Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
GeradFigaro

Review of v1.9

55 posts in this topic

I recently completed my first playthrough of BNW, and I think I owe it to the modders to provide some feedback on this huge project. Thank you for putting together a compelling mod for one of our favorite games. Since I played this at my leisure and didn't take notes along the way, this review will just be whatever comes to mind as best I can remember in order, along with scattered thoughts on the design decisions.

First, let me start by saying I am a "big" fan of FFVI. Not enough to spend a few years modding it, but I've played the SNES release several times, and the GBA release once. It's one of my all time favorites, so I was very intrigued by the idea of a "fixed" FFVI, without the gamebreaking bugs and perhaps some actual challenge. It has been a few years since my last playthrough of vanilla, so I went in forgetting a few details, like Shadow's location in WoR. I also tried to keep spoilers for the mod to a minimum, though I saw the thread on Magimaster, and may have ended up overpreparing.

WoB up to Zozo is pretty much the same. The tutorials are good, though I quickly forgot some of the things that Stamina and Vigor do. I actually went through the entire game treating Vigor as "physical attack" and Stamina as "status resistance, regen increase". Edgar's Figaro discount is missed, especially since there isn't too much of interest to buy, except for Tinctures, which brings me to my first criticism. Tinctures are too expensive. As stated in BTB's great article, magic was the be-all end-all of vanilla, and great effort was taken to make other forms of attack more viable. The high cost of Tinctures (1000G for a measly 50MP) treats magic like it is still the be all end all, and it makes it difficult to experiment with spells, since you only get 1-3 per Tincture. Only at the tail end of the WoR was I able to set aside enough money to max out on tinctures and go ham with Terra. I suggest either lowering the cost of tinctures, making ethers available for purchase, lowering the MP cost of black spells, or some combination of the above. 

Serpent River is the first part of the game where I got wiped, namely due to Albatross just demolishing you if you use the wrong attack. Since you can have two of them in a formation, and have no way of knowing what will set them off, I feel the fireball attack is a bit too punishing. The battle for the Espers has some potential for challenge, but at this point (and through the rest of WoB) Locke was kind of OP and could carry almost any team through an encounter. One of the things I looked forward to a lot in this mod was seeing the dialogue changes - if certain lines would be clarified, or if any expanded material could make it in to build the world up even more. I was pretty disappointed to see that even the conversations during the march to Tritoch didn't really have anything new or improved.

The moment where you get the espers in Zozo is the first high point in the game. It's interesting to see who learns what. I also think it is interesting that some characters end up with only tier-2 magic. ELs are well explained, but as a system I think they are unintuitive. At first I tried to save them up, but as the difficulty ramped up, I just spent them on whatever I thought the character should be doing, always prioritizing speed when it was available. This seemed to work pretty well, and most of my characters ended up "well rounded" as opposed to the single-esper-centric "builds" I see in the character threads. 

There are a few things to say about speed. It could be my imagination, but adding speed levels does seem to make the ATB noticeably faster, and keeps the battle moving at a good pace. Enemies are the complete opposite, though - I have absolutely no idea how their speed works. I would set slow on every boss, and couldn't tell any difference. It is noticeable when affecting player characters. This implementation of ATB is a bit sketchy, too. While doing top-level menuing, monster ATBs continue to fill, but if you go into a submenu like items or spells, their ATBs pause. This can situationally be very advantageous, and I found myself abusing it in a number of fights. At times it felt like abusing the ATB this way was the intended method of dealing with some bosses who acted too frequently.

The Magitek Factory is fun as ever, though I got wiped by a robot on that last screen after you get off the minecart (lol). I think the encounter with Kefka here is a good place for some dialogue changes if possible. Maybe make it more clear what the hell Celes does to bail them out. I think you could afford to spoil the player a bit more with exotic weapons/armor at this point, especially in the imperial storehouse.

Everything else in WoB feels pretty much like vanilla until you get to the FC. And OH BOY. The FC.

FC is the first low point in the game, that feels completely inferior to vanilla in pretty much every way. The random encounters are difficult but manageable - I'd say they are the limit of what could be considered "fair". But then you get to Atma, which is a bad gear check. Mind Blast is a truly random game over. If you're like me and couldn't find whatever item apparently gives Shadow access to Rerise, you're in even more trouble. Atma should be hard, as the final boss of WoB, but it took a LOT of tries to finally beat it. My team was Terra, Edgar, Locke, Shadow. I suppose I could have gone all the way back to the airship and picked up Setzer for Rerise, but I shouldn't have to do FC twice, and I imagine a lot of players will choose Terra and either Edgar or Locke for story reasons. Atma is a problem. What follows, however, is even worse. As mentioned before, I was very excited to see script changes which expand on the world and characters, and for some reason, the escape from FC is the only place that seems to have been a priority and it is awful. I can't begin to imagine what inspired that fanfic.net-esque emo exchange between Celes and that cutscene boss. The implication that Kefka gave her some power is also misplaced and never brought up again. Allowing Celes to use Shock is the only redeeming factor in the entire sequence. Believe me when I tell you that between the frustrating battles and cringey story changes, FC makes a very strong impression that leads to a lot of players not appreciating the rest of the mod as much as it deserves. 

I got super unlucky with Cid in the WoR, and thought his death was now forced after three failed attempts to save him. I wasn't feeling as sympathetic for Celes coming right after her self-loathing on the FC. Getting off the island and heading towards Tsen had some actual danger for Celes, which was nice. It feels more like a requirement to grab Sabin here rather than skip ahead for the 3 character finish lulz. And it's worth picking him up, because Celes' "seriously?" comment when Sabin is fooled by Gerad is great, and the kind of enhanced personality I was looking for from both of them.

