Author Topic: My thoughts on "A NEW THREAT"  (Read 589 times)

burlstorm

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My thoughts on "A NEW THREAT"
« on: 2019-06-22 19:15:49 »
The short version is that initially I loved it, but then as the game went on I started asking myself over and over again, why am I even putting up with this? It quickly becomes a lesson in futility: How much trolling are you willing to put up with?

The pros:

A lot of new content, and a different way to build your characters up. Script improvements etc. New textures, medicine man, save point options... tons of new cool stuff. It's clear a lot of work went into this mod.

The cons:

Wildly unfair battles and unnecessary trolling. Confusing changes and no real documentation for all the changes. For example, where is ultima? What are all these items that never actually go into your inventory? Every time you're expecting a good treasure or a good drop, the game trolls you. It would be one thing if it was a brand new game, but when you're expecting something and you get snubbed over and over and over again it just becomes annoying.

Weapons seem to all universally suck in their own way. Always seems like you're choosing between what sucks the least. Also is hit chance bugged? I'll have 99 attack%, and then miss every swing on a 4x cut over and over again. And steal seems completely busted. I get that you wanted to avoid a completely linear progression in gear... but like... I've been using the same gear for 2 discs because the alternatives are just terrible. Every single "new drop" I get is an objective downgrade to the one before it. It just doesn't make a good progression. It's like when I picked up the pilebunker in the northern cave. Oh great! A new weapon for Barret! I'd been using the AM launcher for like... 10 hours of gameplay. Oh... wait.... the pilebunker has an attack% of 75. Which may as well be 0%, since you miss nonstop at 95%! And low and behold, Barret cannot land a single attack with it. 4x cut misses 75% of the time, and even if it does hit, since it's not a long range item and barret is backlined as a tank... it does 100 damage/hit.... at lvl 99. Like... what??? Why is the end game gear objectively worse than gear from disc 1?!?!?!

Let me start by describing the encounter that led me to write this review:

I'm in the northern crater, what was normally a treasure trove of gear. Instead all the treasures of old have been replaced by seriously underwhelming gear (which is kind of emblematic of the entire mod, instead of getting the good gear you think you're going to get, you get trolled with a potion of something equally as useless.) and the majority of the end game loot must be stolen from the monsters within. I look up that the 'Iron Man' can have a Ragnarok stolen from him.

47 steal attempts with my lvl 99 thief later... no success. 47 ATTEMPTS!!!! FORTY SEVEN. At lvl 99. I'm not even sure this is the fault of the mod, but what on earth is going on here? Does this seem right to anyone? This isn't even counting the hundreds of aggregate attempts in previous battles with this guy. I mean what is the success chance??! 0.0001%???

Then before I can even get a single turn off, the mob goes: grand sword, adrenaline, grand sword. Game Over. His regular attacks one shot my tank, even though my tank has max hp, max defense, backlined, sadness applied, barrier applied and his defending. 9,999 dmg attack that occurs basically every second. HOW FUN!

Now let's discuss the curator in Midgar. I'm using a party of cloud, barret, tifa. Cloud and Tifa limit breaks are both random, and let me tell you what, just about every rng goes to the part of his body that takes 0 damage. As did just about every comet 2 I threw at him. After what must have been 30 minutes, I finally get him down to just the core. Then he does coral laser. It does 2k damage to my party... no big deal, my guys all had ~5,000 hp.... except my party is dead? Does this inflict death status effect or something? Why did my guys all die despite being at half hp? 30 minutes flushed down the toilet. (I don't understand why this happened, but if the Coral Laser ability does indeed inflict sudden death, this might be the worst designed enemy in video game history. To set up players to put in 30 minutes of effort just to be killed because you weren't wearing a safety bit is insane. Or maybe it was a bug?)

The point is, you get thrown into wildly unfair battles that are pretty much a guaranteed 30 minute waste of time, as the enemy's trump card that absolutely must be taken into account (that you also had no idea existed) wipes you out. The mod claims status effects are very important... only that it seems as though enemies are completely immune to every status effect, and you are completely crippled by them. I've lost battles because I ran out of softs after using 30 of them in a single battle. Does Slow do anything? Stop? I've had time materia equipped the entire game, and it seems like the enemies get more attacks off than you no matter what. Doesn't matter if your party is hasted with maxxed out dex, and the enemy is slowed over and over again, they are going to get more attacks than you. Like in the sunken airplace Gelnika or whatever... there is an enemy that can needle your guy and just take them out. He killed a guy, and then before I could even revive him, both my other guys had been needled. Game over! Feels like something equally broken/frustrating happens in every stage of the game. 

