Author Topic: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1.2)  (Read 23475 times)

Ayoyo

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #175 on: 2019-01-18 17:53:18 »
Wow, that was fast. Appreciated; gonna install it right away.

Trying really hard not to get too powerful and keep levels low. Still not sure if I want to try and beat the entire game without card refinement, so far there certainly hasn't been any need to. Just drawing whatever magic I come across as I progress, the mod still generously gives you major stat upgrades if you take the time to draw full stacks.

Far as bosses go, so far nothing too threatening: Elvoret went down quite easily. X-ATM couldn't handle lightning summon+double thunder combo although it took a few tries to keep quetzalcoatl alive long enough to deal major damage.  Diabolos has a nifty new spell in "pain" but blinding him still works and gave me ample time to draw full demi stacks in between heals. Gerogero didn't feel any harder than in vanilla, didn't try to phoenix down him though, I wonder if it still 1 shots him. The two cyborgs in the Laguna sequence were handily made harmless by silence+blind, allowing me to get full death stacks - a major upgrade to stats.

Old tricks still worked on Minotaur&Sacred, drawcasting double on myself lets me float+protect everyone quickly, mitigating their damage so free double stacks for all. Getting occasionally confused turned out to be the only real threat in the fight as my characters took to casting death on my own party and other cool stuff, so that was fun. Still, I managed to recover and beat the boss on first try. I can see why the story bosses are a bit on the easy side but Minotaur could stand to be a bit more complicated IMO, being an optional boss? Of course, if you for some reason don't use float (even though the game gives you a clear-as-day hint about it and even scanning straight up tells you to use float) I suppose the fight can be a bit harder, but by this point you've gotten regen from vysages on the way to the dungeon, or at least zombie from Gerogero so you have easily enough health to tank even the combo attack. Personally I didn't even bother with float towards the end, the combo attack of theirs damaged me just enough to cycle through limits before healing back up.

By this point I was about level 15 with Squall at 18 so maybe I'm already overleveled.

Trying to keep my levels to a minimum from now on to see if I run into trouble at any point. Excited to see if the difficulty amps up with Edea.

Edit: interestingly, shear trigger doesn't give me access to fated circle. First I thought it was just randomly not triggering, only rough divide, but then I checked the status screen and it doesn't show up there either so it definitely didn't unlock. I don't know if this bug existed in vanilla since I always went straight to lion heart. Or is something wrong with my game?

« Last Edit: 2019-01-18 21:31:55 by Ayoyo »

kekko1285

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #176 on: 2019-01-19 00:51:33 »
Have you checked the troubleshooting section on the Lunatic Pandora mod page?

If none of that helped, try replacing your current FF8_en.exe with a clean one - it could be that it was altered by the LP Pack installer to apply the Hard Mode changes. If you didn't backup a clean exe before installing all the mods, you can redownload it from Steam.

Making the ATB stop when selecting targets would probably be easier than shortening the GF summons, but right off the bat, I wouldn't know how to do that either. I'll keep that idea in mind though. It would be a convenient change for sure.

Thanks for your answer again. Unfortunately I checked both pandora troubleshooting and tried to replace the exe with the original one, but still same issue with more physical damage when VIT is higher.

Any other suggestions or test I could try?

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #177 on: 2019-01-19 04:34:21 »
@Ayoyo: If you have already got Regen, Demi, Death and Double for all characters by drawing them in battle, there is not much more to gain from Triple Triad until the Level 6 boss cards become available mid disc 2 (maybe Water, Bio and Meltdown with a lot of patience, but that's pretty much it).

Regarding difficulty, I think the aforementioned spells is what removes part of it for you, rather than your current levels. Maybe I should remove Death from the Cyborgs again, as well as Regen from Vysage - Zombie on HP is actually just fine at this point in the game; and for Vit and Spr, Protect and Shell should do. As for Double from Minotaur, it might be better to just put another limited source for Double spells somewhere, to make sure the player can use some for this battle.

My respect for drawing 100 units of each spell though. Especially getting a full stack of Demis directly from Diablos must have been tiring, considering you usually don't have Mag-J available for everyone when facing him right away. Of course, players who are willing to spend the time should be rewarded in some way, but the spells in question might be a little too good for disc 1. I'll reconsider some of the spell availability for next update, thanks for sharing :)

Oh, and not getting access to Fated Circle after upgrading to Shear Trigger is nothing to worry about. Fated Circle and Blasting Zone availability is just slighty delayed in this mod.


@kekko1285: At this point, I would consider a complete reinstallation of the game using Steam functions. Then, after Lunatic Pandora contents are installed as well, immediately following this step mentioned on the Lunatic Pandora Page:

Quote from: Lunatic Pandora Mod page
If you don't want to use the Add-On's, go to "/HL_Files/DLL_in/" and remove them from the folder, but leave "Hext_in" alone.

Your bug is very likely caused by the Hard Mode add-ons. Make sure to not start the game using FF8_Ultra_Launcher. It's looks like it's only needed for the Hard Mode add-ons and UV fix anyway, the latter being included in this mod as well.

Feel free to report back again. I hope you'll get the issue fixed.
« Last Edit: 2019-01-19 04:55:12 by Callisto »

Ayoyo

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #178 on: 2019-01-19 07:33:19 »
Haha, maybe I'm a bit obsessive when it comes to drawing new spells. Where the potential of the risk/reward mechanic (should I risk drawing spells from a tough boss and dying or play it safe) comes to full fruition in my mind, is when you're really forced to consider whether it's worth the risk and/or trouble to draw. Diablos is actually a good example of this: he's no slouch even when blinded thanks to pain so you're really on edge the whole time trying to manage your hp which he drains with gravija constantly; now try to fit in some drawing on top of it all with poor magic stats. If the player does put in the effort to accomplish that, they should definitely feel rewarded as I was; demi is strong and ahead of the curve which feels satisfying but it's not TOO strong towards the end of disc 1, so if it was made so that demi is the strongest magic&strength junction spell for disc 1, the balance there would be superb. This is a strong case for removing death as you said and probably berserk as well seeing as it's better for strength than demi (or make make it available via unconventional means like refinement etc). Or, you know, nerf the amount it increases strength, but that's technical stuff which I know nothing about. It would also make players choose whether they want to put the demis on strength or magic; can't have the best of both worlds just yet so you have to weigh your options more. A nice additional tactical/decision making element especially for the last boss fights of disc 1.

Overall it does seem logical that bosses offer the best drawable spells at this point in the game so also agreed on removing regen. Doubles do seem overkill - I rationed the initial doubles I got from Balamb garden to last me the entire disc 1 and I used them on the harder bosses. I think it introduced an entirely new resource management/economy element to the game I had yet to experience. 1 or 2 doubles per boss should suffice for players so adding another single-use draw point for disc 1 is more than generous. I had some left over from my Balamb doubles by the time I got to Minotaur even after using them on some bossfights.

Maybe this'll be the first time I get every weapon upgrade in order, then. Cool stuff.
« Last Edit: 2019-01-19 07:36:40 by Ayoyo »

kekko1285

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #179 on: 2019-01-19 22:24:45 »
@kekko1285: At this point, I would consider a complete reinstallation of the game using Steam functions. Then, after Lunatic Pandora contents are installed as well, immediately following this step mentioned on the Lunatic Pandora Page:

Your bug is very likely caused by the Hard Mode add-ons. Make sure to not start the game using FF8_Ultra_Launcher. It's looks like it's only needed for the Hard Mode add-ons and UV fix anyway, the latter being included in this mod as well.

Feel free to report back again. I hope you'll get the issue fixed.

Hey there, thanks for your answer again. So, I did some testing, and I tried the following:

- Clean installation, adding only your mod and RaW (not Lunatic Pandora mod pack): Quistis with VIT 11 gets around 33 dmg, while with VIT 41 gets around 45 dmg.
- Clean installation, only Lunatic Pandora mod pack installed without any of the dlls from the Hard mod: Quistis with VIT 7 gets around 20 dmg, while with VIT 35 gets 31 dmg.
- Clean installation, no mods whatsoever: Quistis with VIT 7gets around 21 dmg, while with VIT 35 gets 18 dmg.


Help.

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #180 on: 2019-01-20 03:23:54 »
Try only this mod once more, but this time without the Ragnarok_mod.txt file in RaW/GLOBAL/Hext, and post results.

