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July 13, 2020, 01:08:43 pm


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FFTA2: Promise Rewritten (Rebalance and Difficult hack)

Started by Kuro, August 21, 2018, 07:42:49 am


To Reytai: Yeah, I already warned that after the next patch you'll need a new game due mainly to the new MP System, but I did so many things that it will feel as a new game, but in the line of what I have done so far. I didn't just up the prices, I also did with rewards and did with selling loot. And yeah, as in the vanilla game, the early is balanced then completely unbalanced when you reach discounts and shitty auction house etc...

To both: I'll send it there, I think I'm going to attach it here and link from the main page with a warning of testing version. I'm gonna edit here when I have it ready, in a little while.

Things to consider

Antidote: Kill every Foe, use it for fast testing if you need it.

Yellow Wings mission might be weird since I've been messing with AI to get a better behaviour. I think I found something good and you gonna feel the Black Mage smarter, -not getting too close and hitting with rod when he can spam spells from afar-

Gria, Seeq, Unique Jobs and Neutral Skills are waiting for new MP cost in abilities and rework, so don't use them because I won't really get any useful feedback from them. However I did a noticeable change. I removed Vanish from Sniper to add Hawk Eye and Vanish is now a Neutral Skill. This might be cool to make som enemy formation full of invisible vieras.

Updates from feedback and testing.

0.9.7 Released. Contains all down below.

1. Fleuret allows learning last ability of Fencer set Swallow Dance when it should be En garde. An useful buff that grants Fencer Evasion Up and Counter. It was my mistake and I swapped to correct weapon Femme Fatale.

2. Shortsword reduced defense to 30.

3. Rupture fixed.

4. Wanted: Cyanwolf AI fixed to allow learning of Screech for a Blue Mage, it will probably make the mission harder as well cx

5. Absorb MP removed from player use. Kairetsu already warned me and I forgot removing.

1. Within Archer set: Mitron Arrow gains bonus power and costs 183 MP
Blackout uses debuff accuracy for Oil instead of normal.

2. Some abilities were given new and necessary animations, they are not perfect but they work. Rapid Shot, Mitron Arrow, Fire Arrow, Trine, Chocobo Song. I will add more these days. Edit: Added Spellblade, Gria and Seeq needed animations. I think just Beastmaster needs one for Beastiary and other for Hunt Ground but didn't confirm.

3. Neutral Skills added back with new abilities! Check spreadsheet for more info. Alchemist got Panacea back in the slot of Transmute which is now Synthesis as a Neutral Skill.

4. First Aid, Divine Aid and Lifetap, got increased MP cost since it I think their cost was too low for abilities that scale very good in late game.

5. Gria and Seeq jobs reworked and usable back! Enjoy and remember to give feedback if you find them overpowered, weak, redundant, boring, whatever. I'll consider any opinion.

1. Correct most of descriptions with the help of a tester, thanks Cecil.

2. Add a rumor to imply the addition of Neutral Skills and where to get most of them.

3. Probably increase gil cost in high tier equipment.

4. Edited some graphics: Labels of classes renamed.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
  • Discord username: Kuro#3991


Excellent then!
Thank you so much for the progress you've made, specially because I love the game.
Im gonna play it and will give feedback tomorrow or the day after.


So I've played it a bit and can give you some initial feedback.

-The starting items of Luso and the banga warrior make them VERY tanky, which is very cool, but don't know if it is intended. It certainly makes things easier, especially early missions.

-Does cure heal too much? It is a cool thing that it basically always tops units health. In the mission Green Dominion this becomes interesting, I did this mission early on and had to approach it from a tactical manner, luring the vieras and playing with their hps and the AI, because if not careful, the two mages can keep the whole party full hp.
The more I advance, it balances out, since enemy damage is pretty high too.

-How did you set the item stats to work? It appears that the stats are not added, they are instead set to the unit. So a weapon could lower your attack. Is this something you did or was the game always like this and I just hadn't noticed that before

-Rupture doesn't allow me to target people

-There may be too many extra stats on early items; like shortsword having +36 defense, seems uncalled for. I get the point of adding diversity, but starting with such high numbers seems like a lot.

-In the wanted: cyanwolf, I was trying to get the wolf to cast screech on my blue mage by staying out of its attack range but inside the screech range; but the wolf never casted it, he would rather move and wait. Once another unit was in screech range, he would cast it on that other unit instead of my blue mage. I don't know if you modified the IA or smth.

  • Modding version: Other/Unknown


1. It was intended, and I noticed it made early missions easier, which might not be bad as part of a learning curve.

2. Yeah it does, but as you say I enjoyed doing Green Dominion with that tactical approach so for now I don't see the issue it will balance out.

