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Nowea

Nowea Hard Type

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Download and patch directly onto your BNW ROM.

After TENS OF MINUTES of work I'm ready to release my modification to Brave New World. This is deliberately designed to be harder in a "FF3usME stat hack" style. @seibaby helped a bunch.

Changelog below:

  • V1:
  • ATB formula changed so that enemy ATB fills twice as quickly.
  • Esper Levels that grant HP now grant half the HP
  • Warp and Warp Whistle made 33.33x more expensive.
     
  • V2:
  • Lowered ATB multipliers for slow/normal/haste by 5 each due to an overflow error causing hasted enemies to have very few turns
  • Made the timer for status ticks constant, so that they are no longer affected by other status effects like Slow, Haste, Sleep, and Stop
     
  • V3:
  • Removed the Warp and Warp Whistle price hike
     
  • V4:
  • Added Warp Whistles to many item shops
  • Added Back Guard to (pre-IMTRF) Narshe relic shop
  • Reduced Back Guard price to 5000 (was 7500)
Edited by Nowea
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5 minutes ago, BTB said:

This looks like how FF6A was made.

Dragon's Den is the greatest dungeon of all time.

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4 hours ago, Echoherb said:

So you took the game and made it less fun :P

I made it harder for anyone that felt like "I want to play BNW... but different"

Less fun for most, yes.

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Updated for V2, fixing a boss-breaking overflow error and tweaking status timers.

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V3 made, it's slightly less stupid now that there's no price hike on Warp and Warp Whistle.

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Played a bit of RC14 Nowea Hard Type.

Had a near wipe on the pincer introductory Narshe Fight. Bad luck would've wiped one or both of Biggs and Wedge. Yikes. Had to actually Cure between battles for insurance. Whelk also killed me once because I underestimated how many Beams I could fire off before he went into his shell. Nothing truly scary, but a wake up to call that I was playing Nowea Hard Type.

Figaro & Figaro Cave are same, essentially.

Around Figaro Town & Mt. Koltz though, things get scary. First and foremost, Rock. That move is horrible. High damage, no defense against muddle, limited Remedy supply, and I'm worried that such enemy speed will make it a matter of luck as to whether or not I can endure Mt. Koltz at decent levels. Other physicals & magics are bad too, but Rock is the worst.

Edgar is going to have to go all in with speed (Iron Cutlass, Knight Cape, Buckler instead of Iron Shield), lest I fall behind on NoiseBlaster control. Terra & Locke will both need Boomerangs for the damage output, so I'm going to have to grind a bit for GP; I don't think I can turtle forever with such fast enemies. Might also grind GP for Remedies & Brawlers for Slim Jim (with EXP turned off).

That's it for now. Might get to play some more tomorrow.

Edited by thzfunnymzn
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40 minutes ago, thzfunnymzn said:

Played a bit of RC14 Nowea Hard Type.

Had a near wipe on the pincer introductory Narshe Fight. Bad luck would've wiped one or both of Biggs and Wedge. Yikes. Had to actually Cure between battles for insurance. Whelk also killed me once because I underestimated how many Beams I could fire off before he went into his shell. Nothing truly scary, but a wake up to call that I was playing Nowea Hard Type.

Figaro & Figaro Cave are same, essentially.

Around Figaro Town & Mt. Koltz though, things get scary. First and foremost, Rock. That move is horrible. High damage, no defense against muddle, limited Remedy supply, and I'm worried that such enemy speed will make it a matter of luck as to whether or not I can endure Mt. Koltz at decent levels. Other physicals & magics are bad too, but Rock is the worst.

Edgar is going to have to go all in with speed (Iron Cutlass, Knight Cape, Buckler instead of Iron Shield), lest I fall behind on NoiseBlaster control. Terra & Locke will both need Boomerangs for the damage output, so I'm going to have to grind a bit for GP; I don't think I can turtle forever with such fast enemies. Might also grind GP for Remedies & Brawlers for Slim Jim (with EXP turned off).

That's it for now. Might get to play some more tomorrow.

I've yet to try NHT without grinding Terra in the mines (to 6 or 7), which helps get through the part where you don't have much option.

I'd be surprised if you can get through everything at a similar level to BNW's expected levels without resorting to LLG-level strats

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I expect that the hardest part of NHT is going to be the early game. Once I get past Dadaluma, I think things will get simpler. Who knows though, maybe I'm in for a world of hurt.

What constitutes LLG-level strats? I would figure grinding for 99 Slim Jims would constitute as one.

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I'd say that relying so heavily on rare steal consumables would count.