Ayoyo, your ideas and reasoning behind them sound good to me. Only thing I'm not sure about is making Demi better than Berserk on Strength again. Berserk actually fits the stat better than Demi, due to what the status effect causes, whereas Demi has the stronger connection to HP and Magic stats. Maybe I'll make another spell the strongest one for disc 1 - one that is equally as effective on both Strength and Magic, to make players set priorities in regards to where to put it. Removig Double from Minotaur (maybe even from Edea) and creating another one-time Double Draw Point on disc 1 is exactly what I had in mind. Will definitely be changed for next update. I like the idea of the game having more resource management elements too.
« Last Edit: 2019-01-20 03:39:17 by Callisto »

Mcindus

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #181 on: 2019-01-20 20:42:56 »
Sorry I didn't catch this!  Removing all .dll files from /FINAL FANTASY VIII/HL_Files/DLL_in/  will ensure that the Lunatic Pandora mod does not have any conflicts with the Ragnarok Mod.  I use the UV Injector, Shunsq's buttons, and this mod flawlessly together.

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.

Lunatic Pandora does not modify the game .exe and will never interfere with other mods as long as you don't use the HL_Files folder.
None of those mods will technically conflict, but you will not get the intended ragnarok experience.

Ayoyo

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #182 on: 2019-01-21 13:34:09 »
Ayoyo, your ideas and reasoning behind them sound good to me. Only thing I'm not sure about is making Demi better than Berserk on Strength again. Berserk actually fits the stat better than Demi, due to what the status effect causes, whereas Demi has the stronger connection to HP and Magic stats. Maybe I'll make another spell the strongest one for disc 1 - one that is equally as effective on both Strength and Magic, to make players set priorities in regards to where to put it. Removig Double from Minotaur (maybe even from Edea) and creating another one-time Double Draw Point on disc 1 is exactly what I had in mind. Will definitely be changed for next update. I like the idea of the game having more resource management elements too.
I try to be helpful if I can, these kinds of mods are vital to my continued interest in these great old games. Agreed on berserk fitting STR, but if you're gonna take the route of putting a new "best" spell in there for disc 1 that you have to either junction to STR or MAG, be mindful of not going overboard with the good stuff because I think Berserk and even Demi already provides plenty of STR for clearing disc 1 without difficulties so adding even better magic might call for rebalancing.

Some quick updates on my personal run: The double Iguana boss was a breeze but probably kept pretty manageable for a reason since Irvine might suck for many people at this point. Their damage is potentially in a good place though but because of their low health pool I actually missed their harder attacks the first time around; on second try I played for time a bit and they used a pretty strong attack(can't remember the name) that surprised me positively and the fight was "on" for a while. Not sure if their HP is worth buffing a bit if only to give them enough time to at least show off their stronger attack.
Seifer didn't die in 1 hit! Might be the first time ever. Even made me use protect so it was refreshing.
Edea underwhelmed me severely although I myself am probably to blame. I spent a good while preparing for it and optimizing the party since Irvine was among my lowest lvl characters at around 14. Appointing Rinoa to double heal and/or esuna was enough to keep me topped up the whole fight so no need for reflect, shell or protect shenanigans. Haste I used at the beginning, expecting a long haul but she dropped pretty quickly. Being so familiar with older Fantasies almost became my undoing because I was like "yea turn me into a zombie and heal me with poisons mwahaha" but apparently it didn't quite work like that in FF8.

Turns out that's not the only thing I'd forgotten about this game, because with Zell I immediately ventured downstairs, meeting some nasty Chimeras that proved to be a challenge for solo lvl 15 Zell. I was thrilled because I actually had to put in some effort to beat them. Still a chore to constantly switch junctions between parties in the prison.
The boss fight at the top of the prison was a complete joke because silence worked on the middle dude. So much of this fight's difficulty rests on the guy that I'd almost make him immune to silence or something?
The bosses of Selphie's mission on the other hand provided the best challenge yet in terms of fun had, I was really pleased. Not because they were hard by themselves but because of the pressure to make the time limit or replay everything including the last boss again. It provided a nice bit of pressure and tension. First, the 3 guys downstairs; immediately silenced by Siren, blinded, and left to cry helplessly on the floor while I drew from them what I wanted. Felt bad for they dudes. The captain actually lived through a 10-second pounding from Zell at the end though so that's worthy of respect.
On my first try I forgot to set up junctions, gf's and heal afterwards and had to do it all after the 10 minute time limit started running so that took me a nice minute already. On top of that I'd completely forgotten that you have to kill the 3 guys that emerge from the boss within the same time limit. I was mashing those buttons like a madman and ultimately had less than 30 seconds to spare. Had so much fun with this, haha. Of course, I just had to play it again and with some surplus time drew some stops from the boss. He started using a pretty stiff beam attack after I whittled him down too much (thanks, unwanted return damage, lol) so had to end my drawing ceremony abruptly to finish the boss. Great stuff.

I'm still way early to make substantial analysis on overall balance but so far I've been really pleased with limit breaks, for example. They seem to deal just enough damage to feel awesome but not too much either. I'd probably shave some seconds off Zell's max time to do his limit, though. It gets silly when it goes over 10 seconds.

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #183 on: 2019-01-21 18:13:32 »
Mcindus, thank you clearing things up. I hope this will help kekko fixing this issue.

Ayoyo, it's good to hear that at least some of the early disc 2 bosses were able to create a certain degree of tension, after having no trouble with the remaining disc 1 bosses at all. The Iguions' HP could be a little higher indeed, no problem with that. Will likely be changed. As for Edea though, I'm not sure. Other users who have played the mod thought her HP were too high. I'm also a bit surprised you didn't even need Shell to finish her off. Do you remember which spells you had junctioned to Spr at this point? Maybe you just had too many tools available to mitigate her spell damage.

The Elite Soldier's defense against Silence is 90 out of 100, so he should be almost immune. How did you silence him? Just used the Silence Spell, or by having it junctioned to Status-Attack? My plan for this battle was that only Siren can reliably inflict the status (100% if enemy is not immune), but getting a cast off can and should be difficult if the player has never invested in increasing Siren's low HP. Guess his defense needs to get raised to 99 to achieve that, if it still worked easily through other means. Other than that, I'll see what I can do to remove some of the general Junctioning hell inside D-District Prison. At least preventing the game from removing junctions all by itself at several occasions in the early-game should be easily doable.

Regarding the time frames for Zell's Limit Break, they have already been reduced for all Crisis Levels. At the moment, they are like this:

- 4 seconds on CL 1 (down from 4,66 default)
- 6 seconds on CL 2 (down from 6,66 default)
- 8 seconds on CL 3 (down from 9,33 default)
- 10 seconds on CL 4 (down from 12 default)

For those who are already familiar with his Limit Break, the changes are probably still to mild then. Could decrease the frames further, maybe. Altering the button sequence for each move would be possible too. Haven't really thought about it yet. Would you be ok with that? Opinions from others would be appreciated too, of course.
« Last Edit: 2019-01-21 18:17:16 by Callisto »

Ayoyo

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #184 on: 2019-01-25 14:12:26 »
Phew, weekend at last. Time to get back to this.

I took the time to read through this thread to see what others have gone through, and I was indeed surprised to see where people have struggled. I thought I was already limiting myself/playing sub-optimally by restricting my acquirement of magic to only drawing from monsters I meet naturally and keeping levels low. I haven't even dabbled into refining yet, nor played triple triad nor bought anything from shops. But apparently, I've still had way less trouble than some people - I honestly have no idea whether this has to do with personal skill, familiarity with the game, certain aspects being too powerful in terms of balance or something else entirely. Remains to be seen.

As for Edea - I checked and I got dispels for spirit. And since I have 3 full stacks of them, I assume they can be drawn from a not-too-threatening enemy. Probably worth taking a look at that? Shells should easily suffice for now, especially since most of her damage output is magical. Dispels coupled with Shiva's +30%SPR which I assume anyone should have at this point puts my spirit score at over 100, making Edea's -aga spells more like a minor nuisance than a major threat. I think Astral punch was her most damaging attack, almost putting Irvine from max HP to yellow but not quite. And like mentioned, I didn't even use shell or any buffs. Taking all that into account, there's no way she's overtuned - if someone had trouble with her, they must not have utilized any of the strategies or tools that most certainly are available to everyone by this point to negate her damage.

