure that this game is something a decent number of people will enjoy.

What I WILL have is visual weapons, like FFT. And skills won't just show a character standing in place swinging their weapon with an animation playing over the targeted enemy. There are going to be some different sequences depending on the skill that's used. So I'm sure battles will be aesthetically pleasing to some degree.
Don't really have anything witty or interesting to put here...

Zotis

Yeah, that's understandable.  I know it takes a but load of work to incorporate things like that.  On the other hand, the better you make the elements that you do decide to incorporate the more people will likely be interested in your project.

I just had an idea for magic, what if the more it drained a character over time to use magic the longer the charge times became?

Another idea: The more damage a person takes the weaker they become.  It is kind of unrealistic to have a character with 1 HP still fighting as effectively as when they had full HP.

thechancellor

Quote from: Zotis on October 14, 2013, 10:43:08 am
Yeah, that's understandable.  I know it takes a but load of work to incorporate things like that.  On the other hand, the better you make the elements that you do decide to incorporate the more people will likely be interested in your project.


Risk/reward scenario. I'll have to generate more interest before I even think of taking the plunge.

Quote from: Zotis on October 14, 2013, 10:43:08 am
I just had an idea for magic, what if the more it drained a character over time to use magic the longer the charge times became?


I'll consider that, if I decide to go with charge times. On that note, Toshiko's input on MP really got me thinking about doing away with Charge Times altogether and just using Delayed Next Turns. The stronger/more useful the spell/skill is, the longer the wait until that character's next move. Again, just throwing thoughts out there.

However, I do like the strategic element of cancelling charges. So I'm not sure.

Quote from: Zotis on October 14, 2013, 10:43:08 am
Another idea: The more damage a person takes the weaker they become.  It is kind of unrealistic to have a character with 1 HP still fighting as effectively as when they had full HP.


I COMPLETELY forgot about this! I've been wanting to use this idea for a while. Thanks for the suggestions. This can be executed quite easily. I'm thinking a character who's in critical will have a drop in speed and attack.
Don't really have anything witty or interesting to put here...

Vanya

I think the best way to handle "classes" is a style similar to Final Fantasy II (J). Your actions determine how your character progresses. This takes away the problems of having primary and secondary jobs without restricting customizability for the player.

Star Ocean had an interesting mechanic in it's talent system. Combining the two ideas, action based skill progression and talent restricted choices would strike a good balance. Character stats would determine what jobs a character has access to.

If you want access to a specific job you have to take actions in battle that promote growth in the needed area. You have a mage type, but you want him to be able to access the Knight job? Equip a sword and have him attack to raise strength until he has the base str to do the job of knight. Conversely, a brutish fighter can use spells to raise intelligence and become a full blown mage.

Of course you would have to do away with weapon restrictions which don't make much logical sense anyway, but you end up with a much more realistic and versatile system. And as far as accessibility to different types of attacks from the beginning, well a revamped Squire job with a large variety of skills that can be used to increase all the different stats can be made. Call it the Novice job or something. And of course to allow for more customizability to the player you can include a Freelancer job.

And on the subject of special jobs, I never liked them much. I don't see any reason why Agrias couldn't have helped trained other characters to be Holy Knights. I think it would be better represent each character's individuality by giving them specific signature moves like the way limit breaks are used throughout the series. Perhaps they can gain specific skills based on their favorite weapon and or their talents. A thief-like character can have special moves associated with daggers and speed. A holy knight character can have moves associated with swords and holy elements. A wizard can have special combination spells. It's all about the creative use of the systems you're borrowing.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
¯\(°_0)/¯

thechancellor

Quote from: Vanya on October 14, 2013, 11:04:41 am
I think the best way to handle "classes" is a style similar to Final Fantasy II (J). Your actions determine how your character progresses. This takes away the problems of having primary and secondary jobs without restricting customizability for the player.

Star Ocean had an interesting mechanic in it's talent system. Combining the two ideas, action based skill progression and talent restricted choices would strike a good balance. Character stats would determine what jobs a character has access to.

If you want access to a specific job you have to take actions in battle that promote growth in the needed area. You have a mage type, but you want him to be able to access the Knight job? Equip a sword and have him attack to raise strength until he has the base str to do the job of knight. Conversely, a brutish fighter can use spells to raise intelligence and become a full blown mage.

Of course you would have to do away with weapon restrictions which don't make much logical sense anyway, but you end up with a much more realistic and versatile system. And as far as accessibility to different types of attacks from the beginning, well a revamped Squire job with a large variety of skills that can be used to increase all the different stats can be made. Call it the Novice job or something. And of course to allow for more customizability to the player you can include a Freelancer job.

And on the subject of special jobs, I never liked them much. I don't see any reason why Agrias couldn't have helped trained other characters to be Holy Knights. I think it would be better represent each character's individuality by giving them specific signature moves like the way limit breaks are used throughout the series. Perhaps they can gain specific skills based on their favorite weapon and or their talents. A thief-like character can have special moves associated with daggers and speed. A holy knight character can have moves associated with swords and holy elements. A wizard can have special combination spells. It's all about the creative use of the systems you're borrowing.


Not sure how I feel about this one. The idea itself is fantastic. But I feel that's too drastic of a change. I've always seen people abuse this type of system and lose focus of how a battle should actually flow, focusing on raising stats instead of actually trying to defeat the enemy. If there were random encounters and a lot of exploration in my game, I would definitely consider this so as to give a purpose to engaging in battles that you could easily win. The idea is to make every battle in this game somewhat challenging. Every turn counts. So I'd prefer not to force the players to use skills that don't give them a strategic edge in battle. I also don't see the Job Points system meshing well with the idea you mentioned. I'd have to go with one or the other.

With regards to signature moves. That's exactly the plan. I won't be making hybrid classes with combined skills from generics and specials.
Don't really have anything witty or interesting to put here...

Philogosten

Oh I thought of something. What if through certain choices you could go evil in the game? Kind of like how in Growlanser 2 you can end up ditching your team and joining up with the bad guys.
Now taking bets on which kills me first. lung cancer or liver failure

Elric

Sooo many variables...

Either way I'd be happy to help out in some way. I've wanted to branch out a bit
anyway.
  • Modding version: PSX
<@Angel> Teach a man to fish and he'll open up a fishery to compete against yours.


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thechancellor

Quote from: Philogosten on October 14, 2013, 04:54:48 pm
Oh I thought of something. What if through certain choices you could go evil in the game? Kind of like how in Growlanser 2 you can end up ditching your team and joining up with the bad guys.


Again, great ideas depending on the type of game you want to make. But I'll have to disregard. I should have been a little more specific when I said that a lot of ground-work has already been laid.

The world lore, storyline, and characters have all been fleshed out. So any suggestions that aren't tied specifically to battle mechanics will probably be ignored. I'm all for creative ideas, but I need to keep it within the scope of the battle system.

To put it simply... Picture this as a FFT mod where you're not hampered by the limited capabilities of ASM hacks and game space -- And as I mentioned before, no grid or movement.

Quote from: Elric on October 14, 2013, 06:20:25 pm
Sooo many variables...

Either way I'd be happy to help out in some way. I've wanted to branch out a bit
anyway.


Yeah, definitely. That's why I don't want to stray too far from the original design. The further away I get, the more factors come into play. I just want to make a few tweaks, rather than major overhauls.
Don't really have anything witty or interesting to put here...