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Messages - Leythalknight

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1
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.3.2
« on: 2021-02-26 16:51:18 »
FFVIII Crystal 1.3.2 released.

Download: https://mega.nz/file/QWwnHYSI#aB8sMed3DWcp6JzxiT6QaKKTKCIwQfwvBWIcD6vzmRQ


Content:

Spoiler: show
- Added a new sidequest at Edea's House, available with Rinoa in the party after visiting the Sorceress Memorial during the story.*

- Added a new battle in the aberrant monsters sidequest.


*Will not work on pre-1.3 save files if you've already triggered the conversation between Edea and Rinoa about sorceresses' knights. If you've triggered that conversation and want to try the sidequest, send me your save file and I will edit it for you.


Characters/GFs:

Spoiler: show
- Adjusted various characters' stats and stat growth.
- Lowered Drain's Status Atk-J power from 50% to 34%.
- Lowered Arise's Elem-Def power from 25% to 20%.
- Lowered Ultima's Elem-Def power from 30% to 25%.

- Reintroduced Edea as a guest party member.
*GF: Eden
*Comes with abilities such as Pray, Double, and Expendx2-1 as well as a variety of spells.
*Spell selection: unlimited

Squall/Bahamut:
- Changed materials required to make Lionheart.

- Zell/Ifrit:
- Chakra's healing increased from 1/4 to 5/16.

Selphie/Tonberry:
- Changed levels at which refinement abilities can be learned.
*High Mag-RF: 35 --> 30
*BLK-RF 3: 45 --> 35

Rinoa/Carbuncle:
- Angel Wing now uses JWP's Angel Wing patch, which makes Rinoa cast only certain spells regardless of whether they're in her inventory. She has a chance to cast the following spells during Angel Wing, grouped in order from most to least likely: {Holy, Waterga}, {Flare}, {Doom, Meteor, Tornado}, {Pain, Quake}, {Blizzaga, Firaga, Thundaga}, {Curaga, Slow}, {Ultima}, {Haste}, {Wall}, {Aura}, {Apocalypse}
- Removed Angel Wing's Haste effect and replaced it with Float.
- Changed materials required to make Shooting Star.

Irvine:
- Changed Irvine's GF to Cerberus.
*Counter Rockets: grants Haste to the party.
- Removed Irvine's Magic command and replaced it with Draw.
- Irvine now starts with 30 AP in Aura.

Seifer/Alexander:
- Changed starting abilities.
- No Mercy: ignores Vit.


Enemies:

1.3.1: Restored Jumbo Cactuar's standard world map behavior.
1.3.2: Changed the save variable used by the aberrant Abyss Worm; added UFO? rework.

Spoiler: show
- Enemies in Tears' Point now scale up to level 50; changed some enemy formations.
- Made various changes to spell refinement item drops.

- Grendel: Replaced Tail Blade with a generic attack using Tail Blade's animation; replacement attack is slightly less powerful but more accurate.
- Hexadragon: Has a one-time chance of using Rapture if afflicted with certain status effects; increased power of Chemical Breath, removed Poison effect and changed to non-elemental; now has a chance of using a critical attack instead of a normal one; low- and mid-level behavior altered to incorporate normal attacks and Bio.
- Abyss Worm: Base stats modified; stats change when below 30% HP; can now remove status effects; has a chance to use Vampire instead of a normal attack.

- Iguion: Earth weakness changed from 200% to 150%; Slow added to Draw list; now casts the Haste spell on itself; fixed issue in which Haste wouldn't take effect; fixed issue in which Iguions would not use Resonance.
- Base Soldier: Fixed issue in which it would use Aero on itself; now uses Cure instead.
- Oilboyle: Reworked.
- NORG Pod: Lowered HP.
- NORG: Modified NORG's pattern; Orbs now cast the Haste spell on themselves instead of being Hasted through AI, so the effect can be dispelled; Orbs can begin Hasting themselves sooner; at 30% HP, there is a chance that an Orb will advance directly from blue to red; changed NORG's level scaling.
- Odin: Acts more frequently; action chances increase when below 60% HP; now uses Daunt instead of Stop; restored a line of unused battle dialogue.
- Seifer (3): Str increased; has an additional action chance; is more likely to use Zombie; can counter physical attacks with Blind and magical attacks with Silence; Provoke gives a Regen effect; gains a Str and Spd boost and a guaranteed critical attack action when under Aura status.
- Edea (2): Increased Spd; now uses Aura on Seifer instead of Berserk; increased action chances and adjusted action probabilities; uses Maleficium sooner; has an additional guaranteed use of Maelstrom at 20% HP.
- Ultima Weapon: Replaced Light Pillar with Licht Säule, which deals no damage but inflicts an immunity-ignoring Death effect; now has a chance of using Tornado instead of Quake.


Misc.:

Spoiler: show
- Changed the following spell refine totals:
*Cure: 5 --> 10
*Raise: 3 --> 5
*Protect: 3 --> 5
*Shell: 3 --> 5
*Zombie: 5 --> 10
*Curaga (WHT-RF 3): 3 --> 5
*Holy (WHT-RF 3): 3 --> 5
*Haste: 3 -> 5

*Fire: 5 --> 10
*Blizzard: 5 --> 10
*Thunder: 5 --> 10
*Fira: 5 --> 10
*Blizzara: 5 --> 10
*Thundara: 5 --> 10
*Firaga: 5 --> 10
*Blizzaga: 5 --> 10
*Thundaga: 5 --> 10

- Fixed Aura Draw Point outside of G-Garden; replaced with Zombie.
- Added Cottages to Winhill Shop.
- Joker has a unique shop on Disc 4.
- Joker now has an option to heal the party when spoken to aboard the Ragnarok.
- Added a hidden shop that allows for the purchase of certain missable items on Disc 4.
- Updated Aberrant Key items' descriptions.
- Added dialogue to hint at new sidequests.
- Restored an unused line of dialogue during the meeting with Edea on Disc 3.
- Updated Credits section of OP.
- Updated screenshot album in the OP.
- Added a donation link to the OP.


EDIT: I didn't want to triple-post, so I updated this post with 1.3.1. I suddenly remembered the other reason that I made Cactuar Irvine's GF: if no one has it, then Jumbo Cactuar will never stop spawning on the world map. I figured out how to make JC's spawn check one of the battle save variables instead and the hex values I changed are below.

The new sidequest at Edea's House is the first that includes story elements. I may make a few more such sidequests in the future, so let me know what you think. Speaking of sidequests, I'll be concluding the aberrant monsters sidequest in 1.4.

I still have some reservations about the Angel Wing update, and may alter or revert it in the future depending on the feedback I get.

I'm also posting the hex values for a few of the changes included in this update and the previous one should anyone want to use them:

Spoiler: show
Code: [Select]
#Allow Minimog to be summoned regardless of Chocobo World progress

8E0AF = 75
8E0B0 = 00
8E0B1 = 40
8E0B2 = 00

This changes the address checked by the MiniMog command to one found in an error handling message in the exe, as I figured said value would never change in actual gameplay. This should work pretty easily in other versions as long as you change it to an address with a value within the correct range (the minimum needed for MiniMog to appear is 0D, but I can't remember the max...).

Code: [Select]
#Double MiniMog's Gil cost

8E0D6 = 03

Code: [Select]
#Prevent removal of Edea's GF during Laguna dreams

ACE7F = 90 90 90 90

This also works for Seifer (and other characters too, presumably).

Code: [Select]
#Changes the address Jumbo Cactuar's world map spawn checks to save var 57

144C4A = 58
144C4B = E9

144C4C and 144C4D make up the rest of the address, but in this case I didn't need to change them.

2
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.2
« on: 2021-02-17 14:11:13 »
I think she was balanced. She was strong and her limit break could kill regular enemies in one hit, and my tactic against the boss at the Great Salt Lake (Abadon I think?) involved her spamming her limit. The boss went down quick. You could arguably say that she's a bit overpowered but since she's not a permanent character I didn't mind, plus she's supposed to be strong, so it made sense. She reminded me of Beatrix from FF9, who is only with you for a short while but is made powerful so you can have fun with her.

I consider Beatrix close to perfect as a temporary party member, so that's good to hear. I figured Edea would make Abaddon a lot easier, but I thought it'd be with doublecasted Holy. My gut reaction to your post was to nerf Edea a little in 1.3, but after giving it some more thought I decided to leave her as is for now since Abaddon (and more importantly Diabolos, whom it's possible to fight using Edea) will be getting reworks in 1.4. I can keep her the same and just make them tougher.