Concerning silencing the soldier bosses, I don't see why you wouldn't always use Siren for silencing purposes, precisely because it's 100% odds. Siren is the only summon I normally use anyways; my logic behind it is that why would I need damage from summons because I already get ample damage from limit breaks and hitting elemental weaknesses with regular spells, but what I do need is reliable ways to inflict statuses. There aren't many of those and Siren is so far the only summon that does anything besides damage so it's a no-brainer to open every single boss battle with her to see if the statuses stick. This is the reason I don't think the 90% resistance matters - Siren is the only worthwhile means of doing it anyways because it never fails. And it made all those bosses laughably easy. Even if you didn't try to keep Siren alive during the summoning with protect etc., it still requires plain bad luck for her to die because GF's get so much hp with level ups, the %summon hp skills aren't required at all. I have no suggestions at this time as to what could "remedy" the situation other than having the soldiers always remedy themselves if they're silenced so you gotta keep working if you don't want them to become a threat. That would probably make it a lot more interesting.

Ah, I must've gotten crisis level 4 then. It's a good change. I wouldn't recommend altering the buttons, it still takes only a couple battles to memorize the new ones, becoming a momentary inconvenience more than anything. I have to test it further on more bosses to see if it's too good with high crisis levels. Overall I think it would be a prudent redesign of Duel to decrease the timer but buff damage so that it evens out. It's reasonable streamlining IMO because in CL 4 Dueling can go on for like a minute, which is just completely silly. I also think Duel should potentially deal more damage than Renzo on each crisis level with fast enough inputs since you want to reward skill; but make it so you have to be really fast or it deals damage comparable to or lower than Renzo+finisher. I'm down for some practical testing if you decide to try rebalancing it.
« Last Edit: 2019-01-25 14:22:42 by Ayoyo »

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #185 on: 2019-01-25 18:08:21 »
It seems you were very well prepared for Edea indeed. Getting 100 Dispels for everyone can take quite some time though, and you can only have up to two Spirit Junctions at the end of disc 1 - one from Shiva by default, and one from Brothers that needs to be learned first. With the rather short time frame between beating the Brothers and the Edea battle, unlocking the second Spirit Junction before Edea shouldn't be taken for granted (some players might want to go for the third Strength Junction from Brothers first). All in all, it looks like you spent some time on doing extra battles, and if the bosses become quite a bit easier then, that's totally fine. Still, you are absolutely right that the Spirit bonus from Dispel (56) is a bit over the top. I guess the overall early-game balance in regards to defensive stat gains from spells could need some more tweaking. Actually, Protect and Shell raising Vitality and Spirit by 40 each is a bit too much as well, considering the fact you can get these spells from Granaldo already (and then from Gespers a little later). 30 or 32 would do for these, but in turn, Float and Drain - which are available later on disc 1 - could be improved instead, to make it all more on curve, and more dependent on each character's base stats.

In regards to Silence, the soldiers inside Missile Base actually can use Remedy when under the status, it just doesn't happen very often - only 25% chance, so I guess this should be significantly increased (as well as their probability to heal themselves with Hi-Potion, which is even lower). As for the Prison boss battle, getting a cast off Siren was difficult during all my test runs when no GFHP+xx% has been learned before, as one of the GIM52A's often used Ray-Bomb during the first couple of turns, so I guess there was a little luck involved in your case. I think I'll leave this battle as it is, but the one in Missile base will be slightly changed, at least so that the Base Soldiers can't be made crying helplessly on the floor easily :)

Well I guess there will be another smaller stealth update soon, also with some alterations made to Zell's Duel (decreased time frame especially for the higher CL's). Thanks for all your suggestions so far, they are really helpful.
« Last Edit: 2019-01-25 18:14:25 by Callisto »

Ayoyo

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #186 on: 2019-01-28 15:03:32 »
It seems you were very well prepared for Edea indeed. Getting 100 Dispels for everyone can take quite some time though, and you can only have up to two Spirit Junctions at the end of disc 1 - one from Shiva by default, and one from Brothers that needs to be learned first. With the rather short time frame between beating the Brothers and the Edea battle, unlocking the second Spirit Junction before Edea shouldn't be taken for granted (some players might want to go for the third Strength Junction from Brothers first). All in all, it looks like you spent some time on doing extra battles, and if the bosses become quite a bit easier then, that's totally fine.
Yea I went straight for the spirit junction since I pretty much knew 1 member of the party will always be relegated to magic duty exclusively so the STR junction was easy to put on the back burner, thus I didn't need to do any additional battles aside from natural ones in the sewer to get it in time for Edea. Not to mention, I'm still attempting to keep my levels low so I didn't even finish every fight, running from troublesome encounters and turning easier ones to cards.

It could very well be that I got off a lucky Siren, I went back to retry it and sure enough Siren died this time around. Out of curiosity I left the middle guy in peace to test the waters and was excited to see the fight take a pretty nasty turn as he buffed the robots. Manually applying silence later on stabilized the situation again. This leads me to conclude that the fights are probably in a really good place except for the self-remedy percentage which could serve to be higher so players have to work more to maintain control of the battlefield. Good stuff.

More comments on my progress - I'm really starting to pray on my knees for a no encounter ability or better yet, a no-exp option at this point; it's getting increasingly difficult keeping my guys from leveling up and requires a disproportionate amount of effort. For example during the Balamb garden civil war thing there's a bunch of inescapable encounters that aren't boss fights so you get the exp as normal. First I figured I just need to kill off Squall(he's the highest lvl) to make sure he won't get the exp even if I accidentally kill the monsters but it got too tedious to manage the fights with only 2 members who are around level 17 at this point and the fights are getting incrementally harder, not to mention the minibosses had new spells so I needed everyone alive to draw. Then I figured I just needed to be really careful not to kill them and card them instead, but there were monsters that couldn't be carded either. I'm no master at this game and may be missing some way to solve this conundrum but this section especially felt exceptionally strenuous if you don't want to level up. Take into account the fact that you even get exp from freaking mugging and escaping. That racks up over time too, especially if you have to hit multiple times to get the steal so you can't really mug either if you're going for a low level run. Maybe this is just me but this feels like a glaring flaw that certainly needs to be rectified - you've already said you'd look into the turn exp off thing though so that would be the best option, because I really want to fight the encounters - it's just that I don't want to risk leveling up. I was never into the static 1k exp level intervals either in this game, feels way too small.

This is getting really long again but gotta comment on the next bosses. And is it just me or is the encounter rate on the MD level super high? Oh well, mugging trifaces got me started out on those curse spikes. This whole garden debacle and mugging has racked up some unwanted levels for me though so I have Zell 18, Quistis 19 and Squall 23 for the Oilboyle boss fight. I didn't even remember they existed so my first try was just figuring out what their weakness was and which statuses stuck. Second time around I was geared up and made short work of them, and although they have respectable damage they just don't have the HP to really become a major threat. IIRC I blinded and silenced them but they just didn't give a crap and still used strong attacks; coming after the prison guys who were neutralized totally by silence I was pleased to see this boss was way different.

I was sweating bullets during the NORG fight because the mere thought of having to go through 10+ minutes of dialogue and junctioning again coupled with the fact that I had forgotten the battle speed to max made the whole thing that much scarier. I have to say the default targeting cursor position screwed me over more than once. I even think it switches from the norg capsule to the leftmost button mid-fight which makes targeting a complete freaking nightmare, especially when you're all hasted up and battle speed at max trying to make clutch hits on the buttons to prevent hardcore magic. I botched like 3 hits in a row on a wrong target towards the very end of the fight and that became my undoing, got steamrolled by an onslaught of magic and just as I queued a Megaphoenix with Zell, the last man standing but still at max hp, Norg whipped out instant death and BAM. It was like scripted, haha. Lesson learned; max speed is too fast especially with a boss like this where the targeting cursor is unintuitive in my mind and hitting exactly the right target is vital. After sitting through the 10 minutes of dialogue again I made sure to decrease speed this time, making the fight really fun and manageable.

