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Author Topic: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Difficulty Mod  (Read 1653 times)

Xardas

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FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Difficulty Mod
« on: March 31, 2017, 05:20:17 pm »
[Ttile Changed 2017/04/02]

Hello, ROMhacking community. Since I registered, I planned to make a FFV rebalancing hack, which also raises the difficulty. I didn't know when/if I am going to take the first step, since I didn't know anything about hacking at all. Now, I can say, by all means, that I made some huge progress. There is so much I change(ed) that I don't know where to start. There are several major, but also some rather inconspicious changes which I still don't want to be unmentioned. So for a long time, I refrained from opening this topic, although I was working on my hack. After starting a thread in the FFV Section of Slickproductions, I finally decided to announce it also on this forum.

Aims and Purposes:
Basically, I wanted to rebalance the Jobs, Weapons, Equipment, Characters and Enemies. There was so many rather useless (eg. Harps and Bells), but also completely broken stuff and jobs (*cough* X-Fight *cough*), so I wanted to make some of the trashy things more attractive while nerfing some uber-stuff.
After a short while, I was not satisfied by only changing the stats of all this stuff. I also wanted to fix some things which I considered as illogical. I also started adding new equipment and renaming some Items and Monsters.
Last but not least, some dialogue was changed too. The story remains the same, except for some details regarding the 12 weapons and Enuo. Other changes include NPCs giving some hints on battles (mainly people in the Beginner's House and some Scholars).
I'll give you a detailed list which should give you a good overview what has been already changed:

ENEMIES, BATTLE
-Enemies' stats beefed up (Rather than blindly raising all the stats and immunities, I tried to be reasonable here. You won't see lightweights with 50 Defense or big monsters with 60 Evasion. Also, too many enemies were resistant to Mini and Toad for my tastes ;))
-Enemy formations changed (Too "easy" enemy formations (eg. 1 Goblin or 1 Lyacon) were either made more difficult by adding more monsters, or entirely cut out.)
-More Monsters in Boxes
-A couple of enemy names changed (Rather than giving a faithful translation from the original Japanese version, I mostly gave names which fit the appearance and/or behavior of the enemy)
-New AI for a handful of enemies (Changes were not too big, though. Again, I tried to be reasonable, so you won't see an insect shooting Atomic Rays.)
-Steals and drops of enemies altered
-"Specialty"/"Special Attack" of many enemies renamed (The name "Critical"/"Critical Attack" was overused IMHO. I tried to only use names which fit the enemies' appearace.)
-Fight animations/sounds of many enemies changed (The "Fist Fight"/"Barehanded" sound was overused IMHO. I tried to only use replacements which fit the enemies' appearace.)
-Faster death animations for enemies (Not done by me!*)
-X-Fight now neither ignores enemies' defense nor evasion
-Weapon damage parameters (multipliers) changed* (This one needs detailed explanation which you'll find below)
-For sympathy reasons, most of the monsters can always be rebattled in World 3. Beside bosses, only a few monsters can never be rebattled:
Gobbledygook, Merrow, Flying Killer, Lil' Charriot, Neo Garula


CHARACTERS, JOBS, STATS
-Character stats changed (The differences between the characters are higher. For example, you might think about giving Knight Lenna a magic command while thinking twice before giving Knight Butz one of those.)
-Job stats changed (Eg. the Berserker Job now has a decent speed stat, like a real Berserker)
-Some Job abilities moved to other Jobs (Why is a Hunter friends with animals in first place? Hunters are supposed to catch and kill them ;))
-Ability stat bonuses altered (Ex.: A mage with "Brawl" is now by far not as strong as a Monk. The magic power of a warrior with "White LV6" will not be as good as the one of a White Mage as well. However, for Vigor, Agility and Magic, there is one ability respectively, which surpasses the highest Job stat.)
-Some abilities which did not have stat bonuses now do have a stat bonus
-Passages and Caution are not innate abilities anymore.
-Thief, Ninja, Hunter and Dancer now all have Dash innate.
-Some jobs renamed
-The maximum level is 51 (It's a soft cap though, so you can still level up to 99 by grinding like crazy. However, you will NOT able to reach any LV between 52 and 98. After 51 comes 99.)
-Lenna is now named Reina. Deal with it ;)
-Butz also got another name... (But since it can be changed, you don't have to deal with it. Lucky you^^)
-An errorous Blue Mage battle sprite from Butz is fixed (Not done by me!*)
-A minor graphical error, which made it possible to see 2 Galufs, is fixed (Not done by me!*)

