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seibaby

Some thoughts on Cover

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How Much Is Damaged Improved by Vigor/Magic

Reiker, I just re-calculated some quickie calculations for a level 30 Celes with Illumina and a level 30 Relm with Flare. Going from 60 Vigor to 80 Vigor does indeed only boost the Illumina strike by 1,000 damage. Likewise, Relm going from 60 Magic to 80 Magic raises Flare's damage by 1,000 as well (if Crystal Orb is equipped, raised by 1,300). Fighter Celes will take, what, 10 - 15 Ramuh or Phantom ELs, the rest into Alexander? So that means that Ramuh, even at endgame, will only do about 500 - 750 more damage per swing. Less earlier in the game. (It also means that spd & stam Relm aren't doing too much less damage than Zoneseek Relm. Though they lack the raw MP that mag Relm boasts).

Phantom Celes, Other Cover/Counter Synergy, & Cover Evasion

Extra status evade, Cover chance, and counterattack rate (incl. counterattacking on Cover) can indeed compete with an extra 500 - 750 damage per turn. In fact, stamina's benefits to Celes now may swing things more in favor of Phantom than Ramuh. Stamina gives many benefits, she's still got decent vigor, and Illumina hits hard. Do not use the Omega Weapon on stam Celes. Omega should only be used by Morph Tritoch Terra and by dual-wielding Kirin Locke.

The mistake you made with Phantom Celes was giving her the Omega Weapon. Don't do such. The Omega Weapon is used either for Morph Tritoch Terra or dual-wielding Kirin Locke. Phantom Celes should still use the Illumina. For the new swords: Rune Edge is now a WoR filler sword with higher power (140), dual-wielding Spd+ swords exist in WoB and WoR, and flails are now defense-ignoring weapons, Morning Star being especially designed for vig Celes in the IMF.

Figher Celes changes greatly in 1.9. Perhaps she is the most improved of all come 1.9.

As for other Cover/Counter synergy, there is still Cyan, Mog, and Umaro.

Evasion was halved on Cover b/c playtesting proved Cover Shadow to be overpowered. It's the same reason why Image & Cover aren't allowed to work together. Cover is meant to allow your party tank to absorb hits. It's not meant to provide the player with yet another Golem/Fenrir option, wherein they can have on person completely nullify all enemy physicals.

Cover Spears

Reiker & SuperHario, don't look to spears for Mog's Cover/Counter. Rather, look to Rods. Rods hit much harder than spears, and it is Maduin that gives Mog stamina, not Palidor. I haven't tested it out (I'm hoping someone will for 1.9), but I'd theorize that Cover/Counter Mog is more of a Maduin build with Punisher / Elemental Rod as his weapon, Hero Ring + Black Belt equipped, and either ignoring Dance for Fight, Item, and grey magic, or dancing Earth Blues / Forest Suite for some healing / magical damage while Covering & Countering with Rods.

Mogoon, it is true, does not make for a good Cover/Counter build. I see no problem with this. Mogoon is all ready Mog's best damage build & arguably his best utility build. Let him stay in the back row, where he won't Cover, and let Mogoon continue to do his normal thing. Maduin Rod Mog can play "party tank."

Unicorn Edgar, I will agree, doesn't look the best. He's got the raw HP to two-hand spears for improved counterattacks (Gungnir Unicorn Edgar should hit 2.5k HP by endgame), he's got Palidor equip for Haste, and he can still take a few ELs of Palidor for a little more vig/spd. However, he's weighed down by his low stamina (poor Cover/Counter rate), which will effect his ability to make up damage loss with counterattacks; his only option for counter being the Black Belt; and he's lacking the speed of his vig & mag builds for utility & support. I'm not certain he's wholly bad as ya'll say, but I doubt he's going to be great.

Unicorn Edgar was born of me brainstorming ideas for how Edgar could utilize Cover/Counter. He's got the raw HP/defense to pull it off, the pure HP/stam is something that his other builds don't have (granted, not that they need it), and it is a niche that his other builds simply do not perform as well in. I grant, though, that he's hardly the greatest Cover tank.

Mag Terra

Reiker, Gem Box does not come until the end of the game. An endgame respec to Maduin / Ragnarok for Ultima abuse is certainly possible. Something I should actually add to my build guide. But I'm curious: for the late-WoB and for most the WoR, how do you use the tier 3 elementals? They're quite expensive without Gem Box or any MP levels.

