Author Topic: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.5)  (Read 64473 times)

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #225 on: 2019-04-08 03:56:01 »
Quote from: Nikito
I was wondering how do you obtain Seifer's card now since Cid doesn't seem to have it.

Nothing has changed in regards to the Seifer card, only the Kiros and Zell card locations are different from the original game.

Are you playing at his office? The probabilties of Cid using the Seifer card are different depending on where you play him. It's only 20% in his office, while later at Edea's House chances increase to about 50%. So I'd suggest keep trying.

IFireflyl

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #226 on: 2019-04-12 06:41:25 »
Hey Callisto. I played this game back in December, and I never realized before that Omega Weapon has a set attack pattern that makes him entirely too easy to beat once you know the pattern. That made the game a bummer for me as I'd always played it with an end-goal of dying over and over until I finally beat him. What does your mod do to Omega Weapon? Is there a way to make his attacks more random so that you can't just cheese him? After realizing how easy he is this game completely lost appeal for me, and I'm hoping this mod can make Omega Weapon a nightmare (like he was when I first played this game and he absolutely mauled me). You know... so it actually feels like you deserve that achievement for beating him.

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #227 on: 2019-04-13 03:35:51 »
In the current version of the mod, Omega Weapon uses a different opener than normal (not Lv5 Death), deals noticably more damage with his attacks (especially spells) and can use Light Pillar anytime. The latter is no longer an instant death attack in this mod, but very difficult to survive.

Other than that, Omega Weapons physical attacks are harder to dodge, as the Speed gains through junctions - and therefore also Evade stats - have been toned down by quite a bit, and he can't be easily put under the Vit 0 status effect by just casting Meltdown, so the fight will probably go on longer than usual - also because Squall's, Zell's and Irvines' Limit Breaks no longer inflict absurd amounts of damage. Character stats are generally harder to max out since the latest update, which should help with the difficulty of this battle as well.

I'm not sure if this is enough to turn him into a nightmare, but it should be a noticable step up frome the base game. I guess there's still more potential to this battle, like slightly more randomization of attacks, so his pattern becomes less predictable. I'll think about something for the next update, which should release soon.
« Last Edit: 2019-04-13 03:40:26 by Callisto »

Nikito

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #228 on: 2019-04-14 18:22:37 »
I was wondering when's the earliest time you can get Doomtrain?

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #229 on: 2019-04-14 23:33:34 »
The earliest point you can get Doomtrain is identical to the original game (excluding Chocobo World): After leaving Esthar for the first time, head to Tears Point, get the Solomon Ring and active it when having 6 Steel Pipes, 6 Remedy+ and 6 Malboro Tentacles in your inventory.

Steel Pipes must be mugged from Wendigos (they appear very frequently on the dirt ground area near Deling City), as they are no longer available through Card Mod. As for the other items, the ways of obtaining them are the same as always. Here's a link:

https://finalfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Doomtrain

Yuey

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #230 on: 2019-04-15 03:08:49 »
Hey Callisto, just wanted to drop by to let you know how much I'm enjoying your mod. It's my first time revisiting this game in well over a decade and I'm having a blast with all the gameplay changes you've made. I actually restarted partway into my playthrough after finding out about your mod since I was finding the original game to be too easy. I'm still relatively early in but I've already found it to be much more engaging. The balance so far is spot on: boss fights are challenging and sometimes require multiple attempts and even normal battles can be deadly. It's a lot of fun learning which monsters I have to be vary of instead of just breezing through every normal encounter. I also love all the little extra things you've added throughout the game, like the side quests or extra rewards during the story. I can really see how much heart you've put into this.

I'm looking forward to the rest of the game and hopefully I'll report back with my thoughts after playing some more. Cheers!

fooli

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #231 on: 2019-04-16 10:00:12 »
Hello, started this up with the Lunatic Pandora mod pack and am using the ultimate launcher.

Three things I wanted to bring up, I noticed in a previous comment that you changed the queen of cards quest. I lost my minimog card to her and she gave the text saying she was moving to dollet. I haven't gone back to check if she's actually gone. Also, could you put together a list of the card changes?

Second thing was during the late night visit to the training center with Quistis I was back attacked by a T-rexaur and before I could act was tail whipped for roughly 900 damage a pop and wiped out Quistis and Squall.

