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The big list of recent changes (current and upcoming).

  • UPRC
  • 09/18/2014 12:37 PM
The amount of changes/improvements I've been incorporating this week have been pretty extensive, so I thought I'd share with everyone just what I've done. I have most of the changes/improvements posted online already, but they're scattered around in different blog posts, game page posts, Tumblr posts, etc. so I figured it would be nice to have them all right here in one blog post. So, here we go!

I've thrown a bestiary into the game since it was requested a few times in the past. Everything you encounter will be in the bestiary aside from a few encounters such as the artificial dummy monsters Hautley makes you fight. All stats, item drops and resistances are shown. The battle backdrop behind the monster mirrors the area they are found in, and music will play for each monster in the bestiary that corresponds to what kind of encounter they are. The standard battle theme will play for a goblin while the boss theme will play when you're viewing Ifrit or Phoenix.

Bolt's New "Thievery" Battle Command
Recent script changes rendered steal unusable in the way I had added it previously, so I made up for this by changing Bolt's selectable battle command to Thievery. Within Thievery, players will find...

Steal: Bolt starts with this, of course! We know what this is, so moving on.
Peep: Bolt’s version of Libra. He learns it at level 20, so 99% of those playing the game will likely obtain it after Carina’s Libra spell.
Dash: Inflicts damage to an enemy based on Bolt’s speed stat. Since he has the highest speed in the game, well, this will be a good ability.
Rescue: Heroes must rescue the helpless! This ability will restore HP to an ally based on, again, Bolt’s awesome speed stat.
Nostrum: Removes status conditions. May inflict regen as well.
Warp: Escape from the current non-boss encounter.

Improved Encounter Rates
The encounter rate for all dungeons were previously set between 30 and 55. This has now been increased to 45 to 65. The larger the map, the higher the number. One optional dungeon is even set to over 100 steps!

Increased Gold Gains
All enemies now reward more gold. In most instances, the increase is between 10 to 30. On the other hand, defeating a boss will now feel like you've won the lottery, as I'll probably go and double gold gains from bosses later today when I get home from work.

New Reiner & Zephyr Starting Abilities
In order to give the two Augurers a little bit more versatility in the face of DNA strand changes, they each have three starting abilities each instead of just one. In addition to Sonic Dive, Zephyr now has Hunter Instinct and Numbing Gaze. To go along with Subathe, Reiner now has Osmosis and Pipstrike. Here's what they do:

Hunter Instinct (Lobo) - Removes blind and silence from a party member.
Numbing Gaze (Hecteyes) - Inflicts slow on target. May inflict sleep as well.
Osmosis (Hazer) - Absorbs some MP from the target.
Pipstrike (Pipsqueak) - Inflicts physical damage based on Reiner's HP. Improves drastically by leveling.

DNA Strand & Monster Summon Changes
I wanted to eliminate the grind for DNA strands since, even with a drop rate of 1/4 or 1/5 for some strands, you can't always rely on the game engine to give them to you in a somewhat quick fashion. What I've done is reduce the drop rate of all Imperfect DNA strands to 1/2 (easy money for garbage loot!) and the drop rate for ability teaching strands to 1/3. Players no longer need five strands to learn an ability either. Now? They only need one strand. When you attempt to use a DNA strand, you will have to decide which Augurer learns the ability... and then that's it. You cannot learn the ability for the other Augurer (which the strands also dictate before you use them). As such, it will be easy for players to assign "builds" to each Augurer.

Tankentai Escape/Run Glitch Fix
Tankentai acts a little wonky sometimes with Fomar's ATB compatibility script. One issue that had been plaguing the game for some time was that players were unable to run from battles if a character was knocked out or asleep. Attempting to run under these conditions would cause the battle system to lock up and players would be unable to act at all. I've seen added a fix for this, so players can now freely escape from battles even when half of their party has been defeated.

To further improve character customization, Materia has been added to the game. It does not level up like in FF7, but rather is equipped underneath relics on the equip screen and grants the use of spells while also increasing one or two stats slightly. Each character can equip up to five pieces of materia. Several spells that are typically exclusive to one or two characters, or aren't permanently learnable by any characters, can be used by equipping materia such as Darkwave, Manafont, Magitek, and more. White magic, which cannot be learned via magic tomes, can be used through materia. This does not take the spotlight away from Carina though, as white magic materia really can't compare to the likes of Carina's White Wind limit.

Level 18 Abilities
The "tier 2" skills and spells will start appearing roughly at level 18. Carina's Cure 2 shows up at this time, and Hautley's level 2 spells (Fire 2, Ice 2, etc.) aren't far behind either. My favourite level 18 spells currently belong to Edric, Jasmine and Trigger.

