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Messages - irlite

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Releases / Re: [FF8PC - Steam] New Threat Mod (v0.3)
« on: 2019-04-25 08:18:06 »
Hello. I enjoyed playing through the beta of your mod over the past week and thoughts I'd share my thoughts. Please don't interpret any of this negatively as it's all meant in good faith. I had a lot of fun and appreciate the many changes you've made to the game to make things more interesting. Anything I say below is just a suggestion and if not congruent with your vision of what you want the mod to be I understand. =)

Context for my comments:
My playstyle favours minimal drawing and zero card modding because the former is tedious and the latter game breaking. I do not grind when I play FF games as I find grinding boring. I loved the concept of 1->100 junctions so much I bought FF8 on steam so I could try your mod out. I haven't played vanilla FF8 in years, although I have done a few run throughs over the past 16 years since I first played it. I like the world of FF8 and despite how broken the Junction system is in its implementation I find myself coming back now and again! I was looking forward to playing your mod a lot, particularly to see if it would be more challenging. Having said that, I know this isn't a HARD MOD (and thank the gods for that). Removing Magic, Draw, GF, Item command abilities from the additionals GFs I liked. Whether it's because you have plans for their development or want players to actually utilise the abilities to teach GF abilities I don't know - but I like it! Really liking the distribution of abilities you've given the GFs.

Having elemental/status attack/defence already available at the beginning of the game is a change I really like. Makes it very exciting when you stumble across status magic. Speaking of, I enjoyed having a limited supply of Haste and Double available for use at opportune moments. Kind of made me wonder how balance the game may have been in the initial design were Draw Points and Item Refines the only manner of acquiring magic (I have tried a run through in vanilla FF8 like this, only to find 1 Tent -> 20 Curaga to also make it trival. Really, what were the designers thinking?) Having Mug available early on I really like, because I do prefer refining magic from Items, particularly as magic seems more useful in this mod than in vanilla FF8 for ACTUAL USE.

Ifrit was a nice beginning challenge, the other bosses fizzled in comparison to the bar he set though. Overall, it seemed very easy still with the occasional enemy presenting a genuine threat (Esthar Cyborgs and Armadillos). I wonder if the status bonuses from magic are too generous and should be reduced a little? I don't think so because the length of the battles is perfect. Upping the offense of the enemies is the best way to achieve a better balance I reckon. I'd probably suggest making the random enemies deal closer to 20-25% Max HP worth of damage. It seems in general they deal about 1/10th of max HP per attack which is a little conservative. Getting Esuna early on is a monumental benefit. Many random enemies still seemed a bit OHKOs (those Zu-like monsters on the way to the Tomb of the Unknown King). Limits do differentiate characters a bit, but maybe they came a tad too frequently?

The other main source of ease is that GFs can be summoned very rapidly and they are extremely powerful. I believe Siren hit the Ranaldos in the training centre for 2500ish. Scale back their strength, make them take longer to cast, and they become a bit more balanced. They'd still serve as shields while you're summoning but the risk they may die before the summon is complete may reduce their overpoweredness during boss battles. It did seem like summoning them drew the ire of some enemies which then tried to kill them off. I liked that. I know your plans for compatibility and think that could be an excellent way of approaching the mechanic. I'd probably suggest starting compatibilities off much lower though (400 or so?).

Although I've claimed ease I did feel there was a sudden difficulty spike at Forest Laguna Dream Seq. Numerous soldiers pulling the Gravity Well + Shotgun tactic is brutal. My team mates died and I think I only got through because I was lucky that on the third battle they didn't use that combination. I thought Brothers were good. I died and came prepared with haste, protect and float on a second attempt. Diablos is located after Brothers in the GF screen yet is easily obtainable after acquiring the magical lamp. If there's a way to make it so he's only really tacklable once the -aras begin appearing that'd be good. Obviously the designers intended him to be more difficult than Brothers but it's your mod so do what you want.

Seifer/Edea were very well improved. Edea could probably have a bit more bite to her (love the use of Break and how it causes damage). I forgot to bring the FEW dispels I had to the battle... Eventually their shell and protect wore off because I was floundering around failing to kill them. Even with 4000 HP, protect and haste, I was hesitant to keep my party around 1000 due to Demon Slice. I wonder what this battle would be like without Curaga Junctioned to HP? A good challenge I suspect. I'll give it a go later.
If you're wondering how I got Curaga, because SURELY THIS ISN'T INTENTIONAL AT THE END OF DISC 1, see quirk #9.

1. Junction auto is doing something odd. Selecting str prioritises cure over aero, esuna, and fira for the str stat. 
2. Brothers came with mid mag Refine already learnt. Mid mag ref 2->1 is quite overpowered. 5->1? One of the advantages and disadvantages of altering the difficulty in this mod is that 1->100 means only 7 of a given magic is required for junctioning across all characters for the FULL bonus (really 3, as magic can be easily moved between characters). Given this, I'm intrigued how you will handle the most powerful spells and their availability.
3. Money still far too plentiful. I'm partially to blame here as I did level my SeeD rank up to level 9.
4. Luna tonic cures darkness. That doesn't match the written description or the name of the item.
5. Pain description says it deals silence, darkness, and poison.
6. SeeD test level 7 question 4 asks about how many fires you get from m-piece. Maybe getting rid of these tests is a better idea than refining them though?
7. No exp for brothers fights? Exp for other bosses is given so I assume this is an oversight? Exp following bosses was a change I REALLY liked. I'd even go a bit further and make it so bosses give 3000 exp to force multiple level ups, given enemies leveling up with you is the main source of difficulty in the absence of access to crazy magic Junctions.
8. No automatic Carbuncle after Iguion fight. Oversight?
9. Healing Mail and Regen Ring Refine to 1 cottage. 1 cottage then refines to 20 Curagas. I stumbled across this is Deling City sewers. Suddenly I was a party of level 19-24ers with 3000-4000 Max HP... Enabled me to reliably get limit breaks at 1000hp which is very high given the damage enemies were dealing. I suspect balancing Refine may be tricky at first because of the chains invovled. This is why you have playtesters (and thank you for the privilege). I assume I acquired the healing mail from mugging something in Tomv of Unknown King. Armadillo maybe?
10. For ST-Atk: Pain only 25% Darkness. Blind does 25% Darkness. Intentional?

Anyway, this was fun to play through and thanks for that. I look forward to seeing you develop this mod further and I may even finish a playthrough of FF7 in future using your NT mod, which will mark the first time I've progressed more than 10 hours into FF7...

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