It is very possible that the challenge is front-loaded simply because of options opening up after Daddy. Unfortunately my personal run is paused for this week and nobody's played past Dadaluma to know for sure.

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Defeated Mt. Koltz at lvl.7, whole team.
 

Spoiler

 

Made one "raid" into the mountain to grab the Butterfly and Power Glove, then left to re-charge for the full trip. Got enough GP for two Boomerangs, three Knight Capes, iron & mage equipment, 50 dried meats, a few phoenix downs and remedies, and a few other misc. items. Wasn't really a grind, GP came naturally with the raid I performed. I definitely wanted maximum firepower, HP, and speed for everyone; hence, the Boomerangs & Knight Capes.

Didn't die on the way to the Restore Point. Confusion + boomerang beat down kept everything in line, still stole lots of Dried Meats. Vaporites (& Rhodox in the plains), however, received a quick Fire to the face.

The spiral descent to Vargas killed me four times, each time to an AoE (Gale Cut or Snowball). Eagle x3 was the scariest fight on the mountain; confused eagles will hit each other quickly, setting you up for a Gale Cut. Had to keep at full HP at all times, and, after the initial Boomerang attack, Terra had to always be ready with an AoE Cure. Eagle/Tusker/Trilium is handled simply with Boomerang, Fire (Tusker), and then straight beatdown.

Vargas went down rather simply. And, oh my goodness, we can dodge Gale Cut now!! HUZZAH!! I definitely consider this a good change, as a Gale Cut beatdown is a little much for the game's first boss, methinks. >_>

 

tl;dr, aside from nasty AoEs, I overprepared and played it cautiously. More importantly, Gale Cut can be dodged now! Huzzah!!

Lete River will be more challenging.

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Ultros down, everyone at lvl.8. Sabin & Sap did all the hard work, everyone else healed. Ultros moves too fast to attempt anything else. Lete River was surprisingly simple, just had to be more cautious with attacks & healing.

Start of Ed/Te/Banon scenario is rng-based; unlucky rng with misses/Blind = death by Fireball. Otherwise, same ole' boring scenario.

Sabin's scenario next up. I want Celes at highest join level as well as maximum equip options for TunnelArmor.

I did level grind up to lvl.8 at the end of Mt. Kolts, so I has 10,000 extra GP (2000 spent on Phoenix Downs) plus a few more Slim Jims.

Edited by thzfunnymzn
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Sabin's Scenario defeated. Lvl.9 for all, save Gau at lvl.8.

Soul Train was roadblock. Only defeatable with a Slim Jim Sabin beatdown. Granted, Slim Jim Sabin soloed & auto-fought Soul Train. Still, Soul Train was too fast, aggressive, and strong to try anything else. Can't Suplex Slow him either because of Elf Fire counters. Life Bell Sabin might've soloed as well, but Life Bell is gotten after this battle.

Couldn't use Knight Capes. I want the stat boosts (HP, Eva, Vig, Spd), but Cover is too dangerous to use. Quite annoying. Kinda worried that this is gonna be a thing for a while. Brainstorming makes me realize that certain late-game Hero Ring set-ups are no longer ideal b/c said set-ups don't want Cover.

Otherwise, same as usual for NHT: beware of early-game magics (Ghost x2 / Ectoplasm x3 is a frustrating encounter), play cautiously, kill enemies quickly. Used lots of Dried Meats. Got a lot of cash on hand, even after Nikeah shopping.

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Finished Locke's Scenario & Narshe Battle. Level 8, with a couple of dudes at level 9.

Locke's randoms were same as always. Hell Angel, otoh, was rng-dependent. Even with top speed + Sprint Shoes, Celes' Runic cannot keep up with the magical onslaught. Best chance is to bum rush the guy with Boomerang x2 + Power Glove + Black Belt. Having a Slim Jim on Locke is useful too. Still luck dependent, but thankfully, Hell Angel doesn't have too much HP.

Narshe Team was Locke, Cyan, & Figaro Bros. Steal x4 vs. Trooper x4 gives more than enough healing items, so who needs white mages? Locke's a boss. Definitely saw the faster speed vs. Trooper x4, but thankfully, having a team of bulky dudes + Life Bell + back row + NoiseBlaster is more than sufficient to handle these boogers.

Knight Cape proved to be a mistake in the Narshe Fight. Knight Cape Cyan died, first fight. Took too many hits for the team. Can't tell if it's Nowea Hard Type's faster enemies or just a mistake in using Cover this early; my guess is the latter. A little annoying, as the Knight Cape's stat boosts are nice in the early game. Cyan especially loses out, as he really likes the stat boosts but can't use it at all. Boomerang Locke can still use it though.