Also, the other reason I called Maduin a newb trap is because of "How Much Is Damaged Improved by Vigor/Magic" up above. Maduin simply doesn't add a lot of damage to Terra's magic. mag Terra is likely still taking HP & MP ELs (Unicorn & Carbunkl), so that leaves precious little room for Maduin's puny +1 magic to add up to anything significant. I will also add that tier 3 elementals, thanks to Morph & Terra's base mag / mag+ gear option, hardly need Maduin ELs to do utterly ridiculous amounts of damage. Without Gem Box, the main limiter on her tier 3 elementals is her MP pool, not her damage output.

Therefore, Maduin Terra, for most of the game, simply looks good, without really doing anything. It's not until the very end of the game, when Maduin has finally built up to something significant, when Terra's got the Gem Box & pure MP esper, when the player has a fat supply of Ethers, and when Terra's finally got the proper attack to pair with Maduin's improved magic stat (Ultima); only then can mag Terra finally do something. Before then? The HP, MP, and stamina do far more for Terra than Maduin's magic does.

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Re Cover Spears

Cutting to the chase, it seems you agree inherent cover on spears has little utility if cover is front row only.  As I said, might make more sense to just nix this.

But if inherent cover is removed from spears, it might make sense to add it to some (all?) of Cyan's katanas instead of them having inherent counter.  This has the benefit of discouraging Shadow from equipping them and it encourages Cyan to equip the Black Belt, helping his speed.  I guess a problem could be that if katanas have inherent cover, then Shadow can cover/counter while using no relic slots.  But as we said, the evade reduction makes Shadow a less appealing cover choice, so maybe this isn't a big deal if Shadow gets killed before he has a chance to counter.  Maybe this build should be called 'Death Wish' Shadow, and would portend his credits scene.

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Putting cover on Katanas basically forces Cyan to be a bodyguard whether you want him to or not. I'm not fond of that.

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You're right, but could still have a few be inherent cover for some variety.  Also, he was the retainer to the king of Doma, so being a bodyguard was his job.

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13 hours ago, thzfunnymzn said:

The mistake you made with Phantom Celes was giving her the Omega Weapon. Don't do such. The Omega Weapon is used either for Morph Tritoch Terra or dual-wielding Kirin Locke. Phantom Celes should still use the Illumina. For the new swords: Rune Edge is now a WoR filler sword with higher power (140), dual-wielding Spd+ swords exist in WoB and WoR, and flails are now defense-ignoring weapons, Morning Star being especially designed for vig Celes in the IMF.

It's almost like you didn't read the part where I said that I concluded that Omega Weapon wasn't worth it on Celes, mostly because Shock is so good already.

 

13 hours ago, thzfunnymzn said:

Evasion was halved on Cover b/c playtesting proved Cover Shadow to be overpowered. It's the same reason why Image & Cover aren't allowed to work together. Cover is meant to allow your party tank to absorb hits. It's not meant to provide the player with yet another Golem/Fenrir option, wherein they can have on person completely nullify all enemy physicals.

So my question is now, is the first Evade check ignored in lieu of cover? For example, let's say an enemy chooses to attack Gau and RNGed aligned to allow him to Evade this attack. But Shadow also passed his cover check, will he now jump in front of Gau and take the damage that would have been avoided anyways?

 

13 hours ago, thzfunnymzn said:

Reiker & SuperHario, don't look to spears for Mog's Cover/Counter.

Like I said before, I only mentioned Edgar/Mog because spears have innate Cover and the discussion was about whether you should be able to cover from the back row or not. If you're going to require characters to be in the front row to cover, then the innate cover on spears is pretty pointless.

I never really know what to do with Mog anyways besides give him a vacation on the airship.

 

13 hours ago, thzfunnymzn said:

But I'm curious: for the late-WoB and for most the WoR, how do you use the tier 3 elementals? They're quite expensive without Gem Box or any MP levels.

Chakra.

 

13 hours ago, thzfunnymzn said:

Therefore, Maduin Terra, for most of the game, simply looks good, without really doing anything.

It does a lot more than Carbunkl if you're not running out of HP/MP.

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12 hours ago, Reiker said:

It's almost like you didn't read the part where I said that I concluded that Omega Weapon wasn't worth it on Celes, mostly because Shock is so good already.

>_< Sorry.

12 hours ago, Reiker said:

So my question is now, is the first Evade check ignored in lieu of cover? For example, let's say an enemy chooses to attack Gau and RNGed aligned to allow him to Evade this attack. But Shadow also passed his cover check, will he now jump in front of Gau and take the damage that would have been avoided anyways?

I don't know if there's a fluke in the programming, but if someone evades, they evade. There's no reason for the bodyguard to defend someone who evades, so they won't. "Cover Halves Evade" should simply mean that, when the bodyguard Covers someone, they are less likely to dodge (and, therefore, nullify) the attack they just Covered.