Onto FH.
« Last Edit: 2019-01-29 06:38:20 by Ayoyo »

kekko1285

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #187 on: 2019-01-28 16:04:47 »
Sorry I didn't catch this!  Removing all .dll files from /FINAL FANTASY VIII/HL_Files/DLL_in/  will ensure that the Lunatic Pandora mod does not have any conflicts with the Ragnarok Mod.  I use the UV Injector, Shunsq's buttons, and this mod flawlessly together.

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.

Lunatic Pandora does not modify the game .exe and will never interfere with other mods as long as you don't use the HL_Files folder.
None of those mods will technically conflict, but you will not get the intended ragnarok experience.

Thank you very much for your reply.

So, it appears that I was incredibly unlucky during my tests. Every time I was testing with the cura junctioned to my VIT, I was meeting an enemy of level 13. Every time I had my VIT not junctioned, I was meeting an enemy of level 9 (or 11, I don't remember). This caused me to falsely believe VIT was not working as expected. Very unlucky I'd say.

So it turns up everything was working just fine.


On a different note, I'd like to suggest a change that could improve gameplay slightly and maybe it's not too hard to make.

I think it would be very helpful to have the number of magic currently in stock for the active players next to the name of the magic we want to draw from an enemy or source. That would help understand how close we are to the 100 cap without having to go back to the magic screen to manually check (making the char probably losing a turn for this since the ATB will not wait when we browse the draw and magic menus).

So far I found the balance quite good, some minor frustration due to some enemy appear to be not dangerous but suddenly use very powerful AOE skills that basically deal 90% of my party max HP. But I also recognise my party is not well structured and I am not doing all my best to make it more efficient.

Ayoyo

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #188 on: 2019-01-29 07:51:26 »

So far I found the balance quite good, some minor frustration due to some enemy appear to be not dangerous but suddenly use very powerful AOE skills that basically deal 90% of my party max HP. But I also recognise my party is not well structured and I am not doing all my best to make it more efficient.
Personally I think this is a good thing to do with a mod. There's a tendency for players to become disengaged from the gameplay in vanilla versions due to staleness and predictability. Throwing a few surprises our way at least demands a modicum of attention and preparedness from us which is a good thing in my mind..
« Last Edit: 2019-01-29 08:40:42 by Ayoyo »

kekko1285

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #189 on: 2019-01-29 09:46:42 »
Personally I think this is a good thing to do with a mod. There's a tendency for players to become disengaged from the gameplay in vanilla versions due to staleness and predictability. Throwing a few surprises our way at least demands a modicum of attention and preparedness from us which is a good thing in my mind..

Yeah, I agree. In fact every time I've got a game over it was because I wasn't paying enough care about party and setup pre-combat.

Ayoyo

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #190 on: 2019-02-08 11:39:20 »
FH was nice and comfy as always. In what felt more like a miniboss, the remains of BGH-whatever blew up in no time flat. After some contrived&trite buildup for the romance I couldn't resist some sidequesting and exploring. Shumi village&Winhill offered a break from the story. Onto Centra, where I made the insane decision to get Odin. In hindsight, this feels like the most insane thing I could've done. Imagine me, trying my hardest to play a low-level game, and getting Odin as soon as he was available. What the hell was I thinking? I expect to lose A LOT of hours because of this guy appearing all of a sudden and killing enemies, forcing me to reload everytime it happens. Oh God.

The fight itself was still a joke with him channeling his inner Rocky and letting me whoop his ass however I wanted in hopes of tiring me out eventually. I do wish something could be done to make this fight more interesting. At least in vanilla it's a race against time because he's the first enemy you get access to that has triples so you want to draw those for everyone AND kill him within the time limit. Well, he does have double here... Maybe if Odin was the first enemy with double in this mod, that would have the same effect! I mean we already discussed the possibility of pushing doubles out of disc1 save for some single use draw points so it might be feasible to let Odin be the earliest enemy you can draw them from. I imagine you've buffed his HP a bit so that would be a fun way to make players sweat bullets if they get greedy and want to draw the tempting doubles while killing him in time. Because right now, it's even more boring than in vanilla, especially for veterans since the puzzles are the same. So in short, my suggestion: gating doubles even further back so that players who want to clear Centra right away get the earliest possible access, should they be daring enough, that is.

Tonberry King tried to put up a fight with "it's sharp!" but keeping everyone hasted and protected let me comfortably draw curagas for all, major HP upgrade for my lvl 17-23 party. Also lvl-up will be useful to get better steals and magic from enemies. As a summon, he's still useless. Intentional?

Back to main story. Fujin&Raijin in Balamb are clearly stronger than in vanilla but don't have a lot of HP. Fujin started using an annoying debuffing attack after I killed the other but a couple double bios and limits took care of her quickly.

After numerous story segments where I didn't notice much being different from vanilla, battle of gardens ensues. Protect the hotdogs, dammit! Anyways the enemies here don't offer much so I usually run from battles, except for some mandatory ones where I'm again forced to level up since there's no running or carding the soldiers. Yay.

In Galbadia there's finally some enemies worth mugging, of course after using lvl-up on them. Shenanigans ensue as I desperately try to mug and card level 100 triheads and hexadragons. Their attacks become quite troublesome at max level. Eventually I began doubling their level only once, hoping it's enough to cross the threshold to high to give better steals.

Cerberus spammed quake and tornado A LOT, so I junctioned tornadoes to ele-def along with life to get 20% absorb wind damage, so that's nice. Then you just float everyone and voil√°, he can't do much besides the acid spit thing, which is annoying because it dispels or something, but luckily he doesn't use it too often.

Seifer is probably the hardest-hitting boss on disc 2, which is pretty cool to see him finally not be a total sad joke. His limit break attack is pretty stiff actually and the first time he used it on Selphie it also critted, killing her instantly through protect AND from max HP. Damn I got hyped for this fight when I saw that, haha. Good stuff. You really want to get Cerberus off right away to buff your party fast, I can't imagine beating him without haste&protect on everyone with these levels. And that's how it should be IMO. The key to making a fool of him is reflecting him when he starts casting curaga. He dies in no time flat when denied those heals. Add insult to injury with Carbuncle so he flares himself and heals you, lol.

The final battle of disc 2 felt easier for me. Seifer didn't use his limit or flare, giving me ample time to buff myself to high heaven before Edea. Holy crap that mug from Seifer, though - I thought these had been removed from the mod. Hoping to not see many more of these. Edea didn't throw anything too surprising my way aside from the first spell which I think debuffed everyone and did major damage, however she never used it again. Intentional? Anyways just keep dispelling her reflect and she'll pretty much stop doing anything else and tries desperately to get it on herself, becoming even less of a threat. Turns out she can't handle triple cast -aga spells for too long so it'll be over quick. Also darkside from Squall holds its own in terms of damage and is worth using.

Really wanted to upgrade Squall's weapon to Punishment to see blasting zone already, been using the other 2 finishers for so long now, but apparently laser cannons were removed from high level Belhelmels. I'm not sure how to feel about this one - I killed 30-40 of them in the course of an hour and made sure to lvl-up them to at least 40 to get a high-end drop, and didn't get one. Don't know if they're refinable from cards since I've stayed away from TT mostly. It'd be nice for it to be at least possible(with effort) to get the third finisher in time for disc 2's end, though - Lion heart has been pushed so far back already since there's no way of knowing what it requires before the final weapons monthly, so you pretty much get it in time for only endgame content which is appropriate enough I guess but I at least want my Punishmeeeeent  >:(

What deserves praise is the work that's been put in balancing the different methods of dealing damage. I've found myself casting spells, summoning GF's, fishing for limit breaks, and attacking in old fashion in pretty much equal measure. Only GF's have lately fallen off since I haven't bothered with buffing their damage so can't comment on that balance/whether they are worth it compared to double/triple casting elemental spells. I suppose it's inevitable that at least the elemental ones become obsolete eventually in a world with triple -aga casting. Diablos seems to be the one who stays relevant in addition to Siren(guaranteed statuses) thanks to guaranteed 9999 on bigger enemies assuming no immunity and I've used them a bunch. Of course Cerberus will now become the new go-to summon for boss fights. But so far, nothing seems overly better than the others.
« Last Edit: 2019-02-08 11:49:34 by Ayoyo »

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #191 on: 2019-02-08 17:09:37 »
Hey, thanks again for your detailed report. Some things you mentioned are already planned to be part of the next update. I've been a bit busy lately though, so I can work on it only occasionally. I hope I can get it done before the game's 20th anniversary, which is very soon :-)

Regarding Odin, making him the first enemy you can Draw Double from is what I have in mind too, to raise the incentive to actually defeat and get him. Also, the junction effects for Double will be increased - at the moment, they are rather low and outclassed by early-game spells easily. I could also have Odin use attacks instead of doing nothing, but the problem is that he has no real attack animations besides Zantetsuken. It would work, but would look pretty buggy at the same time, so I thought it's best to just increase his HP and Vit 0 resistance, so the time limit is the real enemy, as in the original game. Other than that, an Odin toggle on/off at the blue orb at the bottom of Odin's tower has been planned for quite some time already, but I still haven't found out all I need to achieve that. I'll look into it once more. Maybe the Hyne tool can help.