Hell Rider, otoh, is another rng-dependent fight. He can open the fight with Virite + Acid Rain before you can move, practically wiping your party. Sabin's Spirit Claws proc'd Stop on the fool, which was nice. Failed to steal a Black Heart: hope that doesn't bite me in the butt. Kefka's also definitely stronger (and, without Runic, more dangerous). Failed to steal Tiara before Locke dropped (failed both boss steals), so I just bum rushed the dude with big damage. Still won first try, unlike Hell Angel or Hell Rider.

***

Phantom Train, Hell Angel, and Hell Rider have been frustrating. The first two require specific strats without overleveling. Otherwise, nothing unbeatable yet. Yet.

But...now comes Dadaluma. We'll see if I keep my streak of keeping my levels at normal levels with this booger.

Edited by thzfunnymzn
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I'm kinda surprised that Hell Angel ended up being a difficulty. On my original run it wasn't bad at all, but that may have just been that my 1 fight against him in NHT going well.

I'm enjoying hearing about this on the whole.

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W00t! Dadaluma down, second try, average level (lvl.10)! Feel rather good about that one.

W00t! Game should be easier from here on out. IMF will still be difficult, and the Ultros III - IV - IAF sequence will be a hump, but otherwise, I'm not predicting major resistance until the endgame.
 

Dadaluma

Spoiler

 

Team was the Figaro Bros., Shadow, and Gau. Overall game plan was to let Sap and muddled Fighters do much of the work while I focused on survival. (NoiseBlaster doesn't trigger a counterattack from Dadaluma). Sabin & Edgar Suplexed / Drilled to keep Dadaluma Sapped and Slowed. Gau Raged Conjurer (duh!), Shadow kept Smoke Bomb up on himself and Gau. Edgar received a Slim Jim while Sabin kept the Life Bell, taking care of their HP. Shadow also did a lot of Item support. Figaro Bros. did a little bit of that as well. The new Rerise/Life revives at full HP at this point in the game, which is very nice.

The plan failed the first time through though (used far too many resources, got stuck in revive/heal loop). Second time, I mixed in the occasional heavy attack: Thrown Butterfly, Poison Claw, Counterattack Shadow, and occasional BioBlaster. The right balance of Sap + heavy attack should minimize how many Jumps, Elbow Drops, and Spoons Dadaluma throws out. I also controlled the Fighters better my second fight, which was just as important; perhaps more so? NoiseBlaster alone doesn't keep up; I also had Sabin & Shadow pitch in with Poison Claw & Shurikens to any Fighter who resisted Muddle. Controlling the Fighters better also insured Sabin would re-set Slow (Suplex) whenever Dadaluma Jumped. Second fight, I used surprisingly few resources: Dadaluma went down in half the time I expected him to go down.

IMO, Locke and Celes cannot be used for this fight. Celes simply doesn't bring any utility aside from healing, which is semi-pointless thanks to regen, Item, Rerise, and the sheer power of Dadaluma's counters. Locke is just a lesser Shadow, and I don't see the benefit in bringing two Shadows. He also lacks the utility of the Figaro Bros. or Conjurer.

Cyan might be usable? Dispatch, IIRC, hits like a truck, even compared to Thrown Butterflies or Poison Claw. Problem is that he doesn't bring any utility; the Figaro Bros. are mandatory for this fight, and I suspect Shadow is as well. (His slow speed is part of his poor utility). Also, at this point in the game, the Figaro Bros. are tankier; Edgar can go back row with shields, and Life Bell Sabin outperforms Iron armor.

Cyan might be able to replace Gau? No Rerise, but another person who could survive Jump and another heavy hitter? You also don't have to worry about Gau Zapping Dadaluma. Still, no Rerise might be frustrating. This is the only alternative team I could see: again, Figaro Bros. are mandatory, and I suspect Shadow is as well. Celes is pointless, Locke is redundant.

 

 

Randoms

Spoiler

Vulture would occasionally get off a Razor Leaf before I could do anything, killing Gau and Shadow. Otherwise, NoiseBlaster + Suplex + Antlion/Brawler + Butterfllies or Switchblades was able to handle everything. It wasn't easy, but I could survive even bad luck with Razor Leaf, Acid Rain, Step Mine, and pincers.

BTW, Switchblade Mugging does work with the new instant Mug patch. So, Switchblades can be used to chain Mug stuff in Zozo. Furthermore, if Shadow's/Locke's ATB isn't full, yet they get a Switchblade Mug counter (Black Belt), their ATB will immediately fill up. Hilarious, and useful.

