pogeymanz

What (in your opinion) are some low-hanging fruits for making FFT 1.3 better?

92 posts in this topic

You can have better scaled spells without resorting to making fire 1/2/3/4.  The main issues with spell scaling:

1.  Spells are linear, physicals are quadratic; yet magic and physical attack growth scale the same way on characters.  Let's simplify a spell's formula to ma*15 for this example.  A spell like this will outpace ma^2 at ma < 15, and be outpaced by ma^2 at ma > 15.  Spells are frequently broken amounts of damage at lv 1, while barely/not at all worth the action to cast vs. using physical damage by mid level.  Solution = fix all formulas so that they are always linear or always quadratic.

2.  Spells have a charge time, physical attacks do not.  Since charge time is the best balancing factor for skills that isn't properly utilized in 1.3, my proposed solutions:  Give some physical skills a charge time (something like MT's Flare Blitz makes sense to have a charge time, since it's a physical skill that deals more damage than a direct attack, and also has an aoe), fix speed scaling to allow ct to be used (this can either be done by freezing speed growth, capping level much lower, or making spells faster as a character gains speed).

3.  Spells have MP cost, most physical attacks do not.  Why not balance MP costs differently?  MP costs and character MP growth in MT are entirely balanced upon new statuses (mist/rasp); weakness/strength to Ignite and Invert; use of passive abilities such as Amplify, Siphon, Mind Shield, Pressure, Hollow Mind; use of MP milling skills like Mp break, etc.  As such, characters can have thousands of MP at lv 99, yet MP as a mechanic is still important.  What you get in 1.3 is "fuck mp, I'm just going to use physical attacks" or "as long as I have enough MP to cast Meltdown with each character, that's all that matters."

4.  Range and AOE of spells doesn't matter as much when your characters can have 9 move and you only need to kill one target.  Solution = balance movement better, eliminate assassinations.

Elemental stuff can be better balanced with more interesting equipment choices, different procs on different elemental spells, different shaped spells (Fireball/Lightning Bolt/Cone of Cold).

11 hours ago, Windows X said:

And if you think Vanilla is too hard for early game, it means you need to learn and understand more about tactics. I used to be FFT noob and I felt it was hard before too. But that's not issue about learning how to play properly.

I don't think vanilla is too hard for early game, however my main issue with vanilla is that early game is much harder than late game.  Difficulty should scale upwards as the plot progresses, not downwards.  Assuming no excessive grinding, in chapter 1, you're essentially even with the ai.  Ai gets units with few relevant abilities, bad equipment, etc.  You get units with few relevant abilities, bad equipment, etc.  Now what happens in ch 4?  You get ninjas, calculators, Orlandu; and the vast majority of your enemies are still knights and time mages with linen robes and only Haste and Antidote learned.  

11 hours ago, Windows X said:

As for speed manipulation issue, it's an issue with 1.3 where CT on spells isn't balanced. 1.3 favors physical with no CT so you might as well remove CT altogether to fix it. That may work.

I would advise against removing CT altogether.  CT is the main thing that makes FFT unique when compared with other strategy RPG's, and is one of the best balancing factors to exist.  You're better off finding a way to make it work.

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On 12/17/2017 at 2:43 PM, Windows X said:

Trying to make an easier 1.3 is like a trainwreck version of comprehensive elements. Just play 1.3 original or easy mode. Archer sucks yeah I agree but not far from saving. Faster aim with arm/leg shot makes archer more desirable. Arithmetician is broken yeah I agree and I made him kind of Red Mage variant instead of making OP job with -ja spells like 1.3 (Too crazy for balanced game mod). Dragoon jump is boring I agree but that's how Dragoon works and 1.3 was like that too.

Specials are broken for special reasons and that's optional for people who want to take them on their own accord. I don't see anything wrong with Black Mage though. He has tons of good spells because he's the master of black magic. 3-4 tier spells has been there since early days of FF and it's tradition everyone is accustomed with. Vanilla is far from balanced and proper but it's not too bad to say it's beyond saving in my opinion.