EQUIPMENT
-New data and/or names for almost every piece of equipment
-Harps now additionally deal damage before casting their pathetic spells (except for Apollo's Harp)
-Some weapons recolored
-7 New weapons (Technically even more than 7. However, the other ones replaced another weapon)
-10 New armors/accessories (Technically even more than 10. However, the other ones replaced another armor)
-Armor types altered:
 Heavy Armor
 Medium Plate
 Combat Suit
 Magic Robe
 Helmet
 Hat
 Mage Hat
 Glove
 Armlet
 Ring
(Dancer Gear and Chemist Gear abolished)
-Some new Icons for equipment
-A full powered Hero Blade (Brave Blade) now actually is stronger than a full powered Chicken Knife
-Shop supplies and prices altered


MAPS
-A couple of treasures moved
-Treasure content altered
-More monsters in boxes
-Secret passages altered (BEWARE: "Passages" is not an innate ability anymore!)
-Trapholes moved
-Some changes on all World Maps (mainly World 1 and 3) (Some of them are just cosmetic, others not only cosmetic)



MAGIC, COMMANDS, ITEMS
-Songs now do cost MP
-Observe now really displays the weakness (Not done by me!*)
-Black Shock/Dark Spark does something different now. (It will still display "Level halved", but that's not happening. Please ignore this for now. I try to fix this.)
-Some Mixes changed (mostly nerfed)
-Kiss of Blessings does not ignore Berserk immunity anymore (Not done by me!*)
-The Power Drink does work properly now (Not done by me!*)
-The Protect Drink now adds Shell additionally
-Tonic (Potion) now heals 70HP in battle

FIELD MESSAGES
-Almost everything regarding the House of Beginners in both World 1 and 3 is re-interpreted
-Alternative story regarding Enuo and the 12 Legendary Weapons
-A couple of townspeople and scholars now give some (different) advise
-Some other small "fixes", like an explanation why on earth the soldiers in Walse and Karnak attack you.
-The letter "j" has been slightly altered
-Added "ri" DTE

TO DO LIST
-Nerf Terrain/Earth magic
-Adjust Power and MP cost of all spells.
-A playthrough/test

Many things are done already, but I still don't really know how well balanced the changes (mainly the monsters) really are. I can only say that I'm satisfied with everything up to the Torna Channel.

Since I didn't release yet, I have an open ear for literally all suggestions.
Questions are always welcome.

*Damage Multipliers are now fractional, which leads into a smooth damage increasement curve, rather that a stair-like.
The multiplier for Knives/Bows/Whips has been changed from LV*(VIG/128 + AGI/128) + 2 to LV*(VIG/256 + AGI/256) + 2.
For more information, check this out:
http://slickproductions.org/slickwiki/index.php/FF5_Patch:Fractional_M
The only additional alteration dony be me was assigning the new Knife multipluier also to the Chicken knife.

Aforementioned Hacks (Bugfixes) are done by instructrtrepe, Jorgur, noisecross, Grond and 13375K31C43R. They can be viewed and downloaded here:
http://slickproductions.org/slickwiki/index.php/Final_Fantasy_V_Hacking

EDIT: Screenshots added
« Last Edit: April 02, 2017, 06:26:15 am by Xardas »

Bahamut ZERO

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Re: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Rebalance Mod
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2017, 05:59:36 pm »
Quote
an insect shooting Atomic Rays

I kinda would kill to see that as some sort of hidden side boss.  :laugh:


Sounds good! Any changes to how fast/slow jobs lvl?
Like Super Mario Land? Then you'll love my first completed Rom Hack: Maniac on the Run!