3
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.2
« on: 2021-02-10 21:59:23 »
Hey,

You may already know this, but I've reached the Lunar Base and I can confirm that Edea has no problem with de-equipping GFs now from the Laguna dreams. Your fix for that works great.

Good to hear. I also confirmed that it prevents Seifer's GF from being unequipped, which I may make use of eventually. What did you think of Edea as a playable character?

Quote
I found what I think may be a small oversight. You know the invisible Aura drawpoint that is available during the battle of the Gardens? The one here: https://static.wikia.nocookie.net/finalfantasy/images/d/db/Aura_draw_point_location_during_the_Battle_of_the_Gardens_from_FFVIII_R.png/revision/latest?cb=20191119214919

It's still there and can be used, giving you access to some Aura spells. I know it's invisible and one time-only, and only Quistis has move-find and she isn't there, but if you know it's there, you can still use it.

Yeah, that shouldn't be there. IIRC it's supposed to contain Bio or Dispel or something like that. Thanks, I'll have it fixed in the next update.

Quote
I also had a weird instance where an enemy cast Aero on itself and died. I forgot which one it was sadly but I think it was an encounter with three enemies and may have been story related? I wish I had written it down... I keep thinking it may have been humanoid soldiers but I'm not sure.

These are all of the enemies that use Aero:

Creeps
Chimera
Torama
Vysage
Abyss Worm
Ruby Dragon
Fujin (1)
Thrustaevis (Whirlwind uses Aero's animation)

I looked through their AI but didn't see anything that would cause them to use Aero on themselves, but I may have overlooked something. If the list jogs your memory, let me know. As far as soldiers go, I think the G-Specialists (the green ones) used to use Aero, but it's not in their movelist anymore. Low- and mid-level G-Blue Mages (the light blue ones) can use Storm Breath though.


Never mind, I found it right after sending this post.  :-\ It's the Base Soldier. The Potion+ item they used to use is now a stronger version of Aero after I added Scan Stones and I overlooked that, thinking there were no enemies that used Potion+. It's fixed now, thanks.

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As I'm approaching the end, I'm really enjoying the mod. For the most part it kept the same level of challenge and balance, which I think is pretty good. There were some harder fights, but nothing too ridiculous and it very much feels like a proper difficulty, rather than a hard-type mod, which I really appreciate. I think the second Seifer fight was a good example, he wasn't really hard and I didn't need a super specific strategy, but he had a good chunk of HP and could dish out damage fast, so I needed to pay attention. You turned him into a proper boss rather than a joke, without going overboard.

I think I might write up a small review on the mechanics and what I liked, and some minor stuff that could maybe use a bit of improvement. Maybe I'll focus on how the characters function since that's a good way to look at the game balance. So yeah, I'm almost finished and overall super pleased with this mod. Good work!

Thanks  :) I'm glad you're liking the mod. Looking forward to your detailed feedback should you decide to do a write-up.

4
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.2
« on: 2021-02-09 20:52:54 »
They worked better this time around. I think the increase was enough, Squall had more turns attacking than previously because his healing was more potent. Previously Squall's healing often couldn't fully heal a bigger hit in the early game, now it does and usually adds a little on top. Now I no longer had Squall constantly healing to keep up with the punches.

Good to hear.

Quote
Ah, fair enough. Shame magic damage is so wonky.

It's the biggest reason attack magic is so bad in vanilla. I made some changes to Rinoa's Str stat after my last post and I think Angelo Cannon is in a better spot now.


Hey man, do you have any hope of ever porting this to the remaster version?

Asking for a guy on Reddit.

Hey there. I plan to, but it may not be for a while. I'd like to complete the rest of my plans for this version before I work on Remastered in order to minimize the amount of extra work required. Some things are as easy as drag and drop, but others require more than that. I also don't know whether the mod's .exe changes are possible in Remastered, so I'll have to investigate how to do that at some point too. At worst, I may release a version that excludes the .exe changes but has some other differences from the 2013 version, but I'd like to avoid that if possible.

I ported some of the simpler stuff to Remastered once, but I didn't go any further than that.

Spoiler: show


Did you get my last PM, btw? The thing I was talking about is a little closer to being possible now that I've figured out how to stop the JUNCTION opcode from unequipping guest characters' GFs.




In update news, the aberrant Abyss Worm fight that I posted about before is finished and I'm currently working on a sidequest with a little more story/dialogue than the stuff I've done so far; as a result, it's taking longer as well. Both will be in 1.3.

Spoiler: show

5
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.2
« on: 2021-01-26 18:11:43 »
A quick update, I've also reached the second Laguna dream and according to the Hyne save editor, Edea is still equipped with Eden on my end too.  :) I'm hoping to finish disc 1 soon.

I also checked out the third Laguna dream and it also keeps Eden. I haven't tested the last two yet, but I feel fairly confident in saying that the issue is fixed now.

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As for some observations, you were right about Squall's strength. While he initially seemed lacking, once I got to run around the world map a bit and he started to approach level 20, I noticed that his damage output became a lot more solid. For Rinoa, I think it might be better to have her limits be magic-based to give her some extra damage since she is limited in offensive options. Whenever she gets down to yellow health, I'd rather just have her heal herself than use Angelo cause the damage she deals (at least with Angelo's initial limits) just isn't worth the risk of keeping her at low health for one turn.

What did you think about Squall's Cure spells in the early game? I shifted his Mag growth so that the baseline for his Cures would be around 350. Also, what are your party's levels?

The thing about making Rinoa's Limits magic-based is that magic damage doesn't scale very well. For instance, if I made Angelo Cannon magic-based and gave it a base power of 42--the same value that it's set to right now as a physical attack--it might do pretty solid damage in the early game, but it would be awful later on. At level 100 she'd do about double the damage with physical Angelo Cannon as magical, even with the large gap between her Str and Mag stats (156 vs. 232). I added the Confusion effect in one of the updates to try and make it more useful while playing into her role of healing/mitigation (enemies can't hurt you if they're hurting themselves), but I think the real solution is to shift her Str stat to be higher earlier, similar to what I've done with other characters. I might also bump Cannon and Strike's base power up a bit (Wishing Star doesn't really need it since it's multi-hit and ignores Vit). As I was telling Nikkolas earlier in the thread, I've thought about replacing Cannon with a heal using Invincible Moon's animation, but I don't want to get rid of Cannon and I also don't want to turn IM into a healing skill since its invincibility keeps some of that FFVIII "flavor" and adds an additional perk to using Rinoa.

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The rest of the characters so far feel good to use, no complaints with them. Although I have to ask, are any of Quistis' limits missable or rare? By rare, I mean situations where the item is only dropped by enemies in a specific one-time only area, and then don't show up again until the disc 3/4 or at all. For example in the Vanilla game Gespers in Laguna's Cetra dream are the only way to get Quistis' Degenerator apart from card modding.

None of them are missable but you may have to go out of your way and/or get lucky to find them/find them at the earliest you can get them. Degenerator is the only one that I've removed outright.



In update news, I'm currently working on another battle in the aberrant monsters quest for 1.3:
Spoiler: show


I'm also strongly considering removing Irvine's Magic command and replacing it with Draw. His spell selection is not that useful and the command is a remnant of a time when I was less sure of what to do with him.


EDIT: I should mention that mid- and high-level Abyss Worms will sometimes use a Scan Stone; it doesn't crash the game or anything, but they're supposed to be using Aero. I'll have that fixed in the next update.

6
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.2
« on: 2021-01-20 22:28:01 »
Sure, feel free to send them over or post them. Is Hyne necessary if I restart the game? I figure I might as well restart in full as I'm not too far into the game yet, and then I'll be testing from the start to the end. Although it will probably take a couple weekends to get to the last Laguna dream, I'll be able to give feedback.

Here you go: https://mega.nz/file/we4zmAaJ#kZdxxEymG0EiEEzA91i3h1xdp_FAe3zKc6R9psnmDF8

You won't need to edit anything if you start a new save file. Since you're starting a new file, I also went ahead and switched Irvine's GF to Cerberus and buffed Defend's Crisis Level boost. Let me know if you have any problems.

EDIT: You probably know already, but don't forget to put the .txt file into the Hext folder.

