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darknil

Final Fantasy VI: Meltdown

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Since we're all more or less moving out projects over here, I figured I'd go ahead and post this.

Meltdown is a WIP Final Fantasy 6 romhack that aims, primarily, to make major changes to the battle system, and secondarily, to re-do overlooked story content, mostly in the World of Ruin. The former is what I have been working on up to now, and will be what I focus on up to 2.0. After I finish with the bulk of my battle work and am satisfied, I will begin work on plot content. 

A thread exists on ID which has fallen to the mists of time and become largely irrelevent. I'm somewhat hoping to begin developing enough displayable content to actually have something to show now. I have some screenshots, but nothing of battles since a lot of the changes are behind the scenes. If anybody's interested, once I actually finish enemies and then begin working on AI up to Ultros, or maybe Zozo, I'll put up an early alpha build. I fully expect it'll be wonky and possibly even buggy though.

Primary changes:

  • GBA script and nomenclature, subject to change but unlikely to see substantial modification, at least until 2.0.

This is game-wide. Due to the nature of how I have to make my changes, battle dialogue will probably remain unchanged until I'm ready for a major release. Spells, items (those which haven't been removed or modified, anyway), blitzes, enemy names, and most other aspects have been pulled from the GBA version. Bushido is renamed Tachi, because Bushido is a made-up bullshit translation and if we're running with that, I'm using more accurate series precedent.

  • Thorough rebalancing of enemies and PCs.

Expect a similar scale to BNW. Each character has their own HP and MP growth, and their own stat growths to level 20. Enemies will be rewritten to be competent and dangerous if underestimated. Enemies also have a few assigned stats which they previously did not. Trying to run underleveled may not be a good idea, but I certainly have no issue with people trying.

  • Complete overhaul of esper system.

Let's break this down:

V3i0jr0.png

Each esper has its own level.

Espers may contain up to 10 spells. (This list is not final. I've already made first-pass lists, and none of them actually have 10 spells.)

Esper spells are imbued, meaning they are applied on equip and removed on unequip.

Esper spells are learned at the level displayed.

Each level gives that esper a bonus stat, which is applied on equip.

Each esper may be raised to level 25.

Gaining an esper level:

  1. Enemies have assigned skill experience values.
  2. Each time you gain 100 Skill EXP, you gain 1 Skill Point (SP).
  3. Once you have enough SP, you can then purchase an esper level for an available stat (if the value is white, not grey)
  4. Profit?
  5. Profit!

The player chooses a stat to boost with each level applied. These boosts cap at 25 total per esper, and are applied to the esper in the same way spells are.

  • Several new relic effects.

The main presently implemented effect allows the wearer to bypass reflect entirely when casting spells. I have yet to give the relic a satisfactory name.

Present other ideas include: Allowing Runic to absorb two spells instead of one, and a Pray/Health command swap for Relm

  • Modified Runic.

Celes's Runic effect now lasts until it's consumed, rather than until her next turn comes up. In exchange, however, Celes (or Gogo) now incur a -20 Defense penalty while under the effect or Runic. This would be unchanged with my proposed relic effect.

  • Numerous enemy AI tweaks and additions. Players may or may not notice these when they come into play.

I can manipulate enemy stats and properties at will. I'm presently trying to think of a way to make it relatively transparent, but it's a work in progress. I'd like to minimize invisible changes.

I can also properly counter MP milling, so expect an actual fight if you try to MP kill Ultima Weapon.

  • Many modified battle mechanics.

Back row now only reduces damage by 25%.

Defend reduces damage by 25%, but applies to magic as well. Defend also restores a small amount of HP and MP. This value is subject to change.

Physical and magical damage both use vanilla's magical damage formula at present. I'm not entirely fond of it, but i'm less fond of the original strength formula and have yet to find a satisfactory custom formula which is feasible to code into the game. I'm open to ideas as long as they aren't logarithmic and don't involve things like square roots.

Some spells replace their primary stat component (magic if magical, strength if physical) with vitality. This may extend to all healing spells, but that's purely theory right now.

Physical tachi and blitz techniques now respect row.

Working on dealing with the genji glove/gauntlet issue. I'm undetermined as to whether they remain a relic or get applied more directly to weaponery.

Rages are overhauled. Still a WIP though. There are only 48 rages, and I'm considering removing the leap mechanic entirely. Nobody likes rage grinding.