In general WoR was pretty brutal, and felt a bit unfair. Most of my characters entered in the low 20's, which gets you one-shot by quite a number of enemies. Stumbling onto Doom Gaze or any Dragon without picking up some elemental shields or powerleveling is game over. This is where the design philosophy of "take away the free stuff" falls apart. With so many characters and no shared experience, you have to rotate weak members in and out. As a result, you feel very weak throughout much of the WoR (and you are). Bosses take forever with these gimped parties. FOREVER. Hidon was the absolute worst boss in the game, much worse than even Atma Weapon. I generally went through the WoR with story oriented teams - Sabin and Gau rescue Cyan, Strago and Relm go after Hidon, etc. Even with Terra or Edgar around to babysit, oftentimes it felt like these were just flat out the wrong characters for those bosses. It felt like the bosses were redesigned around battle engine concepts, without consideration of player habits. It also seemed like they were balanced around the old experience sharing, not the new system where you can easily walk in on the red dragon at lv25 or less.

Fanatics Tower was an improvement over the original. It was actually the second to last place I visited in WoR, thinking it would be like vanilla with the reflect gimmick, and that I could barely handle random encounters in other places in WoR. It turned out to be surprisingly easy, even the Magimaster. Gem Box is something I wish I picked up right away. 

The Colosseum, while more fair than vanilla, was also a lot less interesting, and very few bets felt like straight upgrades. I wasted quite a bit of time on battles just to find out that certain items just get swapped for a comparable item for another character. For some reason, a lot of nice gear could be exchanged for phoenix tears.

I mentioned it in another thread as well, but Schemp is the funniest thing in the game, and just a brilliant application of scripting. The Dream Stooges attacking each other was a great touch as well, but the crass language doesn't fit and ruins the novelty of the battle.

BTB's article talks about vanilla's Moogle Charm being an admission that the battle system isn't very good, and while that is true, it did serve another purpose - saving time. You're sure to run into a dragon or two that you can't beat until coming back later, and it is not fun to grind all the way through Narshe or Phoenix Cave a second time. There is also one part in Cyan's soul where you ride magitek armor, and the encounter rate is insane. A lot of frustration in WoR could be avoided by bringing it back.

The esper system breaks down a bit as WoR goes on as well. It's very exciting to find new magicite, but equally as disappointing to find out that it only applies to one character

Kefka's tower was great. I entered with everyone between 28-34. Random encounters had that same feeling of "upper limit of fair" that FC did, and the encounter variety was fantastic. The bosses were all well balanced here - challenging, but didn't take ages to beat. I was surprised that Kaiser Dragon was very easy. When I sketched it with Relm and saw Ultima, I thought perhaps it was going to gear-check me and throw an Ultima at the very end, but fortunately it did not. Speaking of Ultima, it was great to finally get it in Terra's hands and start tearing up those last few encounters. It also made her feel very important in the final battle with Kefka. The final battle with Kefka is nearly perfect. Aside from Lode Stone being a little annoying on the first tier, all of it was balanced perfectly, and Goner is finally as scary is it should be when you have less than 2000HP. It felt great to finally cut loose and start using the X-Potions and Elixirs. Freely using Terra's magic in KT really highlights the need for better MP recovery options throughout the game.

(continued in next post)

5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As for miscellaneous stuff and quality-of-life fixes, I really appreciated seeing safe/shell/reflect/reraise in the battle menu. The loss of the ability to switch weapons/shields caused me to lose a number of battles, however. There is a need for some kind of armor/relic description on the equip screens. There's too much unequipping/re-equipping to try and figure out what does what. The changes to action priority (item, attack, magic, etc) is welcome and felt like an essential balancing factor. I miss the status colors from safe/shell, though I understand why they are gone. I never felt the need to turn off exp. In the absence of moogle charm, an option to increase/decrease the random encounter rate would be an incredible addition.

Character-specific comments

Terra - Although it's hard to use morph for a while, it's really fun once she becomes tanky enough to survive a hit. Double recovery from items/spells/regen is neat. While morphed she feels powerful compared to the rest of the cast, but not OP. Her normal stats are on the low side, but she's probably as perfect as you will get her.

Locke - Monster in the WoB, bordering on OP. He remains pretty good even in WoR. I didn't use his recovery magic very often since he is the primary damage dealer on whatever team he ends up on. It would be nice if there were some more interesting things to steal.

Edgar - Favorite character in vanilla, and he's still pretty good here. Tools are great as ever, though Defibrillator looks weird (he still shoots the anchor). Mana Battery is the only one that feels distinctly underpowered, only doing about a Tincture worth of recovery. His spell list is great, and he is well balanced between offense and defense. While he can do a lot of damage as a dragoon, I found it better to keep him on the ground for Tool and recovery utility.

Sabin - Another monster in WoB, and ended up being my highest level character. He works great on every team. It's hard to keep track of which blitzes use vigor or stamina. Mantra and Chakra feel a bit underpowered, especially considering that they don't affect him. Add in the cutscene where he S-S-S-S-Suplexes the Phantom Train!

Cyan - Most improved character from vanilla. Empowerer is probably OP, and about half of his Bushido is useless. He's actually usable now, which is great, but he still feels too one dimensional.

Gau - Being able to Leap off the Veldt is fantastic. Many of the rages are great too. If only there was some way to see which rages do what in game. He's a bit too fragile.

