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A good and enjoyable game

  • Egdelion
  • 01/01/2021 03:18 PM
  • 246 views
This was the first game made with RPG Maker MV I've ever played. Back then, I was mainly looking for a sort of "demo game" for that engine, and Chronicles: Fate of a Princess can really act as such. It is rather short and uses RTP, so it gives a good idea of what a game made with RPG Maker MV feels and looks like.

As for the game itself, it is good in every aspect, although not stellar, hence my 4/5 grade. It has everything you would expect from an RPG, including the mandatory bonus dungeon and boss. Speaking of which...

For some reason, I found it hilarious when I reached the top of that bonus tower, only to face Dar'aknoth, the evil wizard that Princess previously considered as a "children story", and who is just as cliché as an RPG villain can be. Also, funny how Princess says "You've got to be kidding me" when he introduces himself, since that was exactly what I was thinking on the moment.


The story is ok and has some interesting moments, I don't have much to say about it. Although, while there are quite a few characters, 9 being playable (1 for each class + Princess), only a few of them feel really important (Paladin and Rogue being the most important), some class characters feel like fillers (I'm thinking about Priest or Mage, whose roles are quite limited). What I regret, however, is that playable characters have no name, you just name them yourself, and this gives them less personality.

Mapping is fine, each city and dungeon in the game feels unique.

The gameplay is classical for an RPG, although the game has its particularities. The game has 8 playable classes (Rogue, Ranger, Warrior, Paladin, Bard, Priest, Warlock and Mage) and the combat system is based on using the right class at the right time. And here is where the particularities come into action. The first is that you can choose the main character class (by spending time with the NPC of the corresponding class at the beginning of the game). The second one is that once your party becomes bigger than 4 members, you can switch characters at will, even during a fight, the only restrictions being that Princess must remain in the party no matter what, and you can't switch a dead character. That idea is nice, but it's slightly wasted by a few flaws.

First, choosing the class of the main character is nice. The issue is, story-wise, some choices seem to make little sense. I mean, having the Princess being a Warlock is quite a strange idea. Also, regardless your choice, she will use a sword in the very first fight in the game, which is a bit awkward if you didn't pick Warrior or Paladin (I guess Rogue is okay-ish in that matter, but still). So, while the game lets you pick anything, some classes make more sense than others.

Second, the classes are unbalanced, to the point that your initial choice has a strong impact on the game difficulty. Globally, if you want an easy game, make sure that Princess is a Rogue, a Ranger or a Warrior (I would say, in that respective order). Paladin and Bard are fine as classes, but I would say it's better having them as companions rather than main character. And absolutely avoid Priest, Mage of Warlock, theses classes are useless. All of this also means that, while you can switch characters at will, there are some that you will barely ever use.

So now, let's discuss in details why I find classes to be unbalanced... Spoiler warning.

Rogue is undoubtedly the best class, and an ideal choice for Princess class (the simple fact it attacks twice per turn makes the first fight ridiculously easy). Rogues deal high damage and still have some versatility with their ability to stun or boost the party's evasion rate. Their high speed can prove useful in some situations when you need to use an item and need to be sure you do so before the enemy attacks.

Ranger is another good class. Probably the best damaging class. But overall, I still prefer Rogue. The issues are, Ranger only have damage (save Pinpoint, but even its effect is only about securing damage anyway), and has low HP bar, making them the glass cannon class of the game, with little versatility. Basically, Ranger is a specialist: they may only do one thing (damage), but they are the best at doing this. They make a good choice for Princess class, albeit not as good as Rogue.

Paladin is another good class, and my favourite tank/support. They are versatile, being decent tank and fighters, and learn a heal quite early (lvl 3), on top of which, you get a Paladin companion right from the beginning. Unless Princess is a Warrior/Paladin herself, your Paladin companion will be the only tank for quite a while, making him an almost mandatory pick from Arbas (when you get your 5th party member) to Benel (when you get Warrior). His heal only makes things better. Later in the game (lvl 8), he learns Divine Plea, which is the best Heal in the game. It's worth mentioning that most bosses have an ability that negates heals (including potions). Divine Plea is, as far as I know, the only ability in the game that bypasses this debuff, making Paladin the best healer against bosses. In a nutshell, Paladin is the most versatile class to me. They are decent at every part of the game, and can actually excel in the healing department. I wouldn't recommand to make Princess a Paladin, though. You already get a Paladin companion right from the beginning, and he will already do the job, you don't need a second Paladin. Better have Princess in a damaging class and having someone else support her.

Bard is another good option for support, but I would say, only late game, once they reach lvl 10 and get Song of Action that grants the party one additional action per turn for 5 turns. That ability is a game changer, it makes your party basically twice as powerful, and that makes end-game Bards on par with Paladins when it's about supporting the party. While Paladin is a more defensive support, I feel Bard is more of an offensive support. Bard's main drawback is they aren't that good at healing against bosses, so be ready to switch characters if necessary. Also, considering you only recruit Bard later in the game, it's not much of an issue that Song of Action is only learnt at lvl 10, this will come fast enough. Unless you made Princess a Bard, but I wouldn't recommand to do so.