Again, Cover is still a detriment this early in the game. Only back row fighters can safely equip the Knight Cape. I actually bought an early Stat Stick for once, just so I could equip that on my front row Shadow instead of a Knight Cape.

Builds

Spoiler

I'm going to take a risk and use the builds I would've tested had I played a normal 1.9 game. The proper thing to do is to use powerful and safe builds. But...I'm taking the risk. I can reset my ELs in the WoR, but that won't help for the Ultros III - IV - IAF hump late in the WoB. Still, imma take the risk.

So, plans are:

Terra - Carbunkl! Actually, it'll be a mix of Unicorn and Carunkl. I'll just take the risk of doing less Unicorn than I ought. The benefit will be more MP for tier-3's and Ultima in the WoR. So, I'll probably stick with heavy Unicorn for the WoB.

Locke - Kirin. This is actually a both a build I want to play and a safe build. Also will let me experiment with Cover + Counter in Nowea Hard Type.

Edgar - Unicorn. Not a safe build, probably not a very good build. But, it allows me to play a unique Cover/Counter/grounded spear game with Edgar. Might as well try it out. I'll esper reset to vig Edgar if it proves detrimental.

Sabin - Terrato, using vig Sabin for the WoB. ^ _ ^

Celes - Vigor, even for the IMF (Morning Stars ignore defense now). Not safe, but I'm obliged to play this. BTB finally did what I've been asking for since WT with Te/Ce's weapons. She should be solid now, I'm just unsure of how solid she is for Nowea Hard Type.

Cyan - Cheese. Kirin until I clear Cyan's Soul, then vig + Alex. Gaming the system here.

Shadow - Spd. Because I haven't played spd Shadow enough. Should still be useful in Nowea Hard Type.

Gau - Spd. Safe & haven't played him enough.

Mog - Mogoon. Safe, and it's been a while since I've played him.

Setzer - Stam. Mostly want to test out Cover + RegenX with him. Might as well throw some of the buffed GP Toss while I'm at it. The Bank Setzer would probably be safer.

Strago - Strago only has one build: magic. Therefore, I'm going magic Strago. (Would love me some HP Odin for the endgame though).

Relm - Zoneseek. I think Ifrit would be safer, but I just did Ifrit Relm last game.

 

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Ultros down. Sabin for MVP again. Fire Dance clears rats. Self-berserk + Fire Claw = roasted octopus appetizer at the Opera House. Life Bell kept Sabin alive. Cyan & Locke were mostly there for moral support; Sabin could've solo'd Ultros. Hanging outside the IMF now at lvl.12 (Sabin's at 13).

OTOH, double speed randoms are rough. My best defense right now is a good offense - kill anything with nasty AoEs el pronto and Muddle stuff. Not quite going full-on glass cannon though. Also, I have to beware of jerks who counterattack the Fight command (Dragonflies, Trilium recolors). I sometimes have to wait a minute before using Blitz/Bushido just to insure that Locke/Celes attack other dudes first, minimizing how much time enemies are on-screen. Doesn't always work; sometimes, Locke fails to Throw his Full Moons, or I get pincer'd, or the AI just decides to spam powerful AoE magic. Chickenlip x5 would've been brutal if Chickenlips weren't so weak: they got, like, a million moves to my one move. >_< Onion Kid x5 killed me for this very reason; got too greedy stealing everything, then WHAM!, Sabin gets Muddled right as I input the Fire Dance command. >_< Dogs and soldiers ain't much better; they hit like trucks.

I'm not sure if I can safely use Cover yet. Double speed randoms are just too rough. Furthermore, I'm not sure there's a point in using it yet. No one member of my party can stand up to a concentrated physical onslaught right now, especially thanks to these reduced HP gains, so there's little point re-directing physicals to one member. (Normally, Cyan would be nearing 475 HP with heavy armor. Now, he's still short of 400 HP, still lacks a shield, and gets hit twice as often.) I tried some Cover/Counter with Morning Star Celes, but those dogs nearly killed her first turn for even thinking about it. She didn't even counterattack, nor did she need to cover Mr. back-row-high-evade Locke. >_<

OTOH, if most characters struggle to use Cover/Counter effectively, it might mean Unicorn Edgar is unchallenged in his role as a good Cover tank. >_> At the very least, HP+50% Gungnir is still going to be awesome. When I get there.

Oh, HP/MP gains still say "HP+30", etc, etc. Might want to fix that.