Third was Double doesn't seem to do anything. I have the option for single and double cast after I buff someone with it, but the second spell never goes off. Edit: Something in this process resolved -
If using Lunatic Pandora Mod Pack v1.0:
1. Delete the HL_Files/ folder.
2. Download THIS FILE to replace the UV Injector that comes with Lunatic Pandora
3. Place that file into RaW/GLOBAL/Hext along with the ragnarok mod and any other Hext files you have.
4. Run the game from the normal launcher.
« Last Edit: 2019-04-16 11:18:06 by fooli »

fooli

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #232 on: 2019-04-16 12:58:14 »
Another thing I just found, the guy that is supposed to be the vendor in the train base in Timber doesn't give you the ability to choose a response. The options are there, but you can't choose.

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #233 on: 2019-04-16 15:30:40 »
Hey Yuey, thank you for the feedback, much appreaciated. I am somewhat satisfied with the overall balance as well, but I still feel like a few bosses are in need of further adjustments - mostly small ones, though. For example, the damage the Iguions can inflict with their Resonance attack is a bit overtuned, and the enemies at the top of the prison are still a bit too fast. So watch out once you get there, and don't set battle speed to max for bosses in general. Anyway, have a good time and feel free to report back with any impressions you have.

@Fooli: It's best to wait with starting the Queen of Cards sidequest until you have the Quezacotl card from Mayor Dobe in Fisherman's Horizon, as the whole quest chain now starts with this card instead of Minimog. All in all, not much has changed about this sidequest otherwise. Click spoiler tag for more details:

Spoiler: show
Instead of the Minimog card, you need to lose the Quezacotl card to the Card Queen. This creates the Kiros card, which can then be found at Winhill Inn. Second, instead of the Sacred Card, the Card Queen now requests the Pandemona card. This will create the Irvine card, which can still be won from Flo in Fisherman's Horizon. The rest of the quest remains the same as in the base game.


As for the T-Rexaur wipe, I'll look for a way to prevent back attacks against this enemy, or will just decrease the power of its tail attack a little.

Rechecked shop options in Timber train, and can confirm the bug you described. It only happens when talking to this NPC right after getting Rinoa out of her room though. After the actual train mission and right before facing Gerogero, the options work as intended. Will fix this very soon, thanks for the info.


NxK

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #234 on: 2019-04-18 13:31:25 »
I am currently playing through the latest version of the mod and noticed that Cactuar still has the Stat Bonus abilities. Is that intentional? It seems like an oversight to me since his ability inventory is overcrowded (i.e. one needs to make him forget 5 abilities in order for him to learn everything he is supposed to learn naturally).

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #235 on: 2019-04-18 16:10:59 »
Oh, that was an oversight. That's actually a very important thing you've spotted there. Will be fixed as soon as possible, thank you.

IFireflyl

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #236 on: 2019-04-19 17:22:51 »
I guess there's still more potential to this battle, like slightly more randomization of attacks, so his pattern becomes less predictable. I'll think about something for the next update, which should release soon.

The other things you said make the battle sound way better than Vanilla, but less predictable attacks would (in my opinion) be a huge improvement for Omega Weapon. Thanks so much for everything you've put into this! I want to replay FFVIII again! ;D

NxK

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #237 on: 2019-04-19 18:13:13 »
Is there still an NPC who can abolish card rules on Disc4? I looked around a fair bit but couldn't find any such person.

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #238 on: 2019-04-19 20:03:31 »
No, there isn't such an NPC for disc 4 yet. I'll try to add this function to Joker, but I can't promise if I can get it working, as it seems more difficult than at the other locations.

What you could do in any case is relying on the RNG for you to remove a certain rule from the card players on the Ragnarok, as long as you are able to carry rules to certain players that don't already play them. Check out this link, for example:

https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/boards/197343-final-fantasy-viii/76700194

Yuey

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #239 on: 2019-04-20 03:38:31 »
Just finished disc 2 and it's been a ton of fun so far. I have a few thoughts, but I'll save them for until I finish the entire game to better organize them.

One thing that I do want to mention though was the Cerberus fight. That was probably the hardest fight for me up until this point and man what a fight that was! I thought I was more than prepared for anything (had pretty much full stock of every possible spell so far on my entire party and was a solid lvl60 on squall / 40-ish on my other two members) and he still wiped the floor with me. I ended up having to dedicate both Rinoa and Quistis to full time buff and healing duties just to stay alive. Both tornado and quake would do half of my party's hp even with aero and break junctioned to ele-def and sometimes he would back to back cast them. I felt like I needed protect at all times because of his physical/acid rain and haste/double on both my casters in order to keep up with healing. I tried using shell/float too but opted for just healing through since he kept dispelling and it was too many buffs to try to maintain. Oh, and that acid rain attack has got to be the worst part of the fight. The dispel plus the heavy physical damage of it meant that if it followed a tornado or quake before I could heal, it was likely a KO on one of my casters. Not to mention he really likes to spam it and he's so freaking fast! All in all, very fun fight and even more satisfying once you beat him.