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If you don't want to do 1.3 just yet, you could release what you have with the Edea fix as a 1.2.1 once you are satisfied with the testing results. It's not a big content update but restoring Edea to a full character is a big enough change I think.

I just might, especially now that I switched Irvine's GF.

Quote
It's good to see that the first two Laguna dreams are working fine now, hopefully the remaining three will also be good! It's definitely a good sign.

Fingers crossed  ;D I'll test the others soon too.

7
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.2
« on: 2021-01-20 16:50:13 »
Nice work! I hope the testing turns up nothing. From the sound of it it shouldn't break anything, but you never know. If it all works out, I'll be looking forward to 1.3 with great anticipation. Glad I could help a little bit!

And don't feel dumb about it! From what tech experience I have, I can attest that this happens. Sometimes you'll find a simple solution that will have you facepalming and wondering how you didn't think of it before. :D

I've tested out the fix on the transitions to the first two Laguna dreams and everything seems to be in order. I need to test it out more thoroughly, though. If you'd like to try it out in your playthrough, you can use Hyne to equip Edea with Eden and swap these files in: https://mega.nz/file/wfQmHJrB#zjJ5wIwgFrafwrFT_FcKY5jmeclOwHvk2yBVXb0jRmI I went ahead and gave Edea some stat buffs since she felt too weak in some respects, and it also includes various other stat changes as well, including faster Vit growth for Squall--just keep in mind that I haven't tested them out yet beyond using Doomtrain's damage calculation tools.

EDIT: Scratch that. I completely forgot that the field files will have to be changed for Edea too. If you want to try it out, let me know and I'll send a new field archive.

At least I know now, lol.

I'm not sure when 1.3 will release; From before 1.1 up to 1.2's release I spent several weeks working on the mod a ton and decided to take a short break from doing any "heavy" work afterward. I'm also trying to make one new content addition in each major update and I haven't yet decided which of my planned sidequests I'll work on.

8
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.2
« on: 2021-01-20 15:24:04 »
Yeah, I definitely agree with the Junction Opcode being the culprit, no idea what could be done with it either.

The only other idea I have would be to obtain Eden normally when Edea joins, like with regular characters. Then when she leaves the party, you'd need to add a script to remove Eden from the available GFs as well. Unfortunately I don't know if this is possible with just the field scripts, but it would be the cleanest solution. I don't have much hope for it working to be honest.

Something worth noting is that the Hyne save editor is capable of disabling GFs you have. You can open up a save, uncheck the "Available" box for a GF you want to remove, and the GF will disappear from the menu (although it will stay junctioned to a character if they have it on, so to remove it fully, you need to unjunction them first). That gives some hope that there should be a memory address to turn Eden off from the available GFs when it's time, however the problem would be to implement this in a way where it happens only when Edea leaves. I don't know if hext would be capable of injecting a change to the memory address at a specific point in the game. You'd probably still need a dll or Cheat Engine. :\

Plus this would all come with a compromise: Edea's GF showing up in the menu while Seifer's doesn't would be inconsistent. :\

So I may have made some progress on this.

I tried using CE to see what addresses wrote to Edea's GF value, but it didn't pick up anything...until I upgraded to a more recent version of the program, which picked up something; I used the "Replace with code that does nothing" option on it and everything seems to be as I want it--Edea's GF value didn't change, the party still switches, they still get Squall's group's GFs and magic. It'll require testing to make sure that it doesn't break anything, but maybe I'll be able to reintroduce Edea in 1.3. Thanks for getting me to look into this again.  ;D

(I feel a little dumb now, though. Like "Wow, it was that easy all this time?" lol.)

9
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.2
« on: 2021-01-20 03:05:09 »
Oh, I see. I figured it wouldn't be as simple as I thought since Seifer didn't have this issue. I'm not very good at the technical side (especially with FF8) but it sounds like you might be right. The only other solution I can think of is that you could try to edit the field scripts for these events. I know the "109 - Junction" Opcode is connected to the Laguna junction switches, but I'm not familiar enough with it to understand how it all connects. I'm also aware of the "128 - ResetGF" Opcode but from what I've seen that's kind of a mess.

For example, this is what happens right before the second Laguna dream:

The character digits are 0 for Squall, 1 for Zell, 3 for Quistis, 4 for Rinoa and 5 for Selphie. Irvine is 2 but not yet in the party, and Seifer, Edea, Laguna, Kiros and Ward are 6-10 for reference. So the game uses resetGF on Rinoa and Zell to remove their junctions I'd assume, then sets the party to Squall, Selphie and Quistis. Then it uses 1 for junction , which according to documentation is as follows:

This matches up, as the second Laguna dream has those three characters, but only Squall's junctions are carried over. As you can see though, no mention of removing anything from Seifer and Edea, in fact, I only found one ResetGF opcode with Edea's ID of 7 and that is actually before the final dream sequence. What is also weird is that ResetGF does not seem to be always used for the Laguna dreams. It's possible that ResetGF is a leftover and Square built in the junction removal differently in the end. Maybe the Junction Opcode itself automatically removes GFs from everyone, in which case the only way to keep Edea's junctions would be to remove the opcodes somehow and disable the Laguna junction transfer, I guess? I found an old thread of someone attempting something similar and managing to make manual junction exchange possible between Laguna and present party members, but it didn't go far: http://forums.qhimm.com/index.php?topic=16352.0

In the end it might be better to use a dll to modify memory addresses like you suggest. Looking at all this though, I have a feeling that maybe if the Junction Opcode for the Dream World switch was removed and Laguna and co were added to the party as regular members, then removed at each dream's end, maybe Edea's junctions wouldn't get removed. Maybe I'm completely wrong but it seems to me like that particular opcode is directly tied to the removal of GFs... I honestly don't know if this method would be easier or harder, I've never tried modifying FF8's scripts before.

Not that it matters much, but the documentation is incorrect in that a value of 1 carries over the Junctions of everyone in the current party. That's probably why the game moves Selphie and Quistis into the party before switching to Laguna's group.

iirc RESETGF also gets used for things like removing the Junctions of the Missile Base party before switching over to Squall's group.

I just opened Cheat Engine, loaded a save right before the first Laguna dream and watched the address for Edea's equipped GF get changed to 00, so it's definitely the JUNCTION opcode unequipping her. If I were to remove it, it would also prevent the main party's spells from carrying over to Laguna's group and may even interfere with the transfer of exp between Squall's group and Laguna's. Maybe I could get around the magic issue by doing something similar to the person in that thread you linked and adding the other characters to the inactive party while also making them unavailable to switch in, though that seems...kinda clunky and unintuitive. I once considered removing JUNCTION and giving Laguna's crew their own GFs, but decided against it. The only other thing I can think of is altering the JUNCTION opcode itself, but that may be beyond my skill level, lol.

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Or you could just have Edea share Carbuncle with Rinoa since they are never in the same party together, but it would be a shame for Edea not to have her own abilities.

I considered this too, but I want to have as few "rules" as possible.

10
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.2
« on: 2021-01-19 21:09:37 »
Sorry about that :D I didn't mean to make a big deal out of them really, like I said your choices are overall good. However I really liked your concept for this mod and I was immediately impressed when I saw GF like Bahamut, Ifrit, Shiva, Alexander early in the game and how their abilities fit the characters, the GFs themselves, and even the classes they were meant to bestow upon each character. It's really creative how they all fit together so well, and thanks to that the pairings don't stick out or feel fan-made. It feels like this could have been an official class system. So really, it's not so much that Tonberry and Cactuar are bad fits or anything, it's just that the others feel so perfect to me, that those two stick out a bit. So yeah, once again, great job on the core concept of your mod, it's probably the first FF8 gameplay mod that I've really enjoyed and made me rethink my approach to the gameplay completely.

Nah, nothing to apologize for, lol. It's helpful to see how others view things, and I think your idea to give Irvine Cerberus is a good one that I wouldn't have thought of on my own.  And thanks for the kind words  ;D

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Out of curiousity, you mentioned that you couldn't get Edea to work without a GF if I understand correctly? If this bug is proving unsolveable, is there some way you could work around this perhaps? Maybe give her a unique GF like Seifer? Or rename one of the GFs to a blank name (if possible) or "Sorceress/Sorcery" and assigning that to Edea? That way she would have abilities and it would at least look like she doesn't have a GF in the menu.

