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  1. Today
  2. Site is lagging?

    I don't experience the same thing, but I have honestly not been too present on the forums for some weeks. I'll bounce this question to @ninjasdf!
  3. Yesterday
  4. Site is lagging?

    Hi! just to be sure... is the site having a problem? when i enter the site it's more or less in perma-lag condition You might argue that i run a potato, and probably that's not too much distant from the truth... still all the other similar sites i lurk around don't have this problem. Even in case i'm an isolated case, what could be the reason for me lagging when i log here?
  5. Vagrant Story Rebalance Mod

    New site:
  6. Last week
  7. Mod Information & Translation

    A new update is up, this one adding an Item Drop/Steal List to the html folder. Refer to the first post here for the download link. This is a custom-made file that is not available in Tsushiy's original download and is English only. Enemy names may NOT be 100% the same as they appear in game, but you should have little trouble figuring them out over all until we finalize everything. Also until we get the steal messages translated, I've included in the file what to look for to determine if you failed, succeeded, or if the enemy has nothing to steal.
  8. Hi everybody ! So last day I thought again about the growth formula, given on bonus = [current_RX / (C + Lv)] I knew that the lower C is, since it's on the denominator, the best it is for the bonus growth. But, something was bugging me and I had still not found the explanation of this : " just so happens that the amount of raw stats you gain on a level up will be a constant." I made my tests, and indeed the bonus was constant. But how did they think about that ? And why is it constant ? First I wrote the formula in sequence : with u0 for starting_RX and un/(C+n) for bonus un+1 = un + bonus => un+1 = un + un/(C + n) Then I started simulating numbers with sheets, and I noticed that everytime the current_RX had doubled from its previous values, it was when the char had gained exactly C levels ! So, When n = C, uC+1 = 2*u0 So, I thought maybe they designed the formula with having that in goal ! To verify it, I started from the definition of an arithmetic sequence : un = u0 + nR (1) And I applied the constraint : When n = C, un = 2u0 2u0=u0 + CR =>u0 = CR =>R = u0/C in (1) : un = u0 + n.u0/C un+1 = u0 + (n+1).u0/C => un+1 = u0 + n.u0/C + u0/C => un+1 = un + u0/C (2) un = u0(1+n/C) => u0 = un/(1+n/C) => u0 = (un.C)/(C+n) (3) Using (2) and (3) un+1 = un + (un.C)/(C+n)/C => un+1 = un + un / (C+n) Here we go ! Conclusion : The growth constant C for a stat is the number of levels needed to double the raw value of that stat : for example in 1.3, knights have 35 PAC, that means for every 35 levels spent in knight, you double your PA. With HPC = 8, every 8 levels, you double your base HP. I think it’s a nice way to see it when planning characters.
  9. About arrange mode

    It's finish since over 2 years already ^^"
  10. Will be finished someday?
  11. BTBLast Sunday at 5:13 PM Ok, since this is being asked at least once per day now, the current state of the 2.0 beta (see pinned posts below this one) is essentially finished as far as the end-user is concerned. It is still in beta because this current version and many before it were produced by Bropedio, an outside coder with no access to the Brave New World source, and the final version will need all of his work formally integrated with our own. This is a long process that has taken longer than expected. We have no expected timeframe for completion, but the current beta is stable and can safely be considered "final" for the casual player.
  12. How's progress? Are we looking at a 2020 release?
  13. I saw the whole thing and I don't think the problem is the barrier. Your team was constantly getting wipe out because several status effect keep landing on them, maybe you should use some protection against Sleep/Old/Paralysis? Or just change the difficulty to 2 since there's nothing wrong with that? I mean, the main reason why I would choose 1 is for bosses but for random encounters? Nah
  14. Final Fantasy V: Void Divergence - Discussion

    sorry, but I disagree - I don't see it as a bad mechanic
  15. You can't really argue that it's fair or fun at all though- sure, it's the hardest difficulty, but that's no excuse for straight up bad mechanics. Especially when you have to deal with them for the additional content that comes from 99+ void shards
  16. Final Fantasy V: Void Divergence - Discussion

    this endure property is only present on difficulty 1 and for a specific few enemies on regular difficulties.
