Author Topic: FF8 and drawing  (Read 3061 times)

gjoerulv

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FF8 and drawing
« on: 2015-05-07 00:07:43 »
Just curious on opinions here.

There are tons of complaints out there regarding the draw system in FF8. What I hear over and over is that you HAVE to draw 100 of EVERY spell on ALL characters every time you find a new spell to draw. This is obviously false, and a bit exaggerated...

The core of the argument is more like:
Quote
Why wouldn't you be in the top of your game and have 100 magic junctioned to all available stats all the time. Thus you need to at least to draw 100 of the strongest magics you find. Like you would buy the best weapons in at any given time in, lets say, FF7. This makes the drawing system very tedious, and wastes time.

Recently I saw a "lets-play" that had this mentality. "Oh geez now I have to draw AGAIN". I sympathise with this mentality a bit 'cause the game itself kinda makes you think drawing is an absolute mandatory part of the game. Which is not true. Since there are more easy and efficient ways of stocking magic, like refining, I think the argument above fails.

Also, comparing drawing 100 magics with bying weapons doesn't sound accurate. Try comparing it with leveling. The argument is: "Why not be as good as you can be in every given moment", which means that in every game you could level to max at the beginning of the game, you also should do that. But that is also not a fair comparison. I would rather compare it with, lets say, materia leveling. Or some other metagame part which is scalable.
For example: Maxing all materias you have before you finish the 1st reactor etc.

My point here is ultimately that I don't agree completely with this mentality, and don't understand why people bother when there are much easier, and much more efficient ways of stocking magic.

Recently I started playing FF8 again, and there is no way I'm drawing 100 of any magic. No, imo drawing gets obsolete pretty fast. Learn the refine abilities and the Card Mod ability and you don't have to worry about magic stock ever again. You don't even need to play the card game.

Or just use the booster if you play on steam lol.

DLPB

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Re: FF8 and drawing
« Reply #1 on: 2015-05-07 00:44:35 »
I never had a problem with it.  I didn't think ff8's system was great but I certainly liked it. It was different, at the least.

Timu Sumisu

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Re: FF8 and drawing
« Reply #2 on: 2015-05-07 02:52:32 »
I think its less of an issue of drawing 100 of a given spell, rather than the necessity of having a spell in your set without that 100 stock. The worst side effect of this is that it discourages actually casting magic most of the time.

gjoerulv

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Re: FF8 and drawing
« Reply #3 on: 2015-05-07 09:37:59 »
I think its less of an issue of drawing 100 of a given spell, rather than the necessity of having a spell in your set without that 100 stock. The worst side effect of this is that it discourages actually casting magic most of the time.

Yes, that is another complaint with the system I agree more with. This kinda ties in with the part of the argument that states: "Why wouldn't you be at the top of your game at any single moment". This could be fixed multiple ways, but I wasn't concerned with magic usage here. I'm concerned with the supposed mandatory drawing 100 of every/strongest spells.

Ragna

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Re: FF8 and drawing
« Reply #4 on: 2015-05-07 13:43:20 »
I agree with you.
The first time I played this game so many years ago I didn't really bother with drawing magic up to 100 until near end-game and only with some very strong/useful magic.
The only thing I missed of the game on that first time was to get all cards collection, but on a second playthrough I managed to do so with the Piggyback official guide.

Now recently some time ago, I began a new playthrough and got obsessed with drawing all possible magic at the earliest possible moments in the game.
It is very tiresome, and really unnecesary. That, mixed with other real-life factors forced me to abandon that playthrough.

Anyway, I wouldn't say the Draw command is unnecesary, since it's useful too to get GFs (summons), and early in the game is near mandatory to get some nice magic.
The real issue with the magic/draw system comes later, when you feel it's a waste to use magic and instead go all the time with a near-death Squall slaying enemies with ease.

Near-death Squall with limits is unstoppable most of the time. That could be seen as a flaw in the system too, maybe.

NFITC1

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Re: FF8 and drawing
« Reply #5 on: 2015-05-07 13:49:38 »
I always felt that the combination of Junctioning and enemies-level-up-with-you don't go well together. Then you're almost always stuck with your root stats unless you junction, but to take these now more powerful enemies down you have to use these magics or summons which has a completely different mechanic to it.
I could never revel in how much stronger the "Ultimate weapons" made the characters because they made so little difference to attack strength. My first experience with Squall's Lionheart weapon was going from ~950 damage to a Bite Bug to ~1020, which didn't even kill it at the level it was at. Before this I wasn't junctioning and using magic rather liberally, after this I had a "junction, but never use magic" mentality that still hasn't gone away.

gjoerulv

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Re: FF8 and drawing
« Reply #6 on: 2015-05-07 14:34:10 »
@Artema
Quote
Now recently some time ago, I began a new playthrough and got obsessed with drawing all possible magic at the earliest possible moments in the game.
It is very tiresome, and really unnecesary. That, mixed with other real-life factors forced me to abandon that playthrough.
This is the mentality I'm talking about. And the argument to do it is simply because you can. It's like the game fools some people into thinking you have to do it. In the sense of you have to buy the best weapons available. It's understandable really. Why wouldn't you have your characters be as strong as possible?

