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Romhacking => Personal Projects => Topic started by: Timbo on March 03, 2019, 02:37:15 am

Title: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 03, 2019, 02:37:15 am
Now, that Relocalized is winding down, it's time to talk about World of Balance.

Secret of Mana: World of Balance is a gameplay and difficulty balancing hack that rolls together all of the best hacks from several different creators and then tweaks them to give an optimal all-in-one cohesive gameplay experience that an end user can't do by alone with a bunch of different patches. The custom gameplay tweaks are unified together with changes to the game's text and dialogue that streamline the experience.

Notable Features:
Why did I make this monstrous list you ask?

I made this list so I can talk about these changes. I don't just make hacks for myself, I make them for everyone. In order to do that I need feedback and sometimes ideas. I will from time to time pop in and ask people for feedback about a hack I'm working on.

Currently I'm working Evil Gate. Evil Gate as a spell is pretty much awful. It's effectively Demi, it takes an enemy down to half it's hp and unless it's a boss in which case it deals 1 damage. I love the spell from a technical stand point but I never use it because damaging an enemy directly for 2 MP is usually more effective. I recently created a hack that turns it into a single target instant-death spell that doesn't work on bosses or shadow clones and reverses it's behavior and heals ghosts, zombies, and demons. Even at 10 MP it's pretty powerful. I plan to build in a level check that Compares Popoi's level -8 + Spell level to either an enemy level or a random number. if the enemy level or the random number is lower than the spell will succeed.

That said, this kind of spell isn't necessarily more balanced, especially when Popoi gets the ability to absorb MP, so I'm considering making it a direct damage spell instead.

Another major change that I want to make is to generally weaken players at the end of the game. Ultimately, I want to stop players from leveling after level 60. There are a couple ways that I can go about this. I can take the stat bonuses that players have at level 60 and spread them across all 99 levels then increase enemy experience rewards so that players get the final dungeon at a higher level.

A different way to do it would be to preserve stat gains as normal until level 50 and spread the stat bonuses from level 50 to 60 among the last 49 Levels. These last levels would essentially be trophy levels for completionists.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Shade Aurion on March 03, 2019, 08:47:47 pm
I can't wait for completion. As I said via PM, this is an amazing hack and I can't wait to get it working in conjunction with a myriad of other hacks, your Equipment hack and ReLocalized. I see ReLocalized is included in this hack, if your Equipment one included too? I always found it the best and most inclusive option.

The only thing i'd really suggest adding is more cut content and what I mentioned via PM. There are also different ending moons. Perhaps you could make them have some significance? I dunno, you've pretty much covered all bases Timbo. Well done yet again <3
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 04, 2019, 01:42:59 am
I can't wait for completion. As I said via PM, this is an amazing hack and I can't wait to get it working in conjunction with a myriad of other hacks, your Equipment hack and ReLocalized. I see ReLocalized is included in this hack, if your Equipment one included too? I always found it the best and most inclusive option.

The only thing i'd really suggest adding is more cut content and what I mentioned via PM. There are also different ending moons. Perhaps you could make them have some significance? I dunno, you've pretty much covered all bases Timbo. Well done yet again <3

Equipment Hack Mk II is included. I forgot about the Moon thing. After taking with Queue it appears to be linked to the amount of times you saved on your save file.

If he fixed that, I'll definitely include it.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Vanya on March 04, 2019, 01:55:54 am
Awesome, this sounds like it will be fun to play with friends and a great improvement project.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Shade Aurion on March 04, 2019, 02:28:44 am
Awesome, glad to hear it. Your equipment hack was so underrated. I wouldn't play original Secret of Mana without it now ^_^

Is there a max amount of equipment you can have or are you able to get every bit of equipment in the game? That also might be worth looking into for completionist's sake XD I think there were a few bits of equipment cut out as well. You should be able to find them on The Cutting Room Floor. They may be able to be reinjected.

You really have created the definitive version of Secret of Mana Timbo :)
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: PresidentLeever on March 04, 2019, 05:43:46 am
"Monster Affinity: This formerly broken feature has been restored and immediately nerfed. Weapons with this feature were supposed to deal a whopping 50% in damage to certain types of creatures. This restored feature now deals a respectable 25% damage to enemies of the appropriate type."

So that means +25% for hitting the right enemies, and -25 for the wrong ones or no penalties?

"Spellcasting Cooldown: When casting a spell there's a 5 to 10 second delay before you can cast the next spell. This small change eliminates spell lockdown and discourages spell spamming."

Couldn't you block some enemy spells with your own is was that just Evermore? I could see that being a bit of a problem in terms of the time but otherwise it's probably good.

Thanks for your work, guys.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 04, 2019, 09:35:32 am
Awesome, glad to hear it. Your equipment hack was so underrated. I wouldn't play original Secret of Mana without it now ^_^

Is there a max amount of equipment you can have or are you able to get every bit of equipment in the game? That also might be worth looking into for completionist's sake XD I think there were a few bits of equipment cut out as well. You should be able to find them on The Cutting Room Floor. They may be able to be reinjected.