IMO, buffing the enemies needs to come with a buff to your characters. It's just not enjoyable when your attacks do 1/10 of what you're used to them doing at a similar point in the unmodded game, and the enemies have 10x the hp and 10x the damage. Again, my guys are level 99, and I'm hitting enemies in the northern cave for ~300 damage/attack on my strength characters. When I try to take them out with my casters, it's the same! Comet2 hits for ~800/comet. Meanwhile the enemies normal attack one shots your tank. Also, the enemies have counter attacks, also the enemies have hidden triggers for other counterattacks. Oh you casted Cure3 five minutes ago? Too bad! The enemy gets three turns in a row!  >:( >:( >:( >:(

Enemies that are weak against poison will dodge Bio over and over again, even sometimes there is 'green miss' text, as if to suggest that the enemy who is supposedly weak against poison would be healed by it if it actually hit.

Dazers don't seem to do anything. Added effect also pretty much does nothing. I had it equipped the entire game with various status effects, they were actually inflicted on maybe 1/100 attacks. It just feels like the enemies have all the broken mechanics and you just have to take the shaft over and over and over again. Then on top of that, when you think that next sweet piece of gear/materia will be your reprieve, you instead get trolled. For all these reasons I have given up. It's just an exercise in sadism at this point.

I do want to thank Sega for all the work put into the mod, and it's certainly not all bad, and some people genuinely enjoy being tortured by a game, but I am not one of them. I just can't handle the unfairness and the trolling anymore. Sorry guys, but I'm getting off this train, gonna live a nice quiet life in Kalm until the Meteor hits. Good luck.

Sega Chief

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Re: My thoughts on "A NEW THREAT"
« Reply #1 on: 2019-06-23 00:33:07 »
Yo bud, thanks for the feedback; sorry things went south later on, I'll address some of your points.

Wildly unfair battles and unnecessary trolling. Confusing changes and no real documentation for all the changes. For example, where is ultima? What are all these items that never actually go into your inventory? Every time you're expecting a good treasure or a good drop, the game trolls you. It would be one thing if it was a brand new game, but when you're expecting something and you get snubbed over and over and over again it just becomes annoying.

So guilty as charged on the documentation. Position-wise, a lot of stuff was shuffled about and for certain things they were either moved further into the game or they were put behind some sort of boss (W-Item, W-Magic, and W-Summon for instance are used as rewards in the three Extra Battle encounters in Gold Saucer). Materia like Planet, Contain, and Shield are picked up along the routes of the game's areas (Crater for those three, but I think Planet aka Ultima Materia can be obtained earlier from the Corel Train section if it's completed within the time limit).


Weapons seem to all universally suck in their own way. Always seems like you're choosing between what sucks the least. Also is hit chance bugged? I'll have 99 attack%, and then miss every swing on a 4x cut over and over again. And steal seems completely busted. I get that you wanted to avoid a completely linear progression in gear... but like... I've been using the same gear for 2 discs because the alternatives are just terrible. Every single "new drop" I get is an objective downgrade to the one before it. It just doesn't make a good progression. It's like when I picked up the pilebunker in the northern cave. Oh great! A new weapon for Barret! I'd been using the AM launcher for like... 10 hours of gameplay. Oh... wait.... the pilebunker has an attack% of 75. Which may as well be 0%, since you miss nonstop at 95%! And low and behold, Barret cannot land a single attack with it. 4x cut misses 75% of the time, and even if it does hit, since it's not a long range item and barret is backlined as a tank... it does 100 damage/hit.... at lvl 99. Like... what??? Why is the end game gear objectively worse than gear from disc 1?!?!?!

The current approach with the weapons was the stat buffs on them rather than the attack damage they offered. But for the earlier parts of the game, it could feel that the weapons were underwhelming when they were acquired like Mythril Saber being a base power downgrade over Buster Sword for a small Magic boost.