Celes - She doesn't really feel that different from vanilla. Second best spell list, better stats than Terra, but somehow still doesn't feel great. Giving her Shock in WoR saves her from the bench.

Setzer - I know there's a trick to slots, but I couldn't figure it out. I could get the diamonds whenever I wanted and that was all. He felt very underpowered, though I'm sure he's a lot more fun when you can summon random espers on demand. I never even saw the airship bomb or 777. His physicals are worthless.

Strago - X-Magic outclasses Lore, and I only found about eight Lores anyway. He and Relm need a bit too much babysitting to stay alive, even with auto-safe.

Relm - She just feels objectively worse than Strago. She only really has Meteor and Flare for offensive magic, and Sketch seems useless in most encounters. I never found her Control item. Brushes as a healing weapon is a neat idea, but most of the time she'll just be throwing out RegenX.

Shadow - This squish is the only character I had to take to Dinosaur Forest for some grinding. The Shuriken and Kunai feel underpowered. His better weapons should be cheaper so that you feel free to use them more often.

Mog - Powerful as a Dragoon. I found dances really lacking by comparison, and only found three of them.

Gogo - Neat idea, but I prefer story characters, so I barely touched him.

Umaro - Nobody uses this thing.

(continued in next post)

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Overall it was an interesting game. It certainly dragged on with certain bosses and the high encounter rate, and for every improvement over vanilla, there was a moment that disappointed. I think you've put something really nice together here. Going forward, try not to get so caught up in "fixing Square's mistakes". Think more about what's fun for the player, and why we enjoyed vanilla so much (the good and the bad). I don't have time to replay every revision, but I look forward to trying out an even better version of BNW one day.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First I'd like to say that this is a nice review, giving honest and opinions that are quite fair. It's also clear that you put thought and formatting into it (even something simply like green/red text). I'm not going to nitpick any opinions or anything here from you, but I'd like to address some statements you've made as far as factual accuracy goes and possibly explain some things.

Quote

This implementation of ATB is a bit sketchy, too. While doing top-level menuing, monster ATBs continue to fill, but if you go into a submenu like items or spells, their ATBs pause. This can situationally be very advantageous, and I found myself abusing it in a number of fights. At times it felt like abusing the ATB this way was the intended method of dealing with some bosses who acted too frequently.

So, here's how nATB works. It only fills if you are in a top level menu and there are no animations being played. So the menu tricking you were doing doesn't actually accomplish anything. To reiterate, being in a submenu pauses everybody's ATB. When a monster's ATB is paused so is yours.

Quote

The Colosseum, while more fair than vanilla, was also a lot less interesting, and very few bets felt like straight upgrades. I wasted quite a bit of time on battles just to find out that certain items just get swapped for a comparable item for another character.

The bets not feeling like upgrades anymore is by design. From a personal stance I kinda wish that the trades were completely public knowledge. In addition the player either has to already know what both items do or consult the printme to see what they're actually getting. As far as having to waste time on battles, I recall BTB has mentioned that he's just going to make all of the Colosseum battles much easier ones.

To add on to the "very few bets felt like straight upgrades" thing. There's an element of 'pick your poison' here. You either have to make the trades into upgrades, which basically makes it "just mindlessly do them and move on" or you have to make them not upgrades, to where a lot of players don't really see the point (especially when the details of what you'll end up getting and the full trade 'map' isn't visible in-game)

Quote

The loss of the ability to switch weapons/shields caused me to lose a number of battles

Lastly, I feel like you know this one. But I feel it worth stating that the gear swapping was removed because it didn't work properly with how BNW puts the dual wield and two-hand properties on the weapons themselves instead of outside relics. Last I heard @GrayShadows was working on a method to allow people to swap a weapon/shield out, but it would cost a turn.

Quote

Mana Battery and Mantra/Chakra feeling week

In regards to these, they scale off Magic and Stamina respectively. Chakra/Mantra are(were?) getting buffed a bit. That being said, it's a hard sell for them unless you're building Edgar or Sabin very heavy on Magic/Stamina. Since you did more 'general/well rounded' style of builds I can see how they'd seem weak.

2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, GeradFigaro said:

I would set slow on every boss, and couldn't tell any difference

Did you ever try to do a boss both with and without applying the slow status? I think you'd pretty quickly notice a difference.

 

10 hours ago, GeradFigaro said:

if you go into a submenu like items or spells, their ATBs pause. This can situationally be very advantageous, and I found myself abusing it in a number of fights. At times it felt like abusing the ATB this way was the intended method of dealing with some bosses who acted too frequently.

Remember that the ATB pauses for everyone when an action is being executed, so I'm not sure what sort of abuse you were performing other than pausing the game, which isn't really abuse. It's a much better system than the vanilla system, where you actually wanted to avoid going into menus when an enemy was taking an action since their ATB would be paused but yours' wouldn't be... very clunky!

 

10 hours ago, GeradFigaro said:

But then you get to Atma, which is a bad gear check.

I think Atma is more of a strategy check. Did you slow him? Did you dispel and re-slow him after he powers up and applies haste/safe/shell?

 

10 hours ago, GeradFigaro said:

The Colosseum

BNW's Colosseum needs some work. I brought it up recently in the 1.10 thread.

 

10 hours ago, GeradFigaro said:

There is a need for some kind of armor/relic description on the equip screens

printme.