Edric learns Empower, which increases a party member's magical and physical defense values. Basically, they have the power of berserk in attack and magic power but they remain 100% controllable.

Jasmine's level 18 ability is Revive. It cannot be used outside of battle, but it only costs 3 MP to cast and restores plenty of hit points.

Trigger's ability is Silver Bullet. It simply throws holy damage at the enemy and may inflict burn. Nothing terribly special, but it's worth having since the only other holy attack that the party has at all thus far is Carina's Dia limit.

Further Balancing
I'm replaying the game since some script changes made old saves incompatible and unreadable. I'll be tinkering with damage values as I go, since I personally feel that Bolt, Carina and Hautley can die fairly easily in some situations. If there are any particular encounters that felt way too intense with far too great of a damage output, I'd love to know!

A few things I'm going to try and add this week and over the weekend include...

1. Achievements! They'll start small and I haven't nailed down potential rewards yet, but I'll get to that when achievements are implemented.
2. X-Magic command. I need to play with Tankentai a bit, because I think that only the "Magic" command has casting animations, but I'm not 100% sure. We'll see where this goes, but I guess it all depends on Tankentai.
3. Making sure various abilities cannot miss. It was reported that some Blitz, Gallant and Gunner abilities have been missing. I'm going to peek at the database today after work to fix this.
4. Removal of crafting tokens. They were a holdover from the scripted crafting system I originally had, which I had scrapped because I wasn't fond of the way it worked. It's pointless to have to pay for crafting tokens and then pay a further fee to craft a weapon when it would make more sense to just, you know, pay to craft and that's it. With crafting tokens being given the boot, I won't be increasing the cost to craft weapons. That will remain exactly as it is.

Here are a few things from what I am going to call The World of Brandon. That's the guy who is composing the original tunes that can be heard in the game for those who are unaware. He's also the main tester for the game and has been a huge source of design and development ideas as well. Some of his ideas haven't gelled with my design plans while some of them were ideas that I leaped upon in a hurry. Below, I'm going to present what he's been working on and/or what he'd like me to relay to RMN (but he can do this too now that I think about it, he has developer access to the game page and I'll remind him of this). So here's what he has been up to!

1. Composing more music, as always. The quality of his stuff just keeps getting better and better, I'm seriously lucky to have him onboard for music. One thing he's working on that I'm really excited about is an original victory fanfare theme to go with the battle theme. Anxiously awaiting that one!

2. Brandon says he's looked at Ruby and says he's figured out how to do a few things. He's often expressed his dislike at how Triple Triad/Tetra Master offers no in-game rewards and has long asked if he can try to play with the scripts to enable the player to acquire some form of rewards for playing. He's suggested having tournaments before, which led me to deciding that a "ladder" style tournament could work out well. This would see the player enter a sort of tournament in each town against specialized AI decks that they CANNOT win cards from, but rather earn actual item rewards based on how far they can get. Beat all opponents and the player will get an item that will be considered very good for that point in the game. A gold payout would also be extremely likely. I told Brandon that, if he can get a working prototype of this, I'll add in.

3. Brandon wants to be able to turn off random encounters at will, saying it was a feature in Bravely Default and he liked the feature a fair bit in that game. I haven't been too keen on the idea because it would make Winter's Saddle feel less important and some planned relics, like the Moogle Charm, would become irrelevant and likely prompt me to reshuffle the database a little to remove the items that would become redundant. I'd also be wary of adding this, as it could allow people to miss Augurer abilities and useful drops that can be used to make weapons (and the very best weapons in the game will require these). I told him that I will only add things I don't personally like to my games if there is support from several people, because it's counter-productive to go and add everything that is requested/wanted by single individuals. Features and ideas need to be requested by multiple people for me to cave and add them, so I'm asking... despite my own worries regarding making some items/skills redundant and lesser skilled players possibly abusing this sort of feature, is there support on RMN for Brandon's idea?


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Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
Jasmine could benefit since she has decent speed, so her ATB should still fill at a decent rate. Throw a hyper wrist on her as well and you should have a speedy double attacker.

Come to think of it, Berserker Band + Hyper Wrist + Blossom on Sapphire may be extremely good since she's the second fastest character behind Bolt and she has decent vigor. I should look into testing that combination.
Decent, but not good. I'd need to up her with some hat and armor which ups Speed, but currently Bolt is the one who really needs a physical damage boost, hence he is equipped with Berserker's Band. But that's just my preference.