3. It was my doing, that's the unarmed bonus that I distributed making some units even stronger than using weapons like White Monk, Master Monk and Ravager of Gria. The rest could be better than most weapons or just some weapons. That way an unit with weapon destroyed would not lose so much, but it can be a little weird in early game, I hope it works better in mid or late game if it doesn't I could lower some of them.

4. Alright I'll fix it.

5. Believe me, 36 Defense is not a lot. Actually Shortsword and Broadsword have almost the exact potential value, because of their cost is similar. If you mastered skills in both choice is just, doing more damage or get more defense. -I learnt about FFTA2 formulas and did tests before adding stats- They are supposed to be the lowest tier in Swords but Short seems slightly better, so I might reduce to equalized value which would be 30 Defense. Alright I'll fix it.

6. No I didn't, that's the vanilla AI that sucks, if I add them the behaviour of black mage in Yellow Wings they should start using Screech. I'll test and update if it is so. It also means that I should change behaviour of any other formation but that is gonna wait for 0.9.8 unless it is something specific like this one.

Right now I want to learn how to break the discounts of shops on clan titles it would be much easier to balance the shop but I'm not positive to it.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
  • Discord username: Kuro#3991


1. I agree, it is very cool what you implememted, makes early missions not too overbearing without making them easy.
2.Yeah it adds complexity, I like it.
3. Ok cool, I was just wondering after I noticed it.
4. Thanks
5. After playing more it seems okay actually, not something really in need to be fixed/changed.
6.lmao dont worry then, if changing formation behaviours takes a lot of time, it is better to focus on other things as this is not gamebreaking or your fault.

Ive been playing more and have been enjoying it a lot. The prices are very high, which makes buying decisions relevant, unlike the original where you could buy the whole store. It also makes stealing gil useful.

The stat difference is also noticeable. Ive not reach high enough levels or recruited units to see the whole picture, but early on I can feel my green mage being slower than before (as ir used to be one of the fasyest early game units) and Luso is faster now too (thank god).

Thanks again for the progress I'll give you more feedback when i play more.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown


I love the game as well, and I have to thank you as well for helping me to keep working on it and for your kind words. That said. I'm making a spreadsheet with the abilities of jobs next to the one with stat growths. Check it up if you need it.

What point are you of the game? Because I'm surprised decisions are still relevant, for a moment I thought it would scale out in no time and I was thinking in rising them.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
  • Discord username: Kuro#3991


Oh I'm not that advanced, just got adelle (been busy this week). Im sure further on gil will become less of a thing to worry about.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown


Some weapons cost 35k later on I think only discounts are stopping me from balancing with minor changes with the current prices but if I can not, only one solution I see is rising prices of high tier weapons so after the discounts they remain still fairly expensive.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
  • Discord username: Kuro#3991


Might have to try this whenever I get around to finishing a vanilla replay and want to play FFTA2 but modified.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
  • Discord username: Bonesy#9386


You are welcome to try! A vanilla fresh perspective of FFTA2 sounds great to detect things to improve. Also I hope you enjoy the changes so far, good luck in your replay!
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
  • Discord username: Kuro#3991


My first incursion in editing graphics was a success:

As you can see I managed to edit the labels of the classes. It works perfect in the shop where you guys will see the proper labels of the renamed jobs on the list of equipment proficiency.

However, under the abilities of new jobs it seems I just edited one out of two layers and they overlap to be unintelligible. Edited: Fixed.

  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
  • Discord username: Kuro#3991


Hey, so I've gone further in the game and enjoyed it a lot.
Some observations (not good or bad):

  • MP costs for some intial abilites are so high they can't be used, leaving some jobs with nothing to do.
    For example, the beastmaster, having bestiary and chocobo song require so much MP, that at lvl 9 with its mp growth, it still can't use any of them.
    Or divine aid, the paladin ability, my luso is lvl 10 with 86 MP and still can't use one of the first abilities available as a paladin.
    The archer's black arrow also costs a lot of MP, and it being like the second ability available to the job (after focus), makes the archers have nothing to do but autoattack (or change jobs).
    I imagine that further down the game, these costs will become not as important since probably all the units will have enough MP for the abilities, but it makes the early game feel a bit limited in jobs and actions.