 

I think your other comments were either minor things, or things that are being addressed in the next update.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Nowea

ATB felt like an exploit because even though player and enemy ATB stop while in a submenu, it still gives you time to think. It's also very unclear whether the enemy ATB fills during stuff like healing spell animations, so I imagine a lot of plays will do what I did, and camp out in a submenu to see if a heal makes it in time, or just to think (which defeats the entire purpose of an active battle system).

I don't think the Coliseum should be a free better gear shop either. This could be a good place to upgrade items (tincture->ether), and maybe access a mix of upgrades and side grades for the same character that the item applies to. It would also be a great place to introduce some unique relics that could do things like provide elemental defense. It does not have to be pick your poison.

@Reiker

I did fight bosses with and without slow. Even with slow, they sometimes get three attacks in a row. I'm sure it's doing something under the hood, but it isn't apparent. I couldn't begin to guess at what percent slow actually affects an enemy ATB. See above for my comments on ATB abuse.

Atma is not a strategy check. Mind Blast WILL wipe you if you are unlucky and not overleveled. I did keep him slowed on all attempts, though I never found dispel magic (where was this in WoB?). Simply finding a particular item that grants a specific spell like Rerise, or knowing ahead of time to bring a specific member with a specific spell, are not strategy. It's just bad design. I don't think I've read a single post about Atma that wasn't critical. 

Printme is unfortunately not an option for everyone. A lot of people will play the way I did - on an emulator (phone, 3DS, etc). They don't have a computer next to them, and I can't even figure out how to navigate to the printme from this website on my iPhone. The readme is formatted illegibly on an iPhone as well. At the very least, a mobile-accessible resource must be provided, but armor/relic info really belongs in the game itself.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think many issue that people will have is different depending of the player and what they were expecting, me personnaly I don't like FFVI vanilla gameplay wise I thought it was an extremely boring game so for the few point.

Quote

Tinctures are too expensive.

Didn't bother me in fact I think this is good if MP items were easy to get then what's the point of an MP system, not to mention there is already plenty of way to get MP back for many character :

-Celes has Runic
-Relm and Strago have Osmose and even Raid for Strago
-Terra, Locke, Edgar and Celes can equip the Soul Saber
-Cyan has Empowerer
-Sabin has Chakra
-Edgar has Mana Battery

Not to mention character that can end up with a MP pools (Bank Setzer and Phenix Locke) so high that unless you do nothing but spamming high cost spell you will never run out of MP, so for me MP is already not an issue at all in fact that's an issue with BNW as a all the fact that I almost never run into a situation where I had to put a lot of thought into MP management.

11 hours ago, GeradFigaro said:

Atma, which is a bad gear check. Mind Blast is a truly random game over. If you're like me and couldn't find whatever item apparently gives Shadow access to Rerise, you're in even more trouble.

While I do agree that Atma Weapon's Mind Blast make the fight a bit random, I don't agree with Atma being to hard for me it was Hard but not over exagerate, sure it require a lot more thinking than previous boss from WoB (up to Atma WoB was really easy for me) but that's make him a good call back to the fact that the mod can be hard but outside of the 2-3 first time I never lost against it.

11 hours ago, GeradFigaro said:

Stumbling onto Doom Gaze or any Dragon without picking up some elemental shields or powerleveling is game over.

On that I completly disagree Bosses especially this late in the game MUST require some thought and preparation to be taken down, if you could just randomely run into them and beat them with whatever set up that would be a failure of the mod for me, and for the bosses Dragon's element are pretty obvious to tell even before fighting them, and some of them are pretty close to a save point so you can experiment until you find the good way, as for Doom Gaze he can be fought whenever you want so losing against him isn't a great lost of progression.

11 hours ago, GeradFigaro said:

With so many characters and no shared experience, you have to rotate weak members in and out. As a result, you feel very weak throughout much of the WoR (and you are). Bosses take forever with these gimped parties. FOREVER. Hidon was the absolute worst boss in the game,

This is something that will depend while agree that no Shared experience can be annoying, in the end at least it has allow me to experiment with every characters (something I absolutly never did in Vanilla and I don't do in many JRPG) and so for the Final Dungeon that require you to use almost the entire roster knowing which character can do what is extremely important and while not sharing EXP is a quite radicale solution for me it has work this way, the key was to always balance your parties and try to cover everything that you might needed (aka Physical Damage, Magical Damage, Healing, Buffs, Debuffs and Tanking), many character can fill the same roles except not the same way, and so for me bad team are only possible if you use characters that have the very same role.

However I do agree on some bosses being to long (Hidon being the absolute worst exemple of what should be an interesting boss fight).

11 hours ago, GeradFigaro said:

BTB's article talks about vanilla's Moogle Charm being an admission that the battle system isn't very good, and while that is true, it did serve another purpose - saving time. You're sure to run into a dragon or two that you can't beat until coming back later, and it is not fun to grind all the way through Narshe or Phoenix Cave a second time. There is also one part in Cyan's soul where you ride magitek armor, and the encounter rate is insane. A lot of frustration in WoR could be avoided by bringing it back.

On that however I totally agree and I say that as someone who absolutly love the battles in BNW but they are time where I just wanted to progress and I found Random battle to be annoying, on the plus side however it allows the player to never be underlevel if he keep doing the fight but they are definitly moment where I was tire of them and regret not having the option to disable Random encounter or at least reduce their number.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

35 minutes ago, GeradFigaro said:

though I never found dispel magic (where was this in WoB?)

Shadow has it.

I think Atma is really well-tuned. Most of the people that complain about it aren't doing the fight as intended, ie. not removing/applying the right status effects. Generally once people figure out the strategy, they have an easy time with the battle.

