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Ability Slots Distribution Discussion

Started by RavenOfRazgriz, July 21, 2010, 12:10:24 am

RavenOfRazgriz

I've been talking with R999 for a while over MSN and we hit a rather odd problem - actually having enough available skill slots to house all generic skills, hero skills, enemy only skills, etc.  This seems like a small issue at first, but considering there are 16 hero teams, over 18 generic classes, around 10 Zodiac Beasts, and probably 16 enemy "hero" units all of which will have at least some number of unique skills, this becomes a big freaking issue.

After some discussion with R999 (where I had to stop him from doing really silly), I've come up with a solution to this problem, and the purpose of this thread is to evaluate, critique, and improve upon said solution to ensure all classes have streamlined ability lists and that we're making optimal use of all the space in the game.  There are roughly 338 editable skill slots, last they were reviewed, for reference.  Each aspect of this post is contained in spoiler tags to prevent needless scrolling.


There are 18 Generic Classes - Jobless, Chemist, Monk, Hunter, Rogue, White Mage, Black Mage, Warlock, Shooter, Gladiator, Summoner, Phantom, Shaman, Dragoon, Blue Mage, Samurai, Paladin, Hermit.

Of these, Chemist uses the "Item" reserved slots and Blue Mage uses the "Draw Out" reserved slots (uneditable slots outside their own skill sets), so their skill sets are irrelevant.  In addition, I'm ironing out a concept with R999 that may or may not see fruition that will allow Jobless to not use any skill set slots whatsoever.  This leaves 15 generic classes in need of skills.  My proposal is as thus -

Each class that is either available to a single gender only (Paladin, Hermit) or a "mixed" class (Shaman, Dragoon, probably a few others) are to be allotted exactly 6 ability slots each.  Of these, none of the skills will be gender specific, and one skill will be reliant on the equipped weapon - meaning it can only be used by that main class.  In these cases, there are no gender specific skills because the classes are multigender by definition, and the weapon locked skill becomes an advantage to maining that class over subbing it even if subbing it makes the other skills more powerful.

The remaining classes (ones such as Gladiator, Black Mage, etc. where one gender is normally clearly superior) are to be allotted exactly 7 ability slots each.  Of these, one skill per job will be gender specific, and only available to the main class and the gender which is normally weaker in that class (so, for example, a male Black Mage or female Gladiator), and a second ability which is locked by weapon, again only available to the main class, both of which promote maining these classes, potentially even with inverse genders.

This means that these generic classes should take up no more than 101 skill slots (24 for mixed / monogender, 77 for slanted gender), leaving roughly 237 skill slots for various unique enemies and Heroes.


As stated previously, there are now 237 slots remaining if this formula is followed.  There are 16 "Hero" teams available to the player as of right now, each containing either one or two unique characters who also need their own skillets.  An easy way to allot them skills under this schema would be as follows -

Teams with two "Hero" class units are to be allotted 6 skill slots, to be divided evenly between the two units.   In addition, these units will have 2 skills available to them drawn from a related generic unit.  For example, Agrias would have Stasis Sword, Lightning Stab, Crush Punch unique to her (for example, I know these are not her actual unique skills), in addition to Defender's Stance and Frostbite while Ovelia would have MBarrier and Holy in addition to several White Magic skills.  This would ensure that each one is individually weaker than a Hero on a lone team, but stronger than a generic (essentially a "super-generic", I suppose), giving them good reason to have entered as a pair but enough skills to justify each unit's existence beyond "derpdederpSwordskill" or some other single-skill spammage.  I would honestly cut this down to 2 unique skills per unit with 3 "borrowed" ones instead, but that may not be enough creative leeway.  EXCEPTION:  Teams such as Celia/Lede and Alicia/Lavian, where the units share a class.  In this situation, each unit should get the same 4 unique skills, then a 5th that's unique to that unit, allowing end to each with a full set of 5 unique skills that both make them stand out but also show they're the same basic class.

