Author Topic: FF8 challenge - the landing  (Read 8620 times)

random_npc

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FF8 challenge - the landing
« on: 2010-10-10 16:17:50 »
Here is a challenge to those of you who like ff8, but now find it too easy.  :evil:


This very small mod focus on the Landing at Dollet, at the beginning of the game.
I've tweaked the statistic and strategy of some enemies, mostly the common Galbadian soldier and Elvoret.
Main purpose is to have fun fighting these enemies, discussing about what should/could be done to boost the difficulty in game, and discussing about how is coded the monsters strategy which have not been documented on this forum yet.


download it from here : challenge closed, file no longer available


installation instructions :
- download the file
- unzip it
- in your ff8 directory, backup the 'battle' fi, fl and fs files in the Data folder.
- using FF8_acc, replace all necessary files from 'battle' with the ones I gave you. (French and English language are available)
- start a new game or load a savegame just before the landing and try to obtain your exam.

- You can try as well to fight the galbadians in the debug room at various level to see how they evolve during the game.


I don't want to spoil your play by revealing the new strategies, moves and the main changes. I'll be waiting feedback before that. Than I'll explain what philosophy I've followed when editing these files. Post your feedback in this topic : http://forums.qhimm.com/index.php?topic=10877.msg151396#msg151396 , and your questions & technical comments in this one.


Now here are a few advices about things you should/shouldn't do while playing this mod :

Hint1: remember that when you use scan, you can learn about the enemies HP and other statistics.
Hint2: it's smart to steal some sleep and quiet magic in the training rooms of Ballamb prior the exam
Hint3: stealing Siren from Elvoret right away might not be the best thing to do
Hint4: remember that not matter what, Zell, Seifer and Selphie will join your team with a level around 8. Don't level up too much before the exam with Squall.
Hint5: It's smart as well to buy a few items at Balamb, mostly revive. Remember you don't have any life magics yet!
Hint6: I wouldn't mix this mod with the 'difficulty mod' that lower down the damage you deal.
Hint7: upgrading to superior gunblades and/or junctioning 100 tornado to strength prior to the Landing mission  kind of nullify the purpose of this mod, try to avoid it please....


if you don't have FF8_acc (FF8 Archive Commander by M4v3R): http://www.balamb.pl/qh/ff8ac.7z

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now, some further explanations about the new galbadian soldiers. If you haven't play the mod yet, don't read it, it will spoil your fun!

I'll talk about three things in regard to them : stats editing, damage cheating, new strategy.


Stats editing

This was done mostly with Gjeorulv's Ifrit editor. For Str and Mgi values, I've used Colly original formulae and not Ifrit's that have them all wrong.

In the original game, defeating a galbadian soldier didn't require anything special because of their weak stats.
Around level 8, they had like 200 hp and were dealing ~20-30 damages, while you had 400-700 hp and are dealing more than 100 damages. And you outnumber them at almost every fight. No need to tell more...

First, I studied the playable characters natural stats evolution (without junctioning or bonus). My goal was to establish a 'human'-type stat evolution curve, and apply it to the galbadian after some adaptations. I took into account that the higher values for some stats of certain characters reflect more their uniqueness and should be left appart : for example, Rinoa has got the highest natural Str and Mgi values at higher level, which could be linked to her latter 'sorceress' nature.
I made some changes to this curve - Galbadian soldier are not children, they are wearing armors so their Dfs stat is higher than yours, etc.     
Basically, after that the galbadian stats are similar to yours unjunctioned, with some particularities (high defense).