***

Morning Star Celes is nice. Even with Power Glove and Ramuh ELs, it falls short of OHKOing randoms except for small fry (Bugger, Chickenlip, etc) unlike Edgar, Sabin, and Cyan. It's nice to have even decent offense though. Morning Star + Scimitar is cute, but I don't think it'll hold up for the IMF (too much high defense). Oh well. Hey, @BTB , have you considered having Fighters not counter Magic? That way, Celes' Ice can actually hammer their weakness without overkill retaliation? Could even make Dadaluma weak to Ice as well as not countering Magic. Doubt it'll do much compared to just using Edgar, but at least Celes gets some reward for using her special skill set. Sides, Dadaluma not countering Magic kinda makes some sense Lore-wise.

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I'm enjoying this Let's Play, funnyman. Keep 'em coming. Glad you decided to go full in on trying out Stamina builds for cover and counter, too.

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* blush * Why, thank you.

***

Aaaand...IMF, clear. Lvl 15 after Cranes. No Cover/Counter used; too dangerous. OTOH, Morning Star Celes just keeps getting better. Number 024 aside, I'd put her on par with Cyan for the IMF. She needs to stick with Runic for 024 though. (Dispatch melted Number 024. 1650 damage a blow. That's almost as much as summoning an esper on a weakness. I think this is one area where "Bushido gets stronger with BPow" goes a little too far). Locke just abused the new Mug mechanics, proc'ing a lot of Bolt 2 casts while he was at it. Sabin & Cyan did Sabin & Cyan stuff. Used a lot of Dried Meats.

Stupid Mine Cart nearly wiped me. Jerk x4 spammed AoE Ice, killing Cyan, and then smacked Locke to take him down. Sabin had to reduce them to one then carefully Phoenix Down back up. Number 128 was also pretty nuts with how many turns he got; I'd have been in trouble without Golem + Ocean Claws. Cranes, first round, straight up OHKO'd Setzer & Locke before I could move. >_< gg Cranes. Second round, Locke got heavy armor, I summoned Golem, Suplexed (Slowed) one, and then they were manageable with Ocean Claws & Storm Blade. Cyan just summoned Kirin and ran moral support.

Sabin is still MVP. Carries clutch victories, doesn't die thanks to Life Bell (best user of Life Bell), good speed for both turn count & initial ATB gauge, and Suplex / Ocean Claws. Despite the weaker 1.9 Golem, equipping Stat Stick / Magic Cube to summon Golem in the boss fights here is still useful. Golem prevents 024's muddle strike, and since 024 mostly relies on magic, Golem should stay up for a while. (Or for the whole time, if you're melting 024 with Dispatch). Number 128 and the Cranes can now wear down Golem pretty quickly, but it does give some breathing room in the opening of the fight.

Morning Star Celes was fun. Probably still a little weak for the Zozo arc (see my Ice comments on Fighter / Dadaluma above), but once she starts getting levels, Ramuh ELs, and the Power Glove, she'll do solid damage. Cyan's stronger, Sabin will outdamage her even without the Power Glove, and both Figaro Bros. have better AoE, but blast it, it was fun actually letting General Celes deliver a meaningful physical beatdown in the WoB. Course, I'm going to have to use Esper Reset if I'm to try out Phantom Celes, but oh well.

Abusing the new Mug mechanics was amusing. Locke would sometimes get in 4 hits before anyone else moved, including some Bolt 2 casts. Even KO'd a high defense Defender once thanks to his number of attacks. Lol. His elemental blade options allowed him to outperform Cyan for Ifrit & Shiva, 024, and Cranes. Though I had Cyan summon Kirin, which somewhat balances things out a bit.

Cyan didn't wow me as much, especially near the end, but I think it's subjective; he didn't have cool new toys to play with, nor was he ever the biggest damage dealer (except for 024). NHT also appears to hit him the hardest; again, probably not objectively true, just looks that way. Kirin Cyan is normally nigh invincible by the mid-/end-point of the IMF. In NHT, he still hasn't reached the point of invincibility. I suspect he'll pick up some steam once he can stack more HP ELs and learns Dragon though.

***

Gau & Mog are running WoR builds, so they won't be active players in the WoB. Setzer, despite running a stam build, will probably go heavy Seraph at first, so I might use him later in the WoB. Edgar can finally start stacking Unicorn ELs, though I'm concerned that I've passed the point of the game where I need a hyper-dedicated Cover specialist. We'll see. For now, it's just some breather dungeons with the Cave to the Sealed Gate and the Imperial Banquet.

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Finished Imperial Banquet.

"Return scum! I challenge you to a duel!"

Cyan Dispatches him for 1900 damage.