  17. For example: while in the spreadsheet it's still !Aero. Geomancer also does not learn CQC-Magic as his first ability. There were more abilities that did not follow the spreadsheet, but unfortunately I did not note them down. I noticed this in my playthrough of the previous version.
  18. Earlier
  19. Hi. Great romhack. I've been going in mostly blind on difficulty 1 and expert mode, occasionally checking the spreadsheets to make sure I'm not messing up really badly. My only complaint- why does the HP barrier make it so that it takes at least 4 actions to kill an enemy with 1/1 life bars? This makes fights *extremely* annoying to complete- see this video. Read description for more info, but to get right to it, if you are going to include an HP barrier, that is perfectly fine- but the endure is not. For an enemy with 1/1 life bars (or 2 total, one for the 0/1 and one for 1/1), it should be taking 2 attacks to kill it, assuming you sweep out all the HP with each hit, NOT 4. I had extreme trouble with Exdeath (15/15 LP) for this exact reason, as it would take 32 ACTIONS MINIMUM, not counting any bleed/poison effects I might've had on him to clear 1hp problems, and a fight that goes on that long will rarely ever end in your favor on Expert Difficulty 1 (yeah my video wasn't on expert rules but it was for easy demonstration purposes of frustration). This mechanic is seriously close to ruining my fun with this romhack. I apologize for rambling, but this is a serious flaw.
  20. Final Fantasy V: Void Divergence - Discussion

    what makes you think it is out of date? to me it looks like it has the current data
  21. Changes look quite substantial. Are the .xls files updated with the new data? The classes.xls seems out of date, but I might be wrong. I'm excited to start playing this again
  22. nope, i'll go to pay him a visit. kek.
  23. Final Fantasy V: Void Divergence - Discussion

    You couldn't be more wrong about that. +3 stats per job level do not sound much but they add up fast, and I certainly do not want any braindead 99/99/99/99 characters running around. Seriously, stats matter, a lot. You always have the option of still switching a job which gives you that job's main abilities so you can't lock yourself out of those. Hard is supposed to be hard. You don't need an exact setup but planning ahead helps. Dunno why everyone just jumps ahead to the highest difficulty on their first run, 4 is supposed to be the vanilla-esqe normal grade.
  24. The limit to ability slots is actually a good reason not to limit job levels, since it means that grinding all jobs to the max isn't a huge power boon, it just grants more options. I'm just not a fan of the idea of being able to screw yourself permanently because of things that you can't foresee. A beginner going in blind isn't going to know what every class does, nor which sort of abilities he'll need to beat the game. I'm a fan of the original FF5 because on the occasions where you had difficulties on a certain boss because of your character classes, you could always level another class which had skills more suitable to the occasion. I wanted to try to beat the hack in its highest difficulty level, however it might actually be impossible if I don't level the correct classes.
  25. Nope, those are the final bosses! Grats! Did you beat Red? You can find him in the area west of Bean Valley.
  26. well, finally i defeated Terra, Rosalina and Xion with the precious Oathkeeper she gives 2 times more lol. Is there any other quest after this? Also, to be honest, the more unballanced fights of all the game (i played content version) are in my opinion the ones with the witches in Mushroom Kingdom (BTW, from which game are they???), the team battle i died a lot of times before finally defeat her and the other fight with each individual character was the hellish battle of all the game (for me is harder, very much harder than Rosalina and friends)
  27. I've written at length at this point on multiple aspects of game design, covering a wide range of "do's" and "don'ts" of a vastly complex subject. Today, as indicated by the title of the article, I'd like to take a step back and propose a basic rule of thumb which can give you a basic idea about how well a game is designed without analyzing it too deeply (or, at least without analyzing it from any other angles). This guideline is as follows: "How much opportunity and incentive does this game provide to the player to use all of the tools available to them?" The over-simplified version of this question is, "how many of the options given to the player completely suck?" such as a fighting game with a character that nobody would use unless they wanted to intentionally handicap themselves. This test expands that question by asking why that character sucks - are their abilities simply bad, or are they just bad within the context of a game environment that wasn't designed with their abilities in mind? Sometimes an item or an ability in a game is actually helpful, or at least it would have been had it been given to you sooner. And other times you have things that are clearly designed to feed that monkey drive in your brain just by existing, but are clearly useless upon closer inspection. We will apply this test to five popular game franchises and see how they hold up. Bear in mind that this is not meant to be a comprehensive analysis of how well-designed they are on the whole, but rather how well