CRITICAL HIT! (PLAYING STEEL SPIRIT SAGA)

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Ah yes, the Flan. Half damage from elementals, no damage from physicals. BUT weak to Ice, from what the Bestiary document is telling me. And...for some reason absorbs Fire?? I don't understand my reasoning for THAT one. That enemy, alongside the Flan Maid, was one of the last few additions to the game before I released it. ^^;

Might've missed it, but it might not be available yet either. Sap/MP Sap is pretty rough, I do agree. I'm assuming Patchouli inflicted it on you, and it lasted oo turns again??
unity
You're magical to me.
11142
author=Xenomic
Ah yes, the Flan. Half damage from elementals, no damage from physicals. BUT weak to Ice, from what the Bestiary document is telling me. And...for some reason absorbs Fire?? I don't understand my reasoning for THAT one. That enemy, alongside the Flan Maid, was one of the last few additions to the game before I released it. ^^;


Usually flan-type enemies are strong against physical but weak against magic, with some elemental exceptions, so that's one difficult flan! Is there any way for the player to know they might need to use ice, or is it just a guessing game? Also fire would probably be my first go-to attempt on them so that wouldn't go well for me XD
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
11464
I would not have visibly identified that as a flan. This engine doesn't tell you enemy names unless you scan them (or I'm missing something obvious), and my scanning character left before this dungeon. Without scan, it's a guessing game for what works. Cirno's ice attacks are so pitifully weak that she could barely scratch it anyway, but her big all-hit moves hurt it (though I dislike using them on single targets).

Patchouli did indeed inflict both types of sap on two of my characters, once per cycle of her moves. They never wore off and racked up damage faster than I could heal it. If they're meant to be worse for later on, then that would explain it.

Also, Flan Maid(? the red ones with fire attacks)'s coffee attack seemed to have a random chance to do huge levels of damage. I think it was the status it inflicts, but I'm not sure. Everything happens too fast in these battles. >_<

Xenomic, did you add strong versions of all the statuses halfway through and just forget to go back and make sure the early enemies had the weak versions?
author=unity
Usually flan-type enemies are strong against physical but weak against magic, with some elemental exceptions, so that's one difficult flan! Is there any way for the player to know they might need to use ice, or is it just a guessing game? Also fire would probably be my first go-to attempt on them so that wouldn't go well for me XD


Yeah, I'm not sure why I made it take half from all elemental damage at all. You don't have access to Fire attacks for that dungeon until you get Patchouli (you have access to Holy, Earth, Ice, Wind, and Dark as your main elemental damage choices), so you would have to guess at that point. ^^;

author=halibabica
I would not have visibly identified that as a flan. This engine doesn't tell you enemy names unless you scan them (or I'm missing something obvious), and my scanning character left before this dungeon. Without scan, it's a guessing game for what works. Cirno's ice attacks are so pitifully weak that she could barely scratch it anyway, but her big all-hit moves hurt it (though I dislike using them on single targets).

Patchouli did indeed inflict both types of sap on two of my characters, once per cycle of her moves. They never wore off and racked up damage faster than I could heal it. If they're meant to be worse for later on, then that would explain it.

Also, Flan Maid(? the red ones with fire attacks)'s coffee attack seemed to have a random chance to do huge levels of damage. I think it was the status it inflicts, but I'm not sure. Everything happens too fast in these battles. >_<

Xenomic, did you add strong versions of all the statuses halfway through and just forget to go back and make sure the early enemies had the weak versions?


Yeah, that's one thing that I really hate about 2K3 is its inability to do things like that...would've been nice to be able to put enemy names out there while selecting the enemy. >_>;;

Yeah, I think the version of the move that she uses in the boss fight is the max level of the move, so it's using the oo version and not a lower version.

Ah, the Flan Maid is the pink one. The red one is the Scarlet Maid, and it does indeed inflict a status on you known as Heat (which inflicts 9999 damage if you take any action other than Defend with the character). ORIGINALLY that too was like 50 turns, but I toned it down massively because it was too dumb that early on. It's still kinda really strong though...

Nah, originally the moves all had the highest level of statuses and I just never went back and changed the early enemies to weaker versions, as you could probably tell with Mystia and Forest of Magic enemies. ^^;
unity
You're magical to me.
11142
author=Xenomic
The red one is the Scarlet Maid, and it does indeed inflict a status on you known as Heat (which inflicts 9999 damage if you take any action other than Defend with the character).

I'm having a little trouble grasping the thought behind this particular status effect. You need to know that it's on you, and to know that any action other than defending will deal 9999 damage to your character?

