This isn't meant to be comprehensive. Just a list of some common questions and concerns I've seen new players have. If anyone can think of other questions, feel free to ask them in the thread and I'll answer them/add them to the list. Hope this helps! How is BNW different from Vanilla?
The biggest difference is that the characters are more individualized. Espers are now restricted by character, so everyone has their own spell list and access to specific stat boosts which allow them to be built in a number of different ways. Every major bug (i.e. the evasion bug, sketch, vanish/doom) has been fixed as well as most of the minor ones, and every mechanical aspect of the game (i.e. all enemy scripts, damage formulas, etc) has been addressed while largely retaining the look and feel of the original.
Nothing has gone untouched. Things that weren't useful before now serve at least some purpose. Brave New World operates by a different set of rules than the original game and should be treated as a completely new one. While it looks the same and feels similar, it is very different under the hood. Is this a hard type / difficulty patch?
Definitely not. BNW is considerably harder than Vanilla was, but kaizo-style/arbitrary difficulty is minimized. There are very few party-wide 1HKO attacks, and those that exist are usually avoidable or able to be mitigated in some manner. The two kaizo-ish instances in particular (the Whelk Shell and stealing from monsters) are entirely preventable as the game explicitly warns the player about them.
There's also a general lack of situations where the player is required to have a specific ability or item to progress; after Kefka at Narshe, pretty much every play style is viable. Most of what makes BNW hard comes from either not knowing enemies or playing it like it's vanilla FF6 rather than a separate and different game. Do I have to min/max?
Not really. The game rewards it, but only marginally. The balance is such that a player can finish all the content with however they build their characters. It really doesn't matter. On that note... Can I brick/mess up a character?
Nope. There is a character respec option in the World of Ruin, but even so an un-ideal distribution of stat bonuses will not make it much harder to complete the game. Do I need to grind levels/gp?
Nope. Level progression follows the exp curve just fine if all the player fights is the randoms they encounter normally. Players may run into GP issues if they want to stock up on lots and lots of things and/or buy every piece of equipment they see - it's always a good idea to consider what to buy carefully before spending a lot of GP. Worst case, the game does have a few decent spots to grind GP and there's quite a lot in chests. What about the script? Is the story still the same?
The story is still the same, and a legitimate effort was taken by the developers to clean up some of the dialogue issues (e.g. dialogue that didn't belong to anyone but was still spoken) while leaving the best of Ted Woolsey's work intact. Some liberty was taken to add references and homages to other games/music/movies/pop-culture/etc., where it is appropriate and doesn't detract from the story.
Note that the Beginner's School is a deliberate 4th wall break (as it was in vanilla FF6) and so the dialogue there is generally not indicative of the rest of the game. Do I need to know everything in this huge Readme/Printme?
Nope. They're both designed to be reference materials, much like a normal manual for a new game. Their original intent was actually so the developers could document their changes. Use them to look up things, such as the stats on a piece of equipment or who can equip what esper.
DO go to the Beginner's School though. It's a lot to take in all it once, mind, and is worth revisiting later on when much of what is discussed there comes into play. Why do enemies have so many death counters?
Actually, very few enemies have death counters. Enemies DO have lots of command-specific counters (i.e. Fight, Magic, Tools, Blitz, Bushdio...), so they look like death counters when those attacks are fatal. These counter rates are very high in the early stages of the game in order to teach the player how they work. Are status ailments actually useful?
Absolutely. Most enemies have some weakness to at least one debilitating status affect. Most bosses, while immune to most status ailments, can be afflicted by Slow or Sap if they don't have inherent Haste or Regen, respectively.
Conversely, enemies love to throw these at the player; it's very important to protect against them or the party will find itself incapacitated pretty quickly. This includes status ailments that were not particularly potent in vanilla FF6, namely blind/darkness. The Goggles, they do something!
On the same token, buffs are also very useful and should not be neglected; proper buffs can make or break a fight, and in some cases completely nullify an enemy's ability to do any real damage to the party. Shadow bailed, where's my stuff?
Check the inventory! He's automatically unequipped in every situation but one: if the player returns to Narshe after recruiting him at Kohlingen. This was an oversight on the developers' part that wasn't addressed due to how unlikely it is to occur. My character isn't gaining ELs!
Make sure an Esper is equipped! What platform(s) can I play this on?
Most/all major emulators are supported: ZSNES, SNES9X, BSNES/Higan, RetroArch. Console is also supported either via flash carts or repro carts.