Author Topic: [FF8PC - Steam] Martial Law Mod (v.1.1)  (Read 1603 times)

Percival

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[FF8PC - Steam] Martial Law Mod (v.1.1)
« on: 2019-06-01 19:45:36 »


Final Fantasy 8: Martial Law v1.1

  This is NOT a difficulty mod.
  This is a rebalance mod that primarily changes the Guardian Force Abilities, Character Stat growth, and stat bonuses for Magic Junctions.

  The purpose of this mod is to make GFs and characters more unique, and to reduce the role that magic junctioning plays in trivializing any challenge.

  This mod falls very short of a full gameplay overhaul. I did not edit any enemies or refining recipes at all. That doesn't mean I might not in the future. But for now, I am convinced that other mod creators like Sega Chief will eventually do a much better job in much less time. This mod was mainly meant as a proof of concept, and I hope that my ideas influence the design of future mods.

  This mod was originally designed as a companion piece to my main mod: Succession, which is a total dialogue overhaul for the entire game. That mod is not yet finished, but the first 2/3 or so is currently available. In the meantime, I present to you: Martial Law!

  This mod has recently been updated to v1.1, and includes a redesign of the junction bonuses for all magic. For more information, reference Section 3 - Magic Junctions.

Download from the Nexus: https://www.nexusmods.com/finalfantasy8/mods/2
Direct download: here.


List of Changes:

1 - Guardian Forces –
Spoiler: show

  GFs in FF8 are the most unique mechanic in the game, and the changes here offer the greatest improvement in the mod by far.

  Each Guardian force now has a core stat that governs the nature of their abilities. This was already the case to a certain extent in the vanilla game, but I have made it far more systematic and comprehensive. Each GF now comes with the junction for their core stat already learned by default. There are 16 total GFs, and there are 8 core stats in the game. This allows for each stat to have 2 corresponding GFs.

  Many GFs have very few other base stat junctions besides their primary core stat. The exceptions to this are Quetzecoalt, Shiva, and Ifrit, which all have the ability to learn HP, Vit, and Spr junctions. They do not, however, ever obtain the junctions for the core stats of the other two initial GFs.
  My goal was to make Speed, Magic, and Strength the defining stat junctions, and their presence or absence will determine how that character functions in battle.


GF:           Primary Stat       Secondary Stat

Quetzecoatl:     Speed
Shiva:              Magic
Ifrit:                 Strength

Siren:  (S)         Vitality           Magic    (locked until Lvl 18)
Brothers: (S)     Health            Strength (locked until Lvl 18)
Diablos:  (S)      Evade            Speed    (locked until Lvl 18)

Carbuncle:        Spirit              Speed       
Leviathan:        Health            Strength
Pandemona:     Luck               Magic

Cerberus:          Vitality           Speed
Alexander:         Spirit             Magic
Tonberry:  (S)    Luck              Strength

Bahamut:          Strength
Doomtrain:        Speed
Eden:                Magic

Cactuar:            Evade


  The reason why I have divided the GFs into groups of three is because you will usually have three characters in your party, and I tried to organize the ability distribution with that in mind. They are in the approximate order of how they are introduced in the game, and therefore how you will add them to your characters.

  This mod heavily favors splitting up the first three GFs, like the vanilla game, but tries to increase the ability to customize your loadout with each subsequent GF. The second set of GFs grants another set of speed, magic, and strength junctions. The next set of three does as well, meaning that the earliest time you will have access to one of each for three characters is after acquiring Pandemona. By the time you get Alexander and Tonberry, you will have 4 options for each of the primary stats.

  I also paired the Speed Junctions with the Status Junctions, which helps to increase the value and versatility of speed-based characters, and makes it less likely to accidently set up a character that doubles up on these junctions.

  I recognize that this does tend to funnel the player into creating a default loadout for your junctions, and then simply switching these loadouts from one character to another. I see this as a good thing and as a bad. On one hand, it lessens the individuality of the characters. But on the other hand, it highlights the strengths of the given game mechanics, and reduces the amount of tedium in the menu screen, constantly changing your junctions.




2 - Shield Guardian Forces –
Spoiler: show

  The other feature I added is a concept I call the Shield GF. This is perhaps the most unique feature of the mod, as well as the one with the most potential change to overall gameplay experience.

  Siren, Brothers, Diablos, and Tonberry fall into this category.

  The Shield GF is an attempt to use of the GF HP mechanic in the opposite way of the other GFs. Shield GFs have a ton of HP, more than double that of a normal GF. But their charge time is slow, and they don't attack for high damage (except for Diablos, who remains the same). Their purpose is instead to offer protection for a character if they are about to die, and give them a chance to be healed. To make use of this strategy, a Shield GF's compatibility with a character GOES DOWN, not up, each time it is cast. This is both a blessing, and a curse. It provides you with protection for a progressively longer period of time, but also ties up your character's turns, and allows the enemy more turns to KO the GF.




3 - Magic Junctions – *UPDATED*
Spoiler: show

  For magic, I generally halved the total bonus given by magic to every stat by half. This may sound extreme, but the vanilla game was quite easy, and once again, the increase in character stats help mitigate the loss.

  One of the few stat bonuses I raised was the bonuses to Speed stat. Most early game spells now give a greater bonus to Speed. This is in order to provide greater benefit to a character with a Speed-J, but no Str-J or Mag-J. I also slightly lowered the default speed stat of each character to compensate for this bonus.