I used to play 1.3 for a while and I gotta say I love many things they did there though the game can be too cruel and unbalanced at times. Those broken suitable for easier mode. Wizard with one level spell like Explosion, Chain Lightning will simply abuse its abilities without AI knowing how to utilize it efficiently. Imagine they cast spell and you use those modded Plunder strikes. You think it's cool and all because it's deadly situation and status ailments affect gameplay a lot. If you make that in easier version, it's just abusing and plain boring. And adding broken spells from enemies to Ramza and Arithmetician makes them broken even more in easier mode.

So let me just say that none of these things are actually a problem with 1.3. As a matter of fact, I would argue that the AI uses the new abilities better than players generally will. The amount of times I've seen someone caught off guard and got three of their units wrecked with a Chain Lightning is staggering.

The biggest problems with 1.3 are what Quad and Emmy have mentioned.

Also I'd like to point out something: it seems you're trying to make sport out of Augestein by insinuating he's a bad player.

You're gonna have a bad time with that, bud.

You seem to be getting more aggressive as more and more people disagree with you. I would caution you against this, as this thread is going to end badly for you. Nothing being said here is personal, but it looks like you're taking it that way with how defensive you're getting. Take a step back, my dude. It's nothing to get heated over. :)

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What I'd say 1.3 needs, and what FFT needs, to be honest, is to calm the fuck down with the RNG.

The chance of doing anything going below 50% is just annoying.

A coin flip should be the limit of forced randomness. The use of something like the Blind status would be an exception, of course.

 

In the case of something like debuffs, where randomness is essentially used as a crutch to balance them, I'd make the ability to heal them much slightly more common, and the ability to inflict them much more spread out.

If you see a group of units with particular jobs and skillsets, you should be able to tell "Okay, they're gonna debuff me like so", and come up with a plan to counteract it. One job focused around debuffs, in the classic, RNG-balanced sense, is dull as hell. Maybe a jobset of less-serious debuffs would still be fine, I guess. Just gotta keep it sane.

Making them unreliable to use isn't the answer.

Edited by AbnormalVoid
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Well, most of the problem with status effect rng is that in vanilla, debuffs were evadable in addition to the faith based check, and evasion was stupidly high.  When something has a 50% chance to cut through evasion, and another 50% check even if you hit the unit, why bother with status when damage is out of control and you can just kill the guy instead?  Get rid of that evasion check and make it faith based only, and you have something that has reasonable chances of hitting in addition to something that a player could feasibly increase those chances further with use of faith status and/or faith increasing moves.

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For status effects, yeah, I think straight-up static evasion amounts are probably for the best. Scrap the both the character evasion and faith evasion checks, altogether.

Protecting from bad statuses any more than that can be the job of status protection items.

Just have to keep the RNG in check. For statuses and otherwise. Nothing below 50%. Anything below a coin flip is pure tedium.

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35 minutes ago, AbnormalVoid said:

For status effects, yeah, I think straight-up static evasion amounts are probably for the best. Scrap the both the character evasion and faith evasion checks, altogether.

Protecting from bad statuses any more than that can be the job of status protection items.

Just have to keep the RNG in check. For statuses and otherwise. Nothing below 50%. Anything below a coin flip is pure tedium.

There must be some exceptions however: 50% Charm without any compat is outright ludicrous

And about Windows X rant, I just saw that one coming so that´s why I cut out some chase and put that post before

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3 minutes ago, ronlyn said:

There must be some exceptions however: 50% Charm without any compat is outright ludicrous

And about Windows X rant, I just saw that one coming so that´s why I cut out some chase and put that post before

Nah, it's fine. Charm really isn't that OP, you just need to be prepared to counteract it, either with equipment or a quick simple attack.

In any case, whether you agree or not with the above, the trick to balancing more powerful debuffs is to have alternate effects. Say, an ability that causes both Charm and Slow. They're charmed, but their charm has reduced effectiveness, due to them being slowed.

