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Author Topic: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold  (Read 10169 times)

acediez

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2017, 01:53:18 pm »
I empathise with everything you said on the first post! Except the thing that bothers me the most is not the need to grind for EXP/Gold, but having random battles all over the place in the first place.

What I would suggest? Besides your idea of doubling EXP/Gold, I would add an option menu, or button combination, to enable/disable random encounters. That way, you decide when grinding is worth it, and you can explore the world much faster with less interrumptions. And if an event battle catches you unprepared or underleveled, well, then it's time to fight for a bit.

A dynamic system would be ideal (maybe have a max of 5 of so encounter per room, so you get to meet all the regular monsters, but after awhile you can continue exploring the room at your leisure before moving on), but I supposed that would be a lot harder to implement?

I would stuff like this for the entire Final Fantasy series but mostly for IV, V, VI on SNES.

Psyklax

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2017, 04:21:37 pm »
random battles all over the place

Interesting suggestions. My personal opinion is that random battles are fine, I feel it marks the difference between safe places like towns and the dangerous wilderness. You feel like you're resting, preparing your armaments and spells before heading out into the wild world. If you could just turn off random encounters you lose that anxiety: the feeling that if you want to get from one town to the next, you have to fight for it, and you really feel you've been through an ordeal to retrieve something from a castle or cave. But that's just my opinion. ;)

You're right that turning random battles on and off would probably be easier than having a maximum, but actually maybe not. You could have a general maximum of, say, ten encounters in one location, add an instruction that decrements a location in RAM every time you fight, and when it reaches zero, no more fights, until a new location resets it to ten. That would be certainly easy to implement in principle, though it'd take time to figure out the random battle code for a particular game and insert your own routine. An intriguing idea nonetheless.

The only time I find random battles annoying is when my level is so high that I kill everything with one hit and don't even drop a hit point, yet I still need to walk through it, like in Dragon Warrior 1 (just completed it, man that game loves grinding). In that case I admit it would be nice to say to monsters, "bitch, don't even think about it". 8)

crossed fingers for a working patch, Psyklax!

Did you see my follow-up? I got it working with DoubleXP but not DoubleGold simultaneously, can only do one or the other. :(

acediez

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2017, 06:30:00 pm »
You could have a general maximum of, say, ten encounters in one location, add an instruction that decrements a location in RAM every time you fight, and when it reaches zero, no more fights, until a new location resets it to ten. That would be certainly easy to implement in principle, though it'd take time to figure out the random battle code for a particular game and insert your own routine. An intriguing idea nonetheless.

I'm glad you liked the idea, I'll be watching closely your projects in case you ever get to work on something like it!  :woot!:

KingMike

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2017, 01:18:56 am »

The only time I find random battles annoying is when my level is so high that I kill everything with one hit and don't even drop a hit point, yet I still need to walk through it, like in Dragon Warrior 1 (just completed it, man that game loves grinding). In that case I admit it would be nice to say to monsters, "bitch, don't even think about it". 8)
Deep Dungeon II for the FDS has a certain Level for each floor at which points it turns off random encounters for that floor (although it still has what I think it called "spike spots" in FF1 fan-terms. Random battles on pre-determined tiles). Thing is, it likes to spam enemies UNTIL you reach that cap.
Spoiler:
However, the final floor doesn't have a cap. At least not at the normal max level, 20 at 20k EXP. Maybe at the secret level 21 you reach if you bother to max out the EXP counter at 65535.
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Bregalad

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2017, 02:42:43 am »
I empathise with everything you said on the first post! Except the thing that bothers me the most is not the need to grind for EXP/Gold, but having random battles all over the place in the first place.
If you don't like random battles, you definitely don't like JRPGs, period. Or you should play RPGs which don't have them, such as Romancing SaGa, Secret of Mana, ...