damage cheating

When I said FFVIII was easy... I've discovered that enemies will always deal half damages compared to you. I haven't check if it apply to all enemies, but it does to my galbadian. I got rid of this handicap by using a temporary trick in the strategy code. I won't explain more, but be aware that now they will deal full damage (~100 at level 8 ), so be prepare to heal yourself.
As a prove that this half-damage handicap isn't coming from my imagination : watch Biggs. He should have higher mgi stat then you, and would cure higher than you (~300) but deal less damage ~70. That's 1/4. On the opposite, you score ~100 damages and cure of ~200. That's 1/2. If you came up with the same mgi stat than Biggs, you'll cure yourself of 300 as well, and deal 150 damages.
I made my tests with everyone having the same stats, and targeting each person, so I'm sure of that.
If someone knows where this handicap is coded, (kernel?) I would really like to remove it completely.


new strategy   

This one, I won't reveal it yet. More feedbacks please!
« Last Edit: 2011-02-01 17:27:22 by random_npc »

obesebear

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Re: FF8 challenge - the landing
« Reply #1 on: 2010-10-11 00:17:23 »
Aali's driver is the only thing currently that is big enough to warrant both a release and feedback thread.  I do appreciate adding the note at the bottom of your other post as to why you did it this way.  So thanks, but I'm going to delete it for now.  If this thread gets some 76 pages worth of replies, we can make a new one :)

random_npc

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Re: FF8 challenge - the landing
« Reply #2 on: 2010-10-11 04:55:38 »
Fine then, we'll keep it in one thread. So ladies and gentlemen! Never mind the first post, everything you'd like to say about this mod belongs here, from playing experience to general considerations about balancing and technical aspects.  :)





 
« Last Edit: 2010-10-25 15:29:15 by random_npc »

Timber

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Re: FF8 challenge - the landing
« Reply #3 on: 2010-10-12 15:59:40 »
Cool, I'll have to try this out.
My FF8 is a bit buggy though, I'm waiting for the next Aali's driver release before playing it again.

random_npc

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Re: FF8 challenge - the landing
« Reply #4 on: 2010-11-03 13:34:50 »
ver.2 uploaded!  First post edited

in ver.2 Elvoret was improved. It now have a weak point you can exploit, but might be considered harder on some other aspects.

Oh, and it's cooler than ever.


Now for some comments about the mighty Elvoret fight. remember you have one primary and two secondary objectives :
1 :  taking him down
2 :  stealing GF Siren
2-2: stealing as much 'double' magic as possible.

It's up to you to set your 'double' quota for 2-2. I usually try to have a minimum of 160. That makes 100 for Selphie and 60 to divide later on between Sq, Z, & Q.

Depending in which order you want to deal with those three objectives, the fight will look very different - Elvoret will not behave the same way. Here are some example of strategies :

- 'Brute way': steal Siren right away, then take him down while stealing 'double' whenever you can afford it
this is a dangerous way, but feasible. However with this strategy I usually get carried out and kill it before fulfilling my 'double' quota.

- 'the Nightmare': steal Siren only when you have stolen enough double. If you try this way you are likely to see all possible moves/strategies of Elvoret.


In all case, this fight is a very good occasion to use Selphie's limit. Full-cure is obvious, but even at that point of the game you can get usefull Wall, Auras, and once I could even finish off Elvoret with an awesome triple meteor.


Still awaiting feeback!...
« Last Edit: 2010-11-03 14:11:57 by random_npc »

Cazador

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Re: FF8 challenge - the landing
« Reply #5 on: 2010-11-03 21:28:20 »
I tried the brute way. Killed him too early  :-[

random_npc

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Re: FF8 challenge - the landing
« Reply #6 on: 2010-11-04 01:06:28 »
First feedback on this forum! Hurray! Thought I'd expected a longer one...

Well well, just try the 'Nightmare' way - using the 'Brute way', Elvoret shouldn't have shown you much about what it can do. In fact, he stops using magic when you steal Siren from him, and will only try to use it again when it's too late (you are being warned at that moment).

I considered the Brute way reasonably hard because you have to cure yourself a lot, and be fast, but well...In fact, I wanted to discourage the player from using the Brute way - seems like it didn't work with you.

