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Converting Weapon Categories Guide [Now with Pics]

Started by Ashiel, April 28, 2014, 05:17:54 pm


April 28, 2014, 05:17:54 pm Last Edit: April 29, 2014, 02:55:58 pm by Ashiel
Special Thanks To
Xifanie, Raven, and everyone else at the FFHacktics forum, without whom non of this would have gotten this far.

So you're starting in on your FFT patch. Ready to re-invent the wheel so to speak, and one of the first things you want to re-invent is weaponry. Final Fantasy Tactics has a lot of weapons but not all are created equal. In addition to imbalances between weapon types (the number of swords vs the number of almost anything else for example) there are quite a few weapons that nobody uses or cares about (such as cloths, harps, and dictionaries), and some items that are just silly or sexist (such as the handbag weapons only usable by females). Since increasing the number of items in the game isn't really possible with current hacking standards it makes perfect sense to try to shave off many of these underwhelming items in favor of more items that you actually want to use. This guide is intended to help you do just that with little to no problems.

What's This Guide For?
Xifanie pointed out a very irritating bug. While it seems very easy to use FFT Patcher to change weapon formulas (such as changing a gun's formula from WP*WP to WP*PA) it also makes that weapon incapable of being used to poach enemies with the secret hunt ability. Since many patchers are going to want to keep Secret Hunt as a mechanic, this is a bug that you'll want to dodge. Unfortunately when you are converting weapons from one type (such as harps) to another type (such as swords) you are going to need to change their damage formulas to make them consistent. That's what this guide is for. Showing you how to plan your changes in a way that will work.

What You'll Need

Let's Create Some New Items
Before we jump in and just begin randomly changing items around, we need to get a general idea of what we're changing and why. As a rule you are going to want the weapons you are converting to all convert to the same kind of weapon formula. For example, if you're going to convert Harps into new weapons, you will want all the weapons you make them into to share the same damage formula. So while converting harps to Swords and Crossbows (which both use WP * PA for damage) would be fine, converting Harps to Swords (WP*PA) and Bows ((PA+Sp)/2*WP) would cause inconsistency with your items.* This assumes the default weapon formulas. More on that later.

So as an example in this guide we're going to turn the vanilla Harps (Ramia Harp, Bloody Strings, and Fairy Harp) into new types of Guns (because there are very few normal guns in the game). Harps use the weapon formula (PA*MA)/2*WP, while Guns use the WP*WP formula.

Using FFT Patcher to Edit Our Items
Opening FFT Patcher and going to the Items tab we find a listing of all the different items in the game. Since we're changing Harps into Guns we're going to scroll down to item 5C (Ramia Harp), 5D (Bloody Strings), and 5E (Fairy Harp). Starting with the Ramia Harp, we see the following in the item menu.

  • Palette

  • Graphic

  • Enemy Level

  • Item Type

  • Item Attributes

  • Price

  • Shop Availability

  • A Box with Shops In It

  • Range

  • Formula

  • Weapon Power

  • Evade %

  • Inflict Status/Cast Spell

  • Elements (elemental checkboxes)

  • Window with checkboxes for weapon qualities

There are some other windows on the right-most side with some unknown values and/or item category type (such as Weapon, Shield, Etc). For this guide you really only need awareness of the above list of parameters.

Putting it Together
From here we are going to transform our Ramia Harp into a Pistol. We'll start by changing the weapon's sprite and palette. To know what your weapon will look like, we're going to look at the Item Sprite Palettes on the FFHacktrics site thanks to Nevarie. We pick a sprite ID and a palette color we like (in this case sprite 2D and Palette 0).

Palette & Sprite We set our Palette to 0 in FFT Patcher. We set Graphic to 2D. This changes the harp to look like the gun we want.
Next we set the Enemy Level. Enemy level determines at what level NPCs can be randomly generated with this item equipped. We want this gun to be for chemists in chapter 1 so let's set it to 2 for right now. * If you set it to 1, it could appear on the starting chemists in Gariland for your first battle.

Item Type Now set the Item Type to Gun. This tells the game that it's a gun. :roll:

Item Attributes We're going to leave the Item Attributes at 0 because this weapon isn't going to have any special powers.

Price Price is the amount of gil/gold that the item costs in shops. Let's set it to 500 for now.

Shop Availability We want the weapon available immediately so we set it to Chapter 1 - Start (you can select other milestones on other weapons).

In the shop window below availability are the towns and cities in FFT. Each checkbox shows where you will be able to buy the item when it becomes available. For this tutorial we're going to check Gariland Magic City so it can be purchased after the first battle, but you may want to place it in the trade and machine cities too at a later time.

Range is the weapon's range. In Vanilla the range of a firearm is 8 spaces so let's set it to 8 here as well. * Other ranges can be used as well for making guns with longer or shorter ranges.

Weapon Formula Do not touch the Weapon Formula. We'll handle that part with Raven's Item Worksheets and FFTorgASM. While changing the damage formula to WP*WP would make it deal damage like a gun it will cause the poaching bug so just leave it alone.  :|

We can set the weapon power to determine how strong the weapon is. For this tutorial we'll set the weapon power to 4. * Later the weapon will deal WP*WP = 16 dmg per shot.

Evade % This sets the weapon's evade % that's used with the Weapon Guard reactionary ability. We're going to leave this at 5%. * This is especially important if you use the Innate Weapon Guard ASM hack like I do

Inflict Status/Cast Spell We're leaving this at 0%.