35 minutes ago, GeradFigaro said:

A lot of people will play the way I did - on an emulator (phone, 3DS, etc).

That's why it's called a printme. BTB explained this in the design article, but he said that it's better to include no information as opposed to partial information, and I totally agree. I really like the documentation that comes with the game, and it's reminiscent of old user manuals or strategy guides. I recognize that it's not everyone's cup of tea, though. 

 

The Colosseum shouldn't be a "free gear shop" or a trading post. It should offer challenging opponents that require strategy to defeat, and a web of trades that requires a bit of time and effort to explore. The reward should be access to some powerful equipment earlier than normal, or additional copies of items outside of what you can find in the world. In other words, it should work similarly to how the vanilla Colosseum works, just improved.

Edited by Reiker
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

3 hours ago, Reiker said:

I think Atma is really well-tuned. Most of the people that complain about it aren't doing the fight as intended, ie. not removing/applying the right status effects. Generally once people figure out the strategy, they have an easy time with the battle.

If there is only one specific way to defeat the enemy, then it’s not a strategy - it’s a solution. Atma being unbeatable without slow/dispel/reraise (and randomly unbeatable with them) is bad. It’s a gear check. You either go in with the required spells to win, or you lose. Bringing scan to Magimaster isn’t strategy - it’s a requirement, and this is the same thing. If I bring something like Sabin/Cyan/Gau, or Mog/Realm/Locke, what can I do to win? How can I use armor, relics, and ELs to win without dispel/reraise or even slow? That is strategy. 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, GeradFigaro said:

 

If there is only one specific way to defeat the enemy, then it’s not a strategy - it’s a solution. Atma being unbeatable without slow/dispel/reraise (and randomly unbeatable with them) is bad. It’s a gear check. 

First time I beat Atma I didn't realise that when he was glowing that meant he has put buff on him so as a result I accidentally beat him while he was buffed and without Reraise (cause I don't like using it), it's definitly possible my team back then was Sabin (Golem Build), Celes (Magic build), Cyan (Stamina Build) and of course Shadow, tough back then it was possible to get Ribbon in WoB which protect very well against Mind Blast but for only one of your character outside of that no change as far as I can recall.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I beat Atma weapon the first time it was without reraise and dispel (more ignorance rather then trying to challenge myself). I can't remember the specifics beyond celes & strago doing the heavy lifting with Ice 2, and loading my team up with status resist items. Similarly, I beat all the dragons when I encountered them without power leveling or redoing an area. Except for the storm dragon because it was the first one I ran into.

 

I personally disagree with almost all of your character evaluations in your second post. I think this just goes to show the mods success in character and build variety.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One thing that I definitely agree with is that it's a bit sad when you get new espers in the WoR and they apply to only one or two characters.

I understand that there are game design and balance reasons for this to be the case.  I also really like the idea that your available options expand over the course of the late game, and I want that to happen more, because it feels good.  Maybe it's just because I've played the game a few times now, but I think it would be cool if there was a slightly wider variety of builds for each character.

Maybe I just want Cyan casting Holy to be good.

Giving anyone access to a +1 esper in a stat opens the floodgates for them to get a whole lot of that stat, though, which definitely blurs the characters' identities.  Maybe there could be more granularity in how ELs affect your stats?  Giving half points is (presumably) not an option, so maybe there could be half as many total ELs to gain but each one could be worth twice as much?

Then, say, Alexander could be +1 magic / +90 HP, compared to pure stat espers which would give +4.  With half as many total ELs, the total amount of stats gained from espers would be the same. (except that 25 is an odd number.  shhh.)

Also I think HP is the best defense, as it's the only thing that helps against defense-ignoring attacks.  (Actually, I just realized I'm not completely certain if Stamina's effect applies to those.  If it does, it's small enough to go unnoticed!)  Early on in the WoR, it feels like so much of the stuff that you can't do (without excessive nonsense, i.e. llg strats) is because a boss has a big Quasar or similar that a character just can't live through.  It's an issue that can be alleviated by grinding more, which is kind of fine.  I wonder if there could be some kind of attack used against you that your vigor or stamina defends better than your raw HP total does?  Stamina already helps dodge percentage damage, right?  What if instead it reduced the percentage of your maximum HP that you lost?  Actually that sounds pretty complicated.  Each character taking a different percentage could obscure the fact that the source was dealing percentage damage to begin with.  Iunno, just brainstorming.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Mobile-accessible? What, you mean like a cell phone? Never owned one of those damned devil devices in my life, but I'm pretty sure they can read Excel spreadsheets. Or failing that, just ask that Alexa bitch or whatever the hell her name is, "Hey, Alexa what are the stats on Banon's Codpiece?" so she can give you some bullshit answer. See, that's the problem with you damn kids today - one minute, you're taking sass from computers and the next you're sending Kyle Reese back in time to boff your mom.

Anyway...

Good review. Some good points, some not as good. I'll bring a few of 'em up.

The high cost of Tinctures is fairly deliberate. While magic is no longer the only stat worth a damn, it's still a resource-consuming attack in a game where most of the other ones are free and it should therefore warrant that resource usage. Further, considering that there are at least two characters (Sabin and Edgar) with builds focused on manage that resource consumption, making it easier to mitigate it through more conventional means would greatly diminish those builds. You may have also noticed the high cost of black magic compared to the *very* low cost of status magic, which is again deliberate. Status magic is the type that warrants the most experimentation to see what works and doesn't work on random mobs, while the player is generally meant to reserve their most powerful directly offensive magic for boss fights.