On the other hand, the boss battle right after that felt like a joke in comparison. Maelstrom hurts a lot but she just didn't have the speed to really follow up to make it deadly and I could easily heal up to full before anything happens. The RNG deaths were annoying but nothing I couldn't deal with since once again her slow speed makes it easy to recover.

Also, is triple still available as a drawn spell from enemies at some point in the game since neither Odin or Cerberus has it. You can just tell me a yes or no so I know if I would need to refine it or not.

Edit: In hindsight, I think much of what made the Edea fight easier for me compared to Cerberus was the fact that I had two treatments already by that point and since a lot of her skill set revolved around inflicting status ailments, that kind of trivialized the fight. Gaining an extra Spd-J also really upped my party's survivability since both of my casters had 50+ spd.
« Last Edit: 2019-04-20 16:09:20 by Yuey »

fooli

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #240 on: 2019-04-20 04:28:46 »
I'm not sure exactly when it happened, but the SeeD Rank salary fix reverted to normal at the beginning of the second disk. Just opened my inventory and i have a quarter million gil, watched the next pay amount and it was like 23k. Edit: It kicked back in after the fight with the Iron Clad in FH, back to 6500. But I now have 1.1 million gil. Uhh.

The Missile Base commander and his two side kicks wiped me twice oddly enough. First time I silenced them all with Siren, then the two mooks started spamming hi potions while the officer had them gang up on whoever was lowest HP. Action economy was seriously busted, it was like they were all hasted. Second time I tried dropping the officer without scanning him, he had a ton of hp I wasn't expecting lol.

Something seemed super wonky with the random encounter rate where you fight the oilboyles. Went through it twice and had at least six random encounters each time just walking across the room. Most of Garden seemed pretty high, Galbadia doesn't need missiles when there are that many bombs running around the halls.

Not sure if it has anything to do with your mod, but the text font occasionally goes back to the original every other letter. Opening the menu usually fixes it.

Been enjoying this run quite a bit as the characters feel distinct. Selphie is seriously MVP so far, she is higher level than squall at the missile base just from how many killing blows she deals. She just murders everything with her limit break and her innate magic stat. However I can't seem to make Zell useful compared to anyone else, and I've yet to get his finisher to show up when Duel-ing. Did the command order get changed? Irvine is kinda in the same boat outside his limit.

What does Angelo's damage scale off of for Rinoa? It seems to be super weak.
« Last Edit: 2019-04-20 07:04:47 by fooli »

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #241 on: 2019-04-21 04:52:28 »
@Yuey: Cerberus has been made tougher than other bosses at that point intentionally, as he still casts Double and Triple when summoned, which is very useful for longer battles, and - more importantly - also because he is an optional boss. That's also why the Brothers are harder to defeat than Edea (1st), for example.

Still, the drop in difficulty between Cerberus and Edea (2nd) might be a little too noticable indeed. So I guess a small speed bonus to Edea (2nd) sounds reasonable, as well as increasing the level requirement for Leviathan to learn the second Treatment Ability.

Speed junction bonuses will be further reduced in the next update, probably releasing next week. This will also change Triple availability. At the moment, the earliest methods of aquiring Triple is by finding Three Stars from Chocbo World, by modding the Selphie card, or through High Mag-RF from Alexander a little later. There are only 2 non-regular enemies you can draw it from on disc 3 or 4, so make sure to not miss out on them if you prefer drawing it.


@fooli: I rechecked SeeD rank salary for each rank and found that the value for rank 16 is busted because of a typing error in the ragnarok_mod text file. Thanks a lot, I probably wouldn't have spotted it myself anymore.

The soldiers from the Missile Base boss battle can be tricky indeed, but there are various spells that help dealing with them. For one, the Base Soldiers are very vulnerable to Slow, a spell that should be easily accessible at this point of the game. Quezacotl has a chance of inflicting Slow as well. They can't even cure the status with their Remedies, so it'll definitely help. The Base Leader's HP have been made that high to give the Demi spell an opportunity to shine in a boss fight.

In general, if you feel like being overwhelmed by certain enemies, don't hesitate to try status changing spells. They are sometimes the key for winning battles. This is particularly true for the (in this mod) infamous Esthar Cyborgs as well.