So your choice as a player (if you know all that) is either defend every turn (which makes that character pretty useless) or die and have to resurrect that character? Or spend an (I'm guessing expensive) item to cure the status effect before that character accidentally takes an action and dies?

No offense, but that's an overly brutal status effect that seems more fitting for a bonus dungeon from hell or a purposefully trolling-you game.

EDIT: Thinking more on it, I could sorta seeing it work if that's like an enemy's entire gimmick. Like he inflicts it on you and taunts you with "Hahahaha! DEFEND or DIE!" But it'd have to be used very carefully and it'd still feel kinda mean XD
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
11464
Oh, so the status problems were always mean, and you decided to nerf some of the early ones later.

I'm with unity on this one. For burn to completely annihilate you for taking any action doesn't give clear feedback to the player. As far as they know, they just randomly died. If the damage wasn't so severe, it might be more reasonable.

See, this is another one of those cases where the statuses are too powerful. You either have the item that cures it, or you're boned. There's no decision-making involved because the consequences of the choice are too severe. There's no viable in between, and that kind of sucks. What makes statuses interesting isn't having to deal with them, but deciding whether to deal with them or not. In this game, you either take care of the status, or you're hopelessly crippled.
Yeah, it's not very well thought out (it lasts for 10 turns too I think, meaning 10 turns total). I could have a maid or something that mentions it outside or somewhere, as well as the Flan and Mirrors (the mirrors are kinda mean too). Would that work? *Thinks*

Ironically, Heat doesn't appear after this dungeon until almost halfway through the game. I think the only reason it appears here is because Coffee = Burned came to mind. I could probably just make it not inflict Heat, and just be Fire damage since it's already strong enough as it is??

And yeah, they were always rough. It's just that at some point once you start getting the equipment to deal with them, THEN they start becoming a lot easier to deal with. On a side note, don't know if you know because game may not make it clear, but there's a lot of items that don't really do much and can be sold (there's some you should still hold onto like Mythril Ores, Orichalcums, Base Metals, and Adamantites IIRC), so if you're having money issues, you can sell those items. I don't recall if I ever changed the description on those items to read "Sell for money!" or whatever (you can see that with like the Point items, for example).

EDIT - The game did draw the Heat status from Final Fantasy IX where it did the same thing (FFVI had it too, but it just instantly KO'd the user). Granted, drawing things from sources like that isn't ALWAYS the best idea so...^^;
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
11464
I know there's someone in the human village that explains how elements work. Something similar, but for status problems would be a good idea. However, explaining how each status works isn't an excuse for them to be imbalanced.

The mirrors were fair to me. It was totally obvious that they'd reflect any magic back at you, so they were no mystery (and even if you didn't know, you'd find out very quickly).

I think the idea of hot coffee inflicting burn is fine, but I don't think this is a good implementation of burn. I don't know if it's any clearer in FF9, and it's kinda dumb in 6 if a fatal attack has the same effect, but here's what I'd recommend: have burn do a certain percentage of health when you take an action, instead of being insta-death. You could make it 15%-20% and it'd still be plenty threatening, both early and later on. This would also give better feedback to the player: "this status hurts me when I move" and give them the choice: "do I cure this or risk it and take the damage?"

I'd recommend you reconsider your other status problems in a similar fashion. It's the difference between "I have a status and I won't succeed if I don't cure it" versus "I have a status, but maybe I can work around it if I'm careful/clever." Right now, it's mostly the former, and that's not very compelling.

Also, yes, I've been selling items of that type regularly. I'm still broke because the 1-Up budget gets consumed by Reimu every other fight.
Yeah, that tutorial person is pretty outdated too. But yeah, Heat is such a rare status that there's people who don't even realize it happens at all past that dungeon. Still a jerk status nonetheless though, and the big problem with rebalancing it is that I'd have to go through every Battle Event and modify it since it's tied to that, meaning 600+ battle events to go through. @_@:

The thing with Mirrors is yes, they reflect magic, but they reflect ALL skills, because Reflect is broken in 2k3. There's only a couple instances of Reflect used in the game at all, mostly tied to "mirror" enemies, so it's very rare.

Honestly, thinking about it, I could have Coffee do something other than Heat if it's too much of a problem (or lower it to 5 turns if it's not already 5 turns) if I don't have someone explain it before the dungeon (which I might do). There's Disable that could last for 5 turns (though that's a pretty advanced status, as it prevents the player from using anything but Defend and Escape. Won't kill them if they're taking an action, but still pretty brutal...and no cure for that early on at all I think.