@Psyklax : Did you plan to do Dragon Quest VI ? It's one of the last in the series I didn't finish yet, and since DQ games are usually very grindy I expect VI to be the same, but I don't have time for all that grinding anymore at my age.

cospefogo

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2017, 05:10:45 am »
Did you see my follow-up? I got it working with DoubleXP but not DoubleGold simultaneously, can only do one or the other. :(

Oh, I was on a hurry yesterday!
I did see now. Downloading again!

DoubleXP is good enough, will help a lot!
Thanks, man!

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Psyklax

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2017, 05:28:28 am »
Did you plan to do Dragon Quest VI ?

I've got the most obvious ones out of the way, that is DW1-4, FF1-3 and Phantasy Star, they were the ones I wanted to do. After that I have no fixed plans. It looks like people like this idea though, so expect to see these patches individually added to the database in due course: I've got a bunch of things to release over the next week. I'll do one a day, just because. :)

I'm going to have a go at Phantasy Star II next, I've already made a start on 68K ASM so hopefully this will be relatively painless. Obviously the SNES is where a lot of big JRPGs are, but I have no experience with that system.

EDIT: actually, I'm having difficulties with hacking the Genesis... the only debug emu I know of is GensKMod, and I can't see a way to use breakpoints. I know that Bizhawk's breakpoints can work since I used them to help with someone's Shinobi hack, but I can't get them to work right now. In Phantasy Star II, the first character's XP is at $C00E/F, so I set a write breakpoint for $FFC00E and/or $FFC00F, and neither got tripped, even though $C00F got updated after a fight. What am I doing wrong? It makes no sense to me, and I don't know a better emulator for this.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 05:45:15 am by Psyklax »

acediez

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #27 on: December 06, 2017, 06:38:48 am »
If you don't like random battles, you definitely don't like JRPGs, period. Or you should play RPGs which don't have them, such as Romancing SaGa, Secret of Mana,
I get that a lot on this forum. The thing is I've played and thoroughly enjoyed a lot of JRPGs during my life. I get the appeal. I forces time and resources management that adds to the suspense of it. The thing, as I've grown older and have less and less time to play games, I'd really like to be able to tweak this aspect of the game so I can still play them at an acceptable pace. I recently played BoF1 thanks to it having "repelling" items cheap and from early in the game  :P

My "turn on/off" first suggestion was at the top of my head as something more easily achievable, but take that as a "would normally be on, except in specific parts where I get fed up". Not a "grrr I hate random battles I don't want any". But I commented later on the same post that a dynamic solution would be a lot better, just disable or drastically reduce random battles after a certain point (number of battles per room, or Deep Dungeon II system that KingMike commented on, based on current level and location).

Probably even a general "reduce random battles by half" patch would be enough, and more in line with the kind of work being done in this project (set table changes)

At the end, it's really not all that different to what's being done initially on this thread: tweaking the system to make them more accessible for current less pointless-repetition-oriented standards.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 06:57:41 am by acediez »

Bregalad

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #28 on: December 06, 2017, 08:49:22 am »
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The thing, as I've grown older and have less and less time to play games
Same here.

A great game without random battles is Live a Live, also it consist of many mini-stories so if you're short on playing time you should definitely play this !

Probably even a general "reduce random battles by half" patch would be enough, and more in line with the kind of work being done in this project (set table changes)
But then you'll earn half XP and half gold, effectively nullifying the effect of the patch altogether, requiring exactly the same grinding time.

Psyklax

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #29 on: December 06, 2017, 09:24:37 am »
the kind of work being done in this project (set table changes)

Actually, I started out editing tables, but now I use assembly routines because I use a different approach now. :)

But then you'll earn half XP and half gold, effectively nullifying the effect of the patch altogether, requiring exactly the same grinding time.

Good point. :D The idea is to not need to grind so much to get what you need, but if you double the XP and half the battles, you're back to square one.

acediez

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #30 on: December 06, 2017, 09:46:30 am »
Then quadruple exp and gold!  :woot!:  :laugh:

J/k. Maybe I'm just comming from a different angle here, since I mostly try to go through RPGs with zero grinding and I'm always at the edge of surviving (not much of a completionist, I don't mind skipping some of the more expensive store items if I can manage without).