You really have created the definitive version of Secret of Mana Timbo :)

Thank you. The Ruby Armet and everything else is in the game and nothing is missable. It's called "Ruby Helm" now because an Armet is a close faced helmet and this one isn't even close to that. I had to shift it from a Primm exclusive item to a Randi exclusive item in order to make it useful.

So that means +25% for hitting the right enemies, and -25 for the wrong ones or no penalties?

The 25% bonus is to damage.


Couldn't you block some enemy spells with your own is was that just Evermore? I could see that being a bit of a problem in terms of the time but otherwise it's probably good.

I know you can do this with the Mallet item and possibly the Moogle Belt but I don't think there's a way to fix this particular exploit. I don't think it can be done with spells.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Artemis on March 04, 2019, 11:48:17 am
Would it be possible to make Mallet/Belt usable only a limited time in order to prevent them from being overused?

Of course, that leaves the question how to restore the items in the best way.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 04, 2019, 11:51:01 am
Would it be possible to make Mallet/Belt usable only a limited time in order to prevent them from being overused?

Of course, that leaves the question how to restore the items in the best way.

I'm not super worried about this exploit. You have to go out of your way to use it. Just don't try to break the game and you'll be fine.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Shade Aurion on March 04, 2019, 03:15:15 pm
Thank you. The Ruby Armet and everything else is in the game and nothing is missable. It's called "Ruby Helm" now because an Armet is a close faced helmet and this one isn't even close to that. I had to shift it from a Primm exclusive item to a Randi exclusive item in order to make it useful.

Nice! Adding cut content is always good :3
How about the equipment limit? Is it actually possible to hold one of every piece of equipment in the game?
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 04, 2019, 03:17:08 pm
Nice! Adding cut content is always good :3
How about the equipment limit? Is it actually possible to hold one of every piece of equipment in the game?

No. I think the limit is 11 or 12.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Shade Aurion on March 04, 2019, 03:22:46 pm
Is that a hard limit or is it expandable? I think Secret of Evermore was just shy a few slots for fitting all equipment in the game but i'd say Secret of Mana would have 4x the equipment easily so its not surprising to have a limit but i've had quite a bit of equipment on me before so 11 or 12 seems like so little. It's cool to look through the items you've had sometimes especially if you've added ways to obtain missable and cut gear. Though I doubt you could have a ring menu with 30 bits of gear lol
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: DragonArk on March 04, 2019, 05:42:00 pm
I'm so keen for this, finally SoM is getting the treatment it deserves.
I know this isn't in your scope for this but would be cool one day to make an 'expansion' of the game and add areas that were probably removed from the game. The Japanese manual (which I have) has beta screenshots as well as the beta maps that show some areas that were probably cut from the game.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 04, 2019, 06:32:42 pm
Currently I'm working Evil Gate. Evil Gate as a spell is pretty much awful. It's effectively Demi, it takes an enemy down to half it's hp and unless it's a boss in which case it deals 1 damage. I love the spell from a technical stand point but I never use it because damaging an enemy directly for 2 MP is usually more effective. I recently created a hack that turns it into a single target instant-death spell that doesn't work on bosses or shadow clones and reverses it's behavior and heals ghosts, zombies, and demons. Even at 10 MP it's pretty powerful. I plan to build in a level check that Compares Popoi's level -8 + Spell level to either an enemy level or a random number. if the enemy level or the random number is lower than the spell will succeed.

That said, this kind of spell isn't necessarily more balanced, especially when Popoi gets the ability to absorb MP, so I'm considering making it a direct damage spell instead.

Another major change that I want to make is to generally weaken players at the end of the game. Ultimately, I want to stop players from leveling after level 60. There are a couple ways that I can go about this. I can take the stat bonuses that players have at level 60 and spread them across all 99 levels then increase enemy experience rewards so that players get the final dungeon at a higher level.

A different way to do it would be to preserve stat gains as normal until level 50 and spread the stat bonuses from level 50 to 60 among the last 49 Levels. These last levels would essentially be trophy levels for completionists.

Thoughts?

Anyone have any thoughts regarding these two things I'm currently working on?
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Shade Aurion on March 04, 2019, 06:44:34 pm
I like what you're doing with Evil Gate because it was a pretty useless spell. I like your idea for it casting death but perhaps to add onto it, have it deal a small amount of dark damage as well so if its an enemy that is immune to death or a boss, it still does something? Maybe not a lot of damage, but some. There is still Dark Force for dark damage so it would really just be to cater to those using it on ghosts and stuff.