Xardas

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Re: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Rebalance Mod
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2017, 06:15:49 pm »
Yes, I completely forgot to mention this. Overall, the mastery of many Jobs should be quicker now. No more 540 ABP for Iainuki or 999 ABP for Mime. The order of abilities is also changed. On top of that, I tried to give every Job mastery at least some kind of merit. Here is a good example:
In Vanilla FFV, Time/White/Black Mage already learn Magic Lv6 before Mastery. You still need 250+ ABP for Mastery. But the Mastery only yields a crappy ability in all three cases. None of these Jobs do have the highest Magic stat or any innate ability. Now, Magic Lv6 is the last ability these three fellas are going to learn.
I also completely forgot to mention that the difficulty of this mod will be higher than the original game.

selius

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Re: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Rebalance Mod
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2017, 10:20:23 pm »
add an early game lower encounter accessory.

or something like it

Xardas

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Re: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Rebalance Mod
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2017, 09:39:59 am »
add an early game lower encounter accessory.

or something like it
Although we all know how frustrating and annoying random encounters can be, I am more inclined to not adding something like this. The full powered Brave Blade should be a reward for patient and/or heroic players who decide to knock down every enemy they encounter. This feature will make it, well... too easy.
Final Fantasy V is imho the part of the Final Fantasy Franchise which needs this feature the least, and I'll explain why:
1) Transitions to battles are very quick (except for the PS version)
2) There are two different commands and one spell which assure a quick flee
3) Even if you still didn't learn the commands, most early game encounters have 100% Flee rate (which means that you flee the moment you press the shoulder buttons. You can even flee from Back Attack formations before the enemies take their first turn)
So my answer will be: if the encounters are too annoying, just flee, it's really quick in FFV. You don't need the full powered Brave Blade to beat every boss.

Lenophis

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Re: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Rebalance Mod
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2017, 01:06:06 pm »
-The maximum level is 51 (It's a soft cap though, so you can still level up to 99 by grinding like crazy. However, you will NOT able to reach any LV between 52 and 98. After 51 comes 99.)
That sounds astronomically stupid. There's a difference between "rebalance" and "challenge," and here you hit the latter.

Also, if that first screenshot is anything to go on, then there's a couple pieces of advice I'll offer:
1) If there's any risk of dying/game over in the intro/tutorial battles, then you're doing it wrong.
2) If you have to use savestates for any reason, you're doing it wrong.
3) Make sure it is still fun to play. The original game was already kinda grindy, don't make it worse for the sake of "balance."
4) Don't put in cheap ways to cause game over.

If any of the above apply to this hack, then it is actually a challenge hack, and not a rebalancing. Make sure it is labeled correctly so people don't back with pitchforks looking for your head. People don't like being lied to.


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Xardas

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Re: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Rebalance Mod
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2017, 02:55:50 pm »
That sounds astronomically stupid. There's a difference between "rebalance" and "challenge," and here you hit the latter.

Also, if that first screenshot is anything to go on, then there's a couple pieces of advice I'll offer:
1) If there's any risk of dying/game over in the intro/tutorial battles, then you're doing it wrong.
2) If you have to use savestates for any reason, you're doing it wrong.
3) Make sure it is still fun to play. The original game was already kinda grindy, don't make it worse for the sake of "balance."
4) Don't put in cheap ways to cause game over.