they perform when judged according to this one specific guideline that is itself being evaluated as much as the games in question are. Also note that the term "tools" should be defined very broadly here to include basically any action the player can take: an attack they can use, an item they can collect, or even an environment that they can explore. Many people go through life embracing the question of, "why shouldn't I do this thing?" but today we'll be taking points away each time a game fails to come up with a good response to, "why should I?" So, without further ado... Super Mario Bros. Arguably the most basic of all platforming franchises, Super Mario Bros. should provide us with a decent baseline of expectations for this experiment. By its very nature as a pioneer of its industry, it will also provide us with examples of evolutionary leftovers from the era that bore it. Super Mario Bros. arose from the height of the arcade age and, in some ways, never really left it behind. Case in point, the supremely superfluous scoring system serves absolutely no purpose whatsoever and sticks out like a third nipple upon even mild scrutiny. That said, there is nothing in any Mario game which exists solely to boost your score (the same, interestingly enough, cannot be said for more "advanced" games like Ninja Gaiden and Castlevania), and so this entire mechanic can be safely ignored. The other vestigial mechanic of the series is its "lives" system, which at least upon its initial release was still quite functional. The original Super Mario Bros. demanded to be completed with either a minimal amount of fucking up or an excessive amount of grinding 1-ups from the only spot in the game where doing so was actually possible. Extra lives were otherwise very scarce, and collecting coins to earn more of them was, at least for the time being, actually rewarding. Throw in the fact that mushrooms, stars, and fire flowers (oh my) were vital upgrades because, again, arcade games were designed primarily to murder you and eat your quarters, and the first game in this long-running series is pretty coherent as far as our test is concerned. We shouldn't give it too much credit, however; given how basic it is, it would be like congratulating a caveman for discovering how to club his neighbor over the head. The second game, or at least the one we got here in 'Murrica, was a complete departure from the rest of the series as many sequels of the time were (bear in mind that Super Mario Bros. itself was a sequel to a vastly different game). Most notably, it introduced an incredibly cool character selection system that would be criminally neglected throughout the remainder of the series and significant exploration elements in its stage design. With the latter, however, we began to see the cracks form in the foundation of the series that would later grow into massive fault lines. Thoroughly exploring the game's "subcon" areas was critical to your survival as it contained both coins, which could be used to earn extra lives, and mushrooms, which would increase your more immediate survivability. The only problem was that each mushroom was applicable only to the stage in which it was found, severely diminishing the incentive to hunt them down in many of the shorter/easier stages - again, not the hugest of deals, but a portent of things to come. Super Mario Bros. 3 saw a return to the basics of the series running directly contrary to an attempt to be more progressive. The reappearance of the scoring system was an overt nostalgic throwback even by the standards of its time, but far more noticeable was the increasingly ripe corpse of the lives system dressed up in its Sunday best and being paraded around like it was Weekend at Bernie's. A game over would now send you back only to the beginning of a world rather than the entire game, not that you'd ever see it given that the game crammed more green mushrooms down your throat than a Dr. Seuss antagonist. Once precious extra lives were reduced from glistening oases in the middle of the desert to, "...if I hear that Goddamn Wonderwall song one more fucking time, I'ma strangle a bitch." Superficial aspects aside, however, Super Mario Bros. 3 fares about as well as you'd expect it to. The various power-ups were the real meat of this game and every one (except that damn frog suit) was a welcome sight whenever you happened across them. In fact, given their transient nature and the extreme rarity of the most desirable amongst them, they became a little too desirable and more often than not ended up being hoarded in players' inventories rather than actually being used. This issue was exacerbated by the fact that they existed in set quantities rather than variable depending on player action. The developers missed a critical opportunity at this juncture to take the franchise's iconic coins, which continued to litter every stage and made half the game feel like a dive into Uncle Scrooge's vault, and attach them to Mario's inventory rather than to the rotting carcass of his seemingly-infinite supply of lives. (Please note: SMB3 will be docked several points for the inclusion of the totally fucking sweet shoe in only a single stage where it ends up being more cool than actually useful.) Not much changed for awhile beyond this point in the series. Mario continued to cling to outdated mechanics long past their expiration date, culminating in a hilariously gratuitous appearance by Yoshi