RE: Slow on bosses, nothing in this game gets more than one turn at a time (although some bosses and enemies do have the possibility of tacking on an extra regular hit or two to their standard command). What probably has you confused is that every boss has a chance to counter-attack, meaning that if you just rush in you're liable to eat a lot of damage even if you've slowed it down. Earlier versions of Brave New World had an issue where "turtling" was more often than not the best strategy, and little by little I'm working to code bosses (such as Phunbaba) that strike a balance between the two extremes.

The Colosseum... is just a mess. Because the fights are uncontrollable, there's very little strategy that goes into it - it's pretty much just a house of RNG. That's why most of the fights there (and as of 1.10 - ALL of the fights there) are token formalities and the *real* decisions are what you're trading vs. what you get. Making it a place to upgrade things would just, as Nowea put it, turn it into a place where you mindlessly do your thing and move on.

Calling Atma Weapon a gear check is something I see a lot and I know exactly why. One, the only pieces of gear that really do make the fight a lot easier are status protection relics, and two what generally happens is that players will fall back, change their party, come back and win. And they often assume that it's the levels they gained in the interim that made the difference, but it's almost always the fact that they changed their approach going into the fight. Atma Weapon is actually a very good example of a boss where strategy is more important than leveling since a *lot* of his attacks don't really care what level you're at (i.e. fractional damage, status ailments, avoiding Quake/Magnitude entirely via Float).

Other bosses being damage-spongey is something I'm aware of. I even have a note here already that says Hidon is terrible >.>

Edited by BTB
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

On 8/14/2018 at 2:21 AM, BTB said:

Making it a place to upgrade things would just, as Nowea put it, turn it into a place where you mindlessly do your thing and move on.

Did you use the Colosseum in the vanilla game? Because you wouldn't get very far by "mindlessly doing your thing." Even though you can't control your characters, there was absolutely strategy involved in how you equipped your characters. In fact, there was more strategy in a lot of those fights than just mindlessly blasting away groups of enemies with Ultima.

Edited by Reiker
1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Reiker said:

Did you use the Colosseum in the vanilla game? Because you wouldn't get very far by "mindlessly doing your thing." Even though you can't control your characters, there was absolutely strategy involved in how you equipped your characters. In fact, there was more strategy in a lot of those fights than just mindlessly blasting away groups of enemies with Ultima.

As far as I'm concern a place where you can't control your character at all has no strategy involves yes you can gear your character depending on ennemies that comes problem is since you don't control them they can end up doing stupid shit (like trying to set statut effect on ennemies immune to it or using fucking Teleport -_-) and so at the end of the day no matter how you put it Coliseum is nothing but Gamble this and the fact that you can't see what you trade so unless you have a guide you are most likely to end up with a trade you don't want and so reset combine with the fact that almost 70-80% of the items where putting you against a Chupon that automatically end the fight right away and also the fact that the rules never makes any fucking sense for me like you loose the ennemy keep his bet and take yours but you win you get the ennemy items but you still lose yours, this has always been complete bullshit for me, and here's all the reasons why I hated the coliseum in Vanilla and just skip it entirely and even if I used it on BNW I still think this place sucks and should be rework entirely, I would like it to host some optionnal fight or Gauntlet (where you could actually control your characters and actually doing strat) for extra challenge and reward rather than the stupid trading/betting system in disguise it is now.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Nesouk said:

a place where you can't control your character at all has no strategy involves

There's no way you can honestly say that the vanilla Colosseum doesn't require strategy. You have to do very specific things in order to win those fights, which means you have to employ strategy. Want some extra Exp Eggs? Good luck winning a fight like Siegfried's without a guide. Otherwise is takes experimentation and trial and error to determine a method to defeat him, which is literally what developing a strategy is. How do you win fights outside of the Colosseum? Spam Ultima. Now that's some quality strategy right there.

18 minutes ago, Nesouk said:

so at the end of the day no matter how you put it Coliseum is nothing but Gamble

It's not a coin flip. Your percent chance of winning any particular fight is absolutely determinant on the decisions you make before wagering the item.

19 minutes ago, Nesouk said:

unless you have a guide you are most likely to end up with a trade you don't want and so reset

Oh no, a reset. Or you can just hold L & R and run away and try something else. The horror!

Learning the trades is part of the fun. You invest time into the Colosseum and you get some pretty powerful items, that's how it's supposed to work. It's meant to take time, otherwise it'd just be a room full of chests for you to open.

21 minutes ago, Nesouk said:

the fact that the rules never makes any fucking sense

??????

Do you realize how insane it'd be if you could keep your wagered item?

 

Anyways, the above is a good example of the 99% of people I mentioned who don't understand/utilize the Colosseum. Those people are going to ignore it anyways so why not give it some improvements for the people who like to benefit from using it?

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Nesouk said:

a place where you can't control your character at all has no strategy involves

There's no way you can honestly say that the vanilla Colosseum doesn't require strategy. You have to do very specific things in order to win those fights, which means you have to employ strategy. Want some extra Exp Eggs? Good luck winning a fight like Siegfried's without a guide. Otherwise is takes experimentation and trial and error to determine a method to defeat him, which is literally what developing a strategy is. How do you win fights outside o

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, Reiker said:

There's no way you can honestly say that the vanilla Colosseum doesn't require strategy. You have to do very specific things in order to win those fights, which means you have to employ strategy. Want some extra Exp Eggs? Good luck winning a fight like Siegfried's without a guide. Otherwise is takes experimentation and trial and error to determine a method to defeat him, which is literally what developing a strategy is.