As for the leveling, that does sound like a better balance but maybe have small incremental stat ups for levels so its not completely pointless XD

One other thing I would suggest is maybe make it so when you max level a spell to 8.99, it always casts the max level special upgraded version of the spell? I think that would be a pretty cool change too as it was a chance thing if i'm not mistaken.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: CountBuggula on March 04, 2019, 07:05:38 pm
I'm so keen for this, finally SoM is getting the treatment it deserves.
I know this isn't in your scope for this but would be cool one day to make an 'expansion' of the game and add areas that were probably removed from the game. The Japanese manual (which I have) has beta screenshots as well as the beta maps that show some areas that were probably cut from the game.

Has anyone ever made a comprehensive list of the things that were obviously cut?  Paths that don't go anywhere, story-lines that aren't finished, etc?

Does the Japanese manual have anything that's not on tcrf?
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: magictrufflez on March 04, 2019, 10:14:41 pm
I just want to pop in and post the same advice that I gave Zhade when he was starting his SoM overhaul eons ago.

It doesn't sound like you're planning on doing the type of hardtype hack for SoM that I believe is still uploaded to this site, but this bears worth mentioning--beware the rebalancing. The absolute nightmare of a hardtype hack I reviewed and hated raised monster stats to somewhat absurd levels without accounting for enemy hitboxes and animations for getting hit. This is a problem because some getting hit animations allow you or enemies to chain multiple hits after the first one, allowing some enemies to combo you to death in short order (Kung fu wolves were notorious for this). On the opposite end, too many enemy buffs rob players of their own ability to activate enemy animations that allow multiple hits. IMO this really amplifies the difficulty in completely unintended ways

You might not get to this point with just your stat or enemy rebalancing, but it's easy for me to see the totality of your changes making enough of a difference for this to come into play. Just something to consider, because I'd really hate for this overlooked factor to harm what sounds like a really great hack!
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 05, 2019, 02:05:42 am
I just want to pop in and post the same advice that I gave Zhade when he was starting his SoM overhaul eons ago.

It doesn't sound like you're planning on doing the type of hardtype hack for SoM that I believe is still uploaded to this site, but this bears worth mentioning--beware the rebalancing. The absolute nightmare of a hardtype hack I reviewed and hated raised monster stats to somewhat absurd levels without accounting for enemy hitboxes and animations for getting hit. This is a problem because some getting hit animations allow you or enemies to chain multiple hits after the first one, allowing some enemies to combo you to death in short order (Kung fu wolves were notorious for this). On the opposite end, too many enemy buffs rob players of their own ability to activate enemy animations that allow multiple hits. IMO this really amplifies the difficulty in completely unintended ways

You might not get to this point with just your stat or enemy rebalancing, but it's easy for me to see the totality of your changes making enough of a difference for this to come into play. Just something to consider, because I'd really hate for this overlooked factor to harm what sounds like a really great hack!

My goal isn't to amplify the difficulty so much as even it out a little. I think most of that can be done by simply adjusting the level at which your characters encounter new monsters. I believe that the real game's real challenges need to be with bosses. The enemies between them serve two purposes. Their first purpose is to soften you up for bosses by draining you of your resources. Their second, is to level you enough to overcome those bosses.

My plan for balancing the game will mostly happen by soft-level capping players with plateau levels to prevent you from over-leveling. At least, until you get to the bosses. This isn't a hard mode hack though. Don't expect to throw your controller and scream at the top of your lungs. Bosses should be presenting you with a unique and rewarding experiences that come with risk. There absolutely needs to be a chance of failure but not so much that it spoils the fun.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Shade Aurion on March 05, 2019, 07:09:55 am
Out of curiosity, will any of the aspects of this hack be optional patches or just the one big one?
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 05, 2019, 11:18:10 am
Out of curiosity, will any of the aspects of this hack be optional patches or just the one big one?
It'll be one big one. A lot of these changes will require a text and script changes that cannot be duplicated. After the hack is released, I may release parts of it piecemeal.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: DragonArk on March 05, 2019, 05:59:32 pm
Has anyone ever made a comprehensive list of the things that were obviously cut?  Paths that don't go anywhere, story-lines that aren't finished, etc?

Does the Japanese manual have anything that's not on tcrf?

I did a little bit of research in the past and looked at all footage and all the maps and put my findings here - http://acmlm.kafuka.org/board/thread.php?id=7789
but I think it would be impossible to restore the past work. What I meant was actually expand it to what we think it should have been.

Sorry for being off topic Queue. Just an idea, what if you made the magic do multiple status ailments like 'doomtrain' from ff8 if you played it (poison, confuse, death, etc), so even if it misses it has a chance at least do something else.

Or another idea, remove the lvl 8 powerful magic and have it as a stand alone 'summon' (so magic and summon would be stand alone in menu) which uses much more ap. Probably a useless idea but just throwing it out there :)
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Vanya on March 05, 2019, 06:08:54 pm
Isn't all the 'spirit' magic in the game already a sort of summon spell? :P

I actually like the idea of having control over the more powerful versions of the spells.
If a more 'ff summon'-like animation could be added for them, then that would be sick and epic.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 05, 2019, 07:08:35 pm
Sorry for being off topic Queue. Just an idea, what if you made the magic do multiple status ailments like 'doomtrain' from ff8 if you played it (poison, confuse, death, etc), so even if it misses it has a chance at least do something else.