Could you give me more info about the way you fought Cazador? limits? level, magics, junction data? Or even your savegame? What parameters do you use? (game speed, active/wait, etc? ) And what about the galbadians? Did you get into the hardest fight (only Squall and Zell vs. 3 or 4 of them - can be deadly)?  Have you notice a difference compared to the original game (I sure hope you did...)? 
« Last Edit: 2010-11-06 15:24:02 by random_npc »

random_npc

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Re: FF8 challenge - the landing
« Reply #7 on: 2011-01-25 14:19:28 »
Update!

I consider removing this mod from download in about a week, so I was feeling like I'd give a warning in case some people would still be interested. I will post a brief summary of Elvoret new strategy as to conclude this challenge, as well then a few other things - theory around GFs, my own interpretation around Elvoret and things like that. I won't say anything about editing enemy strategy code, as anybody could easily figure it out by themself, and hopefully member myst6re might come to document it on the wiki.

Although in general, topics in this 'Mods' subforum remain small with short posts, mostly technical, the primary goal of this topic & mod was to generate some discussion which didn't happen.  So well, still one week before it's over!   

random_npc

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Re: FF8 challenge - the landing
« Reply #8 on: 2011-02-15 23:10:48 »
Well there. I'll be talking a little about Elvoret original and new strategies.

First, we'll start by the moves. Original Elvoret had four of them : attack, special wind attack, fire, thunder.
For some reason, the first move is being listed two times and both are called in the AI code. Seems like Elvoret had been given something else and was then made simpler - that could have been the 'sting attack' that the moon Elnoyles are using.
Its strategy was simple, yet more elaborated than a lot of usual enemies. It worked by four turns, like this :
turn1 - fire(1/3) or attack(2/3)
turn2 - thunder(1/3) or attack(2/3)
turn3 - skipped
turn4 - wind attack
again and again.

My new Elvoret uses the folowing moves :
attack
sting attack
special wind attack
fire
thunder
water
silent
sleep
zombie
steal&cast magic
double
holy
curaga

Now as for its strategy. Elvoret switch between different attack patterns.
It's first move is part of the loading code. It use the steal&cast magic move, triggering
some new dialogs I've added, emphazing the fact it's having a G-Force.

pattern1 : warming up.
Elvoret will cast double on itself. It can use simple or double thunder magic, make use of the 'steal&cast magic' move, or attack you. It can use its special wind attack, but needs at least 4 turns before reusing it again.
After a while, it will go on to pattern2.
 
pattern2 : zombie
Elvoret summon Siren on itself. It becomes zombie, but has a magic barrier.
It will use the wind attack the same way than before (4 turns cooling)
It will regularly cast a single zombie magic on one of your character.
The rest of the time, it will normally attack or cast double fire magic.
After a while it switch to pattern3.

pattern3
Elvoret summons Siren again.
Now it's no longer zombie. Its magic barrier is gone too.
It still use the wind attack the same way.
If it was too much damaged (below 20% HP), it will cure itself with Curaga.
It can use a lot of different moves:
steal&cast magic
attack
water
double thunder
double sleep
double silent
single thunder, sleep or silent
Elvoret can switch back to pattern2 after a while.


pattern4 : Siren is lost
Elvoret huge magic defense stat (forgot the name) was halved.
It will no longer cast any magic, but it uses both 'attack' and 'sting attack' moves.
If he's got more than half of his HP, it can use the special wind attack relentlessly (by stealing its G-Force, you've turned it really mad), if not it still need the 4-turns-cooling. 
It uses the sting attack right after you stole Siren from it. I'm planning to change it to a counterattack next time I work on him.
 
pattern5 : near-death
Actually, it's part of pattern4. When Elvoret is below 10% HP, a warning text will appear.
Elvoret will then skip a few turns to 'remember a forgotten spell'. That's Holy. Once that's done, it will use it over and over.
« Last Edit: 2011-02-15 23:17:26 by random_npc »

Vgr

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Re: FF8 challenge - the landing
« Reply #9 on: 2011-02-15 23:40:39 »
Sounds pretty cool ;D I'll test it!