Final Fantasy VI: Brave New World 2.0.0

   (3 reviews)

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About This File

By far my most ambitious project to date, Brave New World began as a joint effort between myself and a coder by the name of Synchysi to completely overhaul perhaps one of the most beloved entries in the long-running Final Fantasy series. It's since grown into a massive community project that's exceeded every expectation I could have possibly dreamed of. The end result is the product of hundreds upon thousands of man-hours from dedicated fans and something I am extremely proud to have been a part of.

Brave New World features...

  • Individualized spell lists and multiple stat growth options for each character
  • Re-coded formulas that promote diversity and allow stats to function as they should
  • Completely re-balanced equipment, items, spells, and skills - and brand-new enemies to use them on
  • Fixes for all major (and most minor) bugs along with a vast multitude of quality-of-life enhancements
  • ...much more!

But even though much has changed, I think one player put it best when he wrote, "...the goal seems to be to celebrate what makes FFVI the game it is, rather than undoing it and making an entirely new game out of it." Beyond all else, Brave New World is everything I feel that Final Fantasy VI could have been had Squaresoft had all of the time and resources available to them that we have today. And now, thanks to the efforts of the amazing community that has grown around this mod, it finally has the chance to be exactly that.


What's New in Version 2.0.0   See changelog

Released

 • Repurposed the Auction House in Jidoor as an "Advanced" Beginner's School

 • Completely rewrote enemy AI with a heavy focus on more predictable behavior in random encounters that
   should be easier to exploit and more interesting/dynamic boss battles

 • Lowered the HP of many enemies and several bosses who were deemed to have more than necessary

 • Added a minimum number of steps between battles, slightly lowering the overall rate

 • Increased the pace of combat by doubling ATB fill speed during "empty" downtime

 • Running from battle is no longer substantially more difficult than in vanilla

 • Non-standard random encounters (back/side/pincer attacks) are more likely, but your party is now able
   to react faster to them and physical damage is no longer increased from behind

 • The "Defend" and "Row" commands now only consume half of a turn

 • Can now swap out weapons/shields in combat, but it costs half a turn per hand

 • When swapping equipment in battle or leaving the "rage" status, only previously-inherent statuses are
   now stripped
(instead of all of them); maximum HP/MP (from equipment) is now also updated

 • Green Cherries will now cancel any action that the target has queued

 • Greatly improved how the game handles resistance to multi-elemental attacks

 • Mug no longer ignores special weapon effects, but the attack will now miss if steal fails

 • Allies at non-critical HP can now only be covered when they are in the back row

 • The "rflect" status now behaves like "image" instead of being on a timer

 • Updated the "Status Display" hack to include "cycling" auras and be more intuitive

 • Status-setting attacks now provide more feedback if that status attempt fails

 • White/Black/Grey magic will now display their "dot" when used in battle

 • Can now toggle between "max HP" and "ATB" view in battle by holding Select

 • Shops can now display the "full" stats of of equipment prior to purchase

 • The Rage and Dance menus now display the attacks of each rage/dance

 • Combined the equip and relic menus into one screen (includes full item descriptions)

 • Replaced "Relic" in the main menu screen with a shortcut to the party overview screen

 • Redesigned the status display screen and clarified certain terms

 • Redesigned the "Earth" and "Dark" (AKA "Poison") icons in extended equipment descriptions

 • Removed the unique item counter at the bottom right of the info panel in the inventory screen as it
    was taking up space and sometimes causing text overlap

 • Characters who join later in the WoR are now re-averaged to higher levels

 • Lowered character HP/MP growth at high levels

 • Tweaked the base stats for several characters, most notably buffs to all of Gau's attack stats

 • Edited the Vigor/Stamina damage variance reduction formula to have a better effect at higher values

 • Updated the Regen formula to rely more heavily on a character's stamina than on their maximum HP

 • Reverted the formula for poison damage to vanilla settings for player characters while enemies now
   take substantially more damage from it