I'm not sure what caused the increased encounter rate at the Oilboyle screen; it's even set to be slightly lower than elsewhere at MD-Levels. Guess I'll just decrease it further, as it can be really annoying to run into a random battle on your way to where the Oilboyles spawn. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Mixed text fonts are definitely not caused by this mod. I know what you mean, and I believe it happens more frequently if you alt-tab out of the game and back in with any font-changing mod active, but not entirely sure what causes it.

Zell's Duel damage can still be high and compete with other characters' Limit Breaks when using certain combos (outside of repeated use of Punch Rush and Booya, known as the "Armageddon Fist" in the base game). Nothing has changed about command order, so you can use this as a guide:

https://finalfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Duel

Irvine's natural Speed growth will be increased for the next update, so he will be the only character that reaches a high Speed stat without grinding for Speed Up items (only Selphie will come close). Angelo Cannon and Angelo Strike damage is based on Rinoa's Strength, which is rather low naturally, but can be increased with junctions to somewhat decent levels. As a compensation, her Limit Break will trigger a little earlier than that of the characters (40% max HP instead of the usual 30%) and Wishing Star is currently still incredibly powerful.

fooli

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #242 on: 2019-04-21 11:17:15 »
Rank 16 is indeed the rank I am at. Can't fix my stupid amount of gil it at this point so I guess I will keep an eye on other ranks too. Don't have Wishing Star for Rinoa yet, but her magic stat has already jumped up over Selphies around lvl 25 or so. Not sure what I am doing wrong with Zell, and a speed boost will make Irvine an excellent mugger ;D

Hope these things aren't coming through as complaints, I am enjoying this mod a great deal and am trying to keep things constructive.


fooli

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #243 on: 2019-04-23 12:54:58 »
I can't seem to get the person in the Winhill Hotel to play cards with me.
« Last Edit: 2019-04-23 13:29:41 by fooli »

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #244 on: 2019-04-23 14:13:26 »
If you are looking for the Kiros card, then try searching the inn a bit. The card player in question doesn't show up immediately when entering the room and remains hidden until doing a certain action.

Here's a new text file you can use to fix SeeD rank 16 by the way. Put it in RaW/Global/Hext and replace the old text file.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1W7Sey3BTTKiJftInphYeRVY-4aydfWHZ

Didn't get your feedback wrong, no worries :)

Yuey

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #245 on: 2019-04-25 06:15:58 »
As promised, here are my thoughts and impressions after having gone through the mod once:

Spoiler: show
As a general disclaimer, this is my first time revisiting the game since it first came out on PC back in 2000. As such, do forgive me if I end up mistaking any parts of the original game as part of the mod or vice versa. I did get up to the beginning of disc 3 before restarting over with the mod so I have a good feel for most of the changes up until that point. Everything afterwards however is entirely new to me. I also did my playthrough in its entirety on the 1.1.2 version of the mod.

Characters and Junctions

(For the character discussion part, assume I am talking about Lvl100 characters with no extra stat gains from Devour or Stat Up items.)

Overall, there’s not much to say about junctions. I like how you made it so there’s more of a meaningful trade-off between where you junction high level spells. It’s a small but welcomed change that added a bit of character customization that was much lacking in the original. This combined with the more diverse growth you gave each character made it so that there’s no longer a single, most optimal junction setup for everyone. I enjoyed having to rethink my junctions depending on who was in the party or actually having to give up some offensive power if I needed survivability for a certain fight.

As for characters, I absolutely love the new identities you gave everyone. Really makes each character feel special for gameplay. I had some misgivings early on since I felt like Quistis and Irvine were really lacking compared to their counterparts. Rinoa is the obvious choice for heavy magic damage and Selphie is, in my opinion, the best for support casting due to her speed whereas Quistis didn’t really have any defining features. In a similar vein, Irvine felt like he did no damage compared to Squall or Zell while also not being able to tank like the other two.
 
Ironically, both Quistis and Irvine ended up being the two party members that I managed to beat Omega Weapon with. I don’t know if it was intentional on your part or not, but the two of them really shined end-game. In particular, once you had access to a decent supply of Aura and could utilize Limit Breaks reliably in a fight, I really felt like those two pulled ahead.

For Irvine, early on his biggest issue was his damage output but once you gained access to Aura or Ultima as a junction, you can still cap his Str at Lvl100. Obviously, both Squall and Zell can do it before 100 and with a weaker spell but the potential is still there for Irvine to reach them. As a comparison, neither Quistis nor Selphie can max their Mag stat even with best junction and a Mag+30% allowing Rinoa to maintain her dominance. Then there is Irvine’s limit which I feel is so much more versatile while being comparable in damage over a long fight. Don’t know if a boss is vulnerable to statuses or not? Fire off a bunch of dark ammo to check. High Vit boss and can’t get Vit0 to stick? AP rounds. Low Vit boss? Fast rounds. In addition, he still has decent Vit and Spr (unlike Zell) while having the highest Spd.