There are better ways. There are ALWAYS better ways than sodomizing players with RNG. That's ludicrous.

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39 minutes ago, AbnormalVoid said:

There are better ways. There are ALWAYS better ways than sodomizing players with RNG. That's ludicrous.

*1.3 Altima fight*

*Shivers* 

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I'm against making 1.3 easier as it's supposed to be hard to enjoy. That's my point here. I think it'd be better to focus on 1.3 without comparing to vanilla.

Charm + Slow sounds interesting but enemy will also knock charmed unit back to their sense so we'll get enemy unit being hit and slowed instead.

I agree that some physical skills need CT added in 1.3 to balance things out with spells. I don't agree about coin flip limit of RNG though. Some hard to infllict status has its own charm too.

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9 hours ago, Windows X said:

I'm against making 1.3 easier as it's supposed to be hard to enjoy. That's my point here. I think it'd be better to focus on 1.3 without comparing to vanilla.

Charm + Slow sounds interesting but enemy will also knock charmed unit back to their sense so we'll get enemy unit being hit and slowed instead.

I agree that some physical skills need CT added in 1.3 to balance things out with spells. I don't agree about coin flip limit of RNG though. Some hard to infllict status has its own charm too.

1.3 isn't even particularly very hard, it's just poorly balanced.

A lot of people will argue that shifting balance against the player is the best, or perhaps only, way to increase difficulty. This is patently wrong. The best way to increase challenge is through the diversity and complexity of the challenge being offered, so that a player will still have the ability to overcome if they use their resources properly. Often, this is done in new ways they hadn't considered, given the change of pace, or subversion of rules, from previous challenges. This way, each new challenge can broaden their strategic understanding of the game, preparing them for further challenges.

Adding boat-loads of RNG into the mix is the worst possible answer to balance. It removes agency from the player, and places it in the hands of chance, which cares nothing for you or your strategy, as good as it may be in every other aspect. While my Charm/Slow analogy was just an example, I'd still say it's balanced, due to the remaining slow effect being the price paid for the opportunity of being able to remove charm from your unit, before they do anything detrimental, and vise-versa for the enemy. Besides that, there's also the availability of status protection for fights. If there's a unit in a fight that constantly uses that particular Charm/Slow ability, but you haven't made the opportunity to guard against it, that's on you. Also, if properly balanced, the player still has the ability to use the same abilities against the enemy. We should let these effects be more commonly used and inflicted. They shake up a battle, turning the tide in interesting ways that make both sides bend to each-other's wills. Making them unreliable to use, or only reliable for the enemy to use, takes away from the whole point of their existence in the game.

Of course, the complete removal of chance from an encounter tends to make it boring, as you don't get those spine-tingling moments of anticipation, where one wonders if their attack is going to hit, or if an attack is going to hit them. This NEEDS to be kept in check, however. Anything less than a 50%, all or nothing, chance removes the point of having the skill at all. If an attack has a greater chance of failing, <50%, and doing nothing at all, then the ability may as well be useless, as it cannot be used in any reliable sense. This point is often obfuscated by the fact that the player can repeat battles ad nauseam, continuing to roll the dice until a favorable outcome presents itself. If you isolate battles into individual instances, then using skills with a statistically unreliable chance is next to pointless, as doing nothing at all and preserving CT, and sometimes MP, will often be the better choice.

Now, the point we can agree on is that 1.3 is absolutely hard to enjoy. Where we disagree is about whether or not subjecting yourself to something that's tedious and irritating is a worthwhile endeavor. If that's what you're up for, go ahead, 1.3 isn't going anywhere.

Edited by AbnormalVoid
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That's why I tried to make my own re-balance instead of fixing 1.3. It's beyond my skills to make proper balance on 1.3.

In my opinion, some abilities with low RNG means, you shouldn't use it. If it's set to 50% or higher, people can abuse it and game will be broken like dancer's forbidden dance. It really should be forbidden.

Unless steal that I will really need to get no matter what, I won't use low RNG abilities in my gameplay.