Warrior is the best tank in the game, and can still deal decent damage. Actually, it's the only class that can tank besides Paladin. While Paladin is more of a heal/tank hybrid, Warrior is more of a damage/tank hybrid. Overall, it's a good class, but not a top class as Rogue. While you recruit your Warrior companion rather late in the game, this class is a decent choice for Princess. I would say it's the third best choice, after Rogue and Ranger.

Priest is the first weak class. But not the weakest. The problem with Priest, is that they are only good at healing, but even in that department, Paladin are doing better anyway. Out of their 8 abilities, Priest have 5 variations of direct heal (normal, faster but weaker, slower but stronger, party heal, slower but stronger party heal), 1 heal over time, 1 resurrect, and 1 MP-self-restore. There is just no versatility. Priest is the only class with absolutely no offensive ability. As the ranger, Priest is a specialist. The issue is, while Ranger is the best at dealing pure damage, Priest isn't even the best at healing. Having so many variations of heal feels redundant, some are barely ever used. In additions, considering that the party is healed completely after every battle, you have no need for a class only good at healing when fighting random encounters. But surely, Priest will be a pillar of the party against bosses, right ? Well, no. Because the worst is to come: since so many bosses can negate heals, that makes Priest relatively useless against them, even more so considering Paladins have a heal that can bypass that debuff, when Priests don't. Overall, there is no reason to pick Priest over Paladin. The only case when I would use Priest is if I occasionally need his stronger party heal, then I would switch him, use the heal, and switch him back. But it's quite situational, mostly only during boss battles, and only works if the boss hasn't debuffed you to make heals useless. Needless to say, don't make Princess a Priest, that would only make the game harder. Really a bad class overall, Priest are only good at one thing, and aren't even the best class in the game for that. But there are worse classes around.

Mage is a particularly bad class. They have many weaknesses, but no real strength. Like Priest, Mage's abilities feel like different variations of the same thing, basically variations of the same spell with different elements. They have additional effects, but most feel rather useless. Only Fire, Thunder and Ice effects feel any good, and even then, it's far from being enough to rival top classes like Rogues or Rangers. Flame Wave could be interesting considering it hits all enemies, which is rather unique in the game, but you get it late (lvl 10) and at that point, the damage is relatively weak, to the point that even against large groups, Rogues or Rangers will deal more damage overall anyway. In addition, it costs so much mana that you won't get to use it much before having to drink a mana potion. So, Mage have no true strength. However, they definitely have weaknesses. They have bad defence and terrible HP bars, so expect them to die a lot. While Priest at least have a chance to reflect spells, Mage simply have no defensive ability at all, they are clearly the most vulnerable class and they don't have any worthy strength to compensate. Fortunately, there is no obligation to ever bother with this class. Mage will be the last companion you recruit, the game is mostly over at that point, so you might as well never pick him in your party. And of course, do not make Princess a Mage, you have been warned.

Warlock is a weird class. Supposedly, this class is all about playing dangerously to deal higher damage, hence their abilities that deal higher damage when health is slow, abilities that increase their power but kills them after a while, abilities that sacrifice their health, or abilities that hit both enemies and allies... The problem is, while I definitely felt the "playing dangerously" part, I never felt the "deal higher damage part". In fact, if you play "normally", meaning you don't use the dangerous abilities, Warlock are a trash class, only dealing weak damage. If you use the dangerous abilities, you definitely put yourself at danger, and even in best case scenario, you aren't going to rival Rogues or Rangers anyway. So what's the point ? Abilities that deal higher damage when your health is low ? It seems they barely do anything if you health is high, and only normal damage if you hp is low. Abilities that boost your power but then kill you ? Not worth it, Rogues or Rangers can also deal great damage but doesn't need to sacrifice themselves. That ability that targets everyone, enemies and allies alike ? Considering that enemies have way bigger HP bars than your party members, you are hurting yourself more than you are hurting enemies... Overall, a weirdly designed class, the pros just don't outweigh the cons. To me, this is the worst class in the game. While Mage are only useless, Warlock are even worse, being the only class that can actually damage their teammates and put the party in dangerous situations. And if you don't use any risky ability, Warlock are even more useless than Mage. Do I really need to say what I think about the idea of making Princess a Warlock ?


I would say, class imbalance is the main downside of the game, and what prevents me from giving it a better grade. Although, it's not game breaking, and this remains a great game overall, be it for story, mapping or gameplay. One of the few RPG Maker games I've actually replayed, which only rarely happens.