The accuracy problem and the damage is tied to the way Level is being modified by the character AI; it was a hack I put in before I learned how to modify assembly to try and rein in physical damage scaling because it uses Level twice in its damage calculation. But it's caused a slew of problems like affecting Steal/Manipulate chance on Disc 2/3 (Sneak Glove/Hypno Crown is needed to have a chance of stealing or manipulating anything in the North Crater and is currently one of the biggest issues in the mod).


Then before I can even get a single turn off, the mob goes: grand sword, adrenaline, grand sword. Game Over. His regular attacks one shot my tank, even though my tank has max hp, max defense, backlined, sadness applied, barrier applied and his defending. 9,999 dmg attack that occurs basically every second. HOW FUN!

I'm not sure about this, it seemed like a huge amount of damage to take with all that mitigation on considering his stats so I quickly jumped in on the current files to make sure and his incoming damage isn't anywhere near that high on Grand Sword:
https://youtu.be/C-XmwYRCv2M
Stats are shown on the party at the end of the video. If you're getting wildly different incoming damage than that, then there's maybe something else afoot.


The point is, you get thrown into wildly unfair battles that are pretty much a guaranteed 30 minute waste of time, as the enemy's trump card that absolutely must be taken into account (that you also had no idea existed) wipes you out. The mod claims status effects are very important... only that it seems as though enemies are completely immune to every status effect, and you are completely crippled by them. I've lost battles because I ran out of softs after using 30 of them in a single battle. Does Slow do anything? Stop? I've had time materia equipped the entire game, and it seems like the enemies get more attacks off than you no matter what. Doesn't matter if your party is hasted with maxxed out dex, and the enemy is slowed over and over again, they are going to get more attacks than you. Like in the sunken airplace Gelnika or whatever... there is an enemy that can needle your guy and just take them out. He killed a guy, and then before I could even revive him, both my other guys had been needled. Game over! Feels like something equally broken/frustrating happens in every stage of the game. 

Most status ailments work on most random enemies, it's typically the bosses that have more immunities because a lot of those statuses would outright bust the boss (paralysis for instance) but I tried to leave at least 1 or 2 on most of them. The FFX Nemesis superboss in Extra Battle for instance can be Frogged which knackers his Claw attack.

Lost Number can be Stopped which is a pretty big one because it prevents him changing (but means you lose a shot at the equipment his other forms carry)

The Turks in Midgar Raid can be hit with the following: Elena: Sleep, Reno: Paralysis, Rude: Confusion. Along with Poison for all three.

Jenova LIFE can also be put to Sleep, but has some special AI behaviour that can trigger while she is.

As for randoms, I think they mostly can be hit with anything except for the bigger solo ones. And I think commonly Slow always works as well, if it lands. It's maybe the case that the level modification is making the status ailment spells less accurate than they should be as I think it uses the spell's accuracy as well as the status infliction base chance.

Some bosses like Carry Armour can't have statuses on them due to their multi-part nature. Or at least, they can have statuses but it can disrupt their animation cycle because they're technically three separate actors. There are times when statuses don't work but there are plenty of bosses throughout that can be hit with statuses.

IMO, buffing the enemies needs to come with a buff to your characters. It's just not enjoyable when your attacks do 1/10 of what you're used to them doing at a similar point in the unmodded game, and the enemies have 10x the hp and 10x the damage. Again, my guys are level 99, and I'm hitting enemies in the northern cave for ~300 damage/attack on my strength characters. When I try to take them out with my casters, it's the same! Comet2 hits for ~800/comet. Meanwhile the enemies normal attack one shots your tank. Also, the enemies have counter attacks, also the enemies have hidden triggers for other counterattacks. Oh you casted Cure3 five minutes ago? Too bad! The enemy gets three turns in a row!  >:( >:( >:( >:(

The characters are fairly heavily buffed from vanilla. They each have their defence stats doubled so a stat of 50 defence will be 100 in-battle (enemies actually do this in vanilla). They also have innates to work with and are getting much higher stat buffs on equipment (though weapon base damage works within a range of 50 instead of 100).

I think the issue is that the mod is creating too wide of a gulf in damage output because of all the high stat buffs available from equipment + the rank-up/sources system. I've seen players hitting anywhere between 300 damage to 5k+ with physicals based on their set-up. Ideally, the lower threshold would be close to the max threshold (so 1500 unoptimised, 2500 optimised as an example).