Simiarly, Quistis really came to be once you reach the tougher battles. Her higher Hp and Vit compared to Rinoa and Selphie made her a better choice in fights like Ultima or Omega Weapon where the other two simply cannot survive as well without sacrificing extra ability slots. A simple Aura + Mighty Guard to start off a fight before the boss can get anything deadly in can make a huge difference. White Wind is also a straight up counter to many heavy AOE abilities (Megiddo Flame, Ultima, etc) without relying on megaelixirs or multiple casts of Curaga with Shell on.

Now, I don’t really know if anything really needs to be changed and if so, how to go about it. I mainly wanted to share my impression on this aspect that I think was particularly well done in this mod.

Guardian Forces and Abilities

(I’m only going to list the things I feel are worth noting.)

Treatment: My absolute favorite ability (please don’t nerf it). Like you said, a higher level requirement for learning the 2nd one might be warranted. In the end, I had one for each of my main party members. In most cases, it feels just like using an elixir. The heal is usually enough to get whomever back into a healthy enough Hp for Regen to do the rest.

Step-mine: Or as I like to call it, the Cactuar farming ability. Hard to utilize normally. For a time, I put it on my casters but that was before I got Quake or Tornado. My playthrough clocked in at about 80hrs and I think it was doing about 3k at the end. Not too shabby for an AOE, but not really useful either at that point.

Darkside: Still extremely good even after the nerf in this mod. About the only real way most of your physical dealers will do damage outside of Limits. Which makes it most useful in the first half of the game before you get Aura, but also the most dangerous part of the game to use since I feel like monsters and bosses in general tend to hit harder relative to your Hp pool early on. I will elaborate more on this below.

Mad Rush, Defend, Counter, Cover, Return Damage: All still have their situational uses.

Absorb, Renew: These are the two abilities that I feel are still rather useless and could maybe use a buff or some changes. Absorb still doesn’t hit or heal for much even with ignoring Spr. As for Renew, by the time you get Alexander and learn the Ability, you’re pretty much in Esthar and can farm Toramas for Full-Life. Moving it to an earlier GF and giving it a lower AP requirement might help.

(In general, I didn’t make much use of GFs past disc 2 but I can still see their uses, especially for ones like Cerberus, Doomtrain, Bahamut, or Eden. However, I did make use of them extensively during disc 1 and some of disc 2 and that’s where I would like to talk a bit about.)

Quezacotl + Shiva:
I realized early on that GFs were just much better at killing than I was. As a result, for most of disc 1, I would basically just summon Quezacotl, Shiva, and Ifrit (except he never actually gets a turn) at the beginning of every battle and be done with it. Not very engaging I know. However, they summoned nearly instantly with max compatibility (I was playing on max battle speed), didn’t have that long of animations compared to later GFs, and would usually kill the entire group with just 1 summon. So why not? As a result, they massively out-leveled my characters (Quezacotl was almost double my Squall’s level at some point) and had much higher HP compared to my party members. I ended up just using them for boss fights too (they both tanked better than I did and did 2-3 turns worth of my damage in an AOE). X-ATM092, the 2x Cyborgs at Excavation Site, D-Prison fight, and the Missile Base fights were probably made too easy because of this.

Of course, this strat started to lose potency when I started getting better magic to junction and gaining some levels. At some point, bosses and some mobs in general started outright killing my GFs too. A small downgrade in power and Hp for the early levels of these GFs might help.

Cerberus: I was so excited to get this GF, but then he started at level 8 or 9 with 300 compatibility and he has no health in general. I understand why, but I just wanted to rant a bit for this one.  :P

The extra status ailments added to the earlier GFs are a nice little touch.

Monsters and General Playthrough

(I want to preface this by saying that I feel like I might have been overleveled for some parts of the game, especially towards the end of disc 3 and disc 4. In general, I tend to fight most of the random encounters I come across. I would say a good 2/3 of them. However, I did not intentionally stop and grind for exp except for two occasions (one at the deep sea deposit to farm a dark matter from the fixed tri-face encounters and the other in disc 4 before Ultimecia’s Castle to get everyone to 100). If I recall correctly, my main party’s levels were as follows: around 20-ish at the end of disc 1, 40-50 by the end of disc 2, 70-80 before I entered Lunatic Pandora, and 100 before Ultimecia’s Castle.)