Or another idea, remove the lvl 8 powerful magic and have it as a stand alone 'summon' (so magic and summon would be stand alone in menu) which uses much more ap. Probably a useless idea but just throwing it out there :)

Isn't all the 'spirit' magic in the game already a sort of summon spell? :P

I actually like the idea of having control over the more powerful versions of the spells.
If a more 'ff summon'-like animation could be added for them, then that would be sick and epic.

It's not a problem. Also, I'm Timbo. Queue is doing Secret of Mana: Turbo. I won't be restoring any of the cut story. Chrono Trigger already did that and that bar is mighty high.

As far as Magic goes, I can't really modify the spells in this way. I have figured out what I'm going to do. I'm scrapping the instant death version of Evil Gate because it's too tricky to nerf. That said, I realized today that while Evil Gate might be an underwhelming option for Popoi, it's actually great for Primm.

New Spell Effects:

Gnome
Diamond Missile: 40 Power, 2 MP
Earthquake: 55  Power, 3 MP
Slow: Slow Status, 1 MP
Stone Saber: Gnome Element, Inflicts Petrify, 3 MP
Quick: Accuracy Buff, Evasion Buff, Charge Speed Buff, 4 MP
Protect: Defense Buff, 2 MP

Undine
Ice Smash: 40 Power, 2 MP
Acid Storm: 40 Power, Poison Status, 3 MP
Drain: 40 Power, Steal HP, 3 MP
Ice Saber: Undine Element, Inflicts Freeze, 3 MP
Healing Water: 40 Power, Healing Effect, 2 MP
Refresh: Removes Negative Status, 1 MP

Salamander
Fireball: 40 Power, 2 MP
Explode: 55 Power, 3 MP
Lava Wave: 40 Power, Attack Debuff 2 MP
Flame Saber: Salamander Element, Inflicts Burn, 4 MP
Blazing Wall: Burn Status, 3 MP
Fiery Cocktail: 40 Power, 2 MP

Jinn
Air Blast: 40 Power, 2 MP
Thunderbolt: 55  Power, 3 MP
Confuse: Confuse Status: 2 MP
Thunder Saber: Salamander Element, Inflicts Confuse, 3 MP
Balloon: Balloon Status, 2 MP
Analyze: Scan for traps, detect weakness, 1 MP

Luna
Energy Ball: 40 Power, Defense Debuff, 3 MP
Absorb: 40 Power, Steal MP, 1 MP
Lunacy: Random Effects, 5 MP
Moon Saber: Imbue w/ Steal HP, 4 MP
Half Eclipse: 50% HP Damage, 2 MP
Rush: Attack Buff, Evasion Debuff 2 MP

Dryad
Burst: 100 Power, 8 MP
Sleep Flower: Sleep Status, 2 MP
Manaburn: Spoiler, 10 MP
Revive: Revoves Ghost Status, 10 MP
Reflect: Magic Reflection Buff, 6 MP
Mana Magic: Spoiler, 1 MP

Shade
Evil Gate: 40 Power, 2 MP
Dark Force: 55 Power, 3 MP
Dispel: Remove all Buffs, 4 MP

Wisp
Holy Saber: Wisp Element, Inflicts Balloon, 4 MP
Saint Beam: 55  Power, 3 MP
Twinkly Barrier: Damage Negation Buff, 4 MP
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: DragonArk on March 05, 2019, 08:53:58 pm
Sorry, Timbo I mean! Just to be clear the multiple status effect i was talking about was about evil gate. The name evil gate just reminds me of something like pandoras box, afflicting almost all status effects at once. I'm happy for it to be a damage spell for primm though, love using damage spells with her.
Damn, I was thinking having it so it unlocks the spell after u reach level 8 for each spell, but if you can't do it, all good :)
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Shade Aurion on March 05, 2019, 09:04:06 pm
Wait, Primm gets Shade and Poipoi gets Lumina now?
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 05, 2019, 09:19:17 pm
Wait, Primm gets Shade and Poipoi gets Lumina now?

I think you're confusing Luna and Wisp (Also known as Lumina) No, In Seiken Densetsu 3 Luna has a spell called Half-Eclipse that does the exact same thing as Evil Gate. It'll look different but it'll function like Evil Gate aka Demi aka Gravity. In other games in the Mana Series, Moon Energy is called Energy Ball and in some of them it's an attack spell. Handing Half-Eclipse to Primm and Energy Ball to Popoi in no way breaks the 4th wall or even the setting.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Shade Aurion on March 06, 2019, 01:36:46 am
Either way sounds awesome to me TBH XD
I love the way you think
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Thanatos-Zero on March 06, 2019, 04:18:57 pm
So... When comes Secret of Mana: World of Ruin?  :P
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Vanya on March 07, 2019, 09:04:20 pm
Ha! I thought the same thing.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Shade Aurion on March 08, 2019, 03:57:22 am
Probably when someone wants the Balanced Leveling as an optional patch XD
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 08, 2019, 06:28:51 pm
With the exception of getting Dispel to work on Lucid Barrier, I'm finished with spells. One of the things I did with Relocalized was to add more flavor to spell descriptions. My original plan for World of Balance was to eschew the flavorful descriptions in favor of statistical ones. However, the system that I came up with is pretty space efficient so I have room for some truncated spell descriptions.