Referring to the timer on those statuses, I'm assuming? Or just when they appear in general? If it's the timer, then yeah, that's a thing that's going to have to be worked on here and there, since it's...going to be a thing. ^^;
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
11464
The timer is part of it. The effect can be, too. For example, those drain statuses Patchouli had me under were so rapid that the afflicted characters had no hope. All they could do was spam attack and wait for death; there was no keeping up with it.

Sucks to hear that battle events would need changed. I've been there before, and I know how monstrous of a task that is. Naturally, it's up to you what things you change. Just make sure you commit to your decision beforehand, since you don't want to redo a lot of work.

Also, I must admit, it was kind of a surprise when Meiling's kick was redirected off the mirror at my party, but it missed everybody and I knew not to try it again. Even though it's weird, the feedback is perfectly clear.
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
11464
Another week, another session of Touhou Fantasy. This time, we resolved our situation at the Scarlet Devil Mansion, but not before getting utterly trashed by another boss fight. Patchouli's HP wasn't up to scratch, so I grinded a little bit on fixed encounter fairy maids that Cirno and Meiling could tear through easily. Once we'd gained a level, I tried again, and it didn't matter because Patchouli died before anyone could move anyway. We toughed through the fight without her and revived her before the end so she'd get experience, which proved disappointing when the boss was worth less than the fairy maids from earlier (or a single Misty Lake crocodile).

Next, we journeyed back to the Human Village for a lead on Marisa, and we found out where she went. Now, I get to feel dumb, because I found the place where you buy better skills. I didn't know you had to check the books to get them. There's so much non-interactive random junk in this game, I had written them off as nothing a while ago. I improved the skills I thought I'd get some use out of, so we're slightly less unprepared for this cruel world. Next time...Bamboo Forest.
Fun fact: Bosses themselves don't actually give EXP! The only time you get EXP during them is from the random mooks that come alongside them. And yeah, Patchouli is going to die. A lot. Especially if it's to physical attacks (she takes 500% damage from physicals), but on the flipside, she halves all elemental damage as well as magic damage, so...take it as you will? ^^; At least you managed to beat the boss, that fight can get pretty rough (fun fact: the boss CAN be paralyzed, so either Meiling or Reimu can inflict that on her!).

Huh. Didn't the NPC in the shop say where the skill upgrades were?? Or the shopkeeper at some point? I...I could've sworn I did that so people would know where they were. @_@;;??
unity
You're magical to me.
11142
author=Xenomic
Fun fact: Bosses themselves don't actually give EXP! The only time you get EXP during them is from the random mooks that come alongside them. And yeah, Patchouli is going to die. A lot. Especially if it's to physical attacks (she takes 500% damage from physicals), but on the flipside, she halves all elemental damage as well as magic damage, so...take it as you will? ^^; At least you managed to beat the boss, that fight can get pretty rough (fun fact: the boss CAN be paralyzed, so either Meiling or Reimu can inflict that on her!).


She takes 500% more from physical attacks? Five times more!? Wow, that's really extreme.

Think of it like a piece of equipment. I wouldn't equip an accessory that cuts all elemental damage in half but makes me take five times more physical damage (which, in most games, is the most common damage type!) unless I knew I was against a boss who didn't use physical attacks. But if the character is innately like that, and you can't change it? Having a character that's extremely lopsided like that is just a recipe for frustration!
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
11464
Bosses give no experience? Pardon my French, but why the fuck not? That is so completely counterintuitive, that I can't imagine a valid reason I don't outright hate. Also, I agree that 500% damage from physicals is a ridiculous amount.

The NPC in the shop with the books said to check back for updates sometimes. The other NPC told me that you can't skip to high level spells, because you need the lower ones first. Nothing about the books themselves being it, unless it was a one-time message from earlier.

Also, on the note of the boss being vulnerable to paralysis, yes, I saw it happen once. It wore off fairly quick and the move is too inaccurate to be reliable. I swear, anything below 95% accuracy works more like it has 50% accuracy. Normal attacks also miss with astonishing frequency.

I can tell you wanted this game to be hard, but I gotta say...it feels like a lot of bs.
unity
You're magical to me.
11142
I suppose there is some precedent for the whole "bosses give no EXP" thing, as some Final Fantasy games did that (8 comes to mind in particular) but I've also never understood it. Why not give rewards for beating a boss? Like halibabica, I'll personally revive fallen party members just so they can get that sweet sweet boss EXP.
@Unity: I might be wrong on that, enemies might not actually use that attribute. There's 2 physical attributes, and the other is 200% for her, so...I could be completely wrong? But she is supposed to take more from physicals than the rest of the party, aye.

