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FFVI Project: Meltdown

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I really don't know how to open this post, so I'll just go straight into things

I am presently walled on my hack due to a lack of ideas. I need to try to get external feedback at this point. Most of my issue lies in what to do with bosses and how to deal with things such as esper bonuses.

This is how Meltdown presently stands:

-Character-based stat tables, including Banon. Tables include HP, MP, and all four stats.

-Agility figures into evasion and accuracy. I presently forget if magic side takes it into account. I think it does.
-Blind affects magic accuracy.
-Vitality figures into damage reduction as well as additional HP and MP growth.
-Steal currently functions like FFX. Regular item steal rate begins at 100% at is halved with each successful steal. Rare items are still unchanged in function, except that the Sneak Ring doubles the chance of landing one. Successfuly stealing a rare item blanks out both items.
-32'000HP damage cap, and I'd like to utilize the potential. I'm presently aiming for a 15-20K ceiling, possibly, in terms of normal damage values. (This is one reason I'm growing weary. My present damage formula was originally designed for low damage figures, as in topping at about 1500, and changing the /32 to a /8 is just a stopgap. That's a poor way to design.)
-Actual strength and vitality stats now exist for enemies, as do elemental resistence stats. (Previously, they only were provided with weakness, immunity, and absorb stats)
-Back row has a multiplier of 1.5x damage from magic. This could change, but I haven't gotten enough of the game done to really see its effect on balance.
-Yes, the gem box is nerfed. No, I don't know if it'll remain nerfed, at least as-is. I may reduce the nerf from half-damage to 3/4 damage.
-ATB pauses during all animations. This is a dramatic change, as I'm sure certain people understand.
-Save points recover HP and MP. Generally, people already use a tent anytime they reach one as it is, so I felt that changing the tent item to something else and automating the process was more efficient than worry about the Tent item's effect on financial balance.
-I've dabbled in making curative items fractional, but have abandoned it. I may return to the idea. Presently, I intend to simply add a multiplier.
-Natural magic lists exist for all characters, but presently only four are utilized. I've been considering at least partially utilizing more, but I would be unsure as to how to allocate that.
-I really do not want to give up esper bonuses, as that is one of the things that defines the game's system in my eyes.

I'm probably forgetting some other changes, but this should give an idea of the scope I'm aiming for as far as balance. I presently do not have anything of substance to provide as a patch, unfortunately. Many enemies still use vanilla stats (I did balance up to Ultros on an older build, but I've changed much since and can't utilize that.)

Looking for:
-People to bounce ideas off. Nothing direct here. I'm simply stumped on where to progress going foward.
-Critique on ideas. I've had varying responses to some of the things I have or want to implement.
-A composer who can compose in a style similar to Uematsu for at least a few new tracks. Must be able to work within the game's restrictions, meaning 7 or 8 channels max (must take into account sound effects), and preferably the game's native sample set. Looking, specifically, for tracks for new WoR battle and WoR boss themes. Ideally completely new but similar, but arrangements might be considered if good. Low priority. I'm just not a composer myself.
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#2
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Oh, so it's you that guy in Insane Difficulty forum!

In my opinion people who creates the hacks cares too much about settle a new balance, changing damage formula etc... the only parameter who needs some improvement should be stamina, i believe...

If you edit spells, actors and monsters in the proper way, you've solved the balance problem Wink

If you're searching for a music composer... Gi Nattak is our "Nobuo Uematsu" Laugh
Dunno if he has time to help you, but maybe he can give you some advice?

About ideas... you should event edit a bit...
How 'bout map editing too? I always thought that i've never seen an hack with significants map changes

Fill WoB with more bonus stuff... when you get the blackjack, you think "yeah now i have the airship! i can go everywhere!!!" but you can actually only go to the lesser triangle island and the great forest full of piros... WoB ends here... Sweat

If you make intend to the player that he has to explore WoB... combined to the fact that it's a missable world, they'll start to explore each square of map... that will double the hours of gameplay too Objection!

While i never make grow up Gau, still i disapprove the idea of make him learn rages more easily... fighting all monster means also explore everywhere... you'd not even find Grenade or have a reason to find him, without the rage learning condition.


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#3
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(09-23-2014, 11:32 PM)dn Wrote: -Critique on ideas. I've had varying responses to some of the things I have or want to implement.

Hmm...a lot of the things that you have posted give you new options to varying degrees rather than compose a change in themselves. It's hard to really tell how these will work out until you put things into practice.