 • Simplified how evasion works for magical attacks; rather than a hitrate, the Printme now just lists
   the relevant evasion stat
(stamina or m.evade) for attacks that can be avoided

 • Changed who learns which spells (and when) again, mostly the grey ones

 • Swapped the locations of Crusader and Alexandr with the latter now behind a cash gate instead of the
   former's old boss gate; also swapped their users, EL/equip bonuses, and moved Demi/Quartr to Crusader

 • Raised Zoneseek's EL bonus to Magic +1/MP +20 (MP was only +15 before)

 • Swapped the equip bonuses on Carbunkl (now Auto-Regen) and Starlet (now +25% MP)

 • Adjusted the MP costs of many spells, summons, and lores - notably, there is now a much bigger price
   gap between the two water lores and Blow Fish no longer has an MP cost

 • Bad Breath no longer sets Sap (Blaze and Raze still do)

 • Blaze is now fire/wind elemental (was just fire)

 • Raze is weaker (power: 90 -> 75) and now fire/wind elemental (was fire/"dark"; see below)

 • Re-branded the "poison" element as "dark" and reworked its line of spells to be more useful

 • Per the above, Merton is now a fire/"dark" spell (instead of fire/wind)

 • Break and Quake are both slightly (exactly 1/9 each) stronger, but also more expensive (see above)

 • Mute is no longer multi-target, but is more effective than before due to resistance being much less
   common and enemies using spells more frequently

 • Scan is now a free action and can no longer trigger enemy counter-attacks

 • Edited several esper summons, notably buffs to Maduin and Bismark and Stray now revives allies

 • Major changes to Blitz: stamina options are stronger, but only physical blitzes now ignore defense

 • Several Bushido changes: stamina(ish) options are weaker and only Dispatch/Dragon now ignore defense

 • Made changes to (or that affect) most Rages, including giving Gau a better healing rage (Soldier)
   right out of the gate and balancing end-game physical damage around 3x damage bonuses instead of 4x

 • Edited several Dance steps (most of which are also Rage attacks)

 • Changed the 3/16 step on Earth Blues to Wind Slash (was Cave In)

 • Rebalanced the main winning Slot spins: Blackjack is still the strongest against most foes, Solitaire
   is now the weakest since it also blinds your opponents, and Trifecta
 (3 chocobos) is your sap-setter

 • The 7-7-7 Slot spin now both revives fallen allies AND heals live ones, but its power is now slightly
   lower
(10 -> 7) than a losing spin

 • Raised the power of all vigor-based Tools

 • The Bio Blaster is no longer for sale until after the Battle of Narshe (see below)

 • The Flash is weaker (power: 75 -> 60) as the Blind status is now more effective

 • The upgraded Autocrossbow now has perfect accuracy (in addition to being 50% stronger)

 • Set Ninja Stars to maximum ultimate power (were previously 240)

 • ??? is now slightly weaker on average, but now ignores defense

 • Desperation attacks no longer set Slow (they still set Sap)

 • Elixirs now remove most bad statuses (as a Remedy would)

 • Edited the wares of most shops, pushing back the availability of some items, making others available
   sooner, and
(most notably) fixing instances of items becoming unavailable at certain points

 • Renamed several pieces of equipment; also swapped the names of the Dali and Monet Brushes

 • Removed several pieces of equipment

 • Reworked the stat boosts on elemental blades and shields to all provide magic bonuses

 • The Scimitar and Falchion now enable counter-attacks to encourage pairing them with other weapons

 • The Demonsbane no longer deals Holy damage so that it doesn't beat out the Avenger vs. undead foes

 • Slightly lowered the attack of (-5) and Vigor boost on (-2) the Valiance

 • The earlier claws are now available sooner and the later ones are stronger

 • Changed the random spellcasts on the Spirit Claw (Stop -> Slow) and Frostgore (Doom -> Ice)