If any of the above apply to this hack, then it is actually a challenge hack, and not a rebalancing. Make sure it is labeled correctly so people don't back with pitchforks looking for your head. People don't like being lied to.
You're making some solid points here. I used the word "rebalance" because some stuff which was completely useless in the game now might be useful, while things which were totally broken got nerfed - "rebalancing" the equipment.
Might be a beginner's mistake to use this word in the title. I first thought "Hard Type" might not be accurate since I don't only raise the difficulty. As I said, I'm not done running through the game yet, so the enemies' stats will be adjusted (not neccessarily made even harder).

I also want to answer to your advice
1) I would generally agree with that opinion, but this mod is for people who already know the game (a "blind" player wouldn't probably even think about searching for mods). It is possible to die in this battle. However, there aren't any surprises. So if you know how to use your Potions, you won't game over in this place.
2) I do not want Savestates being used. I also won't use them in my runs, so if it's a pain playing it without using them, I'll just reduce the difficulty.
3) Sure, getting a Game Over every 5 minutes is not fun at all. But strolling trough a game without a single one, well... some people think that this is fun. Some (like me) don't. I think I know what your mean, that's also why the enemies' stats are nowhere near carved into stone.
4) Well, it's hard to tell what is regarded as "cheap". Technically, I can accuse original FFV of doing that with LV5 Doom, as your party members do probably have the same level (at least until the end of World 1). So entering the library with Level 15 or 20 can be fatal as you can't protect yourself from instant death yet. But my plan is not making random enemies one-hitting your party members with their physical attacks.

And about the Level Cap:
"astronomically stupid" - wow, just "stupid" wasn't enough on its own? ^^
But seriously though - when I played FFV for the first time, none of my characters reached LV 50. 3 were on Level 44, one on 42. And I only needed 1 try for the final Boss. And no, it's neither bragging (since comparing to challenge gamers, this is absolutely not astounding) nor ridiculing other players for leveling to 60+ (In my 2nd playthrough, I leveled to 99). But having a party of 4 99ers kinda takes the ... balance out of the game. Eg. Final Fantasy VII at least has some kind of compensation, as the stats of the final boss depend (somewhat) on the levels of your characters.

Thanks for the critique - I definitely do not want to lie to the audience intentionally. I hope it won't be a big deal to change the title when I'm halfway done.

Bregalad

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Re: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Rebalance Mod
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2017, 03:47:24 pm »
Quote
Eg. Final Fantasy VII at least has some kind of compensation, as the stats of the final boss depend (somewhat) on the levels of your characters.
That was in VIII, not VII. And it is actually better to never level up if you want the game to be easier and funnier.

Xardas

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Re: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Rebalance Mod
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2017, 03:51:50 pm »
That was in VIII, not VII.
No, I was talking about FFVII !! Safer Sephiroth has more HP when you have more Lv 99 characters (look it up if you don't believe me)
I didn't mention FFVIII, because it applies to almost every enemy in that game, and it's something evryone already knows.

Bregalad

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Re: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Rebalance Mod
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2017, 04:32:04 pm »
Oh ok, I had no idea about that. Sorry for the inconvenience.

In all cases, there's no Final Fantasy games where the last boss is the thoughest enemy of the game (and often not even close !).

kuja killer

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Re: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Rebalance Mod
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2017, 04:35:05 pm »
But seriously though - when I played FFV for the first time, none of my characters reached LV 50. 3 were on Level 44, one on 42. And I only needed 1 try for the final Boss.

this is totally the opposite for me. oh man i rememer my very first days of playing FF5 before 15+ years ago, i dont remember exactly what levels i had for the group, but probably around the same as you, cause it seems extremely ridiculously hard to ever level up at all ..

anyway god it took me freaking WEEKS to ever beat  Neo-Exdeath  - i considered it as the hardest "final boss" of any Final Fantasy i ever played in my life :(

Probably because i never did stuff like Gil toss, or the "hit 8 times in a row with weapon" cheap-shots. ...either that, or i didnt know a thing about them.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 04:42:09 pm by kuja killer »

Bregalad

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Re: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Rebalance Mod
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2017, 04:40:09 pm »
The problem with FF5 is that you have to put the job system to great use to build characters who master complementary jobs, if you do it's a cakewalk, if you mess up it's a nightmare.