(09-23-2014, 11:32 PM)dn Wrote: -Blind affects magic accuracy.

While that breaks from the standard FF formula, it should probably help to make Blind a meaningful status that you'll want to heal more often. Or you have the option of tanking the fight by just using moves that hit 100% of the time, if that's better suited to the scenario.

(09-23-2014, 11:32 PM)dn Wrote: -Vitality figures into damage reduction as well as additional HP and MP growth.

This is great, because those are the things that people expect from Stamina, and what it usually doesn't deliver in hacks of this game.

(09-23-2014, 11:32 PM)dn Wrote: -Agility figures into evasion and accuracy. I presently forget if magic side takes it into account. I think it does.

Depending on how this is implemented, this could alleviate brokenness or contribute to it. It's hard to tell. My biggest worry is that with the ATB pausing during animations, speed is now even more likely to become the "God Stat", like it sometimes seems to in games where animations don't play a role. If speed is contributing to your defense (through evasion), your healing, and your attacking (because you get more turns), you'll have to be very careful not to let it come close to outshining Stamina, Magic, and Vigor/Magic in their respective roles.

(09-23-2014, 11:32 PM)dn Wrote: -Actual strength and vitality stats now exist for enemies, as do elemental resistence stats. (Previously, they only were provided with weakness, immunity, and absorb stats)

These changes are cool from a technical standpoint, but I don't know how much they'll actually matter. The effects from Vigor/Stamina can be provided by adjusting other stats in most scenarios, I reckon, unless you're really fine-tuning the enemies to be a certain way. Spell resistance is harder to identify than spell immunity, but likely has around the same effect once identified. A player will simply not use a spell once they know it's resisted.

However, it could be used to give enemies varying levels of immunity. If an enemy is resistant to every element except Fire, and weak to Fire, you have an enemy with a 4X weakness. Then just adjust their Magic resistance to what you're going for.

(09-23-2014, 11:32 PM)dn Wrote: -Back row has a multiplier of 1.5x damage from magic. This could change, but I haven't gotten enough of the game done to really see its effect on balance.

I feel like this should not be a thing. I already think being in the back row generally needs to be discouraged, not encouraged. Taking it slow and steady is often a good idea even when your characters are hindered damage-wise, people really don't need incentive to be there.

(09-23-2014, 11:32 PM)dn Wrote: -Yes, the gem box is nerfed. No, I don't know if it'll remain nerfed, at least as-is. I may reduce the nerf from half-damage to 3/4 damage.

So you'll get to use twice as many spells, at half power? That sounds pretty interesting. Instead of a broken endgame Relic that improves damage (though some problems would be alleviated if you nerf Quick), this is now a decent midgame Relic that boosts versatility instead. It would allow a character to heal and attack on the same turn if your party needs healing (if your half powered healing spell could do the job), or use two status effect at the same time. Instead of improving it to 3/4 damage, I'd prefer to see it halve MP depending on how hard MP is to restore in your hack. Otherwise, you're losing twice the MP and a Relic slot for some versatility, which doesn't seem worth it. That's how I can see the Relic being interesting anyhow.

(09-23-2014, 11:32 PM)dn Wrote: -Save points recover HP and MP. Generally, people already use a tent anytime they reach one as it is, so I felt that changing the tent item to something else and automating the process was more efficient than worry about the Tent item's effect on financial balance.

Cool, I keep forgetting to buy those things... XD

(09-23-2014, 11:32 PM)dn Wrote: -I've dabbled in making curative items fractional, but have abandoned it. I may return to the idea. Presently, I intend to simply add a multiplier.

Personally, I prefer the multiplier, as it sets the healing Items (which don't scale) apart from the healing Magic (which does scale) while still allowing Items to be worth something later on.

(09-23-2014, 11:32 PM)dn Wrote: -Natural magic lists exist for all characters, but presently only four are utilized. I've been considering at least partially utilizing more, but I would be unsure as to how to allocate that.

Wow, this is pretty cool for hacks in general. No clue how this would be utilized though, so I can't comment.

No comment on Esper bonuses yet, I'll think on it later.

(09-23-2014, 11:32 PM)Tenkarider Wrote: In my opinion people who creates the hacks cares too much about settle a new balance, changing damage formula etc... the only parameter who needs some improvement should be stamina, i believe...