Teams with one "Hero" class unit are to be allotted 5 skill slots, all of which are used on the lone Hero.  In this case, the lone Hero gets a powerful, unique set that, while slightly smaller than a generic one, covers a wider range of threats with generally more power-per-skill output that defines the unit as the group's leader.  This combined enhanced stats will make each "lone" Hero unique and defined compared to generics, able to lead the charge by themselves against seemingly insurmountable odds.

In both cases, all of these skills will only be usable while in the "Hero" unit's base class.  This is intentional to make Hero units further stand out, and to avoid balance issues that may come from unpredicted main/sub combos which involve subbing an otherwise acceptable Hero skill where it wasn't intended to go.  This also means that 87 skill slots will be taken up by Hero units (42 to two-Hero teams and 45 to lone-Hero teams, assuming two-Hero teams require 6 unique skills per team), leaving exactly 150 skills (gotta catch 'em all!) for Zodiac Beasts, enemy Heroes, etc.


After the above two plans, there are 150 skill slots remaining unused.  During our discussion, R999 stated he wished for enemy Heroes, Zodiac Beasts with unique skills, etc.  He said 3 unique skills per Zodiac Beast, at 10 Beasts, and at least 10 enemy Heroes.  I'm a liberal guy, so we'll assume 16 unique "enemy" heroes to rival our 16 playable ones, built under the same rules.  This means that 30 skills are consumed by the Zodiac Beasts, and 80 by the enemy unique Heroes, assuming they all also have fully unique skillsets, for a total of 110 used skills.  This leaves a total of 40 skill slots unused for margin of error, monsters, more unique boss skills, etc. should these plans go into effect, which seems like a lot but can disappear very, very quickly.


This is important, fucking read it.


In short, what's needed are thoughts, critiques, improvements, potential flaws, and in the end consent/approval to this strategy, a variation of it, or an altogether different and better strategy should someone have it so that everyone's skillsets can be made unique, fleshed out, and balanced without breaking the bounds of the game.  So, those others of you out there involved with the gameplay discussion, do critique and offer improvements upon this strategy, and do remember this has nothing to do with the actual skills in each set, so keep those discussion within their own respective threads.

philsov

I think we can reduce space on enemy hero units -- they can probably get away with a single unique ability and then a borrowed ability or two from the traditional hero units (and with that, gain a few generic abilities as well) -- because they are going to be ?a single fight each, at most, for only a portion of the real heros?

Additionally, I'm of the opinion that all generic classes (that are available for both sexes) should have two total gender-specific abilities - one for male, one for female.  Whether we can expand their skillsets by taking from the enemy hero stash or by reducing their own stash is a matter of numbers, but this is more a case for symmetry and style.  Yes, the female gladiator ability should trump the male gladiator ability, but the male gladaitor ability should be there in the first place.

So..

1) class/weapon-specific
2) Gender A
3) Gender B
4-7) Normal skills.

This means that as a subjob the unit has 5 abilities and as a primary 6.  At 7 slots a pop for 13 jobs and 6 for the 2 single-gender ones, that's 103.  We can also pull a vanilla and remove some action abilities from the fighter types and pump up the mage types, but as far as allotments go I think this is a good number.  If we shave off slots elsewhere and pump each class up with one more on average, then we're looking at 118.

For the heroes, double-heroes with 3 uniques each (and 3 borrowed) and singles with 5 (and with 1 borrowed) seems better, in that it fits the generic scheme of 6 per skillset as a primary.  Strongly support the primary-only nature of heroes' abilities.  

So, while I think they need another (borrowed) skill, 87 is a good number here, leaving us with 148, but thats ok because mewtwo sucks anyways.

As stated above, the allotment towards zodiacs and enemy heroes should be directly proportional to their frequency.  Only fought by a single hero?  Just give them one unique and be done with it.  Fought by the majority?  Sure, give them more.  3 per is a good allotment but some weighted shifting will be occuring (I hope).