12 hours ago, Reiker said:

Like I said before, I only mentioned Edgar/Mog because spears have innate Cover and the discussion was about whether you should be able to cover from the back row or not. If you're going to require characters to be in the front row to cover, then the innate cover on spears is pretty pointless.

I'm starting to understand yours and SuperHario's position on Cover Spear. I can't say ya'll are wrong. Otoh, it's not like "Counterattack" on Spears really meant much. Or, for the matter, it's not like the old "Back Row Friendly" on spears meant too much. Maybe Cover Spears will turn out more useful than we think?

12 hours ago, Reiker said:

I never really know what to do with Mog anyways besides give him a vacation on the airship.

Lots of Palidor ELs, some Terrato, equip Moogle Charm, and Jump a lot. Death by a thousand cuts. Plus great speed for utility stuff, like Item or grey magic. (1.9 is introducing Haste into his grey magic). Mogoon, IIRC, is one of the better bulky fighters in the mod.

 

12 hours ago, Reiker said:

Chakra.

Huh

12 hours ago, Reiker said:

It does a lot more than Carbunkl if you're not running out of HP/MP.

True, Carbunkl is less useful if you've got a dedicated Mana Battery. Otoh, by the numbers, Maduin's mag+ barely does anything until Ultima anyways. Might as well give her some MP ELs so that the Figaro Bro is freed up to do other things. I retract my newb trap statement though.

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On 10/12/2017 at 2:24 PM, Reiker said:

So my question is now, is the first Evade check ignored in lieu of cover? For example, let's say an enemy chooses to attack Gau and RNGed aligned to allow him to Evade this attack. But Shadow also passed his cover check, will he now jump in front of Gau and take the damage that would have been avoided anyways?

True Knight actually changes the target of an attack, and is resolved well before hit determination and damage calculation. There are no checks made against the original target.

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It looks like the README is updated to include the changes for 1.9. How did Cover and Counter work in 1.8(.6)?

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On 10/13/2017 at 4:49 PM, seibaby said:

True Knight actually changes the target of an attack, and is resolved well before hit determination and damage calculation. There are no checks made against the original target.

This is what I was afraid of. If this is the case, definitely nix the 50% chance to evade penalty. Because as it is now, having cover can actually cause you to take more cumulative damage to your party. I was really excited for this whole cover/counterattack change but the more I learn about it and think about it I dislike it more and more. I don't see the point of nerfing evade for cover anyways and considering it can actually be a detriment outside of your control... meh.

On 10/12/2017 at 9:22 PM, thzfunnymzn said:

Lots of Palidor ELs, some Terrato, equip Moogle Charm, and Jump a lot. Death by a thousand cuts. Plus great speed for utility stuff, like Item or grey magic. (1.9 is introducing Haste into his grey magic). Mogoon, IIRC, is one of the better bulky fighters in the mod.

Huh

True, Carbunkl is less useful if you've got a dedicated Mana Battery. Otoh, by the numbers, Maduin's mag+ barely does anything until Ultima anyways. Might as well give her some MP ELs so that the Figaro Bro is freed up to do other things. I retract my newb trap statement though.

Yeah I agree that Mogoon is the best build, unfortunately it's also Edgar's best build and you're limited to 1 Dragon Helm per game unless you want to give up the Dragon Hide which I highly advise against. I've always wished they'd add a second Dragon Helm somewhere. Because of this, and the fact that you only get to use 12 out of your 14 available characters, I tend to bench Mog and Umaro.

About Chakra... I think Stamina Sabin is highly underrated. The Terra / Sabin / Strago / Relm group is nuts. Sabin has Golem for early defenses and Suplex for slow, but 99% of the time he'll just be spamming Chakra. I usually just go overkill and toss the full 50 Stamina into him to pump about 70 MP per round, which is more than enough to sustain whatever you want to do with magic. Vigor is unnecessary and he has enough HP naturally that I never feel the need for Terrato, but maybe that'll change with cover. You've got Shield and Shell support, Rerise, and everyone has a form of party healing so you can keep up with all the surprise Quasars and such at late-game. For offense, well, you've got it all... level 3 spells, Ultima, Bahamut, Flare, Meteor, Black Omen, X-Magic Dark... which btw is like 8-12k to a single target at end game and for some reason people keep saying Strago can't fill a damage role??

My last 1.8.6 run finished Kefka with that party at an average level of 33.75... which I don't know if that's considered high or low for BNW but I hear level 37 recommended for vanilla FF6 a lot. Considering that BNW is considerably more difficult I think that's pretty decent.