Well, I have both Seifer and Edea set to start out with a GF equipped without making it available to the player. This works basically fine in itself, as seen with Seifer; the problem is that whenever switching to and from Laguna's party, the game unequips everyone, including characters like Seifer and Edea. So by the time Edea joins the party, she doesn't have a GF anymore.

I actually have the values for forcing Edea to be equipped with Eden and/or some abilities in the mod's hext file, but they're disabled because the values of those addresses just get overwritten when the game begins to load, and again when you load a save file. I think the only solution is a dll file that could force those addresses to be set to those values, similar to this video I made a while back using Cheat Engine: https://streamable.com/metsc0 If I could lock Seifer and Edea's GFs in, I could also do the same for the main party to make the mod feel a little more "authentic," for lack of a better term. I've gotten a little more familiar with Cheat Engine and I know it has some kind of scripting template, so maybe it'd be possible now, but my technical skills are pretty low.

11
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.2
« on: 2021-01-19 00:57:24 »
Gotcha, I'll keep using Squall and see how he compares as the game goes on. I guess once he starts learning some abilities, he'll have more utility.

In addition to what I stated above, I'm considering swapping Darkside/Defend and Spr+20% in his learnset (so Darkside would appear at level 10 instead of 15), but we'll see. I worry both are a little too good to give that early in the game, especially Defend.

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As for the GFs, I'm glad you're considering Cerberus. I think your overall choices are pretty good, they fit the characters and lore and have a logic to them:

Squall - Bahamut:
Bahamut is the dragon king, so him bestowing Squall with "knightly" abilities makes sense. He's also one of the cooler summons, so it fits the main character. Plus in FF9 Bahamut has a big cutscene battle with Alexander, and you made Alexander Seifer's GF in Dollet, so I think that also fits in a meta-sense, the rivals having rival GFs.

I also saw the FFIX connection at some point, though I think my reasoning for giving Seifer Alexander was "A knight needs a castle." Also, I think it being a Holy-element summon provides an additional contrast between how he sees himself and what he actually becomes.

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Quistis - Shiva:
Shiva is a classic. She fits as well as any other GF for a blue mage. The only other one I could think of is Leviathan, because it makes more sense for Leviathan to have Devour than Shiva, as Leviathan devours ships in some FF games, but other than that Shiva is great and the other abilities (Aura, Move-Find, etc) fit her well.

Way back when this was only a self-imposed challenge, I gave Quistis Draw and Devour with the reasoning that a Blue Mage "takes things from enemies." I eventually decided to put Hungry Cookpots in Dollet's shop, so while I wouldn't call Devour a signature skill of hers I figured I might as well leave it in her learnset. The choice of Shiva was more of an image thing.

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Rinoa - Carbuncle:
I think you made a good call here, having a support GF is great and also the idea that Carbuncle bestows white mage abilities on Rinoa makes sense too as Carbuncle is always portrayed as a friendly summon that provides support. I think it's the only one that makes sense for Rinoa.

I had also considered Siren for her, again due to one of those expensive statues as well as the wings.

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For Irvine, as I said I prefer Cerberus because it would be a second support GF and also because Cerberus in vanilla FF8 has SPD-J, Alert and Auto-Haste, which I think fit with Irvine's focus on speed and his role as a sniper. Plus he mainly uses support magic in your mod, so a support GF makes sense. Also Cerberus is an FF8-original so I think he deserves a bit of spotlight.

Selphie is a tough one because Tonberry, Diablos and Doomtrain would all work for her. Personally I prefer Diablos. She is a black mage so I think the idea of a devil-like GF giving her offensive magic makes sense to me, plus Diablos' summon involves him using all sorts of magic sigils and pure dark magic energy to attack. I think his summon attack is similar to what black mage Selphie can do, which fits more than knife-wielding Tonberry. Plus Diablos is also FF8-original so it would be appropriate, and the juxtaposition of cute girl Selphie having the devil as her partner is kinda funny too. Doomtrain would also work for her because she loves trains, but I think that's a bit shallow for a reason.

Anyways, it's up to you what you'd prefer but I figured I'd provide my opinion. I just think it's a bit of a waste for two characters to get the mascot summons with funny animations while others get more "serious", staple GFs. However I might be biased as I dislike Tonberry and Cactuar as summons because they also serve as regular enemies you can encounter instead of unique creatures, which makes them feel "lesser" than other GFs imo.

After thinking about it more I decided I'd give Irvine Cerberus, maybe in 1.3. I'll continue to think over Selphie's, though I don't see her having a goofy summon as a bad thing. Between the two I'd probably choose Diabolos, for the reasons you stated as well as it being another favorite of mine. It was actually the first enemy whose AI I ever changed significantly which is why it needs a rework.

Honestly, I didn't think anyone would bring up my GF choices...  ;D Maybe I've just been working on this for so long that I only see them as gameplay functions.

12
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.2
« on: 2021-01-17 23:00:24 »
Hello Leythalknight,
I've been playing your mod and I quite like it so far. The basic concept is great and the balance so far has been decent. I'm still on disc one so I can't offer comprehensive feedback but I am curious about some things.

First, was there any particular reason you choose Tonberry and Cactuar as GFs for Selphie and Irvine? The rest of the GFs fit the characters and their classes imo, but these two are a bit odd. Maybe it's just that they are mascots, but I can't help but think that Diablos would have been better for Selphie as a black mage and that Cerberus would fit Irvine better as he's all about speed and luck. You'd have to change GF attacks, but only a little. Cerberus could cast a party-wide haste instead of double and triple and Diablos could just have Tonberry's attack power. So Diablos would function exactly as Tonberry and Cerberus's haste would replace the gimmicky level-based damage of Cactuar and offer a second support-type GF.

I gave Selphie Tonberry because both are cute but deadly. Irvine's GF was originally Doomtrain, but I switched it to Cactuar out of a mistaken belief that doing so would allow Jumbo Cactuar to function as it does in vanilla, but I actually never considered changing it after learning I was incorrect. I like the idea of giving him Cerberus, though; I just might roll with that in a future update. I'll sleep on giving Diabolos to Selphie. It'd make a nice Curse GF.

Irvine aside, my choices were as much about the character's image as their class, though there are exceptions. For Squall, I remembered that really expensive statue of him with Bahamut and Bahamut is just cool; Rinoa's GF was originally Leviathan as it's water-elemental and was the GF she had in the FFVIII demo, but I switched it to Carbuncle at some point in order to give her another support ability and make the GF command a little more worthwhile.

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Second, I've looked at the character stats using Doomtrain and I'm a bit concerned how the characters will work in the long term. I know there are abilities and weapons to consider, but are you sure everyone has the stats they are supposed to have?

Here are each character's stats at Level 100, according to Doomtrain:
To me, Squall's stats in particular seem really low. I added all them up and as you can see, his total is 100 points less than everyone else's, but more importantly, his magic is really low, less than half of Zell's. His spirit is also the lowest and his strength is also the second lowest. I don't know how much abilities play into this but regardless, this doesn't seem quite right, even Rinoa's attack outdamages Squall's while she's supposed to be a white mage.

I made Squall's base Str lower than you'd expect because of the gunblade trigger, but he is one of only two characters who can equip two Str+% abilities (the other being Zell) and also the only character who will learn Darkside naturally. You'll be able to learn Elem-Atk-J when Bahamut reaches level 20, but you can also learn it using Tool-RF before the end of Disc 1 with the right item. He's also the only character who can learn Defend, which still nullifies physical damage and halves magical damage, so I think giving him low Spr is fair. Defend also raises his Crisis Level a bit, an effect I intended to increase in 1.2 but forgot to do and will include in the next update instead. He's meant to be more physically defensive while Zell is the straightforward physical attacker, but Squall still punches above his weight in damage. Some weapons increase base attack power, though admittedly the increase is not that large with the exception of Irvine's Ulysses.

Also, keep in mind that damage and enemy health caps in this mod are overall much lower compared to vanilla.

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I've first noticed this during the Dollet mission. While it felt well balanced overall, I couldn't help but notice that Squall simply couldn't keep up with Selphie or Zell in terms of damage, which would have been fine, but even as a healer he wasn't particularly good. His low magic makes it so that his basic cure spell can't even heal as much as a standard potion and in boss fights he spends most his turns mitigating damage. Not just that, but with the lowest spirit stat, he is still not very durable. While he can take a punch with his high vitality, magic wrecks him, which doesn't make him a particularly good tank either, which I assume is what he's supposed to be as a knight archetype. Maybe it's just me but I think he needs more strength, and either more magic or spirit, or even both. He's always in the party and he by far seems to be the worst character so far.