Well I say it, it doesn't require strategy. Want to know how did I beat Siegfried by having my character casting Stop completly out of the blue but since I don't control the character it was pure luck, and if your character don't stop him then he will most likely kill you with hyperdrive, that is not strategy that is gambling.

Want ot know how I win almost every fight I did in the coliseum in Vanilla (granted I didn't do all of them) ? By using Umaro and equip Master Scroll since at least we are sure that Umaro will attack and not waste time doing useless shit and it works for almost all fight, yeah that really took a lot of work to figure out.

There is no strategy at all when you can't control anything of what your character do, which lead to my other point :

11 minutes ago, Reiker said:

Oh no, a reset. Or you can just hold L & R and run away and try something else. The horror!

Reseting because you lost by having a bad strat or having make a mistake is fine, reseting because you have no control over your character and he didn't do the thing that was necessary to win is pure bullshit

13 minutes ago, Reiker said:

It's not a coin flip. Your percent chance of winning any particular fight is absolutely determinant on the decisions you make before wagering the item.

As long as there is "percent chance of winning" it's a coin flip you make the character able to win by gear them make sure they have that ability you want them to use in the fight but if the IA decide to say "Fuck you ! I'm doing my shit" or you don't get that proc you needed then you will lose plain and simple, setting up for a fight is part of a strategy the xecution is the other part and in coliseum you have no control to the execution which is why it sucks and I don't call that strategy.

32 minutes ago, Reiker said:

Learning the trades is part of the fun. You invest time into the Colosseum and you get some pretty powerful items, that's how it's supposed to work. It's meant to take time, otherwise it'd just be a room full of chests for you to open.

For you for me it's not, want to make the coliseum fun and strategic ? Make the trade visible and make them all worth it, allow the player to fight normally, instead of gambling, against really tough ennemies that require strategy to win (not just blindly rush through with your most powerfull attack) instead of putting ennemy that require you to "hope" that your character will either use that specific ability that will make him win or just outdamage him.

30 minutes ago, Reiker said:

Anyways, the above is a good example of the 99% of people I mentioned who don't understand/utilize the Colosseum. Those people are going to ignore it anyways so why not give it some improvements for the people who like to benefit from using it?

Yeah you are the elit that find joy in this shit so let's not improve something that the vast majority of players find shitty, and let it as it is for the few 10 people or so that find it good.
You clearly are the exemple of someone that think that because he enjoys a thing it's fine, you enjoy Vanilla coliseum ? Fine for you but ask yourself this if coliseum was really good why so many people dislike it then ? Why even after the 24 years this particular feature is still hated or vastly ignore in a game that has become extremely popular and is love by many ? I think if coliseum had ever been good in the first place that wouldn't be the case.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Reiker said:

The Colosseum shouldn't be a "free gear shop" or a trading post. It should offer challenging opponents that require strategy to defeat, and a web of trades that requires a bit of time and effort to explore.

I can get behind this, in theory. Remove the random action gimmick, make it an honest to goodness 1v1 arena with a bit of challenge, with the challenge scaled to the reward. I could see it being hard to balance in practice though, with certain characters being far more suited for 1v1 survivability/ass kicking than others (though maybe that's not a bad thing). I also like the idea of gauntlet challenges that provide rewards, but these would have to be things like Ethers/X-Potions/Phoenix Tears/Ninja Stars rather than things like Hero Rings, unless they're only beatable once.

(One tangentially related thought I had while playing around in the WoR the other day was that it would be neat if some of the rare stealables had Colosseum trade options. Nothing too grandiose, but something like a Shiv -> Snake Oil -> Slim Jim -> Shiv loop, Multiguard <-> Lazy Shell swap, Stat Hat <-> (?), etc. Or even have some of these be able to "trade up" to slightly improved Colosseum-exclusives: +7 Stat Hats, Shivs that can also proc Remedy, etc. Just spitballin' here.)

I'd be reluctant to see the Colosseum become a shortcut/duplication method for endgame gear, though. I really like the trades that work cyclically/bidirectionally, as you can change up your loadout a bit without permanent consequence. I'm less fond of the trades that funnel powerful items like Ribbons or Hero Rings down into things like Life Bells or Elixirs, or that lead into loops that don't include the original item. I like leaving options open, and not having decisions on equipment or build be permanent. I am likewise a fan of the EL reset. I realize BTB is not so much a fan of these things, so I likely won't have the Colosseum of my dreams in BNW, but alas.

And for the record, I am also of the camp that the vanilla Colosseum is a steaming pile of trash, but the Illumina/Minerva/Marvel Shoes are too hot to pass up so you do what you gotta do :D. FF7's version was much more enjoyable, though the randomized cumulative handicaps still made it a bit of a groaner.

 

On 8/13/2018 at 3:40 AM, GeradFigaro said:

But then you get to Atma, which is a bad gear check. Mind Blast is a truly random game over. If you're like me and couldn't find whatever item apparently gives Shadow access to Rerise, you're in even more trouble. Atma should be hard, as the final boss of WoB, but it took a LOT of tries to finally beat it. My team was Terra, Edgar, Locke, Shadow.

I just booted up my FC testing savestate and ran it with this exact party. Terra/Locke were Lvl18/EL10 starting out, Edgar/Shadow were Lvl17/EL8/7. It was a bit of a slog, but no game overs. I find Rerise (and most buffs in general, with the exception of Float ) not to be so critical here, since Atma uses his AoE pseudo-dispel numerous times during the fight anyway. I didn't really miss it, at any rate.