Disc 1:

Even though I abused the hell out of GFs during this disc, it was still decently challenging since this is when you have the least amount of options as a player. The hardest fights ended up being the ones where I stubbornly tried to draw full stocks of spells from (who would’ve thought.) Junctions were weak and limited, spells were weak, and physicals were weak.

On the other hand, bosses and enemies weren’t too crazy either. Elvoret in general had me excited for this mod since I couldn’t just auto-attacked him to death like in the original. T-Rexaurs, Wendigos, and Anacondaurs always had me on my toes when I met a group. I didn’t even bother trying to kill an Ochu. Saw one, drew some spells, tried a few attacks and just ran.
 
The highlights were definitely Diablos and the Brothers. Really well-tuned fights in my opinion and I had a blast with both of them. Not much I could add here.

Seifer was probably the biggest letdown. I had Drain junctioned to ST-Atk on my Squall and that was that.  Probably not much you can do for balance since it’s a 1on1 fight. Maybe make him more resistant to drain so you have to rely on other forms of healing as well. Not much to say on Edea. Maybe a bit more Hp for her, since I felt like the fight was over too quickly.

Overall, a very solid start to get the player acquainted with the mod. Not too easy, but not too difficult either.

Disc 2:

This is, in my opinion, the hardest disc (not including a few optional fights) as well as the one I enjoyed the most from a gameplay perspective.

At this point in the game, you started having access to a much greater variety of spells and you actually have to make good use of them in fights. Protect/Shell/Regen basically became a staple for me for boss fights and I had to plan my limited uses of Double carefully. Junctions started to have a more profound effect on my characters and the difference in character growth really started to show. I had to start actively hunting for new/higher level spells. GF management was important as well in order to maximize junction spread and abilities. All in all, I felt like I had to really think and micro-manage my party correctly since fights were getting tougher and that is not a bad thing.

The Ironclad was actually still pretty challenging even with my Quezacotl spam. The second time around was actually easier (though that might make sense story-wise.)

I actually got a game-over from the Tri-face in Balamb Garden and had to start over in the Missile Base.  :-\

NORG felt too easy if you just kept the orbs down. I feel like the fight should still be a bit challenging even if you do the mechanics correctly and be overwhelming if you don’t. Let’s be honest, those mechanics aren’t that hard to figure out even without a guide.

Highlights of the disc this time around were Tonberry King and Cerberus. I already gave my thoughts on Cerberus in an earlier post but I just want to mention that I really enjoy the difficulty of these optional fights.

I ended up doing a lot of exploration on this disc after getting the mobile Garden and went around looking for new spells to draw. Some of the harder fights for me were actually from random encounters I found while doing this. Blue Dragons, Hexadragons, Ruby Dragons, Abyss Worms, and Chimeras all were boss fights by themselves. I met a Malboro too but that was impossible.

Disc 3 (pre-Lunatic Pandora):

So nothing really happened for the first half of this disc, gameplay-wise. I actually farmed up a bunch of spells from the end of the last disc (notably quake and tornado) and basically didn’t get to use them at all only for me to get better spells right after the gameplay starts again (post lunar base.)

The difficulty took a big spike once you could encounter enemies like Behemoths, Iron Giants, and the likes, but once you managed to stock up on all their juicy spells things became a lot easier. Your characters also ended up gaining a pretty big power spike when you suddenly have access to Full-Life, Holy, Flare, and Meteor allowing you to pretty much fill up all your necessary junctions with high stat boosts. Felt pretty jarring coming from disc 2 actually, but I don’t really see a better time to introduce them.

The optional bosses this time around weren’t as exciting. Cactuar and Bahamut both didn’t pose much of a problem. I don’t know if it’s due to the power spike from the new spells or what, but I never felt like I was in any real danger compared to bosses like Diablos or Cerberus. I actually did Ultima Weapon but I want to talk about him a bit later.

Lunatic Pandora + Disc 4:

So this is what I really wanted to talk about when I mentioned how I might have overleveled. Before I go further in-depth, I want to mention that from this point on, every boss encounter (with the sole exception of Omega Weapon) felt very underwhelming.

As I stated before, I entered Lunatic Pandora at around levels 70-80 on my main party. At this point in the game, I pretty much had full stock of every available spell on my 3 main characters (including Aura, Triple, and Ultima.) This is where I am uncertain if I’m simply over-prepared or the balance is too weak. Nonetheless, I want to share my experience and let you make with it as you will.