For example, learning "blank mage", "white mage" and "red mage" with the same character is an awful idea (I did that with Galuf on my 1st playthrough). If you do any of this kind of messing up, it'd take forever to "fix" your character so that they're ready to combat strong boss.

Neo Exdeath is easy if you're ready to spam Aqua Breath with your blue mage, heal with your white mage and attack with the remaining 2 characters. Having one character mastered alchemist and being able to use "Potion + Phoenix down" combo to revive character to full health with 2 common items is extremely useful (instead of the extremely MP-costly Life Max spell).

selius

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Re: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Rebalance Mod
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2017, 11:48:55 pm »
Although we all know how frustrating and annoying random encounters can be, I am more inclined to not adding something like this. The full powered Brave Blade should be a reward for patient and/or heroic players who decide to knock down every enemy they encounter. This feature will make it, well... too easy.
Final Fantasy V is imho the part of the Final Fantasy Franchise which needs this feature the least, and I'll explain why:
1) Transitions to battles are very quick (except for the PS version)
2) There are two different commands and one spell which assure a quick flee
3) Even if you still didn't learn the commands, most early game encounters have 100% Flee rate (which means that you flee the moment you press the shoulder buttons. You can even flee from Back Attack formations before the enemies take their first turn)
So my answer will be: if the encounters are too annoying, just flee, it's really quick in FFV. You don't need the full powered Brave Blade to beat every boss.

when i have to game genie a game to make it playable for me it defeats the point of playing a game to have fun.

you are making a mod to make the game more fun but won't fix one of the biggest flaws it has?

Lenophis

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Re: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Rebalance Mod
« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2017, 01:37:26 am »
2) I do not want Savestates being used. I also won't use them in my runs, so if it's a pain playing it without using them, I'll just reduce the difficulty.
3) Sure, getting a Game Over every 5 minutes is not fun at all. But strolling trough a game without a single one, well... some people think that this is fun. Some (like me) don't. I think I know what your mean, that's also why the enemies' stats are nowhere near carved into stone.
I like what I see.

Quote
4) Well, it's hard to tell what is regarded as "cheap".
It's kind of a catch-all, but basically in this context it refers to a situation you wouldn't expect to hit that just murders you and laughs about it. You literally have zero chance to survive just based on RNG, or maybe not RNG depending on the situation.

Quote
And about the Level Cap:
"astronomically stupid" - wow, just "stupid" wasn't enough on its own? ^^
Definitely not the best choice of words. Arbitrary is more accurate. That just seems like the most oddball of arbitrary decisions to make. Certainly rebalancing could easily take into consideration the leveling process. Do any stats raise, other than HP and MP per level? I know FF5 is much like FF6, and the damage formula is greatly determined by level.

Quote
Thanks for the critique - I definitely do not want to lie to the audience intentionally. I hope it won't be a big deal to change the title when I'm halfway done.
As long as you are up-front about what people should expect, you have nothing to worry about. This sounds interesting, at the very least. Definitely keep up what you're doing. :)


https://ff6randomizer.codeplex.com/ - Randomize your FF6 experience!

Xardas

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Re: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Rebalance Mod
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2017, 06:59:02 am »
After I read your experiences and opinions, I felt like the title of this thread must be changed (the sooner the better)

@kuja killer: I forgot to mention that I mastered many Jobs. If you didn't master the "right" Jobs, I definitely believe that you had a hard time.

@Bregalad: You are right. But since everyone, who is gonna play this mod will know/remember the original game well enough, I must/want consider that as well. Game designers really don't have an easy Job when it comes to balancing. It shouldn't be a pain for those, who play it for the first time, while being ridiculously easy is as bad. But this is not an entirely new game - a part of the audience will be bored if there is nothing done about difficulty. This is gonne be my target group. I can't satisfy everyone.