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25 minutes ago, Windows X said:

That's why I tried to make my own re-balance instead of fixing 1.3. It's beyond my skills to make proper balance on 1.3.

In my opinion, some abilities with low RNG means, you shouldn't use it. If it's set to 50% or higher, people can abuse it and game will be broken like dancer's forbidden dance. It really should be forbidden.

Unless steal that I will really need to get no matter what, I won't use low RNG abilities in my gameplay.

What is the purpose of including abilities that people shouldn't use in a game? Why have that ability at all?

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7 hours ago, AbnormalVoid said:

What is the purpose of including abilities that people shouldn't use in a game? Why have that ability at all?

Not much. Hail Mary's are pretty pointless, and bad moves are even worse. And I DO like that Charm + Slow ability. It's interesting. 

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On 12/27/2017 at 1:41 AM, AbnormalVoid said:

What is the purpose of including abilities that people shouldn't use in a game? Why have that ability at all?

I said "In my opinion".

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2 hours ago, Windows X said:

I said "In my opinion".

 

rudd.gif

Edited by AbnormalVoid
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On 12/25/2017 at 11:33 AM, AbnormalVoid said:

Adding boat-loads of RNG into the mix is the worst possible answer to balance. It removes agency from the player, and places it in the hands of chance, which cares nothing for you or your strategy, as good as it may be in every other aspect.

I think this is the right frame of mind. RPGs already abstract away the player from skill-based outcomes by having virtual representations of condition -> HP, kinetic force -> STR, knowledge -> INT, and all those other shortcuts D&D originally used to make wargaming appropriate for individual player characters. (Of course then it also gave us 2 dice rolls to get to the result, so...) This is in stark contrast to something like an arena shooter or other realtime game in which human reflexes matter much more than some arbitrary stat.

 

Adding a % dice roll on top of already-abstracted stats is too much of a gap between the player input and system output IMO. For every dice roll attack there should be some contextual or situational way to make that attack 100% accuracy, whether it's flanking or a passive skill like vanilla's Concentrate. 

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I think lower RNG has its room for player to plan their strategy whether they should utilize high risk high return approach in the game play. If it works, you'll gain a bit more favor. If it doesn't, how will you recover from such situation. I for one who doesn't like low RNG ability because I hate it when it fails but I understand the mindset of putting this on.

Removing such elements will make the game more solid but also lose some rewards. If I were to make 1.3 better, I'd tone down the extremeness of overpowering and punishing players down a bit to add more variety with RNG and some certain abilities to be more balanced between players and enemies.

As for Charm + Slow, I disagree as fellow who use Female Thief charming Knights and Wizards. The merit of Charm is you can stall their movement that can be harmful down a bit and enemies aren't stupid so closest unit will knock their friends back to their sense as I did to mine. Adding Slow means you'll also gain favor of slowing down enemy if it is hit before acting in your favor.

If I were to add abilities baesd on my gameplay, I'd rather add something giving benefits enemy unit like Regen so he can gain portion of HP back after being hit from friends and you won't gain benefits from such ability too. Though I'd prefer charm to be as is as it seems fine to make enemies hitting each other instead. Or you can change from Charm to Confuse to reduce the benefits to your side a bit.

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4 hours ago, Windows X said:

I think lower RNG has its room for player to plan their strategy whether they should utilize high risk high return approach in the game play. If it works, you'll gain a bit more favor. If it doesn't, how will you recover from such situation. I for one who doesn't like low RNG ability because I hate it when it fails but I understand the mindset of putting this on.

There is no good strategy to low chance RNG in the context of a Total Success/Total Failure situation. The only good strategy is to avoid it entirely. High risk/Reward is exactly how Lotteries take advantage of people who don't understand statistics (to a far greater extent, granted). It doesn't matter how great a successful outcome is, a low chance of seeing that outcome completely removes the strategic benefit of that outcome existing at all.