Fujin, Raijin, Mobile Type 8, Seifer. None of them last more than a few turns of actual damage. I spent more time trying to mug them to see what they have than actually fighting them, if you can even call it a fight. And I think I know what the culprit is: Aura. I suddenly have access to pretty much unlimited Limits during boss fights when before I could hardly use them. Darkside + normal attacks and Double spell spam used to be my bread and butter for damage dealing and fights feel like they lasted an appropriate amount of time as a result. Now my fight opens with Triple + Aura (with expand 3x-1) and simply spamming Limits on my physical dealers while spamming Triple Meteors on my caster. Buffing up only takes at most 1 or 2 turns with Mighty Guard and Triple casts to fill in the rest. Bosses simply don’t have the health to last through that kind of punishment and they didn’t do enough damage to force a defensive style of play.

Adel lasted longer simply because of the nature of the fight.

Needless to say, most of Ultimecia’s minions suffered the same fate. I was level 100 on all my characters at this point (mainly to see what their final stat values looked like.) As I didn’t bother to mug any of the fights, they all ended in 1-2 minutes if even. Tiamat actually died before he got a turn since Squall proc’d a lucky Lionheart. Irvine’s AP rounds took care of Krysta and Red Giant. In the aftermath, from Fujin + Raijin all the way to Ultimecia’s final form, I didn’t drop a single KO on my main party (the other 3 got sucked into time :D)
I feel like a health boost to a majority of these bosses (minus Ultimecia which I feel is solid in length but lacking in damage overall) will go a long way in making them feel more worthwhile and actually getting to see some of their attacks.

And finalllllyyyyy, Ultima and Omega Weapon:

(As a side note, I avoided using the few invincibility items the game gave you to adequately get a feel for the fights.)

Oh boy, these two fights alone probably took me a solid 5-6 hours of attempts. Remember when I said I feel overleveled? Well, not for these guys. As important as I think having the right stats was for these fights (a major reason why I ended up benching Rinoa), it really came down to proper execution which I feel is how a worthwhile boss fight should be designed.

Ultima Weapon had me scratching my head for a long time. I remember reading how you said Light Pillar is now survivable but I just couldn’t figure out how. I ended up beating him once by sheer brute force (and a lot of ressing) but it just didn’t feel good. So I sat down and actually figured out how Light Pillar worked. I was actually approaching it from the complete opposite direction which is one of the reasons why it took so long. After my dumb brain finally figured it out, the fight was like 100x easier. He felt almost like a one-trick pony at this point. Regardless, still a top-notched fight.

Now, after having figured out Light Pillar, I thought Omega was going to be a piece of cake. He shoved my face in the first attempt. Then the attempt after that, and the one after that…and many more after. Now, I haven’t actually done this fight on the original game so I don’t know how it compares but I absolutely loved it on this mod. Best fight. Hands down.

I understand that he is supposed to have a fixed attack pattern in the original and that the mod mixed things up a bit. Incidentally, I actually ended up beating the fight mainly because I ended up noticing a pattern in his attacks. Needless to say, I don’t think this is a flaw but rather well-done on your part to mask it so subtly. After all, I don’t think the fight would be fun at all if it was entirely RNG-based given the nature of his attacks.

Random thoughts

Physical versus Magic:

Overall, I think this actually turned out rather balanced in the end. However, early to mid game I feel like magic casting definitely had the advantage.

For one, it is much easier to take advantage of elemental weaknesses compared to physical which had to be junctioned beforehand. As such, it is much easier to fight normal encounters with magic. Even with bosses, you would need to consult a guide beforehand to find out their weaknesses or wait until a second attempt to redo your junction where all you need is a scan for spell casting.

Once Double became more abundant, I felt casting really pulled away for that period of time. In comparison, physical had Darkside which acts as a pseudo Double. The only difference is that for situations where the enemy doesn’t have that high of defenses, a double cast of a spell will always outdo a capped 2x damage hit. I think removing the damage limit on Darkside will allow physical some much needed viability in the earlier portions of the game while maintaining its uses into the late-game. I don’t see this being too overpowered since there are very few scenarios where you would be able to push Darkside past 20k damage (the point at which it would be stronger than a Double.) And in cases where you can, it’s usually trivial encounters you’re fighting.

Once Triple-Meteors and Aura-Limit spamming becomes a thing, I feel like the two avenues of damage dealing are pretty close in output. So no problems there.

Drawing Limit: The best feature of the mod.  :P

Extra Quests: Really loving them, however minor they might seem. They really add a bit of extra flavor and personal touch to the base game. Would love to see more.

On that note, might I suggest a possible quest related to the little girl on the beach in Dollet? If you talk to her a bit, you find out that her Grandpa is no longer around and her mom has gone missing. I always feel sad when I see her playing alone in the sand. As to what the quest would be about, I have no idea. I’m not very creative, you see.

