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FFT: Spirit of '98

Started by IronJustice, September 11, 2020, 02:34:40 pm

IronJustice

September 11, 2020, 02:34:40 pm Last Edit: September 24, 2020, 10:32:47 pm by IronJustice Reason: Update the file, playtesting revealed some issues that have now been fixed.
[EDIT: Sept 24, 2020, File updated with some more improvements for Chapter 2. Thank you to Barren for helping play test, and I hope you will try the updated version]

Yet another FFT mod in the year 2020, what is so special about this one?

This patch is aimed at providing a balanced and slightly more challenging experience than vanilla, while retaining the original game's vision. One incredible aspect of the original game is, due to its lower difficulty, it was ideal for experimentation and self-imposed challenges. Sadly, this capability is diminished with the drastic increase in difficulty present in many other mods. The difficulty here is increased some as a result of certain game-breaking strategies being curtailed, but it is still low enough to invite the self-imposed challenges and experimentation possible in vanilla.

Does the idea of having to read pages of patch notes, and read the description of every ability in the game intimidate you? Although you are welcome to read my patch notes, this game is intended that one can dive in without feeling alienated. All of the original classes are retained, and no new abilities were created or removed. I tried to stick with the existing material and improve it in ways that retain the original vision, as if the devs themselves had more time to refine their game.

So what did change? Well, a lot actually, and many long hours went into creating this patch. Here's a few highlights:

-Many ASM patches have been applied with quality of life improvements, balance tweaks, AI improvements, bug fixes, and many other things. Full details below.

-Stat growth rates on classes were generally raised in order to create a sense of permanence to the time spent with jobs. Most magic classes have MA growth now. Also, some lower jobs, mainly the Squire, now have above average growth rates to reward those who spend time with underpowered classes before graduating to the advanced ones. Multipliers are lowered in some cases.

-Perhaps the biggest change is to monsters. They should now be more distinct, fun, and effective both as enemies and allies. They received a buff to their base stats in general. There's no skills imported from human jobs or anything like that, all of their abilities are present, but redistributed. Every tier 1 monster now has at least two abilities, and all tier 2 & 3 monsters have three abilities. Some abilities were buffed, with improved range, accuracy, etc. An effort was made to make each stage unique. For example, Cuar now is a strong physical attacker with higher HP and physical attack, while Vampire has higher speed and magic attack. Monster Skills are now more rewarding to use with more useful abilities slotted there. Elemental resistance/weaknesses have been re-balanced in a way that is (hopefully) intuitive, in addition to a few status immunities, so monsters are now more resilient.

-Some gamebreaking jobs have been scaled back, like the Calculator. Math has been nerfed simply by restricting the spells available. Now, much like the Red Mage of old, the Calculator only has access to the bottom-half of the other classes' magic. Potions/Auto Potion received a nerf similar to the one found in 1.3. X-Potions only heal 100, and the new M-Potion (replaces Elixir) heals 150 but isn't available in store until Chapter 4, and doesn't work with Auto Potion.

-Some underpowered classes received a boost. Archers are much better as a result of several subtle changes. Archer's speed growth is improved, bows and crossbows are a little better, and Charge now resolves faster(and costs less JP). Squires now have 100% knockback in addition to their improved stat growth. Lancer's Jump skills are now incremental so each skill helps, and JP cost is reduced. Bards aren't a joke class stat-wise anymore and are on-par with the slightly buffed Dancer. Some equipment options have been added, like the Flails for Priests and Ninja knives for Thieves.

Well, this is my personal patch that made the game that I always wanted to play, and I hope that some of you will give it a try. Thanks to everyone in this community for the incredible tools and documentation that made this possible! I have lurked on these forums for many years and have had this patch going for a long time. I gave up at a few points, facing infuriating errors from the Text Editor. But its finally done and I'm happy with how it turned out, even if I end up being the only one that ever tries it.


Quality of life improvements:

-Start button now skips cutscenes, dialogues, and ability animations

-Holding X skips ahead as if you were mashing the button

-Smart Encounters: Random encounters will never happen if you are moving to a blue/town location, and will always happen if you move to a green/wild location.

-The title menu defaults the cursor to Continue instead of New Game.

-Excessive HP/MP recovery will not be displayed.

-Second Squad is optional, even if you have more than one unit.

Fixes:

-All formulas properly apply element. Sword skills now work as intended, as does Oil.

-Equip Change now works properly with Two Swords.

-Minor Reraise icon glitch fixed.

-Removed the forced slowdown from Math skill.