I put an Amulet+White Cape on Edgar and designated him my Remedy bot, and outside of a couple of close calls, the cleanup after Mind Blast wasn't usually too awful. Could have been a harder time without those relics. I guess that makes it a bit of a gear check, but I don't think it's outlandish for the player to have accumulated at least a Fairy Ring or Amulet by this point; and there's a save point right before Atma, so the player has opportunity to see the pattern, fail, learn, and adjust loadout accordingly.

If you don't have status protection relics (and/or a source of Harvester spam), then I guess you're learning a late lesson that status effects matter in BNW and that having the ability in your pocket to deal with the worst ones when necessary is good policy. It's not like the FC is so long or gruelling that a second tour is going to ruin your day, and all that cash from your first pass will fund all the Spirit Rings, Amulets, and White Capes that you will ever need for Atma and the WoR beyond! :)

Re: the strategy vs. solution argument, I'll add that liberal application of Slow and Float are 100% strategic moves, generally speaking. You can get by without them (excepting a rogue Quake sketch by Relm in certain places, which can often mean game over – though that's a topic for another discussion), but they're a quality-of-life improvement. Dispel is too, when you're removing known buffs; but if the buffs are invisible, or if casting Dispel actually alters enemy AI, that's less strategy and more <do X to win specific fight Y easier> (i.e. a solution). This isn't necessarily a bad thing. I see BTB mentioned Phunbaba, and his "don't turtle" mechanic. This is a fine example of a "solution" put into practice well, as the game warns you about it first: "If you run into Phunbaba again, don't stop attacking". I don't recall if there's anyone who gives you this heads up about Atma's solution, or if you're just meant to deduce it from the "Atma is storing power" etc. text cues. Does he get Safe/Shell when he hulks out? I didn't recall seeing my damage outputs change, but that'd be a tangible indicator that there's buffs at play.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, SirNewtonFig said:

I don't recall if there's anyone who gives you this heads up about Atma's solution, or if you're just meant to deduce it from the "Atma is storing power" etc. text cues. Does he get Safe/Shell when he hulks out? I didn't recall seeing my damage outputs change, but that'd be a tangible indicator that there's buffs at play.

If I remember correctly he put Safe, Shell and Haste as a buff there is a difference in damage that can be notice, there is nothing that warn you tough might be a good idea to include a dialogue that would inform the player, like the NPC in one of the imperial town that talk to you about the existence of this monster could have another line like "Legend says that when he find himself in danger he was increasing his power." something like that.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, Nesouk said:

Make the trade visible

They are, in BNW

25 minutes ago, Nesouk said:

allow the player to fight normally

Like I said before, it's something I'd like to see implemented if possible. T-Edition has shown that it's possible.

And to be clear, I'm not fully defending the vanilla Colosseum. I already admitted that it's a pretty janky system. Remember, this is Final Fantasy VI: EVERYTHING is janky. The point of BNW is to fix that stuff. That said...

29 minutes ago, Nesouk said:

Yeah you are the elit that find joy in this shit so let's not improve something that the vast majority of players find shitty

If this is how the developers of BNW thought, this romhack would never exist. Sketch sucks, no one uses it, so let's not fix it. Cyan sucks, no one uses him, so let's not improve him. That's a terrible attitude to have when conceptualizing updates to a mod whose sole purpose is to take an inherently broken game and improve the shit that's wrong with it.

All in all, I like the spirit of the Colosseum: an optional place where you can spend time to gain some extra power. It set a precedent for similar optional side-areas in future Final Fantasy games. It'd be nice to see it preserved and improved upon in standard BNW-fashion. 

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simply put, I've watched a *lot* of Brave New World streams. And anywhere where I almost universally see the "fast forward" option being enabled and players being bored out of their minds is something that needs to go or be reworked. The idea of the Colosseum, while fun in theory, becomes pure RNG in practice. It may have a place in vanilla FF6, but it just doesn't fit here.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, Reiker said:

They are, in BNW

I know I did use coliseum in BNW (mainly for Omega Weapon, Mirage Vest and Mutsunokami).

4 minutes ago, Reiker said:

If this is how the developers of BNW thought, this romhack would never exist. Sketch sucks, no one uses it, so let's not fix it. Cyan sucks, no one uses him, so let's not improve him. That's a terrible attitude to have when conceptualizing updates to a mod whose sole purpose is to take an inherently broken game and improve the shit that's wrong with it.

All in all, I like the spirit of the Colosseum: an optional place where you can spend time to gain some extra power. It set a precedent for similar optional side-areas in future Final Fantasy games. It'd be nice to see it preserved and improved upon in standard BNW-fashion. 

I agree with all of that, and I never say it was the good way to thought (I said the complete opposite actually).

Just to be clear I didn't like the Coliseum but I recognize it was the base that inspire some other similar place in futur FF mainly the Battle Square in FFVII which I enjoy and the CEM in FFX which I also liked (just not a fan at all of the way you unlock optionnal bosses), and I don't say it is useless not necessary but not useless to, which is why I to still would like to see the coliseum get some improvments especially with how BNW improved the overall gameplay, the coliseum could be made as a fun sidequest with extra challenges.

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, BTB said:

Simply put, I've watched a *lot* of Brave New World streams. And anywhere where I almost universally see the "fast forward" option being enabled and players being bored out of their minds is something that needs to go or be reworked. The idea of the Colosseum, while fun in theory, becomes pure RNG in practice. It may have a place in vanilla FF6, but it just doesn't fit here.

Have you ever looked into letting you control your character in the Colosseum?

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0