in Super Mario 64 to reward your efforts in finding every star in the game with a load of useless green shit, but they remained a relatively harmless and largely insignificant presence until their eventual abolishment. The important aspect is the incentive to explore the game's stages rather than running straight to the end, which is what these superfluous elements ostensibly existed to facilitate. When probing the depths of every stage stopped being necessary for the sake of survival, the series floundered a bit until it fully embraced the collect-a-thon genre. This issue was perhaps most prominent in SMB3, which presented the player with an amazing world full of secrets and almost no reason whatsoever to look for any of them. Curiously, the GBA remakes of both Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario World addressed this concern with the addition of the "dragon coin" system (present in the original version of the latter, but there was no incentive at the time to hunt them down), but Mario 3 was for whatever reason ported over lacking the one change that would have made a classic game even better. And that's terrible. Score: Fair The Legend of Zelda Looking at just the first game in the series, Zelda scores remarkably well on this test. Every item in the Goddamn toolshed that Link has stuffed inside his tunic has a legitimate and viable use, although a few of them do see an unfortunately small window of application. It would be nice to stumble across the Red Candle a bit earlier than the seventh dungeon, and you may as well not even bother getting the wooden boomerang in the first dungeon since you'll acquire its upgrade almost immediately thereafter in the second. But these are ultimately minor nitpicks in an otherwise solid game. Moving on to the second title, we see similarly high marks. Items here served almost exclusively as keys to new areas, leaving spells as the "functional" upgrades. And again, there are some nitpicks - Fire could have been more universally effective and Reflect could have worked on more types of projectiles - but ultimately every piece of Link's repertoire feels like it belongs there and has something to add to the mix. Moreover, the experience system provided incentive clear up until the end of the game to use those abilities to murder everything you came across. The 16-bit jump to A Link To The Past is where we start to see extraneous elements creep into the game's design. Link's inventory is larger now than ever before, and at least some of this shit should probably have been cut from the final product: the Magic Cape was just a redundant version of the Cane of Byrna, red and green potions had no reason to exist alongside the clearly-superior blue ones, and not one but three different spell medallions that each killed every enemy on-screen was just a wee bit excessive. Now, the potions might not have been an issue if it weren't the biggest design misstep in this installment: completely ruining the economy. Collecting rupees became excessively trivial in this game, rendering it invalid as a balance mechanic (i.e. purchasing cheaper red or green potions instead of the more expensive blue ones) and reducing any attempt to reward the player with financial gain to "thanks, I hate it." Hyrule's busted economy would persist through its next several games and would remain arguably the biggest flaw of the series for quite some time. While Link's Awakening and Ocarina of Time both had a few items that mostly sat in your inventory and took up space, by far the absolute most useless thing in both games was the mountain of rupees burning a hole in your pocket because you had nothing to spend it on. The creators even seem to be aware of this issue between the snarky messages from rupee chests in Link's Awakening and the crowning insult of rewarding the player for finding every gold skulltula in Ocarina of Time with an infinite supply of money which was, by that point in the game, literally useless. The closest that the series ever got to putting its economy back on track was the Oracle games, by which I mean that there was actually a decent amount of stuff to buy and rupees weren't being handed out to players like free candy from the back of Jared Fogle's van. The Oracle games are also a welcome return to form with regard to their deliberately purposeful inventory and are especially notable for featuring upgrades to several items that seem to arrive just around the time that you're starting to wonder why you're even carrying the damn things around. Oracle of Seasons and Oracle of Ages both very clearly had their fingers on the pulse of what makes the series tick and combined the best elements of all of the games which preceded them while simultaneously learning from their mistakes. It's because of this that I choose them both to represent the Zelda franchise as a whole to render my final verdict. Score: Great (but Adam Smith would like a word) Mega Man The Mega Man fanbase is firmly divided between two types of players: those that insist on playing through as much of the game as possible using just the regular gun and those that have fun looking for opportunities to use the other weapons. While this article is written from the perspective of the latter camp, the existence of the former tells us a great deal about the design of the series and the unique challenges it faces as a result. More specifically, we must view the ability to play through