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

  • UPRC
  • 09/18/2014 12:37 PM
  • 12958 views
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!



Bestiary
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.


Materia
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?

Posts

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UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
7380
Ah, awesome! I'll give that a try right now then, thanks for that!
No problem! Let me know if it gives you any trouble~
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
7380
Got it working earlier, which is great. So many changes this week!
Can I add my vote toward really, really wanting control of random encounters? Bravely Default's system was glorious. Needing to backtrack in JRPGs is always horrid since you have to sit through a bunch of random battles that are too weak to give you any meaningful reward, yet they still waste a whole bunch of time and make you frustrated with the game overall. I think adding a warning when you get the moogle charm that keeping it on all the time will make the game difficult (and impossible after a certain point) and that it should be used with caution would be enough to deter newbies from painting themselves into corners.

(While I'm at it, an accessory to double encounter rate for when I'm, say, trying to grind out a particular DNA strand would also be pretty neat.)

edit: Also, if you've played Bravely Default, you know the game was no less crushingly difficult at many points just because it let you skip random encounters when you didn't want them.
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
7380
Regarding random encounters, they can be skipped now. I added a moogle charm to Zephyr's chest at the start of the game.
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
7380
There are some peculiar issues going on in the game that myself and Brandon have each noticed though! At random, enemies will stop acting and just sit there and do nothing until they player kills them. The second issue is that, at random, the player cannot take any action when a character's ATB bar fills. The command window doesn't open and the player cannot do anything other than hit escape and run (if they're in a random encounter).

Currently trying to figure out what has caused each of these. Removing the bestiary appears to have remedied the issue of monsters not acting, but the characters not being able to act when their ATB bar has been filled persists. I think it might have come from the fix I added for being unable to run with a character is defeated.
author=UPRC
Regarding random encounters, they can be skipped now. I added a moogle charm to Zephyr's chest at the start of the game.
Now people will do the "Low Level Challenge" no problem. :/ I hope there won't an achievement related to beating the final boss on low level 'cause that'll totally suck. :P
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
7380
author=Noel_Kreiss
author=UPRC
Regarding random encounters, they can be skipped now. I added a moogle charm to Zephyr's chest at the start of the game.
Now people will do the "Low Level Challenge" no problem. :/ I hope there won't an achievement related to beating the final boss on low level 'cause that'll totally suck. :P


I'd love to see people finish this game at a low level, because it's pretty much being designed to murder people who DON'T level.
Fomar's ATB is kind of buggy, he made the script and then completely dropped support for it after a few months. I used it when I first started on my game, but quickly switched to Victor's due to all the issues and the lack of any sort of Active mode. Do you have a link to the fix for the escape bug? I can try and take a look at it, if it's causing the problem should be easy enough to spot.
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
7380
Yeah, this was the fix:

If you're using the fomar script then there's some lines around 72 that says States handle AGI.

Then go down and you'll see STAMINA_STATES =

this means stamina at state 0, meaning no state, your char is normal, the gain rate will be multiplied by 1, the fill color will be 31 and the empty color will be 32.

Go to the state page and find out what number your death and agi states are.

for me death is 001,

so I would put a line underneath saying

STAMINA_STATES =

which means that when my character is dead, their atb will charge at half the speed as it will normally do.

but you're not finished yet, because there's a line below that stops atb bars from charging if you are immobilised, so you have to search for a line saying:

def stamina gain

return if not movable?

@stamina = blah di blah di blah blah blah

and then just delete the "return if not movable?" line and you'll be able to flee even if you have dead characters, however their atb bars will still have to charge to full before you can make that attempt.
I took at look at Fomar's ATB and came up with a fix. What I did was edit process_stamina so that only movable characters will have their atb checked for escape. I also set it so that when a character dies their atb is reset to 0. I can remove this if you want characters to retain their atb gauge when revived, it shouldn't cause a problem. I just did it in case a dead character with full atb was causing a problem.

I also tried to look into the issue where characters would be unable to enter commands despite full atb, and got it to happen a couple of times. It seemed to happen when an enemy and character (or possibly 2 characters) both hit full atb at the same time, so I just added a check that subtracts 1 (max is 1000 so this should not be noticeable) from an enemy's atb if their atb is full at the same time a character's is at command input. Another possible cause could be a character being made immobile while their atb is full, so I just applied a -1 to a character's atb if it becomes full and they're not movable somehow (this shouldn't be able to happen, but...). I tested a bit and the problem didn't seem to come up anymore, but I don't know for sure if this actually fixed it. Let me know if it still happens and I'll have another look, or if this fix causes any other issues. You can just put it in a new script below Fomar's ATB. You might want to undo the changes to stamina states from that other fix too.

Hopefully this helps and I didn't somehow break something!

class Scene_Battle < Scene_Base
  def process_stamina
    @actor_command_window.close
    return if @subject
    BattleManager.advance_turn
    all_battle_members.each do |battler|
      battler.stamina_gain
    end
    @status_window.refresh
    if @status_window.close?
      @status_window.open
    end
    if BattleManager.escaping?
      $game_party.battle_members.each do |battler|
        next if !battler.movable?
        if battler.stamina < CBS::MAX_STAMINA
          $game_troop.members.each do |enemy|
            if enemy.stamina == CBS::MAX_STAMINA
              enemy.make_actions
              @subject = enemy
            end
          end
          return
        end
      end
      unless BattleManager.process_escape
        $game_party.battle_members.each do |actor|
          actor.stamina -= CBS::ESCAPE_COST
        end
        BattleManager.set_escaping(false) unless CBS::ATB
      end
    end
    all_battle_members.each do |battler|
      battler.stamina = 0 if battler.dead?
      if battler.stamina == CBS::MAX_STAMINA
        $game_troop.members.each do |enemy|
           if enemy.stamina == CBS::MAX_STAMINA
             enemy.stamina - 1  
           end
        end 
        battler.make_actions
        @subject = battler
        if !@subject.inputable? and battler.is_a?(Game_Actor)
          @subject.stamina - 1
        end
        if @subject.inputable? and battler.is_a?(Game_Actor)
          @actor_command_window.setup(@subject)
          BattleManager.set_actor(battler)
        end
        return
      end
    end
  end
end
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
7380
Ah, awesome! That should be a massive help. I'll add the bestiary back in as well, since I suppose this was the likely cause for monsters not doing anything.