Am I missing something? Does he get better with GF abilities and weapon upgrades? His stats seem too low for those to make a difference.

I think his Cures being a little worse than a Potion is fair since the former is easier to acquire and doesn't cost anything, but I see your point. I'll consider shifting his Mag and Vit growth to give him more points earlier without raising the cap so he feels a little better to use early on.

13
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.2
« on: 2021-01-15 21:41:58 »
FFVIII Crystal 1.2 released.

Download

Content

A new sidequest has been added to Trabia Garden.

Characters/GFs:

Spoiler: show
- Using the MiniMog command will now trigger Moogle Dance regardless of Chocobo World progress.
- Changed MiniMog's gil cost from party's average level x 100 to party's average level x 200.

Squall/Bahamut:
- Shifted Str growth slightly to increase growth at early levels.
- Replaced Return Damage with Auto-Potion.
- Increased power of Rough Divide and Fated Circle from 33 to 34.

Quistis/Shiva:
- Mighty Guard: Now grants Shell at level 1, and Protect, Shell and Float at level 2.

Zell/Ifrit:
- Base attack power of Ehrgeiz increased from 24 to 25.

Selphie/Tonberry:
- Spr lowered slightly.

Rinoa/Carbuncle:
- Carbuncle's HP increased.


Enemies:

Spoiler: show
- Added battles with mid-level Grendels in the Winhill area.
- Added unique behavior to scripted battle with G-Soldiers outside of Timber Pub.
- Added unique behavior to the final battle of the second Laguna dream.
- Increased levels of enemies in certain Disc 1 areas.
- Adjusted exp values.

- Grat: Can now target sleeping characters with Gastric Juice or a critical attack.
- Fastitocalon: Str increased.
- Red Bat: Str and Mag increased.
- G-Soldier: Stats increased; AI reworked.
- Funguar: HP increased; laser now deals 25% current HP damage.
- Esthar Soldier: HP, Str, Mag, and Spd increased.
- Eliminator: HP, Str, and Mag increased.
- Elastoid: Early Str growth increased.
- Cockatrice: Mag now increases by 20% when in the high level range.
- Grand Mantis: Strength stat calculation changed; Super Arm now inflicts Drain instead of Slow.
- Creeps: Mag increased; can now cast Aero if it hasn't yet used Heartbreak; Heartbreak's damage increased from 25% current HP to 50% current HP.
- G-Blue Mage: HP and Spd increased.
- Ruby Dragon (normal): Reworked.

- Gerogero: Reworked; now uses the original JP textures.
- X-ATM092 (1): Added an additional reward for defeating it.
- X-ATM092 (2): GF summon count now resets after using Runaway Train.
- Bahamut: Can now be Sleeped for a short time, but builds immunity; now has a chance of using a critical attack.
- Red Giant: Lowered resistance to Zombie and Vit 0.
- Seifer (final): Reworked.


Misc.:

Spoiler: show
- Added Scan Stone; added to Dollet Shop, Man from Garden, FH Shop, and Esthar Shop!!! inventories.
- One of the NPCs in the Forest Owls' base now has a shop.
- Changed Mega-Remedy's targeting to party side only; increased price to 4000 gil.
- Added more dialogue to point out the Fire Cavern and Sorceress Memorial sidequests to the player.
- Updated info doc.

14
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.1.1
« on: 2021-01-11 16:42:03 »
For Seifer 3:
Rinoa Level 55
Squall Level 61
Quistis Level 52

As for sidequests, just Winhill, Deep Sea Lab, Diablos, Shumi Village and...I think that might be it? A

Okay, thanks.

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I went back to Dollet after I got my save but nothing changed. The giant spider was still dead. That was what I was supposed to fight, right?

Are you sure the save you used is the one I edited, or one made from that save? I tested the file I sent you again and the soldier is standing there like he should be. If you open your save file in Hyne, this byte should be set to 7 instead of 87: https://abload.de/img/sdfwerwefbk03.png

Sorry for the trouble; can't believe I forgot to add the battle trigger in 1.1...  :oops:

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I had no idea about the painter kid, though. My bad.

No worries. Tool-RF reintroduces a little of FFVIII's non-linear progression, but the initial reason I added it was really to give the player more freedom to build the characters the way they wanted. For example, since you didn't use Zell much, you could've used Tool-RF to place all of the WHT/BLK RF abilities onto Ifrit in order to free up an ability slot for the other characters, or deleted BLK-RF 1 late in the game with the knowledge that you could get it back if you wanted it. (And also to give the sidequest a better reward, since that's something vanilla was pretty bad at when it came to small sidequests like that one.)

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I got the 4 UFO triggers, I was in the wrong part of the area I knew I was supposed to be in. Oh well. I'll do it and the Sorceress Memorial stuff later today. Sorry I missed all this content.

Good to hear because if there really was something wrong with the UFO triggers, I'd be at a loss as to what was wrong with them. Currently there's only one NPC who hints at the Sorceress Memorial and Fire Cavern sidequests and only a few who hint at the Esthar one... Might change that in a future update.

15
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.1.1
« on: 2021-01-10 15:14:31 »
So you've mentioned Tool RF a few times now and I figured it was some late game thing. I never got it on any of my GFs. It's still an ability, right?


These were all of my abilities at the end.
GF Levels:
Shiva 60
Ifrit 45
Carbuncle 45
Bahamut 58
Cactuar 51
Tonberry 51

An item that teaches Tool-RF is one of the rewards for the sidequest in Dollet with the painter kid. You can get it any time from after Timber to the end of Disc 3.

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As for PuPu, yeah, I went to Winhill Bluffs and tried for a few minutes, got attacked like 10+ times by monsters and no PuPu. Then went to Timber Beach and again no PuPu, just a lot of random encounters. I can try again if you want.

That'd be great, if you don't mind. I haven't touched anything related to those, so they should still trigger...

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And I'd definitely be very interested in your 1v1 idea or any other alterations you make to Seifer. I have a save right before the final boss fight with him.

I'll PM you when I get some time, probably closer to releasing the next update.

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As for stat/level progress, I made a video of me defeating Seifer 2 where I start by showcasing levels and stats:
https://youtu.be/M348_Z2xLy8

I have saves right before Seifer 3, Ultima Weapon and the final boss if you need levels and stat reports from there. Unfortunately I saved over all my disk 1 saves after a while.

If you could give me your Seifer 3 levels and which sidequests you had completed by then, that'd be helpful.

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As for how to improve stuff, damage seems the big one. The tank thing at the Missile Base was really easy compared to most mods I've played. NORG was also a pushover. Maybe those were intentional nerfs on your part, though.

Who was in Selphie's party, how much time did you choose when leaving the missile base, and about how much did you have left after beating the BGH251F2?

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And I guess it's a good thing I saved all of Selphie's Ultimas for the final form of Ulty. I only managed to draw 15 from Ultima Weapon but it was still more than enough to destroy Ultimecia in no time. Made it the easiest part of the fight, honestly. I'm not complaining - Ultima should be King, as you noted earlier. It just made me very happy to do like 13K damage a turn with just her and her Double.

If not Quistis, I'd say Selphie is the best character in the mod--as long as you give her Protect, Shell and maybe your HP+20% in the late-game, that is.

16
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.1.1
« on: 2021-01-08 20:10:09 »
Alright, so concluding remarks:

1. opane thing that isn't exactly my thought but a few people have brought up as I recommend your mod - why is Rinoa White Mage and Selphie Black Mage? It first hit me when I got Angel Wing and realized Rinoa can't really do much with it in this mod. And others have brought up how Selphie's unique spells are very WM like Full-Cure, Wall, Rapture, etc.. Is it purely based on their personalities? I can understand that - Selphie is basically like a cartoon Black Mage, all burn, kill, destroy.

Basically, yeah. In addition to what you said about Selphie, Rinoa has no combat training and part of her arc is about her hesitation to fight; she doesn't really seem like the type to brandish Black magic spells. (Also, I guess I just like the archetype of the knight hero and the healer heroine.) At some point I realized that switching them would make more sense in pure gameplay, but it was a case of "Well, too late now." One could argue that Rinoa being a White Mage shows through gameplay that a sorceress is something she doesn't want to be, recalling her description in the game's manual as "becoming warped" over the course of the story, but that's only a post-hoc justification  :-D While it's not stated anywhere I'm fine with her having powerful spells in her inventory to cast during Angel Wing and "Ultima Wing" is something I take into account when balancing her character. I figured people would understand that since Angel Wing really sucks with her normal spell list and there's no rule against it, but maybe I should make a note of it somewhere...