Morph will undergo a change. Have a few half-baked ideas floating around. Still exploring options.

All (non-Gogo/Umaro) characters have natural magic tables, but only Terra, Cayenne, Celes, Shadow, Relm, and Stragos have anything filled right now. Shadow may be axed from that list.

Shadow will not run off anymore.

nATB, identical to BNW.

With nATB, tachi charge speed is no longer functionally relevent. However, I still have the speed modification in place. I intend to slow this slightly, as its default speed is way too fast for my liking.

Colored MP damage display. This took forever to get to work properly for me, because . . .

All actors may now deal up to 32,000 HP damage in a single strike.

Vitality adds to defense fractionally. This will likely be changed, though ideally not removed.

I intend to give status display an overhaul, much as I did in BNW. The exact nature I am unsure of at this point.

Sap is going to become manasap and poison will replace its function -- Poison will no longer have an element, and the poison element will be renamed to Darkness.

Learned spells from items are now imbued.

Steals now function as they do in FFX. There are still two item slots. However, a common item steal attempt will have a 100% success rate on the first try. You may continue stealing common items, with the success rate being halved with each successful steal. A successful rare item steal will blank both items on that enemy and you will no longer be able to steal from it. The Thief's Bracer will raise rare steal rate.

Weapons/shields cannot be swapped in battle due to issues with imbued magic.

This is actually all I can remember looking at my assembly files alone. More has likely been changed that I have forgotten about.

  • Quality of life improvements, some of which appeared in BNW, either coded by synchysi or myself for it.

hbJRgSY.png

Encounter rate option.

Battle speed does work, unlike BNW's (which I removed the option for anyway).

Item sort sorts by either healing or weapons (for throwing) first.

Auto-dash.

Difficulty selecter. This will be locked to Normal early on, then expanded to include Hard later. Hard will have higher (hand-picked!, not straight percentage) stats and some modifications to enemy abilities. A third option will eventually be added, likely once I've worked through the end of the game. The last difficulty will have new AI, so it needs special attention. Am considering the prospect of higher exp on Normal and higher Gil on Hard.

ITkUHnC.png

Rages will have descriptions. This is already coded in, but is naught but placeholders.

qOJHFOo.png

Gear stats screen shows both imbued spells, if two exist, and also shows weapon accuracy, if relevent.

PRK19xe.png

Will add this if people like it and want it, with the understanding that the battle menu equvilent will go unchanged (unless some unlucky soul decides they want to tackle it for me).

 

I am presently trying to finish enemy properties up (working on status vulnerabilities, and then plan to begin going through and doing basic stat assignment and AI up to at least the 3 scenarios splits). I simply wanted to post this to gauge interest and bounce ideas for feedback.

Edited by darknil
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Wow, looks like you have a lot of good stuff planned. Looking forward to the mod!

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This definitely seems interesting.  When you get to the point of beta testing let me know and we'll carve out a spot in the downloads section for you.

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You are far more knowledgeable than me on the asm aspects but let me know if you ever want any input or help on the lighter content like plot, map editing, AI stuff, etc.

 

Now that I am thinking about it, have you been able to make any substantial changed to anything related to battle AI? I mean new conditions, or whatnot. For some reason I feel like you have, I know we have had a few general conversations but I can't remember the specifics at the moment :poker:

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I'm actually working on making space to expand the F1 targetting command's jump table. I've substantially expanded the miscellaneous command to include a lot of stat manipulation stuff, and have added a few conditionals, but that's it thus far.

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I may have to talk to you some more in depth about this in chat sometime.  I'm interested in what it would take to do edits like this to expand the AI commands.

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Beta in 2019? :P

Edit: Really nice work!

Edited by madsiur
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When I think about how long many projects like this one and mine have been in development, I always remember there is also Pandora's Box.  That allows me to tell myself that mine hasn't been in development THAT long. :lol:

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PB's in a situation where its creators all have lives outside of hacking now and struggle to find the motivation or time to work on it on any regular basis. My project isn't too much younger than theirs, I believe.