If you edit spells, actors and monsters in the proper way, you've solved the balance problem

This won't solve any balance problems. Vigor simply isn't useful enough when compared to Magic. If you spend the whole game pumping Magic, you will see a significant investment, but if you spend the whole game pumping Vigor, you will see extra shave damage. The formula simply has to be altered to provide balance between Vigor and Magic, no matter what your attacks look like. If the stats are fixed, you can balance them in the way you mentioned, but it won't account for improving stats.

Similarly, (ignoring the menu trick, which is counter-intuitive and fourth wall breaking, something that shouldn't be an inherent part of the game), speed rarely makes a difference because your characters will usually be on par with enemies 1:1 in terms of turns due to animations, if they're using decent attacks (which usually have more elaborate animations as they get better). This could be fixed by changing characters and monsters, but only by slowing the game down to the point where animations make little difference. The ATB patch hurts pacing a little, but that's worse.

@Tenka The other things you mentioned would be cool, but only if they're within the scope of the project.

Those are just my intitial impressions. Take them or leave them.

This comment has been posted on ID as well, so others can see it.


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I'm saving the event editing for when I"m finished with vanilla, sans some specific additions I have in mind.

RE: gem box

I actually hadn't thought of moving it to become a mid-game item. Interesting. This is why I need this kind of feedback. I was thinking of making it an option to make buffing more effective, as opposed to a de-facto go-to for nuking damage.

As for my back row damage modifier, I should note that's damage taken, not damage recieved. I always get that misinterpetation when I try to explain it. Any character in the back row takes more magic damage. It's experiemental right now in terms of balance, as I haven't even come close to the point at which it begins to matter, but I"m leaving it in for the meantime.

As for speed, I'm tightly regulating it. If I attach it to any espers, it'll come at the expense of something else. Speed effectively walled at 60 or so in vanilla due to animations, and removing that wall changes everything.


Decided I'm reinserting HP and MP restoration for the present. It distinguishes my hack and I think balance can be achieved with work.

The main issues I'm having at present:

Damage formula. I originally changed it as a lashback against the heavily level-oriented formula, but I'm having second thoughts, and the formula at present is wonky at best. I'm tempted to reinsert level as a factor to a smaller degree than was present in vanilla, but I'm unsure what to do in general. Vanilla's formulae are broken.

Esper bonuses. I have three options, though I'd love to hear alternative ideas:

1) remove them. This is a distinguishing feature of FFVI in general, so I'm highly adverse to this. Several hacks already do it, and understandably so, as stat bonuses vary greatly and make balance hard.

2) Restrict them by character. This is kind of BNW's thing. It'd function for me, but it'd feel samey on the whole.

3) Add stat penalties to the bonuses. Pandora's Box does this. It's the idea I'm most strongly considering, but I've been mulling this one for years and am still unconvinced it's the right path.

Quick is also something I need to take a longer look at. I'm considering either making it kill the caster (and thus making it required that the caster use it on somebody else, who then would have to make the decision of using one of their free turns to revive the Quick caster,) or removing it. Those are the only two ways I can think of to mitigate its potency, given my other balancing decisions (namely MP restoration makes MP use less of a mitigating factor, and slow just isn't potent enough to matter here, even with ATB differences.)
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I haven't specified how to improve the stamina, i'll throw a random example... imagine that high stamina lowers poison/seizure damage while low stamina increases it... the opposite with regen.
Now break the 255 poison/seizure/regen cap and set it to 1275... how 'bout that?

Say with 100 stamina you'll regain 1000 hp each time;
or with 20 stamina poison will deal 1000 -> 2000 -> 4000 -> death...

just an example.


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I've already fixed Stamina's lack of inversion on poison, and honestly any higher than 255 per tick is broken with a 9999 hp cap. Poison can do 2000+ hp damage per tick on enemies as things stand.
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That's the point: now you'll definitively wanna spend some level up in order to gain 10-20 points of stamina(30 to who lacks of stamina), that points will be subtracted from the ones who you could decided to use for increase the other 3 parameters.

That opens space to perfect tank builds... give him 100 stamina and it will become really hard to kill with regen active(it's up to the creator to find a correct balance), or just stack 100 stamina points in order to receive no more that 100 damage from poison/seizure

Anyway, as said before, it was just an example Tongue


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Since I lost a few posts due to a rollback, I decided it prudent to make a new video. The new video also showcases a simple battle to display some other changes.


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I like the main idea you've implemented. Having automatically magic through espers and equipment will bring a new level of customization. Also, it removes the possibility of having every characters spamming ultima as an example.
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Sure, but in that case you should do that the equip which provides ultima is unique, or simply equipable only with a single esper in the whole game...


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