Posts

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Wow, great review, I was also looking for an MV sample game and found this one to be a great inspiration :)

Our opinions regarding the classes are almost identical. :) Though there are three things I want to mention:

Warrior is pretty badly designed and works only despite its flaws. I'd say it only really gets great near the endgame, when you get the good Substitute gear (Friendship Bracelet and such) and that level 10 ability that doubles their max HP. The class has a lot of useless skills, like that one where you use up all your valuable TP to do mediocre damage or that bugged one that is supposed to act like a better Guard, except it doesn't have an Agility bonus, so it mostly activates after every enemy already acted. Still the third best class for the princess though (especially since only she can equip the best sword in the game). A lot of its damage comes from passive counter-attacks.

Regarding Bard, due to their ridiculously high Agility (which gets boosted even more with that special dagger from the bonus dungeon), they are the best at using items like the ressurecting ones and potions. Especially since they have a passive chance to gain additional action, so they can do that and still use their skills. I don't find them bad for healing against bosses, that regeneration song helps and they can heal with Potions. Divine Plea from Paladin is still great though. Also, while Song of Action is a no-brainer that is pretty much mandatory for the bonus bosses, there is another, even better skill in that one song that makes the whole party defend during their round. That is probably the most OP skill in the game, especially once you have multiple actions. In the end, I would use a party of 2 Rogues (or Ranger + Rogue) + Warrior + Bard and switch the Bard out for a Paladin when needed for Divine Plea or something else.

I agree that Warlock is the worst designed class in the game and some of its skills do more damage to your party than the enemy (Mage in comparison is just weak and boring ), however I would still say that Warlock is stronger class than Mage. Warlock has loads of HP (more than Warrior even), so it can survive a lot, while Mage drops pretty much immediately. Meaning, while Mage is pretty much useless, atleast Warlock can do the Potion duty and maybe spam that one ability they have that lowers Attack. I've played as a Mage princess in my first playthrough and had trouble defeating the bonus boss at first since she was pretty much always KO. I think if I made her a Warlock, it would have gone better than with a Mage.
You get some points, and actually, I think we can reconcile both our points of view of you divide companion classes and Princess classes ranking. For I think the tier list isn't exactly the same.

The thing is, Princess is mandatory, so if you have her in a weak class, you will have to deal with it for the entire game with no possibility of ever switching her out of the party, so it will be about limiting the disaster. So it's all about "What class am I the most ok with never switching out of the party?". For companions, it's a bit different. If a companion has nothing to bring, all you have to do is not pick them in your party. If they somehow are a one-trick pony, you can pick them in the rare situation they are somehow useful, and completely ignore them otherwise. So you will never pick a companion if there is nothing they can do that someone else can't do better. Which means that some classes may be worse as Princess choices, but less as companions.

So, here would be my companions ranking :

Best
1) Rogue. Just no discussion.
2) Ranger. Best damage dealer.

Good
3-4) Paladin and Bard. I think this is a question of personal preference. I tend to get better results with Paladin, but I get why you would find Bard as so good. The thing is, they are both good supports, and you need one of them in your party regardless the situation. I tend to switch between them depending on my needs.

Average
5) Warrior. I agree that this class has a lot of flaws. They have many abilities I never use, and they indeed get the useful one late. It's worth noting, though, that you only get Warrior companion late, so it won't take long for him to get useful anyway. But it certainly doesn't rival Rogue or Ranger who are useful for the entire game and join the party early on.

Bad
6) Priest. There just isn't any reason to pick him over Paladin/Bard. His only use is picking him to use Full Heal, but after that he will be oom and you want to switch him back out of the party. The cost is just ridiculous.

Terrible.
7) Mage. Why am I insisting putting the Mage here, rather than last ? At least, Mage can be played "as intended", without getting worse results than playing it in an unintended way. And he even has a saving grace : Flame Wave can actually be passably useful against large groups, given that there are very few abilities that hit all enemies. The only others are Paladin's Holy Fire (which is comparable to Flame Wave), Warrior's Sweep Attack (which I tend to value less, because it costs 50 TP, making it unreliable, and against random encounters, you can end the fight before reaching that), and Warlock's Soul Vortex and Eternal Damnation (both of which are unreliable, the former depends on your health, the latter damages you more than the enemy, so should never be used). I consider Holy Fire and Flame Wave as the only two actually reliable abilities that hit all enemies. So if you want to deal with a large group as fast as possible, I find that using Paladin + Mage as an efficient, viable way. But that's quite situational and the only case when you would ever consider picking Mage.
8) Warlock. Simply, why would you pick Warlock in your party when she has nothing relevant to bring ? This is the only class in the game that you can't even play "as intended", because it puts your team in too much danger. If you don't use their dangerous abilities, they are useless. If you use these abilities, you put your party at risk. And if I want an "alchemist" who uses items, I would rather pick a warrior who has something else to offer when you are not using items. Also, there seems to be a bug. Warlocks are supposed to be more powerful than other classes when using items, but I can't see any difference. So right now, it's as if they didn't have any traits. Fix that and then, Warlock get a niche role as some kind of alchemist, and become better than Mage.


So now, for the Princess ranking :

Best
1) Rogue.
2) Ranger.
Nothing changes for these.