Drawing is mandatory for GFs, yes, but for other use, imo, it quickly becomes obsolete. On a 1st playthrough it's a different story though. Especially if your going in blind.

@NFITC1
Yes there also are complaints on how enemies levels with you. I view this as a difficulty setting. Level up to activate hardmode (kinda). It requires some grind, but at least it's there.

The weapons are mostly for fashion/vanity. But if I'm not mistaken, Squalls "ultimate" weapon unlocks his ├╝ber overpowered limit break.

Timu Sumisu

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Re: FF8 and drawing
« Reply #7 on: 2015-05-07 18:18:22 »
Potentially, couldn't we solve all this with a clever little mod?

-Buff up the stat growth
-Heavily buff the weapon upgrades
-Generously limit the gains of junctioning (kind of like trading the weight with what weapons normally give)

Ragna

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Re: FF8 and drawing
« Reply #8 on: 2015-05-07 21:59:51 »
Potentially, couldn't we solve all this with a clever little mod?

-Buff up the stat growth
-Heavily buff the weapon upgrades
-Generously limit the gains of junctioning (kind of like trading the weight with what weapons normally give)

I don't think that's really necessary, but feel free to do so. I think the game is OK as it is.
It's just our hardcore FF player minds most of the time leading us to these nasty things trying to exploit the system.

As I said before, I don't find the need to do 100 magic drawing from enemies all the time, or even ever, due to other factors in the game mechanics.
Did any of you really feel the need to do so on your first playthrough?

Just try to remember the first time you played this game without even a guide or internet access, if possible.
How did it feel like?

Well, that's my opinion though, so my POV might not work for some of you.

############################################################

There's bigger concerns with for example, FF7's lack of real practical use for some materias or spells in battle (like, Mistify and such), unbalanced easy battles, unused stuff, broken stuff...
I swear I can go through most battles just by leaving pressed the X/O/[ACCEPT] button. And this same happens too with FF6.

I would be more interested in a mod rebalancing things in FF7/FF6's battles and implementing interesting and practical AIs on enemies giving use for more skills or strategies in battle.
All that without unreasonably upping the game difficulty for non-experts or first-timers. This is a rule of thumb for me, even if I'm an expert I don't like too tedious battles either.

There should be a way "to hit the sweet spot" there.

Sega Chief

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Re: FF8 and drawing
« Reply #9 on: 2015-05-07 22:07:21 »
Timu's got the right idea there; any balance mod for FF8 needs to start with bringing down Junction boosts. I don't know how the formulas in that game work, but setting up some uniqueness between characters with their stat growth would be good too.

As far as drawing goes, I try to avoid it but the temptation tends to be too great when confronted by an opportunity to stock something OP. The battle with Odin is probably the best example because he does nothing the entire time (only the timer is the threat, but you can easily arrive here with 10+ minutes) and is a dispenser for Double, Triple, Stop, and Death no matter the party level.

The overly strong magic made available by some monsters at certain parts of the game is part of the problem. Some of that stuff should only be available either through refining rare items or toward the end of the game. As it is, you can have maxed stocks of some of these fairly easily either through Card or a little patience (though the time spent maxing a spell if you're drawing 9 each time is inconsequential compared to the grinds in other games, like maxing Materia).

I would be more interested in a mod rebalancing things in FF7/FF6's battles and implementing interesting and practical AIs on enemies giving use for more skills or strategies in battle.
All that without unreasonably upping the game difficulty for non-experts or first-timers. This is a rule of thumb for me, even if I'm an expert I don't like too tedious battles either.

There should be a way "to hit the sweet spot" there.

Edit: I've got a mod for the PC version of FF7 called NT that aims for what you're describing. It's not 100% yet (had a faux pas with difficulty modes recently that I'm working on correcting), but feedback tends to be mostly positive: http://forums.qhimm.com/index.php?topic=14938.0

For an FF6 re-balance, I recommend a mod called BNW. It's hosted on Insane Difficulty's forums but it's a great re-balance of the game with a lot of depth in character builds, equipment, and strategies: http://www.insanedifficulty.com/board/index.php?/files/file/66-final-fantasy-vi-brave-new-world/
« Last Edit: 2015-05-07 22:16:15 by Sega Chief »

Ragna

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Re: FF8 and drawing
« Reply #10 on: 2015-05-07 23:11:12 »
Edit: I've got a mod for the PC version of FF7 called NT that aims for what you're describing. It's not 100% yet (had a faux pas with difficulty modes recently that I'm working on correcting), but feedback tends to be mostly positive: http://forums.qhimm.com/index.php?topic=14938.0

For an FF6 re-balance, I recommend a mod called BNW. It's hosted on Insane Difficulty's forums but it's a great re-balance of the game with a lot of depth in character builds, equipment, and strategies: http://www.insanedifficulty.com/board/index.php?/files/file/66-final-fantasy-vi-brave-new-world/
Oh well, I'll have to try these the next time I play FF6/FF7.
Still I don't like the idea of rebalancing mods/hacks introducing other kinds of changes like new extra enemies, replaced character/enemy models/sprites, scripts, new sidequests, or even music.
Would be much better to modularize all these many different changes so the player can make choices. But that is too difficult, if not planned that way from the very beginning.

