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[FF8PC - Steam] New Threat Mod (v0.3)

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Sega Chief:
[New Threat Mod v0.3]*



*Note: This mod is currently still in beta and only Disc 1 has been released; consider everything you see a WIP and keep an eye out for balancing issues or bugs.

[Feature List]
Spoiler: show
Stock no longer influences the % of the stat boost given by a spell; 1 stock of a spell acts in the same way as 100 stock, giving 100% of the intended stat boost. This allows players to freely make use of their Magic inventory and allows for setting up for more of a resource management system without sabotaging the player character's stats.

The other key change is that spells no longer have a 'best' stat to be junctioned to. Instead, spells have a hierarchy where spells will give higher/lower stat gains than each other. An example is given below:
Scan: +4
Fire: +6
Blizzard: +8
Thunder: +10
Cure: +11 or +200HP

These spells can only be equipped to the primary attributes (Strength, Vitality, Magic, or Spirit). This means you have to decide which stat is going to get the 'best' available stat boost, and which stats are going to get the weaker spells. Placing Thunder on Strength and Blizzard on Vitality will let you hit harder and take more damage, but it leaves your Magic/Spirit stat with Fire and Scan both of which give lower stat gains.

Restorative spells are different in that they generally provide a hefty stat boost, but are also the only spells that can be junctioned to raise MaxHP. This means you can sacrifice a MaxHP boost for an additional boost to your primary attributes. Status magic like Blind, Protect, etc. function in a similar way but are reserved for the secondary stats such as Hit, Evasion, Speed, and Luck.

As you progress through the game, you'll gain access to stronger spells with better stat boosts and shuffle out your older junctioned spells (Scan will typically be the first to go as it provides the lowest boost of all the primary-attribute spells). The difference between spells starts small at +2, but at higher tiers will grow to +4 and +8 difference, making your junction choices more significant.

This has been changed slightly in that a successful Draw will always give at least 9 stock of a spell, and has no upper limit (up to 100 can be drawn, assuming Magic stat is high enough and spell resistance is low). However, spell acquisition is more heavily focused on Refine/Drops/Field Draws than in-battle Draws; the goal is to make in-battle Draws more of a convenience for restocking basic elemental/curative magic, and less of a time-sink.

It should also be noted that GFs no longer need Draw to be acquired in-battle. The GF will be given to the player following the end of the battle, which will allow the Command menu slot to be freed up for other commands like Item, etc.

Draw Points have also been changed; they now offer a choice of two different spells and once a selection is made this spell is 'locked' into the Draw Point. Most Draw Points are also one-draw only and they are to provide useful spells earlier than they might be freely available or to top up useful magic such as Protect and Shell. It pays to think ahead when selecting what spell to Draw.

The required materials and results for Refine abilities have been adjusted. An effort has been made to achieve a sense of balance and eliminate exploits like infinite Gil, but this part of the mod should be considered a Work In Progress; adjustments will likely be made based on feedback. Some of the refines may be too powerful, others may not be worthwhile.

[Limit Breaks]
Limits have had the RNG removed from their check, meaning that milling turns will no longer have an effect. If a Limit does not proc when the character's ATB gauge fills, it means they cannot get a Limit until the battle conditions change (HP is lost, status is inflicted). This works both ways, and means that if a Limit does proc it will be available even if you swap control to another character and back again.

The Limit commands themselves, however, have not been made harder to proc. Instead, they're much more common. In mods where enemy damage is higher, Limits are riskier to use as they often require critical HP to proc and the Aura effect is very rare in this mod. By having Limits proc at around the 50% HP mark (varies by character and other conditions such as status ailments), they become more like character-specific abilities to vary up your approach to the fight.

Base damage & effects of Limits has been adjusted to account for this, so while they will deal more damage than your standard attacks (particularly if Crisis Level reaches 4 and you throw caution to the wind), they won't completely obliterate everything in your path like the base game Limits would.