The low chance means the ability will be used very little, because while you're missing constantly, an enemy will walk over and rip your ass open. The times it will be used is as a last-ditch gambit, where it's your only option of success in an already hopeless situation. You use it, it fails, you fail anyway. You use it, it succeeds, you succeed, but do you really deserve that success? Every poor choice you made led to that hopeless situation. It's only the result of an overpowered ability, locked off with a measure that doesn't actually make it any more balanced, that completely bailed you out.

The player then moves on, learning nothing from their mistakes, and gaining no actual strategic benefit beyond relying on terribly designed abilities. Congratulations, the depth of your game has been subverted entirely.

4 hours ago, Windows X said:

As for Charm + Slow, I disagree as fellow who use Female Thief charming Knights and Wizards. The merit of Charm is you can stall their movement that can be harmful down a bit and enemies aren't stupid so closest unit will knock their friends back to their sense as I did to mine. Adding Slow means you'll also gain favor of slowing down enemy if it is hit before acting in your favor.

If I were to add abilities baesd on my gameplay, I'd rather add something giving benefits enemy unit like Regen so he can gain portion of HP back after being hit from friends and you won't gain benefits from such ability too. Though I'd prefer charm to be as is as it seems fine to make enemies hitting each other instead. Or you can change from Charm to Confuse to reduce the benefits to your side a bit.

Charm was only an example. The point of the example is that abilities should be balanced by what they do, not by the chance that they'll do it.

Giving players the ability to formulate strategies based on weighing the positives and negatives of using abilities in regards to a given situation is infinitely better than constantly rolling the dice on boring, broken abilities. It's one of the few things the original FFT never really grasped, which is a shame, because the potential for it is staggering.

Edited by AbnormalVoid
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31 minutes ago, AbnormalVoid said:

There is no good strategy to low chance RNG in the context of a Total Success/Total Failure situation. The only good strategy is to avoid it entirely. High risk/Reward is exactly how Lotteries take advantage of people who don't understand statistics (to a far greater extent, granted). It doesn't matter how great a successful outcome is, a low chance of seeing that outcome completely removes the strategic benefit of that outcome existing at all.

The low chance means the ability will be used very little, because while you're missing constantly, an enemy will walk over and rip your ass open. The times it will be used is as a last-ditch gambit, where it's your only option of success in an already hopeless situation. You use it, it fails, you fail anyway. You use it, it succeeds, you succeed, but do you really deserve that success? Every poor choice you made led to that hopeless situation. It's only the result of an overpowered ability, locked off with a measure that doesn't actually make it any more balanced, that completely bailed you out.

The player then moves on, learning nothing from their mistakes, and gaining no actual strategic benefit beyond relying on terribly designed abilities. Congratulations, the depth of your game has been subverted entirely.

Charm was only an example. The point of the example is that abilities should be balanced by what they do, not by the chance that they'll do it.

Giving players the ability to formulate strategies based on weighing the positives and negatives of using abilities in regards to a given situation is infinitely better than constantly rolling the dice on boring, broken abilities. It's one of the few things the original FFT never really grasped, which is a shame, because the potential for it is staggering.

Personally, I'm on the same page with you about not relying on low chance RNG. However, there's also a few players who enjoy that kind of high risk high reward from low RNG abilities. Let's see the case of steal for an example. It has low chance and stealing is hard to do for some fights but many tried to get cool items regardless of risks.

If there's no low RNG abilities, there'll be some abilities being abused like Arithmetician, Dancer+Mimic, Rend/Steal party, etc. And ended up having to remove some abilities to keep the game from being abused. Sometimes seeing enemies using low RNG abilities give us thrill to spice things up. Without such element, it'd make the game less enjoyable to me personally.

As for abilities with advantage/disadvantage has interesting concepts but harder to utilize since most of them are about status ailments, buff/debuff. I think the merits for this should be designer's responsibilities. When modding game, I'll think about benefits and loss between players and enemies. If I add this ability or modify it like this, will it balance benefits between player and enemies better or something like that.

I think it'd be more preferable for more players to have 1.3 with low RNG support and provide flexibility to utilize more strategies without having to resort to sandbagging.

