Finished my beta experience of RC-27 a little later than expected... No major difficulties during the beginning of the WoR. I saved the first Phunbaba fight until later though. Did notice the difference in enemy behavior until Figaro Basement, so didn’t try blitzing through as in previous runs, as I almost wiped once or twice in the Figaro Cave. After gaining the Falcon, dragged Cyan off the mountain and picked up Gau. Then hunted down some Rages in the WoR, with Mantodea being my go-to offensive rage for Gau in randoms. Next stop was to pick up Relm and Strago, as I left them last previously so wanted to use them earlier. I had difficulty in Owzer’s Basement but I think that has to do with me rushing to a later dungeon early. But that does bring up my first point regarding enemy difficulty post-Falcon but before Kefka’s Tower. I liked the progression of foes and your character abilities throughout the game, but it was somewhat linear too. But the nonlinear and open-ended nature of the later WoR made it feel that I was underleveled or overleveled for some areas: Owzer’s Basement and Triangle Island, in particular. I know this has been addressed before, with wanting to reduce the effectiveness of later AoE attacks in general. My concern is for newer player frustration in encountering difficulty spikes, albeit gradual, if they wander to a new area. After getting the Thasma Duo and Terra, I headed to the Phoenix Cave for Locked and skipped the Red Dragon. Relm sketched Intangir Z but the skill had a blank name, Strago blocked whatever the effect would’ve been however. My party was wiped during the first fight with Hidon but I think that was a preparation problem on my part. After changing equipment and adjusting my strategy, I pulled through and finished the last dungeon. I enjoyed the changes to the other dungeons but also Locke’s new dialogue about treasure after completing the Phoenix Cave :-) I saved the Dragons until last and maybe my experience with them was easier than anticipated because my party was getting ready for Kefka’s Tower. The Brown Dragon especially seemed too easy, with only using G-Force once: is it on a timer or a reaction? Maybe I didn’t trigger it as often if so, but maybe he should be more liberal with swatting down pesky floating heroes. In outfitting my three parties for Kefka’s Tower, I noticed Edgar couldn’t equip the Hero Shield. What was the decision behind that? I decided to leave Gogo and Mog behind for the Tower: Gogo because he joined at Level 21 when my average was 24 or 25, and Mog because somebody else has to draw the short straw. My party’s levels were 28-30 and ELs 19 or 20, but I did backtrack dungeons to fight the Dragons and find missing Rages & Lores, so they’re maybe slightly higher. My previous playthroughs had all but my most frequent characters stay at 20 EL even through the tower because of the exp spike there. But the Boss Exp, especially the Goddesses, helped everyone get past it. Thoughts on character ELs and builds at the end: Terra - Kept boosting her HP and Stamina, hitting hard with Morph, Atma and Power Glove. Locke - Threw some Ifrit into the mix with Ramuh and Kirin, probably not optimal but hit hard often enough and countered occasionally too. Edgar - Focused on a hybrid build with Palidor and Golem, I do believe that going Golem in WoB then respeccing into Siren later in WoR would’ve better for my playstyle. Maybe I just need to try jumping with swords though, heard the bonus to proc damage is nice. Sabin - Focus on Golem with some Terrato, planning to try his Stamina build next time though. Cyan - Respecced away from Stamina to Vigor+HP, always enjoyed how much better he became from Vanilla and may like slicing and dicing things up with him too much. Celes - Respecced to Phantom and HP. Magic Celes s.comerved well up to the Airship but always found her C+C builds more appealing in the endgame. Shadow - Focus on Phantom and trying to maximize Mutsunokami change to Stamina. Gau - Kept him on a Stray build. Used Mantodea and Troll throughout the end. Troll’s high damage and Refract was nice, plus using the Black Belt with his high Stamina. Mog - Didn’t really use him except to recruit Umaro. Want to focus on him in a later run. Setzer - Seraph and Shoat, laughing all the way to the Bank with his surviability. Strago - Windbreaker helps his Stamina build and gives him a different playstyle from his Magic self. I’d like to try Windbreaker with Relm later but want to keep Shadow around too. Relm - Split between Ifrit and Zoneseek. Prefer speed in my healers but her damage wasn’t bad with Flare and Meteor. Umaro - Umm… smash? Kept the Skull Cap on and usually had Blizzard Orb, Black Belt or Life Bell. Gogo - Never used because of his low level and planned to have him sit out KT anyway. My first try at Kefka’s Tower had the parties of: Party 1 - Strago / Sabin / Setzer / Edgar Party 2 - Locke / Celes / Shadow / Umaro Party 3 - Cyan / Terra / Gau / Relm I talked to the man in Albrook about Kaiser and figured I needed to cover all the elements. Strago and Sabin with Stormfangs do that, then decided to have Edgar and Setzer for support. The other parties were balanced out between Haste-X users, keeping Gau and Umaro seperate and balancing out DPS and healing. Ultima was a fun boss, with Umaro’s Blizzard wrecking havoc. Inferno had a weird quirk where Net reflected off Cyan holding Crusader, which I’m not sure if it’s intended or not. I may have been under the false impression Reflect only bounced Runicable spells. Prometheus had a blank sketch that Terra blocked, so a similar issue to Intangir Z. I <3 the concept of the Kaiser Dragon and have to say it was the highlight battle of the playthrough. I realized something was up when he wasn’t using Wallchange and his attacks were switching up elements. Ultima killed me the first time but I assumed that I could do better after guessing at his pattern. Except that my party just couldn’t keep up elemental coverage and/or recover quickly from Ultima. So I exited the Tower and reformed my parties. Terra, Celes, Edgar and Strago made it past Kaiser with little difficulty. Equipping the Minerva and Multiguards and using only Ice, Fire and Bolt spells made the battle much more manageable (Edgar was running out zapping everyone with the Mana Battery). My main concern is that some party line-ups just may not be able to defeat Kaiser, which could be frustrating for new players who overlook the hint in Albrook and have to run through the tower again. My other parties were Cyan / Shadow / Relm / Umaro and Sabin / Locke / Setzer / Gau. The Warring Triad were enjoyable fights too: Isis is always a fun game of charm & berserk tag. I actually defeated Kefka and the Tiers on my first try. Previous playthroughs had me die at the second tier or sometimes when Kefka followed up Goner too soon. I believe the hardest section of the final battle is the start of the second tier though, as so much damage and/or status conditions are thrown at your party that getting caught in a cycle of revive and recover may occur. It is certainly doable though, and being the endgame I’m not sure difficulty is the issue, just the abruptness when the second tier starts. All in all, thanks for the mod and can’t wait to play 2.0 when it’s officialy released :-) Some pictures from my playthrough: final party equipment and two skewed pincer formations.