The thing for me is that grinding (as in, staying in one place to fight a lot to get exp and gold) convenient as it might be, it's completely optional, you decide when you've had enough. And by the SNES era, the games that REALLY expect you to grind beyond natural progression are few. On the other hand there's no way to avoid random encounters at points where you really don't need them and/or it's getting in the way of your exploration and overall enjoyment, and as I see it, it's a tweak most JRPGs would benefit from.

So, as I've mentioned since my first post, I think some kind of dynamic rate (adjusted to you level, to the number of battles you've had already inside a room, or others) would be the ideal thing, everything else has just been quick less-ideal ideas that just seemed easier to implement  :P

Anyway, I'm probably way off the scope or main interest of this particular project, so I'll just leave it at that :)

Psyklax

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2017, 01:11:25 pm »
I'm probably way off the scope or main interest of this particular project, so I'll just leave it at that :)

Not at all, any constructive feedback is welcome! :)

I started the project because I like JRPGs in principle, I just feel that the ratio of game progression vs level progression is not 1:1, so I've tried to correct it. Go too far the other way and it's a dull procession from place to place, often without the interesting story and dialogue that Western adventures from Lucasarts and Sierra had. If you took the random encounters out of Dragon Warrior 1, you wouldn't have much of a game left. :D

So, back on topic: anyone got any tips regarding my problem with PS2 on Genesis? :huh:

mziab

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #32 on: December 06, 2017, 01:22:49 pm »
I've used a combination of Gens Tracer and mednafen mostly - the former for its hook system and tracer and the latter for read/write breakpoints. Both emulators have a bit of learning curve, but they get the job done. There is also the debug build of Regen, but I can't weigh in on it, as I haven't used it a lot. Didn't seem to have a tracer, if memory serves, and that was what I needed at the time.

vivify93

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #33 on: December 06, 2017, 05:47:58 pm »
Not at all, any constructive feedback is welcome! :)

I started the project because I like JRPGs in principle, I just feel that the ratio of game progression vs level progression is not 1:1, so I've tried to correct it. Go too far the other way and it's a dull procession from place to place, often without the interesting story and dialogue that Western adventures from Lucasarts and Sierra had. If you took the random encounters out of Dragon Warrior 1, you wouldn't have much of a game left. :D

So, back on topic: anyone got any tips regarding my problem with PS2 on Genesis? :huh:
You may want to skip Phantasy Star II, it has a 4x EXP and meseta patch by Reiska.
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Psyklax

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #34 on: December 06, 2017, 07:10:25 pm »
You may want to skip Phantasy Star II, it has a 4x EXP and meseta patch by Reiska.

Woah woah, stop the bus... I should've checked the database first. :D Thanks for the heads up - I hadn't exactly got very far anyway.

But it brought my attention to another useful patch: fast walking. This is something I'd thought about myself. Final Fantasy on the PS1 has the option of fast walking, which is a nice addition. I think it'd make sense to double the speed of all the games I've done so far, to speed things up even further. Generally I play in RetroArch with speed turned up anyway, but having natural fast speed would certainly be a bonus. Thing is, I'm not entirely sure how to do this, but I imagine it's not as hard as I assume it is.

But anyway, now I have Phantasy Star II patched with both QuadXP+QuadGold and Fast Walking, and I think I might give it a shot. :) Don't forget to use FixChecksum if you guys want to do the same - that Genesis and its checksums...

EDIT: wow, that was easier than I thought. :D In Final Fantasy 1, change $3D088 from 01 to 02 to double the walking speed (that's Game Genie code ZANSAAPA in case you're interested ;) ). I think I'll be adding that to my patch. Now to look at the rest...

