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ReCast FF3: War of the Magitek

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I saw that Raze worked on AtmaWeapon and Tsepmet and assumed from the sample size of n=2 that it worked on basically all bosses. Tongue In addition, I did happen to debilitate AtmaWeapon to poison, so I'm guessing he was immune all along and I just couldn't tell the difference. My bad.

But yeah, I hadn't gotten far enough to test most of the WoR bosses, except for determining that Raze failed against Chadarnook. If it fails against the overwhelming majority of bosses, then I'm fine with it.

That said, being able to debilitate bosses to poison is still a pretty big problem IMO. You can make this impossible by making bosses weak to poison as well as immune to it. Then the Debilitator can't remove the resistance and everything's good; no tricky changes required.


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  • C-Dude (05-27-2020)

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Can I click "Thank You" more than once, Lockirby?  That is brilliant!
Why did I never think of that?  The Debilitator effect checks if something's already weak and skips that element, so weak+null = no debilitate!  I feel like such a twit for missing that.

Also, I looked and Atma wasn't set to be immune to the Poison element.  Oops!  I'll look into fixing those flags and putting out another patch soon.

EDIT:  Hmm... maybe Tsepmet should stay vulnerable to poison.  People are going to get there and try to beat the boss even when they shouldn't (the dragons are like... level 70), and then get mad that the game is unbalanced.  I'm still feeling the heat about the TunnelArmr fight; don't want to bring any more wrath down on myself.


EDIT v1_09:
Changed dialogue in Cyan's Dream, upon defeat of Wrexsoul.  Big spoilers.
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#53
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(05-27-2020, 05:59 PM)C-Dude Wrote: Also, I looked and Atma wasn't set to be immune to the Poison element.  Oops!  I'll look into fixing those flags and putting out another patch soon.

Wow, so in other words deducing that Onyx is OP because it worked on Atma (and the subsequent discussion) turned out to be a four-car pile-up of coincidences. Finger

(05-27-2020, 05:59 PM)C-Dude Wrote: EDIT:  Hmm... maybe Tsepmet should stay vulnerable to poison.  People are going to get there and try to beat the boss even when they shouldn't (the dragons are like... level 70), and then get mad that the game is unbalanced.  I'm still feeling the heat about the TunnelArmr fight; don't want to bring any more wrath down on myself.

I feel like the type of person to conclude that the game is broken because they can't beat an optional boss with two people would also be the type of person not to analyze all of their options and miss the fact that Onyx is broken sometimes.  I don't feel like it's an effective enough counter-measure to prevent that issue.

Honestly, it would be cool if you added a short event beforehand if the scenario hasn't been finished saying something like (paraphrasing, I'm not much of a writer):

LOCKE: That thing looks tough! We probably shouldn't fight it with just the two of us.

Besides, fighting Tsepmet early is a fun little bonus for people who do know what they're doing.  It'd be a shame to ruin that. Wink


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Another minor bug? Upon carving out "The World Is Square", nothing happens. The game just repeats that nothing appropriate is coming to mind.
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  • C-Dude (05-28-2020)

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(05-28-2020, 04:38 PM)Lockirby2 Wrote: I feel like the type of person to conclude that the game is broken because they can't beat an optional boss with two people would also be the type of person not to analyze all of their options and miss the fact that Onyx is broken sometimes. I don't feel like it's an effective enough counter-measure to prevent that issue.

Honestly, it would be cool if you added a short event beforehand if the scenario hasn't been finished saying something like (paraphrasing, I'm not much of a writer):

LOCKE: That thing looks tough! We probably shouldn't fight it with just the two of us.

Besides, fighting Tsepmet early is a fun little bonus for people who do know what they're doing. It'd be a shame to ruin that. Wink

I would, but the dialogue script is tapped out. I've used every open pointer and there's only 40 characters of free space left for dialogue throughout the whole game.
For now, Tsepmet remains vulnerable to poison so that players feeling it is a mandatory boss can try Onyx if they're stuck. I'll think about making it immune, but I haven't decided yet if I should.


(05-28-2020, 06:52 PM)Alby4t5 Wrote: Another minor bug? Upon carving out "The World Is Square", nothing happens. The game just repeats that nothing appropriate is coming to mind.
You have to carve it in backwards.
ERAU
QSSI
DRLO
WEHT

I know it doesn't have the feedback strings to tell you what you put in and got in the wrong order, but I really needed those dialogue strings. When I did it, I recall testing against the vanilla experience and it was similar (I think I got "WEHT DRLO QSSI ERAU" and then "Nothing happened"). I know it's a little harder without the feedback string, but again I REALLY needed that space (Most of the Terra scenario's new lines use those pointers).
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Ekauq did nothing when I fought him. I killed him pretty fast, but not quite fast enough that I would have expected him not to attack. Not sure if this is a genuine bug. For all I know he just has chance to do nothing.