I'm a big fan of BNW and played through 1.8 and 1.9 several times over the past few years. I wanted to help with the 2.0 beta and waited later until a stable release was available. My first notice of the enemy behavior was during Mt. Koltz with Condor's Gale Cut and Trillium's Raid. Overall, I liked the changes with enemies that forced my (aka the player) to explore what actions forces what counters and also useful applications of status conditions. After completing the scenarios, the unequip imp was centered in the black screen that told of the upcoming battle in Narshe. I took Shadow, Celes, Edgar, and Gau to Zozo. I found Gau's Hornet Rage to be my best choice this early, a boosted physical with the Storm Belt plus float and haste was too good to pass up, and having Image never hurt. Dadaluma proved an enjoyable fight: Shadow and Gau adding Image to my party helped, along with Edgar's Bio Blaster to clear out the lackeys. I finished Zozo with my characters around level 12-13, and I rarely ran from fights. Cyan and Sabin came along to Vector, as I like switching around my party to use characters that I previously left behind. Sabin and Cyan were already almost over the Level 10 exp bump at the Battle of Narshe, thanks to their longer scenario I'd guess. Spent some time gaining ELs while getting Golem and newer equipment. GP was strained some points when coming to new town, especially arriving at the SC. i don't mind this too much, as it just means the player needs to better manage their resources, and nothing's prohibitively expensive in the WoB. Vector is one of my favorite parts of the game, so I liked the change to the Ifrit and Shiva battle. I did have increased random fights after the mine ride, but I saw this issue posted before and don't think it's too problematic with the close restore point. Took Terra, Gau, Mog, and Setzer through the Sealed Cave and had some problems at first with the boss fight there, but was made possible after adjusting equipment. I found most problematic fights could be solved by readjusting my party's gear instead of grinding levels. To that end, boss exp is a nice quality of life change too. Nothing really of note until after reacquiring the Blackjack and exploring before the FC. I did find the Cactaur enemy rewards 10 EP when it runs away, which I don't think is intentional as Doom Gaze had the same problem fixed. I took Siren Edgar, Siren/Seraph Celes, and Kirin Cyan to the Floating Continent with levels 17-18. Wiped in some FC fights, especially to Gargoyle's Quake which taught me to keep my party floating. I don't mind the increased difficulty, as the FC is the endgame of the WoB and the player should be familiar with enemy behavior by now. For Atma, I tried draining his MP first to try a new approach, having Shadow run support. Cutting him off from Flare, Rasp, etc. did help the second phase. Celes with Ice 2 and Cyan with Dragon whittled away his HP. I do think replacing Edgar would've made this fight and the FC easier though, as Cyan and Celes can rasp just fine. For WoB, my ELs were focused as such: Terra – Unicorn & Carbunkl, Stamina focus to help with Morph and plan for her to wield Atma later. Locke – Ramuh & Kirin, Kirin helps when dodging fails and the increased stamina wasn't wasted, as he usually dual-wielded with the Scimitar. Edgar – Siren, planned to have him Rasp Atma but I generally went with a Golem build in past playthroughs. Sabin – Golem, the right claws hit hard and I find Golem the first/second best summon (with Seraph also in the conversation). More HP makes Golem more worthwhile. Cyan – Kirin, often had Knight Cape equipped with a counter katana, my primary C&C in the WoB. Celes – Siren & Seraph, planned to taking her to FC to rasp and her magic skillset is great for this dungeon. Shadow – Phantom, he's a ninja! Gau – Stray, often had him with Storm Belt, Black Belt and a strong physical Rage. Cephalid, Hornet, and Templar were my preferred Rages in the WoB. Mog – Maduin, I like improving his chances of dancing well, rather than boosting his magic damage potential higher with more Shoat. Setzer – Shoat & Seraph, Slots are great and I understand nerfing Solitarie. Strago – Carbunkl, planned to have him use Wind Breaker later, so setting him up for it. I do having Carbunkl's equip bonus be auto-Regen, since it improves Strago's Holy Wind and works well with Terra too. Relm – Ifrit & Zoneseek, I like having a speedy healer, even if her damage isn't as high as pure Zoneseek, having more chances to hit her improved proc rates for brushes is okay too. Finished the WoB after roughly 16 hours, but I did talk to everyone again, which I normally skipped doing in previous runs. I'll be finishing up Kefka's Tower over the weekend and will talk of my WoR experience then.