Actually, you reminded me that back when this was only a self-imposed challenge made for vanilla, Rinoa started as a White Mage but then became a Sorceress and could cast anything. It makes Selphie seem rather redundant, though, and I wanted to impose as few "rules" as possible. Maybe I still have the old challenge doc on a hard drive somewhere.

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2. I know some people will balk at this but it feels like Drawing is the main source of magic in this mod? I'm sure you know how everyone Drew magic as a kid and then you get older and are like "use Card Mod, dumbass." But with Card Mod gone and only getting the RF abilities pretty infrequently from levels, Drawing was the easiest way to obtain magic for me. Now, you made it so it's almost guaranteed that you will draw 15 spells from an enemy so it really doesn't bother me. But Drawing Magic just really pisses off some people and wile you made items purchasable for the elemental spells to be refined from, there are many, many other spells besides that which Drawing was the best and most expedient source. I got my 200 or 300 spells from Drawing all game and only very rarely refined items into magic. Do you think this is a problem or is Drawing supposed to be the main source of magic?

Just thinking maybe stealing or item drops can be increased a decent bit to compensate.

Well, for one, having 100 of a spell isn't as important as in vanilla since only elemental and status Junctions are available. Also, with Tool-RF you can get BLK-RF-1 after Timber; WHT-RF 1 before Deling City; WHT-RF 2 as soon as you get the mobile Garden; and BLK-RF 2 as early as the Garden chaos if you mug a Dragon Skin from the Grendel in one of the fixed battles during that segment. (This made me realize that I need to put a mid-level Grendel on the world map so that you can get BLK-RF 2 in the same timeframe as WHT-RF 2.) It's actually possible, albeit unlikely, to get WHT-RF 3 before Disc 3 if you kill Snow Lions. BLK-RF 3 requires an Energy Crystal, though.

You mentioned being able to buy items to refine into elemental spells, but just in case: you can also buy items for refining into most of the basic status ailments as well as things like Protect, Shell, and Life. I don't know whether you did the Sorceress Memorial sidequest I added (if you didn't, you should, if only because it was such a pain to create  D= ), but the reward from it is intended to make it easier to get certain late-game spells.

Anyway, increasing the refinement values/item drops is something I go back and forth on. I can see where you're coming from, but I also don't really mind Drawing and I actually like the opportunity cost of deciding to Draw a useful spell from a boss a few times. But if there are any spells you thought were particularly troublesome to acquire, I'll check 'em out.

(One of my dreams with this mod is to be able to add entities to fields so that I can use those boxes from D-District as treasure chests and just give the player items to refine. Doubt that one will come true, though.)

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3. It's over now so I don't mind asking but where was another Adamantine for Squall's final gunblade? I just needed one more to complete it but never found one. I recall they used to be dropped or mugged from Adamantoise but if that's still a thing, I didn't get itt o happen.

Adamantine only drops from high-level Adamantoises, and there are two places that have them: the beaches near the Chocobo Sanctuary, and Ulti's Castle. It's possible to Mug Adamantine but it's more likely to drop if you kill one. Is hiding them on those beaches too mean?  ;D

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4. Speaking of missed stuff, I never got Shockwave Pulsar for Quistis because, looking at your doc after I beat thE game, you get Dark Matter from PuPu. I tried going to his spots on Disk 4 but he never appeared so I never got the item and her best LB.

Are you sure you were in the right locations? I just triggered all four. I certainly didn't change their locations or anything. I'm a little bummed that you couldn't trigger it as I'm pretty fond of the changes I made to the UFO and PuPu battles. (Even if I will never try to make anything like PuPu again...)

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5. I think Seifer 3 could stand to be buffed a decent bit.  Squall with Darkside and 100 Pains to Elem Attack-J will do near max damage and kill him in no time.

I'll check it out. Maybe I'll think of a great gimmick for Seifer 3 while I'm at.  ;D By the way, I've been thinking of how I can implement that late-game 1v1 I talked about and was wondering if you'd give me your input as a Seifer fan. If you're up for it, I'll PM you the details.

EDIT: Decided to do this. Working on some other things for him too due to my aforementioned habit of working only on what interests me at the time.

Spoiler: show


Another one:

Spoiler: show


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6. Speaking of which, my favorite fights all game were Seifer 2, Edea 1 and Bahamut. I think Seifer and Bahamut especially you did a really great job with and made them very memorable Just great struggles that are every bit as tense and dramatic as they ought to be given the narrative surrounding them.

Thanks  :) I'll try to bring other important fights up to their level. I have a long to-do list and a bad habit of working only on whatever interests me at the time.

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7. I definitely do appreciate how the game gets harder in response to you getting more options like you noted earlier. Still, I think the end of Disk 2 is when the game got noticeably more challenging and that is quite a ways in. I really wouldn't be averse to bosses and enemies before that getting buffed   Up to you though, I'm not even sure how I'd go about making things harder.

I'm planning on doing enemy adjustments by the disc, with Gerogero being the first. More manageable that way. I'm also going to include changes to Ruby Dragon in the next update as well, since I originally planned to do that at the same time as the Fire Cavern battle. If you have any particular areas or enemies that you think are too easy, let me know. I'm not looking to make regular encounters really tough or anything, but maybe some of the earlier areas could stand to have the enemies' levels raised if nothing else. Speaking of which, any data you have on your characters' levels and ability progress at various points of the game would be helpful.

This is tangential, but I'm okay with lower difficulty if it comes about for what I think is a good reason. For example, the window in which to defeat X-ATM092 (rematch) before it summons is pretty tight, but after hearing your Tiamat strat I changed its AI to reset the counter after using Runaway Train so that the GF meatshield strat is more viable there. I'm not saying my mod couldn't do this better, but I want to reward clever strats and using the tools that are available to you.

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8. On the viability of GFs later on, I really would suggest buffing their HP a lot. I know I mentioned it before but while Carbuncle is great and useful, it just always died so fast. Quistis and Mighty Guard is the only real way to get buffs on the whole party in a swift, reliable fashion. At least, compared to Carbuncle. Selphie's Slot is even more unreliable than Carbuncle in my experience - I never got anything good with it whenever i used her and she got in low health.


I may buff Carbuncle's HP more significantly in exchange for nerfing Mighty Guard, as I mention below.

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Basically it seems like Quistis is far and away the best support character given full party heals and buffs. Which is fine - I wanted character differentiation and diversity and you gave me that. Also I use Quistis most of the time, anyway. Still,  you pointed out a lot of strategies I never considered so maybe I'm just missing how good the others could be. But I shudder to think of facing the final boss gauntlet without Quistis and her Mighty Guard.

Quistis is a tough character to balance... I've considered nerfing White Wind and Mighty Guard many times, but I like the "flavor" of White Wind's healing calculation and Mighty Guard is Mighty Guard, y'know? (That Blue Mage is my second-favorite FF class really isn't helping.) I also tried to make a niche for as many of her Blue Magic spells as possible, with the result being that she's just a strong character all around, with her only notable weaknesses being low Speed and a lower damage ceiling than the others. I think everyone has something about them that's pretty strong, though.

Honestly, I don't like abilities that instantly halve damage from nearly everything because of the escalation they necessitate, but I guess they're here to stay. I've thought about making Mighty Guard only inflict Protect or Shell at Crisis Level 1 as a check to its relative ease of use, though. Maybe I'll finally pull the trigger on that one within the next few updates.

I felt more free to let the final bosses have highly damaging AoEs since you have six characters to work through. Of the four bosses, Ulti is almost entirely magical (I doubt anyone will see Vacuum Wave unless they use Ultima on her). Griever is a mixture, with its normal attack, Death Sentence, and Absolute Terror being physical, while Shockwave Pulsar, Holy, and Draw-Cast are magic-based; however, Shockwave Pulsar is easily the biggest threat there and it's highly telegraphed. With the exception of Great Attractor, Ulti-Griever is mostly magical until its tail falls off, and final Ulti is mostly magic again. Mighty Guard is certainly quick and convenient, but I think it's manageable even if you're only using Stones. Definitely more difficult though, I agree.