Each character has had their base stats and growths adjusted, so that they have some favoured stats and weaknesses:
   Squall: All-rounder, with solid stats; spends the majority of the game in the party so he can be built using Junctions more easily.
   Zell: Effective but one-dimensional; has strong showings in Strength, Vitality, and Speed but abysmal Magic and Spirit.
   Selphie: Glass-cannon with solid Strength & Magic + the highest Speed stat in the team. Durability is overall low.
   Rinoa: Highest magic stat in the party and strong Spirit. Is one of the weakest party members defensively and early Limits are strength-based.
   Quistis: Strongest overall defences on the team with decent Strength & Magic to take advantage of Blue Magic. Is also the slowest party member, however.
   Irvine: Luck-based physical damage dealer, reasonable stats across the board but nothing special. High crit rate thanks to absurd Luck stat.
Weapons have been adjusted slightly, but not drastically. Instead of using a Strength bonus, a base power is used which starts at 20 and ends at 40 for ultimate weapons. Some have crit modifiers and rising/falling levels of accuracy. These three stats are now stated in the description from their respective weapon magazines.

With a few exceptions, all enemies have had their AI adjusted and their attacks unlocked/altered. Bosses have had a more drastic overhaul, sporting new attacks and behaviour. Stats have also been changed as you'd expect.

Random encounters typically have a fixed level, whereas bosses scale directly from the party level with a slight + modifier. This may be changed based on feedback as there are several ways to set up enemy level based on individual formations.

Regarding formations, enemies that appear alone tend to be higher level than the ones that appear in groups.

[GFs, Spells, & Commands]
Base power and some effects have been altered across the board. Some spells like Pain and Break have been given a base power so they can act as single-target elemental damage options for Earth and Poison (they still inflict status ailments, but Pain only inflicts Poison now). Meteor and Flare were also set up with Earth and Fire elements respectively to differentiate them a bit. Elemental/Status junction effects were adjusted; it'll be tricky to get elemental defence above 100% without multiple slots in Elem-Def.

Some statuses, particularly buffs, have had their timers extended so that they don't need to be reapplied as often. This was done because applying buffs can be time-consuming due to most spells only being single-target.

GFs have had their base power lowered, but their level mod is higher than before; increasing their levels will have a greater impact on their base damage (overall it is higher than what it was in the base game). The way in which Affinity works has been given a twist; you start with 1000 affinity for each GF, but this affinity falls each time you summon the GF in-battle. Excessive use will leave GFs weakened for later in the game, but affinity can be slowly recovered by the use of elemental spells. Using consumables will also raise affinity.

AP requirements for almost all abilties were halved and some quality-of-life abilities start off as learned such as Encounter-None (held by Siren).

Some command abilities have been altered to cover gaps in elemental offence for late-game or to provide a bit
more utility. These abilities typically unlock for learning at GF Lv.50 (lower/higher in certain cases):
   Recover: Merged with Treatment; heals 25% HP and has a built-in Esuna.
   Fortify: Adds Haste, Double, Triple; but as a drawback adds Vit0 and first incoming hit will be a back-attack.
   Aqua Breath: Replaces Treatment, inflicts heavy water damage
   Mad Rush: Unchanged
   Freeze: Replaces Doom, heavy Ice damage with Slow + Petrifying
   Shock: Replaces Absorb, deals heavy Thunder damage with Darkness
   Mini-Flare: Non-elemental damage that ignores Spirit
   Judgeray: Holy elemental damage, inflicts Stop
   Devour: Unchanged
   Card: Unchanged
   Galeforce: Replaces Defend, inflicts heavy Wind damage and inflicts Confusion
   Darkside: Power adjustment for x2 damage instead of x3 damage and HP loss is 20% instead of 10%.
   Kamikaze: Power adjustment for x3 damage modifier instead of x6
   Cover: Does not reduce damage when used

[Field Scripts & Dialogue]
A number of adjustments have been made to the game's scripted events and dialogue text.
-) General dialogue revamp: this should be considered an ongoing WIP until later builds finalise it.
-) Small adjustments + tweaks to certain scenes for better facing, etc.
-) Majority of scripted tutorials have been replaced with a few windows of text going over NT-specific information.
-) Restoration of deactivated story scenes
-) Various quality-of-life additions such as sequence skips (Opening FMV for instance can be skipped)

-) Included is a UV fix for the textures on the world map; this should be particularly effective if Linear Filtering
   is disabled in the FF8 Steam Launcher settings (a black line seam issue can be seen if linear filtering is on).

Spoiler: show
[Quick Version]
1) Install Roses and Wine (R07) or drop the FF8_EN.exe in the emergency folder into the FF8 folder.
2) Put all the files in the lang-en folder into the FF8\Data\lang-en folder
3) Read the bottom of this guide for steps to check that game is patched when playing, and also
   start from a new game rather than a vanilla-made save file.