 • Overhauled the "magical" katanas: stat boosts are now +Spd/+Stam (stamina is now the "common" stat on
   all katanas)
, the Ichimonji(/Nodachi) is improved, and the "wind" blade attacks are now stamina-based

 • Reworked the stat boosts on Shadow's ninja daggers to compliment the above-mentioned katana changes

 • Added the "strong vs. flying foes" property to the Kunai and Ninjato

 • The Kusarigama has been reworked into a Zozo-era anti-human ninja weapon that can also set Stop/Slow

 • Overhauled Setzer's "casino" weapons: removed all stat boosts, "always hits" (except from Dice), and
   the ability to dual-wield darts in favor of making them better weapons

 • Rods are more expensive (especially the Doomstick) and only the basic elemental ones can be broken

 • Larger rods (Quartrstaff and higher) now all possess physical evasion only

 • Lowered the attack on the Punisher (180 -> 150) as it was too strong when dragooning

 • Added a new Colosseum-exclusive weapon for Strago/Relm that's basically a one-handed Mutsunokami

 • Brushes now hit twice to increase the likelihood of random spellcasts (lowered attack to compensate
   for the extra "damage")
; also added magic evasion (10) to all brushes and reworked their stat boosts

 • The Ross Brush now randomly casts Rflect (instead of Haste)

 • The Magic Bone (a formerly hidden/theft-exclusive weapon for Gau) can now be won at the Colosseum

• The Morning Star is stronger (attack: 100 -> 125) and is now usable only by Celes and Terra

 • The Chainsaw now "cleaves" on insta-kill procs, thus preventing counter-attacks

 • Anti-undead weapons now use the "X-kill" animation (which also prevents counter-attacks)

 • Adjusted the prices of a lot of store-bought armor: the Light Robe and many early-game upgrades are
   all cheaper, while a few key items
(namely the Oath Veil) are more expensive

 • Slightly adjusted the stats of several helmets and suits of armor, most notably a +10 magic defense
   increase for the Magus Hat/Circlet and +5 to physical defense for all "heavy" armor from Gold onward

 • Relm now comes equipped with the Memento Ring (it's no longer hidden)

 • Strago no longer comes equipped with a Magus Hat

 • The Royal Jacket no longer blocks fire damage

 • Removed the +25% MP buff from the Minerva and added it to the Radiant Gown

 • Bandanas and the Mirage Vest can now be equipped by anyone (instead of just "light" armor users)

 • Umaro can now equip the Skull Cap (it's the only helmet he can use)

 • Gogo can no longer wear robes (he must wear hides or vests)

 • The Hero Shield now sets inherent sap (instead of condemned) until the curse is lifted

 • A certain piece of hidden armor has slightly less defense (-5/-5), but now halves Bolt/Wind damage

 • Reworked the coverage of status protection relics; most notably, the Ribbon now only blocks instant
   death
(it is now the only relic to do so), Stop, and Pertrify

 • Relics which grant statuses at critical health can now trigger again if the wearer dies

 • It is no longer impossible to revive a character who dies while wearing a Ghost Ring

 • Raised the physical evasion of the Sprint Shoes and the magic evasion of the Magic Cube

 • Lowered the defense of the Guard Ring and added magic defense; did the opposite for the Wall Ring

 • Removed both evasion boosts from the Back Guard and raised both defense stats to 20 (from 10)

 • Removed +7 Magic bonus from the Gem Box and the +7 Vigor boost from the Soul Box

 • Added stat boosts to the Storm Belt (+5 Spd) and Blizzard Orb (+5 Stam); also modified their in-game
   descriptions to be less cryptic about what they do 
(specifically their +25% damage properties)

 • Altered the wording of all +25% damage bonuses to clarify that they affect both damage AND healing

 • Changed/moved the contents of many chests, including adding the Dice to a WoR chest (so that they are
   no longer missable)
as well as the Viper Darts (formerly a Colosseum-exclusive)