-AI now properly uses Protect & Shell preemptively, like they do with Haste.

-AI will no longer attempt to use Jump to wake sleeping allies.

-Zalmo can now properly use his Oracle skills. In vanilla, he had Beowulf's sword skill versions, which he couldn't use.

-The mistranslated 'bracelet' is now corrected to breath in the context of 'stop bracelet', etc.

Balance/preference changes:

-Blade Grasp now only works against bladed weapons (knives, swords, spears, and axes). This OP skill used to even stop the elemental guns, I think an oversight of the developers.

-MP Switch overflows into HP. Still a good move, but no longer game breaking when combined with Move-MP Up.

-Lancer skillset is now incremental. They all increase the Jump range by +1, so each one has value. Now mastering the class is worthwhile. JP cost of these skills is also lower.

-Knockback chance is now 100%. This affects Dash, Throw Stone, Cat Kick, and Tail Swing (which all Dragons now have access to). These previously underpowered abilities can now be used tactically without relying on luck.

-Undead revival chance is now 100%. This prevents the player's undead units from being permanently lost since they can't be revived normally.

-Undead now ignore Phoenix Downs. In addition to the above, this makes them more of a threat and justifies the use of Petrify abilities. Other healing skills still damage them.

-Draw Out no longer breaks Katanas. I thought hard about this, and decided to implement this to allow the player to freely use the two unique katana skills. Most of these skills have been slightly nerfed in power to offset the removal of their natural 'cost.'

-Math skill is reflectable.

-Broken/Stolen items can be bought back at the fur trader. Similar to the above, I no longer want the player to feel pressured to reset due to a lost unique item.

-Random units appear with both more diverse skillsets and equipment. 'No longer should you see a Knight in Chapter 2-4 wearing linen.'

-The enemy units in some story and random battles have slightly altered or improved, primarily to give more screen time to some rarer skills, monsters, and job classes. Some pushover late game boss fights, like Zalera, should be slightly more challenging. More generics with Monster Skill should appear in random battles among monsters.

-Stats of some equips slightly tweaked or improved. Heavy armor provides a bit more HP than before. Some underpowered weapons like bows and books are buffed a bit. Shields are slightly improved, offering more magic evasion on average.

-Store availability of items modified a bit, giving a slightly longer window of usefulness of some items that got passed by in my experience. Potions are less available in order to help the Priest compete with the OP Chemist.


Squire

-Growth Rates improved, making the Squire a great class to spend time with to train your characters.

-Knockback on Throw Stone and Dash is 100%, making them reliable utility moves.

-Now has innate Defend, allowing it to be used in conjunction with other support skills.

Chemist

-PA & MA growth rate slightly improved, PA & MA multiplier slightly reduced, making them better at early game training and weaker later on.

-Potion, Hi-Potion, and X-Potion now restore 30, 60, and 100 HP respectively. Hi Potions aren't available until Chapter 2, and Chapter 3 for X Potion. This provides a welcome restriction on the overpowered Auto Potion and Item skill in general.

-Elixirs are gone and replaced with M-Potions. They restore 150 HP, but are not used by Auto Potion. Can be bought in Chapter 4.

Knight

-HP growth up (now second highest after Mime), MA multiplier up slightly.

-Break skill accuracy slightly improved.

-Battle Skill now includes the four stat break abilities and Seal Evil. The break equipment abilities now belong to the Engineer, who lost Seal Evil. Undead are more challenging in this game so this skill will come in handy. Also as a slower unit with poor movement and attack range, the Knight was much less suited to breaking equipment than ranged attackers, and in general stealing is preferred over breaking anyway.

Archer

-Speed growth up, Magic growth slightly down.

-Charge skills resolve faster and cost less JP.

-Bows & crossbows are slightly buffed across the board.

Monk

No significant changes.

Priest

-PA multiplier and MA growth up.

-Flails now equipable

-Accuracy of Protect 2, Shell 2, and Wall improved.

-AI controlled units now use Protect and Shell preemptively.

-Female Priest now has her cat ears back! =^_^=

Wizard

-MA Growth up, MA multiplier down.

-CT of Fire/Ice/Bolt 4 reduced, along with JP cost.

Time Mage

-Speed and MA growth up, MA multiplier down

-JP Cost of Meteor down.

Summoner

-MA growth up, MA multiplier down

-Most summons had their power reduced, but also cost less MP, JP, and/or CT. They are accessible earlier, but less able to carry the player through the game on their own.

-Moogle is one exception to the above, and is now more powerful.

