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' 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!*)
-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:
(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
-A couple of treasures moved
-Treasure content altered
-More monsters in boxes
-Secret passages altered (BEWARE: "Passages" is not an innate ability anymore!)
-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
-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.
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:
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:
EDIT: Screenshots added