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Let's discuss Iris Havengard

#1
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So I was reading the threads about the 15th man project, and I think the community should consider casting Life1 on Iris Havengard.

PowerPanda has made ground on full-function actors $0E and $0F by building on the Full Roster project, and I think that Iris could follow if her design is made a little less ambitious.

What do I mean?  Her special action is the problem.  If it were to be changed from some esper-specific ability to WallChange, Iris suddenly writes herself.
  1. By making a monster sprite for her, she can take the place of Number 024.  It even fits her backstory: she IS experiment 24.
  2. Following point one, her World of Ruin recruitment again writes itself; she becomes the leader of the Cult of Kefka, taking on that role until defeated.
  3. Placing her directly in the story's path eliminates the complication of her being an optional recruit in the WoB.
  • She'd require an NPC or "Party5" addition to the banquet.
  • She'd require presence in Thamasa or a level re-balance post-Thamasa.
  • Unfortunately, Actor $0E has to share Locke's palette, which is 01 by default.  However... making $0E the guest actor slot for WoB frees up palette selection for Iris.

Does WallChange hold up as a player ability?  Would Forcefield be a better fit?  Is Iris worth the fight, or should she be left to rest?
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#2
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I agree that her ability was too ambitious, and that more than anything is what killed the project. Here are the abilities that I see as easy-to-implement.

(Ranked in order of desirability to me)
1. M.Sword - Iris has the ability to assign elemental attributes to her weapon strikes. This fits well with a physical-based character.
2. Morph - Give her the same ability as the Ragnarok summon, with a lower chance of success.
3. Wall - Iris can cast Wall (Safe+Shell) on 1 character for free.
4. WallChange, as you said. I just don't think it's particularly useful. Enemies don't often use elemental magic on you.
5. Debilitate - Change Edgar's tool into the Bazooka, and make this Iris's primary ability.


Projects:
Divergent Paths: The 3 Scenarios (Completed) - a redo of the 3 scenarios in the original game that gives equal time to each group. Meant to be a basis for future mods.
FFVI: Divergent Paths (In Progress) - a hack built off of the 3 scenarios that changes other events in the same, such as making Leo permanently recruitable, bringing Banon's story closure, and adding 1 more secret character.
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#3
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I like those ideas! I think at this point anyone wanting to revive the project can self-proclaim himself the project leader and implement her in the game (even if it's a solo thing). It's better to revive Iris under any form than leaving her as a dead project..
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(06-07-2020, 11:50 AM)PowerPanda Wrote: I agree that her ability was too ambitious, and that more than anything is what killed the project. Here are the abilities that I see as easy-to-implement.

(Ranked in order of desirability to me)
1. M.Sword - Iris has the ability to assign elemental attributes to her weapon strikes. This fits well with a physical-based character.
2. Morph - Give her the same ability as the Ragnarok summon, with a lower chance of success.
3. Wall - Iris can cast Wall (Safe+Shell) on 1 character for free.
4. WallChange, as you said. I just don't think it's particularly useful. Enemies don't often use elemental magic on you.
5. Debilitate - Change Edgar's tool into the Bazooka, and make this Iris's primary ability.

Here comes a (bad) thought. Would all that work be compatible with that code that would allow a character to create a new menu with eight selection and if so, would it be a good idea to just give Iris her own selection from the above (except M.Sword, which would be too much work on its own to code to be relegated to a menu option)?
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(06-09-2020, 02:22 PM)Turbotastic Wrote: Here comes a (bad) thought. Would all that work be compatible with that code that would allow a character to create a new menu with eight selection

Actually, Catone made a Possess command replacer that could be made compatible with the full roster pack. Considering that the ghost sprites might have to be overwritten to make room for Iris anyway, Possess can be freed up for this purpose. I'd say replace the ghosts with Moogles like I did in ReCast (and the specters on the train with random npcs in palette 5), and use a recolored Iris for the OdinSlaying Necromancer and MagiMaster, the latter being someone whom she was replacing anyway.

Catone's work makes a menu for up to eight spells (it functions exactly like Magitek), and could be adapted to fit into the full roster hack in place of Possess. Then it's a matter of busy work, picking eight spell slots to replace with the various abilities and making sure any spells that are changed still function appropriately in their original spots or are replaced (enemy scripts, mostly). I'd say the three tek beams would be a good start, but the default animation for those has the actor shooting magic out of their toes (it's really awkward; Aurabolt is slightly better).
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#6
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I think WallChange or Forcefield alone is not very strong once you reach the WoR since elemental resistances are generally easy enough to come by.  Even if Iris' version of Forcefield only affects the party, I'm probably already wearing Thunder Shields for the Gold Dragon and Flame Shields for Poltergeist, and having to spend an average of four turns to disable the desired element is basically forever in vanilla (not mention the risk of disabling an element that you actually want to use).  A Forcefield where you could choose which element to disable would be quite powerful, but it's reasonable IMO given the other options at your disposal.

I think that a Magic Sword that merely adds an elemental attribute to weapon strikes would be nearly useless until after the Phoenix Cave if it could only be applied to swords.  The support for using Fight in FF6 is just too weak until your level gets high and you have the Offering/Atma Weapon and/or Illumina.  I think this could be cooler if Magic Sword allowed you to pick any spell Iris knows and it would proc 100% of the time upon attacking.  I'm sure this would be harder than adding the elemental property to her weapon, but it doesn't sound outside the realm of possibility to me.  It's a powerful offensive option, but also usually not much more powerful than simply casting the spell and also requires Iris to be in the front to use effectively, which is normally a bad decision.