The descriptions are limited to 43 characters so they aren't exactly Shakespeare. I can still modify them or change them up. Let me know what you guys think about the spell changes and the descriptions.

Spell Descriptions:
Spoiler:

Gnome

Diamond Missile: 2 MP, 40 Power. Slice with sharp diamonds.
Earthquake: 3 MP, 55 Power. Crush with falling rocks.
Slow: 1 MP, Inflicts Slow. Entangle with vines.
Stone Saber: 3 MP, Imbues Weapon with Earth & Petrify.
Quick: 4 MP, Buffs Accuracy, Evasion, & Charging.
Protect: 2 MP, Buffs Defense.

Undine

Ice Smash: 2 MP, 40 Power. Pummel with ice storms.
Acid Storm: 3 MP, 40 Power, Inflicts Poison.
Drain: 3 MP, 40 Power, Steals HP.
Ice Saber: 3 MP, Imbues Weapon with Water & Freeze.
Refresh: 1 MP, Removes Status Effects.
Healing Water: 2 MP, 40 Power, Restores HP.

Salamander

Fireball: 2 MP, 40 Power. Sear with balls of fire.
Explode: 3 MP, 55 Power. Rock with exploding force.
Lava Wave: 3 MP, 40 Power, Debuffs Attack.
Flame Saber: 4 MP, Imbues Weapon with Fire & Burn.
Fiery Cocktail: 2 MP, 40 Power. Envelope in scalding fire.
Blazing Wall: 3 MP, Inflicts Burn. Encircle with flames.

Jinn

Air Blast: 2 MP, 40 Power. Shred with forceful winds.
Thunderbolt: 3 MP, 55 Power. Summon powerful lightning.
Confuse: 2 MP, Inflicts Confuse. Dazzle and dizzy.
Thunder Saber: 3 MP, Imbues Weapon with Wind & Confuse.
Balloon: 2 MP, Inflicts Stun. Exhaust awareness.
Analyze: 1 MP, Reveals information, Disables traps.

Luna

Energy Ball: 3 MP, 40 Power, Debuffs Defense.
Absorb: 1 MP, 40 Power, Steals MP.
Lunacy: 5 MP, Random Effects. Cast curious chaos.
Moon Saber: 4 MP, Imbues Weapon with Moon & Steal HP.
Half Eclipse: 2 MP, 50% HP. Damage. Transmute vitality.
Rush: 4 MP, Buffs Attack & Debuffs Evasion.

Dryad

Sleep Flower: 2 MP, Inflicts Sleep. Lull to slumber.
Burst: 8 MP, 100 Power. Blast with secret energy.
Manaburn: 10 MP, ? Power, Bypasses Reflect.
Revive: 10 MP, Revive allies from Death.
Reflect: 6 MP, Spell Reflecting Ward.
Mana Magic: 1 MP, Restores the Mana Sword.

Shade

Evil Gate: 2 MP, 40 Power. Unleash waves of darkness.
Dark Force: 3 MP, 55 Power. Discharge dark energies.
Dispel: 4 MP, Dispels buffs, wards & weapons.

Wisp

Holy Saber: 4 MP, Imbues Weapon with Light & Stun.
Saint Beam: 3 MP, 55 Power. Pierce with sacred light.
Twinkly Barrier: 4 MP, Attack Nullifying Ward.

Visually, I had to swap some effects and icons around to make things work a little better.

Again, the main thing I'm looking for here is feedback on these text changes. Is this good, bad, meh? This is your chance to voice your opinion.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Shade Aurion on March 09, 2019, 07:42:58 am
That all sounds pretty cool to me man. Much more consistent with the series and much more balanced. I'm looking forward to trying them out ^_^
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 18, 2019, 12:04:26 pm
I've finally finished my list of spells. As of right now, I've moved on from getting Dispel to work on Twinkly Barrier, in the future I might come back to this but right now, it's a black hole of experimentation that I've lost interest in. The names and descriptions of these spells are final. The Spell Power and MP Cost are subject to change. I'm pretty proud of this. It took a lot of thought and revision to squeeze so much into such limited space.