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This is his battle script.

Code:
[Script generated by: Final Fantasy 3us Multi Editor, Coded by Lord J]
[FF3usME version: 6.8.0]
[File version: 1.00]
[Section: Monster Battle Scripts]

[script #-1]   ; orig idx=332, "Ekauq", nb. bytes=50
FC 0B 14 00    ; If timer has reached/passed 20 (locks timer)
FB 00 00       ; has battle timer set to 0
F1 43          ; Targeting: allies
C3             ; 50 Gs
FD             ; Wait until the attack sequence is called upon again, then continue (reset targeting)
F0 EE 8D 1C    ; Rand. spell: Battle or Geo3 or <MG>Slow
FD             ; Wait until the attack sequence is called upon again, then continue (reset targeting)
F0 EE BC ED    ; Rand. spell: Battle or Magnitude8 or Impression
FD             ; Wait until the attack sequence is called upon again, then continue (reset targeting)
F0 75 BC 15    ; Rand. spell: Chasm or Magnitude8 or <MG>Mute
FD             ; Wait until the attack sequence is called upon again, then continue (reset targeting)
F0 EE 75 8D    ; Rand. spell: Battle or Chasm or Geo3
FE             ; End If and reset targeting
FF             ; End first wave of attack
FC 12 00 00    ; If following monster is/are dead:
F5 0C 01 FF    ; Monsters #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6 are killed, dies like a boss
FE             ; End If and reset targeting
FC 01 00 02    ; If monster has been attacked by cmd: Fight or Magic, will target attacker
F0 FE FE EF    ; Rand. spell: Nothing or Nothing or Special
FF             ; End
You must have beaten him before the counter hit 20. I'll try the fight again myself, maybe he needs a speed boost or maybe that delay needs to be removed.

EDIT: Just tried it and he seems to be working for me. My guess, you've got haste on your party and you were pressing the attack, so you were able to flood the queue and he didn't get a chance to attack. That's a high-speed strat made more prominent because the invisible status monster is also filling up the queue. I saw Fathlo do the same thing in the second Vargas fight (unintentionally, but anyway), after Vargas slowed down from using the potions.
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When the queen crumbles, it says that I obtained the Magicite "Freya", but in the menu she is called "Frigg".


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Oops! Frigg is the correct name. I had Freya and Frigg confused from Norse mythology, and clearly I corrected one and not the other.

I won't put out a new version just for a 3-letter typo, so I'll correct it and hold off until something major comes up (which it hopefully won't, but based on how this has been going that's a blind hope).
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Alright, I made it to the end!

From what I can tell, the spell Aurora is the only percentage-based attack that the party can use (other than BumRush, which is fair) that doesn't deal poison-based damage.  Not only that, but it attacks all enemies and pretty much heals the caster to full HP too, making it even more broken than Onyx.  I'm not sure if it's a bug and you intended it to either be Poison-element or if it was supposed to have a different effect (I'm willing to look in the ME since I'm finished the game, so I see that the Blow Fish effect is set on this attack, but this appears to do nothing).

Now for some more general comments (I'll post these on RHDN as a review):

This is a hack that I would recommend to somebody that is looking to play a hack that is "vanilla, but different".  I think the hack has accomplished its goal in that sense.  It is advertised that the difficulty is about the same as vanilla, and I think that assessment is correct.  While enemies do slightly more dangerous things when they do get to attack, it's easier to defend your characters with equipment and buffs.  In addition, I find that enemies typically don't act as often to begin with.

While your damage output is typically slightly lower than in vanilla, and you generally need to be slightly more creative to obtain that damage output, most bosses still die before their second attack and don't do anything threatening with their first.  To give an example, I killed Kefka and the third tier before they moved; the enemies in the other two tiers acted once apiece (except Magic, who I disabled with Runic to spend time buffing, although said buffs were a complete waste of time).

Overall, I would have enjoyed the hack more if it was a tad harder, but that explicitly wasn't a goal of the hack, so it would be unfair to really complain about that.

One philosophy of this hack is that it's better for a mechanic to be OP than boring.  Because of this, status effects are also extremely powerful.  Full-party image basically makes enemy physical attacks irrelevant and Shell (which can also be applied to the whole party) cuts enemy magical damage in half now.  In addition, casting a negative status in a random encounter will usually disable the entire enemy party.  Bosses (up to and including the final boss) are pretty much always vulnerable to a status, which means that you can instantly win boss fights if you know what they are vulnerable to (or just win the guessing lottery). That said, I guess you can also pretty much "instantly win the fight" just by hitting the boss as hard as possible, so maybe that's necessary for status effects to compete.  If a boss can be hit with percentage-based attacks, there's basically no reason to use anything else.