 • Changed several enemy steals; bosses now hold (common) theft-exclusive items instead of rare items

 • Changed many trades at the Colosseum and replaced the more obnoxious opponents with easier ones

 • Modified the enemy encounter structure to make certain foes less difficult to find on the Veldt; all
   missable
(WoB) formations can now be found on Triangle Island and the Grenade Forest (near the Veldt)

 • The "Leap" command is now disabled if all rages in an enemy formation are already known

 • Changed the names of many enemies and their special attacks; also edited their attack animations to to
   make them more closely match what they're supposed to be

 • Removed or changed many enemy elemental resistances/weaknesses that felt unintuitive or made no sense

 • Overhauled enemy status resistances: only the "major" ones (Sleep, Muddle, Bserk, Stop, Petrify, and
   instant death)
are now commonly resisted while the others are (almost) universally effective

 • Improved standardization of enemy stats, namely defense (both types), evasion, and speed

 • Reworked enemy/boss MP values: fewer enemies have MP at all, but those who do now use it frequently
  
(see "Mute" notes above) and may behave differently if they lose too much of it

 • Re-tuned experience and GP drops to be more fitting with the enemies that drop them; most notably,
   bosses now award experience - and consequently a good deal of esper xp, to boot

 • Made a small improvement to the option to disable experience gains from battle

 • Changed how fallen allies are replaced between tiers in the final battle

 • Characters in MagiTek armor now attack with Tek Laser instead of elemental beams

 • Heal Force now revives dead allies in addition to restoring HP to live ones

 • Added an "unequip" NPC to the scenario select screen

 • Shadow is now cheaper to hire in Kohlingen (3,000 GP -> 1,000)

 • Made quality of life changes to several dungeons

 • Battles in the Narshe mines (WoB) now maintain the area's BGM

 • "Searching For Friends" now only plays when you are aboard the Falcon

 • Shortened the unnecessarily lengthy Aero/Mutsunokami animation

 • Phunbaba should no longer sometimes remove only one character from your party

 • N. Cross can now only freeze a maximum of two characters

 • Mind Blast now respects stamina, but gets an extra attack (4 -> 5) to compensate

 • Lifeshaver now respects the "float" status and is no longer reflectable

 • Glare and Blow Fish are now physical attacks and thus respect the "clear" status

 • The "clear" status is no longer removed if the target absorbs a spell with Runic or by ground-based
   attacks missing floating targets

 • The "clear" status is now properly lifted by spells cast from rods used as items in battle

 • The "Morph" and "Imp" statuses no longer affect (non-fractional) healing items

 • Items are no longer consumed in battle if the user dies or is disabled before they go off

 • Brushes and healing items now properly re-target if the intended target dies

 • X-Fight now re-targets if the first attack kills the original target, can now properly yield critical
   hits
, and no longer bypasses "cover"

 • Jump no longer disables (most) special weapon effects (most notably the Atma Weapon) and dual-wield
   setups now attack only with the primary weapon instead of randomly selecting one

 • Fixed several issues with Palidor's behavior, making it much better to use

 • Interceptor and Golem now always use the correct animation when activated, which corrects the lowered
   odds of late-game Interceptor counters and Golem's artificially enhanced durability

 • Terra can no longer Morph while imped and is now immune to imp once Morphed

 • Gogo no longer does 50% more damage than intended with physical Bushidos when dual-wielding

 • Setzer's dice no longer receive a damage boost from the Bserk status

 • Flare (from the Apocalypse) now correctly receives the Morph damage boost

 • X-Zone no longer revives/heals undead enemies when it's cast by the Doomstick

 • Multi-target attacks which respect stamina now correctly check each target individually

 • Enemy "special" attacks that inflict sleep no longer miss on targets with death immunity

 • Abilities with "one ally" targeting are no longer unable to randomly target (via Rage or enemy AI)
   teammates on the opposite end of the field during side or pincer attacks

