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August 13, 2020, 03:50:49 am

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What adjustments have you made to Cloud's Soldier job?

Started by Delorean, July 24, 2020, 08:08:34 pm

Delorean

I recently discovered Lioneditor and FFTpatcher (thanks!) and I am sure I am not the only one who feels like Cloud's base job was extremely underwhelming, especially considering he is such a late game addition to the party.

I've recently taken a pass at adjusting his job to increase his initial strength and increasing the usability of his Limit command and I was wondering if anyone would like to share what changes they have made to this unit to get an idea of how fair my pass at making him a little better is. I'd also like to know what other people think of it.

These are the changes I've made:
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- Soldier job

- PA growth and multiplier are equivalent to Sword Saint (Orlandu)
-- Can now wield all manner of swords (including Knightswords, Katanas and Ninja Blades).
-- Doublehand is now an innate trait.
--- Added Abilities
- Focus
---- Altered Abilities
- Brave Slash, Cross Slash, Blade Beam and Climhazzard no longer require Materia Blade, have no charge time and cost 0 JP to learn
- Finishing Touch no longer requires Materia Blade to use, but still has charge time.
- Meteorain, Omnislash and Cherry Blossom have all have significantly shorter charge time but require Materia Blade to be equipped to use.
- Counter has replaced Counter Tackle
- Equip Swords has replaced Equip Axes
- Jump +3 has replaced Beastmaster

--- Materia Blade
- 25 attack (up from 10), 15 EV, is now a 2-Handed Weapon
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In both releases of FFT, the Materia Blade severely limited Cloud's strength in an endgame setting and totally ruined his Soldier job with it's low ATK value of 10. At 25 ATK, it is no Chaos Blade, but it is as good as Excalibur and will allow Cloud to do a good amount of damage with his most powerful Limit commands.

Also, Cloud has never wielded a one-handed weapon, even as a Shinra rifleman. Every weapon he has ever wielded has been primarily held with both hands while attacking. It feels so good to right these wrongs.

My main goal was to make his Soldier job stand out more - it failed miserably to measure up to the most powerful unique jobs in the game and felt inferior even to generic jobs such as Ninja or Samurai and never made any impression in FFT.

I also wanted to add some personalization, some "flavor" if you will, to his skillset that reflects his cannonical fighting style and abilities. Because, I mean, Cloud is not just some fresh-faced novice Squire from the Warrior's Guild - he is an accomplished warrior in his own right with plenty of combat experience and an established fighting style.

It only seems fitting that he gets a headstart in this way when you consider to how late in the game he joins the party. With these changes he is not exactly a Sword Saint or Holy Knight but at least he is no longer a unique unit with a unique job that is basically useless.

I'm interested in hearing how people have handled Meteorain, Omnislash and Cherry Blossom. I don't have a really good solution for them since I haven't used them much so I just left them married to the Materia Blade.
  • Modding version: WotL

Nyzer

I'd say that a few of your changes are questionable there. Having some of Cloud's abilities be dependent on the Materia Blade but not others is a confusing choice that doesn't really serve any purpose. And replacing Cloud's generic Squire skills with specific other generic abilities is extremely out of place unless you give other characters the same treatment. Just have him spawn with a lot of jobs unlocked so that he can learn those skills normally, IMO.

I think Cloud's setup in Journey of the Five is fairly good, and would recommend checking that out if you're looking for ideas.
  • Modding version: PSX & WotL
  • Discord username: Nyzer

Delorean

Like I said, I'm not really sure how to approach those abilities still married to Materia Blade. I haven't had much opportunity to use them yet.

I want to improve his job, but I don't want to turn him into the best unit in the game. It just seems too cheesy to take an ability that could previously only be used with a weak weapon and make it usable with the best weapon in the game when it is already capable of doing pretty obscene damage with the upgraded Materia Blade (600+ damage easy at Lv 40).

I'm also not a fan of how a lot of these abilities are not only the safest way to attack an enemy, but also the best way to attack them. They just seem too powerful to let the player use nonstop at no cost compared to the other abilities.
  • Modding version: WotL

Nyzer

I don't really see the problem with making Cloud overpowered. It's not as if this game is well balanced to begin with - the player will come across Orlandeau just while doing the main narrative, and, of course, the Arithmetician job is just completely broken.

I mean... Limit skills with a charge time are nothing compared to the brokenness of Sword Skills.

Balancing them isn't really much of a concern until you start to worry about balancing the rest of the game as well.
  • Modding version: PSX & WotL
  • Discord username: Nyzer

Delorean

Personally I don't play the game with Orlandeau because I think he is such a ridiculous character, but that is a unique perspective I can appreciate.