FINAL THOUGHTS (I promise)

Excellent mod. I rate Chicobo/10.

Seriously though, I had a ton of fun and really appreciate all the work you’ve put into this. I am excited to see what you have in store for the next patch and am even tempted to start up another playthrough with it with limited leveling to see how I feel about the balance that way.

As a last note, I would love to see a separate version of the mod where the main story fights are more akin to some of the optional bosses in terms of difficulty.
« Last Edit: 2019-04-25 06:31:24 by Yuey »

Nikito

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #246 on: 2019-04-28 13:50:00 »
I just obtained Ragnarok, really starting to find use out of Irvine at this point in the game. He is starting to hit a lot harder and his limit break is always useful. Although Squall remains my go to as he is level 92 while the rest are in the 60s. I was wondering where i can get Meteor, Aura and Ultima at this point in the game. Also when do we exactly gain access to Enc-None?
« Last Edit: 2019-04-28 16:28:21 by Nikito »

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #247 on: 2019-04-30 04:32:51 »
@Yuey: Thank you very much for your detailed report. I have read through all of it, and it was really helpful.

Irvine and Quistis are actually not meant to shine only in the late-game. But in the case of Irvine and his Strength based Limit Break, this is pretty much unavoidable due to physical damage scaling with a character's Strength stat exponentially, meaning that damage output is rather low until a certain Strength threshold, and from thereon increasing rapidly. Magic damage on the other hand doesn't scale with a character's Mag stat that well, as its damage calculation forumla has no exponent in it. Spell base damage is usually higher than that of physical attacks though, which is why spells are superior in the early-mid game, when Strength can't reach very high levels yet (at least not in this mod), which fits perfectly well with what you observed. If you learn Quistis' Blue Magic spells as early as possible (especially Electrocute and Aqua Breath), she can become a very valuable character for the first half of the game as well, so I wouldn't necessarily say she only shines in the late-game.

Other than that, I understand that the late-game balance is still lacking a bit in this mod, and the main reason for that is Aura and Limit Break spamming indeed - and enemies usually don't punish the latter enough when staying low on HP intentionally, just to get permanent access to Limit Breaks. I hope the next version will improve on that, by toning down certain attacks (Wishing Star and Homing Laser come to mind - the latter shouldn't do high damage and ignore enemy Spirit) and by making changes to certain enemies, so players get a chance to actually see some of their special attacks at least once. I'm also thinking of removing and replacing Aura as a spell completely, and just leave the Stones, so it is no longer possible to obtain larger amounts of Aura by drawing it in battle. I guess putting the spell on Ultima Weapon was not limiting enough, so for the next version, it will at least be moved to Omega Weapon and then possibly be completely removed in the version after that. Not sure what to replace the Aura spell with yet, but Aura in its current state needs to be addressed for sure.

Still, I want to avoid making the end-game go overboard with difficulty, so max character levels and top tier spells will be mandatory to beat the game. I've been thinking of creating an alternate, harder version of the mod, as you suggested, but at the moment, it's just a thought. Haven't started working on it yet, but maybe will do soon.

All in all, you've really made some good points. Much appreciated.   

@Nikito: Late disc 3 is a good opportunity to get the spells you are looking for. Meteor can be drawn from Lv40+ Iron Giants around Esthar (they appear very frequently at Tears Point while Lunatic Pandora is hovering above), while Ultima Weapon is your best bet for Aura and Ultima. Farming Energy Crystals from the repeatable Elnoyle encounter in Esthar and then turning them into Ultima using Forbid Mag-RF also works, as usual. Enc-None is learned by Eden, but I might change this to an earlier GF before the new version of this mod releases tomorrow.

Other than that, it's good to hear you found some use in Irvine. Maybe his Speed stat doesn't even need to be increased that much then. At the moment, it is set to peak at 82 on Level 100 (for comparison, Squall's Speed caps at 37 on Level 100), which is already a very high value for Speed, so I fear could be a bit much. Anyway, if you have more questions, let me know.
« Last Edit: 2019-04-30 18:10:32 by Callisto »

Mcindus

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #248 on: 2019-04-30 04:44:30 »
The new release of SeeDReborn v4.0a has your title screen as an option to install. Just wanted to let you know :)

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)
« Reply #249 on: 2019-04-30 04:55:41 »
That's very nice, thank you. I'll check it out soon to see what it is has in store compared to the previous version. Looking incredible from the screens already, and I also heard it allows for window color customization for menus. That would be huge :)