  • Connected to the point before, physical units (especially soldiers, dragoons, fencers, etc.) feel way more useful than mages (at least early game, my clan is around lvl 10).
    Black mages feel limited with their spells because of several factors (also damage seems to be on the lower side imo):
    the way blizzard starts in front of the unit, making it very hard to land a shot, without exposing the unit as they are very fragile.
    Thunder costs a lot MP early on (understandable, given that it is aoe and deals more damage than fire)
    Fire is the only spell that can be cast, and it cost more than 50 MP and deals low-mediocre damage (considering it is a slow squishy unit, and that any soldier would deal way more with an aa).
    White mages are the most useful magic unit so far.
    Green mages buffs/debuffs are meh and other classes have better ways to buff themselves or debuff (soldiers/ninjas/etc). They are a slow unit now, I don't get why give them a mgk growth if they use only status spells. Their original concept was, in essence, a bit better: a fast support unit that had no real threat aggresion wise, maybe you could lower their atk and mgk stats and boost their speed, making them a durable fast unit (as u've given them decent def/res/hp).
    Red mages and yellow mages have a very bad stat growth too, imo, comparing them to a blue mage/ninja/trickster; their atk is bad and their mgk too. Even the beastmaster with 10 atk growth and 7mgk is superior to both stat-wise, I mean just look at the archer with 11atk growth and 7 mgk. In other hybrid units u clearly favor one stat over the other (sorcerer having 7 atk and 10 mgk) but with the yellow and red mage, both are lackluster.
    I think yellow mage, and to a lesser extent the beastmaster, suffer from an identity crisis. Clearly the yellow mage wants to be a physical unit given the high def and extremely low mp increase, so why not just give them a better atk growth and 4 move, make shield bash and their other abilities (I have only discovered blind, iron shield and shield bash for the job) scale with atk. The beastmaster also suffers like the green mage, with its abilities being support oriented, but these are more useful and interesting, but gated by the awful mp growth stat.
    Bishop is pretty much unusable early game.
    Overall physical units are way more useful than magic ones, and not because of them being op (maybe some of them are given the superior equipment they have access to) but because of the limits and bad stat growth magic units have (at least in my observation of the game having reached lvl 10).

  • I am finding items way too expensive tbh, especially some compared to others. Example: the third spear available (lava) is way more expensive than all the other swords available early on. Maybe I just need to progress more and not try to have every thing I unlock from the bazaar.

  • Moogles feel a bit useless up to where I am; animists only get one ability; human thieves are better; moogle knight items are way harder to come by than fighter/sworcerer items; black mages/time mages are bad too at this stage of the game.

  • Ninjas have throw learnt, but then they can learn it from kunai too.

  • Modding version: Other/Unknown


First, I'll start saying that the rebalance was more oriented to late game in my mind because even the vanilla game wasn't so bad in the early game it was later when your party outmatched enemies, so I don't expect the early work the way I thought but I hope later on does. Even so I might be wrong.

QuoteMP costs for some intial abilites are so high they can't be used, leaving some jobs with nothing to do.
For example, the beastmaster, having bestiary and chocobo song require so much MP, that at lvl 9 with its mp growth, it still can't use any of them.
Or divine aid, the paladin ability, my luso is lvl 10 with 86 MP and still can't use one of the first abilities available as a paladin.
The archer's black arrow also costs a lot of MP, and it being like the second ability available to the job (after focus), makes the archers have nothing to do but autoattack (or change jobs).
I imagine that further down the game, these costs will become not as important since probably all the units will have enough MP for the abilities, but it makes the early game feel a bit limited in jobs and actions.

Some abilities turned out to be better than I thought and they should not be available so soon. I'll replace them for one with a lower cost, but is not easy because in order to make Full MP. I can't expect all abilities being fully usable at the beginning but it should not be so limited. I'll work on that.

Concerning point 2:

Did you consider the stat base? I mean, the mod is designed so the initial election matters. If the base job of your unit is Black Mage, they are going to start with MP enough to throw one thunder. 100 MP - 99 MP = 1 MP then they recover 50 for 51 MP  and can't use magic that turn and they need to wait, but that's theory of level 1. Also they'll have a good Mgk stat base. This encourages you to recruit new units to make them fit in a different role that you might me lacking in your party.

Also I can assure you that a proper mage is going to deal more damage than any other unit since they got AoE, their Mgk growth is as high as those on Atk, elemental factor, they can get a lot of bonuses with passives and items, etc...

Regarding identity crisis I need to consider your observations. The Mgk growth on them was so they can be a springboard to either a physical class or magick class. Since if they have issues in either of them if you want a Fencer - Green Mage, you might encounter yourself with leveling really bad on Atk because of your choice. Yellow Mage gets strong Physical and Magick abilities. You will discover them eventually :D Since I can't make an attack scale with both Mgk/Atk, I try to give both to a class so they can take advantage of foes resistances, that makes them weaker but more flexible. However, I might give extra stats to those classes that lack in potential, not much since it could be exploited for extra gain.