Good
3) Warrior. 3rd by default.

Average
4-5) Paladin and Bard. Because it is just too suboptimal to make Princess a support, and the remaining non-support classes are useless.

Bad
6) Warlock. To be fair, if you don't use the dangerous spells, Princess Warlock isn't as bad as the classes below. She can still use items and have some passable offence with Strength/Magic Drain and Incinerate (the latter could mainly serve against enemies that are immune to Dark element).

Terrible.
7) Priest. Has no offensive power at all. No relevant damage, no buff/debuff (besides heal over time), just a bazillion variations of heals, most of which you will never use anyway. Once again, no reason to pick Priest when you could have picked Paladin or Bard instead. But at least Priest can actually survive for a while, unlike...
8) Mage. Indeed. Princess Mage is just awful. Abilities are but glorified normal attacks, except for the one you learn at lvl 10 (and even then, it's only worth anything against large groups, and pretty much useless against bosses). Not that t matters a lot, though. Because you won't get many occasion to deal damage anyway. I mean, look at that health. It's just so low that you have no survivability. Good luck surviving during boss fights. And to add insult to the injury, unlike companion Mage, you can't even switch her out of your party. No wonder you struggled so much against the bonus boss with a Mage Princess.


That being said, I tend to use the companion ranking for my overall ranking because I wouldn't even consider making Princess anything that isn't Rogue, Ranger or Warrior. So other classes are classes I only know as their companion versions.

What could be interesting is thinking about how the three useless classes could be fixed. Here is some of my thoughts :

Priest
Let's look at his abilities first. Only heals, revive and mana recover. In a game where the party is healed after every battle, and bosses have anti-healing debuffs. Basically a one-trick pony who is mediocre at the only thing he can do. Priest needs something else, just as Paladins and Bards have.

He needs an offensive ability, be it only a generic damage dealing ability like Mage.

Not to mention that as a support, he needs some kinds of buffs, like Bard. Thinking about it, Bards heal and buff the entire party. An option could be to give Priest stronger buffs and heals, but that only apply to one ally at a time. The kit could look something like:
- Normal heal (1 ally).
- Damage ability (deals magical damage, 1 enemy).
- Revive (1 ally).
- Buff attack and magic (1 ally). Buff both to avoid wasting an ability slot, since most classes only use one anyway.
- Buff physical and magical defences (1 ally).
- Regenerate (heal over time, 1 ally).
- Either a damage over time, a drain, or leave Pray as it is.
- Full Heal (leave it unchanged).

Of course, the numbers and power should be adjusted so that it is balanced with other supports.


Warlock
The idea of a class that uses spells that have huge power but a high cost can work, but it's clearly poorly executed in the case of Warlock. Although, fixing it wouldn't require to reconsider the entire kit. Just adjust it properly.
- Strength Drain and Magic Drain : leave them as they are, these abilities are fine and suit the theme.
- Pain Focus and Soul Vortex : tweak the formula. Right now, it deals no damage if your health is high. Have it deal normal damage if you are full health (something that wouldn't be enough to rival Rogues/Rangers), and that significantly increases if you are low health.
- Soul Pact : Fits the theme, might leave as such.
- Overextend : Fits the theme, but feels redundant with Pain Focus and Soul Vortex, that are also about risking your life to deal more damage. Overextend feels like a safer version of these : while Pain Focus and Soul Vortex require you to manage to keep your health low without dying, with Overextend, you can just ignore your health and profit, Warlock will die anyway so it's just about making sure she deals as much damage as possible before that. I would be tempted to either leave it as such, or replace it with a Drain ability. Warlock seems suited for having a life drain.
- Incinerate : It's weird to have a single fire ability among so many dark abilities. Also, anti-healing is pretty much useless outside of bosses. I would be tempted to replace this with an ability that deals damage and applies Blind. I mean, Warlock has tons of Dark abilities, yet none of them applies Blind...
- Eternal damnation : This ability hurts yourself much more than it hurts enemies. I would say, keep the HP cost, but only for the Warlock, allies shouldn't be affected.
- And of course, fix the passive trait.

Not sure what the result would be, but probably already better than what we have now.


Mage
And now for the boring, useless class. First, give them some more HP. Ok, Mages aren't supposed to be tanks, but that doesn't mean they should die as soon as a boss uses a damaging ability.