@Hali: Yeah, older FF games were like that too outside of FFVIII. V and VI both did that, in fact, IIRC. As for the accuracy...I think that's a 2k3 issue too. Like, I'm honestly not sure how it handled accuracy at all, but I don't want to give everything 100% pure accuracy either. >__<
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
11464
from Xenomic
@Hali: Yeah, older FF games were like that too outside of FFVIII. V and VI both did that, in fact, IIRC.
*goes to check

Wow, -1 respect for FF6. That's...not fun. Maybe the challenge runners are happy they can do a no exp clear, but man. Just because a popular old RPG did it doesn't mean you should do it, too. With how long it takes to level up in your game already, I'd say it would be a major plus. It wouldn't even have to be that high to feel rewarding.

I don't know how 2k3 crunches accuracy, but you may want to look into it, because I'm very sick of missing. At the very least, basic attacks should be reliable.
FFIX also did that I recall, since people do Lv1 runs on that (but obviously, TF is trying to emulate SNES era FF games, not FFIX).

The thing is, again, with TF's levels, they don't actually matter all that much (granted, if you have 20 levels more than what the area expects, you're going to probably destroy it outright). Only HP/MP/Speed matters in the long run for most characters (then again, I guess leveling up just for Speed alone IS pretty important, but a lot of Speed will be coming from equipment). And the way 2K3's EXP system works, you'll soon find you'll be getting levels relatively easily (it's 636 EXP from one level to another, so level 1 to level 2 is that much, then 636 on top of the original 636, then 636 from level 3 to 4 on top of the previous level up value...). I WAS going to reuse either FFV's or FFVII's EXP curve for this game, but it's impossible innately...because I, too, hate how long it takes to level up, but...there's no nice way of doing leveling up in this game. T-T

I mean, if a 95% accuracy attack misses that much (which I've seen it miss 6 times in a row somehow before myself), I wouldn't know how else to make it...well...NOT miss without being 100% accurate. @_@;;

EDIT - Curious, but what equipment do you use, if I may ask? That might also factor into the slowness of some characters here and there. Also, would you like "hints" as to some hidden stuff here and there? Some areas have them and you cannot go back to them (in fact, there's an area upcoming that does this. You CAN buy the thing later but...up to you if you want to know about the information and whatnot. Don't know if you'd consider that not blind and/or cheating or not. ^^; )
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
11464
Well, if emulation is all you've aimed to do, then I suppose you've been very faithful. Just keep in mind that maybe some of the things you're emulating aren't the reasons those old games were considered good. I highly doubt anyone looks back on FF6 and says "Man, I sure loved getting bupkis for defeating all those bosses! The story was my true reward!" Likewise, you won't find any gamers who say "Boy, do I love status problems that kill me instantly and/or lock me down for 50 turns. What a compelling experience!"

And while I understand that 2k3 has its quirks, part of game design is operating within the confines of your chosen platform. You should try to work with these quirks instead of against them. Don't plug in numbers and hope for the best; find out how they work. Like, I'm sure you can find 2k3's accuracy formula somewhere, and you can adjust your rates accordingly. An attack that says it has 95% accuracy should (ideally) only miss one out of twenty times. If the game doesn't treat it that way, then adjust the numbers so it does. If 1/20 accuracy is 99% in the game, then set it to 99% and tell the player it's 95%. Clarity is crucial. Also, accuracy drops very quickly, even just going a little lower. 90% is 1/10. 80% is 1/5. You don't want to get anywhere near coin toss territory. Those kind of skills are worthless for a reason.

Anyway, about levels, I've been one-shot by enough things so far to say they absolutely matter. They get a decent chunk of HP per level-up, so even the little grinding I've done has helped. However, Reimu's been eating dirt since the start and you said it's Patchouli's turn next, so does that really seem balanced and fair? Speed hasn't been as much of an issue for me, and I know where to buy Tengu Feathers if I need them. At my point in the game, I have the best stuff the Human Village can offer, plus some goodies from the mansion. Without knowing what enemy attacks are which element, it's a crapshoot for whether my gear is optimal or not.

Don't go telling me where to find stuff. If I find it, I find it. If I can't get by without your internal walkthrough, then you may have bigger problems on your hands.
Yeah, the status problems was, again, a thing I wanted to fix up, but never did. I should get around to fixing that up and uploading a new version perhaps with the fixes. Maybe...

I think I've tried looking for information on accuracy in 2k3 and nobody actually knows how it works? Same with Evasion, nobody really knows how it works either. I mean, I can try looking again to see if anything pops up, but I don't think anyone really knows the answer to that. @_@;

Huh. I could've sworn speed was an issue around that point of the game. Maybe I'm mistaken?? Or I'm just too used to slapping all the speed on my party ever.

Righto then. I will keep that in mind!