I don't say Final Fantasy V was an easy game. However, it is easy for everyone who dosn't play it for the first time, because they will remember many aspects (which Jobs to train first, which Enemy has a good steal...). Therefore, I think I should raise the difficulty.

@selius: Perfect example for my claim that I can't satisfy everyone. It's a flaw to you, but I think, Random Encounters just belong to Final Fantasy. Dungeons are supposed to be crwaling with monsters. I genuinely don't know why you don't just flee. That's what this mechanic was made for.

One more addendum to the Level Cap: I will probably stick to that. But it might be raised to 60 or 70ish, depending on my experiences in my run.

It's kind of a catch-all, but basically in this context it refers to a situation you wouldn't expect to hit that just murders you and laughs about it. You literally have zero chance to survive just based on RNG, or maybe not RNG depending on the situation.
There will be situations where you are likely to get a game over the first time you encounter a certain enemy. But you'll learn what you expect, so you can prepare for that, which menas there will be fair chances. With that definition, Lv5 Doom is not cheap, since you can just get another level after the game over.
Quote
Do any stats raise, other than HP and MP per level? I know FF5 is much like FF6, and the damage formula is greatly determined by level.
Stats don't raise with Levels in FFV. Stats are altered by changing (some pieces of equipment also have small bonuses). If you master any Job, each Freelancer (and Mimic) stat will automatically become the highest out of all mastered Jobs, as well as getting all innate abilities. Freelancers are very powerful in the endgame.

ArkthePieKing

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Re: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Difficulty Mod
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2017, 02:09:04 am »
This seems like it'll be really interesting! I guess I've got a small request, in the interest of balance and fun (at least for me). Can you give the Red Mage job itself a significant buff so it's not just grinded for X-Magic and then tossed to the side? It's a really, REALLY bad job and that breaks my heart because it's my favorite job in the series and it's just garbage here. Maybe give it up to the -3 /aga spells and raise it's stats to be more aligned with how the class was designed in Final Fantasy 1: 75%-80% of the dedicated job's stats so it's good at everything but doesn't excel at anything instead of just being BAD at everything. This is the only real thing I'm hoping for from this hack.

Happy hacking!

Xardas

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Re: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Difficulty Mod
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2017, 03:42:21 am »
Can you give the Red Mage job itself a significant buff so it's not just grinded for X-Magic and then tossed to the side? It's a really, REALLY bad job and that breaks my heart because it's my favorite job in the series and it's just garbage here. Maybe give it up to the -3 /aga spells and raise it's stats [...]
I can clearly see your concern, since I (well, probably everyone who mastered all Jobs) had similar experiences with the Red Mage. It's actually a good Job until World 2, if you either use Double Grip or Barehanded. The problem is that you won't master it in that time due to 999 extra ABP for X-Magic.
I was actually thinking of adding a Red 4 command (I can't guarantee because I am just a beginner when it comes to hacking. But I'll try).
But raising the stats and giving it access to more magic would make the Red Mage kinda broken, imho.
Also, you'll probably be glad about the news that you won't need 999 ABP for X-Magic anymore (it needs 666 in the current file).

For a change, let me show you something which shouldn't be too controversal ^^
New Icons!

"ri" DTE is also new here. "A" stands for (heavy)Armor

"P" stands for (Breast)Plate


Reiska

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Re: FFVX - A Final Fantasy V Difficulty Mod
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2017, 12:10:30 am »
Just chiming in on the rebalance vs. challenge comments: most 'rebalance' hacks of any FF game are sort of intrinsically going to be at least mild challenge hacks given how almost every FF game is ludicrously unbalanced in the player's favor.

That being said, in something like ten playthroughs of FF5 I've ever completed, I've never gotten remotely near level 51, even when I did the GBA bonus dungeon.  In fact, most of them I never broke level 40. >_>  A level cap of 50 is plenty generous for FF5.