The major problem this class faces is that all its abilities look like different variations of the same thing. The same spell but with different elements. When actually, there aren't that many elemental weaknesses to exploit. As a consequence, many of these spells feel useless and are never used.
- Magic Strike shouldn't even be an ability, it should be used for Mage's weapons attack, instead of the physical one. Ok, this requires a plugin, but it's simpler to use than other plugins that the game is already using.
- Burn could be interesting in that it can make the target vulnerable to other spells, but considering how weak Mage's spells are, it doesn't make that much of a difference, and it lacks other spells to combo with. And really, if you compare this with Rogue's Backstab, the bonus damage is barely relevant.
- Chill is very situational. Reducing agility is nice and all, but... even with 1 agility, the enemy is still going to use its attack anyway. So you might as well reduce their attack power of defence instead.
- Zap is the most interesting of the lot. It's basically a much better Burn. It can combo with most classes, and isn't limited to only one element.
- Splash is basically a drain. But considering how large of an HP poor Mage gets, it will hardly matter anyway.
- Crush's only particularity is dealing physical damage. You mean, as Rogues', Rangers' and Warrior's every damaging move ? Except those three deal way more damage with them ?
- Swirl is wind-based and is fast. I guess that fully justifies that it costs four times as much as Magic Strike, which is non-elemental.
- Flame Wave is Mage's only saving grace.

At that point, Mage is so bad that I would just remake the class completely. Although, I'm voluntarily going to remain quite cliché and avoid ideas that would require too many plugins/scripting, since this game has some "RPG Maker MV demo" feels:
- Fireball. Fire-elemental damage on 1 enemy and applies the "Burning" state, that makes the target more vulnerable to Ice attacks (vulnerability x200%) but more resistant to Fire attacks (vulnerability x50%). Removes the "Chilled" state. Let's be honest, for a mage, nothing is more standard than having a fireball as first spell.
- Ice shard. A shattering ice block deals ice-elemental damage to 2 random enemies, and slows them. It also applies the "Chilled" state that makes the target twice as vulnerable to Fire attacks, but half as vulnerable to Ice attacks, and removes the "Burning" state.
- Earthquake. An earthquake deals earth-elemental damage to all enemies, and reduces their defences.
- Tornado. A tornado deals wind-elemental damage to 3 random enemies, and removes all their positive states and buffs.
- Chain lightning. Bolts deal thunder-elemental damage to 4 random enemies, and make them more vulnerable to critical strikes.
- Flame Wave. Apocalyptic pillars of flames inflict colossal fire-elemental damage to all enemies while also silencing them. Applies "Burning" state and removes "Chilled" state.
- Antarctica. A massive ice storm deals tremendous ice-elemental damage to all enemies, while also blinding them. Applies "Chilled" state and removes "Burning" state.
- Doom Storm. Bolts originating directly from the Aether deal monumental thunder-elemental damage to 4 random enemies while also preventing their next action. They never miss and ignore magical resistance (but not thunder elemental resistance).

Not sure how Mage would then be compared to other classes, but I'm quite sure it would be far better than its current state.
author=Egdelion
You get some points, and actually, I think we can reconcile both our points of view of you divide companion classes and Princess classes ranking. For I think the tier list isn't exactly the same.

The thing is, Princess is mandatory, so if you have her in a weak class, you will have to deal with it for the entire game with no possibility of ever switching her out of the party, so it will be about limiting the disaster. So it's all about "What class am I the most ok with never switching out of the party?". For companions, it's a bit different. If a companion has nothing to bring, all you have to do is not pick them in your party. If they somehow are a one-trick pony, you can pick them in the rare situation they are somehow useful, and completely ignore them otherwise. So you will never pick a companion if there is nothing they can do that someone else can't do better. Which means that some classes may be worse as Princess choices, but less as companions.

So, here would be my companions ranking :

Best
1) Rogue. Just no discussion.
2) Ranger. Best damage dealer.

Good
3-4) Paladin and Bard. I think this is a question of personal preference. I tend to get better results with Paladin, but I get why you would find Bard as so good. The thing is, they are both good supports, and you need one of them in your party regardless the situation. I tend to switch between them depending on my needs.

Average
5) Warrior. I agree that this class has a lot of flaws. They have many abilities I never use, and they indeed get the useful one late. It's worth noting, though, that you only get Warrior companion late, so it won't take long for him to get useful anyway. But it certainly doesn't rival Rogue or Ranger who are useful for the entire game and join the party early on.

Bad
6) Priest. There just isn't any reason to pick him over Paladin/Bard. His only use is picking him to use Full Heal, but after that he will be oom and you want to switch him back out of the party. The cost is just ridiculous.

Terrible.
7) Mage. Why am I insisting putting the Mage here, rather than last ? At least, Mage can be played "as intended", without getting worse results than playing it in an unintended way. And he even has a saving grace : Flame Wave can actually be passably useful against large groups, given that there are very few abilities that hit all enemies. The only others are Paladin's Holy Fire (which is comparable to Flame Wave), Warrior's Sweep Attack (which I tend to value less, because it costs 50 TP, making it unreliable, and against random encounters, you can end the fight before reaching that), and Warlock's Soul Vortex and Eternal Damnation (both of which are unreliable, the former depends on your health, the latter damages you more than the enemy, so should never be used). I consider Holy Fire and Flame Wave as the only two actually reliable abilities that hit all enemies. So if you want to deal with a large group as fast as possible, I find that using Paladin + Mage as an efficient, viable way. But that's quite situational and the only case when you would ever consider picking Mage.
8) Warlock. Simply, why would you pick Warlock in your party when she has nothing relevant to bring ? This is the only class in the game that you can't even play "as intended", because it puts your team in too much danger. If you don't use their dangerous abilities, they are useless. If you use these abilities, you put your party at risk. And if I want an "alchemist" who uses items, I would rather pick a warrior who has something else to offer when you are not using items. Also, there seems to be a bug. Warlocks are supposed to be more powerful than other classes when using items, but I can't see any difference. So right now, it's as if they didn't have any traits. Fix that and then, Warlock get a niche role as some kind of alchemist, and become better than Mage.