I think providing a menu with a handful of miscellaneous unique abilities wouldn't be the most exciting on its own since the other characters have some sort of gimmick as to how they acquire or use those abilities.  I feel like we'd need some way to spice it up a little.

I'd be glad if somebody was willing to take up the reins on this project, though I don't see myself doing that anytime soon.


Confused Moogles FTW
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#7
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I'm laughing, because this is exactly why the project died. Too many cooks in the kitchen. The simplest and most dynamic ability is Morph, because every enemy already has a morph pack.

Anyway, Lockirby2, let's run with the idea of M.Sword. What if it checked Iris's level (X), doubled it, and used that as a probability out of 255 for casting a spell of that element [2x/255]. Examples (pulled randomly from memory):
Fire = Flame Skean
Bolt = Bolt Edge
Ice = Blizzard
Water = Water Edge
Wind = Wind Slash
Earth = Surge
Poison = ???
Holy = ???

So if Iris were at level 30, and she chose Fire, she would do a fire attack, and then have a 2(30)/255 (24%) chance of also casting Fire Skean. At level 60, she would have a 47% chance of casting the spell. Too complicated?


Projects:
Divergent Paths: The 3 Scenarios (Completed) - a redo of the 3 scenarios in the original game that gives equal time to each group. Meant to be a basis for future mods.
FFVI: Divergent Paths (In Progress) - a hack built off of the 3 scenarios that changes other events in the same, such as making Leo permanently recruitable, bringing Banon's story closure, and adding 1 more secret character.
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#8
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(06-11-2020, 05:18 PM)PowerPanda Wrote: I'm laughing, because this is exactly why the project died. Too many cooks in the kitchen. The simplest and most dynamic ability is Morph, because every enemy already has a morph pack.
Any ideas for an animation for Metamorph?  Something that's a recolored spell or splice of two spells?  Life3 with a palette change could be nice.

I debated adding Iris to ReCast, but I just don't have the space... I'd have to gut the auction house for string pointers and extra event room.  I'd also have to mash up Morph and Revert into one command to make room for another call, the thought of which is honestly making me a bit queasy.  I'll think about it, but it wouldn't be a swift or punctual adjustment.  ReCast is also out of room for actor graphics; I'd need to replace Sarge Finger , which severely wrinkles the game's opening.

Were I to use her, though, I can promise that she'd be using a single ability like Metamorph or WallChange, but elemental defense is more important in my hack than in a vanilla experience that the original project called for.


So let's discuss Metamorph.  It's got its own fail rate set by monster separate from its cast fail rate (meaning we'd want it to 'always hit' to avoid complicated probability spaces).  It's basically a free Doom when it connects, but most vanilla monsters have the lowest metamorph chance (12.5%).
Were I the one to set up MSword, they'd probably be a bunch of middle-ground "Element2" single-target attacks, which would quickly be outpaced even in the World of Balance.
Looking to other existing mechanics, we've got the Golem effect, which is overpowered if spammable... that's a no-go.  There's Debilitator, but that's only good for bosses.
Perhaps a mana battery (Mantra style, current MP / Party Members as MP Heal)?

Superball?  Wild Magic might be fun; cast a random free spell from the Gogo list perhaps?  But that's just like Rage with a FrenzyBand on.

Can't think of anything else, so I'll leave with this: think smaller.  The more the mechanic can be set up in the editor, the better.
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#9
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For animations, I think Relm's desperation is a good one. There's also the animation Kefka used on the Ifrit lookalike, but I don't know if that will function in battle. Xfer could work too.


Projects:
Divergent Paths: The 3 Scenarios (Completed) - a redo of the 3 scenarios in the original game that gives equal time to each group. Meant to be a basis for future mods.
FFVI: Divergent Paths (In Progress) - a hack built off of the 3 scenarios that changes other events in the same, such as making Leo permanently recruitable, bringing Banon's story closure, and adding 1 more secret character.
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#10
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(06-11-2020, 05:18 PM)PowerPanda Wrote: I'm laughing, because this is exactly why the project died. Too many cooks in the kitchen. The simplest and most dynamic ability is Morph, because every enemy already has a morph pack.

Anyway, Lockirby2, let's run with the idea of M.Sword. What if it checked Iris's level (X), doubled it, and used that as a probability out of 255 for casting a spell of that element [2x/255]. Examples (pulled randomly from memory):
Fire = Flame Skean
Bolt = Bolt Edge
Ice = Blizzard
Water = Water Edge
Wind = Wind Slash
Earth = Surge
Poison = ???
Holy = ???

So if Iris were at level 30, and she chose Fire, she would do a fire attack, and then have a 2(30)/255 (24%) chance of also casting Fire Skean. At level 60, she would have a 47% chance of casting the spell. Too complicated?
I'm into this idea, it's essentially what I suggested before but I just called it Aether and had it doing a random spell ala Dance or Rage for a single turn, this seems way better while keeping to the idea that she's an experiment with Espers having her with a command that is magical but also introduces a chaotic element (her proc'ing the additional effect)
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