Edited by Reiker
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2 hours ago, Reiker said:

This is what I was afraid of. If this is the case, definitely nix the 50% chance to evade penalty. Because as it is now, having cover can actually cause you to take more cumulative damage to your party. I was really excited for this whole cover/counterattack change but the more I learn about it and think about it I dislike it more and more. I don't see the point of nerfing evade for cover anyways and considering it can actually be a detriment outside of your control... meh.

Or just change it such that the target's evasion is checked beforehand. Does target evade? Then target evades, skip Cover. Does target take hit? Then check for Cover.

2 hours ago, Reiker said:

Yeah I agree that Mogoon is the best build, unfortunately it's also Edgar's best build and you're limited to 1 Dragon Helm per game unless you want to give up the Dragon Hide which I highly advise against. I've always wished they'd add a second Dragon Helm somewhere. Because of this, and the fact that you only get to use 12 out of your 14 available characters, I tend to bench Mog and Umaro.

Unless Edgar & Mog are in the same party, there's no need for a second Dragon Helm. Mogoon can also ignore spears and just whack things with the Punisher: gets him a shield, frees up relic slots, and he's technically just as good at it as mag Mog (slightly better actually).

2 hours ago, Reiker said:

About Chakra... I think Stamina Sabin is highly underrated. The Terra / Sabin / Strago / Relm group is nuts. Sabin has Golem for early defenses and Suplex for slow, but 99% of the time he'll just be spamming Chakra. I usually just go overkill and toss the full 50 Stamina into him to pump about 70 MP per round, which is more than enough to sustain whatever you want to do with magic. Vigor is unnecessary and he has enough HP naturally that I never feel the need for Terrato, but maybe that'll change with cover. You've got Shield and Shell support, Rerise, and everyone has a form of party healing so you can keep up with all the surprise Quasars and such at late-game. For offense, well, you've got it all... level 3 spells, Ultima, Bahamut, Flare, Meteor, Black Omen

Chakra Sabin is a "love it or hate it" build. Even with that team, I'd rather just snag a few MP ELs and rely on Osmose, Raid, Tinctures, Ethers, and careful MP control. If I really want mp healing, I'll take the Mana Battery instead. mag Edgar is more diverse than Chakra Sabin, and I feel like a stronger, targeted recovery (100 mp recovery with Nirvana) is better than a lesser, party-wide recovery.

2 hours ago, Reiker said:

X-Magic Dark... which btw is like 8-12k to a single target at end game and for some reason people keep saying Strago can't fill a damage role??

My first issue with X-Dark is that

  • Its barely any stronger than Black Omen or Punisher
  • Its slower than those other two
  • It requires an otherwise mediocre relic, whilst the other two can happily equip something with spd+ or auto-Safe

The first two points mean that its dps isn't any better than Black Omen. A Crystal Orb Black Omen set-up does roughly the same overall dps as X-Dark, but with an open relic slot, for stuff like Guard Ring, and with the ability to summon Zoneseek. (Without a Crystal Orb, neither X-Dark nor Black Omen have better dps than the Punisher). The little bit of extra MP means little to Strago, especially since you like supporting him with Chakra. Adding on the third point, Black Omen & Punisher are more flexible than X-Dark. Both of them are significantly faster, which is important on a character with strong support moves (Refract, Holy Wind, Shield, Zoneseek). X-Dark's only real advantage here is doing all of the damage in one hit, thereby drawing less counterattacks. That's not unimportant, but its competition (flexibility of open relic slot, Zoneseek summon, & speed) is rather stiff.

My second issue with X-Dark is that, in the grand scheme of things, none of Strago's 3 endgame damage options are really top-tier. Without an Ice/Poison weakness, Shadow, Gau, Relm, Morph Terra, & Valiantsuken Locke are all higher damaging glass cannons than Strago. The Dragoons and Tempest Cyan also output higher dps. Related to this issue, Crystal Orbs are hard to come by. So Strago has to compete with Relm (better damage) and possibly Celes for the magic booster. (Technically Mog too, but we both admit that Strago wins that fight).

2 hours ago, Reiker said:

My last 1.8.6 run finished Kefka with that party at an average level of 33.75... which I don't know if that's considered high or low for BNW but I hear level 37 recommended for vanilla FF6 a lot. Considering that BNW is considerably more difficult I think that's pretty decent.

That's about average. Levels 30 - 35 are endgame levels. 30 for entering Kefka's, 35 for fighting Kefka.