-Silf is now a wind elemental attack about the same strength as Titan, with a chance to inflict Silence.

-Golem is just as effective (arguably game breaking) but costs a bit more MP now.

-Carbuncle is a bit more accurate.

-Lich now cuts the target's HP by 1/3 instead of 1/2.

-Odin now has a chance to inflict instant death.

-Cyclops now has a chance to inflict petrify.

-Bahamut is now the most powerful normal summon.

-Zodiac now has 100% chance to learn on-hit.

Thief

-Speed growth up (now the highest), MA multiplier up.

-Can now equip Ninja blades.

Mediator

-HP, MP, PA, and MA multipliers all up slightly

-Can now equip books

-Praise and Preach are now much more accurate. If Cheer can be 100%, why were these so unreliable?

-Death Sentence accuracy up.

Oracle

-HP, MP, PA, and MA growth rates all up slightly

-Zombie accuracy up.

Geomancer

-MA multiplier up.

-Power of elemental skills increased, range down from 5 to 4.

Lancer

-Speed multiplier up, MA growth down.

-Jump skills are now incremental, each adding +1 range, so they are all needed to achieve max range. JP cost is significantly reduced.

Samurai

-MA multiplier up.

-Draw Out no longer breaks katanas. This is primarily to allow the player to freely use the unique katanas without fear of losing them permanently. To offset the loss of their inherent 'cost' the base power has been reduced (except for Bizen Boat's MP damage, which increased). Vertical tolerance of all skills down by 1.

Ninja

-Speed and PA growth down.

Calculator

-Speed growth down

-Math skill's access to magic restricted, in general only having access to the bottom half of each skillset. For example, Fire 1 & 2 but not 3, Demi 1 but not 2, and no Holy or Flare. Magic is still reflectable when using Math now.

Bard

-HP and PA multipliers up, Speed and PA growth up. Stats are now tied with Dancer, but distributed differently (more MA instead of PA).

-Can equip knives now.

-Power of Life Song and Angel Song up. Last Dance unchanged, all other songs increased in accuracy.

Dancer

-Speed growth and PA multiplier up, MA growth down.

Mime

-Speed growth up.

All others unchanged.
Calculator: 4 Chemist, 3 Priest, 3 Wizard, 2 Time Mage, 2 Oracle
Bard: 4 Chemist, 3 Priest, 3 Wizard, 2 Time Mage, 2 Summoner, 2 Mediator, 2 Oracle
Dancer: 4 Squire, 3 Knight, 3 Archer, 2 Monk, 2 Thief, 2 Geomancer, 2 Lancer
Mime: 7 Squire, 7 Chemist, 4 Knight, 4 Archer, 4 Priest, 4 Wizard, 3 Monk, 3 Time mage, 3 Thief, 3 Oracle, 2 Summoner, 2 Mediator, 2 Geomancer, 2 Lancer


Stats are generally higher, especially for Tier 2 & 3 monsters. I'll only note significant stat changes.

Chocobo family

-Yellow Chocobo has Choco Cure and Esuna, MS: Choco Meteor

-Black Chocobo has the same skills. Still has the highest PA and Fly.

-Red Chocobo has Choco Ball and Cure, MS: Choco Meteor. Highest MA, HP, and Speed.

Goblin family

-Accuracy of Eye Gouge and Goblin Punch increased. Mutilate is now a range 2 linear attack, and drains 50% HP.

-Red has access to Eye Gouge and Turn Punch, MS: Goblin Punch.

-Black has Eye Gouge and Goblin Punch, MS: Mutilate.

-Green has Move +1 and has Turn Punch and Goblin Punch, MS: Mutilate.

Bomb family

-Small Bomb is greatly improved, now a long range physical attack similar to Choco Ball.

-Flame Attack now stops at obstacles.

-All can enter water now.

-Oil now works correctly.

-Grenade has Self Destruct and Flame Attack, MS: Small Bomb.

Cat family

-Poison Nail is now a range 2 low powered magic attack, with a chance to inflict poison.

-Both Poison Nail and Blood Suck do not trigger counter/grasp reactions.

-Cat Kick has 100% knockback.

-Red Panther has Cat Kick with MS: Blood Suck.

-Cuar has very high PA and improved HP. Cat Kick and Poison Nail, MS: Blaster.

-Vampire has high MA and Speed. Poison Nail, Blood Suck, MS: Blaster.

Squid family

-Black Ink's accuracy increased.

-Odd Soundwave no longer affects allies.