So now, for the Princess ranking :

Best
1) Rogue.
2) Ranger.
Nothing changes for these.

Good
3) Warrior. 3rd by default.

Average
4-5) Paladin and Bard. Because it is just too suboptimal to make Princess a support, and the remaining non-support classes are useless.

Bad
6) Warlock. To be fair, if you don't use the dangerous spells, Princess Warlock isn't as bad as the classes below. She can still use items and have some passable offence with Strength/Magic Drain and Incinerate (the latter could mainly serve against enemies that are immune to Dark element).

Terrible.
7) Priest. Has no offensive power at all. No relevant damage, no buff/debuff (besides heal over time), just a bazillion variations of heals, most of which you will never use anyway. Once again, no reason to pick Priest when you could have picked Paladin or Bard instead. But at least Priest can actually survive for a while, unlike...
8) Mage. Indeed. Princess Mage is just awful. Abilities are but glorified normal attacks, except for the one you learn at lvl 10 (and even then, it's only worth anything against large groups, and pretty much useless against bosses). Not that t matters a lot, though. Because you won't get many occasion to deal damage anyway. I mean, look at that health. It's just so low that you have no survivability. Good luck surviving during boss fights. And to add insult to the injury, unlike companion Mage, you can't even switch her out of your party. No wonder you struggled so much against the bonus boss with a Mage Princess.


That being said, I tend to use the companion ranking for my overall ranking because I wouldn't even consider making Princess anything that isn't Rogue, Ranger or Warrior. So other classes are classes I only know as their companion versions.

What could be interesting is thinking about how the three useless classes could be fixed. Here is some of my thoughts :

Priest
Let's look at his abilities first. Only heals, revive and mana recover. In a game where the party is healed after every battle, and bosses have anti-healing debuffs. Basically a one-trick pony who is mediocre at the only thing he can do. Priest needs something else, just as Paladins and Bards have.

He needs an offensive ability, be it only a generic damage dealing ability like Mage.

Not to mention that as a support, he needs some kinds of buffs, like Bard. Thinking about it, Bards heal and buff the entire party. An option could be to give Priest stronger buffs and heals, but that only apply to one ally at a time. The kit could look something like:
- Normal heal (1 ally).
- Damage ability (deals magical damage, 1 enemy).
- Revive (1 ally).
- Buff attack and magic (1 ally). Buff both to avoid wasting an ability slot, since most classes only use one anyway.
- Buff physical and magical defences (1 ally).
- Regenerate (heal over time, 1 ally).
- Either a damage over time, a drain, or leave Pray as it is.
- Full Heal (leave it unchanged).

Of course, the numbers and power should be adjusted so that it is balanced with other supports.


Warlock
The idea of a class that uses spells that have huge power but a high cost can work, but it's clearly poorly executed in the case of Warlock. Although, fixing it wouldn't require to reconsider the entire kit. Just adjust it properly.
- Strength Drain and Magic Drain : leave them as they are, these abilities are fine and suit the theme.
- Pain Focus and Soul Vortex : tweak the formula. Right now, it deals no damage if your health is high. Have it deal normal damage if you are full health (something that wouldn't be enough to rival Rogues/Rangers), and that significantly increases if you are low health.
- Soul Pact : Fits the theme, might leave as such.
- Overextend : Fits the theme, but feels redundant with Pain Focus and Soul Vortex, that are also about risking your life to deal more damage. Overextend feels like a safer version of these : while Pain Focus and Soul Vortex require you to manage to keep your health low without dying, with Overextend, you can just ignore your health and profit, Warlock will die anyway so it's just about making sure she deals as much damage as possible before that. I would be tempted to either leave it as such, or replace it with a Drain ability. Warlock seems suited for having a life drain.
- Incinerate : It's weird to have a single fire ability among so many dark abilities. Also, anti-healing is pretty much useless outside of bosses. I would be tempted to replace this with an ability that deals damage and applies Blind. I mean, Warlock has tons of Dark abilities, yet none of them applies Blind...
- Eternal damnation : This ability hurts yourself much more than it hurts enemies. I would say, keep the HP cost, but only for the Warlock, allies shouldn't be affected.
- And of course, fix the passive trait.

Not sure what the result would be, but probably already better than what we have now.


Mage
And now for the boring, useless class. First, give them some more HP. Ok, Mages aren't supposed to be tanks, but that doesn't mean they should die as soon as a boss uses a damaging ability.