Edited by thzfunnymzn
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X-Dark:

It seemed like significantly more damage than Black Omen vs. a single target. I'll have to check out exact numbers when I get home. Same with speed, I never really noticed a big speed difference. Lore takes a long time to charge so I don't think it's as significant as you say, but I'll test it.

Now, your whole point about Zoneseek vs. X-Shell... I think you've got it completely backwards. Sure, you save 1 turn with Zoneseek vs. X-Shell initially, but with how often characters die and get dispelled, you quickly regain those turns when you can cast 2 Shells per turn vs. 1.

As far as damage output, I'm just not sure why I don't have the same experience you do. And I don't even use the Crystal Orb with Strago, I've gotta fill one of his relic slots with Sprint Shoes since admittedly one of the main weaknesses of this group is no access to Haste outside of lucky Ross Brush procs.

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6 hours ago, Reiker said:

X-Dark:

It seemed like significantly more damage than Black Omen vs. a single target. I'll have to check out exact numbers when I get home. Same with speed, I never really noticed a big speed difference. Lore takes a long time to charge so I don't think it's as significant as you say, but I'll test it.

Now, your whole point about Zoneseek vs. X-Shell... I think you've got it completely backwards. Sure, you save 1 turn with Zoneseek vs. X-Shell initially, but with how often characters die and get dispelled, you quickly regain those turns when you can cast 2 Shells per turn vs. 1.

As far as damage output, I'm just not sure why I don't have the same experience you do. And I don't even use the Crystal Orb with Strago, I've gotta fill one of his relic slots with Sprint Shoes since admittedly one of the main weaknesses of this group is no access to Haste outside of lucky Ross Brush procs.

Against a single target with nothing special (no weakness, the normal 150 mg.def), Black Omen is the equivalent of a 120 BPow defense-respecting attack. X-Dark is 144 BPow. So, Black Omen is about a 5 to X-Dark's 6. As for total turn around time for casting (turn to turn), X-Dark's is an 11 to Black Omen's 10. That's assuming that Black Omen Strago ain't using a speed relic where X-Dark Strago has to use the Sage Stone. It's a damage difference, certainly, but not one I've found significant enough to be worthwhile. Especially since Strago's not exactly the hardest hitting glass cannon, barring weaknesses.

Damage output, at the average level you posted (34), without a Crystal Orb, X-Dark ain't hitting 8k - 12k; not without a Poison weakness or low mg.def. With the values you posted, it should be more around 6k, unless you have significant higher than 100 magic on Strago? (Even 120 magic caps at 7.3k). For Kefka's Tower, it's really just Asura & some sporadic randoms where you can hit the 8k - 12k mark without an Orb. In the final battle, !Left Arm, !Right Arm, and !Face will also take heavy damage, but then X-Dark is competing with Black Omen's AoE. Also, Black Omen can hurt !Girl, X-Dark cannot. That 6k "normal" figure is why I'm not a fan of X-Dark. Black Omen's only doing 5k, sure, but since Strago isn't really a dps monster without a weakness, I'd rather have the extra speed for extra turns to run support.

Also, without a Crystal Orb, Punisher's dps suddenly becomes another contender in the game.

That's a good point for X-Shell. It's not significant enough to convince me of Sage Stone Strago, but it is a solid point. (There's definitely a playstyle difference between us here: if I'm getting KO'd a lot in a boss fight, I'm either going to reset and figure out a better strategy, or I'm going to ignore positive statuses except for Rerise & HasteX. In both cases, Zoneseek is sufficient.)

Edited by thzfunnymzn
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20 hours ago, Reiker said:

This is what I was afraid of. If this is the case, definitely nix the 50% chance to evade penalty. Because as it is now, having cover can actually cause you to take more cumulative damage to your party. I was really excited for this whole cover/counterattack change but the more I learn about it and think about it I dislike it more and more. I don't see the point of nerfing evade for cover anyways and considering it can actually be a detriment outside of your control... meh.

This was done so that you can't have a near-physically immune tank Cover most of the physical attacks to your team. Particularly Shadow.
And yes, using Cover unwisely may cause you to take more damage. You're not supposed to have your more fragile characters Cover; it's a tool that lets you redirect attacks away from those characters. If you have your sturdier characters Cover, it will reduce overall damage.

 

18 hours ago, thzfunnymzn said:

Or just change it such that the target's evasion is checked beforehand. Does target evade? Then target evades, skip Cover. Does target take hit? Then check for Cover.

This essentially grants everyone an extra chance to evade. If this was done, I'd propose to nullify evade entirely for Cover.

 

By the way, you two are starting to drift pretty far from the topic. Might I suggest you split off your conversation to a new thread?

Edited by seibaby
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