the game's stages in any order - a staple of the Mega Man franchise - as one of the tools available to the player. Bearing this in mind, its design flaws become readily apparent. The stages are designed to be played in any order and this is reflected in their difficulty; each one is potentially the first one to be tackled and thus must be winnable without the benefit of any weapons other than your basic pea-shooter. This has the negative impact of providing little incentive to the player to experiment with their new weapons aside from the novelty value. Contrast to the Ninja Gaiden or Castlevania games, wherein subweapon use was greatly beneficial in preserving your health and, ultimately, surviving. A key factor in this discrepancy is the noticeable generosity that the Mega Man series has with health refills: were Mega Man's health pellets (which is to say nothing of E-Tanks) as uncommon as Ninja Gaiden's potions or Castlevania's wall chicken, there would be a far greater incentive to use all of the tools at your disposal in order to mitigate damage intake. Looking to the primary use of Mega Man's secondary weapons, we see a game that largely seeks to invalidate its own structure. Exploiting the weaknesses of robot masters to the weapons obtained from the others effectively trivializes every boss fight beyond the first in a typical Mega Man title, which in turn reduces the ability to play through the game's stages in any order to a simple decision as to which one to play first, with the rest of the order being dictated by the "weakness loop"(*). Mega Man 3 was the first - and only - title in the series to attempt to break away from this by having two loops joined together by a single robot master with multiple weaknesses, and this increasingly-stagnant series would stand to benefit from further exploration of this concept. (*Yes, the game becomes more interesting if you play the stages in a wacky order and don't exploit boss weaknesses, but I've said before that self-control is a terrible thing to balance your game around. There's nothing wrong with encouraging self-imposed challenges in your game, but you must provide the player with a tangible metric by which to do so.) A much more interesting take on the Mega Man formula would see each boss possessing minor weaknesses to several weapons as opposed to a debilitating weakness to a single one. This would change the flow of the battle drastically depending on which weapon was used due to the different behavior of each one and allow for a far greater variety of potential viable routes through the game. As for the stage design, some games in the series experimented with diverging paths within levels or optional exploratory elements that required certain weapons to proceed, but neither idea had the (apparent) intended result of promoting different routing choices since neither focused directly on strengthening that core concept. Instead, the design would have done better to focus on a dynamic difficulty curve with each stage posing greater hazards the later in the order it was attempted - and, thus, the more equipped you were to handle it. Score: Poor (Great with a few tweaks) Metroid Unsurprisingly, Metroid beats out pretty much any other game series out there when graded on this scale given that it's almost unfairly biased toward Metroid's core design concepts. Metroid games are specifically designed around the tools given to the player as a means of both progression and gameplay. This seamless integration makes every upgrade feel far more meaningful as a result with the only real downside being that the scavenger-hunt nature of the series makes finding your 50th missile pack feel a little like opening up a treasure chest full of soiled linens. So, really, what more is there to say here that I didn't already say in the article I wrote about Super Metroid? Well, games in the series tend to be somewhat on the easy side when played through casually, only revealing their true sadistic colors to players who attempt challenge runs. A low% run, wherein the player attempts to complete the game with as few items as possible, tends to see some fairly ingenious use of the items which are collected. Alas, this shoves all of Samus's other items by the wayside along with the equally ingenious tricks that can be pulled off with them simply because there's just no reason in any potential run of the game for those tricks to be used unless you're just screwing around. In short, if I had to find a failing with Super Metroid based on the criteria at hand, it would be that it's not a more robust version of itself. Enter the internet. Something that has become increasingly popular in the hacking scene are randomizers: programs which, well, randomize various aspects of a given game to generate virtually infinite replayability from a game that many players have beaten hundreds of times over by this point. They tend to be hit or miss, depending on the game in question. For example, Final Fantasy VI is an absolute mess of a game, and one of the more popular randomizers out there takes it and turns it into... well, an even bigger mess. There's no accounting for taste, I suppose. But something like Metroid, on the other hand? Samus is practically begging for it. If you love Super Metroid (and who doesn't?), definitely consider giving the randomizer a spin the next time you've got a hankering to play. And if you also like Zelda, you're in for a real