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9. This is a very random, minor thought but is there any way to implement an item that does Scan, like some sort of Scan Stone?  Squall's magic sucks and so I just never even had that ability on his menu after a while and you could theoretically have nobody in your party who can cast Scan in this mod.

That is a good idea. I don't know if I'll be able to free up a battle item slot, but I'll see what I can do.

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But yeah...I will maybe think of more stuff later on. I always miss a thought or two when I write these kinds of things. For now though, all I can say is I had a lot of fun. FFVIII is not my favorite FF but I grew up with it and have a soft spot for it and I'm glad people like you are trying to fix how broken it was so as to make it more entertaining on repeat runs.

Thanks again for all your feedback. Glad you liked the mod so much  :) There's still a lot I want to do with it, so maybe you'll find it worthy of a replay eventually.

EDIT:

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Also, unrelated to your mod specifically, is there any way to tell if Protect and Shell are still on when you have multiple buffs? The menu only lists one thing and I'm looking at my bad final boss video and I tried tor reapply buffs that hadn't worn of yet because I'm dumb and thought they might have. I know you get the message at the top about them wearing off but I am very likely to miss that and I really wish there was another way to check if they were still on.

None that I'm aware... You can only see one buff/ailment in the mid-battle status menu. Would've been nice if the game at least cycled through each of the effects that you have.

17
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.1.1
« on: 2021-01-07 14:59:57 »
Speaking of GFs, I bought a GF Scroll for Bahamut (when I used him earlier it was just a test and I reloaded) and Shiva so as to use them and Carbuncle to shield us from the first Dark Flare.  He killed me even with Mighty Guard so I figured maybe he's just gonna kill me no matter what so I brought out the GFs to be meat shields and die so we could survive and kill him just before the next DF went off. Not sure if there was another strategy but I swear he killed even protected Squall who had like 4K HP or something.

You're intended to blitz it before it can use Dark Flare (I've done it before, so it is possible), but I actually hadn't considered using GFs to take the hit for you and killing it afterward. Clever; I like it.

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But more importantly, I  I won the game! Squall couldn't make it to the final battle, it was Level 54 Selphie Double casting Flare/Meteor and finally Ultima that did it with a decent assist from Level 61 Quistis and Level 69 Rinoa.

A thought that occurred to me as I entered the final battle was, how does level scaling work here since you can get a random team? I got Zell in my starting lineup and he was a pitiful Level 26 'cuz I never use him. Did that weaken just Ulty or all the fights? Rinoa and Quistis were there from the start, though. Had to let Zell die and then Irvine and then Selphie was there.

I think the level of each boss is based on who your active party is at the time of their appearance even in vanilla. However, iirc all of the final bosses have their scaling set to a value of 251 by default, and I'm not certain it's known what exactly that does. Online sources say the final bosses only scale up to 65 by default, but that would normally mean their scaling value would be set to 165. In this mod, all of them are set to a value of 254, which is "party's average level".

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Fight was 48 minutes...a pretty epic struggle I dare say.  I recorded it but not sure if it is as thrilling to watch as to play. But I bought Bandicam for $40, I'm gonna use it.

Gonna gather my thoughts on the whole mod and post them later. But I definitely think Crystal is far and away my favorite FFVIII mod ever.

I'm happy to hear that. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. Thanks for your feedback, and for playing the mod  :)

18
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.1.1
« on: 2021-01-07 13:29:32 »
GFs were the first thing I thought of when magic and physical attacks did nothing and I used Bahamut and saw it said about 3K damage but then he said GFs are useless and also Bahamut died in a couple attacks so that didn't sem like a very good way to win.

I'm buffing GFs slowly so as not to risk making them too good. Spamming GFs is considered a noob tactic in vanilla, but I'd argue that's in large part because there are so many more exploitable things in the game and without those, GFs would be considered pretty broken. That said, keep in mind that GFs' power is calculated with Boost (and elemental weakness in the case of Shiva and Ifrit) in mind, so their damage won't seem as impressive without it. Speaking of which, the next update will introduce a combination Boost/SumDmg+ ability as a quest reward and an HP increase for Carbuncle to make Protect/Shell easier to get off.

I hadn't thought about that message... I have an inkling of how the game IDs GF attacks, and if I'm right, I could prevent Red Giant from saying that if using Bahamut or Cactuar against it.

I'll probably reduce Red Giant's resistance to Zombie and Vit0; with that, there should definitely be enough viable strats against it.

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As for Tiamat, I am ever the clueless person. I thought the messages at the top were attacks or something. My bad.

God willing, I'll be completing your wonderful mod today. It's been a lot of fun.

It's cool. I was a bit worried that I had messed with Tiamat's AI and completely forgotten about it, though...  ;D

Fingers crossed. I'm glad you've been enjoying it so much.  :)


Speaking of the next update, it'll include the Gerogero rework and the addition of a shop to the Forest Owls' base. I'm working on the former and the latter is basically done.

19
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.1.1
« on: 2021-01-06 23:31:44 »
Thank you, that sorted it all out.

The only sealing boss I have left is Tiamat. He killed me and I haven't gone back to him yet but I noticed something wonky about him. He kept trying to cast stuff and nothing would happen. I saw the abilities' names at the top of the screen and nothing happened until finally he did Dark Flare and annihilated me. Not sure if this is a weird bug so I won't fight him yet until I hear back from you.

That sounds like how it's intended to work. It's spelling out "DARK FLARE" before using the attack, right?

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Also I defeated Red Giant through Return Damage and Quistis Spirit and Vitality ignoring Limits. I feel like this isn't actually the intended strategy to defeat him but it's all I could come up with.

That is more or less how you are intended to do it.

Vit-ignoring skills: Gatling Gun, Aurabolt, Nightsword, Kamikaze, Armor Shot, Hyper Shot, Wishing Star
Spr-ignoring skills: Homing Laser, The End, Bahamut
Percentage-based skills: Percent, Micro Missiles
Fixed damage: Acid, Cactuar

I think that is enough skills to win, especially when you can choose your party, but I may make it easier to zombify as an alternate strat. I always thought it was dumb, if somewhat understandable, how the game has a gimmick boss like that but then hands you the key to victory (Demi).

20
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.1.1
« on: 2021-01-06 13:05:32 »
So things are going well in Ulty's Castle, I randomly encountered a Behemoth and it dropped a Barrier so I'm very happy about that

But I'm trying to figure out what to do with the switching parties and getting to new locations. I switched to my secondary team of Zell, Irvine and Selphie and tried to have them run through that sort of outside area with the save point that you get to by passing through the Art Gallery and that next room with the stairs and switch point, that leads to the two bosses if you keep going straight?  I've had the game crash on me twice now as soon as the fight with the Torama and the two flying enemies starts.

This will fix it: https://mega.nz/file/1bxAGZaC#5rzfrUxVcuA5EFQii7WdjgayK-LsXll8aClSSn0zP64


While I'm at it, here's something I'll be releasing in the next update:
Spoiler: show

21
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.1.1
« on: 2021-01-05 01:54:55 »
Oh yeah, I've always loved the UW fight except for how easy it is to kill him. Way cooler boss than Omega.

But how do you do AOE protection in this game apart from hoping for Invincible Moon?  If Quistis still learns Mighty Guard, I haven't found it yet. But Quistis gets all the AOE in this game which is one reason I use her. Her White Wind was essential for winning here for, without Double or Triple, she's the only person who can really heal the entire party. Rinoa's Pray does not do anywhere near enough healing. So between MG and WW, Quistis is pretty much the best party member by far.

And yeah, did Return Damage always do 1/2?  Maybe some mods I played changed it to 1/4. 1/2 is pretty broken, especially on two characters.

Aside from Mighty Guard, you can get Wall from Slot and Carbuncle gives Protect and Shell instead of Reflect. Irvine can also learn Med Data to increase the power of Mega-Potions. In the future I'm gonna add a way to get a small number of Wall spells intended for Rinoa's use. I once had Pray's base power set a little higher, but I found that for much of the game it was strong enough that you could ignore the Cure series much of the time and I find that even now it's often sufficient to patch up the party quickly. I've considered replacing Angelo Cannon with a healing ability, but I don't want to get rid of something as memorable as Angelo Cannon, lol. Oh, and you can also inflict Curse on many enemies, which in this mod will reduce their Str and Mag by 20%. The most reliable source of Curse is the Nightsword command, but you can also get it from Quistis' LV?Curse and Selphie's Tonberry summon.