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Regarding steals. I recently came across a thread on another associated hacking site that expanded steals to four items. I figured you'd appreciate a link to it, if not for your own use, then for figuring out how to make your own version.^_^:P

Here's the link for that. https://www.ff6hacking.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=3173

First Edit; And here's another link related to that one. ("Multi-Steal-Fix (Version 1.01) by Imzogelmo") http://assassin17.brinkster.net/hosted_patches.htm

Second Edit; Actually, according to Imzogelmo it's a pain to steal multiple items due to how the vanilla coding for items stolen works. Imzogelmo goes into more detail in these posts here. https://www.ff6hacking.com/forums/thread-3173-post-30496.html#pid30496 & https://www.ff6hacking.com/forums/thread-3173-post-30499.html#pid30499 & https://www.ff6hacking.com/forums/thread-3173-post-30503.html#pid30503

 

Also, the user Catone made an Auction House improvement I also think you may find usable as well (the fact that it's smaller code wise than the original is a nice bonus in its own right). https://www.ff6hacking.com/forums/showthread.php?tid=2784

Edited by GLH
spelling errors, bleh, also, another link and details
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Damn, this looks fantastic. It's always amazing seeing what can be done to FF6 now days while I'm still like mentally thinking of Pandora's Box as The FF6 romhack (*grumble*), yet BNW and this clearly go above and beyond. Can't wait to play!

2 hours ago, GLH said:

Regarding steals. I recently came across a thread on another associated hacking site that expanded steals to four items.

Not sure I like the idea of there being so many steals. My biggest complaint with FF9 is the amount of time spent in boss fights that can't dream of killing you while you just sit there failing to steal. Either the items are crappy and not worth the time finding out what they are, or they will generally be too good and then it just becomes routine to have to bring a thief. Hell, if I'm being honest I hate Locke as a character anyway (battle wise he is great) and would love to see steal spread out to more characters, maybe even a spell form of it.

On 5/9/2017 at 5:08 AM, darknil said:

A successful rare item steal will blank both items on that enemy and you will no longer be able to steal from it.

Given you plan to blank out the common when obtaining the rare, how feasible would it be to make a visual to show the difference between a common and rare in the event that we get the rare first? I'd love not having to waste a turn using an attack that will just outright miss.

On 5/9/2017 at 5:08 AM, darknil said:

There are only 48 rages, and I'm considering removing the leap mechanic entirely. Nobody likes rage grinding.

Excellent. On that note, how many people like hunting down all the shit that Strago can do? If there was a way to guide the player into finding the skills that would be great. My first thought was maybe scripting in a reaction from Strago mid battle if an enemy could teach him something but I have no idea if it's possible to add scenes like that to random fights.

 

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One thought I have with Gau and his Rages is darknil could give him 'everything' at the start, weaken him (as he is a child left to die in the wild, so he's going to be malnourished from that alone), and then replace the Leap command with something to round out things.

However, that brings up balance issues, which I think could be solved by making sure that the Rages are varied but mostly 'weak'ish' compared to alternate 'late game' options in vanilla, but I'm unsure if I should suggest Gau's rages being limited-time before player regains control of him. If Gau has 'everything' at the start and Rages are a certain time or number of turns, it makes Gau incredibly powerful given 'what' he could potentially do with all of that. If Gau's stats are made too weak, then an incredible amount of time will have to be spent on building that up in order to make him usable. If Gau requires the really powerful equipment in order to survive, then he's really not going to see much use until late-game (some players would make a list of what rages to use to get around that sort of thing, but those aren't casual gamers and players). If Gau can't equip some of that stuff, then it becomes very difficult to keep him alive until damn near the end of the game.

Of course, that then brings up what Gau's second ability would be. Amusingly something akin to Runic and Control would be easy fits without much issue, but that has the potential to make him game-breaking in places (though now I can't help but imagine Gau using his Magic Bone to work Runic abilities. It's amusing to say the least). Throw might work, ensuring that there is always at least one character with the ability. Thematically it's also in character with how Gau grew up, throwing shit (both figuratively and literally:P) at monsters when and where needed in order to make them go away. Only issue is the "Scrolls" are kind of 'ninja-only', so those might be problems there if trying to keep everything 100% thematically accurate (which I doubt is the case here, but had to bring up anyways).

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23 hours ago, GamingFiend said:

Your ideas for the Espers are especially intriguing!

Indeed. Espers are now essentially equipable equipment with stat AND spell bonuses that disappear once unequipped. "Raiden" will have to be replaced due to the issues its existence causes, but that's no big deal. Just means we'll get something like Leviathan, or Gilgamesh, or Diabolos, or Cactuar.

This is good as it means players don't have to worry and fret about keeping as low leveled as possible in order to get the most stat bonuses, as 'stat bonuses' are now tied to how the player grew the Espers more than anything else.