-Pisco Demon has free access to Black Ink, MS: Odd Soundwave.

-Squidlarkin has Move+1 and very high PA.

-Mindflare has Teleport.

Skeleton family

-Benefits from changes to undead mechanics; Phoenix has no effect and 100% revival rate.

-Each has two soul abilities: Skeleton doesn't have Ice Soul, Bonesnatch doesn't have Thunder Soul, and Living Bone doesn't have Aqua Soul. All MS: Wind Soul.

-Bone Snatch has higher PA while Living Bone has the highest in the other stats.

Ghost family

-Benefits from changes to undead mechanics; Phoenix has no effect and 100% revival rate.

-Each has two touch abilities: Ghoul doesn't have Drain Touch, Gust doesn't have Sleep Touch, and Gust doesn't have Grease Touch. All MS: Zombie Touch.

Ahriman family

-Look of Devil's accuracy improved.

-Flotiball has Look of Fright, MS: Circle

-Ahriman has the highest MA.

-Plague has the highest PA. Look of Devil and Circle, MS: Death Sentence.

Bird family

-Beaking's accuracy improved.

-Shine Lover is now a range 2 linear 'attack.'

-Juravis has Shine Lover, MS: Feather Bomb.

-Steel Hawk has Beaking and Feather Bomb. MS: Beak.

Uribo family

-Move and Jump +1 for all. C-Ev is very high.

-Pooh and Nose Breath are now range 2 linear attacks.

-Oink's power and accuracy dropped, now is similar to the Monk's Revive.

-Uribo has Pooh. MS: Oink.

-Porky has Pooh and Nose Breath. MS: Oink.

-Wildbow has Nose Breath and Oink. MS: Please Eat.

Trent family

-All skills have the an AOE of 2 and smart targeting, similar a Samurai's Draw Out skills, except they still can't affect themselves.

-Woodman has Protect Spirit and Calm Spirit. MS: Life Spirit.

-Trent has Life Spirit and Protect Spirit. MS: Magic Spirit.

-Taiju has Life Spirit and Calm Spirit. MS: Magic Spirit.

Bull family

-Mimic Titan no longer affect allies.

-Bull Demon has Wave Around. MS: Gather Power.

-Minitaurus has the highest PA, and has Wave Around and Blow Fire. MS: Gather Power.

-Sacred has the highest MA, and has Blow Fire and Mimic Titan. MS: Gather Power.

Morbol family

-All have Any Weather and Any Ground.

-Goo and Lick are both range 2 linear attacks.

-Morbol has Goo and MS: Lick.

-Ochu has Goo and Lick with MS: Bad Breath.

-Great Morbol has Lick and Bad Breath, MS: Morbol Virus.

Behemoth family

-Hurricane and Ulmaguest are now centered on caster with an AOE of 2.

-King Behemoth has free access to Hurricane and MS: Giga Flare.

-Dark Behemoth has free access to Ulmaguest and MS: Giga Flare.

-Dragon family

-Tail Swing's power is now equal to Cat Kick, but knockback accuracy is now 100% and no longer triggers countergrasp reactions.

-Green Dragon has Tail Swing and MS: Thunder Breath.

-Blue Dragon has the highest MA and Walk on Water. It has Tail Swing, Ice breath, and MS: Thunder Breath.

-Red Dragon has the highest PA and Walk on Lava. It has Tail Swing, Fire Breath, and MS: Thunder Breath.

Hydra family

-Triple Breath is now a standard non-elemental attack of the same power as the other breath attacks.

-Triple Flame is a little weaker. The reworked Holy Breath is the same as the old Triple Flame except Holy elemental.

-Hyudra is weak to Earth and absorbs Lightning. It has Triple Attack, Triple Breath, Triple Thunder, and MS: Dark Whisper.

-Hydra is weak to Water and absorbs Fire. It has Triple Attack, Triple Breath, Triple Flame,  and MS: Dark Whisper.

-Tiamat is weak to Dark and absorbs Holy. It has Triple Attack, Triple Breath, Holy Breath, and MS: Dark Whisper.





Ramza's Ubersquire

-PA, MA, and HP growths up

-Crossbow equip possible

-Chapter 3 Ramza has the slot for Ultima, making learning it from the Assassins on Riovanes castle roof possible.

-Ultima is buffed.

-Innate Defend, like the normal Squire.

Delita's Ubersquire

-Crossbow equip possible

-Innate Defend, like the normal Squire.

Algus' Ubersquire

-Shield equip possible (he also now brings a shield for his final battle)

-Innate Defend, like the normal Squire.