It's 1/4 in vanilla. I think 1/4 isn't worth an ability slot, but 1/2 may be too much... If I go the removal route, I'll remove it from Squall. Originally, only Rinoa learned it naturally.

22
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.1.1
« on: 2021-01-05 00:58:00 »
So Ultima Weapon is kicking my ass. I Scanned him once and it said Level 70.

My party is Level 57 Squall, Level 49 Rinoa and Level 46 Quistis. Should I grind or am I just bad?

i def need to go and buy more revive items. Damn Light Pillar.

EDIT:

lol Squall with the suicide Darkside to clinch the win for just Rinoa. I think UW mostly killed himself what with his spamming Light Pillar on Rinoa and Squall in this successful run as I had Return Damage on them both. But a win is a win and no level grinding or buying more items.

Also really lucked out when heading down to him to fight Iron Giants and get the final piece for Punishment. I've had Flame Saber far too long and the damage increase for Punishment helped out a lot here, basically did 5K damage per turn with Quake on his Attack Junction and with Darkside. Also Mugged 3 Energy Crystals from a Behemoth. So just need to find 1 more Adamantine and a Royal Crown for Lionheart. You don't have to tell me where, I wanna try and find it on my own.

Actually, now I think on it, maybe I beat a weaker UW? I was doing 4700 damage with Darkside before but did like 5200 this time.

Before 1.1 there were certain bosses that used standard level scaling + X; I removed it from most of them but it seems I forgot to do it for UW, despite it being one of the enemies that prompted the change...  :oops: It was still possible to beat it even when its level scaling was at the higher end, but if you didn't get an AoE Protect/Shell up ASAP, it tended to steamroll you. (I do kind of like how aggressive it is, though.) That aside, UW's behavior is actually the same as its vanilla counterpart. UW is a well-designed enemy--more difficult than vanilla Omega Weapon, really--but it's hard to appreciate that when you can kill it in a single Limit Break.  ::)

Sometimes I think I should revert the Return Damage buff or at least find something to replace it in Squall or Rinoa's learn list.

23
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.1.1
« on: 2021-01-03 16:42:53 »
Well, given Bahamut shifts elemental weaknesses and absorbs what he isn't weak to, isn't it a bad idea to load up a physical attacker with Elemental Attack- J for that fight?


In the worst-case scenario--a Squall/Zell/Irvine party--you could give Irvine Thundaga, Zell Blizzaga, and Squall Firaga. This would allow Irvine to hit two elements, Zell three, and Squall one. Irvine can also use AP Ammo if you don't mind increasing the MF count, or even Pulse Ammo, and Zell's Aurabolt also ignores Vit (and if I make Bahamut susceptible to Sleep, that'd be a good way of landing it on him). Additionally, if you swapped Zell out for Quistis, she'd be able to hit all three if given Blizzaga, as well as use the defense-ignoring properties of Gatling Gun and Homing Laser. It's possible Squall would be better off using a non-elemental Darkside, though.

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But I've run into my first super serious and consistent technical problem as I tried to go deeper into the research facility. Made a video of both problems.
https://youtu.be/yR5ylHH-x4w?t=53

This doing 9999 damage wasn't the initial problem I saw; I had a CTD two times with a message saying an unknown exception occurred.

I'm certain I checked that exact battle to make sure Grendel wouldn't do that... Here's a fix: https://mega.nz/file/gDoSyKwK#DT9zWuUOpcjdRWOU6Yswlv9CjBedNKVYI6Qz-hKh_uo

I'm unsure why your attacks are doing that much damage to Tri-face (I'm guessing you don't have Firaga on your Elem-Atk, which Tri-face takes 2.5x damage from) but it may be some strange consequence of the graphical glitch. If it persists, let me know.

24
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.1.1
« on: 2021-01-03 14:54:25 »
Cool cool.  I did walk while the blue light was shining because I was dumb and forgot about it triggering encounters.

I have no idea how you're supposed to defeat Bahamut without Selphie and her awesome Double ability to exploit his weakness. I tried with my usual team - like your friend Rinoa and Quistis are my favorites but Quistis and Squall just weren't gettingit done in terms of damage. Meanwhile, Selphie beat him all by herself doing 6200 damage a turn. Squall nd Rinoa were just on support and heal duty. Great fight, the second hardest all game next to Seifer 2.

Quistis and Zell can exploit Bahamut's Fire and Thunder weakness with Limits, and Irvine can do good damage with Fire Ammo. You can also Junction an -aga spell to Elem-Atk. Also, though they don't do great damage, normal attacks of any element will not add to Bahamut's Mega Flare variable. Lastly, you can still use other abilities to damage him if you're willing to let the Mega Flare variable go up, and by now you can get several that ignore defenses and/or have high base power. I agree that it's a lot easier with Selphie, though. Admittedly, it's a fight that would work better without restrictions on magic usage. I may lower his Vit a bit, but not so much that you can ignore the mechanics. Alternatively, I may allow you to put Bahamut to sleep for a brief period, limited to a certain number of times, to give you a few small windows in which to deal increased physical damage to him.

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But I think I fucked up and "cheated" by accident.. I'm right after getting Rinoa and first thing I did was go to Esthar touy items and then head to the Deep Sea Research facility. I got Hi-Potion+ and Mega Potions from Johnny's Shop. But when I go back after beating Bahamut to resupply, the shop says closed. But if you keep clicking on it enough, it will be open to buy items. Is that a mistake?

I guess I shouldn't have had those Hi Potion+ or Mega Potions....

Nah, that shop is like that in vanilla too.

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Also I keep forgetting to mention, it seems like the Confused party AI is programmed to use the rarest item while confused? I had 2 Mega Remedies I Mugged from somebody A while ago now I did all the Chocobo Forests and when heading to the Sanctuary I stuck around trying to see if the Malboro was still there to steal a Tentacle from to learn Bad Breath. It was. When he used it on my party, a Confused Irvine used the Mega Remedy so Selphie or somebody could immediately then mug a Tentacle off the Malboro and then we fled.

Bad Breath is always so good to have in this game. It alone makes Quistis Queen when dealing with every non boss encounter.

Good to know. IIRC, The party's confusion AI won't use items that have the "single side" flag set, so I'll change that in the next update.

25
Releases / Re: [FF8-PC Steam 2013] FFVIII Crystal 1.1.1
« on: 2021-01-02 13:25:51 »
I realized that I forgot to hex edit Adel the last time I updated, so here's a new battle.fs: https://mega.nz/file/YbpymBpQ#38_JoRmfIv-I-LmAHVzSzBD8av9n5mdiDOHyTrRf6Tc Her model shouldn't explode into a million colors now.  :|

Thank you for all your help.

Would you say the Deep Sea Research Facility (up to Bahamut at least) should be done before Lunatic Pandora and completing Disk 3 or after? I made it up to Bahamut...and died because I'm a fucking idiot who didn't  use the menu before the fight to heal. But my main point is, I gained so many levels from just walking there. I'm worried of overleveling and making the story too easy.

My main party is:
Squall Lvl 47
Quistis Lvl 40
Rinoa Lvl 36

All I recall for certain is by the time I lost, Rinoa had gained 5 levels.

What level do you think this game should be beaten at, by the way?

No problem.  :)

Enemies and bosses in late-game sidequests as well as those in Lunatic Pandora and Ultimecia's Castle will all scale based on your level, so no need to worry about out-leveling the enemies. I tend to do all of the sidequests before entering LP, but it shouldn't make much of a difference either way.

Were those levels gained just from fighting the Ruby Dragons, or were you moving while the light was shining?

The last time I played through the mod, my three most-used characters were in the 60s and 70s; the other three were lower. (I tend to cycle through characters, but this time I let a friend I was streaming the game for choose the party throughout the game, and he had a thing for Rinoa and Quistis...  ;D). That was before I added the new sidequests, though. (One reason that I decided to introduce new sidequests was to reduce the amount of grinding the player would need to do in order to, say, learn all of a character's abilities or level to 100.)

Everyone gets their last GF ability at level 50, so I'd make sure they're at least that high. Also, Omega Weapon is always level 100, so you'll want to raise your characters to around 100 if you want to fight it. I may eventually introduce another boss or two that are always set to 100, as well.

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