 • Inherent statuses now initialize properly on characters who are dead at the beginning of the battle
   and on enemies who are not present

 • Updated Assassin's "Optimize Fix" hack to leave slots with no valid equipment empty

 • Fixed several RNG errors, most notably a random encounter spike during the Vector escape

 • Fixed several other minor bugs and dialogue issues

 • Added a Spanish translation and an optional "vanilla" dialogue patch

 • Added a "New Game+" patch to the Unlockme

 • Added new alternate sprite patches to the Unlockme

 • Added screenshots to the Unlockme image gallery and updated existing ones

 • Added higher-resolution sprites and SNES Mini/Switch art to the Unlockme image gallery

 • Updated the (main) BNW logo in the Unlockme image gallery to the modern design

 • Added a damage calculator/bestiary to the BNWCP

 • Redesigned the Printme, now distributed as a .pdf file

 • Re-bundled LIPS (ROM patching utility) with the Brave New World download


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S.Court

· Edited by S.Court · Report

  • 5
   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

Final Fantasy VI is simply put my favorite game, but even when I have that esteem from this game, I recognize the game is broken. It gives you a ton of absurdly powerful tools which can make the game incredibly easy. I always wanted to know how this game would be with a proper rebalancing and then I saw this mod and I have to say it has even overcome the expectatives I had from it and I definitely enjoy the result.

 

Calling it a rebalancing it's not making it justice. The new esper system adds a ton of strategy layers in the game, making each character versatile, giving them a good amount of tools, but keeping each of their roles diferenciated enough to make them unique. Balancing character versatility, role specialization and balance is something pretty complicated to make, but BTB and Synchysi have made an impressive work there.

 

Of course, this depth would not be nothing without proper enemies and again, they have made a great work with them: even random enemies can suppose a threat if you attack them mindlessly, status effect are actually useful and each tool each playable character have can be put to an use. Bosses are challenging and requires certain level of strategy to be beaten without too much troubles, and that's certainly a great point this mod has.

 

I have some complains with their personality choices from a couple of characters and language in Brave New World version, and there are some references here and there I feel them quite invasive, but honestly that doesn't matter too much because the main experience this mod offers -the difficult rebalancing and the strategy layers each character has- is definitely excellent. I would suggest anyone to play this mod if you want to see how much the original gameplay formula can be improved to create a way more engaging experience.

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blitzkingjecht

· Report

  • 5
   4 of 4 members found this review helpful 4 / 4 members

The original copy of Final Fantasy VI, to me, is broken. Once you've gained ultima, you don't need to think about your next actions. This fixes that, and takes the game to a whole new level.

Unlike the original, where each character becomes a carbon copy of each other due to magic being unrestricted, this fixes that to a new level. The original game saw Vigor, Stamina, and Speed be marginally useful, while Magic was basically the only stat that truly mattered. Each stat has value and purpose now to allow for characters to be built in specific ways. Do you want to turn Sabin into a Regen tank that heals other characters? Maybe you want Locke to be your healer, so you pump his MP to new heights due to the Esper Level system. 

 

Esper levels replace the "equip this esper and gain x bonus" that made gaining levels before espers feel like you were missing an opportunity to make your characters more powerful. This does away with tha completely by utilizing a second leveling system, called EL, or "Esper Level." Each character maxes their Esper level at 25, and each character can draw strength from the Espers they can equip. This means that characters like Shadow can only beef up his speed and vigor, while Sabin is focused on Vigor, Stamina, and HP.  It also does away with needing to learn magic to 100%, which speeds up the time you would spend grinding to learn the spells that each character has access to by creating a bank of spell points that you gain by defeating enemies. Even with these changes, the game doesn't lose or gain any difficulty. It completely changes the way you think of the game and each character has value in a way that's unique to them. Relm learns some of the most powerful magics, while Setzer learns the best healing spells. This changes how you build each character and subsequently, how you build each party.