So that's not what "to hit the sweet spot" means to me. But it can still be something interesting or cool to play, I'll fastily admit.

Timu Sumisu

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Re: FF8 and drawing
« Reply #11 on: 2015-05-08 01:36:47 »
The idea I proposed is more to structure ff8 in such a way that you play through it more like a typical FF game, doing random battles regularly, but not in excess (unlike stock ff8 where you want to avoid every battle possible), as well as discourage drawn out battles drawing (see what I did there!?).

Some issues would remain however.

-With modified stat growth curves, characters would need to be become 'flavored' for certain roles.

-Limit breaks are ever broken (I'm not familiar with the math that goes on behind the scenes, but maybe something could happen there)

-reducing stat growth from junction is all fine and dandy, but needs to be tempered with junctioning to elem/stat atk/def


Square made a very complex system for FF8, which in terms of contemporary game design doesnt make much sense, so much as a hodgepodge of mildly interesting ideas. As per how game design tends to work, regardless of peoples' first take or opinions, the dominant strategy by definition comes to the foreground and is ever superior. Even when I've tried to play a 'regular' run, I'd eventually get blocked by the numbers of the game.

To push the discussion:

How do you guys think the limit break system could be adjusted to not be a go to of 'keep everyone at <25% hp to win'
« Last Edit: 2015-05-08 01:44:28 by Timu Sumisu »

Sega Chief

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Re: FF8 and drawing
« Reply #12 on: 2015-05-08 02:24:54 »
Having characters leaning toward certain roles isn't necessarily a bad thing; a common complaint in FF7 & FF8 is that characters are too similar to each other outside of Limits and attacking animations. Taking that further, it would be interesting if GFs could be restricted to certain characters only, and if they played a more prominent role in developing the character's stats; it worked very well in that BNW mod for FF6 because it let you make different but effective character builds in each run so you felt more involved with developing a team beyond just leveling them up.

Limits would be very tough to fix outside of doing something drastic. Aura's effect would need to be changed for a start, unless it was made very rare/limited in supply somehow (like a one-off draw point in the field or world map). Limits work on some kind of threat level that determines the potency of some of them, maybe that could be adjusted so it's always the lowest possible under the Aura status?

Big problem is that a lot of them are multiple-hit Limits. They'd need to be prevented from hitting for max damage on each strike to have any chance of balancing them off against other sources of damage. But the total for the later ones should maybe creep past 9999 so Ult Weapons can keep that 'edge' for taking the trouble to craft them. A base power adjustment could do it, but it depends on how high the character's attack stat can go within the confines of the (theoretical) mod.

That leaves fixing the manipulation of HP to get a steady supply of them. You can 'cycle' the battle menu for a character quickly (even if only one character is currently active) until a Limit pops up which is at the heart of the problem, so that could be a place to tackle Limits (somehow). Or the trigger for it would need to be changed, but not sure what the options for that could be; adding a gauge like some other FF games use for Limits would likely require a tonne of work (assuming it can even be done at all). The HP bracket when they trigger could be pushed down, but it's not a great way of doing it; there'd likely still be ways to manipulate it.
« Last Edit: 2015-05-08 02:26:36 by Sega Chief »

gjoerulv

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Re: FF8 and drawing
« Reply #13 on: 2015-05-09 00:00:32 »
Haha it's getting a bit off topic here, but that's ok. It's in the same ballpark.

It's impossible to truly "fix" FF8. If I could freely change whatever I wanted though (from the top of my head):

Remove Squall's other LBs and nerf Renz a bit. Basically nerf every LB.
Remove Aura. Remove invincible.
All magic junctioned is not expended on use.
Draw is more efficient. 3x - 4x.
Nerf the junction formula, and make levels matter more for stats.

Sega Chief

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Re: FF8 and drawing
« Reply #14 on: 2015-05-09 00:24:03 »
Sounds good; I think a lot of people (including myself) will always feel compelled to Draw strong magic if they see it on an enemy so a boosted Draw rate + adjusted Junction bonuses would make for a solid base.

NFITC1

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Re: FF8 and drawing
« Reply #15 on: 2015-05-09 00:58:52 »
-Spend magic to cause a perma-increase to a stat. It could be half of what standard junctioning grants.
-Make Aura less of a change to LB chance.
-Limit LBs per battle (doesn't have to be one, but not as many as you want).
-Make always-hit weapons not always-hit (lower their hit chance to be more in line with other ultimate weapons).
-Maybe grant some other damage breaking attacks other than Cactuar and Eden.
-Diablo doesn't always need to do 100% at level 100. Maybe 70%, but can be boosted.
Other suggestions pending...