I have plans to extend abilities to other units such as Balthier and Luso who are unique units as well, to fit their canonnical skillsets. But just focusing on putting Cloud where I want him at the moment.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Quote from: Nyzer on July 25, 2020, 10:22:05 amI mean... Limit skills with a charge time are nothing compared to the brokenness of Sword Skills.

On that note, is there a way to make it so these skills are checked by the same hit table as other attacks?
  • Modding version: WotL

Nyzer

Quote from: Delorean on July 30, 2020, 02:56:37 amOn that note, is there a way to make it so these skills are checked by the same hit table as other attacks?

You mean so they're evadable, as other attacks are? Can't remember if the formula allows for evasion, but if so you just have to check the evasion box. If not, you need to use an ASM that does stuff to formulas. I'm sure there is one for this purpose, as Agrias' skills are evadable in JotF.
  • Modding version: PSX & WotL
  • Discord username: Nyzer

Werewolfe

I've been coming up with ideas I've yet to implement which get rid of Cloud completely.  The other 'extra' characters all have some connection to be there - even Luso (via the Grimoire) or Balthier (since he existed in the past).  Cloud has no reason to be in Final Fantasy Tactics aside from fan fare inserting him into the game.

As I've gone into actually analyzing what works (and frankly, doesn't work) in FFT, I've come down to three alternatives for Cloud.  All three are being thought of as a magical class because the majority of unique characters all have physical roles.

1. Germonique
Reaching far into the past allows the group to pull Germonique.  Story wise, this could even be pre-traitor status with the defeat of Ajora in the Airship Graveyard being the catalyst which allows Germonique to "betray" Ajora in the past.  Germonique doesn't learn the truth of the auracite until his time with Ramza.

2. Montblanc
A character who would (or may) be known by both Luso and Balthier - even if they're not the same character (or are they?!).  It would present a non-human character to the roster who can still use abilities as if a human.

3. A humanoid-monster hybrid
This could be played with both humor or horror, although I lean to humor.  A character that is a monster, obviously not human, but who tries to act as if they were a human.  I am toying around with sprites, and playing with a Mindflayer robe, Skeleton glove/cape, and Black Mage hat.  Any time it spoke, it would bring up the fact that it is a human without prompt.  A horror angle would make it similar to something like The Fly.


All three could easily edit the script slightly to have the situation Cloud finds himself in still work.  Germonique is fascinated and/or confused with the time he is in and bandits try to take advantage.  Montblanc and the humanoid-monster frighten or fascinate the flower seller (in the case of the humanoid-monster, a beauty-and-the-beast nod), and the bandits decide they can use the pelt or capture and sell for study the character.

Removing the Materia Blade requirement for Cloud's limits and a simple rename, and you have unique spells for the Germonique or humanoid-monster character.

I just feel, storywise, Cloud is so out of place in the game that it would be better to completely replace him.
  • Modding version: PSX
  • Discord username: Werewolfe

ibostyle11

I removed Materia Blade requirement in exchange for sword requirement in both versions. But I beefed it up to give auto haste and regen. I also gave it a higher weapon guard % for FFT vanilla (where I used the innate weapon guard ASM). I gave him innate two-hands for the same reason you did. In FF7 he was a jack of all trades, so I also gave him a decent MA stat. But I slightly changed his skill set depending on the version.

In FFT Vanilla, I just used formula 42 to keep the theme of Limits being dependent upon damage done to the user.
I then made each skill unique, but tried to keep a resemblance to FF7.
-Braver being a decent damage attack on one enemy within 3 spaces
-Cross Slash had less range, but hit a cross shape
-Blade beam hit in a line up to 6 tiles
-Climhazzard was point blank, but high damage
-Finishing Touch I kept as is, since you can't add status effects to formula 42
-Meteor Rain had the same area of affect as original, just with formula 42
-Omnislash hit around Cloud, similarly to a draw out skill
-I repurposed cherry blossom to be full map hitting spell that one of the lucavi used.

In WotL I took a completely different approach, and used the 2D formula, but gave the skills MP cost to prevent abuse.
I did this to all the sword skill (while also reducing sword WPs) to prevent ROFLStomping enemies.
Cloud had Move-MP UP to help him still be able to get enough MP to still use his skills. You just had to be smarter about which skills you used where.
-Blade Beam was changed into a ranged skill, but used Dark Knights formula for Abyssal Blade. This made it work more like it did in FF7, where it hit the first enemy hard, and then hit nearby for reduced damage.