"Maybe you can handle the espers."

Lol.

***

Used Locke, Terra, Edgar, Setzer for the Sealed Gate, lvl.15. Everyone's running heavy HP builds, so I've got 450 - 550 HP across the board.

Was an interesting run. Got slammed with statuses much more than normal thanks to double speed. Antares had to be Muddled to avoid Glare spam, and Muddle, Berserk, and Blind all proved annoying. Nothing deadly though; still a breather dungeon. I normally buy Spirit Ring x4 for this dungeon & Daryl's Tomb, but I'm restricting how many status immunity relics I allow myself (only one of each, sans the 2nd Ribbon in Kefka's Tower) so as to see just how useful stamina's status evade really is. (Should be testing this without NHT, but >_> ) I had precious few methods of nulling Zombie (Seraph equip included), though thankfully, I didn't see that status a lot of it.

Phalanx boss went down to BioBlaster spam.

Cave to the Sealed Gate is the first dungeon where I can safely Cover/Counter. Decked out Edgar for max defense and a Fire Lance. Only !Halberd (Phalanx) did significant damage. Edgar is significantly tankier than Terra & Locke (Locke less so); he face-tanked some halberds for Locke. Course, this cave is a breather dungeon more focused on statuses; Floating Continent may prove a better test of Cover/Counter in NHT. Haven't tested Cover/Counter Cyan here. Not super interested in doing so either, will probably just wait until the Murasame & Floating Continent.

At first, I had Locke dual-wield Flametongue with Demonsbane. Then I noticed that Demonsbane insta-kills undead anyways, so I didn't bother.

Terra & Setzer did normal stuff. Heals, Fire 2, and Blackjack spam.

***

I'm probably going to cheese Ultros III's broken script with an Elec Sword for the upteenth time, so I'll post again after I finish the Floating Continent.

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"Hey, guys, I got an idea. How about I miss Slow on Heartfire."

"Uh, Terra, that's..."

Fireballs and meteors rain from above. Team dies.

***

"Blargh. Brains."

"Well, don't that just beat all. Mog and Gau have turned into zombies."

"Eh, let them sleep it off in the castle. They'll be fine in the morning."

"Uh, you sure about that Edgar? You sure they won't try and eat someone's brains?"

"Trust me, they'll be fine. Sleeping cures everything."

***

Oh, and Kirin Cyan's mighty 635 HP right as we prepare for the Floating Continent. ; _ ; (Normally, he'd have 770)

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Holy good night, Atma is insane! Took me six or seven tries to finally put that booger down, and even then, only by the skin of my teeth. (Lvl.18 IAF, Lvl.20 Atma, vigCeles/Relm/stamEdgar)

Even when Slowed, he gets two turns for every one that my party gets. Maybe that's what everything else was getting and I'm only just now noticing it because of how crazy Atma's script is. Doesn't help that I'm playing extra macho and the only relevant status relics I have are Jewel Ring, Fairy Ring, and White Cape. Low HP hurts.

Atma's supposed to have new script about Dispelling his power as he charges it, right? I completely forgot about that. >_> Also, when does Atma re-set Haste on himself? I think knowing both of those would've helped me a little bit. (For the fights that managed to get that far).

Not Atma

Spoiler

IAF Pincers: "Oh, hai, we hear you liek diieng before u can m0v3!"

- _ - (Died 3-4 times here) Tbf, the main problem was that I forgot to give Relm Bolt Rod + Black Belt. Once I re-worked my strat for Relm attacking, Celes Curing or summoning Ramuh, and Edgar decked out for maximum Cover chance (Stat Hat + Zephyr Cape + Life Bell + 10 Unicorn ELs = 49 stamina), I won first try. Even got to see Relm's Desperation Attack do 4k+ damage.

Ultros, Chupon, IAF: Same ole', same ole'. Celes & Relm got ham with electric weapons + Black Belt, Edgar & Celes set-up before Chupon comes in, blitz Chupon before he kills me. Chupon almost took me out b/c I forgot to Slow him, but Bolt Rod pulled through in the end. IAF crumpled under an onslaught of Ramuh, Bolt Rod, and Bolt 2. (Ramuh equip also means Celes can tank his bolt attack). Edgar just kinda chilled.

Floating Continent: Again, fairly standard. Celes, Relm, and Shadow went all-in with damage; Elec Sword + Scimitar + Black Belt, Bolt Rod + Black Belt, and Shadow doing Shadow stuff. Never saw Behemoths, so I guess I got a little lucky. I used Demi on Dragon for 4k+ damage: that was a neat trick. Also saw Relm counter kill an entire formation: got a Bolt 2 proc on all 3 and OHKO'd all of 'em.