Also, I ship Jasmine and Cid. I ship them like Titanic. :P
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
Jasmine = Rose
Cid = Jack
Tidechaser = Titanic
Iceberg = Leviathan

As for Bolt, he's more of a support attacker. He's definitely going to be getting a deep evaluation when I add in his Thievery skills for sure.
So in this analogy, disaster was averted by Rose jumping into the ocean and punching the iceberg in the face until it dies?
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
You know, that would've made the end of the movie a lot better than Rose hogging that GIANT door. You could've fit the ship's entire musical band on that thing!
I thought Bismark would get the iceberg role. ;P
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
I always forget he exists, haha. Especially after I replaced him with Leviathan when Ramuh opens the gap in Koltz Forest.
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
I wonder if I should try to shoehorn him back in somewhere? I don't really have any other water areas planned beyond the Great Lindblum Reef though.
He could be a joke fight. You fight him on land and all he can do is lay there and suffocate at you threateningly.

Although, I guess since it's a whale he'd really just crush himself under his own weight...
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
Ha! You could unleash him, thinking it's Ramuh's secret weapon or something.

There are still so many prominent Espers left to throw in the game, I'm not sure if he'd fit anywhere at this rate. I suppose I cou-

... okay, just thought of something. Bismark will still be in the game.
Will it be an Esper with airship powers? Just look at the size of the thing. ;P
Adding simple rewards to Triple Triad would be really easy with a quick edit to the script, the use of a variable or more, and a single common event. If you don't get exactly what you want working on your own, I might be able to help when I take another look at those scripts for FFD later on. :D
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
Will it be an Esper with airship powers? Just look at the size of the thing. ;P

Pft, no way.

Adding simple rewards to Triple Triad would be really easy with a quick edit to the script, the use of a variable or more, and a single common event. If you don't get exactly what you want working on your own, I might be able to help when I take another look at those scripts for FFD later on. :D

That would be awesome. I can get back to you on that whenever I know how Brandon's doing.
Basically, you'd add a line to the method handling a victory within the script, which would set a variable to a random number from X to Y (excluding 0 as no prize), and have the parallel process determine your prize for winning (based on the number outcome) as long as that variable is greater than zero. You'd then have to deactivate it immediately after (reset the variable used to 0).

If you wanted to disable the part where you choose a card to take from the opponent, you'd have to throw in a conditional branch after setting the variable to basically state "if this variable is still zero, then process the part of the script where a player takes a card, and if not, bypass this process and end the scene early."

You could then combine it with an item popup script to show the item won once the Triple Triad scene ends and the player resumes control on the map, for a little visual flashiness, if you wanted.

It's basic, to award a random item or weapon or whatever. If you wanted it to be more specific, it'd take a bit more work, like adding the exact variable number outcome to the opponent(s) information in the module of the script, then processing that information to set the variable to that specific number.

For a ladder type of thing where you get a better item based on your number of victories, you'd simply have the variable line in the script increase the number by 1 for each win, rather than a random number, making sure to make the prizes awarded by the common event get better with higher numbers.

I know that all sounds like garbage. Sorry. It's odd to explain. But when I update my copy of the TT script and start playing with it later on, it might be easier to understand when I can comment the lines in the script.
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
Nah, that makes pretty good sense. It's just out of reach for what I can do, haha. I can only do extremely minute tinkering like changing locations/sizes of windows, moving things around on the screen, etc.
Oh, it sounds complex but it's pretty easy, script-wise. Should only add a few lines. Most of your control over it lies in the common event with the way I'm thinking of doing it, which should be easy for ya.
Reiners Pipsqueak will be cool doing 2000 plus damage but will the damage go down when I loss hp plus. My limit break will be underpowerd at 1700 damage.
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
Pipstrike works off of his maximum HP, so you'll be fine.
Fixing the skill animation problem should be easy enough. Try going down to line 329 or so in the 2nd script of your Tankentai, you'll see this:

case skill_type 
    when 1 # 特技
      return "汎用スキル"
    when 2 # 魔法
      return "汎用魔法"
    # 上記以外
    return "汎用スキル"

Beneath 2, add what you would like. So say X-Magic is skill type 3, you'd add something like:

when 3

return "汎用魔法"

That would make it use the same skill animation as other magic. You can use this to give every skill type unique casting animations as well if you create a new sequence for them. If you need any help with Tankentai stuff, let me know, I know the system pretty well, and it's extremely powerful, just pretty complicated. I haven't had a chance to dive into the newest build of BP2 because I'm putting the finishing touches on my own game, but I'm still down to help out. ^^
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