Enemies that are weak against poison will dodge Bio over and over again, even sometimes there is 'green miss' text, as if to suggest that the enemy who is supposedly weak against poison would be healed by it if it actually hit.

That's my bad on that one, the mod had new .exes made recently and the 7h IROs were given hext functionality instead of using .exes and the assembly edit to make poison elemental damage hit despite poison status immunity was missing. It made the Tseng fight a lot harder than it was supposed to be.


Dazers don't seem to do anything. Added effect also pretty much does nothing. I had it equipped the entire game with various status effects, they were actually inflicted on maybe 1/100 attacks.

Added Effect wasn't altered, so I think this might have just been a bit of bad luck.


It just feels like the enemies have all the broken mechanics and you just have to take the shaft over and over and over again. Then on top of that, when you think that next sweet piece of gear/materia will be your reprieve, you instead get trolled. For all these reasons I have given up. It's just an exercise in sadism at this point.

I do want to thank Sega for all the work put into the mod, and it's certainly not all bad, and some people genuinely enjoy being tortured by a game, but I am not one of them. I just can't handle the unfairness and the trolling anymore. Sorry guys, but I'm getting off this train, gonna live a nice quiet life in Kalm until the Meteor hits. Good luck.


The important thing though when all's said and done is that you didn't enjoy playing it, and what made it worse was that you started off enjoying it and then it took a turn for the worst. The things like W-Item's old location being replaced with a Sense and whatnot was just intended to be a bit of fun poking, but if the mod is feeling like a slog then those probably came across more like a kick in the teeth; so I'm sorry about that and the frustration caused.

Right now I'm working on a final update to rework all the files from scratch; I've thrown out my old level hack and am working more off the assembly modifications I've made. The goal is to try and close the gap in potential damage a bit because the base damage on a physical should never be as low as 300 on a lv.99 character regardless of what they've equipped.

The complaints you've raised are very much legitimate and I've seen a lot of players running into this problem with how steep the balancing can see-saw from one player to the next. Some players encounter it, others don't, depends on how their characters have been set up, even sometimes just the ATB setting. But ideally, what should be happening is everyone's having a consistent experience so that's what my last patch is going to try and achieve.

dumbstrom

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Re: My thoughts on "A NEW THREAT"
« Reply #2 on: 2019-06-23 03:16:16 »
I read this guys "thoughts"  and not to dismiss his  opinion entirely I wouldn't assume he speaks for everyone.  I enjoyed the "normal" mode of new threat mod late last year and nearly 100% it (why I didn't complete it ties into my main complaint coming up),  and I recently have been playing the most recent version on arranged.  I can't really relate to most of his criticism of the mod as I guess I played through it with a different mindset expecting it to be extremely difficult for a non speedrunner or casual player so I adapted to most of these issues and I think the mod is amazing and the only thing that has given a fresh feeling to ff7 for me since I was a kid.

However,
The documentation or resources to find stuff out are almost non-existent and it's incredibly frustrating.  I wouldn't necessarily blame the mod maker for this as I guess it's a massive amount of work but it feels almost impossible to find stuff out.  I found myself scrolling through 100pages of information on the nt thread I wasn't looking for to try and find out maybe what "build" someone would suggest to spend your sources on, or if it's legit to mix and match what you spend your points on(I'm still no more educated on this after 2 playthroughs)  or where an item or materia is located now.  Am I to assume all the enemy skills are the same and located in the same places as vanilla? 
Another big issue for me (maybe linked to my personal lack of skill?) How do I beat a certain boss? "Ok i'll just look it  up on youtube" so I find a video of the boss i'm about to fight(boss before rufus for example)  and it's not even the same boss as the version I'm playing and the strategy they used doesn't work. 
I guess maybe there is an expectation to just work it out yourself or we are just spoiled with information on how to do things in games nowadays, I don't know.
I think it would be great if there was some sort of resource to find things out (maybe even a google doc that you could allow trusted people to edit) for people who aren't amazing players and just want to complete your mod.

With all this said I still maintain it's an amazing mod and I'm constantly surprised not just by how much work you must of put into it but also some of the things I wouldn't have thought possible to change/add so much in the game. 
The game has had a massive amount of attention on streams recently and everyone I've watched run it almost exclusively only had good things to say about the mod so maybe it is just a difficulty issue with casual players after all
« Last Edit: 2019-06-23 03:18:38 by dumbstrom »