Making these adjustments it feel like a completely different game that doesn't distract or take away from the main story. It makes playing the original feel, incomplete by comparison. 

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Hordequester

· Edited by Hordequester · Report

  • 4
   6 of 6 members found this review helpful 6 / 6 members

Brave New World is an essential upgrade to an already fantastic game. I know we all tend to look at FF6 with rose-colored glasses due to nostalgia but, it definitely had its quirks. Many, many bugs and balancing issues. A great story put on top of an Attack-Spammable combat system with characters that are all identical aside from their sprites. The system was capable of depth, but you had to ignore large parts of the game to get it.

Brave New World aims to fix all of those issues and more.. rounding out a great story with some really great strategic character design and scripted fights. The magicite character lock coupled with the varied learned and equipped boosts gives you the ability to highly tune characters to specific rolls. The revamp of skill bugs helps to round that out. I can't think of anything that hasn't been tweaked at some point and improved. Dance, Rage, Runic, Lore, Steal, Throw.. all character specific abilities have been improved and now they all feel useful and not bloated. This isn't so much of a mod as it is a expansion or upgrade.. it feels like it was supposed to be there in the first place and I can guarantee you'll miss its features if you go back to the original or a different mod. It really did ruin vanilla for me.

During my 1.8.4 playthrough I did a run specifically choosing people that were not optimal (too low, not enough esper levels, incompatible abilities, etc) for each fight and it did show a few issues with some characters completely crushing others. Given that the original game had everyone able to fill every role.. I feel like this was an intentional design choice by the developers. My purpose in doing so was to get a feel for characters I never really got to use or didn't know how they'd do in some situations. There are definitely perfect characters for each role, good secondary backups for roles, and rounders to fill whatever you may need in a pinch. This fumbles a bit with a couple characters like Locke always being either one-shot dead, one-cast out of mana, or survivable punching bag. This is in part due to him being underleveled for 90% of the game (if you don't specifically stop to address it) and also because he doesn't really have anything to balance it out like Throw with Shadow or Raw DPS and rando buff-heals like Relm. He's just kind subpar at EVERYTHING and can steal things that have no impact. A bummer (and possibly my misunderstanding of the character) but the rest of the characters are great and keep improving.. like the Gown/Brush update or the Rage updates.


The biggest criticism I can find while digging is that some of the new systems and scripts can be a bit overwhelming for first time players and people that come in thinking the old use-anyone method is going to fly. Not that they should expect that.. it's clearly right on the label. It's just a mindset that I see people fall into every time they come in. Not sure that's the developer's fault really. But, definitely something to keep in the forefront while playing if this is your first time. Second would be the heavy reliance on a lot of fights being turtle-friendly (sap and heal). I see a bit of work to try to mix it up with the latest patch and there are a few bosses that stop it.. just a shame there are all these new abilities and major confrontations result in button mashing again. Most of the current fights have two gears.. turtle-sap or random one-shots you have to clean up. There are definitely more interesting ones here than vanilla though.. at this point I'm just splitting hairs.

That said, it is still the most extensive and improving mod for a game I have ever played.. and I've been through romhacking.net's entire library of full mods (Unsure if the fact I'm not joking is sadder than if I were or not). It was the mod that introduced me to Insane Difficulty and NGPlus and all the great people here. One of the most important, and usually overlooked, parts of a mod is the community surrounding that mod.. they are the ones that give suggestions, bug fixes, and test the mods that get released.. it doesn't matter how good your mod could be if it doesn't have the people to help get there. BNW has that.

I really think it deserves 4.5 Stars but not an option. I can't do 5 Stars because.. that would mean it is perfect the way it is.. but I still want to see more updates! Can't recommend this mod more.. even if you weren't a fan of FF6 before, this would make you one.


P.S. I do apologize if this review jumps around a bit and seems a bit scrambled. My 4yo loves FF6 and won't stop jumping all over me to mention things about BNW that are cool. If that's not an endorsement you can trust.. I don't know what is.

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