Regarding monsters, perhaps we can do what (I believe) Mercenaries planned?  Just have one per family rather than the 3-teired system.  They'd then need... 16 * 4 = 64 ability slots MAX, but really less because of a shared basic attack ability and some of the monster skills can be generic skills, maybe.  Or we can not even mess with monster skill and juggle around with 48 MAX, but less with attack.
Just another rebel plotting rebellion.

RavenOfRazgriz

Quote from: "philsov"I think we can reduce space on enemy hero units -- they can probably get away with a single unique ability and then a borrowed ability or two from the traditional hero units (and with that, gain a few generic abilities as well) -- because they are going to be ?a single fight each, at most, for only a portion of the real heros?

Yeah, I figured that, it's something R999 commented over MSN about as well.

I was just very liberal with dispensing those slots to ensure there are enough available.

Quote from: "philsov"So..

1) class/weapon-specific
2) Gender A
3) Gender B
4-7) Normal skills.

This means that as a subjob the unit has 5 abilities and as a primary 6.  At 7 slots a pop for 13 jobs and 6 for the 2 single-gender ones, that's 103.  We can also pull a vanilla and remove some action abilities from the fighter types and pump up the mage types, but as far as allotments go I think this is a good number.  If we shave off slots elsewhere and pump each class up with one more on average, then we're looking at 118.

This sounds fine to me.  There are likely to be leftover slots because I gave too many slots per enemy hero and likely accounted for too many in general, so there should be space.

Quote from: "philsov"For the heroes, double-heroes with 3 uniques each (and 3 borrowed) and singles with 5 (and with 1 borrowed) seems better, in that it fits the generic scheme of 6 per skillset as a primary.  Strongly support the primary-only nature of heroes' abilities.

We may be able to get 6 unique primary skills for the lone heroes (again, once actual number crunching on the enemy's side is done, there's likely even more room), but yes, that would be fine by me.

Quote from: "philsov"So, while I think they need another (borrowed) skill, 87 is a good number here, leaving us with 148, but thats ok because mewtwo sucks anyways

But this cuts us off at Dragonair.  This is a huge problem, because Dragonite is the shit, especially when you can get a Shiny one and name it Godzilla.

Quote from: "philsov"As stated above, the allotment towards zodiacs and enemy heroes should be directly proportional to their frequency.  Only fought by a single hero?  Just give them one unique and be done with it.  Fought by the majority?  Sure, give them more.  3 per is a good allotment but some weighted shifting will be occuring (I hope).

Of course.  Though R999 wants the Zodiacs to be rather unique, IIRC, so they're likely to get a 3-4 skill minimum allotment regardless of frequency.  Enemy heroes and stuff, yeah.  I know he has plans for things such as an epic enemy Time Mage, who could borrow from Olan's skillset a bit, for example.

Quote from: "philsov"Regarding monsters, perhaps we can do what (I believe) Mercenaries planned?  Just have one per family rather than the 3-teired system.  They'd then need... 16 * 4 = 64 ability slots MAX, but really less because of a shared basic attack ability and some of the monster skills can be generic skills, maybe.  Or we can not even mess with monster skill and juggle around with 48 MAX, but less with attack.

This sounds perfect to me.  Is there a way to allow them to access their monster skill without having a unit with the Monster Skill ability equipped?  If so an "attack" ability + 3 unique skills per and one representative per breed would be perfect.


The good news seems to be that there will be enough space in the game to fit everyone in, at least.  That's been a huge worry since the beginning, honestly.

philsov

QuoteIs there a way to allow them to access their monster skill without having a unit with the Monster Skill ability equipped? If so an "attack" ability + 3 unique skills per and one representative per breed would be perfect.

Not without ASM.  Or having them be in not-monster class slots, but I doubt there's enough to go around in that deptartment.  Even innate monster skill doesn't give the carrier access to the monster skill.
Just another rebel plotting rebellion.

LastingDawn

To my knowledge... simply changing the Monster Skill Type to Default *should* do it, that's what I had done for Mercenaries and it seemed to work.
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