Gnome
Diamond Shards : 2 MP, 40 PWR, Shred foes with sharp gems
Earthquake     : 3 MP, 55 PWR, Bury foes under rockslides
Slow           : 1 MP, SLOW foes with entangling vines
Stone Saber    : 3 MP, Imbue Weapons with EARTH & PETRIFY
Quick          : 4 MP, Buff ACCURACY, EVASION & CHARGING
Protect        : 2 MP, Buff DEFENSE, Safeguard allies

Undine
Ice Smash      : 2 MP, 40 PWR, Pummel foes with Ice storms
Acid Storm     : 3 MP, 40 PWR, POISON foes with vitriol
Drain          : 3 MP, 40 PWR, STEAL HP, Syphon foes' life
Ice Saber      : 3 MP, Imbue Weapons with WATER & FREEZE
Refresh        : 1 MP, Recover allies from Status Effects
Healing Water  : 2 MP, 40 PWR, Restore HP, Heal Allies

Salamander
Fireball       : 2 MP, 40 PWR, Roast foes with fireballs
Explode        : 3 MP, 55 PWR, Rock foes with explosions
Lava Wave      : 3 MP, 40 PWR, Debuff ATTACK, Immolate foes
Flame Saber    : 4 MP, Imbue Weapons with FIRE & ABLAZE
Fiery Cocktail : 2 MP, 40 PWR, Scald foes with flame
Blazing Wall   : 3 MP, Engulf foes in BLAZING walls of fire

Jinn
Air Blast      : 2 MP, 40 PWR, Shred foes with strong winds
Thunderbolt    : 3 MP, 55 PWR, Strike foes with lightning
Confuse        : 2 MP, CONFUSE foes with disorienting magic
Thunder Saber  : 3 MP, Imbue Weapons with WIND & CONFUSE
Balloon        : 2 MP, STUN foes with devitalizing magic
Analyze        : 1 MP, Reveal Information, Disable traps

Luna
Energy Ball    : 3 MP, 40 PWR, Debuff DEFENSE
Absorb         : 1 MP, 40 PWR, STEAL MP, Syphon foes' mana
Lunacy         : 5 MP, Conjure chaos upon friends and foes
Moon Saber     : 4 MP, Imbue Weapons with MOON & STEAL HP
Half Eclipse   : 3 MP, Reduce foes Current HP by half
Rush           : 2 MP, Buff ATTACK, Debuff EVASION

Dryad
Sleep Flower   : 2 MP, Lull foes into deep peaceful SLEEP
Burst          : 8 MP, 100 PWR, Blast foes with inner power
Manaburn       : 10 MP, ? PWR, Bypasses Reflect
Revive         : 10 MP, Recover allies from DEATH's grasp
Reflect        : 6 MP, Protect allies by redirecting magic
Mana Magic     : 1 MP, Temporarily restore the Mana Sword

Shade
Evil Gate      : 2 MP, 40 PWR, Unleash darkness upon foes
Dark Force     : 3 MP, 55 PWR, Ignite foes with dark energy
Dispel Magic   : 4 MP, Dispels buffs, Weapons, & Reflect

Wisp
Holy Saber     : 4 MP, Imbue Weapons with LIGHT & STUN
Saint Beam     : 3 MP, 55 PWR, Smite foes with sacred light
Twinkly Barrier: 4 MP, Protect allies by nullifying attacks
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 30, 2019, 11:04:36 am
Just felt like sharing a little something I cooked up. I've designed a simplified level system loosely inspired by Final Fantasy IV. In World of Balance stat growth is severely reduced after level 50. This change is made to preserve a balanced level of difficulty against the game's monsters and bosses but still leave a little reward for the completionists out there. Think of these as trophy levels.

Additionally, I've modified how spellcasting works. Intelligence is now the primary casting stat for both Primm and Popoi and will now simply be called Magic. Spirit is now used entirely for Magic Def. in the same way that Fortitude is used entirely for Defense.

To keep the characters balanced, I gave them each a pool of 260 points to spread between stats their max level stats. I valued one of these points as equivalent to 10 HP, 1 Strength, 1 Agility, 1 Fortitude, 1 Magic, or 1 Spirit. I made MP equal to level because I felt that having to double purchase for magic was too much of a nerf to spellcasters. Starting stats were based on one of two growth rates.

Randi's build completely neglects magic. He gets a +5% bonus to his innate Critical Hit Rate to compensate for his lack of magical versatility. Initially I had Randi set with a 0 in magic but the lowest number the status screen can display is a 1. So, I took his 10 leftover points and dumped them there. I thought I would start him with a 10 and never grow it to show that he no potential with magic.

Code: [Select]
Randi
Lv HP  MP St Ag Fo Ma Sp
 1  50 00 15 15 15 10 15
50 450 00 45 45 45 10 45
99 500 00 50 50 50 10 50

Critical Hite Rate 10 %
Primm focuses on being a front line fighter with enhanced physical defensive stats which compliment her support based magical abilities. The idea is to encourage her to use her buff spells.

Code: [Select]
Primm
Lv HP  MP St Ag Fo Ma Sp
 1  50 01 15 15 15 15 10
50 350 50 40 40 40 40 35
99 400 50 45 45 45 45 40
         +05+15+15+05    ---> Endgame equipment bonuses
Critical Hite Rate 5 %

Popoi's build has low Strength and Fortitude and high Agility, Magic, and Spirit. The idea is for Popoi players to stay out of physical confrontations in favor of long ranged ones where they can safely sling spells.