Had to Warp Whistle from some encounters. Ing x3 opens with Discording two of my dudes, and any back attacks involving Ninjas are a "nope!"

Oh, and I finally learn that Gigantos' Avalanche is a counter to Magic/Tools. Feh, at least Shiva/Ifrit did big damage to the guy.

Atma

Spoiler

I did best and eventually won with Relm & Shadow as my glass cannons, Edgar as tank & back-up healer with Life Bell, Celes as a my primary healer with Life Bell, and LOTS of Rerise spam. (The only buff, besides Float, that I bothered maintaining outside of relics). I also used all 3 of my X-Ethers thanks to Rasp. Ugh. What an annoying move. Still only won by the skin of my teeth. Didn't use too many Remedies honestly.

Low HP hurts. Flare Star does 450 damage, which is essentially a Game Over unless I insure everyone's maxed out. Celes & Edgar have HP to spare, but thanks to Atma not caring about your defense stats (Quartr, Grav Bomb, Meteo, Flare), they're in danger without Life Bell and have to always be ready with a Cure 2. Relm & Shadow at least have Tabby Hide / Gaia Gear for all of Atma's Earth magic.

I forgot to buy an Ice Rod. Then again, I had precious little time for casting Dispel and the common Sketch, Flare, does a mighty 2400 anyways. It would've improved my damage, but I'm not sure if it would've warranted having to also manage Dispel as well. Maybe? Doubt the MP drain would've been significant for Ms. 280 MP.

I only tried Icebrand Celes once or twice before giving up on it. For phase 2, she simply has to dedicate herself full time to Cure 2 & Rerise (& Slow). My winning try didn't even bother with Black Belt for Icebrand counters. Used Sprint Shoes & Life Bell to maximize her support capabilities.

First time I've ever had Shadow focus on Rerise. Atma's normally not enough of a threat to warrant Rerise spam: I normally just throw up Smoke Bombs to prevent Full Power counters.

Edgar was the weak link despite Cover being so clutch against the IAF randoms. His use on the team was as a Cover tank & bulky healer, but aside from a few clutch Covers, I think Terra could've done the same thing but better. A (little) less HP, sure, but more MP, Life, higher magic stat, perhaps an actual attack in phase 2 (Break). Doesn't help that Edgar's lost Haste & Dispel utility. Terra could've even done much the same Cover shenanigans against the IAF. (Setzer's an option too, with Rerise, but he lacks Slow, so iunno). Edgar dodged Grav Bomb / Quartr / Rasp / statuses far less often than I'd like for a supposedly stamina-heavy build (still 49 stamina), but either I was too frustrated to truly pay attention, got unlucky, or I just shouldn't rely on stamina evasion in the WoB.

Still, in the end, Edgar pulled through. Terra or Setzer maybe would've been better, maybe not, but since I had to spam X-Ethers anyways, I'm not sure they would've been so significantly better so as to suddenly make Atma a walk in the park.

Characters

Spoiler

I took along the team that I did because they're the big ones with new 1.9 mechanics to play with on the FC. (Kirin Locke and Cyan have Cover too, but it's not the same as trying out Unicorn Edgar for the first time ever).

I was honestly hoping for the Kusarigama for Celes. Though, after playing, it would not have made a difference. Bolt, Ice, and Cure / Rerise are just far too important in the fights here. Atma doesn't even give breathing room for Celes to bother attacking; couldn't even make use of Black Belt counters. Feh. At least Flail Celes was awesome for the IMF.

As always, Relm is either dps queen with a Bolt Rod or absolutely useless with a brush for most of the FC. While Strago has Aqua Rake for the IAF, Rerise is just too important for Atma to bother considering Strago over Relm. Life had its moments, but Rerise is the main beneficiary of the new Life mechanic.

Unicorn Edgar was nifty and had a few shining moments, but broke apart against Atma. He's lost much of his WoB utility (Haste, Dispel, weaker Golem), so he's back to much of his utility being in the WoR. His Cure game is also significantly better in the WoR, when he has much more MP for spamming Cure 2, as well as the Nirvana Band to make it more respectable. Edgar does have a solid gameplan here with Sword Jumping (Elec Sword or Icebrand), but I couldn't afford to do that with Relm on my team. Maybe if I had brought along Sabin as originally planned.