All Holy Knights, Divine Knights, and other swordskill users

-Sword Skills now cost MP. The amount is roughly based on Beowulf's skills.

-MP growth slightly improved across all classes. MP multiplier set to an average amount, as it was very high or low for some classes.

-Due to a bug fix, sword skills now correctly apply the skill's element instead of the weapon's.

Agrias' Holy Knight

Nothing besides the above changes.

Mustadio's Engineer

-Speed growth up

-Can now equip crossbows

-Snipe lost Seal Evil (which now belongs to Knight's Battle Skill), and gained the equipment break skills (Knight lost access to these). Base accuracy is up slightly on these. This change puts these situational abilities in the hands of a ranged attacker, and out of the hands of the enemy knights who either waste turns attempting to break meaningless equipment, or potentially destroy unique items.

Rafa's Heaven Knight

-HP, MP, PA, & MA raised.

-Truth now has no cast time, and an MP cost.

Malak's Hell Knight

-HP, MP, & PA raised.

-Un-Truth now has no cast time, and an MP cost.

Miliadoul's Divine Knight

-PA growth & multiplier down.

Orlandu's Holy Swordsman

-MA growth and Speed multiplier down.

-Can no longer equip Katanas and Ninja blades.

-Now has access to the following: Status Sword & Split Punch, Dark Sword, Blastar Punch & Shellbust Stab, Power Ruin & Mind Ruin.

Beowulf's Temple Knight

-PA Multiplier down.

-Shock's range is now down to 5.

-Chicken now lowers brave by 30 instead of 50.

Reis' Holy Dragon

-Innate Monster Skill

-Now weak to Dark, still absorbs Holy.

Reis' Dragoner

-Speed multiplier down

-Holy Breath is now similar to the Hydra's triple abilities, striking 3 times with an AOE of 1, and no vertical tolerence.

Cloud's Soldier

-Now joins at a level appropriate for Chapter 4.

-Limit skills resolve faster now, but also cost MP.

-Materia Blade now has improved power and provides a small MA boost.

Worker 8 & Worker 7's Steel Giant

-HP up

-Destroy is now a range 2, linear attack.

-Now only resists Holy & Dark instead of cancels them, and no longer resists Fire.

-Not immune to oil anymore.

Byblos

-Move +1
  • Modding version: PSX
FFT: Spirit of '98 is out and ready for testers!
  • Discord username: Ironjustice

Desocupado

September 11, 2020, 10:00:36 pm #1 Last Edit: September 11, 2020, 11:04:30 pm by Desocupado
I would suggest swapping charge and battle skill. Makes more sense for each class. Power and mind break are also a bit useless compared to attacking.even more so because they don't scale up.

I'm surprised you didn't mention ethers. They are underwhelming by default. I'd add some mp recovery on elixir.

Both mediator and oracle are quite underwhelming by default as well.

In hindsight ramza would make a good mediator replacement.
  • Modding version: PSX

IronJustice

Quote from: Desocupado on September 11, 2020, 10:00:36 pmI would suggest swapping charge and battle skill. Makes more sense for each class. Power and mind break are also a bit useless compared to attacking.even more so because they don't scale up.
Yeah, I definitely see what you're saying about the stat break skills being underwhelming compared to attacking. The reason I decided to keep them with the melee attacker is for the synergy with Two Swords. Although still underwhelming for normal encounters, this can really neuter bosses. Also Knights have a hard enough time getting into position, I can just see their targets moving away while they're charging.

QuoteI'm surprised you didn't mention ethers. They are underwhelming by default. I'd add some mp recovery on elixir.
Ethers are a bit underwhelming late game, but are really effective early on. I figured since I'm using MP as a way to limit swordskill users a bit, I'd leave it alone.
QuoteBoth mediator and oracle are quite underwhelming by default as well.
Yes, mediator and oracle are underwhelming in vanilla. So here I gave them a stat boost, upped the accuracy of a few skills, and boosted the power of books (which Mediator can now wield too). They still aren't super amazing, but I didn't feel going much further than this would still be in the spirit of the original game.
QuoteIn hindsight ramza would make a good mediator replacement.
FFT1.3 and some other mods did the mediator Ramza thing, where he can invite. It makes sense in a way, and is reminiscent of Tactics Ogre. Seems like doing that though would just make the mediator that much more useless, unless he's reworked and given more uses.
  • Modding version: PSX
FFT: Spirit of '98 is out and ready for testers!
  • Discord username: Ironjustice