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12 minutes ago, Windows X said:

Personally, I'm on the same page with you about not relying on low chance RNG. However, there's also a few players who enjoy that kind of high risk high reward from low RNG abilities. Let's see the case of steal for an example. It has low chance and stealing is hard to do for some fights but many tried to get cool items regardless of risks.

There are people who enjoy doing crack cocaine and voting for the green party. Just because people like to make bad decisions, doesn't mean those choices should be enabled.

12 minutes ago, Windows X said:

If there's no low RNG abilities, there'll be some abilities being abused like Arithmetician, Dancer+Mimic, Rend/Steal party, etc. And ended up having to remove some abilities to keep the game from being abused. Sometimes seeing enemies using low RNG abilities give us thrill to spice things up. Without such element, it'd make the game less enjoyable to me personally.

Then it's time to get rid of them, or redesign those abilities to function in another manner, with difficult conditions that don't rely on shitty random mechanics.

12 minutes ago, Windows X said:

As for abilities with advantage/disadvantage has interesting concepts but harder to utilize since most of them are about status ailments, buff/debuff. I think the merits for this should be designer's responsibilities. When modding game, I'll think about benefits and loss between players and enemies. If I add this ability or modify it like this, will it balance benefits between player and enemies better or something like that.

There are plenty of ways to balance them besides with other status effects, and many don't even need to be balanced in this manner. They just need to be made easier to inflict for both the player and the enemy. Maybe removed entirely in the case of something like Petrify, unless the properties of it can be changed through assembly.

12 minutes ago, Windows X said:

I think it'd be more preferable for more players to have 1.3 with low RNG support and provide flexibility to utilize more strategies without having to resort to sandbagging.

There are plenty of better ways to deter sandbagging. Low RNG is a BAD MECHANIC. It's lazy, ineffective, and frustrating. Please, for the love of god, stop defending it unless you have a point better than "It's like, my opinion, man."

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For better reason, lower RNG gives you more variety sense of adventure. If you want to make your own mod for realist with real world's strategy, it's fine. I'd love to play your finished work too. I'm speaking in topic about making 1.3 better in this regard.

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29 minutes ago, Windows X said:

For better reason, lower RNG gives you more variety sense of adventure. If you want to make your own mod for realist with real world's strategy, it's fine. I'd love to play your finished work too. I'm speaking in topic about making 1.3 better in this regard.

RNG doesn't actually provide more meaningful variety. There is enough diversity in the variety of cascading events and decisions that occur within battles to account for a countless variety of outcomes.

Consider the following: http://www.bernmedical.com/blog/how-many-possible-move-combinations-are-there-in-chess

In chess, a game with absolutely no randomness, where each piece can only do one thing, there are literally billions of possible outcomes after only four turns. This is derived purely from the consequences of the strictly intended actions by each player. Adding absurd amounts of randomness on top of an already diverse tapestry of outcomes, and considering it an improvement, is completely ignorant of reality.

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Some amounts of RNG is fun.  For example, randomized brave and faith, zodiac signs, and randomized monster stats between male/female variants (the way MT does it, not the way vanilla does it) can make it so that the ai doesn't always choose the same things first.  However, having to rely on accuracies below 50% too frequently shouldn't be a thing in a strategy game.

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Low RNG skills are only really a good thing to add if you plan on them being used when you have control over the situation (so a miss doesn't mean that much). Like, invite is a good example -- it's not really to be used in a hectic battle where all your moves matter, but I wouldn't want it removed completely just because it's a low percentage. But that's corner case more than anything, and has little to do with actual battle balance -- High RNG risk elements simply isn't a smart way to go.

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I agree with the 50% minimal hit with status effects since I just use steal for REALLY specific fight (riovannes roof for example) or Charm to give myself a little advantage at the beginning of the fight and then toss it aside

Also Windows X, you should avoid speaking from everyone in regards of their tastes: Difficulty comes in all flavors and doing that is kind of offensive for everyone involved here

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