treat. Due to an incidental compatibility between the SRAM usage by the ROMs for both games, it turned out to be possible to combine them into a single game, randomizing items from each throughout both games. And yes, I'm aware that what was supposed to be an examination of the Metroid series devolved into me shilling a fan product, but it's something I wanted to get around to sooner or later and it's not like I had much else to say here. (Also, you should play AM2R. It's fucking amazing.) Score: Excellent (guitar riff) Final Fantasy Obviously, we had to cover this one. I mentioned before when I touched on the concept of this test that the average JRPG would score miserably and if you've read everything I've written prior to this point you'll have a pretty good idea as to why. The issue certainly isn't the lack of options - if anything, you have way too many of them. Rather, there is simply no reason to not just pick the most powerful attack you have and spam it ad nauseam. Although by no means unique in this regard, Final Fantasy VI remains a notable offender due to the sheer excess of clearly superfluous options it provides. As I discussed at length in my article on boss fight design in RPGs, the complexity of combat in most JRPGs rarely progresses beyond, "hit the bad guy until he dies, stopping to heal thyself as necessary." Other options are indeed universally present - buffs for your characters, status debuffs for your enemies, or weaker attacks that might prove more beneficial if used under the right circumstances - but rarely if ever did any of them prove to be useful. Debuffs in particular are a subject I've elaborated on in the past, and their ubiquitous shittiness can be summarized thusly: they don't work on anything you'd actually want to use them against. Thus, the opportunity to utilize these options exists only on enemies for which there is absolutely no incentive to do so. Again, this is where Final Fantasy VI breaks away from the rest of the pack and stands out as a glorious example of what not to do seeing as several of its bosses are, in fact, vulnerable to status effects. Now, this might sound like a good idea at first - which it almost is - except that the majority of FF6's statuses will not merely weaken but will rather completely shut down whatever you use them on. There's a difference between an intelligent player effectively using the tools available to them in order to make a difficult challenge easier to overcome and a tool which destroys that challenge altogether. This highlights a significant issue with such abilities in RPGs. Seeing as they are tactical affairs rather than action-based platformers, their skills generally do not require quick thinking or reflexes in order to use. Implemented poorly, they're simply an "automatic win" button that the player merely needs to remember exists and think to use. Ideally, their use would be contingent on at least some degree of forward setup and planning and/or would render the battle easier rather than free. However, that requires careful consideration and battles designed specifically around the concept, so it's very easy to see why most RPGs simply go the route of status debuffs only being effective against trash mobs. So, coming back around to the original question: does Final Fantasy VI provide both opportunity and incentive to use abilities that, in any other JRPG, would have been completely ignored? Yes, it does, but the lack of careful design around this decision makes the result worse than if they hadn't tried at all. By allowing certain options to be so over-effective that there becomes little sense in trying any other option, you ultimately end back up at the same point where you started. Final Fantasy VI scores technical points on this front, thus proving that this litmus test is not without its flaws. Score: Abysmal Conclusion And there we have it: five popular game franchises judged by a single metric that hopefully provides some insight about how well their designs work. There are several other game series( that I'd like to visit in a potential follow-up to this article: Castlevania, Ninja Gaiden, and a different RPG series that might shine a better light on the genre than today's selection did. But for now, this article about a quick and easy way to tell how well a game is designed is already, ironically, one of the longest and hardest (giggity) that I've ever written. I'd like to thank the various communities that keep reading these articles and whose encouragement helps keep them coming. I honestly can't think of a better reward for my efforts than to have played a part in inspiring so many of you. (Well, besides the groupie sex.)
  28. Final Fantasy V: Void Divergence - Discussion

    Since you have only a few ability slots to use at a time it is kinda hard to screw yourself over, plus you get a few abilities just for being in a certain job; and if you want to play a caster and then spent all 30 levels on melee jobs that is entirely on yourself, really. Character levels do very little here; a bit HP,MP and damage multiplier, all three you also gain from jobs. And the effect of level on those falls off hard around 30. The final boss iis meant to be fought around 35.
  29. Interesting. Do you think you could make MP regen be a set % of the unit's max MP instead? Seems like it would be more balanced and scale better throughout the game.
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