The Tonberry summon not being very useful is intended, yes. But I'm open to any ideas that would make it more unique. Shouldn't be too powerful though, as Tonberry's animation just doesn't look like it, and the Abilities he offers kind of make up for it anyway. Other than that, I'm quite relieved to hear that you make use of at least Siren, Diablos and likely Cerberus from now on as well. All the other GF up to that point actually deserve a tweak to become more relevant too. I'll think about it. Diablos learns Enc-Half at Level 32 by the way, if you are still bothered by the increased random encounter frequency here and there.

Seifer and Edea disc 2: There are four invincible items in the original game: Hero-trial, Holy War-trial, Hero and Holy War. Only the first two were removed from the mod, the other two are still in, but very rare throughout the entire game. Edea uses Maelstrom only once at the beginning of the battle after complaints from users. I guess that change was a bit drastic then. I think I'll make it part of her Reflect handling and/or let her use it multiple times again, but with lowered probability.

As for Punishment, have an eye on the Elastoid that appears during the Laguna flashback at the beginning of disc 3. You also don't need it to unlock Blasting Zone; Twin Lance should do, which becomes available after controlling Balamb Garden if you find the required upgrade materials.

kekko1285, I'm glad you figured what was going on and can now finally play the mod for real. Unfortunately, your suggestion about putting the spell stock count next to the characters' names would be difficult to implement. All I can do for now is keeping that idea in mind. Thanks regardless.
« Last Edit: 2019-02-08 21:21:09 by Callisto »

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.0.9)
« Reply #192 on: 2019-02-11 18:31:10 »
Version 1.1 now out. Happy 20th anniversary :)


Changes Overview


Early game balance
  • Esuna can no longer be drawn from Biggs and Gerogero.
  • Regen can no longer be drawn from Vysage (has been replaced with Drain).
  • Slow can no longer be drawn from low level Elastoids.
  • Double can no longer be drawn from Minotaur and Edea.
  • Death can no longer be drawn from Cyborgs at Centra Excavation Site.
  • A one-time Double Draw Point is now available at Tomb of the Unknown King (refills from disc 2 onwards).
  • The Double Draw Point at G-Garden auditorium is now a one-time Pain Draw Point.
  • The Sleep Draw Point at Centra Excavation site is now a refilling Slow Draw Point.
  • Dragon Fins can no longer be mugged from low level Grendels.
  • The amount of Dragon Fins required to get Zell's second weapon has been reduced.
  • Remedy has been removed from Balamb, Timber and Dollet shops (requires Familiar Ability).
  • Hi-Potion has been removed from Balamb and Timber shops (requires Familiar Ability).
  • Spell junction effects on Vit and Spr have been rebalanced.

Battles
  • Base Soldiers use Remedy and Hi-Potion on themselves more frequently.
  • Edea (2nd) uses AoE spells more frequently if the entire party is under Reflect, occasionally casts Maelstrom no matter the circumstances.
  • The evolved Gespers at Lunatic Pandora Laboratory have been made more threatening.

Refine Ability changes

Code: [Select]
Refine Abl. Item Previous Current

Card Mod Grendel Card 2 = 1 Dragon Fin 5 = 1 Dragon Fin
Time Mag-RF Dragon Fin 1 = 20 Doubles 1 = 10 Doubles
Time Mag-RF Rocket Engine 1 = 30 Triples 1 = 100 Doubles
Time Mag-RF Samantha Soul 1 = 40 Triples         1 = 30 Triples
L Mag-RF Chef's Knife 1 = 20 Deaths       1 = 15 Deaths
L Mag-RF Dead Spirit 1 = 15 Deaths        1 = 20 Deaths
Recov Med-RF Tent 6 = 1 Mega-Potion       8 = 1 Mega-Potion
GFAbl Med-RF Whisper 50 = 1 Healing Ring 20 = 1 Healing Ring


Added status effects for GF

Code: [Select]
GF Status Base chance

Quezacotl Slow 130/255
Shiva Stop 80/255
Ifrit Vit 0 80/255
Brothers Petrifying 120/255
Leviathan Death 120/255
Pandemona Confuse        160/255
Alexander Blind      254/255

Siren is now Silence-only again (254/255) and Tonberry ignores enemy Spirit to make his summon more useful for now. I am aware of Eject being more fitting than Death for Leviathan, but if the Eject effect triggers, enemies just disappear at the end of the summon sequence instead of being washed away, which is the case when using Death, so I thought Death is the way to go here.


New Command Ability: Step Mine

Step Mine/Traveler, known from Final Fantasy VI and XII, has been implemented as a Command Ability for this update. It deals damage equal to steps taken / 1000 to all enemies and can be learned from Brothers and Tonberry. Note that the current step count can be checked from the menu if you have received the Battle Meter from Cid. In order to create space for this Ability, the Recover and Revive commands have been merged into a single Ability (now called Renew, learned from Alexander), so Step Mine can take the Recover slot. To accommodate these changes, Healing Ring now teaches Absorb instead of Recover and Leviathan now learns Move-HP Up in Recover's place. Other than that, X-Potion now uses the unique Recover animation to keep it in the game. Step Mine's damage formula might be changed later to make it more powerful. From what I've tested, it takes quite long to make the Ability inflict any meaningful damage, but for now it should at least be enough to kill Cactuars faster and more reliably than any other method.


Other changes
  • Zell's time frames for performing Duel have been further reduced (CL3 and 4 mostly, CL1 and 2 changes should not be too noticable).
  • A shop has been added to Forest Owls base (talk to the man sitting at the bench next to the save point right before heading to the boss).
  • Lightweight and Samantha Soul have been renamed Sprint Shoes and Thamasa Soul respectively to match the Japanese version more precisely.
  • Drops of blood have been restored in Gargantua chamber, making it 100% identical to the Japanese version.
  • The Fire Cavern time limits have been restructured. Completing the task within 5 minutes yields a special reward.
  • The Missile Base time limits have been restructured, and the emergency exit only opens when choosing the lowest setting.
  • Choosing the lowest time limit at Missile Base will be rewarded with a more noticable boost to SeeD rank.
  • The selling prices for Occult Fan I and II have been reduced.
  • The Absorb Command now ignores enemy Spr to make it have an advantage over the Drain Spell in certain situations.
  • Quistis' Micro Missiles now does a little less damage as it is a Gravity based attack that can break the damage limit.
  • Odin is now the first enemy the player can draw Double From.
  • To accommodate the delayed Double availablity, its Junction effect on Str and Mag has been increased.


Things that didn't make it in due to time constraints:
  • General Exp disabler
  • Odin toggle on/off at Centra Ruins
  • New sidequests: Fire Cavern and Tomb of the Unknown King revisited
  • New damage types that allow Ultimate Weapons to break the damage limit with standard attacks
  • Replacement for Boost Ablility that allows any GF to break the damage limit
  • Retranslating Edea's speech in Deling City
  • Making the ATB bar stop when selecting targets when it is set to Wait
  • Removing some of the Junctioning mess at D-District prison when party changes

Some of that will make it sooner or later. At least Odin toggle, new sidequests, retranslated speech and Junctioning mess relief at prison will likely be implemented soon.
« Last Edit: 2019-02-12 02:41:11 by Callisto »

Ayoyo

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1)
« Reply #193 on: 2019-02-13 11:11:58 »
Tons of stuff here, and all of it good. Very neat update. I was going to wait until finishing my playthrough to give myself time to contemplate and then share an in-depth and comprehensive analysis on overarching balance and whatnot, but I might as well bring some pointers up now seeing as this major update already came out.

First and foremost I was going to bring up my view on what was the worst offender in terms of balance in the earlier discs, and it most certainly was the generous spell availability, especially via drawing. In my opinion, drawing magic from monsters should offer the default minimum that players are expected to have by whichever point in the game to progress and around which the gameplay is balanced(=enemies are balanced around the supposition that players have at least the magic that's been made available to them by encountered monsters), with refinement/other "bonus" means of collecting magic offering advantages&earlier access to spells - however as it stood, I was able to draw full stacks of strong magic from monsters way before I could've conceivably refined them from cards or items that I had, which again is the exact opposite of how I feel it should be. So I'm sure the changes here went a long way to remedy this situation.

Especially digging the restrictions on double. The only thing that's missing from the list is the reflects on disc 1 - I don't remember which enemy had them but I had full stacks for the first Edea fight. Surely that's a bit of an overkill since you get Carbuncle at that point anyways&dispels for spirit junction which is only slightly worse than reflect, and wouldn't it be logical to have players make use of the new summon instead? Seems somewhat redundant to get a reflect summon after acquiring full stacks of it. And if you want to have a fail-safe in case people miss carbuncle then a reflect draw point some time before the boss would also hint at using them against Edea.

I'd really like to try the 2nd Edea fight again now(maelstrom is awesome), but I guess it'll have to wait for another playthrough. I was really surprised to hear you say people had problems with her, I mean I've had reflects junctioned to spirit since disc 1 as mentioned so surely by this point everyone else does as well... Not to mention you got Cerberus already so triple casting is most certainly available and super strong at this point. I would've understood complaints about the earlier Seifer fight more since he hits way harder.

GF's inflicting statuses was gonna be my suggestion in the next report too to add some extra appeal to them. I like how you took theme into consideration too: Shiva freezes them, Alex's light beams blind them... Good stuff. Can't comment on whether the probabilities&damage will be high enough to warrant usage/command skill slot(this has actually been the factor that has limited my use of GF's the most, there are so many commands that I just need more than summons who bring mostly nothing but sub-par damage to the table) or if players would rather opt simply for casting the statuses and elemental spells individually - certainly requires testing to see where the balance lies. As it stands, pretty sure they will inevitably fall off towards the very end before you manage to unlock the damage limit somehow - multicasting/multihit will always be preferable to a single hit that invariably deals 9999 at best.

I always wondered what the hell a lightweight was. As in "lightweight baby" à la Ronnie Coleman? Good idea renaming that. Also didn't even know micro missiles could break damage limit. Surely it couldn't in vanilla?

As for upcoming changes, I don't want to put pressure on you, but I sure hope to God you manage to implement these changes in the near future(I might just have to postpone my next playthrough until they're in there), because holy crap are they needed. Many a boss fight I've struggled with the targeting cursor because time indeed doesn't stop and you want to give commands as fast as possible, often with disastrous results. Odin's insistence to show off whenever he feels like it has denied me steals, given me unwanted exp and all sorts of other things. I've racked untold hours of extra gameplay because of exp management issues. Yes, it's my fault for being obsessive about it, but man, it shouldn't be this difficult. All these problems would be solved with the changes you listed, so I'll say a prayer for your progress nightly. 

You asked for ideas for Tonberry summon - I was going to suggest instant death since in many other FF's they just outright murder your ass which I think is an awesome trait for the Tonberries, but it seems death was hogged by Leviathan... Maybe they could be reassigned if you're feeling the idea, for example give Leviathan sleep instead. Don't ask how that works, though - the sounds of the ocean calm them to sleep?  :D

And finally I have a major QoL improvement request- an additional save possibility in between cutscenes/story scenes and bosses. Most mods tend to do this for understandable reasons and especially the first Edea fight and Norg fight come to mind that force the players to waste a whole lot of time going through scenes again should they fail or reattempt the boss.

edit: forgot to reply to the punishment thing. I did indeed forget about twin lance altogether but understandably so since you get August issue before July for some reason, although it doesn't change the fact that you really can't get either by the end of disc 2's end, which I would've liked. As it stands, it does make for a long gap between getting the second and third finishers. And considering Lion Heart becomes available soon-ish after the story railroad sections of disc 3, I suspect the gap between third and fourth finishers on the other hand will be quite short, so maybe there's a point to be made there about more even distribution. This isn't a big deal though and I don't really have more arguments to make for my case.
« Last Edit: 2019-02-13 12:19:26 by Ayoyo »

SefiCompacto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1)
« Reply #194 on: 2019-02-13 18:17:14 »
Heya, started this for the 20th anniversary and really liking it so far, I just have one question

Is there any sort of document that lists all the new sidequests, and any kind of information that i would want to check? Mainly to make sure I don't miss anything/check all the new content. Just some guidelines like "make sure you visit this town before doing X main story trigger" or something like that would help

Keep up the good work!

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1)
« Reply #195 on: 2019-02-14 04:49:07 »
Quote from: Ayoyo
Tons of stuff here, and all of it good. Very neat update. I was going to wait until finishing my playthrough to give myself time to contemplate and then share an in-depth and comprehensive analysis on overarching balance and whatnot, but I might as well bring some pointers up now seeing as this major update already came out.

Thanks again for the feedback, it's been a great help. I have re-checked the possibilities of getting Reflect on disc 1, but didn't find any. It can be drawn from high-leveled Blobras and Adamantoises, but I think they can't reach high levels naturally where you can encounter them on disc 1, and knowing that you try to keep your levels low, it can't be from them anyway. The earliest you can draw Reflect should be from Biggs at D-District prison, but this is admittedly still a bit too early for that spell, considering you have just received Carbuncle a short while back, which goes against the incentive to summon Carbuncle, so I guess Reflect should be pushed back a little further as well.

As for a possible status for the Tonberry GF, I also thought about Death (254/255), as it would somewhat fit the Chef's Knife, which can be refined into the Death spell after all. It would actually be a good trade-off for Tonberry being only single-target with rather low base damage, and Death resistance could be easily re-adjusted for some enemies that are not meant to be defeated easily. I think Leviathan can actually just be left with Death to be honest - even with his much lower status infliction rate, he wouldn't be completely overshadowed by Tonberry, since his attack hits all enemies for more elemental damage that can hit weaknesses.

Adding in some more save opportunities sounds good to me and is not a hard thing to do, so I guess there will be a smaller update within the next couple days (I accidentally left Double in Edea's Draw list anyway), also swapping the July and August weapon magazines (Twin Lance requires Orihalcon and Red Fang I believe; the magazines are not necessary to upgrade the weapons at Junk Shops, but they definitely help since the required materials are often different in this mod).

SefiCompacto, no problem, here's a list that covers the extra things you can do in this mod. It's mostly smaller things, nothing too big yet. The first bigger sidequest will likely be the one related to revisiting Fire Caverns I mentioned earlier, coming soon :)

Spoiler: show
SeeD Party
Before heading to Fire Cavern, make sure to visit Balamb Garden's Quad. Exhaust Selphie's dialogue until she asks about joining the Garden Festival committee. If you agree, you will receive two items from her during the SeeD party later. If you skip this step, you still have the chance to join the committee during the party, but then you will only receive one item instead of two.

The Cafeteria Lady and her lost son
Listen to the Cafteria Lady's full dialogue at Balamb Garden's Cafeteria before heading to Timber on disc 1. Later on disc 2, this will make her son appear near the station in Fisherman's Horizon after the boss battle against BGH251F2. Talk to Mayor Dobe when he is sitting on the floor, then exit the screen and re-enter. The Cafeteria Lady's son should have appeared to the left now. Talk to him before the FH concert starts (the last chance is when controlling Irvine) and pick the correct answer while Squall wonders who he is to receive an item.

Helping the guards in Timber
When having the chance to fully explore Timber for the first time, make sure to stop by the Town's Gate near the inn. As in the original game, this triggers a discussion between Galbadian Soldiers and Timber Soldiers, but this time, intervening and battling the G-Soldiers will be rewarded.

Dollet Communication Tower revisited
Heading back to the Communication Tower after the SeeD mission on disc 1 triggers a non-escapable battle against a X-ATM092 variant that uses a different AI script and attacks (it would normally just fall down a cliff and that's it). The battle will likely be tough when attempting it at first occasion, as he starts nuking the party with strong AoE's if the battle takes too long. It should be easily doable on disc 2 or 3 though.

Galbadia Hotel
After each stay at Galbadia Hotel in Deling City (at an increased price), the player receives one out of eight items randomly with equal probability. One of the items is the Magical Lamp, in case the player missed the first opportunity to get one by talking to Cid before heading to Timber on disc 1. Additional Magical Lamps can also be traded in for a random Stat Up or an Elixir at FH Seaside Station much later in the game (after the Lunar Cry event).

The old couple in Deling City
Talk to the old man sitting at the bench near the sewer gates. He will complain about losing all his good cards to the old woman nearby and about losing a card pack somewhere in the city. If you manage to find it, you will have the option to pick up the cards for yourself or keep the bundle to give it back to its owner (I would recommend the latter, as this unlocks the old man as a card player as well). This can be done anytime before the point of no return at the end of disc 3. The possible rewards for this quest are as follows:

- 9 monster cards if you take the bundle's contents for yourself
- 3 boss cards or 6,000 Gil if you decide to give it back to the old man

More items in Fisherman's Horizon
Talk to the man near the elevator when controlling Irvine after leaving the concert preparations. After the concert is over, talk to him again with Irvine in your party, and he will apologize for what he said earlier, handing out a Triple Triad card.

Rescuing the girl in Timber
On disc 2 or 3, return to the Timber station and rescue the girl that is cowering on the floor from the arriving train. As in the original game, you will end up at Timber Hotel, but this time, your SeeD Rank increases and you will receive an item.

Trading in Trabia Garden
There is one NPC in Trabia Garden who sells some of her belongings as her savings have been destroyed as a result of the missile attack. The player can use this opportunity to get good value for just 20,000 Gil: 2 boss cards and 3 different items. Buying or creating these items separately would be much more expensive.

The dog in Esthar
Stop the dog running around the streets in Esthar to make him return to his owner nearby. If you then talk to the owner while having Pet Pals Vol.3 in your inventory, you have the option to give it to him for free for an item, or sell it to him for 15,000 Gil. If you don't have it in your inventory, he will hint at it. Can be done anytime before entering Lunatic Pandora as Zell and Edea.

Rescuing the girl at Esthar's Shopping Mall
Talking to the crying girl at the Shopping Mall will trigger a non-escapable and unique battle with 2 Behemoths in it. The reward is an item and a card. Can be done after Lunar Cry only.

Lunatic Pandora Laboratory research project
After the Lunar Cry events, Esthar digs out its old mobile weapons and tries to improve them. At Lunatic Pandora Laboratory, the player has the option to try 3 different battles that consist of stronger variants of Gespers, Cyborgs and Elastoids. The battles can be repeated multiple times for no costs, but the rewards are one-time only.
« Last Edit: 2019-02-14 06:17:52 by Callisto »

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1a)
« Reply #196 on: 2019-02-16 21:39:21 »
Version 1.1a is up.

- Status effects for GF have been changed. After some more testing it became evident that some of the status effects as they were in 1.1 won't really trigger on anything stronger than a Geezard or a Bite Bug. As for Quezacotl and Shiva and their identical probabilities, I'm aware of Stop being the "better" status, but the enemy resistances against the Stop status are generally higher than those against Slow, so it evens out.

Code: [Select]
GF Status Base chance

Quezacotl Slow 150/255
Shiva Stop 150/255
Ifrit Vit 0 150/255
Brothers Petrifying 160/255
Leviathan Death 180/255
Pandemona Confuse        254/255
Tonberry Death 254/255
Alexander Blind      254/255

- Save possibilities have been added right before the battles against Seifer (1st) and Norg. Be careful when using these saves though - when loading, you will be basically thrown directly into battle (well, almost). You have to beat these bosses with what you currently have and there is no way to do any random battles to acquire new spells to increase your stats etc. However, there's always the option to open up the menu before attempting the battles.

- A flaw in Edea's AI (1st) that can lock her into casting Zombie over and over has been corrected.

- The locations for the July and August Weapons Monthly magazines have been swapped as it makes more sense curve-wise.
« Last Edit: 2019-02-16 23:31:31 by Callisto »

Ayoyo

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1a)
« Reply #197 on: 2019-02-18 18:03:13 »
About time I gave my next report. Disc 3 being quite story-heavy there's not as much new stuff to comment on but I'll try to hit a few highlights that I can remember.

Spoiler: show
From what I remember, the ruby dragon in the Laguna flashback didn't know any new tricks, just a tougher version of its vanilla counterpart. I don't recall what new spells it had but I drew full stacks whilst it slept. Relaxed fight. Blizzaga spam and Diablos dealing 9999 for good measure finished it off rather quickly after the drawing the spells. 

Somehow Edea becoming a playable party member had completely slipped my mind, but what an auspicious turn of events; I can use her to fight enemies to my heart's content and not worry about experience at all. Many a Vysage saw their end on that day as I committed a cathartic genocide on them on my journey through salt lake. Abadon hit really really hard but that's the only thing he's got going for him; naturally, I wanted to use Edea for this boss and boosting her magic made her completely annihilate Abadon with triple curagas. A single curaga dealt over 7k damage so that's a whopping ~22k damage per turn. Hot damn. He had no chance. I think a bit of tinkering to make his stances matter more, for example, would make for a more meaningful fight. Right now I didn't even get to see what his stance actually did, seeing as standing up didn't affect his holy resistance at all. So I just spammed curaga for the win. If players had to actually change their strategy completely according to his stances, that'd be more interesting.

Argh, more Laguna sequences. And it doesn't even give the option to exchange junctions from Edea to Ward or Kiros, she's not even on the list when it prompts the exchange. I have no idea what happens to her spell inventory and junctions at this point and I didn't care to find out - I loaded from a previous save and took everything off from her before entering Esthar.

Anyways, you can imagine my utter joy as more un-cardable and inescapable enemies are forced on me during the flashback, garnering more levels. And there's like 4 of these fights. For Heaven's sake. I tried to kill 2 party members before finishing the enemies off but there's absolutely no way around it, someone just has to take the experience. Anyhow, the first big fight was fun and demanded a bit of preparation as their degenator+death spam took care of my party the first time around, which I thought was awesome. Stop on Gesper, blind&silence on the cyborg and death immunities on everyone lets me control the fight without difficulties. The rest followed the same pattern.

A big hunk of story driven stuff ensues. I don't remember if anything special occurred, probably not. Fighting the Propagators is always fun and they've been made a bit threatening here, you really need to tailor your junctions for each of them. But once you know what to put in your elem-def and that you can silence them pretty easily(too easily IMO, especially given how harmless they become), it's easy to farm them for the occasional ultima/aura/flare stone. Soon enough the "failsafe" of the game kicks in and they disappear, leaving me with only about a dozen powerful stones and a very sappy love song.

At long last, my favorite part of the game; free exploration with Ragnarok. I couldn't wait to fight some bosses so I go to measure myself against Cactuar, who spanks my arse with Ker Plunk right off the bat. 2 ultimate weapons later I return and cast protect on everyone so that his physicals are just strong enough to put people in critical HP, allowing me to Renzokuken him to oblivion. Ultimately, he's a bit underwhelming - a little buff to his speed ought to be enough to make players struggle with maintaining comfortable limit break spam a bit more, or at least an immunity to slow(I think it worked on him?).

I've managed to get holy&flare stacks for everyone+1 stack of Meteor before I headed out to Deep sea research center, hoping it would be enough. The encounters on the way to Bahamut are pure torture as I fear that Odin might come around and indeed he did, once again leveling up my party. I was super psyched for Bahamut fight - I couldn't remember at all what his deal was so junctioning was hard as I tried to divine what kind of attacks he was going to use. I was scared shitless for Mega Flare and had shell up on everyone at all times regardless of how scanning him it said Mega Flare ignores all defenses. When he finally used it, it barely dealt half my HP in damage, making me laugh. Is it supposed to be this weak? Overall this fight was extremely simple and straightforward - my "generic" boss junction setup proved victorious on the first try once again as I absorbed his tornadoes. Got my first Lion Heart proc against him and it finished him off, leaving me a bit disappointed. I think there's room for a stronger gimmick/mechanic with a boss as awesome as Bahamut. Making Mega Flare stronger and maybe even adding a countdown to it harks back to earlier FF games where a countdown preceded Mega Flare and it pretty much wrecks you if you aren't fully healed&protected, but it's not unfair since it's clearly telegraphed. Something like that would be super awesome.

Further down the hole I decided to grind to get another Meteor stack&1 full Ultima stack in preparation for Ultima Weapon, my highly anticipated adversary. After a long&tedious trek through forced encounters where I try to card everyone as best as I can, I finally reach the bottom. All my effort is about to bear fruit and despite the many unavoidable level ups I got to face him with a relatively low-leveled party: Squall 26, Rinoa 18, Irvine 17. Right as the fight started, Ultima gave me a hero's welcome: Light pillar for 60k damage to Rinoa. Here we go.

No way I was gonna beat him on my first try so I just tried to figure out the mechanics and get a feel for the boss. I didn't expect to be able to inflict statuses on him but still I tried, to no avail. I assume he is just completely immune to everything as it should be, or with a ludicrously high resistance. His physicals crit often and hard, killing instantly even through protect. Most of him elemental attacks were just absorbed by my elem-def junctions. My first attempt was promptly brought to an end by a combo of nasty non-elemental spells that I wasn't prepared for at all.

Well, it didn't take long for me to figure out his gimmick which, as it turns out, is surprisingly simplistic. I don't want to go into too much detail here anyways so as to not spoil the boss for people who might be reading through this thread before playing. Suffice to say that once you figure it out, it's easy to plan accordingly and at the end of the day I was able to beat him after only a couple spell casts from him and drawn a full Aura stack on top of it for good measure. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself. I'll provide detailed feedback on him via PM, this has gone on long enough already.
« Last Edit: 2019-02-18 20:39:06 by Ayoyo »

blankdiploma

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1a)
« Reply #198 on: 2019-02-18 19:37:46 »
Hello,

I purchased the Steam version of FF VIII solely to try this mod, but I didn't realize how much stupid crap they'd forced into the re-release, and refunded it immediately. Is there any chance at all that you might consider releasing a version of the hex edit data for the original 2000 PC release? I understand that it's a bit of work to translate the address space from the steam release to the original, but I really hope you'll consider doing it for those of us who don't want to support Square Enix's awful decisions surrounding this port.


Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.1a)
« Reply #199 on: 2019-02-18 23:20:28 »
Hey blankdiploma, and welcome to the forums. With crap, do you mean the in-built cheats, like getting full spell stocks automatically and the like? I guess you already know but I better say it just to be sure, but all these things are optional. Other than that, I don't think there are any real differences between the 2000 PC and Steam versions, besides the launcher. Still, I'm planning to make the mod compatible with other versions too, just not sure when.

Ayoyo, that's an extensive report again, thank you. I'll keep the comments in spoilers for now too.

Spoiler: show
From what I remember, the ruby dragon in the Laguna flashback didn't know any new tricks, just a tougher version of its vanilla counterpart. I don't recall what new spells it had but I drew full stacks whilst it slept. Relaxed fight. Blizzaga spam and Diablos dealing 9999 for good measure finished it off rather quickly after the drawing the spells.
Well, the difficulty of this battle depends on whether Ward is with you or not. If he is, Ruby Dragon will use Flare, Tornado and its infamous Breath attack. In the original game, it would be Firaga, Meteor and Breath - Meteor has been removed as it is clearly overused by enemies in vanilla late-game. If Ward is absent, the fight is noticably easier, but still more threatening than in vanilla due to Firaga instead of Fira being used, and the swipe attacks remain quite powerful regardless of party setup.

Quote
Abadon hit really really hard but that's the only thing he's got going for him; naturally, I wanted to use Edea for this boss and boosting her magic made her completely annihilate Abadon with triple curagas. A single curaga dealt over 7k damage so that's a whopping ~22k damage per turn. Hot damn. He had no chance. I think a bit of tinkering to make his stances matter more, for example, would make for a more meaningful fight. Right now I didn't even get to see what his stance actually did, seeing as standing up didn't affect his holy resistance at all. So I just spammed curaga for the win. If players had to actually change their strategy completely according to his stances, that'd be more interesting.
Abadon can inflict Death with its tongue attack in addition to just Curse, but I guess you were protected from the status so you had an easier time (leveling up Edea as you said surely helps with the damage output too). Having Curaga at this point shouldn't be taken for granted either, since the only way to get full stocks at this point is by drawing it from the Tonberry King, who is an optional boss. For me it's always important to keep bosses defeatable even with less ideal setups and without having completed every sidequest prior to facing a certain boss.

If Abadon's stance changes, other attacks will be used, and his Vitality and Spirit will increase dramatically as usual, but as healing spells aren't affected by the Spirit stat (nor are they holy-elemental), you can still do full damage with them. What I could do is making Abadon go into Auto-Shell status when standing up, which would at least halve the damage by every healing spell thrown at him. I think that would be a reasonable change to prolong the battle so more of Abadon's potential can seen, even for anyone who already has Curaga and Triple at their disposal.

Quote
Argh, more Laguna sequences. And it doesn't even give the option to exchange junctions from Edea to Ward or Kiros, she's not even on the list when it prompts the exchange. I have no idea what happens to her spell inventory and junctions at this point and I didn't care to find out - I loaded from a previous save and took everything off from her before entering Esthar.
I think Edea is not available here as she's the only one who doesn't lose consciousness due to Ellone's actions. Still, if Edea is in the party when entering this Laguna sequence, none of her spells are accessible for the upcoming battles at Lunatic Pandora Laboratory, which would put the player at a disadvantage, as these battles can be rough. I wanted to change that at some point so Edea appears on that list as well, but wasn't very familiar with the field code at the time, so I'll have a look at it again. Thanks for reminding me of this. Should be changed for sure.

Quote
At long last, my favorite part of the game; free exploration with Ragnarok. I couldn't wait to fight some bosses so I go to measure myself against Cactuar, who spanks my arse with Ker Plunk right off the bat. 2 ultimate weapons later I return and cast protect on everyone so that his physicals are just strong enough to put people in critical HP, allowing me to Renzokuken him to oblivion. Ultimately, he's a bit underwhelming - a little buff to his speed ought to be enough to make players struggle with maintaining comfortable limit break spam a bit more, or at least an immunity to slow(I think it worked on him?).
Jumbo Cactuar already attacks far more often in the mod. In vanilla, he would skip turns like crazy, more than almost any other enemy in the game. Still, you are right about the Slow resistance. At the moment it's 50%, which is low enough to trigger the status easily by having Slow junctioned to Status-Atk to any character with a decent Strength stat. I'll do something about that, thanks again.

Quote
I was super psyched for Bahamut fight - I couldn't remember at all what his deal was so junctioning was hard as I tried to divine what kind of attacks he was going to use. I was scared shitless for Mega Flare and had shell up on everyone at all times regardless of how scanning him it said Mega Flare ignores all defenses. When he finally used it, it barely dealt half my HP in damage, making me laugh. Is it supposed to be this weak? Overall this fight was extremely simple and straightforward - my "generic" boss junction setup proved victorious on the first try once again as I absorbed his tornadoes. Got my first Lion Heart proc against him and it finished him off, leaving me a bit disappointed. I think there's room for a stronger gimmick/mechanic with a boss as awesome as Bahamut. Making Mega Flare stronger and maybe even adding a countdown to it harks back to earlier FF games where a countdown preceded Mega Flare and it pretty much wrecks you if you aren't fully healed&protected, but it's not unfair since it's clearly telegraphed. Something like that would be super awesome.
Hm, do you remember the damage done by Mega Flare exactly? It should do around 6000-6500 HP damage that ignores Spirit, which makes it pretty much the most powerful AoE attack at this point of the game. The damage can be halved by having Shell on, that's correct, but also making it ignore Shell? Not sure. Getting a Game Over against Bahamut can be very frustrating, as the two preceding battles would then have to be done again. That's why I decided to not make this battle overly difficult. Compared to vanilla, Bahamut starts using Mega Flare quite a bit earlier, which I thought should do to spice this battle up a bit. I'd rather swap Tornado and Thundaga for something else than making Mega Flare do any more damage to be honest. As for the countdown thing you suggested, there's plenty of that very late in the game, but I'll see what I can do.

As for Ultima Weapon in general, I'll respond to your PM later.
« Last Edit: 2019-02-18 23:22:36 by Callisto »