Given the creater's statement about new relics, it's also likely that he's doing what Sega Chief did with his FF7 New Threat mod and making restoration items that cover a minimum of two or more statuses ("Echo Drops" for example) to make room for new relics.

I wonder if he'll also take some of the broken and unused commands and reuse and/or remake them. Like a fire or ice flavored version of "Shock" as an example, or a means of keeping full access to the Magitek commands. Still, this is pretty well thought out and interesting.

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Frankly surprised there's still interest in this hack given the amount of time it's remained stagnant. Unfortunately I've discovered irrecoverable bugs, and my development cycle has become such a haphazard mess that I'm likely going to scrap it. I have ideas in mind for a replacement hack, utilizing a lot of the secondary mechanics I'd built for this, but using a different main mechanic (think SaGa). I'll make a thread for it and have this one closed once I have more hammered down. I can say there will be some major changes though. For instance: Elements will be recoded to utilize a % damage variable which can strengthen or weaken a spell's damage. Defense is also being recoded to produce diminishing returns at high numbers. I'm undecided what to do with espers. I may implement a stripped down version of Meltdown's esper system, which I'd kind of been wanting to do anyway.

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20 minutes ago, darknil said:

Frankly surprised there's still interest in this hack given the amount of time it's remained stagnant. Unfortunately I've discovered irrecoverable bugs, and my development cycle has become such a haphazard mess that I'm likely going to scrap it. I have ideas in mind for a replacement hack, utilizing a lot of the secondary mechanics I'd built for this, but using a different main mechanic (think SaGa). I'll make a thread for it and have this one closed once I have more hammered down. I can say there will be some major changes though. For instance: Elements will be recoded to utilize a % damage variable which can strengthen or weaken a spell's damage. Defense is also being recoded to produce diminishing returns at high numbers. I'm undecided what to do with espers. I may implement a stripped down version of Meltdown's esper system, which I'd kind of been wanting to do anyway.

Out of curiousity, will you eventually be releasing some of the mods (in ips or asm format) you have done for this (dead/failed) project, along with some of the others you have helped with? And hell yes a lot of us are interested in what you're doing, even with projects that seem to have stalled, as you do damned good work.

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I actually plan to release a few once they're cleaned up and made presentable. Natural Magic for the whole party was to be first on the list, but that needs rewritten entirely because it's horribly coded and unoptimized.

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1 hour ago, darknil said:

I actually plan to release a few once they're cleaned up and made presentable. Natural Magic for the whole party was to be first on the list, but that needs rewritten entirely because it's horribly coded and unoptimized.

Thank you.

And yeah, I'm starting to learn this sort of stuff myself. I'm starting to learn how to code, and it's annoying as some of the patches publically available are either for unheadered roms, or are coding messes, and that's before most of the tutorials being so shoddy (am making progress though, slow as it is, but I know I'm a damned newb at this point with this sort of stuff right now). I want to make a few easy-to-use patches to address gameplay issues all at once. "Fire and forget" type stuff (the Evasion issue, fixing the fact that vanilla has Seizure being made more powerful the more Stamina a character has, Sketch, the issues with Dark, etc.), make it easier for other newbies like myself getting into things (half the issue was just finding some of those old patches). Making an 'all-in-one" bugfix patch would likely also be of use to a lot of other modders as well.:P

Still, I look forward to what you have to offer, and am damned thankful to you for it.

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There is an all-in-one either on ff6hacking or slickproductions.org. Not sure of its working state though. The problem with something like that is that so much has changed the disassemblies would only be barely relevent. Meltdown became a massive patchwork mess partially due to that. I also started on it before I understood the concept of building a hack, so I have a lot of things I can't fix now like text assignment and a weird black box on the overworld which I can't fix with any amount of map editing. I'm basically at the point that I can't conscientiously continue to work on it and produce it in the this state. I was also losing motivation due to balance issues, such as dealing with esper stat distribution (which is why I plan to simplify it to something closer to BNW, with two options per esper) and damage formulas being wonky. Other bugs were also frequently popping up as I worked.

Edited by darknil
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Huh, must have missed that. I know there is one that does a text and script fix, but I wanted to avoid that one as it essentially turned the 1.0 rom into the 1.1, and that was not what I wanted.

Also, ouch. I figured something must have messed up, but I did not realize it was that bad. You have my sympathy.

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