***

Part of me wants to test FC with at least one more team. One of Kirin Locke or Cyan for a true bulky fighter with Cover/Counter shenanigans (probably Locke; speed + Gaia Gear), Sabin b/c Sabin, maybe someone else. Not now though: Atma was a pain in the butt. I'd also have to carefully select a team that can handle the nightmare that is NHT Atma. Kinda worried that one of Celes, Relm, or Setzer (Rerise) might be required. : / Guess that means I'll use Terra to try without Rerise. At least Terra + Sabin + Locke will have a lot of HP with Gaia Gear x3.

 

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Whelp, tried the stam-Locke / vig-Sabin / HPMP-Terra team on Floating Continent. Most of the continent was a lesson in why 600+ HP = win. Easy peasy IAF without having to worry about Relm or Cover. Choke points were IAF boss and Atma. Forgot Ocean Claws first time for IAF boss so I wiped. Otherwise, easy peasy.

Atma, however..............

....is impossible without either Rerise spam or a team fully decked out in Amulet + White Cape. And the former is still a tricky luck-shot. (OK, technically, I also have to try out Forest Suite as an option too. It's unreliable, but maybe it can work without the other two?). Simply impossible. I tried. I can get past the initial Flare Star + Mind Blast, but without the clutch of either Seraph + Rerise spam or a team fully decked out in status immunity relics, I simply get trapped in a Remedy / Cure 2 loop. I can slowly deal damage with Suplex, Break, or Kunai, but he simply lays on the hurt FAR too fast, even when Slowed, and Mind Blast comes RIGHT as I finished recovering from the previous.

Mind you, this is the new Rerise, which revives at 200-500 HP. Not sure if old Rerise would've cut it.

Last thing to try is Forest Suite without Rerise or mass status immunity. Maybe Mog can clutch it. If not, well, this is a lesson in why turtling = win in BNW. Lots of HP ELs + status immunity relics + Rerise = invincible. (Mass status immunity relics = win is one of the major reasons for why I don't think stamina is really equal in importance to the other stats. It's nice, sure, but when push comes to shove, HP and relics are far more reliable).

(OK, ok, so friggin' huge damage also is very important. Not sure it's as important as the turtling that I mentioned. Having Relm's Sketch / Ice Rod as my dps in lieu of Suplex would be nice, but without Rerise, I don't think it'd be enough to clutch a victory unless I got lucky).

***

Should also mention that Kirin Locke, like Unicorn Edgar, is a weak link against Atma too. Too much of his utility (MP) is locked into the WoR & Icebrand is only so-so against high p.def foes with only 25% proc rate. Forgot to use Cover, but honestly, not sure how much of a difference that would've made, since aside from Shadow, no one member of my team is particularly lacking in the bulk department. (That, and Atma's not scary b/c of his physicals but b/c of his magic). Maybe I'll replace him with Mog.

*******

EDIT: Oh, my precious Harvester and status immunity relics! I'm never leaving you again!

Harvester kicked Atma's butt, Mog MVP. (Locke was replaced). This has been a lesson in BNW's status game.

Honestly, it's a little unfair of me to rant so much about stamina in the WoB, when it's still low. But you know what? I think my point will still stand in the WoR anyways. Reliability > unreliability. Harvester & relics > stamina evasion. Guess I should test Myria & Atma (KT) with primarily stamina as my status defense?

***

Thinking about it for five minutes, stamina's defensive benefits are really backloaded. Not the regen ticks; those more rely on the character having actual HP. But Stamina's contribution to status evade only really matters on endgame set-ups that really, really stack it. Kinda like how defense gets more and more valuable the higher and higher you go. Like, going from 96 -> 112 stamina is HUGE in terms of how much garbage you can dodge. Going from 48 -> 64 however? Meh, whatever.

Perhaps if early & mid-game stuff status / gravity garbage had lower accuracy? Mind Blast might've been more tolerable without Harvester / mass immunity if I could rely on one of my heavy stamina dudes actually evading the statuses thrown my way. As is, I had Kirin Locke, Unicorn/Carbunkl Terra, Maduin Mog, & Unicorn Edgar all go at it. None of them could reliably dodge Rasp, Grav Bomb, Quartr, Mind Blast, what have you.

Also, forgot to mention that I'm loving how I can dodge Flare now. Stacking mg.eva actually proves useful for once. : )

*******

EDIT 2: After owning Atma with Harvester, I should probably back-up and retract my statements about Locke & Edgar being weak links in the Atma fight. Edgar's Cover performed admirably for what its job was worth, especially since Golem balanced now & Shadow had no time for Smoke Bombs. With Harvester support, I could've set Locke up for Cover + Counter with an Icebrand and, I think, gotten good results.

Edited by thzfunnymzn
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