JohnFuklaw

Some thoughts on Stamina builds

54 posts in this topic

I know it's just brainstorming, but I'm honestly not too keen on the idea of nerfing the Gem/Soul boxes mp reduction when it's already a late game item that you only get one of, especially if it's only for the sake of trying to make Chakra more appealing.
Though if too much MP is really a problem I guess nerfing the Circlet to +25% mp could work to also make the Magic Cube a little more special, but then that creates a problem of why would you use the Circlet over the Red Cap in many instances.

Another thing I wanna comment on is that I notice items are being considered as a factor of how MP self sustaining a character is, but many casual players including myself are going to prefer the free option when possible even by KT at least for randoms, so that right there is why I would consider using Chakra with someone like Terra or Celes so that way I could save my supply of items for the bosses.
(And totally not also because I end up forgetting to stock up on items before going to KT and I'm already half-way through so I don't wanna have to go back, nope. :poker:)

I think the main issue is it's just that Chakra and Mantra are all Stamina Sabin really have to offer with an added bonus of being able to decently hit a Holy weakness with Aura Bolt which can be nice.
Maybe if Mantra leaned more heavily on Stamina instead of HP that would probably help, as it sounds like part of the problem is that Terrato Sabin steals some of Stam Sabin's thunder by being better at using Mantra, maybe change the its formula to 1/10 (Users Current HP + ((Stamina * 2) * Level))?
Another thing that could indirectly buff Stam Sabin is maybe buffing Sonic Boom to more appropriate end game power levels to like 42 or even 45, about the same power as Setzer's pre-nerf Airship Slots, which I think is fair considering even with Magic gear on and the Nirvana Band Sabin ends up with around a whopping 39 magic and doesn't get it until level 30 besides, while Setzer has access to a +2 Mag esper and starts with his Def Ignoring wave clear option that also sets Sap and doesn't have to level up for it so it made sense there why 45 power was too much.

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Casual players forgetting to dip into their Ether / tincture supply is definitely a thing. It means that stam Sabin is valued more heavily by players who don't dip into this stuff, but because stam Sabin is also the oddball Sabin build who lacks for HP, he's also anti-synergistic with casual player use.

I'm not going to comment on which MP nerf is most fair for all players. Simply presenting ideas. I will comment that I think more could be done to make Strago appreciate Chakra a little more, like Relm does: not totally dependent on it, but it's still a nicety, whereas right now, he almost doesn't care.

Even if Mantra and Air Blade get modified or buffed (they should), stam Sabin still ain't the best attacker or HP healer. In fact, by Chakra supporting magic users, he's supporting other people who are better at healing and attacking. So, as ya'll touched onn, the core problem of being defined solely by Chakra is still there. Only two solutions exist for that though: another stam-based Blitz (replacing something currently there), or another (actually good) universal use for stamina. Only ideas I've had are status related, and I and some other (seibaby, I think) mentioned some ideas in Discord. Guess I forgot that my Force Robe idea does give stam Sabin some identity as being bulkier magically than vig Sabin, though, like Mantra and Air Blade, it's still not going to be enough if Chakra support, his core, isn't perceived as useful.

I'm not totally convinced that Chakra spam, in and of itself, is bad, as it sounds great to have an infinite MP supply in a jRPG. But I can see the other side, too, and I do support giving stamina a better identity with actually good universal uses, instead of what it currently is. Also, hyb Sabin exists.

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Every turn Sabin uses chakra is a turn one of your other characters doesn't need to use a ether/osmosis and can instead use high cost spells with reckless abandon.

Relm doesn't need him because osmosis, but never having to spend a turn casting osmosis(which can miss) passively increases her dps and support utility. This applies to everyone obviously. Sabin using chakra indirectly gives other players "additional turns" so to speak.

Terra can equip MP+ gear and gem box making stam sabin weak, or she could equip other stuff and give the gembox to someone else while she is on a team with Sabin.

Strago can get by just fine by leveraging cheaper spells and osmosis, or he could cut loose and nuke everything.

The common theme I'm getting at here is that getting use out of stam Sabin requires you to fundamentally change how you build/equip/play the other characters on his team. Maybe I read wrong but it seems like the power of characters cutting loose with builds/gear optimized for infinite mp pools is being underestimated. Sure you can work around the mp costs in a few ways, but what if you don't have too? This is especially good for casual play and players who don't like using items very much. Expanding his usefulness outside of Chakra spambot seems the way to go imo. This kinda already happened with the stamina cover/counter update.  Sure he isn't super tanky on his own, but there is no reason not to buff the hell out of him with infinite mp. Put him on a team with re-raise and you have an undying zombie party guardian.

 

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The problem with "cutting loose" is it hits on the problem that Nowea pointed out. Because the game's magic users have such easy access to MP+ and MP management options, they don't really sacrifice a lot of power or turn efficiency to manage their MP. (Also, the efficiency and power of the team has to be account for having one guy who ain't contributing anything power-wise and is also probably a net negative turn-wise because of his single-mindedness). Therefore, the difference in power / efficiency between cutting loose and managing MP is fairly small, or at least, much reduced from what you'd expect for a jRPG. Therefore, since the difference in power is small, the reward for cutting loose is small, which means that it's probably not worthwhile to dedicate a whole character build so that the other three members can cut loose. It's perhaps a decent argument for hybridizing a vigor Sabin with some stamina, but it means there's no reason to actually run stam Sabin proper.

In terms of building or equipping a character for cutting loose, there's really not much of a difference at all between "MP management" and "cutting loose." Much of the same equipment you use for beefing up your magical power is also the same stuff you use to increase MP pool or MP efficiency: Soul Saber, Circlet, Magic Cube, Soulgem Box, Crystal Orb, Sage Stone, Hero Ring (did I miss any?). Red Cap is really the only outlier. Also, a handful of MP ELs is immensely rewarding for any given character, whereas sacrificing those MP ELs for a little extra magic power is generally not very rewarding. Perhaps it's maybe, kinda-sorta rewarding for mag+2 folks come endgame (Celes, Strago), but Terra? Nope. Relm can't even de-couple her magic growth from her MP growth.

And this only concerns the 4 main mages. X-Mages? Two of them (Mog, Strago) are seen as below average set-ups to begin with, so why dedicate a whole 'nother character to them? It's only X-Locke. Course, there's still Setzer and Shadow, who have strategies that prefer Chakra support.

Tactically, for randoms & dungeon crawls, you have to judge whether or not there's a benefit to cutting loose vs. simply spamming status spells. (And then there's Strago, whose go-to mid-WoR move, Raze, is pretty cheap). If you can kill the enemy quickly, there's a benefit, but some enemies just plain need to be status'd, in which case, the benefit is much reduced.

On top of all of this, remember that Mana Battery exists, works even better for a single-target, and Edgar has more to him other than Battery spam. So, having Sabin not be so single-minded (better Mantra, stam-based Air Blade even if ST, Force Robe) is definitely something that needs to happen, but even still, you're specifically setting up a team of 2-3 mages for stam Sabin to really shine.

Edited by thzfunnymzn
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