[Long Version]
For an optimal experience, it's recommended to play the mod using the Steam version of the game. The mod is untested with the original 1998 FF8 PC but should work with it; just bear in mind that the original version of the game is unstable on modern machines without maintenance.

The Steam version uses MIDI files for its music rather than the MP3/OGG that FF7 Steam uses. It's highly recommended to download and install Roses and Wine for FF8 to resolve this, it's an Audio mod that replaces the game's music with .OGG:

It runs from an installer. Make sure to have unblocked/set admin priveleges for the installer before running it. This mod also provides an .EXE modifying feature that FF8 NT uses to apply changes to the FF8_EN.exe.

Now for installing FF8 NT itself:
Locate your FF8\Data\lang-en folder; it'll typically be in a location like:
D:\Steam\steamapps\common\FINAL FANTASY VIII\Data\lang-en

*Note that if your version of the game is not in English, the lang-xx folder may have a different
   name. Chances are that the mod will not work with the french, spanish, and german versions.
   Compatibility for these versions can be provided if a user sends me the files for these versions.

In the FF8\Data\lang-en folder, make a back-up of the following files:

These archives contain the enemy files, field event scripts/dialogue, system data (magic, character stats, etc.) and refine values/text respectively. Store these archives in a folder so you can revert to the default game in the future without having to reinstall the game/verify the files.

Once the back-ups are made and stored safely, add the FF8 NT versions of these files into the game's folder.

The next step is to patch the game's .EXE. Go to the Roses & Wine folder (called RaW) and go to this directory:
   D:\Steam\steamapps\common\FINAL FANTASY VIII\RaW\GLOBAL\Hext
Place the FF8_NT_EXE.txt file into this folder. What this will do is apply the mod's executable changes to your executable at run-time, leaving it unaltered for vanilla runs. If this part of the process doesn't work, use the FF8_EN.exe provided with the FF8 NT download; just remember to make a back-up of your default FF8_EN.exe.

To confirm that the game has been patched successfully, make the following checks:
1) Field Script Check: On starting a new game, a 'Welcome to FF8 NT' message should be displayed.
   Other parts of the game's dialogue is different as well.
2) Battle Check: Bite Bugs on the world map will make use of their 2 special attacks; Barf and Needle.
   The Ifrit boss fight will include new mechanics/attacks.
3) Menu Check: In your Refine menus, M-Pebbles should refine into 3 of a basic elemental spell instead of 5 and
   the text shown should be updated to reflect this.
4) .EXE Check: Junctioned spells should be giving 100% of their stat boost regardless of stock, Draw will always
   be a minimum of 9 spells and can exceed this limit.
5) Kernel Check: Squall's listed weapon accuracy in the menu should be 100% instead of 255%.

If all of these checks are met, then the game is patched and should perform as expected. But report any oddities and glitches you encounter (along with any additional mods you use, if any).

FF8 NT is a gameplay overhaul mod that's aiming to rebalance the game's systems while introducing new/revised content. The level of difficulty is intended to be accessible to all players, with grinding being optional rather than mandatory. Random enemies and boss battles have been revised with new mechanics, story scenes are tweaked with some deactivated scenes renovated for use, and some quality of life additions have been made. The central idea to the mod is to make the game a fresh experience but to also make it 'more of itself'; that means trying to maintain as much of the core game as possible but with adjustments to make the different gameplay elements work together better.

Feedback is always welcome, especially now as the mod is still in its formative stages. The current build extends to Disc 1 only, and while initial impressions have been positive on streams there are a lot of issues to be addressed and changes to be made. Any suggestions or bug reports would be appreciated.

Spoiler: show
-) Release

-) Hext file adjusted and now works with Roses & Wine's hext folder
-) HP adjustment for Biggs & Wedge, Elvoret, X-ATM082, and Gerogero
-) Physical damage downtuned for Ifrit, Biggs & Wedge, and X-ATM082
-) Debug routine removed from Tomb of the Unknown King Draw Point

Current Issues:
-) Refine text (and some results) are incorrect/misparsed - Fixed
-) Card Level Lock for Card Mod is not working
-) Squall's weapon accuracy is treated as 255%, even with Blind applied