One nice thing about this hack's balance is that magic is typically less powerful and more in line with your other options.  Surprisingly for an FF6 hack, attacks with weapons are often the best way to put on the hurt, though usually the attacker needs to be in the front to do so effectively.

Characters are also designed "not to be boring", and this is followed fairly consistently with the exception of Clyde; his only special ability deals mediocre magical damage to a single target, his magic is only slightly better than the lowest common denominator, and there are usually better options for attacking physically as well.  I also find Cyan somewhat unusable unless you're fighting a boss that can be cheesed with the percentage-based TetraSlash.  Cleave and TetraSlash take a long time to activate, so usually all the enemies in a random encounter are dead before these skills are even used.  And because TetraSlash isn't a standard heavy-hitting attacking move anymore, Cyan has no option to achieve more than a couple thousand damage in most end-game boss fights.  And in this game, that's pretty bad.

In terms of the script and thematic changes, I find them to be a mixed bag.  For example, Celes was intended to sound more like a general.  Sometimes this effect was achieved, but at other moments she seemed more like a fifteen-year old trying to sound tough on the internet.  Several songs were also swapped around.  Catastrophe starts playing on the WoB overworld when the Floating Continent is raised, making the situation feel more dire.  Since this situation should feel dire, I think that's a good change (despite the jank, which I'll discuss later).  On the other hand, Awakening plays when riding a chocobo, making it feel more sad instead of fun.  This feels out-of-place when riding a giant bird across the plains and waltzing straight past all of your enemies.

ReCast has a decent degree of polish, but interesting changes are often prioritized over polish when the two come into conflict.  For example, when Catastrophe is playing on the world map, there are quite a few different ways to break the music so that the wrong song plays until you re-board your airship.  Furthermore, Terra's Aether skills mostly absorb HP since they have the effects of black, white, and gray magic rolled into one.  This makes Terra pretty much invincible for the first third of the game since she will never die if she spams these skills.  Not to mention just about anything to do with the invisible monster that indicates the enemy status effects.  If you've played a lot of hacks and you're fine with the jank, these things probably won't bother you much.  If you're looking to play a game that feels like it could have been made by Square, you'll probably want to look elsewhere.

I wasn't sure if I'd like the smaller enemy sprites, but for the most part they're pretty cute and it's fun to see how the more iconic enemies were minified.  The humanoid sprites are especially nice and have a lot of effort put into them.  There are a couple inconsistencies like the canonically enormous seahorses in the Serpent Trench, but 98% of enemies are reasonably sized in comparison to the party.  Some of the enemy sprites were simply downsized; this is generally amusing when an enemy goes from small to tiny, but it doesn't look as nice for enemies that go from large to medium.  The Malboro in particular looks kinda gross, and not in a way that's appropriate to the enemy type.  But again, note that this is only a minority of the enemies; most of the designs look good in my opinion.

Most of the character sprites have also been changed to varying degrees as well.  I like that the general trend is to give people (and Espers) more practical clothes.  Personally, I find vanilla's leotards and loin cloths ridiculous, and most other hacks tend to go the opposite direction and be even more "uncensored" with their designs.  Sabin is the only character whose clothes seem out-of-place; I'm not sure how he's able to do martial arts while wearing those bulky robes.  Some of the sprites still have their flaws though.  WoR Gau looks like he's flailing his arms around when he walks vertically, and Relm's animations look awkward when she does something like blinking repeatedly or nodding her head.

This is my first time playing a hack based on PowerPanda's Divergent Paths mod.  The changes improve the pacing of the WoB dramatically.  Terra's scenario is still somewhat shorter than the other two, but it's a far cry more even than before.  It's hard to tell exactly what writing came from PP and what came from C-Dude, but the scenarios are much better written than in vanilla IMO.  The enemies that are normally in Sabin's scenario give less EXP than the enemies from Locke/Terra's scenarios, so I wish EXP yields were adjusted to account for this.

The scenario split in the WoR is fantastic as well.  If you're one of those people who didn't like the way that the WoR lets you go anywhere at anytime (I've heard people say that they couldn't bring themselves to finish vanilla because of this), then this hack's WoR is structured more to your liking.  Story-wise, the changes aren't quite as solid as the WoB scenario split.  Among other things, Gau sends letters to Lola instead of Cyan, which isn't as fitting for a dozen reasons.  But if you know the usual story inside and out, it's still fun to see how it has been changed.

Overall, while I wouldn't say that this is one of "the" definitive FF6 hacks by any means, it's still a solid hack to recommend to people who want to play a different version of FF6 despite not being experienced with the game.  It's also nice if somebody wants to relax with a chill romp or see what surprises the game has in store.


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