Our Ramia Harp is now a gun, with a nice sprite and palette, complete with range, power, and evade %. Unfortunately it's still using the wrong weapon formulas and in game it's still going to be called Ramia Harp when you press the Select button to get info on the item it still has the Ramia Harp descriptions. Don't worry, we're going to fix all of that!

Using Raven's Item Spreadsheets
Now we're going to change the weapon formulas for all harps to WP*WP like guns. Open Raven's Item Compilation.xls and go to the Weapon Formula tab. Here you will find a list of weapon types and some drop down boxes. Select the drop down box next to "Instrument" and change it to WP*WP. Then go over to the XML tab. Copy everything in that tab (press Ctrl+A to select all, then Ctrl+C to copy). Paste that into a notepad file and save it as x.xml where X is the name of your patch (such as test.xml). Make sure to save it in your FFT Patcher Suite directory (or move it there if you accidentally saved it somewhere else) so that FFTorgASM will find it.

Open FFTorgASM. Scroll down until you find the hack titled "Weapon Formula Edits". Check that hack and then patch your ISO.
Congratulations! Now the new guns you make (formerly harps) will use the WP*WP formula and will still be able to poach with Secret Hunt!  :D

Changing the Item Name and Description
Now you've got a 100% working gun. Now we want it to have a fitting in game name and description. For that we're going to use FFTacText. Using FFTacText, click ISO->Import PSX ISO. Select your ISO and give it a bit to load the game's text for editing. When it's done loading the next proceed to the next step.

Using the drop-down box at the top, select "Item Names". A list of the game's items, their numeric listing (not in Hexadecimal), their names, and on the far right there Text. The Text is what you're going to edit. For our purposes scroll down to Item 92 the Ramia Harp. Change the Text to "Flintlock Pistol". Done.

Now go back to the drop-down box and select "Item Descriptions". Again, scroll down until you find Item 92 the Ramia Harp. In the Text Box, edit the contents of that box to describe your new item. Here's a sample that you can use for reference.
QuoteSmall gunpowder weapon usable in one hand.{Newline}
{Color 08}Attack power{Color 00}:4  {Color 08}Evade{Color 00}:5%  {Color 08}Range{Color 00}:8 {Newline}
{Color 08}Mus inst:{Color 00} {Color 04}Sq {Color 00}Ch{Color 04} Kn Ar Mk Pr Wi TM Su Th{Newline}
{Color 00}Me{Color 04} Or Ge Ln Sm Nj Cl Bd Dc


Now get out there and make more of the items you want to make!
:more: :wark:

You may have noticed when I said "This assumes the default weapon formulas. More on that later". Well here's what I was talking about. When converting from one type of item to other types of items you need to be certain that all the items you're converting to share the same formula as the one you set in Raven's Workbooks.

For example, in this guide we made Harps use the same formulas as Guns (WP*WP). However, in my game Swords, Crossbows, Guns, and Axes all use WP*PA to determine their damage. So if I change Harps/Instruments to WP*PA then I could use them for any of these weapons because they all share a standardized formula in my patch. This means that if you want to get rid of a category of item (such as harp or bag) you can split them into weapon groups that share a formula.

For example, let's say I want to get rid of both instruments and cloth items (6 weapons total) but I want some 2 new Axes, 2 New Guns, and 1 New Sword, and 1 new Crossbow? Well since in my patch all of these weapons use WP*PA for damage, it doesn't matter if I turn some harps into axes and some into guns and some cloths into crossbows, swords, and axes. All of them will work because at the end they are still using the same damage formulas.  ;)

EDIT: Added some pictures to give a better idea of what you'll be looking at.


April 28, 2014, 07:54:20 pm #1 Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 08:02:20 pm by Elric
Thank you for this, and welcome to FFH.

I have only 1 complaint, could you upload those images to somewhere other than imageshack?
It wants me to download the pic just to look at it :P  Much more user friendly to just like, tinypic or
even dropbox them and put them in spoilers.

That aside, great job on this! It's awesome to see some more capable people around here.

EDIT: Though I won't sticky this, since we end up with too many when I start doing that, I did add
it to the important links / tutorials index threads

EDIT: Also, moving this to the Tutorials section
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Quote from: Elric on April 28, 2014, 07:54:20 pm
Thank you for this, and welcome to FFH.

Thank you very much. ^_^

QuoteI have only 1 complaint, could you upload those images to somewhere other than imageshack?
It wants me to download the pic just to look at it :P  Much more user friendly to just like, tinypic or
even dropbox them and put them in spoilers.

Try it now and see if you like it. By default you could click the button next to Direct on the page it sent you to in order to view the file directly. I just changed it so that the URL link points directly to the image location, so the pictures (and only the pictures) open when you click on the images now. Try it and tell me if that's better. :)

QuoteThat aside, great job on this! It's awesome to see some more capable people around here.

Well thanks! I dunno how capable I am, but I owe it to you guys. I only found FFHacktics a few days ago. Anything I've done is purely because of how awesome everyone else here is.  :D

QuoteEDIT: Though I won't sticky this, since we end up with too many when I start doing that, I did add
it to the important links / tutorials index threads
Wow, thanks! Now I feel really proud.  :mrgreen:


Always glad to see a fan of St. Ajora Ashiel, haha! That said your tutorial is fantastic! I was not aware of this bug, what a strange exception... I have to wonder if it might be easier to find the root of the issue, but for now it seems that we have to dance around it and your tutorial works out to a great extent for that!
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sadness can be turned to delight.
A nation destroyed cannot be restored,
the dead brought back to life."

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