Point 3: Items expensive is good news to me. Definitely, you don't need to get everything you unlock.

Point 4: Animist only one ability sucks, I need to check that.

Point 5: Kunais, are supposed to be now items in weapon section, because they are used to throw and do dmg.

To be honest, this kind of feedback makes me want to talk with you actively if you are okay with adding me to discord, feel free to add me or we can go to IRC here. If not it is alright as well.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
  • Discord username: Kuro#3991


Sure it would be cool to talk through discord. I've been travelling this month and will be more available at the end of the month, so thats why I haven't progress that much in the game. We can discuss more in August when Im free and have more progress.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown


Will one need to start a new game for 0.9.8 or no? Was thinking of throwing this on my flashcart at some point for later.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
  • Discord username: Bonesy#9386


Enemy Formation is done at the start of any battle so it will not affect your game, same for modifications in descriptions or animations or even if I modify abilities.

However, if I do more modifications in stat growths they are not going to be reflected in the current stats since base is generated in character level 1 and growth during leveling up. But even so they would be minor changes unless I get feedback that some class has issues, which I don't think it will happen often. I used Reytai feedback and the experience of a veteran modder in another website to make the last touches. Could it happen? Of course, not a finished project and I need opinion from others to balance the classes.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
  • Discord username: Kuro#3991


This seems pretty interesting. How complete would you say this hack is?


Eh, sorry I've been losing my motivation to keep working on the mod. Recently recovering a bit but not enough yet. The mod isn't 'completed' since every aspect can be subject to changes but I did an overhaul in stats, jobs, items, equipment, abilities, some graphics -can't remember anymore right now-... If I wasn't lazy to learn to hack in assembly I could do more cool and necessary stuff, but mainly what it is left is changing all enemy formations to make a refreshing experience and maybe add consistency in the walk. I'm lazy right now for this too, like I would need to replay the game and think on interesting combinations, not a thing that motivates me too much.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
  • Discord username: Kuro#3991


You made a comment earlier that you were messing with the black mage AI in the third mission. Can you explain how you are doing this? I want to try editing the AI too.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown


Sure. If you aren't using the debugger to mess with the code which is the ideal and most difficult way, there is a byte found in the public spreadsheet within Enemy Data to assign changes in AI. I'll show you:

These are my notations but they might not make sense, pretty much trial and error. If you find out something good I suggest you to reply and maybe I can update the FFTA2 Data topic if we sort out all of this. Oh, also the previous byte is the starting direction units face to:

a - b - c - d = empty?

byte e - f = Unit Position in map. f starts from Up Left side and E from Up Right side

byte g. Starting facing from 00 to 03

00 = south west, 01 = North west, 03 = North East, 04 = South East.

byte h. Movement related and AI.

FF = Free movement, default?
XX = Restricted movement?
01 = Ultra defensive behaviour, escape.
03 = Dreamhare, Beastmaster friends.
04 = Offensive looks for back. Don't buff self.
05 = Buffs and escapes.
07 - 08 - 09 = Freezes
0B = Black screen.
0C = Stilled. Attack. 0110
0D = Stilled in tile
0E = Uses MP until depletes, keeps good distance if ranged unit. Don't buff? Seems good for Mages.    01110
0F = Use ranged offensive and approach. Don't buff? First line role? Wendigo, paladin...
10 = Same shit than 11. Maybe just works with debuff or low accuracy ability to spam it.
11 = Debuffer?
14 = Stay in tile and attack within range. Klesta: 00  14 = Don't move and attack when in range.
16 = Neukhia, Raflessia
1A = Tomberry movement, one tile at a time. Tied to tile for the rest.
1B = Get close to the enemy (Three tiles per action) and do nothing or predetermined action.
1C = Don't act unless enemy within ability range, then use MP abilities. Never uses Attack. Usual in Ranger or Viking. 011100
1D = ?
1E = Stilled
20 = Used buff and remained same spot. Then Rewind. Neukhia behaviour.
21 = Buffer/Healer role? Sprite: 00  21 = White wind ability, healer behaviour?
24 = Did nothing, stay same tile.
25 = Buff and goes to corner.
26 = Attack to the first character? Cid first behaviour with Klesta.


Offensive range without buff - 0E
Buff self = FF
Passive MP user = 1C

  • Modding version: Other/Unknown
  • Discord username: Kuro#3991


Does this mod do anything to the AI? I feel like that was the major weakness of the game's difficulty. The basically non existent AI. If someone told me they didn't pick moves at complete random I wouldn't believe them. Using status effects on enemies with less than 10% HP, buffing allies with 10% HP, black mages choosing to melee instead of cast magic regardless of how much MP they have.
  • Modding version: Other/Unknown