  Beyond that, almost every stat bonus was altered either up or down. The main variation I made was to status and elemental bonuses. Now a lot more support magic will offer a variety of defenses, allowing for more options than simply an all or nothing junction with specific status and elemental magic.

  I also lowered the draw resistance of every spell. This will save some time, and prevent you from only being able to successfully draw with the character with the highest magic stat.

!!!!New as of 1.1 update!!!!

  As of the latest update, I have rebalanced the stat bonuses gained from junctioning magic. In order to provide some much needed structure to the overall quality of junctioned spells, each spell is now arranged into a tiered system.

  There are 6 tiers total, and the magic is roughly arranged according to how early you gain access to it, with 1 being the earliest, such as fire and cure, and 6 being the latest, flare and full-life. Generally speaking, a spell of one tier will always be inferior to a spell of a tier above it. While there is a small amount of overlap, every tier 4 spell will almost invariably provide a much better bonus to every stat than a tier 2 spell.

  Within each tier, magic has been further arranged into 2 categories, attack and defense magic, usually with three spells for each category. Attack spells provide a greater bonus to Strength, Magic, and Speed. Defense spells provide a greater bonus to Vitality, Spirit, and Evade.
 
  As an example, in tier 3, the attack spells are Fira, Blizzara, and Thundara. Thundara is the best spell in tier 3 to equip to the three attack stats, followed by Blizzara then Fira. This structure harmonizes with the GFs, who are already divided by these same stats, in order to offer strategy to how you set up your team. Instead of finding the most optimal spell for each stat, you must choose which stat you want to favor most, and which one you favor least. This is also true for the defense magic.

  My goal with this design is to help foster a strategic approach to junctioning, as well as minimize the game-altering junction bonuses from early game spells (such as protect and shell). Also, each spell still maintains a degree of variety and individuality that shouldn't eliminate the sense of satisfaction when acquiring a new spell.


4 - Refining and other Abilities –
Spoiler: show

  I did not make any changes to the refining process. Making any changes to that system is probably the most challenging task of any FF8 mod. What I have done is alter how soon you are able to unlock them. This does not keep you from exploiting the system, but it does keep you from making use of it before you even leave the Garden.

  Most of the abilities are still with their initial GFs. But the level requirements have been raised to anywhere from 8-20, depending on the ability.

  Card Mod has been moved to Siren, and she doesn't unlock it until level 20. The Card command is unlocked after learning Card Mod, preventing you from using it to farm AP without gaining levels. (At least, not right away.)

  I recognize that this is a disincentive to play cards right away. I guess I think that may be the point...I don't know...

  The AP cost for many abilites have been tweeked. The only major difference, however, is the cost of base stat junctions. All of these have been reduced to either 30AP, or 40AP. This will allow you to make use of them within a reasonable amount of time.

  Also, regarding Encounter abilities, Diablos has Enc-Half, and Cerberus has Enc-None. This means that you won't be able to learn Enc-None until the opening of Disc 3.




5 - Characters –
Spoiler: show

  I gave each character one core stat at which they surpass any other character. For their other stats, I made them either more or less well rounded based on their perceived 'class'. I also gave a modest boost to higher level stat gains, to compensate for lowering bonuses from junctions.

Squall:    Vitality
Quistis:   Speed
Zell:         Health
Selphie:   Spirit
Rinoa:     Magic
Irvine:     Attack

  It is obviously more in-depth than this, but this gives you a general idea of how the characters will play.




*Note: While I did not include any instructions on the .exe game file hex edit hacks, particularly how to raise the magic draw limit above 9, I do use them with my own copy. They are not necessarily a part of this mod, but I do recommend them, and will link to a description if necessary.

Tools used:
Doomtrain - by alexfith
Quetzacolt - by alexfilth
Deling - by myst6re

Thanks to all the hard work by the creators of these tools, as well as the combined work of contributors on the Forum!
« Last Edit: 2019-08-30 07:35:14 by Percival »

dissintegrated

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Martial Law Mod (v.1.0)
« Reply #1 on: 2019-07-14 23:25:48 »
Did you make this mod all by yourself? Impressive, might check it out later

Percival

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Martial Law Mod (v.1.0)
« Reply #2 on: 2019-07-16 18:12:14 »
Yup, all my own work. It's not nearly as much work as something like Ragnarok, though. And, of course, all the modding tools were made by their respective authors.

Percival

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Martial Law Mod (v.1.1)
« Reply #3 on: 2019-08-30 07:47:55 »
Hey everyone!

I have just updated Martial Law, to coincide with the release of my new mod, Succession!!

The update includes a rebalance of the Magic Junction bonuses. I have also finally provided a direct download link, in case any of you don't have a nexus account.

miklol

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Martial Law Mod (v.1.1)
« Reply #4 on: 2019-09-08 19:09:53 »
Hello dear Percival,
Any chance you might update this for FF8 Remastered, once the modding tools are out?
I have read documentation on all gameplay mods, and this one seems the most interesting to me -the most to my liking (not to demean the incredible work everyone's been doing to make this game even better).

Also, thank you for making your two mods separate. Everyone's free to choose that way, I think it's a great approach to modding.

Percival

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Re: [FF8PC - Steam] Martial Law Mod (v.1.1)
« Reply #5 on: Yesterday at 05:49:28 »
@miklol Hey, thanks for the kind words!

Hello dear Percival,
Any chance you might update this for FF8 Remastered, once the modding tools are out?
Yes, whenever the modding tool are available for the Remaster, I will definitely make a compatible version of both my mods. But at this point, I have no idea how long that will be.