The major problem this class faces is that all its abilities look like different variations of the same thing. The same spell but with different elements. When actually, there aren't that many elemental weaknesses to exploit. As a consequence, many of these spells feel useless and are never used.
- Magic Strike shouldn't even be an ability, it should be used for Mage's weapons attack, instead of the physical one. Ok, this requires a plugin, but it's simpler to use than other plugins that the game is already using.
- Burn could be interesting in that it can make the target vulnerable to other spells, but considering how weak Mage's spells are, it doesn't make that much of a difference, and it lacks other spells to combo with. And really, if you compare this with Rogue's Backstab, the bonus damage is barely relevant.
- Chill is very situational. Reducing agility is nice and all, but... even with 1 agility, the enemy is still going to use its attack anyway. So you might as well reduce their attack power of defence instead.
- Zap is the most interesting of the lot. It's basically a much better Burn. It can combo with most classes, and isn't limited to only one element.
- Splash is basically a drain. But considering how large of an HP poor Mage gets, it will hardly matter anyway.
- Crush's only particularity is dealing physical damage. You mean, as Rogues', Rangers' and Warrior's every damaging move ? Except those three deal way more damage with them ?
- Swirl is wind-based and is fast. I guess that fully justifies that it costs four times as much as Magic Strike, which is non-elemental.
- Flame Wave is Mage's only saving grace.

At that point, Mage is so bad that I would just remake the class completely. Although, I'm voluntarily going to remain quite cliché and avoid ideas that would require too many plugins/scripting, since this game has some "RPG Maker MV demo" feels:
- Fireball. Fire-elemental damage on 1 enemy and applies the "Burning" state, that makes the target more vulnerable to Ice attacks (vulnerability x200%) but more resistant to Fire attacks (vulnerability x50%). Removes the "Chilled" state. Let's be honest, for a mage, nothing is more standard than having a fireball as first spell.
- Ice shard. A shattering ice block deals ice-elemental damage to 2 random enemies, and slows them. It also applies the "Chilled" state that makes the target twice as vulnerable to Fire attacks, but half as vulnerable to Ice attacks, and removes the "Burning" state.
- Earthquake. An earthquake deals earth-elemental damage to all enemies, and reduces their defences.
- Tornado. A tornado deals wind-elemental damage to 3 random enemies, and removes all their positive states and buffs.
- Chain lightning. Bolts deal thunder-elemental damage to 4 random enemies, and make them more vulnerable to critical strikes.
- Flame Wave. Apocalyptic pillars of flames inflict colossal fire-elemental damage to all enemies while also silencing them. Applies "Burning" state and removes "Chilled" state.
- Antarctica. A massive ice storm deals tremendous ice-elemental damage to all enemies, while also blinding them. Applies "Chilled" state and removes "Burning" state.
- Doom Storm. Bolts originating directly from the Aether deal monumental thunder-elemental damage to 4 random enemies while also preventing their next action. They never miss and ignore magical resistance (but not thunder elemental resistance).

Not sure how Mage would then be compared to other classes, but I'm quite sure it would be far better than its current state.

I don't know if you've read my review of this game, my ranking and evaluation of the various classes is almost identical to yours and I go to even more depth about some of the imbalance issue in the review comments. I actually talked about how this game could be fixed and improved in my review too, though the majority of it was focused on the story, which I found full of potential, but it was ultimately wasted. So, check it out if you are interested. Well, let's focus on gameplay for this moment:

I've finished this game three times, first as a Mage, then as a Warrior and finally as a Rogue. I didn't manage to defeat the bonus boss with the Mage (only got to Phase 2 once), but I managed to defeat both the bonus boss and the stronger version of the final boss with the Warrior and Rogue, it was trivial with the latter.

Yeah, I'm glad we agree that when it comes to the worst class to be stuck with forever cause you can't switch the Princess, Mage wins hands down. In my first playthrough with the Mage, I spent half the time ressurecting the main character (in hindsight, I probably shouldn't have bothered). In the rare cases where I actually used the Warlock (pretty much just the first boss and my first few attempts at the second boss), they seemed to actually be among the last ones to go down, which enabled them to use ressurection items. But yeah, still a terrible class and the worst designed one. And yeah, Bard is an awesome class and Paladin is a good class, but both are better as companions you can switch out.

I don't agree that Flame Wave AoE is something substantial that makes Mage worth something. The damage and cost are bad. And when you get it, you don't need it anymore. I was level 9 when I reached the endgame with my Mage in my first playthrough and the random encounters there are mostly 1 strong mob, like Dragons or those Angels in the bonus dungeon. Even when it comes to the companion, if you are somehow able to level him to max before fighting the General (I don't think that's possible), the General is a very easy boss you can take down in a few rounds if you simply ignore the minions and DPS him down. And when it comes to AoE, I find the Ranger's 1 AoE skill to be much better, especially since Ranger does crazy damage. Rogue(s) can take down any mobs it doesn't hit, so it takes even less time than switching to Mage+Paladin would need.