Definitely going to give this a try when I get off work tonight!
I'm not 100% sure what I tweaked was the cause, but I tested by setting up a test battle with the Fumigator (that thing is tough even with boosting my level for the battle test! XD) and fighting it out since it seemed to happen often there for some reason (maybe because it's fast), and it didn't happen for the whole battle, so I am hopeful. Hopefully the bestiary works as well, always sucks to have to remove a feature because it doesn't play nice with your other scripts.
UPRC
Exciting, but ultimately pointless.
7380
The Fumigator is supposed to be tough, haha. I have no marks set up past that thing, so it's designed to halt the player in their tracks.

I didn't get a proper chance to throw the bestiary back in and play with things last night since I was just too exhausted from twelve hours at work. Still did a lot of game stuff at work, though! Spent a good hour writing dialogue in Notepad for the Lenadia portion of the game which I've really been looking forward to since I can finally throw Silas in the party, introduce Ami's granddaughter, and give Edric some good moments.

Another twelve hour day at work, another day of script writing!


A few more things I've been up to.


Chubby Chocobos exist in chocobo forests all over the world map. Each continent has roughly 2-3 of these forests, and the big ol' fat bird can be fought simply by wandering back and forth through the forest. It's basically like in FF7 where you could only encounter chocobos by walking on chocobo tracks.

Obviously you can't ride these guys because you already have Winter, and chubby chocobos look like retired football players who let themselves go, so instead they stand a chance of dropping DNA if you can manage to take one down. Defeating one may be a lengthy ordeal when you can first encounter a chubby chocobo since they have several thousand HP and are prone to healing themselves, but they're generally pretty straight forward once you learn how the chubby chocobo reacts to different attacks and abilities (it may flee, get charged up and hit for extra damage, or pull off MASSIVE heals depending on what you do to it). There's also the very slight off chance that the chubby chocobo will just run away at random as well, but this isn't very common.

The DNA that the chubby chocobo drops teaches an Augurer the Chocobo Drop ability, which drops one of these fatties onto the target enemy. It inflicts damage that is equal to the number of battles you've fought. If you've won 30 battles, you'll do 30 damage with Chocobo Drop. Over 9999 battles? Well, expect 9999 damage. Best of all, it's cheap to cast! If you've got the patience to fight a lot of battles (or you just love battles/grinding), then Chocobo Drop will probably be pretty decent by the time you reach the end of the game and/or high level optional areas. On my current play test through the game, I've got Chocobo Drop hitting for just under 200 at Mystic Mysidia with very little grinding at all. I can imagine that grind-happy players will probably have it doing at least double that amount.

As for optional areas, I'm going to make sure that they won't be wandered into too early. All of the high level optional dungeons and locations will become available in some or another towards the end of the game.

I've also increased damage across the board. While the likes of Zephyr and Reiner were once barely scratching 200 damage before the end of the Lindblum portion of the game, they should now be able to exceed 300 semi frequently.

With crafting mostly going the way of the dinosaur, I've replaced a lot of crafting item drops with battle items. Some items such as Fang and Flan Oil will still drop, but will have now be able to be used in battle (Fang casts drain, Flan Oil removes a few status conditions). Common battle items that will be found include Antarctic Wind, Earth Drum, Grenade, Swift Bolt and others. The only crafting items that will still be used are ores and screws, and they will only be required to forge one of a kind items. I expect there to be about four or five uniques in the next download (I don't know when this will be yet, maybe over the winter sometime).

I've made further changes to character abilities based on the character feedback polls in an attempt to make everyone feel like they're worth using. The following abilities have been added...

For Trigger:
Healing Rain - Detonates a medical shell that heals the party. Restores approximately 700. Healing Rain is also capable of critical heals.

For Edric:
Angelbreath - Protects a character from instant KO attacks for several turns.
Bloom 2 - An improved version of Bloom. This one heals for an amount that is roughly somewhere between Cure and Cure 2.
Daylight - Removes KO on party, but characters come back with 1 HP. Potentially very handy if you're not being blitzed by AoE.


I've also added a mailbox. Yes, a mailbox. It sits outside of Bacchus Garrison, just in front of Biggs and Wedge, and provides the party with frequent rewards. Each time the party defeats a major boss (Ixion, Leviathan, Phoenix, etc.) or completes an objective (returning to Lindblum with Jasmine), a payment will be deposited in the mailbox. The payment is calculated like this:

Base payment money multipled by the number of NPCs recruited plus number of battles participated in.

So if one pay has a base payment of 500, you've recruited 4 NPCs, and you have won 84 battles, then you will receive a total of 2084 gold.
Pretty good progress man. I always enjoyed the funny chocobo drop. I also thought about the idea of rare DNA segments that you would have to earn as well, so this inclusion makes me very happy. School has kept me pretty buys, so I'm going to try and replay through the demo in my free time to see all the new features. I take too long to play through though, by the time I finish, the newest version is up and running. I'm very inspired by your work ethic.
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