-) Refine Text fixed
-) Revisions made to card refines (temporary measure as level-locking didn't work imbalances most likely still exist)
-) Restorative/Cure spells now ignore Shell
-) Diablos revamped
-) Multiple enemies revised that were missed in first wave; AI, attacks, etc.
-) Abyss Worm & Chimera modded
-) Added skip option to Opening FMV and to Train Briefing scene
-) Shunsq's controller buttons display mod was added as a variant for the Hext files
-) Revisions made to Selphie's Slots spells
-) Blind status no longer affects Crisis Level
-) Some dialogue revisions
-) Fixed in-battle Seifer line

Current Issues
-) Zell's Duel uses duplicate entries of commands to fill action list
-) Squall's accuracy ignores what the value is set to, so this has been returned to 255% for the time being; magazines still list the 'old' accuracy value

Big thanks to the FF8 modding community for producing their tools, coming up with info/assembly hacks, and maintaining the old/new wiki:
-) Mystre's Field Editor & Archive Extractor/Packer, Deling
-) Gjoerulv's Enemy Editor, Ifrit
-) JeMaCheHi's Formation Editor, Cactilio
-) Maki, JWP & AlexFilth's Kernel Editor, Doomtrain
-) JWP's init.out Editor, Quezacotl
-) JWP's AI Extension for Ifrit tool
-) Alexfilth's mwepon.bin editor, JunkShop

And thanks again to JWP for helping me out with assembly hacks and to Maki for giving info about how the field files work. Thanks to Callisto for advice on using the menu text editor.

Also a big thanks to streamers like Ysangwen, Uprisen, Strife98, Strongbow, Redmon, and others for broadcasting the mod on release; the feedback was invaluable and the support was much appreciated.

Yagami Light:
This looks awesome, I'm pretty sure this is the first mod to fix some of the bugs present in the pc version as well, will give it a try kudos!

Found a bug for card mod. it says 3 Cactuar cards refine into 1 chefs knife while it's possible to refine it with 1 card.
when i refine fastitocalon-f card into a fishfin it took both of my cards while refine even it says that i need only 1 card.
and its not possible to refine 1 fishfin into 10 water, it says i need one but it seems i need more than just one.

I just see there more bugs that come with refine abilitys. need 2 jelleye cards to refine into sharp spike but i get m-stone piece whith one card. almost every card refines into the item it would normally do without the mod.

Sega Chief:

--- Quote from: Yagami Light on 2019-02-21 23:33:09 ---This looks awesome, I'm pretty sure this is the first mod to fix some of the bugs present in the pc version as well, will give it a try kudos!

--- End quote ---

Callisto's Ragnarok beat me to it on a lot of them; I'm a little late to the FF8 party.

--- Quote from: jester1610 on 2019-02-22 00:39:54 ---Found a bug for card mod. it says 3 Cactuar cards refine into 1 chefs knife while it's possible to refine it with 1 card.
when i refine fastitocalon-f card into a fishfin it took both of my cards while refine even it says that i need only 1 card.
and its not possible to refine 1 fishfin into 10 water, it says i need one but it seems i need more than just one.

I just see there more bugs that come with refine abilitys. need 2 jelleye cards to refine into sharp spike but i get m-stone piece whith one card. almost every card refines into the item it would normally do without the mod.

--- End quote ---

Yeah, the mngrp.bin seems to be messed up. I changed the hex, then edited the strings (some were a bit messed up but they seemed to be correct when checking them), checked it in-game, then edited some strings in a different part, and then finally ran it through hextedit again before release to apply some last minute tweaks. Something's went wrong on one of those two steps.

I'm working on correcting it just now but it'll take me a day or two.

Thank you for updating people on social media.

I noticed SB Gamers is streaming/capturing their playthrough of the early build on youtube. Would having more people stream/capture their playthrough be helpful? I can also stream to youtube via simple OBS.

Also, I noticed a couple changes were similar to Callisto's Ragnarok. Would you recommend playing Ragnarok as a precursor to New Threat? Both for balance ideas and the player/user experience?

EDIT: I actually own the old PC release of the game. I could test the mod's compatibility with that version if you'd like.

EDIT 2: I was surprised to see the likelihood of Limit increase. 50% HP to influence crisis level as well as the earlier introduction of timed afflictions like slow-petrification really shift the feel of the game based off what I see in SB Gamers' playthrough. I'm also pleasantly surprised to see how this was balanced, with Squall doing markedly less basic attack damage but making up for it with a limit that often rivals a fresh GF attack (with elemental bonus). That's just nifty and I can't wait to jump into the mod myself later.


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