EDIT2: So FF1-3 all use the same walking system more or less, so changing them to double speed was easy. DW1-4 use a different system and I'm too tired to figure it out right now... :D

EDIT3: Ech, I think doing fast walking for DW is beyond me. :-\ The FF series is designed for it: different vehicles let you travel at different speeds. But DW doesn't have that feature, so I can't just change a byte and be done with it. Never mind, it's not that important. :D
« Last Edit: December 08, 2017, 06:54:06 am by Psyklax »

butane bob

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Re: JRPGs: HalfXP/HalfGold
« Reply #35 on: December 11, 2017, 02:57:21 am »
Well to be honest grinding was like 95% of the gameplay in DQ1. :D
I do wonder how fast you could actually finish the game if you took out the grinding.

I played through it once with a cheat to cut out the grinding. It's hilariously short.

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #36 on: December 11, 2017, 05:32:48 am »
Hmm. You know, this has me thinking about other tweaks I'd like to see to RPGs myself actually. You know what's one that gets skipped a lot? Battle speed. There's a lot of games where the battles themselves take entirely too long, like Final Fantasy 1 and Breath of Fire 2 (Man  I can't stop bringing this game up, can I?). In FF1 I think its because it was one of the first of its kind, but Breath of FIre 2 has very long, very detailed animations which, while pretty, really slow down the pace compared to its contemporaries like Phantasy Star 4 and the SNES Final Fantasy games. As long as we're coming up with other improvements for these games, I'd love to see some games get their animations tweaked, or how long the game sits between actions so the battles themselves have their pace upped a little bit.

Psyklax

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #37 on: December 15, 2017, 04:14:54 pm »
If someone wants to fiddle with the games in ways you've described, be my guest. I just want to play the game as is, but with less grinding. Anyone wanna do this? Learn! I did! :D

Anyway, you may have noticed this project's ground to a halt, and it's chiefly because I'm having problems with 16-bit games. I would REALLY appreciate anyone letting me know where I'm going wrong here.

So I looked at Phantasy Star 2, in both Bizhawk and Mednafen, found the RAM address that holds experience, and set a breakpoint. In both emulators, nothing happened. I tried Dragon Quest I+II in bsnes debug version, found the XP, breakpoint, nothing. What the hell? I've used breakpoints in FCEUX for NES and Meka for SMS and never had a problem, but with 16-bit it just won't work.

Am I missing something? Is there a way of changing a RAM address on 16-bit consoles that DOESN'T involve writing to it?! I just don't get it. :(

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #38 on: December 15, 2017, 07:07:14 pm »
Is there a way of changing a RAM address on 16-bit consoles that DOESN'T involve writing to it?!
Maybe this?: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Direct_memory_access :D
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KingMike

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Re: JRPGs: DoubleXP/DoubleGold
« Reply #39 on: December 16, 2017, 01:12:52 am »
If someone wants to fiddle with the games in ways you've described, be my guest. I just want to play the game as is, but with less grinding. Anyone wanna do this? Learn! I did! :D

Anyway, you may have noticed this project's ground to a halt, and it's chiefly because I'm having problems with 16-bit games. I would REALLY appreciate anyone letting me know where I'm going wrong here.

So I looked at Phantasy Star 2, in both Bizhawk and Mednafen, found the RAM address that holds experience, and set a breakpoint. In both emulators, nothing happened. I tried Dragon Quest I+II in bsnes debug version, found the XP, breakpoint, nothing. What the hell? I've used breakpoints in FCEUX for NES and Meka for SMS and never had a problem, but with 16-bit it just won't work.

Am I missing something? Is there a way of changing a RAM address on 16-bit consoles that DOESN'T involve writing to it?! I just don't get it. :(
In the case of the SNES, does the emulator take mirroring into account when deciding if a breakpoint is hit.
The first 8KB of RAM is a "scratchpad" which can be accessed from many different CPU banks, depending on the cart mapping. (though the remaining 120KB however is only mapped to banks 7E and 7F)
(well, at least it's a little better than X86 with a 1MB memory map which left 4,096 ways (if I'm remembering my brief experimenting with it correctly) to access each memory address :P )
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