Warlock actually has one slightly useful ability. It has damaging spells that debuff Attack and Magic Attack.
I find this much more useful than Flame Wave with its terrible damage and high MP cost, especially in boss fights. I'm not saying that it's amazing, but it's something and I actually used it sometimes in boss battles. The only reason I ever used the Mage companion past my first playthrough was to cast Chill at the boss and I don't think that was even needed with the Bard party wide Agility buff. Reducing Agility is good, because if you go first, it ensure that people can use potions or their actual skills before they go down and it can prevent a wipe sometimes. But the Bard has a skill that buffs the Agility of the whole party, so Chill isn't really that great. The only other Mage ability I actually find good is Zap, but the Rogue has the same skill, so she can do it instead.

Also, the reason why I rate Bard so high is because once you get her, the power of your party increases exponentially. You can feel it. It would be nothing on its own, but the Rogue and even Ranger wouldn't be as OP without her.

If I had to rate the class choices for MC like you did, it would be like this:


1) Rogue - Two Rogues synergize really well and make each other even more OP, because of the Distract + Backstab combo.

2) Ranger - You pretty much replace the Ranger companion this way, though you will have higher DPS potential than with the Warrior option if you also take the second Ranger. Two Rangers don't really bring anything special to the table, unlike two Rogues. Still, if you need more DPS, you can bring in the second Ranger. They don't really synergize well with multiple actions like the Rogue, since they rely on Prepare skill and you can't use Prepare for your first action, then choose a skill you will have TP for after Prepare to use immediately.

3) Warrior - The best sword in the game is the Royal Sword only the Princess can equip and the early game is still decent.

4) Bard - If you want a Bard early, I guess this could be a decent choice, but you lose some of the potential Bard has as a class to switch out.

5) Paladin - Well, you lose a Paladin for a chunk of the game and it's a good class, though this choice will be like picking the Warrior, but somewhat worse.

6) Warlock - Atleast you have some damage ability, can debuff Attack and survive a lot.

7) Priest - Almost no offensive ability and you will be useless most of the time. Spell reflect is hilarious though.

8) Mage - If you want to play with a party of 3 characters, pick this class. Rats have more HP than this class at max level.


When it comes to how the game could be fixed, the worst part of the game that causes the most problems is the boss debuff that prevents healing and MP restoration. I'd remove it completely, but even if it stays, it should not prevent MP recovery and it should be up much less than it is and maybe shorter duration. Maybe also have Priest be able to remove it.

Also, concerning the main character, she should either be able to be switched out of the main party or she could be able to change class or she could start as one and then be able to select an additional one. In a game when your are supposed to switch in classes as you need them, her design conflicts with that.

When it comes to individual classes:

1) Rogue - Nerf their damage a bit, so they don't have both amazing DPS and Utility, so Ranger thus has a better defined niche. Maybe think about nerfing Mass Stun somewhat. Still, from a design standpoint, they are well done.

2) Ranger - Fix the issues Prepare and Charged/Supercharged Shot have with multiple actions and maybe increase their DPS a bit if needed.

3) Bard - Make certain songs last fewer rounds, like the Song of Action, so that there's some tradeoff. Song of Vigilance should have a cooldown.

4) Warrior - Fix Strong Guard, so that it has 2000 Agility bonus like real Guard. Buff useless skills. Otherwise, they are fine.

5) Paladin - Make the two damaging abilities actually worth something, maybe the AoE ability could also slightly heal the whole party in addition to dealing damage. The single target one debuffs MDEF, which could be useful if the magical classes were actually worth something. Otherwise, they are fine.

6) Priest - If it were up to me, I'd remove this class, since it seems redundant, but if we have to keep it, give it more than just several varieties of healing and ressurect. Removing the boss debuff would actually make them useful, but maybe give them some status removal effects and buffs. Maybe an offensive ability that also debuffs the enemy like Warlock has.

7) Warlock - I'd remove this one too, but it's actually plot-relevant, so... remove the skill that also damages your own party and replace it with a life drain ability, massively buff the damage at low HP, so they do a lot more damage than even Rangers if they are at, say, 20% or less HP. Increase the passive trait to the level that actually matters.

8) Mage - Give them atleast Priest HP and instead of the literally useless magic attack skill, give them a self-targetted defensive ability that also boosts their MP regeneration. Buff their MP regen a bit, so one Ring accessory doesn't put the other classes on the same level. The rest of the skills need a redesign, either make Elemental Weaknesses actually relevant and buff the damage considerably, or make entirely new skills. Flame Wave should be obtained much earlier, cost less and do more damage.


Your ideas for Priest, Mage and Warlock are great too, would like to hear your thoughts about how the rest of the classes could be improved. And maybe you can use those Mage skills you came up with in your own game :)

Also, I'm pretty sure the Warlock's anti-healing ability doesn't work on bosses. I remember trying it a few times and they got healed regardless.
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