Code: [Select]
Popoi
Lv HP  MP St Ag Fo Ma Sp
 1  50 01 05 15 15 15 10
50 350 50 30 45 40 45 35
99 400 50 35 50 40 50 45
         +05+10   +10+15---> Endgame equipment bonuses
Critical Hite Rate 5 %

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Shade Aurion on March 30, 2019, 02:20:56 pm
260 points seems a bit low to spread out at lv99 but that's me just being cautiously skeptical. I mean the whole point is to maintain balance and level of difficulty after all so its really something i'd have to see in action. As long as i'm not getting destroyed by werewolves and other enemies with multiple hits or others that glitch when you attack them mid attack animation and repeat powerful hits it should be fine. Reviving and healing constantly is a bummer but every now and then is fine.

It sounds like you've really thought about this and so far your judgment has been great so i'll just have to check it out. I mean, it is the 'World of Balance'  :)
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 30, 2019, 04:43:00 pm
260 points seems a bit low to spread out at lv99 but that's me just being cautiously skeptical. I mean the whole point is to maintain balance and level of difficulty after all so its really something i'd have to see in action. As long as i'm not getting destroyed by werewolves and other enemies with multiple hits or others that glitch when you attack them mid attack animation and repeat powerful hits it should be fine. Reviving and healing constantly is a bummer but every now and then is fine.

It sounds like you've really thought about this and so far your judgment has been great so i'll just have to check it out. I mean, it is the 'World of Balance'  :)

If you look a like closer you'll see that the bulk of those numbers are spread out at level 50. From level 51 to 99 stats only grow a total of 5 points. That 260 doesn't include the extra 50 from stats.

Even in vanilla, I've never experienced a party wipe going though the final dungeon at level 50 with the final shop's gear.

The goal here is to get players using Primm's magic for something other than healing and to hopefully use up their items. Her buffs will hopefully be useful here.

World of Balance also uses hacks from the Gameplay Improvement Project and Turbo such as preventing enemies from stacking damage on you while you're healing.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Shade Aurion on March 30, 2019, 05:04:43 pm
Oh nice, well when you put it like that, it seems fine. I was just concerned. I think I generally was lv55-60 once I reached the Mana Fortress and tended to level there til 85-90 before end game. Which seemed to take forever. Maybe you can lower the exp values to truly signify lv99 as being a completionist thing while only adding minor stat improvements. TBH if the damage stacking is removed, with all the new equipment and spells, it'll probably still be reasonably difficult but not hard or easy just in a totally different way to the standard release and to be honest, that all sounds like a good thing  :)

I'm super keen to play this XD
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: lexluthermiester on March 30, 2019, 09:56:02 pm
Thoughts?
In a word? Excellent! In more words, seems like a great project!

The only thing I disagree with is the "No HP/MP restore at level up" as this can cause issues in early parts of the game. However, that's a minor complaint and the rest sounds simply exceptional!
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 30, 2019, 10:37:35 pm
In a word? Excellent! In more words, seems like a great project!

The only thing I disagree with is the "No HP/MP restore at level up" as this can cause issues in early parts of the game. However, that's a minor complaint and the rest sounds simply exceptional!
Don't worry. I intend to make sure that you won't have to rely on leveling to heal your party.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: lexluthermiester on March 30, 2019, 11:32:10 pm
Don't worry. I intend to make sure that you won't have to rely on leveling to heal your party.
Are you going to throw in the "9 item" mod or something similar? That would be very handy.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 30, 2019, 11:52:56 pm
Are you going to throw in the "9 item" mod or something similar? That would be very handy.
Possibly, but not in the way that you're thinking. I'm actually considering a "3 Item" mod. Players have too many resources on hand at all times.

I'm considering nerfing Chocochomp down to 200 HP, Honey Brew down to 300 HP, and Magic Walnut down to 25 MP.

The goal is to make the Primm's buff spells useful enough to actually use and make the game just difficult enough to make players want to. If I succeed, then players will need to actually use their healing items to heal.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: lexluthermiester on March 31, 2019, 04:12:44 am
Possibly, but not in the way that you're thinking. I'm actually considering a "3 Item" mod. Players have too many resources on hand at all times.

I'm considering nerfing Chocochomp down to 200 HP, Honey Brew down to 300 HP, and Magic Walnut down to 25 MP.
That doesn't sound so good.

The goal is to make the Primm's buff spells useful enough to actually use and make the game just difficult enough to make players want to. If I succeed, then players will need to actually use their healing items to heal.
This could easily lead to a lot of potentially tedious/needless back-forth running around to buy items, going in and out of combat area's and whatnot.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 31, 2019, 10:55:55 am
That doesn't sound so good.
This could easily lead to a lot of potentially tedious/needless back-forth running around to buy items, going in and out of combat area's and whatnot.
That's just simply not how the game is set up. You have an opportunity to make purchases before each major combat area.

