Author Topic: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)  (Read 141968 times)

Konei

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #625 on: 2021-02-06 17:58:59 »
@Calisto: So I think I can get the demaster patch to work (at least there's like a code menu running in the background when I start the game and stuff) but I can't get the mod with it, the draw point always contains Esuna. Can you maybe give a more in detail instruction of how to get the mod to run with Demaster?

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #626 on: 2021-02-06 19:33:30 »
Ok, I have prepared a download that contains the files that enable the new EXP-None Ability in the Steam 2013 version.

Update the Ragnarok_mod.txt file under RaW -> GLOBAL -> Hext and your main.fs files under Data -> lang-en. If you then start a new game, Quezacotl, Shiva and Ifrit will have the new Ability learned by default. If you don't want to start a new game, you can use the Hyne Save editor to add the Str Bonus Ability to any GF's ability list, which should now be EXP-None. There should be no issues other than one of Quistis' early-game tutorials being slightly messed up because of Shiva's altered Ability order. If you notice anything else, feel free to report it.

Oof, shame about the slots thing and ATB. I gotta admit, I never enjoyed having to combat the timer when trying to put the cursor on the right enemy in a split second or duck under a menu every time someone's turn comes up in order to get some thinking time. Probably the worst instance of this is when you're trying to throw a clutch healing item/spell on someone and you're trying to hit the right party member with the weird camera angle but lo and behold, some asshat gets their turn in the split second it took you to throw the heal and kills the party member, wasting the heal. Wonderful.
Yes, the targeting can be irritating sometimes as controls depend on camera angles by default, but if you press the L1 button (or whatever button it is assigned to) during battle, a target window with enemy and character names will pop up, making controls entirely independent of camera angles. The good thing is that this setting will carry over to the next battle until pressing the button again, so there is no need to toggle this for every single battle. I am personally too used to not having a target help window (as I discovered that option rather late), but if you find yourself struggling with correct targeting often, you might want to give this setting a try.

Quote
Yea I got the hard mode, then. No difficulties so far; X-ATM was a fun one without doubles (forgot to draw them) and reaching the beach in time afterwards was a nailbiter. It didn't hit that hard but the actual challenge of the fight seemed to be damage optimization to kill the thing in time. I quite liked it, although the boss' attack pattern does get a bit stale. IIRC in addition to regular single-target physicals there's only the AOE physical and the laser bomb, and the laser is the only one that has any kind of special effect but I'm not even sure what that status was, didn't seem to do much of anything.
The status in question was Vit 0, and it indeed doesn't have that much of an impact early in the game, when defensive stats are rather low. It won't matter much if Selphie or Zell are affected, as they don't have particularly high Vitality or Spirit stats, but Squall has very high base Vitality, so if it suddenly becomes 0, he takes noticably more damage from physical attacks. Anyway, I'll think about ways to make the fight against X-ATM092 more interesting, thanks for the feedback.

AuthenticM

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #627 on: 2021-02-07 14:32:13 »
Hey Callisto,

Your mod sounds super cool and interesting! I'll definitely play it at some point.

I have two questions:
  • How does the Lionheart hard difficulty mode differ from the standard difficulty mode? The OP doesn't mention any details.
  • Is your mod compatible with other non-gameplay mods, such as the graphics mods from the Tonberry Master List thread?

Thank you!

Ayoyo

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #628 on: 2021-02-07 22:10:31 »
@AuthenticM
I have the entire pandora mod package installed and it has pretty much all of those mods and I never encountered problems, and this is my second playthrough as well with ragnarok+graphical stuff. Ought to work fine.

@Callisto
I wouldn't have mentioned it if it was a regular early boss, but X-ATM is a kind of a bonus challenge boss and this being the hard mode it does create some badass expectations of these types of extra challenges. There's ample room to get creative and brutal... I mean, you don't have to beat the thing, after all.

The no-exp ability works like a charm. I never realized how much extra effort and difficulty always carding enemies and taking great care to dodge exp added... Now I can just go all out. Pretty liberating!

Balance-wise, nothing of note as of yet except some comments on GF's - I do feel they're lacking quite significantly in power, utility, or something to make their use appealing at this point in the game. They just haven't been worth the hassle thus far. My understanding was that their prime purpose, and the payoff for the hassle (menu slot, protecting the low HP's, inability to use the character for a while, and long animation) was that they had a super high chance of inflicting some statuses that the bosses have too high a resistance towards otherwise. I mean nobody uses the long animation summons for regular encounters so bosses are when you'd actually want to use them, but I've yet to make a status stick to any boss from their attacks, and their damage has seemed comparable to -ra spells so certainly not worth the wait & effort of keeping them alive. Maybe I'm missing something, but I've quite enthusiastically explored my options thus far in this mod and found the GF's quite clunky and not worth it in practice.

I'll comment on my progress later on...
« Last Edit: 2021-02-07 22:12:56 by Ayoyo »

Ayoyo

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #629 on: 2021-02-09 23:04:11 »
Disc 1 sure went by much faster than I remembered. Guess I'm having enough fun to make the game just fly by. Overall I can't say I've discerned much of a practical difference between my previous playthrough 2 years ago and this one in terms of challenge, although there's clearly more bonus stuff present and the balance curve is way more finely tuned. But more on that later.

As per tradition I attempted Diablos as soon as possible and was super positively surprised that, for the first time ever, he proved to be formidable enough for me to postpone the fight until a bit later. He really doesn't like people drawing demis out of him, which is absolutely the right choice since it's such a strong junction spell. And me being obsessive compulsive naturally meant I needed to draw full stacks no matter what.

Gerogero was a pushover and provided some new spells for junctions. Laguna flashback cyborgs were susceptible to the same statuses as back in the day, gaining a nostalgic smirk from me. Although I did hope they'd have some new tricks because they really are helpless as babies. Good news is you can't draw death from them anymore, but more on that stuff later.

The brothers felt exactly the same; floats across the board neuter them totally, which I think should be rectified for hard mode. This is one of those extra bosses as well so it is underwhelming when there's such an easy solution to counter them.

Iguanas had some new buddies, or at least I don't remember them being there before. Didn't make the fight much harder though. I guess I don't mind this one being easier since it's more like an appetizer for what's next.

And here I get to throw some abundant praise at Callisto. First off, Seifer is pretty much perfectly tuned. First you're like "Hey, he actually puts up a fight! Awesome", then you adjust your junctions and feel like "Ok it's quite easy after all", but then he throws one last curve ball at you and you're like "Oh shit" for a while before the end. It's not too long, and keeps things fresh. Awesome fight. Same for Edea, actually - I rather enjoy that it's clearly the most complex and varied fight of disc 1. She's got it all - physicals with status inflictions, -ga spells, dispels when you buff up too much, and a badass AOE. Can't remember if she had any heals or esunas for herself but that would be a good addition if it's not there yet, to counter a potential bio spam.

The prison is a horrid, monotonous busywork hell like always. Seriously, it feels worse every time I play through it. Such lazy design from square. Would benefit from having some encounter-free floors if possible, or something to ease the torture of running up and down a million times... And the constant party changes/re-junctioning, God...

At this point in the game I was slowly sinking into apathy, and not only because of the prison. Disc 1 felt quite easy overall until Edea came along to spice things up for a bit and gave me hope that things would kick into high gear in disc 2, but the encounters weren't any tougher in the prison.

What finally roused me from my coma was the encounter at the top of the prison with 2 captains and robots. This fight was [email protected] metal, and rejuvenated my enjoyment of the game. I had to pull all stops for this one and experiment with different strategies until I found the right one. I got to try so many approaches and use my imagination, this is the stuff I live for and have been waiting for. What finally worked for me was a very specific setup with Quistis at low HP and someone with cover. I needed Q to survive until she got the Acid limit off on one of the captains, dealing 4 k damage, and Squall throws a double on Rinoa who casts double Bio to finish the guy instantly. At this point, Quistis inevitably bites the dust because they're so fast and bound to hit her eventually, and so would begin my slow recovery process which was only possible when one of them was dead. With all 4, I never managed to keep up no matter how defensively I played. Double ray-bomb was always a party-wipe without a shell on everyone, and dispelling every aura stone immediately was crucial. What a beautiful fight.

Some factors for perspective's sake: I'm constantly using the no-exp ability since I got it, only changing it for the toughest boss fights where I need the slot. Squall is at level 9 for all these fights with everyone else either at default level or 1-2 above it at most. No card modding either, but otherwise I'm not holding myself back. I draw new spell stacks from bosses I encounter and explore a lot, mugging everything etc.

Overall thoughts. I'll have to double down on my comments about GF's - even for bosses who actually are susceptible to some statuses, GF's still end up being inferior to alternative methods in practice. Either they're too flimsy to survive through the summoning if it's a tough boss, or their damage is useless compared to regular double casting, or it just takes too long or the bosses are immune to the statuses(as is most often the case), rendering the GF's presumably only redeeming feature moot. And you're committing a menu slot to even use them. The only asterisk I have is that I don't know whether stuff is planned with the +hp and dmg abilities in mind, but in the case it is I don't necessarily agree because it would require extra grind and will often result in overleveling, and the thought that you have to commit time to get them even up to par is just another hurdle that makes them not worth it.
Verdict; I think there are tiny traces of vanilla Final Fantasies' cardinal sin in here, where bosses are balanced around the fact that they're immune to most if not all status attacks. It effectively removes a whole section of gameplay mechanics from boss fights, namely debuffs, and by extension severely cripples the utility of status-inflicting summons since the one time you actually want to use them they don't work. I know there are exceptions and you've done a lot of work to rectify the problem but I think there's room to expand on it even more for this hard mode, where debuffing would become a more prominent aspect of boss fights as well, adding further depth and complexity. In other words, tune the balance with status effects in mind so you can allow the bosses to be susceptible to them more extensively. Suddenly the GF's become an attractive option when you know that you're pretty much toast if you don't land the slows, or the poisons or the silences, and they have a high resistance - but they are not immune. This is all particularly important for hard mode, I feel, where more complexity is better and players can be expected to know how basic debuffs and buffs work.

Card modding is in a nice place where it's not completely broken but there's plenty of ways to get a lot stronger if you want. I still banned it from myself though. I remember someone commenting on card modding being weak in the mod, which honestly baffles me now that I've seen it again.

So many warm, fuzzy flashbacks to our conversations from years ago, with death & regen removed from disc 1(or at least I couldn't find them outside of card modding but that's broken anyways), and other strong spells removed from many draw tables. 2 single-use draw points with double to ration for boss fights. Oh, the memories. This fine-tuned spell curve is undercut by what you can get just by refining drops/steals on disc 1, though. To name a few I found meltdown, bio, pain, haste and most notably double which seems antithetical to the whole economy aspect of that spell. Some of those are super super strong for disc 1 so I'd push them further away.

The added save points were a thing of true beauty, every one of them highly welcome. Especially the ones right before bosses as they should be. Still perplexes me why they don't have save points before boss fights in the vanilla games.

Lastly, you've really managed to give me the slip with some new sidequests. Went after anacondaurs for quite a while for the Dollet girl first ingredient but to no avail, and after the prison escape on disc 2 took a quick detour to Deling to get the Rinoa card but the general was talking shit about Iguanas in the sewers. I consider myself a pretty stubborn old school gamer, but after over an hour scouring every square inch in the sewers, I gave up. No idea how I could have possibly missed them.

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #630 on: 2021-02-09 23:14:58 »
@Konei: Your latest post somehow didn't show up a couple of days ago, so I couldn't comment on it, sorry. Anyway, try right-clicking on the DEMASTER_EXP inside the difficulty folder you wish to use, and select Copy. Then do a right-click on a blank space inside the FFVIII Remastered parent folder (Steam -> steamapps -> common -> FINAL FANTASY VIII Remastered) with Demaster patch already installed. Choose Paste and finally select "replace files in the destination" to merge the two DEMASTER_EXP folders.

@AuthenticM: The differences between Lionheart and Standard Mode are currently as follows:
  • Stat increase for almost all enemies compared to Standard version
  • Further AI tweaks for many enemies
  • Some enemy elemental weaknesses have been changed or have had their severity lowered
  • Reduced junction effects in Elemental Defense
  • Status resistance has been increased for some enemies
  • Various changes to enemy attacks, also a few new ones have been added
  • Some formation changes / additional enemies in certain boss battles
Finally added that to the OP, thanks for reminding. As Ayoyo said, there should be no incompatibilities between gameplay and graphical mods. Make sure to install any gameplay mods last, just in case, and avoid using the Lunatic Pandora package's Hard Mod over any gameplay mod, as its changes will stack.

@Ayoyo: Thank you for the impressions, I will comment on it later :)

Rainku

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #631 on: 2021-02-10 03:33:35 »
Hey there!

Just a quick question:

- The fight with the robot at the end of the missile base mission.. did you add any rewards to the fight if you beat it at 10 minutes? Or does it not matter? (I can't seem to beat him that quick.. I always get to the part where the soldiers come in and then *game over*)

Ayoyo

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #632 on: 2021-02-10 04:43:15 »
@Rainku
Just beat it in Lionheart mode with a 10 minute limit and had 2 to spare by the end. Haste the party and just double spam water on it (could also use thundaga if you found the draw point) with 2 of your party members who have the best magic stat and dedicate the 3rd one for double healing and protection. Switch to double bio spam when the guys run out. Increase battle speed slightly. I did manage to sneak in a mug as well but if it seems tight just forget about mugging and drawing, it's nothing special anyways.
« Last Edit: 2021-02-10 04:44:50 by Ayoyo »

Rainku

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #633 on: 2021-02-10 16:28:54 »
@Rainku
Just beat it in Lionheart mode with a 10 minute limit and had 2 to spare by the end. Haste the party and just double spam water on it (could also use thundaga if you found the draw point) with 2 of your party members who have the best magic stat and dedicate the 3rd one for double healing and protection. Switch to double bio spam when the guys run out. Increase battle speed slightly. I did manage to sneak in a mug as well but if it seems tight just forget about mugging and drawing, it's nothing special anyways.

Ah yeah that's what I did, except I only had 1 high mag party member spam double water with haste applied and had the rest act as support and water melee dmg. I'll give your strat a shot next time.

Only problem is, I'm a bit OCD and don't like increasing and decreasing the battle speed during gameplay. I prefer it stay at a solid speed.

I actually did manage to beat it in 10 min in the end.. but the clock was literaly at 0:00 when the screen faded to the exp screen. So I see it more that I got lucky, haha!
« Last Edit: 2021-02-10 16:32:41 by Rainku »

flowkeke

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #634 on: 2021-02-11 15:21:12 »
Appreciate what you did with the mod. For context, I just started playing FF8 for the first time and, having heard of how easy it is to break, I installed this.

I was just wondering if its normal operation for lvl ~25 characters to be facing a boss 10 levels higher than they are? I noticed this when I was up against the first "boss" in D-District.. (start of Disc 2).. And now I'm (presumably) stuck in that Missile Mission led by Selphie with nowhere to grind...

I was wondering if I missed anything.

Ayoyo

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #635 on: 2021-02-15 12:59:01 »
Time for more rambling. I have a bad feeling about the amount of text for this one...

Let's get the enemies and bosses out of the way, first. The missile base bosses were pretty lax and offered no real challenge. I was under the impression you couldn't save in between the soldier boss and the countdown, but my memory has been faulty before. But I wouldn't be surprised if this was another one of Callisto's divine blessings. Well, the BGH boss was a major disappointment as I ended up beating it quite easily with the 10 minute limit even without setting up boss-specific junctions. Just buff up and spam double magic, occasionally healing.

Back in the Garden however the encounters were much more interesting and enemies stronger. I couldn't just sleepwalk my way through so this is the first sign of a steepening difficulty curve in terms of normal encounters. I certainly would've enjoyed it happening sooner, but I suppose this is the first reasonable point where you can crank up the challenge for disc 2 seeing as the prison is such torture already and there's no encounters in the missile base.

Interestingly, you can still mug curse spikes here and they still refine to dark matter. So you could get super strong here, supposedly. Intentional?

Oilboyles deal decent dmg but their HP is quite low so rushing them is a solid option. I don't remember anything remarkable happening in the fight. Double magic spam is the best approach, again.

All hail Callisto, and thrill at the greatness of his deeds! There's a damn save point before NORG! This continues to be among the loveliest additions to the mod since I last played. This and the new no-exp abilities alone make it the best mod out there. In other news, NORG is an EMBARRASSMENT. NORG-TOO-FAT! CAN'T-HANDLE-REFLECT! Another accidental first-try win. Didn't even bother hitting the buttons other than to mug the stat-ups. Literally needed to just keep applying reflect occasionally and, wait for it - double spam magic.

The world opening up is always an exciting moment. A lot of things happening here so please excuse a short tangent. First of all the game starts throwing -aga spells your way, a MAJOR upgrade. You can go with card modding as half the people around are using lv6 monster cards all of a sudden(still not using it personally), or you can mug some overworld monsters for items to refine or if you're brave and adventurous enough, draw them directly from select monsters in the world. Naturally I opted for the latter option. Snow lions are still stupid fat, which I like. And threatening as well if you don't keep them asleep.
Accidentally ran into Hexadragons on Centra, didn't even remember they were around at this point. Angry little critters - no statuses seemed to work on them and they hit like an effing truck. Really enjoyed running into challenging enemies like this. Didn't find Thundagas until later, totally forgot where enemies with those were.

While looking for rare monsters, it dawned on me that it really adds nothing to the game to keep running into starting-area enemies around the world, especially in areas where there's also encounters with interesting/new kinds of monsters. I remember seeing some talk about changing some of the more boring encounters in the overworld but this is something I think could still be made more convenient - during exploration, I usually check up to 4 encounters in any given area to see if I run into rare monsters and then move on, but it's actually quite likely that it's not enough and you might still miss them. My recommendation would be to just remove the bite bugs, geezards, fastitocalons, thrustaevises etc. starter enemies from certain disc 2+ areas, thereby making the more interesting encounters more common. I mean you can find those starting enemies all over anyways. I know their drops and whatnot might change with their level but it's not like there's a shortage of places where to leave them.

In terms of sidequests, the little girl in Dollet does speak like a generic quest-giver instead of a sad, demure kid. More of a minor flavor thing but because the quest itself is a simple fetchquest at the end of the day, giving additional care in terms of her dialogue might endear players to the quest a little more.

Managed to find the Iguions by combing through this topic. A bit disappointed with the lack of clues as to the trigger condition. I don't know how you're supposed to guess that. To my knowledge, there isn't even any precedent for this type of trigger in the game so even just a blurp saying something like the iguions seem to be waiting to ambush unexpecting easy pray or some such flavorsome passage would be quite helpful. The fight itself on the other hand is super cool. They have a lot of different attacks and none of them are to be scoffed at. The scan still says that they have reflect cast on them even though they don't initially have it on, though. Diablos also wrecks this fight completely, 2 shotting the Iguions at around level 50. Felt like cheating. I might go back to the save at some point to experiment more. I actually like the thought that Diablos isn't just a miss on bosses(see my thoughts on the utility of GF's in boss fights), but they do need a resistance to it. Not sure if that's possible though given how the Diablos damage seems to be a special case mechanically.

Back to the story. A pet peeve of mine is that just as there's talk of Selphie disappearing, you are able to bring her along for the occupied Balamb city part. Seems like an oversight, seeing as she can't be taken into the party in the overworld or anywhere else.

Anyways, I was surprised to not see a new save point before the Fujin & Raijin boss fight. It's a pretty long stretch to go through the whole balamb scenario & Raijin fight again just because you didn't remember to junction aero & float to elem-def. The fights themselves were really, really good. I was quite worried that this is where the challenge just dips because as mentioned, there's so much stuff you can do to get stronger at this point in the game but they put up a really good fight. Diablos could still be used to wreck house here but I banned his use from boss fights. I've continued trying out GF's to see whether my comments on them remain valid, and he seems to be the only GF(other than Carbuncle of course, since buffs are a different beast entirely) so far that gets competent enough results to be used but suffers from the opposite problem where he becomes completely broken with levels. This is okay for regular monsters and such, but bosses do need resistance, if such a mechanic is possible.

How did I forget about Odin? Word on the street has it that there's a new nifty mechanic for his summoning(no more wanton destruction!). And holy crap, there's a pretty scary ambush along the way. Aqua breath wiped my whole party from full HP instantly. Perfect; had to make a specific setup for this encounter. There's no way you're protecting yourself against everything either, as there's thundaga, earthquake and aqua breath. Excellent, complex fight, many variables. I'm a bit worried that people are going to be on the lookout for the easy way out seeing as they're not bosses, such as ways to instakill the monsters(degenerator? Didn't try it myself), using Diablos etc. but hey, at least the fight's hard enough to warrant some unusual strategies probably.

Odin on the other hand... wow. At long last he's done just standing there and being spanked all day. And boy, is there some pent-up anger. Good call on making his attack non-elemental(I think). This particular attack is so badass that it actually forced me to get a bit stronger before I was able to survive it with anybody, so I got curagas from Tonberry King for everyone. More on that fight later. Anywho with curagas junctioned to health, Selphie and Quistis were able to withstand the anger of Odin(spirit stat seemed to be the deciding factor), so Squall bit the dust every time. A fun challenge, but had my HP been any higher initially I don't imagine I would've had any trouble with him. I think if Odin snuck in some physical attacks every once in a while in addition to the thunder slam (not in stead of it, but a surprise physical all of a sudden in between major attacks) would complete this fight as a satisfying challenge.

Lowered requirements for summoning Tonberry King is highly appreciated; this is the right kind of QoL change that reduces tedium. But the fight itself is, quite frankly, way too boring and easy. Another one of those optional extra bosses, and a classic badass FF monster no less, where you'd hope to really have to go all-out in a hard mode but instead he's a total wimp. Haste & protect on everyone means there's not even the slightest chance of anyone dying, which is quite preposterous. He also has worse defense stats than regular tonberries, taking more damage from everything, which feels weird.

Because the boss is useless I decided to do some casual experimentation here. You might've picked up on my snide remarks on double casting magic. If I had to single out the most problematic balance aspect so far, that would be it. It makes other stuff feel so much worse in contrast, such as GF's, although the main factor that inhibits GF's potential is the whole status debacle, IMO. My experience so far is that the balance is really good, tight and intuitive otherwise if not for magic outshining everything else.
Magic was indeed mostly weak in vanilla but there's certainly some overcorrection going on here - simply double casting magic will usually be among the fastest, if not the fastest damage dealing method and involves no risk, strategy, skill or spending rare resources(pulse ammo for example has justification to be strong in this regard). It's a fool-proof, overly effective strategy that also outperforms most alternatives that involve more management, effort or risk, and I've yet to see a boss where it wasn't preferable to alternative strategies. This is exacerbated by the fact that you can refine endless doubles even on disc 1.

Not sure if there's some huge disparity in Tonberry's VIT & SPR stats but I doubt it would upend my findings seeing as they reflect my experience thus far. For testing I had Squall's STR at 97, and Quistis did all the magic related stuff with MAG at 96.

Double casting -aga spells was pretty accurately 5000 every time, 2,5k a piece, without weaknesses. Double quake at this point is a tad over 6k total so quite a bit of damage.

On the other hand, I put the rare +30% sumdmg on Leviathan and that resulted in a meager 4100 damage. I had a +20% sumdmg on Ifrit and that did 3700. Pretty sad.

Renzo did a tad over 600 per hit on average so with crisis level 4 it totals about 4200, finisher on top for an additional ~1500. So with the best CL & a finisher proc you can actually slightly outdamage a simple doublecast of firaga. LOL.

Also tried some different ammo with Irvine. Demolition ammo & AP ammo dealt almost the same amount of damage, around 1000 per shot which leads me to believe the King's VIT is pretty bad. Pulse ammo was 1600 per shot and of course crits for double that, which is exactly as strong as it should be because Pulse ammo is rare, or at least should be. So yay for pulse ammo for being one of the few things(with a high enough CL) stronger than double casting common magic.

It's not like there aren't ways to do more damage than doublecasting by the way, that's not the point here. I'm trying to demonstrate how it's too strong in relation to everything else considering factors such as ease of use, utility, safety, complexity and availability. Most players are going to default to using doubles in boss fights anyways for protection, healing and stuff so it's just always there and costs nothing. It's particularly egregious that even for physical characters it's still better to just gear them for magic and cast away, indicating that the base power for spells is just too great to where it renders even the natural strengths and weaknesses of the characters relatively meaningless. It's just too much of a one-size-fits-all, easy strategy to always default to.

I want to restate that I still think that there's a superb balance in this mod overall, despite long-winded critiques. I try to present my case as earnestly & comprehensively as possible right off the bat because I know you'll make the best decisions based on that information and glean the well-argued and justified points from the ramblings, as you've always done. Spamming magic notwithstanding, I've loved using tons of different approaches for damage. Stepmine has found unprecedented use, and it counts as magic so it doesn't wake people up which is awesome and deals very respectable AoE damage if you're like me and run around a lot. Darkside is always useful. It's so much fun to experiment with limit breaks and they're super well balanced from what I've seen - Irvine's ammo used to be a cut above the rest and Zell used to be broken for people good with inputs but it's all in a fine place now.

Glad to see Rapture still around although a part of me wants to push for it to be allowed to appear a bit more often actually, for basically the same reason as back in the day - it doesn't work for bosses/meaningful fights anyways and letting players have the joy of ending the occasional random encounter instantly if they want is pretty harmless. It's a fun limit but really rare and I've only seen it once or twice(yea I know, I'm at a low level). I just wish there was a way to find a compromise for Selphie where her uniqueness would shine through more even in a low level game without making her overpowered.

Weapon progression has been pretty nice and linear, although some characters are still lacking a motive to upgrade the weapon seeing as many aren't physically inclined and magic is OP even for those who are. I wonder what could be done to make the other weapons more interesting. Maybe they could confer small bonuses suited for the character in question? Like they do in terms of crits for Irvine, and the magazines do a good job of detailing that nowadays.
I don't think I've ever gotten every gunblade in order before. I wonder if there are still ways to break to mold, so to speak - there's always the danger of making things feel too heavily regulated & controlled in the search for balance. A part of me still hopes that there's like some super duper secret way to get lionheart early, just for old time's sake. Not like I have a way of figuring it out anyways though. Adamantite still required for it? I certainly haven't seen any signs of that anywhere.
I'd like to have more reasons to get excited for the different Renzo finishers. Blasting zone has looked like a worse fated circle for me. If the other ignores defence, maybe the other could set a status, give a buff... Or in the case of blasting zone you could go for a thematic approach, like I've always joked about the amount of collateral damage it must cause because of the 1000 mile pillar of magic slamming down, so maybe it could actually have sick damage but also damages your team or something, haha.

Any stuff you'd like me to keep an eye out for?
« Last Edit: 2021-02-15 14:49:37 by Ayoyo »

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #636 on: 2021-02-15 21:07:18 »
Hey there!

Just a quick question:

- The fight with the robot at the end of the missile base mission.. did you add any rewards to the fight if you beat it at 10 minutes? Or does it not matter? (I can't seem to beat him that quick.. I always get to the part where the soldiers come in and then *game over*)
There is no reward in the form of an item, but there will be a noticable increase in SeeD points if you manage to do it in 10 minutes. Another notable benefit when selecting the lowest time limit is that the emergency exit near the self-destruction device will open up to save some time (in vanilla, it will also open up when choosing the second-lowest time limit if I remember correctly).

Appreciate what you did with the mod. For context, I just started playing FF8 for the first time and, having heard of how easy it is to break, I installed this.

I was just wondering if its normal operation for lvl ~25 characters to be facing a boss 10 levels higher than they are? I noticed this when I was up against the first "boss" in D-District.. (start of Disc 2).. And now I'm (presumably) stuck in that Missile Mission led by Selphie with nowhere to grind...

I was wondering if I missed anything.
Some boss levels being noticably higher than party average level is rather an exception than the rule, and usually limited to bosses that appear as common enemies as well, to beef them up a little for their appearance in boss battles. The Elite Soldier and the two GIM52As at the top of D-District Prison are a prime example for this. It was necessary to set their levels a little higher than usual, as the battle wouldn't feel much different than a random encounter otherwise, especially if the player has collected all the spells that are available in the prison (most notably Regen, Water, and Bio).

Grinding at the Missile Base is possible if you blow up your cover or activate the self-destruction device after the boss battle against the soldiers, then heading all the way back to the Missile Base entrance (not using the emergency exit near the self-destruction device). If the Base Leader and the two Base Soldiers are a problem, try inflicting them with the Slow status, which they can't remove (not even with their Remedies) or re-check your GF distribution. Reflect, which can be drawn from the Base Leader, can also be quite helpful in this battle.


@Ayoyo: I think your impression that double-casting magic is too powerful partially stems from the fact that you got full stocks of Double and Pain on disc 1 already, as they increase the Magic stat by quite a bit. Do you remember where you found those two spells? It was definitely not intended to have an infinite source for them that early in the game (outside of the very slow Grendel card-modding process to get Doubles).

As for GF damage being too low compared to double-casting spells, I think it's ok for GF attacks being slightly inferior, to counteract their benefit of usually hitting all enemies. So I guess I would rather prefer making more battles with 3-4 enemies in it than increasing GF base power, to make using GF more worthwhile.

Many of the other points you made are already on the to-do list for version 1.3, such as:

- increased status infliction rate for GF attacks
- some measures to ease progress in D-District Prison
- removing early access to Quistis' Shockwave Pulsar Limit Break
- some more tweaks to certain bosses in Hard mode
- rebalancing Selphie's Slot Limit Break
- more precise hints in regards to complete some of the new sidequests
- making certain bosses vulnerable to more status effects
- making physically-oriented characters less proficient in magic-usage (by reducing overall junction effects one more time)

Quote from: Ayoyo
The fight itself on the other hand is super cool. They have a lot of different attacks and none of them are to be scoffed at. The scan still says that they have reflect cast on them even though they don't initially have it on, though. Diablos also wrecks this fight completely, 2 shotting the Iguions at around level 50. Felt like cheating. I might go back to the save at some point to experiment more. I actually like the thought that Diablos isn't just a miss on bosses(see my thoughts on the utility of GF's in boss fights), but they do need a resistance to it. Not sure if that's possible though given how the Diablos damage seems to be a special case mechanically.
The intended way to defeat the Iguions in the sewer is actually hitting them with their elemental weakness, which shifts constantly over the course of the battle. Too bad you had Diablos at such a high level already. Otherwise, the fight would have lasted longer. Making enemies resistant, but not immune against Gravity attacks is currently not an option. I could make the Iguions react to Diablos' attack with a heal or something though, so they can't be defeated easily by just relying on Diablos (I wouldn't like them to be immune to Gravity attacks, as they would be immune to them during the first encounter as well).

Scan text can't be changed on a per-battle basis by the way; it is always the same for the same enemy, no matter where they appear. I think in the case of the Iguions it just states "Someone has given it the Reflect power", which still somewhat fits their behavior in the rematch, as they sometimes cast a multi-target version of Reflect on themselves.

Quote from: Ayoyo
Anyways, I was surprised to not see a new save point before the Fujin & Raijin boss fight. It's a pretty long stretch to go through the whole balamb scenario & Raijin fight again just because you didn't remember to junction aero & float to elem-def.
There is a save point in Zell's room that can be accessed anytime after talking to the Galbadian Soldiers guarding Balamb Hotel. I'm honestly surprised to learn that the battle against Fujin and Raijin can be triggered without entering Zell's room. Always thought it was mandatory to complete this scenario. Anyway, adding another save opportunity right before the battle should be no problem. I'll also look into the Selphie being absent thing you mentioned.

Quote from: Ayoyo
I think if Odin snuck in some physical attacks every once in a while in addition to the thunder slam (not in stead of it, but a surprise physical all of a sudden in between major attacks) would complete this fight as a satisfying challenge.
Odin unfortunately doesn't have any animation that could be used for a physical attack such as a sword strike. He basically only has his Zantetsuken animation, and even this one doesn't work well with most enemy attacks or spells (Heaven's Wrath being one of the very few exceptions). It's possible to have him use attacks without him moving at all, but it would look a little weird if damage numbers pop out of nowhere, so I'm hesitant to give Odin any other attacks beside Heaven's Wrath. I'll think about it again though.

It is actually no big thing to create additional save opportunities by the way, but thanks for the praise nevertheless :P
« Last Edit: 2021-02-16 03:00:41 by Callisto »

Lunareste

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #637 on: 2021-02-16 02:29:19 »
Not sure if this bug is with your mod or not, but after defeating Elvoret at the Dollet tower I paused the game and went to go eat dinner with 29:19 on the timer. When I returned and unpaused the on-screen timer read 0:00, the menu timer reads 99:59, and it stays that way even after re-opening the game.

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #638 on: 2021-02-16 02:44:35 »
That sounds very peculiar and is probably a bug with the base game, as there aren't any modifications to the fields inside Communication Tower or the timer. I can try to replicate this bug though. At which screen did it happen exactly, and which version (2013 or Remastered) are you playing?

DiscoCokkroach

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #639 on: 2021-02-16 03:01:18 »
I'll also look into the Selphie being absent thing you mentioned.

Yeah, that's a weird thing that's bugged me before in the base game. Selphie becomes unavailable to add to the party from the time that you get full control of the mobile Garden until you enter Balamb when it's under Galbadian occupation. Quistis says, "And, ah... Will you let Selphie rest a while? I think she's exhausted from the missile base mission. She could use some rest."

The weird part about it is, the amount of time between "getting full control of the mobile Garden" and "entering Balamb when it's under Galbadian occupation" could either be laughably short (I think it's literally a straight line from FH to Balamb and the game outright tells you to go there) or extremely long (if you do all of the sidequests available to you at this point: Centra Ruins; Chocobo Forests; Shumi Village; Winhill; might be more, but those are the biggies). And you can even enter Balamb, do the (developer-intended) trick to get out of Balamb by having the kid distract the guard blocking the entrance, and guess what? You can use Selphie again when you escape! I guess all she needed was a nap on the ride over or something.

The way that I always "solve" the problem of not having Selphie available is by just clearing the occupied Balamb event before I do any Disc 2 sidequests. I want to avoid doing anything until I get Pandamona from the Fujin, anyway; that way, I can grind for abilities from Cactaurs with all of the available GFs that I can get at that point.

If I could wave my magic modding wand, I would probably just let Selphie be available after getting the mobile Garden instead of unavailable. It would be one of those nice QoL touches, in my opinion. Even then, though, I would still want to get Pandamona first for grinding reasons, as mentioned above.

Lunareste

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #640 on: 2021-02-16 04:38:55 »
It happened at the screen immediately at the bottom of the elevator, that holds the save sphere. 2013 version.

Ayoyo

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #641 on: 2021-02-16 07:20:26 »
@Ayoyo: I think your impression that double-casting magic is too powerful partially stems from the fact that you got full stocks of Double and Pain on disc 1 already, as they increase the Magic stat by quite a bit. Do you remember where you found those two spells? It was definitely not intended to have an infinite source for them that early in the game (outside of the very slow Grendel card-modding process to get Doubles).
Don't worry, I'm not quite that dumb actually despite my appearances - by saying "I found" I didn't mean to say I had full stacks of them, just that I came across them at some point. So I didn't actually acquire them myself. Meltdown was refinable from that item you mug from abyss worms, and doubles from dragon fins, neither of which are exactly the rarest items around. Turning grendels into cards is quick & easy since they're susceptible to sleep and don't have much HP and they tend to stand out in terms of encounters in that little forest you cross on your way to Galbadia Garden. Leaving Doubles to be refinable is probably what I'm objecting to the most here overall, as it exacerbates magic being overpowered(which it just is), and undoes the marvelous idea of rationing your Doubles and having a set, limited supply of them. 
I had Demi junctioned to MAG, and berserk for STR for the Edea fight, which I believe is not ahead of the curve at all. I didn't even have bio even though I think you could've gotten those stacks too reasonably easily from venom fangs. My STR and MAG stats have been really close at all times incidentally, because it seems the spell progression without excessive grinding or card modding is quite intuitive & regulated in that sense. And I tend to wait until I can draw new spell stacks from monsters or bosses, ensuring that I'm at the expected power level.

Well, if even after my diatribe it's still definitely a-okay for simply casting magics that are as common as common can be to be stronger than all this other stuff thereby rendering alternative strategies kind of stupid, stronger than your Renzos or most limit breaks usually(and safer, no need to dance at low HP), stronger than any physical attack-oriented strategy even for supposedly "non-magic" characters, and altogether the easiest, most obvious fail-safe method of beating every boss because there isn't a single boss fight where it hasn't been superbly effective(strongest even for bosses WITHOUT elemental weaknesses, let alone if they do) or where there's a heightened risk to spamming magic, and be consistently & practically the best, most approachable strategy for the player to always default to, then I've failed to make my case. But I certainly know for a fact that doing anything other than double(later triple) spamming magic with all 3 characters is knowingly shooting yourself in the foot and being sub-optimal & taking unnecessary risks, but I'm going to have to do it just for the sake of variety. Also I want to believe that maybe magic gets weaker as the game goes on, relative to other methods. I will now forever shut up about doubles, magic and shit(no I won't :P).

As for GF damage being too low compared to double-casting spells, I think it's ok for GF attacks being slightly inferior, to counteract their benefit of usually hitting all enemies. So I guess I would rather prefer making more battles with 3-4 enemies in it than increasing GF base power, to make using GF more worthwhile.
Indeed this doesn't really address my issues, and indirectly implicates that GF's are more suited/meant for random encounters, which is just unprecedented in the history of Final Fantasy. No way that's the right mentality, IMO... Unless you meant boss fights? Yes, there are some boss battles with more dudes but I mean... Summoning the elemental god of fire and brimstone shouldn't feel like shit compared to just throwing 2 Firas... See, here I go again. But my initial gripe wasn't with the damage even, it shouldn't be over the top because that would make them TOO attractive an option. The main thing was always about their effects and status inflictions, which is a really nice niche for them to have in the mod! So addressing that in terms of boss battles will fix the entire GF problem and make them more of a mainstay in the player's arsenal.

- increased status infliction rate for GF attacks
- some measures to ease progress in D-District Prison
- removing early access to Quistis' Shockwave Pulsar Limit Break
- some more tweaks to certain bosses in Hard mode
- rebalancing Selphie's Slot Limit Break
- more precise hints in regards to complete some of the new sidequests
- making certain bosses vulnerable to more status effects
- making physically-oriented characters less proficient in magic-usage (by reducing overall junction effects one more time)
Hell yes. This is such a good thing, 2 birds with one stone. More complexity & tactical choices and depth, and making GF's more attractive an option. It does come with the caveat that you're going to have to buff the bosses to where the fights are balanced around the bosses having those inflictions so they don't just get flat-out "easier" when you land them. At least for hard mode it needs to be that way around.
Oof, so you could've still gotten Shockwave there. Pretty crazy, but I'm just gonna throw it out there once again like I've said before, that keep the "overly regulated and controlled" thing in mind. Part of the excitement and fun of these games is somehow, occasionally, breaking the curve and getting some stuff way earlier than expected. Not just talking about magics that are a bit ahead. I'm not entirely against there being a way of getting Shockwave/similar super exciting stuff super early, but it certainly would preferably be something more cryptic than just mugging trifaces. Maybe like a hard-as-balls sidequest somewhere. Something like a more secretive version of the Irvine duel in FH with the guy to get Pulse ammo, that was AWESOME. Only undercut by being able to make endless pulse ammo from card mod anyways... I'd change that, to make said ammo more prestigious, and making the other kinds of ammo more relevant as a result, at least for earlier parts of the game. You can get Elnoyle cards right from the beginning and X-ATMs come in droves on disc 2 if you like card modding.

The intended way to defeat the Iguions in the sewer is actually hitting them with their elemental weakness, which shifts constantly over the course of the battle.
Oh I'm definitely going back to this one, then. This is more like it in terms of magic usage too, because you're introducing a tactical element as opposed to just spamming whatever and it'll still be strong. It would be perfect if the "wrong" type of spell would be countered somehow.

There is a save point in Zell's room that can be accessed anytime after talking to the Galbadian Soldiers guarding Balamb Hotel. I'm honestly surprised to learn that the battle against Fujin and Raijin can be triggered without entering Zell's room. Always thought it was mandatory to complete this scenario. Anyway, adding another save opportunity right before the battle should be no problem. I'll also look into the Selphie being absent thing you mentioned.
Lol, didn't even remember this is where you go to Zell's room. Yea I just talked to the Ma and ran out to find Raijin. It would still mean you fight 2 boss fights in a row, which might be fine but I'm always in favor of reducing instances where perceived cheapness sends people back a ways, such as with Fujin if you don't know/didn't remember she spams air.

Odin unfortunately doesn't have any animation that could be used for a physical attack such as a sword strike. He basically only has his Zantetsuken animation, and even this one doesn't work well with most enemy attacks or spells (Heaven's Wrath being one of the very few exceptions). It's possible to have him use attacks without him moving at all, but it would look a little weird if damage numbers pop out of nowhere, so I'm hesitant to give Odin any other attacks beside Heaven's Wrath. I'll think about it again though.
That's a shame. Well if there's any way you could throw in just a little curveball at some point in this fight, would just make it that much more exciting. It's pretty awesome already but at the end of the day it's just a loop that the player repeats an x amount of times.

Any ideas for the Selphie thing & low level runs? We've talked about it and I know it's tricky, but if you have any ideas, I'd be interested to hear them. Her uniqueness does suffer a bit in my playthroughs because I see some of her spells so seldomly. Also I wanna quote some of the stuff that you didn't mention and would like to hear your thoughts on as potential considerations for future, namely...

While looking for rare monsters, it dawned on me that it really adds nothing to the game to keep running into starting-area enemies around the world, especially in areas where there's also encounters with interesting/new kinds of monsters. I remember seeing some talk about changing some of the more boring encounters in the overworld but this is something I think could still be made more convenient - during exploration, I usually check up to 4 encounters in any given area to see if I run into rare monsters and then move on, but it's actually quite likely that it's not enough and you might still miss them. My recommendation would be to just remove the bite bugs, geezards, fastitocalons, thrustaevises etc. starter enemies from certain disc 2+ areas, thereby making the more interesting encounters more common. I mean you can find those starting enemies all over anyways. I know their drops and whatnot might change with their level but it's not like there's a shortage of places where to leave them.
 
Weapon progression has been pretty nice and linear, although some characters are still lacking a motive to upgrade the weapon seeing as many aren't physically inclined and magic is OP even for those who are. I wonder what could be done to make the other weapons more interesting. Maybe they could confer small bonuses suited for the character in question? Like they do in terms of crits for Irvine, and the magazines do a good job of detailing that nowadays.

I'd like to have more reasons to get excited for the different Renzo finishers. Blasting zone has looked like a worse fated circle for me. If the other ignores defense, maybe the other could set a status, give a buff... Or in the case of blasting zone you could go for a thematic approach, like I've always joked about the amount of collateral damage it must cause because of the 1000 mile pillar of magic slamming down, so maybe it could actually have sick damage but also damages your team or something, haha.
« Last Edit: 2021-02-16 13:22:19 by Ayoyo »

Callisto

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #642 on: 2021-02-17 01:16:09 »
Don't worry, I'm not quite that dumb actually despite my appearances - by saying "I found" I didn't mean to say I had full stacks of them, just that I came across them at some point. So I didn't actually acquire them myself. Meltdown was refinable from that item you mug from abyss worms, and doubles from dragon fins, neither of which are exactly the rarest items around. Turning grendels into cards is quick & easy since they're susceptible to sleep and don't have much HP and they tend to stand out in terms of encounters in that little forest you cross on your way to Galbadia Garden. Leaving Doubles to be refinable is probably what I'm objecting to the most here overall, as it exacerbates magic being overpowered(which it just is), and undoes the marvelous idea of rationing your Doubles and having a set, limited supply of them.
Well, I was just a little surprised at first after you said you found the Pain spell on disc 1, so I assumed you might have discovered an unintended, infinite source for it on disc 1. I'm relieved that isn't the case. As far as disc 1 goes, there should only be one invisible Pain Draw point in Galbadia Garden that does not refill, so it should be completely unproblematic to have it there (Pain is even inferior to Bio damage-wise as a compensation for the various status effect it can cause).

The possibility to farm Meltdown spells in the Dingo Desert is intentional and meant as a way to get ahead of the curve a little, and to reward exploration. Getting full stocks takes long, as the Abyss Worms show up only rarely, so I don't think there is a need to remove this possibility (the Vit 0 status in itself will likely be nerfed in the upcoming version of the mod anway). I agree with your concerns regarding the infinite source for Double via Card-Mod though. The option will be removed to keep the prestige of that spell for longer, and the point in time the Double Draw point in Balamb Garden's library starts to refill will be pushed back to late disc 2.
 
Quote from: Ayoyo
I had Demi junctioned to MAG, and berserk for STR for the Edea fight, which I believe is not ahead of the curve at all. I didn't even have bio even though I think you could've gotten those stacks too reasonably easily from venom fangs. My STR and MAG stats have been really close at all times incidentally, because it seems the spell progression without excessive grinding or card modding is quite intuitive & regulated in that sense. And I tend to wait until I can draw new spell stacks from monsters or bosses, ensuring that I'm at the expected power level.

Well, if even after my diatribe it's still definitely a-okay for simply casting magics that are as common as common can be to be stronger than all this other stuff thereby rendering alternative strategies kind of stupid, stronger than your Renzos or most limit breaks usually(and safer, no need to dance at low HP), stronger than any physical attack-oriented strategy even for supposedly "non-magic" characters, and altogether the easiest, most obvious fail-safe method of beating every boss because there isn't a single boss fight where it hasn't been superbly effective(strongest even for bosses WITHOUT elemental weaknesses, let alone if they do) or where there's a heightened risk to spamming magic, and be consistently & practically the best, most approachable strategy for the player to always default to, then I've failed to make my case. But I certainly know for a fact that doing anything other than double(later triple) spamming magic with all 3 characters is knowingly shooting yourself in the foot and being sub-optimal & taking unnecessary risks, but I'm going to have to do it just for the sake of variety. Also I want to believe that maybe magic gets weaker as the game goes on, relative to other methods. I will now forever shut up about doubles, magic and shit(no I won't :P).
Demi on Magic and Berserk on Strength is indeed quite on curve for the end of disc 1. Still, I don't think that magic is too powerful over everything else if you play the game normally (i.e. leveling up). You are shooting yourself in the foot in regards to inflicting decent physical damage by staying at a very low level. Magic damage doesn't suffer from a rather low Magic stat as much as physical damage does from a rather low Strength stat, which explains your impression of "non-magic" characters being too proficient in using magic. Spells benefit from solid base damage, but scaling with Magic is only linear so they fall a bit behind late in the game when stats are closer to being maxed out. It's exactly the opposite for physical damage - it starts out rather low until reaching a certain Strength threshold, when it starts to rise exponentially to keep up and eventually outperform spell damage. I think this threshold is around 100-130 Strength points, so if you want physical damage to be about on par with spell damage, you need to reach that range as fast as possible, which of course will be much easier if you level up your characters.

Quote from: Ayoyo
Indeed this doesn't really address my issues, and indirectly implicates that GF's are more suited/meant for random encounters, which is just unprecedented in the history of Final Fantasy. No way that's the right mentality, IMO... Unless you meant boss fights? Yes, there are some boss battles with more dudes but I mean... Summoning the elemental god of fire and brimstone shouldn't feel like shit compared to just throwing 2 Firas... See, here I go again. But my initial gripe wasn't with the damage even, it shouldn't be over the top because that would make them TOO attractive an option. The main thing was always about their effects and status inflictions, which is a really nice niche for them to have in the mod! So addressing that in terms of boss battles will fix the entire GF problem and make them more of a mainstay in the player's arsenal.
I meant boss fights as well as random encounters, especially later in the game (2x Iron Giants, 2x Behemoth etc). Even though your gripe wasn't really with the damage, I felt the urge to compare damage numbers against the 2 Oilboyles at MD-Levels, and Ifrit (LV 38, SumMag+10/20/30% learned) outperformed a Fira Double cast from Rinoa (Mag 146, which is around the max she can have at that point) by a slight margin. I admittedly replaced SumMag+30% with the new EXP-None ability for Quezacotl, Shiva and Ifrit, which was probably a mistake. Should go for something else instead, sorry. Anway, the point I want to make is that GF are useful in this mod as long as you invest in their growth a little, also by learning their GFHP/SumMag abilities via items (this is why Silver Mail or Gold Armor appear as steals or sidequest rewards), and I hope the increased status infliction rates will contribute to that.

To illustrate how physical damage starts to keep up with magic at Strength values of 100+, I also compared a Fira Double cast from Rinoa with Renzokuken against an Oilboyle who has both moderate Vit and Spr, and Squall (Str 126) outdamaged Rinoa even on the lowest Crisis Level (4 hits = 4000 HP damage, Double Fira did around 3000). Both characters were leveled almost evenly at level 35-40. Results would be much different in favor of magic damage if both were around level 10 for reasons mentioned above (4 hit Renzokuen = 2000 HP damage, Double Fira = 2500 HP damage).

Quote from: Ayoyo
Oof, so you could've still gotten Shockwave there. Pretty crazy, but I'm just gonna throw it out there once again like I've said before, that keep the "overly regulated and controlled" thing in mind. Part of the excitement and fun of these games is somehow, occasionally, breaking the curve and getting some stuff way earlier than expected. Not just talking about magics that are a bit ahead. I'm not entirely against there being a way of getting Shockwave/similar super exciting stuff super early, but it certainly would preferably be something more cryptic than just mugging trifaces. Maybe like a hard-as-balls sidequest somewhere. Something like a more secretive version of the Irvine duel in FH with the guy to get Pulse ammo, that was AWESOME. Only undercut by being able to make endless pulse ammo from card mod anyways... I'd change that, to make said ammo more prestigious, and making the other kinds of ammo more relevant as a result, at least for earlier parts of the game. You can get Elnoyle cards right from the beginning and X-ATMs come in droves on disc 2 if you like card modding.
I planned to just change the item required to create a Dark Matter via Tool-RF, but tying its availability to a new sidequest sounds intriguing. Elnoyle Card-Mod result will be changed, but unsure about X-ATM092. I mean, 10 X-ATM092 cards for 1 Power Generator are a lot. But we'll see.

Quote from: Ayoyo
Oh I'm definitely going back to this one, then. This is more like it in terms of magic usage too, because you're introducing a tactical element as opposed to just spamming whatever and it'll still be strong. It would be perfect if the "wrong" type of spell would be countered somehow.
You won't get punished if you attack them with the wrong element, but almost everything else besides the right element does next to no damage.

Quote from: Ayoyo
Any ideas for the Selphie thing & low level runs? We've talked about it and I know it's tricky, but if you have any ideas, I'd be interested to hear them. Her uniqueness does suffer a bit in my playthroughs because I see some of her spells so seldomly.
Perhaps, Selphie's weapon could be factored into spell selection instead of Selphie's level, or instead of just a random number [0..4] used in the calculation (see here), but I don't know how difficult that would be. On the other hand, making certain spells like Rapture appear more often would be no problem.

Quote
Also I wanna quote some of the stuff that you didn't mention and would like to hear your thoughts on as potential considerations for future, namely...
- Worldmap encounters: There's unfortunately no easy way to have different random encounters based on game progress, but removing enemies from certain areas is always possible. Now that you mention it, it might be a good idea to remove the Bite Bugs from the snowy areas on the Trabia continent, as they feel somewhat out of place there (they are not just too easy as an enemy, they are also weak to Ice so their apperance in snowy areas is a little questionable). If you have other ideas for monsters that should be replaced, let me know.

- Weapon progress: Making weapons increase other stats than just Strength is likely too difficult to implement, but it would be easy to create a weapon that ignores defense, uses the step count formula, heals the target, or does magic damage instead of physical damage. Making a weapon that turns enemies into Cards would probably work too :P

- Renzokuken finishers: Fated Circle ignores defense and Blasting Zone has a noticably higher base damage, so it depends on the enemy's Vitality which one does more damage. Again, the difference would be more noticable with high Strength stats. I'll either increase Blasting Zone's damage further or make it cause a status. Not sure if it could be reworked to hit all battle participants. I'll give it a try.
« Last Edit: 2021-02-17 04:09:49 by Callisto »

Ayoyo

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #643 on: 2021-02-18 08:06:29 »
Thanks for taking the time to address my concerns.

It's bittersweet to hear the balance issue is a symptom of my low level game. Probably should've had more faith and assumed it was specific to how I was playing rather than indicative of the mod overall. Of course for me the fact of the matter is still that there's the optimal magic strategy, and then everything else. I might be in the more hardcore end of the player spectrum so I'll automatically gravitate towards other options as soon as they get even close to being as practical, effective or optimal overall. So looking forwards to that happening as I go further.

Even though your gripe wasn't really with the damage, I felt the urge to compare damage numbers against the 2 Oilboyles at MD-Levels, and Ifrit (LV 38, SumMag+10/20/30% learned) outperformed a Fira Double cast from Rinoa (Mag 146, which is around the max she can have at that point) by a slight margin. I admittedly replaced SumMag+30% with the new EXP-None ability for Quezacotl, Shiva and Ifrit, which was probably a mistake. Should go for something else instead, sorry. Anway, the point I want to make is that GF are useful in this mod as long as you invest in their growth a little, also by learning their GFHP/SumMag abilities via items (this is why Silver Mail or Gold Armor appear as steals or sidequest rewards), and I hope the increased status infliction rates will contribute to that.
I suspect by the time you'd have the theoretical +30sumdmgs and whatnot you're likely a bit further in the game, potentially nearing where -aga spells soon become commonplace. Of course you could prioritise those abilities but magic is hugely strong already early on and there's a lot of other essential abilities. But interesting findings anyway and it's at least respectable damage.

Also I agree that it should require investment, and I love the added emphasis on reward items that give you those better abilities like +30 gfhp/sumdmg and above. If those were quite rare as well and weren't learned naturally, then you'd introduce a decision making element for that as well as to which GFs you want to make stronger. It would also make you more attached to the GFs suited to your strategy, predilection or whatever. You might choose a more guaranteed benefit with a GF that gives a status the bosses are usually susceptible to(this is what I eagerly wait to be expanded) like Shiva or Ifrit, or you might go with the ones that give buffs, or just straight damage with one of the later ones. You could further emphasize these decisions by reducing their natural HP significantly and maybe increasing the buff from the items.

Regarding other stuff, loving what I'm hearing. I do strongly believe the thing with the doubles and removing energy crystals from elnoyles are both healthy decisions for many reasons. XATMs, well they are used A LOT on disc 2 from what I saw... maybe they could yield the energy crystal? Still a strong item for sure, and with some luck you get the cards from ~20 games.

Selphie's weapon affecting slots... that would be AWESOME. What a perfect incentive to upgrade and unique to her, further strengthening her identity and role in the party. I truly hope it's possible. And better yet is that it would fix the thing with regards to a low level game, to some extent, and you have better control when the slots upgrade since you can control when the weapons can be upgraded.

As to other weapon upgrades, pretty cool if stuff like that is possible and they could meaningfully contribute to the character's identity. Weapon that heals for Rinoa? I'd certainly consider her for the team before Angel wing then, lol. You could form an exploration strategy around "free" healing then, with some commands and that. Quistis' whip sounds like it could ignore defense. That thing sounds like it hurts. Could also be exclusive to save the queen to make it super awesome. And it would make it more appealing to gear her for strength rather than magic and take advantage of her natural stats. I'd like to brainstorm these further if you're open to the ideas.

I mentioned the Renzo finishers because I had a friend spectating my game and I upgraded the weapon to get Blasting zone but as we saw them in fights we realized that they're quite interchangeable at the end of the day. More excitement and variety is always better so if they would stand out from each other more, all the better. Blasting zone is pretty hilarious so the thought it harms the other party members a bit was wild, but it could have other unique properties depending on what's possible. If a status, maybe even instant death for killing some regular monsters if it happens to proc, to make it the best at clearing random encounters, or damage that scales with enemy level (reverse diablos).
« Last Edit: 2021-02-18 09:31:13 by Ayoyo »

Wolvester X

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #644 on: 2021-02-23 03:52:33 »
@Callisto

Great MOD!!!

I thank you for putting a lot of time creating it. I have just finished the D-District Prison area I am enjoying it a lot and it inspired me to start my own MOD. I just have a question.

How did you manage to edit the enemies for FF8R? My programming knowledge is pretty slim so I hope to just create a MOD using the available tools here...

- I tried editing FF8Rs Battle.fs using IFRIT and it's scene.out using CACTILIO but for some reason after compiling it through zzzDeArchive it does not change anything regarding the enemies (Changed bite bugs and Ifrits levels, EXP, AP, HP etc. but nothing happened. It's still vanilla Ifrit and bitebug) Editing files from main.fs works fine though (Doomtrain and Quezacotl tools are working fine). I never had any big issues with this when I was using it for the 2013 version. Help please? :D





« Last Edit: 2021-02-23 04:20:40 by Wolvester X »

Ayoyo

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #645 on: 2021-02-23 11:23:37 »
Can't resist writing a little followup regarding the weirdest & hardest undertaking in my playthrough thus far. Spoiler-tagging the whole thing - it pertains to mod-exclusive sidequest battles.

Spoiler: show
So, X-ATM makes a comeback in Lunatic Pandora! Always exciting to find new bosses, only new one I found before this were the Iguions in Deling sewers. I scanned it and it revealed a respectable 97k healthbar - needless to say, it made me smirk devilishly. This was gonna be good. Of course my enthusiasm was short-lived as I started poking the hornet's nest and found that even my best spells (flare, thundaga) and abilities (shockwave pulsar) dealt a whopping 200-400 damage to the thing. I was certain it had to be some crazy, dispel-able buff but it wasn't. Then I thought it had to be a bug because the whole thing seemed fishy, but I haven't received confirmation from Callisto so I figured [email protected] it, I'm doing this thing if it's the last thing I do.

So, Zell lvl9, Quistis lvl14, Edea 41. First order of business was to figure out how to damage this thing. I have knowledge of very few things that ignore defense entirely, but I did remember step mine dealing a set amount of "true" damage, and sure enough - it worked. Good thing I've grown quite fond of the ability in this playthrough and both Brothers and Tonberry had it completed. Quistis and Zell would spam it, with Edea supporting as the ruling MAG queen.

Second order of business - how to survive through the galactic-level mass destruction the boss was quite liberally throwing around. Initially only Edea had the raw stats to live through Ultima with a shell on, and I think only Zell had enough VIT to last Explosion with a protect on. Pretty crazy, so just for this one time I made an exception and lifted the ban on card modding. I got a Full-Life stack, a Flare stack and Quakes to boost people's HPs so Curagas could be junctioned to VIT, with elemental protection against fire and earth. Turns out that was enough to usually have 2 people live through the worst attacks if I had shell & protect on everyone, and Full-Lifes would be used by Edea to recover. Auto-Potion with Med Data on her was the rock-solid foundation my strategy was built upon.

I have to admit that one wombo-combo from hell almost became my undoing - X-ATM threw the Dispelga - Ultima combo, followed by Explosion, followed by the AoE physical ram attack. An absolutely unholy combo that overpowered even Edea with 4k heal Auto-potions and protection spells, but a Rebirth Flame got me back into the fray. Talk about a clutch save. Haven't seen that thing appear almost ever... Well, it was a long grind and made really annoying by the regular Dispelgas, but a Friendship item hastened the process by quite a bit. Yea I ended up trying out just about every item in my inventory and found one that apparently ignored defense. Pretty great for this fight.

Have to say though, this stuff tends to be the most memorable and weirdly enjoyable for me - you keep trying and trying and eventually come up with like the ONE strategy that's feasible enough to theoretically attain victory, and only barely at that. The reward certainly wasn't worth it, IMO - an item you can get 3 of any time you want via card modding, a card that's been ubiquitous since early disc 2 and a power generator which is yielded by the aforementioned card, meaning it's "outdated" in that regard by quite a margin. But it's never about the reward for me anyways, it's about the experience & challenge, and this was the most memorable one yet.

heromic

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #646 on: 2021-03-03 15:40:06 »
hi. any dates for when you'll post the next update?

and could you suggest at which level the party is recommended to be at some points in the game, like the way you have intended?
example: level 10 at ifrit, level 15 at gerogero, lv 30 at iguions, etc.?
i really want to play a 'recommended' level playing of this mod without being overpowered / underpowered. (right now i'm fighting NORG with squall lv.44 and my ass is being kicked hard... i'm still trying to find strategies to beat it!

MightyMonte88

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Re: [FF8PC-Steam] Ragnarok Rebalancing Mod (v1.2a & v1.1a)
« Reply #647 on: 2021-03-05 20:03:00 »
Hey guys i hit a bug and i'm wondering if anyone can help figure out whats wrong. I have the mod installed correctly, alongside some other graphical improvements. I'm back at balamb garden , looking for cid upstairs, haven't ventured into the lower levels of the garden yet. I'm level 39 with squall, and i'm noticing im still hitting the 9999 damage cap.....i thought that was raised? I'm hitting it by summoning shiva against Bombs in the main garden hallway. I'm super bummed out, i've always wanted to play FF8 without the damage and hp caps...

Ok so i figured out what i did wrong, i had the wrong version of roses and wine :(, i used the version you supplied and shiva just hit for 13k. My question now is, do i have to start a new save game?? Being that i played all the way through disc 1 with the mod only half way active, im really hoping i didnt' miss out on anything and don't have to restart again x.x
« Last Edit: 2021-03-05 21:13:22 by MightyMonte88 »