If you want to play an easier, unbalanced, version of this hack, it's already done. It's called Secret of Mana: Relocalized. You can download it here. (https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4324/) It's everything you love about the original Secret of Mana with FuSoYa's expanded version of Ted Woolsey's original script, further relocalization, uncensored game elements, and some quality of life mods.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: lexluthermiester on March 31, 2019, 11:44:05 am
You have an opportunity to make purchases before each major combat area.
While this is of course true, the limitation of three per item means that players will likely have to exit and re-enter combat areas like it was originally just more frequently with one less per item.
If you want to play an easier, unbalanced, version of this hack, it's already done.
No offense intended of course. Just offering insight on that lone aspect of your proposed changes. Otherwise everything else seems really cool!
It's called Secret of Mana: Relocalized. You can download it here. (https://www.romhacking.net/hacks/4324/) It's everything you love about the original Secret of Mana with FuSoYa's expanded version of Ted Woolsey's original script, further relocalization, uncensored game elements, and some quality of life mods.
Seen that already and have begun a play-through.  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 31, 2019, 12:21:22 pm
While this is of course true, the limitation of three per item means that players will likely have to exit and re-enter combat areas like it was originally just more frequently with one less per item. No offense intended of course. Just offering insight on that lone aspect of your proposed changes. Otherwise everything else seems really cool!Seen that already and have begun a play-through.  :thumbsup:

It won't help though. Areas have a soft level cap. At a certain point you won't be able to gain enough xp from monsters to level further without hours of grinding. Meaning that it won't matter how many trips you make back and forth because the difficulty will be locked in place and you'll be stuck with the same number of items and spells to deal with it.

I'm honestly not sure about the item limit yet. I'm hoping that I don't have to change it from 4 to 3. It's a nuclear option that a I'd prefer not to choose.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Shade Aurion on March 31, 2019, 05:17:02 pm
Just make it an optional patch. I mean you could have a 3 item and a 5 item patch for hard and easy difficulty on WoB.
I like all your ideas and they sound great to me but I am also cautious about tediousness. I echo Lex's concerns but also want to have faith in your work so i'll remain cautiously optimistic. Especially since your previous hacks are brilliant so I have a lot of faith in you man  :)
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 31, 2019, 05:25:13 pm
Okay, so my most important agenda here is making the game more fun to play. Don't worry. I've made lots of changes that streamline gameplay. I'm not going to make monster fights tedious so long as you're willing to spend a little magic on the way to the boss.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Shade Aurion on March 31, 2019, 05:53:17 pm
I know man. I'm not trying to dump on your vision at all and i'm sure Lex isn't either. More than that though, i'm sure a lot of this will be better explained from actually playing WoB when it releases than on paper because this is after all, a complete rebalance of the game including the equipment rebalance from your other hack, Relocalised, etc. It's easy for people (including myself) to zone in on a few things and have little worries but at the same time forget that this is a total overhaul of the game. Admittedly when I see 3 items I think "fuck, but a few times I needed more than 4 items" forgetting that i'm making that judgment based on the less balanced stock standard version of the game. Concerns while legitimate aren't supposed to be a take away at all. I just keep having to remind myself not to judge your changes based on the original game but the massive list of changes you've made overall and vision you have for this project. The best thing to do in this situation is to make suggestions in case you haven't considered something (which you likely have), remember that you're the only one who knows how this affects the game because your project isn't released yet and trust your judgment, and the latter is easy to do with your track record.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: Timbo on March 31, 2019, 06:34:12 pm
That's why I try to address every suggestion. I want to encourage discussion.
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: hmsong on September 11, 2019, 11:00:41 am
Hi, I heard from Queue that you have the Stardust Herb patch for Secret of Mana.  If possible, could you release a stand-alone patch on Romhacking.net? (with Relocalized compatibility)  I much prefer that over Faerie Coconut.  That would be awesome.  Thank you.

September 12, 2019, 10:04:23 am - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
Quote
Manaburn: This is a new spell exclusively created to fix the game's final sequence and give Popoi something more to do than cast half of Mana Magic on Randi. I've mentioned this before but Secret of Mana is a three player game and it should be played as such. Previously, Popoi players basically sit the endgame sequence out. This spell brings Popoi to the forefront in a big heroic way.

Popoi isn't useless in the final fight.  Popoi will spend all his time using Dispel against the Mana Beast.  Sure, it doesn't do any damage, but it will stop Mana Beast from casting Lucent Beam (since it'll be too busy re-casting Wall).
Title: Re: Secret of Mana: World of Balance
Post by: boff on September 16, 2019, 03:59:05 pm
Hi Timbo

How is progress so far?
I look forward to this hack. For me it will be the definitive version of the game without changing the gameplay as much. (like remove the stamina bar)

Big hug!  :thumbsup: